Tag Archives: cowardice

Ethics Alarm: In Memphis, Facts Are Now Racist

Infamy. I hope.

Infamy. I hope.

This truly upsetting story is in part about headlines, and I had a hard time deciding on one for the post. It makes my head explode—I am trying out a new Swiffer now—but it really shouldn’t have exploded, considering recent developments. I could name Commercial Appeal’s editor Louis Graham (left) an Ethics Dunce, which he certainly is (in addition to being a fool, a coward, and a disgrace to journalism), but that doesn’t do him justice. I thought about making his editorial apologizing for stating facts in a headline as an Unethical Quote of the Month, but this was worse than a bad quote. This was surrender.

The Memphis, Tennessee newspaper the Commercial Appeal, a Gannett publication, headlined its front page story about the attack on police in Dallas “Gunman targeted whites.” Here it is:

memphiscom headline

Indeed, African-American gunman Micah Xavier Johnson specifically said that his objective was to  kill white police officers. Nonetheless, protestors attacking the paper for publishing a “racist’ headline gathered outside the paper’s office in downtown Memphis last week. Black Lives Matter signs were in evidence.

Commercial Appeal editor Louis Graham met with protesters, and apologized with a front page editorial titled “We got it wrong.” He wrote in part… Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!, Race, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society, Workplace

Two Critical Integrity Questions For African-Americans, University Administrators, Democrats, Civil Rights Advocates, Progressives And Social Justice Warriors

Seperate-but-Equal

First question: 

Are you prepared to rationalize this?

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

UW-Madison’s Multicultural Student Center separated attendees by race to discuss a violent week of news that stirred debates about racism and law enforcement, prompting criticism from conservative news outlets that the arrangement amounted to segregation.

Campus officials said the decision to hold separate meetings Monday for white and minority students, faculty and staff was made to ensure people of color had a place to discuss their concerns, and said the rules were not meant to exclude participants.

“No one was turned away from any session,” UW-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone said in a statement.

A post that has since been deleted from the Multicultural Student Center’s Facebook page described the meetings as a place where students and UW employees could emotionally process the prior week, which included fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, followed by the targeted killing of five police officers in Dallas.

Two of the meetings were for white students and UW employees, according to the post, while two meetings were for people of color.

The Daily Caller, a national conservative news site, wrote about the meetings Monday night, posting a story that included a historic photo of a segregated waiting room sign. The site Right Wisconsin also wrote about the meetings.

McGlone said participants wanted “a space to express feelings without the fear of being judged.”

“Our students of color often find such spaces hard to come by,” McGlone said. “It is a best practice in student affairs to allow quiet and reflective space for those who request it.”

Still, McGlone said, the intent behind the different meetings “could have been communicated more clearly to avoid any impression of exclusion.”

McGlone did not respond to a followup question asking whether the Multicultural Student Center would use a similar structure for meetings in the future…

Here is a handy link to the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations List, so those of you choosing to try to justify this have all the necessary arguments in one convenient place..

The second question:

If you are not prepared to rationalize it, do you have the courage and integrity to condemn it?

Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Race, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society

Screaming At The TV In A Hotel Room…The News Media, GOP, Polls, Trump and Hillary Agree: Lies Don’t Matter!

Shrug2

I was stuck on the road without a laptop this morning, up an hour earlier than I thought I was because the hotel room clock was set an hour ahead (apparently they have double daylight savings time in Boston  now), and found myself watching one segment after another on CNN that had me by turns depressed and furious, with my head exploding repeatedly (I can’t wait to see the cleaning bill.)

1. First, there was a segment about how Hillary Clinton is attacking Bernie Sanders by saying that she supported the auto bailout, and implying that Bernie did not. As the CNN crew pointed out, Bernie opposed the bailout when it was part of the whole economic stimulus package,but voted for it, like Clinton, when it was severed from that bill. In other words, Clinton…and I know this will shock and disillusion many of you…was lying. This lie is the variety called deceit, a Clinton specialty. She doesn’t exactly say that Sanders didn’t vote for the bail-out, but that is the impression her words leave, and are meant to leave.

Get this: the reporter—I can’t find any of this exchange on the web—following Clinton’s campaign said (I am paraphrasing), “It isn’t up to Clinton to explain the nuances of his votes. That’s Sanders’ problem.”

