Double Standards, Hypocrisy, News Media Bias, “Bias Makes You Stupid” And Cognitive Dissonance—This One Has Them All! Thanks, Ben Carson!

Here come some dreamy immigrants, longing to be free!

HUD Secretary Ben Carson is, as we learned last year, an idiot, or perhaps and idiot savant. He’s also a Republican and currently in the Trump Administration. Clearly, anything he says is likely to be  ridiculous, and probably offensive. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you! He is also idolized by journalists—he sends a thrill up Chris Matthews’ leg!—, and, indeed in part because he is a Democrat and a liberal. Obama is also, of course, worshiped by blacks, intellectuals and progressives. Carson is black too,  but he is a Republican and a conservative, so the black thing is cancelled out.

Now, what happens when Carson and Obama say exactly the same thing?

While speaking to a group of employees at his department on Monday, Carson said:

“There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less, but they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

What an idiot! “Immigrants?” mocked the NAACP. The Washington Post, New York Times, the Hill, Politico, and others headlined Carson’s comments, so bizarre, stupid and insensitive were they. Listen to this dummy! And Trump appointed him as a Department head! “Ben You’re A Fool! Slaves were not Immigrants! headlined the Miami Herald.

Now, a while back, when the brilliant, progressive, President Barack Obama ,said this about slave ships:

We say it so often, we sometimes forget what it means — we are a nation of immigrants. Unless you are one of the first Americans, a Native American, we are all descended from folks who came from someplace else — whether they arrived on the Mayflower or on a slave ship, whether they came through Ellis Island or crossed the Rio Grande.

Or this :

I want a confident America where, yes, everybody makes sacrifices, but nobody bears all the burden, and we live up to the idea that no matter who we are, no matter what we look like, no matter whether our ancestors landed on Ellis Island or came here on a slave ship or crossed the Rio Grande, we are all connected to one another.  We rise and fall together.

And especially this:

It wasn’t always easy for new immigrants.  Certainly it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.  There was discrimination and hardship and poverty.  But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them.  And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more.

…nobody criticized. Nobody was offended. Nobody claimed that it proved how stupid and clueless Obama is. It didn’t make headlines.  The Miami Herald didn’t call Obama a fool.

How does one explain that?

Easy:

1.  A total double standard

2. Hypocrisy.

3. Crippling partisanship.

4. Lack of self-awareness.

5 A void of integrity and fairness.

6. Cognitive dissonance on steroids.

Further observations:

  • How can the public trust the judgment, honesty and analysis of anyone that ridiculously biased?

It can’t.

  • At a certain point, which I think has been reached and passed, isn’t it fair to be resentful and furious at officials, organizations and journalists who can repeatedly display such a screaming double standard, and never stop to think, “Wait! This is wrong!”?

Hasn’t that point  been reached and passed?

  • If you are not angry at this, what’s the matter with you? In fact, what the HELL is the matter with you?

If you are still shaking your head and humming and have your fingers in your ears saying “There’s no double standard! No bias! NONONONONO!!”, at what point are you deserving of distrust and resentment?

  • How can intelligent debate and civic discourse exists when one leader is condemned for the exact same statements that another leader can make with impunity?

Again: It can’t.

  • If you mock the conservative media, you are a fool. The conservative media, not being blinded and rendered stone-stupid by left-wing bias, had the wit and industry to track down those quotes by Obama. Without the conservative media, we would have no antidote to the indoctrination and lies.

And that is exactly what the mockery of Ben Carson was, making the false assertion that he wasn’t “normal” by comparing slaves to immigrants.

  • Did I fail to mention that calling slaves immigrants is, in fact, idiotic? Someone who is kidnapped and forced to stay in a foreign land isn’t an immigrant. It was a stupid thing for Carson to say, but no more stupid, and less damaging, for a Secretary of HUD to say it than a President, who said it repeatedly. A competent press and punditry would have said something the first time it was said. A truly non-partisan NAACP would have had the integrity to mock Barack Obama.

155 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Quotes, Race

155 responses to “Double Standards, Hypocrisy, News Media Bias, “Bias Makes You Stupid” And Cognitive Dissonance—This One Has Them All! Thanks, Ben Carson!

  1. Jack,
    You are a top notch, A Numbero Uno, Perfection Class blogger.

    This blog is solid!

  2. Off the topic of the unashamed and intentional bias of the left wing media, but on the topic of race, I present a shameless plug of an interesting conversation between Libertarian Kmele Foster and Drs. Henry Louis Gates and George Yancy.

    http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/87419?el=1&refid=stpr&wmode=opaque

    Though Kmele doesn’t strike me as assertive as I think he thinks he was, it was an interesting discussion.

  3. Michael Ejercito

    Nothing undermines standards much more than double standards.

    Would a President Donald Trump be possible without his opponents having double standards?

    • Michael Ejercito asked, “Would a President Donald Trump be possible without his opponents having double standards?”

      I’ve heard it said more than once that the left is “responsible” for Trump, their tactics in the last 25 years has made Trump possible.

      • Don’t forget the “Pied Piper memo” from the Clinton campaign to the DNC. They’re not just responsible for Trump in a general sort of way, they laid the groundwork to move him toward the Republican nomination.

      • Rusty Rebar

        Some might dare say inevitable. Not only would Trump not have been possible without this lunacy, but it assured a Trump like figure would emerge.

  4. Earlier someone lamented a increased conservatism of the blog. I could only agree with this insofar as the traditional gallery of liberals has gotten quieter. The posts, though focused increasingly on unethical conduct from the left, all cover that unethical conduct in an unbiased manner.

    I think there are several factors that have led to this sort-of anomie from the left-wing residents of this blog.

    1) There was a real, tangible hope that a Hillary victory would have sealed the deal for what could be characterized as an “Obaman Revolution”

    2) There was also a real hope that, since that didn’t happen, at least we could have an ethics focus on the unethical conduct of the Trump administration, since it makes sense that most political coverage would focus on the political party in power.

    3) But that didn’t happen, because in a great show of self-outdoing, the Left is actually engaging in far more Republic-damaging conduct and unethical behavior that the Trump administration is.

    Which circles back around to this post-

    It’s hard not to continue focusing on the Left wing meltdown – that really is a greater danger to the Republic than Trump is, and that is saying alot as Trump is in no way a good thing for the Republic.

    • Chris

      3) But that didn’t happen, because in a great show of self-outdoing, the Left is actually engaging in far more Republic-damaging conduct and unethical behavior that the Trump administration is.

      The Trump administration has just invented, from whole cloth, the claim that the former president wiretapped his office. They stated this as fact, then called for an investigation.

      So, no, the Left is not actually engaging in more Republic-damaging conduct and unethical behavior than the Trump administration.

      • And true to form, Trump says something ambiguous, silly, bombastic and with just a shred of truth to it, as we know he is prone to do. And true to form, ardent Right wingers scream “Unquestionable Truth!” and ardent Left-wingers (including you) scream “Unquestionable Lie!”

        And neither end wants to actually discuss what’s gone on, what’s going on, and the dangerous precedence and powers granted the government during the previous administration and now in the hands of this one.

        But by all means, spin up over this.

        Never mind Trump’s inanities that any mature observer sees through and can have a discussion about real meaty issues.

        No, this wild accusation still doesn’t rise to danger of the Left continuing to undermine the stability of the system and sanctity of process and faith in our institutions both Governmental and Media. There’s a quantity and a quality to the Left’s derangement that far surpasses Trump’s, even with him in the hot seat.

        • What’s really concerning, is Trump could get away with murder, but we wouldn’t know, because the Left would instead be focusing on a birthday cake he bought that looks like it may have been decorated by someone from Russia.

