And Now Chris Cuomo Scores A Jumbo!

When we left CNN’s quarantined (when he feels like it) anchor, he was telling SiriusXm listeners how sick he was of his job, among other complaints.

Now he’s doing his Jimmy Durante impression (“Elephant? What elephant?”) and denying , Bart Simpson-style…

… that he did what he did when there is absolutely no question that he did it. The Clinton version of Bart and Jimmy’s tactics is “Deny, deny, deny.”

From the Hollywood Reporter:

“It’s not true,” Cuomo said today. “I never said it. I never meant it…I have never been in a better position, professionally, than I am in right now. They’ve been so good. They’ve been so supportive of me in ways I could never have imagined. … I’ve never had a group of people professionally care about me the way they have shown. I’ll never be able to repay them, but I’ll try hard to do so. I’ve never been more grateful. I’ve never been on a better team….I love where I am, I love the position that I’ve been given, and I love who I’m doing it with. Those are all matters of fact for me. No place has ever been better to me. No place has ever given me the opportunities that [CNN president] Jeff Zucker has.”

Well, which is it, Chris, not true, something you didn’t say, or something you didn’t mean?

Cuomo is ridiculous. How CNN expects any sentient being to trust a reporter, pundit or whatever he is who would deny he said what he said on the air the day before, and quite flamboyantly too, is unfathomable.

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

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

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

Lance Armstrong and the Sociopath’s Dilemma: When Honesty Is No Longer Ethical

Welcome to the club, Lance.

Welcome to the club, Lance.

Rose

In 2004, 15 years after he had been banned from baseball after a finding by the Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Office that he had violated the games rules against betting on Major League Games, Pete Rose publicly admitted that his denials over that time were all lies. Yes, he had bet on baseball, and he was very, very sorry. Rose’s admission did little to change the verdict in and out of baseball that he was a rogue and a liar. His confession was obviously part of a cynical and calculated strategy to get reinstated in the game, after the strategy of denial and waiting proved ineffective. In addition, Rose needed money, and the confession was part of the hook for his new autobiographical book, which was released at the same time he withdrew his protestations of innocence.

For Pete Rose, honesty was not an ethical value that he respected or returned to in penance after years of straying. It was just another means to an end.

Clinton

In 1998, President Bill Clinton was in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, denying that he had ever “had sex with that woman.” He called up his old friend, advisor and pollster, Dick Morris, and asked what he should do. Together they decided that Morris ought to take a poll to see what the public’s reaction would be if Clinton retracted his denials and admitted the affair. Morris reported back, after taking such a poll, that while the public would forgive the sexual relationship, anger over the President’s untruthful denials might sink his administration. Clinton decided that honesty would not work to his advantage, and continued to lie.

To Bill Clinton and Morris, honesty was just one of several tactical options to solve a political crisis. If had nothing to do with ethics, or doing the right thing.

Armstrong

It is 2013, and the New York Times reports that Lance Armstrong, now stripped of all his cycling titles, banned from athletic competition worldwide and separated from his commercial sponsors and the cancer charity that bears his name,

“has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career, according to several people with direct knowledge of the situation. He would do this, the people said, because he wants to persuade antidoping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career.”

Armstrong, it is clear, is traveling in the well-worn and slimy footsteps of Rose and Clinton, fellow sociopaths to whom conscience, shame, contrition and remorse are alien concepts and for whom atonement and redemption are just games to win, with honesty being an indispensable, if unpleasant, tactic. When one is considering whether or not to be honest and admit what one has long denied based on cold calculations of personal costs and benefits, truth-telling is no longer a matter of ethics, or doing the right thing regardless of consequences. It is merely another weapon, along with lies, manipulation, deceit and posturing, in the arsenal of one of the lifetime predators whose sole goal in life is to prevail and profit over the rest of the trusting suckers who share the Earth with them, and who will do anything, even to the extent of briefly embracing ethical principles, to get what they want.

Should he decide to finally admit what everyone knows and he has long denied, even to the extent of suing those who declared his guilty, Lance Armstrong should be seen as no more ethical or noble than the criminal who pleads guilty in court on the advice of his lawyer, because the evidence is overwhelming, conviction is certain, and confession is the only route to a lighter sentence.

Individuals like Pete Rose, Bill Clinton and Lance Armstrong defile ethical values by their brief embrace of them.