Exploring Double Standards In The 2016 Election, A Hypothetical Thought Experiment For Ethics Alarms Readers

fake-huma

While the news media has been almost totally focused on Donald Trump’s misogyny, alreday well-established long  but somehow decisively important once it was in full display from the video of a private exchange from 11 years ago, revelations about his opponent’s character and modes of operation have also been trickling out into view, and receiving far less attention from either journalists or voters.

They have also exposed many of Clinton’s lies. For example, after posturing about Trump’s birtherism and claiming that his defense that Clinton led the way in 2008 with planting conspiracy theories to otherize Obama, this  ugly email, surfaced from the 2008 Clinton campaign, including John Podesta and Paul Begala on the distribution list. It strongly suggest that an attack on Obama’s religion and citizenship was part of the strategy to defeat him, as well as using his alleged use of illegal drugs and support for gay adoption as ammunition.

The 2013 Goldman-Sachs speeches that Clinton received $675,000 to give to the investment companies have turned up, thanks to Wikileaks. More revealed files from the FBI have cast suspicion on the process whereby Clinton was cleared of criminal misconduct in her irregular handling of official e-mails.

Other documents have indicated that the federal government, “supported by tax dollars,” as the Wall Street Journal puts it, was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department seems to have coordinated with her staff to blunt the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.

Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, also facilitated Clinton’s use of her official influence to provide special favors to Clinton Foundation donors. For example, in one  series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Hillary  Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs).

The leaks show “that the press is in Mrs. Clinton’s pocket,” writes Kimberly Strassle at the WSJ.  Donna Brazile, now DNC chair, sent the exact wording of a CNN town hall question to Hillary ahead of a scheduled debate.  Other journalists gave the Clinton campaign the power to veto which quotes were used from interviews, helped facilitate press events, and offered advice to her campaign.

Less surprising but arguably more damaging if the average voter knew, the various leaks, e-mails and speeches reveal a candidate with little integrity and few core principles, an opportunistic policy Janus who constantly changes her position to maximize political gain. She told an audience that she believes in giving the voters one position while holding different ones, and has taken such dual positions on banks; international policies, trade, illegal immigration, energy, and more. Though many of the leaked e-mails reveal views of her staff that are only attributed to Hillary, it is likely that the voluminous discussions among Clinton’s advisors about  what false rhetoric she should use to recruit “the Red Army,” also called “the base of the Democratic Party.” are not inconsistent with her own attitudes.

All of this, and more is on the way, does not show an individual with Donald Trump’s repulsive narcissism and contempt for a full half of the world’s population, but does show Clinton to be, like Trump, untrustworthy, dishonest, corrupt, ruthless, and shameless. Unlike Trump, it reveals an individual addicted to showing the public a completely different political being than she really is.

Strassle concludes her summary by saying that “Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it.”

So I wonder…what if, rather than requiring explanation, analysis, extrapolation, and connecting the dots, and without being marred by over-reaching and biased exaggerations of already damaging evidence by right-wing, Hillary-hating zealots, visual and audible smoking gun proof of Clinton’s lies, false poses and corruption was exposed to the nation?

I now present this hypothetical as a thought experiment: Continue reading

Unethical Headline Of The Week: Gateway Pundit: No, Conservatives, A Clinton Advisor Did Not “Admit She Hates Everyday Americans”

Nice graphic, Gateway Pundit! Stupid post, though...

Nice graphic, Gateway Pundit! Embarrassing post, though…

Just because progressive blogs are playing this game doesn’t make it OK for you to do it to0.

Here’s the headline, on a breathless post  conservative blogger Jim Hoft:

WIKILEAKS BOMBSHELL: Hillary Advisors Admit She “HATES EVERYDAY AMERICANS”

Now here is the “bombshell”:

hillary-hate-americans-575x371

Continue reading

Observations On The Donald Trump/ Russia/ Hacked E-Mails Story

Hillary Putin Trump

I swear I am  trying to post on interesting ethics issues that have nothing to do with Hillary, Donald, either party or  their hot-button issues. My issue scout Fred and others have sent me scores of topics that are waiting on the runway. Then things like this happen.

To catch you up: After Wikileaks released embarrassing e-mails, hacked from the DNC, showing collusion by the supposedly neutral arm of the Democratic Party to ensure the nomination for Hillary Clinton, Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook told  ABC’s “This Week,” “It’s troubling that some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.”

