Good Morning, World!
1. Follow-Up on the 7/28 morning post: Sometimes a popular public figure’s words and conduct so obviously show a deficit of character that I wonder if those who admire him or her are not paying attention, or are creeps themselves. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is officially in this category. First, I do not care for foreigners who obsessively bash our leaders, however bashable. They don’t have standing, in most cases, and their opinions are by definition uninformed if they don’t live here. Most obnoxious of all, however, in Rowling’s case, was her indefensible conduct regarding her recent infamous fake news tweet that circulated to her mob of followers a deceptively edited video showing President Trump cruelly ignoring a boy in a wheelchair, when he in fact stopped, crouched, and spoke to the child. She did this (“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’ – Maya Angelou” was the snotty accompanying comment) on July 28, and the same day it was widely debunked, with the actual video being circulated on the web. No response came from Rowling, even as her tweet and libel continued to be liked and retweeted by “the resistance.”
On July 30, even CNN’s Brian Stelter, with extra time on his hands because his alleged news media ethics show avoids criticizing bias in the news media, flagged the bad tweet, and asked why Rowling hadn’t retracted it. Come on, Brian, you know why! It is for the same reason CNN continues to use unethical journalism to attack the President: they don’t believe he’s worthy of fairness or honesty.
Finally, after various conservatives dredged up this year-old tweet from Rowling to show her hypocrisy and shame her with her own chosen words…
…and after left-wing, fellow Brit Trump-basher Piers Morgan expressed frustration with her, and after PunditFact, a spin-off of PolitiFact, rated Rowling’s claim “Pants on Fire,” and after the boy’s mother herself denied that Rowling’s version occurred, the author finally retracted the tweet and took it down. She also tweeted this unethical apology:
Re: my tweets about the small boy in a wheelchair whose proferred hand the president appeared to ignore in press footage, multiple sources have informed me that that was not a full or accurate representation of their interaction. I very clearly projected my own sensitivities around the issue of disabled people being overlooked or ignored onto the images I saw and if that caused any distress to that boy or his family, I apologise unreservedly. These tweets will remain, but I will delete the previous ones on the subject.
This is a miserable apology, containing the stinking tell of the non-apology apology, “if anyone was offended” in this case the equivalent “if that caused any distress.” The two people she non-apologizes to had no reason to be “distressed,’ since the tweet wasn’t an attack on them. This is not an apology at all, since it does not apologize ..
…to the person fraudulently attacked, President Trump, as well as his family and supporters
…to those deceived by her retweeted lie, and
…to the people who trusted her and became accessories in the false attack
…for taking four days to take down a lie that had been thoroughly exposes as one.
On the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale, it is a bottom of the barrel #10:
An insincere and dishonest apology designed to allow the wrongdoer to escape accountability cheaply, and to deceive his or her victims into forgiveness and trust, so they are vulnerable to future wrongdoing.
This rot is actually worse than a #10, as Rowling dares to ladle soppy virtue-signalling onto it. She only falsely attacked the President of the United States and spread a lie around the world because she is so, so sensitive and concerned about the treatment of handicapped people! Don’t you understand? It’s because she’s so compassionate and good that this happened!
It is my experience that good people can usually manage a sincere and remorseful apology to those harmed by their words or conduct.
2. This unethical lawsuit could sustain a stand-alone post, but I refuse to devote one to it as a matter of principle.
A dishonest activist named Chris Sevier has filed a lawsuit against the same baker embroiled in legal appeals after Colorado fined him for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage The lawsuit argues that Christian bakers should also have to make wedding cakes for couples like him and his beloved—his laptop, which the self-identified “machinist” says he married in a civil ceremony in New Mexico. He also has filed a lawsuit demanding that Utah recognize his man-laptop marriage.
The list of unethical individuals is long here. It includes…
- Sevier, who is grandstanding and abusing process. His stunt was previously a “Simpsons” episode (Homer got an online ministry, and proclaimed that he would marry anyone to anyone or anything. In a TV debate with local reverend who cited the Bible, Homer replied,
“If you love the Bible so much why don’t you marry it? In fact, I now pronounce you and the Bible man and wife….and you’re the wife! HAHAHAHAHA!!!”
Funny! But not an ethical case to be made in a real life court. If Sevier really wanted to marry his laptop, he would just be nuts, but his lawyers’ argument make it clear that this “relationship” is just a sham to get publicity.
“If marriage based on self-asserted sex-based identity narratives is a ‘fundamental right,’ ‘individual right,’ ‘existing right,’ based on a ‘personal choice’ for homosexuals, then clearly it is also a ‘fundamental right,’ ‘individual right,’ ‘existing right,’ based on a ‘personal choice’ for polygamists, zoophiles and machinists,” Sevier and several self-identified polygamists argue in their lawsuit against Masterpiece Cakeshop. In addition to abusing process, the plaintiffs are harassing a Christian baker to do it, as if the legal system hasn’t bullied him enough already. The wedding cake complaint is obviously frivolous, because, according to Sevier, he and the laptop are already married.
- Sevier’s lawyers. It is not a good faith lawsuit. Sevier doesn’t want to marry his laptop, he wants to expose what he thinks is a loophole in Justice Kennedy’s (sloppy) majority opinion in the 2015 Obergefell SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling. “The Plaintiffs also want to use the government to proselytize the Defendants into converting to their worldview in name of love and equality,” reads the complaint.
The ethical practice of law does not include satirical court actions.
- The judge who allowed this intentionally silly law suit to go forward.
3. I mention this item because last week, once again, Pete Rose’s name was invoked as a victim of injustice because the slimy, lying, cheating and corrupt all-time Major League hits leader has been banned from the MLB Hall of Fame, while murderer O.J. Simpson has his bust in the NFL Hall. As I explained here, O.J.’s situation and Pete’s are not comparable, in part because the baseball Hall has a good character requirement, whereas football, appropriately for a sport that makes billions sending young men into virtual combat where their brains will be damaged for life, does not.
Rose’s most recent gag-inducing episode sees him falling into the Oscar Wilde trap by suing someone for defamation when the individual was factually accurate. “Charley Hustle” claims that lawyer John Dowd defamed him in 2015 by telling a radio talk show host that Rose, as a player, had raped girls age 12 to 14 during spring training. Dowd, who prepared the investigation report on Rose’s gambling that resulted in his initial ban from the sport, said during the 2015 radio appearance that an associate of Rose’s, Michael Bertolini, told investigators he “ran young girls” to Rose during spring training, which Dowd described as “statutory rape every time.” Now one of those girls has testified under oath that she had a sexual relationship with Rose in the 1970s, starting when she was 14 or 15 years old. Rose, 76, responded that he only had sex with the woman beginning when she was 16, which is the age of consent in Ohio.
You’re right, Pete, you’re not a slimeball after all!
Baseball should fall down on its metaphorical knees and thank the Cosmos that Rose’s gambling infraction ensured that he never entered the Hall.