Morning Ethics Round-Up: 7/5/17

Good morning!

1. I’ve always had ethical problems with parole hearings, and thanks to a link sent by Ethics Scout Fred, I really have ethics problems with parole hearings. This story, from New Hampshire public radio, portrays an unprofessional and chaotic process in which parole boards, made up of officials without training or guidelines, insult, bully and deride prisoners to get the answers they want. A sample:

“While they may review cases beforehand, the parole board has only about 15 minutes to speak with people convicted of charges including sex offenses, drug crimes, and domestic violence before deciding if they can live safely outside prison walls. Members receive no training and appointment requires no prerequisite experience. Most of the time, inmates who meet minimum requirements are granted parole.”

Great.

2. Crime naturally makes me think of Chicago, where, it is reported, the wise city managers, led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) are installing a system that requires public high school students to show that they have plans for the future before obtaining their diploma. In order to graduate, students will  have to demonstrate that they’ve secured a job or received a letter of acceptance to college, a trade apprenticeship, a gap year program or the military The Washington Post reports. Emanuel’s plan, approved by the Board of Education in late May, makes Chicago’s the first big-city system to make post-graduation plans a requirement.

“We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed,” Emanuel told the Post. “You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”

Oh, why don’t we just enlist the kids in the Social Justice Youth Corps, give them uniforms and some good progressive indoctrination, and be done with it? This is such an egregious abuse of power and autonomy, as well as parental authority, that the fact that it got a single vote indicates that the culture’s values are coming apart. I’m going to list five things that are unethical about this plan, and invite readers to some up with the doubtlessly large number of others that I missed because its early and the shock of this story fried half of mu brain:

It’s dishonest grandstanding. How are they going to enforce the “plan”? Will Chicago’s Plan Police keep tabs on graduates? Will students who don’t follow the plan be captured and thrown back into high school?

  • It is unfair, coercive. unconscionably narrow. What if a student’s plan is to continue her education by taking a year off and touring the world? What if the student plans on training for the Olympics, or a bodybuilding championship?

What if she wants to go to New York City and audition for shows?

  • The measure demonstrates myopic disregard for the original, the eccentric, the creative, the  bold, the dreamer, the non-conformist and the individualist

But then individualists make poor sheep, right?

  • It is totalitarian. It is none of the government’s business what a student chooses to do after graduation, or when that student decides to it. Here was my plan, fully backed by my parents: spend as much time figuring out what I want to do with my life as it took.

I’m still figuring.

  • It is arrogant. It is disrespectful. It is presumptuous. It is an invasion of parental authority. It is probably unconstitutional. It is wrong.

ARRRRRRRGHHHHHHH!!!

3. GOP NJ Governor Chris Christie’s stunning explanation for his tone-deaf sunbathing at a beach he closed to the public was this: “I think my poll numbers show that I don’t care about political optics,” Christie said at a press conference. “What I care about is doing what’s right and wrong.”

Yes, and it is horrible wrong for elected officials to indulge themselves, flaunt their special privileges, and poke their thumbs in the eyes of the public because they may be technically right, but ethically offensive. It wasn’t right to vacation on a closed beach that was part of a massive inconvenience to the public brought about by their government’s dysfunction. It was legal, that’s all. It is never right for a leader to increase distrust and resentment of the government just because he can.

The translation of the governor’s attempt to turn arrogance and failure into a badge of honor is “I’m an asshole!”

Yes, Governor, we knew that.

4. CNN apparently devoted time and resources to tracking down the anonymous Reddit user who made the silly pro wrestling GIF showing the President beating on a wrestler with a CNN head, thus requiring all journalists to get bodyguards, or something, and proving that Trump had to be impeached under the little-used “stupid gloating” provision.  CNN’s reaction has been embarrassing and revealing; CNN Brian Stelter even suggested that the tweet should be removed by Twitter and the  President should be banned from the platform. Then CNN either threatened or otherwise alarmed the vile video-maker sufficiently to induce him to grovel an apology, after CNN’s sleuths determined that he has also made posts that were racially offensive, which is, of course, just as unforgivable as mocking CNN.

