Ethics Hero: Law Professor/Blogger Ann Althouse, Because We Have Reached The Point Where Any Blogger, Journalist, Pundit Or Citizen Who Helps Expose The Disgraceful Debasement Of Ethics And Duty By American Journalists For Partisan Goals Is A Hero, And We Need As Many Of Them As It Takes To Stop This Crap…

media_biasAnn Althouse responded sharplyto Ryan Lizza’s hit piece on Donald Trump at the New Yorker, which included the statement, “The Emoluments Clause has never been tested in the courts, but most scholars seem to agree that if Trump doesn’t take the prophylactic approach to his conflicts there is only one other anti-corruption clause in the Constitution available as a remedy: impeachment.”

She wrote,

This is the level of analysis we get at The New Yorker now? It’s on-its-face ludicrous to suggest that “most scholars” could possibly have an opinion on such a specific issue. Who are the “scholars” in Ryan Lizza’s world? They don’t sound like scholars to me. It sounds political, not scholarly.

And I do note Lizza’s use of the weasel word “seem.” Even so, the front-page teaser is so dispiritingly political. I would like to read some serious analysis of this subject, and I am a New Yorker subscriber.

Why are these articles presented in a form that is so off-putting to anyone who’s not tripping on Trump hate?

Well, we know the answer to that one. They are in such a form because the news media is speaking to a progressive Democratic audience—you know, like the reporters and pundits—that wants to believe that Trump’s Presidency is illicit, and this audience is the target of the Democrat/progressive effort to undermine his Presidency from the start. The journalists are hoping to influence the non-committed, the middle of the road, the inattentive but gullible center that can be recruited, the media believes, to its cause. That’s why.

“Most scholars seem to agree that if Trump doesn’t take the prophylactic approach to his conflicts there is only one other anti-corruption clause in the Constitution available as a remedy: impeachment,” is a deliberate lie. It is untrue. It is fake news, and again, a lot more likely to  convince someone over the age of ten than “The Pope Endorses Donald Trump.” Let’s see if Snopes debunks this one. Any bets?

Ann Althouse, I have learned over the years, is not a partisan. She lives in Madison, as liberal as city as there is, and appears to be inclined that way herself, except that she disdains lies, lazy logic, bad arguments, ignorance, dirty politics and dishonest journalism, whatever policy or position they are employed to advance.  She is a fearless truth-teller, as she sees the truth, and really, really is offended by bullshit. She has chosen to largely leave Obama out of her gunsights, I’m not certain why, but as for the rest of the American political scene, she has been refreshingly, almost uniquely objective.

Incidentally, here is the most recent essay about the Emoluments Clause at the Volokh Conspiracy, where a lot of legal scholars hang out. Funny: it doesn’t sound like “most scholars” agree at all.

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Graphic: Publius Forum

 

11 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Quotes, Research and Scholarship

11 responses to “Ethics Hero: Law Professor/Blogger Ann Althouse, Because We Have Reached The Point Where Any Blogger, Journalist, Pundit Or Citizen Who Helps Expose The Disgraceful Debasement Of Ethics And Duty By American Journalists For Partisan Goals Is A Hero, And We Need As Many Of Them As It Takes To Stop This Crap…

  1. Wouldn’t that make the Entire Mainstream Media establishment an Ethics Hero?

    Because as far as I can tell, they don’t care so much anymore that they don’t hide it; therefore every time they assert anything they reveal mainstream media bias?

    Of course, they aren’t journalists anyway, they are merely propagandists.

    • Next post! The emrging theory is that they don’t even realize it any more, it is so ingrained in the culture.

      • One giant nation-level echo chamber…

        If scientists are really curious about their theories on the formation of black holes from which no light escapes, they need look no further than the starting phases of the massive collapse of the Left Wing Media Machine.

        • Greg

          Are you sure the left wing media machine is collapsing? To me, it seems as strong as ever, maybe even getting stronger, indefatigably generating and repeating a new poisonous lie every few days to undermine Trump. About half of Hillary’s supporters believe wholeheartedly everything that the machine churns out, and most of the rest believe at least some of the machine’s propaganda. I imagine a fair number of Trump supporters are having doubts, too, believing that there must be some substance to the stories, on the principle of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” I think there’s a very good chance that the anti-Trump campaign will succeed in destabilizing his presidency, so that he will be unable to accomplish anything that he has promised to do.

          In this, the media are clearly acting with the connivance of a very large part of the Washington deep state. I imagine just about everyone has now seen this bit of poison from the front page of today’s New York Times.

