Belated Observations On Mara Gay’s Racist Anti-America Rant

mara Gay

I apologize for taking almost a week to cover this. I admit to having massive cognitive dissonance involving MSNBC, which long ago jumped the Megalodon and can no longer pretend to be anything but a pure progressive propaganda organ without objectivity, decency, honesty or moderation. Or shame, of course. Still, sometimes you can’t look away, as with a particularly gory roadside accident. When New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, an “important editor” by the Times’ own admission who covers local politics, says this on national television, as she did to “Morning Joe,” attention must be paid, (even if its five days late):

“You know, the reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population — I don’t know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others. I think as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness, this is going to continue. We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this democracy, but how to separate Americanness, America, from whiteness. Until we can confront that and talk about that, this is really going to continue. I was on Long Island this weekend, visiting a really dear friend. And I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with you know, expletives against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which you know is also just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear, this is my country. This is not your country. I own this. And so until we’re ready to have that conversation, this is going to continue…Because, you know, the Trump voters who are not going to get onboard with democracy, they’re a minority. You can marginalize them, long-term. But if we don’t take the threat seriously, then I think we’re all in really bad shape.

For some strange reason, many people took offense at this. Not anyone at MSNBC, where basic journalism—which is not acknowledged there—required at least a “Wait, what did you just say?”, as ABC’s Ted Koppel essentially said 50 years ago  to Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis, who had explained on the air that there were no black major League managers because blacks “lacked the necessities” for the job. But no. Mika, Joe and the gang just nodded, as if Gay had explained that the world spins.

Al Campanis was fired. In contrast, the New York Times defended Gay, as if her comments were defensible. Not only were her comments indefensible on their face, the New York Times continuing to employ such a racist and hyper-partisan propagandist is indefensible. The Times tweeted,

“New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay’s comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context. Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith.”

Ann Althouse, whose blog I continue to look in on now and then despite her declaring that her readers opinions and ideas annoy her, reacted,

“So I’m going to say that tweet is ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith! What a ridiculous blanket statement with no regard for the individuals who listened to Gay and made our own interpretations and expressed our opinions. It’s so hypocritical to obsessively protect her while attacking all her critics with broad-brush insults!”

It’s not hypocritical, it is revealing. The Times has the same ideological goal as Gay: undermine American values and pave the way for the radical undoing of American democracy using race as a wedge and weapon. If this was not the case, an editor who condemned “whiteness” in public would be treated exactly as one who condemned “blackness”: she would be fired, disgraced, and shunned as the racist she is.

A few additional points:

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Ethics Miscreants In Yet Another Police-Involved Death Ethics Train Wreck

Ronald Greene

Another death of a black man in an encounter with the police has re-emerged from 2019, this time from Louisiana. It has even more of the unethical elements of past tragedies/botches/fiascos than usual, and the cast of characters are all playing their now familiar parts to maximize the likelihood of protests, riots, political grandstanding and confusion, not to mention more deaths and further damage to race relation and law enforcement. Good job, everyone!

This is a true ethics train wreck, because nobody, literally nobody, who has been involved with the episode so far has behaved ethically. At this point, I see no hope that the mess can be cleaned up, but maybe we can learn something from how thoroughly another Police Meet Black Lawbreaker disaster has been mishandled by everyone to ensure the worst conceivable outcome. In no particular order, here is a list of those responsible for the Ronald Greene Ethics Train Wreck.

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Trapped In MSNBC Hell!

The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights_by_Bosch_High_Resolution

My doctor’s waiting room this morning had MSNBC on for some perverse reason. Astounding. Pure propaganda from an alternate reality. I do not understand how anyone with an IQ above that of clam chowder can watch such garbage without having a stroke. Maybe my doctor is trying to drum up business.

This seems unethical to me.

