Ethics Mega Dunce And Ethics Corrupter: “Dancing With The Stars”

Ryan Lochte, role model

Ryan Lochte…liar, boor, jerk, TV star, role model.

This announcement would warrant a KABOOM! if ABC’s popular reality show/ dance competition hadn’t already demonstrated its lack of responsibility and decency so many times before. I guess my still unexploded head should be grateful for that, at least.

Dancing With The Stars is going to include Ryan Lochte in its line-up of competing celebrity dancers in the upcoming season. Why? Because he urinated on the wall of an establishment belonging to someone else, lied about the immediate consequences, insulted the hosts of the Olympic Games he competed in, and thoroughly embarrassed the United States, of course.  He’s infamous! He’s cute! He’s a moron! Naturally, this makes him attractive to “Dancing With The Stars.”

The undeniable message such casting sends to younger citizens whose sense of ethics and appropriate social conduct are still being formed is that wrongful conduct pays. DWTS is proving that as long as what you do makes you famous, it doesn’t matter if it is reckless, stupid, harmful or illegal. Then you can cash in.

This is the message that the show has often broadcast. Kim Kardashian was a contestant because she made a sex video, was the daughter of one of O.J.’s lawyers, had a freakishly large butt and epitomized hedonism, venality, and style over substance. Perfect! Tom DeLay was on the show because he was a famously vicious and corrupt—and successful— politician. Bristol Palin’s sole qualification for the show was that she managed to be an unwed mother-to-be, engaged to a jackass, while her mother was trying to convince the nation that she was qualified to be a heartbeat away from the White House. Reality shows and the ranks of washed-up actors have  supplied the show with a steady stream of drug addicts and low-lifes  whose sole distinctions have been that they were primarily famous for doing things that would get normal people fired or imprisoned.

Opinions of reasonable people may differ, but Ryan Lochte is probably the lowest the show has sunk yet. After the lies of the swimmer and his pals were exposed, many opined that he had forfieted millions in potential endorsements and appearances. Well, not this one! Being caught running prostitutes across state lines while he was Governor of New York didn’t stop Eliot Spitzer from landing a show on CNN, either. Marion Barry was elected mayor of the nation’s capitol after he went to prison for smoking crack, also while he was mayor. I guarantee that if the late “Mayor for Life” of D.C. hadn’t been too old and frail by the time DWTS was on TV, Marion would have been a contestant. If he’s up for it, I am certain we’ll eventually see Alex Rodriguez.

I wonder why Anthony Weiner hasn’t been on “Dancing With The Stars” yet? They invited him, I’m sure.Maybe next year.

Our culture now prominently rewards, and thus encourages and endorses, unethical and even illegal conduct. How can a democracy function in such a culture?

Well, we’re about to find out.

Do you really wonder how a serial creep like Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for President? When the culture continually tells a society that it’s being famous that matters and not why someone is famous, this is what happens.


22 thoughts on “Ethics Mega Dunce And Ethics Corrupter: “Dancing With The Stars”

  1. I commented (very late) on the last Lochte post… So I’m not sure you saw this. But it looks like Lochte may not have lied.

    I held off commenting on this when it happened, because something didn’t smell entirely clean about it (pun intended), But I had serious doubts as to the veracity of the police statement as it was being made. The IOC and the Brazilian governments, both local and federal were in constant damage control mode, putting out statements before the facts were in for all kinds of situations, not always printing retractions where they were wrong.

    The best example was the green pool… The IOC came out and said “We don’t know why the water is green, but we are certain that it is safe to swim in.” They were certain of no such damn thing. The athletes were basically swimming in sewage, so the water wasn’t safe even before it turned green, for one thing, but more that they didn’t know why the damn water was green! How could they know whatever did it was SAFE?!

    In regards to the swimmers, the story from the police changed at least three times that I can remember. First they denied anything happened, then they said there was a fight, and then they said the athletes forced open a bathroom door, broke a mirror and a soap dispenser.

    Does it matter even a little bit that it appears that the police were wrong the third time as well?

    A camera was pointed directly at the bathroom entrance, none of the swimmers entered it. They can be seen knocking down a sign, which was a dickish thing to do, but seems to be the extent of what they did.

    Witnesses say that a security guard had his gun pointed at them, before the ‘agreement’ of $50 USD for ‘damages’ to the stand up wooden sign was made and paid.

