Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/15/2021: Tapper, AOC, Fox, And The Brick

Trump inaug riots

I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to finding out how the media and Democrats distinguish the “mostly peaceful protests” in Washington around Biden’s inauguration next week and the equivalent in 2017, when the antifa was going around punching “Nazis” in the face. Funny, the fact that Hillary Clinton stated that she was part of “the resistance” and that the sainted John Lewis said that Trump was not a “legitimate President had no influence on that riot whatsoever…

1. I’m sure this is just a coincidence. During the shutdown which effectively killed the economy that was President Trump’s primary argument for re-election, I successfully fought off the nagging little voice in my head that said that this was a deliberate effort by Democrats to use the pandemic as a excuse to wreck the Trump administration’s record. I mean, who would be that Machiavellian to put millions out of work just to win an election? Then the teacher’s unions used their influence to keep the schools closed—but I still ignored that little voice.

And I’m still ignoring it now, but I have to say, the timing of this would support a conspiracy theory…

stephen_miller_lockdown_narrative_changes_01-15-2021

Nah. Can’t be.

2. Is it possible that Fox News doesn’t understand why it exists? Fox has had a catastrophic ratings crash since election night, when it called Arizona for Biden ahead of several other organizations, seemingly pointing to a Trump defeat. This, combined with Chris Wallace’s questionable fairness to the President when he moderated the first debate, caused an avalanche of conservatives to abandon Fox News for NewsMax, which is surging. Last week Fox News finished third behind MSNBC and CNN, which hasn’t happened since the Clinton administration.

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Does Anyone Understand How Twitter Could Post This?

Twitter Tweet

Twitter has been on a banning binge, including the President of the United States, and it chooses now to grandstand about open internet principles?Forget hypocrisy; this is closer to satire. What’s going on here?

Some theories:

  • Twitter Public Policy missed a crucial memo.
  • Some rogue intern is trying to make Twitter look ridiculous.
  • Twitter is gaslighting us.
  • The company is incompetent.
  • The company thought it would be funny to post a misleading tweet that would, under its own policy would mandate suspending Twitter’s account.
  • It literally believes that Donald Trump is an exception to all standards and principles.
  • Emulating the President it just helped elect, it has concluded that the American public only pays attention to what you say, not what you do.

Anything else?

Morning Ethics Warm-Up That I Forgot To Post Until Now, 1/12/2021, And I Am Abashed…

Businessman with a paper bag on head

1. More for the “Scared Yet?” Files; Many thanks to Michael R, in his comment on this post, for reminding me about the scary decision of the National Association of Realtors, one of the nation’s largest trade organization, to start trying to control members speech in and away from the workplace. This should be a stand-alone post, but I’m behind, so I’ll cover this revolting development now.

The NAR revised its professional ethics code to ban “hate speech and harassing speech” by its 1.4 million members. The new rules will allow investigations, fines or expulsion of real estate agents who insult, threaten or harass” people based on race, sex, or other legally protected characteristics. Of course, what is harassment or haye speech is in the eye of thebeholder, and all such rules potentially chill speech and expression by creating fear at the source. According to the group’s online training sessions, the sweeping prohibition applies to association members every minute of the day, covering all communication, private and professional, written and spoken, online and off. A maximum fine could be as high as $15,000.

Mary Wagner, a white, lesbian real estate agent, says the rule fits her vision for creating a fairer society, and she predicts predicts thousands of complaints this year. You know: fair. Want to wreck a competitor? Report a politically-incorrect joke someone claims the competitor made to a neighbor while walking his dog. Mary says she’s thrilled about the move….. because she’s a left-wing fascist. Res ipsa loquitur.

You can quote me on that.

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China. The Emergent Competitor

China

Guest post by Michael West.

[I realized…I’m a little slow sometimes…that it was silly to call outstanding posts on Ethics Alarms Open Forums “comments” when they are, in fact, stand alone essays. With this example by Michael West, Ethics Alarms will, when appropriate, designate such commentary as guest posts. That will not mean that my answer to all of the people who tell me they love Ethics Alarms and want to contribute with product promotions or articles on haberdashery, insect larvae or cosmetics will be changing. It’s still NO. JM]

This will be a tough nut to crack. We’re heavily “interdependent” with them economically (but we don’t have to be). We’re becoming direct competitors in the eastern Pacific.

