Tag Archives: “birthers”

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/4/17: The New Truthers

I have an early morning D.C. Bar program to do, and my goal of getting up at six after watching the second season of “Stranger Things” on Netflix (and waiting for someone to accuse Eleven  of sexual assault …this is how Netflix’s luck is running these days) until 1:30 am was missed spectacularly, to this is a quick ethics thought rather than a true warm-up.

The thought?

The “Russiagate” is this President’s “Birther” conspiracy, his “Truther” smear, and the 2016-17 model of “Bush stole the election.”

I realized this while reading one of our esteemed commenters who obviously believes Donald Trump made some nefarious deal with the Russians to sabotage Hillary. He really believes this. So does my sister, who I know a lot better, and has never before been prone to seeing Bigfoot under her bed or Nessie in her toilet.

This idiot also believes:

“We just have to, like the slogan says, stay woke; just stay woke, be careful, because I can see the wheels turning now…we’re marching toward impeachment, there’s no question about it. If that happens, are we prepared? Because it’s going to happen, So we have to make sure, Rev. Sharpton, that we are prepared when this happens so we don’t just wake up one day blindsided. I think it’s just going to get so tight and it’s going to close in and then everybody is going to be indicted around this president, and then he is going to realize he is probably next on the list. And I think he is going to come up with an excuse like ‘somebody is trying to kill Barron, and so I’m going to resign.’”

Who actually said this in public, so it could be recorded fr posterity? Why, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), that’s who, the objective member of the Congressional Black Caucus who the news media relied on to give an objective assessment of the tone of President Trump’s bereavement call to the widow of a serviceman killed by ISIS in Niger. Her characterization of Trump’s remarks as “insulting” and, by extension, racist, were sufficient to launch more than a week of attacks on the President’s competence and compassion.

I don’t doubt the good Congresswoman’s sincerity; I’m sure she believes this fantasy. I’m sure she believes those hats she wears aren’t ridiculous too. Nonetheless, there is no justification for her certitude, and only hate, confirmation bias and a refusal to abide by basic rules of logic cause her to believe what is now the fourth in a 17 year line of unethical partisans manufacturing a narrative to delegitimize an elected President.

Once again I am sorry that the Ethics Scoreboard is offline (I have to get around to fixing that), because in several posts there during the Bush administration I predicted where the Democratic strategy of claiming that Gore actually won Florida would lead: massive distrust, polarization, and a tit-for-tat payback cycle that would do massive harm to U.S. society. Many Democrats still claim that the 2000 election was stolen. Then the more hyper-partisan and conspiracy theory-prone of them moved on to Truther theories that Bush and Cheney somehow and for some reason engineered the 9-11 attacks.

I’ve talked to these people. I’ve read their websites. They are mad as hatters, but it all begins with the fact that they don’t trust Bush, Cheney and the Republicans because they stole the election. Actually, these crackpots have more substance to base their conviction on than the “Russiagate” theory contains. When Obama was elected, the same thing occurred: conservatives (and racists) could not accept that an inexperienced, far left ideologue like Barack Obama, with ties to America-haters like Bill Ayers and Reverent Wright, could be President. So they came up with, and many somehow believed— the Birther foolishness, easily the most absurd of the anti-President disinformation slanders yet. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, History, U.S. Society

Why It’s Unethical For Journalists To “Fact Check” Donald Trump—Especially CNN Journalists

Donald Trump

In Donald Trump’s meaningless statement yesterday, which was covered by the news media as if it was the revelation of the millennium, he  officially conceded that Barack Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen. He also used the silly media attention to drag out his announcement into a long campaign infomercial for which he didn’t have to pay a cent. Nice, and it serves the broadcast media right for giving any significance to a five-year-long trolling exercise.

Trump used the phony controversy over President Obama’s birth certificate to get publicity five years ago, because he is shameless. That’s all. Did he really think Obama was born in Kenya? Oh, who knows? He is an idiot, after all. Then again, he is a skilled professional troll. Whether he believed it or not, Trump used the issue to get attention then, and now has used his 180 degree reversal to get attention now. Obviously nothing has changed that would justify this flip-flop if he believed what he insisted was true for five years. A more transparently cynical and insincere retraction I cannot conceive. Who cares what Trump says he believes at any point, about anything?

But I digress. What really seemed to enrage the journalists who have embraced Rationalizations #28. The Revolutionary’s Excuse: “These are not ordinary times,” and #31. The Troublesome Luxury: “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now” to anoint themselves as full-time volunteer members of the Hillary for President campaign, was that Trump said this:

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Quoth the thoroughly partisan news media,

“ARRGH!!!!:

Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Professions, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump

Another Day, Another Demonstration That Donald Trump Lacks The Character To Be A Crossing Guard, Much Less A World Leader. When Do His Supporters Become Sufficiently Embarrassed?

The exchange  (from CNN, with my comments):

Questioner (in Trump T-shirt): We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.

 Trump (chuckling): We need this question. This is the first question.

Questioner (Who appears to be the human incarnation of “The Family Guy”): Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”

Trump: We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.

This is a character test that John McCain passed in 2008, when he sharply interrupted and corrected a woman who stated in a question that Obama was a Muslim, and that Bill Clinton aced by reprimanding a Truther during a post-9-11 appearance. Not Trump. He let a scurrilous accusation stand as well as the bigoted assertion that we should “get rid” of all Muslims. He displayed, as he often does, cowardice, common cause with bigots, and later, dishonesty, as he allowed his campaign to explain he “hadn’t heard the question.”

How pusillanimous, how low, how measly and pathetic. Yeccch, pooey, ick ick ick retch.

