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Athena

S06.E05: Public Shaming

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Other segments: Christchurch mosque shootings, Fraser Anning’s response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, Brexit
Guests: Monica Lewinsky

Note: When broadcast in the United Kingdom, a clip from Parliament was replaced with a clip from a dating video released in 1987.

 

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Anyone think Ollie's going to spend a great deal of time talking about the recent college admittance scandal? Because that would seem a topic right up LWT's alley.

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I've been wondering about that, too. I'd love to see an in depth story on that topic. 

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And he'll definitely say something about the recent mass shootings in New Zealand, especially given how he likes to talk a lot about the country on his show.

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Nice interview with Monica Lewinsky. I was in my early teens when the Lewinsky scandal broke back in the day, but boy, oh, boy, do I definitely remember the numerous late night jokes around it all (and, as Oliver himself noted, the jokes have long outlasted the Clinton presidency). Indeed, if the late night hosts were that merciless, I can only begin to imagine how social media would've been had it been a thing then.

I did like her point about how some would've been supportive, too, though. Shame something like #MeToo wasn't a thing back then-that could've really done a lot to help or change the narrative around her. I really admire her attitude about everything, and I'm glad she's managed to come through all of that and have a more positive outlook on life, and seems to be in a much better, happier place in general. I wish her well. 

As for the topic of public shaming in general, I generally try and limit my reactions to when people do blatantly awful, cruel things to other people, or say things that your average person wouldn't think to say. Like, if a twenty year old kid says something dumb, but as they get older they grow up and mature (and even better, if they look back on their past remarks and say something to the effect of, "Yeah, that was beyond dumb, and I certainly don't stand by those comments now."), fine, okay. I can deal with that and move on.

But Tucker Carlson's comments, for example? He was more than old enough to know better when he made those remarks. They were very specific and very nasty and very disturbing (the Warren Jeffs comments truly make my skin crawl), and as he's proven many times since then, he only continues to double down on being an asshole and saying awful things. So in that case, I think comments like that should absolutely be called out, and the people who make them should absolutely be criticized for saying such things. And I do think that if you get into the public sphere, and make your comments in a public setting, you shouldn't be surprised when people react to what you say. 

(As for an apology, obviously I'd appreciate it if Carlson did give one, and one that was sincere and genuine at that. But I know full well that ain't happening, and forced apologies aren't any better, because the person making it isn't actually learning anything or going to change their ways, so I don't need or expect one from him. He wants to pride himself on looking the fool, fine, let him. Also, his whining about the "leftist outrage machine" is laughable considering the faux outrage he and his Fox News cronies drum up on a daily basis, but whatever.) 

I do agree that kids should be off limits, though. Like the kids in this whole college admissions scandal. Whether they knew what was going on or not (and in the case of Loughlin's kids, it's pretty hard to claim they didn't, given the photoshopping nonsense), they're still young enough to where I'm not going to be as angry with them as I am their parents and the scammers. The adults in their lives set a very poor example of how to behave, so it doesn't surprise me they followed suit. I'm hoping, though, that they'll eventually grow up and learn from this, and turn out to be far better people than their parents were. 

I also agree that, as Oliver noted, there's right and wrong ways to express your anger. Anyone who sends death threats to somebody online, "joke" or not, should automatically lose their internet privileges.

As for other topics, Brexit continues to be among the more bonkers, messy stories I've ever heard. Good god. 

And finally, and most importantly, sending my deepest thoughts, condolences, and love to the people of Christchurch. The way they're responding to this tragedy is inspiring indeed, and I'm glad people are telling that dipshit Australian politician, in no uncertain terms, where he can stick his horrendous comments. 

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Monica was absolutely wonderful. I loved that you could tell that John genuinely liked her, and that the audience did, too. 

This is a topic/story that's been around for a while. Airing it now to tie it to the college admissions scandal, along with a few others, makes sense.

After the interview with Monica, it is even more clear why John made a point of saying that the window is closing on the appropriate time to shame Olivia Jade, and that threats are never appropriate. Tucker Carlson, on the other hand, is a grown man and clearly unrepentant so f*** him. 

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5 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

I do agree that kids should be off limits, though. Like the kids in this whole college admissions scandal. Whether they knew what was going on or not (and in the case of Loughlin's kids, it's pretty hard to claim they didn't, given the photoshopping nonsense), they're still young enough to where I'm not going to be as angry with them as I am their parents and the scammers.

