Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/30/18: Going Out Like A Lamb

Good Morning!

It’s especially good because this is the last day of one of the worst Ethics Alarms months ever, with the lowest daily average of views for an April since 2013. I have no idea why, and I wouldn’t change anything anyway. I have my dark suspicions, though….

1 Pig brain ethics. Researchers at Yale University restored circulation to the brains of decapitated pigs, and kept the organs alive for several hours.  Now ethicists are wondering if this was ethical.

Hmmmm:

  • I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that if you asked the pig, he’d say that cutting his head off was more unethical than keeping his brain alive afterwards.
  • Like a lot of bioethics controversies, this is more “ick” than ethics.
  • Go on, make a “Futurama” joke.

2. Human brain ethics. Is we getting dumber? This Facebook quiz claims that “nobody” can get even 5 of these 10 questions right, and that if you get all ten right, you’re a genius. I hope that isn’t true. I would say that anyone who can’t get at least 8 of the 10 right is either under 15 or cognitively damaged. I really want to know what the average score is. If most Americans really can’t answer these, then we need to dismantle the public school system and start from scratch. And any teacher who can’t answer at least nine of the ten questions should be fired.

3. More on the WHCD fiasco:

a) The HLN correspondent who reported on the White House Correspondents Dinner disaster said this morning that “some were upset because comedian Michelle Wolf’s comments about Sara Huckabee Sanders were not very flattering.” That kind of equivocation is sloppy and incompetent journalism. The issue wasn’t that the jokes weren’t sufficiently flattering; that is literally a false report and fake news. The complaints were that Wolf was insulting, hyper-partisan and rude to an invited guest to the point of bullying and harassment.

b) This morning on CNN, Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota demonstrated grade school level ethics ignorance by arguing that Wolf’s ugly act was justified by President Trump’s cruel and insulting comments on the campaign trail. Tit for Tat, “He started it,” “It’s not the worst thing,” “Two wrongs make a right,”—their arguments tracked one rationalization and fallacy after the other. Have these two never been taught the principle of professionalism? Civility? The Gold Rule? Any ethics at all?

c) The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern defended Wolf’s attacks on Kellyanne Conway and Sanders with this tweet:

“The White House purposely sent Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway to the #WHCD to then feign outrage at the jokes made at their expense, so… don’t fall for it.”

Do I have to explain all that’s wrong with that logic? I hope not.

d) In the post earlier today, I wondered if CNN’s Brian Stelter would acknowledge that his attack on President Trump for not attending the dinner looked extra-ridiculous in hindsight. Guess not: he retweeted a link and a quote from a web article defending Wolf:

“Nothing about what Michelle Wolf did on Saturday night was easy. It was hard, harder even than the truth telling that Stephen Colbert did to President George W. Bush’s face” at the 2006 dinner.”

Is that one on the rationalizations list? I don’t think so, and boy, is it ever stupid. What difference does it make whether an unethical act is easy or difficult? Besides, there was no courage involved for Wolf: she exploited the spotlight to elevate her status as a “resistance” star, and it worked. The fact that her uncivil and inappropriate personal attacks embarrassed her host and employer and insulted invited guests wasn’t an issue for her at all. Netflix will be running a new show with her as its star. Undoubtedly she’ll be hosting Saturday Night Live soon. Stelter thinks this cynical career opportunism is civic courage?

All journalists had to do to defeat Trump was to play it straight, report facts, be fair, and not appear vindictive, vicious and conspiratorial. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t do it because they thought they were better than he is, but in truth they are no better at all.

4. If only Rob Schneider were funnier...The former SNL comic had some wise words for the uniformly Trump-Bashing comic establishment in an interview with the Daily News. Speaking of his old show, Schneider said in part,

“The fun of ‘Saturday Night Live’ was always you never knew which way they leaned politically. You kind of assumed they would lean more left and liberal, but now the cat’s out of the bag they are completely against Trump, which I think makes it less interesting because you know the direction the piece is going….[Dana] Carvey played [George H.W. Bush] respectfully. To me, the genius of Dana Carvey was Dana always had empathy for the people he played, and Alec Baldwin has nothing but a fuming, seething anger toward the person he plays…Alec Baldwin is a brilliant actor… he’s not a comedian…I don’t find his impression to be comical,” he added. “Because, like I said, I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise. There’s no possible surprise. He so clearly hates the man he’s playing.”

5. It was a nice cover while it lasted. Richard Painter, the furiously anti-Trump lawyer and legal ethicist who has championed some of the most unethical and unhinged arguments for Trump’s impeachment was accorded special credibility despite his wacky theories because he had worked in the Bush White House and claimed to be a Republican. Now it is reported that Painter will be running for Al Franken’s Senate seat in Minnesota—as a Democrat. Nobody who has read Richard’s positions on other issues over the years is surprised, I’ll bet.

6. An ethics movie review.  On Practical Ethics, Neil Levy reviews “I Feel Pretty,” an Amy Shumer comedy in which an average looking woman comes to believe she has become gorgeous over-night, and that belief changes her life. An excerpt:

“Of course, there is a great deal we can and should do for ourselves. But effective action requires a clear-eyed view of the situation in which we act. Promoting fantasies is good entertainment, but to the extent to which we think its ‘message’ is anything more than a commercial for lipstick and eyeshadow, it’s more dangerous than empowering. Be as confident as you like; you’ll still get judged on how you look (even by people who are themselves struggling to reject the norms they apply).”

 

 

124 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Animals, Arts & Entertainment, Bioethics, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Science & Technology

124 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/30/18: Going Out Like A Lamb

  1. Tom Adams

    Jack, I’m going out on a limb on the genius quiz and guess it’s a clickbait appeal to ego. I’m on a limb here because I refuse to click on something to verify what I already know to be true.

