The first appearance of Donald, Debbie and Gene in the New Year!
1. “A Nation of Assholes” update: Conservatives being ugly. The comments and even the posts around the conservative blogosphere regarding Ruth Bader Ginsberg are repulsive, and reveal a deep mean streak, a lack of compassion and basic respect. Ginsberg, it was announced yesterday, will miss oral arguments–that means she won’t be able to vote on the cases she doesn’t hear—for the first time in her long career. It also may well mean that she isn’t long for this world, or the Court. The gleeful tone of the jokes, sarcasm and mockery being aimed her way by those salivating at the prospect that she will soon be replaced by a right-leaning justice is palpable. (Yes, some of the mean jokes are funny. The blog referring to her illness as a “belated Christmas present” isn’t.)
2. A classic bad argument for illegal immigration in response to an emotional one against it. The advocate? Geraldo Rivera. On a Hannity segment with conservative Dan Bongino [Correction notice: I mistakenly identified Bongino as African American in the original post. He is apparently Italian-American.] Rivera tried to defend illegal immigration while condemning the use of individual episodes of violent crimes by illegals to justify stronger border enforcement. As Bongino and Hannity shouted around and over him, Rivera objected to Hannity’s featuring the grieving parents of 22-year-old Pierce Kennedy Corcoran who was killed in a head-on car crash with illegal immigrant Franco Cambrany Francisco-Eduardo. Francisco-Eduardo was charged with criminally negligent homicide and driving without a license or insurance, was turned over to ICE. (Good!). Hannity lit the fuse when he began his panel by saying,
“Their son is dead. Or the people that also aid and abet these people with their sanctuary cities and sanctuary states, criminal aliens in our custody that are not handed over to ICE. You always say it’s about both parties, it’s not,” Hannity stated. “It’s about one party now that refuses to protect the American people…”
Said Geraldo at his most Geraldo-ish:
“I love you brother, but you are looking at that family, the Corcoran family and what they’ve suffered. There are no words that I can offer that can give them any solace, any relief. I ache for them. I’m so sorry. I would feel equally upset and pained by their tragedy were the killer Irish or Italian or Puerto Rican or Jewish, or old or young. I think that to use these tragedies to try to make a political point is not useful at this point.”
Comment: What does he mean “not useful?” Pro-illegal immigration advocates and apologists, as well as the news media, have been using a false framing of Trump’s clumsy “they are sending us murderers and rapists” for three years to distort the issue. It is certainly useful to remind the public through the static that murders, rapes and other crimes are indeed committed on U.S. citizens by illegal immigrants who don’t belong here, and who broke the law by coming here and by staying here long enough to hurt someone. Geraldo, as has been the case through his career, signals his compassion and nice guy status—he cares!—to slide past the real issue.
He continued in part…
“It is grotesquely unfair — it is grotesquely unfair to use these anecdotes to make a political argument!…You know as well as I know that these people commit fewer crimes than citizens commit. You know they make things safer and not more dangerous, according to the statistics!”
Comment: It is absolute fair. What isn’t fair is the mainstream news media’s “Good Illegal Immigrant” stories, where a long-time illegal’s hardships at finally having to be accountable for an undeniable breach of U.S. law are used to suggest that law enforcement is cruel. Every crime committed by an illegal immigrant is a crime that might not have occurred if immigration law enforcement were not hampered and blocked by irresponsible politicians. The argument that illegal immigration makes the country “safer” is beyond idiotic: it’s also dishonest. Let’s say only 1% of illegal immigrants commit crimes. If one out a group of one hundred illegals cause the death of one American, then that hundred getting past the border made our nation one murder less safe, and permit me to add, “Duh.”
Having listened to this debate for many years, I still have yet to hear a pro-illegal immigration defense that isn’t either dishonest or dumb.
3. Update on the scholarly paper hoax that was the subject of an Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz in October. This was the academic hoax in which three academics tried to see what nonsensical research papers scholarly journals would treat as serious research as long as the objective was sufficiently “woke.” (The result: unbelievably nonsensical research.) Now the ring-leader of the stunt, philosophy professor Peter Boghossian, has been accused violating his institution’s policies regarding the ethical treatment of human test subjects by Portland State University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). “Your efforts to conduct human subjects research at PSU without a submitted nor approved protocol is a clear violation of the policies of your employer,” wrote PSU Vice President Mike McLellan in an email.
Indeed, the “research” was unethical, as I ultimately concluded in October, although there were some spirited and persuasive dissents among EA readers.
4. Do we need any more proof than this? President Trump announced that he would give an address from the Oval Office to the nation. Every single such address by every single President since TV was commercially available has been broadcast by all the networks with news divisions. Every one. (Aside: I have never understood why this blanket coverage was deemed necessary.) Yet yesterday media pundits and network employees were debating whether this President’s address deserved to be broadcast, because, I guess, Trump has diverged from “established democratic norms.” Aside from the hypocrisy, irony and lack of self awareness, could there be a more unequivocal demonstration that the news media is allied with the sinister forces in America that wants to actively interfere with this elected President’s ability to govern, and to treat him as if he were not a President at all?
Here is fake CNN media ethicist Brian Stelter, who has so beclowned himself over the last two years he should really wear a red nose, tweet-quoting with approval a text by a network executive rather than explaining why it’s a smoking gun (because he thinks exactly like the unethical executive does):