I saw gas lines while driving to my appointment. Israel is under attack again, and the Biden Administration is giving comfort to the Palestinians. Inflation is looming; illegal immigrants are literally being courted by the government. The public is being paid not to work; the CDC has its knee on the neck of our basic liberties. Crime is surging in the major cities as law enforcement is being demonized.The President is essentially Chauncey Gardener. And what does MSNBC consider the most important story of the day?

House Republicans are stripping Liz Cheney of her leadership position. Seriously. MSNBC had a stern-looking panel that was treating this bit of inside baseball as if it was a momentous occurrence. Why? Easy: it allowed the talking heads to talk about Donald Trump, to cheer someone who hates him as much as they do, and to denigrate Republicans for doing what any responsible political party would do, because MSNBC is a Democratic Party propaganda organ.

Of course Cheney is losing her post. A party can’t have one of its leaders constantly bashing its previous President who over 75 million people voted for just months ago! That’s suicidal. Like it or not, Donald Trump is popular with the GOP base, and Liz Cheney, whose animus toward him is at least as personal as it is substantive, can’t change that, especially since she has the personal charisma of a toilet brush. All she can do is weaken the party.

Can you imagine how long it would have taken the Democrats to dump a Congressional leader who dared to criticize Barack Obama? Hilariously, MSNBC was prominently featuring the certifiably incompetent Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee Chairman, as a critic of his party’s action against Cheney. This was the man who prompted Tucker Carlson to facepalm during the debate among candidates for the RNC position when Steele answered the question, “What is your favorite novel?” with the howler, “‘War and Peace’…’It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!” Under his leadership, Republicans sent out fundraisers disguised as official census documents. Steele isn’t just an idiot, he’s an unethical idiot.

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“It’s A New Week!” Ethics Warm-Up, 5/3/2021: Good Day Edition

Bad, BAD week last week, and not just for me. It was a bad week in ethics, and because of my own shortcomings, I wasn’t able to properly provide a path through it. This week will be better, starting today. At least if I have anything to say about it…

1. From “the rest of the story” files: Remember when Jonathan Papelbon attacked Bryce Harper in the Washington Nationals dugout? It was 2015, and pretty much marked the end of relief ace Paplebon’s career. Harper went on to become a mega-million dollar free agent after the 2018 season, when he signed with the Phillies for a ridiculous 30 million dollars a year long-term contract. Papelbon finally resurfaced in Boston this season as an amusingly unrestrained analyst for NESN, which broadcasts the the Red Sox games. And I recently discovered how almost right he was to accost Harper, if admittedly a bit too enthusiastically. The prompt for Pap to go grab Harper by the neck was the latter loafing down the line as he barely ran out a ground ball. Harper’s periodic lack of hustle had been a source of annoyance for years (to be fair, he was “only” being paid 2.5 million bucks to play hard in 2015), but I just saw the stats for his last year in Washington. Having been a plus-defensive player in previous years, Harper stopped hustling entirely in 2018, both in the field and on the bases. Though he had once saved over 20 runs in a season in the field alone, in his free agent year Harper cost his team over 20 runs that year, making sure he stayed healthy for the big payday to come (to be fair, he was “only” being paid 21.6 million bucks to play hard in 2018). As soon as he had a guaranteed contract with Philadelphia, Harper started playing hard again, dashing around the bases and diving in the outfield.

Both Papelbon and Harper were jerks during their careers, but nobody could accuse “Pap” of not doing his best to win for the fans, his team, its city and his team mates every single time he stepped onto a baseball field.

2. Not Harvard this time: it’s back to Georgetown! Both of my schools’ diplomas are turned to the wall of my office in a symbolic protest against their continuing unethical policies and conduct—-I’m not sure what more I can do to signal my contempt and embarrassment. Now it’s Georgetown’s turn again—I worked for the University for five years after I graduated from the Law Center—to make me wish I had graduated from a school with some integrity. Though it has been notably un-covered by the mainstream news media, Georgetown Professor Michele Swers read the words of a Ku Klux Klan leader in her “U.S. Political Systems” class for the college, but because she “did not censor” the word “nigger,” a large contingent of her students sent a smoking gun letter letter to Swers and the college’s diversity office, demanding that she apologize profusely, review all future presentation and lecture material for potential bias;  and demonstrate her “understanding of the history of the N-word and why it is inappropriate for a non-Black person to say it in any context, including an educational context.” [Pointer: Steve Witherspoon]

