Introducing The Ethics Alarms “Weenie Of The Week”! The First Recipient: Jay Leno

edible dogs

“The Weenie of the Week” will recognize those who enable censors, political correctness mobs, totalitarians, cancel culture terrorists and the rising fascist tide in America by prostrating themselves and groveling for forgiveness when in truth they have done nothing wrong.

Although the term “weenie” is light-hearted in its terminology, the conduct earning the title is serious and despicable. These are not only pathetic cowards, though they are certainly that. They are the modern, domestic versions of “good Germans,” who, for their own self-interests and nothing more, are willing to reject our nation’s core rights and liberties, weaken them, and indeed join the increasingly ominous effort to suffocate free expression, dissent, creativity and humor.

Comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno begins what I fear will be a long line.

Yesterday he issued an apology for making jokes in the past about Koreans eating dog meat after a 15-year campaign by the activist group Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA).

“At the time I did those jokes, I genuinely thought them to be harmless,” Leno said in a joint press release with MANAA leader Guy Aoki: “I was making fun of our enemy North Korea, and like most jokes, there was a ring of truth to them.”

 “At the time, there was a prevailing attitude that some group is always complaining about something, so don’t worry about it. Whenever we received a complaint, there would be two sides to the discussion: Either ‘We need to deal with this’ or ‘Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke.’ Too many times I sided with the latter even when in my heart I knew it was wrong. I am issuing this apology. I do not consider this particular case to be another example of cancel culture but a legitimate wrong that was done on my part. MANAA has been very gracious in accepting my apology. I hope that the Asian American community will be able to accept it as well, and I hope I can live up to their expectations in the future.”

Given the groveling tone, it is somewhat surprising that Leno did not appear with a shaved head, glassy eyes and in a jump suit like past victims of North Korean brainwashing.

What prompted Leno’s sudden realization that decades of jokes about Korean canine cuisine were wrong? Two factors, it seems. The first is the manufactured panic over “increased hate crimes against Asian Americans” supposedly triggered because President Trump alluded to China being responsible for the origins and spread of the pandemic… because China is responsible for the origins and spread of the pandemic. This dishonest campaign began almost a year ago as an offshoot of the ongoing Big Lie that Trump is a racist in preparation for the anti-Trump propaganda during the 2020 election campaign, and as part of the rising unethical ethic on the Left that the remedy for uncomfortable truths is to censor speech relating to them. In the most recent product of this partisan false narrative, as Ethics Alarms has discussed, an Atlanta shooting spree in which six of eight victims were Asian-Americans has been designated as a “hate crime” despite the absence of any evidence whatsoever that the victims were targeted because of their race.

For Leno to say that he does not “consider this particular case to be another example of cancel culture” is an outright lie. Of course it is. We know this because the second reason he suddenly concluded that his jokes were “wrong” is that he was literally faced with cancellation. The mendacious Variety article about Leno’s grovel chose to wait until (let’s see) its 7th paragraph to inform readers that MANAA had threatened Fox, which recently hired Leno to host the re-booted Groucho Marx game show “You Bet Your Life,” offering the network an ultimatum: fire Leno or face a MANAA-organized sponsor boycott.

As a comedian, Leno’s primary standard for determining the legitimacy of a joke has been, and should be, whether his intended audience found the joke funny. Reading Leno’s grovel, I began doubting my belief that indeed several Asian cultures do regard dogs as food. Was Leno apologizing for promoting a false slur?

No. In 2019, USA Today reported that South Koreans, never mind the starving Koreans to their North, ate a million dogs a year:

South Koreans…historically regarded dogs as edible farm animals, not loving indoor companions. Dogs were more plentiful than cattle, which were scarce and valued for farm labor such as pulling carts or plowing fields.

“That lingering view affects how South Koreans consider dogs today, as the country grapples with its practice of raising dogs for meat and dog meat consumption itself.

“About 2.5 million dogs are raised in South Korean dog farms each year. About 1 million are killed and eaten. The rest are used for breeding with many dogs dying because of the farms’ high mortality rate, according to Humane Society International, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for animal protection worldwide.”

I can see why dogs might object to jokes about this issue; my dog Spuds says he doesn’t find them funny at all. But if Koreans find the topic uncomfortable, they can either say, “Shut up, you don’t know what you’re missing!” or resolve to reform their culture. Leno’s not the one eating dogs. Why should he apologize?

Well, he wants the money, I guess. That in itself dos not reflect well on the comedian. He is already filthy rich, with an estimated net worth of $400 million. He’s 70 years old. If anyone is in a position to spit in the cancel culture’s eye, it’s Jay Leno. But no, Jay would rather undermine his profession, his colleagues and his country by apologizing for, at worst, telling the truth.

