Mid-Day Ethics Warm-Up, 1/24/19: Return To The Ethics Trenches Edition

Bvuh.

My old friend Robin Langer claimed when we were kids that “Bvuh” was the stupidest-sounding syllable that could be uttered in any language. It accurately expresses my state today, after a business trip that involved 6 hours of delays in two flights into and out of Ft. Lauderdale.

1. Is this fair? I’m in no shape to judge. Our second flight, last night, was delayed over an hour because Jet Blue delayed take-off for more than an hour so a plane of travelers from Aruba could make their connection to D.C. That’s funny: I’ve missed connections when my flight was a half-hour late landing. So the deal with Jet Blue is that your flight is late if your plane or its connections have problems (like the late arriving aircraft that caused me to arrive the night before at 12:30 am instead of 7:30 pm), and it’s also going to be late if any other flights are late, is that it? We got on the plane last night with the entire front of the plane empty, waiting for the Arubans.

2. CNN is now completely insane. Both airports play nothing but CNN on the TVs in the terminal—someone might want to review that policy, which probably originated from the period when it was a news channel, like when Bernie Shaw was on the air—and the guy sitting next to me on Jet Blue last night had CNN playing on his seat screen the whole three hours we were on the plane. It’s incredible: there are virtually nothing but anti-President Trump stories on CNN, without a break or end. Anti-Trump spin (“Of course Nancy Pelosi should block his speech!”), unsubstantiated anti-Trump hearsay (“Cohen says he was “threatened” by Trump!”), anti-Trump panels (“What has Mueller found and how soon should the House impeach him?”), and anti-Trump gloating (“The art of the deal hasn’t produced a deal, has it? Nyah nyah!”) One after another. Relentless. It is much, much worse than it was on my last trip, and the CNN obsession with feeding hatred and anger against the President was absurd then. No other stories appeared to be being covered except in the crawls across the bottom of the screen. Is it possible that people aren’t sick of this? Even the most drooling, deranged Trump-hater? It isn’t just propaganda; it’s more like brainwashing, a constant drum-beat of “Trump bad! Hate Trump!,” usually devoid of anything approaching fair analysis.

3. Today’s baseball ethics note: Yankees relief ace Mariano Rivera, who was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame this week, is  being praised to the skies in the sports media and elsewhere because the vote was unanimous for the first time in the Hall’s 80 year history. (A retired player needs 75% of the vote to be enshrined.) Nobody disputes that Rivera deserved to be admitted, and that his qualifications were beyond argument, but the fact that this time some idiots didn’t choose not to vote for him has nothing to do with the pitcher whatsoever. It certainly doesn’t mean that he’s somehow more deserving that the other slam-dunks (is that a mixed metaphor?) who didn’t get every vote they were due, like Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron.

If everyone before you has been treated unjustly, the fact that you weren’t mistreated isn’t something to be proud of.

4. Headline on Paul Krugman’s column in the Times: “Donald Trump and his Team of Morons.” Stay classy, Paul. Krugman, you will recall, is the genius who predicted on election night 2016 that the stock market would crash and never recover. Among the “morons” on Trump’s “team,” according to the Times pundit, is Fox’s Sean Hannity, because he is a relentless Trump booster and acolyte (and, I have to agree, a moron). Doesn’t that logic make the New York Times and 90% of the news media part of Obama’s “team”? If “the morons” were wise enough to cancel a deal with Iran that gave it billions to promote world terrorism while relying on its promise not to try to blow up Israel until after Obama was retired and beyond blaming, how should we describe Obama’s  “team” that engineered such a deal?

Krugman, Charles Blow and David Leonhardt  write columns like this every single time, and have been doing so non-stop for more than two years. Don’t Times readers tire of it? Don’t the editors?

5. And speaking of mainstream media bias and unethical journalism: Commentary and updates from the Covington Catholic Students Ethics Train Wreck!

