Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/2/2020, Part 2: It’s “Know Your American History Day”!, The Usual Ethics Mess

The theme from “Rocky” topped the charts on July 2, 1977. Remember that Apollo Creed won the fight, so maybe “Rocky” won’t be banned as racist.

1. Stop making me defend Alyssa Milano! Not that I don’t enjoy watching the obnoxiously woke being hoisted by their own petards, but the has-been actress turned Twitter scold is being accused of appearing in blackface because of this:

Alyssa is irate, tweeting at the “gotcha!” critics, “Hey, assholes! The picture is me parodying Jersey Shore and Snookie’s (cq) tan. Snookie’s tan (she is a sweetheart by the way) is worthy of parodying as is Trump’s ‘tan.'”

“Snookie,” in case you have a life and never watched “Jersey Shore,” is Italian, not black.

Milano’s defense is solid, except that her woke allies seem to regard dark make-up as Blackface when it suits their needs. Wasn’t the dark make-up that prompted the Washington Post to get a D.C. woman fired for her 2018 Halloween Party costume satirizing Megyn Kelly? What are the rules here?

2. What will it take for CNN to finally admit that Chris Cuomo is an idiot and an embarrassment to the network, his profession, and homo sapiens, and fire him? In the latest episode of “I Love Fredo,” the CNN anchor accused St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey, who used his guns to confront a mob of George Floyd protesters who had broken through an iron gate to access his private property, the “face of white resistance”  to the Black Lives Matter movement. McCloskey responded,

First of all, that’s a completely ridiculous statement. I am not the face of anything opposing the Black Lives Matters movement. I was a person scared for my life, who was protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood. I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate. I didn’t care what color they were. I didn’t care what their motivation was. I was frightened. I was assaulted and I was in imminent fear that they would run me over, kill me, burn my house.

Why wouldn’t he think that, based on what we have seen in the last couple of week?

Then Cuomo argued—he’s also a lawyer you know—that  the McCloskeys committed wrongdoing by “pointing a loaded weapon at a group of people who were walking past. They did not go up your steps. They didn’t go to your house. They didn’t touch you, they didn’t try to enter your home or do anything to your kids, but you say you were assaulted.” But it was a mob. A mob advancing on one’s home is inherently a threat.

Prof. Turley has an extensive analysis of that issue here. In one of his equivocating moods, Turley concludes, to the extent I can decypher his overly careful discussion, believes that a conviction on the facts of the case would be a long-shot at best. Continue reading

End Of Week Ethics Clean-Up!

I blame Woodrow Wilson.

I like to start the week with a clean slate, especially now, when the George Floyd Freakout finds new ways to shatter previous standards of public decorum, civic decency, and respect for nation and community. However, despite over 3,000 words in three posts today, I still had to leave several stories on the bench that I wanted to explore.

Here they are:

ITEM: “18 shot in 24 hours as spike in gun violence in NYC continues”

What a coinky-dink! As soon as  Bill De Blasio, one of those Democratic mayors that Philip Bump says did nothing to make his city more violent, disbanded the NYPD’s  anti-crime unit, the city  had an explosion of shootings. Police said a total of 70 people were shot this week, compared to 26 the same week last year.

This is what more communities have to look forward to as a result of city officials across the country putting their virtue-signaling embrace of white guilt and Black Lives Matter ahead of the welfare of citizens.

ITEM: “New Jersey politicians charged in massive mail-in ballot voter fraud scheme, face years in prison”

Of course,  corruption in New Jersey politics is hardly news, but this story is ironic as Democrats are claiming that Republican opposition to mail-in voting is motivated by a desire to suppress election participation rather than a legitimate concern about the ease of voter fraud.

