Horrible Thought: The Last Unethical Act Ever?

Asteroid coming

From antic conservative talk radio host Chris Plante comes this horrible thought, just expressed on his morning show in Washington D.C. :

How do we know NASA,  in the grand tradition of former official Jon Harpold–quoted as arguing in 2003 that if their flight were doomed by an unrepairable  heat shield flaw, the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia shouldn’t be told of their certain deaths and be allowed to burn up upon re-entry, quickly and humanely— isn’t lying to us about today’s near-miss with an asteroid?

“Maybe the Obama Administration, in its infinite wisdom, has determined that it’s best that we not know the the truth, which is that the asteroid is going to hit the Earth and we’re all going to die,” Plante said.


For the record, if true, this is completely unethical.

I thought you should know.

Thanks for everything.



Spark: Chris Plante

Graphic: Oh, what the hell difference does it make now? I’m headed to Boston to say goodbye to Fenway Park.

Conservative Talk Radio’s Foolish Hypocrisy

The ever-reasonable Tammy Bruce

It’s early yet, and in fairness, I can’t say for certain that all the conservative talk radio hosts will be echoing what I’ve heard today from two of them, but if someone offers you that bet, take it. I get to monitor the Right’s talkers when I’m driving around, which is too often, and I will usually get to sample the day’s rantings from Chis Plante, Laura Ingraham, Rush, Hannity, Mark Levin, and when my gag reflex is under control, Michael Savage. Except for Savage, who resides on his own, hateful planet, the others seem to operate off of common talking points, usually cribbed from the Drudge Report. Based on what I heard on Plante’s and Ingraham’s shows, today’s prime topic is yesterday’s shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council, and specifically 1) how the media is downplaying it because a conservative group was the target, 2) how nobody is blaming inflammatory anti-conservative rhetoric for the shooting, in contrast to the media reaction to the Tuscon shooting and the recent massacre in the Sikh temple, and 3) how the media should be.

Fascinating. Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: DC Radio Talk Show Host Chris Plante

“(MSNBC host) Chris Hayes is like (MSNBC host) Rachel Maddow, but with a smaller penis.”

—-WMAL syndicated conservative radio talk show host Chris Plante, riffing on the anti-Fox MSNBC’s new star, Chris Hayes.

Gee, Chris, do you REALLY want to emulate Bill Maher?

As someone who often talks extemporaneously for a living, and who has slammed both legs up to the hip into my mouth more than once, I am genuinely sympathetic to the perils faced by radio and TV talk show hosts who have to be edgy, insightful and witty for three hours a day without a script, knowing that words, once out of their mouths, are irretrievable, and can lead to career meltdowns with the speed of Chernobyl. It’s a tough job that is akin to walking a high wire over a pit of crocodiles, and I usually have great sympathy for those who fall.

But there is no excuse for this. Continue reading

Herman Cain’s Unethical Abortion Doubletalk

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain’s explanation of his position on abortion while chatting with CNN’s Piers Morgan is causing his growing legion of fans and supporters discomfort, and with good reason. It was ethically incoherent at best, unethical at worst. In either case, his comments show that he hasn’t devoted sufficient serious analysis to the issue to allow him to have a responsible and consistent approach. That is status quo for most Americans. It is not acceptable for a President of the United States.

Here is the relevant section of the interview (emphasis mine):

PIERS MORGAN: Abortion. What’s your view of abortion?

CAIN: I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances. And here’s why —

MORGAN: No circumstances?

CAIN: No circumstances. Continue reading

One More Reason To Defund NPR, or “Boy, Did I Ever Go Into The Wrong Profession!”

The primary reason to end funding for NPR and PBS is that the government shouldn’t be funding competitors of private broadcasting organizations.

The second reason is that anything public broadcasting does that is sufficiently popular and valuable  (“Sesame Street,” “The Prairie Home Companion,” “Car Talk,’ et al.) will be picked up by commercial stations, and those programs that are not should not be underwritten by taxpayer dollars.

The third: NPR’s audience is narrow and affluent, and doesn’t require a public subsidy, particularly when cutting down the budget deficit is a national priority.

Finally, NPR can’t be trusted with public funds. It claims to be objective, but isn’t; it is mismanaged, and isn’t appropriately frugal with taxpayer funds.

This comes under the final category. The salaries of the top NPR talent do not reflect restraint in expending precious resources.  Continue reading

Egypt Ethics: Integrity Deficit on the Right

It has been fascinating and troubling listening to conservative radio talk-show host Mark Levin lambast fellow conservatives who have been siding with the revolutionaries trying to end the 30 year rule of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Levin argues that such support is foolish and ignorant, because there is no way for the United States to be sure that the resulting new government, even if it is more democratic than the current one (hardly a difficult bar to clear), wouldn’t be worse for the interests of the United States. Continue reading

It’s Come to This: The Schoolboard Shooter Spin Competition

The frightening incident in which a man held a Panama City, Florida school board at gun point (he was ultimately shot and killed by a security officer) is somehow being used…or is being perceived as being used…to discredit both the Right and the Left in ultra-polarized America. Yet it has absolutely nothing to do with either. Continue reading

Chris Plante and the Cupcakes: Why You Can’t Trust Talk Show Hosts

A new Gallup poll shows that the public’s trust in news media has plunged to discouraging new (but completely deserved) levels. One of the side effects of this, the inevitable and correct result of  the incompetence, arrogance and bias of journalists and editors every single day, is that the public has begun to trust even less trustworthy sources. For example, a large proportion of twenty-somethings get their primary news information from the Daily Show, which is today’s equivalent of using Bob Hope’s monologues as a current events resource. This is foolish beyond words, because Jon Stewart’s professional obligation is to be entertaining, provocative and funny, not fair, accurate, or responsible. Indeed, if he has an opportunity to make a hilarious joke and doesn’t do it because it would require distorting the truth, he’s breaching a professional duty. He’s accountable to no one; he has no ethical standards to meet. It is unfair to rely on Jon Stewart for the news. He doesn’t want your trust: don’t trust him.

Others…older, but no wiser…go to public issue talk shows as their primary news sources. These people are not journalists either. They may be lawyers, former military men, spooks, authors, agitators, stealth political candidates,  or pundits; they may also be comedians, satirists, blowhards, ignoramuses, idiots, misanthropes, radicals, cynics, phonies or bigots. Among their ranks are too many agendas to count, in addition to those they all share: they want you to listen to them and adopt their views of the world. Those agendas are not conducive to truth either.

Some of the talk show hosts are less trustworthy than others. Take Chris Plante, for example—a B-list conservative talk show host whose primary tools are smugness and mockery. Continue reading

Chris Plante and the Absurd, Illogical, and Ubiquitous “Favorite Child” Rationalization

I apologize at the outset to Chris Plante, a Washington D.C. market conservative radio talk show host, who is far from the only individual to employ the “Favorite Child” rationalization, or even its most egregious user. Just about everybody uses this logic-free argument these days; you can hear it on TV, read it in the blogosphere, and be assaulted with it by your friends. Plante was unlucky enough to have me listening to his show when he went off into a full-throated “Favorite Child” rant in response to a caller who was troubled by the fact that Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party Senate candidate from Delaware whom Plante had extolled, has a history of lying, saying strange things, and mishandling funds-–a quite reasonable concern when a candidate is running on a platform of honor, integrity, and fiscal responsibility. Continue reading