1. The controversy over the Central Park “Julius Caesar” casting Donald Trump–his stage clone, really—as Caesar continues to be ignorantly argued. What’s worse, Fox News constantly calling the Shakespearean classic an “assassination play” (it’s not, not even close), or people who really would love to see Trump assassinated arguing that there’s a double standard because some professional productions of “Julius Caesar” in recent years cast a black actor as the targeted emperor? Does anyone for a second believe that if a high-profile theatrical production depicted a character as clearly intended to symbolize Obama as the New York City production styles its Caesar as Trump being assassinated in a scene like the one below, there would not have been equivalent, indeed greater outrage?
The most cited production with a black, modern business-suited Caesar had an actor with a shaved head playing the role, clearly signalling that this was NOT Barack Obama. This, however, is “Donald Trump”:
My question is: Does the audience cheer? I bet they do, and I bet that’s exactly what the director wanted. I support the production, and reject efforts to pressure donors into pulling support. Theater is often political, and outrageous, and should be. But the play’s defenders who cite versions that evoked a black leader as equivalent are arguing that people are more upset at a faux Trump assassination than they would have been if “Obama” were slaughtered in Central Park, and that is absurd.
2. Another looming boycott is the effort to punish NBC’s Megyn Kelly for interviewing InfoWars’ Alex Jones, the professional conspiracy theorist and right-wing liar. Because he famously suggested that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax—an instant IQ test for anyone deciding to ever pay attention to this jerk again—Sandy Hook parents and their allies are condemning NBC and Kelly for “giving him a platform,” and have succeeded in getting one sponsor, JP Morgan, to drop its ads. How long before both ends of the political spectrum start routinely pushing boycotts of any journalists who “give a platform” to someone their “side” has pronounced as evil? The Sandy Hook victims’ families continue to abuse the sympathy their tragedy evoked by using it to attack core rights using appeals to emotion and little else. Some quotes from the Washington Post story:
Nelba Márquez-Greene saw the interview, scheduled to air Sunday — Father’s Day — as an “egregious offense” to fathers whose children were murdered Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. “To give Alex Jones a platform on Father’s Day is especially cruel to me,” she told The Washington Post.
An adversarial interview on a left-leaning news network is not a “platform” for someone like Jones, and every tragedy’s news coverage is painful to someone. Recommendation to Sandy Hook parents: Don’t watch.
Márquez-Greene said Kelly’s reasoning is misguided and would, instead, encourage Jones’s army of followers to “double down” on their effort to label the massacre of 20 elementary schoolchildren a hoax.
Here we see the tendrils of the increasing progressive embrace of information and speech control to aid in indoctrination. Márquez-Greene advocates censorship because bad things will be done with free expression. She is a far greater danger than Jones is.
“Shining a light works on cockroaches,” she said. “It doesn’t work on Alex Jones.”
Really? Here is a snippet from the interview:
Kelly: When you say parents faked their children’s death, people get angry.
Jones: Oh, I know. But they don’t get angry about the half a million dead Iraqis from the sanctions. They don’t get angry about all the —
Kelly: That’s a dodge.
Jones: No, no, it’s not a dodge. The media never covers all the evil wars that’s promoted —
Kelly: That doesn’t excuse what you did and said about Newtown. You know it.
Jones: Here’s the difference. I looked at all the angles of Newtown, and I made statements long before the media even picked up on it. We didn’t really get into the really important stuff.
Kelly: What do you mean? We talked about all the important stuff.
Jones: Here’s the big one they always make fun of me. You probably want to throw this in there. Thirty years ago, they began creating animal-human hybrids. Isn’t that the big story that Megyn Kelly should be doing.
The man’s a double-talking charlatan, and a dumb one at that. It’s good to know.
3. From Ethics Alarms scout Fred: in New Jersey, cops were caught on camera beating a man whom they assumed was the driver of the fleeing vehicle they had been chasing after it crashed. After all, he was on fire. Oopsie! It was an innocent bystander, whose car the fugitive struck. The Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, a union representing Jersey City police officers, said—wait for it!— that the officers were trying to put out the flames and get the man to safety. Suuuuure, that’s exactly what the video shows…
“Taking swift action isn’t always elegant, but this video clearly shows that the officers acted quickly to extinguish the flames, and pull this man out of harm’s way,” JCPOBA President Carmine Disbrow said in a statement.
This kind of obvious self-serving dishonesty harms all police, as it it epitomizes why the public distrusts police accounts when law enforcement conduct is in question—unless I missed the change to the traditional instruction on what to do if you’re on fire. Is it now “Stop, drop, and wait for someone to kick the crap out of you”?
I must have missed the memo.