    • That you know you’re a genius? I’m sure it is clickbait too. I’m still curious about how many people think the earth circles the moon.

      • valkygrrl

        I’m a very stable genius. I also didn’t take the quiz.

        It’s especially good because this is the last day of one of the worst Ethics Alarms months ever, with the lowest daily average of views for an April since 2013.

        Better headlines.

        No one can get 5 rationalization out of this speech, getting all ten means you’re an ethics hero.

        10 ethical decisions made by Michael Corleone, number 7 with shock you.

        This one weird trick will teach you all about media bias.

        You won’t believe the ethics of what Kayne West just said.

        New rationalization that companies don’t want you to know.

        This comment of the day will change everything you believe about baseball

        Royal wedding, ethics train wreck?

        How ethical choices will make you rich.

      • But to the question of is we getting dumber, the answer is yes.

        Is it clickbait? Obviously. Will the average person do better than 5 in 10? Undoubtedly. So… What’s the point?

        Well… For the people making these quizzes, the answer is: Ad revenue. You click on it, get redirected to their website, get to answer a question per click, all the while all around the screen ads assault your senses. 10 questions? 10 clicks. fractions of pennies each time you do.

        For the people answering the questions… Ego. I guess. Maybe they like the ads. They know the questions are easy, they know that they aren’t top-10% special, but the words on the screen said they were, and look at all the flashing colors.

        Now…. Is lying to someone to give them a slight ego boost that fools no one about their actual cognitive ability, all for a couple of shekels ethical?

        • Not to mention that Facebook records your answers to better predict who you are and what you think.

          All into the database, to sell to you, present news to you, and (if necessary) identify you as an enemy of the socialist state when they get back in power.

  2. Bad Bob

    Re: #2, I can state unequivocally I am no genius, and I scored 10. And I guessed on the Hamlet question (p.f.e. of 1st statement…).

    Please proceed with the dismantling and rebuilding of the educational system….

  3. dragin_dragon

    I like trivia-type quizzes. Took it, got 10 for 10. Wasn’t even particularly hard, so it probably was ‘click-bait’.

  4. Re: No. 3:

    Molly Roberts over at the Washington Post thinks Wolf’s performance was perfect. Here is her take:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/04/29/michelle-wolf-got-it-just-right/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.89eeab89dac6

    jvb

  5. Chris

    2. I got 10/10. There were a couple I wasn’t sure on, so this surprised me. I think while some are common sense, some rely on content-specific knowledge that doesn’t really say anything about one’s intelligence. (I completely guessed on the baseball question.)

    3. a) The HLN correspondent who reported on the White House Correspondents Dinner disaster said this morning that “some were upset because comedian Michelle Wolf’s comments about Sara Huckabee Sanders were not very flattering.” That kind of equivocation is sloppy and incompetent journalism. The issue wasn’t that the jokes weren’t sufficiently flattering; that is literally a false report and fake news. The complaints were that Wolf was insulting, hyper-partisan and rude to an invited guest to the point of bullying and harassment.

    b) This morning on CNN, Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota demonstrated grade school level ethics ignorance by arguing that Wolf’s ugly act was justified by President Trump’s cruel and insulting comments on the campaign trail. Tit for Tat, “He started it,” “It’s not the worst thing,” “Two wrongs make a right,”—their arguments tracked one rationalization and fallacy after the other. Have these two never been taught the principle of professionalism? Civility? The Gold Rule? Any ethics at all?

    If someone is a liar, I don’t think it’s wrong or unethical to make a joke about that person being a liar. That was the substance of most of Wolfe’s jokes.

    What jokes would you have made, Jack? What wouldn’t have been over the line? And were there any that you thought weren’t?

    • The substance? Chris…. Did watch the same bit I did?

      “Mike Pence is also very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder. Which, first of all, don’t know it ’till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You gotta get that baby out of there. I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion. You know, unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress.”

      “It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Under a tree.”

      “We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck…. I love you as Aunt Lidia in The Handmaid’s Tale.”

      “I actually really like Sarah, I think she’s really resourceful. Like burns facts into ash, and then uses that ash to create the perfect smokey eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it…. Maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

      “And I’m not really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Sarah Sanders? Is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s “Uncle Tom” except for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh I know! Aunt Coulter.”

      • Chris

        “Mike Pence is also very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder. Which, first of all, don’t know it ’till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You gotta get that baby out of there.

        This was the worst joke of the night, and substance-free. I’m surprised it took this long to come up–it was worse than all her Sanders and Conway jokes. Needlessly trolling pro-life people by making light of abortion wasn’t funny or fair, it was just mean.

        I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion. You know, unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress.”

        Now this part is mean, but timely, and definitely has substance: the substance is that Republican politicians who vote against abortion while procuring them for their mistresses are hypocrites.

        “It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Under a tree.”

        The last part is what made that joke work for me. You can’t think this one is that bad, can you? This one doesn’t have all that much substance, but the lead-up to it–about how Kellyanne Conway consistently lies to the American people–certainly did.

        “We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck…. I love you as Aunt Lidia in The Handmaid’s Tale.”

        The substance of this one is that Sanders is a woman colluding with a sexist regime.

        “I actually really like Sarah, I think she’s really resourceful. Like burns facts into ash, and then uses that ash to create the perfect smokey eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it…. Maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

        The substance here is that Sanders is a liar.

        “And I’m not really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Sarah Sanders? Is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s “Uncle Tom” except for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh I know! Aunt Coulter.”

        Same substance as the Aunt Lydia joke, but not well-crafted or well-delivered. I found this one kind of lame.

        • Rich in CT

          I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion. You know, unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress.”

          Now this part is mean, but timely, and definitely has substance: the substance is that Republican politicians who vote against abortion while procuring them for their mistresses are hypocrites.

