Ethics Pot Meet Ethics Kettle II: Apparently The Washington Post Really Thinks It Has More Integrity Than Fox News

Here’s the head-exploding quote from Washington Post political columnist Phillip Bump today:

Speak up, Bret Baier. Speak up, Chris Wallace. Join colleague Geraldo Rivera in making public your unvarnished thoughts about “Patriot Purge” and all the other non-journalism that somehow qualifies for prime-time airing at Fox News. Your insistence on addressing the network’s outrages “internally” is a cowardly approach and one that is, by all evidence, not working.

The Washington Post, and indeed Phillip Bump himself, are ethically estopped from attacking Fox News for “non-journalism.” In fact, the sudden escalation in attack on Fox News by the worst mainstream media Democratic propaganda purveyors—like the Post—appears to be just another tactic in the now desperate “We have to save Joe Biden!” push by the same people who should be fairly and critically documenting the unfolding catastrophe in D.C..

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They’re Shocked—SHOCKED!—That Trump Officials Deliberately Violated The Hatch Act

Henry Kerner heads the Office of Special Counsel, and his new report following investigations into violations of the 1939 vintage law, known as the Hatch Act, that prohibits Federal employees from using their position to campaign for political candidates fingers thirteen of President Donald Trump’s senior aides, including his son-in-law and his chief of staff. It shows that they blatantly breached the law during the last weeks of the 2020 Presidential campaign, calculating that the Office of Special Counsel would not have time to investigate and issue findings before Election Day.

I’d say that calculation was correct, wouldn’t you? The report has come out more than a year later.

“Senior Trump administration officials chose to use their official authority not for the legitimate functions of the government, but to promote the re-election of President Trump in violation of the law,” the report concluded, adding, “The administration’s willful disregard for the law was especially pernicious considering the timing of when many of these violations took place.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So what are you gong to do about it, other than make faces and write mean things? The Hatch Act is a perfect example of the principle that if people can cheat to obtain power or keep power, they will, if they know the penalties will be minimal or less. This is why mail-in ballots corrupt the electoral system, along with other holes in voting integrity. The Hatch Act isn’t enforced, so all administrations allow their officials to violate it. I don’t know if the law is enforceable. It is naive and irresponsible to expect Trump’s aides or any Presidential underlings regardless of party to eschew this unethical practice when they know they can get away with it, and the potential benefits of the violations are significant.

A President has to show that he regards the law as important. I can’t recall any President doing that as long as I’ve followed politics.

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Breaking! Joe Biden Wins The Gold Medal For Sexual Harassment Cluelessness With His Comments On Gov. Cuomo!

Biden creepy

Unbelievable.

Jeez, somebody tell him…please? Not only are the President’s comments on the findings released yesterday by New York state Attorney General Letitia James regarding NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s serial sexual harassment, including his call for Cuomo to resign, are embarrassing and inappropriate, they are also…hmmm, let’s see if I can cover them all…

  • …the babbling of an Ethics Dunce and legal ignoramus who still doesn’t know what sexual harassment is, despite having engaged in it for decades as well as having been photographed while engaging in while Vice-President….
  • …a blinding example of hypocrisy and ethics estoppel, since while it is true that Cuomo should resign, Biden, of all people, as a sexual harasser himself, is among the last people on Earth (along with Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein and a few others)  who has any business saying so…
  • …an Olympics-level achievement in ethics ignorance, as it not only pulls down gold medals in Ethics Duncery but also Unethical Quote of the Month, Incompetent Elected Official, Ethics Corrupter, and Jack Marshall Head Exploder (not to mention the blasts, perhaps fatal, also triggered in the craniums of Tara Reade, Lucy Flores, Amy Lappos, D.J. Hill, Caitlyn Caruso, Ally Call, Sofie Karasek, Vail Kohnert-Yount and others who experienced sexual harassment from Biden…

….in addition to the fact that it is an abuse of power and position for the President of the United States to inject himself into the matters of New York State, the justice system, and the fate of a duly elected official put in place by the citizens of New York. Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Rep. Matt Gaetz Story, Which So Far Consists Of Allegations That He’s A Creep Being Pressed By The Same People Who Supported Joe Biden For President When They KNEW Joe Was A Creep

So far, the only allegations of illegal activity by Gaetz, the Florida Congressman who appears to be a prominent target because he was an aggressive supporter of President Trump, involve an investigation by the Justice Department regarding possible sex crimes involving underage women. Investigations are not evidence of anything, as the despicable Russian collusion tactic against Trump illustrated. If we are to presume innocence after charges are filed against an American, we must certainly presume innocence before any evidence of a crime has been found.

Sadly, progressives and Democrats have increasingly drifted away from the concept of presumed innocence as they flirt with totalitarianism. Men are presumed sex criminals: all that’s required is an accusation by a woman. Whites are presumed racists. Well, let me clarify that: these things are presumed true if they involve conservatives, Republicans, police officers, celebrities and teachers. If they arise in reference to leaders of the Democratic Party, the rules are different. In fact, the news media makes them up as the situation demands.

