Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/20/22: ” Seeing Bad Stuff In September” Edition

Stop making me defend Scott Pelley! The conservative news media is beating on “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley for what they are calling a “softball” interview, as if every “60 Minutes” interview of a sitting President hasn’t been just as tame, or even tamer. At least Pelley asked Biden about Hunter. The truth is that Americans still prefer to see their Presidents treated with respect and some degree of deference, unless the President is Donald Trump.

It’s funny: the same outlets that are condemning Pelley as a Democratic ally and hack are wondering why Biden’s “handlers” allowed the blithering POTUS to do an interview at all. Of course the conditions demanded for the interview included no follow up questions, and a softball session. And it didn’t matter! Biden’s performance was frightening anyway, and unlike the 2020 interview with Trump, when Leslie Stahl’s clear objective was to attack throughout, the White House couldn’t complain afterwards that the President was sabotaged by a biased journalist. Pelley asked about Joe’s mental fitness, and Biden replied, “Watch me!” And so we did, and have. He continued,

And it ma—, honest to God, that’s all I think. Watch me. If you think I don’t have the energy level or the mental acuity, then — then, you know, that’s one thing. It’s another thing, you just watch and — and, you know, keep my schedule. Do what I’m doing….“I — I think that, you know — I don’t — when I sit down with our NATO allies and keep ’em together, I don’t have ’em saying, ‘Wait a minute, w— how — how old are you? What are you — what say?’ You know, I mean, it’s a matter of, you know, that old expression: The proof of the pudding’s in the eating. I mean, I — I — I respect the fact that people would say, you know, ‘You’re old.’ And — but I think it relates to h— how much energy you have, and whether or not the job you’re doing is one consistent with what any person of any age would be able to do.”

Whether it was Pelley’s intention or not, he ended up doing what ethical journalists are supposed to do: he let the facts speak for themselves.

1. On the topic of social media viewpoint censorship, this:

It takes a lot of chutzpah for YouTube to demonetize a channel because it violates YouTube’s “values” and then sell ads on the same content.

2. Oh please, please let this happen to me! In an open thread at Althouse, a commenter tells this tale,

A friend’s brother lives in Florida. They recently got new neighbors from NY, a husband and wife. A few days after moving in the wife stops over and sits down. She says, “OK, let’s get this out of the way. I am a Democrat and my husband an Independent. What are you?” Non-plussed, he says he is Republican. For the next 15 minutes he was called every expected name- Nazi, racist, etc. IN HIS OWN F-ING HOME!

It’s my contention that the left now knows its flaws are becoming obvious and are overcompensating to hear themselves repeat their failing worldview…

3. I’m certain this kind of thing goes on constantly, and not just from the Left. Preston Moore, a popular TikTok  poster, put up a video in which he related an email exchange with the ironically named  Good Information Foundation, led by Rick Stengel, an under secretary of state during the Obama administration. Moore was offered $400 to create a propaganda post relating to the January 6 riot. He was told that  “key messaging” that include reminding “your followers about the images and scenes from the January 6th insurrection…what a lot of people don’t know is that the violence on January 6 was actually planned and paid for by Trump Republicans….Talk about the many aspects of their plan and the broad involvement of Trump officials, members of Congress…The Trump campaign paid literally millions of dollars to make January 6th happen…It’s important to know that this wasn’t a one day thing—there is an ongoing threat of political violence or MAGA Rebublicans trying to overturn elections.”  Moore said that  the foundation told him that he “must channel all of this on to the manipulation of voter agencies so that I could turn their anger around this event into defiance that would make people more likely to vote in midterms.”

When he responded to the email asking, “What is the basis for the claim that the Trump campaign itself paid millions of dollars to make the January 6 seat at the Capitol happen?” the foundation only answered by saying he didn’t have to say that if he didn’t want to. Moore was also told, if he wanted his $400, that he should,

Say ‘criminal conspiracy’, not ‘attempted coup,’ ‘treason’ or ‘insurrection’.

Say ‘Trump Republicans’, not ‘Trump and his allies.’

Say ‘January 6 investigation’, not ‘hearing’ or ‘trial.’

Call this an ‘attack on our country’ or an attack on ‘America’ or on ‘Americans’ and a ‘criminal conspiracy,’ ‘committed crime.’

Talk about ‘MAGA Republicans’ etc.

Make clear this is ongoing and unresolved, not past and done.

Show voter agency, turn the anger into defense.

Yahoo! thought this was so important that it put it on its Yahoo! Sports page. Oh…Preston turned down the offer.

4. New York City’s ethics fiascos just get better and better. Mayor Adams is reportedly thinking about stowing all those illegal immigrants New York welcomed (before they actually started arriving) on luxury cruise ships. Frank Carone, Adams’ chief of staff, was on a Norweigan Cruise Line ship in Normandy last month as “research,” according to The New York Times. When a reporter asked the mayor about the nature of the trip and if it was taxpayer funded, he refused to answer, saying, “When there’s something to announce more about a cruise ship idea, I’m announcing it. I’m finished with that. Next question.”

5. Hmmmmmm...The Washington Post has ended its Sunday “Outlook” section, the Post’s equivalent to the New York Times “Review” section. Both have been especially virulent and relentless sources of extreme Leftist screeds, often aimed at Donald Trump, Republicans, and any opposition to the Woke Wevolution. Is the Post, like CNN (supposedly), moderating its extreme ideological and partisan bias as it faces declining subscriptions for what has ceased to be news reporting? That’s one theory, anyway. It was the Outlook section’s unrestrained partisan cheer-leading that caused the Marshalls to cancel our local paper and pay a fortune for the Times, which was, incredibly, an improvement.

For a while….

7 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/20/22: ” Seeing Bad Stuff In September” Edition

  1. NYC Mayors- I grew up in NY under the mayorships of Robert Wagner and John Lindsey. My father
    a proud Italian immigrant bragged about Fiorello Laguardia, I do not recall as much ineptness in their tenures as I have seen since with the exception of Rudy Guilliani. I use to be proud of my NY creds, I was proud of the Public school system which provided me an excellent education. I can no longer maintain my pride.

  2. Guilliani was a breath of fresh air for New York City. How can you forget the ineptness of Beame and Dinkins? Lindsey was a lightweight that twisted in the wind. He should have taken off the “silkstocking mask” when he destroyed the city.

    • Lindsey actually helped inspire my college honors thesis on whether there was a U.S. Presidential type that the system selected out. Lindsey had everyone swooning that he was the next Kennedy but a Republican one, but all he had was good looks. He wasn’t a leader but a lightweight, and real lightweights don’t usually make it to the White House without some other big compensating plus-factor. Obama was and is a lightweight, but being black minimized that problem. W was a lightweight, but his family made up for it.

  3. Just as Lindsey was building a campaign for President, he made the rounds of Democratic cities. A friend and I went to hear him speak in Union Square in SF during our lunchtime. A lot of the local politicians got up and spoke briefly and then the local union boss was the one to introduce Lindsey to speak. The union boss gave an incredible buildup and then made the worst of blunders–he called him John Kennedy. With that obvious error, he was telling the crowd why the Dem bosses thought Lindsey could be a contender. And, with that error, a good deal of the crowd moaned and a few of us left not having the stomach for another “connected” politician whose image was clearly manufactured.

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