Society has basic standards that are fairly uniform. Lying, cheating, and breaking the law don’t fall within those values. There is no line above which it’s wrong a person to do something and below which it's okay for another to do the same thing. That would be a double standard (or situational ethics.)
We hold our politicians, family members, accountants, doctors, dentists, spouses, and children accountable, and professional associates to certain standards. World and national figures live or die by their behaviors.
No one disputes that Lance Armstrong should have been outed for cheating. He did not deserve to hold the titles that he cheated to obtain. Those who spoke up and told the truth did the right thing. Insiders knew for years what he was doing, but no one was willing to pull the trigger until now.
Well known public figures, Harriet Klausner and Lance Armstrong, have a lot in common:
Lance Armstrong is a widely recognized world figure.
Harriet Klausner is a widely recognized national figure.
Lance Armstrong and his team won the Tour de France 7 times.
Harriet Klausner was Amazon’s No. 1 reviewer for 11 years.
Lance Armstrong cheated and lied to achieve his extraordinary feats.
Harriet Klausner has cheated and lied to achieve her extraordinary feats.
Lance Armstrong received endorsements as a result of his status in the biking world.
Harriet Klausner received endorsements as a result of her status in the reviewing world.
Lance Armstrong’s behavior violated the law and sporting world standards.
Harriet Klausner’s behavior violates the law and industry standards.
Armstrong “earned” a lot of money as a result of his standing in the sporting world.
Klausner has “earned” a lot of money as a result of her standing in the publishing industry.
Lance Armstrong denied allegations of doping for 10 years.
Harriet Klausner has denied allegations of fraud for 11 years.
Armstrong’s behavior has harmed the credibility of athletes and the sports world everywhere.
Harriet Klausner’s behavior has harmed the credibility of reviewers and the industry.
Will Lance Armstrong ever be believed again? No.
Should Hariet Klausner ever be believed again? No.
Can Lance Armstrong continue to bike? Yes, but as a pastime.
Can Harriet Klausner continue to read and review books: Yes, but as a pastime.
When we allow lying, cheating, and deception to occur by passively turning a blind eye, we actively participate in the diminution of our societal values and the decline of our society. We make the world a better place when we fight to do the right thing.