On The Plus Side, At Least There’s No Reason To Hold Any Illusions That American Journalists Will Even Try To Be Ethical Journalists In The Foreseeable Future…

It looks like honking will do as much good as anything else.

Former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward interviewed over 75 media leaders to assess how the industry views the concept of “objectivity.”

The message they got was that objectivity was over-rated, and what really matters is diversity. Sure, that makes sense. Not really, but it was predictable.  Journalists, Downey and Heyward were told,  should include their own beliefs, biases, and experiences to convey “truth.” Journalistic objectivity was either unrealistic or undesirable.

“Objectivity has got to go,” said Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s objective by whose standard? … That standard seems to be White, educated, and fairly wealthy,” said Kathleen Carroll, former executive editor at the Associated Press. USA Today editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll said that she allows  reporters to write about their own experiences, so long as the stories aren’t “too biased.”

[That’s signature significance for editorial incompetence. Any bias is too biased.] Continue reading

‘How Dare A White Actress Try To Win An Oscar Nomination That Might Have Gone To A Black Actress?’

So, as the saying goes, it’s come to this.

What’s “this”? “This” is a metastasizing cultural mandate that it is part of  systemic racism for a white citizen in the United States to seek any position, place of honor, influence, prestige or prominence, reward, benefit or achievement that a “BIPOC” might have attained without the competition. Naturally Hollywood in one of the agar nutrients growing this toxic and unethical contagion.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced  that it will be “conducting a review” of this season’s Oscar nomination campaigns by studios and artists. Everyone knows, however, that the real impetus for the investigation is the grassroots campaign  that nabbed a best actress Oscar nomination for Andrea Riseborough’s performance in the independent film “To Leslie.”  Riseborough is, to the public at least, an obscure 41-year-old British actress whose film was heard of by few, seen by fewer, cost little to make and grossed nothing by Hollywood standards. Critics, however, were lavish in their praise for her performance, and, missing the advantage of big studio promotional marketing aimed at Oscar voters, she and the film’s supporters created buzz the old-fashioned way, through networking and word of mouth.

The film’s director, Michael Morris and his wife, the actress Mary McCormack, appealed to notable friends in the actors’ section of the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences, urging them to see the film,  post about Riseborough’s performance on social media, and to host in-person or Zoomed interviews with the actress. Among the glitterati who promoted Riseborough on social media or through events hyping the film were Susan Sarandon, Helen Hunt, Zooey Deschanel, Mira Sorvino, Constance Zimmer, Rosie O’Donnell, Alan Cumming , Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Minnie Driver, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Adams, Frances Fisher and Kate Winslet, who said of Riseborough’s To Leslie performance at the event she hosted, “I think this is the greatest female performance onscreen I have ever seen in my life!”

It worked. But—oh-oh!—none of Riseborough’s advocates were black, and you know what THAT means. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce (And Preening Jerk): Actor Alan Cumming


Alan Cumming, whose ticket to stardom was punched by acquiring his initial acclaim reprising a role that was originated by a superior performer (Joel Grey, the first “MC” of “Cabaret”) gladly accepted an OBE, the British award bestowed on the Scottish performer in 2009 by the late Queen Elizabeth II as part of her annual birthday honors list. Cumming was allegedly honored for his work as an actor as well as his campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights: the Crown was trying to pander to the LGBTQ crowd at the time. There is no way Cummings’ acting career warranted the honor itself. It was the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Science giving a Lifetime Achievement Award to Demi Lovato.

Cumming happily accepted the honor and the prestige and publicity that go with it. Now, 11-years later, whatever momentum the Order bestowed on him has waned, as has Cumming’s career. ( His short-lived CBS series “Instinct,” where he played, badly, an academic who assists the NYPD solve crimes, was unwatchable.) And thus it is that he decided he could once again get headlines and stir social media controversy by marking his 58th birthday by announcing on Instagram,

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Yet Another Explanation For The Tyre Nichols Police Attack That Doesn’t Involve “White Supremacy”…And It Is Very Much Based On Ethics

Radlye Balko made a cogent and well-supported case that the horrible beating death of young hands Tyre Nichols at the hands of five ‘elite” black Memphis cops was the result of cities creating unaccountable special urban law enforcement teams that are negligently supervised, trained and selected. Now comes iconoclast sportswriter, podcaster and pundit Jason Whitlock, a co-founder of “Outkick,” to offer a more explosive, and unwelcome explanation (in the woke community at least):

[T]he five police officers mimicked gang behavior and that the whole sad event is a byproduct of communities overrun with matriarchal values and controlled by single black mothers….the conversation we should be having in reaction to Tyre Nichols centers on the cost of destroying the black family.

Black urban areas are dominated by matriarchal rulership. It’s an utter failure and disaster. These areas all operate similar to Memphis. Crime is astronomical. Young men settle their differences with deadly violence. Academic performance hovers at record lows. Illegitimacy rates skyrocket.

Tyre Nichols was 29. The five police officers who participated in beating him to death range in age from 24 to 32. The behavior we witnessed from the officers resembles what happens when a group of Vice Lords catch a Gangster Disciple on their turf. The Disciple will flee. The Vice Lords will chase. Violence ensues.

My point is what we saw Friday night does not appear to be an outgrowth of bad policing. I’ve yet to see video evidence that depicts what caused the traffic stop and why Nichols had to be snatched from his car. It doesn’t feel like we’ve been shown the complete story. Something about the encounter feels far more personal than anything born of the frustration created by a resistant suspect. The use of pepper spray makes zero sense.

