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



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, “ that racist?” Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “The Right Thing In Spite Of Themselves: CNN And NBC Abandon Their Hillary Projects”

Frequent commenter and left-leaning warrior Ampersand delivers a typically provocative and well-stated comment touching on many matters. Here is his

I'm sure it's justcoincidence that no similarly misleading and undignified photo of President Obama found its way into the newsmedia during the 2012 campaign. Just luck of the draw. Could have just as easily happened to Democrat or Republican...

I’m sure it’s just coincidence that no similarly misleading and undignified photo of President Obama found its way into the newsmedia during the 2012 campaign. Just luck of the draw. Could have just as easily happened to Democrat or Republican…

Comment of the Day, on the post “The Right Thing In Spite Of Themselves: CNN And NBC Abandon Their Hillary Projects,” and yes, I’ll have some comment of my own afterwards:

“Especially in primary debates, I’d like to see more partisanship. Why shouldn’t candidates in the GOP primaries face questions from solidly right-wing partisans? Why shouldn’t the Democrats have to face questions from solidly left-wing partisans? There are a couple of reasons I’d like to see this.

“One, primary voters are typically more partisan than average voters. Their views should be represented. Rush is more likely to ask questions that genuinely reflect the concerns of tea party voters than some empty suit from CNN is. Ditto for Melissa Harris Perry (say) and progressives.

“Two, I’m sick of right-wingers whining about media bias every time their candidates prove to be idiots. It is NOT biased or ‘gotcha’ to ask what magazines a candidate reads; and if a candidate can’t think fast enough on her feet to answer that question, it’s NOT the media’s fault. I’d really like to see your people being asked questions only by people with impeccable right-wing credentials, so that when some of your candidates inevitably give bad answers, you’ll be forced to actually accept some actual responsibility, rather than whining and blaming everything on the “biased’ media. Continue reading

Ethics Mega-Dunces: The Republicans

"You're right, Abe; they're all rock-heads. I'd like to beat some sense into them with a big stick, but I have no arms."

“You’re right, Abe; they’re all rock-heads. I’d like to beat some sense into them with a big stick, but I have no arms.”

Not a single invited member of the Republican leadership accepted an invitation to attend the official March on Washington anniversary event yesterday.

This is practically all that needs to be said. That fact alone is sufficient to show an appalling lack of leadership, respect, common sense, common purpose, values and priorities within the highest reaches of the party.

Everyone had a “good reason,” of course—Boehner, Canter, McConnell, McCain, Romney, both Bushes,  But the excuses don’t matter. A responsible, intelligent, public minded, fair and  statesmanlike political organization would have made certain that a representative delegation attended, and prominently so. How or why no major Republican figures were present is irrelevant. If the commemoration of the March on Washington, Dr. King’s iconic and transformative speech, and the cultural transformation of America that they helped achieve are as important to the party as they must be--because of the GOP’s origins, because of what it represents, and because, dammit, Republicans are Americans, then attendance was mandatory. They manage to make it to the State of the Union and Presidential inaugurations, because they recognize it as important to do so. They should be able to recognize that showing solidarity with the  Democrats, African-Americans and the public on the core principle of equal rights for all is even more important. Continue reading

No “President Asterisk”

asteriskThe IRS scandal has spawned a new round of partisan “what ifs?” from Republicans and conservative commentators, the gist of them being that President Obama’s election in the 2012 contest was the result of cheating, and the IRS’s successful efforts to stifle Tea Party organization efforts. Surely the less than 2% difference between Mitt Romney and the President might have been bridged had the kind of conservative enthusiasm that marked the 2010 Congressional election not been unethically and illegally stifled! Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto has dubbed Obama “President Asterisk.” A research paper from the American Enterprise Institute suggests that the post 2010 targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status may have cost Mitt Romney the Presidency. Continue reading

Hold On, Taylor Bigler: First Get Into A Bikini And Answer The Question, THEN We’ll Discuss Whether It’s Fair To Mock Miss Utah

By all means, her views on social policy should determine her place in the MIss USA competition...

By all means, Miss Utah’s views on social policy should determine her place in the Miss USA competition…

Every year some columnist or internet wag attempts to perpetuate the dumb bimbo stereotype and get cheap laughs in the process by calling attention to a beauty pageant contestant’s incoherent or fatuous answer to a question in the interview round. On rare occasions, the ridiculed response is jaw-dropping and genuinely funny, appropriately triggering fears that “Idiocracy” is upon us. However, the nonsensical curvy-contestent answer flagged by Daily Caller entertainment editor Taylor Bigler had a perfectly good excuse: the question was impossible to answer. Continue reading

Now THIS Is Hypocrisy: Jack Lew Edition

cayman-islandsI know it pains many of you to hear it, but integrity has not been one of President Obama’s evident virtues, and the nomination of  his Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury is a particularly vivid example. The nomination demonstrates either hypocrisy or dishonesty (or both) no matter how one chooses to look at it.

