(I’m over-compensating: I feel horrible today)
1 “These alleged actions, which haven’t been denied, are reprehensible, indefensible and unacceptable. Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately.The people of Kentucky deserve better. We appropriately demand a high level of integrity from our leaders, and will tolerate nothing less in our state,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin after it was revealed that Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover (R) recently settled a sexual harassment claim made by a female member of his staff.
What an ethically clueless bit of grandstanding from Bevin. The fact that an accusation hasn’t been denied doesn’t make it true. The fact an out of court settlement was agreed to doesn’t make the accusation true either. Bevin has just painted a target on any official’s back who might have blundered across a line of workplace propriety once, and done so with an employee with an agenda, a grudge, a bill to pay, or the lack of the ethical intelligence to say, “That was wrong, don’t do it again.”
As usual with elected officials, Bevin is playing human pendulum, pronouncing an unfair and unreasonable standard in response to a culture where there previously were few standards at all.
Thought experiment: let’s say the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck revealed itself in the Obama administration, and the uncomfortable woman in this photo…
..goes to Vice President Biden after the shoot and accuses him of sexual harassment, indeed, sexual assault. Uncle Joe apologizes, swears he meant nothing by it, says he always acts like this (because he apparently does), jokes his favorite magician is “David Cop-A-Feel”, just like President George H.W. Bush, but the young woman is adamant. She says she will go to the press and file a lawsuit unless he writes a check. Reluctantly, he does.
Should the Vice-President resign? Or just learn to keep his hands to himself?
2. Sentimentalists and socialists mourning the decline of unions just got a splash of metaphorical ice water in their faces.
After reporters and editors in the combined newsroom of DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of New York City’s leading online news sources, voted to join the Writers Guild of America, the sites’ owner, billionaire Joe Ricketts, announced that both were defunct.
“DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure,” he said. Ricketts had lots money in every month of DNAinfo’s existence, while The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal and The Daily News were also cutting staff and costs. What were his writers and editors thinking?
I presume that they were thinking like Bernie Sanders, who believes that it is the obligation of a business is to finance the lives of its employees to the breaking point and beyond, and not to have its priority be providing public services and consumer products while making a profit. It is troubling that such a warped version of economics, justice, fairness and reality should have taken hold in the minds of so many Americans, but perhaps Ricketts’ no-nonsense response will help clear the fog.
So far, it isn’t clearing, though…
Said the Writers Guild, “It is no secret that threats were made to these workers during the organizing drive. The Guild will be looking at all of our potential areas of recourse and we will aggressively pursue our new members’ rights.”
Threats…as in “If you increase my costs now, then I’ll have to close shop. Sorry.” That’s called “conveying necessary information.”
DNAinfo reporter Katie Honan declared after the pro-union vote, “If this is the future of journalism, it should be a career for people, not a post-college hobby.”
Ah yes, what should be in socialist utopia magically will be, if everyone claps their hands. This is an ideologically fed delusion, and similar examples abound.
I think Ethics blogging should be career too, but I’m not quitting my job. It is not ethical to act in defiance of reality.
3. Donna Brazile going rogue is just a new burst of chaos from The Hillary Clinton Presidential Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck, which debuted on April 27, 2015. I was going to count the posts in this horrible progression, but it was going to take too long. You can scroll through yourself here.
No, I do not have any sympathy for Clinton,n or the Democratic National Committee, nor Brazile, whom I assume got enough money for her upcoming unethical new memoir (it is unethical to accept money to rat out your employer, your allies and your friends, especially when you wait until the horse is so far out of the barn that it is sending you postcards) that she feels it will be worth it to spend the rest of her public life distrusted and detested by just about everyone.
4. A few observations on the most recent Brazile shots across the Democratic Party’s bow…
- Brazile says she considered using her powers as interim DNC chair to initiate the process of removing Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine from the ticket after Clinton’s September 11, 2016, collapse in New York City—you know, the one Hillary initially lied about, the one that followed media ridicule over conservative news sources questioning Clinton’s health, the one that Democrats and the news media said the Republicans were over-hyping because it was just “dehydration.” (She had pneumonia.)
Brazile writes that she settled on Biden and Senator Cory Booker (N.J.), but then, she writes, she “…thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.”
Ugh. There may be many reasons why removing Clinton after she had been nominated was a bad idea, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that if Brazile really felt that removing her was the responsible decision, her stated reason for not doing it was unethical, and abysmal management. Her duty is to the nation, the party, the process and the public. Her confession that she avoided what she thought was a necessary decision because she didn’t want to disappoint one constituency group is managerial fecklessness, incompetence, and cowardice.
People this inept were running the Democratic campaign! Gee, I wonder how Hillary lost? Must have been sexism, Russia and Facebook.
- More on that theme: Ethics Alarms has meticulously documented how jaw-droppingly awful Debbie Wasserman Schultz is for years. She was not only dishonest and incompetent, she was flagrantly, transparently, wildly dishonest and incompetent, as well as dumb as moss and abrasive to boot. I can’t even imagine what kind of individual could listen to her for more than three minutes and think, “Gee, what a smart, articulate, trustworthy person!” By placing this woman in charge of the Democratic National Committee, her party was saying, in neon, “WE LIKE HACKS.” Anyone with their eyes open had to know she was an inside agent for the Clinton campaign from the beginning of the nomination process, and we are supposed to believe that Brazile was stunned to discover that the process was rigged?
I refuse to believe that I am that much smarter than everybody else.
- The rationalizations for Hillary and the Democrats coming from progressive pundits are right off the list. Every party rigs their nominations! (Then they shouldn’t pretend that they don’t.) Bernie Sanders wasn’t even a Democrat! They didn’t have to be fair to him! ( If he entered the contest in good faith, and he did, they absolutely has an obligation to be fair.) and on. And on. Here’s the whole list of the Rationalizations being used now to pretend that Hillary Clinton essentially buying the DNC before the primaries even commenced was no big deal:
1. The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it”
2 A. Sicilian Ethics, or “They had it coming”
3. Consequentialism, or “It worked out for the best”
4. Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical.”
11. The King’s Pass, The Star Syndrome, or “What will we do without him/her?”
22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”
25. The Coercion Myth: “I have no choice!”
28. The Revolutionary’s Excuse: “These are not ordinary times.”
32. The Unethical Role Model: “He/She would have done the same thing”
38. The Miscreant’s Mulligan or “Give him/her/them/me a break!
41. The Evasive Tautology, or “It is what it is.”
42. The Hillary Inoculation, or “If he/she doesn’t care, why should anyone else?”
44. The Unethical Precedent, or “It’s not the first time”
48. Ethics Jiu Jitsu, or “Haters Gonna Hate!
49. “Convenient Futility,” or “It wouldn’t have mattered if I had done the right thing.
50A. Narcissist Ethics , or “I don’t care”
51 . The Underwood Maneuver, or “That’s in the past.”
53. Tessio’s Excuse, or “It’s just business”
55. The Scooby Doo Deflection, or “I should have gotten away with it!”
58. The Golden Rule Mutation, or “I’m all right with it!”
- The defenders also appear to not know what a “conflict of interest” is. See, if an organization is financially dependent on one individual when it is supposed to be an objective and independent body overseeing a competition among that individual and others, that is a conflict of interest that must be disclosed to those others, and waived by them.
I’m sure Bernie, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chaffee would have been happy to agree to participate in a coronation masquerading as democracy. (I’m too sarcastic today; I’m sorry. I warned you that I wasn’t feeling great…)
- Also not on Clinton/DNC defenders’ radar: “the appearance of impropriety.” But then that has never been on the Clintons’ radar either.