Wednesday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/18/2020: The Betraying Friend, The Abusive Model, The Grandstanding Lawyer, And The Partisan CEO

Several of these items could support stand-alone posts, I suppose, but I have bigger metaphorical fish to fry. I’ve also figured out that traffic would look better if I broke some of these 800-1000 word posts into multiple 400-500 word bites, but to hell with it: a post should be as long as it has to to make the points I want to make. Traffic has also been excellent lately: from Election Day through yesterday EA has had the best extended streak since 2017. As usual with such surges, this has involved some quirks. For example, the post about Margaret Thatcher’s favorite poem has been leading all posts in clicks for three days. I didn’t see that coming…

1. Ethics Quiz: Which is more unethical, the creep who offers such tales out of school, or the publication that gives her a platform?

The entire genre of former school mates coming forward with unflattering and ancient anecdotes about political figures is unethical. Now that Ivanka Trump’s father is likely to be out of the White House next year, her seventh grade friend Lysandra Ohrstrom decided it was a safe to reveal what a creep the First Daughter was as a 13-year-old, because so few of us lacked a functioning ethics compass at that age. She also decided that she would enjoy being interviewed on various Trump-hating TV shows, I assume.

Why the woman continued to stay friends with someone she now says was an elitist snot is a mystery; yes, some of Lysandra’s tales impugn adult Ivanka as well as the child version.

One of her earliest memories of Ivanka is her blaming a fart on a less popular classmate. The monster! In their twenties, Ivanka asked Ohrstrom for a book suggestion and when her friend suggested “Empire Falls,” replied, “Why would you tell me to read a book about fucking poor people?” Ohrstrom also recalls Ivanka once telling her “You’ve really turned into a Marxist” during a discussion about affordable housing in Manhattan.

Is there anyone who has ever lived who doesn’t have embarrassing incidents that occurred early their lives and that they trust that the family and friends who witnessed them have the decency and loyalty not to inform the world? Ohstrom’s ignorance of the Golden Rule and her pathetic lunge for 15 minutes of fame tell us more about her character than reveal anything relevant about Ivanka Trump.

2. This is child abuse. Pregnant supermodel Emily Ratajkowski wrote in Vogue that she and her husband “won’t know the gender” of their baby “until our child is 18” and “they’ll let us know then.” A.) She’s an idiot. B) Her husband is a weenie who should tell his celebrity wife to stop virtue-signalling at the risk of damaging their child.

Gender is determined biologically and without a hitch for the vast, vast majority of children. A baby’s sex organs tell you what gender he or she is, and responsible parents should behave accordingly. If child services agencies were not so stocked with addled progressives, Ratajkowski’s article would and should trigger an investigation into her fitness as a parent.

3. Unethical Quote of the Day: Lawyer Lin Wood. Speaking yesterday with conservative pundit, lawyer and talk show host Mark Levin, Wood said,

“This election was a fraud. Donald Trump won I believe a 70% plus landslide election in the nation. He probably won over 400 electoral votes.”

Then prove it. Produce the evidence, or shut up. Wood’s reckless claim is exactly as unethical as Democratic claims regarding “Russian collusion” in 2016.

4. Nice to see Ann Althouse debunking yet another false Washington Post editorial! “One more lame defense you hear from Republicans: Democrats did this to Mr. Trump. But that’s false, too. Democrats did indeed focus on Russia’s assistance to Mr. Trump’s election campaign. But they did not claim that he wasn’t president. Hillary Clinton immediately conceded. President Barack Obama invited Mr. Trump to the White House and attended the inauguration,” says the Editorial Board of The Washington Post. Ann’s head explodes so mine doesn’t have to! She writes,

The word “this” carries a silly amount of weight. What is “this”? What are these Republicans actually saying the Democrats did to Trump and how does it compare to what Trump and his supporters are doing to Biden now? Which is worse?! Democrats didn’t just “focus on Russia’s assistance.” I won’t take the time to write out all that Democrats did over the entire Trump presidency. And “Hillary Clinton immediately conceded” because the outcome was obvious on the first day. How would she have behaved if it had been as close and open-ended as the 2020 election?” 

They didn’t claim he wasn’t President? Where did all of those “Not My President” signs come from, the Whigs? What party’s black Representatives boycotted the inauguration?

I keep forgetting to add “Democrats treated President Trump no worse than Republicans treated Obama” to the Big Lie list!

5. Humina humina…Senator Ted Cruz made Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sound like the biased, partisan, fake that he is when the Texas Republican grilled him over the platform’s suppression of the New York Post report on Hunter Biden’s emails linking Joe Biden to his son’s corrupt business deals. Some polls have shown that a possibly decisive number of Biden voters would have voted for the President had they been aware of the story, which Twitter, Facebook, and many mainstream media sources buried in the weeks leading to the election.