CNN apparently sees nothing wrong with its conduct, or this section at end of its story:

On Monday, KFile attempted to contact the man by email and phone but he did not respond. On Tuesday, “HanA**holeSolo” posted his apology on the subreddit /The_Donald and deleted all of his other posts.

“First of all, I would like to apologize to the members of the reddit community for getting this site and this sub embroiled in a controversy that should never have happened,” he wrote. “I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life. I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts. I would never support any kind of violence or actions against others simply for what they believe in, their religion, or the lifestyle they choose to have. Nor would I carry out any violence against anyone based upon that or support anyone who did.”

The user further apologized for calls for violence against the press in his statement on Reddit.rong.

“The meme was created purely as satire, it was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation,” he wrote. “I had no idea anyone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the President’s Twitter feed. It was a prank, nothing more. What the President’s feed showed was not the original post that was posted here, but loaded up somewhere else and sound added to it then sent out on Twitter. I thought it was the original post that was made and that is why I took credit for it. I have the highest respect for the journalist community and they put their lives on the line every day with the jobs that they do in reporting the news.”

After posting his apology, “HanA**holeSolo” called CNN’s KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, “HanA**holeSolo” sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.

CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same. CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.

I see a lot wrong with it: it’s chillingly unethical and threatening. Why should someone who creates a satirical video anonymously be hounded by the target of the satire? This is an abuse of the power of the press. What was newsworthy about the video—sort of—is that the President used it. Threatening to expose the poor creator of the video to the fury of the anti-Trump hysterics—they shoot people, I hear—is an attack on free speech by the CNN,  because CNN didn’t like the speech.

Bullies. Hypocrites.

You want “enemy of the people”? This is how enemies of the people behave.

How else should we read the passage I bolded other than “Don’t you dare criticize CNN again, or we’ll dox you, and you’ll have to go into hiding”?

Even the reliably liberal crowd at Vox was disgusted.

Day by day, minute by minute, CNN has revealed itself as biased, incompetent, corrupt, foolish, untrustworthy and unethical.

 

73 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, The Internet

73 responses to “Morning Ethics Round-Up: 7/5/17

  1. Rusty Rebar

    On #1. Used to be that schools function was to educate, that has not been the case for quite a long time now. Long before I graduated high school back in the early 90’s it had left this goal long behind, and it has been apparent to me watching my children go through the public school system that this is not the case. Based on the actions of schools, the things that I have seen them do, it has become apparent that the goals of schools are (and in this order):

    1. Provide daycare so that parents can work
    2. Create obedient citizens.
    3. If you can educate them while doing the above, all the better, but don’t get hung up on that.

  2. #1 In my opinion, parole boards should be eliminated. Don’t do the crime if you’re not willing to do the time.

    #2 This school board policy should be directly challenged in court with a class action law suit on behalf of any student who’s diploma is withheld. The resulting dollars of the suit could give some of the students a financial boost after getting out of high school further encouraging them to do nothing. Choices have consequences. Punish an 17-18 year old “kid” that has earned their High School diploma because they don’t know what they want to do after High School; this policy is idiotic. What if colleges withheld college degrees from graduates that didn’t actively have a job in their field of study when they graduate? The diploma was earned and setting additional non academic conditions on receiving what has already been earned is nucking futs!

    #3 Christie stripped himself of integrity during the Presidential campaign, this should come as no surprise.

    #4 Malcolm X said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Now we have CNN publicly threatening a citizen with their power to destroy the life of that citizen. Jack wrote, “Day by day, minute by minute, CNN has revealed itself as biased, incompetent, corrupt, foolish, untrustworthy and unethical.” I completely agree with Jack.

    • dragin_dragon

      Can’t say that I agree 100%. Oh, I agree with him as far as he went, but he didn’t go far enough. He should add DANGEROUS! What we have, here, is a NEWS ORGANIZATION (purportedly) that is BLACKMAILING a member of the public into remaining silent about their transgressions. This is almost enough for me to sign up for the various accounts needed to take these people on…almost.

    • Rich in CT

      Are they withholding the transcripts (proof of graduation), or just the physical diploma?

      Either way, it is abuse of power, but the former actively thwarts the very future the school purports to promote, while the latter is merely tyrannical showboating (Le sigh).

  3. 4. I just attended an educational conference in which the making of student video was celebrated and encouraged. It’s so easy to make video now. It’s utility as a learning and presenting tool for education is exploding. I think the educational potential is remarkable.
    Too bad its potential for mischief is equally remarkable.

  4. 2. I smell a lawsuit in the making. Queue the lawyers filing Federal suits in three, two…

    I also think that the inevitable outcry is calculated to produce exactly their intent: Social Justice Youth Corps. Progressive-ism 101: a) Create a unworkable requirement, b) ‘find out’ that it is unworkable by design, then c) have the government ‘solve’ the problem by spending more money, further indoctrinating the victims, and having a ready made cohesive unit you have trained to do whatever you want them to. Hitler Youth and the Brown Shirts come to mind.

    Unethical as it presumes the real target audience (inner city gangs, poor at-risk youth, welfare recipients in general) CARE about a diploma. Third generation couch potatoes are conditioned to see a High School diploma as a nice but unnecessary scrap of paper: after all, why work when you can sit around like mom does?

    3. Chris Christie is a RINO: a disgusting progressive in GOP clothing. Of course he pulls something like this. He is about his own power, and not the welfare of the people of New Jersey.

    4. CNN is Pravda. CNN is the end state of socialism in what passes for journalism. CNN is also likely liable for this action (not that they care: if the victim sues they will do the damage preemptively.) Note that this deserves the tag “This helps explain why Trump is president”

    • Chris

      3. Please.What progressive policies does Chris Christie support, slick? You can’t just call every Republican who does something wrong a “progressive” so that your side never has to be accountable for everything.

      • Christie is a RINO: (and this was an EASY Google, Chris)

        http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2015/06/chris_christies_long_history_o.php#.WV5OTIjyuUk

        http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/jeffrey-meyer/2014/09/23/nicolle-wallace-endorses-chris-christie-his-politics-are%E2%80%A6progressive

        A simple look at New Jersey gun policies (and the lack of opposition by Christie) is a signal.

        Point of clarification: I do not consider ANY California Republican (do they still exist?) as anything other than a RINO, given how far left they have had to migrate to even run in a race. The same is true for many on the east coast as well.

        • I detest the RINO slur. There is nothing wrong with being a moderate Republican. This is part of what has led to toxic hyper-partisanship.

          • What would you rather I use, Jack? The Republican In Name Only acronym implies a progressive who has infiltrated the GOP.

            I will use whatever you think is not a loaded term, as I do not mean to be derogatory, just want to accurately describe the species such that others get my meaning. In Texas, RINO is usable in polite conversation.

            For instance, I don’t use ‘cuckservative:’ it is never appropriate in polite conversation (which EA is, most of the time)

            • How about “Republicans”? You know, like Romney, GW Bush, Nixon, Ford, McCain, and even Trump. The two parties so narrowly defining what they will allow in each party makes political cooperation impossible, and alienates the center. Given that the Democratic Party has become increasingly corrupt, anti-democratic and crypto totalitarian, not being willing to support that party should be sufficient to welcome a law and order, fiscal conservative like Christie into the big tent.

              RINO sound like anyone who isn’t anti-abortion is a traitor or a spy. There are principles and there are issues, hundreds of them.

              • I live in a conservative state, and the distinction is commonly made. We have RINOs as well, by most Texas conservative reckoning.