I don’t agree that they should all be off limits. Olivia Jane, her “stage” name, has made a shit ton of money and put herself out there as a social media including money that was directly dependent on her being a college student (the Amazon sponsorship) all the while making videos about not really caring about school and only wanting to party. Yes she is young but she is also social media savvy and new what she was doing.

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Hey John. Interesting show, but not that funny. But that’s okay considering the events of the past week weren’t too laughable. His interview with Monica was well done and humanizing for her. I remember laughing at the Lewinsky jokes back in the 90’s until the point where I realized it was always about her being a slut and not very often about Clinton being a horn dog cheater. I’m not proud of how long it took me to get there though.     

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LOVE the Leno slam. Thank you John! Jay Leno has always been such a complete dickhead. And he still is, apparently.

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I had no idea Monica Lewinsky was that funny & quick thinking.

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One of the things I do for work is track news stories and blogs re: labor law. Even though this episode didn’t deal specifically with workplace bullying, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up on the blog that is all about that topic. 

The Lewinsky interview was fantastic! I have seen her talks online and been impressed with her, but this really humanized her so much.

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Doesn’t “Six Pack and a Potato”? sound like the title of a country song? It should be. Sean Hannity is still a fuckhead, though, same as Tucker Carlson. He fucks his Roomba? Hey, why not? #MoreHashtags

I reckon the Monica Lewinsky (holy shit, my iPad spelled that by itself) was worth the 40-minute window.  It’s also cringeworthy to see what we laughed at long ago. In other news, “Oh, The Places You Can Go Fuck Yourself” is a wonderful title for a book about Jay Leno. Maybe he’d be more popular if he grew a beard and pop out only once in a while.

Edited by Lantern7
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7 hours ago, ruby24 said:

LOVE the Leno slam. Thank you John! Jay Leno has always been such a complete dickhead. And he still is, apparently.

Oh how much I loved John slamming Jay Leno. Seeing Jay Leno smugly talk about late night comedy ugh.

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10 hours ago, Annber03 said:

I did like her point about how some would've been supportive, too, though.

True. I can imagine lots of people tweeting supporting messages to her if that was available back in the day.

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As for an apology, obviously I'd appreciate it if Carlson did give one, and one that was sincere and genuine at that.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Ahhhhhh. That was a good one. But yeah, like you said, that ain't happening. He's following Trump's rulebook where you never apology and never admit being wrong. I'm sure Fox viewers and those likeminded LOVE that he's not backing down. They love that about Trump. They love that about Fox personalities.

The six-pack-and-a-potato "joke" was stupid the first time. Of course Hannity would repeat that ad nauseam, but then Geraldo laughs each time as if he'd heard it for the first time. 

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I do agree that kids should be off limits, though. Like the kids in this whole college admissions scandal. Whether they knew what was going on or not (and in the case of Loughlin's kids, it's pretty hard to claim they didn't, given the photoshopping nonsense)

I thought I heard somewhere -- on this show or elsewhere -- that it was actually the guy they hired (admissions consultant?) who did the photoshopping. I could be mistaken, but in either case (the parents doing it or the consultant) I don't see why the kids would know. BTW, did any of the students actually get into the colleges or was this stopped before that happened?

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Monica Lewinsky was delightful.  She has a great attitude, given what she has been through.  I never thought she deserved all the abuse she received.  She was a very young woman seduced by one of the most powerful men in the world, then left to take all the blame.  I honestly don't recall any talk of how wrong it was of him to take advantage of her. He was mostly criticized for being unfaithful to Hillary, and having the gall to use the Oval Office for their meetings. She was the "temptress who led him astray".   

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I am so glad Oliver pointed out Jay Leno's behavior during the scandal. It was why I permanently stopped watching him at the time: he was mean and unfair, no matter how funny people thought the Dancing Itos were.

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Although I had never heard of her before, as soon as John mentioned "the worst aunt ever" suing her nephew over her broken wrist, I knew exactly why she had filed suit.  It's mind blowing how much a broken limb can cost (ask me how I know this), and although my health insurance paid almost all the bills, I know a couple people who were placed in exactly the same position as "the worst aunt" was.  To make matters worse, if the homeowners insurance is forced to cover the bill for an injury, they then cancel the policy, and it's next to impossible to get another policy because your "high risk" behavior of having had someone trip and fall on your property is the homeowner's equivalent to a pre-existing condition.  This would actually be an excellent topic for a future episode of LWT.

