Afternoon Ethics Tea, 9/26/2019: A Drunk Lawyer, A Disgraceful Congressman, Uncivil Peanut Butter And The Dolls America Needs [UPDATED!]

These trustworthy scones are divine!

1. First, the important stuff: peanut butter ethics. Now Jif, the peanut butter, has joined the detestable ranks of consumer products that deliberately evoke the vulgarity “fuckin'” in its advertising. was the first company chided here for this particular offense against minimal civility, when I wrote,

Ethics dictates that one communicates with respect for anyone within hearing distance, and unless ugly words serve a material purpose, using them is not the mark of a good citizen, a good neighbor, or a trustworthy human being. Nor is spouting vulgarity witty, and unless you are 11, and employing obvious code words that sound like curses, epithets and obscenities isn’t especially funny either, since we pretty much exhausted the possibilities at summer camp. I have no idea why anyone would want to recast the culture as a place where professionals curse like sailors and the words “fuck” and “cocksucker” are as likely to issue from a debutante’s lips as those of a hip hop artist, but that seems to be the objective now. … TV stations happily accept money from advertisers using code words for “ass” (Verizon), alluding to sexual intercourse (Reese’s), and evoking the word “shit” (K-Mart and DraftKings). no longer uses this device, but Jif now pronounces itself “Jif’n good!” Fortunately, this peanut butter aficionado regards Jiff as the least of the  national brands and varieties (1. Skippy Natural 2. Skippy regular, 3. Peter Pan crunchy 4. Peter Pan smooth…and Jif, bringing up the rear.

Now I won’t even buy this peanut smutter when it’s on sale.

2. Apparently the mainstream media AND the Democrats are determined to dash what’s left of their rotting credibility to smithereens with this last ditch impeachment push:

  • Today’s “Japanese Bombs Pearl Harbor” size headline across the New York Times print edition: TRUMP ASKED FOR ‘FAVOR’ IN CALL, MEMO SHOWS.” Again, this would be really funny if it wasn’t so destructive.
  • Showing unprecedented lack of respect for the office of President (and proving beyond any doubt that no American who wants fair and objective reporting on politics should tune into MSNBC), the network’s Nicole Wallace cut off the  audio at President’s   first news conference since House Democrats opened a formal impeachment inquiry,, saying,  “We hate to do this, really, but the president isn’t telling the truth.”
  • In Congress, on TV, Rep. Adam Schiff read into the record his “paraphrase” of the transcript of the President’s phone call to the Ukraine President. Sample:

“I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good, I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand, lots of it, on this and on that, I’m going to put you in touch with people.”

“Is he just making this up?” Committee member Mile Turner (R-Ohio) asked. Indeed he was. Althouse’s commenters are having a field day on this. Ann’s readership is ideologically mixed, but you couldn’t tell that from the utter contempt Schiff’s stunt inspired.

3. Ah, if this drunk lawyer was only as quick on his feet as Bill Fallon! In  Ohio, lawyer Brian Joseph Halligan has been suspended for two years (with 18 months stayed) after he was accused of showing up for a client’s felony trial smelling of alcohol and refusing to submit to a breath-alcohol test. His story was reminiscent of a story about fabled, if unethical, attorney William Fallon, I recounted here in 2016. A high-functioning alcoholic who eventually died when his liver gave out in his forties, Fallon started one trial so plastered that everyone in the courtroom could smell the fumes. “Is it possible,” the judge said, “that the court smells liquor on counsel?” Fallon smiled, and bowed deeply. “If Your Honor’s sense of justice is as keen as your sense of smell,” he said, “then my client need have no fear in this court!” The onlookers and jury applauded furiously, and the judge, smiling, waved him on to continue. He probably won the case, too.

4. Because raising kids to be confused about their gender is so good for them and society,  Mattel is aiming to be “more inclusive” with a new line of gender-neutral dolls introduced this week, aimed at kids who identify as gender fluid, and don’t identify as having a fixed gender like male or female.

