Cartoon Ethics, Part I: Here…

In Margate, Florida…

…a controversy erupted in South Florida when a shopper at the Presidente Supermarket in Margate saw the logo on a package of  Azucar Morena brown sugar (above). Paul Taffe, the indignant shopper, immediately reported to the local political correctness station—well, a local TV news squad—and expressed his horror.

“Doesn’t matter how you look at it, it’s racism in any form,” Taffe said. “Bottom line, and it should not be on the shelf. When you see an image of a Mammy dancing around with two sugar cane stalks in her hand, thinking that she’s having a jolly old time, it’s not. It was never a jolly old time for us.”

Not to be picky, but how does he know what “Mammy” is thinking? To be clear, like it or not, the fact of life in the U.S. is now that no cartoon representation of blacks is safe to present, unless the approach rejects the exaggeration of prominent features that makes it a cartoon as opposed to just a crude drawing. Exaggerated features on a white cartoon character…

…are recognized as humor and accepted as such; doing the same with any other race is racist, as with the sugar image above or Dr. Seuss’s now banned drawings…

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The Mainstream Media’s Reflex Defense of Biden’s Classified Documents Is A “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Classic

The excellent substack newsletter “Public” has an excellent summary of how flagrantly the news media set out to spin the still unraveling Joe Biden classified document story. The article notes that in their zeal to protect the “good” party (for that’s their mission now) news outlets got way ahead of the facts, and now have to extract themselves from a mess of their own making. Yesterday the Washington Post yesterday published a piece trying to excuse its reporters’ bias by claiming that they tried to be fair and balanced. Read the whole Public article, but here are the highlights: Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: The Announcer’s Suspension

North Carolina State basketball and football announcer Gary Hahn, broadcasting the NC State-Maryland Mayo Bowl game, said at one point, “down among all the illegal aliens in El Paso it’s UCLA 14 and Pittsburgh 6.” Learfield Communications suspended the Wolfpack Sports Network play-by-play announcer “indefinitely” following the game.

Various media outlets have described the statement as “offensive,” but it was unquestionably factual.

illegal immigrants are crossing the border into El Paso, Texas at a record pace. The mayor has declared a state of emergency. If it was the politically incorrect term “illegal alien” that was deemed offensive, the description is still used on some official government websites, perhaps because that’s what they are.

There is some crucial information we don’t have yet, though. Does Learfield Communications have a policy forbidding its announcers from making political comments during broadcasts? It should. There is no justification at all for sports broadcasters to bring non-sports topics, opinions and commentary into their broadcasts. I regard doing that as offensive whether I agree with the commentary or not. It is unprofessional: I don’t care what a baseball of football play-by-play announcer thinks about anything other that the game he or she is describing, and using that role to make gratuitous comments on public issues and current events is an abuse of position.

Was Hahn warned about this in the past? If this was his first offense, even if there is a policy, an indefinite suspension is unethically severe, so I won’t even bring that factor into today’s employment ethics Ethics Quiz, which is…

Can suspending Hahn for making a gratuitous reference to El Paso’s “illegal aliens” be ethically justified?

Outkick points out that Hahn might be excused for thinking that such editorializing is acceptable today based on the conduct of broadcasters like ESPN’s Mark Jones. ESPN (that’s Disney!) seems to encourage Jones, who routinely injects his extreme, woke, biased opinions into his basketball game coverage, constantly slamming Donald Trump, denigrating conservatives, even at one point making the false claim that Jacob Blake was unarmed to jibe with Black Lives Matter propaganda. The problem with that excuse for Hahn is 1) ESPN has clearly given Jones, at least, a green light to be unprofessional 2) Jones is black, and as we have seen elsewhere (CNN’s Don Lemon), there are different standards of professionalism for some black broadcast journalists. 3)Making gratuitous statements that offend conservatives is okay; offending progressives, even with facts, is currently far more risky.

My quiz answer: Absent a written policy, Hahn should have been warned and nothing more. If he violated a policy, a brief suspension would send a valid message.

I, however, am not broadcasting football or basketball game. They are illegal aliens (or illegal immigrants), not “migrants” or the other euphemisms and cover phrases, and that’s what they should be called, so the public understands the issue.

Ethics Quote Of The Month: Bari Weiss, Concluding Part 5 Of “The Twitter Files”

“Ultimately, the concerns about Twitter’s efforts to censor news about Hunter Biden’s laptop, blacklist disfavored views, and ban a president aren’t about the past choices of executives in a social media company. They’re about the power of a handful of people at a private company to influence the public discourse and democracy.”

Exactly.