When Monica responded to John's question about whether she ever considered changing her name with "No one ever suggested Bill Clinton change his name", my heart, it was broken into a thousand pieces.

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But Tucker Carlson's comments, for example? He was more than old enough to know better when he made those remarks. They were very specific and very nasty and very disturbing (the Warren Jeffs comments truly make my skin crawl), and as he's proven many times since then, he only continues to double down on being an asshole and saying awful things.

Well, according to some obscure and long forgotten comedian, Tucker is "just as big a dick on (his) show as (he) is on any show"

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2 hours ago, peeayebee said:

I could be mistaken, but in either case (the parents doing it or the consultant) I don't see why the kids would know. BTW, did any of the students actually get into the colleges or was this stopped before that happened? 

I think most of the kids didn't know about the extent of the fake athlete recruitment efforts. Some of the photos the parents were submitted were photo shopped and in one case, was not even an actual photo of the kid (think one of the dad's found it off the internet). I've read parts of the affidavit and some of the kids were  suspicious but were deflected by the parents and Singer's people. In the case of Lori Loughlin's daughters, she and her husband had photos of them taken on a ergometer. Both of her daughters did get into USC. Most of the kids involved in the year long investigation did get into the colleges.

I agree with John that the window for mocking Olivia Jade should be closing soon and it shouldn't define her for the rest of her life, but she built an image around being a wholesome "relatable" teenager. Since she was in the fake athlete photos and did not even write her own college application, she had to been more aware than some of the other kids in the case. She is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but she really used the college image for her brand.

I really liked the Lewinsky interview and it's always saddened me how the media treated her. It's wonderful how she's turned into an activist and found the humor and grace out of the experiences. I've had someone suggest the name changing thing to me as well in an interview (due to having an unusual birth name). It's a verbal punch when someone does that in any setting.

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Loved the interview with Monica Lewinsky. Even when it was an unpopular opinion, I always complained that she seemed to get all the negativity and he went on to make more and more money; kept his wife and is considered a statesman. It all seemed so unfair!

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Evidently Olivia Jade has withdrawn from USC.  Not sure about her sister.

Her parents' actions are particularly baffling to me because she did not even really want to be there.  She talked about hating school, partying and skipping classes.  Why would her parents fork out all that money to get her admitted to an elite university if she didn't even want to go?  And how could she ever keep up academically once she got in? 

My daughter is a USC grad.  She got in based on her academic record.  She was valedictorian of her high school class, had a GPA of over 4.0 (weighted), and guess what?  She still struggled to keep up at USC.  She had a double major, and she worked HARD.  NO time for partying.  

I don't know what Olivia was majoring in, but I do know she couldn't just sail through and show up for class when she felt like it.  She would have had to maintain a minimum GPA to stay.

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6 minutes ago, 3 is enough said:

I don't know what Olivia was majoring in, but I do know she couldn't just sail through and show up for class when she felt like it.  She would have had to maintain a minimum GPA to stay.

Well, I doubt it was anything math or science.  no doubt, if she selected a major at all (you can be undecided for at least a couple years), it was very likely some sort of liberal arts.  And if USC is anything like my college, most of those early classes in english, history, psychology, sociology, political science, etc. are large classrooms and no one takes attendance.  There's a final.  maybe a mid-term.  And by the time I was in my last year of college, there was this whole program where students could pay for the notes taken by another student, which I used myself a few times when I missed a class.

So, theoretically, she could have missed every class, just bought/read someone's notes, and then showed up to take one final.

Thank you John Oliver.  https://twitter.com/RoombaTucker

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55 minutes ago, Hooper said:

Although I had never heard of her before, as soon as John mentioned "the worst aunt ever" suing her nephew over her broken wrist, I knew exactly why she had filed suit.

What I want to know is how the lawsuit came to the attention of the media, given that the nephew's family was perfectly ok going along with it.  But then, I wonder about that a lot, when stories magically "go viral."  Somebody had to kick them off.

2 hours ago, 3 is enough said:

I honestly don't recall any talk of how wrong it was of him to take advantage of her. He was mostly criticized for being unfaithful to Hillary, and having the gall to use the Oval Office for their meetings. She was the "temptress who led him astray". 

Believe it or not, this is the first time I'd ever heard Monica Lewinsky's voice.  I've never watched any interviews with her before.  I am terrible at remembering jokes, and sadly, I must admit that the one and only joke I remember and can still tell is a Monica Lewinsky joke that I heard back in the 90s.

