Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/6/2019: Unethical Journalism, Free Press, “Gotchas!,” And Shut Up…

Good morning…

1. Now here’s a nice, professional, objective headline from the Times: ASSAILING HATE, BUT NOT GUNS.

Inexcusable. Several journalists have been arguing of late that it’s time for news organizations to openly and vigorously take a position on guns, and I bet you can guess which position that would be. (Of course, they have been taking that position for some time now, just denying it, like Brian Stelter denied that CNN’s coverage of the Mueller inquiry was slanted.) Have you been fooled?

The Times headline makes an assumption that is purely emotional rather than factual. There is nothing innately hateful about guns. “ASSAILING HATE, BUT NOT SPEECH”  would be an equivalent headline. “ASSAILING OBESITY, BUT NOT MASHED POTATOES”  is only slightly more idiotic.

Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias.

2. Speaking of unethical journalism…I was struck by a letter fromone of the knee-jerk liberals who frequent the pages of the New York Times Book Review supplement, which is always full of propaganda where it doesn’t belong (it is amazing how their guest reviewers can work in cheap shots at President Trump and the attendant Big Lies no matter what a book is about). Ellen Creane (she’s a community college English professor) wrote, “…Britain ultimately had to call on America’s democracy to save the island and indeed all of Europe. Who will America call on to save it from the current attacks on our free media? We must do this ourselves, strongly and now.”

Have you noticed the creeping trope that to criticize how our current journalists abuse freedom of the press is to threaten freedom of the press? I’m not sure if people believe this, thanks to thorough bombardment by the media itself (How dare you tell us how to do our job? Censorship!), or if the argument is just another intentional effort to protect an ally, and an unethical one, of the progressive culture wars.

In a democracy, freedom of the press is essential. Fair, competent and ethical journalism within a free news media is equally essential. Criticizing the news media, even condemning it, when journalists abuse their absolute license to misinform, slant, spin, bury or otherwise distort news to advance political or social agendas does not pose a threat to the free media. Not calling journalists on their accelerating abandonment of ethical journalism principles does.

At this point, the news media is undermining its own credibility and value with shocking speed. The credibility of journalists hasn’t been lower in a century; ironically, the more journalists try to guide public opinion by selective reporting, the less effective they are in doing so. The professor’s alarm is a veiled attack on President Trump’s “enemy of the people” verdict on the media. The theory is that such an attitude foreshadows official action against “the enemy,” and this spin allows the unethical journalists to wrap themselves in the Bill of Rights, play victim, and warn darkly of an impending “authoritarian” effort to shackle the metaphorical printing presses.

No, the “enemy of the people” label belongs on the current practitioners of free journalism, not journalism itself. They do pose a danger to the people, and democracy. The accusation is intended to act, and should act, as a bracing slap in the face to alleged professionals who are misbehaving, in an attempt to shock them into realizing what a wrong and dangerous path they are on.

When a free press is used to undermine democracy, the wisdom of freedom of the press will inevitably be challenged. It is not the attacks that journalist’s need to be “saved from.” It is their own unprofessional and unethical conduct that has justly prompted the attacks.

3. From the “Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness” files, (or maybe it should be the “‘Saved by the Bell’ alumni shouldn’t try to be profound” files)…“Extra” host Mario Lopez, aka “Slater” on the iconic teen series of yore,  had the audacity to say on Candace Owens’ podcast last month:

Look, I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong. But at the same time, my God, if you’re three years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be…. I Just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then—‘Okay, well then you’re going to be a boy or a girl,’ whatever the case may be. It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on.

The Horror. In fact, Lopez’s opinion was mildly expressed and eminently reasonable. But as he should have predicted, being a creature of social media himself, the LGBT Furies descended on Mario, calling him a bigot and worse. Extra producers responded with this statement, Deadline reported: “While we have enjoyed a long relationship with Mario Lopez, who we know to be a caring person, the opinions he expressed in this interview do not reflect those of Extra. We wholeheartedly embrace our friends from the LGBTQ community and believe they need support and love. For more support on these issues you can go to GLAAD.org.”

