In the NYTMagazine from 11-12-17, I read about the results of a study conducted online in June by the New York Time's research-and-analytics department "reflecting the opinions of 2,903 subscribers who chose to participate":
This week's question: Would you rather have done a horrible thing that only you know about, or have everyone think you did a horrible thing that you didn't do?
Interesting. The post is titled "Do New York Times Subscribers Have the Morals of an Alley Cat?" because 72% favored doing the horrible thing and keeping it secret. Geez, I know Hillary has a lot of time on her hands to respond to things like this but how many other Clintonistas are out there?
But on behalf of alley cats and Times subscribers (I am one) let me call for a booth review. "Horrible" is pretty vague. If one thinks of murder, rape or child abuse then OMG - these respondents are sociopaths.
OTOH, maybe the horrible thing is a hmm, white lie such as telling a friend you are skipping lunch to see the doctor when really you are bailing out because you can't bear one more nanosecond of their whinging about the ex. Non-supportive in their time of need, and what kind of horrible person would do that, amirite?
The rest of the gray in this question comes from behavior that is "victimless" but deplorable. An easier one - busted for illegal gambling. The false accusation will embarrass family and friends and may result in loss of your professional license. Actually gambling a bit and keeping it secret hurts whom? That choice doesn't seem so difficult and may be the sort of thing the 72 percenters had in mind.
Trickier on the grey scale would be a victimless incident such as a businessman soliciting a prostitute in Vegas. Probably legal, definitely painful to spouse, kids and friends. Would making them endure the pain of a false accusation be preferable to engaging in the behavior and bearing the guilt alone? Mileage may vary.
Without any context for the question or baseline of other poll respondents I would not use this survey to conclude that a majority of Times readers are working without a moral compass. Of course, combined with their support for Hillary...