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Published by Sernande Pen
reflection
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Published by: Sernande Pen on Nov 12, 2012
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09/24/2013

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Judging the Private Lives of Public OfficialsA. Summary
In the article of J. Patrick Dobel: Judging the Private Lives of Public Officialsdiscusses four topics; first
is the “public claims of public officials,” it merely talks about
what the privacy means which the private lives of public officials must be respected alsoeven though they occupied positions in the government. Right to privacy
1
is not just aright of individuals; it is their fundamental right
2
that granted by the State to them whichthe public officials are part of it.But there are several reasons why the private lives of public official have beenvulgarize to the public. First, the media become an eye of the public interest to know theprivate lives of the public officials. Second, the media became gatekeepers to the officeof political parties that has been decline and to be more people focused. Third, inpolitics there are always a competition in a certain position which the media is their wayto spread scandals of their co
 –
competitor; humiliate other people for their own interest. And lastly, since the public officials have an obligation to serve the public, here is the
issue of the public’s right to know about the lives of their public o
fficials that are sat inthe offices of the government of their country.The second topic that was discussed
is the “office and relevance,”
it is about theresponsibility of public officials to act on behalf of the citizens of their country. It is their obligation to speak and act for the public. J. Patrick Dobel indicated a theory that
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Right of a person to be free from unwarranted publicity.
2
Those which have their origin in the express terms of the Constitution or which are necessarily to beimplied from these terms.
 
 
 All public officials are accountable to all citizens, and all citizens are principalswho have the right to acquire relevant knowledge about
the officials’ public
performance, most clearly in elections where citizens act directly as principals toelect and delegate
3
 This means that there must be give and take in a way that the citizens finance theneeds of the government through taxes while the public officials must serve themresponsively at any time.There are two areas were the public criticize their public officials. First, is abouttheir health conditions. It is truly important to know if they are really capable in thatposition but people must remember that it is not enough basis to judge themimmediately. There are prominent people in government who are smoker but then, theycan still manage their responsibility in the government and for the citizens. Second, J.Patrick Dobel pointed out three premises about the economic relations of the publicofficials;
First, economic interests in one’s area of authority can corrupt judgment; second,
these interests can tempt individuals, and office should not be subject to unduetemptations on people with heavy responsibility; and third, economic conflict of interests can undermine the appearance of fairness and impartiality and hurt thelegitimacy of government
4
.The public has the right to know about the life of their public officers occupied thegovernment but there must be a limitation; if the actions of their public officials affectedtheir right such as their taxes was used by the public officer for private interest but if not,the people must respect issues within the lives of the public officials because they werealso like them that has problems must be face on confidentially.
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J. Patrick Dobel, “Judging the Private Lives of the Public Officials,” Administration and Society (May
1998): 121.
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Dobel, 123.
 
 
The “erosion of privacy” is the next topic that was explained
in this article. Thissection talks about the media are the way for citizen to know how credible, reliable andtruthful their public officials that occupied the government. But there are times that theinformation from media about the lives of the public officials are not accurate or justmaking a malicious issue to degrade certain public officer. The media industry does notcare whether they need it to be published or not, the important is there is an issue to be judge by the public. And most of public official
s’ jobs are
affected that they must also puta time and effort for them to explain in certain issues that was published by the mediawhich may further result into resignation or death through suicide of specific publicofficer.Because of judging the private lives of public officials there are serious harm tocivic life stated by J. Patrick Dobel in this article:First, many innocent human beings are hurt as they are pulled into public scrutinyover private lives and relations of public officials. Second, the quality of lifepermitted to public officials has declined, and this discourages others fromentering public service. Third, the focus on private lives and scandal oftendetracts from serious issues and trivializes concerns over competence andpolicy. Fourth, this focus hurts the public service by denying many worthycitizens a chance to serve
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.The public forgets,
one’s they judge a
well-known people in the government which alsoaffects the whole family of the specific public officer. Because of this action, others donot want to enter in public service because they were afraid that they may experiencewhat others experienced as a public servant or others does not given a chance to servethe public because they were already criticize about what they cannot do. Having a
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Dobel, 128.

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