It will probably not surprise you to learn that I have been a huge Charles Addams fan since I was a child, when I borrowed every one of his collections from the Arlington Public Library. My two favorites, I think: the unicorns on a rock gazing sadly after the Ark as it floats away in the rain, and the butchers and his sons being attacked by links of sausages, mirroring the famous statue of Laocoön and his sons being devoured by serpents.
Laocoön’s fate is an ethics fable: Troy’s priest tried to warn the Trojans that the huge wooden horse was a trap, but instead of heeding his warning, the Trojans, having convinced themselves that the thing was a gift from the gods, assumed that the priest and his sons had been killed because the warning was blasphemy. In truth, the serpents had been sent by Poseidon, who was rooting for the Greeks all along. Historian Barbara Tuchman used the story of Laocoön in her book “The March of Folly,” a frequent topic on Ethics Alarms.
I was just depressed to discover, as I searched for a picture of Wednesday online, that the one above is only one of two out of hundreds that were genuine Addams drawings of her. What does that tell us?
1. More manipulated media. Yes, Twitter should flag these sorts of deceptions as long as they are non-partisan about it. In addition to the Steve Scalise fake I wrote about here, Twitter pointed out two more, also from the Republicans. White House social media director Dan Scavino posted a 2011 Joe Biden interview from California-news outlet KBAK that was altered to make it falsely appear as if Biden had fallen asleep—“Sleepy Joe,” get it? The fake was pointed out by John Dabkovitch, KBAK’s co-anchor at the time, who noted that the interview was actually with singer Harry Belafonte, not Biden. (I always get those two mixed up too.)
Then the Twitter account @TrumpWarRoom, which is the Trump campaign, posted a tweet that lifted Biden’s words out of context so it seems like Joe said “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” when he was quoting what Trump was suggesting in his remarks.
Like the Scalise tweet, both of these are embarrassingly stupid, and mandate firings. How can anyone tolerate a social media director who does something like this? He probably cheated on his SATs…[Pointer: valkygrrl]
2. I hereby volunteer to be the President’s 24-7 Ethics-sitter this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.... During his visit to peaceful protest-ravaged Kenosha, the President wanted to have a photo op in front of the century-old Rode’s Camera Shop, which was peacefully burned out a week ago. The owner, Tom Gram, is not a fan, however, and he declined President Trump’s request to participate in the damage tour yesterday. So the Trump flacks tracked down the previous owner and descendant of the original owners. He sold the shop eight years ago to Gram, yet President Trump introduced him as “John Rode III, owner of Rode’s Camera Shop.” Rode went on to praise the President. Rode does own the property where the camera shop had been. [Again, pointer: valkygrrl]
3. Why do they keep doing this? First it was the Mayor of Chicago who violated her own pandemic edicts to have her hair done, and now it’s Nancy Pelosi, caught below at a salon, maskless…
…(“You must wear your mask!” she commanded Americans earlier last month) as she sought beautification at a San Francisco hair salon this week despite local ordinances keeping salons closed. This is hypocrisy and entitled behavior, plus “laws are for the little people,” personified. Continue reading →