The New York Times’ Unethical Headline (And Fake News)

immigrants-ellis-island

It is,  I have come to believe, the perfect example of dishonest, manipulative and partisan journalism, and here it is again: The Times headline on my morning paper—in ominous, “this is really important” block letters—

MORE  IMMIGRANTS FACE DEPORTATION UNDER NEW RULES

The headline refers to the President’s order yesterday concerning the enforcement of existing immigration laws. My maternal grandparents were immigrants from Greece at the turn of the 19th Century to the 20th. They did it by the book: Ellis Island, the whole thing. They were immigrants, not illegal immigrants, and the kind of rules this intentionally deceptive headline evokes would not have threatened them in any way. Yet they would have been alarmed by such a headline. Were they in danger of being sent back to Greece? Is the U.S. government now determined to deport immigrants?

That confusion is exactly what the Times and other news sources that have made a conscious decision to engender by eliminating the clear and material distinction between immigrants and illegal immigrants in news reports. The deceptive use of language allows partisans to tar the President and those who seek to enforce the law as “xenophobes,” and also to create fear among legal immigrants, who have nothing to fear.

We know that the Times does this intentionally, because an honest, informative, undeceptive headline is not elusive at all. “New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions” is the web headline for the story, and that is accurate, since President Obama limited the number of law-breaking immigrants who would actually face enforcement of the immigration laws the violated and continued to violate. “Trump administration clears the way for far more deportations” headlines the LA Times: it’s not so hard to be clear and informative. The Times wants to  mislead.

And yes, it is fake news, and not accidental fake news, but the fake news even by the narrow, self-serving  definition of the term preferred by the mainstream media: not merely sloppy, biased, misleading reporting that deceives the public, but deliberately false reporting, intended to mislead.

The striking aspect of the news media’s nearly unanimous effort to undermine enforcement and respect for U.S. law and to encourage foreign defiance of U.S. borders is that it isn’t accompanied by any coherent legal or rational justification at all. What other laws in the nation are handled by a tradition of prohibiting conduct, then  once a law-breaker successfully engages in the conduct declaring efforts to apprehend and punish the violation to be cruel and unreasonable? Such an approach encourages individuals to try to violate that law, leading to more violations. Because the “you’re over the border now, so don’t worry!” policy favored by activists is indefensible in law or logic, journalists and pundits rely on deception, emotion, and rhetoric instead to build support for the absurd.

The President’s other favorite news organization, CNN, has a nauseating example of this on its website, a screed attacking the concept of enforcing the immigration laws by am open-borders advocate named Raul Reyes. He uses the Times deceit too: “A nation of immigrants enters dark chapter.”

The “nation of immigrants” part is a non sequitur. Nothing in the history of the U.S. obligates it to allow lawbreakers to live here unencumbered by law enforcement. Nor is it a nation of illegal immigrants, though cynical Democrats seek to make it one.  Reyes’ implied hypocrisy is a lie. Moreover, a nation announcing that it intends to enforce its laws and control its borders is not a “dark chapter,’ except for fans of lawbreaking, like Reyes  Again, that is a false and outrageous statement. It may be a dark chapter for those who have no right to be living in the United States, but that is called accountability.

Now the deception I am reading and hearing from the news media is that the new order means “mass deportations” are coming. The Times:

“President Trump has directed his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, unleashing the full force of the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.”

Yes, the new policy prioritizes for arrest and deportation illegal immigrants arrested, convicted or accused of any crimes at all. The tone of the Times statement, indeed of its entire story, suggests that there is something monstrous about this, and if one’s brain isn’t fully turned on or has been reduced to mush by reading articles by pundits like Mr. Reyes, it might seem so. Pay attention: every illegal immigrant has earned deportation by coming here illegally. Every single one. There is no other side to the issue.

Since mass deportations are impossible, ugly and inevitably chaotic, a practical approach to the problem that doesn’t encourage more illegal immigration is two-fold:

1.  Enforce the law.

2. Don’t make enforcement policies that encourage more people to break that law.

This isn’t cruel, or draconian, or hard to understand. It is basic law enforcement. No illegal immigrant should be allowed to feel, “OK, I’m here now; as long as I don’t break a law, the United States can’t and won’t touch me.” No foreign citizen considering breaking our immigration laws should be encouraged to think, “OK, once I get past the border patrol, I can waltz down the street holding a banner that says, “HA HA! I’m here now! I’m illegal, but you can’t touch me!”

The order specifies priorities, because we can’t and shouldn’t execute mass deportations after so many years of unconscionable political manipulation of  immigration enforcement.  One priority is no more or less reasonable than any other, since all illegal residents are fairly and legitimately subject to penalties, including deportation, because they all broke the law and are therefore illegal. The order could say that all illegal immigrants with names beginning with the letters A, B, C, or D. will be the first targets of enforcement.  Those targeted have nothing to complain about, since they all deserve deportation, and earned it the second they arrived here illegally. There is nothing wrong with that at all. If you have no right to be here, you have no basis to complain about the criteria the government chooses to decide which law-breakers it will focus upon first. (This is not to say that lawyers and judges may make the argument that selective enforcement is unfair, that if we can’t deport all illegals, it’s unfair and even unconstitutional to deports any of them.  Fine. I oppose mass deportations, but if that is going to be the strategy, I could be persuaded to say, “Fine. Then they all go.”

Better would be a policy that targeted the most recent illegal immigrants over those who have been allowed to become part of local communities. Better still would be a way for those long-term residents to have a path to a status that would not include the possibility of being deported. Simply getting here, however, must not create that status.

The Times headline, its reporting, and the allied efforts of most of the news media for years have been aimed at confusing and misleading the public on this elementary concept , and by doing so intentionally undermining the rule of law, devaluing American citizenship, and sabotaging the nation’s sovereignty. All of this is directly opposed to the public interest, and does measurable harm to the nation.

What is a fair term for someone who sets out to oppose the public interest and harm the nation?

85 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society

85 responses to “The New York Times’ Unethical Headline (And Fake News)

  1. “What is a fair term for someone who sets out to oppose the public interest and harm the nation?”

    As someone once put it in bold, use a term that “describes terrorists and criminals, not flawed news agencies.”

  2. That the Gray Lady needs nothing to hasten an en mass exodus of readers or increase its self-afflicted torrential red ink tsunami didn’t mean it wouldn’t happen.

    After the November election and ensuing (and ongoing) wholesale Lefty meltdown, one had to believe an exploitable niche would arise, one which some plucky sort would soon avail.

    One burning question: “why did it take so long?”

    Mercifully, for the insufferable sufferers, that wait is over.

    That niche? An “alternative Universe” site where Hillarity (sic) won.

    http://www.hillarybeattrump.org/

    Jack, you may have some company auto-delivered to my inbox.

  3. charlesgreen

    I’ll confess up front my limitations in this area (immigration), but let me wade in nonetheless.

    You would have us believe that the term “immigrant” explicitly refers to legal immigrants, and that any use of it to include “illegal immigrants” is consciously and intentionally obfuscatory. Or, to use the fuzz word du jour, “fake news.”

    I don’t think so. A quick google scan of some history about immigration laws in this country suggests the terms have been historically very fluid. “Undocumented” is a clear term, I think; but “illegal,” not so much.

    We have had times of quotas and no quotas; times of exclusions by country and by race and times of less exclusions; times of gaining citizenship through the passage of time, and times of no-time-is-enough. In some of those time periods, it’s impossible to say clearly whether an immigrant was “legal” or not; they were simply immigrants, and their status evolved with time and/or with changes in the law.

    When does a green card holder or an H1B visa holder become an immigrant? Does a person from Italy who overstays their tourist visa by a day become an illegal immigrant? Are they an immigrant at all? When did they become one?

    I get the distinction you’re making, and agree with you it’d be better to have one designation (like the web version); but by your narrow legalistic focus on this distinction, you are obliterating any historical perspective.

    Was there a quota at the time your ancestors came over? Was there a such thing as “illegal immigrants” in their time? If so, what did that mean? What did they have to do that made them “legal,” and how many, if any, of their fellow immigrants came in “illegally?” What did that even mean?

    What is clear and important is that the world is awash in refugees these days (some of which one could argue is our doing); the world has a refugee problem; the US is doing proportionately far less than European nations (and Canada); the sentiment of the Trump administration is to do even less. Historically, this is precisely the moral failing we committed in the 1930s.

    In that context, I don’t find quibbling about Fake News on the basis of this distinction to be anywhere near the big deal you make it out to be. The real story is what our immigration policy ought to be at this time in history; which is what the Times story is about, regardless of which headline it leads with.

    • That’s not what I would have anyone believe. Immigrants means all immigrants, illegal and legal, and using the term to describe ILLEGAL immigrants is deceptive, and intended to be.

      Illegal immigrants cannot refer to legal immigrants. “Undocumented” is a euphemism or “cover word,” and also intentionally deceptive, as if, due to no fault of their own, the illegal immigrants somehow lost their papers. It turns active misconduct into misfortune.

      “In that context, I don’t find quibbling about Fake News on the basis of this distinction to be anywhere near the big deal you make it out to be. The real story is what our immigration policy ought to be at this time in history; which is what the Times story is about, regardless of which headline it leads with.”

      Charles, that’s just not true. The Times story frames the issue as one of government mistreatment, and provides no honest and objective analysis of the legal issue at all. Where is the statement that “all illegal immigrants are subject to law enforcement based on their illicit residence status”, which is a material background to the story? The Times story is misleading, and aimed at a pro-illegal immigrant objective.

      • Chris

        Illegal immigrants cannot refer to legal immigrants. “Undocumented” is a euphemism or “cover word,” and also intentionally deceptive, as if, due to no fault of their own, the illegal immigrants somehow lost their papers. It turns active misconduct into misfortune.

        Earlier on another thread I referred to the fact that some of my students are undocumented. At first I thought I chose this term because I am biased in their favor, and the word “illegal immigrant” makes me emotionally uncomfortable.

        But there was no “active misconduct” on their part, as they are children, and subject to the demands of their parents. It would be fair to refer to their parents as illegal immigrants, but not, I think, to refer to them this way.

    • charlesgreen

      An addendum: This from Wikipedia:
      —————-
      Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, some states started to pass their own immigration laws, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility.[31] In 1875, the nation passed its first immigration law, the Page Act of 1875, also known as the Asian Exclusion Act, outlawing the importation of Asian contract laborers, any Asian woman who would engage in prostitution, and all people considered to be convicts in their own countries.[32]

      In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. By excluding all Chinese laborers from entering the country, the Chinese Exclusion Act severely curtailed the number of immigrants of Chinese descent allowed into the United States for 10 years.[33] The law was renewed in 1892 and 1902. During this period, Chinese migrants illegally entered the United States through the loosely guarded U.S.-Canadian border.[34]
      ——
      What this means is that if your ancestors and mine came over in the late 19th century, they were “legal” as long as they weren’t Asian or prostitutes, those being the only categories who legally could have been defined as “Illegal.” I don’t think they had to apply for visas. Citing them as “legal” doesn’t really mean anything, hence the contrast with today’s situation is irrelevant.

      • That’s right. They were legal. Why and how they were legal is 100% non-relevant. Wife-beating was once legal too. We were a nation of wife beaters. That’s not an argument for not prosecuting wife beaters today. Slavery was legal. We were a nation of slaveholders. So what? Now it’s a crime. Of course it means something. It means everything. In Oklahoma, you could claim acres of land by just putting down a stake. Now that’s theft: it is illegal. The fact that laws allowed something once, were lenient, didn’t exist, changes the definition of legal not one bit.

        What is irrelevant is that the conduct under discussion was once legal, and now isn’t. How interesting. It still doesn’t validate what is illegal conduct today.

        • charlesgreen

          But isn’t that precisely what we’re still talking about, yet again? The shifting boundaries of what is, de facto and de jure (and de bureaucracy) legal? Are those DACA kids illegal or legal? If illegal but we don’t deport them, then what does “illegal” mean?
          If these terms were all that clear we wouldn’t be having this discussion, seems to me?

          • They are clear, Charles. They have always been clear. They just haven’t been enforced for illicit reasons. The law was also clear when my grandparents arrived. They checked in, Their papers were stamped. One can’t pretend that the law isn’t clear because those who want to break it deny reality. Kid born here are citizens. Children brought here illegally are not. No ambiguity.

            • Chris Marschner

              Would Charles want us to call all muslims terrorists? I hope not.

              Yes, all persons who are now here but were not born here are immigrants but not everyone is legally entitled to be here. So, when we are describing a specific subset in a population it must be modified with appropriate language.

              The uptick in enforcement has no effect on legally permitted immigrants. That is the point. The Times headline is misleading.

              • Chris

                Your second and third paragraphs are convincing but I don’t think they support your first. Calling all Muslims terrorists is not merely describing a subset imprecisely, it is completely inaccurate. Calling all Muslims terrorists is not the same as calling all subsets of immigrants immigrants.

                An analogy that might work better is if newspapers after 9/11 had said “Muslims attack World Trade Center.” That would be imprecise and misleading in the same way as this headline is.

            • Chris

              They are clear, Charles. They have always been clear. They just haven’t been enforced for illicit reasons. The law was also clear when my grandparents arrived. They checked in, Their papers were stamped. One can’t pretend that the law isn’t clear because those who want to break it deny reality. Kid born here are citizens. Children brought here illegally are not. No ambiguity.

              Then perhaps the deeper ethical issue here is why it’s so much harder to legally immigrate today than it was for your grandparents.

              • Not necessarily deeper, but yes, that is a legitimate ethics question to study and debate.

              • JutGory

                That’s easy. Immigration is no more immune from growing bureaucratic complexity than any other area of the law. That’s the big picture.

                The little picture, when my ancestors came, there was no welfare state. There was no income tax. They had to rely on themselves, their family, their ethnic community, and their religious group for any charitable needs.

                When Jack’s ancestors came, there might have been an income tax, but they probably were not subject to it.

                Fast forward 20 years and there is the Social Security system. Suddenly, the government is siphoning money off every employer and employee (and paying out benefits). Now, there is a system that you can’t work outside of.

                Later, you get the modern welfare state. Now, every immigrant is a potential drag on society in a way they were not before, when charity was almost exclusively private.

                How does all this manifest itself today? If you bring a relative in to immigrate, you will often have to file an affidavit of support, saying that they will not go on public support for 2 years (?) because you promise to support them. Second, you need the government’s permission to work (work authorization). Finally, even if you don’t have permission to work, you still have to pay taxes if you do. So, the IRS set up a system (Taxpayer Identification Numbers) that people who are not allowed to work can use to file their income taxes.

                it’s enough to make one cynical about the system.

                -Jut

          • Red Pill Ethics

            We’re having this discussion only because you’re bending over backward, to the point of near spine shattering insanity, trying to defend a plain abuse of language. The law targets illegal immigrants, illegal being the qualifier. Omitting that qualifier clearly and plainly changes the meaning of the headline and for it to be a front page headline ran by a professional news organization with full-time staff and editors is either a comically unlikely oversight or a deliberate attempt to influence the perception of the story while maintaining the ghost of linguistic plausible deniability.

            Dude, you sound like Bill Clinton desperately dodging hard details about Monica. It depends on what the meaning of “is” is eh?

        • Chris

          That’s right. They were legal. Why and how they were legal is 100% non-relevant.

          To me it seemed relevant to this portion of your post:

          The headline refers to the President’s order yesterday concerning the enforcement of existing immigration laws. My maternal grandparents were immigrants from Greece at the turn of the 19th Century to the 20th. They did it by the book: Ellis Island, the whole thing.

          This is an ethos argument; it gives moral authority to your grandparents, and posits the Good Legal Immigrants Who Did Things the Right Way against those Bad Illegal Immigrants Who Can’t Do Things the Right Way. It’s a very common argument, usually meant to suggest “Previous generations of immigrants came here legally, so what’s wrong with today’s immigrants that they can’t?”

          To be fair, you didn’t go that far, and your main point in bringing this up seemed to be to transition into this: “They were immigrants, not illegal immigrants, and the kind of rules this intentionally deceptive headline evokes would not have threatened them in any way. Yet they would have been alarmed by such a headline. Were they in danger of being sent back to Greece? Is the U.S. government now determined to deport immigrants?” So perhaps this point was irrelevant to yours.

    • JutGory

      Charles,
      I should have a better answer for you, as I work in a firm that is 60 percent immigration work (I’m part of the 40 percent).

      You can first look at all who entered illegally. They are illegal and have no status. These include DACA; they have no status; they just have permission to work.

      Then, there are those who entered legally. Of those, they entered on visas; those can be divided as immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. A non-immigrant visa would be a student visa or a tourist visa. They are not immigrants (yet). An immigrant visa could be an H1b (I think), a fiancée visa where you enter the country to marry a US citizen, or a spousal visa, where you are married to a US citizen and want to immigrate. They are immigrants from the outset and can quickly obtain personal residency status.

      Now, if a non-immigrant overstays the visa, it falls out of status. However, that non-immigrant has the ability to adjust from a non-immigrant status to immigrant status by adjusting status on some ground, marriage to a US citizen being a popular one. Because the alien originally entered legally (even though it was as a non-immigrant), the process can be done here. If you entered illegally and married a US citizen, you can’t adjust status, because you never had status. You have to go through consular processing (going to your home country and getting a visa from the consulate so you can enter legally).

      So, it is not simple, but there is some logic to the system. But, to call them immigrants indiscriminately misses important distinctions. It also blurs lines to say someone who overstayed a tourist visa should be deported, because there is relief for them if they adjust status, or claim asylum. Then, there are also bars that might apply to someone who entered illegally and is married to a US citizen, if they had been deported in the past or have been here too long.

      -Jut

  4. Wayne

    End the anchor baby amnesty. This would take some doing but rewarding families with a whole slew of benefits because mama has been able to sneak into the USA and have her kid born here who automatically becomes a citizen is just plain wrong. I know that we are talking about a Constitutional Amendment, but the fly-over states would happily support it.

    • Baron von Cut-n-Paste

      I would be very hesitant to place any restrictions on jus soli. The establishment of a permanent class of multi-generational gastarbeiters would be a much greater threat to the America I know and love than a handful of illegals’ children being granted citizenship. I’m not saying the current setup is perfect, but in this case the cure is potentially much worse than the disease.

    • Chris

      End the anchor baby amnesty. This would take some doing but rewarding families with a whole slew of benefits because mama has been able to sneak into the USA and have her kid born here who automatically becomes a citizen is just plain wrong. I know that we are talking about a Constitutional Amendment, but the fly-over states would happily support it.

      Yes, we should definitely make immigration policy based on the feelings of those in states that are least affected by immigration policy.

      • If those in “fly-over states” can reach their conclusions regarding ending “anchor baby” abuses via principled deliberations from a justifiable value system, why on earth would they not derive contentment from seeing their conclusions enacted?

        You don’t think he meant their conclusions must be derived purely from emotion do you?

      • Pennagain

        Chris, Yes, we should definitely make immigration policy based on the feelings of those in states that are least affected by immigration policy.

        And heaven knows we shouldn’t let those states have a say — never mind The say – in how our bi-Coastal country (we are already a-weepin and a-wailin at that third-coast wall!) makes polic…. oh … but wait! There’s more!

        State Data Immigration Profiles from the Migration Policy Institute of the United States State Department:
        http://tinyurl.com/jahewtu

        It’s no-state-left-behind, by golly! Compare the percentage of immigrants to the population of the state. Compare them to one another (you can do that, too – the MPI has one fast moving website). They all seem to be affected, potentially and actually, by immigration, from all over the globe … except maybe N. Dakota, which stands out because it hasn’t attracted a single native Hawaiian lately; I always knew they lacked true di-ver-si-tee.

        State by state, do some simple math%%, Chris.

        Demographics and Social stats cover subsets which have subsets: place of birth, naturalization, fertility, household and family size, children under 18. Then there’s data on Language, English Proficiency, Educational Level. Under Workforce: Civilian or Foreign-born. By Period of Entry, Country of Origin. by Citizenship status, Occupations, Industries, Worker class, etc. (the nine major categories under Workforce also include “Brain Waste”) Next report covers Poverty level, Poverty by Language spoken at home, Earnings, Median Household Income, Home Ownership, Health Insurance Coverage. Yet another section of the up-to-today’s-date articles on whuz hap-nin in the migration biz.

        Work out the drain on resources vs. benefits all by yourself. Then multiply the drain by X immigrants (even excluding illegal ones). remembering that job market booms are temporary, social services are exhaustible and, my friend, rising above poverty level is hard enough to do if you fell into it after having started out with every advantage.

        Believe it or not, living in poverty — even the “luxurious” American poverty the liberal xenophiliacs have invented so as to reduce and subdivide all the migrants’ needs into “problems” to be “solved” — needs that go way beyond giving that man a rod to fish with. This country hasn’t yet succeeded in lifting its inherited poor, disaffiliated, angry, dreamless masses out of their huddles. Like it or not, sustaining for years in poverty — more than being bullied through high school, or living with life-threatening diseases or debilitating mental states, or pledges to the code of omerta, more even than being outed to your Jehovah’s Witness mama — does tend to breed … how shall I say it? … both a dependence on handouts and crime.

        To enlarge on your sarcasm with a twist, Chris, Yes, despite the attention we give to the growls from the ghetto and whines from the women, yes, we should definitely make immigration policy based on the feelings of those who are affected by immigration policy — the people of these dis-united states. Perhaps we should put it to a vote. In proper proportion, of course.

  5. The media embraces a heruclean task ministering to the Great Unwashed, one they don’t take lightly.

    It requires wading mightily past earlobe deep irony, through which MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski found herself slogging this a.m.

    (bolds mine)
    ”Well, I think that the dangerous edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts and could be while unemployment and the economy worsens he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think.”

    And the kill shot:

    And that is–that is our job.

  6. Jack asked, “What is a fair term for someone who sets out to oppose the public interest and harm the nation?”

    The term is traitor.

    • dragin_dragon

      THANK YOU, Z!! I was hoping somebody recognized the “T-Word”.

    • Imagine if the tweet had said THAT!

    • Personally I think there are three things going on as it related to the media.

      The media is trying to intentionally destabilize the United States, generate chaos, with subversion tactics (the media is intentionally trying to undermine the power and authority of the current administration) using sedition filled propaganda to incite an insurrection. It’s almost as if the media is trying to actually create the “news” so they have something sinister or sensational to report.

      Everything the majority of the media has been doing for the last 8+ years seems to be proving what people have been saying for years that the majority of the media are nothing an extension of the political arm of the political left, they are willing political tools. We are facing the win at all cost, morally bankrupt, tactics of the political left, I truly believe that nothing is beyond them now.

      For some reasons this is stirring memories of the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies; does anyone remember the morally bankrupt destabilizing plot of that movie?

    • Glenn Logan

      Well, much as I’d like to agree, treason is a Constitutionally defined crime, and that isn’t the definition.

      I think a better word would be saboteur.

      • Glenn Logan wrote, “Well, much as I’d like to agree, treason is a Constitutionally defined crime, and that isn’t the definition.”

        Well Glen, I didn’t say treason did I; I said traitor, there’s a difference.

        A traitor isn’t always committing treason; however, a person committing treason is always traitor. Get it?

        • JutGory

          I think I get it.

          A criminal is not always committing a crime; however, a person committing a crime is always a criminal.

          A baker is not always baking a cake; however a person baking a cake is always a baker.

          Once a marine, always a marine.

          A gardener is not always gardening, but a person who is gardening is always a gardener.

          Was your point about the active verb tense? Either way, I guess I don’t see how that is responsive to Glenn Logan’s point.

          -Jut

          • My point was at least reasonably clear in context with my previous comment and the comment I replied to. I’m not going down this path Jut.

            • JutGory

              Hoo boy! A path down which Zoltar Speaks! Will not go? Is that dysgraphia? Is it Zoltar Mimes!?

              Either way, I’m dumbfounded!

              -Jut

              • Seriously Jut, it’s just a choice, why are you being like that?

                • JutGory

                  Zoltar Speaks!,
                  I am fine with the choice. My question is: did you get the joke? Do I have to explain it to you? I thought it was pretty clever.

                  Tyler Durden: Oh, I get it. It’s very clever.
                  Narrator: Thank you.
                  Tyler Durden: How’s that working out for you?
                  Narrator: What?
                  Tyler Durden: Being clever.
                  Narrator: … Great.
                  Tyler Durden: Keep it up, then.

                  -Jut

                  • Jut,
                    Disregard my comments above at 9:40 pm & 10:19 pm; I shouldn’t comment after the night time cold meds kick in. I reread this morning and came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t have replied at all. So what I’m trying to say, in my best Emily Litella voice, is “never mind”. 🙂

                    • JutGory

                      No worries. But, with a name like Zoltar Speaks!, you set a high bar. I was ready to drop the exchange until you said you had nothing to say.
                      I thought that was quite an accomplishment.
                      🙂
                      -Jut

  7. dragin_dragon

    Anyone who wants to define us as a “nation of immigrants” is just plain deluded. I, for instance, am not an immigrant. I was born here, in Texas and thus, am NOT an immigrant. The only true Native American I am aware of is the horse, and even they left for a (long) while.

    • Wayne

      E. cabullus showed up in America as a result as a result of Columbus’s second voyage and eventually with Cortez in Mexico which freaked out the Aztecs big time. I’m a little concerned that PETA will propose granting birthright citizenship to our equine friends.

      • dragin_dragon

        “In 1848, a study On the fossil horses of America by Joseph Leidy systematically examined Pleistocene horse fossils from various collections, including that of the Academy of Natural Sciences, and concluded at least two ancient horse species had existed in North America: Equus curvidens and another, which he named Equus americanus. A decade later, however, he found the latter name had already been taken and renamed it Equus complicatus.”

        Thus, horses existed in North America, along with sabre toothed tigers and giant ground sloths in the Pleistocene. Current thinking is that they migrate across the Bering Strait land bridge, just going the other way.

    • Taking the ‘nation of immigrants’ to most logical, absurd conclusion, there would not be any ‘original nations/peoples’. Most historians believe that the first inhabitants of North America crossed over from what is now Russia sometime within the last 20,000 years. Prior to that, the only living things were plants and mollusks, and perhaps a fruit fly or two.

      jvb

      • dragin_dragon

        Actually, John, there was a LOT of fauna here…things like sabre tooths, the little three toed horses, giant sloths and if I’m not mistaken the “Kill Birds”. The mammoths, of course, also crossed the land bridge, coming our way (which may have sparked the migrations of our “Native [not so much] Americans”).

  8. I’d also love to know if Trump is deporting people in any substantial ratio greater than Obama did. And if not, why the outrage now?

  9. “What other laws in the nation are handled by a tradition of prohibiting conduct, then once a law-breaker successfully engages in the conduct declaring efforts to apprehend and punish the violation to be cruel and unreasonable?”

    I think there are some similarities with drug laws. Both recreational drugs and illegal immigrants can be of comfort to people at the top of the economic pyramid, but can be much more threatening to people at the bottom. Attacking the culture that passed the laws is really the only way to justify the lawbreaking.

  10. Suggesting that the Times’ inaccurate headline was/is unintentional is less than disingenuous.

    This is from the AP Style Manual regarding the use of the illegal immigration and illegal alien/immigrant:

    “illegal immigration Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.

    “Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.

    “Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.

    “Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?

    “People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story.”

    Here is a link: https://blog.ap.org/announcements/illegal-immigrant-no-more

    Assuming the New York Times in following the style guideline/suggestion promoted by the AP, then the obfuscation of immigrant with “illegal immigrant” was/is intended to show the Trump Administration in the worst possible light, to invoke and encourage fear among immigrant communities that the Trump Administration is mean and anti-immigrant. I saw that headline this morning and was surprised at the boldness of the Times’ biased foray into the immigration debate. The Times story reflected the belief that enforcement of immigration laws is something that has never happened before, notwithstanding the Obama Administration’s celebration that it deported more than 3,000,000 people during its 8 years. 3,000,000 people equates to over 375,000 per year. Where was the outrage when that happened? Where were the Dreamers protesting the Obama Administration’s actions? Oh. That’s right. The Obama Administration only deported 375,000 per year but Trump is mean.

    As an aside, I used to have respect for Jorge Ramos as a reporter and investigative journalist, especially when he asked Carlos Salinas de Gotari what role he played in the assassination of Luís Colosio-Murrieta. I thought we had seen the last of Ramos after that question (I attended a book signing event with him in Houston and I asked him if he feared for his safety after the Salinas interview and, surprisingly, he said he had no such fear). Lately, though, he has lost touch with reality on this issue. He routinely refers to the Trump Administration’s “Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders”. In a relatively intelligent and informative interview with Sean Hannity (yeah, I know – I almost laughed myself silly typing “intelligent and informative” is the same sentence with Sean Hannity), Ramos continually blurred the line with the logic that no one is illegal and that immigrants confer a huge benefit on the US economy by doing jobs US citizens won’t do, that they pay taxes when they buy stuff, that they don’t cause confusion or problems in hospital emergency rooms (I guess because they go to hospital emergency rooms US citizens won’t go to), and that the use of invalid social security numbers isn’t really causing issues or problems for those people whose social security numbers are being ‘recycled’ or ‘maximized for society’s benefit’.

    jvb

    • Chris

      He routinely refers to the Trump Administration’s “Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders”.

      Assuming he was referring to the most infamous EO, which banned legal immigrants from seven countries from entering, how is he incorrect?

      • I was being facetious. I know that there were other creatures in North America. How else do you explain the looks of my feet? Clearly not Ordovician.

        jvb.

      • Chris,

        I agree that the first EO was sloppy, horribly drafted, vague, ambiguous, and subject to way too much interpretation. The EO did not provide instruction or guidance to ICE for implementation. The drafter of it should be pushing a broom somewhere in upstate New York, with express conditions never to use a computer again. Ever.

        I did not understand the rush (Rush – my favorite band!) to get it out. Why didn’t the Administration circulate around his cabinet and Homeland, as well as ICE, to get comments? The Administration rightly had egg on its face for such a screw-up.

        As for Ramos, he refers to any immigration issue as a strike against all immigrants. He is sloppy with his language because he knows he will not get called on it. He did it numerous times with that idiot Hannity. Ramos is an open-borders guy. He says he loves the US and I take him at his word. However, he immigrated here the proper way, as have millions upon millions of others over the years. He thinks that the idea of enforcing immigration laws is anathema to a free society, upon the theory that once they are here we should embrace them, grant them immediate citizenship and canonize them (well . . . not that last part – I just wanted to use canonize is a sentence).

        jvb

  11. Zoltar writes: The media is trying to intentionally destabilize the United States, generate chaos, with subversion tactics (the media is intentionally trying to undermine the power and authority of the current administration) using sedition filled propaganda to incite an insurrection. It’s almost as if the media is trying to actually create the “news” so they have something sinister or sensational to report.

    It seems to me that one has to take steps backward from the accusation of ‘trying to intentionally destablize the United States’ and to notice that the problem arises out of the apparent fact that there are now numerous ‘United States’. My position, my observation, is that the ability to converse — that is, between people of different political views and orientations — has become next-to-impossible because different people now hold to different concepts of what is ‘The United States’.

    It is not just a question now of mild disagreements and disagreements that can be bridged or patch over, it is really more substantial.

    Up above, Chris took issue with the use of a word ‘intent’ and I suppose that his point was reasonable if one started from a faithful position (of good faith). There, the issue was about ‘what they were setting out to do’. It would be hard to say, accurately, that ‘the media’ are ‘setting out’ to destablilize the United States, and if one thought that one would likely be caught up in paranoia. Since *they* seem to start from the assumption that the culture and political establishment of the present US has been taken over by a sort of democratic coup, they in defense of their vision of the ‘United States’ feel that they are allowed to undermine what they understand to be an illigitimate presidency. Let us suppose that 75% of the population had voted for Trump, were very interested in rolling back the ‘progressive’ programs, and were generally behind his plans and projects, then the NY Intellectual Establishment would simply not have enough of a base for its activism and opposition. But as it is — this must be the case — the majority of the readers of the Times want to read what they read there. In this sense they determine it, do they not? I mean, the audience indicates what slant of news they want and the periodical works to fulfill, does it not?

    As a self-declared political innocent I have looked at as many different angles as I can. For example, the John Birtch Society had an entire and very paranoid vision of what was happening in the US. That is, the US was being taken over by a not-US. The question of ‘operative’ and ‘agent’ enters in here. Who is one acting on behalf of? And which ‘United States’? The reason I was inclined to consider these paranoid views is because everyone takes such an immediate and absolutist position against them. Essentially though, what the JBS version of reality states is that the ‘United States’ had been taken over by another mind-set which no longer really recognized the (original) United States as being the *valid* one.

    This to me describes what I understand as being true. Many people today, I can only speculate and try to opine how it came about, have almost no relationship to the original Constitutional Republic and an increasingly limited relationship to their own State (that is, their particular state and region). So, people generally will inadvertently step away from the Originalism which is required if the Republic is to be ‘the United States’ as it was defined. What is ‘the United States’ then becomes a matter of personal interpretation. And it seems to me that the collusion between the media, and certain economic power blocks, and the Democratic Establishment as a sort of ‘shadow government’ or ‘Deep State’ has now come into open conflict between another or some other factions. And where else can they play out their power struggle, or at least the part of it that is public, except in The Media’?

    Progressivism seems to combine with a ‘living constitution’ view of reality (I really mean this in the largest sense, of ‘reality’) and to empower the individual, who has been unmoored from an anchor in a specific and rigid ideological system or philosophically-defined belief system; and The Media in the widest sense, combined with Public Relations designers and psychologists (sociologists) influence and also program the Population in such a way that they become, in effect, like the marker on a calculator ruler: today it is located *here* but in 5 years *we* will move it over to the next position. The issue of ‘agency’ becomes very important. Who determines?

    This is how my mind works, of course. How can I be asked to make any decision if I do not have a fixed point to base decision on? But this is just what progressive-radicalism cannot abide. You are not allowed to have a fixed point. The word ‘progressive’ indicates just what you will get involved with if you surrender to their intentionality. And here intention does enter in.

    Thereofr, it seems to me that what the NYTs is advocating for — this is the only way I have been able to understand it and understanding is necessary if one is to have some power over it, isn’t it? — is simply and nothing more than what is encased within ‘progressivism’. Is it fair to say it as ‘Cultural Marxism’? Or is that a John Birch paranoid smear? Or, is American Radicalism (constitutional Americanism) in fact a form of progressive radicalism? I mean, the American Revolution is linked to the French Revolution, right? Therefor, what the NYTs advocates is not anti-American! It simply cannot be seen in that way.

    It seems to be the viewstructure of a certain vision of America and Americanism. Obama and his former Pastor if he is taken as a real indicator (if he really was his spiritual guide and this very definitely hinges into spiritual definitions, which is indeed to say metaphysics), should have indicated what Obama was all about. But hold on. It is a whole generation of similarly-informed radicals, just like Obama, who are coming onto the scene and they have a very clear sense of what ‘America’ is and what America is not.

    It was inevitable that the former ‘America’, that is, the America of the postwar, when given over to a class of persons who are informed by the radical ideas of for example Obama’s pastor (radical liberation theology) would be able to do nothing but harm to that economically powerful and historical America! (And that is indeed the America of the White Protestant man). It simply had to happen. What is inevitable when you invite (elect) a radical clique is that they enact radical programs! To enact this radicalism is, in essence, to deconstruct the United States! It is to see emurge from it another sort of Republic! It is simply inevitable.

    Therefor, to ‘build back up the United States’ requires a definition of what it is! And no one will agree on this. It is fair therefor to say ‘the Republic is sick’ and requires medicine. No one listens to me but, no matter, I had fun writing this!

    • Alizia,
      Interesting read, in a good way.

      You wrote, “It is to see emurge from it another sort of Republic! It is simply inevitable.”

      Stating “simply inevitable” is really being defeatist. I think that Trumps rise to the White House is clear evidence that the defeatist mentality is being shoved aside and “simply inevitable” is being postponed indefinitely and the political left is having a hissy fit about it, they want their damn trophy, and they what it NOW.

      I think what I wrote about the media is at least reasonably accurate; they are so consumed by the destruction of Trump and Conservatives that they really believe that the ends justifies the means in reaching that goal; in my opinion, their words support this opinion. Right now, as far as we know, the media is literally choosing to pick sides against the political right, journalism has ceased to be an reasonably independent honorable voice informing the public. The political left is literally encouraging the silencing of opposing viewpoints and the media is along for the ride consumed by the ends justifies the means. What do you honestly think will happen if this “simply inevitable” end game you speak of becomes absolutely dominate and the media is literally forced to be the propaganda arm of this new “simply inevitable”, “Republic”?

      The left needs to be careful what they wish for, they might get “it” some day. If human history has taught us anything it has certainly taught us that when humans are involved it’s quite certain that the end result of a wish won’t be what they expected. There is no utopia when humans are involved.

      • I think what I wrote about the media is at least reasonably accurate; they are so consumed by the destruction of Trump and Conservatives that they really believe that the ends justifies the means in reaching that goal.

        Thanks for acknowledging my post. I do agree with what you think: they are consumed.

        What I do not understand very well is the understructure of economics and culture and ideology that supports both that camp, and whatever is the other camp that they are fighting against and opposing.

        Is this a continuation of ‘the Cultural Wars’ or is it something more serious?

        These are things I do not understand.

  12. Oh God, only the first paragraph intended to be bolded. If there is any kindness left in the Universe I pray for the rest to be put back to normal print….

  13. Son of Maimonides

    As with most such terminology, the term “fake news” has been so overused by both sides that it’s next to meaningless. Thus, anything labelled “fake news” by either side at this point only signals to the reader “Ignore: Partisan rhetoric ahead.”

    I think it might be beneficial for one side (Conservatives) to drop it. It was obviously a stupid term in the first place, but continuing to use it as an insult to point out misrepresentation doesn’t help anyone who doesn’t speak partisan to understand what’s going on. Moreover, it only makes those who use it as a retort seem reactionary by comparison. If you’re a believer in the “fake news” phenomenon (as in, it’s responsible for all the world’s current evils) then, to you, it appear that the right is simply trying to impugn legitimate reporting by labeling it false.

    And finally, if it’s something our current President is willing to let crawl out of his mouth, why would anyone else want to associate themselves with it?

    Also, is it just me, or do I see more references to “Mr. Trump” or simply “Trump” than to the more formal “President Trump” or “Mr. President”? It still hurts me a little inside every time I remind myself to add the honorific, but it only seems fair to democracy.

    • The President often, in his bluntness, makes observations and pronouncements that need to be made in a high profile and prominent manner. The news media’s partisan bias is an excellent example. Not only does the news media disseminate false, misleading or deceptive news, it is itself a fake news source, as it cannot be trusted, will not admit its bias, and takes no authentic steps to address the problem.

      Ethics Alarms has been analyzing the problem for many years, and it gets worse every year. Then the foolish journalists tried to make fake news out of fake news, attributing President Trump’s election (and their own candidate’s well-earned loss) to hoax stories, to take the heat off of their own accountability for cynically promoting Trump to undermine the Republican nomination process, then creating a backlash by blatantly backing the Democratic candidate. The was the most spectacular rock-throwing from within a glass house display in memory, and the news media deserves every shard coming their way.

      “If you’re a believer in the “fake news” phenomenon (as in, it’s responsible for all the world’s current evils) then, to you, it appear that the right is simply trying to impugn legitimate reporting by labeling it false.”

      100% false. Here, I impugn biased and false reporting by labeling it false, and when a news source habitually publishes stories tainted and slanted by bias, its legitmate stories are rendered dubious, and also become accessories to make the false stories seem trustworthy.

      And finally, if it’s something our current President is willing to let crawl out of his mouth, why would anyone else want to associate themselves with it?

      Also, is it just me, or do I see more references to “Mr. Trump” or simply “Trump” than to the more formal “President Trump” or “Mr. President”? It still hurts me a little inside every time I remind myself to add the honorific, but it only seems fair to democracy.

      You win the award for self-contradiction in successive paragraphs. Respect the office, but speak of words “crawling out of his mouth.” Nice.

      The Times always calls a President “Mr.” The policy on Ethics Alarms is to call President Trump President Trump.

      • charlesgreen

        No, Jack, sorry, but no.

        There IS A DIFFERENCE between two phenomena, and the intentional hijacking (largely by the President, and by generally right-of-center) of that term is an act of hostility not only to the other side, but to logical discourse in general.

        You run the blog – you pick a name for it. In fact, why don’t you choose which category gets to claim “fake news” and which gets to claim the other term (I favor MXTBZLKWZK).

        Side one: non-credentialed journalists, people whose motives are generally purely financial or anarchistic, and who intentionally try to bury outrageous cases of disinformation in the guise of almost-believable contexts. Examples: Albanian teenagers; popup clickbait that says things like Hillary is pimping out Chelsea to ISIS; and disinformation campaigns by groups like ISIS and the KGB.

        Side two: mainstream (or not-so-mainstream, if you like) media who have a bias, and who occasionally make mistakes (missing busts in the white house, saying “Atlanta” vs. “Orlando”)) due perhaps to that bias. Examples: Your example of NYT headlines.

        By all means, call them both out, but DON’T keep calling them by the same name. That tendency, which you are promoting, is exactly what allows our President to make a mockery of discourse by turning the term into a proper noun and using it to refer to equate NBC to Albanians. That is bombastic propaganda of the worst order, when done by someone in power.

        Please help keep civil discourse by doing what any good lawyer knows to do – start by defining your terms. That prevents what any good propagandist knows to do – hijack the meaning of terms so you confuse and baffle people.

        • If your alternative term is “mistakes,” then you haven’t been taking this seriously. The correct term for what the news media called “fake news” is “hoax news”—that’s what I call it. You have to first acknowledge that the news media intentionally slants what it reports (or chooses not to). Chuck Todd says they are “referees.” Mika B (I’m not going to try spelling that last name again) says the job of the news media is to tell the public “what to think.” These are not just mistakes.

          Give me a fair alternative to “fake news” that includes its sinister nature.

          • I think there is unspoken motive that drives apologists like Chris and Charles on this topic. I think, it’s been internalized, a deep seated need to return to a mainstream media whose overt and unmitigated biases are unquestioned and actually still viewed as balanced. There seems to be a desire to return to the “good ole days” when anything right wing was automatically framed as “a little off” and anything left wing was automatically framed as the baseline from which analysis should launch.

            There really seems to be a psychological dependency on having the field skewed to their favor. I think simply living that way for generations makes it hard to shake that comfort zone.

            The unwillingness to accept just how far the Left Wing Media acts on their bias really is a deeper problem than just a concern over labels.

            • charlesgreen

              “…a psychological dependency on having the field skewed to their favor….a deeper problem than just a concern over labels….a deep seated need to return…a desire to return to the “good ole days”

              Thanks, I needed that bit of psychoanalysis. You just saved me the trouble of paying a shrink to find out the source of my internalized yearning for the past…

              And here I was under the delusion that I was actually making points relevant to articulate discussion. 🙂

              • charlesgreen

                I missed your idea of “hoax news.” That’s a good one, I think.

              • Well charles, I don’t know how else to classify it. The Left wing media is so far gone and it’s so obvious that deniers of such inevitably suffer from some sort of self delusion or they actually approve of the malfeasance. Hanlon’s razor and all.

                If it is a sort of self delusion, we have to work out possible sources of that.

                • charlesgreen

                  So, if I follow you:

                  –The left-wing media is ‘so far gone’
                  –I’m presumably in denial of that ‘fact’
                  –Therefore I’m either self-deluded, or I actually approve of malfeasance.

                  Those are the options – exhaustive and exclusive. Have I got that right?

                  Have you ever met someone whose opinion differed from yours who you did NOT consider to be either deluded or malevolent?

                  Just curious…

                  • Context matters charles, you see the language I used clarified that in this instance, when “it’s so obvious” that the media is this far gone, apologist excuses boil down to two options.

                    Re-read please. As the rest of your request hinges on that misreading, I won’t bother with it.

                  • I think this, Charles. I think good, honest, liberally oriented citizens are loathe to accept the worst. So am I. I think the idea that the press has deteriorated to this extent is frightening and depressing, and I would give almost anything for it not to be true. I don’t think it’s denial. It is human to want to believe the best of one’s ideals and heroes. Believing the worst about the news media means that democracy is in dire peril.

                    • Chris

                      Why not call the Times et al. “false, misleading and biased journalism?” “Fake News,” to me, implies stuff that is just completely made up.

                    • charlesgreen

                      Jack, I have to thank you for raising so forcefully this whole issue of press bias. I do not see it as you do, but you surely have forced me to look more closely and critically, and I respect that you’ve spent more time on it than I have.

                      To that point: can you recommend some studies, reports, analyses, whatever, done by institutions, institutes, universities, whatever, that attempt to look objectively at the issue of press bias? It strikes me as an issue that’s not easy to study objectively.

                      Given that, can you recommend a source with a partisan view on the same subject? I find that even someone with a bias can be very helpful, as long as they don’t mind being upfront about the bias.

                    • Yes, Charles, I will check my sources for the best studies, and link them. And thanks for this comment.

          • I have been toying with the shell of an essay that does categorize the “mistakes” and intentional acts of the media…

          • charlesgreen

            “Give me a fair alternative to “fake news” that includes its sinister nature.’

            A totally fair question. I hope others will offer something. Just spitballing here, but what about:

            Blinded-by-bias
            Suspiciously slanted
            Perniciously positioned
            One-sided
            Unfair and unbalanced
            Predictably biased

            That I think would properly emphasize the bias angle (together with the loaded adjectives), while hopefully still distinguishing it from totally fabricated fictitious events that to me is signified by “fake news.”

      • Son of Maimonides

        “100% false. Here, I impugn biased and false reporting by labeling it false, and when a news source habitually publishes stories tainted and slanted by bias, its legitmate stories are rendered dubious, and also become accessories to make the false stories seem trustworthy.”

        Mr. Marshall, I have no issue with your use of the term in the context you use it. I (and I would assume most who read here) understand your meaning. But, anyone left of center won’t. Owing to all the debate surrounding what counts as “fake news” and how much it affects the public at large, the term has become nothing more than a catch-all pejorative for anything reported that someone takes issue with (either because of factual errors or bias)

        Also, how can the statement be 100% false when I was simply talking about how the term is perceived on the left when uttered by those on the right. Especially since Charles Green said essentially that — the term has been “hijacked.” I’m not arguing that it has or it hasn’t, only that lefties perceive it has, so using it is a non-starter with someone of that mindset.

        “You win the award for self-contradiction in successive paragraphs. Respect the office, but speak of words “crawling out of his mouth.” Nice.”

        I respect the office and the person who fills it, but the President does not speak ex cathedra, and thus his words need not be shown the same respect. Since Eden (and before) bad things have been denoted as “crawling.” Well, our democratically elected President lets many bad things slip through his teeth that aren’t easily defensible (if at all).

        If our President chooses to mock another physically disabled individual or criticize a former POW for “getting caught,” I have no problem describing such filth as “crawling.”

        Also, I was speaking specifically about the PBS Newshour and NPR. No millenials I know read the Times.

        • “If our President chooses to mock another physically disabled individual or criticize a former POW for “getting caught,” I have no problem describing such filth as “crawling.”

          Nor do I.

          • Chris

            To me, it simply doesn’t make sense to use one single term to define all of the following:

            –Bad, faux-Onion satirical sites where the satire isn’t at all clear
            –Intentionally fabricated stories meant to fool the public like “Pizzagate” or “Melania was a prostitute”
            –Mainstream news reports based on anonymous sources where it is pointed out that the claims lack evidence–Trump’s Russia connections
            –Mainstream news reports that use misleading terms, such as saying “immigrants” when only illegal immigrants are effected
            –Reports in overtly biased media such as Breitbart or ThinkProgress that only include one-sided and incomplete facts

            These are all materially different from one another, and require different solutions. I don’t think calling them all “Fake News” helps us to address any of them.

            • charlesgreen

              Well said. The obliteration of distinctions is an enemy of good discourse.

              • It seems that apologists for this phenomenon are desperate for distinctions that alleviate the Left Wing Media of considerable responsibility for it’s contribution to the state of discourse in this country.

                Every argument you offer always seems to try to push the angle that the media has merely “made mistakes” in terms of not doing due diligence in confirming reports or not countering their own biases well enough, etc. But that’s simply not good enough, given how far the media has gone.

                This really doesn’t boil down to the terminology: there’s real news and there’s fake news (though it comes in many flavors). It really boils down to whether what the Left Wing Media does is intentional or accidental. That’s ole Hanlon raising his head again.

                If it’s intentional, it’s fake news. If it’s accidental, it may be forgivable with a “don’t do it again” slap on the wrist.

                Unfortunately, the apologists are hard pressed to continue saying “accidental” given the pure volume and quality of the obviously-biased methodology streaming from the Left Wing Media for decades now.

                In this case Occam’s Razor overrides Hanlon’s, and the only rational conclusion is that the Left Wing Media *intentionally* frames it’s reports and skews it’s reports and outright re-directs national attention to benefit the Left.

                That isn’t real news.

                That is propaganda masquerading as real news.

                And what’s the opposite of real?

            • One needs a special category to describe what the Times does then. The reason why it is becoming noticeably more blatant and, because of a manipulative energy in it, I think that one must look to the farther extremes of Leftism and Hyper-Progressivism to understand what is going on.

              It stems from certain ideological positions which are not necessarily overtly expressed, yet they sideways make their way in. It fits into a larger environment where social coercion is practiced. This is the culture of PC in a nut shell.

              It seems to me that to understand this aspect of ‘ideological coercion’ and the way that it becomes to be more strongly expressed, one can look at the Maoist models: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_reform_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

              I think that one must begin to examine how Chinese and other ‘thought-reform’ systems are structured, and then to begin to understand how they are designed to undermine people’s inner structure through use of emotional levers, guilt, self-blame, the use of overt shaming and the fear of being *exposed*. It becomes dangerous in a social-media type environment. [See Robert Lifton “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing”].

              I would suggest that hyper-progressivism in its strange, present forms, especially when it is backed up with powerful public relations techniques and that psychology, edges slowly over to become a manipulative, insinuating influence. It seems to me that its techniques are not that far away from those of strict propaganda. And the Maoist model, as a way to understand a tendency of social control, can be looked at.

              “A little critical self-examination is in order here, comrade!”

              • charlesgreen

                Alizia,

                How you get from 1950s Maoism and a 1961 book on Chinese communist brainwashing to the NYTimes is entirely missing from your post.

                Care to show some link – any link at all – between the two, other than simply asserting the case? An example? An elucidation? Just how does one get from, say, “Maoist self-criticism” to the Times?

                This kind of statement –

                “It stems from certain ideological positions which are not necessarily overtly expressed, yet they sideways make their way in. It fits into a larger environment where social coercion is practiced. This is the culture of PC in a nut shell”

                –doesn’t cut it as sufficiently critical to make much sense, at least not to me.

                • What I asserted was more judicious. Essentially what I am suggesting is that what the Times is doing, or seems to be doing, is bizarre, questionable, and also dangerous. That it seems to be an expression of an amalgam of ‘progressive’ ideology, righteous assertion, and clear visualization of an ‘enemy’, and this enemy is attacked with furious intensity, sometimes openly with logical criticisms, but then in another form which I could only describe as biting political irony combined with sheer contempt.

                  True, I am suggesting a ‘sociological’ analysis, very hard to prove, and easy to abuse, this I admit. I will tell you that I have been influenced to consider the infiltration model which has been presented by people like Yuri Bezmenov, whose YouTube videos are easy to access. If you have read any of my posts you will know that I have a profound suspicion for the influence of Marxianism and I very strongly notice that in the post-Sixties a certain overall influence can be noticed which, in my present view, is part of a ‘demoralization’ process.

