Unethical Tweet Of The Month: CNN/MSNBC Contributor Tristan Snell

To be fair, I’m sure Ken Burns would approve.

Snell is a lawyer, which is how he gets on TV to spout Democratic Party talking points, on the theory that biased, irresponsible propaganda is somehow more credible when a lawyer issues it. Still, lawyers aren’t supposed to lie or deliberately deceive the public. No, Tristan, you idiot, that is not a Nazi salute. I am hardly a frequent church-goer, but even I’ve been at services where the congregation was urged to raise hands exactly like this.

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Dear Twitter: How Exactly Is Protecting Hateful Assholes From Being Exposed Ethically Justified?

I was unaware, and likely to remain unaware, of this now viral tweet before reading the Ethics Alarms Open Forum today. The tweeter, Uju Anya, is a linguistics professor who is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She tweeted the above as news broke that Elizabeth, 96, was “under medical supervision.”

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Ethics Dunce: Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb

I’ve been somewhat remiss in my coverage of baseball ethics in recent months; its been like Sauce Bearnaise Syndrome: the Red Sox have been having such a nauseating season that even thinking about baseball has been painful. This story broke through my wall of pain because it also pings my legal ethics alarms.

Back on June 29 (before the Red Sox turned into mud, in fact),  Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted that LA Dodger Freddie Freeman’s agent, Casey Close, never communicated a contract offer that the Braves had made to free agent Freeman last winter before Freeman left the team he had always played on to sign with the Dodgers. Freeman was upset about the report; the Braves, and the Atlanta fans were also outraged, because Freeman was a popular and superb player for the Braves. Casey Close, however, was more upset than all of them combined. Not communicating a contract offer to a client is a throbbing neon ethics violation for a sports agent (it would lead to suspension of a law license if a lawyer did it) and Gottlieb’s claim could ruin Close’s career if it couldn’t be disproved. Close sued Gottlieb for defamation in July. Continue reading

Keep Talking And Tweeting, Sam: Eventually Almost Everybody Will Figure Out That You’re Ridiculous…Won’t They?

Biased, Trump-Deranged and stupid is no way to be a philosopher, Sam.

Before last week I was happily unaware of the existence of inexplicably influential woke philosopher and “best-selling author” Sam Harris. Then, in rapid succession, he endorsed journalistic malpractice and “ends justify the means” tactics to manipulate a national election, declared that Osama bin Laden was the salt of the earth compared to Donald Trump, and now he’s unleashed the demented tweet above.

That might be the most outrageous of the three, which is saying something. What kind of logic is that? It’s super-projection on steroids, as far as I can determine. X does something offensive and unethical to attack Y, and the defense is, “Yeah, but what X did is what Y is really like! I just know it!”

Oh.

Good point.

It isn’t just making that crazy statement that is evidence of cognitive malfunction; it’s publishing it and assuming that people not similarly impaired won’t react by deciding the writer is a lunatic.

Harris is one of those pseudo celebrities who makes me wonder where I went wrong. Clearly, writing and saying trendy, woke-pandering nonsense is a better formula for success than honestly trying to do the hard work of clarifying and bolstering societal values.

 

 

Ethics Dunce And Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Barack Obama

How many ex-Presidents have revealed themselves to be far bigger jerks than anyone suspected in their post-White House years? Until relatively recently, most Presidents died so soon after their terms were up that the situation didn’t arise. John Tyler joined the Confederate cabinet; Teddy Roosevelt torpedoed his own party and his old friend Taft in a fit of ego, but that really wasn’t out of character. Most have stayed relatively quiet and inoffensive. I think Barack Obama wins the booby prize for post-POTUS jerkism.

The tweet is gold medal pandering: the shooting and Floyd’s death have no nexus at all, except that they have both been exploited for their progressive agenda value. More dunder-headed still, these two issues are contradictory. Democrats have been crippling law enforcement in many cities and communities, putting law abiding citizens at risk; that was one of the results of the excessive and cynical frenzy over a single bad policing incident in Minneapolis. Now that police are sufficiently terrified and reluctant to police, Obama wants to make it harder for Americans to protect themselves. But hey, anything to help promote Black Lives Matter! Continue reading

Ethics Signs And Portents, 5/10/2022: Langella’s Lament, Kellogg’s Indoctrination, Lightfoot’s Incitement, And Yellen’s idiocy.

