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Hypocrisy Challenge I
The New York Times
Like much of the mainstream news media but more so, The New York Times is flogging the “fake news” narrative. In part there is something legitimate to report, as with the crazy conspiracy theory about a pedophilia ring run out of a Washington, D.C., pizza place by John Podesta and Hillary Clinton that culminated in a nut case showing up there with a gun “to rescue children.” (Most of the “fake news” crisis is really the “Stupid people” crisis.) The media’s excessive enthusiasm and daily fulminating about fake news, however, appears to be a desperate effort to make its own incompetent, inaccurate, slanted and dishonestly selective reporting during the campaign and election just completed appear more palatable by invoking Ethics Alarms Rationalization #22, Comparative Virtue, or “It’s not the worst thing.” This story, for example, was on today’s Times front page, where its headline read, “As Fake New Spreads Lies, More Readers Shrug At Truth.”
Meanwhile, tucked away at the bottom of the op-ed page of the same issue, was this “Correction”:
Because of an editing error, an Op-Ed essay on Friday about Donald Trump’s efforts to keep jobs in the United States misstated the change in auto sector employment in both the United States and Mexico between 2007 and 2015. In Mexico, jobs grew to 558,000 from 405,000, not to 675,000 from 174,000. In the United States, auto jobs declined to 762,000 from 828,000. The article also misstated plans by Detroit car companies in Mexico. Ford and General Motors plan to invest a combined $9.1 billion and hire 12,200 more workers; Detroit car companies are not planning to invest $30 billion and hire 30,000 more workers.
Spot the Hypocrisy!
How did you do?
Now on to…
Hypocrisy Challenge II
“Daily Show” host Trevor Noah
Noah offers up his idea of a fair, reasoned, non-partisan plea for moderation, civility, and less divisive rhetoric in his op-ed in today’s Times, titled, “Screaming About What Divides Us.” You will find many of your Facebook friends posting it with approval. Noah writes sagely that
America, I’ve found, doesn’t like nuance…You’re with us, or you’re against us. This national mentality is fueled by the hysteria of a 24-hour news cycle, by the ideological silos of social media and by the structure of the country’s politics. The two-party system seems to actively encourage division where none needs to exist.
The Comedy Central star immediately follows this up with this…
This has never been more apparent than during Donald J. Trump’s campaign for the presidency. With his flagrant misogyny and racist appeals to fearful voters, Mr. Trump succeeded in dividing an electorate already primed to turn against itself. His embittering candidacy obscured the fact that the vast majority of Americans, both Republican and Democrat, wanted many of the same things: good jobs, decent homes, access to opportunity and, above all, respect.
The past year has been so polarizing and noxious that even I find myself getting caught up in the extreme grandstanding and vitriol. But with extremes come deadlock and the death of progress. Instead of speaking in measured tones about what unites us, we are screaming at each other about what divides us — which is exactly what authoritarian figures like Mr. Trump want: Divided people are easier to rule. That was, after all, the whole point of apartheid.