Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/9/2020: As Fact Begins To Imitate Outrageous Fiction, For Some Reason

Be careful out there…

People appear to be going nuts….in many cases, the exact same people who have, in the recent past, pressed Impeachment/Removal Plan E, ”Trump is mentally ill so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.” Ironic.

This week I stumbled across a comedy now playing on Netflix starring Stephen Yeun, most memorably seen on “The Walking Dead” with half his head caved in and his eyeball hanging out. The movie is called “Mayhem,” and is about a kind of flu that removes people’s impulse control, causing them to do and say whatever they feel like doing or saying, no matter how inappropriate or illegal. The illness strikes a BIgLaw firm, which is quarantined and locked down while its employees go bananas. It’s an excellent metaphor for what is going on right now, but much funnier.

And so far, at least, bloodier.

So far.

1. And now for something completely stupid...Even after being warned at the Golen Globes by Ricky Gervais that they know nothing about the real world and should avoid making political pronouncements, Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix announced after the award show that in order to help save the planet from climate change, he would wear the same tux to all the awards shows this year. He really said that. No, seriously, he really did, and he was not engaging in satire (but if the Babylon Bee used that as a story, everyone would assume it was satire.) Then designer Stella McCartney company, also apparently seriously, tweeted (because that tux the actor will be wearing is one of theirs), “This man is a winner… wearing custom Stella because he chooses to make choices for the future of the planet. He has also chosen to wear this same Tux for the entire award season to reduce waste. I am proud to join forces with you.”

I’ve worn the same tux for ten years. Phoenix doesn’t even pay for his tuxes (I pay for mine!), like his female colleagues who get their designer gowns free. There have been some funny jokes about the actor’s ridiculous virtue signaling, many involving underwear, but never mind: what I want to know is, how can anyone take people who think like this seriously, or respect anyone who solemnly nods when they hear about such pompous nonsense, “Hey, right on, man. Save the planet”? Yet a substantial chunk of an entire political party appears to be this far gone.

2.  Wait—are they trying to make our heads explode like those robots and computers that Captian Kirk would destroy by making them think about a contradictory statement? Is that their plan? I admit: I don’t understand this at all. A “Saved by the Bell” reboot, sequel, whatever you want to call it, is on the way. Starring original stars Mario Lopez (who now hosts celebrity gossip shows) and Elizabeth Berkley (whose career never recovered from her starring in the camp classic “Showgirls,” the plot sounds nauseatingly ‘woke,” as it involves now California Govetnor Zack Morris (the gown up character in the original played then by Mark Gosselaar, who actually has a career and doesn’t need to stoop this low) being criticized for closing too many low-income high schools, so he announces that the affected students will be sent to the highest-performing schools in the state, including  his old stomping grounds, Bayside High. Hilarious! I smell a hit! But here’s the beauty part: playing the role of the cutest, most popular cheerleader at Bayside, the role originally played by Tiffany Amber Thiessen, will be played by Josie Totah, a transgender female ( transgender male? I’m still unsure of the right terminology. She began life as a male). Isn’t this just a stunt? On one hand, I’ll fight to the death for the right of any actor to play any role, wear any make-up, use any device, as long as the vehicle itself doesn’t suffer. On the other hand, by casting a transgender actress who has made a point of publicizing her biological origins, the production guarantees that nobody will be able to watch “Lexi” without thinking about things that have nothing to do with “Saved by the Bell.” Continue reading

Final ‘Week Before Christmas’ Ethics Shopping, 12/16/2019: Joy, Obama, And JPMorgan

Inspiring Christmas lyrics of the week:

Oh, the world is your snowball, see how it grows
That’s how it goes, whenever it snows
The world is your snowball just for a song
Get out and roll it along

1. That this kind of thing could happen at a major bank in 2019 is inexplicable and disgusting. Jimmy Kennedy, a nine-year NFL veteran,  earned $13 million during his nine-year career and had been told that he would be accepted as a “private client” at JPMorgan Chase, an elite designation with perks like travel discounts, exclusive event invitations and better deals on loans. When he went to  his local JPMorgan branch in Arizona to determine why he had not been accepted into the cataegory, he was told by his representative, who is black, “You’re bigger than the average person, period. And you’re also an African-American. We’re in Arizona. I don’t have to tell you about what the demographics are in Arizona. They don’t see people like you a lot.”

