For years as a newspaper editor, I wrote many columns and editorials I’d rather take back because they were critical of others; oftentimes, politicians.
Upon returning to the Faith of my youth about 9 years ago, I have studiously read my Faith’s writings. In fact, I often use excerpts from the Bahá’í writings in my art.
While not unethical by journalistic standards, my columns and editorials violated my Faith’s admonitions against dwelling on the faults of others. It doesn’t matter if what I wrote was true.
In Arabic Hidden Words 26 and 27, respectively, Bahá'u'lláh says: “O SON OF BEING! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me” and “Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness.”
Bahá'u'lláh also addresses the subject elsewhere.
“... The tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men.”
The effect on one's soul when engaging in such behavior cannot be understated.