So Mario collapsed like a house made of toilet paper in the rain, and grovelled for his job in a  statement to People: “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were. I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

The lesson: if you can’t or won’t stand up to cultural bullying when you have done nothing worse than challenge the rising Leftist totalitarian collective, then  shut up. Lopez had nothing to apologize for, and if he had stood his ground, he would have found many allies, some powerful and formidable. Lopez made himself a complacent victim. This is the kind of censorship threatening us now, constructed by ideologues who can’t win debates with reason, so they resort, successfully, to intimidation.

4. “Gotcha!” update. Did you hear that President Trump mistakenly called Dayton, Ohio “Toledo” yesterday? Do you care? Do you really think that means anything? Verbal gaffes  like that one are inevitable when anyone does a lot of public speaking, and those who pounce on such errors and try to use them as proof of incompetence or intellectual weakness are technically known as “assholes.” Yer Facebook was full of mocking attacks on the President for the common phenomenon called a “file extraction error.” Our mind files names and words in sometimes mysterious compartments, and when we go to extract one we sometimes mistakenly grab another. In a recent legal ethics lecture, I refereed to Perry Mason’s portrayer, Raymond Burr, as Aaron Burr without even realizing it. That does not mean I don’t know the difference.

40 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/6/2019: Unethical Journalism, Free Press, “Gotchas!,” And Shut Up…

  1. #2 So where do we go to get a free and truly independent press back?

    Do we trust the market place of ideas?

    Do we expect any natural swing of the pendulum correction back toward center?

    Do we need to found new journalism schools with proper ethical standards?

    The current lot seem disinterested in ethics or balance.

    • Interesting. Noam Chomsky wrote extensively in The Manufacture of Consent how

      “… powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”, by means of the propaganda model of communication. The title derives from the phrase “the manufacture of consent,” employed in the book Public Opinion (1922), by Walter Lippmann (1889–1974)

      What is curious is how you have come to clearly see the biases and distortions of the media-systems when you distinguish that they are operating against your interests.

      I hope that you will take a moment to look over the ‘five filters of editorial bias’.

      What is strange — in this ultra-strange present — is that the Progressive Left seems to have begun to indicate that it would take on the function of a semi-totalitarian state. And the state (the ‘deep state’ if you wish) already shows to what ideology and value-set it is committed. This is one that derives from management-models, not necessarily from republican values.

      But we have been trained to understand how this happens in more brutal states with aggressive control measures. In our own state and system — and Lippmann wrote about how this should happen and why in The Public Philosophy — this happens by very different means and mechanisms.

      His primary assertion is that the mass-man is not capable of making the most important decisions, and so a range of industries, intellectuals, institutions and interests (‘managers’) must assume this role and do it for him. It is people like Lippmann, in cooperation with people like Edward Bernays, who clearly and without any doubt at all explain how this is done and through what ideological premises.

      Here is Bernays in Propaganda (1928):

      “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

      So where do we go to get a free and truly independent press back?

      It is a logical necessity that ‘press’ and ‘journalism’ would have to be disconnected, somehow, from corporate systems and their interests. Does this not stand completely to reason?

      In order to understand the process of ‘dumbing down of America’ — that is, how it has happened that America and Americans can hardly reason properly and why their mental structures are so contaminated by the false-real — requires a great deal of explanation and exposition. But it is obviously an issue of paideia in the most crucial sense: how the young are taught to view and interact with their world.

      Do we trust the market place of ideas?

      If you reduce the intellectual world, which should be the intellectual world if ideas and values, to a ‘marketplace’, then obviously it cannot suffice. It is obvious that the entire base of the Occidental university has to be re-grounded. What has subverted that University? That is a complex question.

      Do we expect any natural swing of the pendulum correction back toward center?

      No, because as a corrupt democracy transitions into it tyrannical phase, and every category becomes corrupt, things usually have to approach their bottom-point before a counter-movement is conceived. Now, this is avoided because of the obvious very difficult measures that are required to correct severe corruption. So things are allowed to drift. And it seems that every step toward amelioration only gets one more deeply into the mire of things.

      What will now happen in America (and in the world) is that the paramilitary forces will attempt to restore order if only so that the *system* can continue to function in an economic sense. You see, this is ultimately an issue of ‘power and what power does’.