Kennedy recorded the conversation, and after pulling most of his money out of JPMorgan,  complained to the bank as well as an industry watchdog agency. The bank sent him a letter saying, “You stated that Mr. Belton informed you that our firm was prejudiced against you and intimidated by you because of your race. We found no evidence to substantiate your allegations.”

He also sent the recording to the New York Times, which wrote about Kennedy’s experience. A few days later, Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, sent a memo telling employees that such behavior “does not reflect who we are as a company and how we serve our clients and communities every day.”

That’s the Pazuzu Excuse: “It wasn’t me!” Sorry, chief, but if you have employees treating African Americans like Kennedy was treated, that is who you are as a company, and as CEO, you’re responsible. Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: NBC News (And It Goes Right Into The “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Files]

That’s the tweet. Here was DJT Jr.’s response:

And here was non-partisan blogger Ann Althouse’s response to that:

He’s right. They are hacks. And it was blackface.

And NBC knows it was blackface, though the truly awful Bahar denies it on the link.

Althouse is right that Trump Jr. Is right, and that they are hacks. All of the mainstream media are untrustworthy, biased, dishonest and manipulative hacks, as we enter a crucial political campaign and impeachment fiasco in which public civic literacy and awareness are critical, even as these organization attempt to  undermine it to advance their own political and ideological agendas. Their behavior could hardly be more dangerous, divisive, or destructive.

Now tell me again why it is wrong for the President to call them out as “enemies of the people.” That description is as accurate as “hacks”, and far more correctly alerts us to the seriousness of their corruption.

And to disgrace and expose themselves to hold common cause with the sordid likes of “The View’s” most ignorant and hateful loudmouth! Astounding! I am again reminded of this moment in “A Man For All Seasons,” as Sir Thomas More confronts the man who lied under oath to falsely prove More'[s alleged treason:

But for Joy Behar!

Ethics Warm-Up, 11/8/19: “People Who Need To Leave” Edition

1. Clean-up on the baseball aisle! Last April, I wrote a post urging Baltimore Orioles first-sacker Chris Davis to retire and save his desperate team some money, since it is clear that he can no longer play at a major league level despite being paid 23 million dollars in 2019, with a similar amount due him through 2022. At the time, Davis Davis was 0-for-23 with 13 strikeouts and  hitless in 44 at-bats since the previous season, when Davis batted .168, the worst in major league history for a regular, with a horrible .539 OPS (On base percentage plus slugging percentage), and a -2.5 WAR, meaning that the Orioles would have won 2.5 more games with a borderline major leaguer from the minors playing in his place.

Several readers have emailed me asking how things turned out for Davis, who did eventually get a hit, and who was still in the starting line-up frequently enough to hurt the team. The answer is that Davis was better than he was in 2018, but he was still horrible. He batted only .179, with a -1 WAR, and an OPS of  .601. He earned more than $418,000 per hit.

He’s earned almost 119 million dollars in his career, yet appears willing to continue to embarrass himself and hurt his team and team mates for three more sure-to-be-ugly seasons in order to collect another 69 million.

Yechhhh.

