Morning Ethics Drill, 5/7/19: Unethical Headlines, A Missing Coffee Cup, And A Comment Of The Day

A morning that begins with a trip to the dentist and a referral to an oral surgeon can’t be good. Sorry.

And now I see that without warning or explanation, WordPress has removed its spellcheck feature. I’m sure those of you who are sick of my typos will appreciate THAT…

1. Stop making me defend Anderson Cooper, sort of! Here’s a cheap shot Fox News headline:

Anderson Cooper denies he’s ‘on the left,’ then rips Trump for tweeting about Kentucky Derby

Well, I’m also not on “the left” (Cooper is, of course), and I’m going to rip the President for tweeting his opinion on the Kentucky Derby, without even getting into the fact that his opinion was ill-informed and stupid.

As I wrote more than once during the Obama administration, the President is not the national arbiter of everything, and should keep his opinion to himself unless it directly and clearly involves the national interest. President Obama had a proclivity for injecting himself into controversies large and small, from the Trayvon Martin shooting to picking brackets for the NCAA college basketball tournament.  I wrote in this post,

This can no longer be called a rookie mistake, like the Prof. Gates arrest affair. President Obama has now had plenty of time to absorb the fact that the President does not have a blank check to insert himself into every local controversy and use his office to sway public opinion and the conduct of others regarding matters outside his responsibilities. Still, he continues to do it. It may seem trivial at first: the President gave an interview on TNT in which he pointedly suggested that NBA superstar LeBron James consider the Chicago Bulls as he faces free agency.  After weighing in on the most important things for James to seek from his current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, if he was going to stay there, the President said, “You know, like I said, I don’t want to meddle. I will say this: (Derrick) Rose, Joakim Noah it’s a pretty good core. You know, you could see LeBron fitting in pretty well there.”

Now, I don’t care what Cooper thinks of Trump’s meddling in matters that don’t concern him if the CNN anchor didn’t have the integrity to knock Obama for doing the same thing, and repeatedly. Still, Anderson was on the right track—finally—to say, as he did,

“The president of the United States seems to have a lot of time on his hands And he can’t even stand some horses getting uninterrupted airtime. He’s got to be a part of every frickin news cycle. He can’t help himself!”

(I guess “frickin” is now considered professional lexicon at CNN. Stay classy, Anderson!)

Less defensible was this comment:

“Let me get something straight: President Trump is upset because the more popular candidate, or horse, the one everyone expected to win, didn’t win because of an old-timey rule? Is it just me or does this all sound vaguely familiar and like something the president actually supports in other non-equine situations?”

No, you’re not the only one, Anderson, there are plenty of other ignorant, partisan jerks out there. You’re calling the Electoral College an “old timey rule,” I gather, and suggesting that the real winner of the 2016 election was a Horse Called Hillary, and she was disqualified by the Electoral College? No, Hillary was never the winner by any legal or practical definition.

No frickin’ way.

2. Now here’s a Washington Post headline:

Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime

Really? Here’s the Trump tweet the Post is referring to:

“Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President, including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back…..”

Gee, I’d say he’s accomplished a lot for someone whose years were “stolen,” but he is correct that the effect of the Mueller investigation was to limit his ability to do his job, which was also one of the motives behind it. Do you see any suggestion that he’s owed “overtime”? The headline is pure fake news, as the mainstream news media begins bolstering yet another Big Lie, that the President might refuse to leave office of he’s defeated in 2020.

The Post will claim, because the paper lacks honesty and intehrity, that its headline is justified because Trump retweeted this tongue in cheek tweet by Jerry Falwell, Jr.:

“After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”

But to anyone with half a brain, it should be obvious that calling this “reparations” signals that Falwell’s remedy is intentionally impossible and ridiculous, since Falwell thinks “reparations” in the usual context where the term is used is also impossible and ridiculous (as it is). Meanwhile, Trump doesn’t suggest anything in his re-tweet except that he liked Falwell’s gag.

