I don’t even want to talk about the last two days, except to note that what has me proto-homicidal has nothing to do with anything we’ve been discussing on Ethics Alarms.
1. Now THIS is incompetent phishing: “Verizon” contacted me to say,
Dear User :Your incoming mails were placed on pending status due to the recent upgrade to our database, and also exceeded the storage limit of 1 GB, which is defined by the administrator, are running at 99.8 gigabyte. You can not send or receive new messages until you re-validate your mailbox.
- I no longer have any relationship with Verizon.
- Verizon no longer runs an email service. It sold its email users to AOL.
- The letter is ungrammatical.
- I received that email, along with about 50 others at the same time, telling me I was no longer getting email.
- “Verizon’s” address was “email@example.com”
- The “letter” was signed “VeriZon.”
If you fall for something like that, you are a walking, talking mark, and incompetent at life.
2. Why doesn’t the public trust the news media? It must be all those Trump “fake news” lies! CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell used a photo from a “Latinos for Trump” event in Phoenix to accompany a report on Joe Biden’s Latino event in Florida. The CBS’s chyron read, “Biden pitches crucial Latino voters during Florida campaign stop.”
Here was what viewers saw:
One of the women in the photo is wearing an “I Love Trump” hat, and you can see part of a “Make America Great Again” sign. Why would CBS do such a thing? Apparently the attendance at Joe’s rally was underwhelming.
Of course, this was just an innocent mistake.
[UPDATE (7:49 pm): This item was incorrect. I was tricked by a conservative site’s fake news about fake news that wasn’t fake. I will put up a freestanding correction.]
3. On a related topic, a once-intelligent Facebook friend, a lawyer, went on an extended lament about the President fomenting violence and division by saying, in various forums, that the only way he can lose is if the election is “rigged” or”fixed.” Now, what is my ethical response to that? It isn’t a retort that Democrats are doing the same thing by spreading the Big Lies that the President will refuse to accept defeat and that he is trying to suppress votes by opposing mail-in ballots: that’s a Rationalization, one of the biggies, #2, Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad.”
The President (A President) shouldn’t be saying this, but that doesn’t mean he’s mistaken, just infuriatingly inarticulate, as usual. What he means, and what is true, is that there is an ongoing effort to “rig” or “fix” the election by the news media; it has been going on for years, and is building to peak deception now. The President’s recent success with Middle East peace initiatives would be a source of major celebration by the media if Obama were POTUS. The scandal of over 40 Mueller investigators wiping their phones is still being buried, while anonymous claims that the President denigrated servicemen two years ago dominated the news for days. Yes, without the ongoing and relentless attempted manipulation of public opinion by the news media, I don’t think the President could possibly lose to a Biden-Harris ticket. We are indeed watching an attempt to rig the election. Somebody has to point it out, and the news media won’t.
The news media is wildly overplaying its hand. I suspect, for most of the public with firing neurons, it is obvious already what they are trying to do.
4. Now, what’s the ethical way to fix this? I was sitting with my long-retired neighbors, watching our dogs take turns biting each other’s neck, and we were talking about popular novelists. The topic of James Patterson came up, which led to unanimous derision regarding his gimmick of having co-authors who either do the bulk of the writing or provide some other mysterious service so he can issue a novel approximately every other month. “He’ll just go to his mailman and say, “Hey, want to write a novel with me?” That was out of my mouth when I realized my neighbor was a retired mail carrier.
5. Not quite willing to surrender the title “The Stupid Party” apparently, Indiana’s Republican Representative Jim Banks, and 33 other GOP House lawmakers have called on Attorney General William Barr to prosecute Netflix for the distribution of “child pornography” with its current sensation, for better of worse, “Cuties.” This is absurd grandstanding, especially since I’ll bet my head that most of the 34 haven’t watched the film, but are just basing their outrage on hearsay.
The film is not pornography by any legal definition. There have been equally icky portrayals of minors in ways that might titillate child predators on TV, movies and child beauty pageants for decades. Moreover, no one could credibly argue that the purpose of “Cuties” was pornographic, or that it has no redeeming social or artistic value.