2. More on Joy Behar’s terrible, no good, very bad week: The highlight of Donald Trump Jr.’s visit to “The View” came after Behar recited the typical and overly-familiar talking points about Trump Sr.: “[President Trump] called some Mexicans rapists [Correction: He referred to illegal immigrants from Mexico as rapists who were rapists] , he attacked the handicapped, [No, Joy, he mocked a single handicapped reporter, and there is some evidence that he didn’t even do that], he bragged about it” [Huh?], and “We heard the ‘Access’ tape, where he bragged about grabbing women by their genitalia.” [No, he never said that he had personally grabbed any women “by the pussy.” Boy, am I sick of THIS narrative..] Rather than quibble with her, DJT Jr, had come armed and ready, and replied, “We’ve all done things that we regret, I mean, if we’re talking about bringing a discourse down, Joy, you’ve worn blackface.” Continue reading

Evening Ethics Update, 11/7/2019: Dr. King Is Un-honored, Virginian Republicans Are Non-Functional, Fox News Is Pro-Darkness, And Joy Behar Is Still An Idiot [CORRECTED]

Good evening…

1 . The progressive deterioration of the ridiculous Joy Behar. It’s clear the stress of engaging in issue debates for which she lacks the temperament, the education or the necessary data is stressing out Joy. On today’s edition of The View, some studio audience members who hadn’t received the memo that they were expected to only endorse the “views” of  the correct side of the political spectrum applauded guests Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle as they supported the President. Behar snapped at them, “This is not a MAGA rally!”  In such places there may be technically free speech, just not free non-conforming speech without abuse.

2. This makes no sense at all, nor is it ethical. Eric Ciaramella is the so-called whistle-blower who gave Rep. Adam Schiff the wisp of an excuse he needed to manufacture Plan S for removing the President, the supposed “quid pro quo” deal to make the Ukraine look for “dirt” on Joe Biden and his son. Lots of sources have published this—heck, I have—and no one has credibly denied it. In schoolyard terms, the cat is out of the bag. Nor is it in any way illegal for a news organization to publish what is increasingly public information. Okay, say he’s the “alleged” whistleblower.

Nonetheless, a Fox News executive sent out an email ordering Fox personnel, including hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, not to mention the name on the air because the network “had not confirmed it.”

Fox News, as you know, is always so careful about the accuracy of what its talking heads say.

Fox News media ethics watchdog Howard Kurtz defended not releasing the name of the whistleblower, saying it would send a “chilling message” to whistleblowers in the future. What “chilling message?” That if you decide to fulfill your partisan goals and help your pals by trying to bring down a President with rumors and hearsay, you should have the guts to do it publicly and accept the consequences? It’s not the news media’s job to make things easy for whistleblowers, and it is especially not their job to pretend that information already being publicized is a mystery.

The background and professional connections of this “whistleblower”—he’s really a leaker—are relevant to his credibility and the legitimacy of the current impeachment push. The public has a right to know, and democracy dies in darkness. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month (And STUPID Beyond Belief, As Usual): Joy Behar Of ABC’s “The View”

(Bear with me: This video will be relevant by the end, I promise..)

“If you’re going to take people’s guns away, wait until you get elected — then take the guns away. Don’t tell them ahead of time.”

“The View’s” panelist Joy Behar, commenting on Beto O’Rourke’s exit from the Democratic presidential nomination race after announcing that he advocated the confiscation of semi-automatic weapons.

I don’t even watch “The View,” and Joy Behar’s ignorant and strident vocal abuses of law, ethics and logic have still made it into many Ethics Alarms posts. Imagine if I actually watched the show regularly. The woman is astoundingly ignorant, and celebrates it, issuing loud and emphatic opinions that would be argued down in a competent 7th grade class (if there are such things), yet ABC gives her a public platform that is only responsibly reserved for, if not brilliant and knowledgeable pundits, at least ones that could win a game of Scrabble with a Dachshund puppy.

You know what her last featured howler was on Ethics Alarms? This: she asked, in reference to a President Trump tweet mocking Rep. Omar, “Why can’t he be brought up on charges of hate speech?Why can’t he be sued by the ACLU for hate speech? I don’t get it. How does he get away with this?”

