As The Chauvin Jury Finds The Defendant Guilty As They Were Ordered To Do, The President And Rep. Waters Deny That They Said What They Said

But when Yogi Berra denied that he said what he said, it was funny..

In Minneapolis, the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in his role in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

It would be a defensible verdict if he had received a fair trial, and the jury didn’t fear that they would spark national riots, property destruction and death if they found reasonable doubt. It would have been more defensible if the otherwise competent judge hadn’t botched his obligation to sequester the jury when another Minnesota police officer shot a black man, and riots did occur, with more on the horizon.

It is not a fair trial when a nationally known Congresswoman and the President of the United States publicly declare that, in the words of the Congresswoman, a defendant is “guilty, guilty guilty!”

So now, after polluting the trial and the verdict, both the President and the Congresswoman are engaging in a wretched display of “I didn’t really say what I obviously said and meant to say.”

Yogi Berra this ain’t.

First, here’s Maxine’s hilarious “translation” of what she meant when she told some potential rioters, ““We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” Waters said. “I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

“I wanted to be there kind of as Auntie Maxine, to show them that not only do I love them and I support them, but they can count on me to be there with them at this terrible time in all of our lives,” Waters said in her own defense. But she is not their aunt. She is an elected official of the United States of America, and is sworn to uphold the Constitution, which means, among other things, not using her position to urge members of the public to break the law, and not using her influence to deny an American citizen a fair trial.

In another interview, she tried rationalizations instead of masquerade:

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Exclamation Points, 3/16/21: Duh! Whoa! Yay! Gag! Asshole!” (Item #1)

AngryJudge

The following Comment of the Day by long, LONG time commenter Michael West is especially welcome: there’s nothing I like better than a long, erudite COTD when I feel terrible and every moment not seeping is an ordeal. For a lot of reasons, I was way behind on my usual dental care last year, and the piper must ne paid: I have two toothaches, a related sinus infection and headache, and now face three extractions next week that wish could be in the next minute. My situation is just one more fun benefit of the lockdown, drastic, sot-in-the-dark precaution that had still unmeasurable benefits and many, many costs that have still not been quantified.

But I digress. People citing the Bible as authority for dubious ethical principles or, in the case sparking the COTD, unethical conduct has always been a pet peeve of mine even before I started thinking about such matters as a career. The example abused by Don Lemon was even on the Rationalization List: #6, The Biblical Rationalizations.

As a special treat, Michael ends by taking on “Walk a mile in another man’s shoes.”

Here is his erudite Comment of the Day on the first item in the post, “Ethics Exclamation Points, 3/16/21: Duh! Whoa! Yay! Gag! Asshole!”

***

Oh look, someone who hasn’t cracked open a Bible in decades hopes to lecture Christians or Jews on Judeo-Christianity!

Here’s the whole passage from Matthew-

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

This comes from the famous Sermon on the Mount.

Continue reading

Ethics Exclamation Points, 3/16/21: Duh! Whoa! Yay! Gag! Asshole!

1 Duh! The competition for most incompetent host on CNN continues to be neck and neck, with Chris Cuomo, Brian Stelter and Don Lemon threatening a photo finish. Lemon rounded the turn and made up some ground by visiting “The View” (Lemon coming to the idiot-infested ABC uninformed opinion fest is the very definition of “carrying coals to Newcastle”) and, when asked to respond to the Vatican’s announcement that Roman Catholic priests cannot extend a sacramental blessing to same-sex unions, set a new high for egomania and presumptuousness. Lemon answered in part,

“I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to reexamine themselves and their teachings because that is not what God is about. God is not about hindering people or even judging people… do what the Bible and what Jesus actually said, if you believe in Jesus, and that is to love your fellow man and judge not lest ye be not judged.”

Gee, thanks Don for answering the question that theologians have been debating for centuries: “What is God about?” And nice mangling of that quote, though even if you got it right, it still doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make judgments about people. The New Testament passage carrying that message (Matthew 7:1) holds the we should be prepared to be judged by the same standards we use to judge others. In several other places the Bible specifically instructs us to “judge,” and God repeatedly reserves the right to judge human beings, so to say He “isn’t about judging” is an eccentric interpretation at best. Meanwhile, the Ten Commandments, like all laws, are about “hindering people.” Lemon isn’t competent to discuss politics; who cares what he thinks about theology?

Continue reading

Tonight’s 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck Update!

steam train wreck

You see, no matter how much grandstanding and posturing and gloating performed by the Axis of Unethical Conduct (AUC), including its recent recruit, the social media platforms, and its Deranged zombie followers, your friends and mine, there is no avoiding these facts:

  • Joe Biden is not President-elect until the Electoral College elects him. The AOC itself proclaimed that sufficiently in 2016 when it was trying to steal that election.
  • The news media’s “calls” have no official role in deciding what states land in what column, and it has completely abused its position and influence this time.
  • There will be investigations, recounts and lawsuits, as well as appeals. These will happen. All of the premature chest-beating and the rest won’t stop them, and that’s wonderful. Democrats had a legal force ready to do the same thing in any states were as close as the five or six states the Trump team is looking at.
  • People can assume what will happen, but they do not know. The 2000 Florida challenge and recount should have taught that lesson. I’m sure it did, in fact.