Here’s the anti-Trump Atlantic at least having the courage to admit reality:

How could the elite media—The New York Times, let’s say—have protected themselves from this event, which has served to reinforce millions of Americans’ belief that traditional journalistic outlets are purveyors of “fake news”? They might have hewed to a concept that once went by the quaint term “journalistic ethics.” Among other things, journalistic ethics held that if you didn’t have the reporting to support a story, and if that story had the potential to hurt its subjects, and if those subjects were private citizens, and if they were moreover minors, you didn’t run the story. You kept reporting it; you let yourself get scooped; and you accepted that speed is not the highest value. Otherwise, you were the trash press. At 8:30 yesterday morning, as I was typing this essay, TheNew York Times emailed me. The subject line was “Ethics Reminders for Freelance Journalists.” (I have occasionally published essays and reviews in the Times). It informed me, inter alia, that the Times expected all of its journalists, both freelance and staff, “to protect the integrity and credibility of Times journalism.” This meant, in part, safeguarding the Times’ “reputation for fairness and impartiality.”

I am prompted to issue my own ethics reminders for The New York Times. Here they are: You were partly responsible for the election of Trump because you are the most influential newspaper in the country, and you are not fair or impartial. Millions of Americans believe you hate them and that you will causally harm them. Two years ago, they fought back against you, and they won. If Trump wins again, you will once again have played a small but important role in that victory.

Even this article is tainted by anti-Trump bias and an unethical mindset; the author is saying that unethical journalism is bad because it doesn’t work. No, it’s bad because it’s unethical journalism.

  • Then there is the sick and cowardly effort by those who don’t have the integrity to admit that a wrong—several, actually—has been done to try to push the “there is blame on all sides” lie. No, there isn’t. As with the Kavanaugh hearings, another smear on Catholics school boys, the blame is on one side only. “The Today Show’s” Savannah Guthrie asked prime schoolboy media victim Nick Sandmann, “Do you see your own fault?” this week. What? This is a 15 year old boy who has been vilified, insulted, and threatened for doing nothing but standing in place while an obnoxious Native American activist got in his face from one side and anti-white black nationalists hurled racist taunts at him from behind–oh, I forgot: he was also wearing a hat supporting our President and he smiled-–and he’s supposed to apologize? How can anyone justify a question like that?
  • On a related note, the kid’s parents are irresponsible fools to put him on live TV to be grilled by a biased and partisan hack like Guthrie, at least without instructions like, “If she asks you if you will acknowledge any blame for this, get up, and walk out.”
  • It’s not just the journalists. University of Pennsylvania associate professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas wrote as the false story was circulating, “Whiteness endlessly forgives its own transgressions. It rarely, if ever, gives those of us it harms and maims and kills time to process our emotions.” Then after she learned that new video exonerated the students, she wrote,

A more perfect embodiment of the mindset “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind’s made up!” would be difficult to find. Never mind the racism: How can a university justify employing a Professor who reasons like that?

  • Thomas is not alone. Dartmouth Associate Professor of English Jeff Sharlet, who is also a bestselling author, wasn’t moved not convinced by nearly two hours of video that showed what really happened–after all, to paraphrase “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” when the facts contradict the official “resistance” narrative, embrace the narrative. Long after the facts were known, Sharlet tweeted, “I’ll have no problem with someone doxxing these boys.”

6.  Good! In Kentucky, Kenton County prosecutor Rob Sanders says he is preparing to prosecute those who made threats against the Covington Catholic High School students. He said yesterday that his office has already issued grand jury subpoenas and is working on search warrants for detectives in other agencies. At the same time, lawyers for the students say they will sue everyone, even journalists, who falsely attacked the students for defamation. The latter is a long-shot because of the First Amendment, but remember, the kids weren’t public figures. The may have a case.

41 thoughts on “Mid-Day Ethics Warm-Up, 1/24/19: Return To The Ethics Trenches Edition

  1. 5) Thank Heavens! Back to Covington!

