Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse…And Some Astoundingly Unethical Quotes That Make Her Point

“Does the press have any responsibility for tearing down Trump’s credibility right when we need it? I’d say they should be scrupulously careful not to do any of the ordinary political partisanship that had already badly infected journalism. There’s a lot of ruined credibility out there. Everyone ought to be trying to crawl back toward the truth. I think Trump — in his daily briefings — has been “appeal[ing] to common values and emphasiz[ing] moral standards and solidarity.” But the Trump-hating media will not help him do this. They’re looking for ways to blame him, to worsen his credibility. Why not help?”

——Bloggress Ann Althouse, reacting to one more New York Times Trump-hate piece, this one called “Trump’s ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ Is a Delusion;”yesterday’s (by Obama’s disinformation chief, Susan Rice) was “Trump Is the Wartime President We Have (Not the One We Need)/He should start leading with the decency and resolve that we deserve. I’m not holding my breath” 

The answer to Ann’s rhetorical question is “of course they do,” and I mainstain hope that a sufficient number of citizens will hold them responsible for an unprecedneted breach of tradition, duty and common sense. Attacking and undermining any leader in the midst of a national challenge is irresponsible and dangerous, yet virtually all of the mainstream media is not only doing it but doing it with increasing intensity. (The exception is Fox News, which is condemned for not pitching in.)

If the President has not done or said anything that can spun into a reason to distrust him, then the news media will concoct something. Yesterday, many sources, including some conservative ones, had a version of this headline (from the Daily Mail): “Donald Trump says he will ‘look at’ pardoning Tiger King’s Joe Exotic after Don Jr. said zoo-owner’s 22-year prison sentence for murder-for-hire seemed ‘aggressive'”

I was fooled. “Oh, God,” I thought. “With everything going on, the President is worried about Joe Exotic, the lunatic bigamist/self-promoting walking freak show who is serving well-earned prison time for hiring a hit man? The media will crucify him for this.” Then I read the facts:

  • At a press briefing on the pandemic, The New York Post’s Steven Nelson asked the President about Don Jr.’s off-hand remark in an interview that the sentence handed down to the “star” of Netflix’s hit documentary “Tiger King” seemed “aggressive.” It was a stupid question, and Trump should have told the reporter so, as he so often does. But it referenced his son, so he allowed himself to get sucked in.
  • He told the reporter he had no idea who the “Tiger King” was or what the reporter was referring to, but that he would “look into it.”
  • That does not mean he was considering pardoning the idiot, or would, and it definitely didn’t suggest that he had decided to give serious consideration to the matter at all. It was an issue entirely raised by a reporter, and inappropriately.

The exchange was not news worthy or headline-worthy, except to further the narrative that the President is sympathetic to jailed con-artists (like Michael Milken) and to deceptively link the President to a disreputable character—whom he knows nothing about.

Meanwhile, CNN has, to use the technical term, flipped out in its rampaging Trump hate. Jake Tapper‘s tweet that the President was insane turned out to be the tip of an ugly and unethical iceberg of abandoned journalism standards. Don Lemon, an alleged CNN news anchor (please reference again the open letter from journalism profs about unethical opinion infecting Fox News) launched into an epic rant against the President of the United States that could be fairly summarized as “Ooooooh!!! I hate him SO MUCH!”:

“This is a president who just cannot handle the truth.A president who has to make everything about him. He needs to be praised at every second. He is so thin-skinned. A president who just loses it whenever he hears someone or something that he perceives as criticism..Did you ever think you’d hear the president of the United States react that way? Ever? I know some of you think it’s cute. It’s not. It’s sad. It’s sad. I have to be honest with you. For the last couple of weeks, when I walk into this building, I get in front of this camera, I swear I feel like I’m in the movie ‘Network.’ I feel like Howard Beale. Americans are mad as hell. What are you going to — how much more can Americans take? Every single day berating people, lying. First, [the epidemic] is a hoax.Then, ‘All along I knew it was serious. It was a pandemic.’ How much more? How many people have to die? Americans, are you mad as hell? How much more are you going to take?”