Why? WHY, you incredibly ill-informed woman? Because there is no such crime as “hate speech.” Because the ACLU defends free speech, it doesn’t sue people for what they say. You don’t get it because you’re the most illiterate, ignorant pundit on television, maybe on television since its inception. He gets away with this because it’s the United States, and we have a Bill of Rights. Or as the late Sam Kinison would say,

This latest must be my favorite Joy cretinism. See, she’s a typical progressive totalitarian as well as a dolt. The way to get your agenda enacted is to lie to the public so they vote you into office based on false pretenses!  Sure, that’s the ticket! And not just any agenda, either—this isn’t like Barack Obama promising to be a unifying President who favored neither black not white. No, Joy wants candidates who plan on gutting individual rights to lie about their plans so citizens will go to the polls like lambs to the slaughter. Usually it’s villains that TV shows trying this trick, monsters like Hitler and Sideshow Bob. The View has a permanent panelist who endorses that route to power, openly, proudly.

She better watch out: Democrats don’t want her spilling the beans like that,

Of course, the strategy is impossible. To begin with it’s unconstitutional, but naturally Joy, having slept through school, doesn’t know this. Second, eventually people would find out that Beto’s Brownshirts were going door to door, and the results would not be pretty. These are just details, however: Joy just says whatever flotsam and jetsom  flots into her cranium, and does her level best to make View viewers as brick-stupid as she is.  Here are some other Joy highlights from past posts:

Speaking of Joe Biden’s habitual groping: “It’s a long way from smelling your hair to grabbing your hoo-ha… I don’t think it rises to the point we’ve been listening to like Harvey Weinstein and the rest of these people”

Justifying Democrats  manufacturing imaginary offenses by the President: “Because we’re desperate to get Trump out of office. That’s why.”

Explaining how the GOP can control the Senate when more votes were cast for Democrats in the House: “Because of gerrymandering!”

On the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Kavanaugh hearings: “These white men, old by the way, are not protecting women… They’re protecting a man who is probably guilty.”

Responding to Alan Dershowitz’s  criticism of Mitch Mconnell blocking the Merrick Garland nomination: “Well then how come Mitch McConnell is not in jail? That’s what I want to know.”

There are many more. Now, Joy has a right to be stupid, but she does not have a right to have a major network facilitating her making the public stupid. As I wrote here, I don’t advocate her being forced off the air by boycotts, in the manner that so-called liberals have tried to silence Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. That’s censorship; that’s the Left’s MO in 2019. However, it is irresponsible for any network to package the clueless opinions of a woman with the intellect of a Pet Rock for public consumption. It’s like selling tainted food, or a car that keeps breaking down.

It is broadcast malpractice. She should be fired. She should have been fired years ago.

I even wrote a song about it. Sing the words to the music of “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”(from “The Sound of Music”) in the video above. I skipped the intro: it starts with the main theme.

Can’t The View Fire an Idiot Like Joy Behar?

Can’t the View fire an idiot like Joy Behar?

Why can’t they put that loudmouth in her place?

The View should protect the public from her nonsense

And wipe that smug expression off her face.

Many a thing you know they’d like to tell her

There is so much she doesn’t understand

But how can they make her read

Or research before a screed

You might as well try to lift a baby grand…

Oh, how do you fix an idiot like Joy Behar?

When will this moron finally be canned?

She is constantly confused

Ill-informed and so bemused

Hasn’t read the Constitution even once…

She’s predictable I guess

Since her values are a mess

She’s not clever! She’s not funny! She’s a dunce!

But Joy’s certain she is smart

And with gusto plays the part

Of the brave progressive warrior at work

Confrontational and loud,

She’s intolerant and proud

She’s embarrassing…let’s face it,

She’s a jerk.

Can’t the View fire an idiot like Joy Behar?

Why do they want to make their viewers dumb?

It’s so perverse inflicting her like they are…

Her opinions are like a drug that makes brains numb.

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her

Millions of things she doesn’t know and more

But how do you make her stay

And listen to what you say

When her IQ is stuck at eighty-four?

Why can’t they fire an idiot like Joy Behar?

 Why won’t they show that imbecile the door?

