Wednesday Ethics, 9/2/2020: Faking Here, Faking There, Faking, Faking Everywhere!

Good Wednesday!

It will probably not surprise you to learn that I have been a huge Charles Addams fan since I was a child, when I borrowed every one of  his collections from the Arlington Public Library. My two favorites, I think: the unicorns on a rock gazing sadly after the Ark as it floats away in the rain, and the butchers and his sons being attacked by links of sausages, mirroring the famous statue of Laocoön and his sons being devoured by serpents.

Laocoön’s fate is an ethics fable: Troy’s priest tried to warn the Trojans that the huge wooden horse was a trap, but instead of heeding his warning, the Trojans, having convinced themselves that the thing was a gift from the gods, assumed that the priest and his sons had been killed because the warning was blasphemy. In truth, the serpents had been sent by Poseidon, who was rooting for the Greeks all along. Historian Barbara Tuchman used the story of Laocoön in her book “The March of Folly,” a frequent topic on Ethics Alarms.

I was just depressed to discover, as I searched for a picture of Wednesday online, that the one above is only one of two out of hundreds that were genuine Addams drawings of her. What does that tell us?

1. More manipulated media. Yes, Twitter should flag these sorts of deceptions as long as they are non-partisan about it. In addition to the Steve Scalise fake I wrote about here, Twitter pointed out two more, also from the Republicans. White House social media director Dan Scavino posted a 2011 Joe Biden interview from California-news outlet KBAK that was altered to make it falsely appear as if Biden had fallen asleep—“Sleepy Joe,” get it? The fake was pointed out by John Dabkovitch, KBAK’s co-anchor at the time, who noted that the interview was actually with singer Harry Belafonte, not Biden. (I always get those two mixed up too.)

Then the Twitter account @TrumpWarRoom, which is the Trump campaign, posted a tweet that lifted Biden’s words out of context so it seems like Joe said “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” when he was quoting what Trump was suggesting in his remarks.

Like the Scalise tweet, both of these are embarrassingly stupid, and mandate firings. How can anyone tolerate a social media director who does something like this? He probably cheated on his SATs…[Pointer: valkygrrl]

2. I hereby volunteer to be the President’s 24-7 Ethics-sitter this kind of  stuff  doesn’t happen.... During his visit to peaceful protest-ravaged Kenosha,  the President wanted to have a photo op in front of the century-old Rode’s Camera Shop, which was peacefully burned out a week ago. The owner, Tom Gram, is not a fan, however, and he declined President Trump’s request to participate in the damage tour yesterday.  So the Trump flacks tracked down the previous owner and descendant of the original owners. He sold the shop eight years ago to Gram, yet President Trump  introduced him as “John Rode III, owner of Rode’s Camera Shop.” Rode went on to praise the President. Rode does own the property where the camera shop had been. [Again, pointer: valkygrrl]

3. Why do they keep doing this? First it was the Mayor of Chicago who violated her own pandemic edicts to have her hair done, and now it’s Nancy Pelosi, caught below at a salon, maskless…

…(“You must wear your mask!” she commanded Americans earlier last month) as she sought beautification at a San Francisco hair salon  this week despite local ordinances keeping salons closed. This is hypocrisy and entitled behavior, plus “laws are for the little people,” personified.

Did the news media react with objective indignation? Why no! Here’s a senior writer at Politico attempting to shift blame to the salon:

Answer: Yes it’s legal, you ignoramus.

..and here’s the Washington Post, trotting out the well-worn “Republicans pounce!” trope:

Why doesn’t the Post “slam” the Democratic leader for such conduct? Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!

As repeatedly pointed out at Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit, when Republicans behave badly, that’s the story. When Democrats behave badly, the mean Republican reaction is the story.

With this and so much else, the mainstream media is subjecting its own credulity, influence and power to a death by a thousand cuts.

4. What’s going on here? Fox News reports...because no other major media source will…that Frontier Airlines is under fire  from a top police officer organization and Republican Rep. Doug Collins for prohibiting a federal air marshal from boarding a flight in Atlanta due to his face mask, which featured an American flag.

The National Association of Police Organizations says  the air marshal “was told to remove his American Flag face mask because other passengers would find it offensive.” Frontier says the incident was just a big misunderstanding. It has a policy banning certain styles of face-coverings, and the federal air marshal was wearing a gaiter-style mask.

“The gate agent mistakenly believed that the passenger’s gaiter style mask was not acceptable within our mask policy and the passenger grossly misinterpreted the reasoning behind her objection to his mask,” the airline’s PR staff claims.

