Good morning from Ft. Lauderdale!
This warm-up was supposed to be up yesterday, but our flight to Ft. Lauderdale was delayed for four hours, then after we were on the runway, a passenger had some kind of medical emergency, sending us back to the gate and causing more delay. We got to our hotel after midnight, and I wasn’t capable of putting up the post. Not that I’m in that much better shape this morning…
1. Covington Catholic Students Ethics Train Wreck update.
- I just listened to HLN’s shameless effort to change the subject and cover for the news media in the false narrative pounded for more than a day regarding the students. Whether the chaperones were negligent of not is irrelevant to whether journalists and pundits were unprofessional and irresponsible in attacking the students., for example. Also infuriating is the “well, people have different reactions to the video” shrug. Yeah, bigots and race-baiters who have no concern for facts or fairness think it’s politically helpful to punish kids for wearing hats supporting a President they hate.
- Then there is Sarah Beattie, a Saturday Night Live writer, who posted this:
Nice. Of course, an ethical network would discipline an employee who tried to incite an attack on a teen, and no, she may not have been serious, but this isn’t a joke.
These are bad people. Res Ipsa Loquitur.
- On ” The View” yesterday, this exchange occurred:
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, HOST: Many people admitted they made snap judgments before these other facts came in. But is it that we just instantly say that’s what it is based on what we see in that moment and then have to walk stuff back when it turns out we’re wrong? Why is that? Why do we keep making the same mistake?
JOY BEHAR: Because we’re desperate to get Trump out of office. That’s why.
Bias and idiocy has its benefits: Behar is absolutely correct. She just doesn’t have the ethical literacy, decency or intelligence to realize what an indictment that is of the “resistance” and the news media, and herself, of course.
2. On a happier note...The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame voting results were announced, and Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez (yecchh), Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield—in short, the steroid cheats–were all rejected again. Bonds and Clemens crept a little closer, though, because the younger baseball writers who are slowly replacing their elders, are more likely to accept one or more of the invalid rationalizations to excuse these creeps.
3. One reason the younger sportswriters have the ethics of drug cartels is…that they, like most Americans, lack historical perspective because our culture keeps forgetting the lessons of history, and history itself. While stuck in Reagan National Airport with me, my wife bought “The Great Halifax Explosion,” a 2017 best seller about a virtually forgotten disaster that killed nearly 2000 people and wiped out half the port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A ship filled with explosives for the battle fields of W.W. I in 1917 caught fire and blew up in what was the largest man-made explosion before Hiroshima. I had missed this important historical event entirely, and have less excuse than most: the doomed ship Mont-Blanc set sail for Halifax on December 1, my birthday, as well as the day my father died.
4. David Brooks issued one of his better columns since moving over to The Dark Side (The New York Times), called “How We Destroy Lives Today,” about how social media mobs exact punishment for perceived breaches of ethics, large, small and imagined. The essay would be more respectable if Brooks didn’t make excuses for his own colleagues for their very recent conduct regarding the Covington students. He writes,
Before you judge the reporters too harshly, it’s important to remember that these days the social media tail wags the mainstream media dog. If you want your story to be well placed and if you want to be professionally rewarded, you have to generate page views — you have to incite social media. The way to do that is to reinforce the prejudices of your readers.
Wait, isn’t that exactly why the reporters should be judged harshly? I take it back: the column is cowardly.
44 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/23/2019: Fame And Infamy”
The Halifax explosion is the reason Boston gets a Christmas tree every year from Nova Scotia. Boston sent massive teams of medical staff to Halifax to assist in the recovery and treatment of the victims.
It came to light again when Mayor Menino was going to rename it to a holiday tree and Nova Scotia threatened to stop sending them anymore.
Actually the mayor objected to the change.
And would she accuse him of sexual assault after the fact?
The fact that you thought that thought is enough to convict the kid of sexual assault these days.
Can a prostitute accuse a client of sexual assault in such a case?
…better question is if he punched himself in the face, would she still pay up?
What if he let all this friends punch him in the face too?
1. Ah yes, the PR maxim. “If you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation.” So tempting to just drop the Mad Men .gif on a few Facebook threads yesterday.
I saw precisely *one* person in my network adjust her opinion to the new evidence. Emotions are high, and people are frustrated and afraid, but the lack of self-awareness and reflection the past couple days has been breathtaking.
Jamie Lee Curtis has also apologized for making a snap judgement.
#3 I’ve never heard of that even either. You can also check out the Black Tom Explosion of 1916 in Jersey City, NJ, where a pier depot stock loaded with ammunition for allies was set on fire by saboteurs. The explosion was so intense, the Statue of Liberty was damaged and people in surrounding states thought they felt a small earthquake.