          This is a clever little statement. It implies that most Republicans have:
          A) Had mistresses
          B) Had abortions when things went awry
          C) And thus logically are all hypocrites who can be disregarded and mocked

          Neither A nor B are substantiated in any way, but it casts a whole bunch of shade at Republicans by pointing to C. Bravo!

          • Chris

            I don’t think it implies anything about “most Republicans.” She says “a lot of you,” not “most of you.”

            • Charles and I had this out earlier this year…. The number is something like ten in the last two decades, if you count both sides of the aisle, and even less if you follow that exact fact pattern. Republican… MIstress… Abortion. I didn’t even add in “pro life activist” because it seems redundant. There were two.

              Tim Murphy, Representative (R-PA), had an extramarital affair with Shannon Edwards, a 32-year-old forensic psychologist. The pro-life Murphy asked Edwards to have an abortion after she became pregnant.

              and

              Scott DesJarlais, Representative (R-TN), admitted under oath to at least six affairs, including two affairs with his patients and staffers while he was a physician at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, TN. Additionally, while running on a pro-life platform, DesJarlais made his ex-wife have two abortions, and tried to persuade a mistress who was his patient, into an abortion as well.

              “A lot”

              “Two”

              “A lot”

              “Two”

        • You know what else is interesting? Everyone was up in arms that the president was “breaking tradition” by not attending.

          How important did you think that was? Pepperidge farms remembers. I only ask because that tradition started in the 20’s with Calvin Coolidge. The dinner, only open to men at the time and was up until the 60’s when Kennedy pushed for inclusion (but that’s a tradition that’s OK to break right?), usually included a show. Singers, dancers, performers…. It was only in the 80’s that the “show” became a comedian, and the format turned into a roast.

          If this is what the WHCD has devolved into, why on Earth should anyone from the actual White House go? Basically every “tradition” around the WHCD has been thrown to the wayside… Why should ANYONE from the administration set themselves up for this? Kellyanne and Huckabee Sanders were in the room, for Christ’s sake! Why should anyone treat this with a single iota more respect than Saturday Night Live?

      • But you know what I noticed and found….. (funny/odd/disappointing)? Wolf was basically a caricature of bad female comedy.

        No, really… Think about it. I watched that dinner, and I rewound her bit and watched it again, and I counted about 50 lines that she probably intended as a joke. Usually jokes are meant to be funny, and not just statements of facts, but humor is in the eye of the beholder, and when you scathe someone publicly in 2018, it’s going to get laughs… It does offer a porthole into the mind of a progressive. They take their humor so damn seriously…. I mean, when shitposters joke, they don’t mean it, but progressives think they do, because if they were making the jokes, they would absolutely mean it. It’s an interesting disconnect. Regardless!

        I found 50 or so statements that I think she meant as a joke…. More than 20 were just about people’s junk. I’m not kidding…. As high brown as these people like to pretend they are, apparently 2/5ths of their humor can still be boiled down to dick jokes. Hell, one of them was actually about poop. Like I said… This is a parody of shitty female comic humor…. This is what you expect from Amy Schumer when she’s not stealing jokes from other people. Low effort, disgusting, juvenile, below the belt jokes and cheap shots.

        When they go low, we go high, right?

        • Chris

          I’m open to the argument that not all of the jokes were good. I even agree with it. I’m not open to the argument that it’s wrong to make jokes about how paid liars are paid liars because they’re sitting at the table with you, or that it’s unethical to make fun of the most powerful people in the world to their faces in public. So I have no issue with your criticism here, Humble.

          • I mean… Have you ever heard the proverb; “People in glass houses should not throw stones”? I’m not going to defend the honor of the people being shot at here…. But just take a step back… Can you think of a worse association to talk about the dishonesty of others? The pure mendacity on display is amazing.

            • Chris

              Can you think of a worse association to talk about the dishonesty of others?

              Oh, that’s easy.

              The White House.

              I agree with your proverb, which is why our birther president who had the biggest State of the Union ever and would have won the popular vote if not for 3 million illegal votes shouldn’t call the media “fake news.”

              • I mean…. Sure. But you see my point, right? Because, I mean, the alternative is that everyone should throw rocks because the rocks deserve throwing, and the president is justified in calling the News Media “Fake News” because they are, whether or not he’s full of shit himself.

  6. Cynical John

    Calling someone a liar to their face doesn’t strike me as being humorous. I can imagine any number of situations where doing so would result in a punch in the nose or some additional traffic tickets being issued. Being crude isn’t all that funny either, although it appears that most modern comedians seem think so.

    • Chris

      Calling someone a liar to their face doesn’t strike me as being humorous.

      It can be, when done in a humorous way. And if the person is a liar, it’s the right thing to do.

      • There it is. These things are supposed to be truces, Chris. Truces. That’s like saying that at the NK summit, Trump insulting Kim because he deserves it is the right thing to do. Is insulting a guest at my house the right thing to do if he deserves it? Obama had three of the most shamelessly dishonest press secretaries I have seen in decades, and they were never called liars at the dinner.

        F- at this point.

        • Chris

          There it is. These things are supposed to be truces, Chris. Truces.

          It would be the height of foolishness to make a truce with someone who would never, ever honor it.

          • Glenn Logan

            So Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders should suffer for Trump’s shortcomings?

            What is it we call that again… guilt by association, maybe? Or more likely, blatant opportunism to embarrass two invited guests who are not the president.

            Look, if Wolf had just bashed Trump, nobody would be talking about this much. After all, Trump’s used to getting lambasted by comics, even really bad ones like Wolf. But he wasn’t there. So how is it okay to make hostile, bullying jokes about two women in his administration who did show up, and probably had no reason to expect to be fed to the guests for desert?

            It’s not okay. Your rationalization is only nominally plausible if Trump was present, which he wasn’t. Wolf’s conduct was singularly loathsome, and shameful.

