End Of Day Ethics, 4/7/2021: “Ick,” Ethics, And Law

And as we bid farewell to April 7 and good morning to April 8, I want to wish my wonderful, kind, talented and tolerant wife of 40 years a happy birthday. I owe everything to her.

1. Well, you can’t accuse satellite radio of being politically correct…the Comedy Legend Sirius channel is a welcome oasis in the woke era humor desert, with routines old enough to remind one what it was like when comedians only had to worry about being funny to the audience at hand—and yet there are limits. At least, there should be. Today I heard an old Louis C.K. routine about his childhood. You recall how C.K. became a #MeToo arch-villain, costing him his show, bookings, and essentially his career, don’t you? He set a new low for celebrity sexual harassment by masturbating in front of non-consenting female visitors to his hotel room, and on more than one occasion. Ick. Also sick. In the routine featured on Sirius-XM, the comedian was reminiscing, to audience hilarity, how he showed his penis to a girl with Down Syndrome when he was nine. I don’t know that I would have ever found that story funny, but hearing C.K. tell it in light of his later revealed proclivities was an experience I could have lived my whole life without having. Since it is now clear to me that whoever programs that channel can’t be trusted to apply any discretion or common sense at all, I’m not sure it is safe for me to drive with it playing…

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Ethics Potpourri, 4/5/2021, Including, I Blush To Say, An Easter Weekend Lap-Dance for God

I hate potpourri.

1. Amateur poetry ethics. This has annoyed me for a long, long time. Althouse posted a notice from a local restaurant requiring patrons to wear masks. The thing suddenly devolves into verse, and in writing that, I am being generous. Here’s a sample:

I’ve been listening to and reading crap like that since I was ten, and when I was ten, I wrote better light verse by far. Since then, I’ve written song parodies and light verse for fun and profit, and still do. It’s a skill. It takes practice, and it requires care and detail, like most tasks. OK, I know that today’s nearly useless schools don’t teach little things like rhyme, meter and the basics of verse, but if you don’t know how to do something competently, don’t do it. Is this supposed to be a Dr. Seuss parody? I can’t tell, and the first rule of parodies is that they must clearly be parodies. Dr. Seuss has famous style and meter, and this whatever it is doesn’t match it. The problem is that people who author embarrassing junk like this don’t know they are incompetent. They think everyone will think they are clever, but anyone who regard something like this—that presents “forget” and “respect”as rhymes, for example— is clever is illiterate.

2. It takes one to know one. On ABC’s “This Week,” yesterday, former NJ Governor and once-rising GOP star Chris Christie correctly characterized the Democratic attacks on the Georgia voting reform law. “It expands early voting, George, and the president said it ended it. Listen, here’s what Joe Biden’s got to live with when he wakes up this morning on Easter morning. He is doing exactly what he sat around in the campaign and the transition and accused Donald Trump of doing,” Christie said. “He is lying to cause racial divisions in this country. That’s what he accused Donald Trump of doing, and he’s a liar and a hypocrite.”

Yes he is, but who cares what Chris Christie thinks? He’s also a liar and a hypocrite; he has no followers outside of his family, and he sold his integrity to grease Donald Trump’s route to the Republican nomination. This is another example of the unethical media practice of choosing a revolting advocate for the position a news organization wants to discredit. It’s Cognitive Dissonance Scale manipulation 101: make sure the “authority” opposing the dishonest Democratic talking point is widely regarded as toxic jerk.

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Post-Zoom Hangover Ethics, 3-31-21….

People, even lawyers, just do not interact much in remote seminars. It makes a three-hour session far more tiring, even though I’m sitting down, rather than stalking through the space. Thus I am blotto now, after a legal ethics session earlier today.