“New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal charged Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-elect Alex Mendez, and two other men after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service alerted the state attorney general’s office that it had found hundreds of ballots from a special election last month stuffed in a single Paterson City mailbox,” InsiderNJ reported. According to WNBC-TV, more than 3,000 ballots were set aside over voting fraud concerns in the Paterson City Council election — 16,747 were received, but only 13,557 were accepted — meaning a whopping 19%, or nearly 1-in-5, were rejected. More than 800 of the rejected ballots were invalidated because they were found tethered together in mailboxes. This was especially significant because the margins in two of the contests were razor thin.

I had a devil of time finding out the party affiliation of the politicians charged in multiple news sources. That usually means that it’s a Democratic scandal. It was.

ITEM:Denver “proactively” removes Kit Carson statue from downtown monument ahead of protests” Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Brian Stelter

“You understand that, like, some day you’re going to regret this, right? Some day you’re going to regret this, when your kids and your grandkids look back at this time, and you use slurs and smear us as fake news to hurt news outlets. I think in 10 or 20 years if we sit down and talk about this, you’ll recognize how damaging it was to use terms like fake news, to attack journalists who are trying to do their jobs.”

—-Brian Stelter, CNN’s alleged media expert, excoriating Trump campiagn legal advisor Jenna Ellis.  on his Sunday show “Reliable Sources.”

And with that, Stelter completed an unholy CNN trinity  with Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo who have had on-air emotional outbursts and tantrums because, to put it simply, none of them are very smart or professional. The antics of all three would embarrass any legitimate, trustworthy news organization, which CNN obviously is no longer, and the fact that it continues to employ Stelter, a virulent partisan who covers for CNN’s constant journalism sins, is a smoking gun, one of many. Continue reading

“The Horror. The Horror.” How U.S. Journalism Descended To These Unethical Depths Is A Mystery, But It’s There.

I made the mistake of perusing collections of the mainstream media’s fueling of the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, and now I have to write about them. Actually, just quoting them is enough, because they speak for themselves.

1. Just to stoke the truly unhinged, CNN featured Lt. Gen. Russel Honore (Ret.), who apparently escaped from the cutting room floor of “Dr. Strangelove.” His enlightenment: President Trump might drop nuclear weapons on U.S. cities to stop the riots, saying, “Our troops need to stand steady. The Congress and the Senate need to understand, this man has control of over 3,000 nuclear weapons…”  The only responsible response to such a statement would be, “What? How did you get loose? You’re a lunatic! Get off the line!”

But this was CNN, and Anderson Cooper was in charge, so CNN just allowed this nonsense to be broadcast without objection or contradiction.

2. Guess what network featured this rant!

“I would like to tell people, man, if you gonna point a finger at the looters, the protesters, rioters, whatever you wanna call them, before you point finger at them, point every single other finger you got back at America. This is what happens when a country promises liberty and justice for all, but only gives you liberty and justice for white folks. This is what happens when one of the wealthiest countries in the world doesn’t understand the plight of the poor and the have-nots. You got 40 million people out of work, unemployment the highest it’s been since the depression era, people cooped up in the house the last few months waitin’ on stimulus checks. Yet during this whole process we continue to watch the rich get richer in this country.

“And not to mention, ain’t no good gonna come to America until they do right by black folks. Period. You can’t continue to brutalize and kill descendants of God’s children that built this country. Understand what that does to us? You know, mentally and emotionally? All this country needed was a reason. America has given black people 400-plus years of reasons to go crazy. I’m actually shocked that we didn’t snap a long time ago. 

“This country continues to deny us equality, justice and just plain decency. You know … what you have in this country right now is a perfect storm of people who are ready to burn this society of white supremacy to the ground and America earned every bit of this. …”

Give up? ESPN!

Radio host Lenard Larry McKelvey, aka “Charlamagne tha God,” of whom I was blissfully unaware until Joe Biden went on his program to announce that blacks could magically change their race by deciding not to vote for him,  was a featured guest on the “First Take,” program. That’s where ESPN stuffs its Leftists and race-baiters so they’ll do minimal damage during actual sports reporting. To be fair, there is no sports reporting, so I guess these Disney corporation outbursts of anti-white racism are, if not excusable, predictable.