            • Chris

              Ah, yes, I forgot, Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are forced to lie on behalf of Trump at gunpoint.

              It isn’t “guilt by association” to hold women accountable for their own choices and actions, which is what Wolfe’s jokes about Conway and Sanders did. Your comment is laughable.

              • Glenn Logan

                Ah, yes, I forgot, Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are forced to lie on behalf of Trump at gunpoint.

                I’m old enough to remember way back in the Obama administration when lies were known as “spin.”

                But in any case, they are his employees and expected to defend him. They are his lies, not theirs. So maybe you should check your rationalizations at the door next time. No, don’t bother, then you’d have to be silent.

                It isn’t “guilt by association” to hold women accountable for their own choices and actions, which is what Wolfe’s jokes about Conway and Sanders did. Your comment is laughable.

                How is rude jokes at their expense in a situation where they are unable to respond “holding them accountable?” Only in your world, Chis, a place I’m happy I don’t live. It would be totally defensible to take those shots were the two women given a chance to respond. But in the situation where they are captive to good manners, it’s reprehensible, and your defense of it disgusting.

                • Chris

                  But in any case, they are his employees and expected to defend him. They are his lies, not theirs. So maybe you should check your rationalizations at the door next time. No, don’t bother, then you’d have to be silent.

                  No one forces them to work for a liar.

                  How is rude jokes at their expense in a situation where they are unable to respond “holding them accountable?” Only in your world, Chis, a place I’m happy I don’t live. It would be totally defensible to take those shots were the two women given a chance to respond. But in the situation where they are captive to good manners, it’s reprehensible, and your defense of it disgusting.

                  They can, and have, responded. They lie every day, and enable evil. Their only consequence so far has been a comedian being “rude” to them? Boo-fucking-hoo.

                  • Glenn Logan

                    So you have the same sense of humor as Wolf, apparently, and the same disregard for decorum. Frankly, you and your ilk enable evil, in my opinion. Even considering that, I’d give you much better treatment than Wolf (and apparently, you) would give those women.

                    • I mean, to be fair to Chris, I think I called Josh Earnest a liar about twice a week for his stint. Call a spade a spade, the position is basically: Paid liar for the POTUS, and what makes a good Press Sec is the ability to make up new, exciting and plausible lies in real time.

                      No, I think the reason why this annoyed me was because it was mean, inappropriate and joyless, in a context that was ostensibly supposed to be celebratory. It’s like showing up to a Kardashian Thanksgiving dinner and putting Kim’s sex tape on the TV, and calling her a stupid whore. I mean…. I think I might even find that funny, but that alongside the fact that there are arguments to be made towards the veracity of the statement doesn’t make the context of it really that much better. I’m just saying the WHCD has turned into a high-rent, low-production, barely funny if you squint really hard version of a Comedy Central roast. And spinning it any other way is just an attempt to lay a fig leaf on a salami chub.

          • Michael R.

            Please don’t drag the Iran deal into this.

          • It would be the height of foolishness to make a truce with someone who would never, ever honor it.” -Chris

            The irony of this sentence is truly epic. Progressives only shake your hand if they are looking for the best place to stick the knife. Not a shred of honor, and never any intention of sticking to an agreement, if political hay can be made otherwise.

      • Michelle Klatt

        Wouldn’t the significant difference be to privately discuss a person’s lie(s) with them? To call someone out publicly, at a large dinner, gives them no chance to defend or explain themselves. It’s meant to be mean-spirited, not constructive. Just because you don’t like someone, assume they lie because of who they work for, and disagree with everything they say doesn’t mean you have a right to publicly attack them when they’re virtually defenseless. Imagine if this were how we treated everyone we disliked or disagreed with. We’re already sinking fast enough, no need to let the press pass us that particular anchor.

        • Chris

          You are talking about some of the most powerful people in the entire world. “No chance to defend or explain themselves?” How is that a real argument?

          • Cynical John

            So you are saying it would be appropriate to verbally confront the speaker
            in the middle of their “presentation” in a public setting such as this dinner? Pray tell how would this be polite, civil, or ethical?

            • Chris

              No. There are, of course, standards at every event. The standard at this event is that a comedian makes jokes, sometimes at the expense of a powerful person in the room.

              • Glenn Logan

                Those jokes are supposed to be funny, even to the object. Nobody ever finds humor in being called a liar, or being singled out as unattractive. Worse, the jokes were clearly not meant to be humorous to anyone other than the most rabid, damn-Trump-and-all-his-works partisan. Even worse still, the two women were used as stand-in’s for their boss.

                It’s fine to go after Trump, but it’s wrong to go after his employees as proxy stooges, especially when they were given no opportunity to respond. Usually the president has a chance to make his own remarks when he shows up, but these two were very much like Mike Pence at Hamilton; forced to sit there and take it. Captives of a heartless woman with the morality of a great white shark.

                “Humor” should amuse a broader audience than that, in my opinion.

                • Chris

                  No one was singled out as unattractive, except Trump himself.

                  As I said, Conway and Sanders were mocked for their own actions.

                  I’ll be frank: Unless you’ve criticized the morality of Conway and Sanders in terms at least as harsh as those you levy against Wolfe, I really don’t want to hear it. I can have no respect for the argument that Wolfe was unethical from people that have shown basically no concern over the lack of ethics of the Trump administration. If you think Wolfe’s little comedy routine was worse than the lies Conway and Sanders tell on a daily basis, you have a problem, and are ethically estopped from complaining about the former.

                  • Glenn Logan

                    I’ll be frank: Unless you’ve criticized the morality of Conway and Sanders in terms at least as harsh as those you levy against Wolfe, I really don’t want to hear it. I can have no respect for the argument that Wolfe was unethical from people that have shown basically no concern over the lack of ethics of the Trump administration. If you think Wolfe’s little comedy routine was worse than the lies Conway and Sanders tell on a daily basis, you have a problem, and are ethically estopped from complaining about the former.

                    I see. So unless I hold your point of view, I can’t speak on the matter? I think I’ll just disagree with that assertion, and you can stick your estoppel up your backside.

                    Your holier-than-thou is showing, Chris. Yes, I do think what she said is worse than the “lies” told by administration officials, in every meaningful way. Wolf was intentionally cruel, and that fact alone sets her conduct apart.

                    • adimagejim

                      Glenn:

                      I respect your efforts with Chris. But our liars, in his mind, will always be at least as bad and usually way worse than his. No matter what.

                      This argument begins to end when we dissolve the union and witness the consequences as his side starves via collectivism and what remains of it is overrun by enemies who took advantage of their lack of discernment and spine. Only then will their sense of intellectual superiority be gone.

                      We have to fully disengage to actually watch the train wreck, lest we become a part of it.

                      Then, this argument will, finally, be over.

                    • Still Spartan

                      How is this different from past treatment? Wasn’t Clinton mocked for having affairs at this event? Look, I dislike roasts in their entirety, but I do think people are going apeshit over this one for no reason. They all suck. they are designed to suck. This isn’t the Tonight Show. Move along.

                      As for decorum, I seem to recall a State of the Union address (decidedly NOT a roast) where Obama was called a liar. I’m not bringing this up to suggest that this gives whatever-her-name-is an ethics pass, but to suggest that people tend to get riled up about these things when it is their spokespeople being mocked. I recall dozens of interviews from Republicans explaining why the “liar” comment was fair and Democrats wringing their hands in despair over decorum. Not only do roasts suck, but politicians in general do as well. Please don’t fool yourself into thinking that this isn’t just fake outrage depending on who is in the headlights.

                    • Clinton was mocked by Don Imus, and he was universally condemned, by everyone—and he did not use the kind gutter language this “comic” used. Yours is classic spin: one tasteless joke on one topic more than a decade ago automatically excuses dozens that are pure hate now. The woman called the President of the United States a Nazi, a monster, a pussy, a racist, a misogynist, xenophobic, unstable, incompetent and impotent—pure insults. How can you excuse that? That’s not wit, and no other POTUS has been subjected to a fraction of that.

                      You seriously raise one rogue House member shouting “you lie” with a planned ambush by the news media at a social event? I really don’t give a damn if some GOP hyper-partisans tried to excuse Crazy Joe, he had no excuse, and the fact that others behave abominably doesn’t limit my ability or right to point out equally bad behavior from the other side of the aisle0—except that the newsmedia ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE ON ANY SIDE? How can you possibly justify that conduct at an event that is supposed to celebrate collegiality and unity-HAHAHAHAHAH! Sorry, but the Association’s spin is too funny.

                      Here, I’ll spell it out for you: the hosts of televised events with guests has an obvious ethical obligation not to bully, insult or denigrate any such guest. A comic should be even handed and tasteful, or not hired. Calling the President of the United States and his staff ugly names is absolutely worthy of condemnation, and there is nothing fake about it. When the guest is the President of the US, the requirement of decency and respectful treatment is even more critical.

                    • valkygrrl

                      Clinton was mocked by Don Imus, and he was universally condemned, by everyone—and he did not use the kind gutter language this “comic” used.

                      Was this condemned by everyone?

                    • Still Spartan

                      I’m not spinning. I think all roasts are terrible but I also don’t waste time with moral outrage and hand wringing. That ship sailed long ago.

                    • Chris

                      The woman called the President of the United States a Nazi, a monster, a pussy, a racist, a misogynist, xenophobic, unstable, incompetent and impotent—pure insults. How can you excuse that?

                      Easy–a lot of them are true. Not “Nazi” or “monster,” of course (but if you look again, she didn’t actually call him that. “Misogynist?” Yes, as you’ve called him yourself. Unstable and incompetent? Of course, as I believe you’ve also written. Xenophobic? Yep. “Impotent” was just a gutter slur, so I won’t defend that one.

                      That’s not wit, and no other POTUS has been subjected to a fraction of that.

                      Well, no other modern POTUS has been such an open misogynist and xenophobe. Actions have consequences.

                      Here, I’ll spell it out for you: the hosts of televised events with guests has an obvious ethical obligation not to bully, insult or denigrate any such guest. A comic should be even handed and tasteful, or not hired. Calling the President of the United States and his staff ugly names is absolutely worthy of condemnation, and there is nothing fake about it. When the guest is the President of the US, the requirement of decency and respectful treatment is even more critical.

                      This is pure, bootlicking deference to power and authority. And he wasn’t even a guest.

                • Chris

                  • Glenn Logan

                    That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2018

                    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

                  • Glenn Logan

                    Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable. I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 29, 2018

                    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

                    • Chris

                      As many have already explained to them on Twitter, Brzezinsky and Haberman are simply wrong on the facts. The jokes were NOT about Sanders’ looks, but her actions. I understand many misinterpreted those jokes, but that’s no excuse for perpetuating a misrepresentation after it has been clarified, including by the comedian herself.

                      The only woman whose appearance Wolf insulted was herself:

                      “There’s Kellyanne Conway. Man, she has the perfect last name for what she does. Conway. It’s like if my name was Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small Tits.”

                      Furthermore, I’m curious if you agree with Mika’s statement that “all women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen.” Does that mean Sanders should step down from her position in protest of her boss’s attacks on Brzezinsky’s appearance and the appearances of numerous women? Seriously, what should the consequences be for Trump’s repeated misogyny? We’ve established that we should walk out on comedians whose jokes could possibly be interpreted as vaguely making fun of a woman’s looks, and that the organization that books them should apologize. What should be the reaction to the President of the United States outright calling women ugly? Answer me that.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Actually, she was complimented for her looks. The smoky eye comment was one of the only jokes that made me chuckle. And those who know me know that smoky eyes are my go-to look.

                    • That was not a compliment. Smokey eye from the ashes of burned truth?

                    • Chris

                      Ugh. Complimented for her looks. Insulted for being a liar. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, and saying she was insulted for her looks is a lie.

                      This isn’t hard.

                    • Saying she wasn’t is proof of brain rot. And she shouldn’t have been insulted at all.

                    • Still Spartan

                      If someone told me that my beautiful smokey eyes must be the result of witchery or lies, I would seriously laugh out loud. And I am damn proud of my make-up abilities.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      Probably going to destroy whatever reputation I might have on this blog, but I have no idea what ‘smokey eyes’ means.

                    • It means that what was intended as a slam is being spun into a compliment, because of course a vicious comic allied with resistance assassins who have been mocking Sanders appearance since she began would throw in a kind salute to her make-up in the middle of non-stop vitriol. Sure, that makes sense. And those desperate to excuse her have really convinced themselves that this occurred.

                      Amazing. “Bias makes you hallucinate.”

                    • dragin_dragon

                      When I heard the…routine…I actually thought it was part of the insult, like camp-fire smoke makes your eyes red, watery and puffy. Having read Sparty’s comment, however, I’m left thinking it’s a make-up trick.

                    • Chris

                      Jack, have you really never heard anyone praise someone’s looks while at the same time slamming their behavior? Heck, I’ll do it right now… Tomi Lahren gets her hair so sleek and shiny by using the blood of children in her shampoo. Now that’s not a great joke, because I wrote it in ten seconds. But anyone who says it was a dig at Tomi Lahren’s appearance is the one hallucinating.

                    • “I’m left thinking it’s a make-up trick.”

                      I thought it was that tell-tale mascara “smudge” created by sloppy application of face paint, or the result of a tearful incident.

                      Shows where my experience-n-interest in the subject has led.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      That’s why I asked the question.

              • Michelle Klatt

                The standard at this event was set low, and went even lower. The fact that you think it’s ok to belittle others because you don’t like their boss says a lot about you. I thought our last president was a weak, ineffective liar. Not only did I not speak about him in this manner, I never spoke about his staff, any of them, in this manner. Not liking someone as a leader doesn’t give me a pass to be an asshat.

                You’ve essentially said that any time you dislike someone, you’re ok with any amount of disrespect or outright bullying they receive. After all, they work for the man, they’ve got it coming. I doubt anything I say, or anyone else says, will open your eyes to the type of person that makes you. Hopefully when your kid comes home from school with a problem from a bully, you’ll let them know they probably had it coming. After all, at least one of their parents thinks it’s fine to bully others, as long as somebody thinks it’s funny.

                • Chris

                  The standard at this event was set low, and went even lower.

                  The president has set the standard low, and you’re all holding a comedian to a higher standard.

                  The fact that you think it’s ok to belittle others because you don’t like their boss says a lot about you.

                  Again, not the case. They were belittled for their own actions.

                  I thought our last president was a weak, ineffective liar. Not only did I not speak about him in this manner, I never spoke about his staff, any of them, in this manner.

                  Cool. Good for you.

                  Our current president lied about having evidence that our last president forged a birth certificate.

                  I think a comedian slamming the people who tell similar lies on his behalf is a fair and proportional response to that kind of behavior.

                  You’ve essentially said that any time you dislike someone, you’re ok with any amount of disrespect or outright bullying they receive.

                  Not correct. In actuality I’ve listed several responses I would not be OK with. And it isn’t because I “dislike someone.” It’s because of objective facts about what they have done.

                  After all, they work for the man, they’ve got it coming. I doubt anything I say, or anyone else says, will open your eyes to the type of person that makes you. Hopefully when your kid comes home from school with a problem from a bully, you’ll let them know they probably had it coming. After all, at least one of their parents thinks it’s fine to bully others, as long as somebody thinks it’s funny.

                  I’d explain to you the difference between a child and a cabal of the most powerful people in the world—“elites,” if you will—but the rest of your response would indicate that you wouldn’t get it.

          • Michelle Klatt

            It wasn’t an argument, it was a statement of fact. There was clearly no way for them to defend themselves without making a scene. No matter your low opinion of these women, they did handle the situation with grace.

            • Chris

              They’re on TV every day. They can defend themselves literally any time they fucking want to, except for the few hours or so they had to listen to some jokes about themselves. I’m sure they cried themselves to sleep into their thousand dollar pillows. Excuse me while I play the world’s tiniest violin.

              • A signature significance response for Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Asshole, Chris. Look at yourself. You have traveled from a pathetic effort to claim the “jokes” were funny–Bulletin: calling ANY guest a “pussy’ when they are a captive audience is disgraceful, ugly, rude and wrong. You are so deranged with hate that you can’t even figure that out. And you think it’s acceptable to insult and denigrate a guest in public because they can go on TV and attack back later? Are you insane?

                As with your ridiculous argument that the President of the United States, and his daughter, and his staff, don’t deserve the common courtesy I would extend to my worst enemy if I INVITED HIM TO DINNER, because of the President’s bad behavior two years ago, it simply shows you don’t comprehend basic ethics and have the flattest of learning curves. See, Grasshopper, an individual’s own bad conduct does not justify any other individual lowering the minimal standards of decent treatment toward him or anyone else. This is kindergarten ethics, and you, and Chris Cuomo, and every other ethics ignoramus who has tried to justify such warped and ugly conduct are proving that they have the same ethics deficit as Donald Trump: get even.

                Nice. And stupid. And culturally and societally suicidal.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  Boy, I’m glad I wasn’t part of this idiotic discussion while I worked on my latest photos from the Virginia International Tattoo (you should go one of these years, Jack, if you haven’t already). I can only add one thing to this – Chris, you stated elsewhere on this board that your wife-to-be is incapable of having kids. That’s a good thing. We don’t need more of you, and kids would and should be embarrassed to have someone like you for a father.

