Doug Glanville’s Internal Debate And The Student’s Slavery Petition

40 acres and a mule

I highly recommend this essay by Doug Glanville, an African-American sportscaster and blogger who has frequently distinguished himself with perceptive commentary on matters relating to race and sports. In a long, Mobius strip of a personal reverie—you get the impression that Glanvilles wasn’t certain what he thought until he read what he was writing, he reflected on how he would have, and should have reacted if he was in the broadcast booth when Jim Kaat made his ill-considered “40 acres” comment, which Ethics Alarms discussed here. Glanville weaves his way through several options and impulses:

  • “Faced with this reference during a baseball game, I found myself stuck on pause, wondering how we touched on reparations for slavery during the [American League Division Series] while discussing the value of a Latin player. At least, I hoped, it was done so unknowingly. For almost a week, I have grappled with whether I should say anything at all — whether the lessons from it are worth pursuing on a public scale, or if it’s just better to move on. I answered my internal debate by deciding I should at least try.”
  • “So what if I were covering that game, with Showalter and Kaat, as the field reporter or a second analyst? What would I have done? What would I have said? It is an obligation sharply felt by the only Black voice in any room, let alone during a baseball game, where you are expecting to just talk baseball.”
  • “I could have responded indirectly. I could have hit the talkback button and taken my issue to the producers off-line, in order to go through the proper channels. From experience, I know that calling a game is hard. You have to talk for over three hours, and your brain is crammed with information. Data, analytics, interviews, inside information, you name it. And every so often, it just simply comes out wrong, or you react with your mouth before your mind. You don’t have time to dissect the nuance of what someone has said without the risk of making the same kind of generalizing mistake…”
  • “I could have responded directly. I could have interjected on live television to express my consternation — even knowing how that might be taken…. how do you address it while upset, without coming off a certain way?”
  • “I could have stayed silent. I could have internalized it. There is an etiquette to broadcasting. You have to think long and hard about whether you are going to contradict someone or call them out, on Twitter or live during a game. It doesn’t have to be because of insensitive content — it could be about a mistake on a call or simply getting a player’s name wrong. The default is that you don’t do it. And if you do, you do it with care, smoothly, out of respect for your colleague.”
  • In the end, Glanville settles on the Golden Rule: “We all need to be better and more aware, more educated about history so we don’t make bad analogies. Yet we also have to see how understanding is an evolutionary process and grant people the bandwidth to grow, including ourselves. I certainly would want to be extended the same courtesy.”

That’s good, as far as it goes. In the process of getting there, Glanville still managed to blow Kaat’s comment out of proportion, writing at one point,

“In this instance and in so many others, the intent behind the statement becomes beside the point. Kaat apologized for his “poor choice of words” four innings later, but by then, it felt too late — you don’t have to be malicious to negatively impact someone….The pressure is often on Black people to bury their feelings and carry on…We can brush off slavery or we can recognize the vestiges of it and how it still plays a role in our systems. Just last week, a petition to bring back slavery circulated through a school in Kansas City, so I am not talking about 1865.”

Hold it, Doug. When someone is claiming offense, intent is always relevant. This is the great “gotcha!” game in the age of cancel culture: someone makes an innocent misstep, an a social justice mob sets out to destroy them, or at least force them to pathetically confess their sins and beg for forgiveness. Those who are so easily “negatively impacted” that an obviously botched spontaneous comment referencing “40 acres and a mule” while discussing ‘ the value of a Latin player,” want to be “negatively impacted” or at least to be able to claim to be, because it gives them power. Commentators like Glanville enable such political correctness bullies and agents of the cancel culture.

But I want to look at Glanville’s reference to “a petition to bring back slavery” circulating “through a school in Kansas City.” I had missed that episode, and with good reason: it wasn’t newsworthy, it was exploited by exactly the kind of “gotcha!” purveyors I just described, and Glanville’s facts were wrong. Continue reading

The Facebook “Whistleblower” Thinks That The U.S. Needs More Censorship

I have to admit, Frances Haugen has played this beautifully. Like many so-called whistleblowers (not all), she picked an ideal moment to betray her previous employer, in this case Facebook, leak proprietary documents, turn herself into an instant media star, guarantee books deals, speaking tours and TV stardom, and be praised to the skies by gullible, grandstanding and cynical politicians.

“I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy,” the former Facebook product manager said before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday. Perfect. I wonder if her media advisor helped her draft it.

