Afternoon Ethics Incitements, 6/17/2021: Goodbye, Victoria’s Secret!

VC angels

1. IIPTDXTTNMIAFB! Today’s “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden” note officially takes in President Biden’s stumbling, fumbling, often embarrassing conduct during the G7 summit and his meeting with Putin, ranging from calling Putin a “killer” in advance of what was advertised as a diplomatic meeting, to snapping at a reporter, to periodically babbling incoherently and appearing over two hours late for a press conference. To read the conservative media, this was an unequivocal disaster; to read the rest of the news media, Biden’s class and dignity restored respect in the republic. My position is that it is unethical for domestic media to attack the President when he is abroad, so I would generally support the media’s treatment of Joe this week, except for the “refusing to report what happened when it reflected badly on their guy” part. But the news media mercilessly ridiculed President Trump for no more egregious conduct when he was meeting with foreign leaders. With one side of the news media primed to be hyper-critical, and the other side being hypocritical, it is impossible to figure out what really happened.

On the bright side, if you travel to Australia, the media will give you the straight story.“I just think Joe Biden is a lucky person,” said Sophie Elsworth of “The Australian”. “He has got all the media on his side—or most of the media on his side—particularly CNN. Completely at odds with what they did to Trump. So his popularity surely can only win from this because he’s getting so much positive PR through the journalists who are massive fans of him. It’s quite appalling to watch. And what happened to straight news reporting, which doesn’t seem to be existent there?”

It became 100% partisan propaganda, that’s what happened, Sophie.

2. Yeah, I’ll go out on a limb and say this is unethical…During a 30-minute call with a conservative activist, Republican Congressional candidate William Braddock warned an activist to not support GOP candidate Anna Paulina Luna in the Republican primary, because he might just put a hit on her.

“I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America,” Braddock said at one point in the conversation according to a recording “That will break my heart. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Luna is a fucking speed bump in the road. She’s a dead squirrel you run over every day when you leave the neighborhood.” He added, “I have access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians … Luna’s gonna go down and I hope it’s by herself.”

I’m sure Braddock will say he was only speaking metaphorically, and maybe he was. By “end anybody’s life,” he just meant their political life. After all, he has no criminal record. I’m sure he will also point out that Florida, like California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington, is a two party consent state regarding recorded conversations, so the taping was illegal, and thus unethical. However the words “I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America…But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done,” unless accompanied by unequivocal laughter, is too sinister and creepy to ignore. I wouldn’t trust someone who talks like that, even in private.

Would you? [Pointer: valkygrrl]

3. Incompetent corporate management exemplified: Victoria’s Secret. Apparently Victoria’s secret was that she was insane. The company has announced that it is replacing its established image of sexy models wearing lingerie and accoutrements designed to make men go wild in the boudoir, and will now be seeking an audience of woke women, #MeToo warriors, lesbians and the transgendered. “When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” said Martin Waters, who was appointed chief executive of the brand in February. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.” To that end, he has hired Megan Rapinoe, the obnoxiously severe pink-haired soccer star and lesbian activist; Eileen Gu, a 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier and soon-to-be Olympian; a 29-year-old biracial and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser,and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a 38-year-old Indian actor and tech investor to be the faces of the brand.

As Steve Martin says in “All of Me” when his client, Lily Tomlin, informs him that he wants her will changed so that all of her assets will go to a young woman whom she plans on having her spirit take over with the help of an Eastern mystic, “Good plan!” More than $5 billion in annual sales, and 32,000 jobs in a global retail network that includes roughly 1,400 stores are expected to withstand a company that tosses away its identity and announces that it is now the exact opposite of what made it successful, and that instead of appealing to male and female sexual fantasies, it will now seek to please feminist activists.

