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 Hero: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch

The Supreme Court this week granted 19 states’ request to temporarily block a lower court ruling that ordered the Biden administration to end Title 42, and agreed to expedite review of the Biden administration’s effort to eliminate the use of an alleged continuing pandemic emergency to justify border officials skipping asylum processing details to quickly expel illegal immigrants. The end of Title 42 will create “a surge of [illegal immigrants] at America’s southern border,” says The Hill. That’s amusing, since there is already such a surge and has been since Joe Biden threw out a virtual welcome mat for those wanting to take the benefits of U.S. residents regardless of what our laws say. The proper phrasing would be “even greater surge than the unacceptable and irresponsible level being permitted already.”

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had directed the Biden administration to end the policy this month, but the Court’s unsigned order put the ruling on hold and effectively kept the so-called Title 42 policy in place for now. This pleased opponents of the ongoing efforts by Democrats to allow as many illicit immigrants into the U.S. as possible, but many were surprised that the six Justice conservative majority didn’t follow the desires of Republican state attorneys-general en masse. The three-justice progressive minority dissented from the opinion in lock-step, as we would expect, and Justice Neil Gorsuch dissented from his conservative colleagues, based on law, principle, integrity and the Constitution. He wrote in part,

The States may question whether the government followed the right administrative steps before issuing this decision…But they do not seriously dispute that the public-health justification undergirding the Title 42 orders has lapsed. And it is hardly obvious why we should rush in to review a ruling on a motion to intervene in a case concerning emergency decrees that have outlived their shelf life….The only plausible reason for stepping in at this stage that I can discern has to do with the States’ second request. The States contend that they face an immigration crisis at the border and policymakers have failed to agree on adequate measures to address it. The only means left to mitigate the crisis, the States suggest, is an order from this Court directing the federal government to continue its COVID-era Title 42 policies as long as possible…For my part, I do not discount the States’ concerns. Even the federal government acknowledges “that the end of the Title 42 orders will likely have disruptive consequences.”

But the current border crisis is not a COVID crisis. And courts should not be in the business of perpetuating administrative edicts designed for one emergency only because elected officials have failed to address a different emergency. We are a court of law, not policymakers of last resort.

Well, bingo. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Christmas Eve At Kamala’s

They aren’t “migrants,” they are illegal immigrants, breaking the laws of a nation where they don’t belong. They are, however, people.

About 130 illegal immigrants, fresh from Texas, were off-loaded from buses in front Vice President Kamala Harris’s home on one of the coldest Christmas Eves ever in Washington, D.C.

They arrived after a 36-hour journey, many without clothes or blankets to gird against the weather, though non-profit groups arrived to coordinate travel and housing and provide food, coats, gloves and shoes to cope with the sub-twenty degree temperatures. The buses were sent by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, directed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“They have been doing that for a few months now; it’s all for the spectacle,” a pro-illegal immigration activist told the New York Times. “The cruelty is the point. It’s awful to use people in this manner, for political reasons.”

Kant held that it is unethical to “use people” for any reasons. Then again, Vice-President Harris, charged with dealing with the administration’s border-crossing fiasco, has agreed with the Department of Homeland Security that the border is secure. Washington, D.C. is blandly repeating that talking point, and the news media is spinning it.

We had a similar ethics quiz in September, and many of the issues are the same, but I regard the distinction between sending the border-jumpers to the charming and elite resort of Martha’s Vineyard in the Fall and busing them to D.C. to arrive in freezing December weather material.

Your Ethics Alarm Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Is Abbott’s shipping illegal immigrants from sunny Mexico to freezing Washington unethical?

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An Unethical Quote Of The Month By ABC Clinches The 2022 Ethics Alarms “Most Unethical Profession” Award

“You talk about open borders, I don’t think I’ve ever heard President Biden say, we have an open border come on over, but people I have heard people say it are you, former President Trump, Ron DeSantis, that message reverberates in Mexico and beyond…”

—-ABC’s Martha Raddatz, desperately spinning for Democrats and the Biden Administration

I always had a soft spot in my heart for Martha Raddatz, because she rminded me of Dick Radatz, the greatest relief pitcher in Boston Red Sox history and my favorite reliever of all time, period. I knew Martha spelled her name with an extra “d,” but always held out hope that they were related. She even looks a bit like “The Monster,” don’t you think?

But I gave up on Martha after her disgracefully biased moderating of the 2012 Vice-Presidential candidates debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. The latest is even more disgusting. Raddatz actually made the argument that Republicans and others describing the current policy of the Biden Administration regarding illegal immigration at the southern border as what it is has caused the flood of illegals into the U.S. Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Back-Up White House Spokesman John Kirby

“If anyone gets any kind of idea in their head that taking away from Karine or her work, that’s really regrettable. And I’m very sorry that that’s any impression that anyone would have.”

