Ethics Dunce: CNN’s Jake Tapper

Observing the slow but steady deterioration of Jake Tapper, whom I once cited as an example of an ethical, objective and trustworthy journalist—it seems so long ago—has been excruciating to watch. He signaled yesterday that his transformation into just another AUC hack (That’s the Axis of Unethical Conduct: Democrats, the “resistance,” and the progressive mainstream media) is complete.

Tapper was  interviewing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on his “State of the Union.” She blathered, as she is prone to do,

“We’re hearing every step from this administration- first, we were hearing it was a hoax, then we were hearing that everything is fine, then we were hearing that the fundamentals of the economy was OK – until the crash comes.”

Jake, from CNN, not State Farm (that’s him on the left above; yes, he used to be white) just let all of that go.

Well, as has been shown again and again to be of no avail as far as the Big Lie-masters are concerned, the President did NOT say the virus was a hoax. (he also never said that “everything is fine,” but never mind). I most recently explained this two days ago, here, and I’m sick of repeating it, frankly.

When he was properly criticized for allowing a false “resistance” narrative to go out over CNN’s imprimatur (whatever that’s worth these days) without uttering a peep of protest, Tapper issued this damning excuse via Twitter: Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/12/2020: Walking Through A Storm Edition

I don’t care what you say, it’s a good morning.

1. Coronavirus ethics report. Today, ethics Alarms officially dubs the epidemic and ethics train wreck.

  • Good one! Rudy Gobert, the 27-year-old centerfor the Utah Jazz, intentionally touched every surface, microphone and recorders during a session with reporters after the NBA had banned access to player in team locker rooms. He was making a pointed joke about the league’s alarmism over Covid-19. Three days later, he was diagnosed with the illness, and in response, the NBA suspended its season.
  • ARRGHH! It’s what everyone thought it was!!!! The stock market crashed after the World Health Organization called the pandemic, which everyone including me had been calling a pandemic for weeks, a pandemic yesterday. I don’t understand that reaction at all.
  • Adam Kucharski, a mathematician who specializes in measuring how diseases spread, told the New York Times that “on best available data, when we adjust for unreported cases and the various delays involved, we’re probably looking at a fatality risk of probably between maybe 0.5 and 2 percent for people with symptoms.” Obviously when you add people without symptoms who are infested, the fatality risk is lower. This means that President Trump’s “hunch” that the fatality rate was probably much lower than the 3% being widely quoted, for which he was attacked as a an idiot and a liar,  was probably correct.
  • A hint regarding what kind of values we’re teaching college students: Students at the University of Dayton in Ohio became furious that the school was closing because of COVID-19, so they rioted. An estimated 1,000 students at the University erupted into screaming and violence after they were told to leave campus over the Wuhan virus outbreak. At least one person was injured by a thrown bottle.
  • Remember televangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker? Tammy’s copious TV weeping  and dripping mascara? The scandal over hush money paid to a mousey church secretary, Jessica Hahn, for Jim Bakker allegedly raping her,  leading to his resignation from the ministry? How the scandal turned Hahn into a professional bimbo, with a Playboy spread and a brief career hosting soft porn videos? Tammy and Jim divorced, and Jim ended up in prison for fraud…Ringing any bells? Now he’s back selling God on TV again, and last month started selling “Silver Solution” as a cure for Covid-19. Silver Solution “has been proven by the government that it has the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on, including SARS and HIV,” his guest told Bakker’s viewers.  Four 4-ounce bottles could be yours, a message on the screen said, for just $80.Selling a fake “treatment” for the COVID-19 disease violates state and federal law. On Tuesday, the state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker and his production company to stop them from advertising or selling Silver Solution and related products as treatments for the coronavirus.
  • Oh yeah,  this helps a lot Arthur Caplan, a professsor of bioethics at NYU, told the New York Times that without “social interventions to incentivize and support isolation, we are doomed.” Irresponsible fear-mongering. Even with the worst case scenarios, this isn’t the Spanish Flu, the Black Plague or ebola. We aren’t “doomed.”

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Tweet Of The Month: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)”

An old, old, lament: “Laws are for the little people…”

I am constantly impressed at the perceptive and eloquent comments that issue from such a large number of Ethics Alarms readers. It cushions the blow of the traffic fall-off here that came shortly after the 2016 election, as the rapid Trump-Haters and resistance acolytes fled to secure echo chambers. (Facebook banning EA didn’t help.) I’d like both, sure, but I’ll take quality over quantity every time.

Aaron Pascal is long-time participant on Ethics Alarms, and he has issued many provocative comments, usually with a refreshing edge. This, in reaction to the most recent of AOC’s annoying and ethics-dead tweets, is one of his best.

Here is Aaron Pascal’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Unethical Tweet Of The Month: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)”….

“Jail the poor to free the rich” smacks of a combination of two extreme positions on two separate valid social dilemmas interacting.

First, there is the moderately unsettling (to me) privately funded and operated prison system. It’s been suggested that inmates are the product that is sold to bring in money. If people stopped being put in prison, then the corporations running the prison would lose money. Ergo, they get the politicians (especially the nasty, racist Republicans) to criminalize more activity, and push for longer sentences for smaller and smaller offenses. Especially if the crimes you tighten up on end up imprisoning a disproportionate number of racial minorities. Not a viewpoint completely without merit, but if you assume it’s the norm it certainly encourages a topsy turvy view of criminal activity vs the justice system. It also requires picturing the police, the justice system, the prison system, and the government as really bad, selfish people. Which is only a problem for leftists once you get to the government, which once you assign the blame to those horrible Republicans, the cognitive dissonance goes away. Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Month: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

Ugh.