I’ll have observations of my own tomorrow. For now, let me just post a readable version of the fifth Twitter stream to describe the unethical, destructive and despicable censorship and double standards that Twitter employees engaged in, a blatant and undeniable effort by people who had neither the acumen, judgment or objectivity to pursue their own agendas at the cost of open discussion, argument and dissent.

As before, you will have to go to the source to see the many fascinating attachments: Continue reading

‘HA! You Fell For The Trap, White Boy!’

I almost made this an Ethics Quiz, but then decided that there is only one ethical answer.

Star high school quarterback Marcus Stokes posted a video of himself in a car singing a rap song that used the term “niggas.” Or maybe it was “niggers.” We can’t find out, you see, because our infantile, unethical news media will only write  that he said the “N-word,” and the video has been deleted. Journalism!

Stokes’ video caused the University of Florida to rescind its scholarship offer. Stokes is white; there is little question that if he were the right color, singing the song and posting it would not have raised any issues at all. But as Yahoo!’s observes, “Saying the N-word as a white person goes into another territory,” at least in the hypocritical, race-obsessed worlds of sports and academia. Continue reading

Latest Development In The Search For The Greatest Stupid During The Age Of The Great Stupid: On Broadway, A “Good Racism” Classic!

I have come to the realization that those apathetic, half-awake Americans who shrug off the creeping fanaticism of the antiracism, “diversity, equity and inclusion” mob must not follow developments in the show business and entertainment world, for there the most throbbingly stupid and hypocritical outbreaks of The Great Stupid inevitably occur.

Last month, the ridiculous non-traditional casting version of “1776” opened. Ethics Alarms has discussed it a couple of times: the conceit of casting the Founding Fathers as female, non-binary, trans colonials of color is a naked “Hamilton” rip-off that mocks the show and our history for political grandstanding. As anyone could have predicted, it stinks, though the naturally sympathetic and woke theatrical critic community didn’t have the guts or integrity to say so outright. No, most of them just issued mealy-mouthed deflections like the Times critic, who wrote in part after delivering the mandatory “what a good idea!” virtue-signaling about what was always, absent a miracle, a wretched idea…

….the performances are so vastly histrionic and unchecked by the social situation (this is Congress, after all) that they seem inside-out….It does not help that the new arrangements and orchestrations, aiming to refresh the songs’ profiles in the way the casting is meant to refresh the story, merely make them muddy — and make many of the lyrics unintelligible….

When performers mime the emotions we should be having, the storytelling contract has been broken….What a wasted opportunity!…Instead we get subtracted value. I don’t mean for the cast, who deserve the opportunity, or even for the theater as an industry and an ecosystem….But underlining one’s progressiveness a thousand times, as this “1776” does, will not actually convey it better; rather it turns characters into cutouts and distracts from the ideas it means to promote…. theater makers should have enough faith in the principles of equity and diversity to let them speak for themselves. Are they not, as someone once put it, self-evident?

But of course equity and diversity are not self-evident, and the complete confusion over casting ethics demonstrates this fact beautifully. Let’s see: BIPOC performers can be cast as anyone, regardless of color, ethnicity, gender or race, but white performers can only play white characters. Turning a white fictional character black is to be desired whenever possible (Tangent: My CVS is filled with black Santa dolls and images. Where are the Hispanic and Asian Santas?) but making a fictional character of color (a FCOC) white is “white-washing,” and racist. “The Simpsons” won’t allow white vocal actors to do the voices of a black doctor or an Indian 7-11 owner, but Will Smith can voice a Middle Eastern genie without controversy. Ariel the Little Mermaid will be sung by a black actress; true, they turned Arial black first, but don’t think the same actress wouldn’t  have voiced her if they hadn’t: Diversity! Inclusion! Meanwhile, Tom Hanks said it was wrong for him to be cast as a gay man, though gay men portray about 50% of all the heterosexuals you see on screen and stage.

Clear? Of course not! These aren’t rules or principles: this is racially motivated Calvinball, compensatory racism and related discrimination under the cloak of imaginary virtue.

And yet we hadn’t reached peak stupid yet. Is this latest episode it? Probably not, but behold: Continue reading

The WaPo’s Factchecker Suddenly Discovers That Joe Biden Lies A Lot

Donald Trump, as the media kept reminding readers and listeners, engaged in a virtually non-stop stream of “lies,” and this became a theme of its Axis of Unethical Conduct duties of undermining the Trump Presidency. There was never any question about the fact that Donald Trump’s relationship with truth, facts, reality, history, promises, assertions, choices of words, opinions, and everything in between, has always been a matter of his mood, purpose and convenience. Sometimes he lies, sometimes he exaggerates, sometimes he forgets, sometimes he spins—it’s exhausting following him, really, and no question about it, public officials and figures who ask for and must have the public trust can’t communicate like that: it’s unethical, whether we are talking about competence, fairness, responsibility—it doesn’t matter. It’s wrong. However, the news media and Trump’s political opponents, once they realized the man’s habits and proclivities, decided it was advantageous to call anything Trump said that could be challenged or disagreed with a “lie.” The Washington Post, in particular, had a ball with this approach, and created a running database of all of Trump’s “lies.” Trump, of course, made their job easy because, vie Twitter, he made more statement, many of them off the cuff, than any five U.S. Presidents in our history combined.

