Unethical Quote Of The Month: New York Magazine Reporter Olivia Nuzzi

“If more Americans died in the last six weeks than the entirety of the Vietnam War, do you deserve to be re-elected?”

—–Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine reporter, at yesterday’s pandemic briefing.

I’m seriously tempted to leave this post with that alone, as a perfect embodiment of the principle of “res ipsa loquitur,” or “the thing speaks for itself.” I’m not sure I care to have someone so dim that that they can’t discern that such a question is moronic, partisan and offensive reading Ethics Alarms. Still, some further comment is appropriate.  But please don’t be insulted that I’m discussing the matter at all: I know you can recognize unprofessional journalism when to see it.

  • This comparison has turned up in other places; apparently the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media Axis of Unethical Conduct circulated a memo or something to try it out and see just how stupid the American public is. As the song went, “How low can they go?” the question is a non-sequitur that falsely implies that there is any relationship between war casualties (casualties in the Vietnam war could have been ended by Presidential fiat at any time  over the course of the conflict) and pandemic deaths, which are outside a President’s control.
  • There had been 55,952 reported deaths in the U.S. as of yesterday. Nuzzi might as well have asked,

“If more Americans died in the last six weeks than the number of songs written by Irving Berlin (1500), plus the total number of hits by Pete Rose, Ty Cobb,  Hank Aaron and Stan Musial, (12,216), added to the number of yards Jim Thorpe rushed in college (3, 616), plus the number of words in the Book of Jeremiah (33,002), added to the cost of two inflatable giant Twister games ($4000), for a grand total of 54, 334, do you deserve to be re-elected?”

That would make just as much sense.

“If losses to a sudden contagious disease are the test of whether a candidate deserves our vote, then we’d just be voting based on which person happened actually to be President at the time the disease hit. I suppose many people like to think a different President would have done better. Theoretically, things could have been done better. Our dream President would have done better. But would Joe Biden have done better? Anyone who answers yes is, I suspect, someone who was already going to vote for Biden for some other reason.”

  • For some reason, the President answered the question in a straightforward manner. Great. When he should excoriate a reporter, he doesn’t. Treating this unprofessional piece of attack partisanship aimed at the intellectually-challenged vote as a legitimate question gives it credibility it doesn’t warrant and must not have.

What worries me is that Trump may not realize why it’s a bad question.

18 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Month: New York Magazine Reporter Olivia Nuzzi

  1. I hope these people never find out how many people die every week in the US. Because it’s 50,000+ week in and week out. Meaning Trump’s real death toll is 8,400,000!!!

  2. Good piece on Chinese virus “death counts” and their legitimacy:


    The actual number may be equal to U.S. casualties in the Mexican American War (13,283), the Revolutionary War (25,000) or the Korean War (36,516). At this point in time, who can say with any certainty?

    But continue scaring the hell out of the populous, media. Keep on keepin’ on.

  3. “Our dream President would have done better. But would Joe Biden have done better?”

    Either Obama or Biden wouldn’t have HAD to do better, because there would have been no pandemic. This would have been treated the same as SARS or swine flu, just another one of those nasty illnesses from overseas that takes some lives, but mostly stays off the front page and ultimately runs its course. Any criticism would just have been buried or muted, although it would be easier to do that with Obama. Because racism, that’s why. The same media who gave George W. Bush a gang beatdown over Katrina were saying Superstorm Sandy was GOOD because it helped get Obama reelected, and never said more than a cursory word about the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Hypocrites and shills, the lot.

  4. A friend of mine posted this meme recently on Facebook and I wrote a post for all my Facebook friends to see about it. Here is the meme…

    Here is what I posed about the meme…

    “Like President Trump or dislike President Trump, I just don’t give a hoot, but what follows needs to stop once and for all.

    Ok folks, it’s time for me to anger some of you that might be consumed with Trump Derangement Syndrome. The meme [above] (screen shot directly from Facebook) is at the top of my list as being one of the worst pieces of partisan propaganda that I’ve ever seen. Trump may be a lot of things, none of which are ethical, but this anti-Trump meme is propaganda at it’s very worst and sharing it is simply wrong. Stand up for what you believe in but don’t sacrifice your intelligence, ethics, and morals doing so.

    Intelligence: the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

    Ethics: moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.

    Morals: a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.

    I’ll be real honest with all of you; if you are someone that thinks that this kind of hate filled propaganda is acceptable in your book then your anti-Trump hate is blinding you and causing you to be on the verge of intellectual, ethical and morally bankruptcy. I really hope you can recover from this challenge to your ethics and morals.

    SIDE NOTE: To those whose immediate reaction to this is to attack the messenger, maybe you should unfriend me because I won’t unfriend you; NO THIS IS NOT IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP this is against what I see as blatant immoral behavior that needs to be corrected.”

    I agree with Jack’s assessment of people that write and share these kind of things, they’re morons.

  5. “If there were as many casualties in three days at the battle of Gettysburg as there have been in three months of Coronavirus, didn’t Lincoln deserve to be shot?”

  6. Since the Chicoms will ultimately kill more Americans in a short period of time via the Wuhan Coronavirus than they ultimately killed in the multi-year Korean War, then instead of being pushed back to the Yalu, they deserve to be pushed back to the Yellow River…at least…

  7. The thought occurred to me that they might think that the coronavirus and the Vietnam War were both unnecessary, and for the same reason. That is, they may be saying that preventing a communist dictatorship is not as important as bringing (keeping) people “safely” home. Sure, people are still going about their daily business trying to survive, and in some cases fighting to maintain individual liberties, but that may not be as important to people who think that the correct elected officials will solve everything. The metaphor breaks down a bit because this time the liberals are the ones opposing the protests.

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