Ethics Quote Of The Week: Prof. Jonathan Turley

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“[T]he demand for clear evidence of systemic violations after only a couple days of the tabulation stage is bizarre. We would not necessarily have such evidence, which is largely held by election officials. As expected, we have a series of localized affidavits and allegations of intentional fraud. Yet, network analysts were dismissing any and all allegations within the first 24 hours, as tabulations were continuing. It is like saying that a patient has a low white blood cell level but insisting on stopping testing if you cannot conclusively say that there is cancer.”

——Jonathan Turley, discussing the rush to proclaim Joe Biden President-elect while legitimate questions remain unanswered

Bingo. Why is this such a hard concept to grasp?

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Does An Ethics Alarm Make A Sound If It Rings Where Nobody Can Hear It? The Mystery Of Joe Biden’s VP Search

It is increasingly clear that poor Joe Biden just isn’t processing reality well. As he does everything he can to duck Tara Reade’s allegations, for example, he chose to be interviewed on MSNBC by Al Sharpton. As conservative talk-show host Larry Elder tweeted, “Only in America can a man who achieved fame by knowingly promoting Tawana Brawley’s false accusation of rape, become a Democratic “kingmaker,” get a TV show–and interview a Democrat who claims he’s a victim of a false accusation of rape.”

Well a man can do that; whether it’s smart is something else.

This is definitely not smart: Biden named former Democratic Connecticut Senator Chis Dodd to help steer his selection committee for Biden’s Vice-President, even though Dodd is notorious as the late Ted Kennedy’s drinking and carousing partner, and especially remembered for his cheerful admission that the two over-aged frat boys once collaborated on what Ted called a “waitress sandwiches.”To make Dodd’s assignment even more tone-deaf, Biden is generally assumed to be looking for a female running mate. So to choose the best qualified (not that qualifications are a big deal if you are making twin X-chromosomes the top criteria for selection) person to get Joe to the metaphorical finish line, Joe thinks the right choice is a former Senator who is acknowledged to have been a serial offender in the kinds of woman-abusing conduct that Biden claims he condemns despite being accused of it himself.

Huh. Interesting.

Dodd was…is?…also a  close friend of Harvey Weinstein for about 40 years. That doesn’t seem so surprising when one considers the origin of the “waitress sandwich” quip. From RealClearPolitics:

“The ugly turn of phrase comes courtesy of a profile of Kennedy in Gentlemen’s Quarterly and from the decidedly ungentlemanly behavior by Dodd when he and the Lion of the Senate were on the prowl at a D.C. French restaurant…. It was 1985… The waitress in question declined to comment for the GQ story but said that the account of what happened, which first appeared in the pages of Penthouse, was accurate. Dodd was there with Kennedy and their dates, both blonde and young. It was after midnight. The accompanying women left to use the restroom. The waitress was summoned, and that’s when she was allegedly thrown first onto the table by Kennedy — shattering glass and scattering cutlery – and then onto the lap of Dodd. Kennedy…jumped “on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair”…An eyewitness, Betty Loh, confirmed the incident….The waitress screamed as it happened. Dishwashers rushed to the room. The Senators allegedly laughed at the scene they caused, then haggled over who would pay the night’s bill…

Of course, that conduct would have caused problems for both Senators if reported in 1985, but the news media, then as now, usually made sure that liberal icons were shielded from accountability in such things, and Kennedy was used to generously paying off his victims. It is still indicative of the kinds of attitudes toward women that men of power from that era, including Kennedy, Dodd, Biden and yes, Donald Trump, subscribed to. How can one explain  Biden, especially with the accusation of Tara Reade hanging over him,  now choosing Dodd to be his trusted agent in the matter of selecting a female V.P., when he has so many other options who do not have a history of sexual assault themselves?

