Tag Archives: TV ratings

Ethics Run-Down, 2/5/2019: Neeson And Nipples

I’m calling it a run-down because I’m run down.

1. THANK YOU…Ethics Alarms readers who contributed—by tuning in to the Puppy Bowl or something, anything— to the NFL’s worst ratings for a Super Bowl in a decade, and by some metrics (percentage of homes) the worst ratings ever. True, nobody knows exactly what kept viewers away—the looming Kaepernick controversy, the blah game, LA being sick of getting beaten by Boston, the prospect of being preached to by virtue-signaling corporations, the uninspiring half-time show, families being smart enough to try to steer their kids away from football—but progress is progress. Someone will have to explain to me the “boring game” theory: who does someone know the game is going to be boring without watching it?

2. Oh, Great—thanks to Liam Neeson, we are one step closer to punishing thought crimes. What possessed the often thoughtful actor to expound on a period in his life when he hated blacks?

In an interview, published by The Independent,  Neeson, who specializes in revenge fantasy action movies, that 40 years ago he walked the streets with a weapon looking for black men to attack because friend of his had been raped by a man she identified as African American. The actor said he “went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence”.

Now he is being attacked as a racist. And he’s surprised? The governor of Virginia is being attacked as a racist for dressing up as Michael Jackson when he was a student, and he wasn’t even trying to hurt anybody. Liam, Liam, Liam. Asked what he wanted people to learn from his experience, he told ABC’s Robin Roberts today, “To talk. To open up…We all pretend we’re all politically correct in this country…in mine, too. You sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry and it’s there. ”

Fine. Everyone has unethical, even evil thoughts and impulses on occasion. If we are normal, ethical, rational and reasonable, we deal with them in a healthy way. There is nothing unethical about thoughts. Unfortunately, we are plagued in the culture right now with those who want to dictate our thoughts and punish those who do not conform in order to control our liberties, expression and conduct. Neeson just gave those people, and Hollywood, where he works, is crawling with them, an opening to punish thoughts, specifically his.

Next time, Liam, talk to a priest, a psychiatrist, a spouse, a trusted friend, anyone but a journalist. If there is a next time: I fully expect Neeson to be effectively blackballed in his profession.

3. KABOOM! The stupidest Super Bowl ethics controversy ever! Actress Abigail Breslin—you may recall her fondly  in “Little Miss Sunshine,” not so fondly as “Baby” in the beyond horrible live TV version of “Dirty Dancing”— doesn’t understand why why Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was allowed to go topless during his Super Bowl performance when Janet Jackson was so heavily criticized for her contrived nipple flashing during the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show. “Nipplegate” got CBS a $550,000 fine.

Levine removed his shirt to show off his heavily tattooed body as he performed, and a number of social media users, including celebrities, questioned why it was OK to see his top half and not Janet’s. You know. Morons.

“I have nothing against Adam Levine whatsoever and actually am a huge fan but it’s messed up that society seems it acceptable for him to be shirtless during the halftime show and Janet Jackson was chastised because her top half was accidentally exposed at the same event. #doublestandards,” Breslin tweeted. “It’s unfair that she was ridiculed for an accident that wasn’t even her fault but a man can take his shirt off on stage and it’s no problem….I’m saying neither should be fined. Or both should be fined. It’s not fair an accidental slip is cause for a fine but a man ripping his shirt off on stage is chill. It should be a fine for both or a fine for none.”

Actress Rosie Perez—is she more or less of a hasbeen than Breslin?— tweeted “Okay. Hold up. Are they going to go in and penalize # AdamLevine for showing his t*ts like they did @JanetJackson ? Just asking.”

Ugh. As Ethics Alarms has explained before, there was nothing accidental about Jackson’s flashing, and the risible claim that poor Janet had a “costume malfunction” (wink-wink) has entered the realm of fake history, less annoying but equally as false as “Hands Up! Don’t shoot!” But never mind that: have these actresses never been to a beach? A volleyball tournament? Do they live in nudist colony? Civilized society permits some parts of the male anatomy to be exposed in public, while some parts of the female anatomy are not considered appropriate for public display. The system has worked pretty well. Are feminists really going to try to label this a form of sexism?

On multiple fronts, it is beginning to appear that progressive cant is spinning into self-parody.

Here’s Adam, by the way:

 

I don’t know about you, but I had a hard time finding his nipples.

 

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Popular Culture, Professions, Race, Social Media, Sports, U.S. Society

Ethics And Sports: Maybe It’s Confirmation Bias, But The TV Ratings Give Me Hope

And these days, when the goal is a more ethical society, I’ll take hope anywhere I can find it.

The big story in the NFL right now is that for the first time ever, its TV ratings are dropping. Through the first seven weeks of the season, ratings were down for every prime-time NFL show: “Sunday Night Football” by 19 percent, “Monday Night Football” by 24 percent and the Thursday night game by 18 percent. For the season as whole, ratings are off in regional games too. The NFL is doing what it always does with bad news: obfuscating and lying. It has blamed the drop on the Presidential race, as if anyone wouldn’t do anything to escape that, and the generational abandonment of network TV and even cable for the internet. Various polling results, however, show that a big factor is the league’s increasingly obvious lack of values.

The concussion issue-–finally—is hurting interest in football, especially as parents try to steer their children toward less risky sports. A recent study that researchers took pains to insist was only troubling, not conclusive, found brain chemistry changes in children who had played one season of junior football. I don’t know about anyone else, but if there is any evidence that a sport might reduce my kid to a brain-damaged invalid by the time he’s 60, that’s plenty for me to limit his recreation choices. The public is also finally reacting to the NFL’s evident cover-up of its responsibility for ex-players who have perished as a consequence of CTE, a brain disease caused by repeated head trauma. I wish this was the main reason that fans are turning off pro-football games, but at least it’s a factor. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Childhood and children, Popular Culture, Sports

Ethics Quote of the Week: Blogger Jeff Jarvis

"If Charlie's unavailable, get this guy. He's hilarious!"

“One way or another, by one definition and diagnosis or another, Charlie Sheen is a sick man. He doesn’t need airtime. He needs couchtime. News people are ill-serving him and the issue of mental illness in this country by putting him on the air as if he were just another source, another celebrity. They are not informing the public. They are exploiting Charlie.”

Blogger Jeff Jarvis on his site, BuzzMachine, on the media’s disgraceful rush to get celebrity meltdown Charlie Sheen to do as many wacky, self-destructive, “did he really say that?” interviews as possible before he falls completely to pieces as addicts in full denial inevitably do.

Jarvis is right. There is no more news to be milked from the sad Sheen story, other than “Charley continues to say things that are destroying his career, making him dislikable and unemployable, and that prove that he is sick, getting sicker by the day.” This is no less despicable than exhibiting freaks, the brain injured and schizophrenics for the amusement of the crowd. “They want him to act nutty,” says Jarvis. “Ratings, man, ratings.” Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Quotes, Etiquette and manners, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Professions

“Million Dollar Drop” Ethics: Not So Fast, Fox— Fork Over Some Money!

It’s one thing for Fox to post misleading headlines on its website and for Fox hosts to slander an international philanthropist but now its game show ethics have crashed and burned. An ethicist can only stand so much, dammit!

In the very first episode of the latest Fox effort to attract a prime time audience without adding anything of value to the culture or American thought—a combination quiz and gambling show called “Million Dollar Drop”—a couple bet $800,000 that they knew whether Post-It notes or the Sony Walkman  was “sold in stores” first. As the audience held its collective,breath, rooting for Gabe Okoye and his girlfriend, Brittany Mayti  to win big money in advance of their approaching wedding, game show host Kevin Pollack revealed that they were—awwwww!— wrong. The Walkman hit the stores first. Shortly thereafter, the couple lost the rest of their money (the show “gives” its constestants a million dollars that they have to risk on a series of questions) and went home poorer and dumber. Why dumber? Because the show’s researchers had arrived at the wrong answer, not Okoye and Mayti. Post-Its were sold first, though only regionally. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, History, Law & Law Enforcement, Quizzes, Research and Scholarship, Romance and Relationships, The Internet

Deriliction of Duty at the MLB All-Star Game.

This week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game got the lowest TV ratings in the history of the so-called “mid-summer classic,” which proves that Lincoln was right: you just can’t fool all the people all of the time—even when they are baseball fans. The All-Star Game was originally devised as a dream competition in which the best players from the American and National League would play a game that was hard-fought and full of the spectacular exploits of the best players alive. For decades it was like that, too, until sky-rocketing salaries and America’s culture of celebrity turned a large proportion of the players into egomaniacal, self-promoting monsters. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Sports