Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/9/2021: It’s A Great Stupid Christmas, Charlie Brown! [Corrected]

It’s Christmas season song time, and that means more political correctness “updates” of classic songs that someone spent a lot of time figuring out how to be offended by. #1 on the political correctness hit list is the Frank Loesser naughty duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” which I admit to calling “date-rapey” six years ago. I regret that, which is an over-statement, but not this post (#3 in a 2017 Warm-up) that expressed my annoyance at the song being treated as Christmas fare at all.

But I didn’t know until today that the song debuted in the Esther Williams watery 1949 musical comedy”Neptune’s Daughter” (which I have never watched), that it had nothing to do with Christmas in the film, and that the movie presented the song in two versions, one in which the man (Ricardo Montalban) is trying to get the woman (Esther) to stay over—neither of them can sing, incidentally—and a gender-flipped version later where an aggressive Betty Garrett (who can sing) is trying to seduce a reluctant Red Skelton (who can’t). Salon, of all places, featured a balanced analysis of the song last month, here.

1. Deception by omission, as usual. Kyle Buchanan, the New York Times movie columnist (“The Projectionist”), issued a column about how to “fix” the Oscars broadcast, which has seen its rating fall like Joe Biden’s approval numbers in recent years. Now what is the most obvious and annoying reason for much of America tuning out the Academy Awards when once following them was considered a national tradition? It’s the politicizing of the event, the woke speeches and virtue signaling, the decision to base awards on diversity rather than merit, the oppressive partisanship and Trump-bashing, and the stars revealing their depressing ignorance by shooting off their mouths as if anyone cares what they think, of course. Buchanan doesn’t mention any of this! It’s a Jumbo: “Politics? What politics?” Yes, it’s another “Bias makes you stupid” classic. Buchanan doesn’t think the oppressive politicizing of the broadcast is a problem, because it’s consistent with his politics.

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Ethics Pot Meet Ethics Kettle I: Rep. Boebert (R-Co.) vs. Rep. Omar

It’s like one of those monster vs. monster movies, such as “Godzilla vs. King Kong”: who do you root for? In the case of extreme right-wing, irresponsible and uncivil GOP fire-breather Lauren Boebert battling extreme leftist House Democrat Illhan Omar, the only ethical position is to hope they fight each other right out of Congress, where they both do immeasurable harm.

Omar is, I hope I do not have to explain in much detail, horrible. She would be the worst of “The Squad,” but, incredibly, the other members are so irredeemably awful that this is a tough call. Her background is full of scandals that would guarantee the end of the career of any non-black, non-Muslim representative in a sane party, which the Democratic Party is no longer. She repeatedly makes anti-Semitic, anti-Israel comments. Her infamous characterization of 9-11 (a comment barely reported by the mainstream media) was that “some people did something.” She has advocated defunding the police in Minnesota.

None of this justifies any member of Congress attacking her with ad hominem rhetoric, but Colorado’s Lauren Boebert is special, even by far right Republican standards. She has used Omar’s religion against her, calling her part of a “Jihad Squad” and told an audience before Thanksgiving that a Capitol Police officer was concerned about Omar boarding an elevator until Boebert reassured him by saying, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”

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