          • And even scarier than that, the Left could report on the murder and not a single breathing or thinking human would pay attention because the Left has completely soiled its own credibility worse than a baby’s diaper.

        • I mean, full disclosure: I’m moderately concerned over this wire-tapping accusation, both over it’s possibility and over the slightly ridiculous nature of the accusation. But that concern is only because I’m fighting to stay concerned. As soon as I heard Left wingers pop off about it, it became a burden to try to care, because that’s how bad cognitive dissonance has gotten.

          • Chris

            There’s a lot to unpack in these four comments, tex.

            And true to form, Trump says something ambiguous, silly, bombastic and with just a shred of truth to it, as we know he is prone to do.

            There was nothing “ambiguous” about Trump’s accusation. Here are his tweets on the subject:

            You are right that it is silly and bombastic, but it is not at all ambiguous. The president stated, as “fact,” that the former president wiretapped his phone.

            That is a big deal.

            Never mind Trump’s inanities that any mature observer sees through and can have a discussion about real meaty issues.

            I don’t know what this means. “The president says crazy stuff that isn’t true all the time, so we shouldn’t care about it?” Is that what that means? Because I’ve got to tell you, that is incredibly depressing.

            What’s really concerning, is Trump could get away with murder, but we wouldn’t know, because the Left would instead be focusing on a birthday cake he bought that looks like it may have been decorated by someone from Russia.

            Except that the president baselessly accusing the former president of wiretapping him is closer to the “murder” end of the scale than the “Russian birthday cake” end. This isn’t some irrelevancy or quirk, like the way he orders his steak. This is a serious accusation. It matters. The president should not and cannot simply make up allegations of criminal activity against his political enemies.

            If you think this doesn’t matter, the person letting Trump “get away with” things he shouldn’t get away with is you.

            If Trump commits murder, I’m fairly certain the Left will focus on that.

            And even scarier than that, the Left could report on the murder and not a single breathing or thinking human would pay attention because the Left has completely soiled its own credibility worse than a baby’s diaper.

            This honestly sounds like what someone would say if they were stuck in an echo chamber. People ARE listening. People ARE paying attention. Trump’s approval rating is still in the toilet. The people do not trust him. What evidence is there that Americans en masses aren’t paying attention to the Left’s allegations against him?

            I mean, full disclosure: I’m moderately concerned over this wire-tapping accusation, both over it’s possibility and over the slightly ridiculous nature of the accusation. But that concern is only because I’m fighting to stay concerned. As soon as I heard Left wingers pop off about it, it became a burden to try to care, because that’s how bad cognitive dissonance has gotten.

            I get this. I dismissed many allegations against Obama that I later had to own up to, because they were made primarily by right-wing media outlets that I believed had no credibility. This is a feature of bias, and I had to fight to overcome it. This blog helped. Keep fighting to stay concerned.

            • Margie

              Chris: “I get this. I dismissed many allegations against Obama that I later had to own up to, because they were made primarily by right-wing media outlets that I believed had no credibility. This is a feature of bias, and I had to fight to overcome it. This blog helped.”

              I rarely agree with you, but that doesn’t matter. Kudos for this accomplishment. It’s impossible to even try and know what’s true without knowing that each side slants its news by what they fail to report, more than by what they choose to report and simultaneously frame according to their own ideology. If you give credence to one side and shun/dismiss the other, you will never have a chance to know the whole story, or be able to sort the facts from the spin.

            • Joe Fowler

              Perhaps there might be one more allegation that will turn out to be true that you’re now dismissing.
              “It is now reported that the Obama administration during the campaign went to a FISA court to tap the communications of Trump-campaign officials and unofficial supporters. FISA applications are almost never rejected (and never leaked), but the court rebuffed this one in June 2016, ostensibly for insufficient cause. Ostensibly it is also unprecedented for a sitting president’s administration to order surveillance of campaign personnel of an opposite party before an upcoming election — a fact suggesting that Obama-administration officials may have assumed that a grateful shoo-in successor Clinton Justice Department would not worry greatly about such interference. News reports further suggested that a frustrated Obama administration may have tried again as the campaign heated up in October 2016, may have found a more sympathetic judge, and may on the second try have begun widely tapping Trump-campaign officials.”

              Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445548/democrats-unintended-consequences-media-collusion-partisan-overreach

              The allegations may be untrue, or partially true, or maybe just really bad optics. But I think we’re past baseless.

              • fattymoon

                Who knows anything? Not me. Just for fun, here’s another take on the wiretap accusation. https://twitter.com/i/moments/838171853101367296

                • Joe Fowler

                  So FM…Justin Hendrix of NYC Media Lab thinks the Trump campaign was wiretapped…and it probably proves some Russian stuff…and it wasn’t illegal…and Republicans support wiretapping…and Obama didn’t actually install the bugs.. and Trump is a liar…so there. ?

                  • fattymoon

                    Didn’t say I believe it, Joe. I don’t believe much of anything these days (except we got an internal war going on and it’s just liable to flame out of control).

            • Tippy Scales

              Chris, the problem isn’t that you shouldn’t care when Trump makes such an accusation. The problem is, the left has melted down over every little thing, including inconsequential crap like Kellyann Conway tucking her legs onto a goddamn couch — or, as is the topic of this very thread, fake, hypocritical outrage over something Ben Carson said — by the time the left have legitimate concerns, people are tired of hearing them whine.

              Ronald Reagan was Hitler. GHWB was Hitler. George W. Bush was Hitler. Christ, even Mitt Romney was Hitler.

              If everybody’s Hitler, then Hitler won’t be Hitler when Hitler comes along.

              Don’t they teach the story of the “Boy that Cried Wolf” in school anymore? Or is that too offensive to kids who may have a “Furry” fetish?

              • Chris

                You’re making generalizations you can’t support. I remember people on the right “melting down” because Obama saluted while holding a coffee cup. I remember the invented story of him removing the Winston Churchill bust. I remember birtherism. The Left didn’t invent fake controversies, and the fact that some on the Left have fallen for them since Trump’s election doesn’t invalidate serious criticism.

                I maintain that I see no evidence that “people” in general are tired of the criticism of Trump. Some are, but Americans as a whole still have an overall negative impression of Trump, which doesn’t indicate to me that we need to stop criticizing him.

                • Hey, you’re right, the coffee cup salute was… well it annoyed me, but it got a whole lot more legs than it probably should have. What was the hissy fit every second day after for a month?

                  Scale. Matters. Finding a single example in a relative vacuum doesn’t prove anything, the left has gone insane since the inauguration, their reaction not materially changing despite the scope of Trumpian behaviour ranging from the inaugural cake, Conway’s sitting habits, or his well done and *barf* ketchup steaks to less frivolous but still irrelevant things like the EPA’s Twitter account… Or basically anything else he’s Tweeted about, to moderately serious, but arguable positive things he’s done… Like cancelling the TPP or asserting pressure to maintain American jobs, to actual, serious things like his ham-fisted travel ban.

                  “How do you know a Democrat is Offended?”

                  “He’s Breathing”

                  “Did you just assume his gender, fuckface?”

            • “You are right that it is silly and bombastic, but it is not at all ambiguous. The president stated, as “fact,” that the former president wiretapped his phone.

              That is a big deal.”

              Can you explain to me why? What policies do they effect? What people does it effect? What does this series of Tweets actually do, that so offends you?

              Part of the problem, and we touched on this yesterday, is that the left has lost their ability to signal legitimate displeasure, treating Trump breathing through his mouth or eating his steak well done with *shudder* ketchup with all the gravity and seriousness as real policy and executive orders, like the Muslim ban or the repeal of Obama era policies.

