Weekend Ethics Alarms Challenge: What’s The Best Headline For This Story?

turning-tables

[The winning headline will be added to the post, and an appropriate graphic will replace “the turning table.”]

April Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks,  accused White House aide Omarosa Manigault of telling her, during a tense exchange at the White House last week,
that Ryan  she was among a group of reporters on whom the White House is keeping dossiers with negative information. Ryan claimed that she was  “physically intimidated” by Manigault, and described Manigault’s behavior as threatening enough to be “Secret Serviceable,” implying  that it warranted intervention by law enforcement officers. The accusation was widely circulated on the web as an example of the President’s “Nazi” conduct toward the news media.

Manigault denied Ryan’s accusations, and called them “fake news.” Ah, but now we learn that a White House media employee recorded the encounter, and the recording backs up Omarosa.

Ryan, amusingly, is outraged and claiming to be a victim of a surreptitious  recording  she never consented to. “This is about her trying to smear my name. This is freaking Nixonian.” April says she may sue… for slander?

Here is one more example of how smug and self-righteous journalists are also often as ignorant as a pile of dog collars. Making such a recording is legal under D.C. law, which has a “one-party consent” law that recordings  if one person in the conversation consents. As for a slander suit, how would that work? The tape would be evidence that April Ryan slandered Manigault, not the other way around.

Ryan claims that the tape must have been altered. Sure she does. The Washington Post and other sources report that other journalists on the scene do not back Ryan’s account of the argument between the two women, and nobody heard anything about “dossiers.”

Manigault told reporters that White House media staff regularly record interviews between reporters and officials. “We do it all the time,” she said. “When you come into [the press staff’s offices], you’re on the record.”

When you know that the entire mainstream news media is out to get you, and that there are reporters like Ryan, taping everything makes perfect sense.

Nah, the news media isn’t “the opposition party.” Nah, it’s not biased–whatever would give you that idea?

(Kudos to the Washington Post for reporting this media bias smoking gun, incidentally.)

______________________

Pointer: Powerline

Source: Washington Post

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

50 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement

50 responses to “Weekend Ethics Alarms Challenge: What’s The Best Headline For This Story?

  1. LF wilburn

    Thank you for you truthful and unbiased reporting.

  2. valkygrrl

    April accuses, recording reveals Omarose on the level. Alliteration always appreciated by alert alarmers.

  3. ”WH Reporter Caught With Pants Down, Faulty Belt To Blame.”

  4. Chris

    If other journalists back up Omarosa’s side, the debunking comes from the Washington Post, and the false accusations were made only by a reporter from an obscure source, how does this justify the narrative of the media as the “opposition party?”

    (Also, Trump has now gone further than that, calling the media the “enemy of the American people.” This is much, much worse.)

    • valkygrrl

      I didn’t vote for him, I’m not going to vote for him in 3.75 years unless he’s up against Kanye West and I hope the Republican legislative agenda goes the way of the dodo. Can I be an enemy of the state too?

    • I’ll post on that comment by Trump, and here’s a precis: A free, fair and honest news media is essential to preserving democracy. Currently, and for some time, the vast majority of the news media has been deliberately acting a partisan propaganda arm of the Left, and lately, openly trying to undermine the duly elected President. There is no source we can trust, and thus democracy is operating blind. This abandonment of journalism ethics is dangerous, and indeed a hostile to the interests of the public. Trump shouldn’t have tweeted it, but he’s not wrong. And if leaders in journalism won’t flag the problem, the bully pulpit is an option. “Flawed,” Bob, is misleading. The words are unethical and untrustworthy, and the fact that the President is also untrustworthy does not excuse an entire profession’s smug abandonment of ethical conduct.

      Meanwhile, you slipped into Rationalization #22. April’s hit job isn’t made better by Trump’s tweet, now is it?

      “If other journalists back up Omarosa’s side, the debunking comes from the Washington Post, and the false accusations were made only by a reporter from an obscure source, how does this justify the narrative of the media as the “opposition party?”

      They didn’t come out and question the attack on Omarosa until she produced a tape! Are you seriously arguing that a straight up lie used to smear the White House isn’t proof of news media hostility, because after the reporter is caught red-handed, her colleagues stop supporting her???

      Wow.

      You don’t see how responses like this are redolent of “I will convince myself that my compatriots are blameless if there is any way on earth to do it”?

      • Chris

        Meanwhile, you slipped into Rationalization #22. April’s hit job isn’t made better by Trump’s tweet, now is it?

        Huh? I didn’t say anything about Ryan’s hit job being “better” than anything. I pointed out that using it to damn the entire media makes no sense, since (from the evidence you provided in your article) the media made no effort to abet her deception, and in fact helped to disprove it.

