From The “Trump-Hate Disabling News Media Ethics Alarms” Files: The Washington Post “Kids Chorus”

For those inexplicably loyal fans of the news media who said to themselves, “Well, CNN is an exception. The other respected news organizations will never let the President push them to completely alienate the public’s trust,” here is the hard, cruel truth: you are dead wrong. Open your eyes.

Witness the Washington Post, which somehow thought that it would enhance its reputation as a fair, independent, responsible and objective news source by recruiting a group of children to mock President Trump by singing his tweets. This was a Washington Post promotion, now. The Post believes that its readers want to get their news from a newspaper that gratuitously ridicules the President of the United States.  Maybe they are right. Such readers, however, are not looking for facts, or objective analysis. Those readers are looking to feed their confirmation bias.

At “The Hill,” reporter Jonathan Easley tweeted: “WaPo getting kids to mockingly sing Trump’s tweets seems needlessly antagonistic and a dumb move right now.” 

Gee, ya think?

I’m trying to imagine the long list of broken ethics alarms that had to malfunction for the Post to let this get all the way through conception, to production, to publication. Nobody in the chain of command said, “Yeah, that’s hilarious, but let’s leave this kind of thing to Jimmy Kimmel, okay? We’re a newspaper.” Nobody. Nobody thought that this would simply confirm what media critics have been saying about toxic anti-Trump bias. Nobody thought about how a graphic demonstration of this mindset at the paper would undercut any claim that the Post is capable of fair reporting on an elected leader it would show such disrespect to just to make a promotional pitch. Nobody.

No, what happened is what I have seen repeatedly on Facebook, in personal conversations and in the behavior of some Ethics Alarms commenters when a progressive/Democrat/ “resistance” supporter really has no rationalizations or excuses remaining regarding the Left’s conduct since the election. They say, literally or in essence, “I don’t care. I hate the man, and he doesn’t deserve to be treated fairly. Screw him.”

The problem is that while this reaction is pure emotional and ethically crippling from individuals, it is an inexcusable breach of professional ethics and  public duty by journalists and news organizations. Once broken ethics alarms permit this, a CNN-style melt-down is just a matter of time.

Oh! I almost forgot!

Will somebody send the Post the various links to Ethics Alarms essays explaining why adults using children as political props and mouthpieces is exploitative, cowardly, an abuse of power and indefensible? Maybe add some of the links about how placing children on the web forever doing things they don’t understand without their informed consent is also wrong?

Thank you.

25 thoughts on “From The “Trump-Hate Disabling News Media Ethics Alarms” Files: The Washington Post “Kids Chorus”

  1. I don’t get it. It was one thing to get young girls dressed up as princesses to spout potty-mouthed rhetoric to supposedly boost feminism. It was one thing for “deport racism” to get Mexican-American kids to say “fuck you, racist fuck” and “get the fuck out of MY country, there’s the door” to Trump (boy, they must be sucking wind now). These were advocacy organizations looking to grab attention, and their shtick was to be outrageous to get viewer attention.

    The Washington Post is supposed to be a serious news organization, as in staffed with serious professional journalists who report the news. It’s supposed to be something you read for facts. It’s supposed to be something you can trust to be, if not totally objective, at least reasonably so. It’s also not supposed to be on anyone’s side.

    A year ago the Post was sniffing Obama’s throne and doing its best to bury any story that made him look bad. It made the organization look like a servile handmaiden to the President and his agenda. That was bad enough, however, the hope was that, if a GOP president were elected, the Post’s staff would morph back into real, but at least somewhat fair journalists, and start actually reporting the truth, good or bad, on the President and administration. Instead the Post turns to recruiting a kids’ chorus to mockingly sing the President’s tweets? I don’t get it. Growing up we all remember how the surest and easiest way to annoy someone was to repeat everything they said, and drove parents, siblings, and schoolmates alike crazy…when we were eight. Now a newspaper supposedly staffed by adults and written for adults is turning to the cheapest and lowest attack tactic of the 3rd grade? I dunno where this race to the bottom ends, but wherever it is going the media is going to beat the President there.

