Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/4/19: Super Bowl Hangover Edition

(Nice job, Gladys. Thanks)

New Rule:

I’m not saying “Good Morning!” until I can do it without coughing.

1. Is this hypocritical…or maybe just greed? Cardi B—if you don’t know who the singer is, then you are just hopelessly out of step— Cardi B refused to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show out of support for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Then she showed up on the broadcast in a Pepsi ad.

Of course, the half-time gig doesn’t pay, and Pepsi does, but if you are boycotting the Super Bowl, how can you justify appearing in a Super Bowl ad? Well, performers tend not to be deep thinkers…

2. The Washington Post Super Bowl commercial…

Yes, the Post spent an estimated ten million dollars for pro-news media propaganda. Desperate and self-indicting, in my view. The best way for the Post and other mainstream news media to convince the public that they are trustworthy is for them to do their jobs ethically, and they obviously do not. This self-glorifying ad comes one week after the Post led the media attack on a 16-year old Catholic school student without checking the veracity of a deceptively edited videotape or talking with the student involved. The Post was indulging its anti-Trump bias by casting a kid wearing a MAGA hat as a racist. How did this disgusting and unethical performance embody the platitudes Tom Hanks mouthed in the ad—“There’s someone to gather the facts. To bring you the story. No matter the cost. Because knowing empowers us. Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free”? How about the Post actually doing those things, rather than spending millions to convince people that they are, when the evidence says otherwise?

Just as the ad was running yesterday, we learned of a 2004 sexual assault allegation against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax that the Post decided at the time wasn’t credible enough to report on.  Why? Well, theories abound. Maybe it wasn’t credible, but then, I thought the idea was to believe all women. How could it have been less credible than some of the accusations against Brett Kavanagh that the Post reported when it was trying to sink his nomination? Does the fact that Fairfax is a Democrat have anything to do with the Post’s “objective news judgment”? Might not Virginia voters have wanted to make up their own minds about the allegations, when Fairfax was running for Lt. Governor?

Tell us again about how “democracy dies in darkness,” Tom.

Meanwhile, one of the Post’s union’s leaders, Fredrick Kunkle, wondered about that 10 million dollar expenditure:

“While I too am extremely proud of the Post and its legacy,” Kunkle said. “[T]his seems like an especially infuriating expense for a company that has: a) tried to take health care insurance from part-time employees b) moved everyone toward riskier forms of health insurance.” He added: “c) made it easier to lay people off d) cut their severance e) frozen their pensions and resisted the smallest enhancements to remaining retirement benefits until Sen. Bernie Sanders shamed it into doing so.”

3.  Gotcha! Jennifer Rubin, whom the Post absurdly touts as a “conservative blogger” despite her having morphed into one of the most virulent Trump-hating pundits alive, called for Democrats to “move [Virginia Governor] Northam out” so he could be replaced by  Fairfax, whom she described as a “dynamic, eloquent African American.” Now she’s under attack, like Northam, for revealing nascent racism. See, calling Fairfax, a black man “eloquent” is the equivalent of saying he is articulate, as if it’s a surprise that any African American can speak well.

I’ve never heard Fairfax speak. Is he eloquent? I thought Obama was over-rated as a speaker, but he was certainly skilled, and could be eloquent when at his best. Can’t someone call an eloquent black speaker eloquent, and an articulate black speaker articulate? If only white speakers can be called eloquent or articulate, isn’t that unfair to eloquent and articulate blacks? Is it racist to describe Martin Luther King as eloquent? Or is the rule that blacks can call black speakers eloquent or articulate, but whites can only call white speakers eloquent and articulate. Blacks can still call white speakers eloquent and articulate, however. I assume they also can call white speakers like President Trump or Governor Northam inarticulate, jibbering clods, but whites must never use such terms to describe even the most incomprehensible black speakers, since that’s just racist stigmatizing speakers of “African-American English.”

Do I have it right? Look, I just want to understand the rules.

33 thoughts on “Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/4/19: Super Bowl Hangover Edition

  1. I think you’ve got it…I think. I think it gets even more complicated when Latinos and Asian-Americans get into the mix

  2. About the Super Bowl…

    I find it quite interesting that there are people out there willing to boycott the Super Bowl because they didn’t like the way the NFL handled the kneeling players controversy, so they are basically boycotting the Super Bowl based on some perceived violation of their ethical standards but those same people won’t boycott the same game based on what appears to be proven medical science that players are literally destroying their brains in the game.

    I think this twisted ethical hypocrisy is reasonable evidence that shows us how people’s ethics are being manipulated by progressives and social justice warriors into piles of emotional bull shit.

    I didn’t watch the game or anything associated with it.

    How soon will society be cheering on a full blown gladiator sports like Rollerball.