              I just don’t care about this. And neither should you. It’s noise.

            • So much in this comment…

              “The president should not and cannot simply make up allegations of criminal activity against his political enemies.”

              This is… hypocritical. You need to re-evaluate. The difference between an accusation of criminal activity is materially indistinguishable from any other smear, like… for instance… that of bigotry. I’d bet you that no individual currently alive has been more lied about, more accused of criminal activity, more slandered in media than Donald Trump. His being a president means that ideally he SHOULD rise above this, but I’d have a really hard time ranking this on the top 10 of things I give a shit about.

              “People ARE listening. People ARE paying attention. Trump’s approval rating is still in the toilet. The people do not trust him. What evidence is there that Americans en masses aren’t paying attention to the Left’s allegations against him?”

              Because… He was… Elected? Look, Chris…. His negative numbers? Not new. They’re the lowest approval ratings for an incoming POTUS in recorded history. Worse than Hillary’s. He still won. This reads like that woman on CNN that attributed the court victories on anti-Trump protests…. It’s just not true, the judiciary isn’t swung like that. Things are happening, and the correlation between them and the apoplectic hissy fits of mewling millennials isn’t what’s causing them.

              • Chris

                Can you explain to me why?

                *head explodes*

                This might help, HT–imagine if Clinton did it.

                The notion that this president’s words matter less than every other president’s in history is ridiculous.

                What policies do they effect? What people does it effect? What does this series of Tweets actually do, that so offends you?

                Did you miss the part where the Trump administration has called for a congressional investigation into this baseless charge? You realize that that takes time and money, right?

                Part of the problem, and we touched on this yesterday, is that the left has lost their ability to signal legitimate displeasure, treating Trump breathing through his mouth or eating his steak well done with *shudder* ketchup with all the gravity and seriousness as real policy and executive orders, like the Muslim ban or the repeal of Obama era policies.

                As I explained to you, the steak thing was a joke. Accusing his predecessor of a crime is serious.

                his is… hypocritical. You need to re-evaluate. The difference between an accusation of criminal activity is materially indistinguishable from any other smear, like… for instance… that of bigotry.

                You’re kidding. You can’t seriously think that the head of our nation accusing the former head of our nation of criminal activity is no different from someone on Twitter calling Trump a racist.

                Can you?

                Because… He was… Elected? Look, Chris…. His negative numbers? Not new. They’re the lowest approval ratings for an incoming POTUS in recorded history. Worse than Hillary’s. He still won.

                The election is over.

                This reads like that woman on CNN that attributed the court victories on anti-Trump protests…. It’s just not true, the judiciary isn’t swung like that.

                The immediacy of reversals absolutely was a result of the immediacy of the outrage against the ban. Courts rarely halt laws only a few days after they are enacted.

                Things are happening, and the correlation between them and the apoplectic hissy fits of mewling millennials isn’t what’s causing them.

                The original claim was that the left’s outrage is harming our efforts. Until someone can show me that Trump’s approval rating is rising as a result of the left’s protests, that claim remains baseless.

                • “Can you explain to me why? What policies do they effect? What people does it effect? What does this series of Tweets actually do, that so offends you?”

                  *head explodes*

                  Well argued, sir. But to your point: Imagine if Clinton what? Tweeted baseless accusations at her opponent? Like… she did? Guess what I didn’t do then either?

                  “Did you miss the part where the Trump administration has called for a congressional investigation into this baseless charge? You realise that that takes time and money, right?”

                  The idea that the left suddenly cares about “time” or “money” is amusing to me. But to the point… I think it’s a mistake, I think it’s unnecessary, I’d prefer he not do it. But I’m going to save my outrage for when he actually does something that matters. Will-Power!

                  “You’re kidding. You can’t seriously think that the head of our nation accusing the former head of our nation of criminal activity is no different from someone on Twitter calling Trump a racist.”

                  My point here, which you conveniently ignored was that the fact that this accusation was ‘criminal’ is unimportant. The fact that Trump lied on something that could have legal consequences is not more important than a lie lacking legal consequences, because the lie does not convict. Does it have political repercussions? Sure… Just like any other lie.

                  Once you realise that, your comparison is… Not… the same…. No, but not so great a difference I think you want to make of it. And who brought up faceless trolls on Twitter? In conversations like this, I find it unproductive to try to discuss using the lowest common denominator. Are you saying you can’t think of a time when Obama or Clinton lied about Trump?

                  “The election is over.”

                  And you. Learned. Nothing.

                  “Courts rarely halt laws only a few days after they are enacted.”

                  Bullshit. Ignorant bullshit. You don’t know this. The kind of motion used is DESIGNED to be fast, so as to minimise harm. But thank you, for completely proving my point.

                  • Chris

                    Well argued, sir. But to your point: Imagine if Clinton what? Tweeted baseless accusations at her opponent? Like… she did? Guess what I didn’t do then either?

                    Please show me where HRC accused Trump of a crime.

                    Your insistence that accusing someone of a crime is no different from accusing them of being a bigot is absurd. If I say you are a bigot, that is a matter of personal opinion. If I say that you molest children, that is libel.

                    But let’s go back to your point that this accusation doesn’t matter.

                    I can point to several instances where Jack criticized President Obama for criticizing private citizens. When he called the police officer who arrested Henry Louis Gates, “stupid,” Jack expressed outrage, and argued that this kind of interference in a police matter was completely inappropriate. He has also linked this, as well as Obama’s comments about Trayvon Martin and other similar issues, to the growing racial division in America.

                    I agree that these remarks were inappropriate. Some lefties said they were positive, and helped shine a light on unfair treatment of African-Americans. But what me, Jack, and the people who cheered on these comments from Obama all have in common is that we all recognize that they mattered.

                    Trump has gone much farther than Obama did in either case, explicitly targeting a private citizen with allegations that he engaged in criminal behavior. He declared guilt. And now…all of a sudden…that doesn’t matter. That doesn’t have any impact on our society. That’s not worth getting outraged about.

                    So…what’s happened in between these incidents?

                    What’s happened is that we now have a president who is considered so inept at his job, that even the people defending him have to argue that his words cannot be taken seriously. That what he says doesn’t matter. That even when he accuses the former president of a crime, we shouldn’t get upset.

                    That’s your defense.

                    That’s how much the office of the presidency has already been lowered.

                    Don’t tell me this doesn’t matter.

                    • Is there someone on this forum defending Trump?

                    • Chris

                      Defending Trump from a particular type of criticism, yes.

                      Now, it’s sometimes fair to defend Trump from criticism that is outrageous, hysterical, or disproportionate. Criticizing him for the way he likes his steak, for instance, is idiotic.

                      But Humble Talent is arguing that my criticism of Trump for tweeting out baseless criminal allegations against the former president is outrageous, hysterical, and disproportionate.

                      That’s just not reasonable. And it makes the general stance of “Man, leftists will criticize Trump for just about anything” seem less tenable when even legitimate and necessary criticism is treated as on the same plane as hysteria and fauxtrage:

                      “Lefties, why can’t you wait until Trump actually does something really bad before attacking him?”

                      “He just baselessly accused the former president of wiretapping him.”

                      “That? That’s nothing!”

                    • “Please show me where HRC accused Trump of a crime.”

                      Can’t. Doesn’t matter. Not what I said.

                      “Your insistence that accusing someone of a crime is no different from accusing them of being a bigot is absurd. If I say you are a bigot, that is a matter of personal opinion. If I say that you molest children, that is libel.”

                      Except that’s not really how it works. You need to stop making legal arguments from ignorance. If that was how it worked, Hillary would have been charged with libel in 2008 when she said that Obama was threatening to bomb Pakistan, for instance.

                      “Trump has gone much farther than Obama did in either case, explicitly targeting a private citizen with allegations that he engaged in criminal behavior.”

                      Did you really just refer to Barack Obama as a private citizen and then lump him into the same category as Henry Louis Gates and George Zimmerman? Piss off. People will call him “Mr. President” until the day he dies. He’s NOT a private citizen.

                      “That’s how much the office of the presidency has already been lowered.”

                      It’s fucking adorable after eight years of Obama, the left has suddenly developed standards for presidential behaviour. I’m NOT defending Trump, I’m saying that effective opposition to Trump will require more discernment on the level of stimulus to react to than “his mouth is moving’. What he said about the Khan family was atrocious, what he said about Gonzalo Curiel was monumentally stupid, and his mockery of Serge Kovaleski should have been disqualifying. But they weren’t and here we are.

                      In the meantime, here’s a clip of Obama acting presidentially.

                    • Chris

                      Doesn’t matter.

                      You can keep insisting that it doesn’t matter when someone accuses someone else of a crime, but that doesn’t make it so.

                      Except that’s not really how it works. You need to stop making legal arguments from ignorance. If that was how it worked, Hillary would have been charged with libel in 2008 when she said that Obama was threatening to bomb Pakistan, for instance.

                      That’s not a crime, and a politician lying about an opponent’s positions is done so often that if a libel charge came with it every time, we’d have no more politicians.

                      But the president baselessly accusing the former president of a crime is something new.

                      I admit I don’t know if Trump could be charged for libel for this particular false accusation, since Obama is a public figure. Anyone more knowledgable want to chime in?

                      Did you really just refer to Barack Obama as a private citizen and then lump him into the same category as Henry Louis Gates and George Zimmerman? Piss off. People will call him “Mr. President” until the day he dies. He’s NOT a private citizen.

                      Fair. I don’t think that changes the ethics questions here, though. Jack said that Obama’s comments in these matters had a huge effect, not just on the men involved, but on our society as a whole. I agreed. Even those that thought Obama was right still acknowledged his words had a powerful effect–they just thought it was a positive one.

                      Why don’t President Trump’s words carry the same weight? And if they don’t, isn’t that something to worry about too?

                      It’s fucking adorable after eight years of Obama, the left has suddenly developed standards for presidential behaviour. I’m NOT defending Trump,

                      You are, by definition. You are defending Trump from what you see as unfair attacks. That is basically all the conservatives here do anymore, even when the attacks are perfectly fair.

                      I’m saying that effective opposition to Trump will require more discernment on the level of stimulus to react to than “his mouth is moving’.

                      And I’m saying that “he is baselessly accusing the former president of a crime” is a lot more worthy of critique than “his mouth is moving.” I can’t even believe we’re having a debate about whether or not this is something to oppose him on.

                      In the meantime, here’s a clip of Obama acting presidentially.

                      Not even remotely comparable.

          • But but but… the MSM themselves said they were getting information via leaked wiretapping, even printing supposed transcripts of Trump’s conversations. That is part of the record.

            So they lied then, and ginned up a false narrative, or they are lying now, to gin up a false narrative.

      • Chris wrote, “The Trump administration has just invented, from whole cloth, the claim that the former president wiretapped his office.”

        Chris should post the actual evidence that proves his claim.

        • That should have read…

          Chris should post the actual evidence that proves his trolling deflection.

        • Chris

          Why do you hold me to a higher standard than the President of the United States?

          • Spartan

            [slow clap]

          • Stupid question, despite Spart’s enjoyment. It assumes that we hold you to a higher standard of proof. We don’t. No one believed Trump uncritically when he said that he was tapped. It’s absurd. If he wants to be believed, he needs to supply evidence. There’s a difference between not believing Trump, and getting mouth-frothingly outraged over a Tweet.

            • Spartan

              I wish I could foam at the mouth, but I’m too paralyzed with fear to do so, because either our President is deranged or he is deliberately peddling lies for his greater gain.

              But sure, let’s keep talking about media bias. That’s a good use of our time. (And, for the record, I remember Obama making that “immigrant” quote, and he was criticized — and least in my circles — for doing so.)

              • Spartan wrote, “…our President is deranged or he is deliberately peddling lies…”

                Please present evidence to support either one of those possible claims and while your at it, please present your credentials that justify your experience in identifying deranged individuals.

                Thanks

                • Spartan

                  Much like pornography, I know it when I see it.

                  • Spartan said, “Much like pornography, I know it when I see it.”

                    Much like bull shit, I know it when I see it.

                    • Spartan

                      Nope. You need to cite your credentials Zoltar.

                    • Spartan wrote, “Nope. You need to cite your credentials Zoltar.”

                      You should refrain from drinking moonshine for your morning break. 😉

                    • Spartan

                      Zoltar, do you see how your method of communicating is ineffective? It’s why I don’t want to engage with you.

                      I disagree with many people here, Tex, Humble, Other Bill, etc. — but my commentary with them doesn’t revolve around changing insults and generally challenging each other’s intelligence. That is because we accept — and appreciate — that we are, in fact, intelligent. We just happen to disagree on certain issues.

                      Your level of discourse here has reached the trolling point. But, crap, I shouldn’t have said that — you see, I don’t have a B.A. in Identifying Internet Trolls, so I guess I shouldn’t make that (otherwise obvious) observation.

                    • Identifying Internet Trolls is a Masters program, fyi.

                    • Spartan wrote, “Zoltar, do you see how your method of communicating is ineffective? It’s why I don’t want to engage with you.”, “Your level of discourse here has reached the trolling point.”

                      Let’s look at the last four of my “ineffective” methods of communicating with you; “You should be more careful what you choose to applaud”, “Please present evidence to support either one of those possible claims and while your at it, please present your credentials that justify your experience in identifying deranged individuals.”, “Much like bull shit, I know it when I see it.”, “You should refrain from drinking moonshine for your morning break. ;)”

                      Wow, those methods of communicating with you “clearly” are reaching the level of trolling. Thanks for that insight Spartan.

                      Chris is a troll; try not to compare my communications with him with communications with you unless you really want to put yourself in the same category of communicating like Chris.

                    • Chris

                      I feel like the word “troll” is being defined in a way I do not understand. Zoltar has called me a troll. Spartan said Zoltar’s rhetoric has reached the trolling point.

                      I don’t see it. I think we all just have very different styles of communication. Zoltar wants evidence for everything, and as far as I can see, he is applying that fairly–he asked slickwilly for the same thing. I earlier questioned why he didn’t ask this of Trump, but I think the general policy on this blog is that nothing Trump says can be taken seriously. I asked why Zoltar held me to a higher standard than POTUS, but actually, I think we all hold each other to a higher standard than Trump here.

                      Can anyone here imagine someone with Trump’s writing style not being banned within a few days from Ethics Alarms?

                      I think we should continue to hold each other to high standards, but the personal attacks and accusations of bad faith need to stop. There are no trolls here–they don’t last on this blog. This blog is full of highly intelligent people, many of whom are assholes. But being an asshole–which I know I can be–isn’t trolling.

                    • Chris should be well aware of the fact that I have done more than just state that he’s been acting like a troll recently, I’ve stated why I think that. If Chris has forgotten that, might I suggest that he reread some of my comments.

                      P.S. An internet troll is certainly an asshole, but an asshole is not necessarily an internet troll. I don think I have ever said or implied that someone who’s an asshole is a troll just because they re an asshole.

