Ethics Dunces: The Hypocritical Conservative Media

The  conservative media does itself and its cause no favors when it indulges in the same kind of warped and biased logic, as well as shameless appeals to emotion, that it–rightly–accuses the Left-leaning media of inflicting on the public.

This story is stunningly simple from an ethics perspective.  Walt Disney World has a rule that all visitors must wear masks at all times. A careless father who didn’t bother to do his research and preparation for a family trip to the theme park arrived to find that his 7-year-old daughter, who cannot wear a mask due to a disability, would not be allowed in. That was the correct call by Disney. It doesn’t matter whether the rule is excessive or extreme: this is a pandemic-related health  rule for the safety, peace of mind and security of Disney’s guests. If everyone doesn’t wear masks, then no one will regard the rule as fair or serious. There can’t be exceptions to such rules, especially, “Aw. just this once, after all, the kid has a disability and has really been looking forward to this” exceptions.

Conservatives have mercilessly mocked the hypocrisy of the mainstream media trying to draw impossible distinctions between funerals of f “the little people’s” family members and funerals of black Democratic Party icons,  or beach partiers and George Floyd protesters/rioter/vandals. Nevertheless, all it takes is a heartstrings- tugging story and a choked up dad to have the conservative media blaming Disney rather than the individual responsible.

Richard Ross, who lives in Pennsylvania, tearfully explained that his family  spent two years planning a vacation toThe Magic Kingdom, and it was ruined when they arrived  in Florida last week only to be told their autistic 7-year-old daughter would not be able to enter the park without wearing a mask. The Rosses assumed their child would be able to enter without a mask because Orange County  allows medical exemptions, Well, whose fault is that? Disney, like all private enterprises, can have more stringent pandemic rules than the state or county requires.

The family should have inquired in advance, of course. Ross isn’t even as sympathetic as Clark Griswold, who didn’t check to make sure Wally World was open before embarking on a his vehicular pilgrimage. Chevy Chase had no reason to think Wally World would be closed. Ross, in contrast, knew he would have to get an exemption for his daughter to enter the theme park.

Ross didn’t take John Candy hostage, but he did pull out his phone to take video of the exchange with the Disney employee, who was doing his job.  (This is the 2020 equivalent of pulling a toy gun. It’s an attempt at intimidation.) “Can my daughter — who is autistic with sensory issues —enter your park without a mask because she medically can’t wear a mask?” Ross asked, recording all the while. “Sir, I apologize, I know you’re frustrated,” the worker says. “At this time…at this time we ask that anyone entering our park …”

Ross cuts him off, saying, “Just answer the question: Are you refusing to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act laws?”

Wrong. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require businesses to allow the disabled to infect people.

“It’s a disgrace,” Ross told the sympathetic metaphorical ears of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. “For someone with sensory processing disorder, [wearing a mask] is literally torture to them. Their brain cannot process the signals it’s receiving — her heart starts pounding, she can’t breathe.”

Then you don’t take her somewhere that requires everyone to wear a mask. You screwed up. Be accountable.  This your fault, 100%.

In a video Ross posted online, he continued to shift blame to Disney for his own botch.

“Listening to somebody tell you it’s okay to discriminate against your handicapped child, do you know how hard that is? Do you know how hard it is to hear someone say, ‘Well, it’s okay for us to tell your kid [that] because they’re different, that they can’t do it. ‘Now that you’ve paid all this money and you’re here — everywhere that you live in Pennsylvania when you have a medical issue you don’t have to wear a mask — but now that you’re here, thanks for your money, sucker. Your kid’s different, so you can sit in your room for a week.”

..thus moving down the evolutionary scale from fool to asshole. Disney told him that his child would be treated like everyone else, as it should have. He was the one demanding special treatment because she was handicapped. No one’s discriminating against the girl. He was demanding special treatment that would undermine  the willingness of every other guest to comply with the rules. Ross created the circumstances that disappointed his daughter, because he assumed what he should not have assumed.

And what does Pennsylvania have to do with the regulations in Disney World?

Never mind. Disney  owns ABC and ESPN. It’s one of those progressive bad guys. The conservative media feels it’s appropriate to use emotion to mislead the public—just like “kids in cages.”—and focus anger where it doesn’t belong, because “they had it coming.”

