The 8th Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2016: The Last Of The Worst

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Ethics Alarms wraps up the Worst in 2016 Ethics with the usual education and journalism breaches, Ethics Dunce of the Year, and more delights for the sadistic…

Unethical Government Fiasco Of The Year

The Flint, Michigan water crisisA failure of competence, diligence, responsibility and honesty, compounded by bureaucrats, elected officials, the city of Detroit, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the EPA made people sick and cost billions.

Good job, everybody!

Scam of the Year

Sen.Ted Cruz’s fake “official” mailer before the Iowa Caucus. Cruz’s campaign  sent out mailers labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” On the other side, the mailer said, in red letters at the top, “VOTING VIOLATION.” The text read:

You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.

This is why Trump’s nickname for Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted,” was crude but accurate.

Ethics Dunces Of The Year

All the social media users and others who ended Facebook friendships, genuine friendships and relationship over the 2016 election. Haven’t they ever seen “It’s A Wonderful Life”? Morons. Shame on all of them.

Weenies of the Year

The college students who demanded that exams be cancelled, therapists be available, safe spaces be found, puppies be summoned and cry-ins be organized because the awful candidate they supported in the Presidential election lost, as candidates often do.

How embarrassing.

Unethical University Of The Year 

Liberty University.  This is the most competitive of categories, with all the schools that railroaded male students based on questionable sexual assault claims while quailing in fear of the Dept. of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter,” and all the schools that signaled that the results of a simple election justified PTSD treatment for their shattered charges, as well as making it clear to any students who dared to tilt Republican that they were persona non grata. Nonetheless, Liberty University takes the prize with its unique combination of greed, hypocrisy, and warped values. From the Ethics Alarms post:

Last week, with great fanfare, Liberty hired Ian McCaw as its new athletic director. “My vision for Liberty is to position it as a pre-eminent Christian athletic program in America,” McCaw said during a news conference.

This is his first paying assignment since May, when he left his job as the athletic director at Baylor, also a Christian university. His departure was made essential after a thorough investigation that found that those overseeing Baylor’s  football team as well as the management of  the athletic department—that is, McCaw— had been informed of multiple gang rapes and sexual assault by team members and had ignored it, as any good football-loving Christian would….especially when a star was involved.

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Five Reasons Why Melissa Harris Perry’s Email Is Even Worse Than Talia Jane’s Open Letter To Yelp

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Last week, Talia Jane, a low-level Yelp worker, wrote a whining online “open letter” to Yelp’s CEO that became an instant classic in the category of “How not to treat one’s employer.” Yesterday, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry sent an e-mail to her colleagues at MSNBC announcing that she was refusing to appear on her show this weekend because her show had been virtually taken away from her and that she felt “worthless” in the eyes of NBC News executives. You can read the whole thing here, but here are the juicy parts:

” [A] s of this morning, I do not have any intention of hosting this weekend. Because this is a decision that affects all of you, I wanted to take a moment to explain my reasoning…

Here is the reality: our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand, and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced. Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive.

The purpose of this decision seems to be to provide cover for MSNBC, not to provide voice for MHP Show. I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin, or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back. I have wept more tears than I can count and I find this deeply painful, but I don’t want back on air at any cost. I am only willing to return when that return happens under certain terms.

…I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars. I have hosted a weekly program on this network for four years and contributed to election coverage on this network for nearly eight years, but no one on the third floor has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month. It is profoundly hurtful to realize that I work for people who find my considerable expertise and editorial judgment valueless to the coverage they are creating.

While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better. I know who I am. I know why MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime. I care only about substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work. When we can do that, I will return — not a moment earlier…”

As with Talia, this screed has apparently cost Harris-Perry her job. Good. Continue reading

Ethical Quote Of The Week: CNN’s Mike Rowe

In this case, it’s unfair to Mike Rowe’s brilliant and measured rebuttal to MSNBC’s race-baiting talking head Melissa Harris-Perry’s latest ethics pollution to just quote a brief paragraph or two, so I’m going to quote virtually  his entire Facebook post.

Rowe, the man’s man star of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” show and now CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” was responding to Melissa Harris-Perry’s dressing down of a guest who referred to new House Speaker Paul Ryan as “hard-working.” This woman’s mission in life seems to be to make it impossible for white people to speak, since she is meticulously eliminating all words and phrases as either racist, homophobic, misogynist or insensitive. (Donald Trump should send her a bonus, for this kind of thing is what is driving his support) In her latest assault, she said this:

“I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker.” I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work really looks like. But in the context of relative privilege, when you talk about work-life balance, the moms who don’t have health care aren’t called hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.”

Rowe’s diagnosis of Harris-Perry’s world-view was this: Continue reading

Now THESE Are “Feminazis”…Melissa Harris Perry and Kamila Shamsie

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Rush Limbaugh assured himself of a permanent place in the Feminist Hall Of Villains when he coined the term feminazis to describe militant women’s rights advocates two decades ago. Limbaugh’s use of the term was excessively broad and unfair to be sure—to Rush, all feminists are feminazis— but it has become newly appropriate and useful as the Left increasingly advocates fascist tactics when it sees no quick route to its objectives using such repugnant means–to them—as the free market, open debate, merit-based advancement, and individual autonomy.

Is tarring these arrogant ideologues who favor enforced “equality” over basic Constitutional rights such a pejorative label uncivil, unfair or hateful? Why no, in fact. Sadly, tragically, frighteningly, it is entirely accurate. Here are two examples:

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry

Bemoaning the fact that male professional sports pay their athletes more than female sports(because they are more popular, because more men follow sports and because male athletes are, on average, bigger, faster, stronger and better) Harris-Perry made this statement on her far-left even for MSNBC show on the network:

During the break I was trying to think up a solution to the problem of building audience (for women athletes), so my solution is in 2016 we go completely dark on all media coverage of men’s sports, just for one year. We have the only televised sports, the only print sports, it’s only women’s sports, and we’ll just see whether or not women could get a fan base if in fact they were the people who were constantly on our televisions and in our newspapers.

That’s a reasonable “solution” to this TV personality, scholar, teacher, author, pundit, feminist, fascist. Cripple lawful businesses. Restrict communications. Limit commerce, advertising, marketing, merchandising. Restrict the public’s entertainment choices, and male athletes’ earning capacity. After all, it’s all about the vagina, right? If women can’t compete against men, then just eliminate the men, their rights, and their advantages by edict. The First Amendment, the right of contract, equal protection, due process, enjoyment of life—why should they stand in the way of the progressive, feminist agenda?

This is how fascists solve problems.

Melissa Harris-Perry is a feminazi.

PS: In the comments, esteemed reader Charles Green chides me for not taking Harris-Perry suggestion as a joke. First of all, the woman is humorless. Second, the fact that she knew her suggestion could never happen isn’t the same as a joke. That would be a solution to her, because she is squarely in the ends justify the means camp, like all extremists. I am sure readers could concoct “jokes” similar in spirit about “solutions” (facsists love “solutions,” you will recall) to other “problems” involving ethnic, racial or gender designations that Harris-Perry, for one, would condemn in the harshest terms. I know Rush could…

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Ethics Alarms SPECIAL REPORT! Oxymoron Ethics: The Super Bowl Ads

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All Super Bowl commercials are unethical by definition: they aid, abet, reward and perpetuate the gruesome and deadly culture of pro football. I’ve written about that enough lately, however, so when I woke up with a leg cramp this morning at 4:46 AM, I decided to go online and watch the Super Bowl ads. Here is what I discovered:

1. Most Ethical Ad: Pampers

Yet another pro-birth ad during the Super Bowl! This one is especially well done, and for once babies aren’t used as mere adorable props to sell a product unrelated to babies. The spot shows a sonogram of a baby giving her first “hello” with a heartbeat playing in the background, and progresses to show the family’s “firsts” together, from ” first tears of joy” to “first first word.” The ad was especially welcome as a rebuttal to last week’s jaw-droppingly callous and absurd characterization of the abortion issue by MSNBC’s resident radical. Melissa Harris-Perry. She asked a guest,

“Are you at all distressed in the ways that I am about the idea that there is a separate interest between an individual and something that is happening in her body that cannot at that moment exist outside of her body? So, the idea, for example, that I would need a court’s permission for cancer treatment or the court’s permission for a surgery that would remove my hand. Like, if it’s my body, I guess I can’t understand why the state would have to give me permission.”

“Something that is happening” that “cannot exist outside her body”?  This is called “desperately stretching for a deceptive euphemism that avoids the central issue.” The Pampers ad focuses on that issue: more than one human life is involved here. Last year, Harris-Perry said,

“When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling — but not science.”

That’s right: it’s a life if the parents think it is, otherwise it’s just like a tumor or a hand. I suspect that future generations will look back on such bizarre and intellectually dishonest arguments by the pro-abortion groups the way we regard the claims of slavery defenders who claimed that black’s weren’t really human. They will wonder how they managed to prevail in public opinion and policy so long using such obvious and vile nonsense.

One way they managed to prevail is that journalists went out of their way to avoid publicizing the aspect of the controversy that make abortion advocates squirm. For example, I reviewed six online ratings of the Super Bowl ads, and not one of them mentioned the Pampers spot, though commentary, ratings and videos of almost all the others were covered. Fascinating. Continue reading

Melissa’s Apology, Take #2: Much Better!

Melissa finally realized that this photo isn't funny.

Melissa finally realized that this photo isn’t funny.