From the history of American news broadcasting up to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s shattering of all professional standards with his attacks on President Bush, no on-air personality could have keep his or her job after an on air rant like that. Like Nancy Pelosi’s speech-tearing stunt, it crosses all established lines regarding acceptable conduct regarding a President. Lemon, as a gay, black, openly partisan “star” who had received CNN’s clear signals that he is immune from oversight or accountability, abandoned journalistic integrity and ethics just as blatantly as the fictional Howard Beale, who, if you know the movie, had a psychotic break. That’s the journalistic standard Lemon is adopting. That is the standard CNN is accepting.

But wait, there’s more! In quarantine because he is infected with the Wuhan virus, Chris Cuomo—not that he has any conflict of interest because his brother is being prominently mentioned as a likely nominee for President when Joe Biden starts speaking in tongues and announces that he is Marie of Rumania—decided to take his own shot at the President:

“It has to be time for truth, we don’t have time for any more BS, too many are sick, and the remedy is straight information, realistic plans that you trust, and us using that to tap into our national superpower.No one comes together in crisis like America. But we only come together when we’re on the same page. So together, as ever, as one, let’s get after it! Is it fair to say that this is the most deaths that we will see on any day? Why or why not? The last thing anybody needs is more BS. I know, I hear you, you’re reaching out to me from all over the country, you have just one request. That all the games end, you’ve always seen through them. And you tell me the only thing more sickening to you in this collective than the virus is being lied to about what’s going on, I know.So let’s expose something that you’ve been to, for, about, for too long….Anybody can tell people what they want to hear and make it easy. And then you know what you get? Exactly where we are, right now. That was the most asinine statement of leadership I have ever heard. And I can’t even dismiss it on the president having a 102 fever like I do, because that is clear thinking from him. I’m a cheerleader so I’m gonna lie to you about the realities that your parents, your loved ones, and your kids face. I’m not gonna prepare the way I should because it reinforces the bullshit I’m telling you, and I’m gonna hope that you’re OK with it! We’ve got to do better than that! This president must do better than that!”

This isn’t journalism. It’s not competent punditry either, but pure emotionalism. It’s a harangue, self-indulgent and pointless, except, again, to reinforce the position that this  President, unlike all others before him, does not deserve the basic deference of a respectful tone and attitude, the presumption of good will, and coverage by reporters, journalists and news organizations who detest him and want to see him fail.

“They’re looking for ways to blame him, to worsen his credibility. Why not help?”

Because they are incompetent, arrogant, unethical hacks, professor; unprofessional, biased, hateful and divisive. They have forfeited all credibility except among those who are allied with their mission. It’s as simple as that.

10 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse…And Some Astoundingly Unethical Quotes That Make Her Point

  1. The mainstream media has only one job: gin up as much hatred as possible for Trump and his supporters. The ultimate goal looks a lot like what Nazi propaganda was, dehumanization of a group of people. This time based on their politics. How do you make nice and co-exist in a social compact with people who believe roughly half the country should be subjugated into silence or face destruction.

    Not much light at the end of this tunnel, if any.

    • The New York Times said it best in 2016 when it said, not in so many words, but in almost the same, that its job was not to report the facts, but to prevent this dangerous demagogue from becoming president, any way possible. They sort of said they had to do better afterward, but they never did. For over four years they have done nothing but attack the president, and they will never stop, because they believe they are doing it for the good of this nation. The scary thing is that now the president is dealing with a really major crisis, and the press is cutting him absolutely no slack. Do you think any of the folks who said that they had to prevent this guy from becoming president by any and all means have changed their mind since?