      Do we need to found new journalism schools with proper ethical standards?

      You would have to redefine epistemology! I am not kidding. If I speak to a *you-plural* and not to *you-Jim* I can only say that there is no longer anyone home to define what ‘good journalism’ is or should be. And no one has any idea at all how it has happened, so dramatically, that no one has an ethical base from which to reason.

      At the fringes, from ‘out of the woodwork’, odd people have shown themselves who take on the role of the ‘journalists’ you desire. They are doing the work that you wish would be done. But they will be de-platformed if their ideas are too contrary, and eventually they will be eliminated if it is necessary for power to maintain its hold.

      It is a modification of the notion that: “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.”

      Ethics arises from an inner plane and is not imposed on one like a rule-book one keeps in one’s back pocket. It all depends on the inner-structure of an upstanding person. Where is that person? Will he or she please show himself!

      • Mercy me! You not only mention three titles that happen to inhabit my library but, (and this is where it gets GOOD!) two of which I’ve actually read.

        Time to buy a lottery ticket(s)…?

        Gustave La Bon’s The Crowd: A Study Of The Popular Mind deserves mention, here.

        The Lippmann & Bernays offerings (1922-n-1928) are relative newcomers; La Bon’s is nearly 125 years old.

        These people have be at this a LOOOONG time!

          • Any of the above authors you reference would not be surprised (my hope would be they cringe) as they read: “The shocking images of neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, North Carolina in the summer of 2017 linger in the mind.”

            That the Charlottesville in question is in Virginia notwithstanding, they go on to say: but so do those OF THE PASSIONATE PROTESTORS WHO RISKED THEIR LIVES TO DO THE RIGHT THING. (bolds/caps mine)

            Risked their lives my @$$! Doing what; sucker-punching, assaulting, and battering (in many cases) elderly/defenseless/unsuspecting victims in a cowardly and gutless manner?

            Tell you what; these passionate protestors (READ: timid, endomorphic, beta-male, milquetoasts) ever meet up with some passionate protestors that know how to handle themselves, the results ain’t going to be pretty and the shocking images will linger far longer.

            • Careful: the lefties are learning how to use eeeevvuuulll guns in anticipation of just such an event:

              https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2019/07/08/violent-antifa-members-arming/

              Of course, standing still and hitting targets that do not move and don’t shoot back is no substitute for the vast military experience on the right, but a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn… and ‘spray and pray’ is dangerous to those downrange even if they are not targeted.

              • Lefties & guns? Loading them summons the image of one Deputy Barney Milton Fife. Handling them? It starts-n-ends with Frederico “Fredo” Corleone.

                That said, couple of the two furthest Left Lefties in my wheelhouse, yet ones with whom a Righty can converse (a male friend and one of my 4 Dear Sisters), are dyed-in-the-wool 2A advocates.

                My activist sister has received numerous death threats over the decades and has made…um…contingency arrangements.

                The guy? Lefty’d probably say he’s trying to compensate for somesuch…

      • Wish I had time to read more. You, obviously, do or have had the time to do so.

        I understand there are philosophical supports undergirding American challenges in the current environment. Actions can only be taken with a foundation of understanding, but I fear we cannot wait for the population to follow a more constructive philosophical drift.

        As for your continued critique of corporate biases, they are no more or less a concern than other biases. It would be my contention that any corporate bias is a reflection of an infection of indoctrinated employees from the bottom up not from the top down. Or is this something. I’m inferring from your choice of the term corporate?

        Sorry for the delay, but I am on vacation.

        • I understand there are philosophical supports undergirding American challenges in the current environment. Actions can only be taken with a foundation of understanding, but I fear we cannot wait for the population to follow a more constructive philosophical drift.

          I hope you have an enjoyable vacation!

          I mentioned Chomsky in my post to you because though Chomsky really is some sort of communist, nevertheless he has done pretty amazing work analyzing power-structures. I see him and other intellectuals like him as carrying out the Critical Theory of the classic Marxist. It is the application of intellectual acids which eat away at structures. I come from the premise — or better said I have arrived at the conclusive premise — that we are living in a time when the fundamental structures have been literally dissolved by acids. This is a very far-reaching idea of course and many different people have written about it. Postmodernism, I would suggest, is a condition of existing within bodies & souls that are in ‘tatters’. The implications of this seem huge indeed. Certainly and only if one focuses on the material sciences we have ‘undermined our own platform of solidity’. When once we had solid ground to stand on, and solid concepts to build with, we no longer have them.