1. And THIS is the best paper in the U.S…Two headlines on the New York Times front page this morning my high school paper faculty advisor would have rejected…and he would have been right:

  • “Gaetz Said To Face Inquiry Over Sex With Underage Girl” The fact someone says it is not news. Is he “facing an inquiry” or isn’t he? “Three people briefed on the matter” isn’t a source: we’ve seen how accurate the Times anonymous sources are, especially when the subject is a Republican, a conservative, and a Trump supporter. Why the front page for a rumor? Slow news day? Hey, I’ve got an idea: How about an article about how Joe Biden called Georgia “sick” based on a complete misrepresentation?
  • “Taliban Believes The War’s Over And They Won.” This is psychic news again, my favorite fake news form. How does the Times know what the Taliban “thinks”? Who cares what it “thinks”?

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Introducing The Ethics Alarms “Weenie Of The Week”! The First Recipient: Jay Leno

edible dogs

“The Weenie of the Week” will recognize those who enable censors, political correctness mobs, totalitarians, cancel culture terrorists and the rising fascist tide in America by prostrating themselves and groveling for forgiveness when in truth they have done nothing wrong.

Although the term “weenie” is light-hearted in its terminology, the conduct earning the title is serious and despicable. These are not only pathetic cowards, though they are certainly that. They are the modern, domestic versions of “good Germans,” who, for their own self-interests and nothing more, are willing to reject our nation’s core rights and liberties, weaken them, and indeed join the increasingly ominous effort to suffocate free expression, dissent, creativity and humor.

Comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno begins what I fear will be a long line.

Yesterday he issued an apology for making jokes in the past about Koreans eating dog meat after a 15-year campaign by the activist group Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA).

“At the time I did those jokes, I genuinely thought them to be harmless,” Leno said in a joint press release with MANAA leader Guy Aoki: “I was making fun of our enemy North Korea, and like most jokes, there was a ring of truth to them.”

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Wow, Bias Really DOES Make You Stupid!

The New York Times, like many shameless purveyors of left-leaning propaganda, has responded to the copious metaphorical blood drawn by the conservative (and funny) satire site The Babylon Bee by accusing it of being a “misinformation site.”

Morons.

Snopes, the dishonest “factchecking” site, has fallen into this pit of despond more than once, but then their idiocy is a matter of record (that places like Facebook choose to ignore for some reason). The Times’ political coverage has been sliding from slanted to dishonest to disgraceful, but I assumed—because I am a sap—that the paper was still above this.

No, it isn’t.

In a recent Times article, article, the Bee was referred to as an example of a “far-right misinformation site” that “sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire.” This is approximately as valid as accusing the late Mad Magazine of being a misinformation vehicle. Fortunately, the people who run the Bee are not weenies. They responded,

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Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/20/2021: Trans Swimsuit Models And Powerlifters, And The Purge Of The Stoners

late rabbit

Finally! Back on schedule! I was beginning to have trouble coming up with new names for non-warm-ups that got posted in the afternoon or later…

1. President Joe Biden fell a couple times boarding Air Force One. The video has led many wags to ask if this would prompt Saturday Night Live to give him the Gerald Ford treatment. Those of a certain age recall the running gag in the immortal first season of the now creaky weekend satire show, where then-President Ford was portrayed as a slapstick klutz on nearly every episode.

Of course it won’t, for several reasons, some ethical, some not. SNL is now almost exclusively a partisan vehicle for humor-based propaganda, and after 8 years of seldom daring to target President Obama and four of mocking President Trump, repetitiously and badly, a return to past standards of equal opportunity mockery is unlikely. Biden is a Democrat. Also, in the case of Ford, the gag was just a gag: Ford was a fit former athlete who just had a couple of well-publicized stumbles. Representing him as a clumsy boob was only silly. Biden, in contrast, has been falling apart mentally and physically before our eyes, and is 78 years old. In his case, such ridicule would not just seem cruel, it would be cruel. Biden’s decline is also scary, as the awful Kamala Harris sits cackling in the wings. There is nothing funny about the whole situation.

