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.