I have seen enough to conclude that Rep. Gaetz is a creep. I don’t like creeps, and as a general proposition I don’t think creeps should be in positions of influence and power, because you can’t trust creeps. They are ethically “bent.” Still, we have had a lot of creeps in our history who have, despite themselves, been, at least arguably,net positives to the nation. Thomas Jefferson was a creep, for example. Jack Kennedy. Bill Clinton. Donald Trump.

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Evening Ethics Night-Cap, 1/18/2021: What A Terrible Bunch Of People!

nightcap

1. Wow. Now that’s a sex scandal even in France! Olivier Duhamel, a prominent French political scientist, radio show host and television commentator has quit his media and university posts after being accused of committing incest with his teenage stepson more than 30 years ago. His resignations included the Sciences Po university, where Duhamel, now 70, headed the body overseeing the renowned Paris institution. A book called “La Familia Grande,” just published and written by one of his stepchildren, revealed that Duhamel abused her twin brother beginning when he was 14. The brother told the news media, “I confirm that what my sister has written about the actions of Olivier Duhamel toward me is correct.”

Addressing her step-father directly in the book, Camille Kouchner wrote: “I am going to explain to you who sound off on the radio, you who offer the gift of your analysis to students, and strut about on TV stages. I am going to explain that you could, at least, have said sorry.”

Now there is a #MeToo-style incest movement in France, #Metooinceste, with over 20,000 tweets so far posted on accounts of people who say they had been sexually abused as children by adult family members.

2. This would be pretty embarrassing, if only the news media had the integrity to point it out. DC AG Karl Racine pronounced himself outraged that anyone would compare the Black Lives Matter riots to the Capitol riot. Last week, Racine called comparisons (accompanied by accusations of double standards and hypocrisy), “shocking and outrageous.”

Right. The BLM riots resulted in at least 8 dead, hundreds of wounded officers, and over $2 billion in damages. The D.C. installment of the riots attacked the White House and injured 150 officers. 60 members of the Secret Service’s Uniformed Division were injured holding off the mob while President Trump and his family were taken to a bunker. 65 Park Police officers were wounded and 11 had to be hospitalized, as compared to the January 6 toll of 60 Capitol Police and 58 D.C. cops injured.

One difference is that Democrats and the media accused police of violently assaulting “peaceful protesters” instead of condemning the BLM mob whose members threw bricks, bottles, fireworks, and bodily fluids at law enforcement officers. The BLM rioters set the White House gatehouse and the Church of the Presidents on fire. D.C. Democrats responded by demanding law enforcement leave and naming a plaza “Black Lives Matter.”

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January 7, 2021 Ethics Nightcap, The “Everything Is Spinning Wildly Out Of Control” Edition

spinning-out-of-control

Well, the national mood is clearly infecting Ethics Alarms. First a self-banned commenter from the past starts sending me private hate mail for no discernible reason. Then another banned commenter sends an attack comment while I’m sleeping. THEN a previously rational commenter of some note proclaims his exit because, he says, all I write about is politics, and because he said I excused the President for inciting a riot (which I did not). Then another commenter started calling participants here Nazis,and yet another commenter, whom I trust to use more restraint, also used a Nazi analogy to describe the Hill riot yesterday.

I expect better here, frankly; better, fairer, and more civil.

I get it: readers aren’t immune from being freaked-out during freakouts, but please, read “If,” (my father’s favorite poem, and a lifetime credo for him and his son) and calm the hell down:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

(And if you let Rudyard’s 19th Century male bias dissuade you from paying attention to his message, you’ll be a fool, my friend.)

I’ll only address one of the commenter upsets I described above: the accusation that Ethics Alarms has been writing about politics and neglecting ethics. I resent that, because I have been killing myself trying to find non-political ethics stories that are worth writing about, at a time when almost everything has been politicized. At the same time, I cannot in good conscience fail to explicate the unethical and unprecedented effort to sabotage an elected US President and all that has involved and corrupted since 2016, so this has necessarily involved many posts, more than I would have liked. It is the most significant U.S. ethics catastrophe of the last hundred years at least, and attention should be paid. What happened yesterday was a direct and predictable consequence of this.

Yet even so, Ethics Alarms has been and continues to be about all topics and all spheres of ethics. There are four or more posts most days, and four or five mini-posts in the “warm-ups.” Find another website that includes more diverse material on the topic of ethics; go ahead, try.

I will also note that the complaining commenter has not availed himself of the open forums, which exist specifically to invite readers to raise issues related to ethics that I may have missed or neglected. This is a participatory forum.

Annoyingly, the commenter who made this complaint also said that he had mostly “skimmed” posts here for the last year or so. Well, Ethics Alarms is not for “skimming,” and if one cannot read all of what I write, I’m not very interested in your opinions on what you have only half-comprehended.

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NOW President Trump Should Concede [Corrected]

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When I noted in last night’s ethics update that North Carolina’s Electoral College votes had been added to the Trump column, I was not aware that that Georgia had been called with Biden in a small but likely uncatchable lead (nonetheless, a recount is underway that will be complete on Wednesday: thanks to James Flood for the correction). Without Georgia, there is no sliver of a path for the President to be re-elected now. The Biden-Harris ticket has 307 EC votes, well above the 270 threshold required for election. RealClearPolitics, one of the very few news sources that did not display open bias and worse, a desire to push the election to a conclusion they favored, has the race marked as decided.

