(BOY, there are a lot of especially stupid ethics stories today…)
That’s right: an Asian-American broadcaster who never fought for the South during the Civil War has been robbed of a job assignment because his virtue-signaling, grandstanding mega-corporation wants to side with the statute-toppling Left. ESPN regrets that the NAME of one of its broadcasters has become an issue? Who made it an issue? ESPN, that’s who.
Nah, there’s no slippery slope! Nah, this is just about Civil War generals! Nah, the people behind the historical purge or reasonable…they won’t just keep looking for more ways to claim they are being offended!
Can you tell I am losing patience with the defenders, enablers and rationalizes of this toxic nonsense?
2. Or is this dumber? From issue scout Neil, who writes, “Watch the video. [Trump] gestures for the crowd to look up at the sky, then makes a show of looking himself (though CLEARLY not actually trying to see the eclipse). I must have seen at least a dozen other people yesterday scan the sky in a similar fashion before accidentally getting blinded by an eye-full of rays. The man is inept beyond belief, but he’s not wearing a bib. God this irritates me.”
These are the ways that that the newsmedia signals to anyone with an open mind and not drooling, gnashing and recoiling at the sight of water from end-stages Anti-Trump Brain-Eating Virus infection that it cannot be trusted, and has traded of its integrity, honesty, fairness and objectivity to lead the “Destroy the Elected President of the United States” effort. No, the President did not actually look directly into the sun and blind himself. In fact, I did exactly the same thing he did when I glanced up at the sun sideways for a nanosecond wondering why so many idiots were lying on the ground wearing 3-D glasses. This is the epitome of fake news—fake, because the intent of the item is to mislead, and because it is no more news than “President uses wrong fork at State Dinner.” No other President, ever, under any scenario, would be covered this way, and no news publication would ever print anything so dumb unless it was certain that its readers were gullible, deranged, and even dumber.
Prof. Glenn Reynolds: “If the press and the political opposition — but I repeat myself — were just sober, straightforward, and honest they could beat Trump easily. But then, if they were capable of that, we wouldn’t have gotten Trump to begin with.”
3. My wife reminded me that I have been flagging deception in obnoxious ways since long before ProEthics and Ethics Alarms. When we were dating, she had a bowl of soup at a Georgetown campus hangout called The Tombs, and I had a cup of the same soup, for $1.50 less. I asked the waitress for a clean bowl and cup, and poured water into the cup until it was at soup-level, and then poured that water into the empty bowl, which it filled. Then I asked her to get the manager, whom I asked to explain why a bowl cost more than a cup when the amount of soup was the same. he had no explanation of course.
You’ll be amazed how many restaurants do this.
4. Salil Mehta, Adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science was banned by Google last week, meaning that his email, blog, university pages and other Google-linked accounts were suspended with no explanation but a statement that he has somehow violated its User Conditions. He has told his story online, culminating in this emotional plea…
The NYT has a popular print article this weekend and they cited my Google blog, but alas it not links to an embarrassing malfunction, for many to see: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/19/business/the-stock-market-has-been-magical-it-cant-last.html
This doesn’t look good. Now instead of mathematics, reporters have turned to this latest circus nightmare from Google as an example of how they are compounding bad decisions on good people anywhere and at any time.
Can they not differentiate me from an evil person? Can they not see the large and reputable people and institutions that have relied on my work? Do they have better people who can coach them on how to make decisions with much better taste and finesse? What’s next, all CEOs and professors and politicians are going to be shut down from social media whenever it is least expected? Overnight hi-tech lynching squads are a thing of the past. We can’t have kangaroo courts and hope to lead with moral authority.
There is a lot of energy being spent right now thinking about how this happens to your best customers, just like that. Fear is running wild about who is next and on what other social media platforms. Have used Google for 11 years with no issue. Have driven enormous free traffic to your products and properties. But now that’s been severely damaged as the trust/reputational value has been crushed, and I have to re-emerge quickly elsewhere and deal with this fall-out. I have many students, family, coworkers, etc who typically send me e-mails each day and all of it is vanishing with a kicked-back “user doesn’t exist” error. And that’s totally unacceptable. Through my many companies have business accounts on different social media and have no issue getting a marketing line, but one needs to know who they are dealing with and not treat them this badly. The wrongs here are not being done by me.
After Google summarily fired an employee for pointing out that it was a hive of political correctness and oppressive conformity, it is increasingly clear that Google cannot and should not be trusted to decide who the “evil persons” are. It has a political agenda, and it power over speech, information, communication and influence is too great to be treated as merely “these are private companies, so they have no obligation to let anyone use their services for free,” which is the mantra of those defending other ideologically slanted platforms like Twitter. Google, however, is too big and powerful, and, as we have learned, agenda driven, to be allowed to crush citizens who rely on it because comparable alternatives are scarce or unavailable. It is abusing its power.
Mehta’s accounts were restored eventually, but it doesn’t matter. The company has to be forced to to adhere to principles of process, fairness, non-partisanship, ideological neutrality and respect for all.
5. Oh, great, there was jury nullification in the Bundy ranch standoff trial:
A federal jury in Las Vegas refused Tuesday to convict four defendants who were retried on accusations that they threatened and assaulted federal agents by wielding assault weapons in a 2014 confrontation to stop a cattle roundup near the Nevada ranch of states’ rights figure Cliven Bundy. In a stunning setback to federal prosecutors planning to try the Bundy family patriarch and two adult sons later this year, the jury acquitted Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.
Jury nullification is unethical, but this result shows how thoroughly the federal government’s conduct has eroded the public trust. That’s a far greater problem than one set of defendants going free.
6. I wonder what it will take to convince readers that the progressive/Democratic/leftist alliance is hostile to free speech, or that pointing that out is not evidence of a conservative agenda or a pro-Nazi soul?
The Washington Post published a KABOOM!-worthy op-ed by alleged Skidmore professor Jennifer Delton. Its title is “When ‘free speech’ becomes a political weapon,” which translates into “Maybe free speech isn’t such a good thing after all because it stops the unquestionably wiser and better people who believe as I do from imposing their values, priorities and policies on everyone else.” It is a badly reasoned, badly motivated, badly written piece that the Pots shouldn’t have given the prestige of publication in a national newspaper, and wouldn’t have, if it didn’t think her argument had some colorable virtues. It doesn’t. She’s essentially justifying censorship and speech suppression by other means. Of course, free expression allows her to say whatever stupid and misleading things she wants to, but the Post has to have some standards. This woman writes that college presidents need to “figure out” whether the First Amendment protects “conservatives’ right” to free speech because it “creates political spectacle and instigates violence” —you know, like the white nationalists “instigated violence” by forcing the antifa thugs to attack them. This is a college professor and the “Douglas Family Chair in American culture, history, and literary and interdisciplinary studies” (just kill me now), and she literally doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Instigating violence, as the Supreme Court has said repeatedly, does not mean expressing opinions or opinions that make others angry, or that they use to rationalize violence. Her argument is that people should only be allowed to speak to the extent that the passions on the Left can tolerate it.
7. And now, a poll: