Tag Archives: insults

Whatever The Huffington Post Thinks It’s Doing, It Isn’t Ethical

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I no longer check the Huffington Post for stories, and this latest example of its unprofessional and unethical culture is a perfect example why.

Having earlier beclowned itself by unilaterally deciding that Donald Trump did not warrant serious coverage as presidential candidate despite the fact —nauseating though it is—that he is a serious candidate and is having a massive and undeniable effect on the race, the news and opinion website now has decreed that every future story about The Donald will henceforth have appended to it the following legend:

“Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

My post about the ethics vacuum displayed by the previous anti-Trump policy (which Huffpo eventually had to retract) applies with equal force to this one:

“The Huffington Post has just given us one of the worst examples of the modern news media’s abandonment of professionalism and ethics for partisan favoritism, but a refreshingly open one. Usually the biased news media doesn’t announce its unethical manipulation of what we get to hear and see.”

I must conclude that even that tongue in cheek faint praise was excessively gentle. The only way Arianna Huffington could think this well-poisoning label is anything but outrageous is if she couldn’t pick a journalism ethics code out of a line-up of baseball cards and movie posters. Since the Huffington Post, by doing this, has intentionally or not proclaimed to the world that it rejects the minimal levels of restraint, fairness, objectivity and professionalism  that necessarily accompany the description “responsible and trustworthy news media,” what is it? Indeed, what the hell is it? Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media

Ted Cruz’s Sarcastic Non-Non-Apology Apology

What do George Costanza and Ted Cruz have in common?

What do George Costanza and Ted Cruz have in common?

Responding to the Big Apple uproar over his denigration of “New York values,” Ted Cruz offered what must be regarded as the epitome of a non-apology apology, except that since he used the apology to make it clear that he believes that he had nothing to apologize for. He also used his masterpiece to extract the New Yorkers who he felt were victimized by “New York values,” thus refining his original attack.

Heeeeere’s Ted:

So, today, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City all demanded I apologize….Who am I say to no? I will apologize. I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been abandoned for years by liberal politicians. I apologize to all the hard-working men and women in New York who like to have jobs, but Governor Cuomo banned fracking, so they don’t get the jobs the people of Pennsylvania have. I apologize to all the New Yorkers who are pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment, who were told by their governor — Governor Cuomo — that there is no place for them in state of New York because that’s not what New Yorkers believe. I apologize to all the small businesses that are fleeing New York City because of the crushing taxes and regulations that are making it impossible to survive. I apologize to all African American and Hispanic school children that Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools that were giving them a lifeline and a chance at the American dream. And I apologize to all the cops and all the firefighters and all the 9/11 heroes who were forced to stand up and turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio because over and over again, he sides with the looters and criminals instead of the brave men and women.

Now I hope that was the apology they were looking for.

Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics

Comment of the Day: “In Which We Visit The Daily Caller To See….”

Businessmen fighting

Inspired by one of my periodic visits to the ethical, verbal and analytical wasteland of the comment section of major web news aggregators and political commentary sites, longtime Ethics Alarms participant and curmudgeonly philospher luckyesteeyoreman was moved to write a digression on what he calls the 5-la culture, a topic my dad was referring to when he said, “My mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with facts.”

Confirmation bias is human problem, not a partisan one, but it is disturbing to see that partisan warfare has produced a dominent mindset where confirmation bias is regarded as an asset rather than a weakness. It is a weakness, you know.

Here is luckyesteeyoreman‘s Comment of the Day on the post, In Which We Visit The Daily Caller To See How Civil Discourse Is Proceeding On The Conservative Website…

It seems clear that large parts of public discourse in American society have been largely hijacked by diverse cults of non-thinking – but committed – self-righteously indulgent exhibitionists of what I call a culture of la-la-la-la-la, or “5-la culture.”

All of us reading here are probably very familiar with this – but where it started and how it became so popular, I don’t know. Picture: a person with their mind closed on a matter (usually, presumably), intent on blocking-out the entire world, firmly pressing the palms of his hands against his ears, elbows jutting out to their respective sides, rejecting any and all external input while making “counter-noise,” namely: “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!!”

That little “5-la” gesture says so much with so little. It is such a convenient crutch for worshiping irrationality and anarchy, and so lazily. Ethically, it perpetrates, proliferates, and perpetuates much harm most insidiously.

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Daily Life, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, The Internet, U.S. Society

In Which We Visit The Daily Caller To See How Civil Discourse Is Proceeding On The Conservative Website…

zombie bar fight

Well…not too well, actually.