It does seem that the two people who took the brunt of the criticism for the scandal were Monica and Hillary, impeachment notwithstanding.  Monica for being the "other woman," and Hillary for supposedly enabling Bill.  Bill really got a mulligan, so to speak. 

Monica is, what, 44?  She looks amazing.

2 hours ago, wendyg said:

It was why I permanently stopped watching him at the time: he was mean and unfair

I stopped watching him because he pretty much wasn't funny.  I only tuned in on Monday nights, just during Headlines, and of course the headlines themselves were the joke.  Leno just had to prop up the cards and read the highlighted text.

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20 minutes ago, Hanahope said:

So, theoretically, she could have missed every class, just bought/read someone's notes, and then showed up to take one final.

But she would still have to pass the final.

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13 hours ago, Annber03 said:

Nice interview with Monica Lewinsky. I was in my early teens when the Lewinsky scandal broke back in the day, but boy, oh, boy, do I definitely remember the numerous late night jokes around it all (and, as Oliver himself noted, the jokes have long outlasted the Clinton presidency). Indeed, if the late night hosts were that merciless, I can only begin to imagine how social media would've been had it been a thing then.

She and I are about the same age so I was reading lots of news back then. 'Eviscerated' doesn't even begin to describe her treatment. Not to mention her friend secretly taping her. 

I hate to be shallow, but she's gorgeous. 

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4 minutes ago, 3 is enough said:

But she would still have to pass the final.

Unless her parents hired someone to take the exams.  

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3 minutes ago, meowmommy said:
11 minutes ago, 3 is enough said:

But she would still have to pass the final.

Unless her parents hired someone to take the exams.  

Wouldn't surprise me.  

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13 hours ago, biakbiak said:

I don’t agree that they should all be off limits. Olivia Jane, her “stage” name, has made a shit ton of money and put herself out there as a social media including money that was directly dependent on her being a college student (the Amazon sponsorship) all the while making videos about not really caring about school and only wanting to party. Yes she is young but she is also social media savvy and new what she was doing.

Off limits no.  But she also shouldn’t be defined by this.  I think there is essentially a time limit to how long we can be angry at a 18 year old who isn’t getting charged herself.  My spot is when her parents eventually take a plea deal.   Then you get a week to get in all your good jokes then you let it go.  

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2 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

Off limits no.  But she also shouldn’t be defined by this.  I think there is essentially a time limit to how long we can be angry at a 18 year old who isn’t getting charged herself.  My spot is when her parents eventually take a plea deal.   Then you get a week to get in all your good jokes then you let it go.  

I'm thinking that maybe her parents won't be getting any deals. They can hold prosecuting the kids over their heads to get anything they want. The picture of them on the rowing machines is enough for the prosecutor to say they knew about everything IMO.

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This is fraud though. I don't care if she's 18 or 38. It's still a crime if she was in on it. I certainly wouldn't be hiring her or buying her products. 

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38 minutes ago, ganesh said:

This is fraud though. I don't care if she's 18 or 38. It's still a crime if she was in on it. I certainly wouldn't be hiring her or buying her products. 

Sephora has already terminated her contract.  And Hallmark has severed its ties with her mother.  I hope they have a lot of money stashed away, because between potential fines and loss of income their lives may change drastically in the next little while.  

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Very good interview with Monica. Growing up during that time I also remember all of the late night jokes and Halloween costumes especially (blue dress with a stain was always a groaner hit.) I do believe that things would have gone differently for her if it happened after social media became big. I could see people jumping to her side. The public would have enough pull to change or alter the conversation. In the 90's you basically just had a couple people in late night that kept the conversation firmly on that she was a slut/joke. At the very least she would have a vocal group of supporters. I'm with John, I don't think I could ever make it through something like what she did. 

It was taking a long time for my wife to understand why that aunt wasn't the "worst aunt ever". After explaining again I basically just said she wouldn't need to sue if we had universal health care and ended it. 

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I don't know if it's because it's the time when I was growing up but this and Hill were some of the best interviews I've seen.

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I was never a fan of Monica Lewinksy's from the time I read she "snapped her thong" to get Bill's attention.  Plus, on top of that affair, she allegedly had an affair with a married man before Bill Clinton.  Of course, Clinton was no innocent in this but then neither was she.  Two married men.  Maybe more than two, who knows?

With that being said, I have to admit I was extremely impressed with the interview.  She was mature, intelligent, and poised.

