Tag Archives: honesty

Seven Ethics Observations On The Josh Duggar Child Molestation Revelations

19 kids

Yes, this is an Ethics Train Wreck.

First, some background:

“19 Kids and Counting” is another reality show featuring the exploitation of children for their parents fame and profit broadcast by the  cable channel TLC, the same shameless bunch that bought us “Jon and Kate Plus 8″ and the trashy Honey Boo-Boo Bunch.It began as “17 Kids and Counting,” became “18 Kids and Counting,” and but for this emerging fiasco, might have kept adding numbers, and little unpaid performers,  ad infinitum.  The show featured the godly, conservative, fertile Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their nine girls and ten boys, all of whose names begin with the letter “J.” Since the show began, three of the children have been married and several grandchildren have been born. The series began on September 29, 2008.  February 17, 2015 marked Season 10.

In response to emerging reports that oldest son Dugger son Josh, now 27, was once accused of molesting five underage girls as a teen, Josh Duggar, his wife Anna, and his parents Jim Bob and Michelle jointly explained the circumstances, which had not been revealed outside the family until now. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh said  in a statement. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

Josh then resigned from his position at the Family Research Council.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had this to say about their son:

“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

TLC cancelled the show. It said, on its Facebook page,

“Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time”

Then GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee issued his own Facebook statement in support of Josh and the family:

“Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility. Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims. Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.”

Observations: Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Ethics Train Wrecks, Family, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy

Unethical Clinton Quote Of The Week: Hillary Clinton

“I have said repeatedly: I want those emails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do…[A]nything that [the State Department] might do to expedite that process, I heartily support.”

—Hillary Clinton, lying her head off and, as usual, assuming nobody will notice,but, to be fair, being funnier than usual.

I’m sorry…is there a typo in that headline? Is my description overly arch? There answers are “no” and “yes, but I can’t stand much more of this.”

I think we are at the point where Clinton’s campaign has become a national ethics, integrity and intelligence test for the media, pundits, your friends and family members, and especially for Clinton supporters. For the Clintons, it’s a matter of how gutsy they can get in saying ridiculous things they know are ridiculous and expecting everyone to shrug it off…except those bad conservatives, Republicans and Clinton haters, of course. You can recognize them by the fact that they don’t shrug those statements off with a smile and a “That’s our Bill!” or “Don’t talk to my brain about the election, I’m voting with my vagina!”

The tipping point for me came a long time ago, but for anyone late to the party and capable of fair thought, it should at least have occurred when Bill Clinton justified his continued acceptance of obscene speaking fees (from likely corporate supplicants for U.S. favors and bounty after his wife becomes President) by saying “I gotta pay the bills!” This is just rubbing the public’s face in Clinton’s shamelessness, greed and corruption, and expecting everyone to like it.

Do you like it? If so, I’m disgusted with you.

The quote above by Hillary was just as outrageous; it just wasn’t quite as funny. (I’m saying that analytically: I am no longer capable of laughing at this kind of stuff from either Bill or Hillary, and I find my friends’ willingness to tolerate it tragic and diminishing.) To appreciate just how outrageous, you have to understand that it comes in the wake of the State Department announcing that it would take at least until January of 2016 to release the official emails that Hillary Clinton had to hand over because she used her own personal email server while Secretary of State in violation of government policies, including her own agency’s. (These weren’t all the e-mails, you’ll recall. She decided which she wanted the nation to see, and destroyed many thousands of them that she didn’t want to be seen, just in time to stop them from being subpoenaed.)

As State explained  in excruciating  detail, the process will take a long time because (other than the fact that the current leadership of the State Department doesn’t especially want those e-mails released either) “the Department received the 55,000 pages in paper form. The documents were provided in twelve bankers’ boxes (approximately 24” x 15” x 10 ¼” in size) with labels placed on the outside of the boxes that corresponded approximately to the time frame of the documents within a given box.”

Tech Dirt, which is not a political site and certainly not an ideological one, is falling all over itself guffawing about this and Clinton’s response to it:

“You know what would have expedited the release? First, using the State Department’s own email system while you were Secretary of State, so this wouldn’t have even been an issue. And, second, when all of this became an issue handing over the emails in electronic form, rather than in printed form in a bunch of boxes. [T] he way that Clinton has handled this whole thing is really ridiculous. Who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to print out 55,000 pages of records that were original electronic unless you’re trying to hide stuff and make life difficult for those going through it?…”

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Science & Technology

Cover-up: Successful

Somebody tell Rep. Gowdy that his committee's investigation is futile. The news media and the public just don't mind being lied to any more.

Somebody tell Rep. Gowdy that his committee’s investigation is futile. The news media and the public just don’t mind being lied to any more.

