I count this as a good day for Ethics Alarms. Mrs. Q even made an appearance, and any day in which she weigh in is a good one. There were excellent comments, and even the loss of two “echo chamber” counter-echoes of recent weeks couldn’t spoil the day. One broke the stated rules here, was given a chance to apologize and resume her often dubious commentary, and she refused: her 7 pm. deadline came and went. Too bad. The other thought he was so intrinsically indispensable to the proceedings here that he actually tried to force me to reinstate said rule-breaker lest he take his leave. For “A Friend,” he sure doesn’t know me very well.
There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of ethics related news regarding the Will Smith-Chris Rock slap, or as various members of our spinning rather than reporting news organizations called it, a “confrontation” or an “apparent” slap. I’m going to deal with as many of those as I can stand tomorrow, and leave this collection to other issues.
1. Jon Stewart, non-Ethics Hero. The former “clown nose on/clown nose off” star of “The Daily Show” made a play for integrity by using his Apple TV show, “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” to attack the coverage of the frame-up Mueller investigation as the orgy of dishonest and biased journalism that it was. News Busters reports, “On March 17’s edition…the comedian set his sights on the media as he spelled out how their outdated use of ratings coupled with perverse incentives were driving them into oblivion. And to make this point, Stewart focused on how the media was addicted to the largest story of the Trump presidency: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election, aka the Russia collusion hoax.”
Conservative gad-fly blogger Don Surber called this one nicely, sneering,
I checked that posting’s date 3 times. Each time it came up 2022, not 2018 when the Mueller investigation was relevant.Had Stewart spoken up then, why Republicans might have done better in the midterm election and Nancy Pelosi would never have been speaker again. Of course, Stewart would have ticked a lot of people in the media off, and he never would have gotten his Apple gig. But now that Mueller and Trump are off the stage, Stewart knows it is safe to say what he should have said back then…
A real man of virtue who tells it like it is would take on the media’s refusal to call Will Thomas out as he broke women’s swimming records. A real man of virtue who tells it like it is would take on the media’s labeling the protest at the National Mall on January 6, 2021, an insurrection….
Now, 40 bucks short and 4 years too late, Jon Stewart dares to mock the media’s coverage of Mueller…I look forward to his mocking Judge Ketanji Jackson’s inability to define a woman in 2030.
That’s about right.
2. Speaking of “the insurrection”...The Washington Post, as I mentioned once today already, called the stupid and pointless riot on Jan. 6 an “insurrection,” keeping it in Big Lie territory, in the process of explaining why Chris Wallace jumped from Fox News to CNN. Wallace says he quit, the Post’s Greg Sargent writes, “in part because of Fox host Tucker Carlson’s depiction of the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt as a “false flag” operation….” Wallace quit because Tucker Carlson was making stuff up? This was a shock to him? Sargent’s piece uses the Times’ interview with Wallace that has this telling quote: “I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion. But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.” The TRUTH to Chris Wallace that must not denied is that Jan.6, 2021 was an insurrection: “an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.” “Organized?” “Attempt?” “Defeat?” “Take control?” The Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 came a lot closer to that definition, and still didn’t make it. Chris Wallace thinks calling the riot by 300 drunks with sticks and bear spray an “insurrection” is unquestionable fact. No wonder he ended up at CNN.
3. Today’s IIPTDXTTNMIAFB, (“Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden.”) This exchange with Peter Doocy, who almost makes Fox News’ nepotism look good. (Almost.):
Doocy: “Are you worried that other leaders in the world are going to start to doubt that America is back if some of these big things that you say on the world stage keep getting walked back?”
Biden: “What getting walked back?”
Doocy: “It sounded like you told U.S. troops they were going Ukraine. It sounded like you said it was possible the U.S. would use a chemical weapon. And it sounded like you were calling for regime change in Russia and we know—”
Biden: “None of the three occurred.”
Doocy: “None of the three occurred?”
Biden: “None of the three.”
(All three occurred.)
4. More: Here was Biden’s more detailed explanation of what he meant by saying that Putin could not remain in power, which wasn’t somehow, a call for regime change:
“Number one, I’m not walking anything back. The fact of the matter is I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing and the acts of this man just — brutality, half the children in Ukraine. I had just come from being with those families, and so — but I want to make it clear, I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change. I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel, and I make no apologies for it.”
This makes no sense at all, unless it means “I was just blowing off steam.” But competent, trustworthy leaders cannot indulge themselves by just blowing off stream.
5. Does it seem to anyone else that while the Democratic Party has gone nuts, the craziest politicians are Republicans? I could be wrong, but here’s an example:
Nebraska State Senator Bruce Bostelman, Republican, stated during a public, televised debate on a bill intended to help school children who have behavioral problems that he was “shocked” when he heard that children were dressing as cats and dogs while at school, and that schools were accommodating them with litter boxes. “They meow and they bark and they interact with their teachers in this fashion,” Bostelman said. “And now schools are wanting to put litter boxes in the schools for these children to use. How is this sanitary?”
Hours after his idiocy, Bostelman acknowledged that the story wasn’t true and apologized. “It was just something I felt that if this really was happening, we needed to address it and address it quickly,” Bostelman said.
Right. He’s a moron. How does someone this dumb get to be a State Senator?