                  • crella

                    I think that’s rather harsh….

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Damn straight, but well deserved.

                    • Chris

                      Thank you, crella.

                      I eagerly await the condemnation of Steve-O from Jack and the rest here who took issue with Wolf’s comments, which were nothing even close as bad as “I’m glad your fiance can’t have children.”

                      But I won’t hold my breath.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Doesn’t feel so great when someone goes for the jugular, does it? Didn’t think so.

                    • Chris

                      It’s not even remotely comparable to the jokes Wolf told, but you’re a psychopath, so you wouldn’t understand that.

                    • valkygrrl

                      Chris, wait for Jack.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      Hahaha, and now you’re a trained psychiatrist as well as an expert in every other damn thing that gets talked about here? Don’t make me laugh. Then again, that is the tactic of the left, if you can’t win the usual way, say your opponent is mentally unfit, then you can use the law to have him removed from your way.

                • Chris

                  ABulletin: calling ANY guest a “pussy’ when they are a captive audience is disgraceful, ugly, rude and wrong.

                  You don’t even know what you’re talking about. The person she called a “pussy” was Donald Trump, who was not a “captive audience,” because he wasn’t there. That’s the whole reason she called him a pussy: because despite spending the past three years insulting anyone who crosses his path in vulgar terms, he can’t handle the same treatment.

                  How could you not know that?

                  because of the President’s bad behavior two years ago

                  The last time he insulted people in vulgar terms was two years ago? You can’t believe this.

      • Chris wrote, “It can be, when done in a humorous way.”

        Chris I think you are showing off your hypocrisy; I think you’d called it “uncivil” no matter how a person calling you a liar presented it. Even if you snickered at it the fact is that you’re still being called a liar.

        Only a partisan hack wearing permanently attached industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened ideological blinders would think that “I actually really like Sarah, I think she’s really resourceful. Like burns facts into ash, and then uses that ash to create the perfect smokey eye….” was funny or a complement about her eyes.

        Chris wrote, “And if the person is a liar, it’s the right thing to do.”

        So when I call you a liar because I think you’re lying and I think you’ve shown a propensity to lying then “it’s the right thing to do”. Again Chris, I think this is showing your hypocrisy.

        • Chris

          When you call me a liar, I think you’re wrong on the facts. The ethical violation there is jumping the gun and making a judgment based on erroneous idea; but if you are correct, and I am lying, then there is no ethical violation in you calling me a liar. Since I believe that Sanders and Conway can, based on the facts, objectively be called liars, there is no ethical violation.

          • Chris wrote, “When you call me a liar, I think you’re wrong on the facts. The ethical violation there is jumping the gun and making a judgment based on erroneous idea; but if you are correct, and I am lying, then there is no ethical violation in you calling me a liar. Since I believe that Sanders and Conway can, based on the facts, objectively be called liars, there is no ethical violation.”

            Chris,
            You should remember this comment, I will.

            • Because Obama, Hillary, Biden… and every Democrat leader ever… Yes, good to know

              • Chris

                Your whataboutism is ignoring the parts of this conversation where I’ve said it would have been absolutely fair and ethical to make jokes about Obama’s lies.

                • My whataboutism is a ringing bell, Chris. The time when progressives get to spew hate without consequence are coming to an end. Enjoy the twilight of your immunity to return hate.

                  The Golden Rule is dead, killed by smug hypocritical progressives like yourself. Enjoy the new normal.

                  • Chris

                    I’m sorry, was that supposed to be a response to anything I said? Or are you just venting about progressives, as is your wont?

                    • Where did I respond to you in any way, prior to your attacking my comment to Z? If you had butted out, your panties would not be in a wad.

                      You are taking what I said about progressives in general and applying them to you, personally, as if they were directed at you.

                      Reading comprehension, Chris. You just love a good fight, as long as you are immune to the tactics you use on others.

  7. JP

    2. This quiz is a complete sham. I was going to comment that I got 10/10 when I read the comments. Chris wrote he got 10/10 and had trouble with the baseball one. I choose Tennis (it was the only one I didn’t know). I took it again with the intention of missing all of them and got a 7/10. I just tried it again choosing different wrong answers (where I could) and I got 7/10 again.

  8. ”with the lowest daily average of views for an April since 2013.”

    Coincidentally, the coldest April since 1895, which I have no doubt the models accurately foretold.

    https://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/likely-coldest-april-since-1895-u-s-farmers-delay-planting-crops/

    “I have no idea why, and I wouldn’t change anything anyway. I have my dark suspicions, though….”

    Another worrisome result of the Global Warming that’s here and worse than the models predicted?

  9. Chris

  10. #3 I think the larger issue is the polarization of everything. Most of the old comedians played apolitical, or went after whichever party was on top. It wasn’t clear what they favored. And they functioned more as a barometer. Today, the anger and bile doesn’t change with the presidential party.

    The greats needled and heckled anyone, even the president at the dinner. Even Mr Warmth would leave his targets rolling. These masters knew when to cut back. But if you watch footage, he would cut back if it was too much. You cannot teach or convince to change if all you do is go for the jugular. Preaching to the choir won’t improve things at all. There no fairness in criticizing a boorish president, if you’re just as bad to underlings. Enabling someone who’s bad is NOT a crime in itself, or a very large chunk of politics/hollywood/journalism should turn themselves in right now and shut up. It’s all connected, power and entitlement.

    • Chris

      I’m watching her routine now–previously I had only heard some of the jokes. There was at least one joke at the left’s expense:

      “Al Franken was ousted; that one really hurt liberals. But I believe it was the great Ted Kennedy who said: Wow, that’s crazy, I murdered a woman.”