That photo of the dueling signs in my neighborhood (Alexandria, VA) is from the Washington Post last week. Ethics Alarms first noted this obnoxious phenomenon here in 2016, with several updates since.

That’s some scoop there, Lois Lane!

1. Now here’s an even more obnoxious sign of the times: cereal boxes presuming to indoctrinate kids. What possible excuse is there for this, on the side of this Kellogg’s box:

I don’t care about the box design or the cereal: it’s a product, and if a parent wants to buy it, swell. It’s a marketing gimmick. Yuck, but so what? However, this, on the side panel, steps over the line into the culture wars and indoctrination. Not on my breakfast table…

2. Oh, fine: the Treasury Secretary is an idiot as well as an Ethics Dunce. Janet Yellen is now on record as endorsing one of the more offensive and cretinous arguments in favor of Roe v. Wade: snuffing out more children in the womb is good for the economy! “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said in response to a question at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Continue reading

7 Observations On The Unethical Tweet Of The Week By Rob Reiner

Observations:

1. What happened to Rob Reiner? How did he get that way? I’ve asked my wife to swear that if I ever start writing or saying things this stupid and ignorant, she will hit me over the head with a brick.

2. Declaring Trump a criminal is on the cusp of libel, and capitalizing “criminal” is unethically illiterate for someone with so many followers.

3. The tweet deceitfully implies that using the platform to spread misinformation is unique to Donald Trump. What is significant is that virtually only conservatives and Republicans (and the Babylon Bee) get punished it. Chris Cuomo, to name one of many examples from the news media, tweeted that “hate speech” wasn’t protected by the Bill of Rights, and that it would be illegal for anyone but journalists to read Wikileaks leaks of classified documents. He’s a lawyer (how did THAT happen?), and the public assumes he knows what he’s talking about.

4. Nothing Trump tweeted ever threatened to overthrow the government by any definition: Reiner’s tweet is disinformation!

5. Nothing Trump ever tweeted was “Criminal activity” either. Also disinformation, and yet on Twitter Carl’s deranged son remains.

6. It is clear from Reiner’s tweet that he believes that political opponents’ criticism of his party and political allies should be stifled and blocked if possible. That marks him as hostile to democracy…like increasing numbers of Americans and politicians of his political persuasion.

7. Deft and funny take-down, John Rich!

Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month AND Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Mass. State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D-1st Hampshire District)

  • Do we really have more elected officials at the local, state and national levels who are spectacularly ignorant of basic civics and the U.S. Constitution, or does it just seem that way?
  • How typical is this idiot/totalitarian of Democrats generally?
  • How can anyone trust, never mind vote for, someone who thinks she won’t be pilloried for stating that government power should not be constrained by laws?
  • Incompetent elected officials like this are far, far more dangerous than Joy Behar, who thinks the Supreme Court passes bills. All Joy does is talk on TV. Sabadosa is in a position where her ignorance and fondness for government dictatorship can do real damage.

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, April 19, 2022: “A Good Day To Die” [With Easter Bunny Update!]

The 19th of April is a violent ethics day in history.

In 1775, on this date, the evening before had seen Paul Revere’s ride, and a few hours later, right about at dawn, 700 British troops marched through my home town of Arlington, Mass., then known as Menotomy, into Lexington. 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waited for them on the town’s common green. Shots were exchanged, and when the Battle of Lexington ended a few minutes later, eight Americans were dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. No British soldier was killed and just one was injured, but the battle launched the Revolutionary War, for which most of us, and most of the world, are or ought to be grateful.

In 1943 on April 19, the courageous but doomed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began when Nazi forces attempting to clear out the Polish city’s Jewish ghetto were met by gunfire from Jewish resistance fighters. The surprised Germans withdrew but soon returned, and on April 24 launched an all-out attack against the Warsaw Jews, slaughtering thousands. The Nazi army progressed down the ghettos, blowing up buildings as they went. The resistance took to the sewers to continue the fight, but their command bunker fell to the Germans on May 8, and its leaders committed suicide. During the uprising, some 300 German soldiers were killed, and thousands of Warsaw Jews were massacred.

