From The Ethics Alarms Signature Significance Files: Andrea Mitchell’s Idiotic Tweet

Mtchell tweet

No Andrea, you arrogant, incompetent, disrespectful partisan fool: it’s Shakespeare, from one of the Bard’s most famous and best known tragedies, “MacBeth,” and perhaps the best known speech from that play, by MacBeth, in Act 5 Scene 5.

There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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Selective Censorship, Manipulation, Spin And Omissions By The News Media And Social Media: You Know It Will Only Get Worse

1.  Twitter has expanded its “hate speech” prohibitions, and not, I assume, for the last time.

Twitter announced that it has expanded its “hate speech’ policies to include tweets that make “dehumanizing remarks,” defined as remarks that treat “others as less than human,” on the basis of age, disability, or disease. These additions further enlarge on the company’s polices made last July that said Twitter would remove tweets that dehumanize religious groups. Before that, in 2018 , Twitter issued a broad ban on “dehumanizing speech” to compliment its existing hate speech policies that cover protected classes like race and gender.

This is the nose of a very dangerous camel entering the metaphorical tent. As always, the problem with “hate speech” prohibitions is that the “hate” is always  matter of subjective judgment. Censorship of any kind constrains expression, and as we head into a political campaign,  Twitter’s creeping policing of words and metaphors is ominous. You cannot trust these people to be even-handed, to make close calls, or to avoid acting on bias.

2. The threat is made worse because social media platforms allow both parties to “work the umpire,” encouraging  them to demand that Twitter, YouTube and Facebook take down tweets and posts that one or the other doesn’t like. Continue reading

Let’s Play “Fake News, Professional Incompetence, Or Just Plain Stupid”!

NEWS FLASH from MSNBC: Most Americans don’t do this…

Hello everybody!

It’s time to play the game show that is sweeping the nation, thanks to the escalating bias and partisan activism of the mainstream news media!

For today’s episode, our question concerns veteran broadcast news reporter Andrea Mitchell, once widely considered a trustworthy professional, now  member of the cabal of hacks that fill up the slanted hours on MSNBC.

Today, pumping for the NFL to turn itself into a weekly infomercial for anti-Trump protests, Black Lives Matter propaganda, and general progressive agenda agitation, Mitchell said this about the NFL’s ban on kneeling during the pre-game playing of the National Anthem:

The hypocrisy is so profound Take a look at any NFL stadium and people are getting hot dogs, people are getting beers. They’re not standing and saluting the anthem for a large part. They’re not. They’re distracted. They’re fans at an event.

Of course, as anyone who has ever attended a sporting event knows—and anyone who has any understanding of this nation and its poeple should know anyway–virtually everyone stands, respectfully, hats off, many with hands over their hearts, during the National Anthem at every sporting event, at every level from high school to the pros. What was Mitchell doing? Was she just lying to make her case? Was she stating as fact something she assumed was true but had not bothered to check, a gross  breach of professionalism? Or is Andrea Mitchell just dumb as stuffed cabbage?

So without any further ado,  let’s play “Fake News, Professional Incompetence, Or Just Plain Stupid”!

 

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/9/2018: Iran Deal Exit Edition

Gooooooooooood Morning Tehran!

1  Goodbye to an illegal—hence unethical— treaty. To get the pure ethics issue out of the way at the start, the argument from critics of President Trump’s rejection of the Iran nuclear deal that, as MSNBC partisan-hack-disguised-but-none-too–well-as an-objective-journalist Andrea Mitchell wrote,

“So no matter what happens now, what they have basically said to the rest of the world is that we are not obeying an agreement that we signed. Now the United States of American under one administration can sign a deal, but it may not be accepted by future presidents.”

What was always the most undebatable objection to Obama’s deal was that it was a treaty that bypassed the Constitutional requirements for treaties. Such a significant agreement with such major risks and implications should have been submitted to the Senate as the Constitutional process demands. Thus it was illegal, as with so much of what the weak previous President foisted on the nation, the theory was that wrong and illegal or not, once “the deal” was in place it was a fait accompli. Note the irony of Obama’s worshipful congregation expressing fears that Trump is autocratic. All Trump could do was to submit the already established deal to Congress to un-do, and despite a majority in favor of doing just that, a filibuster by Democrats blocked it.

Verdict: This time President Trump has the Constitution on his side, and when the Constitution doesn’t suit Democrats, they ignore it.

2. An Ethics Hero for candor: Blogger Ann Althouse concluded her comments about the big news yesterday by saying, “I’m just looking at the public theater, of course. I have no idea what is really going on.”

Brava! And neither do I. And neither do you. Moreover, whether President Trump’s gambit turns out to be regarded as a brilliant masterstroke or a tragic blunder is entirely moral luck, just as his apparent success with North Korea is. All sorts of consequences, good, bad, and currently unimaginable, are possible.

3. Bias makes you CNN. This morning both CNN and CNN’s HLN were fearmongering with viewers, flogging the likelihood that Trump’s rejection of the Iran deal would raise gas prices, and also lose jobs because U.S. airline sales of passenger jets to Iran cannot be completed. Think about the ethical nature of that argument for keeping the deal in place. Lifting sanctions on Iran has allowed the nation to fund terrorism across the region, but its all worth it to Americans if gas prices stay low. Nice.