3. CNN’s infantile Don Lemon continues to spew self-contradictory, hysterical gibberish, this time suggesting that by announcing that he will not tolerate rioters terrorizing our communities,  the President is declaring “war on America.”There’s really nothing further negative I can say about this epic blot on our culture, other than to  quote him: Continue reading

Ethics Observations On CNN’s Don Lemon’s Irresponsible And Unprofessional Rant

Don Lemon’s whole career is a cautionary tale on too many levels to list.  Once a  promising  broadcast journalist blessed with screen charisma and valuable tribal connections (as a black, gay man), he could have evolved into a major positive figure in  his industry. Unfortunately for him, Lemon was indulged, and pampered, and allowed to fall back on cheap emotionalism, flawed critical thinking and demagoguery, because, essentially, his ratings were good.  His performance as a CNN anchor has now deteriorated to the level of a petulant child whose parents no longer have the sense or the power to rein in his outrageous behavior.

Last night Lemon reached his professional nadir, indeed a professional nadir for all of broadcast news. The closest analogy I can think of is the fictional Howard Beale’s famous rant in Paddy Chayefsky’s masterpiece “Network,” and that was satire. One of Don Lemon’s tragedies is that he takes himself so seriously, and yet his utterances are so utterly banal and devoid of wisdom or enlightenment.

I wish I could start with Lemon’s projectile logorrhea and give it the thorough deconstruction it deserves, but I doubt many readers will be able to last until the end of his unhinged gibberish and have the energy to do anything but take a nap, or maybe an overdose of strychnine.  A competent, professional news organization would suspend or fire a host who threw self-restraint to the winds and unloaded such offal on its audience, but then, this is CNN, which has abandoned journalism standards, particularly involving Lemon.

I think the other comparison I see with Lemon’s astounding outburst is the famous dying speech of gangster Dutch Schultz. It was stream of consciousness gibberish too, but Schultz had an excuse: he had been shot, and The Dutchman was none too stable anyway.

All in all, I’d rather listen to Dutch.

Lemon’s rant is signature significance for an individual of untrained cognition and inadequate education who thinks he has wisdom to convey but doesn’t. For anyone to regard it as anything else is also signature significance, for a weak and biased mind. Here are just a few of the features worth noting…Lemon’s masterpiece will be right along.

1. Wouldn’t you expect the host of a major network’s news show to have some knowledge of history?  Lemon refers to the riots as “unprecedented.” Of course, they aren’t. The civil rights riots of 1967 and 1968 were equally destructive. The Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. The riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. These riots may be even less justifiable than some of those, but the forces at work are similar. One of the primary tools of fearmongers and demagogues is to scream, “It’s never been this bad before!” It is a naked appeal to ignorance, from the ignorant.

Later, Lemon contradicts himself and references the Rodney King riots, which tells us that he has no idea what he’s trying to say. What a pro!

2. Lemon: “Perhaps this is some sort of mechanism for a restructure in our country or for some sort of change in our country for us to deal with whatever we need to deal with in this country.” Rioting and looting is a mechanism? “Some sort”? “Whatever we need to deal with in this country”?

If you can’t add anything more trenchant than that, a) what are you doing on a news desk?, and b) shut the hell up.

3.  Lemon: “I actually don’t know — I am at a loss for words as a person sitting here guiding you through this. I really don’t know what to say at this moment except for this is America. This is where our country — this is what it has come to right now.”

What is, you babbling fool? What? If you don’t know what to say, then get off the air and let someone with the wit God gave a tortoise and the professionalism of, oh, Jerry Springer take over.  This is the equivalence of a fire fighter standing by a burning building and crying, “Oh, it’s all so terrible!” “Oh, the humanity!” would be an upgrade. “Guiding” us through this? How is this pitiful blather guidance?