                I see your point, though.

      • While my other comment is in moderation:

        Christie supports:
        gun control (he does not oppose it rather than pushes it)
        tax the rich/corporations
        Common Core education
        Immigration Amnesty and no prosecution for illegals
        Believes in man caused Climate Change, legislates accordingly
        and others…

        Of course, he IS a politician (and changes his message depending on the audience) but these seem to be his actions as opposed to his rhetoric.

        • Chris, thank you.

          You made me take vague notions, take the time to research them, and thereby sharpen my understanding and argument. I now have facts and figures to use when Christie comes up.

  5. “How are they going to enforce the “plan”? Will Chicago’s Plan Police keep tabs on graduates? Will students who don’t follow the plan be captured and thrown back into high school?”

    Well, in theory, the students won’t be able to just get “proof of something” after high school, without some institution being reasonably assured that high school student being serious about joining them. That is to say, if one of these kids has proof from the military that he’s joining the military…well…that kid’s joining the military or spending a life avoiding authorities.

    If some kid has proof of employment, the assumption is an employer is reasonably certain that kid is committed to their company.

    What this really incentivizes is children LYING, FORGING, or making promises to post-high school institutions they don’t plan on keeping in order to kid one of these nebulous proofs-of-a-plan.

    The one easy out is the acceptance letter. You can get a thousand acceptance letters without being fully committed to a particular college.

    I think the best way to troll this policy is for a couple of the kids with street contacts to have a letter of acceptance signed by someone’s street name that they’ve been accepted as an enforcer accountant for a local gang…or perhaps as a pusher salesman for one of the gang’s drug pushing elements.

    • But seriously though, for the kids whose futures are legitimately bleak and probably DO NOT have anywhere to turn but crime…aren’t they essentially getting stuck by “the man” just a little harder and being settled with an even more bleak future?

      Was it Chicago that said they were going to fund junior college for EVERYONE? Or one of the pie-in-sky-doesn’t-understand-math places in California?

      • You’ve got the crux of it. You’ve got administrators of a corrupt system who might not be able to implement a program financially, so they make requirements of end results by overstepping their bounds. In an ideal set-up, they make a final semester requirement for a capstone course where each 2nd Semester JUNIOR has a class devoted to Post HS Life. In this free-form “class” topics will range from college applications, entrepreneurial endeavors, taxes, military service, world travel, etc.

        In fact, I wonder how the school would have to deal with someone that said they were going to pursue charitable endeavors and religious endeavors? If a kid is going to do spiritual enlightenment, how do you tell him/her that they’re being punished for their exercise of religion? Pay. Fucking. Day.

    • Spartan

      I think the goal might be to have the kids start thinking about future plans. The schools should be doing this anyway, but I don’t see how making it a requirement without providing any on premises guidance is meaningful.

      • I have no doubt this has the big smiley face on it of “doing the right thing”. But:

        1) It has real world stupid implications and results.
        2) Are there other motivations than the smiley face one?

        • Spartan

          I don’t think it should be a graduation requirement, but high schools are supposed to be preparing kids to be adults. Adults need plans. Those plans can take many forms — more school, trade or training, immediate employment, military, arts, etc. Schools are doing kids a disservice if these conversations are not taking place.

          • Other Bill

            Exactly. High school is supposed to be about preparing students for when they graduate. This is just silly posing by The Honorable Mr. Emmanuel.

            • If these people cared about students in any sort of genuine way they wouldn’t be so opposed to school choice.

              • Spartan

                Everyone already has school choice — they made it at the time they moved into their house.

                • Everyone already has school choice — they made it at the time they moved into their house.

                  True, for those who looked at schools before purchasing (we did, for instance)

                • Spartan wrote, “Everyone already has school choice — they made it at the time they moved into their house.”

                  That’s terrible tunnel vision Spartan.