Here is a representative segment of the comments on a recent post, describing Fox News’s Megyn Kelly admonishing Debbie Wasserman Schultz for demeaning Gov. Nicki Haley as being chosen by the GOP to respond to the State Of the Union message purely because she’s a woman.  Kelly suggested this was major glass-house stone-throwing, perhaps because the anointed candidate Debbie wants to run for President has little positive to offer but her lady parts, and, though Megyn was too polite to say so, the same goes for Debbie, who heads  DNC despite being a an inarticulate, dishonest dolt. Debbie, of course, retorted with gibberish, deflections and lies, her sole implements of communication. Little of this seemed to concern Daily Caller readers.

For as usual on The Daily Caller, The Daily Beast, Mediaite, Politico and so many others, here’s what the comment thread turned into after only five sort-of relevant-comments…

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, The Internet, U.S. Society

New Rule For 2016: Elected Officials, Politician And Presidential Candidates Will Be Accountable For What They Say, Not What They “Meant To Say”

You know that quote time machine that politicians keep using? It doesn't exist. Stop letting them act as if it does.

You know that quote time machine that politicians keep using? It doesn’t exist. Stop letting them act as if it does.

We have a growing mass of public figures in politics and government who increasingly communicate in sloppy, vague, hyperbolic and ambiguous language and assume that they can wait and see how the public reacts to it before they, their spokespersons, defenders, enablers or friendly pundits need to clarify what they “really meant.”

Well, the hell with that.

Communication precision is more crucial than ever in the new, technology-driven public media, when tweets can be circulated to millions within minutes, and on-camera statements live on YouTube forever. This habit of allowing influential figures to spout lies, nonsense , smoking gun revelations about their character and worse and then insist on a do-over when they are called on the obvious meaning of their own words must stop. Among other things, it appears to be killing the little switch in the brains of these people that is supposed to stop human beings from saying stupid things before they say them. That switch goes by the name Prudence, which  encompasses common sense, respect, responsibility, restraint, honesty in communication, and more. We should want our leaders to have that switch working perfectly. Unfortunately, most of our most prominent leaders and would-be leaders appear not to have a functioning switch at all. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Social Media

Unethical Tweet Of The Month: Carly Fiorina

carly tweetThe above New Year’s Day tweet was issued by Republican Presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina, now campaigning in Iowa for February’s caucuses, as Stanford and Iowa prepared to do battle in the Rose Bowl. (It was a rout: Iowa got clobbered.)

Fiorina is a  Stanford alum, and the tweet backfired, it seemed, with many on Twitter finding the tweet revealing, and not at all in a good way.

Are there any plausible translations of the tweet that reflect well on Carly’s character? Let’s see: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Leadership, Social Media, Sports, U.S. Society, Unethical Tweet

Heroes, Villains And Fools In The Latest “Donald Trump Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck” Disaster

Circus Train wreck

In a single post I can’t possibly cover all of the heroes, villains and fools who have emerged in the aftermath of the explosion of Trump’s latest hand-grenade tossed into the Presidential campaign. I have to start somewhere, though.

At the outset, I want to officially designate Trump’s campaign as an ethics train wreck, neatly paired with the Hillary Clinton Campaign Ethics Train Wreck (more from that later.) Do you sense that the number of Ethics Train Wrecks are proliferating? You are correct, and it is both a direct result and an indirect result of the Obama Administration Ethics Train Wreck. When leadership is feckless, weak, dishonest, unethical and ineffective, a society’s ethical standards start to unravel.

Now on to the initial designations regarding Trump’s declaration that Muslims should be banned from entering the country.

Hero, Villain, AND Fool: Donald Trump. Trump is a hero in his own mind; in ethics terms, the status is accidental, an example of doing a good and courageous thing for all the wrong reasons. In his typical, bully-in-a china-shop  way, Trump has forced the national debate to focus on nasty realities rather than operate from President Obama’s fantasy world, where radical Islamic terrorists somehow are not Islamic, and Hillary Clinton’s delusion/lie that terrorism has “nothing to do with Muslims, whatsoever” even after two Muslims, because they were Muslims, killed 14 citizens in a terrorist attack. Muslims who have been radicalized or who have ties to terror groups are a real and existential problem that requires a coherent policy addressed at the problem. Chanted nostrums like “This isn’t who we are” don’t get the job done. A frank debate is mandatory, and sometimes only a boor, a maniac or a boob with less than acute intellectual skills will have the guts to force such a debate. Clarence Darrow regarded nut-case John Brown as such a hero, arguing that some problems require someone whose disregard for conventional societal standards to “cut the Gordian Knot.” By Darrow’s definition, then, Trump is a hero. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Religion and Philosophy

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