President Trump should make his concession speech today. He has a duty to concede as soon as possible, for the good of the country, in fairness to President-Elect Biden, and, though I doubt anyone could convince him of this (though I would love to have the opportunity to try), himself.

The President should do everything in his power to establish a clear contrast with the irresponsible conduct of Hillary Clinton after her defeat in 2016. She set out to undermined Trump from the beginning by refusing to accept that her loss was genuine and legitimate, thus setting the stage for a four-year effort by Democrats, the “resistance,” and the news media (the “Axis of Unethical Conduct”) to withhold national support of his leadership and wreck his term in office by unscrupulous and despicable means.

One reason this conduct by Clinton and her supporters was so destructive is that it created a precedent that risked being followed going forward to future elections, permanently weakening what had been a strength of American democracy. The President can go a long way toward undoing that damage. I think it is crucial to our national health that he do so, and the sooner the better.

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A False Narrative Exposed, Part 2: The Times’ Editors Beclown Themselves

Clowns

[This is Part 2 of the Ethics Alarms essay that begins here.]

The first section of “A False Narrative Exposed” concluded,

The extent of the Democrats’ false smearing of Justice Amy Coney Barrett and the blatant fearmongering regarding the consequences of her confirmation are put in sharp perspective when one goes back and re-reads the New York Times editorial of the week before headlines, “The Republican Party’s Supreme Court.”  Indeed, the Times editorial shows us much more: the utter dishonesty of the mainstream media and its willingness to mislead rather than inform the public; it’s deliberate employment of false history to advance its partisan ends, and perhaps  most damming of all, the weak powers of reasoning and analysis the alleges cream of the journalistic crop applies to its craft. Then there are the repeated reminders that the Times is so deeply in bed with the Democrats that it can count its moles.

Let’s look at that editorial…

“What happened in the Senate chamber on Monday evening was, on its face, the playing out of a normal, well-established process of the American constitutional order: the confirmation of a president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. But Senate Republicans, who represent a minority of the American people, are straining the legitimacy of the court by installing a deeply conservative jurist, Amy Coney Barrett, to a lifetime seat just days before an election that polls suggest could deal their party a major defeat.”

Right—those phony polls meant to suppress the GOP vote showing that the Democrats were going to increase their dominance of the House and win control of the Senate. The scandalously misleading and mistaken polls were also part of the novel Democratic argument, endorsed by the Times, that the Senate should reject a legal and historically routine SCOTUS nomination because of clearly biased polls…a corrupting phenomenon the Founders never heard of.

“As with President Trump’s two earlier nominees to the court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the details of Judge Barrett’s jurisprudence were less important than the fact that she had been anointed by the conservative activists at the Federalist Society. Along with hundreds of new lower-court judges installed in vacancies that Republicans refused to fill when Barack Obama was president, these three Supreme Court choices were part of the project to turn the courts from a counter-majoritarian shield that protects the rights of minorities to an anti-democratic sword to wield against popular progressive legislation like the Affordable Care Act.”

The only valid question for the Senate to consider was whether Barrett was qualified. Even the deeply progressive-biased American Bar Association  agreed that she was. I don’t know what the Times is trying to say: the Federalist Society wouldn’t have approved of an unqualified justice. “Anointed’ is just cheap Times rhetoric meaning “conservatives tended to agree with her jurisprudence,” just as progressives approved of the late Justice Ginsberg. Both had to excel during tough questioning in their confirmation hearings. Neither was “anointed.” The editorial board is pandering to its readership’s hysterical biases against conservatives….

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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 defriended 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

From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag: “What’s Your Reaction To Various Ethics Controversies, Including The Use Of The White House, During The Republican National Convention?” (Part I: The Hatch Act))

I have been asked this by a couple of friends, all resolute Trump Deranged, card-carrying, “I’d vote forJoe Biden if he shot someone in Times Square while sexually harassing a teenage girl, wearing a duck on his head and screaming, ‘I am Captain Midnight!'” Democrats. It shouldn’t matter, and indeed doesn’t change my answers, that they are the ones asking the question: it’s a valid question.

But it’s also like the “Trump Lies” issue. Ethics estoppel kicks in. I don’t care to hear outrage over Trump’s various torturing of facts from the same people who smile and applaud while Michelle Obama and others repeat the “fine people” lie at the Democratic National Convention, or the Bizarro World accusation that the President is responsible for the riots. These hypocrites don’t care about political dishonesty except  when it is being wielded by an adversary, and they are really trying to recruit me in their partisan efforts as an “appeal to authority.”

My macro reply to the Republican National Convention’s various dents, nicks, sideswipes and out-right trampling of ethics rules and principles is this:

“Many of the decisions regarding the content of the Convention were made in defiance of law, regulations and tradition. This was unethical. The President of the United States should not be unethical, and being so flamboyantly unethical undermines the culture.”

Full stop.

However, there is a lot more to consider. Continue reading