Call it demagoguery, grandstanding, ignorance, rabble-rousing or whatever you choose, an elected representative of the government tweeting such nonsense to those foolish enough to follow her is irresponsible in the extreme.

Hundreds of protesters hit the streets Friday and Saturday in Brooklyn to protest  police brutality by the NYPD and its crackdown on subway fare evaders. Naturally the demonstrators chanted “No justice, no peace,” the current content free, no thought required  slogan of choice by those who couldn’t articulate what they consider justice if they had a teleprompter. Continue reading

‘Thank God It’s Friday’ Ethics Dump, 10/4/2019: SCOTUS, Impeachment And Cannibalism…

Hi!

Usually, October might be my favorite month…New England foliage, the best of baseball, my sister’s birthday, the Monster Mash…

1. I hate this stuff. A woman  confronted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez during a town hall in Corona, Queens this week and ranted that  the Green New Deal wasn’t enough to save the world. She declared instead that “we must eat the babies” to stop climate change. “We got to start eating babies! We don’t have enough time! … We have to get rid of the babies! … We need to eat the babies!,” she exclaimed. Then she took off her coat to reveal a T-shirt bearing the phrase: “Save the planet, eat the children.”

The Representative  calmly responded that we have “more than a few months” to solve the climate crisis (“though we do need to hit net-zero in a few years”) and that “we all need to understand that there are a lot of solutions that we have.” Naturally, Tucker Carlson criticized her for not emphatically rejecting the woman’s cannibalism proposal.

The woman was a plant, and the disruption was a hoax. A right-wing PAC started by the late Lyndon LaRouche confessed, saying, “It was us. Malthusianism isn’t new, Jonathan Swift knew that. Sometimes, only satire works.”

Works at what? Interfering with legitimate civic discourse?

2. No, the latest SCOTUS abortion cases don’t pose a threat to abortion rights. The hysteria you may be hearing is more anti-Kavanaugh hype. The cases involve Louisiana’s law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.  The Supreme Court granted certiorari to June Medical Services v. Gee, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Gee v. June Medical Services the U.S. after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Louisiana law was permissible. However, in 2016 the Supreme Court struck down a nearly identical Texas law by a vote of 5-3. The theory in Louisiana is that the law there will not have the same restrictive impact as in Texas.

Even if the Fifth Circuit’s ruling stands, the cases are only tangentially related to Roe v. Wade. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/18/2019: Nauseatingly Unethical

Gooood Morning, and Ick.

1. Illegal immigration battles update:  a) The Empire State’s governor,  Andrew Cuomo,  signed legislation granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants—NBC calls them “undocumented immigrants, which is unethically deceptive —right after the measure passed the state Senate. New York is now the 13th state to take this unconscionable  course, creating an incentive as well as a reward for breaking U.S. laws and defying its borders.

There is no justification for ever rewarding lawbreaking  through public policy, unless the objective is to eliminate the law. Yet the Democrats who rationalize these measures still say that their party doesn’t want open borders.  How long can sentient individuals believe that? The existence of these laws, as well as sanctuary cities, prove otherwise. As idiotic and suicidal as it is, an open borders position should at least be honestly proposed and debated, since that is what progressives are really pushing for. I could have some respect for that approach. This one–lying about the intention while undermining immigration laws–is indefensible as well as cowardly.

b) In that vein, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez described the unavoidable detention facilities at the border as “concentration camps.” “I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something,” she said in an Instagram rant yesterday. Calling the President  a “fascist” (This will be today’s Big Lie entry, as the directory continues), she went on, “I don’t use those words to just throw bombs,” she said, throwing bombs, “I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it’s very difficult to say that. The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

How many blatant misrepresentation and lies are in those statements? Well, how much time  ya got? Detention centers are unavoidable. They aren’t concentration camps, and the Holocaust comparison is ignorant, inflammatory and obnoxious as well as false. (“What happened to people in concentration camps?” asked OtherBill, who flagged this for me). The President is bound by his oath of office to see that the rule of law remains intact, and to protect the Constitution. A growing hoard of illegal immigrants breaching the law and established procedures to get over the border and then vanish into sanctuary cities creates a threat to both.  The Nazis put their own citizens into concentration camps (you know, like FDR did with Japanese Americans? ), and then murdered them. The illegals at the border are not citizens, they are not legally refugees until we say so, and the U.S. has no obligation, legal or otherwise, to accept what has become a cynical excuse to flout our laws. Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Yes, It’s Representative Ocasio-Cortez Again!

I know we’re getting perilously close to Julie Principle territory here. The Congresswoman says and tweets so many ignorant, logically flawed, impulsive and silly things so often that it seem ungallant to keep swatting at them.

On the other hand, elected officials, especially members of Congress, have an ethical duty not to make their supporters, followers and the public in general dumber and more ignorant than they already are. The tweet above does that: it misrepresents laws, law enforcement, the nature of abortion, reality, justice, too much to process, really.

It also shows seriously damaged critical thinking skills and an abysmal grasp of analogies. “Right?” No, NOT right, you fool. Abortion bans target the intentional taking of what these laws deem human life. Got that? Intentional. No ICE agents set out to cause the deaths of premature babies that were, in fact, placed in peril by their mothers who endangered them by bringing them along as they attempted to break U.S. laws. There is no valid comparison here. None. Continue reading