And The Self-Destruction Of America’s Journalism Continues: I Pronounce The Boston Globe Ethics Alarms DEAD

The Boston Globe is the first newspaper I ever read, admittedly because it long had (no more, alas) the best sports section in the country. Even after fate took me away from my beloved home town and deposited me, apparently forever, in Washington, D.C., I continued to subscribe. Many times, notably when the paper’s special investigative unit blew the top off of the city’s deep and long-rotting child molestation scandal among its Catholic priests, leading to the exposure of the unimaginable world-wide scandal that went all the way to the Vatican, the paper validated my loyalty and admiration.

But political bias was always the Globe’s Achilles Heel. The editorial staff was a Kennedy family lapdog, and this metastasized into knee-jerk  Democratic Party support even when it could not be logically justified. Eventually, it was obvious that the paper’s ethics alarms, if not dead, were barely pinging. in April of 2016, the paper suffered a crippling Donald Trump-sparked nervous breakdown, turning itself into a print version of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds.” It featured a phony front page —a portent of the fake news to come, but not just at the Globe—showing the dystopian future that awaited in the hopefully alternate dystopian universe where  Trump was elected President:

I wrote in part,

So disturbed is the editorial staff of the Boston Globe over the nauseating threat of a Donald Trump presidency that it has jettisoned all established principles of journalism ethics in an embarrassing, self-destructive effort to “stop” him. Mark this down as one more wound on the culture that Trump has inflicted with his luxury ego trip, with the assistance of his irrational supporters, of course….

“This is Donald Trump’s America. What you read on this page is what might happen if the GOP frontrunner can put his ideas into practice, his words into action. Many Americans might find this vision appealing, but the Globe’s editorial board finds it deeply troubling,” the editor’s note reads. Then follows an editorial urging the GOP to stop Trump.

The editorial is fine. The Globe could have even chosen to place it on its real front page instead of creating a National Lampoon imitation and been well within journalism ethics standards. Publishing fake news stories about what a theoretical President Trump might do? This is a spectacular  failure of professionalism and a journalistic disgrace. A newspaper is pledged to report the news, not imagine it. It is not ethically entitled to morph into Saturday Night Live or the Onion because it really, really, really feels strongly about an issue.

(Gee, I really called the news media’s eventual total abandonment of journalism ethics, didn’t I? Where are my bouquets? My Pulitzer?)

That was the end of my regular reading of the Boston Globe. This is the end of my regarding it as a newspaper. The correct term is “rag.” Come to think of it, that may be an insult to rags.

Yesterday, the Globe editors allowed   Luke O’Neil, a periodic contributor, to author an op-ed in which he expressed regret for “not pissing” on conservative pundit  Bill Kristol’s food when O’Neil waited on him years ago,  and encouraged today’s waiters to “tamper” with the food of outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and, by innuendo, any other Trump administration officials they encountered:

“As for the waiters out there, I’m not saying you should tamper with anyone’s food, as that could get you into trouble. You might lose your serving job. But you’d be serving America. And you won’t have any regrets years later.”

Imagine this kind of incitement to violence against public officials being published in a respectable paper at any other time in our nation’s history. You can’t, can you? One reason is that in no other time had the foundation been laid by a party’s elected officials advocating the harassment of opposing party members when they appeared in restaurants. Another is that at no previous time has another prestigious paper targeted a child for humiliation and abuse because he dared to wear a cap supporting the President of the United States.

A third is that never before has the profession of journalism been in the midst of a suicidal dive to oblivion.

The ethics alarms of others rang loudly enough that the Globe editors, or more likely a fearful publisher, heard the din. What followed then was a sequence of stealth edits on the Globe website. The editors added this note:

“A version of this column as originally published did not meet Globe standards and has been changed. The Globe regrets the previous tone of the piece.”

That first part was a lie: if the editors had standards any more, the piece would never have run at all. They lost their journalism standards, just like the Times, the Post, CNN and the rest, and quite some time ago. The second part? I’m sure they regret the previous tone—you know, as in “poison people whose political views you don’t like.” It’s probably going to be harder to dish out propaganda when a news source’s readers know its management thinks this way.

The section about “pissing” now read,

Oh..defiling someone’s food is much, much better! See, when you have no functioning ethics alarms, it’s really difficult to know how to fix your ethics blunders. It didn’t take long for someone to point out that the edit wasn’t an improvement, so the piece was edited again, this time to say that one of the biggest regrets of O’Neil’s life was “serving Bill Kristol salmon and not telling the neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader what I really thought about him.” The section about tampering with the food of Trump officials was also changed;  now it endorsed the tactics of  Maxine Waters and  Rebecca Mankey:

“And when they show up in our restaurants, you have my permission, as an official member of the mainstream media, to tell them where to go and what they can do with themselves when they arrive there, but, you know, said in a more specific and traditional Boston colloquialism.”

