1. Unethical tweet of the week, right wing nut division: Jerry Falwell Jr, who heads Liberty University. The acorn that didn’t fall far from the tree tweeted:
Are there any grownups w/ integrity left in the DOJ? When I was a kid, I watched Repubs join Dems to force Nixon out. Now Dems won’t join Repubs to lock up Comey, Lynch, Ohr, Rosenstein, Strzok,
@HillaryClinton, @BarackObama & maybe even @jeffsessions despite damning evidence!
Here’s an ethics tip for college age students and their parents: if the leader of a school has this tenuous a grip on basic Constitutional law, pay tuition to some place, any place, else.
2. Then we have the left-wing Pro Publica, which is trying to fuel the desperate Democratic efforts to find dirt on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and thus issued this…
3. Which political party is more deranged today? Well, an Ipsos public opinion survey claims that 43 % of self-identified Republicans agreed that “the President should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Only 36% of surveyed Republicans disagreed with giving a President the power to shut down news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post.
First of all, this primarily raises legitimate concerns regarding the educational level and intelligence quotient of Americans. 99% of those polled could advocate repealing the First Amendment, just as a majority could proclaim its belief that the national language ought to be Finnish. It’s not happening. Professor Turley’s take-away is that “Trump has truly and irrecoverably changed the party and much of the country . . . and, in this case, not for the better.” Baloney. The fact that journalists have exposed themselves as being partisan operatives uninterested in conveying facts to the public in a fair and unbiased manner has changed the public perception of the value of the news media, and not for the better. Whether the change is “irrecoverable” depends on whether American journalism sees the dangerous error of its path over the past several decades, and becomes trustworthy again.
4. More tales of the double standard. Just as anti-white racism is apparently acceptable to the New York Times, based on its stubborn defense of new editor Sarah Jeong, so the #MeToo movement seems to have problems accepting the principle that sexual harassment is unacceptable when the harasser is a woman, and the victim is a man.
The New York Times, ironically, has this disturbing story: An 11-month Title IX investigation found Professor Avital Ronell, a world-renowned female professor of German and Comparative Literature at NYU, guilty of sexually harassing a male graduate student, Nimrod Reitman. The harassment was both physical and verbal, and “sufficiently pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of Mr. Reitman’s learning environment.” NYU suspended Professor Ronell for the coming academic year.
Reitman says that the professor sexually harassed him for three years, and he shared dozens of emails with the Times in which she referred to him as “my most adored one,” “Sweet cuddly Baby,” “cock-er spaniel,” and “my astounding and beautiful Nimrod.” His account of pervasive sexual assault and stalking would fit right into a typical Harvey Weinstein episode. From the Times story:
The problems began, according to Mr. Reitman, in the spring of 2012, before he officially started school. Professor Ronell invited him to stay with her in Paris for a few days. The day he arrived, she asked him to read poetry to her in her bedroom while she took an afternoon nap, he said.
“That was already a red flag to me,” said Mr. Reitman. “But I also thought, O.K., you’re here. Better not make a scene.
Then, he said, she pulled him into her bed.
“She put my hands onto her breasts, and was pressing herself — her buttocks — onto my crotch,” he said. “She was kissing me, kissing my hands, kissing my torso.” That evening, a similar scene played out again, he said.
He confronted her the next morning, he said.
“I said, look, what happened yesterday was not O.K. You’re my adviser,” he recalled in an interview.
…In the semesters that followed, Mr. Reitman said he was expected to work with Professor Ronell, often at her apartment, during lengthy work sessions nearly every weekend. Professor Ronell frequently detailed her affection and longing for him, according to emails from her that Mr. Reitman provided to The New York Times.
“I woke up with a slight fever and sore throat,” she wrote in an email on June 16, 2012, after the Paris trip. “I will try very hard not to kiss you — until the throat situation receives security clearance. This is not an easy deferral!” In July, she wrote a short email to him: “time for your midday kiss. my image during meditation: we’re on the sofa, your head on my lap, stroking you [sic] forehead, playing softly with yr hair, soothing you, headache gone. Yes?”
In her submission to the Title IX office, Professor Ronell said she had no idea Mr. Reitman was so uncomfortable until she read the investigators’ report. Well, tough. Louis C.K. said that he had no idea that masturbating in front of women made them uncomfortable. The conduct described in the Times article is blatant sexual harassment; it isn’t a close call.
And yet we read this:
Soon after the university made its final, confidential determination this spring, a group of scholars from around the world, including prominent feminists, sent a letter to N.Y.U. in defense of Professor Ronell. Judith Butler, the author of the book “Gender Trouble” and one of the most influential feminist scholars today, was first on the list.
“Although we have no access to the confidential dossier, we have all worked for many years in close proximity to Professor Ronell,” the professors wrote in a draft letter posted on a philosophy blog in June. “We have all seen her relationship with students, and some of us know the individual who has waged this malicious campaign against her…We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation,” the professors wrote.
This is, you will note, a classic endorsement of the pernicious “King’s Pass,” the rationalization that holds that special people should be able to get away with conduct that lesser lights would be punished severely for.
In a recent post, I discussed how the concept of hypocrisy was frequently misunderstood. This is hypocrisy.
5. It’s the second and third accuser that get you. Deputy DNC Chairman and candidate for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison was recently accused of abuse by a former girlfriend. Then, last week, the son of Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan wrote a lengthy Facebook post saying that he saw a video of Ellison grabbing his mother and swearing at her in a bedroom. Another woman, Amy Alexander, spoke out in 2006, accusing Ellison of verbally abused her while they were having an affair. She also said he grabbed and pushed her during an argument. Now Jeff Kolb, a city councilman in a Minneapolis suburb, has revealed a 911 call that backs Alexander’s account.
The primary for the Attorney General nomination is today, and the timing of the accusations are certainly suspicious. It is also fair to say that the mainstream media interest in this development has been tepid at best. Former Bush press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted,
“It’s great to be the DNC. If Ellison were a Republican, the press would have knocked over the doors of the RNC demanding a statement. But the DNC’s co-chairman? No comment from the DNC. No feeding frenzy from the press.”
Conservative blogger John Hinderaker, referencing Ellison’s previous embrace of Nation of Islam demagogue Louis Farrakan, writes,
“Will Minnesota’s Democrats vote to make a far-left, bigoted, Jew-hating socialist who has abused multiple women, by their accounts, the Democrats’ nominee for Attorney General? In all probability, yes. That won’t tell us anything about Ellison, but it will tell us a great deal about today’s Democratic Party.”
What this episode tells me about the Democratic Party is that it won’t dare nominate a male candidate for President in 2020, because any man will be a sitting duck for a #MeToo hit job.
As for a female candidate..see #4 above.