It feels like the outgrowth of a rotten culture, a culture where black men are canonized and celebrated for handling petty beefs and disrespect with lethal violence. That type of emotional violence is commonplace within zip codes dominated by the matriarchy.

Tyre Nichols cried out for his mama for a reason. I’m not saying that to belittle Nichols. I’m saying it’s a reflection of modern black culture, a culture that inappropriately places women at the top of the food chain. Mama is the ultimate authority and savior.

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At Last! A Persuasive Explanation For The Tyre Nichols Police Attack That Doesn’t Involve “White Supremacy”

Radley Balko, the former “Reason” investigative reporter who, as long as he isn’t discussing Donald Trump-related issues, is still a reliable, perceptive and ethical analyst, has a guest essay in the New York Times convincingly arguing that the tragedy was a predicable result of the ““elite” police team fad around the country. “Elite police teams” are, he explains, assembled for the broad purpose of fighting crime waves, and they intentionally operate with far more freedom and less oversight than police officers normally do.

The five officers who terrorized and eventually killed young Tyre Nichols were members of the 10-officer Memphis version of this phenomenon, and were collectively called “Scorpion.” Balko points out that the name is a tell: though the Memphis police force website emphasizes the importance of winning the community’s trust, the theory behind elite police teams is that they should inspire fear.

When I first learned that the Memphis police had shut down Scorpion in response to the Nichols tragedy, my initial reaction was that this was the Barn Door Fallacy, a rush to eliminate what was being blamed for a disastrous event without any evidence that doing so will have a beneficial effect, in order to be perceived as doing something. Balko makes a strong argument that these teams are ticking bombs:

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Cartoon Ethics, Part II: There…

AleXsandro Palombo, an edgy Italian artist who often uses pop culture images to make serious points, was hired to paint appropriate murals around Milan’s Holocaust memorial, which is located at Platform 21 inside the city’s main train station from which approximately  1,200 Jews were sent to Nazi death camps in 1943. Shortly before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Shoah Memorial Foundation discovered what the artist felt was appropriate art: characters from “The Simpsons” dressed as Jews at various stages of the Final Solution.

Doh! Continue reading

Cartoon Ethics, Part I: Here…

In Margate, Florida…

…a controversy erupted in South Florida when a shopper at the Presidente Supermarket in Margate saw the logo on a package of  Azucar Morena brown sugar (above). Paul Taffe, the indignant shopper, immediately reported to the local political correctness station—well, a local TV news squad—and expressed his horror.

“Doesn’t matter how you look at it, it’s racism in any form,” Taffe said. “Bottom line, and it should not be on the shelf. When you see an image of a Mammy dancing around with two sugar cane stalks in her hand, thinking that she’s having a jolly old time, it’s not. It was never a jolly old time for us.”

Not to be picky, but how does he know what “Mammy” is thinking? To be clear, like it or not, the fact of life in the U.S. is now that no cartoon representation of blacks is safe to present, unless the approach rejects the exaggeration of prominent features that makes it a cartoon as opposed to just a crude drawing. Exaggerated features on a white cartoon character…

…are recognized as humor and accepted as such; doing the same with any other race is racist, as with the sugar image above or Dr. Seuss’s now banned drawings…

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Lies, Delusions And Hypocrisy

Rep. George Santos (R-Atlantis) is fortunate that he is surrounded by so many liars, hypocrites and fabulists that it is difficult to give him the attention and contempt that he deserves. The Clintons have been mercifully quiet lately, but George has still been fortunate in the culture that surrounds him.

For example, today President Biden (well, whoever he has authorized to tweet for him) once again invoked the oath “my word as a Biden,” declaring on Twitter, “My word as a Biden: I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future than I am today.” Maybe Joe is really optimistic: he is, after all, a dolt. However, as that meme above by Newsmax’s Greg Kelly illustrates, the word of the Biden swearing that mighty oath has the credibility of Jon Lovitz’s Tommy Flanagan. (I have many more recent Biden lies archived at Ethics Alarms, notably his claim that he has never discussed Hunter’s business dealings with his son.) The biggest lie in that tweet is that there is any reason to trust this President.

Then there is the hypocrisy of retired tycoon Bill Gates, who now flies around the world telling ordinary people to lower their carbon footprints. Here’s a clip from a recent “60 Minutes””:” highlighted on “The Rubin Report,” whatever that is:

I don’t see Gates as particularly angry, just ridiculous. Not is he the worst climate change hypocrite: as one wag noted, if the elite who just met in Switzerland to discuss saving the world were serious, they would have held their conclave via Zoom and, I’d add, not have hired a biased, disgraced fool like Brian Stelter as a panel moderator. Gates is still a fine representative of this arrogant, obnoxious and unethical club.

Back to Lyingland from a short side trip to Hypocrisy Heights: Rep. Ilhan Omar visited CNN Sunday morning to claim that the anti-Semitic comments she has made, cited by House Speaker McCarthy as the main reason she has been booted from the House Foreign Affairs committee, were innocent and accidental. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Weekend Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/28/23: ‘The Usual’”

So far, the threshold ethics question that should begin any ethical analysis has not been answered regarding the horrific beating of young Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop. Five police officers were involved. That questions is, “What’s going on here?”

Emily, in her Comment of the Day on Item #1 of the post, “Weekend Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/28/23: ‘The Usual’,” has some thoughts…


I’ve been thinking about this, and the ethical breakdown that led to it. Why did the ethics alarms not ring?

The tragic state of policing Jack mentioned is part of it. But what keeps coming to mind is something Jack has brought up many times regarding dog attacks: that when they’re part of a “pack,” even otherwise well-mannered dogs become dangerous as instincts take over.

Dogs are not the only animals that hunt or defend territory in packs. Continue reading