Tag Archives: Valerie Jarrett

Ethics Observations On The Roseanne Tweet Fiasco

1.  It is possible, after all, to revile Roseanne Barr’s gratuitously vicious “joke” about Valerie Jarrett, and to question the extended reaction to it. I feel especially emboldened, perhaps because you couldn’t have forced me to watch that show or anything associated with Barr had you been credibly threatening to blow up Fenway Park unless I tuned in. One of the ways the enemies of free discourse and thought further their agenda is by setting up these dilemmas, where to even suggest that a genuine miscreant’s punishment has exceeded reasonable bounds is to risk shunning and other serious cultural consequences—it’s the Cognitive Dissonance Scale again. “See, then we make them defend someone who would tweet something like that, and we’ve got em! Then they look like racists too! Bwahahahahaha!

2. No, I don’t think ABC and Disney were looking for an excuse to cancel “Roseanne” 2 because it was perceived as pro-Trump. The show was making money, and corporations place money above politics. However, there is no doubt that a conservative show has less margin for error in today’s biased media environment. It was up to Roseanne to understand that and moderate her conduct accordingly. This recent post is relevant.

3. I was not aware, until ethics alarms reader  Sue Denim pointed it out here, that Barr may have physiological reasons for her lifetime addiction to ugly humor: Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, language, Popular Culture, Race, Rights, Social Media, U.S. Society, Unethical Tweet

Ethics Dunce (But We Knew That): Roseanne Barr [UPDATED…Again!]

Ugh. The new, surprise hit reboot of “Roseanne” self-destructed when it’s star, not for the first time, couldn’t restrain herself from being objectively repulsive and tweeted a racist insult to former President Obama’s black chief-of-staff, Valerie Jarrett. This morning the comic—at least some people think she is comical—tweeted that Jarrett was the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.” as in “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr apologized, but ABC was quick: it cancelled the series, saying, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

Rosanne didn’t just step on a landmine, she stepped on several, then jumped up and down on them to make sure they blew her to bits, or so it seemed. Can’t attack anyone associated with Obama. Can’t use “Muslim” as an insult. Can’t make monkey jokes about black people. Any of these can be career-killers, and Roseanne did all of them at once, in only ten words and two initials. Wow. It takes a Master Ethics Dunce to do that. I am in awe.

Does she deserve to lose her show over this? Of course she does. It was, by any standard, a racist, hateful tweet. No company, especially an entertainment company, especially a Disney company, can afford to be associated with that kind of  reckless, high-visibility employee,  She was on thin ice anyway, being a self-declared Trump supporter. She should have known that she had to be even more careful than other uncivil comics and celebrities, like Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Alec Baldwin, all of whom have  said or tweeted ugly and hateful things about the right kind of people—you know, whites, Republicans, the President, and his family.

One of Roseanne’s writers, stand-up comic Wanda Sykes, quit the show before it could be cancelled in protest over Roseanne’s “joke”, though Sykes herself was booed off the stage in 2016 after going on a hateful, expletive-filled rant against President-Elect Donald Trump, then flipping off the crowd as she exited to boos. Now that’s the kind of comic ABC is proud to employ! Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Race, Social Media

Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/10/17

Morning, All!

(That’s a Flat Earth sunrise! I couldn’t resist...)

1. I’m encountering Ethics Alarms ethics alarms. For example, is it unethical for me to choose not to fix the typos in a comment from an obnoxious commenter? I generally fix mistakes when they turn up in comments from regulars here, or missing words and letters in first posts by newcomers. But the other day an annoying commenter of recent vintage registered a comment that seemed as careless as it was badly reasoned, and had several typos.Yeah, I fixed them. But I didn’t want to.

Then, after a long period without any blog banishments, I banished a commenter yesterday whose first post was really poor, and whose last was insulting in response to my pointing out just how poor it was. As I told him in the exit response, he had triggered The Stupidity Rule. I really don’t allow stupid people to comment here once I determine that they are hopeless. Is that wrong? Elitist? Mean?

I don’t want to keep explaining things to people whose comments indicate that they have preconceived notions, unshakeable biases, inadequate education and training in critical thinking, and are under the impression that an uninformed opinion is worthy of publication because it’s theirs. Yesterday’s exile also made the fatal error of criticizing the blog because it was “judgemental.” Yes, it’s a blog in which we analyze whether conduct is right or wrong, or something else. That demands judgment, and being judgmental. The fact that the matter at issue was a lawsuit—you know, before a judge?—and the commenter still made that observation anyway sealed his fate, even before he wrote that I was bald and presumably “repulsive to women.”

Wait…I’m bald???

2.  The University of Missouri, aka Mizzou, is in crisis as a direct result of its administrators craven capitulation to race-based extortion triggered by general angst and the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck in 2015. Before the protests (which were based on nothing specific at the University that was ever demonstrated by the protesters, other than the President refusing to bow to demands that he condemn random reported racial incidents that didn’t involve students), Mizzou was thriving, growing, and building new dormitories. Now, in response to the nationally publicized meltdown of common sense and adult supervision (climaxed by a  protester-allied communications professor, Melissa Click, being caught on video calling for “some muscle” to prevent a student reporter from recording an ugly campus confrontation), enrollment is down 30%. The university is  closing seven dormitories and cutting more than 400 positions, including  faculty members.

