Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/12/2022: Sports, Education, CNN And Broadway

[No graphic can express my mood today. The above comes closest... but I guess it’s politically incorrect. I am deeply, deeply sorry.]

Though it is extremely long and detailed, the Ethics Alarms account of the current Harvard sexual harassment controversy is still worth reading. Just thought I’d mention it. In general, there is an inverse relationship between the length of a post to the number of readers and comments it attracts, and I suspect this is one reason the form has largely degenerated into link farms and short takes that lend themselves to over-simplification and selective reporting. The damn thing also took me almost three hours to research and write, thinking the whole time, “Nobody’s going to read this”…

1. Tales of The Great Stupid”...the much anticipated and long-delayed Broadway revival of “The Music Man” (the first Broadway touring musical I ever saw), the Times review informs us, has suffered from many political correctness cuts to avoid “offense.” I knew the silly “Indian War Dance” presented by the “Wa Tan We” ladies was doomed, even though it is making fun of middle-aged society white women, but calling the scene cultural “appropriation” as the Times does is sillier than the bit. This, however, is proof of how woke-mad the theater community has become: in the dumb dance number “Shipoopi,” the refrain “The girl is hard to get…but you can win her yet” has been cleansed to read “the boy who’s seen the light…to treat a woman right.”

2. And how did we get so stupid, you may well ask? Just look at the plans in place to make us even dumber. The Wall Street Journal takes us “Inside the Woke Indoctrination Machine” via a hundred hours of leaked video from from the 108 workshops held virtually last year for the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference. The NAIS sets standards for more than 1,600 independent schools in the U.S., driving their missions and influencing many school policies. The conference is NAIS’s flagship annual event for disseminating DEI [ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] practices, which more than 6,000 practitioners, educators and administrators attended this year. The whole article is more frightening than “The Exorcist.” Here’s just one snippet of the indoctrination playbook:

In workshops such as “Integrating Healing-Centered Engagements Into a DEI: A School Program” and “Racial Trauma and the Path Toward Healing,” we learned how DEI practitioners use segregated affinity groups and practices such as healing circles to inculcate feelings of trauma. Even students without grievances are trained to see themselves as victims of the their ancestors’ suffering through “intergenerational violence.”

3. Are these Olympic Games great or what? From the Times today:

The 15-year-old star of Russia’s figure skating team who powered it to a win in the team figure skating competition tested positive for a banned substance weeks before the Beijing Olympics, throwing into question her team’s gold medal and her continued participation in the Games…Kamila Valieva… was found to have trimetazidine, a banned heart medication, in her system…The drug…is believed to improve endurance by helping the heart work more efficiently.

The revelation has upended the Olympic skating competition and generated a slew of questions, including whether Valieva, who was favored to win the individual event next week, will be allowed to compete and whether Russia will be awarded its team gold medal…The news of the positive test also highlighted the presence of Russian athletes at the Games even though their country is serving a multiyear ban from global sports for a previous doping scandal. Russian athletes are allowed to participate in the Olympics and other international events under special permission, and only if their sports’ federations affirm they are free of banned substances. The requirement was put in place after revelations that Russia conducted a state-orchestrated cheating scheme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Russia won the team event Monday behind a stunning performance by Valieva, who landed two quadruple jumps, becoming the first woman to do so in the Olympics.

[I]t was not clear what punishment Valieva or Russia might receive, if any. Also uncertain is when the medals would finally hang around the necks of the winners…How Valieva was placed on the list of Russian athletes cleared for the Games remains uncertain, and will be a key part of the inquiry.

4. The NBA thinks the Games are great too! Enes Kanter Freedom, the Boston Celtics center who has been criticizing China’s human rights record while playing in the NBA as it ostentatiously works to avoid offending the totalitarian nation for fear of losing millions, predicted in a PBS interview that he’d be blacklisted out of the league soon. The next day, the Boston Celtics traded him to the Houston Rockets, and the Rockets cut him, Outkick reported.

5. Another CNN narcissist strikes! Anderson Cooper left his CNN show early this week after announcing the birth of his new baby son during his show “Anderson Cooper 360,” saying, “We have a lot to get to tonight, but I want to start off with good news, which also happens to be very personal news.”

No, you preening hack, this isn’t news at all. Nobody cares except your family, colleagues and friends, and it is a misappropriation of your alleged news show to use it for a personal announcement. Why not tell us about your recent dental check-up or about the great restaurant you went to last night? CNN can’t find the time to tell viewers about Hunter Biden’s laptop, but has time aplenty for Cooper to show baby pictures and blather on about how his second son, was 6.8 pounds at birth, is “healthy and happy,” occasionally hiccups, “mostly just sleeps and eats and he certainly poops,” but already seems like a “wise and thoughtful little chap.” 

Shut up and do your job! I repeat: Nobody cares!

