Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse

(I know this is like shooting fish in a barrel, but…)

“I wish the NYT would play it dead straight.’

—Blogging contrarian Ann Althouse, complaining about the Times story and its headline, “Ginni Thomas Denies Discussing Election Subversion Efforts With Her Husband.”

The retired law professor writes,

Election Subversion Efforts” is quite a phrase. You could discuss a lot of things and still deny that any of it was “subversion.”… If you believe the election was already subverted, then in pushing for more procedural paths, you’re trying to un-subvert it. If you think the announced results are invalid, you’re trying to get to the true results, not “invalidate the results.” It’s very hard to wade through these loaded terms. 

We have discussed this sinister media spin ever since the November 2020. Questioning the election results and taking related action when Republicans win is simply politics as usual and seeking integrity in the democratic system. Doing so when Democrats win is “election subversion.” The Times is, as it does most of the time now, using its influence to try to bolster Democratic party campaign themes and talking points.

It’s time like these when I miss self-banned New York Times apologist “A Friend,” who could be counted on to mount a contrived defense when his favorite paper was flagged for ethics fouls like this.

I was about to make the obvious pointed comparisons to wishing the New York Times would “play it straight,” but then I checked the comments, and her readers were already all over it like Aaron Judge on a hanging curve in the middle of the plate:

  • “And good health for all. Plenty of food everywhere. Rainbows without rain….”
  • “I wish a unicorn would wander into my backyard.”
  • “Hoping the NYTimes will “play it straight” is like hoping for unicorns.”
  • “I wish the Detroit Lions would win a Super Bowl.”
  • “Bless your heart”
  • “That’s some serious wishful thinking right there.”
  • “Bottom line: They can’t play it straight.”
  • “It’s so commonplace no one even bothers to comment on the playbook employed to drive the narrative. Statement obtained in closed door meeting is immediately leaked to compliant democrat media comrade. Narrative is wrapped around the leaked statement with loaded terms demanded by rabid lefty audience. It doesn’t even matter what the statement says. The narrative wrapper indicates to the rabid lefty audience that it’s precisely what a person who is obviously guilty of a vile crime would say when caught red-handed standing over the dead body of Democracy holding the murder weapon.”

  • “So far the number of confirmed dead from Hurricane Ian is 21. That’s tragic enough, but does the Times report that? Or do they continue to report the wild overestimate of the sheriff of Lee County that “hundreds are believed dead”?
  • “I do too. No snark. Just a fact. A national newspaper that reported with both seriousness and fairness would be a true national asset. Same with a national television news network.”
  • “Surprised now?”

Interestingly, Ann was hurt that so many readers ridiculed her “wish.” She seldom replies to comments (unlike Yours Truly), but in this case emoted in three comments,

“Surprised now?”

Where does that even come from? I hate the inference that I am surprised or just noticing something. You are insulting me….

“Bless your heart.”

See? You have no basis for this. I should just reject comments in this category. Raise your game….

I think it is worth saying clearly and repeatedly that the NYT should play it straight. I think they do want that brand even as they also provide slanted material. I make it my thing to point out the slant and I’ve been doing that for nearly 20 years. When my readers don’t get that that’s what I’m doing and understand why I think what I am doing is valuable, I feel disappointed that you don’t get me or you don’t see the value of my continuing this project.

But Ann asks for the response she got by being so reluctant to call a spade a spade clearly and directly, because she doesn’t want to abandon her mantle of “fierce neutrality” even to endorse an unavoidable conclusion that has long been asserted by conservatives. “I wish that X weren’t true” is a weenie’s way of saying, “X is true.”

3 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse

  1. The problem with Althouse’s fierce neutrality…
    Her reluctance to call a spade a spade seems to me somewhat like a judge not calling an accused a murder while murdering his defense while everyone in the courtroom is watching. “Oh the burden of fierce neutrality of analyizing the accussed novel use of some long lost verb in such and such dictionary.”

    Her “wishing” is passive acceptance that her side is misbehaving, but with misbehavior that she can tolerate because she still feels safe.

    Oh the burden of wading through loaded terms. Imagine what it must be like to be a “republican” and “white” and “male” and want to have resonably safe freedom of expression and to continue to be able to keep your job and feed your family.

    Jack,
    Can you write a song to the theme of “Oh what the burden of…” sung to the tune of one of Lizzo’s greatest hits?

  2. I wonder when the Times and the Post will have to change directions as a result of the kiddie corps moving up to completely control their editorial spaces and the money stops coming in. I’m going to assume what’s happening at CNN will have to happen elsewhere in time.

  3. “Where does that even come from? I hate the inference that I am surprised or just noticing something. You are insulting me….”

    “See? You have no basis for this. I should just reject comments in this category. Raise your game….”

    “When my readers don’t get that that’s what I’m doing and understand why I think what I am doing is valuable, I feel disappointed that you don’t get me or you don’t see the value of my continuing this project.”

    Jeez Ann take a chill pill. So serious, restrictive, and downright embarrassing.
    I never go to her site which would provide some context, but those remarks read like someone who is not self-aware and borderline narcissistic. Perhaps a legacy from years of dominating the classroom.
    Althouse continues to demonstrate what a fine moderator Jack is and I wouldn’t mind if some of her commentariat gave EA a chance.
    ————————————————
    I miss having those brave Leftys around to spar with (like AF) despite their frequent unravelling into rudeness and/or bad faith arguing.
    Winning never gets old.

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