Today’s Biased Mainstream Media 2022 Election Panic Exhibit A: The New York Times Flags A Conspiracy Theory [Corrected]

I was going to post about this one days ago, got distracted, and then was reminded about again when I saw today’s Exhibit B (coming along soon).

As Ethics Alarms has been chronicling (incompletely to be sure), the mainstream media is as panicked as its client, the Democratic Party, about the likelihood that the multilateral disasters created by administration policies as well as the performance of progressive governors and big city mayors will lead to an epic rejection in the November mid-term elections. I expect the mainstream media, deep in the throes of a “Bias Makes You Stupid” attack, to cross even more journalism ethics lines than it has been and further undermines what’s left of its credibility as the big day approaches.

The major themes in this desperation assault on reality and public awareness seem to be…

  • …the Supreme Court letting legislatures decide how to regulate abortion is an attack on democracy.
  • …the Republicans tried to take over the government in 2021 with the Capitol riot, so the Democrats must be allowed to continue eliminating and punishing dissent in the name of freedom.
  • …Donald Trump and anyone who supports him is a Nazi, as President Biden clearly explained during his cool Adolf Hitler impression
  • …”It isn’t what it is” explains and excuses anti-white racial discrimination in public policy; the illegal immigration wave; inflation; the increase in crime, soaring gas prices, public treasury hand-outs to those who haven’t paid their college loans while the suckers who met their financial obligations are just patsies; the frightening politicizing of the Justice Department as a Leftist state policing tool; the sexualizing of  public school education and everything else that seems to be spinning out of control,and
  • ….all opposition efforts to criticize or condemn any or all of the above is “a conspiracy theory” or a “Big Lie”

Exhibit A is an example of the latter, and a pretty amusing one, if one can find the total rot of American journalism funny. Continue reading

Easiest Question Of The Year: ‘When Will The NFL Put Player Safety First?’

Of course the answer is “never.”

That question was asked in a tweet Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker and now a game analyst on Fox Sports. He had just watched Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa thrown to the field on his head so violently in a game last week that he lay contorted with his hands spasming in the manner associated with brain injuries. It was the second time within a week that Tagovailoa had apparently suffered a concussion: just five days earlier, in a game against the Buffalo Bills, he had to be helped to the sideline by trainers. Nonetheless, the Miami team doctor, supposedly following the NFL’s concussion protocols, okayed his returned to the field 30 minutes later. After the second game that saw the quarterback get hit on the head hard enough to require him to be helped off the field—this time via stretcher— Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel told reporters that watching his quarterback look so hurt on the field was “an emotional moment,” but that he was relieved “that he didn’t have anything more serious than a concussion.”

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Today’s Untrustworthy and Unethical Social Media Platform: LinkedIn

From 2015 to 2019, LinkedIn randomly varied the proportion of weak and strong contacts suggested to users by its “People You May Know” algorithm, the company’s  system for recommending new connections to “link” to. Researchers at LinkedIn, M.I.T., Stanford and Harvard Business School then analyzed aggregate data from the tests in a study published this month in the “Science.”

In other words, users were used as virtual lab rats, subjected to changes in how the platform served their job-hunting and networking interests without their knowledge or consent. It would have been easy and ethical to alert users to this experiment and allow them to out out, but no. The New York Times, ethically inert as usual, writes, “Experts who study the societal impacts of computing said conducting long, large-scale experiments on people that could affect their job prospects, in ways that are invisible to them, raised questions about industry transparency and research oversight.”

Raised questions? What questions? Such secret experimenting is wrong, manipulative, arrogant, irresponsible and unethical. There is no uncertainty on that point. In a statement, LinkedIn now claims that it has “acted consistently with” the company’s user agreement, privacy policy and member settings. The privacy policy, while stating that LinkedIn uses members’ personal data for research purposes, does not reveal that the company will secretly play with  user’s contacts in ways that might result in career or life course changes. The company also, naturally, engaged in the now compulsory “It isn’t what it is” blather,  saying it used the latest, “non-invasive” social science techniques to answer important research questions “without any experimentation on members.”