30 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: The Hypocritical Conservative Media

  1. Clark Griswold aside from having no reason to think the park would be closed had no internet he could use to check the park’s schedule, likely didn’t have a California phonebook–remember phonebooks?–to get a number he could call–and since he wasn’t flying–didn’t have a travel agent to consult.

  2. I’m getting tired of people whipping out their phones and photographing or filming people just trying to do their job in an effort to shame or intimidate them. It’s not unusual for people who work with the public to get hit with the old Americans with Disabilities Act accusation when the customer doesn’t like the accomodation being offered and would rather just do what he or she wants instead.

    Speaking of accomodation, I’m surprised Disney doesn’t have spare masks on hand to provide or even sell to those who don’t have them or forget them. They don’t have to do it, of course, but they do sell Disney-themed masks on their website, including child-sized ones, and it would seem to be a good idea to reduce the chance of a PR debacle like this one.

    That being said, her Dad has less excuse than Clark Griswold: Clark didn’t have the internet to check for surprise closures.

    • The selling of masks is a good point. Because children lose things. Lots of things. Looking at my church’s lost and found table you’d think everyone was leaving naked. A kiosk before the gates selling masks would be smart.

    • I’m getting tired of people whipping out their phones and photographing or filming people just trying to do their job in an effort to shame or intimidate them.

      And also trying to provoke the employee in making an error or losing his/her temper..

      If I cant get into Disney then at least shame the company and as an extra bonus, get the employee fired.

  3. Bad ol’ Putty Tat media! (I don’t use Twitter, so instead I have to use Tweety Bird.)

    If I am up-to-date in my understanding of today’s terminology, Richard Ross is a karen – couldn’t be more obvious. And, Glenn Beck?! Fallacy of “appeal to authority,” anyone? Bueller?

    • I mean, CANDY – CHOCOLATE candy: what else is more appealing to kids than Disney? Oh, sure, Milton Hershey didn’t make a movie about a girl, titled “Coal Black and the Seven Chocolate Giants” (shame on him). But still, little girls with handicaps are going to go for the comfort food at least as passionately as some joint where ladies take to the skies in umbrellas, or fall asleep after being poisoned then awakened by some prince’s kiss.

    • Yeah, there are multiple parks I know of, from wet Dorney park to very young child appropriate Dutch Wonderland. All way cheaper than a Florida trip. If she has sensory issues, the latter has less thrill teen/adult activity so it would be ideal. Any park is exciting when young… as long as the parents aren’t funing and pouting.

  4. >Wrong. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require businesses to allow the disabled to infect people.

    I agree with your interpretation, but in my previous life as an accessibility platform developer I’ve been on both sides of ADA controversies and wouldn’t be surprised if some judge could find that this law (horribly written and bent by courts close to the point of breaking) “intends” for kids with autism to go into the park with no masks – or even pants – because “think of the handicapped”.

  5. “Wrong. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require businesses to allow the disabled to infect people.”

    Right…. But that’s not what’s going on here. We’ve both railed against the absurdities of the ADA, but at the end of the day, the ADA exists. What do you think the over/under is on Disney prevailing in an ADA case on the facts as they stand?

    Between the way the ADA is written, and the lack of clarity over what does and does not constitute a mask, and the lack of even lip service towards determining a reasonable accommodation, in a county that specifically allows maskless accommodation, I’m almost certain Disney loses. I’m not sure I like that outcome, but I don’t think it could go any other way.

    Good news is that unlike most customer relations issues where a customer whips out the phone, with people as uneasy as they are about COVID, this probably actually gives Disney a little bump.

    • I didn’t go to law school, and I also didn’t stay at a holiday in last night, so take it with a grain of salt of course…

      I’m not so confident on how this goes either. The ADA is a huge opportunity for judges to legislate from the bench. Ethically, Jack’s right. I just wouldn’t feel confident if I was on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

    • I’m almost certain Disney loses. I’m not sure I like that outcome, but I don’t think it could go any other way.

      I think this is right. Apparently, Disney didn’t even attempt to make an accommodation. That seems reckless, actually — far more reckless and potentially risky than allowing him in.

