Tonight, starting at 6 pm, EST, I’ll be facilitating a three hours CLE seminar via (yecchh) Zoom for the D.C. Bar. You can use the credits for other bars’ mandatory ethics requirements, so if you need them, I’d love to have you in the group. It’s all interactive, of course. I’ve been doing a year end legal ethics wrap-up, usually a re-boot of a seminar I present earlier in the year, for, oh, almost 20 years now. It’s not too late to register. The information is here, along with a promotional video I made a few months ago. They say video takes away 15 pounds of hair…
On the Christmas movie front: one Christmas movie that needs no ethics critique is 1947’s “The Bishop’s Wife,” an inexplicably under-seen classic film starring Cary Grant (as a very un-Clarence-like angel), Loretta Young and David Niven. It is as good as any of the Christmas classics and better than most, with a religious undertone that is missing from most of the others. In its time, “The Bishop’s Wife” was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture. Grant’s performance is especially deft, as he walks an extremely thin line, both in the plot and in his interpretation of the character. I was wondering last night why it hasn’t been remade, but it was: there is a 1996 musicalized version directed by Penny Marshall with Denzel Washington replacing Grant, Courtney Vance taking over for Niven, and Whitney Houston as a singing version of Loretta Young’s character. Justifiable remakes of classic films have to have a “why,” and this one’s justification was apparently that every classic with white stars has to be remade with black ones, or something. The reason I had never heard of it is that the film was generally regarded as inferior to the original, but I am going to have to track it down now and see for myself.
1. Believe all women/accusers/”survivors”… And if a career and a life is ruined unjustly, well, you gotta break some eggs to make an omelette, right? Chris Noth of “Law and Order,” “Sex in the City” and “The Good Wife” fame is now out of a job, having been fired from his supporting role on the CBS/Universal series “The Equalizer.” The reason: a Hollywood Reporter story revealed allegations of sexual assault against Noth by two as yet un-named women, one who says Noth sexually assaulted her in 2004 in Los Angeles, and another who alleges he assaulted her in his New York apartment in 2015.
Jeez, you’d think he had been nominated for the Supreme Court or something. Noth has denied the accusations, but never mind: they are enough, before any investigation, any trial, even any identification of the accusers, to get him “cancelled.”
Seems unfair, somehow….
2. Accountability! Former Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann was falsely labelled a racist in the mainstream media based on a selectively edited video of his encounter with a Native American activist in front of the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2019, and the fact that he was wearing a MAGA cap. Now he has reached a third settlement with an MSM organization over the maliciously false reporting: he previously settled with the Washington Post and CNN, and has now settled his $275 million defamation lawsuit against NBC. Good.
MSNBC had been particularly outrageous and irresponsible, at one point comparing him to George Zimmerman, but more lawsuits, and presumably settlements are coming. Next up: a similar reckoning for the outlets that slimed Kyle Rittenhouse.
3. This doesn’t help at all…a black mother from Kentucky complained on social media that the local Walmart priced otherwise identical baby dolls with the black version costing $39.97 and the white version $25. Walmart issued an official statement that “the price difference in the two items was the result of price changes made systemically. We lowered the price on a select group of toys, including only one of these dolls, to help drive sales. Unfortunately, we overlooked the impact these changes would have on similar items whose price did not change. This was an unintentional error on our part and we sincerely apologize to anyone it may have offended.”Walmart is a firm believer of diversity and inclusion. As a company, we are investing resources and developing strategies to advance equity for all within our walls and society.”
Translation: “We hire really careless, incompetent people. Sorry.” It’s impossible to tell what is going on here. This was probably stupidity, but racists are all stupid, and incredibly so. Who knows? [Pointer: Paul Schlecht]
4. And speaking of incompetence…Some goof at Fox News made anchor Harris Faulkner sound like she was having a stroke on the air. Faulkner looked into the camera and, confidently reading the teleprompter, told viewers that “Las liberal da scraping jail times for juveniles convicted of felony crimes!” I did not know that, Harris!
The problem was that a public school-educated teleprompter operator had left out vital capitals and punctuation marks. The text was supposed to read, “L.A.’s liberal D.A….”
5. This kind of thing is why religious exemptions cannot be justified....here or in Japan. Some clever wag in Japan invented a fake satirical religion solely for the purpose of providing followers ammunition to refuse things they don’t want to be forced into doing, like working overtime.
MtoP, short for “Motohiro to People,” is an alleged religion created in 2018 by Motohiro Hisano, who is its self-anointed deity and prophet. He’s more candid than most prophets, though, admitting that he can’t perform miracles and has no special powers other than bestowing “religious reasons” onto his followers. Hisano does not want to be worshiped, nor does he seek or accept any financial contributions. His religion doesn’t require believers to abide by any principles or commandments either; all they have to do in order to be considered members of the flock is to follow MtoP’s official Twitter account.
It sounds at least as valid as Scientology.