Then there was CNN’s openly partisan White House correspondent Jim Accosta, who tweeted this:

“Obama policies dumped by Trump: Iran deal, Paris Climate Agreement, Trans-Pacific Trade Deal, DACA, Obamacare Individual Mandate.”

Accosta apparently really thinks that this is res ipsa loquitur for how bad Trump is. A journalist so isolated by his political biases from reality can’t be a competent political reporter. I’m not a Trump supporter, but with the possible exception of the trade deal, I view all of the rest as positive developments, or at least arguably so, especially since most of them were examples of Obama skirting the Constitution or governing by edict. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: The Martin O’Malley Dilemma

hooked-off-stageI didn’t mention it in the post on the last Democratic presidential candidates debate (I should have), but the NBC moderators went out of their way to give as little attention and camera time to former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley as possible. The frustrated third wheel found himself begging for time like Jim Webb in the first debate, and several commentators have noted that Andrea Mitchell and Lester Holt were openly disrespectful to him, making it clear to all that he was irrelevant.

Disrespect is usually unethical, and the conduct of the moderators was indeed disrespectful, essentially marginalizing O’Malley and muzzling him as well. The context, however, is that they may have a point. O’Malley has been running from the start. He has said nothing to distinguish himself from Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, other than remind everyone that he’s the only ex-governor in the race. He is polling in Lincoln Chafee territory, even though his opposition is a superannuated socialist whose positions make no sense, and a previously rejected serial liar who is facing a possible indictment. Is he the equivalent of the guest who won’t leave the party?

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz question today:

Is the news media treating Martin O’Malley unfairly?

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UPDATE: Hillary’s Ongoing Corruption Of Democrats, Progressives, and The News Media, Featuring MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell And Washington Post Editorial Cartoonist Tom Toles

First, Toles. This cartoon ran on Sunday:

Toles

Isn’t that nice? The whole e-mail episode, investigated by the FBI, raising issues of mishandling of classified information (which is a crime), destruction of evidence (which can be a crime, but is always unethical and suspicious) and competence (Hillary says the security implications of making sensitive communications on a private server never occurred to her!), and which Clinton continues to stonewall and lie about, is just an invention of the news media!

Poor Hillary! Look how frustrated she is! How can sending out paid spinners and liars to muddy the water and confuse the issues be a cover-up? How can destroying e-mails before they can be reviewed be a cover-up? How can the State Department employee that she paid to moonlight as her private e-mail tech taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying to Congress be part of a cover-up? How can an obvious cover-up be a cover-up?

This isn’t an ‘editorial cartoon.’ This is Spinning for Hillary, and for the Post to give it center page dominance on its editorial page is endorsing deception and partisan propaganda. Toles has always been a simplistic progressive hack; his cartoons make his predecessor Herb Block look even-handed. This goes beyond hackery, though, to misleading the public.  Or do you believe this is his real opinion? If so, he is too naive and dim-witted to have an editorial voice.

Andrea Mitchell’s Hillary enabling is of a different sort: rank cowardice. Continue reading

Our Incompetent News Media, Making Us Dumber

Let’s see: what is the proper and fair response to this? Is it…

“So now do we understand why the U.S, is lagging in science proficiency?”

Is it…

“Why in the world do we pay any attention to the judgment of these people?”

Is it..

“Hey…maybe NBC really DID edit that 911 call so it made George Zimmerman sound racist by mistake!”

Is it…

“I don’t get it…what ‘s wrong with that graphic?”

Or is it…

“There are so many unqualified, ignorant and careless people holding significant jobs in this country that it’s amazing things aren’t worse than they are.”

________________________________

Pointer: Instapundit.

 

 

Ethics Hero: Sen. John McCain

It’s good to have the old maverick doing what he does best.

“Bachmann!”

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota’s shame, used her oxymoronic presence on the House Intelligence Committee to argue in a June letter to the State Department and a letter this week to fellow Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, that  Huma Abedin, the top aide of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, may be a security risk  because Abedin’s late father, mother, and brother had or have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Abedin’s position, Bachmann suggested  ominously, ‘‘affords her routine access to the secretary and policy-making.’’ Her letter to Ellison was signed by  five other Republicans: Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas Rooney of Florida and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.

Sen McCain angrily took to the Senate floor to call this example of ethnic profiling and Muslim bigotry what it is: Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell

Yesterday, Ethics Alarms discussed the deceptive editing of a Mitt Romney campaign video to make him look out of touch “with how real people live,” the attack line used so successful against President George H.W. Bush by Bill Clinton, after Bush had expressed amazement at grocery store price scanners. MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell cackled over the clip, which conveniently left out the point Romney was making. Naturally, other liberal flacks in the media picked up the theme, and cited the falsely edited segment.

Mitchell subsequently responded to complaints regarding the blatantly biased and unethical edit, and you can watch her response below: a huge shrug, and a dishonest “we didn’t have the chance” to play the whole thing (and instead decided to laugh at the Republican candidate for looking like a fool because we intentionally made him look like a fool.

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Ethics Dunces: Rush Limbaugh and the Spinners

No, Rush Limbaugh and the Spinners isn’t a new singing group. It is a chorus, however, of graceless, cynical or malicious commentators who are determined to re-cast the President’s well-chosen, non-partisan and healing words in Tucson into something they can use as ammunition in exactly the kind of destructive wars of rhetoric that Obama properly condemned. Continue reading