From The Ethics Alarms “Confirmation Bias” Files: GQ’s Reasonable Assumption

After all, the New York terrorist was a Muslim, and the Las Vegas shooter was a white guy, and you know that Trump…oh.

Oh yeah.


You know, this wasn’t hard to check. The biased national news media is so eager to pounce, so devoid of even the tiniest sense of obligation to give the benefit of the doubt to the President of the United States, that they make fools of themselves over and over again.

Just to connect the dots, and maybe it’s stating the obvious and I apologize if I’m spelling this out unnecessarily, but this is the same phenomenon that leads to excited news stories representing an indictment of Paul Manafort for sleazy activities unrelated to the Trump campaign or Russia as the beginning of the end for dastardly Trump-Russia collusion cover-up.  Exactly the same.

We can’t trust people whose news judgment is so polluted by hate and bias….unless, of course, we want to be influenced by hate and bias. And a depressing number of people do want to be.

This is not an ethical state of mind. Have I mentioned lately that bias makes you stupid?


Pointer and Source: Instapundit

45 thoughts on “From The Ethics Alarms “Confirmation Bias” Files: GQ’s Reasonable Assumption

  1. So today Trump’s twitter was down for 11 minutes. Does it seem like this kind of thing happens to Republicans with more frequency or is this just my confirmation bias?

    Journalists can’t be bothered to check facts, employees being allowed to run amock, and the resistance. I thought my sassy daughter was problematic.

        • Vindictiveness is a bullying quality, and the left is full of bullies who want to dominate and vengeful people angry at the world for not taking them seriously who are more than willing to be the bullies’ pawns and do crazy stuff to get their 15 minutes of fame. When I was in college I knew plenty of people on the left, and, although all of them of course claimed to be peaceful by nature, a lot of them were just plain nasty.

      • I wonder if they would like that to have happened to Barack Obama or (hypothetical President) Hillary Clinton? Or if they would like their own Twitter accounts suspended by a renegade employee?

        • I mean…at one point do we factor in behavior here? Of course an Obama or Hillary employee never would have shut down their Twitter accounts; they’d never feel the need to. This isn’t a double standard, this is different behaviors having different consequences.

          • No, Chris, this was a TWITTER employee who shut down the account. The question was would the reaction have been the same to a Twitter employee who pulled the plug on Obama or Hillary’s accounts? We all know the answer, I think, although it’s just as unethical as pulling the plug on Trump.

          • Whose behavior? The employee’s or Trump’s?

            At no company does a random employee get to arbitrarily abuse a customer on his last day, regardless of whether or the customer is a jerk or not.

            And, if you believe Trump shouldn’t have use of the Twitter service, that is something that isn’t decided by a low-level employee, especially considering the political implications involved.

            With all due respect, there is a double standard if the same people celebrating this guy for abusing his employee access and embarrassing his employer would throw a fit if it were done to them or someone they support.

            • You’re all correct; I misunderstood. I thought people were saying one of Trump’s people took down his account.

              Either way, doing so is of course wrong, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. My only point was that I can see why it happened. One thing both the left and right seem to agree on is that Trump’s tweets are often unprofessional, irresponsible, and beneath the dignity of the office. This doesn’t justify a Twitter employee taking down the account of the President of the United States, and liberals who think it does aren’t thinking. But “How would you feel if this happened to Obama?” just doesn’t strike me as an argument that would convince them, since they can easily respond “Well, Obama didn’t behave this way on Twitter.”

              • I can’t count the number of times that I’ve stated that I wish Trump would shut down his Twitter account and never use it again until after he is no longer President. Maybe someone should start a Twitters Anonymous group for those addicted to posting on Twitter, Trump could be the poster “child”. 😉

              • “I can see why it happened” is the soft rationalization that got me kicked off Ampersand’s (Barry Deutsch) column, leading to the dispute that caused him to kick himself off Ethics Alarms. (I liked Barry—one of the best knee-jerk EA SJW’s of all time). The topic was the George Zimmeram acquittal, and a mob of his commenters arguing that “they could understand” why African Americans felt Zimmerman’s acquittal was unjust. My point was that this was nonsense on its face. There was literally no evidence to support the first degree murder charge. Acquittal was mandatory. The charges shouldn’t have been brought: every fact supported the claim of self-defense. Saying you “understand” a completely counter factual complaint means that you are excusing it, and unequivocally false arguments are not excusable. It is a cheap way of legitimizing the illegitimate. This is how we ended up with Black Lives Matter. When someone says, “I can understand” why Germans were mad at the Jews, what does that tell you?

                What the Twitter employee did was cowardly, disrespectful, and wrong. Sure, I understand it: he’s an asshole. That’s all the stunt indicated.

  2. In all fairness, judging by the comments on various news articles over the last several years, support for the execution of dead criminals seems to run surprisingly high in general.

  3. Agreed that this was the result of bias and a lack of fact-checking. What do you think of the president’s decision to call for the death penalty of a suspect who has not yet been tried? Popehat and others are saying that could give an argument to the defendant’s lawyers and make prosecution harder.

    • It’s an inappropriate use of Presidential authority. This President, like the one before him, keeps forgetting that his words have weight. But that’s what Trump is like and how he’s been since before the election. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Trump’s gotta say or tweet poorly-thought out statements. That’s probably not going to change.

    • Chris wrote, “Popehat and others are saying that could give an argument to the defendant’s lawyers and make prosecution harder.”

      Why would it make “prosecution” in particular harder?

    • Agreed. The President should have kept his mouth shut on the matter. I think there is some precedent such as Obama commenting on cases while they are being investigated. I say this not to say there are worse things but to point out that justice will still likely be upheld. I am not a lawyer so I could be wrong.

    • The mode of communication makes the message unethical.

      But in terms of authority to communicate such a message? Federal prosecutors fall under the Executive branch right? I don’t think there’s anything inherently unethical about the President directing prosecutors to pursue a particular sentence. That being said, there’s an ethical means of communicating that, and a national announcement this early in the process isn’t it.

      • I think Trump is the closest thing we’ve ever had to an Everyman president. He simply articulates what ordinary people are feeling and thinking. He says the kind of things you’d hear people say in reaction to events that they’d say around the water cooler or in a bar. “I hope they string the son of a bitch up.” He’s almost unaware he’s the president. It’s really interesting.

        • “Interesting” is a good word.

          The Founders didn’t want “everyman” Presidents. Presidents are supposed to be better than ordinary.

          I’d say Trump is the closest thing to an “everyman” in style, expression, manner and, uh, ability that we’ve elected President, though many pretended well, like Carter and Reagan. Grant was remarkable, but in many ways he was an everyman.

          A couple of Vice Presidents who never would have been elected President were closer to “everymen” than Trump: Andrew Johnson, whose background was incredible, Truman, who was almost as rough around the edges as Trump, and Gerald Ford.

          • I’m going to assume all the contenders you mention had some ability or inclination to censor themselves. Trump has virtually none. In that respect, I think he stands alone.

            I don’t think the founders contemplated Everyman becoming president, but I also don’t think they contemplated a massive professional political class of consultants, pollsters, fundraisers, bureaucrats, placeholders and candidates either.They probably thought the government would be run by citizens who’d have other jobs and professions and businesses, not congressional pensions.

                • Sorry, her singing. Either way, apparently the two did eventually meet and were ok with each other. I for one think Paul Hume should have invited Truman to step outside, without his Secret Service detail, and invited him to see if he could give him “a new nose, lots of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below.” Given that Hume was a much younger man (he died in 2001), I think it would have been Truman who might have ended up nursing a broken nose and a shiner four shades of blue.

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