On Thanksgiving Day, Shannon Epstein, 25, climbed aboard a Spirit Airlines flight headed from New Orleans to New Jersey. However, after the plane left the gate but before it could take off, Epstein allegedly began causing a scene, accusing a Latina family seated near her of “smuggling cocaine.”
Because of the wild accusation, airport officials decided to redirect the plane back to the gate so that Epstein could be removed. However, she refused to cooperate, reports say. When deputies tried to force her to deplane, she became “extremely combative,” said Capt. Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
During a scuffle with six deputies at Louis Armstrong International Airport, Epstein supposedly caused several injuries. She has been accused of biting one officer in the arm to such an extent that she broke the skin. She has also been accused of kicking another officer in the groin.
Many other news sources including NBC News, Yahoo! and The New York Post are headlining this story and giving it far more circulation and attention than the typical “wacko goes nuts on an airplane” tale.
Why do Shannon Epstein’s antics matter? They don’t. She’s irrelevant to the nation, national security, the economy and the culture. Thousands of more substantive crimes have been committed by similarly insignificant people since she had her meltdown.
Last week Donald Trump had dinner at Mar-a-Largo with Kanye West—I’ll start calling him by his new name, Ye, once I’m convinced that it’s not just another gimmick, or in other words, “never”—as well as Nick Fuentes, a 24-year-old leader of an annual white-supremacist event called the America First Political Action Conference, and Karen Giorno, a veteran political operative who worked on Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign. Never in my memory has the identity of dinner companions ever been used by the media as a supposed smoking gun against the dinner’s host. West, you may recall, had a much publicized meeting with Trump when he was President; he has recently been “cancelled” for making what seemed like anti-Semitic comments. (Kanye, it is fair to say, is mentally unstable and a publicity addict, and is likely to say anything at any time.) Fuentes dining with Trump, however, has been the focus of most of the criticism from the media, political figures, and others. The Times’ house anti-Trump specialist, Maggie Haberman wrote,
Even taking at face value Mr. Trump’s protestation that he knew nothing of Mr. Fuentes, the apparent ease with which Mr. Fuentes arrived at the home of a former president who is under multiple investigations — including one related to keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago long after he left office — underscores the undisciplined, uncontrolled nature of Mr. Trump’s post-presidency just 10 days into his third campaign for the White House.
She (and her co-reporter Alan Feuer) also quoted several figures who condemned Trump’s guest list:
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this,” David M. Friedman, who was Mr. Trump’s longtime bankruptcy lawyer and then his appointee as ambassador to Israel, wrote on Twitter. “Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.”
“This is just another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump, which, combined with his past poor judgments, make him an untenable general election candidate for the Republican Party in 2024,” said Chris Christie, a former governor of New Jersey who is considering a candidacy of his own.
“Matt Brooks, chief executive of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said, ‘We strongly condemn the virulent antisemitism of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, and call on all political leaders to reject their messages of hate and refuse to meet with them.’”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the C.E.O. of the Anti-Defamation League, condemned Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Fuentes, [saying], “Nick Fuentes is among the most prominent and unapologetic antisemites in the country…He’s a vicious bigot and known Holocaust denier who has been condemned by leading figures from both political parties here, including the R.J.C….[that Trump ]“or any serious contender for higher office would meet with him and validate him by sharing a meal and spending time is appalling. And really, you can’t say that you oppose hate and break bread with haters. It’s that simple.”
I apologize for the vulgarity, but the only way for the obnoxious and unethical attitude highlighted in the op-ed by America’s most insubstantial paper’s smugly woke female sportswriter is to make it clear to all just how indefensible such positions are, and how irresponsible it is to keep publishing them. Let her go write a fringe blog that nobody will read.
Tom Brady was happy to talk politics until he wasn’t.The Make America Great Again hat in his locker, the flippant endorsement of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Only when those ties became inconvenient did Brady decide he wanted to “stick to sports,” and that he preferred to be a beacon of positivity rather than delve into society’s thorny ills. How mighty white of him. Brady’s ability to enter and exit the debate at his choosing, to shield himself from accountability, is the height of white privilege.
Asshole. I’m sorry, but no other word will do. Asshole, asshole, asshole:
1. Nobody has an obligation to talk about politics or their preferences ever. Ever. The less celebrities like Brady do it, the better.
2. Despite the AUC’s thirst for revenge and the sick need to “punish” those who had the audacity to support the elected President of the United States rather than to savage him daily and try to drive him from office, Tom Brady has no “accountability” for choosing to publicly support Trump while he was running for office or when he was under siege while in office. Unethical journalists like Armour, however, have a great deal of accountability for dividing the country and weakening our democratic institutions, including the press, out of sheer hatred and arrogance.
3. The “ties’ are only “inconvenient” because totalitarian-leaning creeps like Armour are determined to purge non-conforming Americans from society if they don’t fall into line with their progressive betters.
