Comment Of The Day #2: “Ethics Quiz: Superman Ethics”

Superman of Tomorrow

Steve Witherspoon is the author of the second (of 4!) Comment of the Day reacting to the query as to whether changing Superman’s motto to seeking “a better tomorrow” without any American reference is unethical, as in irresponsible, or disrespectful, or un-American. Here is his intense reaction to “Ethics Quiz: Superman Ethics”:

***

“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” George Orwell, 1984

Propaganda, that’s what Orwell was talking about.

Superman’s motto change; “Truth, Justice, and the American way” vs “Truth, Justice, and a better tomorrow.”.

“Is there anything wrong with DC making the Superman motto change?”

In keeping with what I wrote yesterday that “our society and culture has dramatically changed in the 21st century” I’m going to approach this from a changing cultural viewpoint.

Looking at Superman as a idealisticº cultural icon¹ (that’s what the character is) the answer to the question “is there anything wrong with DC making the Superman motto change” has to be no. The fact that they are changing the motto is signature significant, in that this single act is so remarkable that it has predictive and analytical value showing us how much our culture has actually changed and the act should not be dismissed as statistically insignificant. The Superman comic strip and its motto had an underlying theme that was pure propaganda² and that was to promote the American way of life as good, a huge cross section of our culture has moved away from that idealistic view of America and it’s inevitable that as the culture shifts away from American idealism that new propaganda will replace the old. Out with the old, in with the new.

SPECIAL NOTE: I think it’s very significant that we’re this invested in the motto of a comic strip character that was literally the purveyor of idealistic American propaganda.

All that said…

Continue reading

And The Race For Most Dishonest NYT Leftist Propagandist Tightens!

horse-racing-capture2

“It’s Charles M. Blow in front as they round the turn, but HERE COMES KRUGMAN MAKING HIS MOVE ON THE RAIL!!!”

It’s so exciting!

I was going to include this as a note in the warm-up, and then I read all of the comments referring to the Democratic Party’s no longer even disguised embrace of totalitarianism, and decided, Jack Point-style, “Oh, I can’t let this pass!” For Krugman proved with his characteristic gaslighting op-ed this morning, hilariously headlined, “Foreign Terrorists Have Never Been Our Biggest Threat,” that if nothing else, he has chutzpah to spare. Who else would choose this moment, in a 9/11-themed column, to assert that Republicans are an existential threat to democracy? It would be satire, if only so many Times readers didn’t believe it. That fact makes it tragedy.

Let me remind you of Rationalization #64, which has increasingly become the operating philosophy of the Axis of Unethical Conduct as Trump-Derangement became an epidemic .Even I had forgotten that the description of the technique cited Krugman as a prime practitioner:

Continue reading

Have I Mentioned Before That The National Football League Is An Organizational Ethics Dunce? I’m Pretty Sure I Have…[Corrected]

Helmet slogans

…but still I am stunned by how deep the NFL’s lack of principles, craven weakness in the fact of political correctness bullying, and near complete contempt for its fans goes. Still! What the hell’s the matter with me?

Trembling in fear of Black Lives Matter and the strength of a players union with almost 80% black membership, the NFL announced that it will permit players to display progressive and Black Lives Matter propaganda on their outfits. The league is going so far as to provide six pre-approved phrases for players to choose from for display on their helmets during games: “Black Lives Matter,” “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “Inspire Change,” “It Takes All Of Us,” and “Say Their Stories.” (For some reason, “Ramalama-ding-dong” didn’t make the cut.) The league will also allow home teams to have one of two phrases written across the end zones of their fields: “End Racism” or “It Takes All Of Us.”

