Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/30/2017: Bad Tweets, Bad Rep., Bad Rap, Bad NBC…

Bad night, but…

Good Morning!

1 Straight to the top of the charts…When we put together the definitive list of President Trump’s Top Ten (Top 100? Top 1000?) stupid, undignified and self-wounding tweets, yesterday’s sequence of unsubstantiated videos–from a radical right wing British group— of alleged violence by Muslims has to be on the list. I could counter that the eruption of indignation by the vast majority of people who can comprehend what’s wrong with this is a bit annoying from the progressive side—the official Obama Administration position that Islam is a lovely religion of rainbows and unicorns and that Muhammad doesn’t instruct his followers from the grave that infidels are scum and deserve to die is far more dangerous than Trump’s hate-tweets—but that would obscure the key point. Trump’s retweeting is ugly, unnecessary, undignified, looks bigoted, and plays into the hands of the worst of his enemies, who express themselves like this.

Now we have to listen to that dishonest and contrived 25th Amendment garbage again, which never quite stopped anyway. Once again, the President has blown more wind into the sails of anti-democratic hypocrites like Ezra Klein, who argues for a Constitution and Separation of Powers-wrecking version of impeachment to get rid of Trump. No, Trump hasn’t gone crazy: he’s exactly the man we elected, and exactly as able to do his job as he ever was. Tweeting irresponsibly is not a high crime and misdemeanor. Being Donald Trump is not a high crime and misdemeanor.

But the President is playing with fire by encouraging the large political movement that would criminalize not agreeing with their world view. That’s as indefensible as it is idiotic.

2. This much is clear. It is now clear that NBC only fired Matt Lauer because an explosive Variety exposé was on the way, and it was a close call at that. It is pretty clear that the mystery of why NBC rejected journalist Ronan Farrow’s investigative reporting on Harvey Weinstein has been solved: NBC had its own lurking sexual misconduct cover-up to worry about. It is, or should be clear from Variety’s reporting that the astounding brazenness of Lauer’s conduct had to be common knowledge among Lauer’s colleagues and NBC executives, and that they unethically applied The King’s Pass, deliberately allowing Lauer to abuse and terrorize female employees, some of whom played along to get along. TMZ uncovered an old interview in which Katie Couric happily revealed that one consequence of working with Matt was that she got her butt pinched a lot. Nobody paid attention, in part because our pathetic news media buried it.

It is thus clear that all the tears and shock expressed yesterday by the likes of Savannah Guthrie were pure, dishonest, phony cover. They knew. They had to know. They had to know just like all those grandstanding virtue-signalling Hollywood stars–Meryl, Angelina, Gwyneth—and all those greedy, hypocritical, “feminist” pols—Hillary, Obama,  Pelosi—knew about Weinstein.

It is clear that we are fools to trust these people.

ADDENDUM: This. Ugh.

3. And The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck is happy to welcome  aboard…that incurable hyper-partisan race-baiter, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina (D)!

Yesterday, while making public statements to the contrary, Clyburn flippantly suggested to reporters that sexual harassment standards were different for elected officials like his good friend Rep. Conyers. In one respect he’s correct: when the allegations are known to the electorate before an election, then the voters have ratified the official, warts and all.  This principle does not apply to Conyers, just as it did not apply to Bill Clinton. Clyburn also, according to sources, stunk up a closed door meeting about Conyers by comparing Conyers’ accusers to Susan Smith, South Carolina’s child murderer. Like her, the accusers are white, you see.

Reporter Robert Draper tweeted, “James Clyburn compared Conyers’ accusers to the child murderer Susan Smith, who initially claimed a black man had abducted her kids. Clyburn said, these are all white women who’ve made these charges against Conyers.  When asked if that comment was true, Draper said he verified it through two sources, adding “Clyburn has used the Susan Smith parallel more than once, to members & staffers.”


4. Watch out for those Ethics Train Wrecks…Greg Schiano just got run down by one from 2011! Last week, Ohio State football squad defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was about to be named the new football head coach at the University of Tennessee.  The decision leaked before it was announced, and a protest on campus and on social media turned into a wave, based on the allegation that Schiano had  failed to report a sexual assault by child molester Jerry Sandusky when Schiano was an assistant coach at Penn State under Joe Paterno.

“SCHIANO COVERED UP CHILD RAPE AT PENN STATE,” was painted on The Rock, a campus landmark and a sort of predigital town square.

The accusation was based on double hearsay in a deposition (someone heard someone say that they heard…) and thus completely unreliable and inadmissible as evidence. Double hearsay is no more than rumor. Never mind: Tennessee’s craven leaders retracted the job offer (it’s a million dollar job) , even after saying that the attacks on Schiano were unfair. A New York Times sports reporter believes that the Penn State Ethics Train Wreck was diverted to take out Sciano because of his so-so coaching record, not because he could be fairly implicated in the Sandusky-Paterno fiasco. John Ziegler at Mediate convincingly debunks the attack on Schiano, and writes,

“The bottom line of this situation is that an obviously innocent man may very well lose a very significant job (and never get hired as a head coach again) based on nothing more than the grossly ignorant “virtue signaling” of the Twitter mob. This is no better (in some ways it is worse) than what they did during the Salem Witch Trials. This is wrong. It is happening far too often in this strange new era. And, it must stop.”