                  What if your roots are there, what if the public school in your district goes right down the shitter well after you move in and you don’t want to move because everything else is great, what do you say to those people; if don’t like the school, up root your entire family, sell their home, and move to a different district that’s not currently having problems?

                  What if you don’t have the money to move out of a district that is absolutely terrible?

                  Pull the tunnel vision blinders off Spartan.

                  • Spartan

                    Wait — I’m confused. I’m spouting back the SAME philosophy I hear from Libertarians every day — it usually takes the form of “federal government bad, states rights good, if you don’t like what your state is doing, move to another state).

                    People can’t have it both ways. Either we can vote with our feet or we can’t.

                    For me, I live in an area with crappy public schools and we pay for private schools. This is a huge financial sacrifice, and I mean sacrifice. That is the choice we made. If we want to go to public schools, we can. If we want to move to another school district, we will (although it will be rough for the reasons you mentioned).

                    • Emily

                      Um, yes, we have more school choice with local school districts than we would have with a single federal school system.

                      And we would have even more school choice with an individual voucher system.

                      The former is not an argument against the latter.

                    • It’s not the same as the “don’t like your state’s laws then move” argument.

                      In one instance, the argument is applied to the actual legal governing apparatus and it’s legal code.

                      In the other instance the argument is applied to services being supplied by the state that are also supplied by the free market.

                      In the 2nd instance, yes Libertarians would prefer a more free market approach and a more free market approach wouldn’t require someone to uproot neighborhoods just to go to a different school.

                      Whereas in the 1st instance, the scope of the discussion is not about the market at all, but about the government.

                      So no, you aren’t making the “Libertarian” vote with your feet argument.

          • philk57

            Exactly wrong premise. High schools are NOT about preparing kids to be adults, although that might be one of the consequences. Parents prepare kids to be adults. High schools are supposed to be about educating kids.

            • Spartan

              In an ideal world, yes. Some parents just aren’t equipped to do this though. I had loving parents, but they did not go to college and did not care if I went. They never discussed life after high school with me — and would have been perfectly okay if I had just stayed at home or got married right away like some of my friends. Luckily, I had a high school teacher explain the college process to me and encouraged me to apply.

      • “The schools should be doing this anyway”
        ..and THAT’S the sticking point, for me. Chicago schools should already be doing this, well in advance of a kid’s senior year. FORCING the kids to come up with their own plans just underscores that your school system isn’t properly pushing/guiding/motivating them to start formulating these ideas throughout their high school careers already.

    • “in order to kid one”

      should say:

      in order to get one

  6. Spartan

    I remember being pissed that my high school changed its policy my senior year to make us all take one year of gym before we could graduate.

    • As a PE teacher, I am ok with this policy.

      On second thought, I absolutely hate having unmotivated kids who have zero interest in gym, in my classes; I retract my previous thought.

      • Spartan

        I was annoyed because it messed up my plans for senior year. I’m a huge proponent of more physical activity in schools.

  7. Chris

    2. Absolutely stupid policy, and the near-universal condemnation will probably kill it before it’s implemented.

    4. I don’t know if I see this as a threat. CNN could have published the identity of the user right away, but chose not to. Then they said they have the right to do so in the future. Is that really a threat?

    I’ve seen some people calling it “blackmail.” But CNN didn’t ask the user to do anything or refrain from doing anything “or else we’ll publish your identity.” Meanwhile, the accusation that the president committed actual blackmail last week seems to have already faded from memory. Trump’s distraction tactics strike again.

    • He appears to be a teen, and it’s not his fault that the President has the mind and manners of a teen too. There is no justification for tracking him down, publishing his name, or any putting him in the spotlight at all.

      No, it’s not blackmail. It’s bullying and punching down, which is bad enough. No other news outlet thought the origins of the GIF were newsworthy. This is petty revenge.

      • This might be just a definition game, but the element of coercion sure seems to be in place. I’ve been calling it blackmail.

      • Chris

        CNN says he isn’t a teenager, but a grown man.