                    • Isn’t the essential component of being a troll making comments or setting up conditions with the sole purpose of eliciting a specific reaction?

                    • texagg04 wrote, “Isn’t the essential component of being a troll making comments or setting up conditions with the sole purpose of eliciting a specific reaction?”

                      A specific reaction is way too broad, using that narrow view you could say that Jack is a troll trying to elicit a specific reaction – that specific reaction would be to discuss ethical issues.

                      Think about that for a minute; if that were the only criteria to identify what some call a troll then almost anyone posting anything on the internet would be considered a troll; even someone posting a momentary innocuous joke to lighten the mood and elicit a moment of laughter would be considered a troll. This is too broad.

                      On that same note; isn’t trying to deflect to a completely different topic essentially “setting up conditions with the sole purpose of eliciting a specific reaction” – that specific reaction is to change the topic of discussion?

                      This is way too broad.

                      P.S. Now the topic of discussion has been “changed” to talking about what a troll is. 🙂

                    • Suit yourself. But I think even if you believe that the definition given, though too broad, does contain the definition of Troll with a few more clarifying specifics, that even the broad definition doesn’t include what you consider Chris or Spartan to be.

                      That is to say, they aren’t trolls.

                      Yes Chris is obstinate and partisanly blinded to a near debilitating level. But I don’t think he’s a troll.

                  • texagg04,
                    Would you consider what Trump does on Twitter to be trolling?

            • Chris

              No one believed Trump uncritically when he said that he was tapped.

              I love that you live in a world where uncritical Trump supporters just don’t exist.

              • I pity that you live in a world devoid of hyperbole, sarcasm or metaphor. I’d tell you my heart bleeds for you, but I’d be afraid you’d call 9-11.

                • Chris

                  Your hyperbole was intended to suggest that Trump’s words don’t matter because people don’t take them seriously. But plenty of people DO take them seriously.

                  I understood when you said “no one” you didn’t literally mean “zero people,” but it was still overly dismissive. There are lots of people willing to believe anything that Trump says. This group is a minority, but they matter.

            • Chris

              It’s absurd. If he wants to be believed, he needs to supply evidence. There’s a difference between not believing Trump, and getting mouth-frothingly outraged over a Tweet.

              “Hey, we can all agree that our president makes baseless accusations of criminal activity without a single shred of evidence, but there’s no reason to get, like, mad about it.”

          • Chris asked, “Why do you hold me to a higher standard than the President of the United States?”

            It’s not a higher standard you fucking idiot, it’s the same standard.

            I’ll wait for all the the facts to come out no matter which way the facts point as I usually do; political hacks trolling the internet, like you, don’t give a damn about waiting for all the facts to render judgement, it’s all about the attack.

            You’ve been allowed to take over almost the entire thread with your Trump derangement syndrome deflection bull shit. Your trolling has become obsessive, it’s time for you to take a temporary break from commenting.

            • Warren

              Zoltar, perhaps Chris should take a break from commenting. And then we’ll be that much closer to an effective purge from Ethics Alarms of any non-conservative voices, which is the way things seem to have been trending anyway. Is that what you want? You guys are exhausting.

              • Warren asked, “Is that what you want?”

                No that’s not what I want. I want Chris to stop acting like a partisan hack internet troll and maybe a temporary break will help him accomplish that.

                Warren asked, “You guys are exhausting.”

                What’s exhausting is having to reply to nonsense hyperbole like your reply and dealing with trolling deflections from people like Chris.

  5. Wayne

    Obama can do no wrong according to the leftist elite. If you are black Republican on the other hand, you can do no right. Carson’s choice of words equating slaves with immigrants was unfortunate at best. However, I think his inarticulateness was gleefully pounced upon by the neo-Marxists who themselves will not differentiate between illegal aliens and immigrants who have entered the country lawfully.

  6. Chris

    I agree that this is a huge double standard.

    I disagree that either Carson or Obama was wrong to call slaves immigrants, especially in the context of their speeches. Neither said anything wrong that I can see here.

    Now can we please move on to the more serious issue of the current president accusing the former president of illegally wiretapping him?!

    • The trolling apologist, Chris, has spoken and everyone must comply with his deflection or be subject to misrepresentations.

      • Chris

        No one “must comply” with anything I ask for, Zoltar. Note that my comment contained a request, not a demand. So it seems like the person engaging in misrepresentations here is you.

        • Other Bill

          Chris. It’s fairly simple. We’ve seen a lot of “this stuff really isn’t important, can we talk about Trump because he’s important” from the left side of the house. As Z says, it’s deflection. You’re trying to discount the points Jack is making. Classic “Just ignore the man behind the curtain.” You’re trying to stop discussion. “If no one’s going to play the way I want, I’m going to pick up my marbles and go home!” Sorry, it’s not working. Jack’s one of the few people who talks about the things he talks about. If you don’t want these things discussed, go back to Salon and the Huffington Post and The Atlantic and all the other reliably Lefty outlets. But please, please stop asking Jack to change the subject. He’s one of the few intelligent people addressing these issues intelligently. And his topics are important. Please stop trying to discount them. No one’s buying it.

          • Chris

            I addressed the topic, said I agreed with Jack, and even went further by saying I thought he was being harsh on Carson and Obama. That’s not “discounting his points.”

            I admit it’s obnoxious to tell a blog runner what he should be talking about. I just get frustrated because I feel like so many here are missing the most important ethical issues of our time, and when they are addressed, it’s half-heartedly and most of the blame is put on Trump’s critics, not him. To use an expression Jack is fond of, it is “making my head explode.”

    • Margie

      Dang. I agree with Chris. Jack’s statement that for either to call slaves immigrants was “idiotic” was the only thing that made me sit back a little and think, “What???”. I just now checked, and the first definition of “immigrant” that came up was, “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” Says nothing about whether voluntarily, or for what purpose. Just as I’d thought, but admittedly wasn’t sure.

      • “Comes.” Is “Dragged” or “kidnapped” a legitimate synonym for “comes”? In usage, does immigrants ever refer to those whose status and welfare are guaranteed to be reduced or eliminated? Are you in a country “permanently” when every second you are there, you desperately want to escape? If immigrants are persons, can persons who lose their status as human beings and become property where they are forced to reside immigrants? Were Jews taken from their homes to death camps in another country immigrants? Seriously?

        Offensive and idiotic.

      • Pennagain

        I’ve been ignoring this other bit of vocabulary for awhile but I do have (fond) memories of the migrant farm workers being designated by one California politician (I forget his name) who was in contention with Cesar Chavez as “temporary immigrants.”

    • Tippy Scales

      Chris, I’ll show you the wiretapping evidence as soon as you show me the evidence of Russia tampering with the election. Or do unfounded allegations only rankle you if certain people make them?

      Hip Ah Crass Eee

      • This, I believe a core element of what Trump is thinking, and while that is tit for tat thinking (for which he is infamous), condemning him in absolute terms requires that his foes ignore the “tit,” or deny what it certainly appears to be.

        Tit for tat, like war, is both unethical and sometimes necessary.

      • Chris

        Tippy, the evidence that Russia tampered with the election has already been presented by the CIA. This is no longer in question.

        What is in question is Trump’s involvement. If that’s what you’re referring to, I’ve addressed this false equivalence elsewhere. I have not stated as fact that Trump has been colluding with Russia, and I believe anyone who has is acting irresponsibly. I have presented the circumstantial evidence that I think warrants further investigation.

        That is very different from the president stating a baseless accusation as fact, and then calling for an investigation.

        • “Tippy, the evidence that Russia tampered with the election has already been presented by the CIA. This is no longer in question.”

          The CIA isn’t required to be honest with America, it’s required to keep America safe, and the determination of what keeps America safe is up to people, and people are fallible. In the wake of all the lies leading up to and following the 2016 election, the CIA has some HUGE legitimacy issues…. We’re going to be hearing a LOT about Vault 7 for the next month, and if there’s an overarching message to the Vault 7 leaks, it’s that the CIA isn’t trustworthy.

          I question that. I’m not a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist. 9-11 wasn’t an inside job, Roswell is a weapons testing base, Pizzagate was fake news. But you’re a rube if you think the CIA is telling you the truth.

        • WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG. There was no “tampering with the election” at ALL. That is the Big Lie. Stop it. Russia hacked DNC and Clinton Campaign e-mails, and tried to hack GOP e-mails as well. The result was the publicizing, through news media, information that was 100% true. Did anyone accuse the guy who taped Romney’s “48%” comment of “tampering with the election’? No, because it’s a false and misleading description. Russia hacked or attempted to the parties involved in the election, for purposes unknown.

          But thanks, I will use your spinning description of what the Russians did to compare to Trump’s statement that “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

          • Chris

            Jack, this would be another instance of you defining terms differently from about 90% of the public.

            I would say the guy who taped Romney’s comments influenced the election in 2012, because he absolutely did. “Tampered” implies impropriety or illegality–I’m not sure if it was illegal for him to record Romney in this context, but if it was, then yes, I would say he “tampered with the election.”

            I’ve said before that “hacked the election” is misleading because it implies hacking voting machines in the minds of many. But “tampered with the election” is absolutely accurate. And it is much more serious than what the guy who taped Romney’s comments did, since we as a nation must take it more seriously when a foreign government interferes with our election process than when when a citizen does.

            The result was the publicizing, through news media, information that was 100% true.

            You’re ignoring the Russian campaign of fake news.

            • “this would be another instance of you defining terms differently from about 90% of the public.”

              “I’m not sure if it was illegal for him to record Romney in this context, but if it was, then yes, I would say he “tampered with the election.””

              Donne-moi de la force.

            • No I’m not. That was a fake story: not influential, just static, overplayed by the news media in its effort to illegitimate the election. I have not seen a single claim that the fake stories changed a single vote. And I doubt they did. I am certain that the mainstream news slant and misrepresentation did change votes. Were they tampering?

              Again, this is an ethics blog. Surreptitious taping is unethical, and ethically, not significantly different from hacking e-mail messages.

              • Chris

                No I’m not. That was a fake story: not influential, just static, overplayed by the news media in its effort to illegitimate the election. I have not seen a single claim that the fake stories changed a single vote. And I doubt they did.

                I’m not sure why you doubt that. Don’t you think a misleading mainstream news story could change someone’s vote?

                And anyway, tampering doesn’t become any less unethical just because it doesn’t work. Even if the Russian fake news stories didn’t have an affect on the election outcome, it was still clearly an attempt to do so.

                I am certain that the mainstream news slant and misrepresentation did change votes. Were they tampering?

                If they misled with the intent to influence how people voted, yes.

                Again, this is an ethics blog. Surreptitious taping is unethical, and ethically, not significantly different from hacking e-mail messages.

    • Glenn Logan

      No, let’s not. First of all, let’s not because it’s too early to do other than condemn Trump for coming out with that accusation a) on twitter and b) absent any evidence. Condemning Trump for doing the same thing he has done over and over again is redundant and unproductive.

      Second, let’s not because all we can do is speculate, and we have a dearth of facts upon which to speculate.

      Third, and most importantly, because you don’t have any right to demand that Jack or anyone else accede to talk about the subject matter of your choice. As a guest in his virtual house, your proper role is to discuss, if you wish, the matters he talks about, not demand discussion of matters that interest you. If you want to do that, get your own blog, they’re cheap. You are behaving like a concern-troll.

      Finally, get a life, Chris. This obsession of yours is unhealthy. It will bring you to grief.

    • PERSONAL OBSERVATION
      I think we can all “reasonably agree” that the purpose of this particular blog is to show the unashamed Double Standards, Hypocrisy, News Media Bias, “Bias Makes You Stupid” And Cognitive Dissonance that the left has shown especially in regards to this particular statement by Ben Carson and how this incident relates to the overall partisan bias and complete lack of integrity of the media.

      We have a commenter in our midst that thinks the only thing that should be said about this blatant partisan bias and complete lack of integrity in the media is “I agree that this is a huge double standard”, now it’s time to move on.

      This same commenter, being the leftist apologist that he is, searches for a way to justify Obama’s words calling/implying that slaves that were forceably removed from their homeland, stuffed in the bottom of a ship, sold to the highest bidder like a milk cow, beaten and forced into hard labor are just simple immigrants, so this commenter simply states that he “…disagree[s] that either Carson or Obama was wrong to call slaves immigrants, especially in the context of their speeches. Neither said anything wrong that I can see here.” Nothing to see here, after-all, what’s unethical about calling a slave an immigrant; move on folks. So let it be written. There you have it, the apology for Obama is complete and everything else regarding these statements is irrelevant.

      Then this same commenter tries to deflect away from the complete lack of integrity that the media has shown by actually trying to downplay its importance saying, “can we please move on to the more serious issue” and takes off down a different path talks as if the blatant lack of integrity of the media is pointless drivel compared to an accusation that has not yet been proven true and also has not yet been proven false. This commenter said, “now can we please move on to the more serious issue of the current president accusing the former president of illegally wiretapping him?!” How about that; this commenter downplays something that is of colossal importance to the integrity of information being provided by the media to the public, and that directly affects every person in the United States of America and he deflects to a completely different “more serious issue” that hasn’t been proven one way or the other yet.

      There you have it folks; 61 words from a commenter that go from okay that’s a bad thing, to justifying that which is unethical, and then move on to that bad thing affecting every person in the USA is unimportant, here let’s talk about something else that can feed my Trump derangement syndrome. If you’ll notice all this commenters subsequent comments have all been about continuing his Trump deflection.

      These things are not what a person that is “seeking perspective and testing his own assumptions and beliefs” does, these things are what a partisan hack internet troll does.

  7. Other Bill

    And to one and all, March 8 is National Proofreading Day. Happy National Proofreading Day!

    • John Billingsley

      And since over half of all professional proofreaders are women and will be taking today off, a fre pass on speeling missteaks and on grammer errers two!!!

  8. Tippy Scales

    I got into a long discussion with a fellow journalist today, who claims she doesn’t see any media bias. And I honestly don’t think she does. She, like many in my profession, are just smart enough to be able to do the job, but I doubt this dingbat has ever had a critical thought in her life. I mentioned that CNN is biased, and she asked me to provide examples. Not surprisingly, I was easily able to rattle off a number of that garbage network’s transgressions. You know what this moron responded with? “You really voted for Trump, didn’t you?”

    I don’t know why I even bother. I usually don’t, but she brought up the subject and I took the bait. It’s my fault for arguing with an idiot. But I can tell you there are only a few people in my newsroom who seem concerned about this blatant bias. It’s so baked into the cake, these so-called reporters can’t even see it. They’re too busy chuckling over the latest Saturday Night Live hit piece disguised as comedy, or gasping about the latest Trump atrocity. What’s scary is, I know my newspaper is more balanced than most, because our editorial stance tilts rightward. So what must it be like at one of those liberal rags?

    • crella

      ” Not surprisingly, I was easily able to rattle off a number of that garbage network’s transgressions. You know what this moron responded with? “You really voted for Trump, didn’t you?”

      Exactly! This is the response you get! It’s infuriating.

