Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/18/2017: Life Is An Unethical Cabaret, My Friends…At Least Lately

Good Morning!

1  Really now: What’s the matter with you? How many of these will it take for everyone to agree that it’s intolerable?

Let’s recap, shall we? Last week, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier confidently cited a “rumor” that that the President was going to fire Special Counsel Mueller imminently. (It would not be undeserved.) The rumor was then treated by the mainstream news media as news, which is, you know, supposed to be fact. This “news” then was considered sufficiently alarming that multiple Democrats and “resistance” members, including former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder (disgracefully) advocated an insurrection, as in “taking the streets.”

Asked about this rumor qua news, President Trump said, no, he wasn’t considering firing Mueller. Did uou know that in the old days, when journalists at least pretended to be ethical, the President would have been asked about a rumor involving his intentions before it was published as news, and before assholes on the Left used it to advocate social unrest?

The episode is beyond unethical. How can anyone support 1) this 2) people who act like this 3) journalists who facilitate this,  4) a party that continues to encourage this, or 5) anyone who supports or enables 1)-4) ?

2. He just doesn’t get it…like a lot of people. Tavis Smiley, whose problems were discussed in the previous post, said this morning that while he did engage in sexual relations with his some subordinates, they were all consensual and therefore did not constitute sexual harassment or an abuse of power. He’s oh so wrong.

Subordinates never have complete freedom to reject the sexual overtures of their boss, so they never can truly consent. It is inherently an abuse of power. Moreover, third party harassment is inevitable, as other female employees are sent the message that they work in a harem. Are they required to submit to the sultan’s desires? If they aren’t asked to submit by their Great Alpha Male, does that mean they have displeased him?

That a hostile work environment, Tavis.

3. ‘If you could see her from my eyes’..Smiley’s attitude conforms to that of a lot of sexual harassers, including, in all likelihood, the President’s. It wasn’t sexual harassment, they believe, because who wouldn’t want to receive their sexual advances?

This made me reflect on this hard-edged number from the film version of “Cabaret,” sung by Joel Grey’s evil MC as sly anti-Semitism for laughs. (I did not know that the number at one point was cut from the stage version because audiences didn’t get the satire until I saw a documentary about Jewish-themed musicals on PBS last night)

If the chilling last line of the song were altered to “It wouldn’t be harassment at all!,” with the “gorilla” representing the way so many women are treated in the workplace, the M.C. would be accurately expressing  Matt’s, Al’s, Harvey’s, Bill’s, Ben’s, Dustin’s, and Tavis’s creed.

4. Is Al Gore next? Not if the New York Times can help it. In a story detailing the rampant sexual abuse and harassment of hotel employees by guests, Al Gore’s name never comes up. The story includes the stunning results of  union survey of hotel workers in Chicago found that 58% of them had been sexually harassed by a guest. Yet in 2010, when three hotel masseuses claimed that Gore sexually harassed him, his denials were sufficient to make the episode quickly discounted and forgotten. What would happen if the same allegations were made today? If Gore had been elected President last years, would Senator Gillibrand be calling for his resignation?

Plan J would seem to demand it.

5. Why sexual harassment allegations are not necessarily credible. From The Hill:

[Attorney Lisa Bloom] sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews…Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill. The women’s accounts were chronicled in contemporaneous contractual documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill, including an exchange of texts between one woman and Bloom that suggested political action committees supporting Hillary Clinton were contacted during the effort.

Bloom’s ethical deficits have been discussed in earlier posts.

If The Hill’s report surprises you, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…

6. When the going gets tough, the tough get unethical. ESPN, having alienated many of its viewers by subjecting them to progressive rants along with sports reporting, and suffering huge losses as its NFL broadcast tanks and cable watchers “cut the cord,” has arrived at a solution: boxing!

From the Times news service:

“If we’re really invested in the sport and we believe in the long-term prospects in terms of it coming back to a really significant prominence, it can’t just pop when there is a card on TV,” said Burke Magnus, the ESPN executive who negotiated the deal with Top Rank. ESPN and Top Rank are pulling levers to make the fights succeed…The entertainment and sports agency CAA, which also brokered the deal and represents most of ESPN’s top boxing commentators, will lead the sales process. Potentially more transformative to the sport than showing the fights is everything else the agreement contains. While little of it has been finalized, ESPN and Top Rank will develop some combination of pre- and postfight shows. There will be “College GameDay”-like boxing shows, and original boxing programming.