          I am uncertain if writing this I make sense to the reader. Because there is a large and long sweep of ideas that would have to be used to explain each element.

          What especially interests me — obviously — is to place focus on the troubled, the roiling, the tumultuous circumstances of America today. A profound crisis. Long ago now, the ‘acids’ I refer to began to go to work on an America. I say ‘an’ America because there have been numerous. You know that I regard the America of today as a distinct version. This is the America constructed in the Postwar. We are now entering a militant phase where that New America is rising up in its power and must (must!) crush and discredit the ‘former America’ which, like the Olympian gods, must be drived down into the underworld. What was glorious and admirable before is now vilified and demonized. The former gods are seen, through perceptual shift, as demons.

          Seen in this way, the profound rhetorical ploys that are now being enacted in the NYTs (for example, in today’s Times, the article “What Makes and American?” is a tremendous example of social engineering propaganda that comes through the guise of ‘journalism’). In the Times, and in that article and hundreds like it, the New America expresses itself. But I ask: Who stands behind this New America as its intellectual creators? Following the (intellectual) causal chain back it goes straight to Critical Theory theorists, and before that to Marxian activists. I think this is generally understood and I don’t think it is (much) contended.

          Madison Grant represents the Titanic American Order, that is the Titans of the old pantheon. But along there came activists and agents who critiqued him, and his America, and his *vision of things*, right down into the mire and the mud of Hell. One must refer to heaven and hell and gods and demons because in our present, today, in this strange transvaluation of values and a metaphysical transvaluation, the grand guiding metaphysical themes of Good & Evil are playing themselves out within specific human actors on a specifically human and temporal stage. In the article ‘What Makes and American?’ the gods — to to speak — play with the humble Filipino family as they stand before that iconic Americandream house. But wait! Hold on! Just a while back that would have been a lovely white couple with their kids all with gleaming white teeth (as white as those of our own Mr Witherspoon!)

          https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmy4DurE82yb7GTNRIMeanXvA0caZUzdEB9-Sg4KayIhx8CiSL

          So, all that I have tried to do — against a great deal of opposition I might add! — is to try to *accurately see* the present and to describe it.

          What I suggest — to use the typical pretentious pseudo-academic terms I use with a bit of tongue-in-cheek — what I suggest is to see, with clarity, the profound and encompassing Social Engineering which has been/is being carried out on us. That is just the starting point. Because then, if one is going to think in terms of contradictions and oppositions (to this social engineering) one is going to have to imagine some other kind of circumstances. That is, one first has to clarify in what we exist now, and how this came about, and then to make some sort of proposition about an alternative.

          I wish to say with some assurance and conviction that this is what the Alternative of the Dissident Right is up to. It is distinct from the Classical Right or the American Right though. The American Conservative Right is a weakened version of a former self (in terrible tatters if you will forgive me the cheesy alliteration).

          What I want to say, what I want that we notice, is the Power that stands behind these ‘machinations in our present’. Those are ‘the people we never see’ who direct the engineering to the degree that it is conscious and determined. That is what Bernays is referring to! But then so too does Lippmann.

          Where do I stand you (and many others) might ask? Truthfully, I am uncertain. Sometimes I think I might be in a giant theatrical production, or be in the audience (I hope in one of those elevated boxes) watching the production as it is enacted. Now, the Filipino Couple has come on with their innocent, defenseless children! (and the boy with a Red Hot Chile Peppers tee-shirt which, back when I was a Venezuelan delinquent, I myself had one!) Oh, oh! this is going to be a good part. Maybe they will sing something?

          There is a larger picture. A larger Theater if you wish. The Dissident Right refers to it all the time: Occidental civilization, the survival of the ‘White Race’. This brings us out of the emotional-immediate into the domain where IDEAS predominate. But all of that requires an actor who can deal in ideas.

          Sorry, this is sort of petering out at the end. But I think you might get from this where my thinking tends.

          • Well, not sure about your missive having already appropriately dismissed Chomsky for his communist and anti-American leanings as well as your leanings regarding his value.

            At the moment I am trying to keep my commitment to myself to read Machiavelli’s The Prince and Discourses anew this summer. Not doing very well at that. Though it is reminding me a great deal of the value of propaganda in seeking and maintaining power. Clearly the Alinskyite have not strayed far from his writings.

            • Ah, I think I can answer that. Chomsky appears to me to be a communist (Anarcho-Sydicalist was an older term but it meant as much, if I understand aright). Yet he defines his ideal social organization by referring to the Spanish Civil War. Not a Republican, but not a Nationalist either (the former being supported by the Soviet Union, the latter by National Socialists for example), but one who supported the independent ‘Anarchists’:

              “Anarchists played a central role in the fight against Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. At the same time, a far-reaching social revolution spread throughout Spain, where land and factories were collectivized and controlled by the workers. All remaining social reforms ended in 1939 with the victory of Franco, who had thousands of anarchists executed. Resistance to his rule never entirely died, with resilient militants participating in acts of sabotage and other direct action after the war, and making several attempts on the ruler’s life.”

              He believes in that ‘far-reaching social revolution’ led by sovereign people acting in their own communities and resisting massive power-concentrations. His position, in my view, has integrity. I can read his ideas, understand them, and apply them to what I think is necessary: that people in their regions and areas have the right to decide by what codes they will live. As for example when the States of the US were formed.

              So, Chomsky’s ideal position, in truth, is in another pole. I would suggest that one could place him, for example, as one who would be in support of ‘state’s rights’ and to smaller sovereign zones and he would oppose massive nationalism, either communist or capitalist. However, he is adamantly anti-‘racist’, pro-feminism, and a radical egalitarian, and in that sense I cannot support his position, though I understand it. He is a very accomplished philosopher and has read everyone.

              To say Chomsky is ‘anti-American’ is not to say the complete truth. Because his ideal is toward anarchism in the sense I describe, he opposes the American nation in many ways. But so did the Southern agrarians and so now do the people associated intellectually with the Abbeville Institute (Google it). Chomsky is highly opposed to and critical of, for example, the American powers that did such horrifying damage in Vietnam and Cambodia, resulting in a few million people killed. And he is also adamantly opposed to the American powers that supported the horrifying semi-genocidal civil conflicts in Guatemala, as another example. And any upstanding, concerned and rational person must show concern for such abuses of state power. If a citizen did not, s/he would not be a good citizen. Therefore, Chomsky attracts people to him who oppose the power wielded by ‘vast concentrations’ of power and capital. As anyone should. He is *problematic* because those people attracted to his ideas and discourse tend to confront power through an unwelcome parrhesia.

              In rhetoric, parrhesia is a figure of speech described as: “to speak candidly or to ask forgiveness for so speaking”. This Ancient Greek word has three different forms, as related by Michel Foucault. Parrhesia, is a noun, meaning “free speech”. Parrhesiazomai is a verb, meaning “to use parrhesia“. Parrhesiastes is noun, meaning one who uses parrhesia, for example “one who speaks the truth to power”.

              Michel Foucault was an insane homosexually-deranged lunatic who caught AIDS in the sauna-rooms of deviant San Francisco and died a horrifying death, but he wrote a very good book on the topic of parrhesia. I reject Foucault and would have support locking him up (if this were possible) and possibly castrating of him, yet his ideas about ‘speaking truth to power’ are compelling. 🙂

              I have simply found that each person comes from a perspective and their perspective always has a certain ‘inner integrity’.

              It is interesting that you bring up Maquiavelo, as we say. I see Chomsky as a kind of Machiavellian. He sees directly into ‘how power functions’ and critiques it.

  2. Aaron Burr?

    Now, THAT would make a great Perry Mason episode (where the surprise is that Perry Mason reveals HIMSELF to be the killer).

    -Jut

  3. 2. A free, fair press

    In a democracy, freedom of the press is essential. Fair, competent and ethical journalism within a free news media is equally essential.

    Is it? Because we don’t have that now. Does that mean our democratic republic is no longer functioning?

