A Major Political Scandal Brews… via The Ethicists

Let the massive reader debate begin.

In the wake of Rolling Stone magazine’s UVA debacle and the ongoing accusations leveled against Bill Cosby comes an explosive New York Times Magazine The Ethicists discussion.

An individual whose name was withheld by request wrote in about the fact that seven years ago, while working straight out of college for a political campaign, they learned from a female intern that she had been raped by a co-worker and that the incident had been covered up by “higher-ups.” From the top of the May 31 column, posted online today:

The police weren’t involved, nothing made the news, all the people involved kept their jobs. To my knowledge, this young woman told me and one other colleague. I kept the secret to myself for the last seven years until the other night.

I let slip to a journalist friend the very basics of what happened, and now I’m being asked for contacts who can confirm that it happened. The candidate I worked for is running again. I still support the candidate, and I do not want the opponent in office. On the other hand, I am aghast that the organization would cover up such a heinous crime. I’m ashamed of myself for not saying anything at the time. Thinking about it makes me feel physically ill…

The discussion among the three ethicists – Kenji Yoshino, Amy Bloom and (recent Jack Shafer replacement) Kwame Anthony Appiah – is going to likely divide readers, with all three suggesting it is the former intern’s decision and her decision only as to whether to pursue this matter in some fashion all these years later. Bloom also writes that NAME WITHHELD should he ashamed for telling the journalist.