      They are not cartoonist Herbert Block, who ceased giving Nixon a sinister five-o’clock shadow when he was elected president. They are not even CBS, who fired Mary Mapes and pushed Dan Rather into earlier retirement than he would have wanted for throwing standards to the wind in an attempt to take down George W. Bush. They are the same folks who hung breathless on everything that came out of the Mueller probe, revving everyone else up to believe the other shoe was going to drop ANY day now. They are the same folks who pushed every plan, A through S (I think) that Jack has identified for removing Trump from office. And they are the same folks who egged on Nancy Bug Eyes and company to waste everyone’s time with impeachment, then shook their heads, tut-tutted, and said Mitt Romney was the only GOP senator who “got it” and took his oath seriously, at least to one of the charges.

      Now the president is slap up against a really major problem with really major impact that can’t be solved quickly. Aha! they think, now’s the chance to finally trash him. We’re not just going to report the impact of this crisis, we’re going to shout out every negative effect it has, leading with the daily death toll. Every ray of hope that turns out to be illusory, every possibility that looks promising but doesn’t pan out, every attempt to do something that falls short will be played up as proof that he and his people don’t know what the hell they are doing and never will. We’ll get experts to come on and paint grim pictures, so that it looks like Trump is afraid of smart people (because he got where he is by being a lucky idiot who was connected). We’ll play up lots of victim impact and human interest stories with kids losing parents, spouses losing spouses, and families losing beloved grandparents, while first responders (especially if they were at 9/11) and medical personnel fall. We’ll report market collapses in scare level type and recoveries in type half the size. We’ll run lots of other impact and human interest stories of people thrown out of work who can’t pay the rent or put food on the table, business owners forced to shutter who may or may not reopen, and skyrocketing bankruptcies and suicides. We’ll never indicate there’s even a hope for light at the end of the tunnel, or if there is it’s so far off that this country will go into a deep depression first. Most of all, we’ll keep up a steady drumbeat of doubt: What did the president know, when did he know it, and how long did it take for him to act? Did he replace people at the top of their game with incompetent toadies? Did he listen to advisers who really DID know what they were talking about? Did he cut funding from the office that might have seen this coming and done something about it? Where were all the ventilators when they were needed?

      The media is hoping that, by the time they are done with this, and by the time this problem starts to subside, the president will be so destroyed that the other side could put a cardboard figure up at the debates and win. Of course, if they are able to get the White House to flip and then the problem has a resurgence or the economy doesn’t come back quickly, then they’ll have to circle the wagons and protect Biden or whoever, but that won’t be difficult, after all, they have eight years of practice.

  2. Today they are bashing his reference to using Zinc in concert with Paquenil and zpac. The headline was Doctors react to Trumps mystifying recommendatin for zinc

    Social distancing cannot be attributed entirely to the absolutely incorrect projections by the model. Any conclusions drawn are based on anectdotal information. Just like hydroxychloroquine no double blind randomized trials have bern done. Social distancing is just common sense. The question however is do the infection and mortality rates justify closing down the economy.

    I watched a youtube video with an MIT bioengineering phd Dr Shiva. He flat out states that the pharma industry with WHO, CDC and several foundations have a vested interest in creating medical mandates.
    This would fall into the conspiracy theory realm but Dr Shiva does not appear to be a crackpot. I do think we need to hear other perspectives other than Drs. Fauci and Birx

    https://utu.be/GmD3EoSRgsl

    • Link above did not work. I found it on next news network. The headline is
      Exclusive Dr Shiva exposes Fauci and Birx. You may not agree but it is provocative and worth looking up

        • So, let me get this straight: You will entertain and consider and think about what is directly stated here: that corrupt businesses (corporations with *eternal life* and charters that cannot be revoked) have inserted themselves so profoundly into government, and corrupted government processes, to such a degree that they act as a destructive plague on the social body and do direct and tangible harm that is greater than treason [and deserves hanging] . . .

          . . . and here, on this Blog, taken as a plurality, no one can see, no one will consider, that in other areas — for example in the industrial-military setting — that private interests have usurped our government to be able to gain their own purposes, and there is no one here who can talk about the ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS here?!?

          And what about something I have mentioned CONTINUALLY: ‘the marketing of evil’:

          “The plain truth is, within the space of our lifetimes, much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped, and sold to us as though it had great value. By skillfully playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance, these marketers have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding regarded as grossly self-destructive -– in a word, evil.”