From USA Today:

One day after the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded the assault had been planned 10 days earlier by an al-Qaeda affiliate, according to documents released Monday by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. “The attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman,” said a preliminary intelligence report by the Defense Intelligence Agency, obtained through a lawsuit following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Wait…I thought that Hillary Clinton, State, President Obama and Susan Rice were all laboring under the misconception that the attack was spontaneous and prompted by a YouTube video, and the claims that the Obama Administration was stalling the revelations of what they already knew so Mitt Romney couldn’t challenge Obama’s carefully manufactured narrative that he had terrorism on the run were just partisan sour grapes. That’s been the spin the liberal press has been accepting from the White House for over two years.

What’s going on here? Well, the “narrative” carefully shifted away from the most transparent administration in history lying to the American public to excessive Republican claims that the outpost wasn’t given proper security, wasn’t rescued when it could have been, was the product of criminal incompetence. As soon as those accusations failed, Democrats and the news media promptly adopted the official Obama line: Benghazi was a “nothingburger,” in the contemptuous words of Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. It was a manufactured scandal of no substance designed to discredit Hillary Clinton.

But no evidence proved that Obama, Clinton and Rice weren’t lying about the attacks being spontaneous and not organized terrorism, and all the evidence has demonstrated the contrary, with this latest piece of the puzzle simply filling in some of the blanks. Of course, the latest story wasn’t even covered by most of the mainstream media; I was shocked to see it in USA Today. Judicial Watch is a conservative organization, you see. To be fair, it’s a whack job conservative organization. That means it could legitimately discover cold fusion and the news media wouldn’t pay attention.

Maybe it isn’t news. After all, the Obama cover-up worked. As Harry Reid said, after admitting his part in the organized effort to make sure that the 2012 Presidential elections was based as much on smears, lies and slight of hand as real issues, “Romney lost, didn’t he?” Hillary’s famous dismissal of the issue in the Benghazi hearings was on the mark: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Continue reading

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Comment of the Day: “Remember That “Kaboom!” About ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’ Hypocritical Conflict Of Interest? Well…”

Still exploding after all these years...

Still exploding after all these years…

I knew I would quickly regret making the initial post about George Stephanopoulos’s undisclosed and hypocritical conflict of interest partially about me rather than just George. I couldn’t resist, though: I was still (am still) annoyed by the comments on the original post that suggested that there was nothing wrong with his cross-examination of “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer and his mouthing all of the Clinton team’s talking points while sounding like a clone of Lanny Davis.

I’ll admit it: I am finding it increasingly difficult to hold anything but contempt for those who refuses to see, or admit that they see, how corrupt Hillary Clinton is, and how utterly unqualified and untrustworthy she is to hold any elective office. I have the least respect for the women who disgrace feminism (and embrace bigotry) by saying that they will (ewwww) “vote with their vaginas.” This is the essence of brain-dead tribalism: sorry, if all you care about in the White House is chromosomes, you’re a sexist idiot and a disgrace to democracy. I’m curious, too: is there anyone with a vagina that you wouldn’t vote for? Rosie O’Donnell?  Maxine Waters? Sofia Vergara?  Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Paris Hilton? Kris Kardashian? ANY Kardashian? Because, you know, I’d trust any one of them at least as much as I’d trust Hillary Clinton.

Stephanopoulos was angry and adversarial in the interview, while Schweizer was candid and unconfrontational. The ABC News star’s pro-Clinton orientation—sharp tone, annoyed expression, defense attorney language— was obvious to anyone not thinking “Go get him, George!” That’s not objectivity. That’s taking sides, without admitting it.

I was right again, you’ll note, when I concluded by saying that ABC wouldn’t discipline George, and that’s exactly what the network has said. The entire journalistic establishment should rise up and slam the network for this, but all but a few slivers of that establishment are as corrupt, biased and conflicted as George and his bosses. Tell me, ABC, why is he too conflicted to moderate debates, but not too conflicted to continue to interview candidates and critics challenging Clinton? Or to discuss controversies involving the Clintons, or to moderate—moderators are supposed to be fair and neutral–round table discussions about those controversies? Would an objective moderator keep putting a paid Democratic operative like Donna Brazile at his round table and pretend that she is an independent pundit?  ARRRGH!

I’ll have more after Dwayne N. Zechman’s spot-on Comment of the Day covering other aspects of this ethics fiasco, on the post: Remember That “Kaboom!” About ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’ Hypocritical Conflict Of Interest? Well…. Continue reading

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Remember That “Kaboom!” About ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’ Hypocritical Conflict Of Interest? Well…

applause-sign

From Mediaite:

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos was forced to apologize today after it was revealed that he donated roughly $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation in the past two years and never, in all his coverage of Clinton Foundation controversies, disclosed it.

[UPDATE: The new figure is $75,000 in the past three years.]

I don’t generally like to take bows, but I had this one pegged, ladies and gentlemen, exactly.

I had it so pegged that my head exploded, remember? I was astounded that this journalist of all journalists would have the cheese to raise an eyebrow and challenge “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer’s credibility and integrity because he had been a Bush speechwriter, when George himself was playing defense for the Clintons as former long-time Clinton insider, staffer and adviser. Now we know that his conflict was far worse: George Stephanopoulos was debating the propriety of the operation of a Foundation he supported and contributed to.

This isn’t a minor conflict of interest. This is a major one, and not to disclose it—it is not credible that George forgot—is disqualifying for a news anchor…easily as disqualifying as Brian Williams’ tall tales.  The Clinton conflict has always been George’s ethical Achilles heel. I have argued in the past that he should be required to withdraw from covering any story in which the Clintons are involved—and that’s a lot of stories. This proves that Stephanopoulos is insufficiently sensitive to his conflicts, which means he is insufficiently sensitive to conflicts, which means he is insufficiently schooled in the ethics of journalism, which means he is not an ethical journalist, which means he is not a trustworthy journalist. ( The increasingly pathetic New York Times wrote that this makes Republicans less likely to trust him. Good lord. So it’s okay for a Democratic journalist to be conflicted and not transparent as long as he’s biased toward Democrats? What has happened to this paper?) At worst, it means that Stephanopoulos is still an agent of the Clintons. I just know I’ve written this before: a news organization that is properly concerned about its integrity and professionalism would fire him. At very least, he has to be suspended.

He won’t be, and I just explained why. The ABC statement: “As George has said, he made charitable donations to the Foundation to support a cause he cares about deeply. He’s admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him.” Yes, he’s admitted that he’s a biased, conflicted, dishonest, untrustworthy hack. Can’t wait to see him moderating those debates.

But we’ll have plenty of time for all that.

Meanwhile:

Thank you!

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen!

I’ll be here all week!

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

Atrocious People, Part II: Harry Reid Thinks Pandering To Political Correctness Is More Important Than Upholding Honesty And Integrity

This is Harry Reid, but I just can't stand looking at the man any more, so I put a bag over his head....

This is Harry Reid, but I just can’t stand looking at the man any more, so I put a bag over his head….

[It’s Atrocious People Day at Ethics Alarms, and no Atrocious People Day would be complete without Harry Reid.]

“I find it stunning that the National Football League is more concerned about how much air is in a football than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across the country,” Senator Harry Reid said on the floor of the Senate.

Well, of course he does! After all, Harry thinks that cheating is great, if it works! He justified falsely accusing Mitt Romney of not paying taxes, confident in the laziness and gullibility of the American voter. “Why, he’s the Senate Majority Leader, Mildred! He wouldn’t lie to us!” And, as Harry pointed out, it worked—Romney lost, so Harry did the right thing. No wonder Reid doesn’t see why the NFL would care about Tom Brady pressuring low-level employees so they would help him cheat by secretly make the footballs easier for him to throw in a play-off game—after all, it worked! He won! Brady lied about it? So what? Reid approves of that, too. The statement above is a typical Reid lie: the NFL showed that it was concerned about cheating, lying, sportsmanship and integrity, not “the air in a football.”

But for the lawful owner of a business to be able to keep its 80 year old name that an entire city has cheered, worn on jerseys and caps, and made part of its culture, even though professional political correctness profiteers claimed to be grievously offended by the name because they wanted to be? That, to Harry Reid, is outrageous.*

What isn’t outrageous to Harry—just fair-minded, ethical Americans who understand such concepts as why it is wrong for the government to chill individual rights and the dangers of abuse of power by elected official—-is a U.S. Senator using his high office to attack and harass private citizens who are doing noting illegal, and only doing wrong according to Harry Reid’s Bizarro World values. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Pazuzu At TNT Academy

pazuzzu

Frequent readers here will be familiar with the Pazuzu Excuse. Pazuzu was the demon that made Linda Blair say such awful things in “The Exorcist”—he also made her head swivel around 180 degrees. Pazuzu is the presumptive miscreant whenever someone tried to beg forgiveness for a particularly vile, and often career-threatening remark by arguing that the statement “didn’t reflect my true beliefs,” as if someone else had suddenly grabbed the controls. Michael Richards (“Kramer” on “Seinfeld”) was, therefore, mystified about why he suddenly started screaming “Nigger!” at a stand-up comedy performance. Mel Gibson swore that all the anti-Semitic slurs he uttered on a fateful night were of mysterious origin, since he isn’t the kind of guy who would act like that. (Later events proved this to be mistaken.) There are many examples from the famous, momentarily famous and not famous at all.

The Full Pazuzu is reached when someone implies that what was said or written suggests a different identity. Sony executive Amy Pascal, to cite a recent example, explained her hacked e-mails (which really weren’t that bad) by writing,

“The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am…”

Whoever or whatever those e-mails were an accurate reflection of, they fired him/her/it.

Now, however, by way of Stone Mountain, Georgia, comes a rare Ultimate Pazuzu, where the individual under fire really blamed the devil. [NOTE: Pazuzu isn’t the devil, but he works for him, so under the principle of agency, it’s a distinction without a difference.] Continue reading

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