Tag Archives: insults

NUCLEAR KABOOM! CNN Assigns Jay Carney To Cover Obama’s Speech: Could It Be More Contemptuous Of Fairness And Objectivity?

head explodes

My head hadn’t exploded for a while, and I thought perhaps it had built up some immunity from the detonating effects of ethics breaches that defied all reason. Then I read this in Politico:

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will join CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.

He will start Wednesday night as President Barack Obama makes a primetime statement about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant , Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief said in a statement.

“Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama Administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” Feist said. “We’re fortunate to have Jay on our air tonight to provide analysis and insight surrounding the President’s address to the nation.”

KABOOM!

Get the squeegee and the ladder, hon—my brains are on the ceiling.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!

Ethics Dunces: Blindly Partisan and Hateful Website Commenters

argument

I just learned that CNN closed its online message boards. I understand why, and no, it was not a move designed to stifle the increasing volume of anti-Obama comments, as some have suggetsed. I have been thinking about writing about this for a while, and the CNN move is an ideal opportunity.

The discourse on most news aggregator websites and news sites is beyond abysmal and uncivil: it’s an embarrassment to the nation. On such sites as CNN, Mediaite, The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller, Politico and others, virtually every thread follows the same, sad, pointless, idiotic path. Maybe there are a few substantive comments, then someone makes a cheap partisan crack, followed by an exchange of increasingly nasty comments based on familiar talking points from the right or the left, then, finally, name-calling, often with a racist, sexist or homophobic tone.  If you have the patience to wade through the crap, a thoughtful comment may sneak in, but who has the time or patience, or utter emptiness of life to do the wading? Here is a section from the middle of the comments on this Mediaite story…this one was about Bill O’Reilly being critical of Obama’s handling of ISIS, but honestly, the subject doesn’t matter much,. All the threads read the same way. Eventually every one gets around to someone insulting Obama, and immediately an Obama defender will mention Bush, who was, I should note, President six years ago, but I digress: Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, The Internet, U.S. Society

Unethical Quote of the Week: Cleveland Browns Rookie Johnny Manziel

“I should have been smarter.It was a Monday Night football game so the cameras were probably solidly on me so you need to be smarter about that.”

—Rookie Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka “Johnny Football,” brushing off his raised middle finger flashed at the Washington Redskins bench during their exhibition game.

Johnny's Number One!

Johnny’s Number One!

Good luck to the Cleveland Browns, who drafted a player that earned a reputation for being a a hard partying, rules-defying jerk in college, and then watched him get his first publicity as a pro by, surprise, being a jerk. Then, true to form, Manziel chastised himself, not for behaving in an uncivil, unsportsmanlike, unprofessional fashion, but for being caught at it. And he’s supposed to be the field leader of the team.

Great role model, that kid. If he does well, I think Cleveland may have a real juvenile delinquent problem in a few years.

Stay classy, Johnny.

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Source: The Blaze

 

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Filed under Character, Etiquette and manners, Leadership, Sports, Workplace

Unethical Quote of the Week: Rep. Elijah Cummings

“Mr. Chairman…This has been very interesting because one member on your side, the gentleman, I don’t know his name, said that the man was under investigation…”

—-Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md), ranking Democrat on theHouse Oversight and Government Reform Committee  revealing that he hasn’t bothered to learn the names of his own committee’s members.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, through the eyes of Rep. Cummings.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, through the eyes of Rep. Cummings.

The dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and particularly in Congress, could not have a better or more discouraging  illustration than this. You can argue that not knowing the names of your colleagues is no big deal, but it is. It is proof of a lack of interest in cooperation and collegial relations. It is evidence of the absence of basic civility and respect. It demonstrates that Cummings is not interested in contributing to the mission and objectives of the committee, but rather obstructing them.

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Quotes, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Workplace

On Mockery, The Streisand Effect, Incompetent Lawyers And The Sleeping Yankee Fan

ESPN cameras caught Andrew Rector sleeping in his seat in the fourth inning of  the April 13 Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game. In the time-honored tradition of TV play-by-play when something funny, weird or, most especially, sexy is spied in the stands, ESPN commentators Dan Shulman and John Kruk  began making fun of him. The clip ended up on YouTube, naturally, and thus on various sports websites, followed by the various idiotic, cruel, gratuitously mean-spirited insults, usually composed by brave anonymous commenters.

