1. A literal “King’s Pass”! The King’s Pass, #11 on the Ethic Alarms rationalization list, was acted out with perfection in Great Britain, where Prince Philip, despite causing an automobile accident that injured another driver, was not charged or ticketed by authorities. The nonagenarian royal has been persuaded to surrender his driving license, however.
2. Politics do not belong in the sports pages...but don’t tell the New York Times. In another King’s Pass-related story,“Patriarch’s Racist Emails Stagger Cubs Owners” (the print version), in which the Times subtly lobbies for the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball to take punitive action against Joe Ricketts, the billionaire whose family owns the team, we had the following statements…
- “The false assertion that Obama, who identifies as Protestant, was Muslim and born outside the United States were prevalent in right-wing politics during his presidency.” This is just false. The birthers were a radical fringe of the conservative opposition to Obama, and that weak conspiracy theory was never “prevalent.” Nor can the birther claims be fairly called “racist,” though certainly many of their adherents were racist. Among the “racist” sentiments attributed to Ricketts in the article were “we cannot ever let Islam become a large part of our society.” At worst that’s religious bigotry, not racism. At best it’s a defensible point of view.
In fact, I tend to agree with it, and the experience of Western Europe supports the position.
- The article approvingly cites the mandatory grovel by Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs, who denounced his father’s emails in a statement, saying, “We are aware of the racially insensitive emails in my father’s account that were published by an online media outlet. Let me be clear: The language and views expressed in those emails have no place in our society.”
Let me be clear: any language and all views have a place in a society founded on the principles of freedom of thought and expression. The casual and routine endorsement of thought-crime and censorship by the mainstream news media (and academia) is far more alarming than any private emails by an elderly billionaire.
- “In other sports leagues, offensive behavior has led to owners selling their franchises. Donald Sterling was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers of the N.B.A. after a tape of him making racist comments became public. Sterling was banned from the league for life. Jerry Richardson, the owner of the N.F.L.’s Carolina Panthers, announced he would sell his team shortly after a report came out that revealed he had been accused of sexually harassing employees and making racist comments.”
Yes, and one of these actions was highly questionable ethically. Richardson at least had some due process in his removal, as the NFL did a thorough investigation. Sterling was fined and forced to sell his team based on a private conversation in his bedroom. Naturally, the article doesn’t remind its readers of that detail.
- My favorite passage, I think, is this:
“For Joe Ricketts, this is not the first time his political activities have harmed the Cubs. He is a major funder of conservative causes and gave $1 million to a political action committee supporting Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. In 2012, The New York Times reported that Joe Ricketts was considering spending $10 million on a campaign that would attack Obama’s connection to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a former spiritual adviser who Obama denounced during the 2008 presidential campaign. At the same time, the Cubs were asking Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for $300 million in public money, as part of a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area. Emanuel, who served in the White House as Obama’s chief of staff, was reportedly “livid” over the proposed campaign, and stopped talking to Cubs officials about the renovation shortly thereafter. The Ricketts family ultimately financed the renovations privately.”
Wow. Supporting the current President in his election campaign “harmed” the Cubs! And how dare that racist Ricketts consider making Reverend Wright an issue in the 2012 campaign? Obama only sat in his church for decades as Wright routinely preached anti-white racism and anti-America hate. Sure, Obama “denounced” Wright when it was clear that he had become a political liability. And it’s Rickett’s fault that Chicago’s mayor allows his personal conflicts of interests to dictate city policy. This is sports reporting?
This is dishonest and biased for political reporting. It’s inexcusable on the sports page.
3. Still waiting for my apologies: Almost a year ago, several esteemed commenters here made what lawyers call a “noisy withdrawal,” accusing me of “drinking the Kool-Aid” and subscribing to right-wing conspiracy theories when I dutifully reported the emerging facts about the Justice Department’s attempted (and ongoing) soft-coup against President Trump. They adopted this counter-factual position because a) confirmation bias would not allow them to admit and accept the increasingly ugly truth and b) because their favored news sources have been complicit in the coup attempt from the beginning.
I resented this slur on my objectivity and integrity then, and resent it now, especially after Andrew McCabe, who was fired for lying to officials, admitted in an interview and in his upcoming book that because the President fired their FBI director James Comey, whom he had the right and power to fire and whom everyone (including Hillary Clinton) agreed deserved to be fired, the highest officials in the deep state Justice Department discussed persuading the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare incompetent the elected President Obama holdovers didn’t like. This was not only treasonous, real “Seven Days in May” stuff, but was also based on an unconstitutional theory: the 25th Amendment is explicitly there for Presidential disability, as with Wilson’s stroke, Ike’s heart attack, and Reagan’s near assassination. “Justice Department Officials Had Discussions About Pushing Trump Out,” admits the approving Times. Tell me again about how those texts between the FBI lovebirds describing an emergency plan should Trump somehow beat Hillary were meaningless and innocent.
A week after the President fired his arrogant, law-defying employee, James Comey, Robert Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein to be Special Counsel in a fishing expedition to find impeachable dirt on that President whom the Justice Department’s leaders had already discussed overthrowing. McCabe confirms that Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General,offered to wear a wire to entrap the President.
Kool-Aid my ass. Someone, perhaps many someones, should go to prison for this.
And I’m still waiting for my apologies.
4. Regarding that other big story roiling Washington...I have no idea whether the courts will ultimately uphold President Trump’s use of his emergency powers to build the wall/barrier. Whether they do or not, his effort to force the issue is admirable and ethical, and my cursory examination of the legal and constitutional issues suggest to me that he is likely to prevail. The Seventies legislation that gave the President emergency powers outside of wartime do not define precisely what an emergency is, and I share the President’s definition of this one. A political party has decided to use its legislative power to prevent the enforcement of not only a law, but laws essential to U.S. sovereignty and security. In the face of caravans of illegal immigrants preparing to storm the border, with Democrats determined to foil all reasonable efforts by the U.S. to resist their lawless and arrogant defiance of U.S. law, the President resorting to emergency powers is reasonable and hardly “unprecedented,” the Left’s talking point of the hour.
Nancy Pelosi’s analogy of a Democratic President banning guns as an emergency measure is typically dishonest or moronic, depending on how much regard one has for Pelosi’s brain these days. I hope I don’t have to explain why.