    I don’t know that I would quibble about the value of a sign with a gun pointed at me, so I’m not entirely convinced calling it a robbery wasn’t accurate.

    • Oh, baloney. It’s deceit. It’s deceit pure and simple. Fact: he vandalized. “Dickish” is a cover-word. That’s destroying private property. Fact: he was not a victim of a robbery. What he described was intended to make him sound like a victim, like he was mugged in this semi-civilized city where even innocent Olympic athletes aren’t safe. He left out the context and falsely characterized the incident. He set up the encounter, and lied about it. If I trash someone’s house and the owner says “you owe me X for the damage, pay up or I beat the hell out of you,” in no way is that a “robbery.”

      • “Vandalized” my ass. He knocked over a sign. You know how you fix that? You pick the sign up and dust it off. That doesn’t cost $50USD. And he was held up at gunpoint, for crying out loud. “you owe me X for the damage, pay up or I beat the hell out of you,” Is so close to the definition of robbery I honestly don’t see the material difference. “You owe me $10 for that funny look you just gave me or I’ll shoot you” is both closer to what actually happened, and just as defensible. We don’t want to call it robbery? Ok… What is it then? Extortion? Or are you just going to call it justice and call it a day? Maybe we should all carry guns to negotiations! Wouldn’t that be fair?

        • He lied. At best, that’s misrepresentation by omission. Why defend that? He could have told the whole story, not make himself out as a pure victim. You mention the sign: he also urinated illegally in public, the pig. He claimed a gun was placed to his head. Also untrue. He implied that he was robbed by street robbers: he didn’t say they were security guards. Gee, why is that? If he told such a story to police here, he could be prosecuted.

          The security guards aren’t being paid huge sums on US TV. When they are, I’ll focus on how wrong that is. I promise.

          • Here’s a fair assessment—

            Add all of this up with the privileges that Lochte possesses — a white male telling a story about violent brown natives, a celebrity, an American and the always reliable goofy, unaware jock whose actions can be excused because he never really knows what he’s doing — and you have a small lie that turns into an international incident.

            Lochte, 32, is not a kid as Andrada said. He’s a grown man but, unless it’s pathological, even children don’t lie for the sheer fun of it. They lie with a purpose: to avoid punishment, to gain something. In his story, when Lochte turned himself into a nihilistic hero in a country plagued with violence and crime, it was supposed to be the ending to his wild adventure in Rio. He knew that lies become truths if the environment wills it to be and he stuck to his initial story because he knew what was supposed to happen.

            His story was supposed to be believed at face value, there wasn’t supposed to be a deep investigation and certainly it wasn’t supposed to be this big. Rio was a terrible place full of poor and desperate people and he had money and fame. A robbery in the middle of the night during the Olympics was supposed to be a non-story and he knew this.

            He lied because he had been told that he could get away with it countless times before he even stepped foot in Rio.

            • And what part of that couldn’t immediately be flipped back on the police? Aside from the racial connotations, perhaps. But let’s be fair, in Rio playing the race card is even worse than playing it in America, brown is the majority there.

              You seem to think I’m defending Lochte. I’m not. I’m pointing out a police corruption scandal that went alongside an asshole in the olympics that the entire world seems bound and determined to ignore.

          • “The security guards aren’t being paid huge sums on US TV.”

            The security guards weren’t the ones telling the story on the News, either. That was the Chief of Police.

            Look, I’m not defending the guy, he did stupid things and should face consequences for them. But the two sides of the story were “I was held up at gunpoint by street muggers” and “Not only was there no gun, he trashed a bathroom at a convenience store.”

            Neither side was right, both sides lied. Lochte is an asshole Olympian, the police are THE POLICE. They’ve been caught pants down lying at least three times in this situation alone. And it’s been so poorly reported on that you didn’t even know about it.

            • I knew there was a gun. I knew he lied. I knew he made himself out to be a victim who was as pure as the driven snow. I knew misused some one else’s property. I knew he embarrassed his team and the US, and again modeled the ugly American.I knew nobody pointed a gun to his head. The bottom line, as far as ethics goes, is that he is being rewarded for the publicity he got by lying. The rest is trivia.

              • “Rewarded”, he’s lost hundreds of thousands in endorsements, but he gets some airtime on “Washups on Ice”. Perfect. Maybe that’s justice as far as the situation is concerned.

                Divorce Lochte from the situation for a second.

