Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/8/2019: Hating Hate By Hating The Hateful Haters

Good morning.

Are you nuts? I’m not. Yet.

1. You want deranged? This is deranged. MSNBC put analyst Frank Figliuzzi on the air to explain the Nazi symbolism at the White House.  Figliuzzi is a former FBI assistant—think about that as you read this—and he has been given media credibility of late because he had  predicted that white supremacist violence was potentially imminent due to President Trump’s rhetoric. Of course, I predicted months ago that the relentless divisive rhetoric from “the resistance” would get someone killed soon, and nobody’s calling me to blather on TV…and I’m not insane, like this guy.

Figliuzzi alerted MSNBC World about the sinister numerical connection between neo-Naziism and the Trump administration’s decision to fly flags at half-mast until August 8 in honor of the victims of the Dayton and El Paso shootings.

“If we don’t understand how they think, we’ll never understand how to counter them,” he said. “The President said that we will fly our flags at half mast, until August 8. That’s 8/8. Now, I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that’s being demonstrated by the White House. The numbers 88 are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them the numbers 8-8 together stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’ So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8. No one is thinking about this.”

Once again, this calls for Sidney Wang...

The reason that nobody is thinking about this, you idiot, is that it is deranged. How crazy can “the resistance” get and not start a stampede to the President, in reflex revulsion to the lies, the disrespect, the paranoia, the smears and the hysteria? The Times this week was musing about why Trump’s approval ratings are rising even as the mainstream media has been proclaiming that he’s a Nazi racist and responsible for every shooting in America.

To ask the question is to answer it.

(I just realized my piano is a Nazi…) Continue reading

Hello, August! Ethics Warm-Up: A Cheating Ex-Marine, An Athlete Who Cheats By Being Naturally Superior, The Cheating Media, And More

As if anyone needs “warm-ups” in August…

1. Here’s how you know a political candidate is an untrustworthy weasel: he places the official United States Marine Corps emblem on his campaign material. That would be Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican who has represented a conservative district near San Diego since 2009. This month, Hunter received a letter from the Marine Corps —that also had the official Marine emblem on it, but legitimately, unlike Duncan’s mailers—telling him he did not have permission to use the symbol and demanding that he stop immediately. The letter suggested that Mr. Hunter use an approved “Marine Veteran” emblem instead.

The man’s a long-time member of Congress, and he doesn’t know the basic fact that using any organization’s official emblem, logo or letterhead for an unrelated communication dishonestly suggests that that a communication has been endorsed by the organization? This isn’t an accident. This is misappropriation and intentional deception.

Or stupidity, of course. Any of the three ought to disqualify Hunter for Congress.

2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Part I. I no longer am going to be nice when someone tells me that liberal mainstream media bias is a myth, or that they aren’t routine purveyors  of “fake news.”

On Monday, as President Trump signed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund extension, he mentioned being at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terror attacks, saying, “I was down there [at Ground Zero] also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder, but I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”  Immediately, members the media elite already working over-time to help Democrats defeat him accused the President of lying.

Kyle Griffin, a producer at MSNBC,  claimed there was no evidence Trump was ever at Ground Zero after 9/11. Then CNN’s Chris Cillizza, a progressive hack since his days at the Washington Post, described the statement as the President being “Walter Mitty,” the James Thurber character who imagined himself doing things he couldn’t and didn’t. “Business Insider”ran the headline, “Trump said he was ‘down there’ at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, but there’s no evidence he was ever closer than a few blocks away.” The New York Times  cited a retired NYFD deputy chief who said Trump was never at Ground Zero, because, apparently, he sees all and knows all.

It didn’t take long for someone to track down an NBC video of Trump being interviewed at Ground Zero soon after the attacks, whereupon social media’s anti-Trump hoard shifted gears and claimed that the President had said he was literally in among the rescuers at the disaster site. Yet the video is slam-dunk proof that he was closer than “a few blocks away,” and by any reasonable interpretation, was “at Ground Zero.”

This is a disease. Continue reading

Last Resort Ethics Catch-Up, 6/19/2019

Desperately trying to salvage the day with the next one looking worse, and a lot of important ethics matters being swept toward the falls, were they risk being swamped by rapidly moving events…

1. Great sequence, unethical to make it…Not only was D.W. Griffith a film pioneer and a racist, he was also quite mad. If you haven’t see this sequence from D.W. Griffiths’ “Way Down East,” you must. That’s Lillian Gish on the ice floe, and actor Richard Barthelmess trying to rescue her for real. It was  shot on a frozen river as the ice broke up,  and Gish was really headed over the falls, though they were only a few feet high.  No stunt actors were used; Gish’s hair froze and she lost feeling in her hand from the cold. Her right hand was never quite right after that.

Things like this are what made actors’ unions necessary.

2.  What a mess.  The President’s Secretary of Defense nominee, Patrick Shanahan, resigned from the Acting-SOD role and removed his name from consideration in order to keep his family from being dragged through some awfully ugly mud, very little of which, it seems was of his making or germane to his qualifications for office.

Before their divorce, Shanahan’s ex-wife was arrested after punching him in the face; after the divorce, his son was arrested after attacking and nearly killing his mother with a baseball bat.  The Waltons this wasn’t. Shanahan tried to defend his son after that episode, arguing in a message sent to  his ex-wife’s brother  that his son had acted in self-defense and writing…

“Use of a baseball bat in self- defense will likely be viewed as an imbalance of force,” However, Will’s mother harassed him for nearly three hours before the incident.”

It was expected that Democrats would weaponize the memo against him in hearings, #MeToo-style.

Shanahan told  The Washington Post  that he wrote the memo in the hours after his son’s attack on his ex, before he knew the full extent of her injuries, to prepare for his son’s initial court appearance. He said  never intended for anyone other than his son’s attorneys and his brother-in-law to read it, but, of course, by showing the message to his brother-in-law it was no longer confidential.

Somehow, in a civilized culture, private tragedies like these should not become an impediment to public service. Yet it is hard to imagine how Shanahan thought it would not, since this is not a civilized political culture. Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Realization That Al Sharpton Is Dead-Fish Ignorant Of Basic U.S. History And Has A Network Platform To Spread His Ignorance Thoughout The Nation

Confusion is completely understandable…

On Saturday’s PoliticsNation , MSNBC host Al Sharpton led a panel discussion regarding the crisis of the  Trump administration delaying the release of the new $20 bill with Harriet Tubman’s image replacing that of President Andrew Jackson. Sophia Nelson, Dean Obeidallah, and Michael Hardy were Sharpton’s guests.

At one point in the discussion, Sharpton said,

“The blatant thing here is you’re talking about a black woman abolitionist that is going to replace a slave owner who was one that fought against many of the things that his immediate predecessor, Abe Lincoln, stood for. “

Later he said, just in case you might think this was a slip of the tongue,

“They used to call it the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both of whom were opposed to what Jackson ended up doing after Lincoln’s assassination, and both of whom were allied and stood with Harriet Tubman.”

Yes, it’s true. Al Sharpton, whom MSNBC allows to host a national public affairs show based on his supposed authority and acumen, thinks that Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845, hero of the Battle of New Orleans, creator of the modern Democratic Party, vanquisher of the Bank of the United States and foe of states’ rights, who served two transformative  terms and was one of our most important Presidents, is Andrew Johnson, 1808-1875, Lincoln’s second term Vice-President, who was impeached by the House for opposing Republican Reconstruction plans.

Observations: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Month: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace”

I want to apologize to the legitimate Comments of the Day that are still waiting on the runway, but this one ticked me off. If you want to know why we don’t get more progressive perspective around here, it’s because I end up dinging submissions like this using the Ethics Alarms Stupidity Rule. However, a first time commenter named Mike Fitzgerald offered this, and I decided it was worth highlighting because it has all the features of the average missive from the Left. Mike says he’s not a liberal, so I will take him at his word. His assertion, however,  that President Trump is a “would-be dictator” is signature significance for a non-liberal who doesn’t have the historical knowledge, perspective or awareness not to swallow  “resistance” Big Lies whole.

In truth, the “dictator”smear has been used against many Presidents by political opponents, always when they use their legitimate powers to seek ends the opponents object to. Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, TR, and FDR are prominent among the so-accused. Such Presidents, whatever their virtues and deficits otherwise, are known as strong Presidents. The opposition always hates strong Presidents, and tries to use fear-mongering to undermine them.

But you have to know some Presidential history to realize this.

Here’s Mike’s comment, in response toUnethical Quote Of The Month: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace,” to be followed immediately by my restrained reply to it.

In honesty the point(s) raised about Wallace are valid but Trump supporters pretend the Fox is a balanced unbiased news agency, None of you mentioned Hannity or Shapiro or the three geniuses on the morning couch. Very selective memories to support a would be dictator.

PS. I am not a liberal

My reply: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace

“What can we do better for those of us covering your candidacies far away from where the first votes will be cast in Iowa and New Hampshire?”

—MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, to former “It” candidate Beto O’Rourke regarding his campaign for the democratic party nomination to run against Donald Trump.

Later, she told Beto, “I’ll leave you with some free advice. Grab Garrett [Haake], who is NBC’s correspondent on your campaign and tell him what’s on your mind. If you don’t like the coverage, you can change it. You’re the candidate.”

Funny, I don’t think President Trump was ever told that when he was running in 2016.

This, I think, is how the blatant and intensifying mainstream media bias will eventually blow up what’s left of American political journalism. Reporters will become so used to supporting the Left and pursuing their own progressive agendas that they won’t even try to hide it. Firmly in their own bubble, they will gradually forget that there is something to hide.

Oh—do I need to point out that in ethical journalism the subject doesn’t get to dictate to the reporter? Or that a reporter should not seek the approval of a subject regarding how he or she is covered? I hope not.

If reporters reveal such unethical collaboration with campaigns and candidates on national TV, what do you think goes on behind the scenes?

This episode once again raises a conundrum I’ve mentioned before. Do the Democrats and progressives who continue to argue, often condescendingly, that the perception of mainstream media bias is all in the minds of conservatives really believe it,  are they really so deluded and biased themselves that they can’t see what is so obvious, or are they deliberately aiding media manipulation by a strategy of continuous denial?

Sunday Ethics Reflections, 5/5/2019: Whew! Barely Got Three Items In Before My Head Exploded…

 

I’m writing this bleary-eyed, in large part because our 15-year-old Jack Russell Terrier chose 3 am  to demand that we play what we call “The Bisky Game” –I don’t know what he calls it—a diversion of his own invention that involves tossing or nosing a dog biscuit at the nearest human, barking sharply two to four times, and demanding that the treat be flipped back to him, whereupon he will reject it by growling, barking, and tossing it back, until some mysterious force tells him that the game is over, whereupon he eats the damn thing. Usually this takes between five and ten tosses, but last night Rugby went for a record, and rejected his biscuit at least 15 times. Finally he ate it, licked my arm for about five minutes–a pre-bedtime tradition— and  went to sleep.  I did not.

1.  Live by bigotry, die by bigotry. “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson, who got her big break in part because Marvel decided to turn a traditionally male superhero into a female, has pandered to social justice warriors and progressive bigotry in just about every way possible.  During the promotion of the hit film,  she said wanted more people of color to review her films, not white men. [ The ethical position would be to want competent reviewers to review the film, recognizing the competence is color-blind.) She that she doesn’t care what old white men thought of films that weren’t made for  them. She has said that we need more gay superheroes. Funny: as long as I’m being rescued and the world is being saved, I don’t care what the color, gender or sexual orientation of my hero is. How old white man of me.

Now, taking the grandstanding, virtue-signaling actress at her word—almost always an unwise thing to do when dealing with performers, someone has launched a  petition demanding,  “We need Brie Larson to step down from her role to prove she is an ally of social justice and ensure a gay woman of color plays the role.”

As of this writing, the petition currently has nearly tripled  its 3,000 signature goal. Good. Heck, I might sign it . Everyone should be required to abide by their publicly proclaimed principles, though such a rule would mean that Joe Biden would vanish from the face of the Earth. [Pointer: RedState ]

2. From the Ethics Alarms “Denial” and ” What is this ‘Accountability’ thing of which you speak?” files: professors Ethan Porter of George Washington University and Thomas J. Wood of Ohio State University have determined that when comedian Jon Stewart departed “The Daily Show,” its ratings fell, and this, they say, “spurred a 1.1% increase in Trump’s county-level vote share.” This from what passes today for a scholarly  paper, “Did Jon Stewart Elect Donald Trump? Evidence From Television Ratings Data” published in the journal Electoral Studies.

Kyle Smith of “The National Review” points out what should be obvious about this junk science… Continue reading