Facts don’t matter to a mob. This is why indulging mobs–ever and at all—is foolish and dangerous. It is also why the current push to remove the Emancipation Statue, also known as the Freedman’s Memorial, has to be resisted, and successfully.
I know a slippery slope when I see one; I think I’ve established that since I saw this particular slippery slope being greased five years ago. I saw that it would slide right into the Founders and an attempt to separate the United States from its origins and the brave and brilliant patriots who risked everything to attempt this experiment in liberty.
If any statute of Lincoln is allowed to satisfy the mob’s lust for vengeance and power, any memorials and honors to Jefferson and Washington are doomed, including the Washington Monument. As with the less violent and more dignified—but no less dangerous— mobs that destroyed lives and reputations during the Red Scare and McCarthy era, politically motivated mobs like the Black Lives Matter-catalyzed demonstrators will treat each victory as a green light for escalation. It is astounding that so many supposedly educated people in government, academia, business and the arts have somehow forgotten this fact in their rush to grovel and submit, hoping, as Winston Churchill observed of appeasers, that the crocodile would eat them last.
The attack on America escalated when NFL players began “taking a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem, one of the main symbols of our nation and its values. The players and their spiritual leader, Colin Kaepernick, made incoherent efforts to explain why their disrespect during the Anthem wasn’t aimed at the melody, but at the nation it—well, the racism that—well, they never could manage to explain their logic. That’s because the protest was really aimed at the United States itself. Continue reading →
So depressing to observe the reactions of the Facebook Borg to my post about Elizabeth Warren’s self-outing as a lying demagogue. They couldn’t process it; they put their metaphorical fingers in their ears and hummed; they attacked the messenger (me); they channeled the generally-derided Politifact whitewashing of the “Mike Brown was murdered” lie. One lawyer friend apparent deep-dived Ethics Alarms to try to find a post that would contradict my position regarding Warren (and Kamala Harris). She couldn’t, but pretended she had by metaphorically waving an essay in which I applauded a man acquitted of murder by reason of insanity who later admitted to others that he had killed someone when he was younger and insane. (I can’t find the damn thing myself.) She then called me a liar and a hypocrite, because I had described the man as a murderer when he was innocent in the eyes of the law. A lawyer made this argument, mind you. I explained, not too nicely, that her analogy was idiotic, since there was no murder and no crime in the Brown case, so law prof Warren’s calling it either was dishonest and indefensible, while in the case of the recovered madman, there was a murder, a crime, and a murder victim. Though the acknowledged killer he was fortunate enough to have committed his crime in a state that holds the insane unaccountable, that fact didn’t change the act or the crime.
I don’t know why I bothered. Warren fans, like Bernie Bros, appear to be completely immune to facts and reality.
1. Why is there such a compulsion to corrupt the innocent, even the fictional innocent? I was hardly an admirer of those late 60s and 70s Sid and Marty Kroft Saturday Morning TV shows with people dressed in huge, garish thing-costumes and being relentlessly cheery. You know the ones: “H.R. Puffnstuff,” “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour,” “Lidsville”—those. In addition to being assaultive and unfunny, they also inspired Barney, for which the Krofts should never be forgiven.
Still, lots of kids loved the shows and characters, and they should be able to cherish those memories. Hollywood, however, seems determined to debase everything it can, especially fond memories, either by sexualizing them or making them dark, or both. (The re-boot of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Riverdale,” the series based on the “Archie” comics, are cases in point.) Now we have the new “The Banana Splits Movie,” in which Bingo, Drooper, Snorky and Fleegle are re-imagined as murderous psychopaths.
I avoided George Clooney’s film “Good Night And Good Luck” when it was released, because I knew it had been designed as an anti-Bush administration allegory, weaponizing Edward R. Murrow’s battle with Senator Joe McCarthy as progressive propaganda. Seethe courageous and principled journalists stand up against ruthless Republican bullies! See the dangerous power-abusers strike back with guilt by association allegations and by attacking the messenger! See the objective, non-partisan journalists help bring down the threat to democracy!
I finally watched the film this week, and was struck by several things. First of all, the movie, which Clooney directed as well as co-starred in (as Fred Friendly) was much better and fairer than I expected: let that be a lesson to me.
Second, David Strathairn as Murrow once again showed what an excellent and under-appreciated actor he is, although his voice is an inadequate substitute for Murrow’s rich baritone. Third, Senator McCarthy really was a sinister creep, and it radiates from the screen. Those who still defend him, like Ann Coulter, are allying themselves with the Prince of Darkness. The man claimed that the ACLU was a Communist front organization!
Most of all, however, I was struck by how ironic and convoluted the film’s analogies had become in just 14 years, and found myself wondering who Murrow would regard as the bad guys today. For example, Murrow, speaking of McCarthy’s hearings on Communists in the Army and elsewhere, tells his audience that while Congressional hearings are an important part of the body’s oversight function, the line between legitimate hearings and “persecution” is thin. What would he think about today’s Democrats’ endless fishing expeditions designed to find some justification for impeaching the President?
Murrow went on television to condemn McCarthy’s repeated accusations based on assertions of facts, evidence and documents that didn’t exist. Would he have done the same today, but with his target being Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca) or Gerald Nadler (D-NY), both of whom have repeatedly, McCarthy-like, claimed to have “proof” of President Trump’s collusion that didn’t exist? Continue reading →
1. How low can they go?NBC News published a 1768-word article this week examining Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s slave-holding ancestors.
The 1850 and 1860 censuses reveal that between them, two of the Kentucky Senators’ great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned at least 14 slaves in Alabama.The article’s apparent objective is to suggest that Sen. McConnell’s ancestors may have influenced his policy positions, implying that he is racist by blood.
Nah, there’s no mainstream news media bias!
Asked about his ancestors in a press conference, McConnell pointed out that Barack Obama also has slave-holding relatives in his family tree. Mitch was nicer than I would have been. I yield to no one in my dislike for the Senate Leader, but this is a self-evident smear ny NBC, a blatant “guilt by association” ploy with the damning associations being with people McConnell never knew.
Have you no sense of decency, NBC, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
In full disclosure, my father’s mother’s family, also from Kentucky, owned slaves. One of them, a housekeeper, continued to be employed by the family, and my grandmother cared for her in the woman’s old age, as a permanent guest and companion until she died.
Amazingly, this did not make me a fan of Mitch McConnell.
2. I’m STUNNED! Well, no, actually I knew this more than 30 years ago, when I oversaw a non-partisan study on the issue. From NPR:
Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would increase the pay of at least 17 million people, but also put 1.3 million Americans out of work, according to a study by the Congressional Budget Office released on Monday.
The increased federal minimum could also raise the wages of another 10 million workers and lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, according to the nonpartisan CBO. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 and last increased a decade ago.
The budget watchdog’s report comes ahead of next week’s vote in the House of Representatives on a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum to $15 an hour by 2024.
The minimum wage is an example of the Left’s “Don’t confuse us with facts, our minds are made up!” orientation when it comes to thoroughly debunked socialist cant. It’s pretty simple: when the compensation required for certain jobs outweigh the value of those jobs, the jobs disappear. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the author of the Raise the Wage Act, argued that the benefits in CBO’s forecast far outweighed the costs. Tell that to the restaurant owners who will have to close up shop, and the 1.3 million who lose their jobs, Bobby. All for the greater good!
Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who push a massive minimum wage increase are counting on the public’s ignorance, as in other issues. Continue reading →
The problem with so many of the statue-toppling/ renaming debacles at U.S. universities isn’t just that they are transparent grandstanding, virtue-signalling and pandering to power-seeking black activists. The more disturbing problem is the intellectual vacuousness and lack of critical thought that school administrators display in the process of their grovels. The recent action of Bowling Green State University in Ohio is a particularly noxious example.
[Correction notice:the post originally had the university in Virginia, perhaps because I was once pulled over for reckless driving in Bowling Green, Virginia. Anyway, that was wrong. My apologies.]
Lillian Gish ( 1893-1993) had an epic film career spanning 75 years, from 1912, in silent films, to 1987. She was frequently called the “First Lady of American Cinema,” and film historians credit her with introducing basic movie performing techniques to her craft. The PBS series, American Masters devoted an episode to Gish’s life and achievements; Turner Classics Movies observes,
Having pioneered screen acting from vaudeville entertainment into a form of artistic expression, actress Lillian Gish forged a new creative path at a time when more serious thespians regarded motion pictures as a rather base form of employment. Gish brought to her roles a sense of craft substantially different from that practiced by her theatrical colleagues. In time, her sensitive performances elevated not only her stature as an actress, but also the reputation of movies themselves.
She had 120 film and TV credits before she was done, including “Night of the Hunter,” an enduring classic. In short, she was important. She enhanced the culture and her industry, and she earned her honors. She should be remembered.
Bowling Green State University has honored Lillian Gish (and her less-celebrated acting sister Dorothy) for more than 40 years. But members of the college’s Black Student Union objected the theater’s name, on the grounds that in 1915, when she was 22 years old, she was one of the stars in D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” a seminal work in the U.S. film canon by one of its most talented and influential directors. The film, despite its artistic merits and importance to the development of the movies, is widely regarded as racist in content and purpose, celebrating as it does the rise of the Klu Klux Klan. The film is also blamed in part for the rise of Jim Crow in the South, also aided by President Woodrow Wilson’s open promotion of the movie as well as Griffith’s political views.
