1. Comment moderation ethics. In many online news sites, including those of major newspapers, the comments contain this spam:
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I’m looking at a Boston Herald online article about the World Series, and out of 14 comments, 8 are some version of the text above. First of all, of course, the people who post it are unethical creeps, polluting a discussion forum to pick up some cash. The site operators are just as bad. If you can’t moderate a comments section and keep it readable and on-topic, then don’t have one. Lazy, irresponsible and with no respect for readers—and they wonder why the public doesn’t trust the news media.
2. Here’s a rule of thumb: If a group or individual publicly announces a formal ethics complaint being made against a lawyer or a judge, it an abuse of process and the complaint system. Such ethics complaints should be made privately, since they are investigated and only become public if reason is found to levy sanctions. The announcement of a complaint in a press release or other public forum means that the complainant is trying to impugn an individual without proof, fair gearing or due process.
Judicial Watch has filed a complaint against Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers, and released the letter to the bar to the public. There may be some grounds for discipline, though it’s borderline. More unethical, in my view, is Judicial Watch using the ethics complaint process as a political weapon.
3. Signature significance, but of what? Comedian Amy Schumer announced that she won’t appear in any Super Bowl commercials to show her support of Pioneer Pointless NFL Kneeler Colin Kaepernick. What is that? Can you boycott something you haven’t been asked to do? Why is she boycotting the Super Bowl to support a protest against (sort of) racial injustice and police brutality? If people were desperate to have Amy in an ad, what would they have to do? Pass laws letting people resisting arrest to threaten police officers without consequences? Authorize reparations to be paid to anyone with an Elizabeth Warren-like percentage of slave blood? Now, Amy protesting the fact that NFL is making billions by giving young athletes brain disease, that would make some sense.
I think making a pointless and silly announcement like this is signature significance for someone who will do anything to get publicity and signal their virtue to the social justice warrior faithful. Anyone else would realize how idiotic it is.
4. Not “It’s not the worst thing,” but double standards. You know: It’s different, because it’s Trump. Writes blogger Charles Glasser about the wall-to-wall coverage of the Jamal Khashoggi murder,
“Let me get this straight. Saudi Arabia sponsored the 9/11 hijackers, stones rape victims to death for being unchaste, hangs people for being gay…and NOW you’re upset with them?”
Well, sure. This fits an anti-Trump narrative that he is tolerant of authoritarian regimes, and that he doesn’t like journalists. The game is now to weaponize the news against Trump, not to seek perspective or fairness. Glenn Greenwald, hardly a Trump supporter, accurately observes,
5. Authentic Frontier Gibberish Alert! on an NPR roundtable about how to reach the poor, ignorant souls who question the basis and logic of climate change hysterics, guest Dr. Sarah Myhre, the founder of the Rowan Institute and a “public feminist,” whatever that is, opined,
“My view is that we need to indict public leaders who are trafficking in science denial as a form of misconduct and a form of putting the American public into danger. However, I do think that we as scientists have engaged nonstop in trying to confront denialism and often that engagement is a very—it’s coded male power brokering that is very problematic in the culture because it pits people against each other instead of focusing on shared values.”
“Indict”? “Trafficking”? “Denialism”? “Coded male power”? Did it occur to NPR that one reason people are dubious about climate change is that it is being supported by advocates who talk like that?
Taxpayers finance this crap.
5. This isn’t news, it’s complicity. By all means, let’s give free promotion to the unethical government scheme to exploit the poor and addictive by getting as many stupid people as possible excited about a huge lottery pay-off as likely as being killed in a sharknado.