The world hasn’t changed as much as the CEO thinks it has. Rapinoe, the well-known sex symbol, is already shooting off her mouth, which is what she does, saying that the company has been“patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired. And it was very much marketed toward younger women,’ a message, she said, was “really harmful.” The soccer star added, “As a gay woman, I think a lot about what we think is sexy, and we are afforded the ability to do that, because I don’t have to wear the traditional sexy thing to be sexy and I don’t think the traditional thing is sexy when it comes to my partner or people I’ve dated. I think functionality is probably the sexiest thing we could possibly achieve in life. Sometimes just cool is sexy, too.”

Right. Here’s Megan:

megan rapinoe portrait

I wouldn’t be surprised if she knows this crazy shift will kill the company, and will be quite satisfied with having a part in that while being paid for the honor.

As in case the Miss America beauty pageant, which was effectively killed when woke feminist leaders decided to eliminate the beauty part, I could not care less about the fate of Victoria’s Secret. I walked into one store in a mall, felt cheap and voyeuristic, and turned around and walked out again in seconds. I do care about business ethics. If you don’t like the business a company is in, don’t accept the salary for leading that company. This is like a gun company announcing that it will henceforward only sell guns that shoot marshmallows and ping-pong balls.

On the positive side, this “get woke, go broke” classic has opened up an opportunity for a new company to do what Victoria’s Secret used to do And I’m sure Martin Waters, unlike the many VS employees who his decision will affect, has a nice, seven figure golden parachute to use when his plan has its predictable effect.

4. This isn’t the way to sell me on a substack newsletter. A baseball pundit whose opinions and writing style I admire is peddling his newsletter to me every week, and I’d love to support him—if he such to what he knows about, which is baseball and law. But he insists on giving his juvenile and unschooled political biases free reign at the end of each edition, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for that. Glenn Greenwald doesn’t make me read his theater reviews.

In his latest rant, this writer, whom I have written about before, opined that the U.S. was in dire peril of becoming an authoritarian country, due to you-know-who, and cited as authority this flamingly inept Vox piece. I almost didn’t read it, since I was pretty sure it would be what indeed it was: crap and propaganda. The author’s primary authority is the progressive scholar that Ethics Alarms has exposed before, Harvard’s Steven Levitsky and his various collaborators. The essay goes on to embody the Left’s “it isn’t what it is” strategy. The Constitution supports anti-democratic government, and must be reformed. The filibuster is autocratic, because it interferes with the majority’s will, when the majority should be able to stomp everyone into submission. Insisting on voting security is autocratic. Meanwhile, every statement by Levitsky interpreted as indictments of conservatives, because partisan activists want them to be seen that way. They say that autocrats “deny the opposition adequate media coverage, harass opposition candidates and their supporters, and in some cases manipulate electoral results,” Levitsky writes with the University of Toronto’s Lucan Way. “Regimes characterized by such abuses cannot be called democratic.”

You mean like a party that controls the mainstream media, doesn’t report misconduct by their favored party by making up scandals about the other, have its Big Tech and social media allies prevent the other party’s last President from communicating to the public, and push an infamously insecure voting method like mail-in balloting? You know, like Republicans…

I don’t know how smart people keep falling for this dishonesty, but those who do will not see newsletter subscriptions from me.

14 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Incitements, 6/17/2021: Goodbye, Victoria’s Secret!

  1. Does Victoria’s Secret have stores in India? If so, hiring Priyanka Chopra Jonas will make up in sales there whatever they lose here. She’s a former Miss World and is married to one of the Jonas brothers. She is a pretty well-known star outside the U.S.

    I don’t know who those other women are, but my guess is that they were hired for wokeness points and Priyanka was hired to actually sell the product.

    • So, Victoria’s Secrets wants Rapinoe & Co., to rehabilitate its brand. Interesting. It’s kind of like meeting with the head of the second world power and giving him a list of 16 infrastructure items off limits to cyberattacks. 16. Nah . . . no competent US President would ever something that dumb. Oh, wait . . .