Here is all you need to know about Haugan: According to her own website, Haugen was a member of Facebook’s internal  Civic Integrity team in 2020. That means she was part of the team that made the decision to ban the Hunter Biden laptop story by the New York Post from Facebook in October 2020. Facebook, and its evil twin Twitter, refused to allow circulation of the story, accepting without evidence the defensive Democratic talking point that the laptop was a plant was tied to Russian intelligence. Those claims were disinformation, we now know, and the laptop really did belong to Hunter Biden. Facebook’s partisan embargo on the truth might have determined the election. Is blocking a story that might defeat Joe Biden what the whistleblower considers avoiding division and protecting democracy?

It’s a rebuttable presumption. I don’t trust Haugan, her motives, or her message.

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Ethics Dunce: President Joe Biden

biden dummy

Great. Now the United States of America has had two Presidents in a row who couldn’t tell an ethics principle from beef stroganoff. This is obviously not a good thing, since our leaders inevitably bolster or short-cicuitour culture’s ethics alarms. In Joe Biden’s case, of course, this should come as no surprise, just as Trump’s ethics void couldn’t have surprised even the previous President’s most fervent supporters. Still, it would be hard to invent a more phosphorescent example of ethics ignorance than Joe’s comments on the harassment of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va)., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, (D-Ariz.) because they refuse to accede to the Democrats’ insane $3.5 trillion infrastructure-plus-socialism wish-list spending scheme, “Build Back Better,’

Last week, several protesters affiliated with the Center for Popular Democracy and other groups showed up in kayaks at the Potomac River dock in Washington, D.C., where Manchin keeps his houseboat. That was relatively mild compared to what Sinema endured over the weekend, when illegal immigration activists from Living United for Change in Arizona confronted Sinema in a building at Arizona State University, eventually following her into the bathroom.

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Week-Launching Ethics Warm-Up, 10/4/2021: A Happy Ending To A Pit Bull Saga, A Congressional Leader Makes My Head Explode, And More [Updated]

launch

Singer Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. The anniversary prompts me to make an unkind observation that I was tempted to make after reading all of the tributes and expansive rhetoric praising “The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams after he died of an overdose of fentanyl and heroin on September 6. For at least a hundred years, anyone who takes heroin does so knowing that it is addictive and frequently fatal. My attitude toward Joplin, Williams, John Belushi, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Holliday, and many other artists who have killed themselves this way involves more anger than sympathy. The world was robbed of their gifts because they were reckless. In the case of black artists, they endanger their admirers by creating a romantic aura for what is, in the final analysis, stupid and irresponsible conduct. How hard can it be not to start using an addictive substance that you know might kill you? The fact that the drug is illegal should be a big clue.

1. And speaking of the joys of recreational drugs...In a new study published in Psychological Medicine, researchers in the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Mental Health and the Institute of Applied Health Research found a strong link between “general practice recorded cannabis use” and mental ill health. Senior author Dr. Clara Humpston said: “Cannabis is often considered to be one of the ‘safer’ drugs and has also shown promise in medical therapies, leading to calls for it be legalized globally. Although we are unable to establish a direct causal relationship, our findings suggest we should continue to exercise caution since the notion of cannabis being a safe drug may well be mistaken.”

Continue to exercise caution? Who’s exercising caution? Popular culture and upper-middle class whites have been issuing pro-pot propaganda for half a century, while mocking government efforts to discourage widespread use and acceptance of another destructive recreational drug. Now nearly every state is on a path to legalize it, especially because they smell tax revenue.

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Let All Good And Objective Americans Deride And Mock San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Those Who Voted For Her, And Anyone Who Dares To Defend Her…

SF-Mayor-London-Breed

What a ridiculous excuse for a mayor.

What an embarrassment to her city and party.

What an arrogant, silly, clueless fool.

The usual Ethics Alarms tag I would consider in this kind of story, “Incompetent Elected Official of the Month,” just doesn’t do San Francisco Mayor London Breed justice. Letting her astounding explanation for why she violated her own mask mandate simply brand her as incompetent would be a cruel insult to all previous incompetent elected officials. Previously, Ethics Alarms wrote about Breed being videoed unmasked, singing, and dancing with a largely unmasked crowd inside a jazz club in the Tenderloin last week. This made her the latest Democratic mayor, governor or other official—and there have been a ridiculous number of them— to regard themselves as immune from their own pandemic restrictions on “the little people” they deign to govern. However, none of these hypocrites have come within miles of Breed’s mind-melting hauteur. Here’s what she said:

“We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. My drink was sitting at the table, I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.”

