Ethics Corrupters of the Year
(Awarded to the unethical public figure whose prominence, popularity and success most corrupts the public’s ethical values)
A Tie: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Nobody else is close.
I’m sorry that these two are so dominating the awards. They also dominated the posts last year. If they dominate the awards next year, God Save The United States of America…
Double Standard Of The Year
The deference accorded to anti-white protesters on dozens of college campuses, not just by spineless administrators but much of the news media. Similar protests, conduct and rhetoric by white students would be immediately condemned for what it would be: blatant racism.
Lie of the Year
Hands Up! Don’t shoot! The lie was uttered in 2014, but acquired new status after the Justice Department unexpectedly and definitively determined that the evidence did not support the inflammatory myth that Mike Brown was shot dead in Ferguson while trying to surrender to Officer Wilson. Never mind: the lie is part of the manifesto of Black Lives Matter and similar groups; it is still alluded to by activists and shameless politicians; it still divides the nation and focuses hate on police departments; and it has contributed to getting police officers killed while making communities more vulnerable to crime. It may be the Lie of the Decade.
Uncivil U.S. Official of the Year
Justice Antonin Scalia, who crossed all lines of judicial restraint, collegiality and civility when he excoriated his colleague, Justice Kennedy, who was the fifth vote in the majority of SCOTUS’s ruling that same-sex marriage was a Constitutional right no state could deny, with this comment in a footnote:
“If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”
——U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia,
The Jesse Jackson Award
(For the Year’s Worst Amateur Diplomat)
Barack Obama. I know, this is snarkier than I like to be in these awards, but the signature diplomatic measure of the past year, the astounding, one-sided, dangerous and Munich-like deal with Iran, could only be the product of an ideological tyro placing wishes and hopes over diplomatic responsibility, and not for the first time. For most Presidents, trading dangerous terrorists for a deserter would be nadir. History has seen many tragedies seeded by world leaders with no diplomatic skills: the disastrous Treaty of Versailles, Potsdam, and the treaty that this one most resembles, negotiated by the hapless Neville Chamberlain. We can only hope that the worst case scenario doesn’t materialize, but if it does not, it will be moral luck.
Most Unethical Sports League
The NFL, for the third year in a row. “Concussion,” Tom Brady, Deflategate, more evidence that NFL players are slowly killing themselves with brain damage, Johnny Manziel. What a great sport pro football is.
Sports Cheat of the Year
Tom Brady, New England Patriots ball-deflating quarterback. Brady eventually avoided punishment because the NFL botched both its investigation and its imposition of penalties, but his smirking, cynical comments about the incident made it clear that he thinks cheating is no big deal, and most of his fans agree.
Not surprisingly, Brady supports Donald Trump.
Unethical Lawyers of the Year
Law Firm Division: Lawyers Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut of the Florida firm Adams & Diaco were found to have “maliciously” set up the drunken-driving arrest of their opposing counsel in a high-profile defamation trial. The plot involved a comely paralegal and a cooperative DUI cop. Last I checked, it looked like all three lawyers would be disbarred for life.
Scary Lawyer Division: California lawyer Douglas Crawford held a can of pepper spray a yard from the face of the opposing lawyer saying, “I will pepper-spray you if you get out of hand.” Then the lawyer pointed a stun gun at Traver’s head and said, “If that doesn’t quell you, this is a flashlight that turns into a stun gun.” To show he wasn’t kidding, Crawford discharged the stun gun the startled lawyer’s face.
Hard-working Lawyer Division: Massachusetts lawyer, Karen Andrade, was charged with prostitution after a police investigated a report by a suspicious neighbor and found online reviews of both the lawyer’s legal services and her escort services
Celebrity Lawyer Division: Michael Cohen, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, told the Daily Beast that it was legally impossible for a man to rape his wife. He was only a couple of decades and many court cases behind on his research. That piece of legal scholarship came after he had threatened the website’s staff in language usually associated with loan sharks and pimps.