Of course, this is just throwing chum in the water for Democrats. How many Republicans will prove that they have the integrity and decency that this slime of a man so proudly lacks?  Let’s keep score.

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics

This Is NBC: With All The Ethical Reasons To Fire Donald Trump, It Picks An Unethical One

Dignity...always dignity.

Dignity…always dignity.

It has happened here with Bill Clinton, Bristol Palin, and many others: this is the downside of running a website committed to fairness. I have had to come to the defense of some very unethical people through the years, but I can’t think of anyone I detest defending more than Donald Trump.

From the AP:

“NBC said Monday that it is ending its business relationship with mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his campaign.”

Let me count the lies:

1. Anyone, including AP, who believes this is why NBC fired Trump is too gullible to function in society. He was fired because Mexico, Univision and illegal immigration advocates were threatening to make NBC’s life miserable. If what Trump said mattered to NBC, NBC would have fired him shortly after he said it.

2. Trump said nothing about Mexican immigrants. His much-maligned quote discussed illegal immigrants from Mexico “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.”  The unethical and dishonest effort by the news media to confuse the immigration issue and the crucial, material distinction between legal immigrants, whom the nation should welcome, and illegal immigrants, which it should not and must not, is more harmful than anything Trump has said on the topic.

3. The statement is deceitfully phrased to represent what Trump said as a slur on Mexicans, as a racist statement. Trump was talking about, in his typically lazy, crude fashion, our national problem of  unchecked illegals streaming across the Southern border, and the undeniable fact that this group includes criminals and rapists (like here, here, here…how many examples do you want?), as well as “good people.” Trump obviously wasn’t claiming that all illegal immigrants were criminals and rapists, because that would mean that some of the criminals and rapists would also have to be “good people.” But Mexico, which counts on us to solve their social problems for it, and illegal alien activists, who don’t want Americans to know that many of those sneaking into our country are not the salt of the earth, but quite the opposite, have successfully imposed a political correctness embargo on speaking the unpleasant truth.

Now on to the hypocrisy. NBC firing Trump is not just a little like, but almost EXACTLY THE SAME AS A&E firing Duck Dynasty’s scion Phil Robertson for public statements that were completely consistent with the reality star’s persona as A&E understood from the moment it inked a contract with him. The same is true of Trump’s trademark bluntness. The one difference: Robertson’s homophobic statements were blunt and ignorant, while Trumps statements about illegal immigrant were blunt and true. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Workplace

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Me, On the Presidential Candidacy Of Donald Trump

uncle-sam-suicide

From my post in 2011 titled, Unethical U.S. Presidential Candidacies: Is Trump’s the All-Time Worst?, which suddenly became green again in the wake of the horrifying news that The Donald is running for Presient again, for real, this time, or as close to real as Trump ever gets. I wrote:

“Donald Trump is perfectly happy to make a mockery of the presidential nomination and election processes while distorting them too. If he manages to convince enough fools to vote for him, hell, sure…he’d have a blast running for President. If his run peters out, it’s still worth lots of publicity, and increases the value of the Trump “brand.” Even the most unethical of the previous candidacies were based on a sincere, if misguided belief that the country’s welfare would be served by it. Does Trump have that belief? I wonder. No, his can’t be called the most unethical candidacy. But it is reckless, and it is intentionally appealing to the worst in 21st Century American character: fear, celebrity worship, ignorance, and materialism. Meanwhile, every second of attention his candidacy distracts from serious consideration of our nation’s leadership reduces the chances of the public doing its hardest and most important job carefully and competently.”

More heartfelt and truer words have never been composed in my brain.

You can read some selected examples of Trump’s miserable character here, and I have only scratched the surface. Every other candidate for President, including Hillary Clinton, was just elevated in stature by Trump’s announcement.

Anyone, indeed anything, looks good compared to him.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Leadership

KABOOM!* Ethics Dunce: Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch Fame

warning-brain-explosion-zone

While we are on the topic of ridiculous ideas that are a waste of energy, pixels, and hot air:

Here’s a headline from the web:…not from 2009, but from today:

“Could Barack Obama Be Deported Over Using a Fraudulent Birth Certificate? Yes, Says Former DOJ Attorney”

This is of a piece with such headlines as…

“Can World Hunger Be Solved with Edible Cotton? Yes, An Expert Believes”

“Was George Washington a Martian? It’s Possible, Historian Claims”

‘”I Am Marie Of Rumania!’ Virginia Ethicist Declares After Latest Judicial Watch Effort Causes His Head To Explode, Killing Three”

What is the matter with Larry Klayman? The former head of Judicial Watch, the conservative public interest law firm that has occasionally broken through partisan government stonewalling, has jumped the shark for all time by filing what he calls a “deportation petition” against President Barack Obama, asking authorities to begin the process of removing Obama from the country. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Kaboom!, Law & Law Enforcement

Unethical Quote of the Week: White House Spokesman Jay Carney

“We could go down the list of questions–we could say ‘What about the president’s birth certificate? Was that legitimate?’”

—–Jay Carney, in yesterday’s news media briefing, apparently suggesting that public concern with at least four episodes raising legitimate questions regarding  serious misconduct at high levels of the Obama Administration was the equivalent of “birtherism.”

Welcome to the club, Jay!

Welcome to the club, Jay!

At this point, it is fair to say that Jay Carney can no longer be expected to be honest, responsible or professional, and thus can be included among the elite class of public figures, like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Bill Maher and Newt Gingrich, to whom absurd and unethical utterances are like breathing in and out, are shameless, and barely noteworthy on an ethics blog. Unethical people say and do unethical things. That pretty much covers it.

Carney, however, is not like the others in that he speaks for the White House, and Barack Obama. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership