Category Archives: Humor and Satire

Consider: The Fact That People Are Attacking This Ad As Sexist And Racist Is A Big Reason Donald Trump Is Leading In The Polls…

It’s called advertising …. to men who like looking at beautiful women.

The Horror.

If this video advocates unethical conduct, I’d appreciate someone telling me what it is. No, treating the problem of illegal immigration as a joke is not the same as arguing that it is a joke. Try again.

Thank you.


Pointer: Instapundit


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, Law & Law Enforcement, Marketing and Advertising

Farewell To Yogi Berra (1925-2015)


Whether celebrating the life of Yogi Berra has anything to do with ethics is debatable, I guess, but I feel ethically obligated to note his passing.

My father loved him: next to Ted Williams, who had the added enhancement of being a two war veteran and war hero, Yogi was Dad’s favorite athlete even though he hated the Yankees almost as much as I do. [ CORRECTION: I am reminded  by reader John Condray that Yogi was also a war hero, “serving on the LCSS (dubbed “Landing Craft, Suicide Squad” by sailors since they operated in harm’s way). He was at D-Day & the Anvil landings in southern France – where he was grazed by a bullet from a Nazi machine gun.” I’m sure Dad knew that, and I should have.]

Berra was a unique and successful baseball player, a Hall of Fame catcher, and that rarity, a completely benign and welcome presence, always. A poor kid from a St.Louis Italian-American ghetto, he managed to project himself as a nice guy who was grateful to be able to make a living playing a kids game, and who never felt superior to anyone. He was an 8th grade drop-out, and always happy to play the fool, but those who knew him realized quickly that Yogi Berra was as witty and savvy as he was modest. If anyone didn’t like Lawrence Peter Berra, he or she never had the guts to say so in public. He really appears to be just as nice, honest and modest a man as he seemed to be.

Maybe that’s what Yogi Berra’s life has to do with ethics. He had a successful and long lasting marriage to his wife Carmen, successfully raised a family, was in public life for six decades without saying a mean word against anyone, entertained and thrilled millions of baseball fans, was the epitome of a professional, and left the world richer for his being in it.

You don’t get much more ethical than that.

You can read more about Berra here and here; his statistics are here. As you may know, Berra’s talent for coming up with funny quotes, many of which were deceptively wise and showed a deft sense of internal irony and word play, became as celebrated as his baseball achievements. Today those quotes are everywhere, including some that he may not have said. As Yogi did say once, “Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

Below are 25 of my personal favorites.  Some of them make me laugh every time I read them.

What a great life. Continue reading


Filed under Character, Humor and Satire, Quotes

What Do We Do About Steve Rannazzisi?

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi is in the midst of his 7th seasons starring on the popular TV show,“The League;” he has a one-hour special coming up on Comedy Central, and is increasingly in demand for commercial endorsements. How did he distinguish himself among the large pack of similarly young, edgy stand-up comics? Well, he’s good—but them a lot of them are good. He is, however, the only one who has a harrowing tale of being a survivor of the 9/11/2001 Twin Towers attack. For more than a decade he has been telling interviewers about his narrow escape, how he was working at Merrill Lynch’s offices on the 54th floor of the South Tower when the first plane struck the North Tower, and how he rushed  out of the building and into the street just before the second hijacked  plane slammed into the tower he just left. That was an epiphanal moment for Rannazzisi, he has said, and realizing that every second of life was precious and that he was saved for something more important than pushing paper, Rannazzisi quit his conventional day job to pursue a career as a comic.

That back story made Rannazzisi seem uniquely human, appealing, and on a mission. It wouldn’t have boosted his career if he didn’t have the talent to capitalize on it, but he did. To some extent, all of his success has been built on the foundation of the Twin Towers’ fall, so his fans and employers have a dilemma to face: he was lying. The New York Times checked out his account, and determined that the comedian had been working in Midtown on 9-11, never was employed by Merrill Lynch (which had no offices in either tower), and has been lying all these years. This week, Rannazzisi confessed and apologized, saying in part,

“I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry….For many years, more than anything.I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn’t come clean about this? It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake. All I can ask is for forgiveness.”

(Excellent apology: Level One on the Apology Scale.)

Now what? Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Humor and Satire

Colbert And Matthews: You know, Guys,The American Public Deserves Better Than This.

Stephen Colbert

What we  deserve is fairness, truth, respect, and not to have the people with the biggest megaphones working overtime to mislead, corrupt and indoctrinate us.

First, Stephen Colbert.

The media drooling over Colbert taking over for David Letterman has been embarrassing and itself a symptom of anti-conservative bias. Colbert is versatile, smart and funny, but we have many such performers. He is only lovedlovedloved—as opposed to appreciated and admired– because he mocked Republicans and conservatives. and no one else, on his Comedy Central show. (So did Letterman on CBS in his dotage, but Colbert is sunnier and smarter than Dave.) Colbert can be another knee-jerk liberal mouthpiece if he chooses, but its a boring choice and ultimately diminishing: there is ample ammunition for satire and mockery in the conduct of all politicians. Representing otherwise on a big stage every night in an election year will ultimately become an exercise in cultural indoctrination and lazy punditry, like Bill Maher playing to the approving screams of his atheist, drug-loving, progressive audience. Maybe Colbert will get good ratings this way, but it’s not what he suggested would be his course in the run up to yesterday’s premiere on CBS.

