This makes two frightening ethics stories involving the media in a row, the worst back-to-back Ethics Alarms concerns that I’ve seen in ten years here. The seriousness of the previous story is easy to grasp: multiple news organizations deliberately misled the public to suggest misconduct by President Trump that never happened, and “coincidentally” they did so with perfect timing to affect the crucial special Senate elections in Georgia. This second horror is trickier, because it involves what to normal people is trivia layered on trivia. However, it may be the more terrible of the two.
Try to follow this without getting disgusted and turning on “Three’s Company” re-runs, or you can jump to the bottom of this nauseating account for the reason why the episode is important despite all evidence to the contrary…
1. It began with the Oprah interview of the narcissistic and manipulative Duchess of Sussex and her dominated husband last week, during which Meghan absurdly played poor little rich girl and poor princess while accusing conveniently un-named members of the Royal family of being racists. Even the fact that the couple sold the interview to O didn’t dissuade the celebrity-addled Princess Di cult from swallowing every whooper served up by the former actress like it was a culinary masterpiece. Tellingly, the interview went over like a lead balloon, as my father used to say, in Great Britain, where Meghan Markle and Harry are even less popular members of the royal family than Jeffrey Epstein pal Prince Andrew.
2. Then, on a British morning talk show the next day, celebrity muckraker Piers Morgan announced that he didn’t believe the couple’s tale of abuse, and thought it was outrageous for two entitled (literally) individuals of unearned wealth and power to present themselves as victims, and particularly offensive for Markle to be posing as a victim of “systemic racism.” For this he was accused of being biased—he’s white after all—and Morgan, who bottom-feeder though he is does not grovel or back down, quit his co-host job on the spot, walking off the set.
3. Next, on the CBS rip-off of ABC’s dolt-fest “The View” called “The Talk,” (Can you imagine anything more pathetic than trying to copy “The View”?) co-host Sharon Osbourne was set up to be the Bigoted White Woman discussing the Markle controversy with two black panelists. Osbourne, in case you may not be familiar with her inexplicable career, has no claim to special wisdom or competence whatsoever, nor is she uncommonly attractive, witty, or quirky. She still somehow managed to build a lucrative pop culture niche through her incidental participation on a terrible TV reality show starring her teetering-on- dementia husband, once -famous, ex-heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and their two children, now also famous for being famous C-list celebrities. They made “The Soprano’s” kids look like prodigies. Sharon has no educational credentials, is not especially articulate, and her opinion on anything but Ozzy and the music business bears no more attention than that of the typical 7-11 clerk. Yet people watch “The Talk.” If you have done so more than once., it is signature significance. You are ether a masochist or a dimwit.
4. Osbourne, who knows and claims to be friends with Morgan, blathered this about his situation:
“Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No. Because it’s his opinion. It’s not my opinion. But why is it that because I defended a longtime friend … that everybody goes: If you support him, then you must be racist because he’s racist. I support him for his freedom of speech…. I’m not racist — neither is Piers. I hate the fact to even be saying: I’m not racist. It’s a terrible evil word to call anybody without knowledge of that. What have I ever said about anybody that is racist? It’s not within me.”
She has spent all this time on talk shows, and Osbourne hasn’t learned that saying “I’m not a racist” is guaranteed to make people think you’re a racist. Still, defending a white commentator who criticized a sort-of-black Royal Kardashian wannabe doesn’t suggest racism in any way. It suggests a minimally functioning cranium. Nevertheless, Osbourne’s comments got her called out by co-host Sheryl Underwood, “The Talk’s” African-American equivalent of “The View’s” resident mega-loudmouth\,” Joy Behar. (Behar, in top form, maintained this week that the antifa doesn’t exist.) Underwoood’s qualifications to hold forth on national TV regarding complex issues of race and politics is that she is a stand-up comedian who rose to prominence as a finalist in 1989’s Miller Lite Comedy Search, and who could forget THAT? Underwood implied that Osbourne was giving “validation” to Morgan dismissing Markle’s accusations of royal racism racism allegations, and then another black panelist, the legendary Elaine Welteroth, the super-woke former editor of “Teen Vogue,” began talking about “unconscious bias,” as in you white folks are all racists but don’t know it. After a commercial break, Osbourne confronted Underwood, asking, “Educate me. Tell me when you have heard [Morgan] say racist things?” Underwood said it was the implication of what he had written and said, but denied that she and Underwood were were attacking Osbourne as racist for defending him.
“It’s too late,” Osbourne said. “The seed’s already sowed.”
5. Now if you are going to watch a dumb talk show where uninformed celebrities opine on things they aren’t capable of enlightening anyone about, this is what you hope for, right? At least the course of the argument is revealing, and there is some genuinely entertaining conflict. WRONG! CBS pulled the episode and put the whole show on hiatus, saying in a statement, “We are committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. All matters related to the Wednesday episode of ‘The Talk’ are currently under internal review.”
Translation: “Sharon Osbourne made comments supporting a racist who criticized the black breakaway princess’s claim of racist mistreatment, which must be believed. This is a breach of the now enforced “diversity” mandate, which really means that a white citizen criticizing or disagreeing with any African-American about anything raises a rebuttable presumption of racism. Since racist speech is hate speech, we are censoring “The View,” and will wait a reasonable amount of time and let Sharon Osbourne beg for her job before we can her in shame, condemning her to Cancellation Hell.“
Yes, I think that is exactly what CBS’s actions and statement mean.
6. As is so predictable in these incidents, Osbourne tried to save her job and career by prostrating herself before the altar of Woke:
Ugh. This is the problem when celebrities wade into important issues beyond their depth, and lack the integrity, language skills and erudition to defend the principles under attack when they are threatened with “cancellation.” Morgan, at least, has the guts to refuse to be intimidated, and tweeted in Osbourne’s defense,
Sharon’s been shamed & bullied into apologising for defending me against colleagues accusing me of racism because I don’t believe Meghan Markle’s bullsh*t. This is where we’ve reached. I demand an apology from those @TheTalkCBS bullies for their disgraceful slurs against ME.
Here is why this matters.
In Great Britain, where there is limited freedom of speech, Morgan is being “investigated” by a government agency for being insufficiently compliant with liberal cant. The United States, however, does hold that freedom of speech and expression are critical to democracy. The Left is currently trying to get around this by having giant corporations do the government’s dirty work, and intimidating and punishing those who insist on raising issues and arguments progressives want censored and buried, along with those views’ contrary advocates. For CBS, a national communications company as well as a part of the news media, to engage in this deliberate chilling of speech in the name of “diversity” demonstrates how quickly the culture is sliding toward fascism of the Left.
More troubling still is the now-undisguised strategy of labeling any criticism of any African-American group, movement or individual, even the ridiculous Meghan Markle as white supremacy or racism.
That will require a full post.