Wait, what? Did Rep. Jim Clyburn really say that he wasn’t aware of any Federal building being attacked in Portland?
I was trying to decide whether the statement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Fox and Friends was signature significance for an incompetent, or whether he was just attempting Jimmy Durante’s stratagem, the Jumbo. (“Elephant? What elephant?”) I realized that the two alternatives were mutually exclusive. Clyburn also might be gaslighting us. In gaslighting, unlike the similar but distinct Jumbo, the ethics miscreant is trying to make everyone else think they are losing their minds, and somehow imagined something that, in truth, really happened. The Jumbo is a sign of desperation. Gaslighting is sinister.
If he knows that the “peaceful” rioters were laying siege to the Portland courthouse—and how could he not?—then Clyburn must be employing the Jumbo or attempting flagrant gaslighting. If he doesn’t know, he’s telling the truth, and that means he is a lazy, incompetent fool.
Ugh! Big seminar to teach at a downtown D.C. law firm and no time to linger! Some quick ethics notes…
1. The Nike pander. Can a TV commercial be pandering to one side of the political spectrum and dubious ethical conduct more? In the new Adidas ad, Colin Kaepernick, grandstanding boob, is treated like a cultural hero. So is one of the most abrasive of the Parkland shooting anti-gun kids, and Serena Williams. It made me wonder what was the matter with the other pseudo-celebrities who quickly crossed my vision: I assume that they are ethics corrupters too. Like Nike…
2. So much for Plan E. Plan E is the 25th Amendment impeachment plot (the whole list of Democratic and “resistance” plans to undo the election is here.) President Trump gave Fox and Friends another of his hyper-energized monologues today, over 45 minutes-worth. He still sounds like Trump, but anyone listening to that who wants to claim the man is disabled will have a lot of explaining to do. I dare Nancy Pelosi to free-style for 45 minutes without crashing and burning.
3. Maybe this will be Plan O: After the President’s rant, Fox and Friends’ co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked the President to wish her father a happy birthday over the air, which he graciously did. I’m not sure what was horrible about that, but I’m sure someone will claim that it is a dangerous breach of some “norm” or other.
4. Now, impeaching Fox talking heads is another story. The K-pop group NCT 127 appeared on Fox’s Good Day L.A. yesterday. Following their performance, band member Mark Lee told co-host Megan Colarossi—guess what color her hair is? Come on, guess!— that he is from Vancouver. She responded with, “Very cool, your English is awesome. I love it.”
Asked one Twitter wag…“I mean he’s from Canada, what is he supposed to speak, moose?”
Why should the public trust the news media when so many of them regularly expose themselves as idiots? Continue reading →
1. Wake up with President Trump! By sheer chance, I surfed by Fox and Friends just as the three goofs (or two goofs and a random blonde from the stable in a tight party dress) on the sofa were having a spontaneous phone interview with President Trump, just like in the good old days in 2015, when CNN and NBC let the crazy old reality star and eccentric real estate mogul blather on while they smirked and nodded because it was great for ratings and might even saddle the evil Republican Party with a Presidential candidate that Hillary Clinton could squash like a bug, finally leading to the Great Progressive Awakening in America, with open borders, no more guns, free college, a ban on fossil fuel, and Harvey Weinstein as a White House regular.
Say what you will about Trump, this was just after 8 AM, I could hardly utter a coherent sentence, and the President was sounding like Harold Hill doing “Trouble in River City.” Either he had 20 cups of coffee or was hooked up to an electric generator. I have a lot of energy, but Trump is older than I am, and he was energetic, engaged, and, for him, articulate.
His performance this morning highlights how disgusting the “Trump has dementia, let’s use the 25th Amendment to get rid of him” plot was, with the news media in full complicity. It made it hard for me to focus on what the President was saying on Fox, frankly. That particular post-election, anti-democratic attack—it was Ethics Alarms’ Plan E on the alphabetical list of “the resistance’s” ongoing efforts to overturn the election, if you recall—makes me furious every time I think about it.
Nevertheless, I will never get used to having a President who talks like he does. It isn’t statesman-speak, or even demagoguery. It’s pure salesman patter, again, like Harold Hill, or any infomercial spokesman. It’s almost hypnotic. What Trump-Whisperer Scott Adams would say, indeed has said many times, is that this is a talent and a skill, and we aren’t going to see it become commonplace among Presidents because most people just can’t do it well. No, it’s not Presidential, and will never be. But it works.
