Mental illness, Trump supporters, and the ethics of journalism.

Should the Washington Post Have Profiled a Mentally Ill Voter?

Should the Washington Post Have Profiled a Mentally Ill Voter?

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Oct. 5 2016 4:31 PM
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Can the Mentally Ill Consent to Being Interviewed?

Slate’s Culture Gabfest discusses the Washington Post’s profile of a mentally ill Trump supporter.

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Photo illustration by Slate. Images by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images and Matt McClain/Getty Images.

For Wednesday’s edition of the Culture Gabfest Slate Plus bonus segment, hosts Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss the ethics of journalism when they involve mental illness.

Inspired by Washington Post reporter Stephanie McCrummen’s profile of a Donald Trump supporter, the hosts discuss how journalists should approach their subjects when they have a mental illness—and if they should at all. Can someone with mental illness consent to being the subject of a profile? How does Dana feel about the Post’s decision to send McCrummen on this assignment? And how do journalists ensure that these ethical questions don’t get lost in the shuffle of election season?

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