Now that’s fair.

5. Old Lives Matter. Ann Althouse, commenting on the Angela Lansbury gaffe regarding women sharing the blame for their own sexual harassment, opined that mentioning the actress’s age (92) as a mitigation is patronizing and “ageism.” I mentioned her age in my commentary on the matter, and Ann’s just wrong. Lansbury’s age doesn’t make her comment any better, but it does explain a lot about her point of view and the generational nature of opinions regarding gender roles and social norms.



Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Race, Social Media, Workplace

12 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/30/2017: Bad Tweets, Bad Rep., Bad Rap, Bad NBC…

  1. # 4- The Salem Witch Trial Judges may have gotten a bad rap, and are perhaps deserving of a historical rewrite, edit, or at least some footnoting/asterisks?

    They were “persons of the best prudence” after all, “icons” like John Conyers.

    And five of the nine attended Harvard.

    Anyone aware of any statues that require…um…tending?

  2. #4 “The bottom line of this situation is that an obviously innocent man may very well lose a very significant job (and never get hired as a head coach again) based on nothing more than the grossly ignorant “virtue signaling” of the Twitter mob. This is no better (in some ways it is worse) than what they did during the Salem Witch Trials. This is wrong. It is happening far too often in this strange new era. And, it must stop.”

    HA! So I’m not the only wacko around that considers how some people think as being something close to Salem Witch Trial School of Thought: which is “underlying thoughts of a person that causes them to throw out all logical reasoning and conclude the absurd.”

    Twitter mobs are magical thinking that flushes any critical thinking; thus, if you think a thought and you can find something (anything) in print, digital, or video that agrees with your thought, then it’s considered absolute fact and it should be presented as such and remember, “they can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true”.

    Viral Twitter mobs, and the equivalent mobs elsewhere, are the 21st Century’s form of vigilante justice. Can’t wait to see what happens when the IDIOTS that participate in the mobs resort to more violent methods of getting their mob justice.

    • By the way; we have entered a new era folks, there is a war against men being waged and from what I’m hearing, collateral damage to innocent men is completely acceptable – “the ends justifies the means”.

      The division in the United States is growing worse every day.

    • Jeff

      “Can’t wait to see what happens when the IDIOTS that participate in the mobs resort to more violent methods of getting their mob justice.”

      Won’t happen. The reason these “Outrage Of The Day” things catch fire so quickly is because participating in the mob requires no effort at all. Retweet something, or post a virtue-signalling Facebook comment, and you can move on, satisfied you were On The Right Side Of History today. Actual mobs, doing physical damage, requires a lot more commitment and effort than the vast majority of internet warriors are capable of producing. Witness the damp squib of the November 4th “protest marches”, that failed to attract more than a few dozen people in most of the targeted cities. There are millions of people on Twitter screaming daily about Trump, but they can’t put together a real-life protest that gathers even 50 people?

      Pitchforks and torches are a lot heavier to carry than iPhones, and harder to find in the Apple Store or Whole Foods.

  3. carlbrizzi

    Jack, your post regarding Trump’s tweet and “going crazy” reminded me of Chris Rock’s bit about the crazy tiger. Trump didn’t go crazy…Trump’s gone Trump.

  4. Other Bill

    In defense of Angela Lansbury, I think she’s not asserting anything more outrageous than does Camille Paglia does when she says women need to be careful around men because, you know, men like to have sex with women to, you know, assure the continued existence of the species? Anyone not understand that? Anyone? Beuhler?

    • Men, like all adults, are supposed to be able to control what they “want” based on the standards of civilized society. I find that kind of condescending anti-male bigotry personally insulting. Sure, a typical male sees an attractive woman who rings his chimes, and his primitive brain screams “MATE! MATE!”…. but he’s not an ape, and thus behaves like a civilized gentleman. It’s not hard, or shouldn’t be.

      • Other Bill

        That’s true, Jack. But not all people are civilized and they aren’t civilized all the time. Is it stupid to take that into account if you’re a woman?

        I was taking my grand son to a faculty recital at the University of Arizona school of music on a Saturday evening in early September. There were tons of coeds heading out to bars or other dorms. The vast majority of them were wearing flip flops, Daisy Dukes and, wait for it, BRAS!

        Come on. When I was in college, girls wore blouses and no bras. But bras and no shirt? What’s up with that?

  5. Michael R.

    You were underestimating the Tennessee job when you wrote. “it’s a million dollar job”. It is actually an $8 million state educational job based on offers made to another coach. In contrast, the UT Space Initiative, which is a graduate program and research center in aerospace engineering, employs 112 people at a cost of $10 million. Priorities.

  6. 3. Clyburn must have hard evidence that the women who have accused Conyers only groped and harassed themselves. The “moral?” Narcissism is OK, if you’re a black Democrat in Congress. But any white female who alleges that a black Democrat in Congress sexually harassed her is a narcissist AND a racist, and THAT is NOT OK.

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