The Jeff Zucker Scandal’s Emerging Details Confirm The Long-Time Ethics Alarms Verdict: This Is And Has Been A Corrupt, Untrustworthy News Organization

And it, meaning its unethical and unprofessional leadership, management and employees, was allowed to manipulate public opinion, national politics, and the nation. Think about that.

We didn’t need more to know CNN President Jeff Zucker was a slimy, ruthless hypocrite—his network was proof enough— but the unfolding scandal has certainly provided spectacular confirmation. You need to thoroughly update yourself at the links, but here are some basics:

  • CNN’s President Jeff Zucker announced on February 2, 2022, that he was resigning from the company, over his illicit affair with subordinate Allison Gollust. The spin on this includes calling her a “colleague.” No, she worked for Zucker. That makes the relationship toxic, not just “inappropriate.” Both Gollust and Zucker left their marriages during the affair.

Who knows what employees, or female or minority employees, were passed over so Zucker could advance his lover’s career? That’s a major reason why the boss having affairs with subordinates is always wrong, always destructive, and must be addressed.

  • CNN talking heads and execs are making excuses for Zucker. One CNN executive told The Daily Beast, “People are pissed. No one thinks the punishment fits the crime.” And that proves how thoroughly ethics brain-dead Zucker has left CNN. When the head of any organization is caught violating that organizations rules and policies, he or she must resign of be fired.

The punishment does fit the crime. Continue reading

Hump Day Ethics Jumps, Bumps And Lumps, 2/2/2022

Nothing like dancing camels to end a perfect day. If only this had been a perfect day…

Meanwhile, I’m so proud! Having told my undergraduate institution that it had so embarrassed me that I would not be attending my BIG reunion this Fall, which I once was looking forward to greatly, it was thrilling to see my law school alma mater, which I also worked for over the next four years after graduation (It liked me! It really liked me!), receive a major honor. Yes, The FIRE named Georgetown University Law Center one of the 10 Worst on its yearly list of educational institutions that do not adequately respect and bolster freedom of speech.

Congratulations, GULC! You’ve worked hard for this the last few years, and the honor is richly deserved.

1. Quit, Whoopi, but let me write your resignation letter. It is being reported that Whoopi Goldberg is furious that she was suspended by ABC for her dumb, ill-considered, offensive but provocative comments about the Holocaust on the dumb, ill-considered, offensive but provocative show “The View.” Her worst statement? I vote for “Well, this is white people doing it to white people. So, this is y’all go fight amongst yourselves.” That was part of her explanation of why the “Final Solution,” in which Hitler’s crazies decided to see the purification of the white race by exterminating “lesser races” like the Semites—just guess what would have happened to the Whoop’s people when Germany took over the U.S. by getting the A-Bomb first!—wasn’t about race. She feels, we are told,“humiliated” at being disciplined  after she followed their advice to apologize. No, no, that’s not what Whoopi should quit over. Charles C.W. Cooke explains it well in “Whoopi Goldberg’s Suspension from The View Is Illiberal and Irrational” at the National Review. Meanwhile, many are asking the unanswerable question, how come Disney, who owns ABC, fired actress Gina Carano when she said on social media—not on TV, not under Disney’s banner, that the repressive political speech climate reminded her of Nazi Germany. The “Mandalorian” star was also dropped by talent agency UTA and Lucasfilms, leading some writers to compare her treatment to the Fifties blacklist. Whoopi got a relatively minor two-week suspension. Double standard there, obviously: Whoopi is a black progressive, Carano is a white conservative. Neither should be punished for an opinion unrelated to their competence at their job. If Whoopi quits, she could do some good by making it clear that it’s in defense of free speech and people being unafraid to speak freely. Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Reflections, 9/13/2020: “Hold On To Your Butts!”

1. Our aspiring leaders:

  • A 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy were shot while sitting in their patrol car at a Metro rail station in Compton, California. Protesters gathered outside the emergency room at the hospital where they were treated. The sheriff’s department found it necessary to tweet:  “To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling “We hope they die” referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL,. People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.” President Trump tweeted in response to the shooting:

Incredible: flat learning curve. After all the uproar about calling people “animals.” And if the shooters are minorities…The only one who can lose this election for President Trump is President Trump.

  • The Times of Israel reports, based on a recording of a virtual fundraiser, that Joe Biden said that the recent development of Arab states normalizing relations with Israel was “something positive” President Trump is doing “accidentally.”

Stay classy, Joe. To be fair, that has been the narrative of the Democratic Party/”resistance”/news media alliance for four years: if something goes wrong, it is the President’s fault; if something goes right, it’s either wrong anyway because Trump is responsible, or it’s just luck or an accident.

2. And now, from the world of sports! Continue reading

Thanks To CNN, Ethic Alarms Welcomes Rationalization #42, The Irrelevant Mitigation: “He’ll/She’ll/They’ll get over it.”

He’ll get over it…

When I hear or read an obvious rationalization that somehow had been left off the Ethics Alarms list, now closing in on ninety ( the new addition makes 89), I think, “That must be on the list somewhere!” When I check and it is not, I marvel, “How did I miss that one?” This was especially true with Rationalization #42, which, please note, bumps “The Hillary Inoculation” to 43, and every subsequent rationalization up one. This is not just a rationalization, but one of the near-evil ones, employed by unrepentant miscreants who count on gullibility, generosity, kindness, forgiveness and fading emotions to allow them to avoid accountability, and harm the same people again later

I almost christened the new arrival “Jake’s Rationalization,” for it was CNN’s Jake Tapper, once a real journalist, now in the final throes of  Sienenization, who uttered it. The topic was the recent CNN “town hall” on guns (described here and here), with an audience packed with angry Florida students and their  families, yielding questioners who were rude, hostile, and frequently full of misinformation.

The The Hollywood Reporter described the reactions of CNN head Jeff Zucker and Tapper as they tried to deny that their disgraceful stunt was what it so obviously was:

…[E]ven as the town hall was receiving plaudits from the mainstream media, the Florida event was being used as an example of how CNN has morphed into a partisan player. “CNN has decided to take this path where they are kind of left-wing advocates,” says Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and organizer of CPAC.

It’s a characterization that CNN president Jeff Zucker finds insulting. “That criticism is silly,” Zucker tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The fact is we were there, we presented both sides. People who want to criticize are looking to just criticize before they even think about it.” He points out that Sen. Marco Rubio could have been joined by Trump or Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, but both declined CNN’s invitation. “That’s not CNN’s problem,” he adds.

Yes, it was being used as an example because it was an example. The fact that the mainstream media gave this monstrosity “plaudits” confirms that it isn’t only CNN that has morphed into a partisan player. “Both sides” were represented like “both sides” were represented at the Alamo. The audience was unbalanced (in more ways than one), the questions were ridiculously unbalanced (but that’s what happens at town halls when the audience is unbalanced), anti-gun activists and pandering anti-gun Democrats were allowed to make factually misleading statements on national television without corrections from the passive moderator (Tapper, in slug-mode), and the two designated defenders of the Bill of Rights on the stage, Marco Rubio and NRA pretty face Dana Loesch were inept and defensive (or perhaps defensive and inept.) Continue reading

ARGHH! Why Didn’t I See This Earlier? (Slaps Forehead)The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck Demonstrates Why We Cannot And Must Not Trust The Mainstream News Media…

This is the revolting, understated, under-reported truth that the still rockin’ Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck has made explicit and beyond dispute. Journalists don’t report the news we need to know. They report the news they choose to allow us to know, when they choose to allow us to know it, in the form that serves their interests. This can no longer be denied by its enablers, who mostly look down on us from the Left.

Daniel Greenfield—yeah, yeah, he’s a conservative and this is on a conservative website—shut up and don’t play that game. He’s spot on—wrote in part..,

“Everybody f____g knew,” a top Hollywood screenwriter wrote of Harvey Weinstein. “Everybody knew” about Matt Lauer at NBC, Variety reports, and it “wasn’t even considered a secret.” “Every female in the press corps knew that, right, don’t get in elevator with him,” ABC’s Cokie Roberts said of Rep. Conyers.

Everybody knew.

The #MeToo sexual harassment scandals have hit CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, PBS, Vox, New Republic, Mother Jones. Forget Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose. They were just the talent. Their big decisions were limited to which hairpiece looked best in all three mirrors and which naïve intern to prey on this month. The heads of the men who actually make the news are rolling left and right.

NPR lost its Chief News Editor and its Senior VP of News. Vox lost its Editorial Director. The New York Times lost its White House Correspondent and Mother Jones lost its D.C. Bureau Chief. MSNBC lost two prominent contributors who had done much to shape the political landscape, Mark Halperin, who had written the definitive media account of the ’08 election, and David Corn, who had debuted the 47% attack on Romney and got the first look at Hillary’s Trump dossier.

The massive media machine built to smear and steamroll Republicans never bothered to report what everybody on the inside already knew. The wannabe Woodwards and Bernsteins in every paper, news bureau and explainer site weren’t investigating the scandals they already knew about. Those weren’t the scandals they were looking for.

That’s why no one trusts them. Hollywood, the media and the Democrats have been preaching to us about sexism and feminism for generations. Meanwhile behind the cameras and the chambers, an assault spree was in progress. And everybody knew.”

Well, that’s one of the myriad reasons nobody should trust them. I don’t think the causal connection between the #MeToo eruptions and the biased. partisan, ideologically driven manipulation of the news by our unethical, incompetent journalists has permeated the public consciousness yet—it took too long  to permeate mine—but I’ll do my part to help, now that my brain has finally has engaged. Continue reading

Conan on “60 Minutes”: Failing His Own High Standards

Conan O’Brien went on CBS’s “60 Minutes” this week, and managed to carefully trash NBC and Jay Leno without crossing the boundaries laid out in his agreement with NBC, which prohibited him from “disparaging” the network that treated him so abysmally and paid him 30 million dollars in the bargain. I sympathize with Conan. A “60 Minutes” softball interview (CBS is a competitor of NBC, remember, so it likes Conan, an NBC casualty and victim; “60 Minutes” only does tough interviews with people they don’t like) is good for Conan’s image, helps him publicize his national comedy tour and his new deal with TBS, and best of all, allows him to stick it to the people who did him dirt. This would be hard for anyone to resist, and obviously Conaa couldn’t. Still, it would have been better if he had. Continue reading

On Hoaxes, Avatar, and More Late Night Ethics

Hoax Update

  • Singer, model, television personality and inexplicable celebrity Tia Tequila announced in December that she was engaged to the heiress to the Johnson and Johnson fortune, Casey Johnson. The troubled Johnson turned up dead in squalid circumstances in January, prompting a grief-stricken online statement from Tia in which she spelled her beloved’s name wrong. Shortly after this, it was revealed that the engagement was a publicity stunt by Tequila, who barely knew Johnson. Fake romances for publicity purposes are as old as the Tudors, but this sort of thing further trivializes truth for an entire generation. Continue reading