TGIF Ethics Sighs, 8/19/2022: Goodbye Brian Stelter, And Worse News

A few words on “diversity” (this will save me a rant later):

I just turned on PBS while having lunch, and was told that the network appreciated “all the diverse communities” that they serve. Gack/Blechh!/Yuck! And what about those non-diverse communities? What are they? Bigots? Evil, Un-American? And what kind of diversity counts, on the PBS scorecard? This is just rote virtue-signaling with a little indoctrination and brain-washing thrown in. Human beings are diverse, even within homogeneous groups. Prioritizing one kind of “diversity” over another is an ideological edict.

The program that followed was John Williams conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in his various famous compositions last year. There was nary a black or brown visage anywhere to be seen among the musicians. Should I care? Should anyone? All that ought to matter is whether the orchestra sounds as good as possible, correct? Or should a proper orchestra be judged on the basis of its EEOC categories as well as its musical excellence?

I would not be surprised if the local PBS outlet here gets complaints from contributors “of color” that the concert should not have been broadcast, since the orchestra did not “look like us.”

This is madness, and people of all colors, ethnicities and creeds must have the integrity and courage to step forward and say, “Just stop. Now.”

1. Did you know President Trump lied all the time? Last March, the current, always honest President said, in order to brush off complaints about the number of illegal immigrants streaming across our borders,

“It happens every single, solitary year: There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter.” 

That was calculated malarkey then, when the numbers of illegals crossing the border were higher than during other winters, and it really looks like malarkey now, as the winter level never dropped off, and is headed to record territory.

But these denials of what is open and undeniable, habitual Jumbos, are now the predictable MO of President Biden and his party. Inflation is transitory! High gas prices are a good thing! There is no recession! The public has to be gullible, ignorant and stupid for this cynical strategy to work, and part of it is to make the public as gullible, ignorant and stupid as possible.2. Is Larry Tribe finally in “Julie Principle” territory? Prof. Jonathan Turley, unlike Tribe a respected law professor and legal scholar whose IQ points haven’t been draining out of both ears, authored a blog post listing how many times Tribe, a twitter addict (Twitter makes you stupid!), has claimed that Donald Trump was undeniably guilty of heinous crimes.

Tribe appears intent upon running through the entire criminal code. Just for the purposes of keeping score, Tribe declared evidence supporting criminal charges of witness tamperingobstruction of justice, criminal election violations, Logan Act violations, extortion, espionage, attempted murder, and treason by Trump or his family.  This week, Tribe insisted on MSNBC that Trump yet again is facing a “slam dunk” criminal conviction over the raid on Mar-a-Lago. While some of us have suggested that we wait to see the actual evidence before evaluating the risk in the case, Tribe again is confident that the still uncharged case has already been made.

Just last month, Tribe declared Trump clearly guilty of the attempted murder of Vice President Mike Pence on January 6, 2021. Tribe again insisted that the case could be prosecuted “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt, and the crimes are obvious.”

It is despicable for Tribe to abuse his reputation and presumed authority by misleading the public while slaking his own Trump Derangement, or it would be, if there were not substantial reasons to believe Old Larry is not what Young Larry once was, when he was wowing Harvard Law students and frequently mentioned as a SCOTUS nominee in waiting. The nice and kind thing would be to ignore him, but the mainstream media hacks still treat Tribe’s fantasies as newsworthy. This requires a periodic dose of reality and rebuttal.

Interestingly, on Ann Althouse’s blog, only a single commenter among 60 comments was less than contemptuous of Tribe’s latest claim. One comment that evoked the Julie Principle was this:

Ridiculing Laurence Tribe’s dopey pronouncements is increasingly like hunting cows.


3. Geewhatasurprise. When an entire subculture denigrates the police and law enforcement, when fighting “over-incarceration” takes priority over protecting the law-abiding, when bail is increasingly not required to let alleged criminals roam free, when woke DAs refuse to prosecute “minor” crimes (like theft) and “restorative justice is the a woke wet dream, this is what society is asking for:

That scene occurred on August 15 in Los Angeles. A flash mob showed, caused a ruckus on the street, then attacked a 7-Eleven. They picked it clean in minutes. The larceny is unethical, but far more consequential are the warped values and distorted priorities that trigger such episodes.

Also, that doesn’t look like a very diverse mob to me…

4. Conservative newspapers are ethically inert too! Here’s the New York Post editorial board rebutting Financial Times editor Edward Luce’s fatuous tweet that he’s “covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close”:

Some 37 million Americans call themselves Republicans. Is their party really more “dangerous” and “contemptible” than, say, the Chinese Communist Party, which murders its own people? Or Iran’s terror-sponsoring theocracy? Or Russia’s war-waging, nuke-threatening thugocracy?

That’s the best they can do? Pointing out that Republicans aren’t as murderous and violent the governments of China, Russian and Iran? This is resorting to Rationalization #22, The Comparative Virtue Excuse, or “There are worse things.”