        A grown man who circulates images of CNN reporters with Jewish stars next to them.

        If that was happening to my employees, I’d track the fucker down and make sure he knows not to pull that shit again.

          • Chris

            22 doesn’t apply. I pointed out that he wasn’t a teen for clarification on a factual matter; my argument wasn’t “It’s not as bad as if he were a teenager.”

            2a and 7 only apply if CNN’s response was disproportionate, and I don’t agree that it was. There are social consequences for speech.

            • Being doxxed and threatened for free expression anonymously on social media by a vengeful mega-media giant is a legitimate consequence for a private citizen????? For satire?

              You can’t possibly believe that.

              Reboot.

              • Chris

                He wasn’t doxxed, and putting Stars of David on pictures of journalists isn’t “satire;” it can be read as an anti-Semitic threat.

              • Clarification: I did not mean to suggest that he WAS doxxed. But if you defend CNN’s threat to dox him, you are defending their threatened action as legitimate as well. It’s not.

                • Chris

                  I don’t agree that reporting on the identity of a president’s source is “doxxing.”

                  • For one thing, apparently the president’s “source” was Facebook where someone unrelated to the original video maker had taken the video and edited it further before posting to Facebook.

                    Does anyone else think the term “source” is somewhat loaded in Chris’s usage here. Like trying to couch the narrative in some sort of service CNN would be doing in revealing some specifically manufacturing memes for the president’s use?

                    Anyone else get that drift?

        • Chris wrote, “If that was happening to my employees, I’d track the fucker down and make sure he knows not to pull that shit again.”

          So you would harass the harasser, tit-for-tat. You’re character is no better than that of the meme creator.

          I HATE ALL THESE MEMES, IT’S ALL PROPAGANDA BS NO MATTER THE SOURCE!

          It’s all fun and games when CNN uses freedom of the press to attack others with false news propaganda, blatantly misleading headlines propaganda, and faux outrage propaganda, but when an individual dares to use their freedom of speech, that’s what this is, to attack CNN with meme propaganda it’s time for CNN to pull the pull gloves off, track down this dirt-bag exercising his freedom of speech and publicly threaten him. From what I’ve seen, this person did not directly threaten anyone at CNN with his propaganda meme BS.

          This is hypocritical bull shit Chris; creating propaganda memes attacking others is wrong, CNN is wrong for threatening the meme creator, and you are wrong for supporting CNN’s threats; three wrongs don’t make a right, they make a pile of shit.

          CNN’s reaction is what made this news. There are legal means to stop harassment and CNN has an armada of lawyers to deal with it. If CNN doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on to stop the propaganda memes, then they need to suck it up, that’s exactly what they expect others to do when they attack them with propaganda.

          Your hypothetical comment above is a direct reflection of your character and it would likely end with you having legal problems due to direct harassment.

          • Chris

            I don’t think CNN claimed that what the meme creator did was illegal, but neither is what CNN did illegal. I don’t see any legal problems stemming from this behavior.

            • Chris wrote, “I don’t think CNN claimed that what the meme creator did was illegal, but neither is what CNN did illegal. I don’t see any legal problems stemming from this behavior.”

              W…….H…….I…….S…….H…….

              I hope everyone heard that loud whishing noise as the points of my comment blew straight over Chris’s head just before he went off on another deflection tangent?

              What a waste of pixels!

        • A First Amendment protected mega corporation seeking vengeance on a private citizen for an anonymous social media meme. How does that compute?

    • wyogranny

      Yes, it’s a threat. It’s like the cop shows where the cops take a gang member in for an interview and then let them go. The street (AKA progressive hate groups) will take care of the punishment. It’s not so much what will happen. It’s up to the victim to mentally play out the possible scenarios of what could happen, based on what has been known to happen in the past. Progressives aren’t kind to enemy filmmakers.