  3. #3 I’d say that progressives and social justice warriors have double standards but that would be a blatant lie on my part, in fact what I think what’s really true is that they have absolutely no standards whatsoever, only emotionally laced irrationality behavior that’s a constantly changing fast-flowing quagmire of absurdities and they are brainwashed into believing that everything they say is absolute truth and should never be questioned.

    https://resurrectedsite.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/wethepeopleobsolete.jpg

  4. So, the Democrats want the Democrat Governor of Virginia to resign so the Democrat Lieutenant Governor can take over and be forced to resign over rape allegations? Who is third in line, Hillary Clinton?

  5. Point 3
    This is precisely what I was driving at in an earlier post.

    Words and actions take on meanings based on the political objective. I would love to have the arbiters of fairness explain why Trump’s comment in which he describes an amorphous group in Charlottesville as having good people on both sides is any more suggestive of his being a racist than Terry Macauliffe’s statement that Northram is a good and honorable man.

    • Words and actions take on meanings based on the political objective. I would love to have the arbiters of fairness explain why Trump’s comment in which he describes an amorphous group in Charlottesville as having good people on both sides is any more suggestive of his being a racist than Terry Macauliffe’s statement that Northram is a good and honorable man.

      Great comment, Chris. The answer, of course, is that Macauliffe would simply point out how Trump’s racism was recent and Northam’s 35 years in the rear-view, and that Northam’s a good man now, unlike Trump.

      How does justify his call for Northam to resign? Simple – by saying he’s lost the ability to effectively lead the Commonwealth.

      This stuff is so pat, you barely need to engage your brain to figure it out.

      • This stuff is so pat, you barely…

        Was that an ultra neo conservative dog whistle, there? You worked Pat (of Buchanon fame) into it so subtly, yet so prominently, that white nationalists all over our nation have turned their ear to the wind.

        Could it be a call to elect PAT to the Governor’s office?!?

      • Actually Glenn the point I was making was that Macauliffe was making a similar statement about a third party.

        Trumps comment was about a group in general that included a people wanting to prevent airbrushing history and not supremacists

        Macauliffe’s comment was about a specific person alleged to be a racist because of the photo.

        Trump is condemned for suggesting members of one side had good people and no equivalent condemnation of Macauliffe for calling Northam a decent and honorable man.

  6. On #3: Last August at our annual Wyoming Catholic Men’s Retreat, we had as our speaker Deacon Larry Oney. Wow, that man was on fire. He was enthusiastic, articulate, challenging, insightful, demonstrative… The superlatives could go on for quite a while. Oh, and he was black. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. He made more out of it than any of our almost-all-white group did, but it was always in the form of a joke that made us all laugh. But I didn’t think skin color had anything to do with being articulate, or zealous.

    What offends me about Rubin’s comment is not that she somehow implies that Fairfax is unique among black men for being eloquent, but that she implies his skin color makes him more deserving of office. I know the Left hates meritocracy, and I know the Left is all about identity politics and making sure we don’t unfairly pass over minorities because they are minorities, but still. If every statement is going to be a “gotcha” statement, how soon before no one dares say anything about a minority? Is it better for Rubin to have said that Fairfax was eloquent and black, or for her to have said nothing at all? At what point should one stop even trying to engage the Left when even a complement blows up your face?

    I simpoly wish that we could have a peaceful resolution between the star-bellied Sneetches and the plain-bellied Sneetches. (I’ll let others decide who is who in THAT analogy…)

    • Ryan, I keep harking back to Joe Biden’s comments on Obama, way before the primaries…Biden said he had no problems with Obama, “…he’s bright, articulate…clean…” much like it was odd for a black man to be clean. Jolting Joe.

    • Deacon Oney spoke at a Diocesan assembly in Michigan as well, and fire is the absolute right word for it- and I don’t think a white guy could have given the talk he gave. His whole speaking style was steeped in Southern Black Gospel culture, and that’s great! A white guy would have given a speech in a different way, and that’s great too! Their cultural differences FLAVOR them, but aren’t what make them good, or bad, or inspiring, or eloquent, or anything else.

  7. Fairfax says: the timing of the allegation is really questionable. I deny it categorically. There is no corroboration. Sound familiar? Democrats on the Judiciary Committee excoriated Justice Kavanaugh for such statements during his hearing. Will they hold Lt Gov Fairfax to the same standard? Will they say “If it was good enough for Kavanaugh, it’s good enough for Fairfax?” Or perhaps (highly unlikely) the approach for which we argued vociferously during the Kavanaugh hearings was wrong. (Well, I guess we know that won’t happen).

