Category Archives: Ethics Quotes

Unethical Quote of the Week: Sen. John McCain, and also “WHAT????”

U.S. Senator John McCain gestures as he arrives to address the third session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

“It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm. I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.”

—- Sen. John McCain (R-Az) to Politico, explaining and making excuses for 47 Republican Senators injecting themselves into sensitive U.S. negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapon development..

1. I am speechless. Luckily, I can type.

Well, sort of.

2. The silver lining: at least the Senator just made those regretting President Obama’s election in 2008 feel better. We were spared embarrassing moments like that of President McCain, asked why he sent missiles to destroy Toronto, explaining, “Yeah, I was watching “Family Feud,” had to run to the can, and was distracted. Hey, it happens.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership

Unethical Quote Of The Month (and most idiotic, too!): Two Unnamed American Tourists

“We did not imagine it was something so serious!”

-–One of two young California women, ages 21 and 25 , after being arrested by Roman authorities for carving their initials “J” and “N” about four inches high into a wall of the Colosseum.

Get this guy a ticket to Rome. I've got a little job for him....

Get this guy a ticket to Rome. I’ve got a little job for him….

Naturally, as is the current practice among morons everywhere, they posed for a selfie with their “artwork.”

Well, you have to sympathize with them: why would anyone get upset over a couple of letters  carved into a 2,085-year-old irreplaceable iconic architectural structure?

I find myself unable to discern the upbringing, education and cultural conditioning that would produce two adults from our nation capable of such a pointless, stupid, destructive act against history, art and civilization.

I am similarly incapable of arriving at an appropriate punishment that recognizes the enormity of their crime and their proven worthlessness to society that does not resemble the screenplay of “Saw.”

Would it be too cruel to pass a law that allows the U.S. to just revoke the citizenship of people like this?

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Etiquette and manners, History

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Democratic Operative Paul Begala

“Voters do not give a shit. They do not even give a fart… Find me one persuadable voter who agrees with HRC on the issues but will vote against her because she has a non-archival-compliant email system and I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and say it smells like roses.”

—Clinton enabler/mouthpiece/consultant Paul Begala, quoted in Politico’s essay by Gabriel Debendetti 

roses

Begala, just in case you’ve forgotten, was the most loathsome of Bill Clinton’s paid defenders—deceitful, smug, arrogant, Machiavellian. I’ll confess my bias: along with Karl Rove, David Axelrod, Dick Morris, James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, and others whose names I am mercifully unaware of so far, Begala and his species are the scourge of the political culture as well as democracy itself. Their stock in trade is misrepresentation, and their objective is to make Americans ignorant, uncritical, lazy, compliant, and gullible. The contempt they have for Americans is palpable, as in Begala’s quote. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Professions, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Quote of the Month: Dan Savage

“If being gay is a choice, prove it. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that’s done, Ben, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my dick. Name the time and the place and I’ll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.”

—Columnist and gay rights advocate Dan Savage, responding to Dr. Ben Carson’s assertion on CNN that being gay is a choice, and that men choose to become gay as a result of prison experiences.

"Hmmm...I'm straight, but that Dan Savage looks mighty good. Maybe I should choose to gay...."

“Hmmm…I’m straight, but that Dan Savage looks mighty good. Maybe I should choose to be gay….”

Some observations:

1. Savage works in shock rhetoric the way Rodin worked in marble. Yes, the response to Carson is uncivil and vulgar. As such, it is as good an example as one could find of the importance of not banning words, even the obscene, ugly and hurtful ones. They are certainly subject to abuse, like all words. Still, they have legitimate and valuable uses.

2. Unfortunately, because Savage’s own conduct in the gay rights wars has been unyieldingly abusive, contemptuous and hateful, he only amuses his own constituency, and persuades no one who needs persuading. Yet his comment deftly unmasks the absurdity and ignorance of Carson’s. If it had come from a critic who was regarded as objective and not habitually offensive for the sake of being so, Savage’s attack would have impact beyond those who already have made up their minds about Ben Carson.

3. Thus the lesson of Savage’s assault is that incivility’s effectiveness, like its justifiability, is inversely related to its rarity. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Research and Scholarship, Romance and Relationships

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Christiane Amanpour

amanpour

“There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn’t mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing.”

——Christiane Amanpour in 1996, responding to critics who called her reporting on the Bosnian War biased.

Now THIS is an unethical quote, in contrast to the earlier one from Christiane, which I posted yesterday as an “Ethics Quote of the Week.”

I’m posting this one 20 years after it was uttered because…

1. It explains the previous quote from yesterday.

2. It tells us everything we need to know about Christiane, which is to say, she cannot be trusted as a reporter.

3. For some reason I was unaware of it.

4. It appears to have become the motto of all reporters.

5. It is unethical to the core, and

6. A lot of people, including most journalists, don’t know why. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Professions

Ethics Quote of the Week: Christiane Amanpour

“It was a very dark Strangelovian speech painting the picture of a dystopian world, raising the spectre of a genocidal nation, a genocidal regime spraying nuclear weapons to annihilate the whole world and the whole region. Now, obviously many people are very concerned about Iran and there is a deep lack of trust, but surely the same was said of the Soviet Union all those years ago.”

—-CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour, commenting to Wolf Blizter on Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress.

That's funny...he doesn't LOOK Jewish...

That’s funny…he doesn’t LOOK Jewish…

This is a propitious opportunity to clear up a question I have been asked a few times, namely, “What is the distinction between the Ethics Alarms “ethics quotes” as opposed to the unethical and ethical quotes of the week or month. Sometimes, it’s a close call, like now. An ethics quote either illustrates, in a positive or negative fashion, an ethics principle or raises an ethics issue. Unethical quotes are those that are themselves harmful, dishonest, or that promote ethics misconceptions and unethical conduct. Ethical quotes are those that display ethical values or accomplish something that is objectively good.

Amanpour’s quote is, not to be overly blunt, stupid, ignorant, and disturbingly lacking in historical perspective. It raises ethics issues, but does not rise to the level, quite, of an unethical quote. It does raise the ethics issues of incompetence in the media, political bias robbing us all of IQ points, irresponsible journalism, and what happens when one is incapable of placing oneself behind another individual’s eyeball.  She is trying to be descriptive, so I would not term the quote itself unethical, just shocking. She has long been respected as a reporter on international events, but this statement is so devoid of its proper context that I think her credentials need to be reconsidered. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media

Unethical Quote of the Week: Fox News

weasels

“Bill O’Reilly has already addressed several claims leveled against him. This is nothing more than an orchestrated campaign by far left advocates Mother Jones and Media Matters. Responding to the unproven accusation du jour has become an exercise in futility. Fox News maintains its staunch support of O’Reilly, who is no stranger to calculated onslaughts.”

—-Fox News, in a statement announcing that it was standing behind its beleaguered cash cow and star, Bill O’Reilly, who has been shown convincingly to have misrepresented his exploits on several occasions.

What an awful, slimy, deceitful statement. Yecch. It must have taken a veritable pack of weasels, plus some lawyers, to draft that. Let’s unpack it. Hold your nose: Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Journalism & Media, Professions