—-National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications Spokesperson John Kirby, a retired Navy rear admiral, responding to a bold reporter who asked what his role was at the White House, since “almost everywhere I go, I have Black people telling me that the reason you’re at the White House is to undermine the first female Black [press] secretary. So can you clarify that?”

John Kirby, the deft and articulate Pentagon spokesperson who was brought to the White House to stand in for Karine Jean-Pierre whenever possible since she is incompetent but can’t be fired, issued the above tersely, showing why he was called upon for the half-rescue mission.

He continued,

I am simply working at the National Security Council, on national security communications. And with her good graces I’m able to come up here every now and then to talk to you about national security issue. That’s my portfolio. That’s where I’m limited. That’s where I’ll stay. And I do it at her invitation and with her approval to come up here. That’s the focus. I’m happy to answer national security questions and that’s about it.

Great answer! Diplomatic, elusive, pretending to deny the truth without doing so…he regrets that anyone gets the impression that he’s covering for Karine’s ineptitude (which is what “undermining” really means in this context), and he’s sorry that anyone has figured it out (though it is obvious to anyone who has heard Jean-Pierre babble and noticed the stark contrast with Kirby’s clarity and  skill. Kirby proved what his role is while ducking the question and preserving Karine’s dignity, such as it is.

Meanwhile, here was the White House paid liar lying about the recent Martha’s Vineyard debacle (for hypocritical illegal immigration fans): Continue reading

TGIF Ethics Round-Up, 9/16/2022: The Watching Open Borders Hypocrites Squirm Edition

I would have an easier time ruling that the latest conservative trolling tavtic of sending illegal immigrants to ostentatiously woke “sanctuary cities” (and islands) is unethical if the residents and politicians in those locales could just keep their mouths shut and show some integrity and consistency. But they just can’t do it. Not only do they have no shame, they have no shame about having no shame. How, for example, can the Martha’s Vineyard hypocrites who sport that obnoxious, virtue signalling sign on their front lawn continue to go through life without hiding their heads under a bag?

It took less than 24 hours for the rich enclave of progressives, where poor Alan Dershowitz find himself a pariah for criticizing Democratic efforts to criminalize politics, to ship the 50 imports from Florida to this charming military base:

A sign like that in Martha’s Vineyard is like a “Welcome Sharks!” sign in Amity. Conservatives are gloating, and they have every reason to gloat. And mock. And point. Honestly, how can these people—this whole political party—bear to look at itself in the mirror?

1. But wait! There’s more! Speaking of not having the sense to shut up, I give you Hillary Clinton, who told “Morning Joe” that sending illegals to Martha’s Vineyard was “literally human trafficking.” Pausing to mock and point, Prof. Turley explained why this is “legal nonsense,” reminding readers that Hillary is a lawyer:

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Ethics Quiz: Those Illegal Immigrant Exporting “Stunts”

In today’s Open Forum, veteran commenter Arthur in Maine writes in part,

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the fact that Ron DeSantis sent two charter planes loaded with illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard, which is about 10.5 miles south of me. I find this situation absolutely hilarious on the macro scale. But from an ethics standpoint, it’s more troubling.

1) The Biden administration has been flying illegals to airports all over the country and dumping them off. This, in my view, is unethical (as is the administration’s policy on the southern border). Essentially, DeSantis did the same thing, but that doesn’t make it ethical in return.

2) Conservative media is, in my opinion, overstating the reaction on the left. Unethical. That said, there’s enough pearl clutching on the left to make this all highly entertaining. To me. Which is unethical, and I’m not proud of it, but I never claimed to be perfect.

3) DeSantis’s timing could have been better. Most of the uber-rich limousine liberals with summer homes on the Vineyard head out around Labor Day. Had he done this in August, he actually could have made this a bigger story. Which would, of course, be unethical – but no more so than it already is.

4) The aforementioned pearl-clutchers on the left are calling this a political stunt, using illegal aliens as pawns. That argument is not without merit. But it’s curious that they didn’t seem to care much when the border states were bearing the brunt of hundreds of thousands of illegals by themselves. Which is… unethical.

DeSantis’s move, though it is funnier and more diabolical (can something be ethical and diabolical?), has to be considered in the same category as the busloads of illegals that were sent to the “sanctuary cities” of New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The original idea was the inspiration of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, or a particularly creative advisor.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Is it unethical for the governors of Texas and Florida to be sending illegal immigrants to ostentatiously progressive destinations?

