Rebel journalist Sharyl Attkisson engaged pollster Scott Rasmussen to measure public attitudes about the political news media. His results, which he discussed on her show, “Full Measure”:
- 78% of voters say that journalists use their media platforms to promote their own agendas.
- 14% think that journalists fairly report what the news.
- Focusing only on national news reporters, 57% of those polled said reporters slant their output to advance their own political agendas,
- Only 26% of those polled believe that national reporters restrict themselves to the facts.
- 52% believe the problem has become worse compared to five years ago.
- 42% of Americans believe national political news coverage is inaccurate and unreliable, while less— 38%—believe it’s accurate and reliable.
- 36% of voters believe that a journalist would fairly report facts that would hurt their favorite candidate.
Observations: Continue reading
The New York Police Department has finally fired Daniel Pantaleo, the officer shown on video with his arm bent around the neck of 43-year-old Eric Garner just before Garner died after being tackled by five officers. A departmental disciplinary judge recommended the action, and Pantaleo was suspended from duty pending further review.
“In this case the unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own,” said O’Neill. “It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.” He also added, “If I was still a cop, I’d probably be mad at me.”
The Commissioner kept digging. Continue reading
How else can we interpret the opening statement by Times editor Dean Baquet in a recent staff meeting? Someone surreptitiously recorded the 75 minute question and answer session and leaked it to Slate, which put it all online. It begins with this (emphasis mine):
Dean Baquet: If we’re really going to be a transparent newsroom that debates these issues among ourselves and not on Twitter, I figured I should talk to the whole newsroom, and hear from the whole newsroom. We had a couple of significant missteps, and I know you’re concerned about them, and I am, too. But there’s something larger at play here. This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s. It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character. We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story. I’d love your help with that. As Audra Burch said when I talked to her this weekend, this one is a story about what it means to be an American in 2019. It is a story that requires deep investigation into people who peddle hatred, but it is also a story that requires imaginative use of all our muscles to write about race and class in a deeper way than we have in years. In the coming weeks, we’ll be assigning some new people to politics who can offer different ways of looking at the world. We’ll also ask reporters to write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions. I really want your help in navigating this story.
But I also want to [inaudible] this as a forum to say something about who we are and what we stand for. We are an independent news organization, one of the few remaining. And that means there will be stories and journalism of all kinds that will upset our readers and even some of you. I’m not talking about true errors. In those cases, we should listen, own up to them, admit them, show some humility—but not wallow in them—and move on. What I’m saying is that our readers and some of our staff cheer us when we take on Donald Trump, but they jeer at us when we take on Joe Biden. They sometimes want us to pretend that he was not elected president, but he was elected president. And our job is to figure out why, and how, and to hold the administration to account. If you’re independent, that’s what you do. The same newspaper that this week will publish the 1619 Project, the most ambitious examination of the legacy of slavery ever undertaken in [inaudible] newspaper, to try to understand the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump. And that means trying to understand the segment of America that probably does not read us. The same newspaper that can publish a major story on Fox News, and how some of its commentators purvey anti-immigrant conspiracies, also has to talk to people who think immigration may cost them jobs and who oppose abortion on religious grounds. Being independent also means not editing the New York Times for Twitter, which can be unforgiving and toxic. And actually, as Amanda Cox reminds me, doesn’t really represent the left or the right. [inaudible] who care deeply about the Times and who want us to do better, we should listen to those people. But it is also filled with people who flat out don’t like us or who, as Jack Shafer put it, want us to be something we are not going to be.
The transcript is long, and while I recommend reading the whole thing, not everyone has sock drawers they can neglect. The unavoidable take-away is that the Times and its staff, mirroring the American Left of which it is bulwark, is obsessed with race as well enamored of the tactical advantages race-baiting it confers in the ideological struggle for control over the levers of government power.
Later, there is this revealing exchange: Continue reading
“This is not history; it is a remnant from a bygone era.”
—–San Francisco School Board Member Alison M. Collins, expounding to the New York Times and expressing her displeasure with the school board’s vote to nullified an earlier vote to spend over $600,000 to paint over Depression-era school murals depicting slavery and the deaths of Native Americans.
I love this unethical quote; it might be my favorite of all the unethical quotes Ethics Alarms has ever featured. It tells us so much in so few words.
Ethics Alarms wrote about the school board’s earlier vote that this one, for now, at least, undid, last June, noting,
The San Francisco school board unanimously voted this week to spend at least $600,000 of taxpayer money to eliminate the “Life of Washington,” a 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot mural that has been on view in the city’s George Washington High School since 1936. It was considered politically incorrect at the time, but in a way that explicated American history rather than whitewashing it. Among the mural’s many scenes is one depicting slaves picking cotton at Mount Vernon and Virginia colonists walking past a dead Native American. The Horror. Although these scenes are historically accurate as well as provocative, “The truth will make you free” has been substantially abandoned by the Left in the U.S. Taking their cues from the dead and rotten Soviet Union and “1984”, the new slogan is George Orwell’s “Who controls the past controls the future.”
Ms. Collins’ classic quote perfectly expresses how her city, her party and her ideological clones reached the state of delusion and the worship of manipulated reality (remember, the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the White House “gaffed” by admitting last week that “we choose about truth, not facts”) that have so many of our political leaders flirting openly with totalitarianism.
The idea is to prevent young citizens (and older ones too) from acquiring the kind of messy information that requires critical thought to sort out, the information known as “history”and “life.”Without forceful filtering, people of sound and open minds are liable to reach conclusions that don’t advance those of the ascendant (they think) re-engineers of American values and culture. Those poisoned by the past and traditional American values might be willing to treat with fairness and respect, rather than contempt and abuse, those who hold non-conforming, non-woke positions and policies. They might tolerate the rebels and iconoclasts who refuse to follow in lock-step their betters of superior virtue and wisdom . Continue reading
Last week, on Friday and Saturday, Democratic Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tim Ryan, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio all tweeted out deliberately false statements about the shooting of Michael Brown in Fergusen, Missouri 5 years ago, all apparently doing so to pander to African Americans, especially those who don’t read newspapers.
Ethics Alarms focused on Warren, being the biggest and most shameless demagogue of the group, in this post, which concluded,
“Warren isn’t intellectually lazy, or flummoxed by a false narrative. She is pandering. She is lying. She is doing what she evidently thinks will gain her power and the Presidency: saying what she thinks will attract needed support, even though she knows, knows, that it is false. Warren is a law professor and a litigator, and from all reports skilled in both roles. She knows that the facts made it obvious that Brown wasn’t murdered. She knows that competent, fair citizens must not call other citizens murderers when not only have they not been charged, tried, or duly convicted, but when authorities have concluded that there is insufficient evidence for an official accusation.The tweet isn’t a mistake or an opinion. It is a deliberate lie, a public and a defamatory one. I see no reason why Darren Wilson could not sue Warren and win.”
That is still accurate and true. Several Ethics Alarms readers pointed out that Kamala Harris also advanced the long de-bunked narrative that Mike Brown was a nice, friendly, “gentle giant” heading for college who was gunned down by a racist cop while holding up his hands and pleading for his life. Continue reading
Either our nation is committed to the principles of freedom of thought, speech, expression and association, or it is not.
With that preface, here is the kind of gray area, bizarre fact pattern controversy that puts ethical analysis to the test.
In the Muskegon County (Michigan) town of Holton, African-American Rob Mathias, accompanied by his wife and children, was walking through the home of Charles Anderson, a local police officer, with the intent of possibly purchasing it. Then he saw a framed Klu Klux Klan application hanging on a wall, as well as several Confederate flags. He and his family immediately left the property.
Later he posted a photograph of the KKK application on Facebook, (above) explaining later that he felt it was something the public had a right to know about, especially if the officer had a history of questionable interactions with African Americans. Mathias wrote that Anderson “was one of the most racist people” in the community and “hiding behind his uniform.” The post was also personal and threatening, concluding with “I know who you are and will be looking for resources to expose your prejudice.”
The Facebook post triggered an internal investigation of Anderson, and he was placed on administrative leave. “We do take this sort of issue, seriously, and we are working hard to understand if/how this may impact his ability to safely and fairly police our community,” Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson reporters. Muskegon County NAACP President Eric Hood piled on, saying, “We want a thorough investigation to be sure that when he goes out there and puts on that uniform and performs his duties as an officer that he’s being fair and impartial.”
“I’m still disgusted by it. I’m hurt,” said Mathias “You can’t serve your community and be a racist. You can’t. There are people of all different colors, of all different nationalities … out there that you have to serve and protect. You can’t just protect one group of people.”
Rachel Anderson, the officer’s wife, told reporters that her husband is not and never was a KKK member. She said he was a collector, and called the uproar a misunderstanding.
Mathias’ wife said in rebuttal,
“I like antiques, but I collect things that I represent. You can go in my basement, we have Detroit Lions, Red Wings, Michigan stuff, everything we associate ourselves with.So why would you collect something you don’t associate with yourself?”
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…
Has this situation been handled fairly, responsibly and ethically? Continue reading
Above is what Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who presumes to tell us that she is qualified to be President of the United States, tweeted to her followers last week. This deliberate and disgraceful lie could be presented on Ethics Alarms as evidence that Warren is an Ethics Dunce. It would easily qualify as an Unethical Quote of the Week (Month…Year…). It is fully qualified as an Unethical Tweet of the Week, in a category that is becoming increasingly contested. None of these, however, quite capture the miserable, cynical, disgusting nature of Warren’s statement. Continue reading