One more thing to complain to WordPress about: on the home page, it says to “followers,” “You are following this blog, along with 3,167 other amazing people.” I just checked, and if you follow Ethics Alarms, there are 4,324 other amazing people doing so. So thanks to my hosting service, this ethics blog features fake news on its home page, and I have no control over it. I am assuming in this that WordPress isn’t making a judgment that only 3,167 of the regular readers here are amazing, and the rest aren’t. How could they do that? Is “amazing” in this context a compliment or an insult? Most of the people I think are amazing in ethical matters are not amazing in a good way. Shouldn’t my standards be the ones featured on my blog?
1. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! I had been avoiding looking at the New York Times front page for January 14, being certain that it would annoy me no end. Yesterday I finally saw it, and it was worse than I imagined. The single word is IMPEACHED in what they call “Second coming” type, with each letter almost an inch high. The sub headline, in 1/3 inch bold type, says “Trump, After Inciting Rampage in Capitol, Is First President To Face 2nd Senate Trial.
The giant word can only be interpreted as celebratory, because it certainly wasn’t momentous news. The previous House impeachment was so inconsequential that it wasn’t even a campaign issue. The second, like the first was and is doomed to die in the Senate. President Trump was going to leave office before he could be removed. The Times might as well have headlined the story, “Democrats Have A Majority In The House.” Once the GOP lost its majority (surrendered is a better word, perhaps, as over 40 sitting Republican Congress members quit in a snit over a non-club member winning the White House, condemning the nation to Nancy Pelosi’s own “insurrection”), Trump’s eventual impeachment for something was a foregone conclusion, as was the fact that Democrats would keep trying no matter what. That’s the true import of the second impeachment: for the first time in history, a party began with the determination to impeach a POTUS from the other party, and was actively, desperately, unethically searching for an excuse to do it.
As for the rest of headline, stating that Trump “incited” the riot in the Capitol is a bright-line falsehood, as the emerging evidence continues to show.
2. No wonder she had to leave the Times! Speaking of mainstream media bias and the Times, Ethics Hero Bari Weiss, who quit the paper with a brave indictment of the unethical culture there, has a column in the much-maligned (because its not “woke”) New York Post called “10 ways to fight back against woke culture.” She writes in part,
By any measure, we have achieved incredible progress and enjoy extraordinary freedoms. And yet people aren’t acting that way. They are acting, increasingly, like subjects in a totalitarian country. These people write to me daily. They admit to regularly censoring themselves at work and with friends; succumbing to social pressure to tweet the right hashtag; to parroting slogans they do not believe to protect their livelihoods, like the greengrocer in Václav Havel’s famous essay “The Power of the Powerless.” These people aren’t crazy. They are scared for good reason….When everything is recorded for eternity, when making mistakes and taking risks are transformed into capital offenses, when things that were common sense until two seconds ago become unsayable, people make the understandable decision to simply shut up.
Again: it may be understandable, but it is still unethical. Fight for democracy, or you don’t deserve to have it.
3. And speaking of creeping totalitarianism...Congresswoman Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Guess what party!) is proposing legislation that would require individuals to report if they were members of QAnon, attended the Capitol Hill rally, or were involved in other ‘Stop the Steal’ events. [Pointer: Bill Thompson] Her “Security Clearance Improvement Act of 2021” would
“…require applicants to be asked during the security clearance process—whether as part of the SF-86 questionnaire, the interview portion, or both—whether they participated in the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol, or a similar “Stop the Steal” event, and the precise role they played in that event. Even if it does not constitute a criminal offense, attendance at an event designed to overturn the results of a presidential election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power raises serious questions about an applicant’s suitability for a security clearance.”
4. No, Citizen Free Press, Ted Cruz did not “Throw trump under the bus.” The Citizen Free Press has surged in popularity as a conservative news aggregator since the Drudge Report took a turn toward appealing to the Trump Deranged. It’s irritating in its own right, reveling in bias, as in today’s link that described a statement by Senator Cruz as “throwing Trump under the bus.” Cruz said,
“President Trump’s rhetoric, I think, went way too far over the line. I think it was both reckless and irresponsible because he said repeatedly, and he said over and over again, he won by a landslide; there was massive fraud; it was all stolen everywhere. That evidence, the campaign did not prove that in any court, and to make a determination about an election it has to be based on the evidence, and so simply saying the result you want, that’s not responsible and you’ve never heard me use language like that. What I’ve said is voter fraud is real, and we need to examine the evidence, and look at the actual facts; and in particular, what is the evidence of how much voter fraud occurred, and did it occur in sufficient quantities and in sufficient states to alter the outcome of the election. That would have been the mandate of the election commission to assess.”
This is called “true,” as well as fair. Apparently someone figured that out at CFP, because the link is now labeled “Ted Cruz says Trump ‘crossed the line’…” because, after all, he did cross the line.
5. Oh, let’s look in on the outrageous, biased, none-too-bright CNN hack just for comic relief. After the Wall Street Journal editorial board denounced media outlets “devoted to shutting down the commercial lifeline of other media”–that would be CNN cheerleading the boycotting of Fox News–Stelter, who once was supposed to be a journalism ethics watchdog, decided to play language games.
“While some cry cancel culture, let me suggest a different way to think about this: a harm reduction model,” Stelter said. This has increasingly become the Left’s way : make up a euphemism to hide what’s really happening. They aren’t advocating killing healthy, nascent human beings before they have a chance at life; they are just protecting choice. They aren’t enabling illegal immigration; they are just protecting immigrants, and this is a nation of immigrants! Now Stelter is calling content-based censorship “harm prevention.”
Big Brother also liked this method.