5. I hate to revel in someone else’s career misfortune, BUT…CNN’s firing of its inept, dishonest, incompetent house “media watchdog” Brian Stelter should be cause for rejoicing by all fans of ethics as well as those who still hold out hope that journalism will reform. 

He was the epitome of a hack. Unlike his “Reliable Sources” predecessor, Howard Kurtz (once with the Washington Post, now with Fox News), Stelter never negatively commented on CNN’s journalistic failings, which were many and large, even when they were making headlines elsewhere. Maybe he was forbidden from doing so, in which case he had an ethical obligation to find employment elsewhere. More likely, Stelter simply lacked integrity, courage and objectivity, like almost all of his colleagues. His tenure quickly deteriorated into partisan hucksterism, Democratic propaganda, anti-Trump Big Lies and denials and cover-ups of the progressive mainstream media’s misconduct.

Newsbusters was nice enough to dig up some highlights:

  • “Corrupt media. In Trump’s world, journalists are really just Clinton campaign workers in disguise collaborating with her in an attempt to rig the election. This is not just false, it’s ludicrous and it’s damaging….What are the consequences of this conspiratorial talk?”(October 16, 2016)
  • “He is entertaining up at that podium — I love watching these rallies for that reason. On the other hand, John, I talk to international correspondents who say to you, ‘This is exactly what authoritarians do. This is what strongmen do. This is what happens in authoritarian regimes.’ I think we need to start using those words on TV, at least, to discuss the possibilities before us.” (December 4, 2016.)
  • “Will President Trump deny reality on a daily basis? Will he make up his own false facts and fake stats? What will the consequences be? Will reporters give up trying to fact check? Is that the goal? To wear us down, to wear us out….Do Trump’s allies want to silence skeptics in the media, destroy the press or maybe support an alternative press that presents an alternative reality that’s more favorable?…Do citizens in dictatorships recognize what’s happening right here right now? Are they looking at the first two days of the Trump administration and saying, ‘Oh, that’s what my leader does?’ What should we learn from them today?” (January 22, 2017…and may I say, this one is especially amusing as Stelter has never mentioned the Biden Administration denying reality on a regular basis. He fell right into the party line, for example, insisting that there was no recession.)
  • “[Jeffrey] Lord and I were just debating how effective the president’s anti-media attacks are, and we’re in agreement, they are effective. But let’s recognize how poisonous they are as well. Every single president disputes some news coverage of their presidency, but no president until now gets up at a rally and calls news outlets fake. No president gets up at a podium and says the things we’ve heard from this president tonight. It’s nothing new from him, this was really a copy-and-paste speech, as you all were just talking about. But it is insidious, it is poisonous, and I think for the journalists in this room – just trying to do their best work – it is disappointing to continue to hear the president taking this tone.” ( April 29, 2017.)          
  •  Brian Stelter: “But journalists also recognized there are big scandals going on.”

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway: “What scandals going on? Name them. I want to hear about. No, you can’t get away with that. What are the, quote, big scandals going on? Please, name them for me.”

Stelter: “When you look at this president’s rhetoric, his demagogic behavior when it comes to the media – ”

Conway: “His rhetoric is scandal?”

Stelter: “Yes….you don’t think that his words against the media are poisoned, Kellyanne, actually hurting the country on a daily basis?” (July 23, 2017).

  • “It’s usually after the microphones are off, of after the stories been filed, after the paper has been put to bed, people’s concerns and fears and questions come out. Questions that often feel out of bounds, off limits, too hot for TV. Questions like these: Is the President of the United States a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office?…My impression has been since President Trump’s inauguration, there’s been a lot of tiptoeing going on. His actions have been described as un-presidential, as unhinged, and sometimes even crazy.” ( August 20, 2017)
  • “We’re not anti-Trump…We’re pro-truth. We’re pro-honesty. We’re pro-decency, and this is a tough moment in American history for people that support facts and decency.” (November 5, 2017)

…and may I say, that he wasn’t struck dead on the spot, is evidence that there is no God…

  • “Look at the New York Daily News this morning. A column calling the President a madman. Saying that he is truly unhinged….Eugene Robinson’s column in The Washington Post. People are saying we have to talk about his health now before it’s too late. Eugene Robinson saying: ‘How long are we going to pretend that President Trump is fully rational? How long are we going to ignore the signs he’s dangerously out of control?’ And here is MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough raising the same point…That’s the question. I’m going to ask you, Jeff Greenfield. Is now the time?”(December 3, 2017)

Eugene Robinson. The New York Daily News. An MSNBC talking head.  To Stelter, this was a balanced group of authorities.

