Liar of the Week: Mike Huckabee, as He Fails The Integrity Test

A Mike Huckabee advisor?

…and also the courage test.

Speaking unpopular truths and backing down once they prove unpopular is worse than what most politicians do, which is to avoid speaking the truth at all. In Huckabee’s case, he compounded the villainy by not only backing down, but by absurdly lying about what he had said, despite the fact that his words were recorded and his meaning was clear as a bell.

Huckabee, in case you don’t follow the remarks of former state governors under the delusion that he can they can be  elected President, had criticized Oscar winner Natalie Portman’s proud single mother-to-be act, saying,

“One of the things that is troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine’. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job. It’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock. But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie.”

He was, of course, absolutely right on the facts, and absolutely right about Portman. She is a public figure and a celebrity, and as such she has a responsibility not to make destructive societal behavior look glamorous, fun and harmless. Having all the red carpet lackeys-with-microphones “ooh” and “ah” over how wonderful it is that she has a fatherless bun in the oven probably made up the minds of a hundred lonely high school girls that an animated baby doll was just what they needed, too…even though they lack Portman’s millions to hire the child an army of nannies.

Did Huckabee believe that none of the same irresponsible crew who skewered Vice-President Dan Quayle for saying similarly unwelcome things about the planned single motherhood of TV’s fictional character Murphy Brown were still loaded and ready to spew their nonsense again? Let’s add unforgivable naiveté to his growing list of failings. These people are still around and in places of influence, and really think that the growing rate of husbandless pregnancies is just one more example of modern enlightenment, despite its undeniable link to crime, poverty, and many of the social costs that are gradually turning America into Greece. Here’s writer Joanne Bamberger attacking Huckabee and setting new records for fatuousness on “Good Morning America:

“A lot of conservative Republicans have come out and done things to try to take us back to the June Cleaver motherhood role or picture of motherhood in America.”

Gee, good point, Joanne! Trying to reverse the trend that has over 70% of African-American children without fathers is just like trying to keep mothers women in the kitchen baking brownies for Ward, Wally the Beav. Naturally, George Stephanopoulos forgot to say, “What an idiotic comment! How the heck did you get on this show?”

As I wrote on this topic recently…

“If teen pregnancies are a problem (and they are), adults need to be responsible and stop cheering unwed mothers. The culture, if it cannot aggressively disapprove unmarried pregnancies, must at least stop aggressively approving them. In the end, it is not compassionate to mislead young single women, especially poor young women without resources, to believe that getting pregnant is a wonderful, glamorous, exciting  thing that will have everyone applauding. Stop applauding.”

Celebrities shouldn’t be getting happily pregnant, or impregnating others, and if they are, they shouldn’t be appearing in places where people will applaud them…like the Academy Awards. It’s obvious, and it’s right.

But Mike Huckabee, presidential hopeful, won’t take a stand when he’s right. Stung by the Murphy Brown fans in the media, he falsely claimed that he wasn’t criticizing Portman, just musing about the problem of fatherless children, saying in a statement that may have been ghost-written by a weasel:

“My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death.” And also about how the irresponsible and selfish conduct of celebrities like Portman makes the problem worse…which it does.

But we get it, Mike. You don’t have the guts to stand firm against criticism, and are willing to lie and spin to get out of the heat.

Hey–maybe you can get your job at Fox back!

47 thoughts on “Liar of the Week: Mike Huckabee, as He Fails The Integrity Test

  1. Or they get reality show exposure which then generates magazine exposure which girls like my daughter read about. Bristol Palin anyone?

    Why did the Huck only comment upon the Jewish Natalie Portman (nee Hershlag) and not the Pentacostal Brostol Palin? I am not disagreeing with you, Jack; everyone knows I walk your walk when it comes to family.

    There is necessity for balance and intellectual honesty on this issue as every other.

    • I think Bristol is a different story, at least initially. She got knocked up, pretty clearly by accident; the Palins were supportive (good); she was not cheered for getting pregnant (good); it was an embarrassment to the family (yes, good); and she was going to marry Levi Johnston (except that he’s a total juvenile jerk, and that’s NOT good.) Portman’s a different case–her pregnancy is being presented as 100% wonderful, no problem, no downside. Bristol was a teen dragged into celebrity that she wasn’t prepared for. Portman has been in the public eye since she was a kid. She has no excuses.

  2. Jack, you seem to be laboring under a misapprehension regarding Portman’s romantic status. Her bun is not “fatherless”; rather she is in a committed relationship and is engaged to the father of the child. You can certainly argue that maybe she should have gotten married first and I don’t know why she didn’t (maybe the pregnancy was an accident) but her child isn’t not going to have a father.

  3. As I said, maybe the pregnancy was accidental. Or maybe she had fertility issues that we don’t know about that meant she should get pregnant sooner or later. Anyway, what exactly are you saying she should have done? Not been pregnant? Not have gone to the Oscars when she was nominated for Best Actress? Gone to the Oscars but have dressed in black and acted depressed because she wasn’t yet married to the father of her child?

    I guess I disagree with you that she is in some way ethically obligated to be a role model for teenage girls just because she’s a public figure. I think she’s entitled to live her private life the way she wants. It’s not as if she’s promoting herself as a role model, after all, or telling girls it’s OK to follow her example.

    By the way, when I saw the post title, I was disappointed it turned out to be about this. I was hoping you would discuss Huckabee’s even more egregious violation last week, when he made all those statements about the President growing up in Kenya and being influenced by his father and grandfather, when we all know darn well that Huckabee knows perfectly well that Obama didn’t grow up there. It was pretty disgusting.

    • Regarding the Kenya comments–I’ve written more about the Birthers than I’d like to already. I try not to post on obvious topics—that one was obvious. It was a dumb comment.

      Portman is a celebrity in a celebrity-mad culture. Of course she is a role model–saying “she shouldn’t be” is pointless—she IS. She has no private life—that’s the deal she made by going into this line of work and accepting obscene amounts of money.

      What would I have her do? It it really that hard to guess? How about marrying the father before announcing the pregnancy? If, as you say, it’s just a matter of timing, the gesture makes a huge difference by being a statement that children should be born to married parents. Maybe she can’t do anything about it—it still sends the wrong message to kids, and she is still accountable. Actions have consequences. A baby is not a good consequence unless you are married or have a lot of money, and even in the case of the latter, the money is no substitute for a dad.

      • “that’s the deal she made by going into this line of work and accepting obscene amounts of money.” Who says? Is that a law I am unaware of?

        Maybe Portman actually recognizes that she is a role model, but doesn’t think it’s that a big deal that she’s marrying the father later. Not everyone thinks it’s as important that “children should be born to married parents” as you appear to.

        “the money is no substitute for a dad”–why do you assume that the kid won’t have a dad, even if they do break up before they get married? That seems to do a disservice to the thousands of fathers out there who are involved with their children even though they aren’t married to their mother.

        I also want to note that, in your original post, you spend a lot of time focusing on her behavior and the behavior of teenage, single mothers. But if the kids are fatherless, isn’t the ethical failure even greater on the part of the absent fathers? The mothers are still taking care of the kids after all, often at great cost to themselves.

        • Equally irresponsible for both parents—hence the bad role models on the male side in the NBA, where dozens of layers have illigitimate children from multiple women.

          A law? A celebrity is a celebrity. A person who is famous and who people take interest in and admire. Portman is a celebrity, accepts the benefits of the status and must meet the responsibilities. It’s not a law–it’s ethics.

          There’s no disservice. A man who fathers a child without being committed to marrying the mother is irresponsible. It’s not complicated.

          • Huh. I guess I was expecting a more nuanced argument from you than “Because I say so.” I happen not to think part of the responsibilities of being a celebrity includes conducting your personal life perfectly in case some random person decides to imitate you. I also happen not to think that a man who isn’t married to the mother of his children isn’t necessarily an absent or bad father. I haven’t heard any actual argument from you why either of those behaviors is unethical. You just keep asserting that they are. There are plenty of arguments to be made, both empirically grounded and theoretical, you just aren’t making them.

            Oh, well.

            • Excuse me? You are the one who is just denying the existence of a celebrity culture that is on display every day, that is a multi-billion dollar industry, that has been the topic of serious studies, tons of articles and critical comment. Why is it unethical? Read the article I linked to in the post—that’s why its there. It’s not “necessarily” damaging—my father was raised by a single mother and idi just fine. All studies show children raised by fatherless children are far more likely to be poor, criminal, do badly in school…and have more illegitimate kids. It’s a toxic behavior pattern…nobody (nobody sane, anyway) denies it. Conduct that encourages behavior that damages society is what we call “unethical.” That’s not “because I said so.”

              • Yes, you’re right. That is exactly the argument I was waiting for you to make much earlier. Yes, there is a lot of empirical evidence that not having a father is not good for children. However, there’s no evidence that Portman’s fiance is suddenly going to disappear on his kid.