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I’m Not Certain What The Proper Ethics Description Of The State Department Expressing “Concerns” Over The All Male Taliban Government, But “Oh, Shut The Hell Up!” Might Cover It…

In a statement that would be right at home in a satire of U.S. government cretinism like “Lil’ Abner” or “Mars Attacks!,” the Biden State Department expressed “concerns” over the composition of the new interim Afghan government announced by the Taliban. There’s just not sufficient diversity, you see.

The statement noted that the list of names announced by the Taliban earlier in the week“consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women.”

In a related statement, the State Department also expressed its shock and dismay that all the members of the interim government appeared to be Muslims, and no African-Americans were included.

OK, I’m kidding about that. But it would be no more ridiculous than the real statement. Maybe the diabolical strategy of the Biden Administration is to cause the Taliban to perish from laughing so hard their hearts explode, or something, like in Monty Pythons’ “Killer Joke” sketch. If the U.S. government has ever made an official statement that more embarrassing weak and pathetic than this one, I’d like to see it. Did the Hayes administration, after the corrupt deal in 1876 giving Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency in exchange for pulling Federal troops out of the former Confederate states express its concern that former slaves were not being accorded the full rights of American citizens? That would be close.

This is one of the best examples of where ethics estoppel applies, easily surpassing Hillary Clinton condemning sexual harassment and demanding the female accusers of powerful men must be believed. When the U.S. abandoned the people of Afghanistan in a manner that evoked another Python classic moment…

…it forfeited all rights not to be mocked mercilessly if it dared to make any demands or express any “concerns” about what the known radical, brutal Islamists it left in power to do whatever they wanted did, which everyone knew would include treating women like a lesser species.

The Taliban talibanned women from participating in sports yesterday, and the Biden State Department thinks it is going to react to the expressed “concern” that it won’t allow women to participate in its government with anything but hilarity and derision? Who ARE these people? Does diversity and inclusion mean that our State Department has to be run by alumni of Madam Louise’s Home for the Bewildered?

What is this? Could the Biden experts we now have running our foreign policy really be this stupid and tone deaf? Or is it the public the Biden hacks think is so gullible that such hollow virtue signaling will prompt Americans to respond, “Good for us; that’s telling ’em!”? Is it women and feminists this bunch of desperate incompetents have such contempt for?

I don’t understand. What are they doing? What do they think they’re doing? What’s going on here?

The Biden Presidency is now officially an Ethics Train Wreck.

Why American Presidents Need A Fair News Media To Be Competent, And More Evidence That They Won’t Get One Anytime Soon, If Ever…

fakenews

It’s my own fault. I’ve written so many essays here since 2009 about the disgraceful descent of the news media into partisan propaganda that I can’t find the relevant post I was looking for on my own blog. That would be the one during the Obama administration in which I pointed out that being assured that no reporters and virtually no pundits would have the guts or integrity to criticize Obama’s performance as President had made him lazy, arrogant, and reckless. If you know anything you do will be extolled whether it deserves praise of not, and any mistakes and blunders will be covered up or spun, why be careful, especially if you’re an arrogant narcissistic like Barack? The same principle operated on President Trump, but in reverse (I honestly don’t recall if I noted this, but I noticed it). If a President is certain that whatever he does will be attacked by the news media, there is no reason for him to consider the press in his policy considerations. Summary: bad journalism makes bad Presidents.

Several commentators are finally waking up to this phenomenon now, as they try to find some other than Joe Biden to blame for Joe Biden’s incompetence. I have now read several pieces opining that the President was certain that the press would have his back no matter what happened in Afghanistan.

That was really foolish on Biden’s part (but then…Biden) for two reasons. First, he is not nearly as popular as Obama, and nobody was going to call a reporter “racist” for criticizing him. Second, and more importantly, journalists destroyed their influence and credibility during their four year campaign of fake news and glorified rumors to bring down Donald Trump. Most of the public doesn’t trust the mainstream media—good!—because it is untrustworthy. The days when it could cover a President’s botches effectively have passed.

One would think that this would spur the news media to be more careful about the lies they present to the public as truth, and one would be tragically wrong. Two recent examples from last week demonstrate that no “Oh-oh, we better start practicing honest journalism!” alarms are ringing yet.

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No, No, NO, Biden Must NOT “Go”: Biden Must Stay, And All Responsible For Putting Him In The White House Must Be Made Accountable

Joe confused

Over at the Spectator, conservative pundit Dominic Green writes in a piece titled Biden Must Go,

“If Trump had confused his Vice President with a ‘general’ or fumbled with his cue cards because he couldn’t match a scripted question to a scripted answer, as Biden did at his press conference on Thursday; or shown the bizarre callousness and failure of short-term memory in his ‘That was four days ago, five days ago!’ outburst; or spontaneously abandoned the policy of strategic ambiguity on Taiwan in an interview with ABC, as Biden did with George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, the psychiatrists would be lining up outside the cable stations to explain why the 25th Amendment needed to be deployed now. It’s that simple. The buck really does stop with the President. The world has always seen Biden’s incapacity, and now the American people can see it too. He carries direct responsibility for a disaster so undeniable that even a partisan media can no longer deny it. He can neither speak truthfully nor accurately. Not so much the emperor with no clothes, as Lear’s fool on the heath, naked and shivering as the kingdom comes to the ‘great confusion’.”

Oh no you don’t! “The resistance,” progressives, Democrats and the news media can’t be let off that easy. It is essential to restoring the nation’s principles and the integrity of the political process that Joe Biden remain in office to do all the damage and inflict all the embarrassment on the nation he will undoubtedly can and will. It will be painful for him to be sure: good. He was irresponsible and unethical to allow himself to be used by his party when he knew—and I’m sure he knows—that he had become a shadow of his already mediocre self. It will be even more painful for his party and its supporters, which will not be able to blame anyone but themselves for the disaster at the border, the stuttering response to the latest virus strains, the exploding national debt, the creeping inflation and the disgraceful embrace of racial discrimination. And, of course, it will be painful for the public, and again I say, good. They were dupes, fools and incompetent citizens. They deserve to suffer. There are consequences to being lazy, gullible, biased and stupid. They are about to learn them. Hard.The Democrats and media tried to brainwash America with the dangerous idea that when we elect a President that enough people don’t like and the news media decides to destroy, there are constitutional ways to ignore elections and get rid of him. There are not. Impeachment, contrary to the undemocratic plots endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and the rest, requires actual “high crimes and misdemeanors,” not mean tweets, contrived violations of dead letter provisions and conduct routinely engaged in by other Presidents that are suddenly repurposed into “crimes” to avoid the trouble of defeating an incumbent at the polls.

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Ethics Quote Of The Month: Lincoln Brown

Taliban abuse

I try to keep my true rants to a minimum, as they are unseemly for one in my role. I also try, not quite so successfully, to tamp down my occasional impulse to write, “I told you so!” It really helps me a lot when a web pundit like Lincoln Brown, a former talk show host and conservative columnist, writes pretty much exactly what I am feeling.

Brown’s essay titled “Dear Leftists, I Hope You Can’t Live With Yourselves” is what I have been dreaming of posting on Facebook for my 200 or so left-biased Facebook friends, some of them real friends I once thought better of as well as a few relatives, who would write mouth-foaming screeds about President Trump’s emails but who have maintained absolute Facebook silence on the Afghanistan disaster other than to post a meek and deflecting, “I think it was time to get out of Afghanistan, right everybody?” Brown’s whole post is the Ethics Quote of the Month, but here are some highlights:

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: President Joe Biden

afghanistan-001-3

“That was four days ago, five days ago!”

President Joe Biden, employing Rationalization #52. The Underwood Maneuver, or “That’s in the past,” to brush off an interviewer’s reference to desperate Afghans falling from U.S. transport plans in their desperate efforts to escape a Taliban onslaught.

President Biden, who has been avoiding questioning from the news media over his self-made national and international crisis in Afghanistan, took the weird but telling step of sitting for an interview on the matter with a single journalist—sort of–that has yet to be broadcast. Not surprisingly, the journalist chosen was career Democratic Party operative George Stephanopoulos, who hosts ABC’s talking heads Sunday news show as well as “Good Morning America!” where he is more like a performer. As Ethics Alarms regularly pointed out until I got sick of it, George has no business interviewing political figures like Hillary Clinton, since he has a flaming conflict of interest, nor can he be trusted to cover any political story involving partisan divides. Virtually all TV journalists are Democrats, but Stephanopoulos was a professional Democrat, and has proven repeatedly that he lacks the integrity and courage to overcome that bias.

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