    “The Today Show’s” Savannah Guthrie asked prime schoolboy media victim Nick Sandmann, “Do you see your own fault?” This is a 15 year old boy who has been vilified, insulted, and threatened for doing nothing but standing in place while an obnoxious Native American activist got in his face from one side and anti-white black nationalist hurled racist taunts at him from behind–oh, I forgot: he was rearing a hat supporting our President and he smiled-–and he’s supposed to apologize? How can anyone justify a question like that? On a related note, the kid’s parents are irresponsible fools to put him on live TV to be grilled by a biased and partisan hack like Guthrie, at least without instructions like, “If she asks you if you will acknowledge any blame for this, get up, and walk out.”

    The fellow poster cruella asked me “What kind of an nterview is that?” when I posted the YouTube of it. He was right: it was not really an ‘interview’ but something else.

    But the question she asked the boy was merely rhetorical, I thought. I saw it as a ‘softball question’ which merely gave him the opportunity to give his (I thought) rehearsed answer (though it was a fair answer).

      • Sure, but the *interview* vindicated him — with roses in his cheeks and all!

        That was my impression. I know nothing about this woman Guthrie because I don’t watch TV.

        I wait till it comes on YouTube. 🙂

                • I watched the interview again and though he *questions* (with their insinuations) might have been of the *gotcha* variety, nevertheless the piece vindicates the boy.

                  “Yes, I see my fault. No, I don’t see it, and thus am proud of my misdeeds.”

                  My impression is that she asked that *question* because that was the question-insinuation that had been framed by nearly all the media, including the so-called conservative media (the NR for example). She posed the question just as the establishment posed it and as it is installed in many people’s minds. However, he answered it fairly and uprightly, and maintained a poise that to many viewers (except the rabid left/progressive) could only help his case. And the interview gave him that chance (so that is positive).

                  I have no idea what her ultimate purpose is or was. But watching that video, in my view, any more or less *normal* viewer would support the boy.

                  And please, don’t get depressed! Because there’ll be two of us. Though my depression arises when the so-called conservative establishment shows its true colors and shows who and what it really serves.

                  With that in mind, I consider the Guthrie interview as a sign that — sooner or later — the tide will turn. There may yet come a day when the people who serve traitorous ‘agendas’ and ‘projects’ align themselves with a more genuine reaction agains the hyper-liberal machine . . .

                  Now, let’s recite the 14 Words. 🙂

                  • What the media in general, and Guthrie in this case, meant to harm the boy was turned around and worked FOR him. The interview WAS weaponized, and was intended to further the evil false narrative. In essence, it was a weapon formed against Sandmann.

                    Seems to me I have heard that somewhere before…

                    With that in mind, I consider the Guthrie interview as a sign that — sooner or later — the tide will turn. There may yet come a day when the people who serve traitorous ‘agendas’ and ‘projects’ align themselves with a more genuine reaction agains the hyper-liberal machine . . .

                    When that happens, either they have a change of heart, or they adapt to the new reality for self preservation. The tide is turning, as common Americans, particularly those in the heartland, are awakened to the danger posed by the Democrats and their traitorous allies.

                    • slickwilly wrote, “The tide is turning, as common Americans, particularly those in the heartland, are awakened to the danger posed by the Democrats and their traitorous allies.”

                      Lately I’ve been having some real honest heart-to-heart talk about politics with some of my Liberal friends and I’ve come to the conclusion that Liberal and moderate Liberal Democrats that have not been been seduced by progressive propaganda and lured into the irrational hate are not real happy about what’s happening to the Democratic Party, kind of like Conservatives not liking what’s happening to the Republican Party. I’ve heard a few of these people say that the progressive extremists have gone so far left that it makes them look like Conservatives. I’ve begun to focus in on why these rationally thinking people are sitting in the wings and not doing a thing to combat the obvious extremism within their own party and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s fear, unadulterated fear. These Liberal and moderate Liberal Democrats don’t like what’s happened in their own party; they’ve seen the irrational smears, race baiting, open intimidation, personal attacks, etc, etc, and they’re in literal fear of their livelihood and they’re trying to isolate themselves and their families from being tarred as opposition to the progressives social movement. They’ve given up and essentially gone underground. In someways, I understand their fear but the the prophetic words of Martin Niemöller come to mind.

