1. Why does anyone pay attention to what Dan Rather has to say about the trustworthiness of the news media? Interviewed in some Trump-bashing forum or another, the man who was fired from CBS for using a fake document to bolster an anti-President Bush story argued that President Trump was waging a “war on the press” in order to “undermine the public’s trust in the rule of law, ” and that he was making “some headway” in undermining the press’s legitimacy.
To the contrary, Dan Rather and his biased news media colleagues have been 100% responsible for undermining the public’s trust in journalists. All of the Presidents attacks and insults would come to nothing if it were not so obvious, which more evidence every day, that the news media was biased, incompetent, dishonest, and pursuing a partisan agenda. Indeed, the fact that CNN, MSNBC and other news sources still resort to Rather as a credible commentator is enough to justify distrusting the new media all by itself.
2. Yup, those Republicans won’t return to civility…Kathy Griffin, trenchant as always and teeming with wit, has now called President Trump a “stupid racist piece of shit.” It is time to definitively establish that the “Trump is a racist” slur is a Democrat/”resistance” Big Lie, and nothing else. There is no evidence that Donald Trump is a racist. I have reviewed the episodes that supported support that contention, and ultimately they boil down to “If you aren’t a progressive, you’re a racist.” Trump opposes illegal immigration, and the dishonest advocacy of open borders has relied on intimidating supporters of this self-evidently correct position by tarring them as racist. Trump challenged Barack Obana’s birthright citizenship exactly as he challenged Ted Cruz’s citizenship in the 2016 campaign for the GOP nomination. (Ted’s not black, in case you hadn’t noticed.) The argument that this proves Trump is a racist is a failed syllogism: Many racists were birthers, Trump was a birther, ergo he’s a racist. False. He’s an asshole. He would have trolled any President, of any color, with the same idiotic accusation if it suited his purposes. But, again, the Democratic play-book for eight years now has dictated that any criticism of Obama is suspect of racist motives. And, of course, the President must be racist because he wants to limit the number of Muslims who enter the country from hotbeds of terrorism.
The hypocrisy of Trump’s foes using the Nazi Big Lie tactic while accusing him of being a fascist is so obvious that it’s hard to believe everyone doesn’t see it. I admit, it’s a versatile Big Lie, allowing pundits to equate Trump’s advocacy of “nationalism,” meaning opposition to the world government dreams the Democratic Party (and quite a few Republicans) have been promoting since Woodrow Wilson (who WAS as racist) with “white nationalism.”
Griffin’s “evidence”? The President said the White House might pull the press credentials of April Ryan, who happens to be black. If CNN was real news organization, it would have fired Ryan, who is a biased, ideologically-driven hack, long ago. Here are the Ethics Alarms Ryan files. Here is what April Ryan considers legitimate questioning of the White House Press Secretary:
“Sarah, is slavery wrong? Sarah, is slavery wrong? Does this administration think that slavery was wrong? Sarah, does this administration believe slavery was wrong?”
Stop making me defend President Trump.
3. Adopt a greyhound. Florida is finally banning greyhound racing. Good. It is a cruel sport that forces loving dogs into a life that is brutish and short, with dogs that don’t win enough to be profitable often ending up dead in a ditch. (I also have a bias: my mother’s younger brother, already of modest means, blew a small fortune gambling on dogracing in Massachusetts. As of October, there were about 3,700 greyhounds in Florida, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The end of racing means that all those dogs will have no place to go, unless they are adopted.
You cannot find a more gentle, affectionate, intelligent breed than greyhounds. They are big dogs, and obviously fast, but they need us, and we owe them. We allowed them to be abused for too long.
4. Ick, Aww! or ethics? Or maybe an Ethics Hero? On a Philippine Airlines domestic flight, Patrisha Organo a flight attendant with an infant of her own at home, breastfed the hungry infant of a passenger who had run out of formula. I don’t know what to make of this. It was not a long flight, so the baby wasn’t in any peril. That kind of intimate contact with a passenger would seem to demand an airline policy discouraging it. The airline would be liable if Organo transmitted a disease, for example. Accounts called this service “above and beyond” the call of duty. I’d go a bit farther: breastfeeding isn’t her job, and she shouldn’t spend her time doing a passenger’s job. What other people should consider breastfeeding a customer’s infants when the mother screws up? Cabbies? Dental assistants? Hairdressers? Postal workers?
5. Why we aren’t as ethical as we think we are. The University of Georgia’s 2018 Ethics Week Lecture by Ann E. Tenbrunsel was titled “Blind Spots: Why We Aren’t As Ethical As We Think We Are,” focusing on why people overinflate their own honesty or others’ dishonesty depending on the situation. Ethics Alarms has covered the topic frequently, but Tenbrunsel, the David E. Gallo Professor of Business Ethics in the College of Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame and the co-author of “Blind Spots,” provided some useful concepts. She described four “blind spots” that lead to unethical decision-making: ethical illusions, ethical fading, dangerous reward systems and motivated blindness.
- Ethical illusions are “biased perceptions of our own ethicality,” what I have called “restraint bias,” using Professor Zimbardo’s term.
- Ethical fading is the failure to see a decision with ethical components as an ethical problem requiring an ethics analysis. Since I have the misfortune of seeing almost everything as an ethical problem, Ethics Alarms functions as an antidote to ethical fading.
- Dangerous reward systems create perverse incentives for unethical behavior and unethical cultures to thrive. You know: like business, journalism and politics….
- Motivated blindness is a form of confirmation bias, where one does not see or acknowledge unethical conduct by others when doing so seems to be contrary to ones own best interests. Say, when one doesn’t see that a Supreme Court nominee you don’t like is being outrageously mistreated…