Tag Archives: accounting ethics

2017 Oscar Ethics Post Mortem

There were more ethics-related events and issues at the last night’s Academy Awards than usual, and that’s an understatement;

1. Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars’ designated Johnny Carson this time around, automatically gave the ceremonies the stench of ethics blindness by his very presence. Kimmel, as this site has documented, delights in provoking parents to be cruel to their young children so he can present YouTube videos of the kids’ despair for his audience’s amusement. Kimmel, of course, being bereft of shame or decency, was the perfect choice to execute the Academy’s second most important mission of the night, which was insulting the President of the United States in an international broadcast. He did not fail his dark masters. One well-publicized “quip”:

“Maybe this is not a popular thing to say, but I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That’s gone, thanks to him.”

Actually, the Oscars are racist, or at least racially biased, as we shall see, and there is proof. I’d like Jimmy to show me the evidence that the President is racist, however, other than the “resistance” talking points he gets in his e-mail.

2. More Kimmel: in a typical Kimmel “human beings are just props to me!” bit, he arranged for a group of unsuspecting tourists to be taken on a Hollywood bus tour that ended up at the Oscars.  The group was escorted through the back doors of the Kodak Theater with no idea what was in store, as  Kimmel had the house lights turned down. When the tourists—Awww, ordinary slobs! Look, Meryl! The little people!”—opened the doors to the stage, the lights came up and all the stars shouted, “Mahershala!” The tourists’ shocked, ope mouthed expression were broadcast live to the world, as their Hollywood betters laughed.

This is called exploitation, and using unconsenting human beings as a means to an end.  Jimmy thinks its funny. Kant didn’t. I think it’s sometimes funny, and always unethical. Candid Camera asked for written consent before broadcasting its victims’ amusing reactions to gags like this.

3. Mel Gibson, justly nominated for his direction of “Hacksaw Ridge,” which also was nominated as Best Picture, sat up front. The Daily Beast tweeted “For Shame!” when the film won a statuette for editing, which it deserved. Let’s see: the theory is that the talented film editor should be snubbed for his work because Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite?  Yes, that’s the theory. The Beast’s Amy Zimmerman wrote a pre-Oscar hate piece on Gibson, which really and truly contained these two sentences:

Hacksaw  tells the story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who enlisted as a battlefield medic during World War II. Of course, any drama that Gibson directs pales in comparison to his own behind-the-scenes odyssey: the story of an odious individual who, after years on the outskirts of Hollywood, has somehow managed to fight his way back into the mainstream.

That’s right: Amy Zimmerman thinks that the story of a religious man who volunteered to serve as a combat medic despite refusing to carry a rifle and who saved 76 wounded soldiers by dragging them to safety under enemy fire by lowering them, one by one,  on a rope device he improvised on the spot, thus winning the Medal of Honor, pales in comparison to Mel Gibson’s PR problems.

Have some damn respect for those who did risked their lives incredible things so hacks like you can write garbage like that and be paid for it, you stupid, stupid fool. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Professions

Memorial Ethics, Part Two: The Betrayal of 9-11 Donors

Where's the money going? Sometimes the charity has no idea.

A decade later after the attack on the Twin Towers, an Associated Press investigation has revealed wide-spread incompetence, dishonesty and waste among the many 9-11 memorial charities set up in the wake of the tragedy.

“There are those that spent huge sums on themselves, those that cannot account for the money they received, those that have few results to show for their spending and those that have yet to file required income tax returns. Yet many of the charities continue to raise money in the name of Sept. 11,” reports the AP. Among the fiascos recounted in the report:

  •   An Arizona-based charity raised $713,000 for a 9/11 memorial quilt that was supposed to be big enough to cover 25 football fields. Instead, there are only several hundred decorated sheets packed in boxes at a storage unit. One-third of the money raised went to the charity’s founder and relatives, according to tax records and interviews. Charity founder Kevin Held spent more than $170,000 of the donated money on travel since 2004, seldom traveling without his two Alaskan malamute dogs. Continue reading


Filed under Finance

Ethics Quote of the Week

“One of my students this year has a vaguely Hispanic name but is literally the whitest girl you’ve ever met. Her mother straight out asked, ‘If we mark she’s Latino on the application, is that something that they would ever challenge?’ I told her honestly my best guess, which was no. And, if early admissions are any indication, it seemed to work.”

—-A  guidance counselor (and former Ivy League admission officer) at a private school in the South, quoted by Kathleen Kingsbury in her report for The Daily Beast on dubious college admission tactics.

This, of course, is completely unethical for both the student and the counselor, who is exactly like a tax attorney or accountant who lets a client know that his fraudulent return will almost certainly not be audited by the I.R.S. Both of those professionals violate their ethics codes by aiding and abetting such conduct, and the quoted counselor is just as bad.

What should the counselor have said? Continue reading


Filed under Education, Ethics Quotes, Family, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, U.S. Society