This has nothing to do with Lew’s qualifications for the job: I’m certain he is sufficiently qualified, and is as likely as anyone else to help lead the nation through the fiscal wilderness, which is to say “not very.” The problem with Lew’s nomination, in the context of the President’s integrity, is two-fold. Although Obama and his campaign’s successful strategy was to demonize Mitt Romney as a grasping and venal corporate raider who accumulated big corporate bucks while doing little of value, Jack Lew’s resume includes receiving a $945,000 bonus in January 2009 after a short time working at Citigroup, which was in the process of collapsing financially and seeking (and receiving)a massive taxpayer bailout.  Obama also made hay during the campaign by implying there was something shady about Romney’s investments in Cayman islands-based institutions. Jack Lew. meanwhile, oversaw Cayman island investment funds while at Citigroup. In his 2008 campaign, Obama took special aim at one of them known as Ugland House, and a Senate hearing on the subject designated it as a facilitator of tax evasion. Jack Lew had investments in the Cayman islands, and, like Mitt Romney, had them with Ugland House. Continue reading

Five Sarcastic Observations About The Least Surprising Ethics Story Of The Year…

.Hands down.

And in addition, we can all agree, can we not, that:

  1. …this does not indicate media bias?
  2. …the timing was completely coincidental, and had nothing to do with journalists fearing that their candidate might lose?
  3. …there was no ethical obligation on the part of responsible news media to make certain that its coverage was balanced in the final week, given its likely disparate impact in a close race?
  4. …this had no impact on the election?
  5. …Nate Silver knew it was going to be like this all along?


Graphic: Davintosh

Ethics Dunce: Mitt Romney

Mitt, Mitt, Mitt…

Ah, Mitt, Mitt. We know you’re disappointed. We know you don’t like to lose, especially when you feel smeared and misunderstood.We know its got to hurt.

There is only one way to lose a Presidential election, though, and it is to smile, say that the winner ran a tough campaign, that the people have spoken, that Americans are lucky to live in a democracy, and that’s it. Hell, Richard Nixon had this act down in 1960, when he lost to Mayor Daley, the Mob, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr, the Texas machine and JFK. He didn’t challenge the integrity of the process or the wisdom of the voters. He just resolved to fix his own Presidential election as soon as he had the chance.

But Mitt, for you to say, as you did yesterday, Continue reading

Relax, Americans: The President Will Be A Good Man…Whoever He Is.

The good guys.

The degree of anxiety over today’s Presidential election—perhaps more accurate than anxiety is hysteria—is palpable. It is also unnecessary and foolish. I have read the fevered rantings of Andrew Sullivan, who fears Mitt Romney like the Germans feared the invading Russian army at the end of World War II, and the apocalyptic monologues of conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin, who is prone to statements like, “It’s over, that’s all! Do you understand? If Obama wins, this country is never coming back!” I have watched both parties exploit and encourage this kind of irrational fear, and its by-products, predictably, are hate, division and anger. There was a time in America when political adversaries referred to each other as “my honorable opponent.” The candidates were not more honorable then. We were more sensible.

The history of the United States has shown that very few truly bad men have the opportunity to run for President. It makes sense, if you give it a modicum of thought. A Presidential contender must negotiate the perils of life for at least four decades without accumulating damning evidence of disqualifying character traits and malign intent. The candidate must have shown sufficient ability and character to impress those he worked with and owed duties to. Most of all, a potential President must have been able to engender a sufficient amount of trust over more than half of his natural life.

We should not judge political leaders by the same standards as other professionals, because the nature of politics, by definition, is ethically ambiguous. Politics knows only one ethical system: utilitarianism. The practice of governing and making human progress advance in the civic arena rules out absolute principles, and requires delicate calculations of ends and means. This often appears, to non-practitioners, as corruption, and it certainly can become that. Effective, trustworthy leaders are able to avoid the occupational hazard of believing that the ends necessarily justify the means. If they cannot, they will not have the opportunity to be President. Continue reading

Unthical Quote of the Week: Donald Trump

“Very sadly for the country, for a charity — and for the president himself, President Obama has just missed the deadline and now a charity of his choice will not be receiving $5 million — or as I stated much more than $5 million.”

—- Real state tycoon, self-promoting birther and Romney supporter Donald Trump, blaming President Obama for not accepting his challenge to produce various personal records in exchange for Trump sending $5 million dollars to a charity of the President’s choice.

What a mind-boggling, species-embarrassing ass.

OK, this isn’t really Donald Trump; it’s one of the evil, people-eating monsters from “Killer Klowns From Outer Space,”  one of the cleverest tongue-in cheek horror films. But there’s really not much difference, when you get right down to it. Mitt Romney shouldn’t want the support of either of them. In fact, I’d take the clown over the Donald.

Trump also noted that his money could have been used to swell the relief funds for Superstorm Sandy. That’s right: According to Trump, President Obama is responsible for Donald Trump not being generous, charitable and patriotic by  contributing to help the victims of a disaster.

I know that it is a tight election contest, and no candidate should be expected to toss away any voter or supporter—“Any port in a storm,” and all that. (Remind me to add that one to the ratioanalizations list.) Nevertheless, Mitt Romney would bolster credibility and reputation for integrity if he repudiated this awful man, and pronounced him what he is beyond all argument: a vile, irresponsible, offensive buffoon whose admiration, endorsement friendship or support sullies and diminishes anyone and anything he bestows it upon.


Facts: The Blaze

Graphic: Release Donkey