Or this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_East_Ohio_Gas_explosion
Called the deadliest industrial explosion in US history: The 1947 Texas City disaster. Ship full of ammonium nitrate detonated, killing at least 581 (many just went missing and no identifiable body parts could be found)
“More than 5,000 people were injured, with 1,784 admitted to 21 area hospitals. More than 500 homes were destroyed and hundreds damaged, leaving 2,000 homeless. The seaport was destroyed, and many businesses were flattened or burned. Over 1,100 vehicles were damaged and 362 freight cars were obliterated—the property damage was estimated at $100 million (equivalent to $1,100,000,000 in 2018).”
Here as elsewhere: always bigger in Texas 😉
This one was covered in detail in chemical engineering school, along with several others. Engineering ethics education seemed to emphasize “here’s what happens if you skip the best practices and ethical steps in a project.” Generally we were taught that if you didn’t do it right, you signed yourself up to potentially be the person responsible for a bunch of deaths, injuries, and (considering the Dow disaster is India) long term effects. I found it to be particulary compelling and a great reason to never skip steps.
Our ethics education consisted of ‘don’t screw up.’ Things were different in the late eighties…
(There was a strong hint of ‘don’t get caught…’ as well, so we had THAT going for us)
This is one I reference from time to time, but it’s not an accidental disaster, but straight up murder: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster
I live near-ish to the area, and it’s astonishing how few people know about such a heinous event that happened so close to home.
1) Strange. Now the introduction of a pornographic element. But I think it does figure in here:
Just as intellect has been corrupted by emotion and sensation, so is responsibility corrupted by the seductions of unrestraint. The rash judgment, unmediated by intelligent analysis, corresponds to the pornographic invitation (in the sense that the culture is drawn into pornography and huge swaths of people are seduced by it).
Since sexual purity is hardly conceived as having any value, of any sort, at all, there is no reason not to rush into it and toward it.
But the corresponding fact is that sensation and emotion, and mental and perceptual processes that are contaminated by them, are similarly ‘seductive’. They hardly require effort.
These media-mediated spectacles therefore correspond to orgies. [Early 16th century: originally plural, from French orgies, via Latin from Greek orgia ‘secret rites or revels: “secret rites used in the worship of Bacchus, Dionysus, and other Greek and Roman deities, celebrated with dancing, drunkenness, and singing.”]
E Michael Jones wrote (in Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation & Political Control):
The Present has to be analyzed with more precision. But the proper tools of analysis need to be recovered. [And if it is not completely plain E Michael Jones is, in essence, applying a Thomist analysis].
The vice engine! I knew I was on to something!
The most disheartening thing about this mechanism is the unlikelihood of turning it around. If the primary force driving our current collapse is mass-scale dopamine addiction, remediation would require puncturing the purple haze to the rational mind purportedly hidden far beneath the husk of the apparently-unthinking thrall and somehow convincing him to act toward ends contrary to those toward which his own endocrine system is forcing him. I think that fits the description of a moral miracle. It happens, but the sun also dances in the sky for thousands of witnesses on occasion.
I considered dopamine blockers in the water supply, but I think that would just cause mass suicide. If only there were a way to spike a water supply with a twelve step program. I can’t think of a method other than the old medieval build-a-walled-city-and-wait-a-few-generations-until-the-barbarians-convert-or-lose-interest. That even leaves the issue of finding enough like-mindeds to build and man a walled city.
That must be why medieval cities were so draft-y
As one always inclined toward speculation, both wild and sober, the present that we are living in offers many different possibilities!
Inclined to attempt to locate ’causes’, it seems fair, good, proper and necessary to consider the topic of ‘seduction’ in the widest sense. I think it is fair to consider the public relations industry, when seen as an industry run by managers and social scientists skilled in ‘the psychology of desire’, as a central culprit. It has to do with the manipulation of the imagination
What perplexes me is that in order to understand the psychological corruption of Our Present, one has to have the conceptual tools to examine it and to *see* it. But the very terms which were used and understood previously — that is to say the foundations of a metaphysically grounded Greco-Christianity, philosophical in orientation — cannot be understood today because no one can understand the premises and no one accepts them! Therefore, we have no adequate conceptual tools with which to develop an accurate assessment of our situation.
It is such a bizarre conundrum! The destruction of intellectus as a guiding faculty in a person, and the pressure of seduction through the constancy and intensity of forces which corrupts the relationship with intellectus, results in a brutification of man, and the brute simply cannot understand what is happening to him and to her. And in that state he is primed to respond to emotional and sensual stimulation and, as you say, becomes an addict to it.
Once the individual has been reduced to brutishness, he will have no choice but to become a slave of his own passion. But he then can only become a slave of a larger political-social system. In this precise context, then, one has to develop a critical foundation for talking about The Americanopolis.
