What Would You Do for a Buck?

Charles Gibson signed off as anchor of ABC’s “World News” with an earnest bon mot: “”Objectivity is not universally in favor in our business these days, but it is critically important.”

Evidently, Gibson doesn’t feel the same way about his post ABC career, as he now plays an ersatz newsman in a series of faux-nancial webcasts for Merrill Lynch—the latest bearing the unbearably corny title “Young Americans: It’s Your Future.”

What does Merrill get out of it? The air of respectability in an era of financial disrepute.

And what does Gibson get out of it? I’m sure a bundle of cash. But nowhere near enough to pay for shedding the objectivity he touted so righteously on his final newscast.

There’s nothing legally wrong with that, of course. But does it cross an ethical line to promote the same company that Gibson and his network criticized for helping to cause the recent financial crisis?

It brings to mind a Milton Glaser quote that I tweeted during yesterday’s One Day for Design online discussion: “When you violate your own belief something happens to the personality and the self.”

No amount of money should ever make that worthwhile.