Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 4/20/19: Fighting Fake Hate Crimes, Mueller Report Spin, Journalism Incompetence, And Being Mean To Beto

Good morning!

1. Nah, there’s no mainstream media ignorance and stupidity…

Mecca!

These are the people we trust to keep us informed about the world, and explain what we don’t have the time to study.  Great. [Pointer: Instapundit]

2.  Please circulate to your tantrum-throwing Impeach Trump friends...Yet another sharp column by Glenn Greenwald cutting through the fog and wind, and explaining that, as he puts it, “Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them.”

Unlike the New York Times, which intentionally cherry-picked quotes from the Mueller Report to give solace to its Trump-Deranged readers, Greenwald reproduced the substantive conclusions that put the nails into the collusion fantasy. Like…

  • “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation”
  • “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Greenwald concludes,

In sum, Democrats and their supporters had the exact prosecutor they all agreed was the embodiment of competence and integrity in Robert Mueller. He assembled a team of prosecutors and investigators that countless media accounts heralded as the most aggressive and adept in the nation. They had subpoena power, the vast surveillance apparatus of the U.S. government at their disposal, a demonstrated willingness to imprison anyone who lied to them, and unlimited time and resources to dig up everything they could.

The result of all of that was that not a single American – whether with the Trump campaign or otherwise – was charged or indicted on the core question of whether there was any conspiracy or coordination with Russia over the election. No Americans were charged or even accused of being controlled by or working at the behest of the Russian government. None of the key White House aides at the center of the controversy who testified for hours and hours – including Donald Trump, Jr. or Jared Kushner – were charged with any crimes of any kind, not even perjury, obstruction of justice or lying to Congress.

These facts are fatal to the conspiracy theorists who have drowned U.S. discourse for almost three years with a dangerous and distracting fixation on a fictitious espionage thriller involved unhinged claims of sexual and financial blackmail, nefarious infiltration of the U.S. Government by familiar foreign villains, and election cheating that empowered an illegitimate President. They got the exact prosecutor and investigation that they wanted, yet he could not establish that any of this happened and, in many cases, established that it did not.

Precisely.

3. Stop making me defend Beto! Poor Beto O’Rourke. Once the leader in the empty-suit division of the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes, he has now been supplanted by Pete Whateverhisnameis thanks to the news media manipulation we know so well.  Now Beto’s being mocked in conservative circles for his tax returns, which showed that despite having qute a bit of money in his family (Beto’s wife is rich), the O’Rourkes gave just .3% to charity.

Quizzed about this at a campaign even, O’Rourke’s answer was that his campaign was his major altruistic contribution, saying,

“I’ll tell you, I’m doing everything I can right now, spending this time with you, not with our kiddos, not back home in El Paso, because I want to sacrifice everything to make sure that we meet this moment of truth with everything we’ve got.”

This has gotten him roundly mocked. Victory Girls is typical: “Beto is so stupendously awesome that we should be applauding his sacrifice! He’s donating himself to America therefore his past record of paltry donations to charity has been surpassed by this one amazingly bold move! What a guy! Such a giver!”

I won’t opine on the wisdom of putting it that way, but Beto, for once, is right. Running for President is a sacrifice, and a major one, for the public good, and a lot more difficult than writing a check.

4. And this is why Jussie Smollett belongs in jail… In the Detroit News, Nolan Finley writes that the supposed wave of hate crimes in America since President Trump was elected  is a hoax, though a convenient narrative that the media is happy to keep repeating. Kentucky State University professor Wilfred Reilly, researched hate-motivated violence in America for his book “Hate Crime Hoax,” and found that the majority of high-profile hate crimes over the past few years have been faked. Finley writes,

Reilly studied 409 reported hate crimes over the past five years that received media attention. They include incidents such as the racist graffiti at Eastern Michigan University and the minority woman in Grand Rapids who claimed a group of white men urinated on her.

“In major cases, almost all of them have been hoaxes,” Reilly says. “The number of hate crime hoaxes actually exceeds the number of convictions. The majority of these high-profile incidents never happened….Portraying America as a hate-filled country is wildly inaccurate,” Reilly says.

The professor himself writes at Commentary:

I take no position on what exact percentage of all hate crimes are hoaxes. Such a conclusion would be nearly impossible to calculate. It would be necessary, just for starters, to determine the percentage of all cases of alleged interracial fist fights that were classified as hate crimes across every county-level police precinct in the United States, the conviction versus dismissal rate for those crimes, and the percentage of prosecutorial dismissals or nolle prosequi decisions that were motivated by a belief that the allegation in question was a false one.