          —From The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom.

          And let me get this further straight: you-plural will go on and on and on and on in vain complaints about ‘the democrats’ when everything just mentioned is not partisan in any sense, and indeed the Republicans are just as involved in these DECEPTIONS and USURPATIONS as anyone . . .

          And then, with all this out in the open and seeable, if critical mention is made of any of this one is identified as a Disciple of Chomsky . . .

          Oh God, Oh God, I think I have to lie down for a minute, I don’t feel so well . . .

  3. Not to pile on, but Don Lemon interviewed a researcher/doctor from Oregon yesterday, where they both gushed that the New York strain of COVID came from . . . where? . . . from . . . EUROPE! Not China. Got that? The Wuhan Flu in New York is more properly known as the Italian Contagion. Why the glee? Orange Man Racist Bad.

    jvb

  4. Ann Althouse wrote:

    “Does the press have any responsibility for tearing down Trump’s credibility right when we need it? I’d say they should be scrupulously careful not to do any of the ordinary political partisanship that had already badly infected journalism. There’s a lot of ruined credibility out there. Everyone ought to be trying to crawl back toward the truth. I think Trump — in his daily briefings — has been “appeal[ing] to common values and emphasiz[ing] moral standards and solidarity.” But the Trump-hating media will not help him do this. They’re looking for ways to blame him, to worsen his credibility. Why not help?”

    If that were a question, it would have to be expanded & enlarged from its immediate and limited focus. It is also an The Elephant in the Room Question. Essentially a question that cannot be answered. She implies that it is possible — permissible — to ‘crawl back toward the truth’. What an interesting phrase! But I would suggest that *the truth* cannot be defined publicly. I suggest that The Truth about political and economic systems and the powers that determine them, is not a public conversation, not one allowed in the public sphere. What is allowed though is Spectacle.

    “Spectacle is the sun that never sets over the empire of modern passivity”

    I would modify this to a degree [a Guy Debord quote] to describe a situation where spectacle constantly morphs and improves its diversional nature, its veiling nature. One could say that ‘the public’, the watchers, are the hunted and the passive, and those who craft The Spectacle are the predators and the hunters. In natural ecology it is the predators that are more intelligent [crafty] but their pressure elevates the need for more aware and intelligent prey. But at each advance in understanding by *the prey* the predators also have to become more cunning.

    I would also suggest that the present Covid-Virus World-Emergency is a Cypher that is very difficult to read. So, right there — if one could really ‘crawl back toward truth’ — one would need to be able to unravel and explain, not in paranoid phantasy but in truth-terms that make sense, *What exactly is going on*. So, to continue the metaphor above: the prey do not know what is happening to them and the predators are in control of the narrative, as well as state-power emergency-power. In a sense they prey cower in their hovels fearing an ‘object of the mind’ more than a real thing. If this is not a spectacular danger I do not know what one is!

    One can refer to ‘prey’ who say that they have interpretive tools and interpretation. See E. Michael Jones in this interview. But their truth-seeking efforts, as I said at the beginning, cannot and are not discussed in any depth on any public forum. These are forbidden topics. So, to crawl back to truth is in fact an impossible act in any meaningful and public sense.

    The War Against Donald Trump is a multi-layered and a complex affair. It has been from the start. Yet it seems to me that there is no realistic way to look at both him and *it* (his phenomenon) unless one can step back and away, completely, from capture by The Spectacle. The Spectacle is a show. One looks at spectacles to learn about spectacle-craft not to learn about *reality*. This sounds a bit absolutist, I know, but I think there is a great deal of truth in it.

    There have been these references to the Deep State and all that, so much that the term no longer has much meaning, because it cannot be defined, yet the battle against Trump goes on regardless. I still have no clarity as to why the destruction of DT is so important. What is at stake?

    It seems to me — obviously this has been a constant theme in what I think & write — that there come times when ‘stating the truth’ becomes too complex an act. Because things are far too complex. It is like a juggler with too many balls in the air.

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