October Morning Ethics Bombs, 10/1/2022: “Tick…Tick…Tick…”

Which of the ethics developments below will explode into genuinely significant historical and cultural developments? You never know. On this date in 1910, A violent explosion destroyed the Los Angeles Times building, killing 21 and injuring many more. The paper’s publisher Harrison Otis was a fanatic opponent of organized labor, then just beginning to get really organized, and when two union leaders, the McNamara bothers, were arrested as the likely bombers, the paper went into a major push to convince the public that they, and all unions, were evil. Organized labor responded by hiring the nation’s most famous defense lawyer, Clarence Darrow, to defend the two, certain that they had been framed and that a conviction for murder would destroy the labor movement. Darrow, as he described in his autobiography, “The Story of My Life,” quickly discovered that a) the brothers were guilty (though they were not trying to kill anyone) and b) that there was no way they could plead not guilty—what the two union organizations that hired him assumed he would have them do—that wouldn’t result in their executions.

Darrow decided that the only way to handle his conflicting duties to both sets of clients, the unions that were paying his record-setting fee because they were certain that an innocent verdict in the trial was essential to the survival of the labor movement, and the brothers whose lives were on the line, was to get a hung jury….and the only way he could get that was by bribing a couple of jurors.

Darrow ended up being caught red-handed and tried for jury tampering, only escaping prison by being presented by a great defense lawyer—himself. In order to make everyone forget his disgrace, Darrow set out to henceforth only take on high-profile cases that would have him fighting for human rights: every case we associate with Darrow today came after the LA Times bombing trial, which he had intended to be his last before retirement. Amazingly, he did make everyone forget that fiasco, an ethics lesson in which he made fateful call that the ends justify the means. Today, so no lawyer is ever placed in Darrow’s position again, the ethics rules in all jurisdictions hold that a third party paying a lawyer to defend another is not a client no matter how important the result of the trial may be.

1. Nancy Pelosi, ethics villain. More irony: it is astounding that the Democratic Party can get away, even a little bit, with screaming to the heavens that Republicans are a “threat to democracy” when they have allowed an openly unethical,villainous woman like Pelosi to lead their national legislators for so long. Even when her failing mental acuity leads her to reveal her vile character, as it did yesterday, there seem to be no consequences. “We have a shortage of workers in our country and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers saying why are you shipping these immigrants up north, we need them to pick the crops down here,” Pelosi said, discussing the need for “comprehensive immigration reform” without saying what that would be. She also stuttered a while before deciding wich misleading word to use for “illegal immigrants,” because her party and its allies have so many deceitful ones: “Migrants”? “Undocumented workers?” “Tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? She settled on “immigrants.” Her message–it would be nice if the news media explained it to our lazy, have awake public—was that farmers should be encouraged to pay illegal immigrants paltry wages to avoid paying enough to attract American workers. What an awful, awful human being—and she’s a revered leader of the Democratic Party.

2. Yes, I can say Pelosi’s awful. Ethical journalists shouldn’t. This principle is meanderingly explained by Jesse Singal in his substack newsletter, in a post called “It Isn’t Journalism’s Job To Hand-Hold People To The Correct Moral Conclusions.”

Singal misses the rather critical point that most journalists aren’t qualified or smart enough to decide what “the correct moral conclusions” are, but at least he identifies the ethics rot at the center of what he calls “an exceptionally foreboding development for an already teetering industry,” focusing on journalists who do not tell readers who they regard as good or evil being attacked by other journalists for “bothsides-ism.” Sample quote:

This is an utterly impoverished, impossibly bland concept of journalism in which we slap helmets on readers and then lead them by hand, via velvet ropes and padded walls, to their final, safe destination: On your left you’ll see a local civil rights leader. He is a hero. What a good man! In our next room you’ll meet today’s baddy, an eeeeeeeevil man …Do not listen to what he says, for he is a Deceiver….[T]he hysterical, moralizing view of journalism is winning, largely because of the social media shitstorm that engulfs anyone who insists on treating readers as compos mentis adults rather than kids in the under-10 section of a theme park….

3. The degree to which desperate progressives are covering for Joe Biden is reaching absurd levels. Much as I hate to revisit “The View,” Whoopie Goldberg made a fool of herself again by defending Joe’s ominous “Where’s Jackie?” moment with this excuse: “She passed last month, not like a hundred years ago!” That’s right, Biden forgetting that a House member he eulogized only a month ago was still dead isn’t as troubling as if, say, he wondered why Warren G. Harding wasn’t still banging girlfriends in the White House closets. Good thinking there, Whoop.

And she’s the smartest one on “The View’s” panel.