2. Speaking of the least democratically-chosen President-in-waiting since Gerald Ford, Harris, in one of her many idiotic statements while trying (and failing) to get nominated for President on her merits, admitted to past illegal marijuana use and advocated it, saying, “I have [smoked marijuana]. And I inhaled. I did inhale. I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world.” Heroin and child rape also give quite a few people joy, but never mind: Harris had the right skin-tone and chromosomes, and that’s all that matters, apparently. In light of her confession, this story is incomprehensible:

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Trevor Noah Provides A Perfect Example Of How Comedians Make The Public Stupid And Irresponsible…But Woke!

Noah

Personally, I blame Jon Stewart. The former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” was quick, clever and smug enough to convince a lot of younger, lazy Americans that they could become civically literate by watching a comedy show, thus being entertained while learning about current events and how to have the “right’ opinions about them. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Noah, Jimmy Kimmel (yecchh), Bill Maher (gag) and all of the other left-leaning clowns and jokers have a right to their opinions and to spout them at will, but nobody should think that any of them possess such remarkable insight that they should be influential opinion-makers. Indeed, their opinions are approximately as authoritative as a gas station attendant or the average taxi driver.

Throughout American history, there have been the occasional wise wags whose satirical takes on current events prompted thought as well as mirth—Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Mort Sahl, and a few others. Never before, however, have there been so many pretenders to that class who not only are taken seriously by the young, but who also take themselves seriously, far more seriously than their intellects, training and experience justifies. During the Trump administration, this trend became actively destructive, but many crtics even expressed concern during Stewart’s reign, as surveys showed that a frightening number of people used “The Daily Show” as their primary news source. This makes approximately as much sense as using SNL’s “Weekend Update” for that purpose.

Or CNN.

Kidding!

(Sort of.)

Trevor Noah, Stewart’s cuter but equally smug successor on Comedy Central, provided us with a neon-bright example of how damaging these fake authorities can be. The topic was the mass killings at two Atlanta-area massage parlors that left eight people dead earlier this week. Six of the eight women were Asian-Americans, but the motive behind the shootings is murky. Police arrested a suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long yesterday. Long reportedly told investigators that he had a sexual addiction and saw the businesses as a temptation he needed to eliminate. (This makes slightly more sense than “Son of Sam” saying he was instructed by a dog, but you know: mass murderers.) Never mind what he says, the race-baiters that make up much of the Democratic Party decided that this was another opportunity that couldn’t be missed.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), a member of “The Squad,” tweeted yesterday,

“8 lives were violently stolen. We stand in solidarity & deep compassion w/ our AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] family in Georgia & across the country. Racism, misogyny, & white supremacy are a threat to all of our communities, and we must call out the targeted, violent attacks on our AAPI neighbors.”

Other “of color” elected Democrats followed the script. Showing that, so far at least, there are some depths to which they will not stoop, both Speaker Pelosi and President Biden declined to call the attacks a “hate crime,” saying that the motive is unclear. It is, but the fact that the killer himself says he was trying to kill sex workers creates the rebuttable presumption that race was not motive.

Trevor Noah, however, launched a hilarious riff on the tragedy. I jest: there was nothing funny about it, but who is better qualified to analyze the social roots of a U.S. incident than a South African high school grad who has engaged in nothing except comedy since he was 18 and who has shown no interest in becoming an American citizen?

Here is Noah’s rant:

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Some Enchanted Evening Ethics, 3/11/2021

The New York Times this week referred to the “killing” of George Floyd, which presupposes what the trial of Derek Chauvin is taking place to determine. This is disgraceful journalism. The more I consider the trial, the clearer it seems that this is an unethical show trial, devised to keep the mob at bay, punish a white cop by putting him through an ordeal, and putting off the inevitable mindless riots as long as possible. Potential jurors are already saying that they are frightened. A mob shouting for “justice” was outside the courthouse yesterday during jury selection. Chauvin can’t get a fair trial; not in Minneapolis, not anywhere. The news media and the riots made certain of that.

