Soccer, Civility, And Mexican Fan Ethics

During Mexico’s matches at the Gold Cup, the regional championship soccer tournament being played across the United States this month,  Mexican fans have been chanting the word “puto,” typically a slur used in Mexico to mock  gay men. The chant has become routine at Mexican national team soccer matches, and officials and many fans are embarrassed by the vulgarity and homophobic innuendo. Soccer officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have warned and fined Mexico eight times already, but the chant survives. Gold Cup Tournament organizers asked players to read a pledge urging fans to set a civil a example for children. Security officials were authorized to eject fans who shouted it. They even installed a technical device to block the chant from being audible in TV broadcasts.

Never mind. Fans are still bellowing the anti-gay slur at opposing teams and players, maybe more enthusiastically than ever. What’s a soccer federation to so?

For the Confederations Cup in Russia last month, the FIFA tried to get tough and announced a three-step program to discourage the chant. The first response to “Puuuuut000o!” was  a public address announcement at the stadium, warning fans to stop or else.  If the chant continues, which it will and did,  the referees can stop the match until the chants subside. That won’t work either. I know fans. They will think that letting the game start and then having to be halted again because of what someone yells is hilarious. Finally, if all else failed, the referee can go nuclear and stop the match completely, sending everyone home. Continue reading

My Mistake! I Thought Having Trump As President Would Teach Our Kids To Be Uncivil, Vulgar Assholes…I Didn’t Foresee Anderson Cooper Helping Out

[The title above is a reference to this post from last year, in case you missed it despite my linking to it just about every other day since…]

On the May 19, 2017 edition of Anderson Cooper 360, the CNN host became frustrated with President Trump’s flack Jeffrey Lord—consider him this President’s less slick version of Lanny Davis or less repulsive version of Paul Begala—-as Lord defended the President’s alleged description of former F.B.I. Director James Comey as a “nut job,” leading to this immortal exchange.

Cooper: If he took a dump on his desk, you would defend it.

Lord: What? [Starts laughing.]

Niiiiice! So professional! So respectful to the President of the United States and any CNN viewers left who have a shred of civility, decency, and sense of  etiquette in public discourse!

So disgusting.

As we know, a back-up weekend weatherman who said this about the  previous President or any before him would have been fired before he finished the 7 day forecast. Cooper, however, is permitted this gutter level breach of courtesy and professionalism, because 1) as CNN’s star, he is held to a lower standard (The Star Syndrome) than weekend weathermen, as we saw in when Cooper smirked and joked with Rachel Maddow about the gay term “teabagger” in order to mock the Tea Party movement,  2) CNN has normalized blatant partisan gestures and outbursts by its talking heads, and 2) this President of the United States  has been found  unworthy of respect and courtesy, or professional journalism standards. CNN will do nothing to discipline Cooper or send te message that his conduct is unacceptable, because the dirty little secret is that as long as President Trump is the target, it is acceptable. At this point in its devolution, CNN is cheerleading what has been accurately called a slow-motion attempted coup by the one-time news network’s party of choice. A Harvard media study released last week showed CNN to be the most unbalanced of all major news outlets in its reporting on the President’s first 100 days, with 97% of its coverage negative in substance or tone.

Cooper later apologized to Lord in the segment, saying, “I like having your voice on here and I think you’re an important voice to have, so I’m sorry I was a little crude. And you defend the president very well, and that’s your job.”

A little crude? Continue reading

Update On Stephen Colbert’s “Cock Holster” Slur: Questions Answered Regarding The Comic, CBS, His Fans And Supporters…And The News Media

As discussed here yesterday, Stephen Colbert strung a gross, vulgar, precedent-shattering string of ugly ad hominem insults against the President of the United States this week, a volley that included the homophobic slur “cock holster,” insinuating, because such an image is so hilarious, that the leader of his country fellates Vladimir Putin. Last night he answered the collective criticism. Here is what he said, and said with the repulsively smug “aren’t I clever and amusing!” smirk that has always made this comic hard to watch for me (Samantha Bee does the same thing). As a professional director, I think it’s bad technique, and hackish. But I digress…back to Colbert:

“I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!!…Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. So at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight…While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be.”

Then he pandered to the critics who condemned his “cock holster” joke as homophobic by blathering briefly about how anyone who expresses love for any human being is a “hero” [Translation: “I love you all, Gay Progressives! Don’t be mad at me! Remember when you got mad at Alec Baldwin for calling a photographer a cocksucker? You forgave him because he votes for the right party, and so do I! “], and introduced gay actor Jim Parsons, who plays the uber-nerd in “Big Bang Theory” to prove it.

What did this moment tell us about Stephen Colbert?

Stephen Colbert doubled down on using the phrase cock holder on the air in a high profile network show. He did not apologize or retract the worst vulgarity that has ever been allowed to go out to millions on a pre-taped network show, and that record-worst vulgarity was directed at the President of the United States, who, like it or not, is the representative of our democracy world-wide and who, like it or not, carries the mantle of all who preceded him.

Colbert’s  justification for this is that the President insulted Colbert’s “friend,”  “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson [if you believe that Colbert and Dickerson are any more real friends than Colbert and the CBS cafeteria ladies, I have a bridge to sell you], so this justified exporting obscenity, uninvited, into millions of American homes, and further polluting political discourse and civil society.

This is signature significance. Stephen Colbert is an irresponsible, hateful, fame-addled, unprofessional asshole without the decency or ethical awareness to know when he has crossed a big, bold, long-standing cultural ethics line, or the courage to accept responsibility for it. His ethics ignorance was on display in his scripted–scripted! Like “cock-holster,” somebody was paid to write this garbage—comments. He expressed or embraced the unethical logic of Rationalizations #2, 7, 13, 14, 19A,  52,  and more.

Revealingly, Colbert, an alleged comedian, did not cite #54, The Joke Excuse, though as a holder of the Jester’s Privilege, that one was properly available to him. This signaled that Colbert was NOT joking, but being genuinely and intentionally hateful and insulting the President of the United States in as gross and demeaning a manner as he could, and that he meant it. Well, that’s an abuse of his position and the platform provided to him by CBS.

Meanwhile, Colbert stacked all of his chips on  Rationalization #11. The King’s Pass, The Star Syndrome, or “What Will We Do Without Him?” He knows he can get away with conduct that would get lesser lights suspended or fired, so, like all organization high-performers who double as ethics corrupters, Colbert acted accordingly. Not only that, he gloated about it. “See? Can’t fire ME!”

There needs to be a special word for “contender for king of the assholes.”

On the plus side for Ethics Alarms, Colbert did give me a new Rationalization for the list, which I will add today: “The Pest’s Justification.” That’s when misconduct and abuse is justified because the abuser is less powerful than the abused. Abuse is abuse. “He can take care of himself” is not a justification.

Finally, the statement that he would change “a few words” is cowardly and slimy, displaying the character of a banana slug. Why would you change those words, Asshole? Because they got you in trouble? Why were they “cruder than they needed to be”? Needed to be for what purpose? If you won’t apologize for using those words, then say what the words are, again, right here, so we don’t think  you meant “Pricktator.” Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: “Late Show” Host Stephen Colbert

“The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”

Comic Stephen Colbert, in the climax to an anti-President Trump hate-rant, on CBS’s “Late Night”

Ten points regarding Colbert setting several new lows for network fare, in entertainment, in comedy, and in political discourse:

1. “Cock holster,” needless to say, all by itself and without context, is gutter language. It does not belong in network TV monologues. It does not belong at the dinner table. You would not, if you had an atom of respect, common sense, dignity or decorum, use the term as a guest in a home,  in the workplace, in a conversation with your mother, in a conversation with a stranger, or in an exchange with someone within earshot of a child. There is no excuse for using such a term in public, and anyone using such a vulgar phrase in metaphorically littering our civic and cultural environment.

2. Colbert is a performer on a network TV show. The fact that it is on late at night is no mitigation of the ugly conduct here, just a rationalization (#22): at least it wasn’t on “Sesame Street.” Once, the four major TV networks, especially CBS, the Tiffany Network, the network that fired the Smothers Brothers for being excessively disrespectful to President Lyndon Johnson, had departments of standards and practices whose job it was to keep their bonds of trust with the American public that once invited into the collected homes of the nation, they would not abuse the privilege.

Stephen Colbert abused the privilege, and did so deliberately and flagrantly.

3. CBS, as a (once) respectable, responsible cultural leader and communications icon was obligated to suspend Colbert immediately.

