It’s Time For That Exciting Ethics Alarms Game Show,”Spot The Hypocrisy!”

time-to-play

Are you ready?

Here comes…

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.

Now…

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.

Okay,

Spot the Hypocrisy!

29 Comments

Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

29 responses to “It’s Time For That Exciting Ethics Alarms Game Show,”Spot The Hypocrisy!”

  1. Neil Dorr

    Jack,

    Will an answer key be forthcoming? I think I see it, but you usually have an entirely different answer and I’m waiting on pins and needles to find out what it is …

    -Neil

    • Hell, no.

      But I think both are res ipsa loquitur.

      • Neil Dorr

        Jack,

        Umm, ok. I appreciate your vehement non-answer (was “hell” necessary for empahsis?) and also for using the lazy person’s fallback of quoting (and boldening, in case your audience doesn’t get the subtelty of your usage) latin (again) when English works just as well. Point taken. I’ll get my PER DIEM dosage of condescension elsewhere.

        Dead languages speak to dead minds.

        -Neil

        • Neil Dorr

          Jack,

          I am nevertheless amused how so many lefties like Noah (similar to extreme righties) want it both ways when it comes to candidates they despise. Trump is a misogynist idiot with no class, character, or capability to run, but he’s also a shrewd and conniving dictator who’s now poised to unleash his evil scheme on the world.

          It reminds me of the 9/11 Truthers who would scream about what an idiot Bush was whenever he made some obvious gaffe or odd turn of phrase and meanwhile claim he helped stage the most expertly carried-out covert military operation in recent history.

          -Neil

          • It’s very much like that…the same doesn’t happen so much in the other direction, because for reasons that escape me, Democrats like to style all Republican Presidents since Teddy–except Hoover and Nixon!–as dim wits.

        • Re sipsa loquitur in my field is a term of art, not intended to be arch, just useful. It alludes to the law automatically, and means “no further proof is necessary.” English doesn’t work, because it’s a Lain maxim that the law uses in its original form. Also like that: prima facie, quid pro quo, ad hoc and post hoc ergo propter hoc, my dad’s favorite.

          Touchy touchy!

          And I really don’t think any explication is needed on either.

          • I forgot—if anyone can be forgiven liberal use of that maxim, I can. I was the first editor and publisher of Georgetown Law Center’s alumni/ae magazine, still operating today.

            Guess what its name is?

          • Neil Dorr

            Jack,

            I work for lawyers; I’m familiar. But these terms of art are mostly left untranslated because it sounds grander that way. Are “first face” (“at first glance”) or “this for that” (“tit for tat”) or “after this, therefore because of this” (“correlation does not equal causation”) really that much harder to say?

            In fairness, that outburst had little to do with you, I just get tired of having to suffer through red squiggly lines under italicized words (why does it always have to be boldened or italicized?) on every other line of the things I correct because Microsoft can’t comprehend Latin and lawyers can’t write in English.

            -Neil

  2. Anonymous Coward

    This, right here, annoys the shit out of me, and I see it everywhere (including in your NPR mini debate appearance.)

    “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…”

    While trying to insist that we need to come together and be as one, they, in the same article, then proceed to imply that the electorate was just divided into “racist and misogynist” and “not those terrible things”, because gosh the only reason you could support Trump and not Hillary is because you’re a hateful prick.

    People seem to think, even my own family whose political opinions that usually agree with, that if you voted for Trump, or hell, even remotely support him getting into office now, you HAVE to hate Mexicans and women, or that you’re just fucking stupid.
    I haven’t even read the rest of Noah’s paragraph, but this is so widespread and I can’t believe such bad logic has gotten so far. Isn’t the idea of False Choice reasonably well taught?

    …And now I read the rest of it and it’s worse:

    “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.”

    Takes a dig at Trump supporters, then to try and appear neutral, says
    “oh but at least they wanted good jobs like us, so there’s that, see we’re not so different after all!”

    Part of me wants to say I’m over-reaching here and reading too much into things, and he’s not slyly suggesting that Trump supporters don’t care about women’s rights or equal rights for all races, and that they only care about jobs and business, while pandering to the idea of “we’re all in this together!”

    Then the last sentence..

    “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.”

    OH I SEE, so the poor STUPID voters have been DUPED by the racist Trump and are being manipulated so he can enact his…

    …what’s his agenda again?

  3. The 2nd one is easy:

    He essentially says “We don’t need this vitriolic division and this hyper polarized us versus them dichotomy, so you better join us and not them because they are evil”

  4. Slick Willy

    The New York Times blathering about fake news while spreading and correcting their own is pretty rich.

    • I thought so. How is that correction not proof of “fake news”? Those were material mistakes. “Because of an editing error”—you mean like no editing? All fake news can be blamed on “editing errors”!

      • zoebrain

        Corrections are a sign of incompetence, not malice. You’ll never find corrections on fake news sites. They tend to double down instead.

        • Where has been the mention of “malicious” fake news? The Washington Post said that suggesting Hillary broke the law was fake news. The definition of fake news now being pushed—false or badly reported news that upsets progressives—is garbage. What the times cage out was false, ergo, fake. Their correction doesn’t cure it. Lots of people grabbed that junk and won’t see the correction. Put it on the front page, or it’s a “Fake correction.”

          • Perhaps like a grocery store posting a correction to their weekly flyer.

            They put it on a big sheet and post it above the bin of flyers so that you cannot pick up a flyer without seeing the correction.

            I know, not exactly apples to apples but then the Times probably doesn’t worry about being sued over an egregious error with jobs numbers.

    • It’s kind of like Fox news doing Bias alert articles, when they have their own biasness going like the rest of the news media.

  5. A.M. Golden

    Example 1: So much fake news makes it hard for readers to care about the truth. Let’s bury the truth in a little box on the bottom of the op-ed page!

    Example 2: What can I add to what’s been contributed already? This horrible divisiveness caused by the evil Mr. Trump and his followers…

  6. Dennis Shea

    The American news media is propaganda machine that serves its master. There are many levels of fake. Trump brilliantly manipulated the media and finds himself in the White House. “Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.” He is not draining the swamp. When money and religion are removed from governance amazing things might happen. Greed and intolerance have ruled for too long. We are all one group.

  7. Slick Willy

    Dennis,

    Wait, WHAT?

    You either said too little, or too much, or have locks on your coffee containers, wear a tinfoil hat, and compulsively buy Catcher in the Rye.

    Could you elaborate?

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