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Afternoon Ethics Woolgathering, 7/20/2022: Conspiracies And Condign Justice

July 20 should be permanently recognized as Conspiracy Theory Day. It’s the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969, and the event spawned one of the most hilarious of all conspiracy theories, that the whole thing was faked by NASA. Many believe it still. This one is an anti-government conspiracy theory, so perhaps the “Truthers” fantasy that George W. Bush bombed the Pentagon and Twin Towers on 9/11 has passed it. Or maybe the theory that a Kennedy assassination conspiracy involving President Johnson and the CIA is at the top of the list. My 8th grade history professor told our class that it was a fact that FDR conspired to let the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor so the U.S. would enter the war.

A friend from childhood, smart to the point of brilliance, who once commented here often, sincerely believes that Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship is a hoax.

These conspiracy theories that cause people to believe their own government is a malign force are very harmful. More harmful yet is the current environment, where both political parties are vigorously pursuing conspiracy theories against the other.

It does not help the situation that some conspiracy theories, like the one that long held that the government was withholding evidence of unidentified flying objects, turn out to be true.

1. Condign justice dept. “Condign justice” was a term I never heard or read before George Will started using it. Then I stopped reading George Will, whose NeverTrumpism revealed him to be a classist hypocrite, requiring me to use it. Today’s example is the mayors of New York City and Washington D.C. complaining bitterly about being inundated with illegal immigrants. New York is suffering in great part because of its proud position as a “sanctuary city,” thus encouraging illegals to violate our laws. NYC Mayor Eric Adams demanded yesterday that the federal government help pay for what he said was a wave of illegal immigrants pouring into the city, as he whined about the city’s “safety net” being strained by busloads of people coming from border states and elsewhere. (CBS News helpfully apes Adams in calling the border-breachers “asylum-seekers,” hoping to cover-up what they really are.)  Awww. Well gee, Mayor, if you didn’t openly invite them and say they would be welcomed and protected from our mean old laws, maybe there wouldn’t be so darn many.

Some old saw about making beds seems to be appropriate here. Idiot. Continue reading

Now THAT’S An Incompetent Journalist!

I have several large, complicated ethics issues to write about (like the LibsofTikTok fiasco) and I’m not looking forward to it, so I’m starting this morning with an easy call that confirms many of my deeply held convictions.

One is that journalists, as a group, just aren’t that sharp. There are exceptions, but they are exceptions: this is a field that has never attracted the best and the brightest, and it is a structural problem that has become a major problem in the age of the “new journalism,” which is advocacy journalism, as in unethical journalism. The people with the largest metaphorical megaphone lack the wisdom, acumen, education of critical thinking skills to justify their having it. Yet they really think they know best, and have the right and the duty to use a job that was supposed to be about informing the public to manipulate public opinion for what journalists think is “the greater good.” They don’t know what the greater good is. Most don’t know what “good” is.

Chris Cillizza isn’t just any journalist: he’s supposed to be one of the better ones. Horrible thought: he probably is. He’s an editor at CNN, and before that he wrote the daily political blog of The Washington Post, and was a regular writer for the Post on political issues as well as a frequent panelist on “Meet the Press.” He also has a long rap sheet on Ethics Alarms, despite the fact that I avoid following his regular forays into fake news, propaganda, and biased punditry. Who knows what I’ve missed. Continue reading

Unethical Joe Biden Quote Of The Week: Time For “The Julie Principle”?

The President is rapidly getting into Trump territory, saying so many outrageous things so frequently that it feels churlish to call him on it. Is it time to invoke the Julie Principle? I wonder. Ethics Alarms actually called for Joe to have the benefit of it in 2020, but that was before he became President, which clears the slate.

This past week alone, Biden has made one obnoxious, dishonest, absurd statement after another. Notably, he pronounced himself blameless for the Democratic Party wipeout in Virginia and elsewhere: nice accountability there, Joe! I wouldn’t expect your history-censoring party to know this, but after Pickett’s Charge that guy whose statues Democrats got pulled down did NOT say to his returning, bloodied troops, “This wasn’t my fault!”

But that exchange with the reporter reasonably asking Biden about his administration’s reversal regarding his categorical denial that his administration might be paying up to $450,000 to illegal immigrants claiming that the Trump policies separated them from their children was even worse. First of all, his claim that the reporter whose assertion he called “garbage” had suggested that all illegal immigrants were going to be paid $450,000 was a lie. It was explicitly about settling a lawsuit, and when the President said “That’s not going to happen,” he was referring to the settlement—or he was confused because he doesn’t know what’s going on his own administration. The ACLU and his own Justice Department quickly corrected him, so Joe cannot say that he was making a correct response to the ridiculous question he falsely said was asked by Fox’s Peter Doocy. I knew what Doocy meant: it was clear to me.

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