4. It looks like Ken Burns may have done real damage to his reputation and brand with “The U.S. and the Holocaust.” Good! Ethics Alarms already noted Burns and PBS converting the documentary into a full-fledged anti-Trump, anti-conservatives attack piece. Now Martin Ostrow, who made an earlier (excellent) documentary on the same subject has pointed out how Burns…

  • Deliberately hid the role of FDR’s own anti-Semitism in the U.S.’s unwillingness to commit to rescuing the Jews from “the Final Solution.”
  • Ostrow writes: “The film offers excuses for the president’s inaction and shifts almost all the blame to Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long. Viewers could easily forget who actually hired Long, and who could have fired him if he had wanted to. Long served at the pleasure of the president, not the other way around.” Bingo. This disconnect bothered me greatly while watching Burns’ film.
  • Ostrow also quietly notes that Burns ripped off an artistic choice in his documentary without permission or reference.

5. Here is how shamelessly partisan the American Bar Association has become: The ABA Journal, which will not be showing up here as a source now that it is only available to members and I would rather burn my money than give it to that Leftist cabal masquerading as a representative legal association, posted this headline as “news”: “My Kavanaugh tips were never investigated by the FBI, say Akin Gump partners and others.”

And what were these “tips” that might have brought down the Trump-nominated Justice in his Senate hearings? They were more tales out of school, literally: accounts of alleged boorish, drunken or otherwise unJustice-like behavior by Kavanaugh while he was in college or law school, which is, admittedly, a step up from Christine Blasey Ford’s fanciful accounts of his conduct at a prep school party only she could (barely) remember.

They just won’t give up! Never, in the history of judicial confirmations, have rumors or claims of pre-professional conduct by a judge—before he or she became a lawyer or a judge, been used to impugn one’s fitness to serve. Even the late hit on Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill involved an accusation of workplace misconduct. Next, presumably, when a conservative judge is viewed as a threat, will be accounts of stealing milk money and shooting spitballs in the 5th grade.

6. Oops, I wrote “Trump,” so I guess I have to close with this...A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll asked 1,566 U.S. adults whether Trump should “be allowed to serve as President again in the future” based on “what we know about the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump.” That’s a joke: what “we know” is what the news media has selectively revealed while still working to discredit the former President, and what political enemies, including New York Attorney General Letitia James and the 100% anti-Trump January 6 Commission, have proclaimed as true without due process. According to the poll, 51% now believe Trump should not “be allowed to serve as President again in the future,” whatever “allowed” means there. 35% say Trump should be allowed to be President again. The rest (14%) are unsure.

The survey was conducted immediately after James filed her lawsuit that accused Trump and three of his children of fraudulently overvaluing his assets by billions of dollars “to obtain beneficial financial terms.”

The main takeaway from the poll, which is itself part of the six year effort by the media to somehow remove Donald Trump from the political scene without having to risk that existential threat to democracy, an election, is that after two unethical impeachments, a three-year long investigation of alleged “Russian collusion,” non-stop ad hominem attacks in the popular culture, multiple Big Lies pushed by progressives, Democrats and the media, and increasingly shrill and hyperbolic claims that Trump and his supporters are a fascist peril to us all, culminating in Biden’s inspired Hitler impression, only 51% have been persuaded by this propaganda overkill, and that only for the time being, in the throes of inattention and ignorance. About 50% of the public was irrationally terrified of Trump by the end of 2016.

10 thoughts on “October Morning Ethics Bombs, 10/1/2022: “Tick…Tick…Tick…”

  1. Prologue: It’s a shame Darrow’s (as well as Bryan’s) fame has been framed by the Scopes Trial – which never should have been allowed to delve into Bryan’s personal opinion on scripture, much less permitting him to be considered an expert apologetic – because both were significant personalities during the transition of the U.S. during the pivotal turn of the 19th century to the 20th.

    (As an aside, I once quipped to my husband that the problem of Hollywood’s depiction of Christianity is that it’s perpetually framed through the lends of “The Crucible” and “Inherit the Wind”)

    1. Imagine if a Republican had said that we need brown people to do our farm work for us.
    2. The media framing of any and all news stories from the worldview of the left for a considerable period of time has encouraged a substantial part of our citizenry unable to discern the difference between news and campaigning. They are nothing but Democrat Party shills.
    3. As well as their allies in the entertainment industry like Whoopi who are paid far more than they should to spread ignorance.
    4. I didn’t watch the Burns’ documentary. Is the Ostrow one “America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference”? If you think it’s excellent. I’ll look it up.
    5. Why don’t we just go back to what lunchboxes they carried in grade school? I think I had Holly Hobby,”The New Mickey Mouse Club”, “The Bionic Woman” and “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Thank God I didn’t have “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Can you imagine such a person becoming a candidate today?
    6. Polls are just another disseminator of propaganda. My weatherman has more accuracy.