4. Lemon: “This is actually quite sad to watch and it is an indication and it’s indicative of the pain and sadness in this country of people who feel they have no other alternative but to exhibit this behavior in our country. No other option. When you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to lose.” They have no other alternative but to burn down businesses and loot? Lemon is actually saying that! More facile and indefensible logic would be difficult to imagine.

5. Lemon: “We all need to come together because if we can’t live together as Americans, then what do we have? Do we even have a country anymore? This is unbelievable what is happening here. Unbelievable.”

Oh, why don’t you just start screaming and tearing at your garments, you silly, petty, impotent man?

6. Lemon: “When did this country get out of control? When did we lose control of this country? When did we cease to be a country — a group of people who wanted to at least live together in spite of the differences? Because of our differences. Isn’t that the whole reason for the thing? That we are here because we want — because we are different. That we’re supposed to try this grand experiment and let’s not forget, if anyone judging this, I’m not judging this. I’m just wondering what is going on because we were supposed to figure out this experiment a long time ago. Our country was started because — this is how — the Boston Tea Party. Rioting.”

Ugh:

  • It’s not “out of control,” you hysteric. You are.
  • You, your network and your industry have been working around the clock to divide the country since the 2016 election. How dare you ask that question?
  • The Boston Tea Party was not a riot. It was a clear-cut example of civil disobedience with a specific point of protest. . About a hundred colonists destroyed about 45 tons of tea over three hours. No buildings were burned, and no establishment was looted. I am aware of no source, contemporary or recent, that refers to the protest as a “riot.” This is the level of historical perspective CNN feeds its viewers

7. Then, of course, we get the partisan fake news. Lemon actually says that no Republicans have called for calm, despite the sentiments expressed here, here, here, here, here, and here, among many others.

Well, that’s enough for me: the thing is self-indicting, a res ipsa loquitur for the ages. Journalism just doesn’t get any more useless, incompetent, self-indulgent or unprofessional than this.

Buckle up! Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/22/2020: Well, It’s Morning To ME!

Got out of bed at 2:30 pm.

And going back as soon as I get this post up.

1. For God’s sake Amy, the narrative! Read your talking points!  The sudden front-runner to be Joe Biden’s VP had an opportunity to display some character, but whiffed. During an April 7 interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish on SiriusXM, Senator Klobuchar was questioned about the controversy surrounding hydroxychloroquine. Klobuchar Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) admitted her husband went from  COVID-related pneumonia that had him  coughing up blood to “one day, he just got better,” after he was treated with hydroxychloroquine. Did the Senator come to the Presidents’ defense thisweek when he was being accused of everything from stupidity to recklessness for taking an FDA approved drug? Of course not.

Too bad. That would make her a real asset to a Biden ticket: a shred of integrity.

2.  Attacking the messenger… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response to allegations that he had sought to have an Inspector General fired for investigating Pompeo’s various abuses of his position was to  attack Sen. Bob Menendez.

Pompeo said  that the allegations had been “leaked” to the media by staff members of Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I don’t get my ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted, a man for whom his Senate colleagues, bipartisan, basically said that he was taking bribes. That’s not someone I look to for ethics guidance,” Pompeo said.

Wow, Talk about a lame deflection. Pompeo should address the allegations against him rather than relying on ad hominem attacks on his critics.

3. From the junk science, hindsight bias files: The New York Times published the results of a study, and reported, “Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show…Even small differences in timing would have prevented the worst exponential growth, which by April had subsumed New York City, New Orleans and other major cities, researchers found.”

[Oops. Couldn’t make it through. Back to bed. I’ll be up after the jump…] Continue reading

Susan Rice Again, Part 1

Of the many important ethics developments waiting for me to get out of bed and for my brain to start functioning, I think this one is the most important right now. I’m going to have to finish it in installments, since I can only last about 30 minutes before having to rest. I apologize for the inconvenience.