—In Waco, Texas on April 19, 1993, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a tear-gas assault on the home of the Branch Davidians, an armed religious cult, after a 51-day standoff. The compound was burned to the ground, with 80 Branch Davidians, including 22 children, dying as a result.

April 19, 1995 saw the beginning of mass domestic terrorism here, as a massive truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The blast instantly killed more than 100 people and trapped dozens more in the rubble. When the rescue effort finally ended two weeks later, the death toll stood at 168 people killed, including 19 children who were in the building’s day-care center at the time of the blast.

Liberal pundits and Democrats blamed Rush Limbaugh, among others, who had been vocally condemning the government since the election of Bill Clinton.

1. When did Derek Chauvin get appointed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals? In this case, the 5th Circuit ruled that an officer who deliberately caused pain to a woman because she was being “uncooperative” was in the clear. She had been arrested and was in custody, but refused to respond to the officer’s questions about her name and age. In response, the officer raised her handcuffed arms behind her back, causing, the woman said, “[e]xcruciating pain.” This was captured on the officer’s camera, and wasn’t disputed. The woman sued for violations of her Fourth Amendment rights. In ruling on an appeal, The Fifth Circuit held that such conduct by the officer—deliberately inflicting pain on a subject in custody to force compliance—was acceptable:

Nor did Martin violate Hymond’s Fourth Amendment rights. Hymond was shouting at Martin throughout the entire confrontation. She did not comply with any of Martin’s commands or instructions. Only after Hymond refused to provide Martin with her name did Martin employ any force against her. Martin’s use of force—lifting Hymond’s handcuffed arms behind her back—was relatively minimal. Hymond continued to verbally deride Martin while Martin was lifting her arms and immediately after he put her arms down. Given Hymond’s continued resistance, Martin’s use of force against Hymond was not objectively unreasonable.

The opinion literally excuses a police officer’s inflicting pain on a subject in handcuffs in response to verbal abuse and a lack of cooperation.

2. Watch: she’ll probably be elected, too. Here you can read former sex-worker and stripper Alexandra Hunt’s argument for being elected to Congress. It nicely ticks off all the boxes necessary for progressive love. I think this paragraph’s my favorite:

One does not need to boast a law degree to see how criminalization has become about a person’s identity rather than any grievance they may have committed. The prison-industrial complex has come to serve the purity model of white supremacy and places individuals into egregious living conditions if their identity deviates from white supremacy in anyway ― their race, their sexuality, their gender identity, their economic status, their nationality, or their occupation.

In fact, not having a law degree assists reaching that asinine and counter-factual conclusion. (So does hitting yourself in the head repeatedly with a frozen leg of lamb.) Elsewhere, explaining her abortion when she was 18, Hunt engages in one of my all-time most reviled rationalizations for abortion:

“I as a person was not ready to bring a child into this world, but also the world was not in a state — and is not, 10 years later, is not in a state — that I wanted to bring a child into yet, which is my decision to make. My generation faces a lack of jobs, a lack of living wage, a housing crisis, an affordable housing crisis, a student debt crisis, the climate emergency, the prison-industrial complex, and the list goes on and on. And I wanted to offer my child better.”

Actually, Alexandra, you wanted to offer your next child better. The first one you decided was better off being rubbed out of existence than getting a chance to live in the less-than-perfect world you seem to be enjoying. I’m pretty certain all potential human beings, asked whether they would prefer an imperfect life than none at all, would like their shot.

3. And now for something completely stupid…This nicely illustrates the quality of American punditry. Matt Yglesias has been a long-time progressive pundit for Slate and Vox among other platforms. He tweeted this brilliant revelation yesterday:

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Hey, Professor Mann! The Jerk Store Called And They’re All Out of You!

Jerks come in all shapes, sizes and types, but jerks of some prominence who broadcast their jerkiness in public are an especially loathsome breed. Jerk aficionados, I give you Michael Mann, the inventor of that staple of the climate change fanataspere, the “hockey stick” graph. Prof. Mann is the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. He’s a hero to the climate change doomsday crowd; he’s also attempted to bully his critics by suing them. None of which is necessary malinger to his recent jerk orgy. Anyone who sent these two tweets would qualify as a jerk grandmaster.

First we have this one:

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