Monday Ethics Overture, 2/8/21: I’m Crankier Than Usual Today

I was going to post a poll asking how many readers had watched the “Concussion Bowl.” Last night, right after the game commenced, I went to the local Harris Teeter was one of three customers in the whole store. I’m pretty sure everyone else wasn’t reading Ethics Alarms. I’m curious how many have the requisite integrity and cultural responsibility to reject the showcase of the NFL and its corporate enablers in light of pro football’s continuing profit from inducing brain damage and its nauseating pandering to Black Lives Matter.

But I couldn’t post the poll. Once again, WordPress had changed the ground rules. Now I was informed that I had exceeded my quota of “signals” in the previous polls posted here, and would have to pay a monthly fee to add any more. I had to explain to a nice WordPress agent I “chatted” with online what a “bait and switch” was. “Polls” used to be right on my “dashboard” like every other WordPress feature. No limits were mentioned, until today, when I was told, in essence, “Glad you like our polls, now you have to pay to keep using them.”

It’s not a lot of money, but the nickels and dimes add up. I wrote WordPress explaining that their conduct was unethical, and got an admission that “we should have been clearer.” That’s what all con artists and swindlers say.

1. If starting your day off with a head explosion is your thing, read this LA Times Op-Ed. I won’t comment on it because once I start, I might never stop. Just discussing the Orwellian use of the term “responsible” might take 5000 words. This is why I barely interact with anyone on Facebook now. When someone speaks like this deranged fool, and many do, revealing a distorted view of reality the equivalent of doing LSD in Oz and a comprehension of the Constitution on par with AOC’s, arguing with them is like debating Caligula or a toddler. Sure, it’s a breeze winning on points, but where does it get you?

Continue reading

Cellphone Videos Of Stand-Up Comedy Routines Are Unethical: Ban Them

no cell phonesVulture features an interview with Chris Rock, on which he waxes forth on many topics.I don’t especially care what Chris Rock has to say about Ferguson, but I care a lot about his views on stand-up comedy, where he qualifies as an expert, and the disastrous effect unauthorized videos are having on his art.

Rock has walked off the stage in appearances when he couldn’t stop audience members from filming him, and for very good reasons. He doesn’t want untested, half-baked material to get out to the public via YouTube:

“There are a few guys good enough to write a perfect act and get onstage, but everybody else workshops it and workshops it, and it can get real messy. It can get downright offensive. Before everyone had a recording device and was wired like Sammy the Bull, you’d say something that went too far, and you’d go, ‘Oh, I went too far,’ and you would just brush it off. But if you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier stand-up. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.”

On Elahe Izadi’s Syle Blog in the Washington Post site, other comics voiced similar concerns. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce (Live Performance Division): “Fox and Friends” Host Steve Doocy

Daughtry

Boy, do I hate when someone does this.

Especially when they do it to me. Unfortunately, for him, the victim this time was Chris Daughtry.

On June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day, Fox and Friends had rocker Chris Daughtry and his band performing (for some reason: D for Daughtry?). Later, during the after-show, host Steve Doocy was overcome with patriotism and bad musical taste and suggested that Daughtry return to sing a “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” extemporaneously with the other hosts, Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, and Heather Childers.

Daughtry, nicely but unequivocally, refused, causing an awkward scene, and also bringing down a barrage of abuse on himself from Fox viewers, so much so that he later felt the need to explain and apologize in a video.

He shouldn’t have. Doocy was way out of line, incredibly so, for someone supposedly in a branch of show business. It is rude and unfair to put a performer on the spot in front of an audience and 1) ask him or her to perform something unplanned and unrehearsed; 2) to request musical services that were not required in the contract, essentially as free entertainment,  and 3) worst of all, to frame it as a patriotic act, making Daughtry look like a villain when he refused, as he should have, when the singer was in truth the victim of Doocy’s clueless presumptuousness.

Doocy and Fox owe Daughtry an apology. No performer, ever, should be put in this  position without his prior knowledge and consent.

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Pointer and Facts: Mediaite