My segment on an NPR panel yesterday regarding the sexual harassment issue was cut short because “All Things Considered” had to wedge in a report on the terror attack in Egypt. I get it: it’s live radio, and its a news show. Still, one can question whether dealing with such a difficult and complex issue in so little time—three of us plus ace moderator Michel Martin ended up splitting less than 10 minutes among us–does more harm than good. Farajii Muhammad, who was in the studio with me and whom I had a chance to chat with at length, said that he was interested in having me on his own show to discuss the issue. We shall see.
Tag Archives: Donald Trump
Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/25/17: The Clinton Campaign’s Russian Dossier Connection, Her Lying Lawyer, And Jeff Flake
1 I have long been an admirer of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who is one of the few members of Congress, more’s the pity, who will stick to his principles even when they pit him against his own party. However, his freak-out and verbal attack on President Trump accomplish nothing positive (unless you consider making Democrats happy positive) and at this point constitute pure self-indulgence and, yes, these words are coming up a lot lately, virtue-signalling and grandstanding. I have no sympathy for Flake, Senator Corker, or any other Republican leaders who stood by and allowed Donald Trump to hijack their party. The time for Flake to take a stand was last March, or even earlier. Ethics Alarms stated that the GOP shouldn’t have let Trump into the debates or on its ballot. I said that he should have been kicked out of the debates when he began trashing the party, and when he became disgustingly boorish and uncivil. I explained that it could have and should have refused to nominate him by changing the rules. The party had a duty to the country to present a competent, trustworthy alternative to the corrupt, venal, dishonest candidate the Democrats were going to nominate: everyone knew who that would be. Instead, the GOP sold its soul. Jeff Flake now says that Trump is reckless, outrageous and undignified? Who didn’t know that? I assume the President’s voters knew that. On Ethics Alarms, I wrote about those Trump character traits in 2011.
It is particularly galling for me to read Flake’s attack on Trump in the Washington Post today, which begins, “As I contemplate the Trump presidency, I cannot help but think of Joseph Welch.” In fact, it makes me want to scream helplessly at the sky. In this Ethics Alarms post, I invoked Welch’s famous televised slap-down of Joe McCarthy before the first Republican candidates debate, and concluded “If someone doesn’t at least try it, none of these 15 non-Trumps are smart enough to be President.” I wrote that on September 16, 2015.
Senator Flake is like a Senator going to Honolulu in December of 1942 and proclaiming that the Japanese can’t be trusted. He deserves no sympathy or support now.
He should have been reading Ethics Alarms.
UPDATE: My friend and frequent ProEthics collaborator Mike Messer called this “flake news.”
2. I haven’t had time to thoroughly unravel what yesterday’s revelation that Hillary Clinton’s campaign funded what became the infamous “Russian dossier” means. A couple of points, however, Continue reading
A White House Of Assholes?* This Post Has Everything: An Ethics Dunce, An Unethical Quote Of The Month, An Incompetent Elected Official And, Of Course, KABOOM!
I wouldn’t have thought that a Trump Administration employee’s unethical conduct could make my head explode. I thought I was safe. After all, my hopes may be too high, but my expectations are so low. But there are my brains, dripping off the ceiling.
President Trump has a ludicrous burning crisis of chaotic management, undisciplined leadership, incompetent subordinates and mass competition for the National Foot-Shooting Championship. I suggested that months ago that this could only be addressed by the President appointing an experienced political professional with proven management skills and leadership ability to whip the White House into shape. President Trump had a better solution to the burning crisis: throw the human gasoline named Anthony Scaramucci on it!
What an idiot.
Yes, the Incompetent Elected Official of this post is President Donald J. Trump.
But the rest is all Scaramucci, the new White House Communications Director with no experience or acumen in the field of communications and public relations. This was immediately evident from his first substantial communication with the news media, a vulgar, unprofessioal, undignified, embrrassing and vicious phone interview with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza unlike any interview by any White House figure ever.
Highlights, or rather points of signature significance, each showing that a) the man is an arrogant asshole and 2) President Trump possesses no judgment in his choices of staff whatsoever. Negative judgment.
1. He said, “I’m not [Trump advisor] Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock … I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.”
2. After Lizza asked Scaramucci about a private dinner that he had with President Trump, Scaramucci boasted: “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” Continue reading
“A Nation Of Assholes” Update: Wait, I Thought TRUMP Would Be Teaching Our Kids To Be Vulgar And Boorish Jerks
With children on stage behind him, Perez told an audience in Las Vegas this weekend that Trump “doesn’t give a shit about health care.”
