1 Documented insanity. The New York Times has been on an extended binge of highlighting the suffering of deported illegal residents. I could probably post several more episodes of the Ethics Alarms “Good Illegal Immigrant ” series every week. The intellectual dishonesty of almost all of these Times stories, like the pro-illegal immigrant movement itself, is impressive. Essentially, they all can be reduced to, “Isn’t it terrible that these lawbreakers have to endure the consequences of their own actions?”
Complementing these stories are periodic opinion pieces like “ICE’s Courthouse Arrests Undercut Democracy,”‘ by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, an associate professor of law at the University of Denver. He writes a pro-illegal immigration blog, identifiable in motive by its habitual use of the cover word “migrant” to mean “illegal immigrants” and the deliberately misleading word “Immigration” to mean “illegal immigration.” Hernández’s op-ed’s argument follows as the night follows day:
“In El Paso, ICE arrested a woman moments after she requested a court’s help keeping away an abusive partner. Fear and uncertainty caused by this type of courthouse arrest are already keeping people away from the halls of justice. In Denver, the city prosecutor gave up on four domestic violence cases because the victims said they were too afraid of ICE to appear in court. In a nationwide survey conducted in April by the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center, four out of 10 social service providers working with immigrant survivors of abuse said they had clients who had abandoned legal claims because of fear of what will happen if they call the police or go to court.”
Wait: why were these people afraid of ICE? By immigrant survivors, doesn’t Hernandez mean illegal immigrant survivors? If he does, why doesn’t he say so? His favorite terms are “unauthorized” immigrants, and here and there “undocumented” immigrants, poor things. Whatever happened to their documents?
It’s not a threat to democracy if illegal immigrants are afraid to come to court. They should be afraid to come to court. They should be afraid to take advantage of any aspect of our government or American society. Underlying the professor’s claimed concern for democratic institutions is his contempt for the rule of law. He wants to blur the distinction between illegal and legal immigration to the vanishing point. He quotes the California chief justice as she writes that “the vast majority” of “undocumented immigrants” “pose no risk to public safety.” Is that the desired standard for law enforcement now? As long as a known law-breaker poses no risk to public safety, he or she should be immune from arrest when they turn up in court?
The Times is apparently committed to bombarding its readers with this unconscionable position in perpetuity: our monstrous government has decided to enforce its immigration laws, and the very fabric of our democracy is threatened as a result.
2. CNN Tales. On a related note, this morning I saw a slick TV ad on CNN supporting “Dreamer” legislation. The terms “illegal,” and even the cover words “undocumented” or “unauthorized” were never used, as various Presidents were shown extolling “immigrants.” “Dreamers” were described as “immigrants” who came here as children.
An ethical broadcast news organization should not accept money to run ads that intentionally misinform its viewers.
But THIS is CNN!…and so is this: A CNN spokesperson told Politico…
“CNN will not be attending this year’s White House Christmas party. In light of the President’s continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests. We will send a White House reporting team to the event and report on it if news warrants.”
Attacking the unethical and biased way CNN practices journalism is not attacking freedom of the press. A genuine threat to the benefits of freedom of the press is created by organizations like CNN routinely abusing it.
3. Is This The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Trainwreck Headline of the Year? The headline: “Rick Scott Consultant Denies He Used Ice Penis to Hump Mannequin.”
Joshua Cooper, a political consultant frequently employed by Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, has been accused of mannequin raping and sexual piggery by political foes of They acquired a strange photo that they say is “smoking gun” evidence of his consultant’s vile proclivities, and thus guilt by association attaches, or something.
Cooper swears the photo, which someone took and posted online, was just a badly timed click as he threw away a large slab of ice while competing as a chef in a Memphis barbecue competition.
“It is not at all what it looks like,” says Cooper. You decide:
4. On to human harassment: Matt Lauer was fired today from “The Today Show” after NBC investigated a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Lauer that took place during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. We learned that this was the first such complaint lodged against Lauer since he took over as anchor of “Today” in 1997, but there was “reason to believe” it may not have been an isolated incident. (Translation: Everybody knew...)
Then NBC viewers were treated to a jaw-dropping emotional monologue by Kathie Lee Gifford about how we are all “broken” and stray from the Lord’s path, and we just have to forgive and love Matt as we love ourselves, and place ourselves in God’s hands, as her partner Hoda Kotb nodded sagely and said, “Yes…yes…how true.”
Oddly, we did not see such empathy and compassion being expressed anywhere on the Today Show when Roger Ailes was sacked, or Bill O’Reilly, or when the Access Hollywood video surfaced. Excuse me if I enjoy seeing the double standards of these hypocrites being exposed so vividly, but I do. I also recall that it was Lauer who allowed Hillary Clinton to lie to his and America’s face when she claimed that the Monica Lewinsky scandal was party of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
He should have been fired for that.
5. Aaaaall Aboard! Joining Matt on the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck is surprise guest Angela Lansbury, who is being skewered for saying this:
“There are two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us – and this is where we are today. We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped….Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn’t have to be! There’s no excuse for that. And I think it will stop now – it will have to. I think a lot of men must be very worried at this point.”
Well, Angela is 92. If women shouldn’t have to be “prepared” to be sexually abused if they are attractive, then why should they “take the blame”? And what is going to stop now? Women trying to look attractive? Right. Men crossing lines of civility, respect and ethics in their courtship and mating rituals? Not when the legal lines change according to which men and women are involved. Men should be worried about what? Women not being as attractive? Suuure. Men who were raised properly and have functioning ethics alarms shouldn’t have to worry at all…unless it is worrying that the new-found power to destroy will prompt some women to abuse that power.
6. Absolutism makes you stupid. Jonathan Turley is as close to an absolutist as you will find regarding the rights of employees to post whatever vile opinions and sentiments on social media they choose without adverse job consequences. Even the professor, however, is wavering on this one.Indiana University Health employee Taiyesha Baker was fired after tweeting,
“Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves bitch.”
Nice! And Baker is a pediatric nurse. Turley writes,
“Obviously, some patients would be likely reluctant to entrust their children with a staff containing openly racist nurses….”
“Baker could argue that she never identified Indiana Hospital as her employer and made these comments entirely in her private time. It took research to tie the Indiana University to controversy. The problem is that she expresses a total lack of empathy (if not open animosity) for some of the pediatric patients in her care. While she may have been engaging in shock hyperbole under the protection of anonymity, the concern over her care being influenced by such racist views was obvious.”
Then, wrestling his common sense to the ground in order to hold on to his dedication to an impossible work-private life divide, Turley asks,
“What if she did not speak of her nursing job and merely espoused racist views on social media? Do you think that she should still be fired if tracked down or would you allow her to remain as long as her view did not impact her work as a nurse?”
Well, let me think…OF COURSE SHE SHOULD BE FIRED! Such a public sentiment automatically affects her work as a nurse, because it makes her, and any employer who would allow her around patients, inherently untrustworthy.
Sometimes I wonder about you, Professor.