Home > NewsRelease > Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/9/18: The Speech! The Slur! The Secret Laws! The Shameful Dance!
Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/9/18: The Speech! The Slur! The Secret Laws! The Shameful Dance!
Jack Marshall -- ProEthics, Ltd. Jack Marshall -- ProEthics, Ltd.
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Alexandria , VA
Wednesday, January 09, 2019


Good Morning!

1 What a shock: A standard, typical, Oval Office speech. The monster! Ann Althouse has nicely covered the expected biased media reaction to President Trump’s speech last night, noting in part…

I’m reading Washington Post columns this morning, drawn or repelled by headlines. I was repelled by “Trump’s nothingburger speech.” That’s Jennifer Rubin, who I guess, was expecting Trump to do something drastic and planning to rage about it, then stuck with normal, and much less to chomp on… “Trump tried to play a normal president on television. The result was very strange.” … also, obviously, aims to make something of normal… It’s Alyssa Rosenberg:

“Given the hype, it was disconcerting to hear a speech that, at least for the opening minutes, could have been delivered by any normal politician….Those very gestures of presidential normalcy revealed how futile it was for anyone to wish that Trump would start talking like that all the time. Trump may have told more blatant falsehoods about immigrants and crime over the course of his speech, but to watch him mouth these platitudes is to witness a more insidious and disorienting kind of lying….Watching Trump’s flat delivery of sentiments that he can’t possibly believe was the inverse of comforting. Instead, the address had the queasy effect of a serial killer’s mask in a horror movie: It was a failed attempt to look normal that concealed something even more terrifying underneath….”

But the WaPo readers probably love this sort of thing…

I’m sure they do. Isn’t that great journalism? “We know he doesn’t believe what he’s saying.” The presumption of dishonesty and racism.

More Althouse:

I’ve now watched the Pelosi/Schumer response. I observed my emotional reaction, and I can tell you for sure that the line that reached me was “The fact is: the women and children at the border are not a security threat, they are a humanitarian challenge – a challenge that President Trump’s own cruel and counterproductive policies have only deepened” (spoken by Pelosi).

The word with emotional resonance for me was “humanitarian.” So I went back to the text of Trump’s speech, and I see that he used the word in his first sentence:

“My fellow Americans: Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.”

And, to skip ahead to the 6th paragraph:

“This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul….”

It is not the job, obligation or responsibility of the United States to solve the humanitarian problems caused by citizens of other nations trying to enter our country illegally while imperiling children in the process. It does have an obligation to make it crystal clear that trying to make the problem ours will be futile.

Pelosi’s argument boils down to “Think of the Children!”

2.  And speaking of rationalizations: This dumb blog attempted to defend US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib uncivil and unprofessional vulgarity (“We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker!”) by listing celebrities who have used the same insult: rappers, comedians, non-Americans, incorrigible left-wing Hollywood jerks like Spike Lee, and actors like Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson, who in his movies calls everyone and everything a motherfucker, so he really shouldn’t count. this doesn’t even work as an “Everybody Does It” excuse. The issue isn’t the vulgarity, it’s the speaker, a member of Congress, and the ethical standards one accepts when entering that institution.

3. Wait, WHAT? Georgia keeps its official statutes behind a paywall—this is irresponsible and unethical—and has tried to prosecute Carl Malamud and his Public.Resource.Org site for publishing them online so citizens of the State can read the laws they are supposed to obey for free. The 11th Circuit ruled that Malamud was not infringing on any copyrights by posting the “Official Code of Georgia Annotated” (OCGA) because there could be no copyrighting laws.  Not to be denied, now the state is now trying to block Malamud  from purchasing a copy of the laws because they know  he will put it on-line and allow the residents of Georgia to read their own laws without having to pay a fee.


4.  Dance-gate: 100% Fake News! I thought this story was too stupid even for me to comment on, but so many readers have raised it that now I must. The news media made it sound last week as if Republicans and conservatives were using a college video of a cute Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing to ridicule her. I peruse the conservative media enough to know when claims like this are garbage, and this one obviously was. Nonetheless, the mainstream media ran with it, then mocked the Right because the imaginary “smear” failed:

And who were the “conservatives” who attempted this alleged idiotic shaming campaign? All anyone can find is a single tweet from someone called “Anonymous.” That’s it, along wth some retweets. That was enough for the mainstream media to hang an entire false  narrative. Naturally, the Congresswoman herself piled on, tweeting,

I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too! ????

So now it was the whole GOP, those fun-hating, women-shaming old fogies!

Writes Professor Jacobson, who nicely documents the fake news scam,

This was a media invented fabrication. But now it’s part of the political landscape. Here’s how the L.A. Times plays it, Right-wing blowhards are having a tough time with this whole women-in-power thing in Congress:

Having calculated that savaging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn’t firing up the he-man pitchfork crowd as much as they had hoped, conservatives are now trying to smear Ocasio-Cortez as young, dangerous, naive, stylish and a good dancer. They also seem unaccountably panicked that she was once known as Sandy.To many of the attacks, Ocasio-Cortez has issued Twitter clap-backs that deftly surface the barely concealed sexism of her detractors. When conservatives this week tried to make hay out of a dance video she made in college, she made another dance video, chiding the GOP as prigs who hate women who dance.

Like that fabrication that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her backyard, the media has created an alternative reality that becomes political truth. In isolation, the Fake News about Ocasio-Cortez’s dance video doesn’t make a difference. But it’s not in isolation. It’s an example of how a dishonest media manipulates political perceptions and narratives….

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!

ProEthics, Ltd.
Alexandria, VA