This is a familiar pattern of unethical public mockery, and we have become inured to it. Though the ESPN team’s jibes were rather mild in nature, and Rector’s legitimate embarrassment quota would be far, far less than, say, that of George Costanza when this happened at the U.S. Open, let me say for the record that picking fans out of the crowd at sporting events and making fun of them, whatever they are doing, is generally a rotten thing to do. I know: it’s public, you know you might be on camera, and the fine print on the ticket stub puts you on notice. Unless, however, the conduct involved is actually newsworthy or despicable (as in instances where an adult has snatched a baseball from a child), the Golden Rule applies. Who knows why Rector was sleeping? Maybe he was up all night with a dying relative or a grievously ill child—Shulman and Kruk don’t know. And if he chooses to pay for a ticket and nap during the game—and it wasn’t exactly a scintillating game, I should add—so what? Continue reading

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Filed under Etiquette and manners, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Sports, The Internet

Ethics Quiz (Inadvertent Offense Division): The Transsexual Vote

dancing-with-the-stars-paddlesIn a one of my ethics seminars last week before a large audience, my usual practice of polling participants using hand-held numbered ballots, was unwieldy. The client group did not color code them, and there were over 400 present, as opposed to the Dancing With The Stars panel, which is three. I got around the problem by segmenting the crowd and picking different groups to represent the whole. Sometimes just men voted; sometimes women, sometimes one of the four sections of the hall. In other cases, I asked groups that were involved in the case being discussed: family law attorneys. Government attorneys. Mothers.

One of the cases involved a transsexual individual, and I suggested that the transsexuals in the audience vote. Nobody volunteered. The group laughed.

Today I received a very nice note from one of participants, praising my session but criticizing my judgment in that incident:

“You asked the transsexuals to vote, and said you were sure there were some attending [I don't recall doing this, and I suspect she is thinking of my comment about another potential group] , which produced laughter. Were I a transsexual, I would have felt ostracized and deeply offended. These are people with congenital/hormonal conditions that clash with our social constructs of gender identity. But most importantly, they are people. You are, of course, statistically right to guess that in a group of lawyers of that size, probably there were not many, probably not any, That does not make it OK to perpetuate their ostracism. This is not about political correctness, it is about acknowledging shared humanity.”

Your Ethics Alarm Ethics Quiz of the Day:

Is this a fair complaint?

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Filed under Education, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire

The Pazuzu Defense For A School Board President Who Called A Parent “Chubby-Wubby”

Exorcist IV: Pazuzu And The School Board

Exorcist IV: Pazuzu And The School Board

In the “funny but wrong” category:

Raymond Cote resigned as the head of the Mahopac Board of Education in the Putnam County school district (in upstate New York) after an open microphone at a meeting caused him to be overheard saying, “Oh I know, I know. This one here, ‘Chubby wubby.’ She gets fatter and fatter at every meeting. She really does!”

This isn’t political correctness. This is a leader demonstrating contempt and lack of respect for his constituency. Denigrating parents based on weight and personal appearance makes Cote untrustworthy as a school board member obligated to be responsive to parental concerns. He also announced he would not run for re-election. to the board. He got that right, at least.

His apology, however, was ridiculous: he embraced the Pazuzu excuse, in which someone who says something horrible claims that he was somehow not responsible for the words that cane out of his mouth, as when Linda Blair served as the ventriloquist dummy for the demon Pazuzu in “The Exorcist.” Cote emailed an apology to parents:

“I would like to apologize for my choice of words after the close of the board meeting on April 8, 2014, which are regretful. My words were inappropriate and do not reflect my feelings or attitudes. I will strive to regain the trust and respect of the community.”

Interesting!

1. If the words didn’t reflect his feelings, whose feelings do they reflect? Of course they are his feelings. Why would he say something completely alien to what he thinks…unless…it was the demon Pazuzu!!!

2. It wasn’t his choice of words, it was what his choice of words expressed. Is there a choice of words that would be a, kind, civil, respectful and acceptable way to say the parent gets fatter every meeting?

3. The words may have been regrettable, but they were not “regretful.” Maybe finding  a literate, English-speaking head of the school board is an idea whose time has come.

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Pointer and Facts: ABA Journal

 

 

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