I am confident that this irresponsible pandering and virtue-signaling exercise will be about as successful as “Growing-up Skpper,” Barbie’s short-lived little sister who grew taller and sprouted boobs when you twisted her arm around. But hey, it might be really successful and significantly increase the number of gender reassignment surgeries and the number of individuals who insist on being called “they”!

5. Acts 4 and 5 of this ridiculous, depressing story [Pointer: Arthur in Maine]:

  • Act Four: Aaron Calvin, the creep Iowa Register reporter who went looking for dirt in reluctant public figure Carson King’s twitter account, resulting in his newspaper publishing racist tweets from when the 24-year-old was a teen, apparently had not heard the old saw about glass houses. Someone went fishing in Calvin’s social media accounts, and found this, among other ugly statements:

Now the Register is investigating him.

  • Act Five: Yesterday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, would be “Carson King Day.”

In Act 6, President Trump asks the president of the Ukraine to investigate King as a favor.

36 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Tea, 9/26/2019: A Drunk Lawyer, A Disgraceful Congressman, Uncivil Peanut Butter And The Dolls America Needs [UPDATED!]

  1. One positive sign that maybe the general public isn’t as impressed or amused by “clever” vulgarity as some marketing types might have imagined: The ubiquitous Frank’s Red Hot Sauce commercials that used to feature the phrase “I put that s*(bleep)*t on everything”, has now substituted the word, “stuff”, at least in the radio ads I’ve recently heard.

      • I would never be able to show my celebrity photos from conventions again. My husband and I, not wanting the celebrity to look like a prop, always ask to do jazz hands. You’d be amazed at the number of famous people who go for it.

      • 4chan should start the rumor that the hand wave most people use for saying ‘Hi!” is a neonazi code sign. The rationale could be that it is a subtle mimic of the Nazi salute.

        Hey, it worked with the ‘ok’ sign…

  2. 1. Et tu, Jiff?

    2. Schiff is a contemptible little man who makes Trump look like a rational statesman. Think about that.

    He should be disbarred for conduct unbecoming a legal professional.

    3. Well I hope the defendant got a new trial if he was convicted.

    4. More corporate virtue-signaling. How could we be surprised? At this point, I can’t even muster much disappointment, it’s so passé.

    5. Wow. What a spectacular clusterfuck of sub-optimal human behavior. Act 6 doesn’t even really feel much like a Babylon Bee headline after the first five.

    • Until everyone who uses the cancel culture technique faces consequences, this continues. Good that the reporter lost his job, even though the story smells like he was scapegoated.

      The paper’s non apology makes out like this was never their fault, that they were innocent as the driven snow in all this, and ‘we got rid of the bad apple.’ This ignores the paper’s culture in which that ‘bad apple’ felt it appropriate to look into past indiscretions on the part of someone who did a kind thing when faced with unexpected blessings. Never mind they printed the story anyway. They also promise to review all of their reporter’s past social media history.

      I wish them good luck with the raft of new hires, if they can find them. Too bad that the left can take anything that is the narrative today and make it out to be anathema tomorrow. This will mean sudden turnover, again and again. At least the paper can cut costs on taking employees out to a 5 year anniversary lunch.

      • That was interesting. Thanks! The newspaper’s logic seemed to be that, since King gave the press conference about the posts, they were justified in inserting the issue into the article. However, given the so-called cancellation culture in question, it’s possible that King was just trying to launch a preemptive strike once he knew the reporter knew about the posts.

        • I have no idea, and we’ll probably never know.

          What I do know is that the subscribers to the Des Moines Register subscribers are not even a little bit happy about what the paper did. I wonder if the editor will get to keep her job, or be dragged to the altar of financial viability to be sacrificed?

  3. 4) My overwhelming reaction to those dolls — I think they need a fashion coordinator. Even I don’t think those outfits look good on them and I certainly cannot be trusted to choose clothes for myself.

  4. So I just saw the Jif commercial this evening. I have to admit I wouldn’t have connected the dots to the vulgarities they are alluding to. However, my reaction either way — it’s just stupid. It wouldn’t steer me in the direction of buying their product.

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