                  I notice that few, and this is so among the Left and the Conservative pseudo-opposition, seem to grasp ‘demoralization’. But I take demoralization as an essential breakdown of the relationship to the Self, and that the Self is constructed through a group of relationships to that which essentially ‘informs a culture’. Its religion, its traditional social policies, its very natural conservatism, and many other factors that can be located and spoken about. The thing that I most notice, or believe that I notice and that should be paid attention to, is a social-engineering process occurring over years and decades, consciously undertaken and (loosely) consciously directed by upper echelons, to break apart and weaken what I can only call social glue and the stuffs of social structure. This is a process of deracination, demoralization, and destruction of the relationship to ‘region’ which corresponds, in my view, to the destruction of the relationship to self. I accept, failry absolutely, that the attack on traditional family and traditional sexual mores, is perhaps the primary area which is attacked. And I also understand feminism, when inflected with Marxian power dynamic, to break down male authority. I see these — family and father to put it bluntly — as the base on which the social structure is built. Destroy or weaken these pillars and a process of ‘taking down the structure’ will occur.

                  I am thinking still about Chris’ bringing up of the question of ‘intentionality’. I wonder: How much is really intended when, if what I say is true, the foundation of a culture is undermined and that culture begins to collapse in on itself? Or, must I consider an unconscious factor? That is, that the break-down and the acidic destruction ‘just sort of happens’ but there is no one, no class, no upper echelon, directing it? To undersstand my position, it must be understood that what I describe is an overall effect, an overall process, and that the present that we live in is a sort of *condition* in which we all live. No one is outside of it. So, the processes that I would notice or desire to talk about, can be noticed both on the Left and on the Right. Its a whole political spectrum which is in disarray and, to me, that means that it is sinking into itself, collapsing.

                  In my won view the New York Times — this is tentative and I do not know how to describe it — seems to correspond to a State Propaganda Organ insofar as one of the ‘deep states’ within the nation stands behind it. It is a ‘deep state’ that is certainly profoundly connected to the understructure of economy, the fantastic war-machine of America, the media-systems, and as well the vast and unparalleled public relations industry. This deep state has its very wealthy figures who we all can name. It is a certain branch of ‘the political establishment’ and is, perhaps, a sort of loose dynasty (?)

                  Most of this is hidden, and at the least it is not really talked about openly. Or if it is it is done so in paranoid terms. I tend to see power in Machiavellian terms and the ‘face’ of the state as a false-image. Because there (seems to me to be) so much falseness, so much distortion and lying, this necessitates the need for elaborate lies and distortions. Each polarized side is involved in this game, of that I have no doubt. But the point is that it is in that sort of environment that deceptive communication techniques become necessary. And the primary area of communication is ‘the media’. If the model that I describe can be considered real then it follows that one cannot, not really, trust the media. And if that is so it can be assumed that the media will of necessity resort to deception and mass-manipulation.

                  And since none of this comes out of a vaccuum, and it has all been done before, I suggest that as the Progressive Branch within the power-system attempts to consolidate itself, and regroup itself, against another, competing power-block, that it can be expected that it will avail itself of the techniques which have proven effective for thought-control, ideological steering, and mass-manipulation.

                  I have no idea what the *cure* for such a situation is. It is a post-classical cultural decay state of affairs. Vast economic powers that do not in any sense care for regional, personal, family and local concerns (that is, the people), a vast and destuctive military power which does not know where exactly to turn or against what to be focussed, and the most sophisticated public relations and ‘social media’ system every devised, and all this in a contentious, tumultuous historical situation of a nation that does not any longer know what it is or what it is to be, is the situation I notice.

                  If the issue here is ‘recovery of the soul’ and the sane recapture and repossession of the soul’s territory of ‘self’ (what other conversation shall we have?), it is about that and toward that that I feel I need to bring my focus. Our present ‘national situation’ is a great deal of noise and fury which does not seem to have much to do with that. But that is essentially my area of concern.

                  So, there you have some background to my view. I did not say the Times is consciously becoming Maoist, but I do believe that it naturally borrows ‘techniques’ perhaps I can say fairly, and these seem to me linked to similar techniques used (successfully) in other hyper-left extremes.

                  • charlesgreen

                    Alizia, with all due respect, I think you’re a little wrapped up in your Foucault, Derrida et al, and the connections are still not being made.

                    You are to a great extent simply describing your own internal mental processes; for example:

                    “I will tell you that I have been influenced to consider the infiltration model of Bezmenov…”,
                    or
                    “To understand my position, it must be understood that what I describe is an overall effect, an overall process, and that the present that we live in is a sort of *condition* in which we all live”
                    or
                    “If the issue here is ‘recovery of the soul’ and the sane recapture and repossession of the soul’s territory of ‘self’ (what other conversation shall we have?), it is about that and toward that that I feel I need to bring my focus.”

                    Sorry, I don’t have enough breadcrumbs to track back to understand your position. I spent a chunk of time back in college learning the language of Hegelian-grounded continental philosophy and phenomenology, and ultimately concluded it was largely a game of Russian dolls, infinite regressions of navel-gazing, leading to a lot of obfuscation and unclarity of thought. Metaphorical language and dialectical logic have their place – but that place is more literature than empirical description.

                    I still do not know how you are positing a connection between Maoism and the New York Times, other than your assertion that you yourself see such a connection. Fine. I don’t. Where does that leave us?

                    May I suggest a corrective dose of David Hume and William James? Or even Aristotle? A bit of plain-spoken sentence structure, please, as opposed to circular formulations like “the present we live in is a condition in which we live.”

                    Sorry to be blunt, but it’s clear you have some talents, and the perspective you bring offers some potential for clarification. Unfortunately, it is also a perspective with a tradition of far more than its share of fuzzy-talkers and infinitely-regressive self-referencers. At least for this reader, I hunger for more direct, traditional symbolic logic and definitions.

                    • I do not mind the criticism so there is no need to worry about offending. I put all critique to use. And I do not offend. Your critique, however, though I do not negate some of the sense of it, reminds me of other critique I have received here: you critique the style, or the language I use, and it also is plain that (to speak generally but accurately) Americans don’t like *theory* so much. (Someone once said that the American approach is “Can the dog hunt?”) But you have avoided with all of that to take seriously what I do suggest, and what is being suggested not only by myself. I would say that what is being suggested 1) opens up into regions that make people uncomfortable for various reasons, and 2) that surely can tend to the *conspiratorial* and the paranoic. This I admit.

                      As you are respectful to me, I return it and respectfully suggest you consider, at least theoretically, that there is some logic to my observations. Toward that I would ask some questions: Do you accept and have you read or researched the critique of ‘Cultural Marxism’? Do you notice, around you or in people who expound their theory, the influence of neo-Marxist ideas? Do you accept that the Marxian project, if applied to cutural criticism, to the family, to religious structures, has as ‘praxis’ the weakening of those social institutions? And do you notice in our present the effect of many years of undermining and the demoralization to which I refer? In your view of things do you notice a destructive, undermining influence that is conducted by Leftists-Marxists and those allied with their side of things?

                      Were you to say some things about this, you would then be responding to the structure of idea that I present, not the external wrappings.

                      Now, I would suppose that seeing these things, or noticing their operation, is not what appears on your radar. You might even negate such influences, maybe regard them as paranoid?

                      You also *make suggestions* about what I need, and really I do not so much mind as suggestions often do help. But you are using that as a strategy to avoid the actual thrust in what I propose which, even if you find my writing obscure or over-written, is still making clear references. You seem to ask me to make a case, to support these suppositions. But really this cannot be done on a blog which is more designed for short comments. It is not set up to expound research projects.

                      I have no time for an no interest in Foucault though I did read an interesting essay by him on parrhesia, and I don’t have much interest in Derrida either, so I am not sure what you mean by this.

                      ‘Parrhesia is borrowed from a Greek word, which means to speak boldly, freely or with bombastic bluntness. It is saying something boldly and freely without leaving any doubt behind’.

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