  • “When a President of the United States threatens North Korea by invoking the size of his nuclear button, it is fair to ask about his fitness. If a leader of another country were to do the same thing, I think many commentators, many reporters will conclude that he is not well. This past year has been full of reasons to question his fitness. President Trump promotes conspiracy theories. He shares racist videos on social media. He live-tweets Fox News shows that mislead him while he derides real reporting as fake news. He calls for the prosecution of political opponents. He insults people for fun. He says so many flat-out false things that journalists can barely keep up.” ( January 7, 2018)
  • “You and I have covered Fox News for years. Is it appropriate to call the channel a news channel?” (December 17, 2018)
  • “The pro-Trump media led by Hannity has circled the wagons around President Trump. They’ve distracted people about the truth involving Trump’s Russia ties and they’ve done everything possible to destroy faith in Robert Mueller’s probe.” (February 4, 2018)

You know—all those “Russia ties…”

  • “From your perch, running the Washington Post, observing President Trump and having to cover this story everyday, is this a form of a national emergency? Are we living through a national emergency? And if so, how in the heck should journalists be covering it that way?” (June 27, 2018)
  • “The President, with his back up against the wall, is saying journalists are dangerous, sick, enemies of the people….He’s shouting some of these attacks nowadays. And there’s certainly been a newfound focus on how he whips up his crowds against the press corps. More and more I think ‘hate movement’ is the proper term for what’s going on. President Trump is not just telling his fans to ignore what we report. He’s telling people we are the enemy. Trump and some of his allies are promoting a hate movement against the American press.” (August 5, 2018)

Heh. I don’t know about all of the press, but Brian Stelter was unquestionably an enemy of the people.

  • “Is it time for newsrooms to think of new ways to convey Trump’s lack of credibility?….Because he says so many things that are bogus….He tells us all these lies, he spreads all these falsehoods….but he’s done nothing to earn your trust and everything to squander it. The President is constantly lying and spreading conspiracy theories everyday….Should there be a bug in the corner of the screen that says, ‘Warning, the President’s probably misleading you again’?” (August 26, 2018)

Was Brian Stelter misleading you again? If the mews media only focuses on one politician’s alleged lies, it will obvious appear that he is uniquely dishonest.

  • “I don’t know if it’s a good thing that star power and TV savvy is required for the job, but I think it is. And by the way, I think President Obama also had a lot of TV star power and that helped him pre-Trump. But Trump is more evidence of this. And looking ahead to 2020, one reason why I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.” (September 16, 2018—Stelter was promoting Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti, now convicted of fraud, as a Presidential contender.)
  • I want to dive right into your argument about what both-siderism is and why it’s failing the public….Is it that we’re treating Democrats and Republicans equally and ignoring GOP radicalism, is that the heart of the problem?” ( October 24, 2021.)

There are a lot more, but I’m getting sick as I re-read all this. What a shameless, useless hack. Good riddance.

12 thoughts on “TGIF Ethics Sighs, 8/19/2022: Goodbye Brian Stelter, And Worse News

  1. #2 Larry Tribe stuff.

    There was a commenter on that blog post that shared a link from the November 19, 2010 issue of the ABA Journal about Tribe’s benign brain tumor to which I replied…

    I didn’t know that about Tribe.

    Maybe this “TDS has made him stupid” is being seriously exacerbated by that medical condition; but regardless of why he’s turned stupid, Tribe needs to stop spewing his irrational nonsense, completely remove himself from the public eye if he’s really having medical related issues regarding critical thinking and lastly the media needs to stop giving this irrational man a soapbox to spew to spew his irrational nonsense from. The media is fully employing “the ends justify the means” with their continuing use of Tribe for any legal analysis of anything related to Trump.

  2. When an entire subculture denigrates the police and law enforcement, when fighting “over-incarceration” takes priority over protecting the law-abiding, when bail is increasingly not required to let alleged criminals roam free, when woke DAs refuse to prosecute “minor” crimes (like theft) and “restorative justice is the a woke wet dream, this is what society is asking for:

    This same subculture is pushing for stricter gun control laws.

    It is plain and clear whom the leadership really wants to disarm.

  3. Regarding bail reform…I’m in Chicago, and bail reform comes into effect for the entire state of Illinois starting in January of 2023 (cash bail eliminated altogether). I have been writing and calling my state representative and senator in Springfield. Regarding my friends here in IL, I just cannot get them to understand how devastating bail reform is going to be for our state. I just want to throw up my hands and give up because I cannot get through to people. Pritzker is making abortion access his central issue and women are falling for it hook-line-and-sink. My argument that criminal thugs have no respect for women falls on deaf ears. How can I get through to people?

  4. 3. I LOVE that photo. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a Breugel! The more things change, the more they stay the same. I wish they’d had time to set up a dunk tank in front of the beer cooler.

  5. Opening observations: “Community” is my least favorite word. Anyone who uses it means, “I’m a tiny little minority and I want to be in charge!” If a single word can encapsulate passive-aggressiveness, “community” is that word.

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