                      If the Liberal Democrats would stop enabling progressives with their silence, stand up against their nonsense, and begin to publicly strip the extreme progressives wing of their party of their social destructive propaganda power things might begin to change for the better. In my view it’s progressives, social justice warriors, and their 100% compliant propaganda machine in the media (all forms of media) that are the real problem. I have no problem with run-of-the-mill everyday Liberal Democrats except what appears to be a “what can I do” attitude towards the radical extremist in their party, which from the outside looks a bit like an unethical ends justifies the means rationalization.

                      I see the progressive extremist in the left pigeonholing all Republicans and Conservatives as being equivalent to Trump then they rationalize hating them all.

                    • These Liberal and moderate Liberal Democrats don’t like what’s happened in their own party; they’ve seen the irrational smears, race baiting, open intimidation, personal attacks, etc, etc, and they’re in literal fear of their livelihood and they’re trying to isolate themselves and their families from being tarred as opposition to the progressives social movement. They’ve given up and essentially gone underground.

                      Z, they had better understand that this will not save them. I see two scenarios:

                      1) The progressives succeed in destroying their enemies. Not having an enemy negates socialism and progressivism, so new enemies must be manufactured. Who is left but those who are not ‘woke’ enough, who did not join inthe victory (but stayed underground)

                      They may outlast me, but they will die just the same. This is borne out by the recent cases of progressives turning on each other: no one is immune to the mob’s violence.

                      2) The country is taken back by common (meaning, mostly conservative) rational Americans. Depending upon what is involved in that campaign, the consequences for moderate liberals range from social shunning to vigilante action. How is THAT a win.

                      Your friends are in the same position as ‘moderate’ muslims. At first, they secretly LIKE what the radicals do, so keep quiet. The ends justifies the means, right? Then the radicals get dangerous, so they stay quiet since they are not being targeted at this point. However, history teaches that such radicals devour everyone else until they are after each other. Either you are a radical right with them, or you will be devoured.

                      To quote Mr. Miyagi: “Walk left, safe. Walk right, safe. Walk in the middle, you get squished like a grape.” Especially true in Civil War.

                    • Alizia: “With that in mind, I consider the Guthrie interview as a sign that — sooner or later — the tide will turn. There may yet come a day when the people who serve traitorous ‘agendas’ and ‘projects’ align themselves with a more genuine reaction agains the hyper-liberal machine . . .”

                      Zoltar: “When that happens, either they have a change of heart, or they adapt to the new reality for self preservation. The tide is turning, as common Americans, particularly those in the heartland, are awakened to the danger posed by the Democrats and their traitorous allies.”

                      Once it is understood, in absolute terms, that the present attacks are *attacks on whiteness* and *attacks on whites*, and once a sufficient number of European-descended Americans understand what is at stake, and decide they choose not to accept the fate that has been outlined for them, both here and in Europe (and the former colonies), then and only then will the tide begin to turn.

                      Once even a relative small fraction — of the influential class — resolve inside themselves that they will not tolerate declarations of death on them and their children and have internalized why that cannot be tolerated, then a culture-wide conversation can begin, with culture-wide resistance actions, to reverse this strange and dangerous tide of contempt and hatred.

                      It will become necessary to fully — or at least much better — understand the machinations that were put in motion in the Postwar. And those who come to this realization will have to locate and name — and exclude — those factions, intellectuals and business interests that designed the present. But if they cannot sharpen their vision and their realizations, they will fail to name and recognize the ‘enemy’, and the ‘enemy’ will just change shape.

                      Therefore, this is in fact one of the most dangerous points in European history. The enemy is not *out there* it is *in here*. It is in my ideas and in *our ideas*.

                      Just as it happened when National Review jettisoned Derbyshire, the so-called ‘conservative’ establishment serves very similar power-structures in the US as the ‘progressives’. They have since the Postwar conduced purges of those conservatives whose vision is now needed. This has rendered conservatism . . . meaningless and weak. If any journalist or commentator became *too radical* (like Buchanan and Derbyshire) they get exiled. But when it happens that people like this are allowed a platform, and when they can communicate their ideas, they will win people to their side (and this is why they are excluded).

