Recent Race Card Rankings: Trying Out The Knight Scale

I can see Michael Moore from here!

Ethics Alarms recently proposed the Knight Scale, a way to rank attempts to play the race card or otherwise accuse politicians, satirists, writers, pundits and others of racism in order to silence them, ruin their credibility, or score cheap political points in the media. The Knight Scale was made possible by blogger Christopher Knight, who somehow managed to find a cartoonist’s substitution of Michelle Obama for Marie Antoinette ( as a commentary on the First Lady’s ill-timed–some say—taste for lavish parties and social activities) in a famous painting. Despite the fact that the French queen was not, to my knowledge, black, Knight somehow found this to be blatant racism, thereby establishing the tippity-top of the Knight Scale: you just can’t come up with a more far-fetched, unfair, factually indefensible accusation of racism than that. With that outrageous complaint as a 10, the most outrageous, where would other, necessarily lesser bogus racism claims rank?

Let’s look at last week. From here on, we can count on an ever-increasing number of Knight Scale candidates, since an African-American President  presents such an irresistible temptation for unscrupulous race-baiters, and the entire Obama Administration is seemingly conditioned to cry race bias whenever criticism get hot, so consider this a trial run: Continue reading

The White House’s Wonderland Ethics

This is a weird one.

"Alice in Wonderland" party at the White House? I don't remember any party!

“The Obamas,” one of those “behind the scenes at the White House” books that has become a routine feature of every administration since the Reagans, has the usual tales about First Couples bickering and First Lady power trips. Author and  New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor has caused something of an uproar with her account of the first Halloween party the first couple hosted at the White House, in 2009. She writes that it was so lavish and “over the top” that the administration kept the event secret out of fear of a public backlash. After all, this was a time when the Tea Party was in full swing, the economy was at low tide, and there was the ten-percent unemployment rate, bank bailouts and Obama’s health-care plan battles. Not exactly a smart time for a Marie Antoinette-style costume blow-out. Continue reading