Good.  But from the comments of students and remaining faculty members, it doesn’t sound as if the right lessons have penetrated the campus culture’s race-addled skull. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Education, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Race, The Internet

More From The “When Ethics Alarms Are Devoured By Hysteria And Partisan Hate” Files: KABOOM!

Thank you and Merry Christmas, Carl Palladino.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, Carl Palladino.

How somebody in the public eye can utter opinions like this for publication is absolutely beyond comprehension.  Hence the inside of my head is now outside my head. The red on the walls and ceiling looks kind of Christmassy, I must say.

A Buffalo weekly called Artvoice asked several prominent local figures what they wanted for 2017, asking several questions.

Carl Paladino, a local developer Republican member of the Erie County school board who was Donald Trump’s campaign’s co-chair in New York answered the first two questions this way:

1. What would you most like to happen in 2017?

Paladino: “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”

2. What would you like to see go away in 2017?

Paladino: “Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

What is this? A breakdown? The equivalent of civic suicide? As I would assume the most mentally handicapped of socially-inept morons would expect, these vile comments, which Paladino knew would be published, immediately caused him to be condemned far and wide. Donald Trump’s transition team  called his remarks “absolutely reprehensible.”  Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz called on Paladino to resign immediately. Assemblyman Sean Ryan D-Buffalo said Paladino’s comments were “outrageous, dangerous and disturbing.” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo described the remarks as “racist, ugly and reprehensible.”  Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown called the comments “terrible.”

By late yesterday, over a thousand people had signed an online petition calling for Paladino’s removal from the school board. Paladino’s response to the uproar?

“Yeah, I’m not politically correct,” he said. “They asked what I want, and I told them.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Kaboom!, Race, U.S. Society

Hugh Hewitt Bravely Takes Up The Challenge Of Identifying Substantive Reasons To Vote For Trump, And Fails Miserably

Six reasons

Apparently “Anti-Trump Sunday” is going to bleed into Monday. Sorry. Can’t be helped.

I have been—all right, the term is trolling—some sites and blogs where Trump supporters hang out to try to get one of them to articulate a single rational, substantive reason to support him for President of the United States of America. They can’t. I am still searching, and I have put out a challenge, but still no takers. I doubt one exists.

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt wrote a piece for the Examiner today called “Six reasons Trump is still better than Clinton,” which isn’t exactly my quest: I can give you six reasons why waterboarding is better than flaying, too. Still, it is as close as I’ve seen to an honest effort to justify voting for Trump, even though setting the only alternative as Hillary makes it a very low bar. Personally I think Hewitt is a knee-jerk hack and favored by CNN and others as the official “Right Wing Guy” because he makes conservatives look bad, but never mind: it’s an honest effort.

It is still a failure, however. He begins by destroyng his own credibility by excusing Trump’s insults and attacks on journalists:

“Bottom line: Insults of journalists don’t matter. Short of insulting my family, it simply doesn’t matter what Donald says to me or any reporters and pundits.”

Very, very, wrong. Presidents and national leaders undermine democracy by attacking the news media and specific journalists. Leaders who do that are sliding into censorship and autocracy, and devaluing the First Amendment. Obama has already started that process; it’s unethical, irresponsible and unprofessional, as well as unpresidential and an abuse of pwoer. Before Obama, the last President who made a habit of attacking the press was Richard Nixon. Are you surprised?

After that beginning, proving to me that  Hewitt really doesn’t comprehend the vital role a President has in upholding our democratic values, I’m not that interested in his analysis, but still, here are his “six reasons”: Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!, Leadership

More Integrity And Trustworthiness Litmus Test Results: Jarrett, Hoyer, Tavener Flunk

Good.

We’re making progress!

Our government after the liars are gone?

Our government after the liars are gone?

Now we know that White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, are cynical liars who cannot be trusted. [Update: Ranking House Way and Means Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan has joined the list, adopting the Orwellian “It’s not that people are losing their healthcare plans, they are being transitioned” double-talk trotted out on “Meet the Press” by an insurance company executive.The integrity and trustworthiness test provided by the revelation that the President’s three year, oft-repeated promise that

“If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance. This law will only make it more secure and more affordable.”

…was a calculated lie is already working like a charm!

These three were nicely outed, in addition to the proof of their own words, by Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto. First let’s visit Jarrett, reportedly President Obama’s closest confidante who is known in Capital Hill circles as “Rasputin.” Yesterday, she tweeted: “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.” Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Eric Holder Has President Obama’s “Confidence”—What Does That MEAN?

Uh, Mr. President? When "mediocre" is puffery, something's wrong.

Uh, Mr. President? When “mediocre” is puffery, something’s wrong.

Two weeks ago, the various pundits on multiple current events talk shows agreed that the hopeless, untrustworthy, bunging and double-talking Attorney General, Eric Holder, would remain in office despite evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a liability in the job, as long as “he retains the President’s confidence.” Sure enough, after another week in which Holder’s Justice Department came under even more bipartisan fire, White House political hatchet-woman Valerie Jarrett told the press that Holder  “will be in his position for quite a while” and “continues to have the president’s full confidence and respect.”

Not to be unkind, but this tells us that… Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership