Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 9/19/18: Conditional Authoritarianism, Fake Reparations, And Profitable Harassment

Having a good and ethical day?

1. Here’s a useful definition…that I formulated while reading another issue of the increasingly and inexcusably anti-Trump propaganda obsessed New York Book Review section. This past weekend’s addition was more obvious than usual. “Democracy at Risk!”  (Not by an opposition party setting out to topple a Presidency with the assistance of the news media—no no no! The risk justifies the opposition party doing this!) “Is Donald Trump a Fascist?”  Hey, what’s Bob Woodward reading, just to pick a celebrity out of a hat? (The interview highlights the lack of self-awareness among the Trump-haters: Bernstein points out how intolerance and hate destroyed Richard Nixon as the Times allows and promotes hate in its war against the current President.) There’s an essay about…white nationalism! A Times reporter has written a book that pronounces the United States as “DOOMED!” And here’s Andrew Sullivan extolling an American revisionism exercise while referring to the current “spasm” of authoritarianism, and Doris Kearns, my old presidential power prof in college, with a new book about her faves, Lincoln, Teddy, FDR, and LBJ. These were great leaders.

The definition: Authoritarianism is when a President you don’t like exerts strong leadership within his powers to accomplish policy goals you disagree with. When a President you do like stretches and exceeds his Constitutional powers to achieve policy goals you approve of, that’s not authoritarianism. That’s great leadership.

As an aside, Andrew Sullivan tells us in his review that “the 2008 Heller decision rejecting a D.C. handgun ban is quite obviously bonkers.” All righty then! I guess that settles it!

2.  Speaking of Bonkers: Emmys Ethics. Michael Che appeared in a pretaped bit in which he handed out “reparation Emmys” to  black performers who supposedly were overlooked by the voting academy. These included Jaleel White (Urkel  on“Family Matters”), Marla Gibbs (nominated five times for her role as Florence on “The Jeffersons”), Tichina Arnold (“Martin,” “Everybody Hates Chris”) and Kadeem Hardison (“A Different World”).

Unfair and nauseating. The bit suggests that racism was behind their failure to win. Che didn’t have the guts to try to prove his point by showing the actual winners, which, I suspect, may have undercut the logic of the bit. Of course, many white actors have never won, like Angela Lansbury, nominated repeatedly for “Murder She Wrote,” Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander from “Seinfeld,” Kim Cattrall (“Sex in the City”), the superb Michael  C. Hall in “Six Feet Under” and “Dexter,” Hugh Laurie, repeatedly passed over despite his tour d’force on “House,” Steve Carrell, multiple times a loser for his work on “The Office,” and Robin Wright, who never won an Emmy for her classic Lady MacBeth act on “House of Cards.”

But they weren’t black, so they couldn’t blame their losses on racism.

It gets worse: The Emmy host said he “stole” the statuettes from  four-time winner Bill Cosby, who despicable as he is, got his awards fair and square. This kind of “ethical” thinking from Hollywood is one reason Americans keep getting dumber.

3. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that she had the job in the first place. Julie Chen, who has co-hosted the award-winning CBS show “The Talk” since it began almost a decade ago, announced this week that she would leave the daytime show. Her husband, Leslie Moonves, just stepped down as the chief executive of the CBS Corporation  because of  serious and multiple sexual harassmentaccustaions against him. In a statement following the initial allegations, Moonves said,  “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”

How about helping someone’s career, Les? Chen has also hosted “Big Brother” since it first aired in 2000. She married the boss about four years later. Then came “The Talk.”

Chen appears to be exhibit #A of the culture of sexual harassment that Moonves fostered at CBS. It’s just that his sexual attentions were welcome, at least after he made them welcome.

26 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 9/19/18: Conditional Authoritarianism, Fake Reparations, And Profitable Harassment

  1. 1) Democrat and Leftist conduct since 2016 has been pushing me steadily closer to *wretch* vote for Trump in 2020. I can’t say they’ve pushed me past the 50% mark yet, but they’re doing their best to do so.

      • A candidate espousing collectivist policies, Stalinist tactics, social justice instead of actual justice, supported by deranged leftists cannot be supported no matter how proper.

        • I have decided that any person supporting anyone from the Democratic party is signature significance of either 1) very low IQ (and low information) voter, 2) partisan end-justifies-the-means hack, or 3) power hungry fascism.

          res ipsa loquitur

          Anyone associated with the Democrats cannot in good faith justify that association, given the past two months, past two years, and past two decades.

          • I think that’s an unfortunate position because at the end of the day it comes down to individuals. It’s understandable to want to keep the party of your ideological opponent as weak as possible, but when faced with 2 candidates and the Lefty is reasonable and traditional and the Righty will actually do damage to the party (provably crazy legit racist white nationalist) – I think you’ve got to think of what’s in the best of interests of your party and vote the other side to send a message that this was not an appropriate candidate for them to support.