Here are some possible answers, one or more of which could be the case: Continue reading

The Amazing, Depressing But Not Especially Surprising Tara Reade Hypocrisy Rolls

Amber Athey of the American Spectator did a service for  open-minded Americans who care about integrity and who were under the impression that the Democratic Party had any.  She assembled a list of 35 enthusiastic Democratic endorsers of Joe Biden as the party’s 2020 nominee, and tracked down their passionate exclamations regarding Christine Blasey-Ford’s less-corroborated allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh.

Her list is quite long, but essential reading: a more stomach-churning demonstration of grandstanding (then) and hypocrisy (now) would be difficult to find.  In some cases, it is amusing: these hacks could be so self-righteous about the holy credibility of a woman accusing a Republican, and decry the blackened souls of anyone who didn’t immediately accept her as  an unquestionable truth-teller, yet they won’t even acknowledge Biden’s equally female and more than equally credible accuser. Not only that, they are apparently certain that such blatant double-standards won’t trouble the progressive herd.

Well, maybe they are right. We shall see. we shall see just how corrupt that herd has become.

The list reinforces Reade’s words in an interview on Fox News over the weekend. She said in part,

“I’d like my history with Biden to be examined in a dignified way that’s not slanted by political bias or sensationalized. I’d like a deeper conversation about the fact that sexual harassment and sexual assault do not have a political party, agenda. “It’s an equal opportunity offender….I mean, it doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, and it shouldn’t as far as the media coverage regarding claims.”…

“Blasey Ford, because it was a conservative candidate they were going to put in the Supreme Court, was treated with much more deference by most of the media outlets… I’ve basically had no substantive support from women’s groups that are considered liberal or Democratic. I’ve had no support from any Democratic candidate, although I’ve reached out. And I’ve received either slanted reporting that ended up being talking points for Biden’s campaign or silence from the mainstream media… what I would like to say to them at this point and some of the silence from some the candidates Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren that at this point, if you continue to silence me, if you continue to engage in protecting a powerful man without giving my case a closer look, you are complicit in rape”

Normally I’d append my observations after such a list, but this one is just too long. There is also material here for dozens of Ethics Dunce, Incompetent Elected Official, and Unethical Quote posts—an embarrassment of embarrassments, you might say. Here are a relatively restrained number of rueful observations:

  • In addition to the obvious hypocrisy, and repulsive grandstanding these quotes represent, they also raise the question of whether some or perhaps any of these people really care about sexual harassment and sexual assault at all, or if it is just mass posturing and virtue signaling for short term political gain.

I do not see how any genuine feminist or anti-sexual harassment and assault activist, inspired by Blasey-Ford’s testimony, could make the sweeping statements about victims, women, justice, and the importance of the position Kavanaugh was seeking that you read below, and then, when their party’s  presumptive nominee for President is accused of an even more shocking assault,  ignore the  alleged victim and proceed with a pro forma endorsement. How can they do that? How can they not be embarrassed? How can their supporters, or anyone, ever trust or respect them again?

  • I  raise the same question regarding the #MeToo leaders, feminists, female Democrats, and men who, like me, support efforts to take sexual harassment out of the workplace.  The feminist movement lost me–I was once a NOW member—when it reversed its position on sexual harassment by male bosses to protect Bill Clinton when he was lying about Monica. (Bill was pro-abortion, you see.) This is worse. The emotional outcries of feminist activists in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations were absolute and unequivocal. Where are the  #MeToo leaders to take up the cause of Tara Reade? Where is Tarana Burke, Ashley Judd, Reese Witherspoon, Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meryl Streep,  Patricia Arquette, Angelina Jolie, Alyssa Milano (Well, we know where she is—pretending that her continued support for Biden in light of her #MeToo fanaticism doesn’t make her, and the movement, look ridiculous), or Fatima Goss Graves  of the National Women’s Law Center? Where, for that matter, is Hillary Clinton? If they believed what they said they did, if they weren’t lying and posturing before, they would be supporting Reade.

Heck, I argued in sexual harassment trainings eight months ago that women and Democrats supporting Joe Biden with his photographic record of harassment…you know…

were undercutting public support for and understanding of  sexual harassment laws. It’s more than hypocritical. It’s stupid.