    I don’t just ask rhetorically. You have said many times that a free and ethical press is “necessary” and “essential” to countries with democracy-based political systems. But it’s clear that this has not been true for quite a while in almost any democratic country.

    So I question your premise. Alternatively, I question, assuming your premise is true, if the democracies in question are either malfunctioning to the point of collapse or ultimately doomed.

    No, the “enemy of the people” label belongs on the current practitioners of free journalism, not journalism itself. [snip]

    Agreed. There is a danger, but is it a danger that can be overcome without a properly functioning media? I ask in earnest for your opinion. I personally think maybe it can as long as the means of information distribution is not denied the opposition, but that, too, is arguably happening.

    3. Hollywood/entertainment types that value their jobs should toe the Leftist line, whatever their beliefs. Either that, or refuse to discuss things that might offend the identity-politics snowflakes. That might be tough, they seem to take offense at almost anything.

    The only other rational alternative is to find another line of work. That’s the more ethical choice.

    4. Gotcha

    Did you hear that President Trump mistakenly called Dayton, Ohio “Toledo” yesterday? Do you care?

    Yes, and no. It means only that Trump, like the rest of us, can sometimes mess up in public speaking. Anyone who has honestly never done something very similar, raise your hand.

    Seeing none. Move along.

    • RE: Press & Journalism – I think it’s functioning in our society just fine. The key is that there has to be some amount of individuals that *believe* they can ask any question. We do have a free press in this country, even if CNN channel only represents .00023% of that freedom with 20% of the influence. The press is so much more than the ones getting the attention and as responsible citizens, we have to find the journalists on the ground getting the facts directly. Those are the journalists that represent 70% of the freedom and .153% of the influence. To elevate them from obscurity and give them the spotlight is the first hurdle in improving the state of journalism.

      We need to cut out the middleman as much as possible. CNN counts on us to say “Mainstream” “Lamestream” or event “CNN” or “MSNBC”. We should vow never to mention the parent company again. We need to identify the reporters, writers, talking heads exclusively because accountability lies with individuals not corporations. A corporation doesn’t have hurt feelings when you claim they are biased. An individual working for that corporation says “They’re talking about *someone* but they aren’t talking about *ME*.” But if we can focus on the individual that writes the article and provide them with accurate and critical feedback – we just might make a difference.

      Finally – the talking heads. These individuals have become corporations. They don’t write their own content and they just read and repeat what they’re told. They’ve got someone in their ear and a teleprompter in their face. They are actors and performers, not journalists. You should not get your news from these people to the extent possible. The only time I would genuinely acquiesce is when they are experiencing breaking news live – then you get to experience their reactions and see where the curtain gets pulled back.

      • Not sure reporters feel the sting of criticism any more, unless it’s from their own tribe. And there shouldn’t be tribes in journalism.

        We have plenty of freedom. We have too little thought on ethical journalism. I used to read Breitbart and PJ Media, as well as watch FoxNews years ago, but they, too, were so biased as to be a danger.

        The real hazard as we approach a demographic era of only digital natives is they are informed exclusively by sources confirming their biases. Each having their own truth; neither having any semblance of objective information.

      • Well stated Tim. Ethical culture originates from ethical leadership and ethical employees. Unethical organizations are like lakes. If many small creeks (employees) bring pollutants to the lake it won’t be long before the pollutants consume the lake and taint the larger rivers
        (leadership) and vice versa.

        Ethics are distributed osmotically in organizations.

    • “Is it? Because we don’t have that now. Does that mean our democratic republic is no longer functioning?”

      That is precisely what it means. I draw your atte4ntion to the 2016 election in which our two realistic choices were a buffoon and an arrogant, obviously corrupt politician. And I invite you to peruse the field of Democratic n’er do wells for 2020. Keep in mind one of these clowns will be running against the same buffoon.

    • Yes, good. I’d heard Biden made an equivalent mistake twice on the same day without the same resulting fanfare. I’m glad I didn’t have to hunt down the evidence – too tired. I tip my hat to you, sir!

  4. Jack Marshall, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Just not sure he’s clearing the way for the coming of anything good. Getting emails with high school photos in anticipation of fiftieth reunion this fall. Who’d have thought in 1969 that fifty years later we’d be living in such a warped world that a common sense, straight shooter like Jack Marshall would be a complete outlier. Depressing.

  5. 1. As I have heard recently, I will need to be contacting the manufacturer of all those guns I lost in the lake. Seems they were defective: they never once went out and killed anyone. Why are/were my guns more complacent than the left insists the species is? Did they like my gun safe more than satisfying their innate desire to kill innocent children? Were they just lazy? I DID, after all, keep them well fed and exercised…

    2. This is yet another reason I will not read the Times. They have lived in the coastal bubble so long that they no longer have tolerance for anyone who thinks differently than the Borg collective hive mind. Whatever they decide is right (or right now, as is often the case) is the natural law of nature, and the rest of the nation can sod off.

    Like the population in general, freedom of the press requires self discipline and personal responsibility: when that is lost the purpose of 1A is as well.

    3. Mario Lopez is brain dead stupid, as in “It will never happen to ME.” The more such idiots are crushed, the more common Americans see the left exactly for what they are: tyrants who intend to destroy America-that-was.

    4. Anyone who has not made this mistake, or has NOT jumped on the leftists who have, is simply a political hack. One more common American who has not been aware of the lefty meltdown of the past few years is waking up to the smell of burning books. Every time they do this sort of hatchet job, another Trump voter (or three) is born.

  6. 2. Speaking of unethical journalism…

    Is it just me, or has the MSM beaten the El Paso “White Supremacist Manifesto” theme to fucking death, while treating the…um…ideological leanings of Dayton shooter like a syphilitic leper?

    To wit: NBC World News Tonight hammered away at El Paso, going so far as to have a segment with a correspondent interviewing White Supremacists in (and this is where it gets GOOD!) Germany.

    Not that it didn’t happen, but I don’t recall anything more than a mere mention of Dayton, and that just in passing.

    There was a Times Watch thingey (Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.) that showed the percentage of attention that one side (Obama) got relative to that given the other side (McCain) in 2008; it wasn’t even close.

    Anyone seen any such comparison between the two shootings?

  7. “When a free press is used to undermine democracy, the wisdom of freedom of the press will inevitably be challenged.”

    I agree with others who have referenced the Malcolm X quote “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” The left is wielding their media hammer.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the unethical and immoral propaganda that the political left’s lapdog media now creates and shares willingly is literally force upon them when their constitutional freedoms are stripped by the very totalitarians they once supported and the media becomes controlled by the totalitarian government that they were instrumental in putting into power. Another quote now comes to mind, one by Martin Niemöller.

    Do people ever really learn from history?

  8. 1:
    The original headline was “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM.”, but that wasn’t “Orange man bad” enough for the NYT myrmidons, so they fixed it. (No, seriously, this is a true thing, not satire.)

    • Thanks Willem. I was going to say that the Times headline was changed after AOC’s twitter mob blasted the headline

      • The new headline still is not “Orange Man Bad” enough to appease the twitter mob. They’re enraged at the suggestion that Trump “assailed hate.” Tweet from Soledad O’Brien, an alumna of MSNBC, CNN and HBO:

        @TomJolly: you seem like a nice guy. That headline is not good. Not accurate. Not contextual. It’s just wrong and the grey Lady should be ashamed of printing this crap. The President does not, in fact, assail hate. He fans the flames and inspires white supremacists. Do. Better. https://t.co/USsT9gUJP4
        — Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) August 6, 2019

  9. The bias isn’t just in journalism, but also—and potentially to far greater effect—in the software technology more and more people rely on for getting news: Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There was some truly explosive testimony, far more newsworthy than Mueller, from Dr. Robert Epstein on July 16, to the effect that Google Search manipulated voters in such a way that a minimum of 2.5 million, and up to 15 million, people were swayed to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    Not a single major media outlet covered this testimony. Not the New York Times, not the Washington Post, not the Big 3 networks, not CNN, not even Fox News.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4807816/congressionalhearing-16july2019-testimonybydrrobertepstein

  10. Speaking less to the immediate issue at hand, and more to what it seems to represent, and why this has come about, and where it seems to be tending, that is my interest. Here, I will try to sketch out a critique in one area (how social forces act coercively to manipulate and modify opinion, idea and value) that can be applied I think into many different areas. In fact perhaps to all, given how neo-totalitarian ideas seem to operate.

