Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 9/26/2020: Having Flashbacks To When Saturdays Were Fun

That’s the late, great, Vito Scotti as “Pasta.” He played Italians in drama, comedies, stage plays, movies and TV shows, but he also played Mexicans and other ethicities  when required.  Was he in “The Godfather”? Of course he was. “Columbo”? Sure. Did he drop in on “Gilligan’s Island,” “I Love Lucy,” and “The Addams Family.” Absolutely. He was on “Batman” twice as one of The Penguin’s henchmen.

And he really was a professional caliber chef. “Andy’s Gang,” meanwhile, was completely chaotic, just as kids like it. No educational value, no political indoctrination, just lots of running jokes and nonsense.


I had a rubber “Froggie the Gremlin” bath toy. “Twang your magic twanger” was a catch phrase for years after “Andy’s Gang” went of the air.

1. Professional incompetence. One almost certain casualty of the lock-down will be live theater, in part because the people who run it, on average, just aren’t very smart. I have been reading about how New York theaters are or will be streaming plays. Morons.

Theater that isn’t shown in a  theater with people sharing the experience isn’t theater, it’s crude TV. The problem has always been to get people into a  theater to experience what is so dynamic and unique about a live performance. If the theater community promotes video versions of theatrical performances as a viable substitute, and that’s exactly what it’s doing, they have surrendered.

Well, at least we’ve probably seen the end of $500 Broadway tickets.

2. Maybe they’ll appreciate Citizens United now. Showtime is featuring an anti-Trump screed disguised as a movie called “The Comey Rule.” I wonder if those who, like all the Democratic candidates for President during the primaries that played to the crowd by promising to get the Citizens United case reversed (as if they could), understand its significance. They condemned the SCOTUS ruling upholding the First Amendment, and  Showtime’s bit of campaign agitprop is exactly what the overturned campaign contribution law would have allowed the government to ban.

Since the film at the center of the original case, however, was a conservative attack on Hilary Clinton, Democrats were (are?) all for censorship.

3. Watch a Big Lie grow before your very eyes! Nothing President Trump has said or done suggest that he would not surrender power if he loses the election in November.  Individuals within the Axis of Unethical Conduct has been claiming otherwise for more than a year, however. I originally assumed that this smear was just an extension of Big Lie #3: “Trump Is A Fascist/Hitler/Dictator/Monster,” but now it’s clear that it’s distinct. Remember, the point of big lies is make the target deny them, thus giving the lie the legitimacy of being worth arguing about. So far, the President has been unwilling to play, and he’s consistently said, “We’ll see what happens,” meaning, except to those in the iron grip of anti-Trump confirmation bias, “It’s a moot point, since I’m not going to lose, and I’m not going to speculate about losing.”

“Moot” isn’t in the President’s vocabulary, unfortunately.

Here’s Veteran CNN Hack Wolf Blitzer doing his bit to push Big Lie #10 while interviewing General McMaster: “If the President were to lose the election on Nov. 3rd. If he were to refuse to concede — what role would the U.S. military have to play in that type of scenario?”

No other President has been subjected to that kind of outrageous speculation.

4. Let’s see how repulsive the Democrats are willing to make themselves in a desperate effort to derail the President’s Supreme Court nomination. Then we’ll see how many non-deranged citizens will hear a little bell go off in their heads and realize, “Wow! These people really are without scruples, shame or decency! I don’t care how big a creep Trump is, we can’t give power to a party like this!”

All signs point to this confirmation process making the dirt heaped on Brett Kavanaugh look like a delightful dusting of newly fallen snow:

  • Judiciary Committee member Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said earlier this week of Judge Amy Coney Barrett,

    “Look, it wasn’t her religious views — it’s anybody’s views that they bring to their decision-making. So they keep telling us that none of the things they wrote or said yesterday should infringe on their decision, but how can we be assured that they can be objective? … Why should we say you get a lifetime appointment so that you can reflect your ideological agenda in your decision-making?”

An ideological agenda? You mean what Justice Ginsburg apologetically stood for from the moment she was confirmed?

  • Politico reports that a whispering campaign may be underway against Senator  Feinstein, at 87, the oldest member of the Senate and the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats, the story says, “privately fear” Feinstein isn’t up to the task of leading successful opposition to the Republican Party’s effort to conform the President’s nomination.

Too old, you know.  Ah, ageism. This from the party whose candidate for President is a 77-year-old man showing signs of dementia.

  • Hey! How  about this? Can they manufacture an interracial adoption scandal? Come on, Facebook Borg, let’s come up with something!

