I won’t say I’m back, because I thought I was over the hump two days ago, and that proved to be a rash miscalculation. But on this, one of many days during the year when I am prompted to remember my father, Major Jack A. Marshall, Sr., I need to make a special effort to ring in, as he would have. As I have mentioned before, Dad never let illness or injury keep him sidelined for long. It was a matter of honor for him.
1. Front Page Ethics: When I was preparing to write yesterday’s warm-up, this was going to be the first item…
The Times has tried to come up with every way possible to hype the Wuhan virus outbreak, and, simultaneously, the economic consequences of battling it, to cause as much alarm, fear and panic as possible. I’ve mentioned a few of the stunts, like spiking red graphs that extend beyond the margins of the paper. Those who have died from the virus have received special treatment, with profiles and photos in the paper, because dying of this cause obviously makes a citizen more important than someone who is killed in a robbery or who died of a ruptured spleen. This was more of the same: a small-print listing of 1,000 deaths supposedly from the virus. It was an act of pure sensationalism, teeing up cheap attacks on President Trump, another exmaple of how far into hackery the Times and the rest of the news media has fallen
An amusing note: nobody is expected to actually read a page like that, so who knows who accurate it is, but wouldn’t you think that the editors would have made sure that at least the names entered at the beginning of the list were actual pandemic victims? The New York Post reports
[O]ne of the first names on the paper’s earlier editions of the front page, Jordan Driver Haynes, 27, didn’t actually die from the virus. He was murdered, according to local reports. Haynes’ body was found in a vehicle left in a wooded area off a highway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the local NBC affiliate reported.
Details, details. After all, the point of the stunt wasn’t to report accurate news, but to hype the death tole. The Times could have done the same thing with the number of deaths from the old fashioned flu (60,000, heart disease (about a half-million)lung cancer (135,000) or drug overdoses (67, 000). If 2020 holds to the trends of the last decades, there will be about 620,000 abortions performed. Of course, the dead in these cases don’t have names, but if they did, how would the Times publishing a thousand of them on its front page be regarded?
Isn’t this kind of gross over-emphasis a form of fake news?
Like so many of the propaganda we have been witnessing lately, this is aimed at the gullible and the easily misled, and for everyone else—perhaps a minority, we shall see, just further removes the new media from its position of influence.
2. Integrity? What’s integrity? Thanks to my being waylaid by whatever the hell it is that has me operating with the approximate endurance and energy of a newborn kangaroo, Prof. Turley beat me to this one, which I was eager to relay. The Nation’s Katha Pollitt, a long-time feminist essayist, wrote a recent column questioning the allegations of sexual assault made by former Biden staffer Tara Reade, and ended her article with, “I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them.” I have read Facebook friends saying the same thing. What is startling isn’t just that this is an admission of derangement, corruption, and a lack of integrity. What is startling is that people will say this and expect any reaction other than disgust from ethical, rational people.
Writes Turley in The Hill:
For years, critics have expressed disgust at Trump’s statement that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters.” Yet they now afford Biden the same immunity even if he turns into the ancient god Cronus and starts snacking on boiled babies. The same indulgence has been claimed by politicians and commentators in dealing with other Biden allegations of sexual assault. Many of them demanded during the Kavanaugh controversy that all women must simply be believed when alleging sexual harassment. Those who questioned the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford were denounced for insensitivity, if not complicity, in the abuse of women.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) simply cut off questions by testily declaring, “I don’t need a lecture” when confronted with her prior statements. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) declared she sees no need for an investigation because she knows Biden and believes him, adding that she resented being asked about it as a victim of sexual assault. She cut off questions from CNN’s Jake Tapper by saying, “And you know what? That’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Others have struggled with an answer until they discovered the presidential bull. Women’s rights attorney Lisa Bloom said she believes Biden did rape a female staffer and has lied about it publicly but she still will endorse him for president. She tweeted, “I believe you, Tara Reade … sorry.” To use Pollitt’s language, defending a rape victim is now a “luxury.” Likewise, Linda Hirshman wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times titled “I Believe Tara Reade. I’m Voting for Joe Biden Anyway.” She explained, “Democratic primary voters knew all about Mr. Biden’s membership in that boys’ club when there was still time to pick someone else. Alas … I’ll take one for the team. I believe Ms. Reade, and I’ll vote for Mr. Biden this fall.”
Then there is commentator Karine Jean Pierre, who declared three years ago that sexual misconduct allegations alone should disqualify candidates from running for office. In December 2017, she told CNN’s Tapper, “I think we’re at a point in time in this country where the ‘Me Too’ movement has really gotten some traction. We’re finally listening to victims … and I think if you’re running for office, you can’t have been accused of sexual harassment or assault.” She just joined Biden’s campaign as a senior adviser this week. The fact is that, without political indulgences, Washington’s thick, sulfuric hypocrisy would choke the life out of the city.
The Democratic Party at this point appear to be completely devoid of principles. Such a party can’t be trusted. I don’t see how that’s even debatable.