            While it might be nice to say “I support my party no matter what” it’s perhaps harmful in the long run. You have to keep them guessing what they have to do to win your support so they don’t go off the rails.

            • Hi Tim!

              1) You are assuming I am a Republican. I am not, not since GWB violated conservative trust with his big government and Patriot Act swill. Like Jack, I line up with principles, morals and ethics as best I can of the choices I have. (In the case of Trump, mine was a vote AGAINST Hillary)

              2) Anyone who runs as a Democrat is endorsing the progressive fascism we see today. Until and if they correct that fascism, I will not vote for dogcatcher if there is a D by the name.

              You see, the Democrat candidate you postulate (“…Lefty is reasonable and traditional”) does not exist. Indeed, cannot exist, as dedication to tradition and reason dictate such a person not be associated with that party. Q.E.D.

              Many here did not vote for Hillary OR Trump. I am talking about exercising the same right: fight in the primaries, and failing that, vote for alternative candidates, until we get a viable third party (ha ha).

              • Anyone who runs as a Democrat is endorsing the progressive fascism we see today. Until and if they correct that fascism, I will not vote for dogcatcher if there is a D by the name.

                You don’t think people on the left say the same thing about the right with their own flavor of hyperbole? Moreover, even if true – what incentive do they have to change if you won’t consider voting for their candidate who does what you want? How do they “correct that fascism” if new level-headed outsiders aren’t permitted to come in and correct it? It’s a catch-22.

                • Except the Right is not endorsing totalitarianism (never mind socialism) by any definition I know. We have seen divergent members of the Republican Party. Where is the Democratic Party’s iconoclast? What Democrat is calling for accountability for the alleged domestic-abusing co-chair? What Democrat has called Feinstein to account?

                  • Bingo, and this is significant.

                    Talk to me when Dems actually play fair. Until then, my stance will not change!

                    If they changed, and the alternative is a right wing wacko, I might vote for your reasonable Dem.

                    But it would take some years of track record, as a party, to get to that point. The problem with your position is that there ain’t no reasonable Dem, and if one existed the party would have to change as well, and first.

                • If you equate what the left is actually doing with the fantasy of a widespread “white nationalism” straw man, I pity you. By all means vote for your level headed Democrat traditionalist illusion. I hope I don’t have to see what you and others have wrought as a result.

                    • … yet he insists that both sides are the same (they are not) and therefore conservatives must continue to play by the rules that liberals have twisted and defeated them with for my entire life.

                      Just saying, that ship has sailed. This is why I will not vote for a D without the stipulations I described above.

        • A candidate that espouses such drivel is not a proper candidate. A democratic candidate that takes their own party to task and talks to their democratic base as though [the candidate] is the only adult in the room – that is a proper candidate. Vowing to vote against such person, sight unseen, simply because of party affiliation is…a poor decision.

          Of course, I espouse being open minded to Dem candidates – but I find myself in a position where I like each of my Rep candidates in the upcoming election (House and Governor) and there’s nothing the Dems could say to make me change my vote.

    • I still don’t like him as a person, but if RBG doesn’t croak out before then, I’ll definitely vote for Trump in 2020 (if he runs, of course).

      If that’s an “Ends Justify the Means” failure on my part, I’ll just have to take the ethical hit, I guess.

      • Villehm, I’m going to take this opportunity to tell my RBG story. My wife and I went to Santa Fe this August to catch all the operas on offer. Two of the five nights there, RBG was in attendance. She’d re-enter at the end of the intermission to a raucous standing ovation from the admiring lefty opera loving masses. She could barely walk and I can’t imagine how she could sit through three hours of opera and keep her head erect to actually see the stage. She might as well have been carried in by a phalanx of loin cloth garbed footmen carrying a sedan chair on their oiled and muscled shoulders. Kind of like “Aida.” I was sorely tempted to shout out loudly and repeatedly: “RETIRE!” But I restrained myself.

    • Re-reading my post, & just to be clear, what I’m saying is I would vote for Trump on the expectation of more Supreme Court appointments..

  2. I wonder if anyone has been keeping a chronological chart of Leftwing Outrage since Nov 9, 2018?

    I can barely recall 3 weeks ago when the Left was in a rage over Trump’s demeanor towards the McCain passing.

    • I wonder if watching his sitcom would be as enjoyable, knowing what I now know to be true? Not that I will ever get a chance unless I dug up a DVD somewhere…

      Huh! Just looked and Amazon has the DVDs and the show (for free!) for Prime members. SJWs have missed a step

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