      Hardly makes her routine “balanced,” but still: damn.

      • ”Hardly makes her routine ‘balanced,’ ”

        You’re missing the point Chris, she and The Resistance see that as perfect balance; perception is reality, after all.

        C’mon, she & her ideologically aligned homies were fist-pumping her performance.

        Edgy & tres cool; am I right?

      • That’s supposed to be a joke? Really? I always thought jokes were supposed to have at least some element of humor in them. Guess I am just old fashioned.

  11. Joe Fowler

    WHCD: “Hey Donald, would you like to come to a dinner where all of the participants hate you, and plan to publicly insult and revile you? All in the spirit of good fun, fellowship, and comity.”
    Donald: “Hmmm, maybe you fuck-off instead.”
    Most of America: “Yep.”
    After the dinner…
    WHCD: “There! We did it to your representatives. Take that!”
    Donald: “For the last time.”
    Most of America: “Yep.”
    Mainstream media: “We’re going to treat this as if something happened that actually matters! The President has an obligation to do Presidential stuff like attend this meaningless dinner so we can abuse him, and the office!”
    Most of America: “Nope.”

  12. Rich in CT

    Regarding entry Number 1 (Pig Brains), my understanding of the article is that no one particularly questioned the ethics of keeping the pigs’ brains alive artificially.

    Rather, the ethical concerns were solely regarding experimenting on human brains, and the potential to lock someone in an indefinite sensory-deprivation hell as tissue preservation methods improved to the point that consciousness might continue.

  13. 2) A genius to get 5 of 10? Since when does having an IQ of 90 qualify you as a genius?

    My thoughts on a couple of those questions were “Are you kidding? This is a real question?” I will grant that the Chris Evert question requires a wee bit of tennis knowledge.

  14. Still Spartan

    Don’t take these quizzes! By clicking on them, companies get to mine your personal data. Also, some of them are straight-up phishing.

    • Mine what? That I know that the earth goes around the sun? They are welcome to that crucial data.

      • Still Spartan

        Typically, by clicking on these tests, you are allowing them access to your profile data. And, unless you have specifically deleted that info, for most people that also includes your cell number.

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        Sparty’s right, Jack. Beware the click-bait. Don’t feed the trolls.

        • Still Spartan

          “Sparty’s right” should be repeated here every day, often, frequently. (Jack will get this joke.)

          • Sparty is 100% correct. She does not go far enough. This information is shared with the NSA (Facebook and Google have admitted this) to add to your virtual ‘file.’

  15. To any of you that are justifying, defending, condoning, rationalizing, etc, etc. in any way the hateful anti-Trump and/or anti anything associated with Trump deplorable smear fest, you’re all showing off your Moral Bankruptcy.

    This morally bankrupt smear fest should be canceled from this moment on.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      I think it may well be…until the next Democrat is elected.

    • Furthermore; I think it is signature significance for anyone to justify, defend, condone, rationalize, etc, etc. in any way the hateful anti-Trump and/or anti anything associated with Trump deplorable smear fest.

      Signature Significance: “…Signature significance posits that a single act can be so remarkable that it has predictive and analytical value, and should not be dismissed as statistically insignificant.”, “Ethics Alarms employs the term to describe an extreme ethical or unethical act that similarly reveals the true character of the individual responsible for the conduct, and that can be reliably and fairly used to predict future conduct and trustworthiness.”

      This is another major signature significance event revealing the moral rot of the anti-Trump resistance crowd.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Agreed. Unfortunately at this point it’s just throwing more evidence on the pile that long ago tipped the scales.

  16. “How is this different from past treatment? Wasn’t Clinton mocked for having affairs at this event? Look, I dislike roasts in their entirety, but I do think people are going apeshit over this one for no reason. They all suck. they are designed to suck. This isn’t the Tonight Show. Move along.”

    There’s…. a difference…. One that has been reinforced to us over and over again, by people like you, Spart…. between people you like, who like you making jabs at you, and people you despise and who might be indifferent to you making jabs at you. The most obvious and extreme example I can think of would probably be “nigger”. Said by a black rapper: “Eh, he’s one of ours.” Said by anyone with a marked lack of melanin: “NO KKK, NO FASCISTS, USA!”

    You want to know what the difference is? Watch the tapes.

    Wilmore in 2016…. “Mr. President, your hair is so white it tried to punch me at a Trump rally.”

    Conan in 2013…. “The president and I have a lot in common. We both went to Harvard, We both have two children, and we both told Joe Biden we didn’t have extra tickets for tonight’s event.”

    Meyers in 2011… “It’s a great honor to be able to perform for the leader of the world’s most powerful/poorest country”

    Not only has the tone changed from a “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” kind of humor to a really hostile roast…. But even when Obama was president, the comedians somehow still managed to find more biting material for Republicans. The focus has also changed, Meyers in 2011 mostly roasted Networks and Correspondents, that shifted not too subtly to politicians.

    Until we got this.

    • Still Spartan

      It’s much easier for comics to poke fun at conservatives. Jack has discussed this many times. So have I. So pointing to past comics criticizing Democratic Presidents will never be on point. I would not have cared if they hired Dennis Miller to do this event (I actually don’t care about these events at all as I have stated), but it would be much harder for him to come up with edgy material, even if he wanted to.

      For the record, I thought most of her jokes were in the “blah” category, but I did laugh out loud at The Handmaid’s Tale reference. I mean, it was way over the top — I don’t think anyone has any plans to lock fertile women up and let SHS be our jailor — but it was still clever.

      Also, this is a bad gig for any comic right now. How do you make fun of this President without being edgy? I might have just read his tweets verbatim, or did that game where you read 2 and make-up 1, and have other people guess which one is false.

  17. Dwayne N. Zechman

    10/10 for me, but I already knew I was a genius….

    –Dwayne

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