So far, I can find no record of a response from the university or the professor, but writing of the incident, Prof. Turley says in part,

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Wednesday Ethics Windstorm,11/11/20: Liars, Knaves, Fools And Birds

Great Tit

1. Incompetent headline dept. Someone at a newspaper has to be alert enough to catch a risible headline like this:

Great tits

A Great Tit is the pretty bird above.

2. Who believes that MSNBC didn’t know this? (I don’t.) MSNBC was shocked—shocked!—to discover that the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jom Meacham, who had been a regular on MSNBC’s 24-7 anti-Trump barrage, never told them that he was working for the Joe Biden team. on speeches, including his victory address. Meacham appeared on MSNBC following the speech to comment on the speech he had written but didn’t disclose to viewers that the speech he loved cane from his own laptop as he said,  “Tonight marks — the entire election results mark — a renewal of an American conversation where we’re struggling imperfectly to realize the full implications of the Jeffersonian promise of equality,” said Meacham. “It’s taken us too long, our work has been bloody and tragic and painful and difficult and, Lord knows, it is unfinished, but at our best we try.”

MSNBC announced that due to this “discovery. Meacham would no longer be a paid contributor, but he would be welcome to appear on future panels, thus showing the high regard for integrity for which the network is famous. If Meacham lied to MSNBC and its viewers while withholding a crucial conflict of interest, why would he be allowed back on the air in any capacity? Why would anyone trust him?

I believe that MSNBC knew that Meacham was working for Democrats while he was bashing Trump. And this is yet another example of how unprofessional the profession of historian has become.

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Afternoon Ethics Aggravations, 11/10/2020: Mitch, Audra, Jeff And Joy

Annoyed

We just passed 300,000 comments on Ethics Alarms, and I’ll stack the consistent quality of them against any other blog on the web.

Thanks, everyone.

1.Regarding the gall, intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of Democrats and their supporters complaining about the President insisting on examining the returns and various irregularities before accepting the networks’ declaration that Biden won. I could not believe that Mitch McConnell and I would ever agree on anything, but we do this time. Yesterday he said in part on the floor of the Senate,

“Let’s not have any lectures, no lectures, about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election and who insinuated that this one would be illegitimate too if they lost again — only if they lost,” the majority leader added. In fact, millions of Americans signed a petition urging the electors to vote for Hillary Clinton after Trump won in 2016. The people who push this hysteria could not have any more egg on their faces than they do right now,”

Bingo.

2. Please note: unethical law firms just pay out damages and fines. It’s only individual lawyers—usually the little guys, sole practitioners— who get disciplined. A state court judge in Houston dismissed a $750 million lawsuit against the huge international law firm Jones Day filed by Berkshire Hathaway. The lawsuit alleged the law firm participated in a “massive fraud” in connection with its work on an acquisition in Germany. The case can be refiled, and probably will. A law firm committing fraud means that its partners were responsible for the fraud, but unethical or even criminal conduct by large law firms seldom result in discipline for the law firm’s partners. The technical reason is that bar associations don’t oversee firms, just individual lawyers, so for big firms assisting their clients in frauds and other crimes, there is safety in numbers.

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Worst Ethics Role Model Of The Week: Hillary Clinton

Hillaryshrug

I have no desire to magnify or dwell on Hillary Clinton’s failures and character flaws. She has reason to be miserable, just as Al Gore did; I really can’t imagine what it must be like to be either of them.

However, as Hyman Roth memorably said, “This is the life we have chosen!” Politics involves regular defeat and victory, compromises and disappointments, all under public scrutiny, with plaudits and jeers a routine part of the experience. If you can’t handle it, you’re in the wrong business. While I can be sympathetic to the stresses of the life, I also expect those who try to persuade us to bestow extraordinary honors, power and trust upon them to display extraordinary character or at least adequate character.

This Hillary Clinton has shown, repeatedly, she cannot do. The character is not there to  display.

Here is what she said in part in a guest appearance on Kara Swisher’s New York Times Opinion podcast, “Sway,” after  Swisher asked Clinton if she thought a woman president would handle the coronavirus pandemic more ably. [What an idiotic question, but that’s Kara Swisher for you…]

“I have no doubt, especially if it were me. I was born for that. I mean, that’s why I knew I’d be a good president. I was ready for crises and emergencies, and I would have done what you see these women leaders doing. You listen to the science. You bring in people in an open, inclusive way. You communicate constantly, you make the case by explaining why what you’re doing is in the long-term interests, not only of health, but also, of the economy. Yeah, I have no doubt in my mind at all that I would have stepped up to that crisis.”

Regarding the possibility of the President’s re-election, Clinton said,

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/25/2020: Dumb And Dumber

Good morning, I guess.

It is clear, if it wasn’t already, that everything hinges on whether the American public is as stupid and inattentive as those seeking to manipulate it think it is.

1. Mobs? What mobs? I just listed to CNN’s health expert, Dr. Gupta, list the reasons there has been a surge in Wuhan virus cases. Notably absent from his list were the mass, no social distancing demonstrations/protests/riots that began two weeks ago as a prominent part of the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck. These, as you may recall, were largely supported by the health experts (though I don’t have a record of Gupta being among them) as they apparently decided that Black Lives Matter matters more than all the black lives that would be put in danger by ignoring the safety measures we shut down the country to install.

I also have yet to read a single news story about the new cases of the virus that highlights the completely predictable effect of the mobs, which are still roaming, as a factor in the so-called “surge,” though I can’t check everything.

Is the news media really certain that if they don’t report this connection, it will never occur to most of the public? I’m already reading accusations that opening up the states is “racist” because of the evidence that African-Americans have contracted the virus and died from it at a higher rate than the rest of the public. By that logic, encouraging the mobs of George Floyd protesters was also racist.

To re-phrase Wilford Brimley from his great scene in “Absence of Malice”: “American Public, are you that dumb?” So far, it seems so. Continue reading

KABOOM! I Do NOT Enjoy Having My Head Explode First Thing On A Saturday Morning, But NBC HIRED LISA PAGE!!!

On one level, my head blew because this is such a cynical, flagrantly biased act that rejects any concept of ethical journalism. On another, it blew up in shame. With all the nauseating evidence I’ve discussed here pointing to a rotting American journalism that sees itself as the engine of partisan propaganda rather than the means to an informed public, I somehow didn’t think it was this bad. This is my own bias at work: I’m a sap. I want to believe that somewhere, buried deep in the mainstream media, there is integrity and the spark of respect for democracy.

Page was the FBI attorney engaged in an adulterous relationship with Mueller investigation team member Peter Strzok. Their text messages raised legitimate questions about the anti-Trump bias in the FBI and  among those handling the “collusion” matter.  In particular, the reference to the FBI investigation as “insurance” if Trump was elected in an exchange between the lovebirds in  August 2016 seemed to be a smoking gun.

Recently, Page’s name has surfaced  in  the Michael Flynn case. In newly released  texts between Page and  Strzok, who was significantly involved in the pursuit of Flynn, Page suggested that Flynn could be set up using the federal law that criminalizes lies to federal investigators. She suggested to Strzok that “it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in,”  reinforcing other evidence that there was a “get Flynn” mentality at the FBI. Thus Page’s conduct will be a live topic in the upcoming inquiries in Congress and the Justice Department surrounding the methods and motives of the FBI as it pursued Flynn and sought to undermine the Trump Administration. It is outrageous to have an analyst who will be analyzing events that involve herself…or once was considered so, when journalists paid attention to ethics. Continue reading