Tag Archives: cowardice

Comment of the Day: “Ethics Dunce: ESPN”

domestic_violence

I know I have written a lot about the Ray Rice domestic abuse case and its aftermath, most recently this morning, regarding CNN’s Carol Costello’s warped argument for suspending ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith. (The Rice-related posts are here, here, here and here, with an earlier Comment of the Day here.) I keep coming back to it because it involves many ethics issues: sports and violence, the “Star Syndrome,” and the special treatment of cultural celebrities, race, domestic abuse, women’s enabling of domestic abusers, political correctness, scapegoating, corporate cowardice, incompetent journalism, and more.  Chris Marschner’s recent comment on one of those posts is better than anything I’ve written on the topic, I think. As is often demonstrated here, the readers make Ethics Alarms work.

One connection I didn’t make until I read Chris’s comment is the relevance of the Gaza crisis and the public’s reaction to it to some of the ethical principles involved. There is no question that Hamas provoked a violent attack by Israel, knowing that women and children would be harmed, and that Israel would be condemned by many as a consequence. Israel is much more powerful than Palestinian forces, and provoking it to defend itself when the inevitable results will be harm to the powerless is irresponsible. Yet we hear the same absolutist reactions to the Gaza casualties that are at the root of the anger focused on Smith’s comments. The victims of violence are never responsible in any way, and suggesting otherwise is immoral.

It’s a very flawed analogy in other respects. The civilians are not the ones provoking Israel, for example, though Hamas represents them–their harm is harm to Gaza, and therefor Hamas. Most of all, Israel is not an abuser, though I could quote many commentators who regard it as one, and who might see the comparison with Ray Rice as apt.

Here is Chris Marschner’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Dunce: ESPN: Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Around the World, Character, Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Sports

CNN Presents The Carol Costello Rule: If A Network Issues One Unethical Suspension Of An Innocent Employee Based On Deranged Political Correctness, It Is Obligated To Issue Another

Smug, dishonest, unprofessional, illogical, unfair, biased, unethical: "THIS is CNN."

Smug, dishonest, unprofessional, illogical, unfair, biased, unethical: “THIS is CNN.”

I just have to stop watching CNN is the morning, because it places everyone in my house at risk for head shrapnel.

The main danger is the smug, biased, ethically-jumbled Carol Costello, CNN’s late morning anchor after the New York governor’s telegenic brother has finished indoctrinating us into his view of the world. Today, Costello was taking a victory lap, implying that she helped get Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for daring to suggest that women bear some responsibility for avoiding placing themselves within range of an abuser’s fists. (Interestingly, Costello had no similar directives for ABC, which quietly allowed Whoopie Goldberg to make the same (valid) point on “The View” with no adverse actions whatsoever. See, a woman is allowed to state some uncomfortable truths, but the same truth in the mouth of a man is offensive. Learn the rules, for heaven’s sake!) Then Costello played a clip of her earlier argument why ESPN was wrong not to suspend Smith. She said …

“It’s nice that Smith apologized, but I wonder if the network will do what it ought to do and suspend Smith. Look, in 2012, the management of ESPN expressed outrage when two employees used the phrase “a chink in the armor” when referencing  Jeremy Linn, the Asian Basketball player. One employee was suspended for 30 days and the other was fired. So why is ESPN giving Smith a pass?”

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Romance and Relationships, Sports, Workplace

Ethics Dunce: ESPN

"That will teach you to fudge the truth, Smith. Remember, you're a journalist!"

“That will teach you to remember to fudge the truth, Smith. Remember, you’re a journalist!”

Item: ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith. Why? In response to the uproar over the NFL’s suspension of domestic abuser Ray Rice only two games for punching a woman’s lights out—the love of his life!—Smith uttered the blasphemy that some victims of domestic abuse share responsibility for their plight. Of course, he is 100% correct, and this something that many women must hear, learn, and act upon, or perhaps die. The proof: the precise case that prompted Smith’s comments! Janay Palmer, Rice’s punching bag, refused to file a complaint against him, and married the bastard a couple of months after he hauled her unconscious body out of a hotel elevator like a sack of potatoes, caught on camera.

If (I would say “when”) she gets clocked again, is she partially responsible? Absolutely. I also think she’s responsible in part for the injuries of every abused woman who follows her high-profile, irresponsible, violence-provoking (I use that unfortunately inexact word as Smith used it) example.

Smith’s suspension—for a week, almost as long as Rice— to mollify the feminist apologists for their violence enabling sisters, is craven and wrong.

