Corporate Governance

NY conducts its own COVID-19 investigation on itself – finds no fault

Who knew? NY State Dept of Health conducted an investigation on itself as to the impacts of Gov Cuomo’s order which forced nursing homes to take in people that tested positive for COVID-19. Verdict? Not guilty!

Cuomo’s DoH concluded that the governor’s mandate did not have a significant impact in terms of the 6,000+ fatalities.

Instead, it blamed family members and staffers who unknowingly brought the virus into these nursing homes.

A witness, Frank Kolbmann, told New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in no uncertain terms that he is involved in “a disingenuous cosmetic attempt to cover up for your current boss’ immense crime.

Janice Dean lost both her in-laws, Mickey and Dee Newman, in a New York nursing home and directly blames Cuomo’s mandate for this avoidable tragedy. According to Townhall, Dean sent in her formal request last week to testify. However, just hours before the hearing, she was dropped from the list.

We are quite sure there are many crooked companies that would love to be able to audit their own accounts and claim they are compliant with the soundest corporate governance standards.

Anything short of an independent investigation is a farce. One can imagine Victoria will follow a similar path of “independence” in its investigation on the second outbreak.

Bike shop co-owned by Lance Armstrong lectures Austin PD on ethics

Image may contain: sky and outdoor, text that says "Mellow JOHNNY'S BIKE SHOP FORT WORTH TRAINING RENTALS OHNAHOR S SHOP SERVIGE BUKE"

How amusing that a bicycle store co-owned by former Tour de France (TdF) cyclist Lance Armstrong decided to lecture the Austin Police Department on ethics. Mellow Johnny’s in Austin is ending a five-year contract worth up to $350,000 with the Austin PD to purchase, resell and service bikes for a downtown patrol unit used to manage large crowds and events. As a business, it is free to choose who it wishes to contract with.

The bike shop issued the following woke statement,

Businesses can no longer be non-participants in the communities they serve…We chose what we think will do the most to suture these divides and place our community on the right side of history.

Perhaps these SJW employees might reflect on their moral preening when considering the fact their boss admitted to deliberately using illegal performance-enhancing drugs to cheat his way to millions in endorsements and help win all 7 TdF titles. Why didn’t they refuse to work for a company knowingly co-owned by someone with such reprehensible morals and ethics?

Unfortunately, the downside forced this message from an unrelated bike shop with the same name.

“While Mellow Johnny’s Fort Worth shares the name with Mellow Johnny’s Austin, the two stores operate under separate management and ownership.

Mellow Johnny’s Fort Worth is not connected in any way to the decisions made by the Austin location’s management.

Mellow Johnny’s Fort Worth supports our community as well as responsible and ethical law enforcement.

#rideyourbike

Perhaps Mellow Johnny’s Fort Worth should offer to fill the void left by Austin?

86% think mainstream media divisive

A Knight Foundation/Gallup poll released this week showed that 86% of Americans believe that there is a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of political bias in the mainstream media. This is 25% points higher than the same poll taken in 2007.

78% of Democrats and 94% of Republicans, believe that there is at least some bias in the media.

84% assign the media either a ‘great deal‘ (48%) or a ‘moderate amount‘ (36%) of blame for political division.

The poll noted when respondents were asked about their views of media outlets they distrust:

-79% of poll respondents said those outlets were “trying to persuade people to adopt a certain viewpoint.

-When news is inaccurate, 54% of Americans think it’s because reporters are “misrepresenting the facts,” while

-28% assume they’re “making them up entirely.

Does any of this surprise with the recent revelations outlined in the open letters from former MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary former NY Times op-ed contributor Bari Weiss. Or the recent parody from the Babylon Bee.

MSNBC producer quits over toxic editorial process

Former MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary has written an open letter describing the toxic work environment much like Bari Weiss notes at The NY Times.

Pekary wrote,

July 24th was my last day at MSNBC. I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore…My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis

You may not watch MSNBC but just know that this problem still affects you, too. All the commercial networks function the same – and no doubt that content seeps into your social media feed, one way or the other...

….Likewise, it’s taboo to discuss how the ratings scheme distorts content, or it’s simply taken for granted, because everyone in the commercial broadcast news industry is doing the exact same thing…

…But behind closed doors, industry leaders will admit the damage that’s being done…

The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others… all because it pumps up the ratings…This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic...this cancer risks our democracy…context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience…

Why is this a surprise? As we’ve said for ages, clickbait is all that matters. It doesn’t matter who is besmirched, smeared or has their career ended, as long as it sells advertising.

380 million reasons to feel oppressed

Mookie Betts (middle) has just signed a $380 million 12 year contract with the LA Dodgers baseball team. We don’t doubt his abilities.

Betts has agreed to make a charitable contribution of $100,000 annually out of the $27m he makes per annum. The egregiously unfair part of the deal is that he will be forced to stay in 4/5-star hotel suites while on road trips.

Imagine what he might have received if America wasn’t so systemically racist?

Cynically, one wonders whether kneeling for the BLM movement, while Marxist in its roots, might end up helping the agents of minority players leverage woke teams to offer even bigger paydays to atone for decades of oppression? Good on them if they can exploit capitalism for their own benefit.

We just hope these teams factor in the possibility that turning sports into politics may end up eroding the fan base by such an extent that they may end up unable to honour the deals to maturity.

Nike – Just Hate It

Just when we though corporate sanctimony had hit highs at Halliburton and Gillette, Nike was not to be outdone. A shame that so many divisive and hypocritical athletes were portrayed as role models. Then again this is nothing new with the woke sports brand. Wonderful computer graphics though.

