Thursday Ethics Warm-Up, 9/24/2020: It’s “Supreme Court Day”!


On this day in 1789, The Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George Washington, thus establishing the Supreme Court of the United States. Notably, it was then designed as a tribunal made up of only six justices—an even number! (The Horror!)  President Washington quickly nominated John Jay to preside as Chief Justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison and James Wilson to be Associate Justices.  You should know Rutledge: he sings that cool song about slavery and the Triangle Trade  in “1776.”  You also should recall Wilson from that show—he’s the one slandered by being portrayed as a total weenie, which he most assuredly was not.  Two days later, the six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Nobody thought it was a big deal.

1. We knew the New York Times’ “1619 Project” was flagrant Black Lives Matter-inspired propaganda and based on lies, correct? Ethics Alarms discussed this when the Pulitzers honored the thing’s Liar in Chief, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who even admitted that it was really more about creating a useful “narrative” than accurately presenting history. Ben Crump, the serial race-hustler who gets huge damage settlements for family members of black victims of various tragedies by proclaiming the police and America as racist, cited  the “1619” project’s narrative yesterday while helping to incite riots. See? It works!

But the project is used in many school systems as “history,” and the central dishonesty was a problem, so the Times, without announcement or explanation, erased the central claim of the 1619 Project, which was that the year the first slaves were brought to Colonial Virginia was the “true founding” of the United States.

The  initial introduction to the Project, when it was rolled out in August 2019, stated that

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from the New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

Sometime this year, the text became,

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

The change was discovered after Hannah-Jones denied  last week that the project’s core thesis was what she and the Times  had said it was. It “does not argue that 1619 is our true founding,” she said. Well, not any more.

She has also argued in July that it “doesn’t argue, for obvious reasons, that 1619 is our true founding.” The obvious reason being that it’s bullshit? Then why did the Pulitzer Committee, while awarding her and the Times its storied prize, state, “The 1619 Project … challenges us to reframe U.S. history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as our nation’s foundational date.” Why didn’t Hannah-Jones and the Times speak up then?

That’s easy. She and the Times have no integrity, cannot be trusted, and are in the public opinion and cultural manipulation business. Journalism has nothing to do with it. [Pointer: Legal Insurrection]

2. A brief note: Facebook has gone nuts. The empty threats and extravagant tantrums on my Facebook pages from once coherent and rational human beings, even as you and I, having brain meltdowns because a President of the United States is going to do what he is empowered to do and expected to do by nominating an individual to replace a deceased justice belong in the Trump Derangement Museum, when it is established, probably as part of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not chain. The only reason anyone is willing to publish such garbage is that they assume it will be met with favor by the similarly afflicted.

How pathetic.

3. OK, how much publicity do you think this story will get in the mainstream media?

A report released by Senate Republicans yesterday revealed that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was engaged in a series of corrupt foreign transaction, trading upon his father’s influence in the Obama administration, and alleges that the Obama White House knew Hunter’s work for Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings prevented “the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.” The report by  the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Senate Finance Committee found that Hunter Biden had business associations with Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and People’s Liberation Army resulting in millions of dollars in cash transactions. The  investigation also found links between Hunter Biden and human trafficking, the adult entertainment industry, and prostitution.

You will recall that President Trump was impeached for asking the government of the Ukraine to assist in getting to the bottom of these dealings.

Funny, I can’t find any mention of the story on the front page of the Times.

13 thoughts on “Thursday Ethics Warm-Up, 9/24/2020: It’s “Supreme Court Day”!

    • The Senator would be a heck of a lot closer to the truth than Ms. Hannah-Jones’s opus is.

      So interesting, what Arthur in Maine pointed out, that Pulitzer founded the Columbia School of Journalism to place a veneer of respectability upon journalism. I assume the Times is staffed almost exclusively with Columbia School of Journalism grads. How’s that workin’ for ya, Pully?

  1. I thought President Trump was impeached because he didn’t agree with Lt.Col. Vindman’s recommended policy on Ukraine. That is why he sent information on the call to the ‘whistleblower’ with instructions to file a complain. Vindman also testified that Trump needed to be removed because Trump was trying to determine foreign policy against the ‘interagency consensus’. The new precedent is: if a military officer with a rank of Lt. Col. or above disagrees with a President’s policy, that President can and should be impeached.

  2. Earlier this month I heard a report on CBS radio regarding the Mayflower. Looking at Wikipedia, I assume that this was September 16th. At different points in the same story, the reporter stated that this was the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims departing for the New World, and then that they landed at Plymouth Rock 400 years ago that day.

    I came away with a renewed appreciation for British ship builders, as apparently they had produced a 17th sailing ship that crossed the Atlantic in a single day.

    Lacking a computer I assumed that they really meant the Pilgrims landed on September 16th — which was pretty late in the year anyway, but lo and behold they didn’t actually land until November. I consider it somewhat of a miracle that any of them survived to see the following spring.

    If the Indians had known what was to come, they might’ve poisoned the Pilgrim’s turkey. 😉

  3. Jack wrote:

    Funny, I can’t find any mention of the story on the front page of the Times.

    Here’s how I’ve seen it reported by the lefty news sources like ABC:

    GOP report: No wrongdoing in Biden son ties to Ukraine firm, but still ‘problematic’

    It’s a “GOP report” versus a Senate report, and “No wrongdoing” found. The “problematic” part in scare quotes is essentially burying the lede.

    See, if you try hard enough, even the most pejorative, damning news can be “spun” into irrelevance.

    I found this on MSNBC, of all places:

    Rather than reporting on what amounts to evidence of Biden’s ties to a corrupt Putin ally, CNN, Politico, the New York Times, and the Washington Post elected to cast the Senate report as nothing more than a cynical partisan attempt to hurt Joe Biden’s electoral prospects months ahead of the November election.

    So there you go. They all reported it — sort of.

  4. My response to the 1619 project would be that the foundational year of the United States is 1630, the year the colonies began taking action to suppress the slave trade. That process continued in various degrees until Emancipation Declaration and beyond. It is a story of continuing improvement.

    Or, 1776, because, you know, there were no United States until then.


  5. Two days to confirm six judges? Eight hours per judge? A little over two work day hours per judge? Hmm. Now that’s an interesting norm.

    • I hope Jack doesn’t catch flak for “suggesting that Trump can, or should, move as quickly as George Washington.” That is how the Marxstream media would characterize Jack’s opening remarks.

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