I posted earlier about the sub-par apologies offered by the infamous MSNBC Three, who decided to indulge their hate for Mitt Romney and Republicans by ridiculing the fact that Romney’s family now includes an adopted African American infant. Either Melissa Harris-Perry got a Martin Bashir memo, or she sincerely decided that she had not adequately communicated regret for the ethically indefensible segment. What she delivered, on the air this time rather than through Twitter, arguable qualifies as a Level #1 apology [“An apology motivated by the realization that one’s past conduct was unjust, unfair, and wrong, constituting an unequivocal admission of wrongdoing as well as regret, remorse and contrition, as part of a sincere effort to make amends and seek forgiveness.”]:

“Without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family. Adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy. But their families, and especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground-rule that families are off-limits. And for that I am sorry. Also, allow me to apologize to other families formed through trans-racial adoption, because I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny or deserving of ridicule. On this program, we are dedicated to advocating for a wide diversity of families. It is one of our core principles. And I am reminded that when we are doing so, it must always be with the utmost respect. We’re genuinely appreciative of everyone who offered serious criticisms of last Sunday’s program, and I am reminded that our fiercest critics can sometimes be our best teachers.”

Harris-Perry deserves special credit for the last sentence. She didn’t have to say that, and it is an excellent point for her to make, especially on her network, where some critics have been told that someone needs to shit in their mouths. Continue reading

Update: Apology Scores For The MSNBC Vicious Three

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Several readers have asked for the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale scores for the three MSNBC creeps who decided to use a loving, non-political family photo featuring Mitt Romney’s newly adopted grandchild as an opportunity to sneer at the family, Mitt and the GOP, and engage in some unprovoked race-baiting. It was such an ugly display that decent human beings a) would never have engaged in it at all and b) wouldn’t have required a wave of criticism to wash over them to realize apologies were in order, but they did. Why? Because they are hateful people, unsavory and loathsome. As such, I really had decided that mucking around in MSNBC swill wasn’t worth a second post, but since you asked, here are the scores. The best apologies are in category #1…no danger of that with this sorry trio.

Apology 1: Dean Obeidallah Continue reading

The Problem Isn’t That MSNBC’s Talking Heads Are “Offensive”…It’s That They Are Unprofessional, Hateful And Loathsome

 

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From Mediaite:

“On Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry (MSMBC) show, the eponymous host led a panel of entertainers in a rundown of the “photos of the year,” which somehow included a Romney family picture that “a lot of people had emotions about,” according to MHP….“Everybody loves a baby picture,” Harris-Perry said, “and this was one that really, a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year. This is the Romney family. And, of course, there on Governor Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.” As Harris-Perry made the introduction, panelist Pia Glenn sang “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” a tune whose original lyrics read “one of these things doesn’t belong.” “And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” she added. …Comedian Dean Obeidallah chimed in by reducing the baby to a token. “I think this picture is great,” he said. “It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”

Then the host, without missing a beat and without sensing any irony, said that the next segment would be devoted to answering the question, “Hey..is that racist?” Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry

 “I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments. President Obama has been labelled with this word by his opponents, and at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a cause for what he’d achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as president, he realized there were still many people for whom he’d never be anything more than that one disparaging word — a belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate. And so he decided if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them. So he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren’t expecting: ‘If that’s what you want me to be, I’ll be that.’Y’all know the word that I’m talking about. Obamacare!”

—MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, on her Sunday morning show, 12/8/13

AKA "MSNBC"

AKA “MSNBC”

That Melissa! Setting us up for the dreaded n-word, and then deftly substituting the O-word, since it’s all racism, and really, what’s the difference?

I don’t know what made me pause my remote on MSNBC this morning. I was trying to find any Sunday talking heads show that wasn’t engaged in an orgy of Mandela beatification, and failing miserably, and though I avoid Harris-Perry like the plague, I guess I stopped to see if she was as full of racist paranoia and hate as ever.

Yup. Continue reading

More Integrity Test Results: The Bad, The Cynical, The Desperate, The Ugly And The Mind-Blowingly Stupid

denial1The last couple of days have added more embarrassing examples of desperate supporters of the Democrats, President Obama and/or the Affordable Care Act thoroughly disgracing themselves by adopting rationalizations, distortions, denial, tortured reasoning and worse to avoid holding President Obama accountable for intentionally misleading the American people for more than three years regarding whether they could keep their healths plan if they liked them, “period.”

Two aspects of this disgusting spectacle are remarkable. One is that there is such a wide and creative variation among the integrity-defying tactics taken by this distinguished assortment of pols, elected officials, hacks, flacks, pundits and journalists. The other is that after this is all over, nearly half the American public will still loyally insist on trusting the promises and pronouncements of this very same group, though they proved themselves, in this episode, untrustworthy beyond a reasonable doubt. The first of these developments is surprising. The second extinguishes all hope.

Now the latest additions to the list of shame:

  •  David Axelrod, Obama political advisor. Today on “Meet the Press, ” Axelrod chose as his truthbuster the rationalization that since the President wasn’t lying to all of the Americans he was addressing, he wasn’t lying at all. Continue reading