The news media, Democrats and Trump-Haters—are there any Biden supporters, I wonder?—are behaving like—no other word will do— assholes to a degree that even I could not have imagined. They are doing so in such a flagrant matter that one has to ask if they all really are assholes, if they are this way permanently now, and if we can ever trust any of them again. Gloating, threatening, insulting and lying is not the way to heal the damage done to the nation (by them, primarily) over the last four years.
Do not send Ethics Alarms comments about how “this is no surprise.” Just cut that out. Writing that mitigates the offense. It is a surprise. It may have been predictable, but one has to be surprised at such despicable conduct by such a huge component of the population, or one just has to give up.
It’s unethical to give up.
1. I just blocked my first Twitter account, and it was that of the self-banned, former puckish Ethics Alarms commenter Jeff Field, known here as Fattymoon. Jeff was an enthusiastic member of Occupy Wall Street, meaning he was essentially an anarchist and thoroughly deluded, but he was treated well here. Then he went off to Medium to attack me and the blog by name. That’s fine. What’s not fine is the string of tweets he has sent out lately threatening me for daring to point out the same kinds of issues I’m covering in this post. That is signature significance for both an asshole and a totalitarian (anarchists are often totalitarians, as long as they see themselves in charge, and all totalitarians are assholes).
I really thought better of Jeff. I have never blocked anyone on Twitter; I object to it on principle, but I’m willing to be insulted—I know how to defend myself—but threats on social media are intolerable.
2. The news media cannot ethically refer to Joe Biden as “the President-elect.” He isn’t. That’s a fact. They didn’t call George W. Bush “President Elect” when Al Gore and Florida Democrats were searching high and low for any way to flip Florida into the Gore column in 2000, and at this point, the 2020 election is no more decided than that one was. It is a remarkable—and obviously unethical—exercise for the news media to declare Biden the winner and then use its own fake news to proclaim him President-elect. There are sufficient states with their vote totals in question, with recounts looming and lawsuits mounting, to wait. Waiting costs nothing; premature declarations and celebrations make the nation look ridiculous, because at this juncture, it is ridiculous.
3. Well, the metaphorical masks are coming off. Jake Tapper finally left no doubt that he is a jerk, a hack, and a fool. Good to know, really: I have periodically been tricked into thinking he was ethically superior to his colleagues because of his periodic outbursts of contrarian truth. Actually, Jake may be ethically superior to his colleagues, but this only shows how unethical his colleagues have become. Luckily for Tapper, CNN’s race-baiting specialist Van Jones followed him to make Jake look good by comparison, actually weeping his way through a premature victory speech.
WOLF BLITZER: Again, CNN projects Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. Jake, he is now President-elect Joe Biden.
JAKE TAPPER: What a moment in history. We have all been waiting on the edges of our seats since Tuesday. It is the end, the end of a tumultuous presidency, a time of some accomplishments, no question, a time where many Americans throughout the country and in shuttered steel towns and rural America, they felt for the first time, they felt heard, which is important. But it is also, Wolf, it has also been a time of extreme divisions. Many of the divisions caused and exacerbated by President Trump himself. It’s been a time of several significant and utterly avoidable failures, most tragically, of course, the unwillingness to respect facts and science and do everything that can be done to save lives during a pandemic. It has been a time where truth and fact were treated with disdain. It was a time of cruelty where official inhumanities such as child separation became the official shameful policy of the United States. But now the Trump presidency is coming to an end, to an end, with so many squandered opportunities and ruined potential, but also an era of just plain meanness. It must be said to paraphrase President Ford, for tens of millions of our fellow Americans, their long national nightmare is over.
VAN JONES: Well it’s easier to be a parent this morning, it’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters, it matters. Tell them the truth matters. Being a good person matters. And it’s easier for a lot of people. If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry if the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president’s going to be happy to have snatched away or send dreamers back for no reason. It’s vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered, you know, the “I can’t breathe,” that wasn’t just George Floyd, that was a lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe. Every day you’re waking up and getting tweets and you just don’t know and you’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism are getting nastier and nastier to you and you’re worried about your kids and you’re worried about your sister, can she just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying something to her. And you’ve spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together and this is a big deal for us just to be able to get some peace and have a chance for a reset and the character of the country matters and being a good man matters. I just want my sons to look at this, to look at this. It’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff, but it comes back around. It comes back around and it’s a good thing for this country. I’m sorry for the people who lost, for them it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people it’s a good day.
- No, Wolf, CNN does not decide the election. The final votes do.
- Those extreme divisions were disproportionately stoked by your employers, Jake.
- Right, the policy was “separating children from parents.” Again, a lie. The policy was to stop people from illegally sneaking into the country.
- The pandemic lie is so idiotic and infuriating I am tempted to score it as evil.
But I won’t…well…at least it gives me a chance to post this:
That CNN blather isn’t just unethical journalism, it isn’t journalism. It’s not even punditry. It’s propaganda.
4. Actually, the non-metaphorical masks are also coming off. A large crowd celebrated in NYC’s Barkley Square yesterday, and Chuck Schumer joined them.
About that “science” the President ignored: do you see any social distancing in this photo? Americans can’t gather in schools, churches, funerals, family celebrations and Trump rallies because those are “super-spreader” events, but Black Lives Matter demonstrations and mass premature gloats by Democrats are safe and responsible.
Boy, that science is complicated….
5.It was stunningly unethical for Biden to address the nation and behave as if he had won last night. Again noting the appearance of impropriety: this rush feels like an urgent effort to avoid due process. If it isn’t, then Biden has an obligation to urge caution and restraint. No, there is no definitive evidence—yet, and maybe never— that proves widespread fraud, but there is a lot of smoke, and the nation deserves to know exactly what occurred, even if it is only to prove what a terrible, incompetent, disastrous idea mail-in voting is.
6. You want a nightmare? Here’s a nightmare...Consider this: what if there is a major break in the inquiry, and the Biden vote totals in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania are shown to be inflated sufficiently to give the President the victory. Oh, there would have been riots if Trump won in any scenario, but having a victory declared to be finals and absolute taken away would ensure an insurrection, or at least a serious threat of one. That’s obvious, isn’t it?
How hard would it be to just wait until the questions—and there are questions and good reasons for them—were answered before proclaiming victory? Apparently too hard. This is an irresponsible, power-hungry, untrustworthy party, and it is showing that what Ethics Alarms has diagnosed about its ethics for four years was neither exaggerated nor unfair. I’ll post this clip…
…but I’ll also say thatthical Americans will not submit to fear and bullying. If Jake Tapper equates Biden’s dubious win with peace, harmony, submission and cheerful ideological re-education, he could not be more wrong. The nightmare his pals intend may be a pleasant dream to him, but I predict a rude awakening.