I also realized, once again, how much class bigotry is involved in the extreme hostility to President Trump from the “elites,” and yes, I count myself in that group. Never mind what schools Trump went to: he’s Fred Trump’s son, and unlike the Kennedy boys, never polished off the rough spots passed along to him through his humble, street-smart, back-alley forebears. I just watched the film of “My Fair Lady” again after many years, and found myself thinking about Henry Higgins’ theories while I was listening to Trump: if he spoke like Barack Obama, how differently would the news media and his adversaries treat him? Yet how many of his supporters would then regard him as just another one of “them”?
Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak? This verbal class distinction, by now Should be antique If you spoke as she does, sir Instead of the way you do Why, you might be selling flowers, too!
An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him!Continue reading →
Bill O’Reilly should have been fired before he made fun of Maxine Waters’ hair. Now would be the worst time imaginable to fire the blow-hard, untrustworthy Fox News pundit, because it would allow partisans to silence an opinion-maker whose opinions they hate by employing shameless and unjustified race-baiting. That tactic, employed repeatedly and futilely against Rush Limbaugh and other high profile conservatives, is unethical, and must not be validated by success.
In case you don’t follow O’Reilly, 1) I salute your taste and time management, and 2) here’s what caused the controversy:
O’Reilly was stopping by the set of “Fox and Friends,” and along with the gang on the couch watched some of Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ speech attacking President Trump. After the clip, O’Reilly said, “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”
Being in the Land of the Dimwits, O’Reilly sparked an idiotic defense from co-host Ainsley Earhardt, who said, fatuously, “You can’t go after a woman. Plus, I think she’s very attractive.”
Why in the world can’t you “go after a woman” when the woman is an elected official who says ridiculous things as routinely as clockwork? Earhardt’s statement was sexist on its face, and as O’Reilly quickly found out, it wasn’t sexism that he was going to be accused of with his mean James Brown wig comment. By the way…
…he had a point.
It’s a nasty, ad hominem, unprofessional point, however, that lowers political discourse into the gutter. O’Reilly has been doing this in various ways from the beginning of his career, when he wasn’t misrepresenting his credentials, his conduct, or other matters. This, however, was a relatively minor example.
Never mind though: Waters is black, so by the infinitely adjustable weaponizing definition of racism used by progressives, black activists and Democrats for the previous eight years, to criticize her at all is to be a racist. This was a sub-version; criticizing a black woman’s hair is racist. OK, comparing a black woman’s wig to an iconic black soul singer’s wig is racist. Or something: just cry racism, and the hope is that it will tar O’Reilly so badly that he will become unemployable, and no progressive will ever have their blood pressure raised by him again.
All over social media, progressives of note and non-note called for Bill’s head because his comment was “racist.” This really takes chutzpah, since mocking Donald Trump’s hair and skin-color virtually became a national pastime in Leftist Land during the 2016 campaign, and is still. What’s the standard being advocated here? Calling a white President”s comeover anything from a dead animal to decomposing vegetables is perfectly acceptable political discourse, but comparing a black House member’s wig to the hair of a dead rock icon is too horrible to tolerate? The Washington Post published a feature called “The 100 Greatest Descriptions of Donald Trump;s Hair” last June. It included such entries as
He’s the most impressive- looking Presidential candidate ever, and Fox News has apparently never heard of him.
I usually watch CNN in the morning, but today I decided to try to stomach “Fox and Friends” as long as I could. Fox News, as we know (or should), is often deliberately unfair to Democrats, skimps on criticism of Republicans, and enjoyed Hillary Clinton’s loss so much that the faces of many of their alleged broadcast journalists are still frozen into Joker-like smiles. Fox News is unbalanced to the right, which means that it is intentionally trying to counter-balance the relentless leftward tilt of the rest of the mainstream media, hence the tongue in cheek “fair and balanced” slogan. Get it??? (It is constantly amazing to me how many people don’t.)
Yeah, I get it. Thus I am on notice of Fox’s biases, and indeed grateful that one network is transparent about them (MSNBC makes two.) All I ask from Fox News is that it doesn’t make me ashamed to be tuning in by being unconscionably incompetent and stupid.
