Famous people have been misbehaving, but getting surprisingly little flack for it. Allow Ethics Alarms to supply some flack…
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi complained last week that the immigration negotiations with the President are being led by “five white guys.” The “white guys” are presumably the Minority Whip, Pelosi’s No. 2, Rep. Steny Hoyer, plus Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Hoyer immediately rebuked Pelosi for her characterization. “That comment is offensive. I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done,” Hoyer said to Politico in a statement.
Using anyone’s skin color to suggest inadequacy or an inability to complete a task competently is racist by definition. Using anyone’ gender for the same reason is per se sexist. Pelosi should issue an appropriate apology, and she should not be given a pass. Naturally, she already has been.
For days now, we have seen President Trump excoriated by Democrats and the news media for using “racist” language for alleged comments that a) have not been substantiated, b) were made in a private meeting, if at all, c) if made as reported, were not intended for public dissemination, d) were not recorded, e) did not reference color or race, and f) referred to locales, not human beings. Pelosi’s comments, in contrast, were aimed at named individuals, referred in derogatory fashion to their race and gender, implied that their race and gender made them unqualified for a project, and were made in public, on the record, and before TV cameras.
Not only was Hoyer legitimately offended, I’m offended, as a fellow white guy. How dare one my government’s leaders insult me like that?
Dinesh diSouza, conservative author and film-maker, tweeted, “Bristol Palin seems so much smarter than her horse-faced counterpart Chelsea Clinton” along with this meme..
What the hell? First, there is nothing especially”smart” abut the quote, or Bristol Palin, for that matter. But mainly, the tweeted comment is gratuitously cruel and insulting. I know it’s tempting to deal in hatefulness, since so much of it is coming from the other side, but ethical, decent people are supposed to have better ethics alarms than that.
My theory that Twitter is a tool of Satan that robs users of their values and common sense seems more plausible every day.
Actor Robert DeNiro was presenting Meryl Streep with an award at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala in New York, and this was his introduction, I kid you not:
Thank you. First congratulations to Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks has played opposite some of the most iconic figures in American cinema. In “Turner and Hooch” he co-starred with a humongous, slobbering French Mastiff. In “Toy Story” his nemesis was action figure Buzz Lightyear. And who could forget his award-winning performance in “Castaway,” opposite a volleyball named Wilson.
That brings us to “The Post,” and another signature performance from the extraordinary Meryl Streep. Meryl is the most generous and giving actor. She not only inhabits her own character, she helps bring out the character of everyone else on the screen. Can a volleyball do that?
Not even if the volleyball was a “stable genius!” It was fascinating to watch The Post. That story took place nearly 50 years ago, but there are many parallels with today obviously.
At the time of the story Donald Trump was suffering with “bone spurs”. Today the world is suffering from the real Donald Trump. Come on. You know what are we talking about…
This fucking idiot is the President. It’s The Emperor’s New Clothes – the guy is a fucking fool. The publication of the Pentagon Papers was a proud moment for American journalism. The Times and the Post challenged the government over critical First Amendment issues. And the press prevailed. Our government today, with the propping-up of our baby-in-chief – the jerkoff-in-chief I call him – has put the press under siege, trying to discredit it through outrageous attacks and lies.’
And again just like 1971 the press is distinguishing itself with brave, exacting journalism. The movie gave us glimpses of President Nixon as delusional, narcissistic, petty, vindictive, nasty and batsshit fucking crazy. Ah the good old days.
The movie and my friend Meryl Streep showed us the evolution of courage – Kate Graham was forced into a man’s world and showed the world and showed all those men something about the qualities of daring and devotion to public service – qualities that were thought of as male. No longer. But, astonishingly, today women are still struggling to get their rightful place and their fare share.
I am still fighting for Meryl to be able to get 79 cents of what a man would get to play Catherine Graham. It’s shameful, I know. The good news is that I think we’re at a watershed moment and it’s about time. There are many to thank for that, but tonight is for Meryl Streep. Meryl, thank you for speaking out on matters of conscience that affect us all. Thank you for being an actress who plays the most interesting characters with full commitment and without judgement.
You show us their heroism as well as their imperfections. And I know that’s a stretch for you – because Meryl doesn’t seem to have any imperfections. And I say that with the most love for you, Meryl. I love you so much. Ladies and gentlemen, the National Board of Review’s best actress…
I am priming myself for the moment when some self-obsessed jackass like DeNiro subjects me, as a captive audience member, to that kind of vulgar rant, because I want to be prepared and primed to stand up, as someone with integrity, decency and guts should have done at the National Board of Review Annual Awards, and call out,
“Excuse me, sir, but what do you think you are doing? We didn’t come here to listen to your gross language and insults to the President of the United States. If you are so hateful that you can’t show respect for our nation’s leader, at least show some respect for us. This isn’t “Goodfellas,” and your job as a presenter isn’t a blank check to act like a foul mouthed jerk, which apparently you are in real life as well as on the screen. You had me fooled: I thought you were acting. Now apologize to everyone here.”
I want to be well prepared so I don’t yield to the temptation to stick in a “dickhead” somewhere, or add, “And Al Pacino is twice the actor you are.”
Finally, and weirdly, we have the saga of Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Cal.), 84 years young and still running for another six year term.
Feinstein released some 315 pages of closed-door testimony by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Fusion GPS was the firm paid by Democrats to compile the dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. She did this without without consulting Judiciary chairman Senator Charles Grassley, or any other Republicans on the committee, despite the fact that her actions breached protocol and procedure as well as raised legal issues. The move wasn’t even necessarily helpful to her party’s prime directive, which is to drive President Trump out of office before he has to run for re-election. Her actions could impede the investigation and deter others from testifying before the Judiciary Committee, including President Donald Trump’s associates.
Feinstein apologized to Grassley, saying “I meant to tell him, and I didn’t have a chance to tell him, and that concerns me. I just got pressured, and I didn’t do it.”
Pressured? Pressured by who? Who is pressuring U.S. Senators, The Resistance Steering Committee?
Then, a few days later, the Senator told NBC,
“The one regret I have is that I should have spoke with Senator Grassley before. And I don’t make an excuse but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities a little bit.”
Ah! The “I had a cold” alibi. Why hasn’t President Trump tried that one? It’s gold!
Still later, Buzzfeed reporter Emma Loop asked her about being “pressured” to release the Simpson transcript.
“I made no statement to that effect,” Feinstein said.
“But there are recordings of you saying you felt pressured,” said Loop, correctly.
Feinstein: “I don’t believe there are. I don’t believe I said that.”
Sources: Weekly Standard, Daily Mail,
29 thoughts on “Now THAT’S Sexist And Racist…THAT’S Uncivil…And THAT’S…Troubling”
What’s wrong with Five White Guys? I love that place. They’re almost as good as In-N-Out.
I recently visited the great state of California (pardon me) and tried In-N-Out for the first time. I must say, Five Guys fries are better. Just sayin’
Oh the emperor indeed has no clothes, but DeNiro seems confused as to who the emperor is.
If I were a journalist I would have asked:
Senator Durbin, how does confirming anonomous reports that the president made hate filled vile statements during the closed door meeting advance progress in solving the DACA issue? Do you think making these statements will promote goodwill or is exposing private statements that can hurt feelings when heard more important than the DACA issue itself.
Congresswoman Pelosi, do believe white men are intellectually incapable of dealing with issues relating to people of color?
Until the press asks pertinent questions regarding the issues instead of trying to focus on salacious gossip we won’t see much progress.
The main question is whether you are equally uncomfortable w ppl using non political speech opportunities to proliferate politics of they are conservative. I don’t have the energy to look through your whole blog but that would certainly define your arguments integrity
If you don’t have the energy to do your own research, to hell with you. I’m not your answer monkey.
We, as a voting public, need to know if our leader has the ability to be diplomatic on the world stage (hint: no) and if he has respect for the developed world. This is relevant to the public. I also think it’s about as substantiated as it can get considering someone from his own party confirmed the account
Terrible logic. A private meeting among US legislators indicates nothing about international diplomacy skills or proclivities. And nobody from his own party substantiated what was said. But it’s substantiated as it can get because it can’t be substantiated at all except by confirmation bias.
Madder than hatters, the lot of them. This has no foreseeable, reasonable conclusion.
A minor thing, but I object to the phrase “84 years young”, just as I would to myself being referred to as “72 years young”. I am 72 years old. I have some physical age-related problems. I think I may be developing some mental age-related problems. None of this makes me ‘young’…I AM OLD! I have served close to 40 years in a trying profession, with computers being a loved avocation; I have lived 34 years with a woman I loved and whom I believe loved; I entered the lives of three step-sons and, I believe, they are the better for it. So let’s lose the politically-correct ‘young’ thing. I am old; I am proud of being old. My cat likes me because I am old. I feed him a lot. If you feel you have to call me something other than ‘old’, I’ll settle for “senior citizen”. Just don’t insult me by trying to convince me I’m actually young…I’m not, and I know it.
My irony escaped you? I too hate that phrase when it is used, as it usually is, obsequiously and consdescendingly. I used it ironically and sarcastically.to suggest that Feinstein is too damn old for her responsibilities and this episode is a prime example.
Actually, it did, and I apologize. It doesn’t usually. Still, I enjoyed the rant. Thanks for the opportunity, even if I was mistaken.
It’s ok to use it semi-humorously, like with a relative who says you’re only as old as you feel or a WW2 guy who is proud to be able to keep going. Diane Feinstein, however, is just another example of an officeholder who does not want to give up office and acknowledge that her time is up, because then if the next holder of that office goes in a different direction it will mean that she wasn’t necessarily right. This is particularly common with Democrats and liberals, but not unheard of among Republicans (Thurmond) and conservatives (Scalia). Diane Feinstein needn’t worry, California will never elect anyone other than a member of the loopy left, but at this point what’s she going to do? Her only daughter is 61, and that daughter’s only daughter is a Stanford grad and well on her way in life. She’s waaaay past the point of tending tomato plants and cooing over grandbabies. It’s kind of difficult to walk away from the only life you know if you have no other life to walk to.
