Ethics Dunce Collective: The American Music Awards

I can make this uncharacteristically short. Just re-read the post on John Oliver’s nasty full-show, post-election anti-Trump rant, and substitute “American Music Awards.” Also worth reviewing is the list of rationalizations used to justify Oliver, which I posted here, especially since so many of them are also being trotted out to excuse the ambushing of Mile Pence when he dared to exercise his right to enjoy “Hamilton” on Broadway without being personally called out and attacked by the cast.

It can be argued that the American Music Awards’ insults to the duly and lawfully elected POTUS—who has yet to do anything as President— last night were even worse than Oliver’s disrespectful ad hominem barrage. At least Oliver, a skilled satirist, was occasionally amusing. The two AMA hosts from Saturday Night Live were juvenile, desperate and amateurish, counting on their Trump-hating demographic for laughs they didn’t earn. If we ever see a more inept impression of Donald Trump than Jay Pharoah’s, be it in four years or a century, I’ll be shocked. Worst of all, however, was Gigi Hadid’s unfunny, mean and hypocritical imitation of Melania Trump, for the crime of existing.  The principle, just for application to Republican First Ladies, now, is apparently that having an accent  makes you ridiculous and an idiot.

If anyone, anywhere, on a live television show had dared to do such a grotesque mockery of Michelle Obama when she was the incoming First Lady, they would have been tarred a boor, a racist, and a virtual traitor.

I wonder which of the rationalizations will be used to defend Hadid? Whatever they are, the real defense is just this, the same that is being used to defend “Hamilton”: We hate these people, and they don’t deserve to be treated fairly.

Got it.

One clarification: Green Day is a political band, and their decision to shout No Trump / No KKK” during their performance of the catchy and tuneful  “Bang Bang” is as fair as it was predictable…also moronic, but what do you expect? It’s a band.

30 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce Collective: The American Music Awards

  1. Is there a running list of clearly unethical events that the Left-wingers on this blog have made irrational Die-On-the-Hill defenses of?

    1) ACA after it was clear no one was going to scrutinize the 2,000 page legislation because no one COULD scrutinize it.

    2) Hands up Don’t Shoot.

    3) Voter IDs

    4) the Pence ambush

    5) George Zimmerman acquittal

    I know there are more but those are the first to pop to my head.

    We should compose a list of *clearly* unethical events or causes that Right wingers on here have made irrational Die-On-the-Hill defenses

  2. Believe it or not, I was actually told once that accent-based jokes were perfectly all right AS LONG AS they stayed in Europe BUT, the minute your accent work slips south of the Mediterranean or east of Suez, you are in politically incorrect territory. It’s perfectly ok to do a stereotype of a wrapped-too-tight Brit, a drunk Irishman, a sex-obsessed Frenchman, a German who is still stuck in Nazi days, a food-obsessed Italian, or a none-too-bright eastern European (Pole, Russian or otherwise), but it’s a serious sin to do a generic Arab accent, or an Apu-like Indian accent, and it’s right out to deliberately mix up the R and the L for an East Asian stereotype (though that really only applies to the Japanese, where the L consonant isn’t used).

    Again, if there were no double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

  3. My wife forces me to watch the AMA’s, which I try hard to find an excuse not to do. Unfortunately, she’s a little hard of hearing and there’s no way to totally ignore it.

    But I did want to see the you-know-it’s-coming hatefest for all things Trump. I saw what I expected to see, and it was as loathsome as could be.

    I noticed the audience was not exactly cracking up at the jokes the hosts told. Surprising, given who generally attends those things. Perhaps we are seeing some Trump hate fatigue, or at least modest embarrassment at the lowbrow humor attempts. That would be an encouraging sign if true.

  4. Let me just reprint here part of my contribution to the ‘Hamilton’ debacle discussion:

    This is the unbelievable arrogance of the performing arts. I attend a theatrical performance because I wish to see that performance. That is all. Many shows have political overtones and undertones written into the scripts or books themselves: and when one attends those shows one knows what to expect from the show itself. But it is not, repeat not, within the purview of cast or producers to lecture me, or anyone else in the audience about the cast’s or producers’ political views.

    Being an actor, a singer, a director or a producer does not automatically bestow extra intelligence or wisdom upon that actor, singer, director or producer. And the function of being an actor, singer, director or producer does not bestow the right to foist that actor’s, singer’s, director’s or producer’s political views on the audience, regardless of who may be sitting in that audience.

    This kind of behavior… only proves to me the inestimable arrogance of the left, and particularly the amazing and deluded self-importance of those in the arts.

    • Even GWB, the most hated GOP politician of all until 2 weeks ago, didn’t come in for this kind of garbage from the arts. In fact Michael Moore was roundly booed after a crass anti-Bush rant at one or the other award shows, and Steve Martin jokingly said afterwards that some teamsters were helping him INTO the trunk of his car. GWB could stand up on stage at Christmas next to Billy Gilman and Usher and Mandy Moore and do a sing-along without them acting like his presence made them ill.