This continues the three-year trend of the hostile media intentionally interpreting any statement by the President in the most negative way possible, and often in negative ways that should be regarded as impossible.

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias…

3. More on Starbuckscupgate. HBO edited out the anachronistic and “suspension of disbelief”- destroying  cup of 5 buck coffee from “Game of Thrones.” It would have been more ethical to leave it in, as a warning and cautionary tale for alleged professionals who get so cocky and arrogant that they undermine what they were hired to protect and preserve.

4. Comment of the Day on the Hamas-Israel attack: My thanks to Humble Talent, who saved me the time of delving into this multi-level unethical tag-team match between the news media and the Democratic Congress anti-Semite wing with this comment:

This weekend, Hamas backed terrorists from Gaza fired 700 rockets into Israel. Have you heard about this? Perhaps, Perhaps not, I suppose it depends on whether you get your news solely from MSNBC. Has MSNBC covered it? Maybe they gave it 30 seconds, a single post on their website, or a Chyron… But there’s Russian collusion to talk about. How could they possibly report on a terrorist attack that blanketed major urban centers when they could be ignoring a 400 page report and paying deep attention to whether the summary of that 400 page report accurately reflected Robert Mueller’s feelings?

Too much snark?

Anyway. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are in the news again, because just like the period of time after their elections, where they apparently couldn’t go 15 days without saying something overtly anti-semitic, they happen to have an opinion on Israel again. Go figure.

From the Daily Wire:

“How did members of Congress in the United States respond to this? Two Democrat members, far-left wing freshman representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar defended the terrorists, of course. First, Rashida Tlaib retweeted someone who was criticizing a New York Times story.

The tweet that she retweeted said, “This is a stunningly irresponsible and misleading headline, New York Times. Israel shot dozens of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza on Friday and killed four Palestinians including two protesters in Gaza before any projectiles were launched.”

That tweet that Rashida Tlaib retweeted is itself misleading because what it’s suggesting is that Israel provoked the rocket attacks. Israel didn’t provoke the rocket attacks; Iran acting through Islamic Jihad provoked the response from Israel, which then led to rocket attacks because a terrorist sniper started firing on Israeli troops. So, what this person is suggesting is that when terrorists from Gaza start firing on Israeli troops, what Israel should do is nothing. They should just take it lying down — it would be wrong to fight back against terrorists shooting our troops. That’s what that lunatic says, but the more troubling thing is that a member of the United States Congress then retweeted that Islamist propaganda.

Tlaib keeps pushing the propaganda, and she then pushes her own tweet. She says, “When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free”. I’ll pause there — did you catch that? “Our Palestinian people.” Are we talking about some group of Palestinian Arabs living in New Jersey or some group of Palestinian Arabs living in Arizona… no. Who are our Palestinian people? Who does Tliab refer to as “our”? Who does she view as us? Who is she allying herself with?

The tweet goes on: “Headlines like this and framing it in this way just feed into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress and target Palestinian children and families. Hashtag Free Palestine.”

So, this is pure terrorist propaganda. It’s the only way to put it. A member of Congress Rashida Tlaib has become a mouthpiece for some of the worst terrorists in the world. There’s no more diplomatic way I could say it. The more interesting thing and I’ve suspected this for a long time with Rashida Tlaib, is it’s clear she doesn’t like Israel, it’s clear she doesn’t like Jews, and it’s clear that she sides with some of the worst terrorists in the world. But listen to the language — she’s siding with a group of Arabs in so-called Palestine, that elected Hamas to be their government and that elected a terrorist organization to be their government.”

I’ll just let that sink in.


22 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Drill, 5/7/19: Unethical Headlines, A Missing Coffee Cup, And A Comment Of The Day

  1. I am tired of people using the term Palestinian. Since it seems there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, what label should this group have? Well, they are Arabs, but they are a special group of Arabs dedicated to the destruction of Israel and Jews even more than most Arabs. Since they elected onea terrorist group or another as their ‘leadership’ for years, aren’t they a terrorist group? I mean, how is this different than ISIS? Would it be more accurate to refer the them as Islamic terrorists, or Arab terrorists, or Hamas?

    Tliab’s statements would now read ” Israel shot dozens of unarmed Islamic terrorists in Gaza on Friday and killed four Islamic terrorists in Gaza before any projectiles were launched” and “Headlines like this and framing it in this way just feed into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress and target Islamic terrorist children and families. Hashtag Free Hamas.”

    We accept the media using the terms ‘alt-right’, ‘white nationalism’, ‘right wing extremist’, ‘racist’, and ‘nazi’ to refer to moderate Democrats and all Republicans. Is the term ‘Palestinian’ applied to these Arab terrorists just as deceptive as the label ‘racist’ and ‘anti-semitic’ applied to President Trump? Is it any different than Ben Shapiro being called a ‘nazi’?

    • I used to think there was such a thing as “Palestinians” historically, but it’s actually the name of a Roman province created by a Roman emperor to describe the area roughly approximating the state of Israel. There are arguments that this was a slight on the Jewish people because Palestine is linguistically similar to “Phillistine”, but Palestinians aren’t Phillistines and the history of the term doesn’t go a minute before it was made up by a European.

      It’s funny… If you want to argue that Israel is actually Palestine… I suppose you can…. But even then, Palestinian people are really just Israelis, you’d be adopting the argument of a colonial white supremacist, and you’d smell like fish.

      • But wait – if there is no such thing as Palestinian, and the people who dwelled in that place that’s been called Palestine included people who were called Semites…doesn’t that mean that Islamophobes are also anti-Semites??? And anyone who is pro-Palestinian is (or should be called) anti-anti-Semitic???

        Will somebody please just nuke the whole damned quarreling bunch of them, so the maps can be simplified and the area re-named the Radioactive Human-Free Tri-Continent Junction, or something?

        • “Will somebody please just nuke the whole damned quarreling bunch of them, so the maps can be simplified and the area re-named the Radioactive Human-Free Tri-Continent Junction, or something?”

          Lucky——. What exactly do you mean by this statement? Is it funny? Are both sides equally at fault? Would the world be a better place if they were all dead? Is there humor in wishing a whole people be (As was once said by the President of Iran), “…wiped off the map?” Maybe you should elaborate.

          • Lighten up, Francis.

            Since you seem new here, welcome to our little corner of sanity. Donuts are in the breakroom, and clean up after yourself.

            Lucky was not seriously advocating for the Destruction OF The Jewish Race. He was simply expressing frustration with the ceaseless bickering from that section of the globe. Even when Israel is not a factor, there is still endless acrimony in those lands. His comment was more for comedic effect than a true wish to make the middle east a sheet of glowing glass.

            How do I know this? Years of reading what Lucky puts down, and interacting with him. He has character, an opinions that make all of us richer for the sharing.

            Have a nice day, Joshua Allen. Please stick around and enter the fray more often!

          • Oh, I can translate. Lucky is expressing in colorful fashion the widespread and justified frustration with “Middle East tension” that we now know will never end, will never go away, may well get worse, perhaps Armageddon worse, but can’t possibly get better.He’s sick of every new US administration going through the pointless charade of trying to negotiate “Middle East peace” knowing damn well it isn’t going to happen. Outside of Israel, which is in the middle of nations dominated by a brutal and intolerant religion pledged to destroy all infidels ( that is, Israel), none of the nations are true democracies or susceptible to that form of government, and thus prone to leaders who are corrupt and totalitarian. The region was permanently screwed up by the European powers after W.W.I, and has never been unscrewed up. The US can’t afford to ignore the region, but if it becomes involved, it gets pulled into chaos and madness. This is a problem that can’t be solved at this point—look at the Palestinians. They’ve lived for generations in a culture of hate and the mindset of war; nobody now alive can imagine any other state of affairs.

            Lucky’s was an expression of the emotional reaction most Americans must have to whatever the latest “strife” in the Middle East happens to be. It’s like a crazy sibling or alcoholic parent. You don’t really wish them dead, but you fantasize about how much better life would seem if they just disappeared.

  2. Jack, surely there is something unethical about mentioning that you have oral surgery due. Knowingly enabling racketeering, or somesuch.

    I mean, you reminded me that I have to schedule a replacement of a crown on one of my molars. (My dentist wants the gold in my old crown. I am sure that’s his motive. His cover story is that xrays show decay under that crown. He has replaced all my gold with porcelain. Looks more natural, of course. [heh-heh, he goes, as he takes the gold] [heh-heh, I go, Eeyore-style, because the porcelain probably costs even more than the gold] Otherwise, I trust him…)

    And, I am starting to count the misspellings. WordPress is tacitly endorsing misspelling of any and all words. How progressive! Thus shall the language of the interwebs ever evolve…

    1. That Anderson Cooper is so frickin astute! He oughtta be on the air on CNN…
    2. Not only does the Post lack intehrity; it lacks integrity, too.
    3. Starbuckscupgate? WordPress will LOVE that addition to interwebese.
    4. Wonderful COTD! This blog should have followers who visit just to read the comments.

    Anti-Semitic terrorists? Elected to Congress? NEVER!

    • 4. I read an article about Ilhan Omar attending an event in Minnie, and a woman was quoted as saying what a wonderful country the U.S. is and what a wonderful thing it is that there are now women in Congress wearing head scarves. Personally, I’m not thrilled that fewer than twenty years after 9/11 there are women in Congress wearing head scarves. I think the left has been turned into useful idiots. Tlaib and Omar and Ocasio Cortez are just sock puppets for Cenk Uguar and the Justice Democrats, who are simply virulent, deeply anti-American Commies and Muslim Brotherhood.

  3. #4 Great comment of the day.

    An authentic non-partisan investigative journalist should dive straight into Rashida Tlaib’s international connections and her campaign to see if she has been, or is, colluding with and/or financially supported by Hamas. Also see if she is directly supporting Hamas in any way. I’ve been following her rhetoric and it’s clear to me that she’s clearly fallen for to the Palestinian victim hood propaganda and it appears to be consuming her. It appears that propaganda like that from Hamas is particularly consuming for social justice warriors like Tlaib that are looking for victims around every corner to advocate for.

  4. Re: Dentistrial Ethics Preamble: Come visit my wife In Houston. She is a wonderful dentist.

    Re: Nos 1 and 2; Media Bias Ethics:

    While not directly on point, Twitter unilaterally suspended a Twitter account poking fun at the impressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Here is a link to the story:

    I subscribed to that account. It was very funny. Perhaps it struck too close to home because, at times, it was almost impossible to tell if the posts were real or made up. I can’t believe that there was a real violation of Twitter’s terms of service. The posts were obviously funny, and “parody” was right there in the name of the account. Nor were the posts threatening or obscene. It would seem implausible that the account created or caused confusion, other than to point out the silliness of some of AOC’s extreme positions. Sarcasm and ridicule are time-honored treasures of politics – check out Mark Twain for biting wit. I suspect it is part of social media’s purge of alternative viewpoints.


  5. That tweet that Rashida Tlaib retweeted is itself misleading because what it’s suggesting is that Israel provoked the rocket attacks. Israel didn’t provoke the rocket attacks …

    The way I have heard it, Israel was accused of doing just that by failing to comply with some previous agreement. That opens up two questions:-

    – Whether that was in fact the case.

    – Whether that would amount to sufficient provocation (please bear in mind that it would be double standards to argue that it would not while also arguing that similar non-compliance justified invading Iraq, as some commenters here have argued – an issue that also raises a similar factual question that would need to be answered, too).

    However, that definitely does mean that “what this person is suggesting is that when terrorists from Gaza start firing on Israeli troops, what Israel should do is nothing” is an unwarranted inference; that person may have had the completely different scenario above in mind, or yet another one.

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