Comment of the Day: “Breaking Ethics Thoughts: The White House Bars The NYT And Others From Its Press Briefing”

 

pewdiepie-youtubeThis Comment of the Day by repeat awardee Humble Talent was really yesterday’s Comment of the Day #2, but it seems silly to keep the 2 when it is being posted today. See how hard my job is? I should hire an accounting firm to take care of this stuff and make sure it doesn’t get screwed up.

I was aware of the PewDiePie  (that’s him on the left) flap, but not enough to investigate it (name bias on my part), and am grateful to Humble for highlighting the story, and its significance. The news media bias crisis is not going to end well, especially if they and their beneficiaries on the Left continue to deny it. Eventually, most of the public will wake up. My wife just flipped out when a Facebook friend posted, as part of her ongoing attack on the President, that he was undermining an “independent press.” It has to dawn on these semi-ignorant partisans that independence without standards, integrity, competence, objectivity and honesty…in short, ethics…just means “unaccountable.” And, of course, the current mainstream news media isn’t independent by a long shot.

Other than that, it was a perceptive observation.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, Breaking Ethics Thoughts: The White House Bars The NYT And Others From Its Press Briefing:

I was thinking of previous administrations, and the news while I was growing up…. It seems to me, and this might be my ‘member berries in action, but it seems to me that I remember a time where the news was biased, perhaps, but it was a subtle bias, the kind of bias that you’d only notice if you were of a mind to look.

They’d report the facts you see, ostensibly giving enough rope to their targets to skip or swing, and the bias would be in the form of selection, not solicitation.

What is…. or should be… absolutely indefensible about how the media covers Trump is in the pillars of journalistic ethics.

https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Seek The Truth and Report it, Minimise Harm , Act Independently, Be Accountable and Transparent, and Don’t be an Ass.

Alright, I made that last one up, but I bet you could hardly tell. The problem is that the outlets in question don’t even attempt the fig leaf anymore. And this isn’t just unique to Trump…

Think about PewDiePie (Real name Felix Kjarfiybvgpiayrbrpiuyrbga (It’s pronounced Shell-Berg)) (I know many of you will have never heard of him, you’re better off), a young, Swedish YouTube personality that yells a lot while playing video games. The Wall Street Journal found nine… Count ’em… Nine. Instances of him making what they deemed to be anti-Semitic remarks or actions during his (almost decade long) career. Slight problem: More than half of them were completely removed from context, and that context fundamentally changed the nature of the act, and the rest were… Maybe not helped by context, but I think that it’s more indicative of jokes that fell flat than actual antisemitism. Hell one of the 9 bits was him pointing to a group he was interacting with, WSJ took a still of the clip and called it a Nazi salute. Really.

Compounding that: They didn’t ask for comment; they compiled their hit, and immediately went to two of Felix’s partners: Disney and YouTube and attempted to sewer his cash flow. The short story is that it worked, Disney dropped him like an anvil and YouTube cancelled his YouTube Red show “Scare PewDiePie”. Not exactly great losses to culture, but casualties of the culture war nonetheless. Felix took to his platform (which is more watched that most of the MSM together, with 53,000,000 subscribers and about 5,000,000 views each on the clips he makes, which he releases at about the rate of two per day.), explained himself, showed some of the context for his clips, literally flipped off the camera and said ‘come at me bro’.

To which…. A whole lot of other people did. Wired was probably the most egregious, releasing the headline “PewDiePie was Always Kinda Racist – but Now He’s a Hero to Nazis.” Subtle, right? They eventually changed that headline to PewDiePie’s Fall Shows The Limits of “LOL JK”. Which is both ironic.. and irrelevant, the internet, like Pepperidge Farm, remembers.

To Recap: WSJ actively attempted to distort facts to their narrative, they actively tried to Maximise harm, Independence isn’t really an issue unless you count traditional media circling the wagons in an undignified circle jerk, no one was accountable, and they were asses.

Perhaps not exactly material we’re all familiar with, but I can’t think of a better example from 2017 of the media soiling itself.

 

16 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture

16 responses to “Comment of the Day: “Breaking Ethics Thoughts: The White House Bars The NYT And Others From Its Press Briefing”

  1. Glad to hear it. What if we MAGA and the media n
    ever reports it?

  2. RomanBWitkowsky

    The other side of the story. Additionally, I refuse to enter into any discussions concerning the media should responses arise. The article, as well as numerous public media defenders, do a much better job than I ever can. Also, I simply do not have adequate time to devote to this controversy. I do, however, appreciate and will read any comments that are posted.
    Don’t Dismiss President Trump’s Attacks on the Media as Mere Stupidity Bret Stephens 18Feb2017
    Bret Stephens writes the foreign-affairs column of the Wall Street Journal, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
    http://time.com/4675860/donald-trump-fake-news-attacks/

    • Alex

      [Since I just got off work, let’s have some fun]
      >The other side of the story
      This will be good…
      >Additionally, I refuse to enter into any discussions concerning the media should responses arise.
      Translated as “I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse me with facts”
      >The article, as well as numerous public media defenders, do a much better job than I ever can.
      You’re underselling yourself; they’ve done such a horrible job that a monkey with a typewriter can probably do a better one.
      >Also, I simply do not have adequate time to devote to this controversy.
      I recommend using that limited time to educate yourself on the controversy instead of posting drive-by comments.
      >I do, however, appreciate and will read any comments that are posted.
      You’re welcome!
      >Don’t Dismiss President Trump’s Attacks on the Media as Mere Stupidity Bret Stephens 18Feb2017
      > Bret Stephens writes the foreign-affairs column of the Wall Street Journal, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. http://time.com/4675860/donald-trump-fake-news-attacks/
      It’s Time: https://ethicsalarms.com/tag/time-magazine/

      • Wait wait wait…. Did you really just reply to a case study in journalistic corruption, incompetence and malice on the part of the WSJ…. With an article written by an editor from the WSJ who has the unmitigated gall to write this:

        “When you work at The Wall Street Journal, the coins of the realm are truth and trust — the latter flowing exclusively from the former. When you read a story in the Journal, you do so with the assurance that immense reportorial and editorial effort has been expended to ensure that what you read is factual.”

        I read the article. It’s like scum-ception. If Bret Stephens was so concerned about the image of the press and its long term viability, then maybe he should suggest to his peers that they cease shitting where they eat.

    • Junkmailfolder

      Agreed with Alex. Why spend any significant time responding to a drive by?

      Regardless, I read the whole thing. It says a lot of good stuff, but the whole time I read it I was thinking that if, in 2002, a partner from Arthur Andersen had passionately written an op-ed defending the need for auditors in our society, it would have come across the same way:
      “You can’t shut down Arthur Andersen! We do an invaluable service to the American people! ”

      Do your job the way it should be done, Stephens, and the majority of Americans would write off Trump’s attacks as silly and stupid. Those attacks are only dangerous because they seem true.

  3. Michael Ejercito

    I have heard calls for soecial prosecutirs to investigatw ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

    I say, not until we have a special prosecutor to investigate ties between the mainstream media and the Democratic Party!

  4. Greg

    As Humble Talent says, the bias in the old days was subtle. I remember my grandfather many years ago watching Walter Cronkite and ranting about the obvious bias against Republicans: “Look, there he goes again! You see what he’s doing? He’s arching his eyebrow like that the same way he always does when he wants to tell you that Nixon is lying!”

    There’s no comparison at all between Walter Cronkite’s skeptical arched eyebrow then and the screeching, ranting hatred that the media direct against Trump now. In their hearts, the media may have hated Nixon, but they believed in professional standards that they must uphold. (And to some extent they were constrained by the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine.)

  5. Thanks, Jack.

    I nested this below the original comment, but it bears repeating:

    What’s worse, is that Felix’s audience is young and informed on the topic of Felix, if nothing else. 53 million young people instinctively knew that the WSJ was full of shit from the get go, but the WSJ released this anyway.

    Why is that bad? Because WSJ just shot itself in the foot when it comes to the next generation of intended viewers, and they either didn’t realise it because they’re so bubbled they don’t understand how the internet works, or they did not care, and this was a Kamikaze move for clicks.

    • Great point: trust can be lost that easily. I remember the exact moment when I decided Bill Clinton couldn’t be trusted. It was an event celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, and Bill said, “If Jefferson was alive today, he’d be shocked that we don’t have government health care.” Jefferson, the small government advocate, would be in favor of government health care? Clinton is named after Jefferson: he knew it was outrageous bullshit, but depended on the public’s ignorance and the media’s laziness. And it was a completely gratuitous lie.

      • Michael Ejercito

        This begs the question of whether Jefferson would be shocked by the Veterans’ Administration.

      • Chris

        After Googling a bit, I found that Jefferson did support government-run healthcare for sailors. I see some writers using that to argue that Jefferson would support government-run healthcare for all, which…is a stretch.

        That said, you can find quotes from the Founders to support just about anything. I don’t know if Jefferson would support or oppose government-run healthcare, and neither does Clinton.

        • Calling what Jefferson supported for sailors “government health care” is really a stretch; and saying that what any advocate wants for a very specific portion of the population he must also want for the rest of society is logically indefensible. Jefferson’s political philosophy was consistently to advocate as small and narrow-focused a government as possible. national healthcare is not under any stretch consistent with that, and Clinton knew it…and said the opposite anyway. It’s especially ridiculous when one looks at the healthcare plan Hillary offered, which included the government dictating what are of practice a student could study. Now there’s “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for you.

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