From an “all nations are equal” point of view America has the distinct positional advantage. We have allies ringing the Chinese periphery on one side. As frontiers are described, nations prefer a “peripheral zone” around their “cultural core” before the nation even reaches the “fringe” or the “frontier”.

For the vast majority of American history, the core was the “Boston-Washington corridor”, with the periphery being the “North” +West Coast and the “fringe” being “the South and the West Coast” and the frontier being “the Southwest” and Alaska + Hawaii, with outposts in the wide ranging Pacific. America has been “comfortable”.

China…with landmasses in it’s ideal “peripheral zone” being oriented towards the United States: Japan and Taiwan, and several being neutral but more inclined to the USA, such as Vietnam….and with landmasses in it’s “fringe and frontier”, such as Indonesia and Singapore, being oriented towards the United States, has never enjoyed the “comfort” that the USA has felt.

But that’s okay…because all things are not “being equal”. I don’t care that a Communist country that inflicts as much pain on it’s landed periphery and fringe- Tibet and Western China- that it would love to inflict on its Pacific periphery. They are the Bad Guys.

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For The “Scared Yet?” Files: Glenn Greenwald On Parler’s Take-Down

List of apps

Greenwald, who lost his own organization for insisting on fair reporting on the Hunter Biden scandal deliberately hidden from the public by the partisan media, has delivered an excellent account of what was done to Parler. This is why Ethics Alarms subscribes to his new platform, substack. He is one of that nearly extinct species, a journalist who reports the facts, wherever they may lead.

Of the attack on Parler, the surging alternative to Twitter, Greenwald writes in part,

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor…In October, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a 425-page report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all possess monopoly power and are using that power anti-competitively. For Apple, they emphasized the company’s control over iPhones through its control of access to the App Store….Parler learned that Google, without warning, had also “suspended” it from its Play Store, severely limiting the ability of users to download Parler onto Android phones. Google’s actions also meant that those using Parler on their Android phones would no longer receive necessary functionality and security updates….

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Wait..A Company Did WHAT To Its Own Employees??? WHAAAAT?

KABOOM!

Head explodes

I know there have been companies that treated their employees worse, but still, this story is truly horrible.

Internet service and website company GoDaddy apologized to its employees for not having a Christmas party this year—pandemic you know—but announced with a cheery card that the company would make it up with a holiday bonus instead.

Go daddy fake

Who wouldn’t prefer a bonus to a party? All they had to do, they were told by the email from HappyHoliday@GoDaddy.com,

Go Daddy 2

…was to click on a a link asking them them to verify their identity by entering their company login credentials. About 500 eager employees signed up.

A few days later, they received another email from the company informing them that they had flunked a company phishing test. The bonus offer was fake, and because they had fallen for it, they would have to attend a remedial class on Internet security.

If fact, GoDaddy didn’t give out any bonuses this year.

What’s wrong with GoDaddy’s conduct?

How about…everything?

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From The “Scared Yet?” Files…Ethics Dunce: Cumulus Media; Ethics Hero: Mark Levin

zipping the lip

It’s interesting, isn’t it? The Washington Post, which has been suppressing news unfavorable to progressives and Democrats for years, delivered a thorough and competent report on conservative Cumulus Media muzzling its hosts regarding doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

The Post reports:

Cumulus Media, which employs some of the most popular right-leaning talk-radio hosts in the United States, has told its on-air personalities to stop suggesting that the election was stolen from President Trump — or else face termination.

“We need to help induce national calm NOW,” Brian Philips, executive vice president of content for Cumulus, wrote in an internal memo, which was first reported by Inside Music Media. Cumulus and its program syndication arm, Westwood One, “will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’ ” The memo adds: “If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately.

Some comments, in no particular order:

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Unethical Tweet Of The Month—But Funny!: The Biden Transition Team

Biden tw

Huh.

What am I missing here? Biden promised last week,

Biden Promise

Now, I could be wrong, but when you give “priority” to some groups of Americans over others, that doesn’t seem like being a President “for” all Americans to me. That sounds like bias, favoritism, and discrimination.

I know: objecting to white, male second class citizenship makes you a sexist white supremacist, but I just can’t reconcile these two tweets. Can you?

