Last night, when I had to run an errand to our local 7-11, I realized a milestone had been reached: the “Please wear a mask” signs were down outside and I could see the clerk’s face for the first time in over a year. Virginia, thanks to its blackface aficionado Democratic governor, the ridiculous Dr. Ralph Northam, has been one of the more extreme states in its oppressive pandemic edicts (I think taking down the tennis court nets was a low point, but there were others). Where and when one wears a mask should have always been an informed ethical and rational decision, but knee-jerk partisans made sure that it was widely regarded as an anti-Trump/pro-Trump declaration, or a science/anti-science statement. I resented that from the start, and I resent it now. I wore masks when patronizing businesses that wanted me to wear masks, since that was their right, or stopped using businesses I thought were being obnoxious about it, since that was my right. I refused to wear masks outside when I was not going to be too close to anyone, and eventually, as I was able to puzzle out how tenuous the social distancing assumptions were, stopped wearing them outside at all. I know the staffs of our local businesses that we patronize often and they know us; I recognized the bind they were in, so I followed their rules whether I thought they made sense or not. Now I’m just thrilled to not be regarded as making a divisive political statement by not knuckling under to power-abusing would-be dictators, like Ralph Northam.
1. Speaking of masks, Dr. Anthony Fauci just took the lead in the race to be the Ethics Alarms Asshole of the Year. Yesterday, smirking, untrustworthy and partisan MSNBC talking head Rachel Maddow hosted Fauci on her program, and in an example of the hard-hitting, objective journalism for which she has become famous, fawned all over him in an interview that began with the assumption that poor Fauci is being cruelly ganged up upon by right-wing Neanderthals. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Her very first question signaled I’m on your side, poor baby!: “First of all, let me just ask if I’m being fair. Am I building you up to be thicker-skinned about this than you are? You’re actually worried about this new sort of re-upping of attacks on you?”
Given his cue, Fauci responded in part, “Well, I’m concerned about that more because it’s really very much an attack on science…What is the thread going through, what’s happening now, is very much an anti-science approach. So that’s a big, big difference. I mean, it is what it is, I’m a public figure, I’m going to take the arrows and the swings, but they’re just, they’re fabricated.”
It could have been worse, I guess; he might have said that the criticism of him was racist. His despicable answer settles any questions about Fauci’s character in my mind; he’s a manipulative creep and an ethics villain. “Attack on science” !? We have smoking gun proof that Fauci was mistaken about his conclusions, frequently lied or withheld information, and had unrevealed conflicts of interest. He allowed himself to be used as a partisan weapon to shut down the economy.
Come to think of it, Fauci’s answer to Maddow was exactly the same as a policy-maker-of-color playing the race card. Because he’s a scientist, he should be above reproach. No opposition is in good faith or justifiable. Any criticism of him is really anti-science bigotry.
Asshole of the Year.
2. Baseball ethics: A tipping point on “robo-calls’? I was happy that the Red Sox beat the Yankees last night, but this outrageous strike three call at a crucial point helped a lot:
Since this was in a nationally televised game and the victims were the Yankees, I think it may finally silence the critics of using computer technology to call balls and strikes. Baseball games shouldn’t be decided by erroneous calls that everyone watching can see are wrong when a solution is available.
3. Let’s see, how many things are unethical about this Anderson Cooper (CNN) quote from yesterday? “150 days since the worst single act of political violence since the Civil War, and the man who incited it is crying about being kept off social media.”
One, it’s a lie. There is no evidence that President Trump “incited” the January 6 riot at the Capitol. At this point, it is a Big Lie: the news media and Democrats keep stating it as fact, like they keep calling the riot an “armed and deadly insurrection.”
Two, Cooper is just repeating, almost verbatim, a Democrat talking point: the “worst attack on democracy since the Civil War” was what President Biden called the episode in his address to Congress is April. Tell me again how the news media isn’t just a partisan propaganda machine.
Three, what Biden said was stupid and false in April, and since this was widely pointed out, it is even more unethical for Anderson to repeat it. I’ll add Four and Five here too: It shows that Cooper is incompetent, having insufficient knowledge of American history to be a trusted news analyst, and he has made CNN viewers more ignorant than they already are. Since the Civil War we have had four Presidential assassinations, two failed attempts that killed others, and the assassination of a likely Presidential nominee, Bobby Kennedy. There was Pearl Harbor and the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks that took almost 3,000 lives, the Oklahoma City bombing of a government building; the sniper attack on GOP Congressmen that almost killed Rep. Steve Scalise, and the BLM riots attacking local and federal governments. Earlier attacks on the Capitol included bombings; in 1954 three Puerto Rican nationalists shot up the House chamber, wounding five representatives.
Finally, as Six, we have the fact that a sort-of journalist who depends on freedom of expression for his job just shrugs off the censorship of a major political figure and former President as no big deal.
4. Wait! Not everyone is a weenie! Unfortunately this Ethics Hero is in Great Britain, but he’s a perfect role model for U.S. targets of woke mobs; we just need about a thousand of them. When Harry and Meghan told Oprah that the Royal Family was racist and members of the British news media were accused of racism for criticizing the pair’s grandstanding, Ian Murray, the head of the prestigious Society of Editors, defended the British press against the claim made by the Duke of Sussex and others that his industry was racist. Murray’s statement declared that Harry’s accusation was “not acceptable” without any evidence. Predictably,160 “journalists of color” along with the editors of the Guardian, Financial Times and Huffington Post wrote an open letter calling Murray’s argument proof of “an institution and an industry in denial.”
Being attacked by the people he was trying to defend, Murray felt he had no choice but to resign from the organization he helped to create. But he did not apologize, and refused to grovel. In an interview with Unherd, Murray was clear and defiant, saying in part,
“When the mob turns, they need a target and it’s vicious — the phone calls, the hate, the threats of violence and worse, actually reaching me and my family in my home with phone calls and all kinds of things. I calculated that if I was going to save the Society of Editors, I needed to walk away…it was a classic witch trial, whereby someone stands up to defend someone who’s been accused of being a witch, must therefore be a witch….What happens at the end of a show trial is when you’ve got your admission and your culprits, you must shame them publicly. You must make sure that everyone gets the message that “if you don’t agree with what we say, if you push back against anything that we say — then this is what we will do to you: we’ll come for your family, we’ll come for your career, your friends, anyone that associates with you. So don’t question. Don’t question…Now it’s coming to a point that if you try to defend against anything, you’re going to get swamped attacked, and overwhelmed. And that has a chilling effect. That means people will shut up. Whether they are in the media or elsewhere. It’s censorship. It’s self censorship. And that is a dangerous thing.“