Of course it was “experimentation on members.”

LinkedIn’s policy for outside researchers seeking to analyze company data states that those researchers will not be able to “experiment or perform tests on our members,” but no policy statement explicitly informs consumers that LinkedIn itself can experiment or perform tests on its members. “During the tests, people who clicked on the ‘People You May Know’ tool and looked at recommendations were assigned to different algorithmic paths,” the New York Times explains. ” Some of those ‘treatment variants,’ as the study called them, caused LinkedIn users to form more connections to people with whom they had only weak social ties. Other tweaks caused people to form fewer connections with weak ties.”

Then the Times adds, disingenuously, “Whether most LinkedIn members understand that they could be subject to experiments that may affect their job opportunities is unknown.” No, it’s just impossible to prove they didn’t know. LinkedIn knew damn well they didn’t know. I didn’t know, for example, not that I rely upon or trust LinkedIn in any way.

None of the social media platforms are trustworthy, and anyone who participates in them should just assume that they will abuse their power while deceiving users whenever they see profit in it. These are unethical Big Tech entities run by unethical, dishonest people. Interact with them accordingly, if you have to interact with them at all.

Today’s Dumb Woke Hollywood Casting Question: “Why Does Hollywood Keep Using Fat Suits?” [Corrected]

The New York Times today decides to try a new frontier in the woke casting double standard adventure—you know, the incoherent theory that minority actors should be considered for all roles and all character types regardless of sex, race, size or physical characteristics, but it is unethical for white performers to play any character that they have to act and use make-up to evoke. You know, like good Hollywood liberal Tom Hanks claimed when he issued his recent  mea culpa for playing a gay, AIDS battling lawyer in “Philadelphia.”  So, using the same logic, Tom must have been equally hostile to “diversity, equity and inclusion” when he took a role away from some brilliant, unknown actor with a 75 IQ to play Forrest Gump, just as an autistic actor should have starred in “Rain Man” instead of Dustin Hoffman.

Suuuure. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Great Stupid often has that effect on me. Sorry.

The Times’ query, in the headline to a column by Arts Section pundit , is “Why Does Hollywood Keep Using Fat Suits?” Gee, it’s a mystery! And come to think of it, why does Hollywood keep using make-up? Special effects? Fake blood?

Here’s a much tougher question: why does the New York Times let people who know nothing about performing, entertainment, business, audiences, comedy, and casting write columns like this? Continue reading

The Boston Celtics Reject “The King’s Pass”

Short analysis: “GOOD!

Longer analysis: The Boston Celtics suspended coach Ime Udoka, widely credited with engineering the team’s surprising turn-around this past NBA season, making the play-offs and making the NBA finals after wandering in the pro basketball wilderness for the previous 12 years. He will sit out the 2022-23 season after it was determined that Udoka had a sexual relationship with a female member of the Celtics staff. The Celtics say that a decision about Udoka’s future with the team will be made later.

Conservative media, especially conservative sports reporters, are already embarrassing themselves with attacks on the Celtics decision. “Boston Celtics, this is insane” commented the Citizen Free Press, which has been stealing The Drudge Report’s traffic since Matt Drudge went NeverTrump. On the other side of The Great Divide I will expect to read fan comments that the Celtics punishment is racist. Udoka was part of last season’s NBA rush to hire black head coaches, including several who had been assistants for many years, and the league is dominated by black players, partially explaining the NBA’s total capitulation to “Black Lives Matter” agitprop. Naturally, it had to jump on the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” bandwagon, but the league’s lack of black leadership in contrast with its demographics on the court was already hard to justify.

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Ick, Unethical, Or “YUM!”?

Oh, settle down: this is an adult blog, after all.

I’ve checked: that is not a gag. A Lithuanian potato chip company has launched a line of flavored chips aimed exclusively at 18-year-olds and older. CHAZZ potato chips come in flavors like mussels, white wine, and Bloody Mary, but it’s the flavor above that is stirring up controversy. I’m not kidding!

