Saturday Ethics Harvest, 10/23/2021: “Let’s Go Brandon” And Other Offenses

autumn harvest

The baseball post-season ended for the Boston Red Sox last night, but I won’t miss seeing regular pop-up ads during the games that encourage viewers to bet on whether the batter coming to the plate will hit a homer during the game or the odds on whether the pitcher will have six strikeouts. This doesn’t enhance the game or entertain viewers; it just fulfills MLB’s despicable deal with an online gambling company who wants to make betting on games while they are in progress the national pastime.

1. Alec Baldwin update…Since there seems to be little question that Baldwin pointed the prop gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins before the gun discharged and killed her, it is possible that he could be charged with involuntary manslaughter. I view that as extremely unlikely, given Baldwin’s celebrity status (unfortunately laws are only for the little people when prosecutorial discretion is involved, unless the subject is an associate of Donald Trump), but attorney Andrew Branca provides a useful and thorough examination of the law on the subject of such accidents here.

2. “Fuck Joe Biden” developments. “Fuck Joe Biden” chants have become regular phenomena at weekend sporting events. After Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, Red Sox fans outside Fenway Park disrupted the live post-game show by chanting the mantra so loudly it was hard to hear what the panelists were saying. “Fuck Joe Biden” took the place of the more traditional “Yankees Suck” refrain, which had been employed in the previous game whenever Alex Rodriguez tried to speak. It was not Boston’s finest hour, but then I predicted we would end up where we are, in Boston and everywhere else.

Meanwhile, I obviously wasn’t paying attention to the “Let’s go Brandon!” phenomenon. I kept seeing references to it, and was puzzled, but since it appeared to be spreading via Tik-Tok, which doesn’t interest me at all, I didn’t bother to investigate. I am an idiot. I wrote about the beginning of “Go Brandon” myself, here, on October 4, noting how another knee-jerk network agent for the Democrats lied to her audience after NASCAR driver Brandon Brown won at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast tried to interview Brown while fans were loudly chanting, “Fuck Joe Biden!” in the background, so she told the driver, “As you can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go Brandon!’” Just like that, a new coded vulgarism was born. “Let’s go Brandon” now means “Fuck Joe Biden.” Nice.

The Ethics Alarms position, as with similar uses of obvious substitutes like “N-word” and “F-word,” the code is exactly as uncivil as the word being avoided. For now, “Let’s go Brandon” can be fairly called a joke, but not much longer. Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) ended a floor speech this week with “Let’s go Brandon!” He should be disciplined by the House for that.

3. I don’t understand this story at all, so if you can explain it, please do. A woman was raped on a Philadelphia subway train, and the story spread that it was another Kitty Genovese episode of bystander apathy. A local prosecutor disputes those accounts, as related in “Prosecutor Casts Doubt on Account of Train Passengers Not Intervening in Rape.”

There were, by all accounts, about ten passengers on the train when the rape took place. The woman was raped, and nobody on the trains took sufficient action to stop the rapist. It is undisputed that two passenger videotaped the assault. What doubt can there be that the passengers did not intervene in the rape?

4. “Yoo’s Rationalization” Champ of the Month! Paul Begala, the worst of the Clinton henchmen (though the competition is close) channeled the Left’s favorite rationalization, #64 “It isn’t what it is,” with this risible tweet:

Begala tweet

This is notable even for Begala, who earlier maintained that President Clinton did nothing wrong beyond a “personal indiscretion” and that President Obama’s administration was 100% scandal-free. Begala issued that tweet after the horrifying CNN Town Hall where Biden showed he was “on top of his game” by lying repeatedly and having to be rescued by CNN’s Anderson Cooper when he couldn’t fetch the word he was looking for. Here was Joe’s wit and command of details explaining why he hadn’t bothered to go to the border:

“But the whole point of it is I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down. I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by hurricanes and floods and weather and traveling around the world. My wife Jill has been down. She’s been on both sides of the river. She’s seen the circumstances there. She’s looked into those places. You notice you’re not seeing a lot of pictures of kids lying on top of one another with what looks like tarps on top of them. We’ve been able to deal with that. We’ve been able to significantly increase funding through the HHS to provide shelter for these kids and people. But, there’s much more to be done. It is a thing that concerns me the most about being able to get control of it.”

We’re supposed to be dazzled by that. Incidentally, the President hasn’t surveyed hurricane damage for a month, but time passes so quickly when one is in one’s Golden Years.