***

As an aside, let me remind readers that I have walked the walk on the issue of being faced with negative consequences after joking about inconvenient facts regarding an Asian nation. In one of my programs, I discuss what is wrong with Rationalization #22, “There are worse things” by going through a hierarchy of murder to show that there are always worse things. In the process, I said at one session “Yes, Hitler may have murdered 6 million Jews, but it could have been worse: after all, Mao murdered 60 million!” later, I received emailed demands from two Chinese academics who were at the session that I apologize and retract the statement. One said that Mao “only” killed about 16 million people, and that these were “necessary.” The sponsors of the event, with whom I had a long-term contract, “advised” me to apologize. I refused, and lost the contract.

I do not have $400 million.

8 thoughts on “Introducing The Ethics Alarms “Weenie Of The Week”! The First Recipient: Jay Leno

  1. “Too many times I sided with the latter even when in my heart I knew it was wrong.”

    Did you know you were wrong, Jay? Did you really? I find it hard to believe that, when you were writing jokes, you went with ones that you truly felt were wrong.

  2. I thought cancel culture might start to peter out this year, but apparently it is not only still going strong, but it is becoming an established part of the culture. What’s more, it’s unevenly applied, do you think anyone who said openly that white men were a cancer on society would be cancelled? What is still more it that it is becoming an attack of opportunity. This time it was a terrible crime in which victims just happened to be Asian used to gin up anger and outrage by power-hungry activists on behalf of Asians, whether they wanted it or not. Then the power-hungry activists used that anger and outrage either as a hammer to beat up any convenient target or as a “magic sword Excalibur” to pierce any long-standing target who so far had withstood. Jay Leno had withstood a while, but this was just too much, apparently. At the same time this, and the grocery attack in Boulder, are being used to gin up anger at and hatred of white men and legitimate gun owners, despite the fact that one of these killers wasn’t even white. In fact the Boulder attacker was Syrian, AND a follower of the “Religion of Peace,” but you don’t hear too much about that, except from dissidents like Daily Wire’s speed-talking but usually fact-based Ben Shapiro.

    The fact is that organized anger and hate, like big tech, has become another weapon in the left’s arsenal to be used in its quest to gain ultimate power, squelch disagreement, and destroy those who won’t fall into line. Mass shootings provide a convenient excuse to deploy that weapon, selectively of course. You didn’t hear much of anything from the left when Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on the Dallas police and killed five of them. Strike that, you occasionally heard what cowards the Dallas Police were for using a robot to take Johnson down and how excessive they were for killing him. That’s right, after two hours in which he mocked the police, asked how many he got, and said he’d like to get more, the left thought the police should have handled him with the lightest touch. You heard precious little when a black couple cut loose in Jersey City or when a Muslim couple mowed down several co-workers at a Christmas party. MAYBE you heard that this didn’t represent all Muslims, but that’s about it. Actually you didn’t hear too too much except anti-gun stuff after the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, despite Jews having a long history of being hated and targeted. Maybe they aren’t as important since they aren’t technically people of color.

    You mark my words, this is just the beginning of a concerted campaign to mobilize anger and hate against white conservatives, especially men, and see how many public figures they can break. What’s next, a Christchurch-style attack on Muslims used to make public figures bow and scrape and apologize? Do they want Laura Ingraham to don a hijab and renounce everything anti-terror she said? How about a shooting that takes out a few Native Americans being used to beat white Americans and especially Italian-American holdouts over Columbus Day over the head? Do you want to see Rudy Giuliani and Joe Piscopo, who dared to stand up for their heritage, bowing and scraping and symbolically presiding over the dismantling of Columbus Circle? This is where the left wants us to head. A nation that apologizes for existing might as well hang it up.

    • You mark my words, this is just the beginning of a concerted campaign to mobilize anger and hate against white conservatives, especially men, and see how many public figures they can break.

      Hatred can only breed hatred.

      • I think that’s the general idea. At this point white men have the same choice the colonists had in 1775: either stand up for yourself and say “enough,” or resign yourself to being a permanent second class. We’ve been talking about this for a while. It was going on long before Trump even ran for president. The left was saying that the time of the white male was over and it was time for him to step aside in favor of a younger, blacker, browner, gayer, more female, less religious electorate. Some said it was time for a reset, to sweep away the old system completely, and start again with a new one, where that long standing problem of slavery would not be a factor from the get-go. I thought that these ideas ad been turned back in 2016, but it looks like all that happened was they got turbocharged.

    • I had no illusions about Jay. His stunt of “retiring” as Tonight Show host only to sabotage Conan O’Brien by signing to do a prime time NBC show right in front of him was one of the most disgusting and ego-driven betrayals in entertainment history.

      • I completely agree.

        NBC’s decision decades ago to replace Carson with Leno rather than Letterman was as a ridiculous decision. I have never heard what the particulars of that decision were, but they certainly did not involve talent, quickness of wit, or originality.

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