Xxxchatters front page model
Sometimes a proposed course of action may be allowed under the law and yet it’s a really bad idea in terms of how it is likely to be perceived by the community.
For example, the website “good reads” ( lists 2,561 books on ethics.For other actions that tend to fare poorly in the court of public opinion, see “Situations Likely to Fail the Front Page Test." As part of the front page test, a good question to ask is whether you can give your harshest critic a straightforward explanation of why this was the right thing to do.In many cases, that explanation should include an analysis of how the action in question genuinely benefits and serves the interests of the community and how the action is part of a fair and transparent decision-making process.However, even if the likelihood of scrutiny is slim or non-existent, the front page test is still a good one to use.As legendary basketball coach John Wooden observed, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Avoiding Self-Deception Whether you are being watched or not, thinking about how the average constituent on the street will perceive your actions is a useful analysis.When analyzing how a given course of action will look, count on the fact that most, if not virtually all, members of the community will lack some or all of the relevant information about the public official’s actions.
In fact, there’s a strong likelihood the information the community receives — particularly if the information comes from a source other than the public official in question, such as the media — will be critical, incomplete, skewed and perhaps even inaccurate.
Compliance With the Law Isn’t Enough One of the explanations frequently offered by local officials under scrutiny is that what they did is legal or they received advice from agency counsel that it wasn’t illegal. Not being against the law generally just means that one won’t get jailed or fined for doing something.
The question is whether the official is doing the right thing.
People tend to rationalize their actions, usually by starting their analysis with what they want to do and then reasoning backward to justify that course of action. As founding father Benjamin Franklin wryly noted, “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.” In a similar vein, French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau cautioned that “Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.” Of course, as a public servant, your actions and words are often subject to intense public scrutiny.
Thus, a distinct possibility exists that the media and the public (particularly your critics) will scrutinize your actions.
If the action involves spending the agency’s money, community members are likely to ask the question whether they feel that such an expenditure benefits them or not.