In a letter to president and CEO of Frontier, NAPO said that the air marshal was “stopped by the Gate Agent” while attempting to board the plane, and “advised that he should wear another mask and was handed a disposable one.”

“The FAM politely put the disposable mask on and then covered that mask with his American Flag mask,” NAPO wrote. “The Gate Agent then told him to remove the American Flag mask or he would not be allowed to board the plane as it would create issues with the other passengers.” NAPO said that “several passengers with Black Lives Matter masks boarded the plane….”

“The fact that a Frontier Airlines Gate Agent told the FAM to remove his mask because the image of an American Flag would inflame tensions with other passengers is indefensible,” NAPO wrote, adding that it was “insulting that an American Flag face mask would be deemed so controversial. Wearing an American Flag face mask is not a political statement; it is proudly showing support for our country.” NAPO added,”The Gate Agent made it political, particularly given the other masks that were allowed without issue on the plane.”

Then Rep. Doug Collins, (R-Ga.), who is running for the U.S. Senate, wrote a similar letter to the CEO, saying in part that Frontier’s “misunderstanding” story” simply “does not follow when coupled with the Air Marshal’s personal experience.” “Assuming your mask policy does not prohibit passengers from wearing two masks, it is clear that your gate agent did not simply misinterpret the policy,” Collins wrote.

The gate agent, the Congressman continued, “chose to prohibit this passenger from boarding the flight simply because they did not like the content displayed” on the air marshal’s mask….”This infringement of a law enforcement officer’s right to free speech was clearly a decision made by one of your gate agents based on their own politics,”

Frontier, meanwhile, is going with, “We welcome, respect and revere our nation’s flag and the notion that we object to the flag emblem on our aircraft is simply ridiculous.”

Well, whatever happened, it is certainly not ridiculous to conclude that an air marshal being ordered to remove an American flag mask when passengers were allowed to board with BLM flags was rooted in the current corporate groveling to the BLM mobs. The two-mask detail strongly suggests that Frontier is lying.

My guess is that the gate agent indeed did what the marshal claimed, and the “misunderstanding” was that the agent thought Frontier would back him up.

Would they let someone fly wearing, “It’s OK to be White” masks?

14 thoughts on “Wednesday Ethics, 9/2/2020: Faking Here, Faking There, Faking, Faking Everywhere!

  1. 4. As Boy Scouts in the ’60s, we were taught that using the flag as a clothing accessory was disrespectful of the flag. I guess that’s ancient history.

    • There is a US Flag Code, 4 USC 8, which lays out the rules. It says in part that the flag is not to be worn as an article of clothing, but that a flag patch may be worn on the uniform of military members, police officers, firefighters, and some others. It is not supposed to be printed on things designed for temporary use, such as paper napkins, but, apparently, printing on a shirt or other more lasting items would be okay.
      However, it’s all pretty much academic. There are no punishments prescribed for violations of the code. And, the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 (Texas vs Johnson, the flag burning case) that using or abusing the flag for political speech is protected by the First Amendment.

  2. RE 3
    Pelosi took “full responsibility” for trusting the salon. Damn shame she hasn’t the ability to understand the local pandemic rules especially given her harrangue of the President for not wearing a mask.

    Taking full responsibility for trusting a salon owner is nothing short of shifting the blame on to a far less powerful person. She is such aclow life.

    • She’s truly despicable.

      What is it with Democrat women politicians and their hair? HRC used to change her’s every week or so.

    • Pelosi demonstrates arrogant dishonesty. Again.

      I wish she *had* been set up. The more politicians are compelled to be on their best behaviour 100% of the time lest their true colours be shown in public, the better.

      Right now, the bar has been set so low the DNC can get away with anything, and still look and be “better” than their opponents. That is unutterably wrong, and the greatest damage caused by this Presidency. The normalising of the unacceptable.

      But that’s Trump. This is Pelosi, and she shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it if we are to remedy the damage. When they go low, we have to go high. That is obviously not happening. It’s gotta stop.

  3. Every time you use the word “peaceful” ironically like that, I’m reminded of “Professor Death”, the first That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch I ever saw and a hilarious performance. I picture the protesters shouting, “Nooooooo! We burned this building to help mankind, not to destroy it!”

    Alternatively, I think of brave Sir Robin’s bard. “They found the largest shop in town and peacefully they burned it down / Peaceful and serene~ protesters!”

    • I enjoyed the news report I saw on this, because the newsreader so quickly included the precedent of “crying ‘set-up!'” by former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry – which I thought of immediately before the newsreader spoke. I lived in MB’s town on the night he was “set up.”

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