    • Other Bill

      TS, is it a function of age? Are all these fellow journalists thirty-five and younger? The one’s Ben Rhodes said he could get to write anything because they don’t know anything? Very interesting have you reporting from behind the lines. Terrifying, actually.

  9. The definition of “immigrant” is “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” Whether they came here voluntarily or not is not part of the definition. What Obama/Carson can be criticized for, perhaps, is they both said or implied that slaves found inspiration in “those who came before them” or cared a whit about what the Declaration of Independence said. Maybe some of them did.

    But the mere use of the word “immigrant” as encompassing slaves is an arguable semantic issue, not conclusive evidence of idiocy.

    • Other Bill

      Well said, Dan, but not really critical to the point Jack was making. His point was Carson and Obama made virtually identical statements. Obama was greeted with “he’s brilliant!” while Carson, not unexpectedly, was greeted with “he’s and idiot!” Perfect example of media bias: worship for a progressive, scorn for a conservative.

    • “Comes” implies volition and intent. Applying the term to someone who is kidnapped, who would leave if they could, and who is kept permanently via threats and restraints is intellectually dishonest or willfully misleading. Can someone be an immigrant where they are regarded as property? As I mentioned, does the verse on the Statue of Liberty make sense applied to slaves? The same hopes and dreams—seriously? When the hope is “I hope I can kill these monsters who are kidnapping me” and the dream is, “This is a nightmare!”??

      It’s offensive and idiotic.

      • “Comes” does not necessarily imply intent. When the Beatles sang “here comes the Sun” the Sun was not making a conscious decision to appear.

        The worst that can be said of Carson/Obama is imprecise language. It is not warranted to call it offensive and idiotic.

        • The linked article attacking Carson is correct: Words, you must understand, have weight and effect. So this campaign is neither incidental nor accidental. No, like Holocaust denial, it is an attempt to minimize and trivialize a crucible of agony, to rob it of pathos, to render it unworthy of reverence. It’s heartbreaking to have to explain to anyone why this is wrong.It’s pathetic to have to explain it to a 65-year-old African-American man.

          I repeat: He does not explain why President Obama doing the exactly same thing didn’t bother him at all. But he’s correct that conflating what we know about slavery with what “immigrants’ means in its popular and common use is offensive, and obviously so. And being obviously offensive is stupid, even if you get away with it.

          • Other Bill

            Dan, I think the root verb “migrate” assumes some volition on the immigrant’s part. If there’s not volition, you’re not a migrant. You’re cargo.

            • Other Bill

              If you haven’t noticed, I’ve changed my position. Using “immigrants” to describe cargo on slave ships is simply incorrect. And dumb.

              • Other Bill — if you had to look at root verbs within the word “immigrant” to change your position then you should re-consider your initial position. It is not just what is in the dictionary but common usage that matters. Your first impression is at peace with the reality that at least some people define immigrants as being people who are here who started somewhere else.

                • Other Bill

                  Sorry Dan. Words and the English language are two of my very favorite things. And I think they need to be used correctly. The English language is a wonderful thing and it needs to be protected from sloppiness. If there were an American equivalent to the French Academy, I’d support it. I’d even serve on it but I’m too lazy and too much of an intellectual slob. But I’d wholeheartedly root for them.

          • The bolded language here is pure sophistry. According to the writer, because “words” have “weight” the speaker is engaged in an intentional “campaign” to minimize the horrors of slavery. Wow. Does anybody seriously think Obama and Carson were trying to do this?

            • No. Well, he does. But he is correct about the sloppy use of language. Calling slaves immigrants is the same deceitful blurring of real distinction as calling illegal immigrants just immigrants.

              • I’ll buy “sloppy use of language.” I can’t buy idiotic or intentionally deceitful. And it is only offensive to the perpetually offended and overly partisan, as evidenced by the fact that nobody cared when Obama said the same thing.

                • The fact that it wasn’t widely reported had a lot to do with it.

                  I guarantee that I would have mentioned it, as a sneaky way to line of the descendants of slaves as allies for illegal immigrants, which was Obama’s intent.

          • “Words, you must understand, have weight and effect. So this campaign is neither incidental nor accidental.”

            You don’t actually believe that, do you?

            • “Words, you must understand, have weight and effect,”

              That I believe, and that’s why both Carson’s and Obama’s statements are idiotic. And that’s why I used the quote.

              • But there’s an ocean of difference between something that has unintended weight and effect, and something that has purposeful weight and effect. I’m not defending the use of immigrants as slaves, but in assuming stupidity instead of malice, it occurs to me that if someone had pointed out years ago to Obama that calling slaves immigrants ‘wasn’t cool’ then it would have already been part of the discourse and it’s *less* likely that Carson would have said it.

              • Other Bill

                Obama really is a lightweight. This really high lights that fact.

          • Margie

            It would never have occurred to me that either man was “conflating what we know about slavery with what ‘immigrants’ means…” in the same way that people conflate “illegal immigrants” with “immigrants.” The very fact that the word was specifically applied to African slaves precludes that conflation. It was self-evident that they were speaking of “forced immigration,” but falling under what I would consider correct usage of the word, even if less common. Nor would I have ever thought the usage would constitute “an attempt to minimize” any of the horrific aspects of the slave transport and trade. I guess somebody needs to alert the Library of Congress, and a few scholarly professors I found who have used the term in the same way that they have gravely transgressed. Maybe Merriam-Webster should also add one of those little disclaimers in parentheses (considered offensive when applied to slaves) so people using the word in ignorance of its inherent inflammatory nature won’t be blind-sided by being labeled offensive idiots.

  10. philk57

    Hey Jack – I thought Carson was at HUD rather than Commerce. My recollection anyway.

  11. Glenn Logan

    There are numerous people in here who have cited the definition of “immigrant,” which is, “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country” as a legitimate description of slaves brought to America, and thus defended the statements of both Ben Carson and Barack Obama intimating the same.

    Let me just cut to the chase: Jack is right, and you are mistaken.

    Anyone who would describe slaves, who were bound hand and foot, dragged kicking and screaming from their homes, and sold to slavemasters in a foreign country as “immigrants” has lost their perspective on the English language and become a slave themselves — to pedantic word-parsing nonsense worthy of Bill Clinton.

    “Coming” in the context of that definition clearly does not encompass “forcibly abducted and sold as slaves, only to stay permanently for lack of means to leave.” Under no reasonable contextual reading of the definition did the slaves “come” to America. “To come” as used in the definition of “immigrant” implies a decision on the part of the person, as indicated in the definition of “come.” Further, under no reasonable contextual reading of the definition did slaves come here “to take up permanent residence.” They didn’t want to come here at all.

    • Apparently nobody read the linked Miami Herald article, where the writer ANGRILY says that calling slaves immigrants is like calling rape “making love”—and he says that the conflating the two is a sinister CONSERVATIVE attack on the language, to make the real horror of slavery disappear. (Oddly, the journalist, a liberal, doesn’t discuss the cover-phrase “pro-choice”). He writes,

      Words, you must understand, have weight and effect. So this campaign is neither incidental nor accidental. No, like Holocaust denial, it is an attempt to minimize and trivialize a crucible of agony, to rob it of pathos, to render it unworthy of reverence. It’s heartbreaking to have to explain to anyone why this is wrong.It’s pathetic to have to explain it to a 65-year-old African-American man.

      He does not explain why President Obama doing the exactly same thing didn’t bother him at all.

      • Glenn Logan

        The reason is clear; Carson is a white man in blackface to him. He is a successful neurosurgeon who, in his mind, is less than a real black person by reason of his success and party affiliation.

        Pitts [the author] didn’t mention Obama because if he had, his article would’ve been honest, but had almost no impact. Nobody he knows or cares about wants to hear that Ben Carson and Barack Obama have made identically stupid representations of slaves. Why reduce the impact of his piece by making it fair?

        These days, I have to say I understand his reasoning — being fair today is simply walking in the middle of the road where you can be run over by traffic in either direction.

      • “Words, you must understand, have weight and effect.”

        So are you telling me then that indeed there are cats in America and the streets are not made of cheese?

        You see, I was led to believe otherwise back in the mother country…

    • I am not equating Hitler and Dirk Nowitski by pointing out that they are both Germans.

      Nor am I equating slaves with immigrants who arrived voluntarily by suggesting that definition of the word “immigrant” is ambiguous enough that it may or may not encompass those who did not come voluntarily.

      • Glenn Logan

        I’m sorry, but it isn’t ambiguous in that regard.

      • !!!!! Equating the two is EXACTLY what both Carson and Obama did!

        • Other Bill

          Let’s let Randy Newman clear this up:

        • Margie

          “!!!!! Equating the two is EXACTLY what both Carson and Obama did!”
          How? Do you really believe that they led anyone to be confused about whether slaves came here voluntarily?

          • I never said it was deception. It’s a stupid and facile comparison that trivializes slavery and makes “immigration” so general as to be meaningless. It’s BAD COMPARISON. It’s a silly forced analogy to make the descendants of slaves part of the “nation of immigrants” narrative. It erases a material, the material feature in American immigration: people from other countries coming here voluntarily looking for a better live and greater opportunity. Saying that people kidnapped and beaten and crammed into ships, taken to a land they never heard of to serve as chattell are part of the same experience is so blitheringly, cynically wrong-headed that it deserves to be rejected and mocked…as it was in Carson’s case…and should have been in Obama’s case.

            What “immigrants” want to escape from their “new home” back to where they came from the second they arrive? If an American girl is kidnapped by a sex slave ring and sold to a sheik in Saudi Arabia, Obama and Crason call her an immigrant??? She’s a kidnapping victim! The victim of a human rights crime.

            In both cases, Carson and Obama, the misconduct is cynical demagoguery.

            • Frank Bruni in the Times, whipping Carson:

              [H]e’s a great lesson — for the left as well as the right — that sensitivity is a function of sensibility, not merely of complexion or membership in a given identity group.A black person can bumble into racially hurtful comments….

              Being an idiot, Carson may well be unaware of what a dumb equivalency he was asserting. I’m willing to believe Obama is smart enough to know it’s bullshit, and cynical enough to know that he can get away with it.

              Illegal immigration is more like legal immigration than slavery is like immigration.

  12. Glenn Logan

    Jack, a couple of answers to your questions:

    Hasn’t that point been reached and passed?

    I would say that point is at least a few light-minutes in the rear-view mirror, and maybe even out of the solar system. My question to you is, can we ever get back to within shouting distance of fairness? No, never mind ‐ who could know?

    If you are not angry at this, what’s the matter with you? In fact, what the HELL is the matter with you?

    Does apoplexy count? The color of my face during this article could best be described as “puce.”

    If you are still shaking your head and humming and have your fingers in your ears saying “There’s no double standard! No bias! NONONONONO!!”, at what point are you deserving of distrust and resentment?

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    Honestly, I have come to the point where it is hard to click on media articles. I find myself looking to blog posts from both sides to try to find the truth. It’s crazy, stupid, and I’d say our republic has been permanently and perhaps irrevocably damaged by the bias of the media.

    I no longer trust anything I read. How can that be good? Once again, I find myself comforted by the fact of my own mortality.

  13. John Billingsley

    A look at Snopes reveals that they verified that Carson made the comment but no mention of Obama saying the same thing. Not surprising. Looks like conservative outlets are the only fact-checkers. That’s sad. Do liberals not realize how foolish it makes them look to jump on this kind of thing without even doing a simple search to see what they have already said? Why haven’t the supposedly reputable MSM outlets learned to do a little actual research after having been caught with their pants down so many times now? I know they are partisan but why are they going about it so stupidly?

  14. This comment thread is gone to the dogs of absurdity.

    Can we get back on topic of the media and how it is so partisan biased with its propaganda that it can no longer be trusted to have any integrity?

    • fattymoon

      Better idea. Let’s talk about my fascination with the Alien franchise.

      • fattymoon

        I’m going outside to spray weeds now. When I return, I hope to see a serious discussion about the Alien franchise.

        • Glenn Logan

          Ohh, shiny! 😉

        • Spartan

          My husband has a marine costume, complete with face-hugger. 🙂

        • Sigh…

          Regarding media bias: “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

          Or: ” Hey, maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!”

          Love me some Alien. The Sulaco is hands down the most awesome looking made up spaceship ever!

          I hesitate to think about what the new movie will do to my beloved franchise… of course, 3 and 4 were terrible plot wise anyway, IMHO.

          Best Alien movie? Aliens (1986)

          • Baron von Cut-n-Paste

            State of the media and/or nation: “Game over, man. Game over!”

            • And the late, lamented Bill Paxton thanks you for the homage.

              By the way, I don’t consider “Aliens” an “Alien” movie.

              • Jack, you either said too little, or too much. Could you explain how ‘Aliens’ is not an Alien franchise movie? Okay, it is better than any of the others so far, but you usually have an insight when you say something like this.

                Inquiring minds wanna know!

                • I regard Cameron’s section of the series as a pure action movie, in fact arguably the best action movie. The first movie is in the horror/ monster genre, so Aliens was a new branch. III was back to horror. I don’t know what you call IV.

                  If we call it all “The Ripley Saga,” then they can be justifiably grouped.

  15. Is it good that our country is in a perpetual “Civil War” but the populace isn’t really engaged in the war, so much as they’re observers? I mean, it seems as though if this were in the past, we’d have actual battle lines drawn and firearms locked and loaded, but instead, we now simply grab our popcorn. If that’s not unity and strength for the country, I don’t know what is.

  16. Other Bill

    NYT’s Frank Bruni weighs in:

    No mention of Obama having said the same thing. I”m shocked, shocked I tell you!

    Then there’s this from The Federalist (but they’re a bunch of right wing nutjobs, so they don’t count):

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/07/11-times-barack-obama-compared-slaves-to-immigrants/

  17. The problem with calling African American slaves an immigrant population, even if by some clinical comparison the definition of “immigrant” can match the bare essentials of moving the slaves from Africa to America what it fails to include is that the slaves and their immediate descendants and arguably several generations of descendants after that never went through an immigrant “experience”.

    They never “wanted to come” and in forced isolation from the greater community they never went through the initial shock of assimilation, they never began to venture out into the greater community, not for GENERATIONS.

    No doubt by the early 1900s they were well on their way to starting the most reasonable equivalence of an “immigration experience” as generations that had never experienced slavery could look around America and say “I want to be here and I want to fit in the greater society”. And you see that, you see the initial stages of the assimilation shock and new generations being less of the “old culture” and more of the “majority culture”.

    But of course we know the story there, the was a greater hostility towards them than towards other immigrant experiences (though I think there is always a natural bit of friction towards any immigrant group). We also know that well into the process in the mid-1900s the assimilation was actually going relatively well, if not a bit slower simply due to the already atypical starting conditions of the large population of African Americans. The mid-1900s process had then essentially been undermined in small part by push back from some elements in the larger community and also in large part by forces that didn’t necessarily want them fully integrated, but rather saw political profit in keeping them divided from the larger community.

    I wonder now, if the “immigrant experience” can ever be rejuvenated?

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