________________________

Facts: ESPN

21 Comments

Filed under Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Romance and Relationships, Sports, Workplace

Political Correctness Delusions #3: A Grovelling TV Anchor, An Archaic Term, A Dishonest Apology, And…The Redskins

And by the way, what is this "hair" they were discussing?

And by the way, what is this “hair” they were discussing?

Really, creating this kind of singled-handed, one passenger Ethics Train Wreck takes some kind of talent; I’m just not sure what to call it.

Here is how Atlanta CBS affiliate morning show host Michelle Burdo managed to turn a hair care segment on her morning broadcast into a controversy for the station, a self-proclaimed racial incident, a pathetic example of political correctness groveling, and, on top of it all, a demonstration of the lack of courage, skill  and candor that now infects her profession:

1. In a hair treatment feature on Monday’s installment of Better Mornings Atlanta, Burdo said to her African American guest, “Let me tell you something. I’m not a colored woman but I have kinky hair just like her and when you straighten it every day, it’s…” I’ll let you guess what it is; I don’t really care. The point is that she said the dreaded “colored woman” phrase that was the approved genteel and sensitive word for African-Americans by the 1920s at least. The phrase was out of favor by the Sixties, although blacks and whites of earlier generations would still use it, like older Americans today will still call women girls, gals, broads and similar anachronisms of a less gender-sensitive time. Continue reading

28 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society

The Perfect Scam

Victorias Victories

It appears that a family in Jackson, Mississippi has pulled off the perfect scam. Victoria Wilcher, 3, was mauled by her grandfather’s dogs, and needs extensive plastic surgery. A website, Victoria’s Victories, was put up the family to raise funds for her care, and really got a boost after the girl’s grandmother, Kelly Mullins, claimed that the child had been asked to leave a local Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise because, they were told, Victoria’s scarred face was upsetting patrons. The story went viral on the web, and more than $135,000 poured in from outraged and sympathetic Americans, including $30,000 from a frightened KFC.

Mission accomplished. Now it appears that a full-fledged hoax is unraveling. KFC, looking for someone to fire, can’t find any record of Victoria on surveillance footage for the day and time she was supposedly ejected. The girl’s grandmother and her aunt who runs the website can’t get their stories straight, citing varying dates and fingering various KFC stores, including one that has been shut down for months. The investigation is ongoing, but no confirming witnesses have come forward, and nobody can verify the socking tale of the cruelly-shunned little girl, who has already suffered so much.

Perfect! Since the object of the hoax is blameless, and the objective can be rationalized, and because the victim is just a mean old corporation that sells deadly fast food, the ends–getting money to repair a little girl’s damaged face–will certainly be regarded by many and perhaps most as justifying the means—lies, slander, libel, disparagement, and fraud. Continue reading

43 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunces: The Republican Un-Tweeters

"Ha! They'll NEVER find it now!"

“Ha! They’ll NEVER find it now!”

Several Republican politicians leapt on the “Welcome Home Bowe!” bandwagon without bothering to a) learn the details and more importantly to them, sadly, b) gauge the reaction of their constituents, contributers and supporters.  Thus they tweeted praise for his release, perhaps echoing Obama’s designated liar Susan Rice’s unsupported assertion that he has served with honor, or evoking the Administration’s now discarded spin that he was a hero. When the transaction was revealed to be an utter botch by the Obama Administration (but I repeat myself), and the GOP officials realized that it would be partisan feeding time in the  shark tank, these brave public servants had neither the forthrightness to admit their errors, if errors they were, nor the courage to face the consequences.

Nor, unfortunately for them, the technological savvy to realize that trying to cover up what you put on the internet doesn’t work.

And makes you look like an untrustworthy sneak.

The Sunlight Foundation has a service called “Politwoops,” which collects elected officials’ tweets and makes them available if they are deleted in an effort to remove feet from mouths. It uncovered this, from Republican Senator Thad Cochran…

 

Bergdahl tweet2

and this, from GOP Congressman Jim Renacci… Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, The Internet, War and the Military

Unethical Quote Of The Week: SunTrust Bank

pop weasel2

“SunTrust supports the rights of all Americans to fully exercise their freedoms granted under the Constitution, including those with respect to free speech and freedom of religion.”

—-SunTrust Bank, doing its best Cracker Barrel imitation by reversing its decision, announced  earlier in the day, to pull all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business.

SunTrust was following the lead of craven, political correctness bully-enabling HGTV, which a week ago announced it was canceling a planned home renovation show hosted by the Benhams as punishment for their conservative views on same-sex marriage, because, as we all know, gays are the heart and soul of the home renovation business. Thus emboldened, the bank decided that citizens opposing same-sex marriage as taught by the faith they had been raised to embrace deserved to have their business harmed, since that’s what the SunTrust suits’ moistened fingers in the wind told them their sensitive, right-thinking customers wanted.

