Unethical Tweet Of The Month: New York Magazine Columnist Frank Rich

Stay classy, Frank.

Stay classy, Frank.

Full disclosure: I went to college with Frank Rich. He gave me a rave review for a performance once. When he turned into the vicious, biased, hateful jerk he reveals himself to be in his not merely progressive but irrationally  hostile to conservatism op-ed columns and, prior to that, his vitriolic and hyper-critical theater reviews for the Times, I don’t know. Maybe if I had befriended him back then, he would not be the bitter misanthrope his is today. Maybe just an outstretched hand, a kind word, or a sharp, “Why don’t you stop being such a dick?” would have turned the tide of his life around. Alas, we shall never know.

Here is what Rich tweeted yesterday, upon learning of the guilty verdict handed down against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife:

Rich Tweet

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Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

You can read details here.

Well, It's about time.

Well, It’s about time.

It has been about two weeks since MSNBC talking head Martin Bashir said, on the air, not spontaneously but reading from a script, that Sarah Palin deserved to have someone shit in her mouth. I have previously commented on the incident and its aftermath here, here, here and here, which is more than Bashir is worth.

Briefly…

  • Bashir should have been fired. That would have asserted that MCNBC had standards of civility and professionalism. This suggests it has none, at least when a conservative is the one being abused on the air.
  • He should have been fired immediately. Late is sometimes better than never, but it is also significant when a network, faced with an employee who engages in objectively outrageous conduct that doesn’t merely cross the line, but pole vaults across it, appears to be pondering, as in, “Hmmmm. How bad is it, really, when a host suggests that someone hold down a former vice-presidential candidate and defecate in her mouth? Tough one! What’s your take, Lou?”
  • Bashir’s producer and editor should have been disciplined, if not fired as well.  Continue reading

The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, Cultural Pollutor…But Only One Among Legions

Interestingly, THIS grove understands ethics better than Lloyd.

Interestingly, THIS grove understands ethics better than Lloyd.

There are three primary reasons the United States of America is getting steadily disoriented, more gullible, less discerning, cruder and unethical. The first is that our leaders now only care about maintaining power, where once  leaders tended to their duty of being what John Adams called America’s aristocracy. Such leaders, not too long ago, modeled the best values and behavior for the public because they carried the most crucial responsibilities, and thus had to be trustworthy. They understood this obligation was theirs because they had the most visibility, and recognized that this demanded positive, admirable, virtuous public behavior. Now our leaders use sophisticated modern marketing techniques to package themselves and ideas like a phony weight-loss remedy, gradually dropping the facades once they are too entrenched to remove. The dispiriting journey make us cynical, less civically involved, and confused. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Alec Baldwin’s Employer, Whomever It May Be; Currently, This Means MSNBC President Phil Griffin

When MSNBC journalists attack!

When MSNBC journalists attack!

How is it that the old saw goes? “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me; Fool me 3,256 times, I’m an idiot”? Something like that.

Actor Alec Baldwin has proven by his actions and words, over and over again and beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is a foul-mouthed, hair-pin tempered bully with poor impulse control and the flattest of learning curves. I could list the impressive number of incidents that he has been involved in making that statement beyond debate, from a leaked phone voice message of him verbally abusing his daughter, to his tirade against a airplane stewardess who dared to ask him to abide by the rules of the air and stop playing a game on his Iphone, to obnoxious tweets that have led him to suspend his account more than once. Lately, his specialty has been hurling anti-gay slurs at photographers. Baldwin has been in the public eye for decades, and knows how celebrity works, but either doesn’t care, or can’t help himself. He has also paired his atrocious behavior with the outspoken progressive tirades and half-baked opinions of a man who is nowhere as smart as he seems to think he is.

The latter, of course, has saved his career from one way ticket to Mel Gibsonville. As gay conservative-turned-liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote after Baldwin’s latest fiasco, Continue reading