But that’s not what O’Neil wrote, so this is the Globe giving permission to harass Republicans in  public. And I like “our” restaurants. Nice. Those with opposing views aren’t welcome in Boston, the one-time cradle of liberty.

Now the Globe has pulled down the piece all together.

Too late.

Anyone who reads, quotes or trusts this paper after this is an idiot.

19 thoughts on “And The Self-Destruction Of America’s Journalism Continues: I Pronounce The Boston Globe Ethics Alarms DEAD

  1. Yesterday, the Globe editors allowed Luke O’Neil, a periodic contributor, to author an op-ed in which he expressed regret for “not pissing” on conservative pundit Bill Kristol’s food when O’Neil waited on him years ago, and encouraged today’s waiters to “tamper” with the food of outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and, by innuendo, any other Trump administration officials they encountered…

    Okay, that’s it. For the foreseeable future, Chick-Fil-A is my default fast-food restaurant. At least I’ll be certain my food won’t be the target of a wayward urine stream or loogey.

    My McDonald’s addiction will just have to suffer. Too many suspect, left-demographic managers there to trust anymore.

    Imagine this kind of incitement to violence against public officials being published in a respectable paper at any other time in our nation’s history. You can’t, can you?

    I can’t imagine an article like this in the weekly newspaper of a tiny burg like my home town, let alone one of the late great national dailies. Hell, I can barely imagine this column in National Lampoon or the Babylon Bee.

    That first part was a lie: if the editors had standards any more, the piece would never have run at all.

    It was indeed, for the stated reasons. As I have said so many times now, Hanlon’s Razor can no longer be rationally applied to the Left, and absent that, this was an act of malice aforethought, and someone called them on it.

    Oh..defiling someone’s food is much, much better!

    Oh. My. God.

    “Functioning ethics alarms?” They’ve been replaced by mandatory ethics debauchery.

    Anyone who reads, quotes or trusts this paper after this is an idiot.

    Or a rabid, Trump-deranged Leftist. Oh, wait — they have functionally the same definition.

  2. The Boston Globe has always been liberal, but now it’s just staffed by assholes who give other and bigger assholes a platform, and call it freedom of the press. Abuse the First Amendment, and ultimately you destroy it.

  3. Yesterday I wrote…

    People are openly dog whistling to anti-Republican, anti-Trump, anti-Conservative, anti-white, anti-man, etc. etc. that the ends justifies the means and they should do things like tamper with their food. This won’t end well, someone is going to die because of these lunatics dog whistling to their throngs of blithering idiots. The insanity is getting worse and worse.

    The vast majority of the political left is so damned blinded by their hate that they can’t see that they’ve become the evil they profess to oppose.

    The United States political left has been permanently radicalized.

      • Michael Ejercito wrote, “This radicalization did not begin with Trumps’s election.”

        I didn’t say or imply that it did.

        Michael Ejercito wrote, “In fact, it may even predate Obama’s election.”

        It’s certainly been growing since the 1960’s but in my opinion the real seed of the hate we are seeing were sown on September 11, 2001; fear is what has transformed the core psyche of the United States – fear is the core of hate.

    • Tampering with food is only a start. We used to talk about things we wouldn’t want drugged-up people doing, and I think that list might apply here as well. What’s to stop an angry leftist garage worker from loosening a conservative motorcycle rider’s front hub so that it will eventually work loose when ridden? What’s to stop a bitter leftist HVAC worker from rigging a conservative home or business owner’s A/C or heating to fail at exactly the wrong times, or fiddling with a boiler so that it will eventually explode? How about a rabid Trump-hating plumbing worker rigging a conservative homeowner’s sewage/drainage line to result in a coagulation of grease and soap, so eventually the raw sewage will back up?

      That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t want some Trump-deranged pharmacist filling my prescriptions and doing it wrong because they hate my politics, or withholding them until I might have serious health consequences. I don’t want some nurse who’s also a union activist and pissed at conservatives for fighting her union on contract terms to inject me with the wrong medication and kill me because I’m not a union person. I don’t want necessary permits or time-sensitive stuff like adoption papers held up because some clerk is liberal and wants to do his part to resist by screwing me.

      The scary thing as that, in all of these matters, there’s usually plausible deniability. Well, the hub was tight when I was finished, not my fault if it worked loose. I didn’t rig anything to go wrong, it must have been a freak accident. The homeowner must have poured too much crap down the sewer, not my fault. I didn’t deliberately withhold his critical medicine, the supplier was backward. I didn’t deliberately inject him with the wrong thing, the attending has terrible penmanship. I didn’t deliberately hold those papers back, I was just carefully doing my job.

      This isn’t high school, where if you didn’t like someone it was ok to short-sheet his bed, rig up a bucket of cold water to fall from a half-open door, etc., and this isn’t just that you think the guy is socially awkward so you pick on him, or you think he needs a lesson in respect and pranking him is the way to do it. This is you hate someone enough to try to hurt him or worse, and you act on it. As I’ve often said, the Indians in Jersey City eventually started busting the Dotbusters, the Hatfields didn’t just stand back from or flee from the McCoys, and the Protestants targeted by the IRA in Northern Ireland eventually started fighting back. The liberals shouldn’t expect all the bullshit, all the hate, and all the abuse to only flow one way, and that’s not good for this country.

    • Noting happened after they incited a man to shoot a Congressman. The New York Times reported the field the Republicans practiced on before the game and mentioned that there was little security. A Bernie Sanders campaign worker then moved to D.C and lived out of a van he parked next to that ballfield for several weeks, took photos of the field days before the shooting. Visited Sander’s office the morning of the shooting, asked a bystander if the people on the field were Republicans or Democrats, and had a list of names of Republican congressmen in his pocket at the time of the shooting. He many times posted of his hatred of Republicans.

      What was the response from the ‘nonpartisan’ and ‘definitely not biased’ FBI after they outlined the above information? This was a random shooting. What a shame.

      So, since nothing happens when the press incites people to shoot Republican Congressmen AND THEY DO, I don’t think much will happen when people start tampering with the food of Republicans.

      Better watch what you do restaurant workers.
      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/who-are-better-tippers-democrats-or-republicans-2017-07-10

  4. How is calling for the introduction of possibly contaminated bodily fluids (AKA poison) into the food of political opponents NOT a wish that they die?

    This is only the beginning. For a paper as prominent os the Globe to feel it permissible to print this, the idea had to be discussed and examined over months (if not years) such that the Globe thought readers would not object. Progressives are running fantasy scenarios on how to kill deplorables. How else do you get here?

    Progressives have once again incited murder of their political opponents. They want us dead.

  5. But, of course, they will have regrets. It won’t take long for a contaminated person to become deathly ill and the cause of that illness to be targeted pretty darn quick, especially if it’s a prominent person. To say you will have no regrets about a likely prison term when someone contracts hepatitis or severe food poisoning due to your deliberate actions is ridiculous. What happens in the kitchen, like in Vegas, doesn’t stay in the kitchen.

    But, what is more likely to happen is what is already happening across the country. Harassing public officials in public is most assuredly unAmerican, but the danger encountered by ordinary people like Nicholas Sandmann and Victor the Elderly Jewish MAGA Hat Wearer is becoming palpable. I can absolutely see some brain-damaged SJW justify tampering with a MAGA hat wearer’s food.

    Remember that entry a few years ago about the former domestic servant who defiled her employers’ toothbrushes and served them contaminated water, then wrote to a columnist asking for advice when she realized they were now seriously ill? I’m advising anyone attending the Republican National Convention next year to keep their toothbrushes on them at all times and don’t use the coffeemaker in their rooms….

    because this doesn’t look to be getting any better.

  6. Those with opposing views aren’t welcome in Boston, the one-time cradle of liberty.

    Huh? What “cradle of liberty”? You do know that the so-called Sons of Liberty there used even stronger versions of the very same approach on those with opposing views in the Boston of their day, right? Many were driven out even before the final degeneration. Kenneth Roberts’s well researched historical novels bring this out very well (he wrote some from each point of view, which made his oeuvre quite balanced, though strangely Hollywood only drew on part of it).

    • “Cradle of Liberty” is 1) a label claimed both by Boston and Philadelphia and 2) refers to Boston’s critical role in sparking the Revolution, or liberty from the authority of England. I just as easily could have used “Beantown,” whereupon you could have complained that “Boston Baked Bean” is a misnomer, since the dish originated in Hastings…

      • Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I wasn’t suggesting that the allusion doesn’t come with a long history. I was pointing out that the allusion, once you look at where it comes from, can easily be seen to be baseless rubbish (I was thinking something stronger). That’s because all that stuff you listed was sailing under false colours.

        Oh, and you really shouldn’t mischaracterise as complaints the times I point out stuff so readers can see other information – and check it, if they like. This paragraph, right here, is me complaining about that routine pattern of yours, but even this isn’t driven by anything personal: it’s about keeping the information paths open (readers might accept your gatekeeping if I can’t persuade you to stop this). That, up there, pointing out that Boston was no “cradle of liberty” in any sense but its own boasting, that wasn’t a complaint, it was a correction.

        • Casting aspersions on someone’s beloved hometown is unnecessary and in this case rude to the host, even if true (I do not know)

          It was a move worthy of Trump, in this case, as you deliberately insulted your host after he recently spoke about Boston being his home, and then hid behind the ‘I was only stating facts’ dodge.

          Jack used a reference, a figure of speech, a commonly used nick name for Boston. He was not spreading misleading propaganda. The obscure details are as unimportant to common usage as tits on a boar hog.

          You could as well object to calling Australia ‘down under’ and be factually correct. So what?

          You are like the weird uncle who comes to Christmas and tells everyone that Jesus was likely born in July. Not important to the reason for the family gathering, even if true, just said to stir up shit.

          • Althoughly I deeply regret any reading like that, I was not writing of Boston but of the whole rubbish idea of “cradle of liberty”.

            Any insult was neither deliberate, nor possible, without stating facts – and that came first. I would not forego setting things straight to avoid offence; that’s where all this PC crap got a foothold in the first place. (But I didn’t use words like “crap” first time through). You are running around being triggered.

            Any idea that “cradle of liberty” is just a historical association of ideas, almost a slogan for the place, flies in the face of how all this came up: as something inconsistent with what people are doing in Boston now. But the fact I was trying to bring out, that seems to have gone missing in action, is that all today’s actions are 100% in keeping with what was done there long ago, and if anything not yet as severe. My crack was about the crock that is “cradle of liberty”, used as though it was a term inconsistent with what is happening now. It is sheer coincidence that the name “Boston” came up.

            JM, if you, personally were insulted, I regret that. If you can see any anaesthetic I can use to avoid doing that while still telling people that “cradle of liberty” is a load of … well, you know the rest, at least if the term is taken as showing a fine tradition of resisting the sort of behaviour you yourself noted happening there now, well, I would gladly spare your feelings as long as I can still tell it like it is.

            • To be honest, I took your original post as a slam on the American Revolution and, rereading it now, I saw little to change that impression.

              • I’m sorry if it read that widely. I meant it as a slam on what was done there in particular, then, in the years before the War Of Independence as part of the run up to it. I did that to show that there is nothing in those precedents to undercut what progressives are doing there now. There was widespread intimidation and driving out or under, all done on the back of claims that those who got it deserved it. Things like looting people’s homes and effects, as well as tarring and feathering and the like. I want to endorse any indignation at modern behaviour, but not on the back of false representations that there was somehow a more worthy past.

            • Why even bring it up? The comment was tangential to the conversation.

              As to the rest, nice projection. I was pointing out how civilized guests behave, and you are standing on ‘But I was telling the truth!’ Inserting your pet peeves, even if true, into a conversation artificially is rude, boorish behavior.

              It was not the time nor place, and the fact you cannot see that tells me all I need to know.

              Have a nice day, PM.

              • I was pointing out how civilized guests behave, and you are standing on ‘But I was telling the truth!’ Inserting your pet peeves, even if true, into a conversation artificially is rude, boorish behavior.

                That is entirely correct, and I 100% agree, apart from that claim about what I am standing on.

                Out of curiosity, why would anyone suppose that I ever do that, let alone there, rather than that I was genuinely trying to get at something I see as very important? I am sure that the priest and the pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan could have said that injured travellers were tangential to their own errands. Words are tools, history is a foundation for informed action, and a rotten bough breaks underfoot or a poor sword turns in the hand, so there is much to fear from getting language or history wrong. How can you argue against today’s progressives if you give them the free kick of claiming that you already conceded the principle that it is OK to bully and intimidate people as long as they are official bad guys, when you agreed that what was done in the past was done well and well done? None of that is peevish, it’s a well founded fear.

                So, to get back to your objection, how could I tell all that without, well, telling it?

                To turn your own words back on you, it was the time and place, and the fact you cannot see that tells me all I need to know about you not seeing. It was the time and place, as I had to strike while the iron was hot and before I got too tied up – which is currently stopping me from giving the very lengthy replies needed elsewhere (I have a backlog).

  7. “And when they show up in our restaurants, you have my permission, as an official member of the mainstream media, to tell them where to go and what they can do with themselves when they arrive there, but, you know, said in a more specific and traditional Boston colloquialism.”

    Inciting people — individually or collectively — to do violence to another, is against the law, right? And now we have The Globe and other “liberals” engaging in this behavior? Making it unsafe for any conservative to attend public events, go to restaurants, even movies (who knows what they put in your popcorn?), and having to put up with public verbal assault (and it is assault) if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if you have the nerve to wear a MAGA hat. I’m astonished that The Globe is so biased and stupid, but then so are millions of other ‘progressives’ who are trying to make this a liberal totalitarian state. The Globe, now, is not inciting this, really, it is only reflecting the insane left and its behavior.

    Hitler did a very good job of encouraging Germans to taunt, humiliate, and assault Jews — before he went full bore and took their homes, their businesses, their families, and eventually killed six million of them. Is this where we’re headed? Only one idea is a good idea. Only one form of speech is good speech. Only one political view is the good political view? And if you diverge from “the one,” then watch out. They ARE out to get you, and they are deranged.

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