1. Covington Catholic Students Ethics Train Wreck update. I’ve decided to cover this topic in the Warm-Ups because it will be repetitive if I don’t: this, like the Kavanaugh debacle, has signature significance. Attention must be paid and the American public’s dangerously short attention span has to be overcome. Imagine: pundits, elected officials, academics journalists and celebrities from the Left—and don’t quibble over that label, because that’s where they are, and from that source oozes the increasingly unethical values that are driving them—are deliberately denigrating and attacking a teenager by name for doing absolutely nothing wrong by any objective standard. The non-objective standards—bigotry and racism—that are being applied, however, find him guilty of supporting a President the Left hates and a cause, the rights of the unborn, they find inconvenient to think seriously about; not retreating when an obnoxious activist began beating a drum in his face; being caught smiling in a manner they chose to link to all manner of subconscious and malign motives, being male, and being white. And, incredibly, these vicious, vicious people are being defended, when they should be, and must be, shamed and shunned. This is not a partisan or an ideological position Ethics Alarms is taking here. It is a civilized, non-partisan and ethical mandate, if we want to live in a free, decent and civil society.
- On Friday’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, Maher, an alleged adult operating under the protection of the First Amendment, with a weekly platform and an audience of knee-jerk hooting fools, called the randomly selected child victim of Native American activist Nathan Phillips, student Nick Sandmann, a “prick” and a “smirkface” with a “shit-eating grin” :
I don’t blame the kid — the smirking kid. I blame lead poisoning and bad parenting, and, oh yeah, I blame that fucking kid. What a little prick — smirkface. Smirkfaces. Please, I mean, like that’s not a dick move, stick your face in this elderly man’s (face).
As anyone who watched the video knows, Sandmann didn’t “stick his face” anywhere. He left it where it was when Phillips stuck his drum in the students’ face, but then Big Lies and repeating false narratives is one of the partisan tactics on ugly display. Classy as ever, Maher ended his attack with, “I don’t spend a lot of time — I must tell you — around Catholic school children, but I do not get what Catholic priests see in these kids.”
Here’s a definition of “punching down”: A nationally known comedian using a cable show to call a high school student names in public. I cancelled my HBO subscription in part because I refuse to support a company that tolerates conduct like that from a prominent employee.
- In Colorado, Mountain Ridge Middle School seventh-grade history teacher Michelle Grissom named and posted a picture of Covington Catholic student Jay Jackson as one of the boys wearing MAGA hats during the pro-life demonstration, and called him a “Hitler Youth.” As it happened, Jackson wasn’t in D.C. for the event, not that her conduct would have been less despicable if he has been. When parent Aaron Johnson protested the teacher’s actions before the school board, he was ejected from the meeting for supposedly violating a rule against “using individual names in an offensive matter.” How is naming a teacher whose social media behavior both slanders a student and embarrasses the school district “offensive”?
It’s offensive because when one is defending a false narrative, the truth is offensive.
- Arizona State University lecturer Lillian “Marie” Wallace mistakenly doxxed a Covington Catholic student on social media who wasn’t involved in the infamous confrontation, and encouraged people to contact the college he planned to attend and try to get him rejected. The Covington student’s family said the identification spawned violent threats and harassment. Wallace was horrified that she accidentally subjected one student to outrageous unethical conduct that should get her fired rather than the student she intended to subject to outrageous unethical conduct that should get her fired. “I was outraged when I read this and I reposted a post that was NOT correct that had the wrong child’s name in it,” she wrote, “I am horrified at my own behavior as there is a child out there trying to live his life and was wrongly identified. I am now a party [sic] of the cause of his fear and misery. I am so SO so sorry to this young man…I hope somehow I can get a message to him and let him know. I want to publicly apologize to this young man.”