Sirianni: Hypocrisy, our “Fake News” moment
Our political system’s ability to look at the same set of facts and come up with completely different realities, is deeply troubling. Each “fact” has a different narrative, each of which are then backed up by blindly partisan “news” channels, pundits, and social media until the facts are sure not to get in the way of a good story. In this way our country has developed “fake” news: a compelling narrative that has only a tangential relationship to the facts, one that only works so long as partisans are willing to ignore what’s really happening.
People, being human, can be forgiven for lapses because of heightened emotions that cloud judgement. Institutions, on the other hand, who digest information in the cold light of day, should not be given the same courtesy. We have to assume they are acting deliberately.
The proliferation of fake news is whittling away at our institutions and shared values, to the point where we are hardly noticing when people and institutions are saying one thing and doing another. We ignore hypocrisy.
What should we think of the TRO loving firms that clog the court systems to hunt down individual financial advisors who have the temerity to leave, while at the same time they steal advisors from competitors?
Should this be ok? Should we all pretend to be blind, or should we just rationalize the completely illogical/immoral? After all, it’s just a legal business move; there’s no greater morality present. It’s not personal, — it’s just business.
While institutions are not people, they should at the very least not be hypocritical. The TRO firms present to jurists their cases against fleeing advisors under the guise of a moral high ground. They are shocked that an advisor would take her clients to another firm, especially after they have cornered her into signing agreements saying she wouldn’t. They argue, client names and addresses, readily available on social media, are a firm secret and can’t be parted with.
With a straight face they will take an advisor from a competing firm the following week, along with his clients’ names and addresses, wrapping themselves in the same protocol process they have abandoned and denigrated in court.
Are these firm legal teams suffering from a collective case of selective amnesia? Maybe the recruiting managers forgot to tell the legal department that they were still recruiting? Perhaps TRO happy firms just figure they can afford lawyers, and the little guys can’t. Lawyers will make it all ok.
Hypocrisy is intoxicating. It makes you believe you can get away with anything, which is true… as long as we choose to ignore it.