One More Time: It Is Unethical For The News Media To Present Idiots As Commentators

In the case at hand, the appellation “idiot” is neither unfair nor ad hominem. For some mysterious reason, CBS News anchor Lana Zak decided to feature former U.S. professional soccer player Lori Lindsey as an authority on the issues involved in transgender participation in female sports. Lindsey rapidly demonstrated that she lacked the knowledge, analytical skills and rhetorical ability for the role, as she defaulted to woke buzz-words that had nothing to do with the topic. Asked about various bills being considered around the country that would ban transitioning biological males from competing against girls and women, Lindsay babbled,

“These bills do uphold white supremacy under the guise of protecting women’s sport when we actually know that women’s sport, protection of it, would be to have more funding and to have more women in leadership positions and equal pay. But the reality, though, is that these youth just want to participate with their friends and play sports like everyone else.”

What? How is “white supremacy” involved in trying to keep trans competitors out of women’s sports?

Not able to resist endorsing this gibberish, Zak asked, “I want to circle back to something you said earlier about these bills are trying to perpetuate supremacy. I imagine that there are parents at home who have genetically, or who have daughters who were assigned a female gender at birth, and that are concerned that their child is not going to get a fair shake in competing against other people, against a trans girl and they’re not thinking this is a supremacists position. How do you appeal to that parent that feels it is just about the sports to see that there’s actually a greater debate that is a proxy for?”

Feel that pressure building in your skull yet? The reason such parents don’t feel that it is a “supremacists position” is that the issue has nothing to do with race, other than the fact that race is the default argument for every progressive position when it runs out of legitimate arguments.

Answering like the 10-year-old she reasons like, Lindsay’s reply was this:

“It kind of goes back to what I was saying in general, that these youth just want to play sports, right? It’s not about coming in and taking over women’s sports but just about having access to the lessons that sports teach us. That should be upheld across this country because years ago we decided that discrimination is not right in this country, and that we need to continue to provide access, and that everyone should have equal opportunity.”

Ugh.

First, the fact that someone “wants” to compete in a sport in which they have an unfair advantage is not a justification for allowing them to do so. The steroid cheats in baseball wanted to compete. Cheaters always want to compete, and why wouldn’t they? They are more likely to win than their competition.

Second, Lindsey only addresses the question of children competing as transsexuals. Children shouldn’t be transitioning to the opposite sex at all: this is a straw man argument, or a straw transsexual argument, or something. She’s ducking the issue, and in even saying this I am giving her credit for comprehension she does not seem to have.

Third, Lori evidently doesn’t understand what “discrimination” is. Making distinctions about what someone can be allowed to do based on material and relevant factors isn’t discrimination. It’s isn’t discrimination to prevent 11-year-olds from voting. It isn’t discrimination to prevent fathers from marrying their daughters. It isn’t discrimination to prevent adult chess champions from competing in a juniors tournament. It isn’t discrimination to prevent 250 heavyweight boxers from fighting in the Featherweight division. It isn’t discrimination to tell male golfers they can’t compete on the women’s pro tour…no matter how much they may “want” to.

And it isn’t discrimination to prevent men, former or otherwise who have the physical advantages male biology provides from competing against women in sports where their biology creates a decisive advantage.

People like Lori Lindsey create bad arguments for members of the public too crippled in their own cognitive abilities to realize the garbage they are being fed. For others on the cusp of ignorance and stupidity, having a phony “expert” like her blather on just might push them over the edge. If the news media can’t make the public smarter and better informed, at least it should strive not to make them dumber.

Zak and CBS News are to blame here. It’s not discrimination to prevent an idiot from opining as an expert on national TV because she “wants” to. It’s just responsible.

8 thoughts on “One More Time: It Is Unethical For The News Media To Present Idiots As Commentators

  1. Lori Lindsey was asked to opine because she is a woman and is gay. The media can say, “See?! Even gay women athletes approve of biologically born men competing against biologically born women. What’s the deal?”

    Race was brought into the equation because the two highest profile cases are from high school track and field in Connecticut’ where two biologically born males are competing against high school females, and have consistently beaten the females. The transitioning athletes are black and outperform the females at every competition and by large margins. I suspect Lindsey was channeling race because the majority of the females’ supporters are white. The female athletes’ lawyers are white, and they and their lawyers have appeared on Fox News shows. So, Trump; therefore, racists.

    jvb

  2. If we’re again running aground the problem of either rational analysis of an issue or emotional analysis, it would seem to me that the use of Lori Lindsey is entirely about talking through the emotional analysis. She’s legitimate to the emotional-analysis crowd because she’s involved in sports, she has feelings about issues, and can speak about what she feels. If the whole point is to bolster support for transgender athletes, having a professional athlete gush about how people just want to play is great emotional support.

    I didn’t look at the interview in any more detail than what was presented here, so I don’t know all the questions. But Lana Zak could have easily chased some emotional-based questions that would have gone another direction. “How would you feel if your team, composed entirely of biological women, faced off against a team composed entirely of transwomen, and no matter how hard you played, you still were soundly defeated because they were that much larger, stronger, faster, et al?” Or, “How do you feel about biological women being passed up for sports scholarships by transwomen? Can you really make the case that women are being support when many women feel they are being supplanted?”

    I agree that emotional analysis gives very little of substance to latch onto, and it is aggravating when emotions are so easily manipulated. But I do think this is the playing field we’re dealing with now. I defer back to Null Pointer’s COTD. We have to find some way to make inroads in the field of emotional-analysis to have any chance of turning such idiocy aside.

    • Ryan,

      I think you make a very good point. The Left almost always argues on an emotional level, trying to tug at heart-strings or guilt-strings or whatever. The Right has tended to argue from logic and facts. While I think logic and facts are much stronger, the emotional sides pulls harder. In some sense, those on the Right need to takes their logic and facts and turn them into moral/emotional arguments.

      When I discuss socialism with someone, I no longer use the “it doesn’t work and it never has” line of reasoning. My response is now “socialism is wrong because it’s immoral to steal people’s stuff…would you like someone to come into your house and take your money and your car and your TV and furniture because you had it and they wanted it?” When they (usually) shake their heads no, I end my side of the discussion with, “Well, that’s what socialism allows others to do to you, so hopefully you can get on board with others taking your stuff.”

      Your sample questions are spot on.

  3. The word “discrimination” has two (at least) distinct meanings, and perhaps we need a new word for the second meaning, given common usage.
    Some discrimination is illegal, immoral, and unethical, or a combination of these. That now is the most common usage.
    However, under the second definition, preventing 11-year-olds from voting most definitely is discrimination, a “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing [adults] and another [children]”. Most people understand the difference there and have no problem with an age limit. Likewise, most people can grasp the difference between men’s sports and women’s; a noisy minority do not see the difference, or they just wish it away, when it comes to transgenderism.
    Another example, when I order Gordon’s gin over Sapphire Blue for my martini, the bartender thinks I’m a dumbass while my brother-in-law recognizes that I have discriminating taste.

  4. Meanwhile:

    Why The New York Times Is Retiring the Term ‘Op-Ed’

    Perhaps its because the NYT “journalists” don’t know the difference between reporting and editorializing? Just a thought.

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