I agree, D_D: similar chain of experiences, except dog rather than cat (at this point) plus livestock. The “young” detracts from the journey, especially when one,, as I suspect might also apply to you, considers all those you knew who had their journey cut short…. they are the ones who are forever young.
As someone once said, growing old is not for the faint of heart.
You’re right, Mike.
SanFranNan is an Energizer Bunny©™® kinda gift; it keeps on giving, and giving, and giving, and giving, and giving…
Twitter is a vehicle for people to demonstrate initial impulsive outrage. It is a tool to control people by tapping into followers need for affinity and sense of belonging. The ability to get retweets, likes and followers fuels the need for individual self aggrandizement of the Twitterer and his/followers.
I recently read a meme sent to me in Linkedin from a former client, who is in the vanguard of mobile apps in which he reveled in the notion of promoting outrage to ensure action that translates to the bottom line. I cannot remember exactly my response but I do know I responded quite negatively.
Poor Diane, must have been the sinus pressure she meant.
My theory that Twitter is a tool of Satan that robs users of their values and common sense seems more plausible every day.
Not sure if anything tweeted by D’Souza can be used as evidence of this, since he never had either…
That DeNiro rant is painful. I’m not even sure it qualifies as Authentic Frontier Gibberish–even aside from the unnecessary political jabs, it’s terribly written, with no flow to it, just jumping from one random point to another. For someone who hates Trump so much, why does he emulate his speaking style?
As I have written here before, there is a reason why they make actors use scripts.
For some people, improv just does not work.
“Painful?” Just because it’s not written in a certain way? Is Jack nominating comments for “Most Disingenuous Comment of the Day?” Or maybe “Best Misdirection” or “Best Obfuscation?”
Try these on for size:
“Today the world is suffering from the real Barack Obama. Come on. You know what are we talking about…
This fucking idiot, Obama, is the President. It’s The Emperor’s New Clothes – the guy Obama is a fucking fool. The movie gave us glimpses of President Nixon as delusional, narcissistic, petty, vindictive, nasty and batsshit fucking crazy. Ah the good old days before this guy Obama came along to make even Richard Fucking Milhous Nixon look good. And Nixon was evil incarnate.”
Can you imagine the outrage a Hollywood guy, Mel Gibson or Michael Richards had said something like that at an awards ceremony?
I was at a chamber music concert in December. Before the concert began, the fund raiser in chief of the sponsoring organization gave a little pep talk about the nearing conclusion of the year’s fundraising efforts. He mentioned a long time member of the board of the organization who “had been a member of the board at least since the time of the Nixon administration.” I braced for what I feared was coming next. “Which administration is starting to look better and better each day!” Thunderous applause and whoops and hollers.
Why is that okay?Did I unwittingly pay good money to attend a rally for The Resistance? It was a beautiful concert. Why ruin it? Because these are not ordinary times! and… TRUMP! It’s awful. What goes around comes around, Chris.
PS: Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Resistance HQ isn’t sending out the Nixon comparisons as a talking point for the Trump Deranged to use.
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi appears to be delusional.
Dinesh diSouza was trolling with click bait. How much money do these unethical Twitter users make with their click bait trolling?
Robert DeNiro is a blithering idiot! I’d be real curious to see and hear all of Meryl Streep’s reactions to what DeNiro was saying during the screed and after he was done.
Senator Diane Feinstein is only one turd higher than Pelosi in intelligence; however, using the California scale for measuring intelligence they’re both as pure as falling snow. What the hell is wrong with the brainwashed people in California, I just don’t get it? Maybe they’re drinking milk from “happy cows” that are grazing in fields of pot.
Today’s tweet from the esteemed Mr. D’Souza is no better. He really is nothing but an ugly troll at this point. Embarrassing that anyone ever took him seriously.
Chris; the talented Mr. D’Souza ACCURATELY impugned your heroes, and it’s painfully clear that chapped yer cheeks.
I’m responsible for that; realizing the error in my ways, I provided two more links.
Bedrock Conservative outlets notwithstanding, BBC & WaPo are still two other sources (out of how many?) that appear to corroborate that Haiti just isn’t into the Clintonistas?
But you’re still chafed at D’Souza?
My comment was in response to Jack pointing out a similarly awful tweet from D’Souza in the post, Paul. I had forgotten our earlier exchange about Haiti. I’m honestly unsure what it had to do with anything. I have no need to defend the Clintons, so your baiting isn’t working. But I’m glad you realized the error in citing D’Souza for anything.
”But I’m glad you realized the error in citing D’Souza for anything.”
HeyZeus Alou!! He really DID crease yer keester, didn’t he.
I’m beginning to think Twitter is a plausible defense, like temporary insanity. Larry Tribe has just about convinced me. It entices you, like a demon, into making an ass out of yourself. Remember Gilbert Gottfried, who was the vice of the AFLC duck, and said that he would never,never give up that job, the best he ever had, since he got paid a fortune to qquack and say “AFLAC!” Then he couldn’t resist tweeting out testeless (but funny!) jokes after the Tsunami hit Japan, and got fired. Twitter made him do it!
The D’Souza tweet isn’t funny, it isn’t provocative, it isn’t smart, it’s not conservative.