6. Update on the NFL discrimination lawsuit: Shortly after the National Football League was sued by black former NFL coach Brian Flores for discrimination, as he claimed that his race is the reason he has been shut out of recent coaching job openings, the Houston Texans decided hired defensive coordinator Lovie Smith as their new head coach, one of the jobs Flores had interviewed for. (Do I think the Texans’ decision was a coincidence? Oh, I wouldn’t put it past the NFL to influence the choice in order to undercut Flores…)

Flores’ attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis released the following statement  response to Smith being hired over their client:

Mr. Flores is happy to hear that the Texans have hired a Black head coach, Lovie Smith, as Mr. Flores’ goal in bringing his case is to provide real opportunities for Black and minority candidates to be considered for coaching and executive positions within the NFL. However, we would be remiss not to mention that Mr. Flores was one of three finalists for the Texans’ head coach position and, after a great interview and mutual interest, it is obvious that the only reason Mr. Flores was not selected was his decision to stand up against racial inequality across the NFL.

Nice! Flores’ legal team insults a black head coach who was hired by saying that it is “obvious” that he only got the job to punish Flores. Even if that was true, “assholes” aren’t a protected class. It is beginning to look like there are very good reasons for a team not to want to employ Flores, and that his race may have nothing to do with it.

It’s a close call, but I might watch the Olympics before I would tune in the Super Bowl….

 

 

12 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/12/2022: Sports, Education, CNN And Broadway

  1. I did read through the Harvard post and, apart from finding your analysis to be excellent (except when you defaulted to the remark that the professor was part of the harassment generation), my only recurrent thought was how little self-restraint these people had when deciding to express their opinion. Just because you think it does not mean you need to say it. It seemed like everyone ended up looking stupid.

    The same lesson goes for the administrator in the Olympic Poster debacle. If he had shut up, thought twice before speaking, he might have gotten his comment right the first time.

    As for Anderson Cooper, you don’t understand. Gay people care. Progressives care. He is modeling non-heterosexual parenting. You should be ecstatic about this, almost as ecstatic as you should be when a black female makes history by being sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. I mean, after all, let’s face it, Cooper is still just a white dude.

    Don Lemon’s kid? Now, that’s another story altogether.

    -Jut

  2. Regarding the prologue, I too read through the whole thing. There isn’t much for me to add.
    I remain perplexed that this is still happening. I haven’t ever been someplace where I ever witnessed anything like this. It’s been 30 years since I was in college, and I didn’t see it then. I’m sure it happened, but I never witnessed it. We did have one fossil of a professor who was misogynistic, but not predatory. He was 80 something and died the year after I graduated. Amongst the younger crowd I never saw anything.
    That said, my graduating class of 95 had 3 women. Such is the nature of engineering.
    Today they’re running about 80 graduates with about a dozen women.

  3. I have zero intention of watching the superbowl, as usual. I will be paying attention though to see if the trucker protest comes to pass.
    It would take remarkably few trucks to utterly mess up the superbowl. LA’s freeways are such a mess already that blocking them would throw the region into utter chaos and prevent the majority of the fans from getting there.
    Even if it doesn’t come to pass, the over-reaction of the police will be entertaining. With the US’s largest port, there are scads of trucks 24 hours a day. The LAPD isn’t known for restraint, and I could easily see an over-reaction against truckers just trying to do their job even in the absence of a protest.

  4. #6:
    If you watch the Super Bowl (or at least the pregame show), you’ll be treated to selection from SloJo’s CNN interview with Lester Holt. Our buddie Brian Stelter gives us a preview
    HERE.
    You don’t want to miss that!

    They’re reportedly going to use Joe’s new dog as part of the Puppy Bowl presentation, too. CNN sure knows what the American people want these days.

  5. I read every post; I just don’t comment unless I feel I have something to add. I’m still working on that; it turns out that sometimes being present is more important than having something distinctive to say. That’s part of rapport mindset, an aspect of connection mindset.

    1. That new line is cringeworthy in its sanctimoniousness. How will people know when something is supposed to be silly and not taken seriously if nothing is allowed to express flippant thoughts?

  6. I don’t understand the hostility to Cooper. Every newscaster shares the news of their children’s birth. Its so common, it would be bizarre for Cooper not to share the news. Every other news outlet is going to report the birth of his kid; he basically has a professional duty to report on the topic. If he were going on paternal leave (I have no idea if that is the case), the circumstances of his leave are certainly appropriate to mention.

    He certainly could go overboard and devote dispositional time to the birth, but I haven’t seen the segment so can’t comment if that were the case.

    • Every broadcaster? Never heard of such a thing, except sportscasters who have long periods of time to fill, and the banter is supposed to be casual. It is not news. It’s an abuse of position. It’s out of control narcissism and egotism. That’s not his job

        • It’s more of the dumbing down of the mainstream media is what it is. It’s one thing to quickly welcome a colleague back from a honeymoon or from maternity/paternity leave. That’s where it should end. Heck, you shouldn’t subject your colleagues to baby pictures and blather if they express disinterest, what makes you think your audience is interested in the details of life with your newborn?

  7. #1: “(the first Broadway touring musical I ever saw)”
    Ha, me too. Went while spending a week or so with my uncle and aunt in DC, summer of ’61. Got a tour of the Pentagon out of it, too.

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