                      In my view, the battle is here — among people like you. It is your view of things that has to be influenced. And you have to see what is really going on and what is at stake.

                      Until *you* do (in my humble opinion) *you* will misperceive and fail to develop an effective counter-strategy.

    • My comment was not directed at you Alizia, you are not responsible for the content of the video….’What kind of interview is that?’ = it was not an interview. A comment on the ambush tactics of the interviewer.

      It’s ‘crella’, my childhood nickname given me by my dear and much-missed father.

  2. 1 Jet Blue

    Is it fair? It depends on who matters to Jet Blue, I guess.

    International travelers spend more money on flights, so theoretically they are passengers Jet Blue would least like to offend, given the choice of having to offend somebody.

    2 CNN

    You’re just now coming to this conclusion?

    It’s incredible: there are virtually nothing but anti-President Trump stories on CNN, without a break or end. Anti-Trump spin (“Of course Nancy Pelosi should block his speech!”), unsubstantiated anti-Trump hearsay (“Cohen says he was “threatened” by Trump!”), anti-Trump panels (“What has Mueller found and how soon should the House impeach him?”), and anti-Trump gloating (“The art of the deal hasn’t produced a deal, has it? Nyah nyah!”) One after another. Relentless.

    They have been doing this non-stop since 2016. Every time I fly, I see the same thing, which is why I don’t watch it. I read a book, or play a game, or wander around window shopping.

    I don’t want to risk insanity being contagious.

    3 Baseball ethics

    Nobody disputes that Rivera deserved to be admitted, and that his qualifications were beyond argument, but the fact that this time some idiots didn’t choose not to vote for him has nothing to do with the pitcher whatsoever.

    I was wondering if anyone but me thought this. Congratulations to him, though — for getting in. The unanimous ballot is irrelevant.

    4 Paul Krugman

    Paul. Krugman, you will recall, is the genius who predicted on election night 2016 that the stock market would crash and never recover.

    Yeah, Krugman’s really-super-ultra credible in his pronouncements — as incompetent an editorial writer as has ever existed. He’s even incompetent in the field in which he’s supposed to be competent — economics.

    He’s just plain incompetent, and paid mostly to keep his sycophantic, rabid leftist readers paying for the Times. They could care less about his competence, only his readership matters.

    5 CovCath Train Wreck

    Here in Louisville and its surrounds, we have a congressman that thinks the Covington Catholic students were picking on the Native American guy.

    He also called Nick Sandman’s statement not credible, and that he was “trying to do anything but defuse the situation,” and “that smile” was intended make it worse. He also said that the incident was a “statement about the state of the union.”

    This perfectly encapsulates the bias present in the Democrat party. They are incapable of believing anything but the worst of a person who would dare to wear a MAGA hat. They truly believe it is the 2019 equivalent of a KKK hood.

    A more perfect embodiment of the mindset “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind’s made up!” would be difficult to find. Never mind the racism: How can a university justify employing a Professor who reasons like that?

    That wasn’t reason. That was emotion. That’s what all the Left substitutes for rationality, and calls it “reason.”

    Let’s not get in the habit of agreeing with them.

    6 Prosecution of threats against CovCath

    Yes, it’s very good, until some Kentucky judge comes along and finds that they weren’t “true” threats because the threateners were so traumatized by Donald Trump they were incapable of rational thought.

    At the same time, lawyers for the students say they will sue everyone, even journalists, who falsely attacked the students for defamation. The latter is a long-shot because of the First Amendment, but remember, the kids weren’t public figures. The may have a case.

    Kurt Schlicter thinks they do. I think he’s right.

    • I read the story but the bullying allegation seems a bit thin. I am suspect of stories that conclude with information on litigation being pursued against third parties and not the actual bullies.

      • I agree and don’t, because shouldn’t the school have some part in making sure that the bullying was curbed or stopped? Schools are supposed to provide a safe zone for children to learn. The bus driver needed to report the bullying as well if he or she did not since varying articles say it occurred on the bus as well.

        I get the feeling the school was more of a say than take action and follow up institution. I’m not sure it would matter since most kids these days seem to have little to no respect for authority figures and/or their elders. Then again. learning starts at home so when the parents do nothing kids wreak havoc everywhere.

        • Becky, My comment is based on that which was reported in the link. The mother alleges the child was routinely bullied and that may be but I like to have such allegations backed up a bit more than just the plaintiff’s assertions.

          You mentioned the school bus driver should have done more. Where was that mentioned? You must have access to other reports that I have not seen.

          Can you tell me if the mother ever brought the issue to the attention of the school? Nothing in the Fox report makes such a claim.

          • I got from the NY Times “Charles said Seven struggled with the bullies he encountered on the bus ride to Kerrick Elementary School, where he was taunted because of a bowel condition, news station WDRB reported.” and “Seven’s mom said the bullying became so severe that he planned to transfer schools next year.” I may not have read it correctly but to me it sounds like it started on the bus and continued at the school.

            And then there was this one “Tami and Donnie Charles told WDRB that they are considering legal action against Jefferson County Public Schools, saying that their son was routinely bullied at school and on the bus – including one instance when another student allegedly called Seven Bridges a racial slur and choked him until he nearly lost consciousness.” https://wreg.com/2019/01/23/mother-says-10-year-old-who-committed-suicide-was-bullied-over-colostomy-bag/

            The part about the slur and the choking on the bus is also mentioned in a AOL article but also states he had to be taken to the hospital for evaluation and the school “eventually” opened an investigation into the incident.

            What’s interesting here to me is the link I posted said that the spokesperson stated they will do an investigation into the past complaints, while most others, besides the one on AOL, only say they’ll be doing an investigation without mentioning “past complaints”.

            So did they complain to the school district? Like most all new these days, it depends on who’s reporting it. But I would say given the local news article the bus driver would have definitely had to have known about it and at least one complaint was made.

            • I also found an article from NBC that says “Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Renee Murphy said on Wednesday that Seven’s death marked that eighth student suicide this school year.”

              and

              “The boy’s mom, Charles, said she made numerous complaints to her son’s school about bullying. Jefferson County Public Schools confirmed the family had raised concerns about bullying before — but said they believed they had been resolved.”

  3. On point 5.

    I am wondering if the anti-Trump bias is merely a cover for something far broader and uses Trump’s image as the effigy for anti-male bigotry; with white males as special targets. We can attack DJT as a proxy but we cannot condemn males outright because some are needed to maintain the illusion of righteousness.

    Does anyone believe that the MAGA hats preciptitated the Black Isrealites harrangue of this student group. I don’t.

    There appears to be an ongoing narrative marginalizing all things male that began when the ideas of the founding fathers were deemed passe’ at best and, at worst, an indicator of male patriarchal oppression. How often do we hear the phrase “old white men”. We are being conditioned to believe that any critique by a cisgendered male of an opinion proffered by any one other than a cisgendered male is rooted in misogyny, homophobia, or some other reason other than an honest disagreement. I have even seen this occur here. Such critiques take on special circumstances when the one offering the critique is white and the other a person of color.

    Interesting thing about the term “person of color”. Color is determined by the spectrum of the light rays reflected back from a given object. The color white means the entire spectrum is reflected. Black, on the other hand, means that no light is reflected. There is no one pure white nor pure black therefore we are all people of color. So why is it used? We use terms to convey meaning. By creating a new group termed “people of color” we get a larger demographic group that can wielded more effectively against an adversary that is not defined as a person of color.

    By creating this new category all persons other than Europeans are considered POC’s. Yet, much of what we know of Meso American culture is rooted in Spanish influence. Asians are POC and historically discriminated against yet were treated like the Irish so why are the Irish not considered an historically opressed people. So, how are any of these people any more a person of color than someone from eastern Europe? One can only conclude that the term is designed to marginalize anyone not considered a POC.

    There is no difference between racists and bigots; only the targets.

    • After reading this again it is clear my thoughts on this need refinement for clarity.

