You can read details here.
Well, It’s about time.
It has been about two weeks since MSNBC talking head Martin Bashir said, on the air, not spontaneously but reading from a script, that Sarah Palin deserved to have someone shit in her mouth. I have previously commented on the incident and its aftermath here, here, here and here, which is more than Bashir is worth.
- Bashir should have been fired. That would have asserted that MCNBC had standards of civility and professionalism. This suggests it has none, at least when a conservative is the one being abused on the air.
- He should have been fired immediately. Late is sometimes better than never, but it is also significant when a network, faced with an employee who engages in objectively outrageous conduct that doesn’t merely cross the line, but pole vaults across it, appears to be pondering, as in, “Hmmmm. How bad is it, really, when a host suggests that someone hold down a former vice-presidential candidate and defecate in her mouth? Tough one! What’s your take, Lou?”
- Bashir’s producer and editor should have been disciplined, if not fired as well. Continue reading
I am often tempted to write one of those short, bullet point, stream-of-consciousness posts like some fool used to pay Larry King to write for his awful syndicated column, which included trenchant observations like, “For my money, there’s no better game show host than Bert Convy!” Such a post would take a lot less time, and I could cover more of the myriad ethics issues I encounter in my research every day that for one reason or another—the main one being I have to work for a living—never make it to the pages of Ethics Alarms. But it’s my birthday, dammit; I am one year closer to death, I miss my Dad (you too, Mom, but you picked a better day to die), and it’s pretty clear that I will have “epic underachiever” on my headstone where Jack Marshall, Sr’s reads “Silver Star,” so in lieu of any other celebration, I’m going to, just this once, use the bullet point format to note a bunch of the things I normally wouldn’t get around to writing about. Like: Continue reading
Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Quotes, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Public Service, Philanthropy, Charity, The Internet, U.S. Society, Unethical Websites
Update (12/3): This incident has been revealed as a hoax.
The ethical analysis stands.
Yes, this is stupid, but it is the day after Thanksgiving, I’m still hung over from l-tryptophan, and there are ethics lessons to be learned everywhere, even in disputes between crude TV producers and hysterics.
You can read the details of this story here and the live tweets it generated here—Gale, a reality TV producer, gave a blow-by-blow description over Twitter.
- A plane on its way to Phoenix was delayed on the ground and one of the passengers angrily and loudly protested to the flight attendants that she was going to miss Thanksgiving dinner and what were they going to do about it?
- Gale, as well as the rest of the passengers (presumably) found her self-centered hysteria offensive and made his point by sending her a complimentary glass of wine, some little bottles of vodka, and this note:
The woman was not amused, and sent him this in return… Continue reading
At the beginning of the year, we had a real donnybrook on Ethics Alarms over my contention that Applebee’s correctly fired a waitress for web- shaming a customer who refused to tip another server on the grounds, as the customer wrote on her credit card receipt, that the automatic tip of 18% was excessive since she (a pastor as well as a jerk) gave God only 10%. The indignant waitress posted the receipt on Reddit, which led to locals recognizing the pastor’s handwriting and appropriate antipathy being directed her way. Since the waitress’s conduct was a clear violation of Applebee’s employment terms and because publicly shaming customers who exercise their right not to leave tips is a poor customer relations strategy, she was sacked. Subsequently the unapologetic waitress received a lot of sympathy, while equally misguided observers vowed to punish Applebee’s for not wanting to be known for having waitresses on the payroll who are prone to misappropriate customer receipts and post them online to bring opprobrium down on the niggardly diners’ heads.
I think Applebee’s is looking prescient and wise right now. Ask Red Lobster, which did not fire Christina Jenkins, a 19-year-old African-American server at the Red Lobster restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee. Jenkins served a $44.53 order to Devin Barnes and his wife. Barnes wrote the word “none” by “tip, ” and, Jenkins claimed, wrote “Nigger” on the receipt as well. Jenkins then posted a photo of the racist receipt on her Facebook page, writing, “This is what I got as a tip last night…so happy to live in the proud southern states. God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee.” Going the Applebee’s vigilante one better, Jenkins allowed Barnes’ signature to be visible on the receipt.
The photo, and story, went viral on the web and the news media gobbled it up. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes denied that they would write such a thing (they didn’t tip because the order was a carry out), but nobody believed them. After all, everyone knows that white customers in southern states are likely to write “nigger” on receipts, just as everyone knows that sort-of white neighborhood watch members racially profile black kids in hoodies for carrying bags of Skittles. Jenkins, in contrast, was besieged with sympathy and cash contributions: the latest tally was $10,749. A handwriting expert hired by Barnes, however, proved that “nigger” was not written by the customers, but by the waitress herself. Now Jenkins and Red Lobster are being sued by the Barneses, who have been subjected to harassment and threats.
And that’s not all… Continue reading
Joel Hartman was homeless and surviving in Atlanta by dumpster diving, but when he found a lost wallet with the owner’s identification and credit card inside, he was determined to do the right thing. The wallet obviously belonged to a tourist, so the 36-year-old man checked the hotels in downtown Atlanta until he found out that the tourist (from France, for a conference) was staying at the Omni Hotel.