So now the NFL thinks that presenting a sporting event for which fans pay ridiculous sums for tickets reasonable includes partisan, divisive, race-based propaganda as part of the unavoidable experience. If NFL fans don’t push back against this and hard, they are weenies, and not just that, they are aiding and abetting an undemocratic and divisive trend. The one cynical consideration the ethically inert owners and executives may be counting on is that nobody in the stadium can read what players have on their helmets. All right, two considerations: the average mouth-breathing NFL fan wouldn’t care if Joe Wonderful had “KKK” or Man-Boy Love Association slogans on his helmet as long as he throws that game-winning touchdown pass.

Continue reading

Oh, No! I’m INDOCTRINATED!!!

Hypnotist

Propaganda works; that one of the main reasons that having a national news media that does little else in its “reporting” is so dangerous and destructive. Naturally, planting slanted, shades, manipulated and biased versions of facts and reality in the minds of trusting citizens (not to mention children) works best on trusting, badly educated, pliant and gullible minds, especially those inclined toward conformity. Thanks primarily to my habitually skeptical and iconoclastic father, I am anything but inclined toward conformity, and I’m proud of that, though it has caused me much pain and inconvenience over the course of my life. That proclivity also kept me from wasting money and brain cells on pot, led me to cross student picket lines when the SDS tried to shut down my college classes, and is the reason why I cannot be embarrassed by old photos of me with hair to my shoulders, wearing pink-tinted John Lennon spectacles and a tie-dyed shirt and flashing the peace sign. There isn’t one. It’s also the reason I used my law degree to get a job running a health care organization and to become an ethicist.

So you can imagine my horror to discover that the relentless pounding on the news media, along with other segments of the culture, on the bonkers, deceptive and unethical concept that any activity that doesn’t end up neatly aligned with racial and ethnic demographics must be considered an example of systemic racism or bias is seeping into my consciousness despite my determined resistance to it. First, I read a feature in yesterday’s New York Times Business Section under “Personal Finance” in which the Times published a set of college application essays “on money and life.” Let’s ignore for the purposes of this post the fact that all five of the essays featured were endorsing the mandated woke agenda: a condemnation of unwanted sexual attention in public, a lament about the need to conserve money, a celebration of a stay-at-home mother who rejected the role, an ode to day care, and a swipe at a lack of caring in America and the fact that “sometimes the color of my skin speaks before I can.” They were all extremely, suspiciously, even, well written and interesting. But I was immediately distracted by the weird demographics. Four out of the five were women. Only one of the five wasn’t “of color.” Surely, this distribution was intentional. What did it indicate? A bias by the Times against whites and men? I found myself checking on the identity of the Times reporter, Ron Lieber. Yup, he’s white and Jewish. Did he feel he had to tilt his article way from men and white lest he be accused of sexism and not being sufficiently “antiracist?”

Continue reading

The Speed Museum’s Breonna Taylor Exhibit: When Art Museums Become Propaganda Agents, It’s Time To Stop Supporting Art Museums

Taylor exhibit

The propaganda, of course, is being nurtured by false narratives elsewhere. NPR, for example, begins its story on the Speed Museum (in Louisville) exhibit “Promise, Witness and Remembrance” this way: “It’s been nearly 13 months since Louisville Metro Police officers shot and killed Taylor in her home.” No, it’s been 13 months since Breonna Taylor was accidentally shot in a gunfire exchange initiated by her boyfriend, after a botched raid on her home triggered by Taylor’s illicit drug activities. The news media and BLM narrative has deceived the public into believing that that an ordinary, innocent medical worker was shot by police because she was black and they were white. This, in turn, has justified false and inflammatory demagoguery by the go-to lawyer for such exploitable cases, Ben Crump, and others, like Al Sharpton.

It is beyond question that Taylor did not deserve to die, and that the Louisville police were at fault, much as George Floyd did not deserve to die. But as with Floyd, the victim of this tragedy should not be sanctified and mythologized, nor should the facts of her death distorted to promote a political agenda. For a non-profit art museum to use its funds and influence for that purpose is beyond unethical: it is an abuse of charitable and public funds, as well as its tax status.

