By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – New Yorker magazine writer Jelani Cobb tweeted this Wednesday: “I wonder if the (growing) list of actors, producers and directors being accused of sexual assault and harassment will culminate in some kind of industry watchdog organization. The way LEEDS certifies buildings are voluntarily conforming to green standards.”

I sense a bit of sarcasm there, but a response to his tweet brought home the seriousness: “Why can’t men in power hold themselves accountable. Is common sense and decency so hard?”

A great question.

And sadly, the answer is, apparently yes.

It certainly was too much for the vicious mass murderer in Lower Manhattan, who reportedly told police he was “happy” about the carnage and considered it a “success,” despite the fact that ISIS is one of the most egregious failures in the history of religion and politics.

We don’t expect common sense and decency from their ilk, but for the most part we do from the titans of industry, the men and women we’ve made into millionaires and billionaires. But in two days of Congressional hearings this week, the mouthpieces for Facebook, Google and Twitter claimed they didn’t notice enemies of America using their platforms to spread horrendous lies and poison our civic life.

hearing Keller @ Large: Why Is Common Sense And Decency So Difficult?

General Counsel for Twitter Sean Edgett, Vice President and General Counsel for Facebook Colin Stretch, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Google Kent Walker are sworn in during a hearing before the House (Select) Intelligence Committee November 1, 2017 on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It never dawned on them that they had any obligation to the public beyond pocketing their money.

And what about the Hollywood swine finally getting called out for their efforts to exploit vulnerable people around them?

No common sense or decency there.

Just the same instincts as the terrorists and the negligent internet greedheads – to scratch their vile itch, take whatever they want, and leave it to others to clean up the mess.

  1. I’m a frequent critic of some of the positions you take, Jon, but not on this one

    Your remarks should raise questions in all levels of society, not just in the ones that you have mentioned.

    Perhaps in future articles you could explore the causes of this ignorance of common sense and decency and make proposals as to what can be done do encourage common sense as a solution to many of today’s problems.

    Indeed, it may take a dozen or so columns for you to cover the causes, and another dozen or so to propose solutions.

    But common sense tells me that it would be well worth the effort.

    I hope you prove me wrong, but common sense tells me that this is a subject where you will use the “hit-and-run” method and avoid getting any deeper in the subject.

    Prove me wrong, Jon, please.

    p.s. One a week for a four or five months might be a good way to accomplish this. I’d be more than willing to help you with research and editing.

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