Now here are some opinions that I am confident are accurate, but that do not quite reach the level of “facts”:

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Don Lemon”

I have so many Comment of the Day-worthy posts to choose from right now that  I could throw darts at the comments list to pick one and hardly go wrong. (Of course, that would be bad for my computer screen).  I decided that I wanted to see if I could get some perspective from Louisville, Ky., where my father grew up, while the Breonna Taylor Freakout is in full, embarrassing bloom. Luckily, I knew I had Glenn Logan as a resource.

The post Glenn was commenting on wasn’t even about the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision, but rather Don Lemon’s evident ignorance about how the government works. Ignorance, however, is the common theme. The George Floyd Freakout was and is a fraud, because the protests were about racism when the episode didn’t involve racism, and about “routine” police brutality when the brutality was sui generis rather than routine and, we now know, was probably not even the cause of Mr. Floyd’s (Or Saint Floyd’s, as BLM would have it) death. By the time Floyd died, Taylor’s unfortunate death was already part of the protesters’ mantra, just as other factually irrelevant episodes have been for years, like the demise of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

There’s a reason Black Lives Matter is really Facts Don’t Matter. If the United States had a less despicable opposition party and a barely responsible journalism profession, making certain the public understood little details like what constitutes a murder, what causation is, and—back to Dumb Don again— how the Constitution gets amended would be a prime directive.

I admit to being a bit obsessed with the rioting and grandstanding around the Taylor grand jury decision, because it is so indefensible on any logical basis, yet so many are so self-righteous about it, and so many assholes are showing their true colors.  How  warped do human beings have to be to threaten and harass diners in St. Petersburg over an incident in Louisville that they don’t comprehend?

And why don’t leaders of the Democratic Party condemn such mindless thuggery? Well, that’s a stupid question: we know why.

Ugh. Don’t get me started.

And if you are wondering why I started writing this at 5 am, it’s because my now healthy, lovable rescue dog is still so insecure that he has to sleep slammed up against me  like a hot, furry incubus, and I couldn’t bear to kick him off the bed, but couldn’t sleep either.

Here is Glenn Logan’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Don Lemon”:

Jack wrote:

“He clearly doesn’t understand how amendments actually get passed, and why this particular amendment will never, never be passed.”

Agreed. Actually, I doubt if he knows or cares how many hoops amendments have to jump through to become part of the Constitution. If he did, he wouldn’t have been so cavalier about his comment.

“It is also incompetent, irresponsible, nonprofessional, reckless and a breach of duty for CNN to allow someone who couldn’t pass junior high civics to pretend to be able to analyze the nation’s political scene.”

Heh. You could make that charge at virtually every TV or cable news outlet in America, and 98% of its newspapers. Which tells you that most of the public, who snoozed through civics and government classes in high school, don’t know anything about how the Constitution is amended, or if they did, have been convinced of some alternate reality. This lazy, feckless disinterest is the root cause of many of our current problems.

“Lemon has been immune from accountability because he is black and gay.”

Very nearly the trifecta. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Don Lemon

“You know what we’re going to have to do?… You’re going to have to get rid of the electoral college….And if Joe Biden wins, Democrats can stack the courts and they can do that amendment and get it passed.”

—Don Lemon, juvenile CNN host, in another one of his increasingly frequent whiny rants, this one about how unfair the  Electoral College is.

Because Lemon was talking to the dumbest broadcast journalist on television,  Chris Cuomo, and because if Lemon’s colleague realized how ignorant this statement was—never a sure thing when Cuomo is involved—he might have decided that it was better to mislead CNN’s viewers than to point out that Lemon doesn’t know the U.S. Constitution from an anchovy, nobody corrected this howler.

Lemon apparently thinks the Supreme Court “passes” amendments, or something. He clearly doesn’t understand how amendments actually get passed, and why this particular amendment will never, never be passed. Since he doesn’t know what he is talking about, it is incompetent, irresponsible and unprofessional for him to talk about it. Journalists are supposed to enlighten, not make the public more misinformed than it already is, a condition that poses a danger to democracy without being made any worse.

It is also incompetent, irresponsible, nonprofessional, reckless and a breach of duty for CNN to allow someone who couldn’t pass junior high civics to pretend to be able to analyze the nation’s political scene. Continue reading

Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/5/2020: Welcome To The No Nervous Breakdown Zone!

Apropos to this morning’s post: I just read a thread on Facebook entirely populated by people I knew, some of whom have befriended me. They are mostly lawyers, and after reading what was written, I could only comment that their conversation was deranged. I didn’t feel like arguing with people who could really write that if the Democrats didn’t win in November, Americans would lose their civil rights (when it is the ideological compatriots of these individuals who are stripping away the rights of free speech and association, championing race-based policies, and condemning the President for insisting that universities observe due process when a student is accused of sexual misconduct. How can they write that? What happened to them? Then there was the section of the thread in which they discussed that the President was certain to refuse to leave office if he is defeated, and my personal favorite, the assertion that those defending Kyle Rittenhouse are racists.

These are lawyers. They were taught about the requirement that every individual has a right to a fair trial, which means that he or she must not be pronounced guilty in the court of public opinion before all the facts are known, and proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. They should know, as I do, D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2 (b), which says, “A lawyer’s representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client’s political, economic, social, or moral views or activities.” Moreover, it is very likely that Rittenhouse, if he is ever tried, will be found not guilty. Did these deranged lawyer watch the video? I hope not, or they have really lost it. Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, and appears to be in the process of being railroaded by a racially biased justice system in Wisconsin, driven by the media and uninformed public opinion. I’ve seen the video. I’ve also been a prosecutor. I would not charge him, just as would not charge the officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. I’ve also been a defense attorney, and  I would take on Rittenhouse’s defense confident that I had a winning case.

I also was struck by the snide comment about those who object to “Black Lives Matter” signs being obvious racists. I flagged that group as being a racist hate group when it first raised its ugly, divisive head, and damn right I object to seeing signs extolling a group responsible for riots, arson, and terrorizing diners in D.C. by demanding that they raise their fists.

Finally, these formerly rational professionals—who were once even as you or I! —-had the gall to talk about how Republicans and conservatives were promoting violence and a civil war. Yes, the end of the spectrum that includes the antifa, the rioters, and a party that has worked for four years to undermine our democratic processes, is really accusing others of seeking division and violence. This warrants FOUR standard Ethics alarms clips: This one,

…this one, of course,

…I have to use this one, though these people one were not morons…

And finally,

Get well quick, friends. Please. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: CNN’s Don Lemon

That’s a nice, objective, non-partisan chryon, don’t you think?

The rioting has to stop….it’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing  right now that is sticking.”

CNN’s Don Lemon.

I could spend  the rest of this week filling Ethics Alarms with head-exploding accounts of the mainstream news media’s increasingly unrestrained partisan commentary. From an ethics analyst’s point of view, the current self-unmasking is slightly satisfying; I have been chronicling the unethical deterioration of journalism into near complete  commitment to progressive propaganda for a long time, and marveling at the number of once fair and discerning  people who scoffed that it was the product of my fevered imagination. They can’t do that any more without looking like lunatics (previously they just seemed like corrupted fools) so I’m not hearing that claim, here or elsewhere. They can’t deny that the news media is biased; now they have pivoted to the argument that it is right to be biased. Yes, biased people always think that; that was the argument of the New York Times in 2016 when the paper declared on its front page that ity would henceforth slant its coverage to defeat Donald Trump.The ethics of journalism has always held this to be unprofessional and a betrayal of journalism’s ideals, but ethics schmethics. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/8/2020: George Floyd Freakout Follies, Starring… Black Lives Matter!

This patter trio from “Ruddigore,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s follow-up to the phenomenal world-wide success of “The Mikado,” has a strange history. It was a much-loved highlight of the relatively under-appreciated operetta (though among my favorites) until the song was transplanted into Joseph Papp’s 1981 Broadway production of “The Pirates of Penzance.” That production  ran for 787 performances (longer than the original production), winning the Tony Award for Best Revival and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, and spawning a 1983 film adaptation starring most of the Broadway cast, including Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Klein. Then the Broadway adaptation of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 2002 also interpolated a version of  “It Really Doesn’t Matter” into the score, so two hit Broadway musicals included a once barely remembered song from a Gilbert and Sullivan show not regarded as one of the pair’s successes.

The version above is the one I learned the song from. Martyn Green, the best of D’Oyly Carte’s patter baritones, sings the first verse, and does so the only way it can be done properly, which is in a single breath. As you will hear, the other two singers are not quite able to  pull it off. (But I can!)

1. Wait, what matters? As with Colin Kaepernick’s original kneeling stunt, Black Lives Matter has made its agenda infinitely flexible, ranging from addressing “police violence” to “systemic racism” to “defunding police” to various Marxist nostrums, depending on their mood, the spokesperson, and the tolerance of the audience. African-American actor Terry Crews invited the enmity of the George Floyd mobs by opining that if Black Lives Matter’s message became “Black Lives Better,” it would spark division rather than support. Crews, who can hold his own in any debate, agreed to be interviewed by CNN’s Black Lives Matter shill Don Lemon. Crews said, 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