                Now I will just puzzle as to why you didn’t actually point out that evidence earlier and why you just blasted me with hostility for pointing out that you hadn’t.

                I missed the link, by the way. Sorry.

                • 1) Because I think it’s rude for commenters to expect me to write the same thing over and over again without their making the effort to see what is already on the site.

                  2)What is this, a quiz? If you knew what I was basing the post on, why play games? It’s obnoxious. And whether Portman does or doesn’t marry the fcther makes no difference. The point is that where we once discouraged out of wedlock childbirth by shame, now we encourage it with pride….which is insane. And thus 75% of black kids are born to an unmarried mother.

                  A Natalie Portman will be fine, but the lower income teen who thinks its great to have a kid before marriage because hey! Look at all the fuss they made over Natalie Portman!– will NOT be fine. Bill Maher can abuse drugs and boast about it, but the teen who gets high before class because Bill Maher makes it cool doesn’t have Maher’s resources to fall back on when he needs to go into rehab.

                  These people influence others, whether they want o or like it or not, and have resulting obligations. Not “because I say so,” but because that’s how life works.

                  • You’re right, that was obnoxious of me. I apologize.

                    Since I don’t really have the time to read your entire site and have no wish to appear rude, I’ll refrain from commenting any further.

                    • Good.
                      No one has to read the whole site. The linked post was plenty, with statistics and context.. A link within the site is part of the content of the post. I make the effort to reply to comments, and all I ask is the respect of some serious thought and careful reading. To write that a comment was based on nothing more than “because I said so” when you knew or should have known otherwise was gratuitous nastiness, because you didn’t like the analysis but had no valid argument to counter it. And a waste of my time.

              • As we went round and round on in the last thread, the issue is with poor people having kids, not unmarried mothers having kids. You are changing the data to support your beliefs.

                • As follow up, the problem is with culture warriors attacking single mothers, when they should be attacking poor parents.

                  It sounds horrible, but if you can’t get the right result by fixing something that’s not the real problem.

                  • I don’t think this issue is properly a culture war issue. Two parents are better than one, Two committed parents make for a better reared child. It’s common sense, and the statistics simply support what everyone has known for centuries. Those who deny it are the culture warriors, trying to unseat established and thoroughly proven wisdom because its more fun to fool around, and the kids be damned.

                    • I would say that 2 parents at 10K a year is likely worse than 1 parent at 200K a year.

                      Common sense also says that Carmelo Anthony is a superstar when he’s only slightly above average by most advanced statistical measures. Common sense is not a defense when there is lots of information that goes into the determination. We have difficulty balancing it all without rigorous analysis.

                      Those last sentences also seem to be aimed somewhere other than me and have a “GET OFF MY LAWN!” quality to them. Remember, I’m the guy arguing that the data says poor people shouldn’t have kids, not that we should have unsafe sex with everyone we meet.

                • No, the issue is with single mothers having kids. Period. Including Natalie Portman…if she doesn’t get dad in the fold. Kids without fathers do worse than kids with fathers in all demographic groups—it’s just that the kids with money do better than those with poor mothers, and the kids of poor mothers really get socked.

                  • The difference between 2 parent familys and 1 parent families in the same income/time bracket is negligibly to nonexistent. Remember, you have to account for childrearing time. A two parent household that makes 50K is not the same as a one parent household that makes 50K, more like a 1 parent household that makes 80K.

                    Show me a study that actually adjusts for time and finds any significant child performance gap (schooling, crime rate, income, etc…). I have never seen one.

                    • But isn’t having more child-rearing time part of the idea of a two parent household in the first place?

                    • Despite the “but,” I don’t see any place where Julian disagrees with me. Am I missing something?

  4. My God! Reading the back and forth comments boggle the mind.

    Fact: Sports figures, movie and TV stars, singers, elected officials and other politicians — these have become the American royalty. They are the role models (aside from parents) for our children. As such, they are have responsibilities: to take their status seriously, serve as role models, and conduct themselves with some integrity and aplomb. Period.

    They have failed. They are too self-involved to look beyond themselves, and shame on them. Whether it’s steroid use, tax evasion, pregnancies, illegal drugs, today’s American “royalty” seems to think they can write their own rules and be praised for it. Our society — its mores, its ethics, its behavior — runs on role models, from the parents, to the Little League captain to the pastor to the entertainment royalty. Unfortunately, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist (or an IQ over 80) to excel in these key professions, or even have one whit of introspection before taking action. And I don’t see either of these very often.

    I don’t want to hear about the British royal family or any other “real” royalty. They have failed miserably, too.

    • This is just a canonical example of what I dislike, people blaming other people for what should be their own responsibilities. Parents should take center-stage in their kids’ lives as their primary role models. If there are celebrities that can set a good example here and there, use them as the opportunity affords. Even if they set bad examples, those can be teaching moments or cautionary tales that parents can use with their kids. If you really want a great role model, why not use Jesus? He was the only perfect man who ever walked the earth. Turning to celebs and expecting them to be saints is just futile and irresponsible thinking.

      • Again—sure, but you are cursing the wind. Celebrities influence conduct, in society and among children. Before Bill Clinton, a blow job was 1) sex and 2) something that kids weren’t supposed to do. After Bill, middle school kids say 1) it’s no big deal, after all, the President did it. Coincidence? Ha. Gee, thanks,Bill.

        • “After Bill, middle school kids say 1) it’s no big deal, after all, the President did it. Coincidence? Ha. Gee, thanks,Bill.”

          I can imagine kids reading the Bible and coming across the story that King David, the apple of God’s eye, and arguably many orders of magnitude more significant than Bill Clinton, succumb to lust for a married woman and having her husband murdered while fathering a child with her. Question is, would those kids be left to think that it was ok for David to do what he did because he was King of Israel and beloved of God, or would they have been taught that David did a very bad thing and that while he did repent of his actions, he and his offspring suffered the consequences of his actions? If King David and his sins can be taught to kids in the right light I wonder why the actions of President Clinton could not be taught in a similar way. Yes, he was President but what he did shamed the office and devastated his wife and daughter. I don’t think it’s a stretch to impart that kind of lesson to one’s kid.

          Parents have far greater power and influence over their kids than they give themselves credit for. Yes, peers, celebrities and the media do exert their influence but as parents we have the power to counteract bad influences as they arise. It’s just a matter of doing our job, being vigilant and being willing to have open and honest channels of communication with our kids. Instead of trying to change the world so that our kids won’t see all the bad and ugly things, why not prepare them to face a world that is inherently imperfect, by building them up from the inside? Surely that is not cursing the wind.

          • I say this: you never can stop trying. But leaders, stars, the biggest, strongest, most famous, richest, most talented, most powerful, will always influence behavior, because they will always be seen as having something special that gives their life choices extra credibility and persuasiveness. And our society, especially on the commercial side, reinforces that. When you admire people, they have power over you. Heroes are inevitable, and when they don’t act like heroes, they do a lot of damage.

  5. tgt—I would never order you off my lawn.
    I agree that people too poor to have kids shouldn’t, and that the Portmans fool girls who are too poor to have kids to have them without money or fathers.

    My late father agreed with you, by the way. He was raised by a single mother, and turned out just fine.

    • Note to self: find out where Jack lives and bring a moonbounce and Penderyn.

      I don’t think the Portmans of the world are fooling poor single girls any more than the rich couples that have kids are fooling poor couples. Should nobody famous be allowed to have kids?

      I’m glad your father had a good experience, but unfortunately he’s no more support for my position than my 2 parents and my general fineness (I’m taking liberties here) are support for yours. I think we’ve been speaking in generalities. There are special cases where less money or direct parent figures are not as much of a detriment as they would be in other situations, based on the parent(s), environment, specific DNA, and more variables than I can possibly handle at once.

      • @tgt
        I meant that 2 parent households are more likely to be able to provide the extra time needed to raise a kid in the first place. I do admit I agree somewhat more with you than with Jack on this, though.

        • I agree. 2 parents are better than 1. Similarly, I can argue that 3 parents are better than 2, but I doubt I’ll get much support from the people pushing 2 parent families.

          • Eh, it’s always going to ultimately depend on the quality of the individuals involved, as well as the quantity. I don’t particularly oppose extra parents on moral grounds myself (though if you meant something close to polygamy, I doubt most people possess the capacity and maturity to make that work); hell, tight-knit extended families and legal guardians kind of sort of fill that role already.

            • Well, the tango was built for 2. I think a better analogy would be dancing in general. When you have 2, the tango is a great way to go. When you have 16, square dancing might work better.

    • How many poor mothers have you talked to? You clearly have no idea why they have children. Believe me, it’s not because the Natalie Portmans of the world are single moms. And how come so many single mothers live in poverty? Could it be because women STILL make only 75 cents to a man’s dollar? Because the men in their lives don’t stick around? A single woman should be able to make a decent living, by the way; they do in other countries. And we have two tiers of public education in this nation, with impoverished schools not having enough books and school supplies for the children. How do you concentrate in school when you live in a neighborhood with bullets whizzing by and hunger pains in your stomach. Where are the jobs for the poor who live in cities? And how do you land that good job when you received a shoddy, second-rate education? I find it interesting that you make excuses for Bristol Palin (whom I personally think is a very nice young woman), saying “She got knocked up, pretty clearly by accident; the Palins were supportive (good); she was not cheered for getting pregnant (good); it was an embarrassment to the family (yes, good); and she was going to marry Levi Johnston. ” Poor women get pregnant by accident, too, and have very supportive families, with grandmothers often pitching in to take care of the grandchildren. Many of these women have had to endure horrors you will never know. And yet they endure, struggling each day. They have children for the same reasons rich women and middle-income women do. They just get ridiculed for it and blamed by you for being poor. This is playing to a terrible stereotype, reminiscent of Reagan’s “welfare queens.” On another note, it’s mind-boggling that Huckabee talks about smaller government, and “freedoms” and getting government out of our lives, and then sticks his big nose in an actor’s life, which is NONE of his business. And you defend him! And his remarks about Kenya weren’t just a “dumb comment,” they were intentional and therefore disgusting. That’s why he’s a liar. Talk about unethical! And he calls himself a Christian.

      • To begin with…HUH?

        1.How do you read that I make excuses for Bristol Palin? Which statement about her that I made is an excuse? Bristol Palin was an idiot. She was daughter of a state governor–it was beyond reckless and irresponsible for her to a) allow herself to get pregnant, embarrassing the state and her family, and b) to do it with a drooling cretin like Levi Johnston. Now find a word in the post that suggests otherwise.

        2. Women of equal education and experience in truly comparable jobs do NOT make only 75 cents to a man’s dollar. It is a fake statistic, made up by equal pay advocates by comparing part-time employees to full-time employees. Don’t use it again, and don’t try using it on me: I have vowed til the end of my days not to tolerate it, because the media and dishonest politicians still use it like it was something other than a fabrication to give people like you a fake statistic to wave around in arguments. Just stop it. Every time someone uses that stat, someone else becomes dumber.
        3. All the rest: what’s your point? Being single and with a kid impedes education, chances at having a stable family and employment. It’s a handicap. It’s a self-inflicted handicap, and one that young woman keep inflicting on themselves in increasing numbers because society wants to say, “Awww! Poor kid! But such a beautiful child!” instead of “You moron—now my taxes are going to be wasted keeping you and your kid out of the gutter while your predictably irresponsible father of your child ducks his responsibility.” Do you really think the percentage of illigitimate black kids rose to 75% by coincidence? Once all stigma was removed and celebrities started parading their “baby bumps” (Ugh—what a nauseating phrase), it was “if it’s OK for the rich white girl to have a kid by herself, why can’t I?” Having children is usually within a woman’s control, you know,and the schools have nothing to do with it.

        As rants go, that was was all over the road. BUT STOP USING THAT STATISTIC!

        • You have shown your true colors. I am very disappointed. I originally thought this was a site about “ethics,” and that there would be cogent, intelligent conversation about same. But you have shown yourself to have limited capacity for nuance and complexity. You certainly lack compassion. What’s it like to be so sure of the world and the motivations behind others’ behaviors? And of course you would tell me to stop using “facts,” those pesky little things that don’t seem to go away; facts just have a way of being so upsetting, don’t they. So you just discount “facts” out of hand and demand that I do so, also. In your limited world, women have the same opportunities as men if they would just stop getting pregnant. How about men keeping it in their pants? Huh? Why is it that women “allow” this! This is no more an “ethics” site than I am 10 feet tall. This is a rant site, where the world MUST be as you see it, facts be damned! You alone get to decide what’s “ethical.” How pat and narcissistic. Women get pregnant because “society wants to say?” What an idiotic statement! But you hit the nail on the head. You don’t want your taxes to be “wasted”on these women and their children. Which makes you despicable. Don’t kid yourself. Forget “ethical,” you’re morally barren. I won’t be back; gee, how many times have you heard THAT on this site?