If he had made such an ugly comment about Barack Obama, CBS would have done so. If a late night host had made such a comment about any previous President, it would have done so. (If he had made such a comment about President Hillary Clinton, Colbert would have been fired.) It should make no difference to CBS’s assessment of its obligations that it may calculate that a sufficient number of CBS audience members are poisoned with hate and have the manners and tastes of crude lowlifes. The network’s role in society is to maintain and even elevate our cultural standards, not to accelerate their degradation. Continue reading

UPDATE: The DNC “Apology” Is Even Worse Than I Thought! NOW You Get The Kaboom. KABOOM!

Kaboom Red

 Well, she got me!

The utter dishonesty of the Hillary Clinton-dominated Democratic National Committee finally made my head explode, earning the Ethics Alarms KABOOM designation, and also gratitude from the makers of Scott Paper Towels.

I posted  on the deceitful DNC non-apology apology reported last night as the party’s  response to the Wikileaks revelation that the Debbie Wasserman Schultz-led, Hillary Clinton-supporting staff of the Democratic National Committee was actively assisting Clinton’s campaign and colluding to undermine that of her sole challenger for the nomination, Bernie Sanders. My conclusion was that by apologizing for “the e-mails” and “remarks” instead of acknowledging and apologizing for what those e-mails and remarks signified, the DNC was cynically pretending to be sorry while actually deflecting attention away from its real betrayal.

It was worse than that.

When I wrote this, I was not aware of the recent discovery of anti-gay and homophobic comments in the DNC e-mails, though the DNC surely was. For example, there were exchanges like this (from The Daily Caller): Continue reading

Theater Ethics: The Big Daddy Affair

"Yes, why DON'T you want to make love to a young Liz Taylor, Brick? I've been wondering about that myself..."

“Yes, why DON’T you want to make love to a young Liz Taylor, Brick? I’ve been wondering about that myself…”

It is convenient when the perspectives of my longtime dual personas as a stage director and an ethicist are simultaneously relevant, so I couldn’t pass up this juicy story.

From the LGBT blog of the LA Weekly:

A Southern California production of the Tennessee Williams classic “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” was canceled today after a homophobic outburst in the audience led to a physical confrontation, the firing of an actor, and an apparent cast revolt….the Repertory East Playhouse… announced in a statement today that the run of the play was “suspended” …as a result of “cast members leaving the show with no time to adequately re-cast their parts … “[A] man in the audience was allegedly drunk and heckling the performers during Saturday night’s performance….The heckling had been building up, …with whistling and cat-calling aimed at the character Maggie, as if the heckler and his friend “were at a strip club.”….at the moment Brick is asked why he rejected a kiss from Maggie….the heckler called out something like, “Because he’s a fag,” according to the director. At that point the actor playing Big Daddy, John Lacy, went into the audience to confront the man…”

“It was almost like he [Big Daddy] was still in character,” another actor told the LA Weekly blogger, Dennis Romero. He and a third actor then left the stage, and helped subdue the drunken audience member and his friend. Apparently the audience applauded the scene—does this remind anyone else of “My Favorite Year”?—and the play continued. Said a cast member: “The rest of the play has more resonance than ever.”

The theater fired Lacy after the show.  Anton Troy, the actor playing Brick who had been heckled, then announced on Facebook that he was quitting the production in protest, saying in part, “I will not support homophobia or an establishment that doesn’t support its talent. Hate in any form is not something I choose to subscribe to. John is a seasoned professional and an honorable man. It should never escalate to a point where the talent has to handle an unruly drunk in the audience themselves regardless of the outcome. Producers dropped the ball..”

Other actors quit the production as well, and the entire run, which was to have included a tour, was cancelled.

Wowsers.

Here are some ethics observations: Continue reading

The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, Cultural Pollutor…But Only One Among Legions

Interestingly, THIS grove understands ethics better than Lloyd.

Interestingly, THIS grove understands ethics better than Lloyd.

There are three primary reasons the United States of America is getting steadily disoriented, more gullible, less discerning, cruder and unethical. The first is that our leaders now only care about maintaining power, where once  leaders tended to their duty of being what John Adams called America’s aristocracy. Such leaders, not too long ago, modeled the best values and behavior for the public because they carried the most crucial responsibilities, and thus had to be trustworthy. They understood this obligation was theirs because they had the most visibility, and recognized that this demanded positive, admirable, virtuous public behavior. Now our leaders use sophisticated modern marketing techniques to package themselves and ideas like a phony weight-loss remedy, gradually dropping the facades once they are too entrenched to remove. The dispiriting journey make us cynical, less civically involved, and confused. Continue reading

Three Case Studies In Ethics Obtuseness: The Sheriff, His Victim, And The Hollywood Loudmouth

Hear-No-Evil-See-No-Evil-Speak-No-Evil

These Ethics Dunces  don’t get it, and probably never will.

There is nothing quite as frustrating as the ethics offender who receives a clarion lesson in response to the wrongful conduct, and completely misses the point:

Case Study #1 : Alec Baldwin

The serial loudmouth actor, who alternates between banal progressive nostrums and outbreaks of public violence, verbal abuse and denigrating slurs, was inexplicably addressing a gathering of ServiceSource International Inc. employees in the aftermath of his suspension by MSNBC for calling a photographer a “cocksucking fag” and getting caught on video in the process (the network was trying to make sure the actor understood that it was harmful to have one of its show hosts denigrate a strong demographic slice of their viewing audience, and that in the future he should confine his outbreaks of vile language to calling for conservatives to be defecated in and upon). ServiceSource CEO Michael Smerklo, having already booked Baldwin, said that Baldwin’s  insult to  gays created  one of the toughest decisions in his career. Hmmm… pay Alec Baldwin lots of money to impart his wisdom to a tech firm’s employees, or spend the money on something more worthwhile, like, say Cheetos. Wow. What a quandary. And why did the CEO think that Baldwin’s wisdom was worth imparting? CBS says: Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Alec Baldwin’s Employer, Whomever It May Be; Currently, This Means MSNBC President Phil Griffin

When MSNBC journalists attack!

When MSNBC journalists attack!

How is it that the old saw goes? “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me; Fool me 3,256 times, I’m an idiot”? Something like that.

Actor Alec Baldwin has proven by his actions and words, over and over again and beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is a foul-mouthed, hair-pin tempered bully with poor impulse control and the flattest of learning curves. I could list the impressive number of incidents that he has been involved in making that statement beyond debate, from a leaked phone voice message of him verbally abusing his daughter, to his tirade against a airplane stewardess who dared to ask him to abide by the rules of the air and stop playing a game on his Iphone, to obnoxious tweets that have led him to suspend his account more than once. Lately, his specialty has been hurling anti-gay slurs at photographers. Baldwin has been in the public eye for decades, and knows how celebrity works, but either doesn’t care, or can’t help himself. He has also paired his atrocious behavior with the outspoken progressive tirades and half-baked opinions of a man who is nowhere as smart as he seems to think he is.

The latter, of course, has saved his career from one way ticket to Mel Gibsonville. As gay conservative-turned-liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote after Baldwin’s latest fiasco, Continue reading

“Alleged” News Bias: ABC’s David Muir Joins The The Hilaria Baldwin Ethics Lionel Wreck

Gomez-s-Train-Wreck-addams-family

All aboard!

Caught by Newbusters:  ABC’s David Muir referred to Alec Baldwin’s tweet calling Daily News reporter George Stark a “toxic little queen” as an “alleged slur,” while omitting any mention of Baldwin’s follow-up tweet announcing that the actor would “put my foot up your f–king ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.”

Alleged slur?

Baldwin’s slur isn’t alleged, it’s preserved in screen shots all over the internet. Muir’s claim that the obvious slur is only alleged can only mean “toxic little queen” in the context of an exchange alluding to the male target enjoying violent anal penetration can be reasonably interpreted as anything else. It cannot.

I didn’t notice—did ABC also refer to Paula Deen’s admitted use of the term “nigger” as an “alleged slur”? If it did, I apologize: Muir isn’t biased…he’s just an idiot, following ABC’s idiotic policy. But if it did not—-and it didn’t-–then Muir’s  effort to go easy on a fellow liberal’s bigotry is just one more of the little bits of proof of how left-biased the news media is that slips out periodically if one is objective and paying attention.

Of course, the Democrats and liberals among us who benefit from having the news slanted to support their candidates and issues only see alleged media bias when these smoking guns appear—just as Muir sees “toxic little queen” as an alleged slur.

_____________________________

Pointer and Sources: Newsbusters

Graphic: Largescalecentral