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The New McCarthyism

Sen. Joseph McCarthy was an American Politician in the 1950's who whipped up paranoia (and votes) by accusing people in the US government with being communists, lacking any evidence whatsoever. The hysteria he created led to the "blacklisting" of public figures such as singers and entertainers.

The thread "To Sabine and Roy" is very disturbing.

There was a time in bridge where leveling a public cheating accusation was almost as bad as cheating itself. Unfortunately this led to an atmosphere (apparently) where it became impossible to bring collusive cheaters to justice. The whistle was blown finally and many (probably not all) of these cheaters were caught and convicted, making our game better and cleaner. Bravo.

Now I am not going to opine on the incident cited in the thread. Roy and Sabine are good friends and among the most ethical players I know - so I am biased.

However, my concern is the process. It is one thing to bring evidence of cheating. It is another thing to publicly impugn someone's integrity over a procedural issue. Unless there is evidence that Roy deliberately mis-scored the board, it is (in my opinion) totally inappropriate to bring such an attack to a public forum.

Edgar Kaplan, my bridge hero, believed that the rules of the game and conditions of contest should be followed and enforced. And if those rules/conditions were stupid, change them. 

What would I do in the situation being discussed? What would you do? Doesn't matter. What happened was in accordance with the COCs and if a "crime" was committed it was by those COC's. I don't want to get into "what-ifs" or what the director at the table should have done.

The point is that if you object to the action and want to take it up with Roy or Sabine, I would disagree, but you would be within your rights. But to bring it to the public as an accusation only creates a witch-hunt atmosphere in our game. This is not the way to make bridge better.

Let's all calm down.

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