Ethics Observations On The Post-Iowa Republican Accusation Orgy

Cruz wins

A brief summary: After Ted Cruz shocked the poll-worshiping Donald Trump and the incompetent pundits with a first place finish in Iowa, and after a gentle, gracious, classy concession speech by someone impersonating Trump, subsequent days have been filled with accusations from Ben Carson that Cruz deflated the sleepy doctor’s vote total by spreading rumors about Carson dropping out of the race. Cruz apologized for his camp’s part in the confusion, but blamed CNN for misleading news reports, which were inspired by a vague tweet from the Carson camp about the candidate going home to Florida rather than on to New Hampshire, where the campaigning continues. CNN then accused Cruz of blame-shifting. Meanwhile, Trump found that impersonator and shot him, or something, and now says he will sue Cruz, or the Republican party or someone for some combination of Cruz not being a natural born citizen, his campaign’s sending out a deceptive mailer, and stealing Carson’s votes, and will demand a caucus do-over.

Observations:

1. Carson’s incompetence is at the root of this whole mess. His staff, as the caucuses were getting underway, put out an ambiguous tweet that Carson would not be going on to New Hampshire,, but was going home. Since Carson’s campaign has been falling apart in chunks for weeks now (this news today, for example) , his support in the polls has been falling, he was inert through the last debate and has no rational excuse to be running anyway, several news organizations assumed that the message meant that his withdrawal was imminent. I assumed that’s what the tweet meant. Carson’s staff is inept: that was a ridiculous tweet to make at that time. He should take full responsibility for all the confusion.

2. CNN and the various media sources that sent out tweets and statements also suggesting that Carson was quitting are also accountable for sloppy journalism. CNN is denying that its reporters gave out wrong information, but they did. First Chris Moody tweeted…

“Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.”

“Carson won’t go” to the site of the next two primaries is wrong. The word “immediately” was missing. Then CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted…

“BREAKING: @moody has learned @realbencarson will return to FL following , will not go to either NH or SC”

CNN itself tweeted this:

“After the , @RealBenCarson plans to take a break from campaigning http://cnn.it/Iowa”

CNN’s protests that Cruz is using them as a scapegoat is a lie on its face. The network and its supporters jumped the gun, and suggested that Carson was quitting without confirming this with his organization. If it had any integrity…well, we know the answer to that, don’t we?

3. I can’t let this pass: last night, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly railed at CNN, calling its defense of its reporting “ludicrous” and declaring, “That news agency screwed up big time and apparently doesn’t care.”

He continued:

“The state of American journalism is on the verge of collapse. Ideology has permeated hard news coverage and honest reporting is becoming almost scarce, especially in political circles.”

Bill O’Reilly said this. Bill O’Reilly. Continue reading

Ten Ethics Observations On Ben Carson’s Statement That A Muslim Should Not Be President

ben-carsonSunday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that a Muslim should not be President of the United States, saying that Carson “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

After that ignited the proverbial “media firestorm,” Carson went further, telling The Hill in a subsequent interview:

“I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country. Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

He qualified his objections by saying that he would have no problem with a Muslim candidate who  “publicly rejected all the tenets of Sharia and lived a life consistent with that.”

Observations:

1) Since the likelihood of a Muslim being elected President before human beings proceed to the next stage of evolution, be it brains the size of watermelons or tentacles in place of legs, this issue really isn’t about having a Muslim President. The controversy is over whether Dr. Carson is espousing bigotry, or just talking common sense, and this in turn is about the bizarre dedication of progressives and Democrats to the false proposition that Islam has nothing to do with domestic and foreign terrorism, ISIS, and world unrest. Thus such a statement is immediately condemned as fear-mongering and bigotry, and the news media and Democrats (but I repeat myself), as well as others, are behaving as if Carson said that redheads can’t be President. In general, Carson’s undiplomatic and clumsy comment—again, he has no business running for President, as he is an incompetent candidate who  has no relevant experience whatsoever—provides an easy route for Democrats and their media allies to paint Republicans as bigots. That’s what the episode is really about.

2) I will say, with absolute confidence, that no one should advocate that we put an unqualified, opinionated, politically naive, neurosurgeon in charge of this nation.  (Dr. Carson also has dead eyes. So does Scott Walker. I don’t trust leaders with dead eyes.)

3) Carson has a legitimate point buried in his statement. The strict tenets of Islam are inconsistent with American ideals and principles, among them the separation of religion and state, individual autonomy, treatment of women and acceptance of those of other faiths. Treating his comments as if they are the rantings of a mad man, as CNN’s New Day was doing this morning, is not proportional, responsible, fair or helpful. Continue reading