19 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Harvest, 10/23/2021: “Let’s Go Brandon” And Other Offenses

  1. 1. There is no way a New Mexico prosecutor will be allowed to charge Baldwin. Hollywood would simply pull every single production out of the state, and has already most likely made that clear to the powers that be in New Mexico. New Mexico will likely give Baldwin an award for valor and contribute to the production’s insurance company’s fund to compensate the victims.

    • I never studied law but it seem to me there was negligence somewhere in this tragedy. There has to be a total disregard for safety in this incident unless there’s a lot more to the story than I’m currently aware of. Who was responsible for the handling of these “props”?

      I still baffled how you can have a firearm with live rounds on a production set and call it a “prop gun”. In my mind any firearm capable of firing live rounds isn’t a prop gun. If the production requires the use of real firearms then firearm experts should be present at all times and all persons in the production should be instructed on proper firearm safety. Our gun club has a Halloween themed pistol shoot coming up on 10/31; we have a pistol shoot each month. There is a certified safety instructor present even though we all have the knowledge of firearm safety (you cannot even participate in the pistol shoot without a permit as this is in NY State). Your pistol is not loaded until it is your turn to shoot and you are down range from all the other competitors. Anyway, I just don’t understand how you can have a firearm with live rounds on a production set and use the term “prop gun”.

  2. Regarding “Let’s go, Brandon” I agree that the euphemism is distasteful and hardly to be encouraged. But! I am glad to see it rising in popularity, not so much for the derision towards the president which it codes for, but for the awareness of the lame attempt to cover the chant up. Seeing essentially “Fuck the President” go viral is sad. Seeing “Hey, Joe, we all see what the media is trying to do to cover for you, and this is what we think about that” go viral is heartening. A bit of the old American rebellious spirit popping up where it genuinely wasn’t expected.

    • There are that many (any?) people in Massachusetts that aren’t all in for Joe Biden and Ron Klain and Jen Psaki and Dr. Jill? I’m gob smacked.

      • There are actually quite a few. But not enough to save the nation from Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Ayanna Presley and the usual gang of idiots.

        As regards the “Let’s Go Brandon!” chants: I don’t hold anything against the NBC reporter who coined one of the greatest memes in recent history. I have no idea what her personal views are, but she had a job to do: interview the winner of the race, and she did so with a music bed of obscenity towards the President of the United States. I must admit that I thought it was hilarious, but I do think she was doing the best she could under the circumstances. TV reporters aren’t hired for their intellect. Some are smart, but all are gorgeous.

        Yes, we have become a Nation of Assholes, and Trump has a lot to do with it. But at the risk of implying what-aboutism, I do wish that there were media outlets – even right-wing media outlets – that were cataloging Biden’s lies the way the WaPo did Trump’s. Trump’s lies mostly involved self-aggrandizement and puffery. Biden’s lies get people killed. A lot more people killed than died in the 1/6 “Insurrection.”

        • Your cousin from Boston?

          By the way, that guy is hilarious. From Woostah, I understand. Great material and flawless delivery.

  3. I remember about fifteen years or so ago when I worked on a set filming somewhere on a ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. I was dressed as a soldier, and one of the scenes was to fire blansk from a rifle.

    I spent at least two hours with some safety person, along with the others, learning how to safely fire the rifles. Of course, even before that I had the good sense to not just take one of the rifles and fire it in front of someone’s face.

    It was the second sday of the shoot when I actually fired the rifle.

    I did take the spent shell casing home as a souvenir. I probably still have it in my house.

  4. I actually thought about you when I saw this spreading. And then with the outright “Fuck Joe Biden” chants at sporting events, I thought of your point about Trump being a cultural corrupter (though I don’t know how much credit he actually deserves). As much as I love Trump fighting back against progressive excess, his personal flaws are so glaring that I hope he doesn’t run again. Him running could cause the GOP to split, which ensures Biden wins (assuming Biden runs because some people are speculating he is only sticking around for one term). Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Tim Scott could all be better presidents than Trump.

  5. 3.) This appears to be an effort by the prosecutor to assure potential witnesses that they will not be subject to prosecution themselves for failure to intervene. Also of interest, the victim may have been unconscious during the rape. I like to think that even I, a major wimp, would attempt to do something in the face of a woman screaming for help.

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