      I seriously wonder where the arts are going if this is the kind of crap we get before the incoming administration is even in office. When Trump receives Enda Kenny next St. Paddy’s day is he going to have to rely on recordings because not a single Celtic harpist or fiddler will take the gig? Will there by no more White House tree lightings because no celebrities will accept an offer from him? Are they going to have to pull the plug on the National Memorial Day Concert and Capitol Fourth because no celebrity will appear on that stage while Trump is the commander in chief? Is Trump going to never be able to attend any musical or theatrical event for fear of getting hectored from the stage?

      Maybe so, but the arts do it at their own peril. The Dixie Chicks had to reroute an entire tour through Canada and their CD sales suffered badly after Natalie Maines’ foolish onstage comments. It’s one thing for we the audience to push aside artists’ politics to enjoy their art, but if they make the two inseparable, it’s going to be VERY hard to do that.

      • “I seriously wonder where the arts are going if this is the kind of crap we get before the incoming administration is even in office.”

        This isn’t a fundamental problem with “the arts”. It’s a fundamental problem with “the Left”. We’re witnessing the results of decades of Left wing brainwashing and echo-chambering and a decade of divisive tone, divisive rhetoric, and downright hatred and disdain for an entire half of the electorate. This really isn’t surprising at all.

        I’ve commented over the past several years that America is right on the cliff. Right at the decision point of going two distinctly different directions (one of which is alarming, to say the least). The Left really felt that they could solidify an unalterable course in that direction with this election.

        And they are flipping out because of it. Everything they accuse right wingers of (with little to no evidence) is being made manifest IN THEIR OWN RANKS.

              • Because in terms of the traditional Arts, right wingers for all intents and purposes do not take part in producing them.

                Yes there are exceptions, but few and far between.

                Sure, there is a leftwing cartel in many respects that makes it damn near impossible for right wingers to even get a start in the Arts, but it isn’t insurmountable.

              • Here’s where I got confused: Jack said the arts were overwhelming the left, which I thought sounded odd, because if the arts were overwhelming the left it could mean the leftist message was giving way to the artistic message. I thought that was backwards and he meant to say the arts were getting overwhelmed BY the left, to the point where the artistic message was taking a back seat to the leftist one.

                Now, as to how the latter would be partly the fault of conservatives, My thought would be that the conservatives are simply ceding the field and saying that artists are going to be lefties, so we will just ignore that. We won’t call them out on it, we won’t take steps to push back against it, and we won’t try to create better art. I read in a book published about 12 years ago that ranked the presidents that it was an attempt to make better scholarship than the left, and that the way to show a stick was crooked was to lay a straight stick next to it. No one is attempting to do the same with the arts.

                • I’d still like to hear Jack’s clarification, Steve-O. I’d say almost all the arts are largely dominated by gay guys. I’d say most gay guys are strongly anti-authoritarian and lefty because they have father and therefore authority issues. The arts are not easy to break into if you’re not gay and not lefty. There are exceptions of course as The Bill has noted in a prior discussion. But ultimately, absolute power….

        • I have noticed that people who otherwise defended Obama and his family’s constant use of Air Force One for leisure purposes, that he has every right to unwind without being criticized for it are readily leaping at the chance to say it is perfectly justifiable for non-yet-even-vice-president Pence to be wholly criticized, in person, at a leisure purpose at a privately purchased venue…

          Isn’t that way past Double Standards…isn’t that like Quadruple or Octuple standards?

          • I have noticed that people who otherwise defended Obama and his family’s constant use of Air Force One for leisure purposes, that he has every right to unwind without being criticized for it are readily leaping at the chance to say it is perfectly justifiable for non-yet-even-vice-president Pence to be wholly criticized, in person, at a leisure purpose at a privately purchased venue…

            Isn’t that way past Double Standards…isn’t that like Quadruple or Octuple standards?


            I remember people arguing that the Obamas shouldn’t be criticized for their vacations, since they weren’t unique in their number or cost, not that the Obamas should not be criticized while on vacation. So this isn’t a double standard, it’s two entirely different things.

            As for why I haven’t commented on this story, it’s because I’ve been caught up in the Hamilton one. I didn’t watch the AMAs and have no interest in them. That said, terrible impressions are always unethical.

            • Then whoever it was who said this: “The VP doesn’t get “time to unwind.”” should probably back track that comment. Because as long as VP’s don’t get time to unwind, then Presidents DEFINITELY don’t get time to unwind, and if Presidents don’t get time to unwind, then the mere act of taking vacations IS subject to criticism.

              My comment stands. Yours needs considerable reworking.

              • Do you think that presidents and vice presidents really get a lot of time to “unwind” when on “vacation?” They are typically working vacations. I may have overstated my point when I said they “don’t get time to unwind,” but I’m pretty sure it was clear that my main point was that they can pretty much expect criticism regardless of the venue. It’s the content and tone of the criticism that matters to me, not where it happens.

                But please, do keep pretending that every one of my individual statements exists in a vacuum with no surrounding context to help you understand what I’m saying.

                • See, you keep saying the “tone…matters”, but that really makes me think you didn’t watch the speech or you are colossally tone deaf. You probably missed his tone of voice, the condescension, the finger wagging at Pence.

                  I really think you only mean to say “it’s the content that matters” to you…because if tone mattered, you’d see this entirely differently.

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