No, you pro-Clinton hack of a lazy and ethics-challenged  parody of a journalist, it’s your problem and our problem, and because you and your Clinton suck-up colleagues won’t inform your viewers that a lie is a lie, it is a really big problem. Sanders did not oppose the auto bail-out, and Clinton, who knows that, is saying otherwise in the patented Bill and Hillary way. It shouldn’t be up to Bernie to try to unravel the deceitful false accusation; he shouldn’t have to deal with it at all, and wouldn’t if he wasn’t running against a shameless liar. I shouldn’t have to keep going on Facebook trying to explain reality to my ignorant friends who believe that Colin Powell’s handful of private e-mails during the Jurassic Period of State Department cyber-security made Hillary’s private server as pure as the ocean breeze, either. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, U.S. Society

Follow-Up On “Lying Donald vs. Lying Hillary”: Donald’s Lie Is Worse, And Here’s Why

Lie vs Lie

Yesterday I asked readers which of our “presumptive” Presidential candidates were revealed as the worst liars  last week: Hillary Clinton, whose stubborn, year long claims that she followed State Department policy in handling communications, that she turned over all of her official emails to State, and that she “never sent classified material on my email, and I never received any that was marked classified” were all shown to be false by new emails that were released to the media, or Donald Trump, who denied that he had pretended to be his own publicist in recorded phone calls unearthed by the Washington Post, despite the fact that he had previously admitted as much in court testimony under oath.

I learned several useful things from the poll results:

1. Most readers don’t bother to take polls. 

2. Clinton’s lie is overwhelmingly believed to be worse, and

3. I measure lies very differently from most people.

To me, the worst lie is the brazen denial of what cannot be denied, done so shamelessly that it sends the message is no big deal. On the old Ethics Scoreboard, I highlighted such lies as a regular feature called the David Manning Liar Of The Month, named after a now forgotten incident when Sony was caught using fake rave reviews from a made-up film critic on its ads for some really bad movies. Sony’s excuse was that since everybody knows those reviews in movie ads are unreliable, there was nothing wrong with using a fake review. Another version of the lies I hate are those labelled Jumbos on Ethics Alarms, the infamous and often funny “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” desperation excuses, like Lindsay Lohan’s “These aren’t my pants!” explanation when arresting officers found drugs in her pockets. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Jumbo

Another Day, More Lies From Donald And Hillary. Whose Are Worse? How Will Their Supporters Excuse Them This Time?

Donald and Hillary

This election is going to be something to watch, with two compulsive, shameless liars each backed by ethically inert loyalists, fighting for the biggest prize in politics. I’m stocking up on Pepto.

Today’s edition of Lying Donald vs. Lying Hillary:

First let’s look at Trump’s lie, because it’s funnier: from the Washington Post:

“A recording obtained by The Washington Post captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with “John Miller” or “John Barron” — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself, according to the journalists and several of Trump’s top aides.”

This is, of course, an early result of the Post’s “Let’s dig up embarrassing stuff on Trump” project, which Bob Woodward talked about this week. There is nothing wrong with the Post doing this with Trump; what is despicable is that they didn’t do it with Obama in 2008.

On the fake publicist story, the Post has Trump cold. He even confirmed that he masqueraded as “John Miller” and “John Barron” under oath in a lawsuit, and forensic experts have confirmed the voice is Trump’s. Never mind. Now he’s not under oath, so he’s denying it all. Trump  hung up on two Washington Post reporters when they asked him this afternoon about  masquerading as his own publicist in interviews and he lied directly to USA Today, saying: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Ethics Dunce: Miami Marlins Manager Don Mattingly

stabbed-in-the-back

When new Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly chose Barry Bonds as his batting coach, it was considered a bold move. Bonds, after all, is simultaneously baseball’s all-time home run champion, holding both the single season and career records, and its biggest cheat, having achieved both records while being secretly, illegally and unethically assisted by steroids. In addition to knowing how to cheat, Bonds undeniably knows how to hit (he was a great hitter before he decided to mutate himself), so this was a chance at redemption for Barry, as well as an opportunity to soften some of the sports media antipathy toward his conduct and character which has so far kept him out of the MLB Hall of Fame.

