Ethics Dunce: RedState’s Moe Lane, Cheap Shot Artist


Bernie Sanders, or most likely someone on his staff since I doubt that the Bern is a micro-manager, made his campaign look foolish by sending Wikipedia a DMCA take-down notice demanding that Wikipedia remove  images of Sanders campaign logos on its Sanders page, on the dubious grounds that such use was a violation of copyright law. More embarrassing than the specious copyright complaint is the rather obvious fact that a campaign should want Wikipedia to publicize everything about it. The complaint, to be blunt, was dumb. (The take-down notice was retracted in short order.)

Moe Lane is a fairly nasty right wing blogger, and he gleefully reported Sanders’ Shame, which is certainly fair game for critics. He could not, however, resist this cheap shot headline:

Bernie Sanders yells at Wikipedia, cloud over… campaign logos?

If you don’t get the reference, it’s this:


…from “The Simpsons.”

See, Bernie Sanders is old, get it? Old people are silly and funny and wrinkled and often senile or at least out of date, so it’s funny, see, to make this about Sen. Sanders age. And it is exactly as fair and appropriate as making a fat joke about Chris Christie, a short joke about Marco Rubio, a “dog” joke about Carly Fiorina, or a hair joke about Donald Trump, which is to say, not appropriate at all. From a pundit, this is an ad hominem attack, using anti-senior bias to make a connection that doesn’t exist. Sanders isn’t a lawyer, and I doubt that any of the Presidential candidates know their way around the web very well: there is no reason to attribute this goof to Sanders’ age (74). Hillary’s the Democrat who doesn’t understand internet security.

I haven’t checked to see if Moe raked Wendy Davis for using now Governor Greg Abbott’s wheelchair against him in the Texas election, but what he did with Sanders is no better.  This isn’t political correctness, it’s simple respect, fairness, and decency. Pundits using race, gender, ethnicity, age, or physical attributes against candidates is uncivil, corrosive to the culture, and unethical. No wonder so many Republicans didn’t seem to mind when Donald Trump performed a grotesque imitation of a handicapped reporter. They don’t understand the crucial distinction between political correctness and basic decency.

“I’m a partisan Republican hack, remember?” says Moe at the end of his post.

No need to remind us, Moe.

It’s still no excuse.



12 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: RedState’s Moe Lane, Cheap Shot Artist

    • Awkward indeed. The headline was clunky, the reference wasn’t crystal clear; it fails to get the ‘clown’s pass’ because it isn’t funny.

  1. But isn’t Bernie Sanders quite possibly a bit senile, and wouldn’t that be very germane to his fitness for the presidency, rather than just some physical feature or tic? Or, am I getting senility and insanity confused again?

  2. I’ve always found the Homer’s father character on “The Simpsons” a little pointlessly offensive and out of step with, and not up to the quality of, the rest of the writing on the show. But maybe that’s just because I’m a grandfather and sixty-four. “Will you still need me, will you still feed me….”

  3. The Bernie meme seems to be the “angry old man returning soup in a deli.” Larry David made it famously hilarious. Was he unethical too?

    • Do I really have to explain the difference between the standards of a comedian, whose sole objective is to be funny, and that of a journalist or pundit, whose obligation is to tell the truth? Really????

  4. I have been reading Moe Lane for years. Don’t consider him a journalist. He gives his opinions along with a large dose of personality, which includes humor.

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