I see no reason why someone won’t launch these chips or the equivalent here. Would that be unethical, vulgarizing the culture? Corrupting the young? Nobody accused Bertie Botts’ Jelly Beans of such an offense, and they have just about every flavor except sex-related ones. I presume conservatives would flip out over this product; Ron DeSantis would probably try to get it banned in Florida. Good luck with that.

I must admit, I’m shocked…shocked that Lithuania beat the good ol’ entrepreneurial U.S.A. in coming up with this.

Unethical Euphemism Of The Month: “Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression Layoffs”

Hmmm, why does this concept sound vaguely familiar?

That’s Jeff Lawson above, CEO of Twilio, a “customer engagement software company,” whatever that means. He just announced that because of Joe Biden’s non-recession he’s going to have to reduce the workforce by 11%, meaning that more than 800 loyal, hardworking, not quietly -quitting Twilio employees will be put out onto the streets. But he assured employees (and progressives, and anti-white racists) that the company would make firing decisions through an “Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression lens.”

Translation: “I’m firing whites, males and straight people first.”

Verdict:: Unethical, grandstanding, discriminating asshole.

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The Times Promises To Explain “How the NFL Stays So Popular, Despite Its Many Scandals”

It doesn’t. But I can.

As the football season approaches, the New York Times muses about why television viewership for the NFL last season was its strongest in six years, the television networks committed about $110 billion for the rights to show the league’s games for the next decade, and how the NFL can be on track to meet Commissioner Roger Goodell’s goal of earning $25 billion in revenue annually in 2027. After all, the game and its players were once again engulfed in scandals during the off-season:

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Observations On “Flight/Risk”…And Related Matters

“Flight/Risk,” an Amazon production, was released on the streaming service today. The documentary is the most recent examination of the tragedy and scandals surrounding the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max planes within a five month period in late 2018 and early 2019. The horrible and disturbing story  is narrated by Pulitzer-winning Seattle Times journalist Dominic Gates, and revealed from the perspective of the deceased passengers family members, their lawyers, and whistleblowers.

Amazon’s fatuous description of its own product, primarily designed to be a “trigger warning,” explains that the movie may be too traumatic to watch for “some” and says the planes crashed “without anyone really understanding why.” That is, to be blunt and vulgar, bullshit. Lots of people understood why, including Boeing engineers, Boeing executives, FAA officials, and anyone (like me) who knows why large organizations are almost always incompetent, unethical and untrustworthy. {Ethics Alarms has several posts about the 737 Max scandal.]

What is so infuriating about the story is that it is so familiar. This is the Challenger disaster all over again, even to the detail of a whistle-blowing engineer being punished for having the courage to speak up, and eventually killing himself. In other ways, it is like the recent Ernst and Young cheating scandal, which Ethics Alarms discussed here.

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Ethics Dunce: Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb

I’ve been somewhat remiss in my coverage of baseball ethics in recent months; its been like Sauce Bearnaise Syndrome: the Red Sox have been having such a nauseating season that even thinking about baseball has been painful. This story broke through my wall of pain because it also pings my legal ethics alarms.

Back on June 29 (before the Red Sox turned into mud, in fact),  Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted that LA Dodger Freddie Freeman’s agent, Casey Close, never communicated a contract offer that the Braves had made to free agent Freeman last winter before Freeman left the team he had always played on to sign with the Dodgers. Freeman was upset about the report; the Braves, and the Atlanta fans were also outraged, because Freeman was a popular and superb player for the Braves. Casey Close, however, was more upset than all of them combined. Not communicating a contract offer to a client is a throbbing neon ethics violation for a sports agent (it would lead to suspension of a law license if a lawyer did it) and Gottlieb’s claim could ruin Close’s career if it couldn’t be disproved. Close sued Gottlieb for defamation in July. Continue reading