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7 hours ago, ganesh said:

I hate to be shallow, but she's gorgeous. 

She is, she has aged amazingly.

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Monica Lewinsky is a really worthwhile Twitter follow if you enjoyed the interview. I was a kid in another country when the whole Clinton affair happened and didn't realize how much of the public narrative I'd just internalized unquestioningly via jokes in the media until she became a voice amid all the MeToo stuff. When I looked back on the whole thing with adult, 2018 eyes, it was a real gut punch. 

Also, although Lewinsky didn't participate in it personally, the second season of the podcast Slow Burn does a fantastic job probing and contextualizing the whole scandal, and includes many reporters and commentators from the time re-examining what they said about her at the time.

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The Monica cartoon with the dicks as microphones was disgusting, can't believe a publication would use that.  Where she is today is amazing, after going through all that. 

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21 hours ago, Hooper said:

Although I had never heard of her before, as soon as John mentioned "the worst aunt ever" suing her nephew over her broken wrist, I knew exactly why she had filed suit.  It's mind blowing how much a broken limb can cost (ask me how I know this), and although my health insurance paid almost all the bills, I know a couple people who were placed in exactly the same position as "the worst aunt" was. 

Same. One of my friends was hurt in a MVA, and ended up having to sue his cousin (the driver) to get the bills paid. Everybody on both branches of the fam were cool with it,  and even the insurance agent admitted it was the way to go. If only there was a health-care system that might prevent the need for such internecine litigation...

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John trying to explain the maze of idiocy that is Brexit, and the British government's handling of it always makes me laugh. He's got a very succinct way of summing up that it's a total clusterfuck of incompetence, compromised priorities, corrupt influence and a lack of moral courage. But as a British person who is living with this chaos, it's incredibly depressing that barely anyone has a clue what is going to happen, from day to day.

I like the reach and range of this show - John casually mentioning that they've talked about that racist Australian politician before, and that he loves making fun of New Zealand makes me think that there would be a great Six Degrees of John Oliver game to be played.

Hey, Sean Hannity, you're a disgrace and I can guarantee that Ireland doesn't want you.

As for the main story, that CNN anchor summed it up - "some people online are just looking for an excuse to be angry." Yeah, that's pretty much it.  And yes, some of it is justified and justifiable, but I don't think you can say much more than it has to be considered on a case by case basis. Attacking Fox News people for their racism and bigotry is fine, attacking some woman who had sex with the husband of some other woman isn't.  The reasons for this should be obvious.

But, as John demonstrated, a lot of this stuff is driven by the media, which is looking for cheap, 'human interest stories' that will outrage their audience with the minimum of actual journalism required. If these media outlets were held to actual journalistic standards and not staffed by hacks, then a lot of the problems of social media outrage would go away. Not all, obviously, because twitter is still a cesspool of unqualified opinions and self-righteous anger.

I liked John talking about the thought that goes into how they cover stories, and whether to name people involved. Last Week Tonight has standards that are staggeringly higher than most 'serious' news outlets.

Regarding the admission payment scandal, I've been asking this question since I first heard about it - Why are the celebrity parents the ones being hounded when they're participating in an accepted practice that schools are probably very aware of? Why is it not the system itself that is targeted for criticism here? Name recognition? Because those responsible for framing these stories know they'll get more purchase if it's  attached to a celebrity? They'll be dumber stories, and probably won't actually result in any changes to a clearly corrupt system, but at least they'll get clicks, right?

This has always happened, with prestigious schools, and it always will happen unless the schools themselves are held accountable. People make jokes all the time about 'donations' made by rich parents, to get dumb kids into the school they want.

"Tucker Carlson. The answer to the question, what if the sound Thud! grew a face." I'm not going to lie, that might just be better than John Stewart's famous takedown of that gormless racist.

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42 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

Why are the celebrity parents the ones being hounded when they're participating in an accepted practice that schools are probably very aware of? Why is it not the system itself that is targeted for criticism here? Name recognition? Because those responsible for framing these stories know they'll get more purchase if it's  attached to a celebrity? They'll be dumber stories, and probably won't actually result in any changes to a clearly corrupt system, but at least they'll get clicks, right?

 This has always happened, with prestigious schools, and it always will happen unless the schools themselves are held accountable. People make jokes all the time about 'donations' made by rich parents, to get dumb kids into the school they want.