      I suppose my point was that is it really that they hate Trump or is Trump merely an accelerant of the animus toward males in general.

      • 1

        I suppose my point was that is it really that they hate Trump or is Trump merely an accelerant of the animus toward males in general.

        Both?

        Seriously, both, I think. To them, Trump is the archetype of toxic masculinity. It is really easy to impute that to all his male supporters, and not that hard to stretch it to all similar (i.e. white) males.

  4. I have no good spot for this so I’ll leave this here. Maybe it will be a good beacon in the ethics trenches. 🙂 Or not… I fully realize it should go on the post about Gillette’s ad, but I can’t find it off hand and my computer is acting up all over.

    It’s hard to find this anywhere that isn’t a more conservative/conservative site, but YouTube has it, directly from the company, so it’s being seen. So far more likes than not. Maybe there’s hope!

    https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/family/item/31254-watch-company-releases-rebuttal-to-gillette-toxic-masculinity-ad-sales-soar

    • I fully realize it should go on the post about Gillette’s ad, but I can’t find it off hand and my computer is acting up all over.

      That post is a long way back. The article you linked is tangentially relevant to #2.

      I think we can file this under “Get woke, go broke.”

  5. 2) Ready for your head to explode?

    I love the 5th Column Podcast.

    Their most recent episode had Brian Stelter on from CNN.

    Listening to him shill for the Mainstream Media is head-explodingly painful.

    The 5th Column Crew is generally good for holding spurious claims accountable, but this time they let ALOT of egregious tripe fly unopposed or weakly opposed from Stelter.

    • Stelter’s status as a dishonest and biased shill is pretty much established: is it worth a) the aggravation of listening to the ass and b) and the time to get another chance to shoot fish in a barrel? I trust your judgment.

      • Here’s some of the head-exploders so far, and I can only *paraphrase* because 5th Column, frustratingly, does not post transcripts of their podcast discussions:

        @14:00

        Kmele Foster reminds the listeners about a speech Brian Stelter made regarding “storm clouds of authoritarianism” many years ago regarding a Trump presidency, and questioned Stelter on how he feels about Trump regarding freedom of speech/press.

        Brian Stelter: “I remember the speech because I’d said a version on TV a week before, I ‘d asked all these questions about what was gonna happen with Trump. Was he gonna create fake news daily and call us fake news daily? Was he gonna create fake stats and facts? Was his govt gonna do that? And all that obviously has happened. But you caught me on an optimistic day. Some of the worst fears have not come true. Think about the last 2 years, what did journalists fear 2 years ago? what did media lawyers fear 2 years ago? They feared journalists in prison for not giving up sources. they feared eve more opaqueness in terms of govt access. I expected reporters to be kicked out of the White House and Trump tried once and he failed. Maybe he’ll try again and he’ll lose again. Some of the worst fears have not come true. What I said 2 years ago was for us to use our imaginations and foresee how bad this could get and look for ways to mitigate that. And recognize that most people want a robust vibrant news environment. Most people want to know whats going on and not live in echo chambers. They don’t want to be tricked and deceived by hyper-partisan news outlets. I think that’s what I was trying to say back then. I certainly was more worried 2 years ago about some of those adverse outcomes than I am today. Not to say I’m not worried, I was just more worried. We didn’t know what direction Trump would go and how strong he would turn out. Is it fair to say right now that he’s not that strong….?”

        Kmele: “I think it is. I think it is.”

        Stelter: “He’s got his back against a wall. And a shutdown of his own making……his polls are dropping…he’s misspelling hamburgers. It’s been a tough week, month and year for him and it didn’t have to go that way…right? It could’ve gone very differently, he could’ve been very strong in ways I think authoritarian language could be used. There are times I think he’s a wannabe autocrat. But the worst fears haven’t come to pass. This is interesting.”

        Here’s an idea. You had no rational basis to believe he was going to be an authoritarian to begin with. You WANTED him to be an authoritarian, so everything he said was spun with the notion that he WAS an authoritarian. You wanted to be this “media in exile” fighting against an imperial monster.

        You look like fools because of this.

        @25:20

        Michael Moynihan: “…I have seen it quite a bit though with CNN that people say ‘OH they’re in resistance mode…they used to be straight down the middle but they’re not anymore.'”

        Brian Stelter: “I think CNN is resisting lying, where CNN is resisting indecency…and that is…personally I’m in favor it that. But that’s different than resisting Trump……….. I would make that distinction. What is interesting about CNN in the past 2 years is there’s been an attempt to more explicitly stand up for facts, truthful information and decency. Decency is different from truth, decency is not using sick and racist slurs as nicknames, it’s wishing the president would spell words right…it’s wanting traditions and decency in the country. I like that CNN stands up for those values, but mostly stands up for facts and accuracy. What’s most important is that in 10 and 20 years, we’re still doing that.”

        UGHGHGHGHGHGHGH. I love the reverse engineered “purpose” of CNN’s behavior of the past 2 years. Good lord.

        No.

        You are being the “resistance”. Because that’s what you wanted to be when you invented the dictator Trump trope. Don’t pretend like you’ve really been standing for high-mindedness this whole time.

        @27:05

        Michael Moynihan discusses whether or not MSM will be aggressive with any other presidency.

        Brian Stelter: “I fully expect there will be some instances of false equivalence where the next Democrat president will be held to a higher standard. I think we all know Trump is graded on a curve that we would have loved to be graded on in college. He’s given breaks that other presidents would never be given. And any Democrat or future Republican presidents won’t be given those breaks. If you mix up New Orleans and Nashville…any other president would have a harder time living that down. A fun example from this week. Only not fun…kind of scary.”

        Yeah, because literally the 8 years of running interference for President Obama didn’t happen…

        Really…NO OTHER PRESIDENT would be given the breaks Trump has been given.

        Trump hasn’t been given breaks and if he has received minute breaks regarding “spelling”, those pale in comparison to the wide berth granted Obama for countless ACTUALLY dangerous-to-the-Republic scandals.

        And no, you dishonest shill, we know full well the next Democrat President will be presented as squeaky clean with any actual scandal being sloughed out of the news cycle after it’s first mere mention.

        @40:00

        Anthony Fisher: “You think in the age of Trump, it’s always been a thing where if a reporter or publication or news outlet makes a mistake and issues a correction it’s considered ok this is self policing, but not it’s certainly amplified in the last couple of years that any mistake must have been deliberate and must be because of the outpouring of shame that causes a correction and they wouldn’t have corrected it before.”

        Stelter: “Corrections are wielded like a weapon. As proof of mendacity. When in fact it is proof of self-healing, self-correcting, self policing. I heard Ben Smith make the argument that more corrections are a good thing. It shows the internet is improving the process by making errors more obvious and check-able and quicker. That’s a good thing. I made a mistake in my newsletter last week involving the Washington Post and Marty Baron of the post emailed me. That feeling of raw embarrassment took me back to my days at the NY Times when I’d be called into the manager officer for making a mistake. The feeling stays with you. You never want to do it again. That’s great for the profession. Unfortunately these corrections are wielded by partisans like daggers. Almost like on the internet we use links as knives. People wield links back and forth. I’m really convinced that’s not reality. It’s not real life. Some of those people aren’t real people.”

        Yeah…that’s why all the corrections are buried on the last page of the paper OR at the bottom of the website in a tiny footnote LONG after the original false story elicited the outrage compatible with the journalist’s worldview…false stories GENERATED because the journalist allowed their own confirmation biases to draw immediate conclusions with confirmation or research like a *professional journalist* would do.

        ————————————–

        I haven’t finished the podcast. I have to swallow this in manageable chunks.

        This is the era of

        “Big IF True, but reported as True” journalism
        “Get some outrage, issue a correction later” journalism
        “Get some false notion to stick in the minds of the readers, issue a correction much later” journalism.

        • Thank you, I guess. I could not listen to that asshole long enough to get all this. Reading it is a little easier to take. The an is paid as a media critic, and thinks like this. That alone indicts CNN.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.