Ethics Quotes Of The Week: Ann Althouse And Molly Hemingway

“A strong media is required to hold politicians accountable and help preserve a functioning republic. Our media, who are swinging wildly from eight years of sycophancy into an era of cartoonish hostility, are in no position to hold anyone accountable. This is a crisis, and one that nearly everyone except those in the media establishment and the political movement they support seems to recognize.”

—-The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway in an essay titled 4 Recent Examples Show Why No One Trusts Media Coverage Of Trump.

“Should they be ousted if they are not playing the role the place supposedly symbolizes? Are they representing us, the People, who, collectively, elected Trump, or are they representing the Democratic Party? I don’t know that the symbolism is what should determine whether the press has that space or some other space, but I don’t think the press — with respect to the Trump administration — represents the people. I think the statement “They are the opposition party” is much more accurate. Too bad they did that to themselves. We could use a vigorous, professional press.”

Blogger Ann Althouse on the possibility that the Trump White House will move the press corps next door into the Executive Office Building.

The two quotes accurately sum up my assessment of the state of the news media with regard to its level of trustworthiness and its future relationship with administration with the Trump Presidency. After a campaign in which the news media’s biases were not only flagrant but defiantly so, what was needed desperately was a profession-wide dedication to objectivity and non-partisan journalism. Instead, stupidly, destructively, the mainstream news media has doubled-down, fawning over Obama as he exited the office with a shocking lack of humility and grace, and, as Hemingway accurately states, descending into “cartoonist hostility” before Trump even took office.The four examples include two from today, the Times’ false story about Rick Perry, and the Washington Post mocking Trump Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue because he prayed. I wanted to write about both here but didn’t have time. Another, which I was not aware of, was the Washington Post falsely labeling  a Trump science advisor an “anti-intellectual” when he is merely a critic of liberal academics and scientists. Last was the ridiculous efforts by CNN’s Jim Accosta, the reporter Trump refused to allow to ask a question at the recent press conference, and other reporters to try to get Martin Luther King III to condemn Donald Trump. Hemingway does a thorough job explaining all four.

She is right, for as Ethics Alarms has noted recently, this is a crisis, and one that the news media itself refuses to acknowledge, while happy liberals who have been the beneficiaries its slanted and incompetent coverage see no problem to address. Their assumption is that they have a fete accompli: this is what U.S. journalism is, and conservatives have no choice but to allow it to systematically vilify their positions and conduct while boosting Democrats and burying their failures, until the Left has the dominance it believes it deserves. After all, what choice is there?

Althouse, a moderate liberal whose disgust with journalism this past year has exactly tracked with mine, gives the rebuttal that encompasses Trump’s likely solution. He will treat unethical and biased journalists as operatives of the opposition party, which they are, and give them no more deference or privileges than that status deserves. Sure this will leave a vacuum, but the vacuum existed already. Pretending that we have trustworthy news media when we don’t is infinitely worse than admitting that the system is broken by bias and arrogance, and that it needs to be fixed.

Somehow.

11 Comments

Filed under Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Professions, U.S. Society

11 responses to “Ethics Quotes Of The Week: Ann Althouse And Molly Hemingway

  1. Becky

    The press across all forms has been so WEIRD. They did fawning puff pieces AND hit jobs on both of them, mostly crap pieces that were NOT news. All the free air time for non-news-worthy events. It’s bizarro world in so many ways.

  2. Aleksei

    It is disheartening that the topic of the media ethics failures is such a common one today. Truly appalling that these journalists see themselves as the vanguard of righteousness and are willing to put the stability and harmony of our nation at risk. It really goes to show, for all the principles they espouse, they are just lip service to mask their main goal, the acquisition of power. It seems they do not have any shame for their low brow behavior, with all the “ends justify the means” mentality and whatnot. For all the dislike they have for Trump’s behavior, persona, beliefs, etc, they sure are able to match or exceed his unethical conduct. Will there be a moment where karma catches up to them and they will repent, or will they fight to the very last? Will they accept that cohesiveness of the nation is far more important than promoting one’s pet projects? I really hope that this question will not be rhetorical.

  3. Glenn Logan

    I think a few heads on pikes would go along way toward solving this problem. Perhaps Trump will deliver the metaphoric equivalent.

    It would be a nice change. I haven’t seen a reporter drawn and quartered since Dan Rather.

  4. Neil A. Dorr

    Jack,

    From the Washington Post:

    “As governor of Georgia, he also took conservative stances on immigration and voting rights and drew national headlines for holding a public vigil to pray for rain in 2007 amidst a crippling drought.”

    Is that the line you’re talking about? How are they mocking him for holding the vigil? He did draw national headlines and he did hold the vigil. Otherwise, I can’t see that any additional commentary was made on the subject. Or were you referring to subtext? Please advise.

    -Neil

    • A.M. Golden

      Neil, it’s the subtext. Hemingway goes on to explain that it’s WaPo’s way of dismissing religion. In essence, the only takeaway the Post has of Perdue is that he once prayed for rain during a drought? Including that in their headline, juxtaposing it with his nomination as Secretary of Agriculture, implies that they believe that someone who would pray for his state while it is suffering during an extreme weather condition is intellectually unfit to be Secretary of Agriculture.

      Because they think, I assume, that his only effort will be to try to pray the crops into being??

    • Headline, Neil. The Post’s headline, at least on-line, was “Trump Appoints Governor Who Prayed For Rain.” Tell me that isn’t a big sneer.

  5. They are the opposition party. I want ’em out of the building. We are taking back the press room

    I have waited my entire life to hear those words. Give me an balanced press, or at least both sides equally represented, if that is still possible.

    Strip the arrogant elites of their status symbols, and make them learn the harsh facts of how life works for those they would presume to rule. Most Americans have to WORK for our living, Mr. FakeReporter, and resent your “let them eat cake” attitude.

    whew. I went all French Revolution there for a minute.

    Picked up an interesting thought from the comments over at Althouse: it seems obvious that the news corporations are colluding in what, how and when news is released. This sound like an anti-competitive monopoly, and one that is not in the best interest of the nation. Could they be investigated on that basis? We broke up Railroads, Ma Bell, and others with those laws. What about the no-longer-free press?

    Throwing it out there for debate.

  6. dragin_dragon

    Glenn is right, this is going to take “heads on pikes”. Let Accosta and maybe a few others be told “No, you are not a reporter but an operative of the far left. You are no longer welcome in this press room.” and have this done in televised press conferences, with security standing by to escort the offender out, it’ll stop. And I’m saying barring individual reporters, not networks, as long as they can send reporters and not left-wing hacks, like Accosta.

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