  • Which of the hypocrites below deserves special contempt? It’s hard to top Elizabeth Warren, the party’s Demogogue Queen, who has announced that she would be proud to be Handsy Joe’s VP. Yet she said, “Many survivors of sexual assault choose not to speak out, for a thousand different reasons. But when they do, they deserve to be heard. The events described by Julie Swetnick, Ms Ramirez & Dr Ford are absolutely heart-wrenching.’

Boy she’s awful!

The fake complaints of Swetnick and Ramirez, now thoroughly discredited, broke her heart, but she snubs Reade as if she were a descendant of General Custer. Then there’s Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who proclaimed, “This is a serious allegation, and we have a responsibility to listen….For too long, our political system has shut out the voices of women & silenced the stories behind the #MeToo movement.” How can he look at himself in the mirror after endorsing Biden?

Well, don’t get me started,. As I said, there are dozens this bad.(But be sure you check out Rep. Barbara Lee.)

  • The words you will keep reading are “bravery,” ” all women,” “credible,” “victims,” “right to be heard,” “speaking truth to power”…all of which apply at least as much to Tara Reade as the did to Blasey-Ford. What’s the difference?

You know what the difference is.

  • It’s a silver lining, I suppose, that the fiasco chronicled below is useful as a great unmasking, although the most exposed are generally those whose lack of integrity should have been obvious anyway. Here, for example, is the hideous Senator Hirono:

“…we are standing together because we #BelieveWomen…this is why the #MeToo movement is so important, because often in these situations, there is an environment where people see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing. That is what we have to change.”

Well, I could write about this forever, and I’m tempted.  But it’s time to view the hypocrisy parade…beginning with Barack Obama (Michelle? Has anyone heard from Michelle? Hello?) , and the Speaker, who endorsed Joe Biden yesterday.

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I Don’t Think The Mainstream Media Can Get Away With This: The Tara Reade Blackout

Today’s coverage of the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden.

None of the major Sunday morning news talk shows mentioned Tara Reade’s increasingly credible allegations against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden today, April 26. CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’s “Face the Nation” and, yes, even Fox’s “Fox News Sunday”—See? It’s trustworthy after all!— all gave their audiences the impression that Reade did not exist, or that her claim that Joe Biden—who has stated that all female accusers should be presumed credible and have their accusations taken seriously—harassed, assaulted her and, indeed, raped her while he was a U.S. Senator, wasn’t newsworthy. 

This, even though there were new developments regarding her more than month-old claim. A transcript obtained by The Intercept, as well as a video uncovered by the Media Research Center two days ago, showed that someone from Reade’s mother’s city called into CNN in 1993 and asked for advice about her daughter’s problems with a “prominent senator.” Even CNN ignored the story today.

How can anyone justify this, or explain it except as a flagrant, partisan, stunningly unethical effort by the networks to keep the public in the dark to serve a political agenda? Continue reading

Today’s “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Note

Honestly, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse by constantly writing about the news media’s toxic, destructive, self-destructive partisan bias. The problem is that the horse isn’t dead, and that once fair and intelligent people, millions of them, stare at the stinking, rotting, whinnying and snarling zombie carcass, and then will look you in the eye and tell you the beast is ready to run in the Preakness. This continues to be amazing to me, but also increasingly infuriating. We are far past the guilty beyond a reasonable doubt stage, and even the beyond all doubt stage, and yet they persist in increasingly unsupported denial. So I am forced to keep producing the carcass, and hoping against hope that somehow, a bolt of clarity, or integrity, or disgust, or something, will stir these sad, brain-washed  people to awareness, and they will finally exclaim, “Oh my GOD! That thing is disgusting!” And I am dedicated to keep hauling these repetitive smoking guns to the top of the pile, until that miracle occurs.

The now blazing and audacious conspiracy by the mainstream media to refuse—just refuse, that’s all!—to report on Joe Biden’s #MeToo accuser is, or should be, another piece of conclusive evidence. The New York Times interview of its own editor was as smoky a gun as there is, but there is so much more.

