Good morning, from another ProEthics road trip!
1 A life in a lie, or delusion? Today’s obituaries mark a rare variety of hoax that I had somehow missed: Alan Gershwin died, after a virtual lifetime of claiming that he was the illegitimate son of the famous composer, who never made it to his 39th birthday. Read the Times story: it’s amazing. Alan essentially lived on that claim after he was discharged from service after WWII, based primarily on an uncanny resemblance to George. Was he a con man? If he believed his tale, he was not lying, just deluded. Gershwin recalls the more famous story of the American woman who said she was the Princess Anastasia.
2. Stormy weather…The most important lesson of the ongoing tabloid story involving the porn satr who is now suing President Trump is not the obvious ones. The major take-away is that this is what happens when an unholy alliance between the news media, political opponents and the Presidents themselves strip away the traditional and vital shield of public appreciation of the honor and respect the office of the Presidency has had in the past, since George Washington. Does anyone honestly believe that other Presidents did not have shady people in their personal lives who could have come forward with claims and tales embarrassing to them? Why didn’t they play the game the Stormy Daniels is engaged in? Again, the answer was simple cognitive dissonance scale reality. Traditionally the President has been so high on the scale that any gratuitous, publicity seeking attacker would fear the fury of public opinion, and correctly so. The idea of someone as low on the scale as aa porn star facing off against the President would have been unthinkable, and the news media would have left it to the National Enquirer to emblazon on its front page along with “Boy trapped in refrigerator eats foot!”
This is no longer true. The news media has treated the President and the office—no, they cannot be separated—with contempt since 2016. The President’s own boorish character has made it easy to do. Bill Clinton and his cigar had already taken out a big chunk of the Presidency’s force field, and now it is almost completely gone. The Presidency has been lowered in status so much that it will always be vulnerable now. Reagan restored much of the office’s sheen after Watergate and Nixon had muddied it, but I doubt the Presidency can ever recover its status. That will harm the United States in many ways going forward. For one thing, it means that individuals whose past personal conduct and character would have disqualified them from running when Presidents were measured against Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower will only have to be seen as the equal of a President who had public pissing matches with pornography actresses. Stormy is just the beginning.
Good job, everybody!
3. Finally..This is a cute scam. Getting my seat assignment on line on American Airlines, I was told that I could pay a premium for an aisle seat, because records show I will do anything to avoid a middle seat. I paid it. But American had not shown me the plane lay-out. This flight had no middle seats.
I will be requesting a refund.