I won a bet that I hoped he would lose: I bet that Colbert would mock Trump, and leave Hillary alone. And so he did. Maybe he will make up for this in later shows, but I doubt it very much after his demeanor last night. Trump is an easy mark: Conan has been mocking him for years. But it is Hillary who has provided the best material for a genuine, Equal Opportunity satirist, especially her Manchurian Candidate, robotic “apology” statement from earlier in the day. Talk about creepy…and, if the possibility didn’t exist that this pod person might end up in the White House, comedy gold:

Especially since she didn’t genuinely apologize for anything. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, U.S. Society

UPDATE: Hillary’s Ongoing Corruption Of Democrats, Progressives, and The News Media, Featuring MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell And Washington Post Editorial Cartoonist Tom Toles

First, Toles. This cartoon ran on Sunday:


Isn’t that nice? The whole e-mail episode, investigated by the FBI, raising issues of mishandling of classified information (which is a crime), destruction of evidence (which can be a crime, but is always unethical and suspicious) and competence (Hillary says the security implications of making sensitive communications on a private server never occurred to her!), and which Clinton continues to stonewall and lie about, is just an invention of the news media!

Poor Hillary! Look how frustrated she is! How can sending out paid spinners and liars to muddy the water and confuse the issues be a cover-up? How can destroying e-mails before they can be reviewed be a cover-up? How can the State Department employee that she paid to moonlight as her private e-mail tech taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying to Congress be part of a cover-up? How can an obvious cover-up be a cover-up?

This isn’t an ‘editorial cartoon.’ This is Spinning for Hillary, and for the Post to give it center page dominance on its editorial page is endorsing deception and partisan propaganda. Toles has always been a simplistic progressive hack; his cartoons make his predecessor Herb Block look even-handed. This goes beyond hackery, though, to misleading the public.  Or do you believe this is his real opinion? If so, he is too naive and dim-witted to have an editorial voice.

Andrea Mitchell’s Hillary enabling is of a different sort: rank cowardice. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Professions

The Dissing Of Judy Carne: Wait, Aren’t Newspapers Supposed To Make Us BETTER Informed?

CarneWitness this bit of “information,” courtesy of Washington Post writer Justin Wm. Moyer on the occasion of the death of Judy Carne, Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In’s “Sock it to me” girl:

“The joke now seems as cruel — and as difficult to explain to millennials — as it seemed hilarious in the 1960s: A young, lithe woman, often in a miniskirt or less, stands onstage. She announces that it’s “sock-it-to-me time.” Then, she is hit with a bucket of water, or dropped through the floor, or otherwise clobbered in some form or fashion.

Is the Post now recruiting its feature writers from Jupiter? Are editors extinct? Has the paper decided that political correctness, hyper-sensitivity, gender-obsession dementia is both mandatory and universal?

What happened to Judy Carne is called slapstick. It is funny. It has always been funny. What happened to Judy Carne is no more cruel—that is, not cruel at all—than what repeatedly happened to Lucy,  Laverne, Wile. E. Coyoteand Raven, Tina Fay…Katy Perry….

Anyone writing about history and culture in a national publication—about anything, really—has has an obligation to actually know what he or she is writing about, and not make stuff up. There was definitely a lot of stuff that was on Laugh-in that will look weird today to anyone under the age of 50 or so; after all, the show is a half-century old, and the Sixties were weird even in the Sixties. Goldie Hahn dancing in a bikini with words written all over her body, for example. People laughing at every mention of the word “bippy.”  Nehru jackets. NOT women and men having staged catastrophes befalling them for laughs. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture

Ethics Quiz: The Duchess of York’s Website And The Duke of Plazatoro

The category is Celebrity Ethics, Royal Ethics or Marketing Ethics, depending on your point of view. Unfortunately for ethical clarity, how you answer today’s Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz may depend on which category you choose.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is embarrassing the Royal Family again, only this time it isn’t by throwing snowballs at photographers or by not being as demure and lovely as the late Princess Diana. This time, the self-exiled and divorced Fergie is trading on her title to make a living as an internet huckster. She has a website that peddles a juicer for weight loss and “The Perfecter Ultra”:

The Perfecter Ultra Heated Styling Brush combines innovative ionic technology with pure black tourmaline heating plates for ultimate convenience in achieving salon quality hairstyles at home. Create silky straight styles or beautiful bouncing curls, reduce frizzies or add volume to thinning hair, the Perfecter Ultra is the remarkable styling tool that does it all.

The Duchess has also been appearing on QVC, the cable shopping network where shopping addicts, lonely recluses and easy marks hang out. Among the Royals, with whom she is already on the outs, this is considered…unseemly. Concludes Tom Sykes at the Daily Beast:

“Her website majors in its attempts to cast her shill as public service, saying, “One of my missions in life now is to help people fight their weight challenges so they can live longer, healthier and happier lives. Take it from me: you can do it!”  But the truth is, Fergie is selling her title, and getting paid a no-doubt healthy fee for her promotional activities.”

There’s little doubt that “selling her title” is a fair description.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

As Duchess of York, does Sarah Ferguson have an ethical obligation to behave like the symbol of the British Commonwealth that she and the rest of the Royal Family is, or can she ethically use her title as she chooses, including to sell junk on the internet?

Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Family, History, Humor and Satire, Literature, Marketing and Advertising, The Internet