What you see above is the finally completely-declassified Jan. 20, 2017 memo  Susan Rice sent to herself via email documenting a January 5 Oval Office meeting with then-President Obama and others.  January 20 was the official end date of the Obama administration, because President Trump was sworn into office that day.

[What a coincidence!]

The memo was declassified by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and transmitted to the Justice Department. Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s office, representing Wisconsin, released the memo to the news media.

Observations:

1. It was ridiculously difficult to find a complete copy of the entire memo. Almost ever source wanting describe it, when I prefer to read such things, because I don’t trust journalists or pundits, and neither should anyone.

2. Let’s refamiliarize ourselves with Susan Rice. Rice was Obama’s National Security Advisor when she wrote the email, but previously she had been named the Ethics Alarms Liar of the Year for 2014, and that wasn’t even her worst year for lying. In 2014 she earned the title for going on ABC to tell America that Bowe Bergdahl “…served the United States with honor and distinction…” Bergdalh, you may recall,  was in fact a deserter, who left his troops in Afghanistan and walked into a Taliban camp. He was eventually obtained in trade for five terrorists, all ready to kill again, in what the Obama administration regarded as a good deal.

Since Obama never had any scandals and the non-Obama-worshiping media was questioning the logic behind this, Rice was dispatched as Obama’s favorite spin-merchant to quiet the controversy her usual way, by lying, and not very convincingly either. Remember, she had already disgraced herself on September 16, 2012, when she was U.N. Ambassador and Obama sent her to all the talk shows to lie about Benghazi, since the truth was problematic and it was an election year. Rice kept repeating the script that the attack on the compound was spontaneous, was not a terrorist action, and was caused by an anti-Muslim YouTube video.

Her ABC statement about Bergdahl was too self-evidently ridiculous for even the mainstream media to swallow, so Rice was later dispatched to CNN to “walk back” her ridiculous comment, which I reacted to at the time by being glad my army veteran father hadn’t lived to hear it, since it might have killed him. On CNN she “explained” to Jim Acosta,

“…what I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing.”

This only could have meant,  1) “I think you, as a member of the boot-licking pro-Obama media, will accept this, because you pretty much accept anything if it protects The Great One,” or, 2) “We think the American public has the IQ of wood chips, and will think this makes sense,” or 3) “I, Susan Rice, have the IQ of wood chips, and really believe what I just said. Doesn’t it make you sleep soundly at night knowing that someone like me is the National Security Advisor.”

Don’t rule out #3, but #1 didn’t quite work, even with a partisan hack like Acosta, who couldn’t resist asking, “Honor and distinction?”But he allowed Rice to change the subject, and she pivoted to talking about the presumption of innocence.

I wrote at the time what a competent journalist not willing to enable such deception should have responded:

“What? Wait a minute, Ambassador Rice, you didn’t say Bergdahl was honorable. You said he served with honor and distinction. Enlisting is honorable and admirable to be sure, but service is what an enlistee does after volunteering for service. Are you saying that the act of enlisting makes a soldier’s service honorable whatever he does on the field of battle? So the soldier who went rogue and shot several of his comrades would still be, by your definition, honorable? Do you really believe that we should honor any soldier, even a deserter? A traitor? Is there anything in your definition of honorable that a soldier could do after volunteering for service that forfeits that honor?

“You also said that Bergdahl “served with distinction. “How is that covered by the mere fact of his enlisting? Do you mean “distinction” literally, as in, “not every soldier walks away from his post and gets himself captured by the Taliban”? For I agree—that’s certainly distinctive—thank God—but how is it honorable?“

Rice, I am quite certain, would have embarrassed herself with whatever huminahumina babble that direct question would have provoked, because she just isn’t that bright, which raises the questions of what Obama had her in important positions, and why she was his designated liar. Even Hillary was a better liar.

That interview got worse, believe it or not. For mere seconds after flagrantly spinning her false characterization of Bergdahl as a soldier who served “with honor and distinction,” she said,

“I’m upfront with the American people and I always do my best on behalf of my country and I do my best to tell the facts as I know them.”

