Tuesday’s child is full of grace.
Tuesday’s ethics, not so much…
1. The other shoe drops...the New York Times yesterday editorialized against the generous gift to Morehouse students by billionaire and Ethics Hero Robert F. Smith. It also took a swipe at Smith himself, whose wealth the Times appears to consider suspect. What the mouthpiece of the Left is lobbying for is Bernie Sanders’ free college for all, meaning that not just billionaires but you and I will all have to pay for inflated tuition at institutions that do not so much teach as indoctrinate (or, in the case of Ohio State and who knows what others, molest).
The wonderful thing about Smith’s gift is that it was a complete surprise. The students had a strong financial motivation not to waste their college years taking useless courses on the Patriarchy of Gas Grilling, and instead had every reason to try to prepare themselves for the workplace. Free college education becomes a privilege and a lark, with no accountability or commitment required.
2. Fake Headline Dept. I have seen this in several places: “Ciara Accepted Into Harvard University’s Prestigious Business School.” (Ciara is a pop diva, if you care.)
Uh, no, she wasn’t. She is going to attend a Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports program at the B-school that lasts all of three days. She’ll pay for it, too. Ciara doesn’t have a college degree, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I bet she’ll tell people for the rest of her life that she attended the Business School, just like Bill O’Reilly still says he’s a Harvard grad because he attended the Kennedy School of Government on campus.
Not that a Harvard degree is anything to boast about these days…
3. Shut up and read your lines, Jeff. My old friend, the late Bob McElwaine, was a publicist for many Golden Age Hollywood stars, and he wouldn’t let them off his leash to talk about matters that would expose their limitations, which were potentially embarrassing. Playing smart, wise, virtuous people doesn’t make one smart, wise, and virtuous; I always admired Henry Fonda’s candor when he told Playboy that what he loved about acting was that he could play brilliant, courageous and admirable characters when, he said, “In real life, I’m none of those things.”
Jeff Daniels is a versatile and talented actor but his political views should be no more newsworthy or persuasive than those of the guy who mows my lawn. Nonetheless, he received coverage for his moronic (it really is moronic) statement to an interviewer that if President Trump is re-elected, “It’s the end of democracy.”
- Daniels is unethically trading on the respect that the character he’s playing on Broadway, Atticus Finch, has with the general public, and that’s a cheat. Jeff’s political acumen seems more on par with the guy he played in “Dumb and Dumber.”
- If a national election re-elects the President, it’s the end of democracy. You see, what would have been good for democracy is for the “resistance,” Democrats, the news media and the manufactured “collusion” scheme to have succeed in voiding the previous election by extra-institutional means.
- This is flagrant fear-mongering, about as fair and honest as the current Democratic front-runner’s declaration before a black audience in 2012 that if elected, Republicans would “put y’all back in chains.”
- Daniels’ earnest idiocy is of a piece with Nancy Pelosi’s unforgivable speculation that the President would refuse to leave office if defeated.
- Nothing, no policy, no executive order, no action that this President has undertaken hints of a challenge to democracy. The abandonment of fair and objective journalism by our news media? Yes, that threatens democracy. The orchestrated Democratic Party effort to undermine public faith in elections, impugn the President as a foreign agent, engage in vile personal attacks on a level that hasn’t been seen since the Civil War? The hostility to free speech, the effort to declare individuals guilty of crimes without proof or due process, the enabling of anti-male, anti-white, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian rhetoric? The undermining of the rule of law in border enforcement, and the abuse of the investigative power by Congress to deliberately interfere with the Executive’s Constitutional duties? Yes, these are all threats to democracy, and none of them are attributable to the President.
If we were not inflicted with the biased and untrustworthy journalism that threatens democracy, MSNBC journalist Nicolle Wallace would have asked Daniels to explain exactly how re-electing Trump would end democracy. I assume it is because he, like most MSNBC viewers, believe that a system is only working if the “right people” get elected.
I should be able to get past this, but I can’t. Once actors show me that they are idiots or personally repulsive, I have a real problem enjoying their work. This has already ruined for me Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman and now Daniels—excellent performers all. “It’s better,” Bob told me, as he told his clients, “if the public doesn’t know what you think.”
4. The Horror. Alabama Public Television pulled an episode of the cartoon “Arthur” last week because the plot focused on a same-sex wedding between Arthur’s male teacher and his male companion. The PBS cartoon about a young aardvark, his anthropomorphic family, and his neighborhood and school populated by talking apes, rodents, dogs, cats, rabbits, ungulates and god-knows-what some of them are has been running for decades. My son used to watch it, when he was six or so. To call the show low-key would be to understate the case. It did influence my son, though: Grant found Arthur’s little sister so obnoxious that he lobbied hard to remain an only child.
Apparently it was the same-sex aspect of the wedding and not the inter-species aspect that troubled APT. Yes, “Arthur,” like most of the generally unfunny animated TV fare for kids these days, has always been stuffed with social messages,and I can see why a parent might object to that. However, same-sex marriage is a fact now. It’s approved by law, it is part of the culture, and it is not going anywhere. I’m hardly an activist, but I’ve been a guest at a same sex wedding, and I know and respect quite a few same sex spouses. “Modern Family,” the long-running sitcom that has highlighted the humorous travails of a same-sex marriage for almost ten years is viewable on cable day and night.
Pulling the episode because the cartoon reflects the nation, the laws and the culture is as irresponsible as it is hysterical. I, for one, send my best wished to Mr. Ratburn and his new husband. I assume they will honeymoon on the Island of Dr. Moreau.