1. Self-portrait of a self-promoting weenie. Stacy Dash, whose major acting achievement was “Clueless’ 25 years ago, became a darling of the Right and Fox News as a black, female conservative and Trump supporter bucking the Hollywood lockstep. Celebrities, especially B-listers, are always suspect when they take a position that garners publicity. Stacy thought she had a profitable niche. Now that it’s clear that niche has dried up, Stacy has decided it’s time to launch Stacy 2.0. Read this, if you can, without rolling your eyes so hard they come out your ears…

“I’ve lived my life being angry, which is what I was on Fox News. I was the angry, conservative black woman. And at that time in my life it was who I was. I realized in 2016 that anger is unsustainable and it will destroy you. I made a lot of mistakes because of that anger There are things that I am sorry for.Things that I did say, that I should not have said them the way I said them. They were very arrogant and prideful and angry. And that’s who Stacey was, but that’s not who Stacey is now. Stacey’s someone who has compassion, empathy…God has forgiven me, how dare I not forgive someone else. I don’t want to be judged, so how dare I judge anyone else. So if anyone has ever felt that way about me, like I’ve judged, that I apologize for because that’s not who I am…I’m not a victim of anyone. Working for Fox at the time, that was my job. I did my job from the place I was at. Stacey now would never work at Fox, would never work for a news network or be a news contributor.”

As for her vocal support of President Trump, Dash said, as a cock could be heard crowing three times, “He is not the president. We have a new president. Being a supporter of Trump has put me in some kind of box that I don’t belong in. But he’s not the president. I’m going to give the president that we have right now a chance.”

Good luck with the reboot, Stacy. But you’re pathetic and desperate, and have the integrity and loyalty of Tessio in “The Godfather.”

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As The NYT Charles M. Blow Desperately Searches For A Topic Worthy Of His Brilliance Now That He Can’t Attack Donald Trump In Every Column, And Settles On A Cartoon Skunk…

pepe

Of course Charles M. Blow quickly jumped on the “Cancel Dr. Seuss” bandwagon. I’m sure he was ticked off that he didn’t think of it first. The really woke publications have to include a race-baiter niche (or several) on their staffs, and Blow occupies that prime slot at the New York Times. Blow is an anti-white bigot in general, but he’s versatile: for the four years in which the Times enabled his virulent Trump Derangement, Blow proved he was also adept in pushing almost all of the anti-Trump Big Lies, not only the one that asserts that he is a racist. His columns were like crack for Trump-Haters. For everyone else, they were, like Blow himself, staggeringly repetitious, predicable, pompous, and boring.

Now, with Trump only intermittently in the news, Blow has a problem, being addicted to anti-Trump crack himself, and he’s clearly foundering. In his anti-Seuss screed—if you’re white like Theodore Geisel, Blow will presume you’re a racist (incidentally, he begins his columns by writing, “As a child, I was led to believe that Blackness was inferior.” That’s odd: I wasn’t!)—he also attacked Warner Bros. cartoon character Pepé Le Pew for contributing to “rape culture,” which is hilarious wokism self-parody.

Pepé Le Pew is one of the lesser Warner Brothers animated stars, an amorous French skunk whose cartoons consisted of a single gag: an incurable romantic obsessed with the pursuit of amorous conquests, Pepé kept mistaking cats and other creatures as female skunks (they somehow got white stripes painted on them in various accidents, hence the species misidentification), whereupon he would aggressively woo them, including hugging and kissing them without their consent.

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Someone Please Give Me A Reason To Link This To Ethics, Because I’m Going To Post It Anyway [Updated!]

snowplow contest

This story made me smile.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation held a contest last month to name eight new snowplows. 122,435 Minnesotans voted in the Name a Snowplow contest, which the organizers narrowed down to 50 top vote-getters. Each ballot allowed up to eight submissions.

After the voting concluded, the eight names receiving the most votes were announced winners. Here are the 50 top names and the votes they received:

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