That’s Susan Rice!

More to come.

 

Ethics Alarms Expresses Its Gratitude To CNN For Providing Such A Superb Illustration Of “Fake News” As I Compile The Directory Of Same

The fake news category is “polls.”

Gallup released the results of a survey in which various attitudes regarding the pandemic were explored. One question asked “How soon would you return to your normal day-to-day activities” if “there were no government restrictions,” giving respondants four options to choose among. The most popular answer was “after the number of new cases declines significantly,” getting 40% in the most recent results. The least popular answer was “after a coronavirus vaccine is developed,” with  9 %  choosing that.

Here is how CNN reported the results: Continue reading

The Ethics Alarms Directory Of “Fake News”: Prelude

The first use of the tag “fake news” on this website was on March 4, 2015. That’s more than three months before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President on June 16, 2015; the oft-published claim that Trump launched the term “fake news” to deride the news media for criticizing him and his Presidency is, ironically enough, fake news.

The 2015 piece was about CNBC publishing as legitimate news a press release by an anti-vaxx group, a category of fake news called “Hearsay news” in today’s directory to come. I posted three more articles tagged “fake news” before Trump was elected. One of them was the Mother of All Fake News episodes, when the Boston Globe hit the news stands and front walks on April 10, 2016 featuring a satirical front page with headlines about a fictional, dystopian Donald Trump Presidency. “This is Donald Trump’s America. What you read on this page is what might happen if the GOP frontrunner can put his ideas into practice, his words into action,” went the introduction. I wrote in part

This is a spectacular  failure of professionalism and a journalistic disgrace. A newspaper is pledged to report the news, not imagine it. It is not ethically entitled to morph into Saturday Night Live or the Onion because it really, really, really feels strongly about an issue….No paper published such a “future news” piece about the world under Nazi rule, or the race war if civil rights laws didn’t change. No respectable publication predicted a similar dystopian future under President Huey Long, or Joe McCarthy, or what a U.S. with open borders would look like, or what a Ron Paul style US with heroin for sale off drug store counters would lead to. That is because this means of political advocacy and commentary is reserved for the features and entertainment sections, not where facts are supposed to be, and where readers must be able to expect a reasonable attempt at truth, not a showboating effort to distort it.

The episode marked, as it turned out, the beginning of an epidemic of metaphorical canaries dying in the poisoned mine of American journalism. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Observations On A Tender, Obnoxious, Unethical Screed”

Bill Weir’s nauseating open letter to his newborn son River—GACK! ICK! BLECHHH! —- was so unethical in so many ways that I almost needed a ventilator to finish reading it. When I had finished posting on the monstrosity, I was awash with regret that I hadn’t the space nor the time to write the letter Weir should write, and was hopeful that one of the many acid-penned bards among the talented  commentariate here would take up the challenge. I was not disappointed.

Here is Steve-O-In-NJ’s Comment of the Day, one of his finest, on the post, “Observations On A Tender, Obnoxious, Unethical Screed”:

The article is utter garbage, written by someone untrained in science, but trained in making up stories. One day when River is grown up, assuming he makes it there and isn’t driven off the deep end by constant teasing, I hope he reads this article and asks him, just like Greta, “how dare you?” How dare you use my birth to push your own agenda and your employers’ agenda? How dare you plaster pictures of me as a newborn infant all over the internet where anyone can see them? How dare you reveal the circumstances of my conception to the world? I’m an individual. I am not an accessory to flash around like a new pair of sustainable dockers. I am not a prop for your causes. I am not an illustration to make a point next to pictures you cherry-picked to tell the story you wanted.

I’m not a half bad storyteller myself, and I’d tell quite a different story if a son were born to me. I always said if I had a son I’d name him Charles James, after my grandfather and father (ironically also now after two heroes of my own writing). So, if he were born, I’d say this: Continue reading