None of which has anything to do with Lillian Gish. Actors don’t write scripts or control a movie’s message, nor are they responsible for how audiences perceive a film beyond their own performances. D.W. Griffith was not only the early 20th Century’s equivalent of a Stanley Kubrick or Steven Spielberg, he was young Lillian’s patron and metor. She had literally no choice other than to accept his decision to cast her in his Reconstruction opus; to rebuff him would have risked ending her career. Nor was there any way, in 1915, for Gish to know what the impact of “Birth of a Nation” might be, or to know, while she was being filmed, what the director would do with the footage.
Gish was not responsible for the movie, and holding that she was is as ignorant and indefensible as it is unfair. Continue reading →
Too many festering ethics issues to cover in as much detail as they deserve…
1. The deterioration of the New York Times, and with it respectable print journalism, continues. Over the weekend, the Times published a very large, front page diagram showing the President in the middle of a circle of indicted aides, advisers and others with some connection to his campaign. (I’m looking at it right now; I can’t find a version on the web to post.) It belongs in the Guilt by Association Hall of Shame, and some other shameful halls as well. Literally none of the indictments involve any campaign activities by Trump or his campaign that would constitute illicit cooperation with Russia to affect the 2016 election—you know, the supposed point of having a Special Counsel. The bulk are so-called “process” violations, which means that the individuals lied in some aspect of the investigation, and was charged to pressure him to “flip” on the President.The one individual whose charges are linked to Trump is Michael Cohen, whose actual crimes had nothing to do with Trump, and whose alleged crime involving Trump–paying off an adulterous sex partner to keep quiet—is probably not a crime at all, even though Cohen pleaded guilty to it to save his skin.. The graphic proves nothing and clarifies nothing. It is just raw meat for Trump-haters, asserting guilt without substance. Similar circles could be assembled around many, many national figures and politicians (Bill Clinton comes to mind, and Barack Obama), especially following two years of targeting their associates.
2. Ann Althouse vivisects Tom Brokaw. Just go to this link and read Ann’s expert commentary on Tom Brokaw’s bizarre turn on “Meet the Press,” and the even more bizarre tweets he issued to apologize to the social media mob for opining that “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation.” (Hispanics assimilate just fine, especially when they are here legally.)
Yes, poor Tom really did tweet, ” my tweet portal is whack i hv been trying to say i am sorry i offended and i so appreciate my colleague.”
3. This would be an unethical quote of the day except that CNN fake media ethics watchdog Brian Stelter says and writes unethical things so often that it is no longer worth highlighting. Stelter re-tweeted with favor this quote from a panelist on his show as they discussed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex:
“She’s got a target on her back because she ticks every box that makes conservative men uncomfortable.”
Of course, this is pure race- and gender-baiting, the progressive and media reflex response to any criticism of female or minority Democrats, and insulting to women and progressive men as well. I assume many of the latter—the smart ones, anyway—are also made “uncomfortable” by arrogant, ignorant, under-qualified, anti-Semitic, Socialist naifs who garner a disproportionate amount of publicity while advocating absurd and irresponsible policies. A member of Congress who blathers like AOC would be like fingernails on a blackboard if she were a midde-aged he of Nordic descent.
Boy, Stelter is terrible. I hereby apologize to Howard Kurtz for being so hard on him when he had Stelter’s job. Compared to Stelter, Howard is me.Continue reading →
1. You know, like the Democrats and feminists didn’t like Brett Kavanaugh…In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a group of five high school girls confessed to targeting a boy with false sexual assault allegations just because they “don’t like him.” Now the boy’s parents, Michael J. and Alicia Flood, have filed a lawsuit claiming that Seneca Valley High School students in Pittsburgh “conspired in person and via electronic communication devices to falsely accuse [their son] of sexual assault on two occasions.” They are suing the girls’ parents, the school district and the Butler County District Attorney’s office. Why the DA? Because it has refused to charge the girls, and why should it? They should have been believed, right?
2. Pssst! LA? This is unconstitutional. I guarantee it. In Los Angeles, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring city contractors who have ties to the National Rifle Association to disclose them. “Are you now or have you ever been a member….?”
3. Tales of the Slippery Slope. Hey, if high school conduct is fair game, why not the third grade? The Hollywood Reporter published a tell-all by White House advisor Stephen Miller’s third grade teacher, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Nikki Fiske. She told tales out of school about when Miller was her student at Franklin Elementary School, revelations designed, of course, to show that a weird kid grew into a Trump-abetting monster. He ate glue! He was messy!
Fiske was pulled from her classroom and is now on paid leave until the school district decides what to do with her. The concern is “about her release of student information, including allegations that the release may not have complied with applicable laws and district policies,” district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said.“This has been picked up by other digital publications and blogs, and some issues have been raised.”