One of the reasons why these issues become terribly complex is because to correct them — let us say starting with just one individual — requires that that one person surrender him or herself to a spiritual, philosophical, and moral authority. And the required process is, essentially, spiritual discipline.
In one or two generations all the moral capital can be squandered. Everything that was gained through amazing discipline and hard work is traded away ‘for a mess of pottage’.
As you see this is about as far as I have gotten: to dimly see *the problem* but to be able to say nothing about how it could be remediated in the larger context.
Is the…um…oral agreement (offer) to provide a blow job provided specifically outlined conditions are fulfilled (acceptance) a legally enforceable contract, whatever the consideration?
Any lawyers out there…?
I am pretty sure that it would constitute prostitution of some sort and would be unenforceable as an illegal contract, or void as against public policy.
My bet would be an illegal contract.
It wouldn’t be considered quid pro blow…?
I think you screwed that one up… and that sucks!
Seems there’s worse things than getting smirked at by kids.
1. This is not surprising. It just is… and it is why we have President Trump in the first place.
2. Increasingly, I find myself shrugging. Gaylord Perry is in the Hall of Fame despite illegally using the spitball, and then flaunting it.
3. Historical ignorance is very profound these days… and the education system, is making it worse.
I’m going to judge reporters harshly. They are partially responsible for people excitedly taking out their phones to try to embarrass public persons with viral videos, no matter how undeserving.
Just as reporters rush stories into print without regard for fact-checking so long as it suits their narrative, so people are happily recording and posting online based on mere assumptions.
“so people are happily recording and posting online based on mere assumptions.”
On that note, the impressive list of accomplishments the talented Nathan Phillips has a new addition: Valor Thief.
What kind of an interview is that?
How many kinds are there?
What kind of a commentary is this?
Wow. Just WOW.
From the very beginning of that interview to the very end, all of her questions were framed from the standpoint that he was the bad guy in all this. No compassion or empathy at all for a 16yo kid.
I found this:
1 Joy Behar
Self-awareness is apparently not a virtue for today’s left.
Consider Goldberg’s statement, who at first blush seems to be at least marginally aware that something isn’t quite right:
The answer to her questions is twofold:
– The urgent desire to be “out front,” and one of the first to respond to a viral situation. This is the desire of every person in news and entertainment to be the first to anything. This is not a “mistake,” it is a deliberate, calculated risk. They figure that they can always apologize if it’s wrong, or double down if it will get them more attention.
– The indifference to the truth. Truth, to them, is so subjective that it is secondary, and homage to the truth is for flyover people who don’t matter to them.
In reality, it isn’t just incompetence, as she seems to suggest — it is deliberate and with malice aforethought. Behar just validates that with her comment, which is a supplication to the god of every leftist, “The ends justify the means.”
2 Baseball HOF
Can Pete Rose be far behind?
4 David Brooks
He doesn’t realize that he’s just pronounced the very judgment he wants us to reject. In what universe is “reinforce [ing] the prejudices of your readers” a valuable, morally defensible thing? It is, in fact, an abrogation of ethical journalism by its very definition. It is utterly vile.
So Brooks has pronounced the harshest possible judgment just by exposing their motivation. Self-awareness? Not even close.
Re No.1/Sarah Beattie.
I see she took it down. While her tweet was obnoxious, more concerning are the 75 retweets and 1,370 likes on that tweet. It appears that many people think offering oral sex to someone who punches a teenager in the face is acceptable and appropriate. Wow.
As I understand it, the Catholic kids were waiting for their bus, the bus was delayed, and there were some adults with them. Which is why they responded to the nasty taunts from the cultists with school chants. Apart from physically jumping in front of Nathan Phillips and herding all of the kids a few steps back, I’m not sure what the adults should have done (and until Phillips’ actions emboldened the cultists to get close to the kids, there wasn’t any obvious danger from him alone.)
The funny thing is, if that one youngster hadn’t stood there looking (defiant? confused? amused?) there would be no story at all here for CNN, Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, etc. Cult members harassing Trump-supporting teenagers with gay slurs and anti-Jewish threats is just another good day in Washington.
The problem was that the youngster was wearing a MAGA hat; how one interprets his expression has largely been motivated by confirmation bias.
“Largely”? I’d say “entirely.”
One might get the impression that her desperation, and the desepration of the resistance, is borne entirely from them losing faith with traditional political, religious, and moral institutions, much like the rank-and-file Nazis and ISIS.
But who corrupted their ethics?
Wait, this was the Black Hebrew Israelites? The mainstream media crucified the Catholic kids in an incident involving the Black Hebrew Israelites? EVEN the SPLC views them as a hate group. THAT really takes the cake.