    • It’s funny, when I looked at my RSS feeds this morning, this post hadn’t appeared yet, so I found the last time the wrestling video was made and made basically the identical post Jack just made, except with more profanity and the next line from CNN’s article, in which they bragged about blackmailing a redditor:

      “After posting his apology, “HanA**holeSolo” called CNN’S KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, “HanA**holeSolo” sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.

      CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.

      CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

      “4. I don’t know if I see this as a threat. CNN could have published the identity of the user right away, but chose not to. Then they said they have the right to do so in the future. Is that really a threat?”

      Ok… First off… That a national news organization did not immediately do something mindnumblingly unethical doesn’t mitigate their predicating that will power behind prescribed behaviour. Because we call that Blackmail.

      Let me paraphrase CNN: Do What We Want Or We’ll Fuck. You. Up.

      Wonderful. Are you ever on the right side of a free speech issue?

    • How is it not a threat? They stated that they did not (currently) publish his identity for his own safety. Why would his risk of harm change between now and whenever they do decide to release his info? It wouldn’t; he’d be just as much in harms way then, as he would be now. So, if he goes back on his word to them, their response would be to purposefully place him the path of harm that they they are currently, “altruistically”, protecting him from.

      “…he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again….CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

      I’d say that’s them directly implying that he’d better not “repeat this ugly behavior on social media again”. They most certainly are asking him to refrain from doing something.

      • Yup. It’s a classic condition statement.
        CNN reserves the right to publish his identity
        a.k.a. We know it will cause him harm and he doesn’t want that to happen.
        should any of that change.
        a.k.a. If he repeats bad behavior, retracts his apology, or does something we don’t like.

        • I mean… It would be better if they had just doxxed the guy, it would be shitty, punching down and grossly disproportionate, but at that point the mystery would be done. They’re using this guy’s information as leverage against future behavior. It’s sick.

          • Chris

            The behavior in question goes beyond the Trump wrestling meme, and involves circulating images of CNN reporters with Jewish stars next to their names. If you are at all aware of the targeting and threatening of Jewish reporters this past year on social media, this should be alarming, especially as Jews are the most common victims of hate crimes in America. CNN has every right to protect themselves.

            • Oh come ON Chris, CNN is not in the business of tracking down every person that sends anti-semitic memes to them and threatening them on pain of dox into good behaviour. The fact is that CNN was embarrassed my a meme and one of their “journalists” decided to find him and make an example. Then, owing to an amazing lack of self awareness and industrial strength ignorance of how the internet actually works, the piece that “journalist” write made it past all the layers of editors and was posted.

              HanAssholeSolo (a handle that makes me cringe every time I write it), by every right should be a non entity and relegated to the dustbin of history, if not for the most childish man baby to ever grace the presidency and a mainstream media still actively shitting it’s drawers.

            • This is authentic frontier gibberish, Chris. CNN has no business tracking this guy (we assume a male) down other than sheer revenge and to threaten others. You are spinning and it is embarrassing.

              Why are you covering for CNN? Is is just to be on the other side of the debate?

            • Chris – I don’t think anyone is condoning any of the deplorable things this guy has said or done and you’re right that CNN has every right to protect themselves. If he’s directly sending them threats, they should publish those threats and write an article in that context. However, that’s not what they did. They wrote an article in the context of a guy who made a meme that was appropriated by someone else who made it different to include audio and then that meme was appropriated by Trump’s staff for him to tweet. If they were concerned about this guy’s other behavior, they shouldn’t have focused on his role as a guy who made a silly wrestling meme.

              Within their own article, they state that revealing his identity would bring him harm and that they wouldn’t dox him because he was apologetic and not a threat. Had they left it at that, the article would stand with no controversy, but they went one step too far and made their stance conditional on his future compliance. I’d like to see a list of things they think this guy could do that would make them out him. Also, why him? Why “just him”? To make an example that will suddenly clean up the internet? I think the Streisand Effect has probably made this 10x worse for them.