      In any case, Disney should be thinking of ways not to turn away mask-disabled people. It seems to me a prudent step in reopening your business rather than having to defend a suit you will likely, or even possibly lose.

    • Between the way the ADA is written, and the lack of clarity over what does and does not constitute a mask, and the lack of even lip service towards determining a reasonable accommodation, in a county that specifically allows maskless accommodation, I’m almost certain Disney loses. I’m not sure I like that outcome, but I don’t think it could go any other way.

      I like that outcome. I like it a lot. Let them burn in agony on that pyre they built for and employed on us for decades! There’s no pandemic anymore. The numbers are abjectly clear. The whole debacle is empty show for the sake of wrecking an economy, countless private businesses and livelihoods, to give a senile old man a chance to take the presidency and impose the Soviet will of his puppetmasters. The idea of critiquing someone for using one of their trademark underhanded strategies on them is revolting to me. We critiqued it for decades to deaf ears. Now it’s killing the ones who want to kill us. We can rather disestablish all their unintuitive laws later when they’re unable to oppose us.

      The wind changed in our favor for once, and we want to give the other team a do-over to be fair, even while we know they’ve been actively cheating the whole game and intend to take our wives when we lose. This is like giving an enemy in war armaments to replace the ones he lost in an unfortunate fire, or at least going to that enemy’s people to explain that the propaganda one of our troops dropped on them, though ruthlessly effective, was a little too harsh. It’s yet another Conservative case for losing yet again. A Conservative case for how trying to win might encourage our enemies to try to win right back at us.

      So I say massage every opportunity of pathos, ethos, logos to wreck the enemies as they employ a Potemkin lockdown consciously-designed to demoralize and impoverish us. This isn’t a game in which we have to be willing to call it both ways. This is a war in which we should be willing at any moment to take up arms. It’s been a war for many decades, and some small portion have only just now woken up.

      Therefore, I consider that Disney must be destroyed.

  6. The dad said, “For someone with sensory processing disorder, [wearing a mask] is literally torture to them. Their brain cannot process the signals it’s receiving — her heart starts pounding, she can’t breathe.”

    I get that autistic people process things at different levels and ways. and that face masks may cause all kinds of stress. But, wouldn’t subjecting a 7 year old autistic child to the constant noise, confusion, big-ass crowds, sensory overload of an amusement park be even more tortuous? My thought as I read the story was, “man, I don’t register on the autism spectrum but I fucking hate amusement parks and would rather have my fingers chewed by rats than go to one. Thankfully, our son has no interest in them so he didn’t have any desire to go to Six Flags parks, Disney World and/or Land, etc.” I just can’t imagine what that would do to an autistic child.

    jvb

    • I thought the same thing. Dad can’t say a mask is creating sensory problems when he wants to go into a place with bells whistles and flashing lights. For the life of me I don’t understand why he thought taking this kid to Disney would be a good idea. If the kid is up to the myriad distractions of the park he can damn sight wear a required mask.

      Tell the kid he is going in as one of the masked banditos.

      I have to remind my wife that she can’t gripe at Democrats when they do something Republicans tend to do as well.

      • My thoughts exactly. If that poor child is excited about hearing “It’s a small world” 37,000 times an hour and can remain somewhat sane, then she can wear a mask. Dad, though, should be lobotomized for even thinking that any theme park involving a 7 year child is a good idea.

        jvb

    • Our son grew out of them years ago. He’s an adult now. We went to Ohio’s King’s Island a few years ago and that’s been it for awhile. Our own aging has made the parks less attractive to me and my husband. Add to that the crowds, the pricey bleh-tasting food, the highway-robbery admission fees and unpredictable Midwest weather patterns and we really have no incentive to return.

      I can’t imagine taking a child with such an issue to a place guaranteed to trigger him or her.

      • Wow. Your description is spot on. It makes me thank the stars our son has no interest in theme parks. When he was about 4 years old, we thought he would like Sea World – well, we almost took him to Sea World. However, he was having so much fun in the hotel pool that we saved ourselves a fortune on the admission and ensuing “delightful” time.

        jvb

  7. Here’s another take on the story you shared today. Apparently, I have no proof. the father did not check the guidelines before his trip to Disney. I don’t know how I feel about the planning of trip but I do feel bad for the daughter.