While it may be morally unethical to donate money to schools to get your children in through legacy admissions (see Jared Kushner), all of this is done with all parties acknowledging it and on their taxes. It can also be argued that these donations benefit the school as a whole through buildings, facilities, and grants. Most importantly, it's still a legal practice.

This case is about tax fraud and individual bribery at the schools. In this current admissions scandal, Singer did a "side door" approach where he and the parents faked test scores and bribed individuals at the school rather than the school as a whole. Then they all proceeded to conduct tax evasion by claiming the money was for charities. In the legal approach above, the the donors do get a tax credit as well but it's not a lie to the government about charity. 

I get what you mean in that the rich always find a way to game the system legally or illegally. This is a case where an illegal approach was found and should rightfully be punished. 

The celebrity factor helps with the news aspect (slow news cycle), but this case touches a lot of families in the US personally which is why it's blown up.

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51 minutes ago, Athena said:

The celebrity factor helps with the news aspect (slow news cycle), but this case touches a lot of families in the US personally which is why it's blown up.

I would imagine that there are a lot of qualified kids who were rejected wondering if their place was stolen by one of these cheaters right now.

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I read elsewhere that the admissions scandal illustrates the difference between the Upper 1% and the Upper .1%. The top-flight universities are only taking admission-buying donations from the latter group, since even the merely rich can’t afford the cost, in the upper eight figures if not nine. This side door was designed for the second tier of wealth. 

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One aspect I wish he would have explored is the public shaming of private individuals who commit racist acts in public. I actually struggle with that. I have no problem with them being called out, bur what might have been a local public admonishment a couple of decades ago can become a global social media bazooka now. But on the other hand. . .fuck racists.

DC was so gross back during the Clinton impeachment. I worked at a bookstore there back then, and people had no problem asking employees to point out the "good" parts of the Starr Report.

Edited by xaxat
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14 hours ago, xaxat said:

One aspect I wish he would have explored is the public shaming of private individuals who commit racist acts in public. I actually struggle with that. I have no problem with them being called out, bur what might have been a local public admonishment a couple of decades ago can become a global social media bazooka now. But on the other hand. . .fuck racists.

DC was so gross back during the Clinton impeachment. I worked at a bookstore there back then, and people had no problem asking employees to point out the "good" parts of the Starr Report.

WaPo has a good in-depth piece today on Roseanne Barr and the fallout from her racist tweet. It hurt to lose her show, lefties came after her, blah, blah, but she’s still unapologetic about saying whatever she wants to on Twitter.

Considering John's opinion of Tucker Carlson, I'm pretty sure he's solidly on the side of “fuck racists.”

What a horrible time to be selling books—ugh. I never read the Starr report and never will, because I think what two people do consensually isn't my business unless they want to share it, which both parties emphatically did not want to do in this case. The only person who had a right to know was Hillary, and she probably didn't want to hear that many details. Particularly on the national stage. 

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On 3/21/2019 at 12:16 PM, xaxat said:

One aspect I wish he would have explored is the public shaming of private individuals who commit racist acts in public. I actually struggle with that. I have no problem with them being called out, bur what might have been a local public admonishment a couple of decades ago can become a global social media bazooka now. But on the other hand. . .fuck racists.

Yeah, my response to that is: if you don't want to be publicly shamed for being deplorable, don't be deplorable."  Easy peasy.

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On 3/21/2019 at 11:00 AM, Sharpie66 said:

I read elsewhere that the admissions scandal illustrates the difference between the Upper 1% and the Upper .1%. The top-flight universities are only taking admission-buying donations from the latter group, since even the merely rich can’t afford the cost, in the upper eight figures if not nine. This side door was designed for the second tier of wealth. 

There is an article in a magazine (I forget which one now) that says 82% say they would never cheat to get their kid into college.  I think that is a load of crap.  Honestly I think 82% of Americans would most definitely cheat given the opportunity.  Its that 82% of Americans feel they don't have that opportunity that really pisses them off about the scandal.  

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1 hour ago, Chaos Theory said:

82% say they would never cheat to get their kid into college. I think that is a load of crap.

I agree that 82% is too high, but also think (with no scientific evidence) that most "typical" parents simply aren't so enmeshed in their children's lives that they'd participate in felony level fraud. There are helicopter parents who would do anything to make their kids happy, but many of those caught in this trap appear to be more focused on their own prestige/status; i.e., being able to brag that their kid goes to X school.

I guess I'd rather believe that the majority of parents across all socioeconomic groups just aren't that concerned about reflected glory from their offspring.

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