Or maybe it’s three. Or seven. I was estimating. If Trump said that, the Washington Post would label it a lie.

Does President Biden lie as often as Trump did? I don’t know: it’s close, but you wouldn’t know that by reading and watching the mainstream media…or the Washington Post. Nobody set up a database of Biden’s lies. They were just “gaffes,” you see, because old Joe has always been confused. Or they were “mistakes.”

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New Progressive Standard: Apparently It Is Now Acceptable To Describe Black Republicans Using Racial Epithets

At least, it’s okay if the speaker is black and a good Democrat.

Good to know, don’t you think?

Professor Sundiata Cha-Jua, a history and African-American studies professor at the University of Illinois Urban-Champaign, referred to Republican Georgia U.S. Senate candidate as “incompetent, subliterate and coonish” in a column for The News-Gazette.

Coonish! “Coon,” dictionaries tell us, is “a contemptuous term used to refer to a Black person.” It is no better than “nigger,” it’s just avoided the publicity. Calling a black individual a “coon” is as racially denigrating as one can get; it meets the legal definition of “fighting words.” Yet the professor has not received any backlash from students at his university, nor faculty, nor administration. A white professor who made similar statements about, say, Barack Obama, would have to join witness protection.

In the same column, this esteemed prof, who teaches “antiracism,” compared a black Republican named Terence Stuber to a slave because he is running to be Champaign County Clerk against a black Democrat.

“What type of Black Republican is Stuber?,” Cha Jua wrote. “He was recruited by White Republican leadership to run against Ammons, the only African American clerk in Champaign County history… Stuber reiterates “massa” Trump’s talking points. Intimating fraud, he cast aspersions on the 2020 elections….His words and deeds indicate he’s a genuine MAGA Black White supremacist.”

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Unethical Headline Of The Month: The New York Times

Oh, the horror of it all! State Representative Shri Thanedar, a 67-year old Indian- American multimillionaire, beat eight Black candidates in the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.

Democrats voted for him, that’s all. Would the Times dare to ask accusingly in bold type, “Why a White Democratic City Won’t Have a White Democrat as Mayor”? in response to the election of Michelle Wu? I’m guessing no: that would be perceived as racist, because it would be. The article is full of statements like, “Black leaders describe it as “embarrassing” and “disappointing,” and argue that Detroit should have representation that reflects its population, which is 77 percent Black” and “The outcome is also testing the limits of racial representation in a city with a long tradition of Black political power.” Wait—isn’t “racial representation” the supposed pernicious tradition of systemic racism in the U.S.that is being used to justify outright racial discrimination against whites in 2022? Was Barack Obama’s election “embarrassing” and “disappointing” to white Americans? Do our leaders and representatives have to “look like us” to be acceptable? Clearly, only leaders who black Americans trust have to “look like them.” Really? If true, that wouldn’t speak very well of black Americans. But wait–isn’t making that observation “racist”?

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Today’s Dumb Woke Hollywood Casting Question: “Why Does Hollywood Keep Using Fat Suits?” [Corrected]

The New York Times today decides to try a new frontier in the woke casting double standard adventure—you know, the incoherent theory that minority actors should be considered for all roles and all character types regardless of sex, race, size or physical characteristics, but it is unethical for white performers to play any character that they have to act and use make-up to evoke. You know, like good Hollywood liberal Tom Hanks claimed when he issued his recent  mea culpa for playing a gay, AIDS battling lawyer in “Philadelphia.”  So, using the same logic, Tom must have been equally hostile to “diversity, equity and inclusion” when he took a role away from some brilliant, unknown actor with a 75 IQ to play Forrest Gump, just as an autistic actor should have starred in “Rain Man” instead of Dustin Hoffman.

Suuuure. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Great Stupid often has that effect on me. Sorry.

The Times’ query, in the headline to a column by Arts Section pundit , is “Why Does Hollywood Keep Using Fat Suits?” Gee, it’s a mystery! And come to think of it, why does Hollywood keep using make-up? Special effects? Fake blood?

Here’s a much tougher question: why does the New York Times let people who know nothing about performing, entertainment, business, audiences, comedy, and casting write columns like this? Continue reading