        They didn’t come out and question the attack on Omarosa until she produced a tape!

        I haven’t read anything about this issue other than what you’ve written here, Jack. What do you mean the media didn’t “question the attack?” Did other mainstream sources report Ryan’s side uncritically? Did they report her accusations and point out that they had not been confirmed? Or did they simply stay silent until the allegations weren’t true? Your article doesn’t say.

        Are you seriously arguing that a straight up lie used to smear the White House isn’t proof of news media hostility, because after the reporter is caught red-handed, her colleagues stop supporting her???

        If the media did support her without question before she was caught-handed, then yes, that’s proof of media hostility. But you haven’t made that case.

        • Huh back. What did THIS mean, if it wasn’t to argue that Trump’s description of the media wasn’t “much much worse” than what Ryan did?

          (Also, Trump has now gone further than that, calling the media the “enemy of the American people.” This is much, much worse.)

          Worse than what, if not Ryan?.

          The news media doesn’t police itself, especially regarding fake news that fits the “Trump is the devil” narrative. It factchecks Trump on trivia, but doesn’t factcheck itself, then attacks the President for calling them out. It’s all part of the mass attack. No one should be tolerant of it, or spinning for them.

          • Chris

            Huh back. What did THIS mean, if it wasn’t to argue that Trump’s description of the media wasn’t “much much worse” than what Ryan did?

            (Also, Trump has now gone further than that, calling the media the “enemy of the American people.” This is much, much worse.)

            Worse than what, if not Ryan?.

            Worse than Trump previously calling the media the “opposition party.”

            The news media doesn’t police itself, especially regarding fake news that fits the “Trump is the devil” narrative. It factchecks Trump on trivia, but doesn’t factcheck itself

            This story is literally an example of the media policing and factchecking itself, so…I can’t agree.

            • Which is why I gave kudos to the Post. But nobody else covered the story, which is the point. One online post that gets far less play than the original false story: are you kidding? That’s not policing. Where’s the retraction? Where are the consequences?

              • Chris

                One online post that gets far less play than the original false story: are you kidding?

                I didn’t know it got “far less play” than the original false story, but I did ask how much play the original false story got, since that wasn’t clear in your article. I hadn’t heard the allegation until I read your blog post. I haven’t even seen Trump address it on Twitter. Are you sure the original allegation got more play?

            • And not “worse,” then: Two different descriptions, both correct. They are democratic operatives with bylines (in Prof. Reynolds’ words) and have betrayed the trust of the public (mine.)

              • Chris

                “Enemy of the people” is not a “correct” statement, Jack. It’s how terrorists and criminals are described, not flawed news agencies.

                • flawed.

                  That’s the euphemistic mis-representation of the year.

                  • Chris

                    Fine. If “flawed” is understatement, “enemy of the American people” is certainly hyperbole.

                    • Chris, I respectfully disagree. The MSM has made itself the enemy of the American people by taking a side in a political manner. Bias always existed, but violating the rules of fair play had consequences. No longer.

                      The MSM is actively attempting to subvert the American people by controlling the narrative a democracy (Representational Republic) needs to survive. This constitutes a type of force: coercion. What do you call someone when they seek to subvert and coerce you to change your country? They are your enemy. The MSM is the enemy, QED.

    • Chris Marschner

      Chris, if the media distort the truth for any reason- ratings, being the opposition party, or being supportive, they are the enemy of the people when their acts serve to divide us rather than to inform.

      • Of course. Why isn’t this obvious?

      • Chris

        Here’s the problem with your statement, Chris:

        At any given point in human history, someone in “the media” was distorting the truth.

        At any given point in the future, someone in “the media” will always be distorting the truth.

        When you judge “the media” based on one reporter’s actions–as this article does–then, by your standard, the media will always be the enemy of the people.

      • Chris

        Also, Chris Marschner, does that mean that if our president distorts the truth for any reason, he is also the enemy of the people when his acts serve to divide us rather than unite?

        • No. The President’s primary duty is to lead and make the country work. The news media’s single duty is to inform the public accurately, competently and objectively.


          For Christ’s sake.

        • Enemy of the people IS hyperbole. Rather, I like how Ben Shapiro put it – reporting anything other than the Truth, be it the media or be it the president is inimical to the Republic.

          • Yes, that’s better. But Trump has a limited number of vocabulary words to work with. I’m serious. I don’t see how anyone can have his education and still have a 5th grade vocabulary. Do you think he’s ever said “inimical”? Or thought it?

            • Doubtful. But then again, low vocabulary isn’t a Constitutional grounds for impeachment.

            • Naturally his characterization of the Left Wing Media as “Enemies of the People” is simply buzzword fodder for Right Wingers who, despite their many flaws recognized early on the danger and consistency of the MSM’s obvious and intentional bias and became tired of being told to shut up.

              • This is all politics of revenge.

                I can’t find Ben Shapiro’s transcript for today’s podcast that he published, so I’m transcribing it myself. It’s about to be posted as a response to Thom McDaniel.

                • Disregard. He hasn’t said anything you haven’t already dived into thoroughly.

                  This all ultimately boils down both Trump and the Media are liars.

                  But the the point of contention is that how dangerous is Trump’s conduct to the Republic and how dangerous is the Left’s conduct (which includes the Media) to the Republic.

                  And no rational observer can come away thinking the Left’s conduct is less dangerous than Trump’s. Hence, the only rational thing to do is try to rein in the out of control and nascent Totalitarian Left back to reality-ville so real, substantive, and effective balance can be brought to Trump.

                  As Chris asserts, he thinks the Left is being greatly effective at opposing Trump. But he’s too short sighted to see what America that “opposition” is going to leave us with. Be careful in the belief that your people are breaking all the things you want broken…they are probably breaking a whole lot of items you don’t want broken.

                  • Be careful in the belief that your people are breaking all the things you want broken…they are probably breaking a whole lot of items you don’t want broken.

                    Well said.

                    This is playing out in the Trump appointments. The Democrats broke the social contract, and so now they have to deal with having their own rules used against them, albeit by those they have always depended on to have morals, values, consciences, and ethics in the past. Those with such qualities have (for the most part) been weeded out of our politics by their refusal to conform, so what is left are those who have no problem using those tactics.

                    In other words, (as my dad says of politicians) “They are ALL crooks.” In the sense that they lack the basic characteristics the American people have always valued.

                    If violence is tolerated when one side loses and election, what is the other side to learn? Especially if they have abandoned the self restraint of former generations?

    • The principle of no one raindrop blames itself for the flood may apply here.

      The interesting thing will be watching individuals from the Left continue to argue that each and every item of misconduct by the Left, despite the torrent of such since the Election are all outliers and not representative.

  5. wyogranny

    The turning tables of tape record and having recorded move on.

  6. JRH

    Omarosa turns the table on the press! Fake News Toppled.

  7. Other Bill

    “Journalist says Omarosa Manigault bullied her and mentioned a ‘dossier’ on her”

    This is the headline for the article the Washington Post receives kudos for? The article is almost entirely about how “controversial” Ms. Omarosa is. There’s little I can see that contradicts Ms. Ryan’s allegations. I’m confused.

    • Other Bill

      A minor point: I’ve always thought of the expression “turning the table” envisioned turning the metaphorical table on its axis so the opponents ended up on different sides of the table rather than flipping it over. The graphic confused me and I didn’t even think of a “turning table,” I thought of turning over a table in a movie western saloon during a card game scene when someone was losing or accusing someone of cheating.

      By the way, the Washington Post article is in the style section???

    • Headline aside (it’s a bad headline) the article debunks her claim and makes the point that her legal argument is BS.

      • Other Bill

        Jack, maybe the link is somehow defective. I clicked on the link and it took me to a Washington Post article that says nothing about the tape or the bogus slander allegation by Ryan, etc. May be an earlier story (which is completely slimy and not flattering of a Trump staffer). Regards.

  8. Glenn Logan

    “When Outrage And Recordings Collide” is what I suggest.

    Also, let me help you out a little:

    “Here is one more example of how smug and self-righteous journalists are also often as ignorant as a pile of dog collars shit.”

    There. All better. It’s frustrating, but necessary, to avoid useful profanity in the main article, and we current and former bloggers get that (If the strike tag doesn’t take, sorry).

    Also, how great a name is Omarosa? I just love that name.

    Finally, to the point of the article.

    To your point:

    When you know that the entire mainstream news media is out to get you, and that there are reporters like Ryan, taping everything makes perfect sense.

    Yeah, it does, but it’s lamentable nonetheless. The Golden Rule makes it a less than ethical choice. Of course, from a utilitarian perspective (namely the ethics of self-preservation) I think I could agree with your conclusion.

  9. “Journalist Indignant About Tape Revealing Her Lie – Does Not Blame Russia”

  10. Sharon

    Playing the Victim After Caught Lying, April Ryan Says She May Sue Whitehouse Aide For Slander: Definitely No Chance of Facilitating A Meeting Between The CBC and President Now.

  11. Carcarwhite

    Reporter’s Hit Single, “Broken Record” , Produced by Omarosa, Spins Out of Control, Topping Charts.

  12. Reporter Performs a Self-Inflicted Intellectual Slap Down

    Self-Inflicted Intellectual Slap Down

  13. Wayne

    Ryan has permanently discredited herself as a journalist. How about *The Hack Reporter Who Cried Wolf”?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s