Here is the New York Times gushing over the exhibit:

Continue reading

Who Is Surprised To Hear That “Propaganda Causes People To Grossly Overstate Police Killings of Blacks”?

Who? Well, probably your friends on social media who think you’re a racist because you point out that Black Lives Matter is spreading lies and hate.

I read with interest this feature yesterday in my New York Times: “Few Charges, Fewer Convictions: The Chauvin Trial and the History of Police Violence.”

It covered two full pages—you know, it was important—and was pure propaganda: deliberately misleading, contoured to make a political argument under the guise of news analysis. I classify the reporters, Aidan Gardiner and Rebecca Halleck, as ethics villains, along with whatever editor gave a green light to publish this deliberate deceit.

It begins,

For many observers, the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, has felt like the culmination of years of outrage and grief over police killings of Black people in America. Video of the arrest that led to Mr. Floyd’s death inspired demonstrations that touched every corner of the country last summer, with protesters demanding justice for Mr. Floyd.

The Times reviewed dozens of similar cases in which encounters between Black people and police ended fatally. Though many cases prompted public outrage, that did not always translate to criminal indictments. In some cases, police officers were shown to have responded lawfully. In others, charges were dropped or plea agreements were reached. Some have resulted in civil settlements. But very few have resulted in convictions at trial.

These cases offer valuable points of comparison about what issues — video evidence, drug use, whether the person who died was armed — proved decisive in each outcome and what consequences, if any, officers faced. Even as the trial has unfolded, several events, including the killing of Daunte Wright just a few miles from Minneapolis, have provided a grim reminder that Mr. Floyd’s death is one in a decades-long history of fatal encounters.

Then we get a list of cases where blacks died as a result of police action. The facts of the cases are summarized briefly, often leaving out important facts. We are told, for example, the Eric Garner was “confronted” by police but not that he resisted arrest, nor that he weighed over 300 pounds. The Times reporters don’t deem it significant that Mike Brown tried to take away the officer’s gun, or that he was shot while charging the cop. In the case of Tamir Rice, the Cleveland 12-year-old shot while playing with a realistic toy gun that had its red tip removed, the article says that “a 911 caller reported seeing a person with a gun but said that it was ‘probably fake’ and that the person was ‘probably a juvenile,'” but does not add the crucial detail that these statements were not relayed to the officer.

I know most of the cases mentioned in the piece; for those I do not, I assume that I am being similarly misled. The Times isn’t reporting or doing legitimate analysis; this is advocacy, and unethical advocacy. Facts that would undermine the political agenda of the reporters, and by extension, the Times, are omitted. That is lying by omission.

Continue reading

More Evidence Of How The Presidency May Have Been Stolen. More Is Surely On The Way…

President Trump was wrong to keep claiming that voter fraud was responsible for his 2020 election loss; indeed he was wrong to be the one to question the fairness of election at all. However, the constant mantra in the mainstream news media that his complaints that the election was “stolen,” “rigged” or “fixed” are “false” meets the classic standard for “protesting too much.”

The 2020 election was rigged, as I explained here. The rigging by the mainstream media began from the second Donald Trump was elected, causing Democrats, progressives and especially journalists to abandon tradition, sound democratic principles, fairness, responsibility and ethics to do everything in their power to undermine the elected President of the United States, because they didn’t vote for him, didn’t like him, and refused to accept Hillary Clinton’s well-earned defeat. Out of this, what I have (correctly) termed the worst ethics breach in our society since at least the Second World War, we got the succession of Big Lies and the series of plots to remove Trump from office, including two unjustified and unethical impeachments.

I doubt that any President in our history could have overcome the deliberately biased news coverage and the barrage of fake negative news Donald Trump was attacked with for four straight years. It’s impossible to say, since no elected President, not even Richard Nixon, was subjected to anything similar. It is also impossible to say, it must be emphasized, that the despicable and unethical journalism used to undermine Trump actually caused his loss. This is, however approximately the same argument the defense in the Derek Chauvin trial is making. The media’s knee was on the President’s neck, but there were other things that might have killed his Presidency. It does not make the news media’s conduct any less wrong.

Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: TV’s Imaginary Demographics

titanic_0

The question is “What is ‘enough’?

The U.S. depicted in television commercials is decidedly—what, strange? Contrived? It is certainly not demographically accurate. All statistics I have seen indicate that African Americans make up less than 15% of the U.S. population, but that’s not how Madison Avenue sees it, or not how they want us to see it.

Actual statistics on this don’t exist, because I presume one will be called a racist for even noticing, but I would like to call for some volunteer counters. Watch TV on a commercial channel and count the number of white, black, and mixed race actors used in the ads, and report back here what you found. I’ve done this periodically over the last few months, most recently this morning. White actors were actually in the minority today and I’m counting Hispanic-Americans as white.

Do I care? Should I care? I don’t know. I certainly don’t care about the personal attributes of roles presented to hawk various products. Does it bother me that “Jake from State Farm” was magically made black? No, certainly in a vacuum it doesn’t matter: he seems like a nice guy.

But a white actor lost his job purely because of his race. Presumably many are losing their jobs too.

Continue reading

And, As Night Follows Day, Academia Joins The False “Anti-Asian” Hate Narrative

Atlanta spa

Of course it has. The Axis of Unethical Conduct, which I have described as the three groups (“the resistance,” Democrats, and the news media) actively using lies, intimidation and suppression to advance a progressive agenda, really includes three more members: the educational establishment, Big Tech, and the social media platforms.

For now, let’s focus on the eggheads.

Harvard, which has lost my respect completely, sent a message to students and faculty that read,

“Many of us woke up yesterday to the horrific news of the vicious and deadly attack in Atlanta, the latest in a wave of increasing violence targeting the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community … This violence has a history. From Chinese Exclusion to the nativist rhetoric amplified during the pandemic, anti-Asian hostility has deep roots in American culture.”

This is, in a word, crap. That master of academic anti-white race-baiting crap, Prof. Ibram Kendi tweeted: “Locking arms with Asian Americans facing this lethal wave of anti-Asian terror. Their struggle is my struggle. Our struggle is against racism and White Supremacist domestic terror.”

These are supposed to be scholars, searching for, teaching and revealing truth. There is no “wave.” Whites do not commit the majority of so-called “hate crimes” against Asians, blacks do, and out of proportion with their numbers in the population. There are no figures showing a significant increase in attacks on Asian-Americans in 2020. There are not many attacks on Asian-Americans anyway, now or earlier. A 50% increase in San Francisco, for example from 2019 – 2020 sent the number of actual crimes soaring from 6 to 9.

You know: a wave,

Continue reading

“Enemy Of The People”

Atlanta spa

I believe, or at least hope, that by the time the disgusting transformation of the American news media into pure agents of propaganda is complete—and in that regard, it’s later than you may think—Donald Trump’s much maligned declaration that journalism had become “the enemy of the people” will be remembered as perhaps his most important quote. It deserves to take a place next to Ronald Reagan’s similarly derided “evil empire” line as an example of the “bully pulpit” working as it should.

Last week I saw this front page headline in the New York Times: “Rampage in Georgia Deepens Fears of Rising Asian Hatred In U.S.” That’s not a news headline. That is a publication planting fear for political purposes. Deepens whose fears? The story said that the murder of eight women at a “massage parlor” in Atlanta, six of the victims Asian-American, had unsettled the Asian community. That’s hardly surprising, since many of the dead were members of that community. The Times interviewed a couple of members of the Asian community who expressed “fears.” That does not justify a sweeping generality, nor the emphasis the stories under the headline gave to a supposed motivation for the killings that was supported by no evidence whatsoever other than the presumption of white racism. Presumption of white racism is bigotry, to be clear. not evidence.

Continue reading