    • “(As an aside, I once quipped to my husband that the problem of Hollywood’s depiction of Christianity is that it’s perpetually framed through the lends of “The Crucible” and “Inherit the Wind”)”

      cough…lens, not lends.

    • I was about to walk Spuds in the Ian-related rain, but your comment was so provocative I had to reply first;

      1. Great point about Scopes, a weird trial that turned out to be pointless, but famous because of the pre-trial hype and the Darrow-Bryan showdown. It showed neither man at his best, and “Inherit the Wind” proceeded to make Bryan (“Brady”) look like a fool, which he definitely was not. He was a major cultural and political influence, and a lifetime public servant. He deserves a better public image. And the observation about the two dramas is apt as well.

      1. No kidding. The double standard in neon.
      2. And have diminished their influence as a result, as well as their value.
      3. It is unethical to allow fools to have platforms to make less famous fool more foolish. I wish I had a remedy.
      4. I recommend it highly.
      5. My mother, an artist, painted dinosaurs on my lunchbox. It was the envy of multiple grades. I wonder where that thing is?
      6. Sadly true, and again, they have less and less influence.

  2. The main takeaway from the poll, which is itself part of the six year effort by the media to somehow remove Donald Trump from the political scene without having to risk that existential threat to democracy, an election, is that after two unethical impeachments, a three-year long investigation of alleged “Russian collusion,” non-stop ad hominem attacks in the popular culture, multiple Big Lies pushed by progressives, Democrats and the media, and increasingly shrill and hyperbolic claims that Trump and his supporters are a fascist peril to us all, culminating in Biden’s inspired Hitler impression, only 51% have been persuaded by this propaganda overkill, and that only for the time being, in the throes of inattention and ignorance. About 50% of the public was irrationally terrified of Trump by the end of 2016.

    It does not take 51% of voters to attack the White House.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/31/politics/trump-underground-bunker-white-house-protests/index.html

    The decision to physically move the President came as protesters confronted Secret Service officers outside the White House for hours on Friday – shouting, throwing water bottles and other objects at the line of officers, and attempting to break through the metal barriers.

    At times, the crowd would remove the metal barriers and begin pushing up against the officers and their riot shields. The Secret Service continually replaced the barriers throughout the night as protesters wrestled them away.

    Would it be fair to write that the Democrats incited the attack on the White House with their Big Lie?

  3. RE:#6
    If so many people do not think he should not be allowed to run, why are they so afraid of him actually running? If this sentiment could be applied across the entire electorate, you would think they would want him to run as it would ensure their preferred candidate would win. The efforts to prevent him from running suggests that a minority of voters, in a handful of states, are trying to subvert our republic.

    Lest we forget, the president is chosen by a majority of the electors from the several states. Thus, when an individual receives a majority of the electoral votes despite losing the popular vote a majority of the states within our republic decided the winner of the contest which gives every state a proportional say in the decision. If I wanted to live in California or New York, I could have moved there.

  4. “We have a shortage of workers in our country and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers saying why are you shipping these immigrants up north, we need them to pick the crops down here,”

    Not that I expect that the owner of a $24,000 freezer to hold her novelty ice cream to be… y’know…. grounded or in touch… But does Pelosi think that people actually “pick crops” still?

    • Don’t they still have to pick oranges by hand? I had a friend in high school who was rendered a quad by falling out of an orange tree he was picking in for cash. (Hey, the Sixties, man!)

      • My impression is that most don’t. I toured the Okanogan last time I was in BC and they showed us the citrus harvesting implements. They look like hollow boxes you drive over the tree, and inside the boxes are vertical pole agitators that shake the living bejesus out of it. Fruit falls into a collection plate and gets belted to a bin.

  5. On six…. I’m 10 different kinds of confused.

    I’m not nearly familiar enough with American reporting or legal standards to say this definitively…. But the kind of fraud that James is alleging against Trump & Co. doesn’t hit me as being criminal. I mean…. There’s no tax fraud, there’s no direct theft… I think the lending institutions might have a civil case, but even then, they have a responsibility to do due diligence as well. It seems, from a lay perspective, that this is a whole lot of noise about something less than serious.

    And maybe that’s the point – The “walls have been closing in” for five years now and that coffin lid must have a trillion nails in it, if the media is to be believed. Maybe plan ZK92b is all they have left.

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