Colin Kaepernick was an average quarterback at best. He only started kneeling after he got stuck on the bench. Who could forget his hypocrisy re July 4th? He cheered the holiday in a tweet under President Obama but slammed it this year as a celebration of white supremacy. Nike portrays him as a hero. War widow Taya Kyle excoriated Nike for not knowing what real sacrifice was.

Megan Rapinoe was only too happy to hurl expletives when the USWNT won the women’s World Cup Soccer in 2019 despite so many children present. Rapinoe also slapped Sports Illustrated for not being woke enough in an acceptance speech after the magazine awarded her Sportsperson of the Year. Rapinoe will also join forces with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez next month to promote the reprehensible, radical and divisive Marxist 1619 Project which is now a mandatory part of the curriculum in state schools across Buffalo, Chicago, Newark and Washington.

Or LeBron James. He was only too happy to apologize to China on behalf of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey who had tweeted support for those protestors seeking freedom in HK. We guess when one has a $1bn merchandise contract with Nike in China, freedom takes a backseat to expediency.

Or Serena Williams who blew up at the Australian Open when she was censured for multiple code violations in the final vs Naomi Osaka. She complained that the umpires were harsher on women. 20 years worth of statistics showed men are far more likely to be sanctioned in professional tennis.

Maybe Nike might reflect on a February 2020 study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). According to the research, the persecuted Uighurs have been funnelled to work in factories in other provinces under conditions “that strongly suggest forced labour.”

Nike, Adidas, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are among 83 multinational corporations that have been linked to using this forced labour.

So in summary, Nike wants people to follow those who will gladly sell out their country, receive participation trophies while they are supposedly making a huge sacrifice, complain when things don’t go their way, apologize to dictatorships on behalf of those who support freedom, kneel, cuss and push Marxist ideology to school kids.

Maybe the brand should change its moniker to “Just Hate It.”

Censorship – a reminder of what we wrote 2 years ago

https://www.c-span.org/video/?474236-1/heads-facebook-amazon-apple-google-testify-antitrust-law

Two years ago we wrote about the leaked video of Google execs post the 2016 election and their promise to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The testimony given to Congress by big-tech CEOs was so unconvincing. It was a joke. See for yourselves.

The things we do for ESG inclusion

You know, whenever we encounter racism, sexism or homophobia, the very first thing that pops into our head to lead that fight is Halliburton. The things companies will do to boost their ESG/SRI and CSR scores.

If Halliburton feels so strongly about it, perhaps they should cease all dealings with those Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality carries the death penalty. We are confident the shareholders will approve giving up 28% of revenue. Although to be fair, Halliburton did specify there is no place for it at Halliburton or America. Anywhere else must be acceptable.

The hypocrisy. What next? A commitment to go carbon neutral?

WNBA – Why NoBody Attends

WNBA

We went back through the data to see just how the WNBA stacks up against the NBA. It came as no surprise to see it reflect other sporting codes like football. The men’s game has been at it longer and has 123x the revenue of the WNBA to prove it.

Over the years we have compared the USWNT vs the USMNT and the Socceroos vs the Matildas soccer teams to make the case for why there are discrepancies. These are just published facts. Data.

As an aside we have always advocated paying women more than men if the viewership reflects that – championship tennis is a case in point. We also made it clear at the time of Serena Williams’ tantrum that the statistics showed umpires were harsher on men than women over the last 20 years, even though she claimed the opposite. Once again, facts matter. Not feelings.

Put simply, when fans are asked to put hard money down, both men and women tend to support the male codes more than the female versions. It isn’t sexist. It’s the commercial reality. That translates to advertising and sponsorship dollars too. It is a virtuous circle that can always become vicious.

We think the WNBA’s political stunt which involved players walking off the court before the national anthem was played will backfire spectacularly and alienate what few viewers the league has managed to accumulate. It was a choice that the woke league backed. They should live with the consequences and not cry foul should attendance drop.

An article written by Sarah Ko about the WNBA ended up debunking her own argument. Essentially the men were all ego and money but the women were all just celebrating the love of the game, not the paycheck.

Then Ko spoke about the recent event where the WNBA complained that they only take 20% of the winnings when the NBA teams took 50%. Could it be that there is a bare minimum level of cost to run a league – salaries, administration, marketing and promotion- that would be drastically curtailed if the players got their wish, which ultimately would see them paid less over a lifetime.

Ko also mentioned that WNBA tended to have older fans. At some point, the WNBA administration has to make a commercial decision about how to broaden the supporter base. Having its players cynically hijack a social justice movement to gain attention to boost its audience numbers is risky. Writing ‘Black Lives Matter‘ on the court won’t help either. Why do they only advertise the names of dead black females? Don’t all female lives matter?

Sport has always been a great distraction from the stresses of daily life. Fans will desert in droves when the very identity politics they went to the game to escape are rammed down their throats before a whistle has been blown.

The ultimate irony will be when the very capitalist system they expected would boost their pay clashes with the same hand they bit to feed it.

Alienating the audience for good

At what point in the WNBA decision making process did these woke social justice warriors ever factor in how walking off the court before the national anthem was played may have alienated their ultimate paymasters – the crowd?

Watching sports used to be all about being a distraction from the grind of life. To zone out for several hours watching professional sports stats entertain. No thoughts about work, horrible bosses or financial pain. Just fun.

Now the politics in sport have become a bigger feature than the game itself. Perhaps these teams should back themselves in their ability to read the tolerance levels of their fans and require they wear BLM adorned clothing as a condition of entry.

We will have absolutely zero sympathy if these sporting codes collapse or find themselves in severe financial distress as a consequence of capitulating to this insidious ideology and biting the hand that feeds them.