Cruz askedd Dorsey how Twitter could possibly claim not to be a “publisher” when it selectively applied its hacked materials policy against the Biden story but not against the New York Times article on Trump’s tax returns. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, “in effect, a subsidy,” Cruz pointed out, companies like Twitter are not held liable for the content others publish on their platforms. Section 230 gives the companies the ability to curate content to some extent because they are not acting as publishers.

Cruz asked Dorsey, “Is Twitter a publisher?” The Twitter CEO insisted, “No, we are not.”

“Publisher” as defined under Section 230 means “any person or entity that is responsible in whole or in part for the creation or development of information provided through the internet…”

“Was Twiter being a publisher when it censored The New York Post?” Cruz asked.

“No,” Dorsey replied. “We have very clear policies on the conduct we enable on the platform and if there’s a violation, we take enforcement action. And people choose to commit to those policies and to those terms of service.”

But, Cruz potested, Twitter’s “policies are applied in a partisan and selective manner….You claim [The New York Post story] was ‘hacked materials’ and yet you didn’t block the distribution of the New York Times story that alleged to talk about President Trump’s tax returns, even though a federal statute makes it a crime to distribute someone’s tax returns without their consent. You didn’t block any of that discussion, did you?”

Dorsey’s tortured reply: “In the New York Times case, we interpreted it as reporting about the hacked materials not distribution of the hacked materials.” Then Cruz noted that Twitter locked the account of Jake Sherman, a reporter with Politico, when he shared the New York Post story

“When Twitter is editing and censoring and silencing the New York Post, the newspaper with the fourth-highest circulation in the country, and Politico, one of the leading newspapers in the country, is Twitter acting as a publisher when it’s deciding what stories reporters are allowed to write and publish and what stories they’re not?” Cruz demanded.

Sherman’s account was not suspended, only “locked,” Dorsey said. (‘It depends what the meaning of “suspended” is…’) Then he claimed it was a big mistake, saying, “It fell afoul of the hacked materials policy. We realize that there was an error in that policy and the enforcement.”

Right. Cruz continued, asking, “Mr. Dorsey, does voter fraud exist?”

“I don’t know for certain,” Dorsey said.

“Are you an expert in voter fraud?”

“No, I’m not,” the CEO said.

“Why then is Twitter right now putting purported warnings on virtually any statement about voter fraud?” Cruz asked

“We’re simply linking to a broader conversation so that people have more information,” Dorsey said, lying through his teeth.

Cruz then stated that Twitter’s labels do not “link” to a “broader conversation,’ but rather insist that “voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare in the United States.” “Twitter’s position is, essentially, voter fraud does not exist,” Cruz argued. Yet “just two weeks ago in the state of Texas, a woman was charged with 134 counts of voter fraud.”

Never mind. Of course the media and social media platforms were cheating and applying double standards to ensure a Biden victory.

The important thing is, it worked.

I

13 thoughts on “Wednesday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/18/2020: The Betraying Friend, The Abusive Model, The Grandstanding Lawyer, And The Partisan CEO

  1. Jack wrote, “Never mind. Of course the media and social media platforms were cheating and applying double standards to ensure a Biden victory.” “The important thing is, it worked.”

    The relatively unspoken tactic of the political left is the ends justifies the means.

  2. #3 – This has been a topic of Rush Limbaugh’s show for two days running. Yesterday he was talking about Lin Wood and Sidney Powell making these claims. Rush went on about how both have a very good reputation and that if they both will destroy that reputation if they can’t back the claims up. Today he was linking it to Al Capone’s Vault and how Geraldo Rivera became a laughing stock over the events of the empty reveal.

  3. Wood’s reckless claim is exactly as unethical as Democratic claims regarding “Russian collusion” in 2016.

    Do not be surprised if over half of Republicans believe this.

    70% of Democrats believe in the Russian collusion nonsense.

  4. Both related to the ethics content but I shall say it anyway: glad you got more traffic…. I can think of no site more deserving!

  5. Regarding the pandemic.

    http://www.aier.org/article/woodstock-occurred-in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic/

    – Michael Lang, one of the festival organizers, had medics on hand in case there was a flu outbreak.
    – The Altamont Festival took place during the 2nd wave of the H3N2 pandemic.
    – The Chicago Daily News, on 8/23/1969, mentioned the pandemic as one of the concerns about Woodstock.
    – The media at the time was reporting on the pandemic as an active threat, on 8/26/1969
    Perhaps allowing Woodstock was one of the most foolish public health policies in history, and it was only moral luck that it did not lead to half a million Americans, and possibly thousands of others elsewhere in the world, dying of the Hong Kong flu. If you wish to argue that, feel free to do so.
    Maybe you will convince me.

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