                The Police Chief of a city in a foreign nation lied about the actions of an American citizen on international news, and is not being held accountable. Period.

                • No, because the issue is this country, our ethics, and what this kind of glorifying of bad conduct does to then culture. South American culture is corrupt. Bribes are a way of life, and kickbacks. There is no ethics profession in South America. I’m sorry for them, really I am, but I’m not responsible. He’s “lost” millions the way I’ve lost millions by not going into corporate law. The endorsements and deals he’s received already is more than I’ll make in two years, working my ass off. Lochte is a semi-literate dolt, whose major talent is useless to the society and nation.

      • And you completely glossed over what might actually be the most important point here: The police blatantly lied. Three times. !) There was an incident where an Olympian was held at gunpoint. 2) There was no physical altercations and 3) The Olympians did not bust up the bathroom. You want to talk about deceit? Lochte exaggerated, and left things out. The police LIED.

  2. I don’t know the first thing about DWTS, having never watched it but, regarding Ryan Lochte, USA Today ran an article indicating that Lochte was the victim of a shakedown by the off-duty cop security guards at the scene and that nearly nothing of what he’s accused of is true.

    It’s worth a look:

    And this followup:

      • I’m not quibbling. I didn’t even state an opinion. I merely described the article and provided links.

        I realize that reading meanings into comments where there are, in fact, none is the national pastime these days, but how about you consider not doing it once in a while.

        • When you quote authorities that quibble, you are quibbling. I don’t read meanings into comments. I hold commenters responsible for what they write. You wrote, essentially, “now, now, he didn’t exactly LIE about it being a robbery, since it was a shakedown”. Of course you stated an opinion. Your opinion is that the distinction you alluded to is meaningful within the context of the post. It isn’t. It’s spinning.

          • Now you’re *quoting* something that I didn’t write. Are you aware that quotation marks are intended for what people actually said, not for what you interpret them to have said?

            Then you state what my opinion is when, again, I stated no opinion. You have absolutely no idea what my opinion is. I believe that it’s important to look at all the available information even if, perhaps *especially* if, it doesn’t support your own conclusions.

            The USA Today article provided new information and hypothesized what it might mean. That is the entire meaning of what I wrote and the only rational interpretation. It is blatantly clear that you are attributing meaning and opinion to me that I in no way stated. Go back and read my original comment dispassionately, as if you are coming to this thing for the first time, and you’ll see that.

            Personally, I think Ryan Lochte is probably a stereotypical frat-boy-style asshole, not that I put any real energy into paying attention to him. My only goal in *any* issue is to consider all the facts so I can draw the most objective possible conclusion. I offered the articles with only that in mind.

            In the end, I don’t care one way it the other what you think about this, or what you think I said about it; I don’t know the first thing about you, or care to find out. But I do care that you’re attacking me based on things you made up. That’s the only reason I have responded to you here.

            That’s the last I have to say about this thread.

            • Pedantry. When one writes, “you said essentially” its clear to all except those who intentionally want to misconstrue that it is not in fact a quote, but an interpretation of what was meant. What you actually WROTE was
              “I don’t know the first thing about DWTS, having never watched it but, regarding Ryan Lochte, USA Today ran an article indicating that Lochte was the victim of a shakedown by the off-duty cop security guards at the scene and that nearly nothing of what he’s accused of is true.”

              Now, what is intended by that, if not what I interpreted it to mean? It’s not a rebuttal of my article, which was about rewarding assholes. And since the article’s only claim regarding Lochte was that 1) he engaged in misconduct, which he now admits, and 2) lied about what happened both during and after. “What he’s accused of” wasn’t even a point in the article, so assuming that you were even vaguely responding, it is reasonably interpreted as a false assertion that how I characterized his conduct is false. It wasn’t. Whether most of what has been alleged about Lochte is true or not, the fact that he messed up somebody else’s property and lied about the incident to make him look like a simple robbery victim is NOT in dispute, even my him.

              If you don’t care to discuss these matters, don’t comment.

  3. Yep, Lochte in my book is famous for embarrassing his country. Let’s hope he trips over his feet and has to dance with Roseann Barr.

  4. The show is called “Dancing with the Stars” not “Dancing with People Who Should be Elected to Office, Marry your Children, or Teach Ethics Classes.”

    I’m not sure why you think they should be held to a higher standard than the rest of show business. Personally, I hate the show, but I periodically watched the last 60 seconds because it aired before Castle.

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