          • A silly response, Mabel. And juvenile. You made no legitimate argument. “Compassion” isn’t an argument. You like your fake figures, and object and deny when it is pointed out that they are crap. This is all emotion, and no logic at all. The discussion is about women seeking to be single mothers because of mixed messages in society. You’re just throwing out random rationalizations. If it isn’t rape, a woman does have control over whether or not she gets pregnant. That is a fact.
            I don’t have a monopoly on ethical wisdom. I do require that the debaters here use ethics, not emotion and rationalizations, which is essentially all you have brought to the discussion. Those who apparently can’t grasp the concept of focusing on one aspect of a social problem—the reluctance of society to declare that having children out of wedlock is wrong—without going into all the other factors involved, like education, toxic social norms, and other things, always get frustrated and abusive. It’s an ethics site. That’s the topic. Not equal pay, not school funding.

            By the way, in YOUR world, as well as mine, women would have the opportunities of men if they would stop getting pregnant, which is why so many career women don’t get pregnant. Railing against cause and effect isn’t ethical, it’s primitive.

            Actually the traffic here has been growing, and will continue to grow as those who can’t rise to logical, fair and informed discussion throw their tantrums and leave. You area case in point, and thanks for doing the right thing.

  6. As to the Portman case, my view is that if the actions of a celebrity can have so much influence over ordinary folks then there’s a bigger problem, perhaps one of people not raising their kids properly or teaching them how to become responsible and mature adults.

    This type of issue arises every time we see celebrities doing something controversial e.g. Michael Phelps and his infamous bong. Then you see parents up in arms about the bad example the celeb is setting for kids. Oh please, are we really so abdicated from the responsibilities of child-rearing that we would allow the lives of celebrities to determine the worldviews of our kids? If so, America’s parents need to wake the hell up. It is well and good to have role models but parents need to teach kids that nobody is perfect, and that they should use good judgment to emulate only the positive traits they see in others, while cautiously avoiding the negative ones.

    Blaming Portman, Phelps or any other public figure would be easy. Saying that they are the role models and demanding perfection from them would be easy. Harder to do is for rank-and-file parents to do the right thing and continuously imbue their kids with character and powers of judgment that will serve them well through life, regardless of how celebs are failing at theirs. Seriously, is taking personal responsibility for one’s own life/kids really such a difficult concept to grasp?

    • Who disagrees? But condemning reality doesn’t deal with the problem, and it gives irresponsible celebrities an out they don’t deserve. Celebrities ARE influential, whether they should be or not, and since they are, they have to act accordingly.

      • But I would argue that expecting celebrities to change their behavior does no more to solve the problem. Now, you could argue that from pure numbers alone that there are less public figures than there are common folk, so if any change is going to be effected, it stands the best chance of working with the smaller group. However, it merely masks the more fundamental problem, that we are all responsible for our own behavior, and that of our children to boot. It’s a hard problem, but I contend it is one that parents can actively solve by being engaged with their children. If we are going to tighten the vise on someone, I would rather that it be applied on the American parent than on the American celebrity. To me, haranguing at celebs only perpetuates the notion that somehow *my* bad behavior is not *my* fault but rather the fault of *others*. This is hardly a resounding message of self-respect and self-determination we want to send to our kids.

  7. “And stop putting pregnant single mothers in places where people will applaud them…like the Academy Awards. It’s obvious, and it’s right.”

    Sorry but I disagree with this. The purpose of Academy Awards is to laud excellence in motion pictures, not excellence in the conduct of one’s personal affairs and private life. For the latter, a family-values organization might be better positioned to offer an award. I’m a big believer in giving credit where credit is due. I don’t know why people like to lump a whole lot of things together and judge them as one organic whole. If we’re going to do that, there would be many people who don’t deserve awards, according to some groups’ definition of what a good person is. For Christians, many scientists would actually not win Nobel prizes for their work, because many of them are atheists. After all, what kind of example would it set to nominate an atheist for such a prestigious award right? But again, be objective and consider what people are actually being lauded for, and what they are not. Also consider that different people have different value systems, so having a secular organization give out awards based on one’s personal values is just daft.

    • I should clarify: I don’t think the Academy should pay any attention to Portman’s pregnancy at all. It’s not their job, as you say. And her life choices shouldn’t be considered in the award process. The one responsible for not putting pregnant single mothers in front of the public to be applauded is the celebrity single mother, who shouldn’t be one.

      In fact, I think I’ll edit that sentence. Thanks.

      • Oh I agree, and I wasn’t following this closely enough to realize that there was some controversy over whether she was given the award partly because of her pregnancy. If indeed it is true that she was given the award not based wholly on her acting ability, I would say the awards were flawed.

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