All facetiousness aside, I think this is hilarious. The Democrats don’t even think they have to try to make sense, be consistent or not blatantly lie. The arrogance is magnificent. They really think everyone is stupid. They need to read more Greek tragedy. Hubris kills, and the joke will very likely be on them.

Scared Yet? [Corrected]

Trump Twitter

I have taken quite a bit of flack on social media and elsewhere for my decision, a long and tortured time in the making, to vote for the re-election as President of a man whom I have always, for more than a decade, correctly identified as lacking most of the crucial abilities and characteristics that an American President must have. Primary among these is a commitment to ethical conduct. To these critics, President Trump’s irresponsible conduct in personally attempting to lead a public protest against the 2020 election—much as his political opponents mounted a protest against his election on 2016—proved the folly of my decision..

It did not. The President behaving as I always knew he was capable of behaving merely demonstrated why my decision was such a difficult one and so extended in the making. To the contrary, the conduct of those anti-democratic, totalitarian-tending foes of Trump and the basic American values of which he, in a sick twist of fate, stood as the most reliable and powerful guardian, has convinced me that my decision was the correct one. The Axis of Unethical Conduct has made it undeniable in recent weeks that it intends to abridge speech, stifle dissent, restrict civil rights and weaken Constitutional liberties to the extent it can get away with to cement one -party rule and ideological conformity with Leftist cant.

This is the result I began to fear in late October of 2016, when I decided that I could not in good conscience vote to give power to a party, the Democrats, that I no longer believed were committed to the core values of the United States of America, nor to the rule of law. This is the result I realized was inevitable if President Trump, as awful as he is, was defeated. I was correct. Like all iron-booted parties of totalitarian regimes, Democratic leaders are calling for the punishment of their political opponents. Their allies have begun unprecedented measures to prevent opposing views to be widely circulated, and not just views, but facts. The disgusting riot in the Capitol is being exploited to rush through restrictions on free speech and political discourse while emotion is ascendant and Republicans and conservatives are restrained and embarrassed. As one of Joe Biden’s soon-to-be henchmen famously said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” The Democrats aren’t, and are creating a far greater one.

I would expect principled Democrats and progressives to see how dangerous and un-American this strike against pluralism by their friends and idols is, but so far, I don’t see it. Maybe there are no principled Democrats and progressives. More likely, they have been cowed and intimidated into the lockstep compliance that today’s Left demands.

Here is the latest attack..

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Ethics Cool-Down, 1/8/2021: Be Afraid…[Corrected]

I checked: over the past seven years, no fewer than six regular Ethics Alarms commenters have written me to say they were withdrawing from the blog for reasons related to their emotional, mental or physical health.

Ethics is supposed to be good for you…

1. The President announced that he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration, thus overtaking Hillary Clinton as the “worst loser” in all of American Presidential history. Andrew Johnson declined to see in his successor, President Grant, and was certainly bitter, but he didn’t lose the election: he wasn’t even nominated. John Adams, who did lose to Jefferson in his bid for a second term, didn’t attend his lifetime frenemy’s swearing in, but had the valid excuse that he was mourning the death of his son Charles. John Quincy Adams, John’s son, comes closest to Trump’s sore loser act, as he also refused to go to the inauguration of the man who defeated him, Andrew Jackson. However, “Quincy” had good reason to be afraid of “Old Hickory,” who was furious with Adams for letting his campaign attack his wife.

Trump should attend the inauguration, of course, though I am not surprised that he isn’t. It would be a unifying gesture, and would also show character, courage, and patriotism. It is an important tradition for the incoming and outgoing Presidents to jointly engage in the orderly transfer of power.

2. The vise tightens. Apparently Big Tech and social media have decided not to even try to hide their collective assault on free expression and dissenting views:

  • Twitter permanently banned the President of the United States from its platform. I don’t care what their official excuse is: this is a major communications source placing its fist down hard on one side of the scales of political discourse. It signaled this long ago, for those of us who weren’t trying to gaslight the public. Civil libertarians should be concerned, but they aren’t, because they almost unanimously are perfectly happy to see those they don’t like or disagree with silenced. Iran’s Ayatollah, meanwhile, can still send out tweets while he supports terrorism.
  • Facebook also banned the President from its platform. Again, this is purely partisan political censorship. The US is facing a single party in control of two branches of the government allied with the news media, social media and the tech firms to stifle dissent and political opposition.

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