Following the ugly spectacle of Muhammad Ali spending his last years brain-damaged from one punch too many, a healthy and correct consensus in the culture had formed that professional boxing is an unethical sport, the modern equivalent of fights to the death in the Roman Colosseum while the crowd cheers for blood, even more so than pro football. Boxers died in the ring, others were crippled for life, and the sport overwhelmingly exploits poor and desperate young men, mostly minorities, who sign bad contracts and often have little to show for their injuries. The sport is corrupt, brutal, and an offense to civilization.

Never mind. ESPN–which is owned by Disney!—will promote all of this and commit to reviving boxing, along with all the horrors it represents.

Yecchh.

 

8 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising, Research and Scholarship, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society, Workplace

8 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/18/2017: Life Is An Unethical Cabaret, My Friends…At Least Lately

  1. Subordinates never have complete freedom to reject the sexual overtures of their boss, so they never can truly consent. It is inherently an abuse of power. Moreover, third party harassment is inevitable, as other female employees are sent the message that they work in a harem. Are they required to submit to the sultan’s desires? If they aren’t asked to submit by their Great Alpha Male, does that mean they have displeased him?

    That seems to contradict what a lot of Democrats were saying in 1998.

    • ”That seems to contradict what a lot of Democrats were saying in 1998.”

      It’s even funnier what some of ’em are saying now.

      Clinton apologist/lackey Philippe Reines referring to Kirsten Gillibrand’s betrayal:

      “Ken Starr spent $70 million on a consensual blowjob.”

  2. 4- Is it unethical to wish for, or at least not wish against, just desserts to prevail with an epic POS Charlatan?

    The story I anxiously await is one from Tipper Gore.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    #1 should come as no surprise, Jack. This is just another mark of the ever-widening chasm between the left and the right in this nation, with most of the media and news industry on the left, of course. That industry #1. does NOT respect the office of the president while it is held by Trump, and as such #2. is NOT going to give him a heads-up on anything unless they absolutely have to; and #3. isn’t INTERESTED in his response, since they just believe it would be a lie anyway.

    As for Eric Holder, former proto-Black Lives Matter activist, it should come as no surprise that he returned to his roots the minute he caught a whiff of anything that he could use to stir up trouble and raise his public profile.

    The fact is that the left just can’t let the 2016 election go, and really doesn’t want to let any more days go by with Trump in office than they absolutely must. That’s why they’re on Plan J and constantly attacking the president with any and all news, rumor, or innuendo they can. They want Trump gone, and they want him gone now, by any means, fair or foul. A lot of them want the GOP gone, and the sooner the better, by any means, fair or foul. More than a few voices on the left, including a certain cartoonist you dubbed an Ethics Hero, were already saying that as early as 2006 – opining that since Germany outlawed the Nazi party and Russia outlawed the Communist party, we should also consider outlawing the Republican Party, making it illegal for them to hold meetings or run for office.
    http://rightwingnews.com/uncategorized/should-the-republican-party-be-banned/
    ( It’s long gone from the original blog, but it was captured.)
    Still others on the left, like the now-dead Lynn Stewart, stated publicly that it was perfectly OK for Castro or Mao or the Vietnamese leaders to throw dissenters into jail to prevent the undoing of a people’s revolution. This kind of thinking has been growing for a while, and now it’s just reaching full flower.

    The answer to your question is that this kind of thinking has been around for more than a decade, possibly for decades. It didn’t come out much during the GWB years because of the upswell in patriotism that flowed from 9/11, and it was not as bad during the Obama years because those they deem the enemy were out of power. Now the enemy is back in power, and they are willing to use any and all means to stop him, regain power, and make absolutely certain that he will never regain power again.

  4. Other Bill

    So ESPN is giving up on human cock fighting, er, cage fighting, er, UFC, and returning to The Gentleman’s Sport. Wonderful. I guess UFC is too new to have racked up any blithering idiots among its alumni. Maybe Pixar can make a Jake LaMotta animated movie for the kids.

  5. “Yet in 2010, when three hotel masseuses claimed that Gore sexually harassed him,”

    “them”? I had to click and follow the link because I thought that Al Gore might have been gay and been reported harassing a male masseuse.

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