In 2018, when Christine Blasey-Ford accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of a suddenly (and conveniently) remembered sexual assault while the two were in high school, CNN put out seven articles the same day that the news became public. After that, it was “Katie bar the door!’ wherever that old expression came from. Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist did a search, and behold! CNN did more than 700 articles about the Blasey-Ford allegations, this in addition to the hundreds of hours of televised discussions on the topic.

Hemingway links to many of the headlines. She writes, Continue reading

BREAKING (And Astounding): A Smoking Gun Inside A Smoking Gun!

 

The New York Times just published an interview with its editor, Dean Baquet. You, everyone needs to read it. I’m want to minimize commentary, because I think–I think–that the interview  speaks eloquently for itself. What it says, amazingly, is that the New York Times is exactly as biased and partisan as its critics have said it is, and yet is somehow both in denial and incapable of making  coherent statements adequate to the task of fooling anyone who isn’t already on the “team” and committed to its mission. That the paper would subject its own editor to an interview—the interviewer is ex-BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith–that exposes the Times’ unethical manipulation of news and reveals the Times’ own editor as a babbling, rationalizing, spinning and obfuscating fool is incomprehensible.

And the Times published it! How can that be explained? Did the paper want to confess? That can’t be it. Is the Times so completely delusional that they don’t see how awful and incriminating Baquet’s answers are, that they are signature significance for an editor of exactly the kind of newspaper those who resent American journalism turning into partisan propaganda have been saying it is?

Is Baquet, who had to approve this, that certain that his readers have been so corrupted, or are so gullible, that they wouldn’t derive the obvious conclusion from his  double-talk?  Really?

One exchange is sufficient to make the point. Here Smith asks about the fiasco Ethics Alarms covered here, when the Times wrote, of its investigation of Tara Reade’s allegations, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”

Smith: I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” Why did you do that?

Baquet: Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.

“The campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct.” This was left in the interview! The statement means the New York Times was coordinating its reporting of a serious  charge against against the presumptive challenger to President Trump with that challenger’s campaign, and now sees that kind of—shall we say collusion?—as so routine that the editor doesn’t even think it’s damning. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month, “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias” Division–And This Is A Classic!—The New York Times

…and by the way,

KABOOM!!!!!

“We found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Biden, beyond hugs, kisses, and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.”

—-The New York Times, in the course of its long -awaited  reporting on Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault against Joe Biden. No, really, they really tweeted this. They really did. I wouldn’t make that up…they DID! I’m not kidding! See…?

The right hand side is what you got after the Times figured out that their outrageous pro-Democratic Party bias was not just showing, as it always does, but blinking on and off in blinding neon lights, accompanied by sirens.

No other allegations? Since launching his Presidential bid, , eight women have alleged that Biden either touched them inappropriately or violated their personal space, You know, like this…

In response, Biden issued a classic “non-apology apology,” then later said that he was “not sorry for anything I’ve ever done.” He has also been criticized for commenting on the sexual appearance of young girls and women while campaigning.

In a 2019 article, the Times  wrote that “Biden’s Tactile Politics Threaten his Return in the #MeToo era,” but that was when the paper was pushing Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Now they are stuck with Biden, just like their party.

I suppose it is obligatory to note the  Times emphasized the importance of believing women who accuse powerful men of sexual abuse when the one so accused was a conservative federal judge who did not have a voluminous photographic record of him sniffing, touching, hugging, kissing and groping women in the recent past.

You know, I’m rapidly reaching the point where I’m not going to be patient, civil or understanding—they are hopelessly biased, after all, ergo stupid—when progressives deny  mainstream media bias in the face of this kind of despicable journalism. It’s reaching the Orwellian point of “War is Peace.” It’s also “jumboing’—in fact, I am hereby creating the verb jumbo, meaning to lie to someone’s face, asserting something to be true when the evidence that it is not true is obvious and undeniable. It’s also evidence of ethics rot,

The gloves are off. This was the tipping point.