From The Ethics Alarms Lost Files: The Firing And Un-Firing Of Sam Seder

Somehow I lost this one for a week, then found it today, reminding me how much it ticked me off.

Sam Seder, an MSNBC political commentator and host of the “Majority Report” podcast, had sent a tweet  in 2oo9—that’s 8 years ago, folks—obviously mocking the Hollywood supporters of fugitive film director and child rapist Roman Polanski.

The tweet said,

“Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/ a great sense of mise en scene.”

That is called artful satire, and if you can’t tell that, you really should restrict yourself to Nickelodeon and “Good Night Moon.”

Then Mike Cernovich, the far-right activist and conspiracy theorist, who is not an idiot, though he is many other unpleasant things, tracked down the tweet and began to complain to  MSNBC’s media relations department and other journalists about Seder using the same kind of political correctness crack-brained mania that the Left typically inflicts on the Right. Cernvich was trolling MSNBC, I assume, and maybe he was trying to accomplish what he eventually did accomplish: he got the left-wing cable channel management to fire Seder for “inappropriate and insensitive remarks.” Or maybe he was just trolling, though before the axe fell, Seder accused Cernovich of attempting to silence his criticism of President Trump and Roy Moore….you know, like the way the Seder-sympatico Media Matters has tried to silence Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Now one would think that MSNBC execs would be able to tell Seder’s tweet was witty, and also have enough faith in the brain pans of its viewers to assume they, unlike most conservatives, who for some reason don’t have much if a sense of humor, would understand that there was nothing offensive about the Polanski tweet, except to Polanski and child rape fans in France and Hollywood. But no: out he went, as Cernovich lifted a glass of Korbel somewhere with Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly.

Then thousands of people signed a petition demanding that Seder be rehired, and he was. MSNBC’s head Phil Griffin wrote: Continue reading

The Loathsome Ed Schultz

Ed-schultz-MSNBC

It is not the first time, but MSNBC’s ugliest Angry Left spokesman just completed a cycle of conduct demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is deceptive, dishonest, cowardly, and incompetent—in short, loathsome. This is Ed Schultz, the most unethical of the stable of unethical anchors and commentators intentionally assembled by MSNBC—you could not possible get such an awful group by accident—for reasons best known to its chief, Phil Griffin. Having left-leaning views doesn’t make one loathsome by itself (no matter what Mark Levin says), but I do wonder what to make of fans of the likes of Martin Bashir, Keith Olbermann, Alec Baldwin  (all of whom became so openly loathsome that even MSNBC had to jettison them), Melissa Harris-Perry, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Al Sharpton and especially Schultz. A viewer admiring an unambiguous jerk on the level of Ed Schultz because he applies his jerk-ness in support of the viewer’s favorite ideology is itself a strong indication of flawed character. In the matter of unethical pundits, it doesn’t take one to know one, but it takes one to tolerate one. If a job applicant tells me she’s never misses the Ed Show, I’m not trusting her with the combination to the safe, I’ll promise you that.

Ed’s moment of self-revelation came as a result of some nakedly partisan Obamacare cheerleading in December. Ed then crowed,

“I’m going to make a prediction tonight. It`s going to hit 5 million by March 1st. That’s right. Five million people signed up by March 1st. Get your tapes rolling at home, folks, because it’s going to be a big “I told you so.”

Well, Ed was wrong, and did not get his “big ‘I told you so.'” But because the man has the maturity of an 11-year-old and the integrity of Newt Gingrich, he couldn’t level with his audience about the fact that his prognostication didn’t pan out. When his March 1st deadline came and went, Ed got into Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and changed the past, saying on March 12 as the sign-ups languished well short of his prediction:

“Well, I predicted five million people are going to sign up by the end of this month. We`re closing on it on that number.”

Continue reading

Unethical and Unjust Firing of the Week: The MSNBC Cheerios Tweeter

CheeriosWhen reader Scott Jacobs sent me a link to the now infamous MSNBC tweet that presumed that all “right-wingers,” which in MSNBC Universe means anyone who doesn’t want to put Barack Obama on Mount Rushmore, were horrified by the very existence of bi-racial families, I honestly didn’t understand what he was telling me.  MSNBC’s official position is that Republicans are racists, so he couldn’t have been referring to that….everybody knows that. (“But did you know Old McDonald was a really bad speller?”) And what racists approve of bi-racial families? So the tweet wasn’t illogical or dealing in rationalizations. The tweet—oh, here it is:

“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family” Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Alec Baldwin’s Employer, Whomever It May Be; Currently, This Means MSNBC President Phil Griffin

When MSNBC journalists attack!

When MSNBC journalists attack!

How is it that the old saw goes? “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me; Fool me 3,256 times, I’m an idiot”? Something like that.

Actor Alec Baldwin has proven by his actions and words, over and over again and beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is a foul-mouthed, hair-pin tempered bully with poor impulse control and the flattest of learning curves. I could list the impressive number of incidents that he has been involved in making that statement beyond debate, from a leaked phone voice message of him verbally abusing his daughter, to his tirade against a airplane stewardess who dared to ask him to abide by the rules of the air and stop playing a game on his Iphone, to obnoxious tweets that have led him to suspend his account more than once. Lately, his specialty has been hurling anti-gay slurs at photographers. Baldwin has been in the public eye for decades, and knows how celebrity works, but either doesn’t care, or can’t help himself. He has also paired his atrocious behavior with the outspoken progressive tirades and half-baked opinions of a man who is nowhere as smart as he seems to think he is.

The latter, of course, has saved his career from one way ticket to Mel Gibsonville. As gay conservative-turned-liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote after Baldwin’s latest fiasco, Continue reading

Ethics Collision at MSNBC

Donny Deutsch, a guest host at MSNBC, lost his gig, at least for now, after including MSNBC’s Angriest Man, commentator Keith Olberman, in a segment called “America the Angry.” It examined how media pundits are stoking public anger with inflammatory rhetoric and appeals to emotion rather that reason. MSNBC objected to the criticism of one of its own on its own airtime.

Based on  stated policy, the objection and Deutsch’s punishment were justified. MSNBC boss Phil Griffin had send a stern warning to all producers and on-air talent, saying, Continue reading