    • No, they won’t hold fellow Democrats to the same standards. One thing that has come out of the Kavanaugh Debacle is that Republicans learned that Democrats and Republicans don’t simply disagree over policy: Republicans used to believe that Democrats were wrong on the issues but were loyal to the nation. They now know that Democrats see them as fundamental threats to their ideas, and not merely wrong but bad people for disagreeing with them and must be defeated. Ocasio-Cortez, Harris, Feinstein, this Virginia Governor, Rep. Jackson-Lee, and their ilk will force capitulation or face destruction in whatever form is most expedient.

      jvb

  8. Yes, the Post spent an estimated ten million dollars for pro-news media propaganda. Desperate and self-indicting, in my view. The best way for the Post and other mainstream news media to convince the public that they are trustworthy is for them to do their jobs ethically, and they obviously do not. This self-glorifying ad comes one week after the Post led the media attack on a 16-year old Catholic school student without checking the veracity of a deceptively edited videotape or talking with the student involved. The Post was indulging its anti-Trump bias by casting a kid wearing a MAGA hat as a racist. How did this disgusting and unethical performance embody the platitudes Tom Hanks mouthed in the ad—“There’s someone to gather the facts. To bring you the story. No matter the cost. Because knowing empowers us. Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free”? How about the Post actually doing those things, rather than spending millions to convince people that they are, when the evidence says otherwise?

    The Gladys Knight video — the entire presentation, including the Anthem — seems to me a completely fake and totally uninspiring propaganda/PR piece. They are working now within *simulacra* of something that perhaps once was but is no longer. That *America* no longer exists. But they have to pretend that it does. There is something profoundly coercive in all of it. (And this is why I do not watch TeeVee).

    I think that the Washington Post propaganda piece and the Superbowl propaganda piece attempt to present a ‘fractured structure’ as if what they try to present as ‘whole’ has not, in fact, broken. Holding to the fake truth of wholeness borders into evil. It seems all a lie really. The production values, the costumes, the standing at attention, the false-emotion, and then the views of soldiers off destroying other people’s lives and their cultures who believe the lie that there is some high purpose in their activities: this does not border evil it enters the domain of evil. To me it has a similar feel to certain Soviet or Communist China productions.

    Also, the entire presentation by multi-national corporations of patriotic, cultural-engineering propaganda and PR productions with bizarre fake sentiment-laden commercials seems to me beyond perverse. These entities should never have been given such culture-molding power and their insertion of themselves in politics and social issues deserves absolute condemnation and ridicule.

    • “The Gladys Knight video — the entire presentation, including the Anthem — seems to me a completely fake and totally uninspiring propaganda/PR piece.”

      Sometimes the Anthem is JUST the Anthem.

      One apres-plus was the inimitable Ms. Knight Drop Kicking CNN moron extraordinaire Don Lemon into the cheap seats.

      • Some Notes on “Simulacrum”

        “It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real”.

        The thing that is supposed to exist (some sort of national unity and a postwar constructed dream) now no longer exists. But the *image* of it, the imitation of it, is still performed as an elaborate rehearsal. The *shiny mirage* replaces the real thing.

        “Baudrillard is not merely suggesting that postmodern culture is artificial, because the concept of artificiality still requires some sense of reality against which to recognize the artifice. His point, rather, is that we have lost all ability to make sense of the distinction between nature and artifice.”

        Ouch!

        “To clarify his point, he argues that there are three “orders of simulacra”:

        1) in the first order of simulacra, which he associates with the pre-modern period, the image is a clear counterfeit of the real; the image is recognized as just an illusion, a place marker for the real;

        2) in the second order of simulacra, which Baudrillard associates with the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century, the distinctions between the image and the representation begin to break down because of mass production and the proliferation of copies. Such production misrepresents and masks an underlying reality by imitating it so well, thus threatening to replace it (e.g. in photography or ideology); however, there is still a belief that, through critique or effective political action, one can still access the hidden fact of the real;

        3) in the third order of simulacra, which is associated with the postmodern age, we are confronted with a precession of simulacra; that is, the representation precedes and determines the real. There is no longer any distinction between reality and its representation; there is only the simulacrum.”

        A ‘precession of simulacra’ is an odd idea. There is no unity. The dream faded. Reality stands there mocking the false simulacrum. But the simulacrum has replaced the need for reality. We can watch National Unity performed at half-time . . . on TeeVee . . .

        Still, I did come across this. (And since the topic of West Side Story may not ever come up again for 10 years I had to include it here). (There is also a Little Richard tune on YouTube where he sings ‘I Feel Pretty’.)

        • This paragraph was supposed to have appeared thus:

          “Baudrillard is not merely suggesting that postmodern culture is artificial, because the concept of artificiality still requires some sense of reality against which to recognize the artifice. His point, rather, is that we have lost all ability to make sense of the distinction between nature and artifice.”

          Ouch!

  9. We will have to assert that we are one nation for all its citizens until we convince ourselves again. Focus can determine our reality.

