1. When ethics alarms were never installed...The question here is not whether this was unethical. Of course it was. The question is how such an episode could happen anywhere in this country. Eight high school football coaches at McKinley Senior High School in Canton, Ohio have been placed on paid leave after apparently forcing a 17-year-old player, a Hebrew Israelite whose faith forbids the consumption of pork, to eat a pepperoni pizza in front of the team as punishment for skipping a practice. The family is suing the school district for violating the student’s First Amendment rights.
The head football coach, Marcus Wattley, allegedly told the boy that if he didn’t eat the pizza, his team mates would be punished. I don’t comprehend this. How can someone live in the U.S. and think forcing a child to violate his faith is anything but abuse? How does someone like Wattley get hired by a public school and entrusted with the welfare of children? Why would any high school have eight assistant football coaches?
If the facts are confirmed in an investigation, more than the coaches should be fired and, one hopes, prosecuted. The principal and other administrators should also be canned. [Pointer: JutGory]
2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias…The dozens of ways the mainstream media warps the news and manipulates public opinion becomes oppressive once you are sensitized to it. The headline in the Times two days ago, for example, was “GOP Challenges Teaching of Racism’s Scope.” That headline presumes as fact that “Critical Race Theory” and the “1619 Project” fairly and accurately convey “racism’s scope.” “GOP Challenges What It Calls Anti-White, Anti-America Indoctrination In the Schools” would be a neutral headline. Later in the same article, the news story refers to President Trump’s “racist comments, ” which is just a continuation of a narrative build on a media-fueled Big Lie. President Trump made many insensitive, provocative and politically incorrect comments. None were “racist.”
3.A theory on why “factcheckers” keep checking the Babylon Bee, the conservative satire site. The latest example of was this gag, lampooning LEGO’s special LGBTQ “pride ” set, which Ethics Alarms discussed here (Item #2):
Reuters decided a “fact check” was necessary , and, of course PolitiFact, the worst of the Left-biased factcheckers, also felt it was imperative to “check” whether LEGO really had made blocks that couldn’t attach to each other. Rueters intoned, “While the article was originally published on May 20 on Christian satirical website Babylon Bee, screenshots posted later to social media took the piece out of its comedic context – and duped users into thinking it was serious.” Of course, any late night comedian’s fantasies are subject to the same phenomenon, and there is little anyone can do about idiots who take such things seriously other than to give them helmets so they don’t injure themselves. Christian Toto, however, the brave conservative Hollywood reporter, theorizes,
“Media platforms like Snopes and USA Today similarly beclown themselves with “fact checks” aimed at a right-leaning satire site that cleans mainstream comedy’s clocks on a daily basis….Why? They want to diminish The Bee or even put its future on the line. Mega platforms like Facebook rely on fact checking services to stem the flow of “fake news” stories, a noble pose on the surface. If enough Bee articles get censored, or labeled as false, Facebook could prevent them from being shared on its platform. That’s a potential death blow to a site that finds its stories shared thousands of times on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.”
4. Billing ethics. At this very moment I am waiting for a client to call for a scheduled consultation. I rearranged my schedule to accommodate hers, but she is now 30 minutes late for the appointment. I’ve emailed, called and received voice mail. The question is, is any of the time I’ve spent avoiding working on other projects while I await what was supposed to be an emergency conference billable, and ethically so? This kind of thing happens to me a lot.
I decided a long time ago that it wasn’t ethical to bill for wasted time occasioned by a client’s tardiness. Still, it always seems like there should be some better way to handle it…
5. Of course they did! From the Times report: “City workers began clearing the intersection where the police killed [George] Floyd just over a year ago. The reopening efforts drew criticism from some activists.” Assorted junk, flowers, barricades and signs had blocked a South Minneapolis intersection for many months, while businesses suffered and crime in the area increased. The mayor and city officials hoped that the unannounced clearance effort would let traffic move through the intersection again; they knew that if the project were announced in advance, there would be protesters blocking the bulldozers, and of course no police could be on hand. Mustn’t have that. The name of Chicago Avenue in the area has been changed George Perry Floyd Jr. Place for two blocks. One would think that would be more than sufficient to honor a man who did nothing honorable, and whose death, the circumstances of which he put into motion himself, has cost billions of dollars and lives while dividing the nation and undermining civil rights. Guess not. “I think it’s wrong,” said D.J. Hooker, a community activist. “This is not what they should be doing while people are trying to still heal.”
Do you see any evidence that those exploiting the Floyd episode are “trying to heal”? I do not.
6. Am I going to have to get off of Facebook too? I already should have, I know: the platform banning Ethics Alarms for most of two years without explanation was reason enough, as was its complicity in manipulating the 2020 election, and its banning of President Trump. Now we have this: On May 13, 2021, while Hamas was sending rockets into Israel, The Jerusalem Prayer Team page was flooded with 800,000 anti-Semitic or Anti-Israel comments. Two days later, Facebook told announced it had unpublished the JPT Facebook page, on the grounds that it violated its policies. The Epoch Times reports that a search of the websites of The Washington Post, USA Today, and The New York Times produced no stories on the issue.
Did you know that democracy dies in darkness?
7. Which reminds me of the Soviet purge at JAMA...Dr. Howard Bauchner, the top editor of the Journal of The American Medical Association, has been forced out because another editor, Dr. Edward Livingston, argued that socioeconomic factors, not structural racism, held back black communities on a JAMA podcast. A tweet promoting the podcast also said that “no physician could be racist.” Bauchner had been on enforced leave since March, as the “incident”—incident meaning that a non-conforming opinion was uttered in a professional setting—was investigated. “I remain profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast,” Dr. Bauchner groveled on the way out. “Although I did not write or even see the tweet, or create the podcast, as editor in chief, I am ultimately responsible for them.”
Weenie. Shame on him.
Much of the focus has been on the “no physician could be racist” tweet. One has to deliberately misconstrue the intended meaning to find offense. Racism is harmful, and a physician must do no harm, ergo no racist is truly a physician. Yes, it’s a “no true Scotsman rationalization,” but it sets up a contrast between the real and the ideal. Of course there are racist doctors.
And now we know that there are censorious, totalitarian ones, and that they run the AMA.