During the 1930s, President Roosevelt and New York Mayor La Guardia frequently read the morning newspaper to radio audiences. Convicted Watergate conspirator E. Gordon Liddy managed to have a popular conservative radio talk show for years that mostly consisted of his reading articles from the newspaper. Today’s Times had many statements that made the ethics mines in my head explode repeatedly, so I feel compelled to share:
- Headline: “Cities Reverse On Police Cuts As Crime Rises.” My reaction: “Morons.” What did the “defund the police” activists think would happen? This goes beyond incompetence to criminal incompetence.
- This front page story contained one botch after another. The black superintendent of schools reacted to the George Floyd episode by sending a message to the parents of all 7,700 students in the district in which she labeled “a reality check” her conclusion that “Racism is alive in our country, our state, in Queen Anne’s County, and our schools.” Here’s a reality check that I am pledged to note every time anyone uses the Floyd death to show racism by police, the law, or the United States in general: there was and is no evidence that the episode involved racism. There is every reason to believe that Derek Chauvin would have treated a white perp who behaved like Floyd in exactly the same brutal manner. That a school superintendent would leap to the conclusion she did marks her as uncritical and irresponsible, governed by confirmation bias bias, and unqualified to lead a school district. As usual, the Times report never mentions that Floyd’s death was not am incident of racism except to those who wanted it to be, presumed it to be, or dishonestly used it for political gain. There are other unethical statements in the story, like”The debate has sometimes focused on K-12 curriculums after conservative activists began branding a range of topics including history lessons and diversity initiatives as “critical race theory,” an academic framework that views racism as ingrained in law and other modern institutions. The term is now often deployed to attack any discussion of race and racism in American classrooms — pitting educators who feel obligated to teach the realities of racism against predominantly white parents and politicians who believe that schools are forcing white children to feel ashamed of their race and country.” This is pro-critical race theory propaganda. Many non-conservative parents object to this indoctrination trend, and many black parents as well. It is an especially ironic statement in the context of an article about how one educator falsely interpreted a non-racial incident a proof of racism. How can such educators teach “the realities of racism” when they are biased and using false information? They can’t.
- “Biden Formally Recognizes Indigenous People’s Day” Remember. Joe Biden promised that he wouldn’t be divisive! I have no strong objection to a “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” but Humorist Stan Freeberg wrote a satirical song in the Sixties called “Take an Indian to Lunch This Week” (Sample lyric: “We know everyone can be…as American as we!”) that aptly recognizes what’s so tome deaf about it. Europeans took the country, but it’s okay: Native Americans get their own “day,” and an apology from Joe Biden. Not only is this grandstanding and virtue signalling, using “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” to cancel out Columbus Day takes sides. There are good reasons to honor native American and Christopher Columbus (warts and all); the two honors do not have to be made adversarial. Nonetheless, the President (or his puppeteers) have deliberately framed them as if they are, pitting Native_Americans against Italian-Americans, and those who recognize important contributions to world history against those who topple statues in pursuit of “presentism” and woke historical airbrushing.
- From a Business section article headlined, “YouTube’s Ban on Misinformation”: “But for a selection of high-stakes issues that could lead to real world harm, internet companies may need restrictive rules….on rare occasions that might mean sacrificing the ability to immediately say absolutely anything online in order to protect us all.” In a sub-headline that the online version omits, we are told, “Restrictive rules are less about censorship than about thwarting real word harm.” (They are about censorship.)
- The headline of this op-ed was its own head-blast, but there were more kabooms inside: “All Women Should Support Abortion Rights.” This is outrageous group stereotyping, in the same category as Hillary flack Madeleine Albright ordering all women to vote for Clinton because she had two X chromosomes and Biden telling a crowd that if they didn’t vote Democrat, they weren’t really black. Here’s my favorite: “I asked Jules Gill-Peterson, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University … about the connection between these issues. “Anti-abortion and anti-trans legislation are products of the same political coalition, using the same scripts and tactics,” she wrote me. “In both cases, we see the protection of a fantasized imperiled child justifying heavy-handed police state policies that restrict actual women and children’s rights and bodily autonomy. The language of protection, so highly moralized,” she continued, “is the perfect alibi for rationalizing widespread harm.” Fanticized imperiled child! Unborn children don’t really exist: they’re figments of the imagination!” The last paragraph is another: “Surely those rights include the right to make our own choices about our own bodies. Surely those rights include the profound, and simple, gift of being allowed to live our lives in peace.” A card-carrying progressive writes this as the government is trying to force citizens to have foreign substances injected into their bodies. Why wouldn’t the obvious contradiction occur to her? The right to make your own choices about your own bodies does not include the right to make choices about other human beings’ bodies by ending their lives—oh, wait, I forgot: those bodies are fantasy, according to the expert she quotes approvingly. And the fact that her last sentence, “Surely those rights include the profound, and simple, gift of being allowed to live our lives in peace” might apply to the profound and simple right to be given a chance to live by being born didn’t occur to the writer, Jennifer Boylan, at all. Amazing.
- Finally, the ridiculous Charles Blow had these quotes in his column: 1) “The handling of Haitian immigrants was a particular blight on the administration, and the images of officers cracking their reins like whips will be hard to erase from memory.” The horse-riding agents were not “cracking reins like whips.” This lie, though Biden has repeated it, has been thoroughly, decisively, disproven. 2) “The Senate parliamentarian has advised Democrats against including a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants in their spending bill. It is not clear if Senate Democrats will try to get around the parliamentarian’s nonbinding ruling, but 92 legal scholars have called on them to do just that.” The parliamentarian is a non-partisan position designed to force Congress to stick to its own rules. Progressives no longer believe in rules when they satnd in the way of ideology. Blow’s appeal to the authority of another mob of partisan and unethical professors is classic. 3) “Then there is the massive, widespread assault on voting rights rolling out across the country, what some have rightly referred to as Jim Crow 2.0. As the Brennan Center for Justice put it earlier this month, “In an unprecedented year so far for voting legislation, 19 states have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote.” Tote up the deceit, misrepresentation and deliberate bias in those sentences when you have time.
I’m too tired, and I have brains to mop up.