    2: The counter quote I keep remembering is “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.” from Padme Amadala/George Lucas. An article from the Post equates Trump with the fictional emperor, but that is exactly backwards as Mr Trump has been really slow to silence and gut the Senate, slaughter his military generals, choke his opponents in midair, and rewrite history even as it happens- Warts and all are bragged about practically. Democracy is messy and slow, but thought police and censors are not the stuff of free will and liberty.

    • Mariedowd wrote:

      We will have to assert that we are one nation for all its citizens until we convince ourselves again. Focus can determine our reality.

      Some further notes

      I am uncertain why the contradictory statements that immediately occur to me feel so transgressive! yet I do feel that when I do so I am violating a norm or nearly committing a crime. It would be easy, but illustrative, to use the term thoughtcrime for turning, if only in idea, or in speculation, against a primary tenet of Americanism.

      Yet it feels wiser to see and describe the present accurately and to accept the consequences of speaking my mind. I beg to be contradicted.

      The National Unity of America is a propaganda-construct and it is falling into pieces. I would not say that it is completely false though. But it is important to be the one to say, in definite terms, that national unity as a social sentiment is provided to us now by government agencies who repeat all manner of different phrases about it like old parrots; or (horrifyingly and perversely) is presented to us by Corporate public relations offices in ultra-slick and cloying *propaganda-commercials* that are strikingly similar to Maoist social engineering efforts dreamed up in Chinese propaganda offices.

      It seems to me that one should see this and talk about this.

      The Postwar Construct — generally called liberal democracy — has been a model managed by an elite class. What they have achieved and what they desire, is now being contradicted by the will of the people who are ruled. There is a profound suspicion of the intentions of these elites.

      Distrust.

      These elites and their global-multicultural projects are now being seen as destructive to the welfare of the ruled. For example, they have in the Postwar deliberately engaged in social engineering and excessive importation of a new and distinct demographic as they have built their empires. They feel justified and emboldened to affect their will even if it results in destruction of the traditional demos.

      It is their actions, their projects, that have brought about the social conflicts we now witness. And then they go to work on the demos to engineer them to accept their fate.

      And their plans are global. They will use a nation’s armies to socially engineer other cultures and not care one iota for the death and destruction — the interference in life-processes! — that this entails. Who, in any American MSM, talks about the effect of these military adventures in human terms? Who? Where?

      And they give a perverse (an evil) permission to the subjects of their American Nation to hold the life of other people in no regard! To use geo-political lingo or the lingo of corporations ‘penetrating markets’ so that people do not have to think through the consequences of these destructive actions.

      All throughout Europe, in each and every culture and country, there are rising movements that are described as nationalist-populist. These are democratic movements and they are represented as being ‘fascistic’ and ‘totalitarian’ by the managing elites who fear them. And they are gathering together a discourse, a defensive ideology, to combat these *elites* and their extensive plans and visions.

      What this means is that people are waking up to the sense of what they have lost and what they stand to lose if these projects go forward. But people, average people, do not have the organizational resources of governments, the elite managers who run them, and the corporations that have significant control over the *commons*. One tenet of Postwar liberal democracy has been that elite experts guide affairs (cf: The Managerial Revolution). Now, these elites and their projects are being examined and contradicted by the populations they dominate through PR and Propaganda offices and these techniques.

      And what results from this is a rupture within the Postwar political alignments. As people confront those who have designed a world for them, discovering that what they love and value is being altered and destroyed and that they are not *winning* nor do they have a sense of living valuable lives, they confront and oppose the propaganda-constructs like in these insidious, vile and evil TeeVee productions put up by PR offices with false patriotic sentiments that are fake through-and-through. But because their minds are still under the effect of tremendous Postwar propaganda constructs (minds that are not capable and which have not been trained to think freely! that is, like sheep) they *know* at a somatic, physical level that they are seeing lies, but yet their minds, and to some extent their hearts, are still *captured* by the PR Images.

      This leads to cognitive dissonance and to self-conflict.

  10. Let me help you out, Jack.

    If only white speakers can be called eloquent or articulate, isn’t that unfair to eloquent and articulate blacks?

    Well, you can call blacks intelligent and articulate, you just can’t identify their race along with the praise. White people must always speak as if race doesn’t matter, even if it’s the only thing that matters.

    Blacks can still call white speakers eloquent and articulate, however. I assume they also can call white speakers like President Trump or Governor Northam inarticulate, jibbering clods, but whites must never use such terms to describe even the most incomprehensible black speakers, since that’s just racist stigmatizing speakers of “African-American English.”

    Correct. You may say something like, “What Fairfax said doesn’t make any sense to me,” but anything stronger than that is racist, whether you identify his race or not.

  11. Well, performers tend not to be deep thinkers…

    But we retweet their insane political commentary as if they are the last word on the subject. Remember Taylor Swift. She was going to elect Phil Bredesen all by herself… oh, never mind.

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