    Mario Lopez: “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were. I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

    If it is not obvious, this looks like a ‘public confession’ of the sort that was common during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. They came about during ‘struggle sessions’ (from Wikipedia page):

    A struggle session was a form of public humiliation and torture that was used by the Communist Party of China in the Mao era, particularly during the Cultural Revolution, to shape public opinion and humiliate, persecute, or execute political rivals and those deemed class enemies.

    In general, the victim of a struggle session was forced to admit various crimes before a crowd of people who would verbally and physically abuse the victim until he or she confessed. Struggle sessions were often held at the workplace of the accused, but they were sometimes conducted in sports stadiums where large crowds would gather if the target was well-known.

    According to Lin Yutang, the expression comes from “pīpàn” (批判, literally “to criticize and judge”) and “dòuzhēng” (鬥爭 literally “to fight and struggle”), so the whole expression conveys the message of “inciting the spirit of judgment and fighting”. Instead of saying the full phrase “pīpàn dòuzhēng”, it was shortened to “pīdòu” (批鬥).

    There is also an interesting Wiki page on Self-criticism (Marxism) which deal on the same concept.

    Now, here is the GLAAD website’s declaration about itself, what it does:

    GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.

    So, with this as a background, what I am discovering is the need to step back and to look at a far larger picture than what is available when one only focuses on the limited-immediate. But what is the ‘larger issue’ and how can one go about defining it?

    Oh but this is not easy. Why? I venture to say: Because our culture of today, and each of us who is a product of it, and who participates in it, have come under the sway of manipulative social engineering of this sort. That is what ‘America’ means! And that is where Americanism tends. We live in a corrupted culture in which elements of the corruption have been glorified and associated with patriotism and love of country.

    The only way to see this is to first see how social manipulation functions during a ‘struggle session’ where it can be witnessed objectively. We see it, we recognize it, we even ridicule it. But I assert that we fail to recognize that our own institutions employ the same or similar tools of manipulation but with more sophistication and intensity.

    I have used the example before — it is a good one — but if looked at (*read*) in a certain way the film American Beauty is a study in advanced techniques of attitude-manipulation. Yes, this is just one example, but it is a very good one.

    All around us, I submit, we can begin to notice coercive systems, coercive actors and agents, and then begin to notice a system-or-coercion in which we live and try to carry on. It is just getting far more extreme now, and we begin to resist it, but it showed itself a good while back for what it was.

  11. ASSAILING HATE, BUT NOT GUNS.

    On a related note.

    https://agingmillennialengineer.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fuck-you-i-like-guns-2/comment-page-26/#comment-11453

    Fuck your second amendment if it costs the life of one child. It’s not a right, its a mistake, and much like prohibition and slavery should be struck from the constitution

    Here was my response.

    “…if it costs one life of a child.”

    I deduce that you believe that Roe v. Wade is an abomination.

    But even only considering real constitutional protections, instead of ones invented, by judges, they probably also cost the life of at least one child.

    Consider the 4th Amendment. It restricts the ability of the police to find evidence of criminal wrongdoing. This means criminals, including those who murder children, may get away with their crimes, which in turn kills children.

    Not only that, the 4th Amendment is unique to the United States of America. Surely the police in Paris, Lagos, or Singapore do not worry about the 4th Amendment, probable cause, or the exclusionary rule. They just look for evidence. Why not follow the example of other countries?

    How many children’s lives can we save if the police had unlimited authority to search for evidence?

    Or what about the 5th or 6th Amendments? How many more criminals could we watch if we could make them testify against themselves?

    Or why even bother with trials? Why not trust the police to judge who is and is not guilty?

    How many children’s lives could we save if we simply let them judge whether or not murderers are guilty?

    Or what about the 14th amendment? What if there were certain racial demographics in the U.S. that commit murder at a significantly higher rate than the general population? Why should not the police focus on those demographics? Why should not lawmakers place extra restrictions on the liberties of people in those crime-prone demographics.

    Would it not be worth it if it saved the life of one child?

    So, explain why the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments are worth the life of one child.

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