              Protecting yourself and your employees is one thing. Going on the offensive and trying to make an example out of someone when the optics is an imbalance of power, that’s another.

              (p.s. I hope my discourse above comes across as genuine and good faith. I do like your comments, though I do think I disagree from time to time.)

              • Chris

                Not only do I know your comments are in good faith, Tim, they’re the most persuasive I’ve read so far on this thread.

                I will say making an example out of someone isn’t always a bad thing. I don’t think anyone can argue that we have a dearth of dumb propaganda meme creators out there–maybe this will get people to think before they shitpost, if you will. But if the behavior is indeed unethical, this is an “ends justify the means rationalization.”

                But at least on the optics level, you are right–it would have been better for CNN to simply say they weren’t publishing the name and leave it at that. The implied threat (yes, the rest of you have convinced me that’s what it was) leaves too much room open to attack them when they should have had the clear moral high ground here. I’m not ready to conclude that their actions here were unethical–I have no sympathy for posters of anti-Semitic memes in this current environment, and am totally on board with such posters being named and shamed–it makes them LOOK bad, and shouldn’t have gotten past the editors.

              • “I don’t think anyone is condoning any of the deplorable things this guy has said or done…”

                Jeez! There are hundreds of thousands of equally “deplorable” comments and memes very single day on the web, but this guy deserves special attacks because by sheer moral luck the President picks his GIF to use in a tweet??? And that GIF itself wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination “deplorable.” A political cartoon showing Trump wrestling and pinning “CNN” wouldn’t make anyone blink.

                • I chose my words carefully there because I don’t think his wrestling meme is deplorable. Yet, it is the other postings this guy has done that the Left is objecting to. It’s quite a train wreck, but it can still be parsed:

                  1) CNN associates infamy to HAS via wrestling meme
                  2) CNN uncovers other deplorable content
                  3) LEFT hates the deplorable content
                  4) RIGHT defends wrestling meme
                  5) LEFT views RIGHT as defending deplorable content
                  6) RIGHT views LEFT as condoning doxing and blackmail over a generic wrestling meme

                  Essentially, CNN started two conversation pieces and mixed them into one thread and everyone is talking past each other; talking about different aspects of the same article without actually communicating. I was simply using careful language so I didn’t disengage my intended reader so I could make my point and advance the conversation.

                  Yes, HAS had some rotten luck. No, he didn’t make the final tweet that was sent out by POTUS. No, he’s not a quality individual. If you saw some of his other crap, you might understand why others are enraged. That still doesn’t excuse the manner by which CNN presented their article, and especially how they ended their article based on that presentation.

              • Side note: CNN has suffered greatly in the meme environments since going after this guy. iFunny has been having a field day with them. Good luck tracking those folks down, too.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  Looks like some of the CNN folks are getting their personal information posted online and pelted with some really nasty threats. This is wrong, of course, but it can’t be said that they didn’t bring it on themselves by threatening to dox someone.

                  • Looks like some of the CNN folks are getting their personal information posted online and pelted with some really nasty threats.

                    Ouch. The problem with pandering to the mob is the tiger could turn on you. Not a good development. I would hazard a guess that most of those outed by the mob had nothing to do with this episode.

  8. Isaac

    -CNN are the last people on earth to still think that pro wrestling is real.

    -Assuming Chicago ever enforces its new rule, any 18-year old kid using weed (and therefore unable to pass a drug test and secure a job) is going to be denied a diploma at graduation time, making it even harder to get a job. One wonders whether this is just another scheme to keep poor people on welfare for the rest of their lives.

    -Seen on meme page: “Lord, why is it that looking back on my life, during the hardest times, there was only one set of footprints?”
    The Lord replied, “Those are Chris Christie’s footprints. He kicked everyone else off the beach.”

    • dragin_dragon

      Just an FYI, your last almost, but not quite, caused me to need a replacement keyboard in an ASUS laptop.

  9. You know what the most appropriate respons to this is?

    Memes

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