31 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 9/26/2020: Having Flashbacks To When Saturdays Were Fun

  1. McMaster to his credit said the military would never involve themselves in such politcal battles. From what I heard McMaster was quite abrupt and matter of fact in his dismissal of Blitzer’s suggestion.

  2. Meghan Daum is questioning Barrett’s childcare plans. A question if asked by anyone else would decried as sexist. The left’s hypocrisy will be on full display.

  3. Vito Scotti was in everything when I was growing up. I saw him on “Columbo” just last week. I didn’t even have to read your intro to know what that was. What a great character actor.

    In today’s climate, he wouldn’t be able to get a job for all the accusations of appropriation.

    1. Live theater will die when broadcast television goes away and we’re all paying for multiple streaming services in order to get the shows we want. Besides, live theater is the staging ground for training professional actors. We don’t need those now that we have the Kardashians and the reality show contestants.

    The Vito Scotti’s of the world are losing acting roles to the William Hungs of the world.

    2. We all know they don’t really care about Citizen’s United. It’s just another court case they can misrepresent to the American people in order to keep the Republicans from fund-raising. We won’t hear a peep about it from the Left.

    3. This is where I wish the President was more articulate or even tried to be. It’s clear to me what he’s saying and not saying. Wolf Blitzer is smart enough to understand it, too, but he doesn’t want to understand it and, of course, he wants to misrepresent the President’s intent to the American people.

    4. Again…it’s only a problem when a Republican does it. Ideological opinions are what the Democrats want on the Court. And Ageism doesn’t matter when it comes to Trump.

    I do wonder how Mitt Romney will react if the transracial adoption thing becomes an issue in the confirmation hearing.

  4. Sorry, have to do it. John Lee Brougher

    “As an adoptee, I need to know more about the circumstances of how Amy Coney Barrett came to adopt her children, and the treatment of them since.”

    Frankly, it’s none of his business; where do these kind of people get the notion that other people’s or family’s is their responsibility? Those children, more than likely, have a bright future because of the adoption.

    Transracial adoption is fraught with trauma and potential for harm, and everything I see here is deeply concerning.”
    He’s seen nothing, what is he talking about? What could he possibly know about their family life? This kind of crap really bothers me.

    There is less and less civility in the world every day it seems.

    • I’m sure he’s saying that the kids will be raised as, you know, kids, not as black kids, or maybe even as white kids, god forbid. This guy is clearly nuts. The Barrett kids will all be on a gravy train with biscuit wheels. They’ll be able to waltz into any college they choose. Fraught, my ass.

      • I think the problem he really sees is that the kids will be raised as “conservative” kids. That isn’t a problem with the multiracial children adopted by white celebrities. In an equally repugnant comment, Christine Grimaldi added that she is using her child with Down’s syndrome to score “political points.”

  5. 3. The talking heads are also setting up conflicting scenarios, each “damning” to the President. The first is that if the President is leading on Nov. 3 and declares victory, he is trying to steal the election because the mail-in votes haven’t been counted. BUT if Biden is ahead on Nov. 3 and the President doesn’t concede immediately, then he is attempting to steal the election, or refusing to leave the White House. Either way, I expect mobs to descend on DC starting Nov. 4 demanding that the President immediately vacate the office.

    • Yes, I think that’s just what they’re doing. However, I was reading a story about Trump’s nomination of Barnett earlier today and one of the sidebars was that states were making advance preparations for the expected influx of absentee ballots — so they may have many or most of them counted by election night. I.e. don’t count on a massive wave of ballots to be counted after November 3rd.

      Of course, if Trump is winning — well, yeah, they’re going to say let’s not be hasty. I really hope there is something akin to McGovern to really give the party a wake-up call.

  6. I am thoroughly embarrassed. What role did Vito Scotti play in The Godfather?

    My first thought upon seeing that video was that it was a black-and-white skit by Robert Downey Jr. (More embarrassment – just ‘fessin’-up.)

    • He’s Nazorine, the baker who grew up with Vito Corleone in Italy, and asks the Godfather’s assistance after the owner of a furniture store he purchased declared bankruptcy and refused to return his deposit.

      • Thanks – your cultural literacy is AMAZING! I try to keep up; I really do. I remain embarrassed because I don’t recall the scene(s?) in The Godfather with Nazorine. Seen the movie 100 times or more, probably. I never watched Columbo. At least I recognized Andy, from Blazing Saddles. I don’t think Andy’s Gang was on TV in my small town…

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