  8. I have to note here, among the Disney-bashing, that there have been few experiences I looked forward to as a child that met all of my expectations when I finally had them as an adult, and Disneyland was the only one that exceeded them. My first visit to the Anaheim Park was one of the most fun days of my life, and my three trips to Disney World, and Epcot,none with my son, are close behind. My first Disney World trip was begun after I turned in my thesis about the American Presidents. I jumped in a car and four of us headed to Florida. Seeing all if the men I had been reading and writing about for two years listen as Abe Lincoln gave a speech nearly brought me to tears, audioanimatrons though they were.

    I’ll never forget it, and I’ll be indebted to Disney forever.

    The Disney Parks are sui generis: comparing them to Six Flags or any other park is unfair to the other parks. Moreover, the Disney parks are not loud or assaultive. .I do think it’s a bit of a waste for a 7 year old. But if I had the time and the money to spare, I’d go there tomorrow. It’s just what I need.

    • Having never been there in my “magical years,” I cannot say one way or the other. I went to Disneyworld several times back when I was in U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando (NPS has since moved to Goose Creek, South Carolina). To give you some idea of how long ago that was, Epcott Center wasn’t even open then.

      I liked Disneyworld, but to me, it was only modestly different from other amusement parks. The rides were rather more interesting and spectacular (I remember Space Mountain in particular), but it was otherwise just an amusement park. But do keep in mind, I was a twenty-something then, not a 12-year old. I have been to Bush Gardens, Six Flags and Kings Island as well.

      So I can’t speak to your point except to say that absent a juvenile experience, I would not agree that it is so different from other amusement parks to be singular.

  9. I’m generally of the mind that mask mandates are overbearing, generally useless, mostly unenforceable. But private businesses are allowed to set a dress code for entry. No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service. It’s no different for the theme park. There’s no right to access to other people’s property. You enter at their privilege, and under their rules. If you don’t like their rules, don’t go. Disney isn’t at fault in this one, just like they weren’t at fault for protecting their copyright against that school.

  10. If you don’t like their rules, don’t go. Disney isn’t at fault in this one, just like they weren’t at fault for protecting their copyright against that school.

    So if their rules have the effect of excluding the disabled, you don’t think there might be a problem there?

  11. Wrong. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require businesses to allow the disabled to infect people.

    No, but it well may allow for their exception. Let’s keep in mind that masks, if we assume they are 100% effective (that’s another subject) work both ways. If everyone but one person is wearing masks, there is no more risk of infection than if all are.

    Now, if you have more than one person in close proximity excepted, you may have a problem. But what if you had a way to specially identify the disabled, and disallow them from areas in which others will be in close proximity? My recollection of Disney is that it’s pretty open, and if the father were told she could come in without a mask but would not be allowed indoors into ride lines, I think that would be a reasonable accommodation. It may defeat the purpose of going to the park, but I do think Disney has an interest in minimizing the spread of virus which makes further accommodation unreasonably risky to others.

  12. I have to agree with Jack about the Disney World experience vs. any other theme park; there really is no comparison. My first visit to Disney World was in 1973 when there was only the Magic Kingdom. I was nearly 20 years old and thought of myself as hard to impress, but had my mind blown on that trip. I didn’t return until 1985 after EPCOT opened (and was equally as impressive), and then my last visit was in 2002. in conjunction with a counter-terrorism class in Orlando that was co-hosted by Disney’s formidable security operation. On that trip we got a look at a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff that gave me a better idea of what a complex operation they have there. Mind-boggling in many respects. My sister and BIL, their kids and now grands go to Disney World twice a year, and just love it.
    In my dotage I eschew large crowds of any kind, and so my attendance at theme parks, big concerts, “peaceful demonstrations,” Muslim pilgrimages, Earth Day celebrations, royal weddings, goat ropings, etc. has been greatly curtailed.

    • What I was impressed with, on our “behind the scenes” tour, was that, per Walt’s standards, the ornate metal railings that lead into Main Street were repainted every night, so they looked pristine and new.

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