After Alanta’s Omni manager Scott Stuckey saw the surveillance video of Hartman—who looked as destitute as he was— turning in the wallet to the hotel’s security guards, he decided that a reward was in order. Hartman had given them a fake name, so it took some effort to track the shy good Samaritan down. Stuckey and his staff searched for a week, leaving messages with other homeless people that the Omni wanted to thank the man who recovered its guest’s stolen wallet. Eventually Hartman heard about their quest, and showed up at the hotel. He was shocked at what Stuckey had planned for him. Hartman was told that he would be the Omni’s guest in a luxury room through the Thanksgiving holiday with complimentary room service. The hotel also gave him $500.
I think the gesture by Stuckey and the Omni was kind, appropriate, and in keeping with the spirit of the holiday….but: Continue reading
Lea Tuohy is suing her ex-husband, a wealthy Detroit strip club entrepreneur named Alan Markovitz, to force him to remove his idea of “karma.” This would be his 12-foot bronze statue of a hand with its middle finger extended, which he bought specifically so it could be positioned on his backyard balcony to face the neighboring mansion where Tuohy lives with the man who (according to Markovitz) broke up their marriage.
Markovitz seems to have deftly avoided the specifics of Michigan’s public nuisance law, which law professor Jonathan Turley discusses here. The artwork is carefully positioned so that nobody else in the neighborhood has to see it, just his hated next door neighbors, when they look out their window. It is quiet art, not obtrusive noise, or even a giant sign that says “Fuck you, Lea, and the guy you moved in with!” But in all honesty, there really is no question that this is the message he intends to convey, and is conveying, in a clever, under-stated, expensive and fanatical way. This, in itself, makes the message–which could also be translated as “I really, really hate you people!”—even more intense. Imagine buying a lakefront mansion and a $7000 bronze middle-digit just to make someone else miserable. Now that’s a grudge.* Continue reading
Interestingly, THIS grove understands ethics better than Lloyd.
There are three primary reasons the United States of America is getting steadily disoriented, more gullible, less discerning, cruder and unethical. The first is that our leaders now only care about maintaining power, where once leaders tended to their duty of being what John Adams called America’s aristocracy. Such leaders, not too long ago, modeled the best values and behavior for the public because they carried the most crucial responsibilities, and thus had to be trustworthy. They understood this obligation was theirs because they had the most visibility, and recognized that this demanded positive, admirable, virtuous public behavior. Now our leaders use sophisticated modern marketing techniques to package themselves and ideas like a phony weight-loss remedy, gradually dropping the facades once they are too entrenched to remove. The dispiriting journey make us cynical, less civically involved, and confused. Continue reading
“What if you choked on that turkey and went into a coma…did you consider that? How would you pay for the hospitalization? That’s why you need insurance…”
Ah, the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas! Time to gather together in safe, friendly, warm and loving homes, united with loved ones, family and friends, to eat good food together, laugh and sing together, exchange gifts, good wishes and hope, perchance to worship and pray, but most important of all, to hector the stuffing out of everyone on behalf of the Democrats and Obamacare, because there really is no private, family time, time to give thanks and reflect of better things for our fellow human beings—just one great opportunity to carry the message of Big Brother to the eager, desperate and gullible, because, after all, the holidays are really about Barack Obama and his struggling health care law. Right?
Also..how dare they? Programming an army of Obamaphiles to turn the holidays into an extended infomercial for Obamacare crosses multiple lines, several of which place the stepper into disturbingly familiar totalitarian, collectivist territory, where every citizen is deemed a deputized agent of The One True Authority Over Us All. On BarackObama.com, the faithful Obamabots are given all they need to ruin the holidays, including a helpful “packing list” (to make sure your family has everything they need to enroll in Obamacare), various ways to plot to ambush your loved ones to turn the conversation away from peace, good will and sugar plums to saving the President’s bacon, and talking points, so you can be just as charming and honest as Jay Carney, David Plouffe and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Continue reading
Ugh. Come on.
Fortunately, Jay’s successor is ready to go…
Jay’s ethics alarm was sure malfunctioning during THAT taping. The Golden Rule is made for situations like this. Surely Jay knew about it? Once?
Louann Giambattista, a former American Airlines flight attendant, had sued the airline in June, claiming that American had discriminated against her as a result of her co-workers’ false allegations that she carried pet rats on board planes in her pantyhose and underwear. I get it: it’s an inherently funny story. But Jay charged over every line of fairness, respect, compassion and common sense when he showed Giambattista’s photo to his national TV audience, and then, in a repeating segment called “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda,” challenged three guest comics to make their best jokes about the material. They were rolling, too—some examples..
- “If I were one of those rats, I would’ve been very upset. I prefer not to sit in cooch.”
- “I don’t understand this woman at all. If she wanted something that creepy in her underwear, she should have hooked up with me.”
- Giambattista “coulda used what the rest of us ladies use … a Rabbit” (a popular vibrator).
Classy as ever, I see, Jay! Continue reading