This morning I was half-asleep, so the “Fox and Friends” giggling from the couch didn’t get to me as fast as it usually does. There was an interview with John McCain, who turned on the interviewer’s (I think it was Brian Kilmeade, but frankly, I don’t want to know these hacks’ names—I have baseball statistics to store) leading question about Sec. of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s friendly relationship with Russia—the question begged McCain to agree it was nothing to worry about–to slam Russia, saying, “these people are murderous thugs.” That was fun. But then the gang had an endless visit from a mindreader—yes, “Network” is no longer satire—as whatever dyed blonde woman Fox had on the couch this time squealed, “That was AWESOME!,” and—I’m not making this up—interviewed a 13-year-old “historian,” as if a 13-year old could be a historian. (I wanted to ask him to explain what was wrong with Chuck Todd’s “history.”)
Incredibly, all this didn’t make me want to flee into the street, screaming. This did: Continue reading →
Ex-Fox Blonde Gretchen Carlson and Fox stud-muffin Roger Ailes
Gretchen Carlson is suing Fox News Chair Roger Ailes for retaliating against her for refusing his sexual advances. I don’t know whether her allegations, which are disturbing to say the least, are true. The most sensational of them is her claim that Ailes, when she came to him to complain about sexual harassment from her co-hosts on “Fox and Friends,” said, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
Ailes denies her account, but then, he would whether it was true or not, for that statement is pure, unadulterated sexual harassment by all by itself.
Indeed, a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox by Carlson once would be such a slam dunk that it is interesting that she never brought one. I stopped watching “Fox & Friends” in part because Carlson was harassed almost every day by co-hosts Seven Doocy and Brian Kilmead, and it made me angry, and to some extent angry at Carlson for putting up with it.
In 2009, Carlson complained to a supervisor that Doocy “had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast.” Indeed he had. You can see examples of this repeated and juvenile conduct here and here.In her suit, Carlson says that her co-hosts had been “mocking [Gretchen] during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show, and generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful journalist rather than a blonde female prop.” To this, Ailes reportedly told Carlson that she was a “man hater” and “killer'”and said that she needed to learn to “get along with the boys.” Continue reading →
[Yes, I know I’ve had this video up twice already, but since the mainstream media is pretending that it either doesn’t exist or is the equivalent of one showing a cat getting its head stuck in a jelly jar—come to think of it, they would probably show that—I’m going to keep posting it, and asking you to send it far and wide, until every American with two objective brain cells to rum together can see it and consider what their elected leadership thinks of them.]
Give credit to the Washington Post: four days after a video surfaced in which Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber told an academic audience that the Affordable Care Act was intentionally written to hide the fact that it was a tax and that the process intentionally avoided transparency to deceive “stupid voters,” it is the only member in good standing of the Mainstream Media Obama Administration Promotion and Defense Club to mention Gruber’s revelations. Not in its print edition, mind you (well, not exactly: more on this in a bit), but online. That’s still an achievement, because as of my writing this, news sources referencing Gruber’s cheery admission that the Administration willfully lied to the American public include: Hot Air, Fox News, The Weekly Standard, The Huffington Post, Mediaite, Politico, The Boston Herald (Boston’s conservative alternative to the Globe), The Washington Times, Bangor News, Forbes, The Free Beacon, The Federalist, The Blaze, National Review, Bloomberg, and the Daily Caller. (Oh: MSNBC, the official Obama shilling network, put Gruber on to defend himself on friendly turf. His defense? His words were “inappropriate.”)
See a trend? No NPR, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, New York Times….it’s a conservative story, you see. Pay no attention, you know how those “baggers” are. They make stuff up, or twist things, or edit tapes to make it look like Democrats and Obama are doing bad things. It’s mostly racism. Bigotry. You don’t want to go there. Stick with us! We’ll tell you the Truth.