False hate crimes inflict a heavy cost on society. …The hoaxes are bound to increase hostility between blacks and whites. The wonder is that, very much to the credit of the American people, these fake hate crimes have not (yet) fomented more real hate crimes. But if the fake crimes continue unabated and unexposed, it is only a matter of time before the racial divisions they fuel will inspire actual violence.

…It’s no secret that there exists a large and well-entrenched grievance industry in the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which labels organizations such as the Family Research Council and Jewish Political Action Committee “hate groups,” pulls in $51.8 million per year and has a well-invested endowment of $432 million. …Civil-rights groups such as the NAACP [and] the Urban League… have a deep-rooted interest in presenting the sort of bigotry they fight as a serious ongoing problem in the United States in order to continue receiving donations and funding. … Especially in a liberal environment, such as a college campus, the false report of a hate crime brings both predictable support from a preset group of allies and a chance to strike back at perceived oppressors.

Pointer: Advice Goddess

13 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 4/20/19: Fighting Fake Hate Crimes, Mueller Report Spin, Journalism Incompetence, And Being Mean To Beto

  1. mecca noun, often capitalized
    mec·​ca | \ ˈme-kə \
    Definition of mecca (Entry 1 of 2)
    : a place regarded as a center for a specified group, activity, or interest
    a mecca for shoppers
    Mecca geographical name
    Mec·​ca | \ ˈme-kə \
    variants: or Arabic Makkah \ ˈmä-​kə \
    Definition of Mecca (Entry 2 of 2)
    holy city in western Saudi Arabia population 1,294,106

  2. The correct headline should be Note Dame, the revered French cathedral, is a tourist mecca.

    The primary use should lead. If we said the Dome of the Rock is famous among travelers to the middle east is a similar disparagement.

    • I actually kind of think the headline’s funny. “Journalists were surprised to find the much-visited, 870-year-old cathedral held religious significance.” It’s the sort of thing that confirms those simple-mindeds among us who work for a living in that pervasive opinion that the people of lauded importance have no idea what they’re talking about – like that time Mitt Romney attempted to condescend to the proles. I wonder if it was followed by a headline angling for increasingly centralized control of the nation’s infrastructure in order to keep the earth in its orbit. They’re becoming the only necessary argument for the fact that the best possible bureaucracy will always, in general and in every individual circumstance, bereft of all necessity for qualification, be outperformed by even the most ill-conceived hierarchy.

  3. 3. Beto’s sacrifice

    I won’t opine on the wisdom of putting it that way, but Beto, for once, is right. Running for President is a sacrifice, and a major one, for the public good, and a lot more difficult than writing a check.

    Yes, that’s true. And honestly, how much someone gives to charity should not be a matter for political ridicule unless the candidate touts his generosity as a presidential virtue — I don’t think Beto has. It may be, but it’s far from a sure thing and definitely isn’t as important as other characteristics, like leadership ability, compassion, energy and good judgment.

    4. Jussie Smollett

    False hate crimes inflict a heavy cost on society. …The hoaxes are bound to increase hostility between blacks and whites. The wonder is that, very much to the credit of the American people, these fake hate crimes have not (yet) fomented more real hate crimes. But if the fake crimes continue unabated and unexposed, it is only a matter of time before the racial divisions they fuel will inspire actual violence.

    The crux of the biscuit, and a clear justification for trying Jussie Smollett on the crimes of which he was accused.

    I don’t take a position on what punishment is just, but I will say the more we allow conduct like Smollett’s to continue unpunished, the closer to a race war we move.

  4. Well, Robert Francis O’Rourke not only didn’t donate much to charity, he also made deductions he wasn’t allowed to. Apparently, he forgot that Obamacare reduced the amount of medical expenses you can donate and he has been deducting too much (for how many years?). Perhaps he should have used TurboTax or H&R Block’s software.

    (1) If you are going to release your taxes, have an expert go through them to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

    (2) Not being able to do your own taxes doesn’t help your image of being less than competent.

    (3) For someone running in the party that want more and more complicated taxes, not paying your fair share is only perpetuating the ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ image the Democrats are cultivating these days.

  5. 3. …”Running for President is a sacrifice, and a major one, for the public good, and a lot more difficult than writing a check.” Agreed; but it doesn’t preclude writing a check either.

  6. Fake hate crimes are what make the deplorables believe there are NO hate crimes… just progressives trying to stir up trouble in the name of political gain.

    This backfire hurts both camps.

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