Asked this week how Barry Bonds was doing as batting coach, Mattingly replied,

“Him getting used to the coaching part of it is a work in progress from a standpoint of the amount of time and the preparation. You see [assistant hitting coach Frankie Menichino] still doing a lot of the prep work. Barry is still getting into the routine of the ugly side of coaching — being here at 1, and studying video, and studying on the plane and you don’t get a chance to watch movies, and things like that. It just depends how good you want to be as a coach. If you want to be a really good coach, you’ve got to do the work.”

Translation: “So far, Barry’s been lazy and isn’t doing his job. His assistant is doing it for him. The job requires a lot of hard, tedious work, and Barry hasn’t shown that he’s willing to do it. At this point, he not a good coach.”

Ethics foul. Mattingly was a fool to hire Bonds, and MLB is wrong to let this sport-wide ethics corrupter set foot in a clubhouse. Bonds is a living, breathing advertisement for the proposition that cheating pays, and should not be trusted not to promote that proposition to young players. Having hired Bonds, however, Mattingly still is obligated to treat him fairly and professionally.

It is not fair and professional to make a negative job review public by communicating it to the news media. Mattingly gave a critique of Bonds’ performance that should have passed from him to Bonds, and only from him to Bonds, in private. Attacking Bonds—and it was an attack, if a passive aggressive one—in the press is unfair, irresponsible, disrespectful, a betrayal of trust, and also cowardly.

Mattingly’s job is called “manager,” and this is atrocious, unethical management. He owes Bonds an apology, and if I were Marlins management, I would be thinking very hard about whether Don Mattingly is qualified for his job.

 

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Sports, Workplace

North Carolina Rep. Billy Richardson (D- 44th District) Now Says He Was Wrong To Vote For “The Bathroom Law”

[CORRECTION: The original version of this post erroneously identified Richardson as a Republican. He is a Democrat. Ethics Alarms apologizes for the error. As far as the assessment of the conduct goes, I do not believe it makes any difference, however.]

Billy Richardson’s rational-sounding, remorseful, full-throated endorsement of diversity and respect for LGBT Americans is the most disgusting and damning piece of political weaseldry I have ever seen, and, I desperately hope, ever will see. This man voted for the new North Carolina law that validates oppression against gays and transgender individuals, and now “upon prayer and reflection,’ suddenly sounds like Dan Savage on a polite day. The law is a travesty, he says. It undermines the right to be free of discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation, he says. I agree with him, but why did he vote for the bill in the first place, and why is he suddenly a passionate human rights advocate now?

I can answer both questions, because they have the same answer. Both his vote and his sudden reversal are the result of having no principles, not integrity, no core beliefs, no courage, no honesty, and no business holding high office. The law was not mysterious: it is blatant in its objective and philosophy. Voting for such a bill is signature significance: no one who has any respect of regard for LGBT citizens, their families, or the Constitution under which they live would consider voting for such a law, unless the official voting just casts his votes according to where he senses the winds are blowing, and regards politics as a game of profit, like playing the stock market. Once the law provoked violent opposition and the likelihood that the 1) the state would lose revenue and jobs and 2) the fools who voted for such a despicable measure would pay a dear price, Richardson was suddenly filled with contempt for those  “who would demonize a group of citizens to gain political advantage and to advance an unjust agenda.” You know, like him.

“Instead of recognizing the right to be free of discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation, HB2 gives green light to this discrimination in housing, employment and other areas,” he writes.  “To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, we must never make any group of citizens a stranger to the laws of their own state.”

Gee, who sent that quote to him, God? He does tell us he was praying about this, after all. Boy, Richardson is quite a walking advertisement for the power of prayor! Just like that, BOOM!, his entire political, sexual and civil rights philosophy changed, and his favorite songs became “Kumbaya,” “We Shall Overcome,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “YMCA.”

Richardson is insulting his state’s citizens by showing that he regards them as gullible fools, and perhaps they are. I know that the foes of the bill will be happy to use him now as a politician who, mirabili dictu, has seen the light, even though he has outed himself as a cowardly, principle-free liar.

Does one of his bigoted colleagues who will fight like a rat to defend this awful law deserve more respect than Richardson? Absolutely! Richardson is the soldier who will switch sides as soon as it is clear that his own side is losing. He is the epitome of what Donald Trump’s supporters believe all politicians are–soulless, untrustworthy, craven, glib and able to wrap themselves in any disguise for a single purpose: their personal profit and survival. Such politicians are useless to anyone, and the scourge of democracy. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Leadership