    • Must have cost a fair bit. Not to mention taken a great deal of time to rehearse and film. You think they could have invested all of that energy into planting some trees or making friends or something.

  2. Wait. The Post hired and actual chorus of children and called them the Kids Chorus? When I read the headline of this post, I thought “Kids Chorus” was just a euphemism for the Post’s editorial board and staff.

  3. “I don’t care. I hate the man, and he doesn’t deserve to be treated fairly. Screw him.”

    Yeah, I think I remember some people saying the same thing about Obama. But, of course, those people were just racists…

    It’s so sad what extreme partisanship has done to public civility.

    • Right. Let’s compare the few in the right lunatic fringe from years ago with every major news corporation and progressive politician over the past year and call it good.


    • Few people openly say “I don’t care. I hate the man, and he doesn’t deserve to be treated fairly. Screw him,” because anyone with a functioning brain realizes how that sounds. However, many people say they don’t hate the man, they just hold him in well-deserved contempt. It’s a 1980s pro-wrestling mentality where every heel trash-talked the faces and gave himself a moral pass on his own actions, no matter how transparent his excuses were. Now we’re all Rowdy Roddy Pipers throwing insults and sucker-punches and Road Warriors trying to be the biggest badasses on the block.

    • But this post has nothing to do with public civility, and “some people” (I never read or heard anyone express hatred toward Barack Obama. The problem was that anything short of fawning was called “racism.”) are not the equivalent of supposedly professional journalism organization. Not even close. Not within 1000 miles.

  4. I’ve come to believe the so-called “partisan divide” in the country is actually a generational divide. I think the answer to the question, “What’s happened to the media over the last few years?” is: “It’s now run by young people.” All the people older than their early or mid-forties have been laid off or run off for reasons of economy. I’d guess Chris and Sparty and deery and any other number of the lefties in the commentariat here (but not all) are on the young side. Sure, there are exceptions like Charles Green, but I would say the major thrust of the current left is simply a youth movement in the country. Trump’s despised because he’s old. He’s not hip. Conservatism is not hip. Socialism is. Diversity is. Intersectionality is (whatever it is). Social Justice is hip. This is a situation that can’t be dealt with rationality. I am old and therefore my ideas are bad. It’s just age vs. youth.

    • Other Bill wrote, “I’ve come to believe the so-called “partisan divide” in the country is actually a generational divide. I think the answer to the question, “What’s happened to the media over the last few years?” is: “It’s now run by young people.” All the people older than their early or mid-forties have been laid off or run off for reasons of economy.”

      I disagree. As far as I can tell, there is no truly identifiable generational divide between the political left and the political right.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ wrote, “I dunno – almost all the SJWs I know are under 30.”

          Maybe in your neck of the woods, that doesn’t hold true across the board. I honestly think that’s too broad of a generalization to make.

          • Maybe not – I’m just saying it’s my experience. I know I’m only one person. I have found myself moving away from classical crossover music as formerly sweet teen singers move into their twenties and become selfish, rude, bitchy SJWs whose facebook pages are plastered with Bernie memes and dumb comments about Sudafed being more regulated than guns.

          • It’s just a theory of mine, Z-man. Charles Barkeley’s line of “I may be wrong, but I doubt it,” may apply. There is such an unshakable belief among the young that diversity and social justice and so forth are the right way and the only way that really provides the impetus for what we’re seeing. The divide is so un-crossable that it can only be explained by age. And the young don’t seem to be getting more conservative as the begin to pay taxes and have families and service a mortgage. Their contempt for opposing views seems to be surviving well past a normal shelf life. And yes, I think it’s in large part due to being marinated in this stuff their entire lives. In the ’60s I recall, being a radical was an option. Today, if you’re young, being conservative is simply not an option. It’s just not really on the menu. Being a radical is now the norm among the young.

            • The Left in general is constitutionally (lower case “c”) unable to sit still and listen. It is easy to mistake everyone’s frenetic activity for youthful energy. Nobody notices your walker when it’s covered by a banner.

  5. I’m rapidly becoming chin-drop speechless at how the media has willingly degraded themselves into these blatant Pravda’ish one sided completely biased propaganda machines. It’s sad that the American people are now faced with this kind of BS. 😦

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