As we study the core beliefs that animate religious cable network MSNBC, it’s important to determine what is ruled in and what is ruled out. Clearly, everyone at MSNBC seeks to please Barack Obama in some way in their daily lives every day. How one goes about pleasing Him is for the most part one’s own business, but the ethics that one abides by should be more or less universal, at least among members of the following.
Today, MSNBC’s faith leaders debated the ethics of lying for a good cause. Specifically, the good cause was saving a few bucks by lying to Amazon.
MSNBC’s is a new and growing faith, so very little has been canonized or written down. Matt Yglesias leads today’s study with a parable from his own life: He lied to Amazon to receive a mother’s discount.
I hope I’m not heteronorming in pointing out that, as a man, Matt Yglesias is not a mother. He’s not even a father.
Amazon’s intent was to reward mothers by chopping a few bucks off some prices for them. That, in the MSNBC religion, amounts to unacceptable price discrimination.
Most people just see it as Amazon being a good corporate citizen.
Josh Barro took up the position that lying to Amazon, in order to save a few bucks by claiming a mother’s discount one doesn’t deserve, is perfectly fine.
“I think I’m a very good guy and very good fake parent,” Barro said.
Well, it’s hard to be a bad fake parent. No matter what you do, your nonexistent kid won’t grow up to suffer from “affluenza.” They won’t pose in an Obamacare ad wearing footies despite the fact that they’re over 26 years old. Nonexistent children are worry free. They can’t even disappoint any of MSNBC’s faith leaders by voting Republican.
Toure chimed in: “Who’s getting hurt here?”
Well, the ethics there are a little murky for the faithful leftist. Amazon is being deprived of a few bucks, and Amazon owns the Washington Post, so it’s possible that the mother’s discount deception will result in some at the Post not getting raises or bonuses. It’s tricky if you take the holistic view.
Toure demonstrates his shallow understanding of Amazon’s purpose: “Amazon’s not even really into making money, right?”
That would be news to billionaire and founder Jeff Bezos. Also, to everyone he employs and pays, and to everyone who sells products via Amazon. It would be news to a lot of people.
Krystal Ball — which is her real name — was the only voice from the wilderness: “I still say even if it is a corporation that you’re lying to, it’s still a lie.”
“It’s a noble lie,” Toure responded.
As a host on MSNBC, Toure works for a corporation. He has therefore declared that it’s “noble” to lie to the people who pay him. His employers might be interested to know if he has told them any noble lies.
Such is the murky ethical landscape of a new and developing religion.