The problem with this approach—-which has certainly served Obama well, as the media has largely minimized the damage from multiple scandals and flagrant instances of disastrous incompetence that the same news media would be proclaiming its horror in skywriting if the Administration was headed by a Reagan, Bush or Romney—-is that this one can’t be hidden, won’t go away, and has unavoidable significance. Obamacare is going back to the Supreme Court, you see, and the issue will turn on what the words and the intent of the law is. Will it make a difference that one of the key figures in writing the law—which never went through a House or Senate committee, nor was subjected to floor debate in its final form—admitted, indeed boasted in public that the text of the law was an exercise in obfuscation and deception? It just might. That makes the video not just news, but big news, news the public has a right to know, news that is fit to print.
Yes, I know the New York Post has made an art form of in-your-face, outrageous, I-can’t-believe-they-printed-that headlines and front page shenanigans, epitomized by the deathless classic, “Headless Body Found In Topless Bar.”
Yes, I know that Post is owned by Australian schlockmeister Rupert Murdoch, and yes, I know that the Obama-hating market is large and especially enthusiastic after the Tuesday Night Massacre Democrats just suffered under President Obama’s leadership.
And yes, I know that this is essentially a cartoon via photoshop, and that insisting that the Office of the President must retain its dignity after Bill Clinton got through with it and Democrats en masse declared that it didn’t matter how disgusting a POTUS’s “personal” conduct was in the White House as long as poll numbers were high and unemployment was low, so come on, Bill: lead our national convention in condemning how Republicans denigrate women!
I know all that. It doesn’t matter. Barack Obama is the President of the United States, and this kind of personal, disrespectful ridicule insults not just him, but the office he holds, the nation, and every citizen of the United States of America. If this front page were published in France or England, I would regard it as an attack and an insult. Where is the line where legitimate editorial criticism becomes vicious, culture-poisoning disrespect and a breach of ethical journalism standards? I don’t know; we can argue about it. Wherever the line is, this is over it, by a lot. Continue reading →
Especially when they do it to me. Unfortunately, for him, the victim this time was Chris Daughtry.
On June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day, Fox and Friends had rocker Chris Daughtry and his band performing (for some reason: D for Daughtry?). Later, during the after-show, host Steve Doocy was overcome with patriotism and bad musical taste and suggested that Daughtry return to sing a “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” extemporaneously with the other hosts, Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, and Heather Childers.
Daughtry, nicely but unequivocally, refused, causing an awkward scene, and also bringing down a barrage of abuse on himself from Fox viewers, so much so that he later felt the need to explain and apologize in a video.
He shouldn’t have. Doocy was way out of line, incredibly so, for someone supposedly in a branch of show business. It is rude and unfair to put a performer on the spot in front of an audience and 1) ask him or her to perform something unplanned and unrehearsed; 2) to request musical services that were not required in the contract, essentially as free entertainment, and 3) worst of all, to frame it as a patriotic act, making Daughtry look like a villain when he refused, as he should have, when the singer was in truth the victim of Doocy’s clueless presumptuousness.
Doocy and Fox owe Daughtry an apology. No performer, ever, should be put in this position without his prior knowledge and consent.
Anyone who follows news coverage from an objective perspective has to be grateful for Fox News, as unattractive an object of admiration as it is. The mainstream media partisan and political bias is palpable, and materially damaging to democracy, so Fox’s looking glass perspective does a great deal to relieve the imbalance by reporting legitimate stories that the other networks unconscionably bury. To CNN, a missing Malaysian airplane justifies scanty coverage of dangerous U.S. foreign policy fiascos, growing evidence of criminal political activity by the IRS, and California state senators under indictment. To CBS, a smoking gun memo showing the White House deliberately misleading the public and the press in the wake of the Benghazi violence isn’t worthy of reporting. Fox remedies these and more, every day. For the remedy to be effective, credible and respectable, however, the network has to avoid justifying its ideological critics’ attacks by behaving like a clown act. That shouldn’t be so hard, really. It only requires hewing to professional journalism standards. For Fox News, however, this is often hard, and sometimes, like this morning, too hard.
Fox and Friends decided to report a minor news event in Saugus, Massachusetts as a miracle. I’m sure this pleased Fox’s demographic of god-fearing Christians, but it is juvenile, unprofessional, silly and incompetent journalism, and proselytizing to boot. After this, there is no reason not to expect that the next time Jesus’s face is said to appear on a tortilla, Fox will break into its programming with a BREAKING NEWS!! alert. This is supposed to be a morning news show, not the “Hour of Power” or the “700 Club.” Continue reading →