Whoa! A morning surprise!
As I commented on yesterday’s warm-up, traffic on Ethics Alarms was discouraging slow all weekend, which, as some of you know, makes me re-evaluate my priorities and ponder throwing myself into the shredder. Then, I discover, at some point last night the Mitch McConnell post was linked someplace that has a much bigger audience than I have, and just like that, the blog got more visitors in a couple of hours as the weekend weekended than it had in the previous two days. As is usually the case, it is impossible to find out where the referrals are coming from (except I know they aren’t from Facebook!), virtually none of the new visitors are commenting, and the temporary avalanche spawns few new followers, if any. I never know when this is going to happen, and it almost never occurs with the essays I am most proud of or consider especially important.
1. Of course they booed. They’re NFL football fans. This means they have the ethics of army ants. Andrew Luck, the star quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts,, even though he is only 29 and completed a stellar campaign in 2018. The reason: he doesn’t want to end up crippled or a vegetable from the abuse his body and brain have absorbed and will continue to the longer he stays on the field. not having them anymore after the way fans in Indianapolis treated him after the on Saturday.
As Luck began to make his way off the field following thein the Colts’ preseason game against the Bears, fans at Lucas Oil Stadium started to boo their former quarterback because the news of Luck’s retirement broke during the fourth quarter of the game. Of course they booed. Anyone who watches the NFL and supports an NFL team by purchasing tickets, merchandise, or inflating league ratings by watching the games on TV has signaled that they are perfectly happy to encourage young men to ruin their bodies and minds for their selfish entertainment, safe in their seats or on their living room sofas.
2. More on the Left’s undemocratic effort to stifle free speech and opposition to its agenda…Tucker Carlson—I am not a fan, you will recall—returned to his Fox News show after a vacation that seemed more like a retreat from fire to find that the Media Matters-led sponsor boycott of his show had taken more chunks out of his sponsor base.
The boycott effort picked up momentum again this month, after Carlson said that white supremacy was “actually not a real problem in America” and likened it to a “hoax” and a “conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.” (I agree with him, since he obviously didn’t mean that white supremacy was good, just that it was a fringe phenomenon, and it is. ) The first sponsor exits occurred in December 2018, as dozens of companies, including IHOP, Ancestry.com and TD Ameritrade, said they would stop advertising on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after the host opined that the arrival of certain immigrants “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.” In March, Media Matters for America, the liberal advocacy hit group, published years-old clips from the “Bubba the Love Sponge” shock-jock radio show during which Carlson made offensive comments about women. (What an idiot. Why any public figure, politician or journalist, goes on any of these radio shows to get sucked into frat-boy ugliness is beyond me, and the fact that Carlson did reinforces my view of him as an aging rich kid dilettante who is exploiting the rest of us for his own amusement while he waits for his inheritance.)
That latter boycott is more “cancellation culture” toxin from progressives, who want to establish the cultural norm that any politically incorrect comment or conduct, no matter how old or uncharacteristic, warrants permanent shunning—of conservatives and Republicans. The rule doesn’t apply to Democrats and progressives, at least not since Al Franken was sent into the wilderness.
The other two statements fueling the boycott are “gotchas” of the sort that brought down Don Imus and have occasionally threatened Rush Limbaugh. If one makes one’s living riffing and bloviating in unscripted speech, saying something offensive, cruel, extreme, ill-considered or stupid is inevitable. I conclude this from sad personal experience. Holding any such speaker to a no-tolerance standard is unfair and unreasonable, but that is the hook Media Matters and other sinister censors use to metaphorically catch and kill pundits they find troublesome and who get in the way of their own narratives.
Yeah, there were better, more effective, less abrasive ways to make the valid point that the U.S. benefits from immigrants who share our basic values and are capable of assimilation, which is what I think Tucker was trying to say, but the fact that he botches an opinion now and then is not just causeto silence him, and indeed that is not why his foes want him silenced. They want him silenced because free speech is a threat to them.
3. Speaking of censorship: The toy-maker Hasbro released a satirical version of “Monopoly” called “Monopoly: Socialism” that appeared to chide various aspects of the leftist ideology of Bernie, Ocasio-Cortez and others. It was hardly big news—as the creator and marketer of a board game myself, I know how rarefied that market is in the cyber era—but last week Nick Kapur, an historian of Japan and East Asia who teaches at Rutgers University, complained about the game on Twitter, arguing that it didn’t represent his favorite system accurately—you know, because the original Monopoly is such a realistic portrayal of capitalism. The re-tweets from Bernie’s army were apparently sufficient to frighten Target into removing “Monopoly: Socialism” from its website.
Lesson: Our corporations will not support or defend our values, rights or way of life, They are almost all run by cowards and venal, submissive, ethics-challenged collaborators.
4. And while we’re on that topic: The Business Roundtable, the Big Business counterpart of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( which includes small businesses) signaled its virtue to the masses with a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation last week. Signed by 180 American CEOs (including those of Walmart, JP Morgan, and AT&T), it extols free markets for allowing “each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity” and lauds the “market system as the best means of generating good jobs, a strong and sustainable economy, innovation, a healthy environment and economic opportunity for all.” It also claims to “re-define the role of a corporation,” which is no longer to “principally serve its shareholders” but to ” to create value for all our stakeholders, whose long-term interests are inseparable.”
Thus American companies shall:
- “Deliver value to our customers”
- “Invest in our employees”
- “Deal fairly and ethically with our suppliers”
- “Support the communities in which we work”
- “Generate long-term value for shareholders”
The document is just craven boiler-plate, and an effort to pander to the acolytes of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, campus leftists and most of the mainstream media, who have all been working hard to create hostility to the concept of business, profits, wealth, financial success, and the existence of corporations.
Writes David L. Bahnson, neatly identifying what’s wrong with such an exercise (other than the fact that the signatories don’t mean it), writes:
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with reiterating one’s commitment to one’s customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. The Roundtable’s statement itself, dripping in self-satisfaction as it may have been, is reasonably benign. But the implication that these assertions are new to the philosophy of free markets is dangerous. Creation of shareholder value is not something to apologize for, even by soft inference. Markets are not intrinsically oppressive. History is clear enough on this score. Rather, markets provide the optimal framework for the proper treatment of all stakeholders. Sustainable shareholder value creation follows a company ethos that cultivates service to all. If today’s corporate-responsibility police truly want a free and virtuous society, they are better off focusing their efforts on eliminating the crony-capitalist abuses that seek to squash competition. For it is competition that creates accountability, and accountability that drives results — yes, results for all stakeholders.