Perez, President Barack Obama’s former labor secretary, made similar comments earlier this year. “They call it a skinny budget, I call it a shitty budget,” Perez said in Portland, Maine.
Wow. I assumed that it would be the President, the man who set new lows for uncivil discourse during his campaign, who would vulgarize the American culture, teach our children that rudeness and gutter language is appropriate, and generally coarsen our society further, when in fact it needs to move in the opposite direction. Nope: it’s the official leader of the Democratic Party.
“Derangement syndrome. I can’t believe they think this is a good idea.”
Oh, I absolutely can. After all, the Democrats think undermining democracy and the institution of the Presidency is a good idea. They think advocating the impeachment or removal of a duly elected President based on their certainty that electing him was a mistake is a good idea. They thought trying to over-rule the Electoral College was a good idea, and setting new records for hypocrisy by refusing to accept the results of the election after excoriating Donald Trump for suggesting that he might do the same.They thought making certain that the filibuster option for opponents of Supreme Court candidates would be eliminated was a good idea. They think going out of their way to ensure that a dangerously divided nation becomes more divided is a good idea. Deciding to take the lead in making “shit” normal public discourse, soon to be followed by “fuck,” “motherfucker,” and “cocksucker”? That’s nothing. Not to these people.
That T-shirt is for sale on the party website, by the way. But of course the* makes it all genteel, right?
Glenn Reynold writes, “It was just a few months ago they were going to the fainting couches over Trump. Remember?,” noting the hypocrisy in light of Hillary’s “Our Children Are Watching.”
Ethics Alarms already identified what this is. In March, I wrote,
“The Democratic Party has turned itself into the Asshole Party. Depressing. Disgusting. Despicable.”
However, even then, I did not anticipate that the party would lead the way to destroying any semblance of dignity, decorum and civility in our government.
An Ethics Quote Of The Day From The Washington Examiner and A Jumbo From The Editor Of The Washington Post
“[T]he mainstream media has dropped its standards since President Trump was sworn in. Rather then adjusting adeptly to Trump’s easy relationship with the truth and his tendency to abuse members of media, by dialing up their standards, a significant number of journalists have tripped over themselves recently to repeat every bit of gossip and half-cocked rumor involving Trump and his administration….Now this isn’t to say that all coverage of this new administration has been slipshod. Rather, it’s to say that there has been a disturbing and unusually large number of stories that have turned out either to be overhyped, inconclusive, half-true or flat-out incorrect. There have also been a number of reports whose sourcing is so thin, that to believe them would be to take a major leap of faith.The one thing that these reports have in common is that they fail to provide readers with a clear and indisputably accurate picture of what is really going on at White House. The press’s most important role is to shine a light on those in power. Bad reporting only muddies the waters, and it gives powerful people more room to do as they please. After all, whom are you going to believe: the guy at the top or the newsroom with a recent track record of botched reporting? We didn’t get to the point where people find the press less credible than the Trump administration by some freak accident.”
—-The Washington Examiner, in a story today called “Mainstream media errors in the Trump era: Your catalogue of the media’s bias-fueled failure-fest.”
What the Examiner calls its database of biased and incompetent reporting since January 2o can be found here.
It’s a fair list, and I will quote the exactly accurate point above when I get another comment that says, “Why do you think the mainstream media reporting is more important than Trump’s outrageous conduct?” and “How can you say the news media is untrustworthy when the Times, Post and Wall Street Journal do excellent investigative reporting?”
President Trump is trying to do his job, as he promised he would, as well as he can. To have any chance of doing it successfully, he will require more than the usual amount of patience, support, and responsible criticism from the nation. He may well fail, but no respectable and patriotic American or organization, news or otherwise, should be trying to make him fail. ( I refer you to this post, For The Last Time: This Is Why The Post-Election Attacks On Trump And His Election Are Unethical)
(Yes, in case I haven’t made this clear before: The so-called “resistance” is undemocratic, unethical, and thoroughly despicable.)
Journalists, in contrast, are not doing their jobs, and indeed are doing the opposite of their job, which is properly and ethically to convey facts, not to distort them for their own political purposes. At this point in the post-election left-wing freak-out, the news media doesn’t even see its own obvious bias, just as fish aren’t aware that they are in water. Continue reading