  2. 1. I’ve seen clips of Biden from the G7, and he acts a lot like my grandma did right before she had to be admitted to a nursing home for round the clock care. The only way to spin the things I’ve seen on video is to ignore them, and make up an entirely fake reality.

    2. Where does the GOP get these people? Do they go out recruiting people to run for office from psychiatric hospitals? AA meetings? Alien abduction support groups? None of the conservatives I know are certifiably insane. Why doesn’t the GOP recruit candidates who are…normal? Maybe the issue is they are not recruiting at all.

    3. I don’t buy things from companies who use obnoxious woke leftists to promote their products. Obnoxiousness is not a selling point. It’s a boycottable offense.

    4. People severely overestimate the demand for their political views. I have hobbies to get away from politics.

    • 2. In Florida, at least, the party does not choose the candidates, the candidates choose the party. There are both federal and state requirements to become an official candidate and appear on a ballot, but news media will readily call someone a Republican or Democratic candidate if the person simply says they are running for office (a primary election in this case).

  3. 3. Why didn’t they just start a new line and open new stores for lesbians and others? Are there any shareholders other than Mr. Wexner, Epstein’s dupe, er, “client?” Who knows, maybe VS is losing money at a furious pace these days. Maybe they see a way to monetize destroying a sex based company.

    4. This is the “democracy is imperiled by … [anything the Left doesn’t particularly like]” talking point that is flogged every single day in various media outlets. It’s pathetic, laughable really. Talk about the Left projecting! I wonder how a person gets on the mailing list for Dem talking point memos.

    • Other Bill
      JUNE 17, 2021 AT 6:57 PM
      3. Why didn’t they just start a new line and open new stores for lesbians and others

      Separate but equal?

      • If that’s what you want to call it, sure. It’s called targeted marketing. You know, like, oh, say hip hop clothes stores. Big and tall? Plus size? Teen/young adult? Preppy? Why wouldn’t people want to be catered to and have their own “space” where they could “feel safe?” Wouldn’t that be something for “the community” to “celebrate?” Didn’t you read the quotes from that banshee Rappinoe? Why sell cargo shorts in a Victoria’s Secret store? You really should have a doctor check out that jerking in your knee.

  4. Victoria’s Secret has been a rapidly-fading brand for several years now, a fact well-documented in the marketing trades.

    Rapinoe represents both its Hail-Mary pass and its Cheyne-Stokes respiration.

    When Sports Illustrated puts her on the cover of their swimsuit issue, we’ll know it’s finally time to book travel for its funeral, too.

  5. 2. According to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, Braddock “plans to register with the Federal Election Commission to run for the congressional seat as a Republican.” Also, New York Magazine said Braddock is a lawyer. So at least he’s an educated thug.
    Apparently, Ms. Luna has also accused two other political opponents of being involved with Braddock in an alleged conspiracy to kill her. I guess that since all these folks are allegedly Republicans, this would make it a :”vast, right wing conspiracy.”

  6. Maybe Fredricks of Hollywood can be revived although Victoria’s Secret wokeness won’t save the brand. There is such an online demand for frilly things that women can wear to attempt to arouse their husbands waning libido that Victoria’s Secret’s disappearance won’t make a wit of difference.

  7. Well, the NYT opinion section has (predictably) weighed in:

    Victoria’s Secret Finally Set Its Angels Free. Better Late Than Never.

    …The VS Collective is far too little, and it comes way too late. These are baby steps, especially when you compare Victoria’s Secret to other apparel brands that have made far more significant leaps forward, such as Athleta’s showcasing of older, white-haired models and Universal Standard’s range of sizes up to 4XL.

    But representation still matters. Seeing ourselves — and especially seeing ourselves as beautiful and desirable — matters. If Victoria’s Secret’s new additions mean that even one girl feels a little more worthy, then those are steps in the right direction….

    But such opinions pale in comparison to the OpEd’s comments section. Yikes!

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