          The CIA has leaked “unsubstantiated reports” (i.e., accusations that the FBI has found no evidence to support despite months of investigation). Some of these are “merely titillating, others would amount to extremely serious, potentially serious acts.” The CIA leaked first over the weekend to Democrats and anti-Russian Republicans in Congress so that they could use the information to attack Trump, and then on Tuesday to the Times and other media so that they can beat the drums to publicize the accusations.

          This invented scandal will be in the news for weeks, maybe months, and doubtless one hope of the leakers and the Times is that it will give cover to Republicans in Congress, some of whom always opposed Trump’s platform anyway, to shoot down his nominees and policy proposals, particularly his proposals for better relations with Russia. All that’s needed is a handful of Republican defections in the Senate to completely lock down Trump.

          A particularly nice touch is the way that last Friday the CIA gave Trump a 2-page summary of the accusations along with their propaganda piece about alleged “Russian hacking.” The CIA was basically telling him, “When these poisonous lies are leaked, we want you to know that the leak came from us.” The Times says, “The decision of top intelligence officials to give the president, the president-elect and the so-called Gang of Eight — Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress and the intelligence committees — what they know to be unverified, defamatory material was extremely unusual.” No kidding. It appears that a very large faction in the “intelligence community,” as well as in Congress, is hell-bent on war (cold or hot) with Russia. It will be interesting to see whether Trump will let them have their war and, if he does, whether the CIA leaks will then dry up.

          • Greg

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to post that long screen shot from the Times. I thought I was just giving you the hyperlink.

          • “Are you sure the left wing media machine is collapsing?”

            Here’s what I said:

            “…the starting phases of…”

            And I specifically chose the ‘black hole’ as an allegory, because a black hole still retains ALL of it’s mass from the collapse…it’s just collected into a *really really* tiny space that’s really dangerous go near lest you get trapped inside it. Not even light can escape a black hole.

  2. Isaac

    Let’s assume that there isn’t just some sort of bug that makes hardline Leftists this way only if they take up journalism or blogging. It’s an entire political hive mind of crazy in government, academia, entertainment…any place where too many spoiled products of nepotism hang out. They’re inescapable, and the average person who just wants to be cool can’t help but be caught up in it.

    You start by shouting “Amen!” as some late night comedian does an “epic truth takedown” of Trump or Republicans or whatever, and the next thing you know you’re in a vortex of Leftist insanity that you can’t really escape from without going over to the dreaded “Right-wing media” with all of their fake news. It’s the virus taking over the host organism.

    It feels like all they do all day is gaslight us, telling us that we can’t believe our own eyes.

    “Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy”
    “Hillary Clinton is widely loved.”
    “Herpes has made my sex life healthier and more satisfying than before.”
    “Fidel Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people.”
    “White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it.”
    “Hillary Clinton Is One of America’s Most Honest Politicians.”
    “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But it can also have great advantages.”
    “Donald Trump is Worse Than Hitler”
    “George W. Bush is imperialistic, genocidal, fascist, and worse than Hitler.”
    “Ronald Reagan was a murderer, and worse than Hitler.”
    “Men putting their arms around women is sexist.”
    “I filmed my abortion. It will always be a special memory for me. Every time I watch the video, I love it.”
    “Honor-killing should not be called ‘barbaric’”
    “Being a slut is glorious.”
    “Losing in a women’s MMA fight to someone who was born a man doesn’t mean they had an unfair advantage.”
    “Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience.”
    “Sexual intercourse is a means of making a woman inferior.”
    “Black people can’t be racist.”
    “Black on Black crime isn’t a thing.”
    “Right-wing Christians are responsible for [Muslim Democrat ISIS follower Omar Mateen] committing mass murder in Orlando.”
    “Mao Zedong and Stalin didn’t believe in God, but that doesn’t mean they were atheists.”
    “Ilegal immigrants are not illegal immigrants, just new citizens who are immigrants.”
    “Muhammad Was A Feminist”
    “Yasser Arafat was a freedom fighter”
    “Yasser Arafat was a brave fighter and a consistent symbol of the decades-long Palestinian liberation struggle.”
    “Hillary Clinton has been the most transparent public official in modern times…”
    “There is no such thing as the National Debt.”
    “Suicide Bombings Have Nothing to do with Islam.”

    Those are all actual quotes, headlines, and sentiments from “legitimate” media sources, famous Leftists, and educated and influential people. These statements cannot be reconciled with sanity or reason. I leave out the references in case anyone wants to have some fun guessing who said what.

    • I would love references.

      I can add another one.

      “Socialism is a government doing something to help people.

      Capitalism is the opposition to anything a government might do to help
      people. “- Topaz

      Link to the quote below.

      https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.fan.rush-limbaugh/IsIeUrimLzA/HHvpCx0UEQAJ

    • junkmailfolder

      That’s a fantastic list, and I think I probably recognize a few of them. I’m guessing most come from Salon, Vox, Jezebel, etc. Whenever I see a friend I (try to) respect share a story from one of these sites, especially political stories, I want to scream at them, “Do you not see that you are reading the left’s equivalent of Breitbart?!”

      I personally think it stems from Jon Stewart’s ilk, who taught my generation that not only is the right wrong, they’re idiots. They can’t possibly have any good ideas because they themselves are stupid. Therefore, anything or anyone that defies them must have some redeemable quality, if you look hard enough.

    • Isaac

      Here ya go.

      “Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy”
      -Salon.com headline

      “Why is Hillary Clinton So Widely Loved?”
      -theatlantic.com headline (later changed)

      “Herpes has made my sex life healthier and more satisfying than before.”
      -Emily Depasse, designer of a sex education curriculum for children, and graduate from Maryland’s Salisbury University with a major in Gender and Sexual Studies.

      “While a controversial figure, both Fidel Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people.”
      -Canadian president Justin Trudeau

      “White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it”
      -salon.com headline

      “Hillary Clinton Is One of America’s Most Honest Politicians” -Mother Jones

      “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.” — Thomas Friedman

      “Donald Trump is Worse Than Hitler” -Paste Magazine

      “George W. Bush is imperialistic, genocidal, fascist, and worse than Hitler.” Venezuelan Socialist President Hugo Chavez

      “Ronald Reagan was a murderer, and worse than Hitler.” -Larry Kramer, in The Advocate magazine.

      “Men putting their arms around women is sexist.” -Helen Mirren, paraphrased (the actual quote is worse)

      “I filmed my abortion. It will always be a special memory for me. Every time I watch the video, I love it.” -Emily Letts, abortion clinic counselor who became a progressive sensation after filming her own abortion.

      “Honor-killing should not be called ‘barbaric’” -Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister

      “Being a slut is glorious.”
      Vice Magazine Canada

      “MMA woman fighter Fallon fox may have been born a man, but losing to her doesn’t mean she has an unfair advantage.” -Vice.com

      “Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience. It starts a process of self-exploration.”
      ” – Catherine Comins, assistant dean of student life at Vassar college, quoted in TIME magazine

      “Sexual intercourse is a means of making a woman inferior.” Andrea Dworkin, feminist author

      “Black people can’t be racist.” Prof. Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC pundit

      “Black on Black crime isn’t a thing.” Franchesca Ramsey, MTV News

      “Right-wing Christians are responsible for [Muslim Democrat ISIS follower Omar Mateen] committing mass murder at a gay club in Orlando.”
      -slate.com, ACLU lawyers Chase Strangio and Eunice Rho, and CNN contributor Sally Kohn, among others.

      “Just Mao Zedong and Stalin didn’t believe in God, doesn’t mean you can call them atheists.” -Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Michael Sherlock

      “I hope no one uses the term illegal immigrants here today. They are new Americans that are immigrants.” Rep. John Conyers Jr.

      “Muhammad Was A Feminist” -Jim Garrison, The Huffington Post

      “Yasser Arafat: Freedom fighter” -Green Left Weekly

      “Yasser Arafat was a brave fighter and a consistent symbol of the decades-long Palestinian liberation struggle.” ABC News

      “Hillary Clinton has been the most transparent public official in modern times…” -Hillary Clinton

      “National Debt? There’s No Such Thing” -Common Dreams (headline, “Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community.”

      “Suicide Bombings Have Nothing to do with Islam”
      -The Young Turks

  3. dragin_dragon

    Read Mr. Baude’s article/essay sort of expecting a very dry legal analysis, but it wasn’t. In actual fact, it was somewhat enlightening for a non-legal (but warped) mind such as mine. It gave me much food for thought, but did not answer the question for me…would retaining his businesses constitute a conflict of interest? Again, I am unqualified to make such a judgment, but I do not believe that accepting payment for a hotel room would qualify as an “emolument” nor as a conflict. However, what I do believe is that Trump will not actually have enough hours in a day to be both CEO of Trump Enterprises and President of the United States. Thus, he is going to have to make a choice, one way or another.

    What was even more enlightening were the comments after the essay. They ranged from the typical left Trump-haters and -lovers to actual reasoned and more-or-less scholarly, arguments for both sides. Leaving aside both the Trump-haters and the Trump-lovers and concentrating on the folks who actually seemed to know what they were talking about, what I really gleaned from all of this is that the ultimate decision is likely going to be the courts. I think it is extremely doubtful that any of this will rise to the level of “treason or high crimes and misdemeanors” but I could be wrong. In any case, making a profit from a business, even from a Saudi Prince, is likely not going to be considered an impeachable offense.

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