Then Trump said at a news conference in Florida, “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Immediately Democrats, partisan lawyers, left-wing pundits and Trump-haters flipped out. Carl Bernstein, the far left half of Woodward and Bernstein, said Trump’s comments were “disqualifying.” Others wrote that his comments were “treason” or “virtual treason.” Clinton senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan said, “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent.”

Trump, predictably, said that he was being sarcastic.

Observations:

1. I trust that my disgust for Donald Trump, his values, his character and his candidacy have been clearly and thoroughly explained here, as they will continue to be. Nonetheless, basic ethics requires that he be treated fairly by the news media, and I will continue to point out the media’s bias against him, Republicans, and anyone standing in Hillary Clinton’s way as she attempts to corrupt the government and the culture by infecting both with her grubby ambition and dishonesty. This is one more episode of journalism bias in what will be a long, long trail leading right to election day.

2. The Democratic Party’s spin on the e-mail scandal is self-evidently desperate and misleading, not that this appears to discourage Clinton-supporters in the social media from adopting it. The central issue is what the hacked e-mails show, and what the DNC and the Clinton campaign did to rig the nomination. Mook’s deflection, which a fair and competent host would have immediately rejected (but George Stephanopoulos is a loyal former Clinton staffer and confidante with a conflict of interest), was a miserable, dishonest tactic. Naturally, it was quickly adopted by most of the party and its partisan journalist supporters. Sad, weak, Martin O’Malley  chimed in, Continue reading

UPDATE: The DNC “Apology” Is Even Worse Than I Thought! NOW You Get The Kaboom. KABOOM!

Kaboom Red

 Well, she got me!

The utter dishonesty of the Hillary Clinton-dominated Democratic National Committee finally made my head explode, earning the Ethics Alarms KABOOM designation, and also gratitude from the makers of Scott Paper Towels.

I posted  on the deceitful DNC non-apology apology reported last night as the party’s  response to the Wikileaks revelation that the Debbie Wasserman Schultz-led, Hillary Clinton-supporting staff of the Democratic National Committee was actively assisting Clinton’s campaign and colluding to undermine that of her sole challenger for the nomination, Bernie Sanders. My conclusion was that by apologizing for “the e-mails” and “remarks” instead of acknowledging and apologizing for what those e-mails and remarks signified, the DNC was cynically pretending to be sorry while actually deflecting attention away from its real betrayal.

It was worse than that.

When I wrote this, I was not aware of the recent discovery of anti-gay and homophobic comments in the DNC e-mails, though the DNC surely was. For example, there were exchanges like this (from The Daily Caller): Continue reading

The Final Insult: The DNC Issues A Cynical, Evasive And Dishonest “Apology”

The DNC is offering one for free!

The DNC is offering one for free!

I have been asked why none of the various ethical horrors emerging from the Democratic Party ( as in rigging its nomination process), the Democratic National Committee (as in claiming, in spite of smoking-gun evidence, that Hillary Clinton won the nomination “fair and square”) and Hillary Clinton ( as in immediately hiring the ex-chair of the DNC after she had been dumped for overseeing the unethical nomination process manipulation) rated a KABOOM! label, which is reserved for unethical conduct so stunning that it causes my head to explode. The reason is simple.  Being well-acquainted with the depth of Hillary Clinton’s corruption and her documented ability to corrupt others, I am immune to such episodes, which no longer can bring my brain to the necessary boil.

I must admit, however, that the DNC’s outrageous apology  to “Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party” issued tonight (it’s Monday evening, the first night of the Democratic National Convention) nearly did it. My skull almost blew.

I’m sure there have been more deceitful, evasive, too-cute-by-half and insulting apologies by major institutions. Well maybe not. Anyone who accepts this slap in the face of accountability as anything better than a sham is either a fool, or complicit in the Democratic Party’s machinations.

Here is the “apology”:

DNC apology

According to the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale, this is both a Level 9 and a Level 10 apology, which is to say a stinking, steaming pile of excrement, and about as unethical as an apology can be. Continue reading

More On The DNC E-Mail Scandal: Proposition Proved! An Unethical Organization, Seeking To Respond To The Revelation Of Corrupt Practices, Will Only Further Demonstrate The Depth Of Its Unethical Nature [Part 2]

"Fair and square," eh Donna?

“Fair and square,” eh Donna?

[Items 1-5 are covered in the previous post, More On The DNC E-Mail Scandal: Proposition Proved! An Unethical Organization, Seeking To Respond To The Revelation Of Corrupt Practices, Will Only Further Demonstrate The Depth Of Its Unethical Nature,Part I]

6. Donald Trump remains, and will remain, the riskiest option for President in 2016, simply because he has no qualities and no experience that qualify him for high office, and many, many traits and habits that disqualify him absolutely. Nonetheless, not since Richard Nixon has a presidential candidate been more likely, if elected, to get enmeshed in scandals involving abuse of power and the violation of laws than Hillary Clinton. Democrats and anyone else who votes for her must understand this. Clinton’s lauditory statement about Wasserman Schultz is proof of it, as was her State Department e-mail scheme. She will encourage and support dishonest, undemocratic schemes in pursuit of her agenda. Nothing could be more certain.

7. The key question is this: How can Clinton herself, and not just the ex-DNC chair, not be held accountable for the nomination fix? Are Democrats satisfied with that result: she coordinates the rigging of the system, and completely benefits from the plot, achieving everything she sought, and the only one punished is an official who should have been fired long ago? Poignantly asks New York Times columnist Charles Blow, as reliable a Democratic Party apologist as walks the earth,

“What are those Democratic voters supposed to do who don’t trust the candidate, the party or the process, even if they view The Donald as the Devil?”

Continue reading

More On The DNC E-Mail Scandal: Proposition Proved! An Unethical Organization, Seeking To Respond To The Revelation Of Corrupt Practices, Will Only Further Demonstrate The Depth Of Its Unethical Nature [PART 1]

debbie-wasserman-schultz

“Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

Last week, the Republicans revealed to the world how untrustworthy it had become under the curse of Donald Trump during its ugly convention. The Democratic Party  has, against all odds, still managed to equal them, proving beyond all doubt that it is equally untrustworthy—and equally loathsome—before its convention even started.  Debating which party debased itself more is a ludicrous exercise—“more untrustworthy” is like “more pregnant”—but boy, it’s hard to conceive of more cynical, “We’re corrupt to the core and proud of it!” behavior than the Democratic Party’s reaction to the Wikileak-ed DNC e-mails.

Many of my progressive Facebook friends spent last week knocking themselves out gloating, and writing screeds beginning with “How can anyone look at themselves in the mirror and say they support the Republican Party?” If they have integrity—and most of them don’t, being thoroughly infected with partyism, bias, and Clinton Corruption–they will be asking their mirrors the same question, with the substitution of one key word.

Here is the unethical aftermath as it has unfolded so far, and what it revealed to anyone not in denial:

1. As I predicted, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was designated official scapegoat for the entire party’s primary season-wide cheat, as if she rigged the nomination all by herself, and nobody else knew. Indeed, the damning e-mails revealed that the whole DNC staff management was involved in an organization-wide plot to guarantee the nomination for Clinton, undermine Sanders, and lie to the nation that it was an open and fair process. If the staff knew, the party leaders knew. If the party leaders knew, Hillary Clinton knew….and anyone who argues that she didn’t know is either so dumb or so corrupt themselves that I wouldn’t recommend letting them house-sit for you.

My brain hurts from trying to come up with a suitably descriptive analogy. Is this like one of bullet-riddled Sonny Corleone’s assassins kissing his forehead and saying “There! Boo-boo all better?”  Is it as if Major League Baseball’s response to the 1919 Black Sox scandal and its rigged World Series was to fire the corrupted team’s manager and let the players who took the bribes continue as if nothing happened? The best analogy is probably the most obvious one: Wasserman Schultz is a scapegoat in the traditional sense of the word, a symbolic living vessel let loose in the wilderness to atone for the sins of the people. Of course, that practice was cynical and idiotic, but understandably popular with everyone but the goat. Continue reading

Observations On The Leaked DNC E-mails

"Thanks for all your good work for me, Debbie! And thank the rest of the DNC staff too!"

“Thanks for all your good work for me, Debbie! And thank the rest of the DNC staff too!”

