1 . The progressive deterioration of the ridiculous Joy Behar. It’s clear the stress of engaging in issue debates for which she lacks the temperament, the education or the necessary data is stressing out Joy. On today’s edition of The View, some studio audience members who hadn’t received the memo that they were expected to only endorse the “views” of the correct side of the political spectrum applauded guests Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle as they supported the President. Behar snapped at them, “This is not a MAGA rally!” In such places there may be technically free speech, just not free non-conforming speech without abuse.
2. This makes no sense at all, nor is it ethical. Eric Ciaramella is the so-called whistle-blower who gave Rep. Adam Schiff the wisp of an excuse he needed to manufacture Plan S for removing the President, the supposed “quid pro quo” deal to make the Ukraine look for “dirt” on Joe Biden and his son. Lots of sources have published this—heck, I have—and no one has credibly denied it. In schoolyard terms, the cat is out of the bag. Nor is it in any way illegal for a news organization to publish what is increasingly public information. Okay, say he’s the “alleged” whistleblower.
Nonetheless, a Fox News executive sent out an email ordering Fox personnel, including hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, not to mention the name on the air because the network “had not confirmed it.”
Fox News, as you know, is always so careful about the accuracy of what its talking heads say.
Fox News media ethics watchdog Howard Kurtz defended not releasing the name of the whistleblower, saying it would send a “chilling message” to whistleblowers in the future. What “chilling message?” That if you decide to fulfill your partisan goals and help your pals by trying to bring down a President with rumors and hearsay, you should have the guts to do it publicly and accept the consequences? It’s not the news media’s job to make things easy for whistleblowers, and it is especially not their job to pretend that information already being publicized is a mystery.
The background and professional connections of this “whistleblower”—he’s really a leaker—are relevant to his credibility and the legitimacy of the current impeachment push. The public has a right to know, and democracy dies in darkness. Continue reading
Fdbak, for those times you are afraid to complain about bad service. I think you need a better example for your website, Bob. Signed, Anonymous.
In writing about Talia Jane, Ethics Alarms concluded that her “open letter” to her boss at Yelp was really an career play designed to get the aspiring writer publicity and sufficient fame to exploit for her advancement. If it constituted unprofessional conduct and betrayal of trust, she really didn’t care. (Subsequent investigations of her social media activity indicate that her representations of abject poverty were less than honest). Whether this was the plan or not, her public screed, like excrement attracts flies, got her a job interview with what seems like a good match for someone with her peculiar sense of ethical conduct.
The marketing director at a Dallas startup company called Fdbak sent an invitation Talia’s way on the company’s Facebook page:
Dear Talia Jane,
I commend you for standing up for yourself, and your coworkers. Communicating directly with your CEO takes a lot of courage, especially when the subject matter is negative. I’m reaching out to you on behalf of Fdbak, Inc., a Dallas, TX based technology firm. Fdbak created a messaging app that lets you send and receive anonymous feedback to and from anyone. More importantly, you can tell your employer what you really think, without fear of retribution.
You have already been put through a tumultuous gauntlet of improper employee-employer relations, but there are many employees out there that are struggling to speak up, fearing a result similar to yours. Our goal is to provide individuals with an anonymous vehicle for workplace communication, protecting them from what happened to you. We’d love to have you on our team, helping us build a professional environment where you can speak freely and safely to anyone.
Marketing Director at Fdbak
The message is factually incorrect, and what is known in the marketing field as “bullshit.” Talia didn’t communicate directly with her CEO, or if she did, she hasn’t said so. She communicated indirectly and publicly, using a medium, “Medium,” that it was a fair guess that her boss never used or read. So why is Fdbak extolling her unethical open letter and misrepresenting it? Simple: the company, a start-up, is trying to hitchhike on her 15 minutes of fame before it expires, even though her conduct doesn’t really fit.
‘Uh, Bob? She didn’t get fired for communicating directly with her boss. She got fired for embarrassing the company by attacking it in public.’
I now know this is a sleazy company aborning, and so should you.
No, this isn’t about “the bloody sock.”
When Curt Schilling found his teenage daughter the target of obscene tweets from anonymous Schilling haters —he annoys vengeful Yankee fans because he led the historic Boston comeback from a 0-3 deficit that humiliated their team in 2004, deranged Democrats because he is a Republican, anti-Christian bigots because he is openly devout, and there was that scandal involving his game company blowing through millions of taxpayer dollars bestowed on it by Rhode Island —he got both mad and even, tracking down their identities, and exposing them and their filthy cyber-bullying on his personal blog. He apologized to his daughter for prolonging her embarrassment, saying,
P.S. Gabby I know you’re likely embarrassed and for that I apologize,” he wrote. “But as we have talked about, there is no situation ever in your life, where it’s ok for any ‘man’ to talk about you, or any other woman this way (and truth be told no real man would ever talk this way anyway). It truly is time this stopped.”
Several of Gabby’s tormenters felt her famous father’s wrath in substantive ways. In the aftermath of Schilling’s counterattack, Adam Nagel was suspended by Brookdale Community College, where he’s a student and a disc jockey, and Sean MacDonald was terminated by the Yankees, where he worked as a part-time ticket seller. The ex-pitcher noted that several athletes who slimed Gabby Schilling were punished by their coaches.
Wrote the avenging father on his blog, Continue reading
“Here you go, Dean. Now: what did Robin Williams share at your AA meeting?”
Alcoholism is a national scourge that destroys lives, families and businesses, and often kills both sufferers and those they interact with. It it is incurable. One of the few effective methods of keeping alcoholism under control is the Twelve Step program developed by Bill Wilson in the 1930s, and taught by the organization he founded, Alcoholics Anonymous. Millions of Americans attend AA meetings every day, including many who are very close to me.
Dean Kendrick works for CBS affiliate KPIX-5 in San Francisco, and he’s apparently an Alcoholic Anonymous member. This means that 1) we shouldn’t know he’s a member, and 2) especially that he shouldn’t be revealing, especially on television, that anybody else is a member, and 3) he absolutely should not be revealing what someone said or how they acted at a meeting he attended, and 4) this even applies to Robin Williams, dead celebrity that he is. Continue reading
A heroic and ethical snack…
One way I can always start an argument on Ethics Alarms is to state my position that willfully breaking the law is per se unethical as a breach of citizenship. Like all rules, however, this one has exceptions. Dick Masten, the Director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, recently demonstrated one of them.
The former police chief was ordered by Judge Victoria Brennan to reveal the name of a tipster in a cocaine possession case, State vs. Lissette Alvarez. Alvarez was arrested in 2013 and charged with cocaine possession. Brennan called for Masten to come into court and confer with her in chambers regarding the case. Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers sparked the eventual arrest after getting information from a tipster who was assured anonymity. Alvarez’s attorney insists that the tipster’s information is part of the evidence against his client, saying, “Ms. Alvarez, in this case, has every right to confront her accusers. But more particularly in this case, it’s not the accuser, but the evidence that the State will use against her.”
Ordered by the judge to reveal the name of the tipster, Masten, insisted that he couldn’t divulge information to be reviewed in closed court that might be discoverable as evidence. “There is a possibility that looking at certain documents, a defendant could work that case backwards and put the tipster at peril, and I’m not gonna let that happen,” he said. In a dramatic touch, Masten swallowed a slip of paper that held the tipster’s name. “What is personal to me, is the promise,” Masten said before his ethical snack. “Some of these tipsters could end up dead. Not on my watch.” Continue reading
“Dear Mr. Marshall: Don’t you find it odd that in one post you condemn theater critics for coming to review a play uninvited, yet slam a restaurant owner who exposes the identity of a restaurant critic trying to review his establishment surreptitiously? Why are consumers served by secret food reviews, but not by secret show reviews? This is why people hate people like you.” Continue reading
Red Medicine is a Beverley Hills restaurant; Noah Ellis is the owner. S. Irene Virbila is the Los Angeles Times restaurant critic, who, like most U.S. food critics, works at staying anonymous, which she had successfully done for sixteen years. Not being recognized served the needs of diners, who want to know what the food and service is likely to be at an eating establishment when the customer isn’t preparing to write a critique that can make the difference between a restaurant’s long-term success or failure.
Last week, Noah Ellis intentionally destroyed Virbila’s ability to perform this service, or at least made it more difficult. Continue reading
Being slammed left, right and center, the unprincipled gossip site Gawker, which published a slimy kiss-and-tell account by an anonymous creep who shared a night of passion, if not as passionate as he expected, with Christine O’Donnell, issued its official defense. It can be summarized as “she’s a judgmental, hypocritical prude and she deserved it,” which is really a stand-in for the real motive, which does something like, “we’d publish the private secrets of our own grandmothers if it would get us more traffic.”
The hypocrisy argument is nonsense. Continue reading
It is hard to find words to describe the despicable act of Dustin Dominiak, who wrote an odious kiss-and-tell piece entitled “I Had a One Night Stand With Christine O’Donnell.”
O’Donnell, the odd-ball, unqualified Republican candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Delaware, hardly possess the kind of potential for civilization-destroying evil that might support an argument for doing anything short of assassination to stop her ascent to power. Her candidacy is toast; she has become a political punch line, and has earned it. She has thoroughly proven her own unfitness to serve with a series of dumb comments, embarrassing campaign moments, and a ridiculous ad campaign. Still, she is a human being, and unlike another self-immolating Tea Party favorite, New York’s gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino, she seems to be a pretty nice one.
There can be no justification for Dominiak’s essay, which describes the kind of awkward social interaction between singles that must go on a million times any day of the week. Continue reading
I would not have been able to resist giving the the Unethical Website title to Gizmodo [see previous post] unless there was a more typical candidate (as in “not criminal”) available. Thanks to a tip from Ethics Alarms quote-maven Tom Fuller, I give you Eater.com. It hasn’t stolen anything. It just sold out the interest of its own readers—lovers of fine foods and patrons of excellent restaurants—for a splashy feature destined to attract a flood of traffic, and to stick a knife in the backs of its competition. Continue reading