But the announcement turned that wind into a roaring hurricane of protest from conservatives, and, we can at least hope, some actual liberals among Democrats who comprehend that banks should not be enforcers of the growing, un-American movement to make life nasty, brutish and short for anyone who dares to see the world differently from the news media, the universities, and the rest of the thought-crime legislators among us. Thus the quick reversal, and the noble words above.

So why is SunTrust’s impeccable affirmation of their iron-clad support for our precious freedom unethical? Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Quotes, Finance, Gender and Sex, Marketing and Advertising, Rights, U.S. Society

HGTV And Corporate Cowardice: Hold Companies Accountable For Stifling Speech, Opinion, And Thought

"Remodeling Homes, and Wrecking Democracy"

“HGTV: Remodeling Homes, and Wrecking Democracy”

Once again,  a company that is in effect punishing an American for his or her views on a complex social or political issue is being excused as simply “watching out for the bottom line.” This time, it is cable network HGTV, which cancelled a planned cable show about home repair because one of the prospective stars expressed an opinion adverse to gay activists. Last week, it was the NBA; before that, the agent of activist vengeance was Mozilla, and before that, A&E, until it decided that it was more profitable to do one “right thing” (not punish the duck call eccentrics for being open about who the network and its viewers always knew they were) rather than what it had decided earlier was the “right thing” (“STONE THE BIGOTS!!!”). None of these profit-making organizations are the least bit interested in what is right or wrong, of course, and probably don’t give the ethical implications of their acts a moment’s thought. All they are worried about is money, and what they will grandstand as their “principled decision” will always, amazingly, coincide with whose bullying tactics are more likely to succeed. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Marketing and Advertising, Race, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunce: Van Jones

Slavery, 2014 style.

Slavery, 2014 style.

On this Sunday’s edition of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulis, the weekly gorge-rising moment occurred when former White House “czar” and alleged truther turned pundit Van Jones weighed in on the Donald Sterling saga, noting that in the NBA owner’s taped remarks he arrogantly alluded to the fact that his highly paid NBA players are dependent on him for their livelihood. To plenty of nods and amens around the table (the Sunday talk shows no longer even attempt to attempt partisan or ideological balance), Jones said that this “sounded more like 1814 than 2014.”

I will observe again, though no one in the panel was fair enough to because Sterling is disgusting and doesn’t deserve journalistic fairness, that these comments were spontaneous and off-the-cuff, and not designed to withstand the scrutiny of critical parsing and hostile analysis, as few private conversations are. But that is a secondary point.

The main point is that nobody in the ABC roundtable, including moderator Stephanopoulis, was impertinent, brave, professional or competent enough to note that last week, rancher Cliven Bundy was crucified for making an ignorant statement that minimized the horrors of slavery, and that Jones’s idiotic comparison was as bad or worse. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Race, Sports, U.S. Society

Incompetence in Portland: Bureaucrats Show Those Who Are Paying Attention Exactly What They Need To Know

urinating_outdoor_garden_water_fountain

Honestly, I first though it was a joke. The more I think about this story now, the less funny it gets, and the more tragic and frightening.

A security camera captured the image of a 19-year-old jerk urinating into Portland, Oregon’s Mt. Tabor Reservoir system, so “to be safe,” the city is dumping all 38 million gallons of drinking water. From Ars Technica:

“David Shaff, Portland’s water bureau administrator, reserves a special disgust specifically for human urine. In 2011, when Shaff drained the reservoir following a urination, he reasoned to the Portland Mercury, ‘Do you want to be drinking someone’s pee?… There’s probably no regulation that says I have to be doing it but, again, who wants to be drinking pee?’ This time around, Shaff wrote in a statement, ‘Our customers have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated.'”

That’s right: this is the second time Portland has done this. Slate does the “Wow, what an idiot!” math:

“…a typical urination of about 1/8 gallon in a reservoir of 38 million gallons amounts to a concentration of 3 parts per billion. That’s billion with a b. For comparison, the Environmental Protection Agency’s limit for arsenic in drinking water—arsenic!—is 10 ppb. The EPA doesn’t appear to have a limit for urine in drinking water, but it does limit nitrates in drinking water to 10,000 ppb, and urine does contain a lot of nitrogen, so let’s use that as a proxy. How many times would that teenager have to pee in a Portland reservoir to produce a urine concentration approaching the EPA’s limit for nitrates in drinking water? About 3,333 times.”

Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Science & Technology