1. In case you missed it—and there were a lot of people trying to make sure you did—the illegal hacking organization Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 stolen e-mails from the Democratic National Committee. It is, by any estimation, a scandal, and potentially a devastating one. You can read various takes on it from Heat Street, BuzzFeed, NPR, The Daily Beast, CNN, BizPac Review, Business Insider, The New York Observer, Fox News Insider, Associated Press, The Daily Caller, Mediaite, and the Associated Press. Among other things, the e-mails show that the Democratic National Committee was actively colluding to undermine Bernie Sanders and ensure that Hillary Clinton won the race to become the Democratic nominee. That means that the Democratic Party, while holding itself out as running a fair nomination process to be determined by primaries and voters while the party played neutral referee, was in fact cheating. It was fixing the competition. It lied to Democratic voters and the nation.

I think that’s a big deal.

2. Objective observers and commentators knew this was the orientation of the DNC long before the leaks, of course. It was obvious, or should have been, that the fix was in. The party tried to make sure that no real competition for Clinton emerged to challenge her for the nomination, despite her obvious weaknesses as a candidate and her self-evident corruption. All that Hillary had to overcome were a Star Wars cantina of token opposition: Sanders, an elderly socialist crackpot; Jim Webb,  a conservative, sort-of-Democrat maverick with even less charm than Hillary; Martin O’Malley, a lightweight former governor with no policy positions that varied significantly from Clinton’s, and whatever the heck ex-Republican Lincoln Chafee was supposed to be.  Even against this motley crew, Hillary  might well have lost in a fair contest, just as she did to an unproven, inexperienced junior Senator from Illinois in 2008.  But Clintons don’t do “fair,” and the DNC was willing to  serve as her accomplice. Thus the party appointed Hillary-supporting “superdelegates,” including Hillary’s husband and many former Clinton appointees and previous enablers. Thus they held as many debates as possible on weekends and opposite major sporting events, so as few undecided people as possible would be exposed to the inevitable Clinton gaffes, lies, and awkward public persona.

2. There should be little sympathy for indignant Democrats who are shocked—-shocked!—that the leaked emails show that the DNC was trying to sabotage Sanders and push Clinton over the finish line. Hillary cheats. Everyone knows that. Everyone knew that  before she announced her candidacy. She was cheating all along, just like she was lying about her State Department e-mails all along, and continues to lie about her Goldman Sachs speeches. Knowing all that, with an obligation to his conveniently adopted party and his principles to try to stop a manifestly unfit woman from gaining power, Bernie Sanders still refused to attack Clinton where she is least fit to be President: her character. All the pieces were there. If the Wikileaks leaks were necessary for Sanders and his supporters to figure out that they were the marks in a rigged  game, they are too gullible and pathetic to be involved in politics. Continue reading

The Irony Of Wikileaks: Yes, It Is Despicable…But It’s Still Useful To Know That PBS, Ben Affleck And Prof. Henry Lewis Gates Are Despicable Too.

Batman is ashamed of you, Ben...

Batman is ashamed of you, Ben…

Once a secret is out, it isn’t a secret any more. Once privacy is shattered, it’s gone: that egg can’t be put back together again. I wish Sony’s e-mails hadn’t been hacked: everyone who isn’t operating under a policy that mandates that their communications must be archived and available for media and public examination, like, oh, say, Hillary Clinton, has a right to have private business and personal communication.

Julian Assange is a fick, and an uncommonly arrogant one. He encourages, aids and abets the theft of proprietary information in the interests of world anarchy, which is in the interests of nobody. So let’s see now…North Korea hacks Sony to chill our First Amendment rights, and Wikileaks helps magnify the damage by spreading private e-mails and documents far and wide.

Yechhh.

But it’s all out there now, and there is no virtue in averting our eyes and plugging our ears. There is a lot of unethical conduct exposed in those 30,000 documents and 170,000 emails hacked from Sony, and while the means by which it was exposed was illegal and wrong, we should still learn from what is now public information.

The fact that PBS and Harvard prof Henry Louis Gates Jr. can’t be trusted, for example, is good to know. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Fox News

Who approved the playing of Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” over photos of convicted Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning in uniform and in feminine make-up and garb? Fire him.

This isn’t professional, and it isn’t the proper role of journalists to mock the gender identity issues of public or private individuals. Fox is playing to the worst of its core conservative audience, the gay- and trans-hating troglodytes, and thus embraces bigotry as reasonable and humorous. Manning’s sexual problems are of tangential news value, and to the extent that they are, they should be treated with sensitivity and respect, with Fox’s goal being to educate its audience, not to play playground tease.

It would be impressive and appropriate if one of the more responsible, independent Fox on-air personalities—Shep Smith? Megyn? O’Reilly?—would chide their network for this. They should be embarrassed.