__________________________

Pointer: Steve Witherspoon

Slow Friday Ethics Pick-Me-Up, 7/19/2019: The Chant, The View, The Times, The Recidivist, The Fire, The Comic

Let’s see…what’s percolating today?

1. Do they even teach the First Amendment any more? I wonder how many of the Trump supporters who chanted “Send her back!” regarding Rep. Omar were doing so tongue in cheek, and realized that the U.S. can’t “send back” naturalized citizens? I admit that I’m rather afraid of the answer.

Yes, there’s a big difference between the President’s “why don’t they go back” line in his stupid tweets and “send her back,” but there’s no way he can escape some accountability for the ugly chant. He now says he disagrees with it, and except for those who will always assume the worst motives in this President, there is no reason to doubt that; after all, if he believed she should be “sent back,” he would have tweeted as much himself.

Of course, when network-anointed “experts” on social policy and politics like the ladies of “The View” broadcast ignorance of the First Amendment to their loyal and gullible audience, it doesn’t help. Co-host Joy Behar—is she the dumbest one on the panel? I think so— asked yesterday why President Trump had yet to face any legal consequences for “hate speech” directed at Democratic Rep. Omar, blathering, “Why can’t he be brought up on charges of hate speech?Why can’t he be sued by the ACLU for hate speech? I don’t get it. How does he get away with this?”

“Hate speech is tricky,”  was the best that cowardly former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin could muster to clarify matters, making things worse. There is no such thing as “hate speech” in the law, which means it is more than “tricky,” it is a delusion, unless one means “hateful speech,” which can be a subjective definition, but is nonetheless protected by the Constitution.

If ABC were a responsible network, a comment like Behar’s should trigger an instant on-air intervention in which a team of law professors, judges and maybe a literate 6th grader or two burst onto the set and explain to this fool what freedom of speech means. Continue reading

The Absurd Media, Feminist And Progressive Hypocrisy Regarding Joe Biden’s Sexual Misconduct, PART II: “The View” Weighs In

(Part I is here.)

Some additional observations:

  • Jazz Shaw and other conservative pundits are writing that Joe’s handsy act “isn’t sexual harassment.” Wrong. If it was unwelcome, it was sexual harassment, and even if it wasn’t and made others in Joe’s workplace proximity uncomfortable, that was “third party” sexual harassment. To his credit, CNN’s Jake Tapper reached down deep and accessed his recently slumbering common sense and integrity to correctly point out that  other men who behave in the same way would get “reprimanded” or “potentially even fired” from their jobs.
  • Shaw and others are also harping on the timing of the harassment allegations. Are they politically motivated? Sure they are, just as Anita Hill’s sudden realization that she had been harassed after more than a decade was politically motivated; just as the sudden appearance of women claiming Donald Trump harassed them coincidentally occurred while he was running for President. In a word—well, two—so what? Biden belongs to a party that has taken a strict liability, no-tolerance, “believe all women” stance following the #Me Too eruption. He knew it, and progressives with eyes knew that Biden was a serial toucher/hugger/groper/nuzzler/sniffer/fondler. Given their professed position, it was hypocritical that Joe got away with his Dirty Uncle bit for so long, and arrogant (or stupid—it’s Biden, remember) that he thought he could get away with it forever.
  • My head had a  serious aftershock when the enabler and apologists for Joe settled on the “that’s just the way he is”; “he doesn’t mean anything by it”, and “he’s a decent man” talking points.

KABOOM!

See, there’s another one; even writing about this is dangerous.

If “that’s just the way he is,” then what he is is a serial sexual harasser. “He didn’t mean anything by it” has been a lamer than  lame rationalization for misconduct and criminal activity since the Madison administration, usually to excuse the mentally challenged. Finally, if he keeps fondling/touching/sniffing/nuzzling/ and kissing when all of his political kith are shouting to the skies about men being sexual predators, he’s not decent. Like the late George H.W. Bush, who told young women with his grasp that his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel,” he’s willing to use his position and status to abuse women. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/23/2019: Fame And Infamy

Good morning from Ft. Lauderdale!

This warm-up was supposed to be up yesterday, but our flight to Ft. Lauderdale was delayed for four hours, then after we were on the runway, a passenger had some kind of medical emergency, sending us back to the gate and causing more delay. We got to our hotel after midnight, and I wasn’t capable of putting up the post.  Not that I’m in that much better shape this morning…

1. Covington Catholic Students Ethics Train Wreck update.

  • I just listened to HLN’s shameless effort to change the subject and cover for the news media in the false narrative  pounded for more than a day regarding the students. Whether the chaperones were negligent of not is irrelevant to whether journalists and pundits were unprofessional and irresponsible in attacking the students., for example. Also infuriating is the “well, people have different reactions to the video” shrug. Yeah, bigots and race-baiters who have no concern for facts or fairness think it’s politically helpful to punish kids for wearing hats supporting a President they hate.
  • Then there is Sarah Beattie, a Saturday Night Live writer, who posted this:

Nice. Of course, an ethical network would discipline an employee who tried to incite an attack on a teen, and no, she may not have been serious, but this isn’t a joke.

These are bad people. Res Ipsa Loquitur. Continue reading

The Unethical And Deliberately Misleading”Senate Popular Vote” Talking Point, Or “Why Is The Left Trying To Make The Public More Ignorant Than They Already Are? Oh, Come On! You Know Why…”

Look at those crazy shapes! GERRYMANDERING!!!!!

Progressives and the news media have decided that they don’t like the Constitution, so they are actively trying to confuse the public, which is depressingly easy.

We know Democrats and the mainstream news media hate the Electoral College and don’t view it as “legitimate.” The latest anti-Constitutional spin is that there is a national “popular vote” that should rigidly dictate the party representation in Congress. Vox’s Ezra Klein suggested that a revolution was coming if the imaginary Congressional “popular vote favored Democrats and Republicans held the House, but that’s Ezra and Vox—I assumed that this was an aberration. No! The same wacked-out theory was all over social media. The concept is based on regarding the Democratic and Republican Parties as Borg-like hives, with there being no legitimate distinction between on party candidate or another, as if no voter actually cares about experience, character, the record, skills, or any of those minor matters. Party is All.

I hate to keep pointing out that the Left is behaving, speaking and thinking increasingly like totalitarians, but the Left is behaving, speaking and thinking increasingly like totalitarians. Here’s what one of my Facebook friends, a lawyer and pretty openly a militant socialist, wrote yesterday (in part):

If you are on the left, fight for your ideal candidate in the Democratic primary and then vote Democrat in the general. The primary is the time for “who should represent the left in this election.”The general is the time to support the left over the right.

I don’t care if that nominee is “too far left” (Gillum) or “too centrist” (Sinema or McCaskill) or just “not exciting enough.” In every general election in the United States there are two candidates who have a chance to win. The Democrat is on the left, the Republican is on the right.

There is never a situation in which the agenda of any self-identified progressive or liberal or marxist or socialist or lefty or whatever is advanced by a win by the Republican. Never.

As anyone who has read Ethics Alarms for any length of time knows, I reject that argument absolutely. It is unethical, flat out. The agenda of our representative democracy is to have qualified, dedicated representatives and leaders whose judgment we can trust. It is, however, a nice summary of how someone can rationalize voting for people like Hillary Clinton, Bob Menendez, Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters. Or Jack the Ripper, as long as he ran as a Democrat.

But I digress. Totalitarians can only prevail by misleading the public, and so the “popular vote” confusion is apparently deemed worth promoting. ABC’s News’s Matthew Dowd brought up the fact that more ballots were cast in favor of the total number of Democratic candidates than Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate. That’s a nice piece of meaningless trivia, but he raised it as if it meant something. It doesn’t, but “The View’s” Joy Behar—remember, this woman has a daily platform to spout her analysis of news and politics—finished Dowd’s thought by saying, “Because of gerrymandering.” Continue reading