Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse

“What? Am I — a seeker of truth — just supposed to add it all up and divide by 2?”

—-Blogger Ann Althouse, stating nicely in her eccentric way what Ethics Alarms has been pointing out repeatedly….

…most recently in this post. Or this one. That being that there are no trustworthy news sources. None. And since there are none, a democracy that depends on an informed electorate has no way for the electorate to become informed. The news media, and journalists, are 100% responsible for this. It is deliberate, and that is why designating then as “enemies of the people,” while impolitic, is fair and informative.

Here is what Ann found that led to her question above:

Heres the list of the top political stories at Real Clear Politics this morning:

  • “Uncovering Obama’s Surveillance of His Political Opponents” Lee Smith, NY Post
  • “Why Trump Is Peddling Extra-Strength Conspiracy Theories” Jack Shafer, Politico
  • “Judge Sullivan’s Bizarre, Politicized Order Is a Travesty”” Andrew McCarthy, NRO
  • “Obamagate Is a Distraction From Bad News About Covid” Oliver Darcy, CNN
  • “Was California Special Election Beginning of Red Wave?”Mollie Hemingway, Federalist
  • “4 Reasons Opening Up Businesses May Backfire–and Soon” Brian Resnick, Vox
  • “Comparing Florida and New York Looks Bad for Cuomo Deroy Murdock, FOX News
  • “10 Protections That Should Be in Next Aid Package” Sen. Warren & Rep. Khanna, CNN
  • “Forget Pelosi’s Boondoggle Bill–Take Taxes to Zero Instead” Steve Cortes, RCP
  • “Trump’s ‘I’m Rubber, You’re Glue’ Campaign Plan” Peter Nicholas, The Atlantic
  • “Trump’s Odds of Winning Are Higher Than You Think” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine
  • “Stephanopoulos Just Wants the Tara Reade Story to Go Away” John Nolte, Breitbart…

And so on.

Ann’s complete list is at the link.

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/12/2020: I Admit It—I’m Fighting Hard To Avoid Getting Angry, Because I’m Not Ethical When I’m Angry

As we face these challenging times, we at Ethics Alarms salute the heroes, the indomitable, the resolute and the vibrant, who endure with good will and good cheer for the well-being of the community. We are Americans, and we are in this together, and

IF I HAVE to listen to insincere, calculated, virtue-signaling crap like this many more times, something is going to ‘pop!’ in my head and I’ll be  grabbing the nearest long, sharp implement and leaving the confines of these walls to begin the historic Alexandria Massacre.

Go ahead! Test me!

The rule in our house is that any channel that runs a commercial that begins with “In these..” or that shows someone wearing a facemask or looking at a webcam will be switched to another channel, never to be revisited during that day. If everyone follows this simple rule, and makes their policy known, maybe we’ll be able to halt this torture.

1.  What’s going on here? Is the idea now to proclaim how biased the news media is and the double standards it uses and mock those of us who care by showing there’s not a thing we can do with it? Is that it? Governor Cuomo actually said at a press conference yesterday  that the pandemic virus came from Europe in January and “no one knew” about it. “With all the sophistication, with all the public health organizations, with that whole alphabet soup of agencies, nobody knew the virus was coming from Europe,” the governor said, on the same day he finally retracted his deadly order requiring nursing homes to take in infected, elderly residents. Then he called the virus “The European Virus.” He really did. No, seriously. I’m not making this up.

The mainstream news media just ignored this idiocy yesterday, though President Trump calling the virus the Chinese virus, which except for the obscure papers Cuomo was apparently citing, is consistent with what most researchers have concluded about its origin, was attacked as racist because, you know, Big Lie #4.  Cuomo’s atrocious decision to expose nursing homes has also been barely covered in the left-leaning media.

2. If you are wondering why Ethics Alarms hasn’t covered in any detail the apparent emerging evidence that President Obama was intimately involved in the scheme to frame Michael Flynn, it is because there is literally no news source I can trust. Conservative sources are stating outright that Obama is squarely in “What did the President know and when did he know it” territory, with declassified documents indicating that Obama was aware of the bogus investigation and efforts to railroad Michael Flynn. The mainstream media appears to be doing what it did during Obama’s entire 8 years, which is refusing to probe suspicious activities and events, and maintaining the illusion that our first black President must be seen to be  as pure as the driven snow, because he was the first black President.  Unless a non-right wing source or reporter plays the role of the Watergate era Washington Post and “Woodstein” to get the truth out, we will be kept in the dark…and you know what the Post says happens in darkness. Continue reading

Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/20/2020: Phantom Patriots Day Edition

The Battle of Menotomy, April 19, 2020.

“One if by land, and two if by sea
And I on the opposite shore will be
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm
For the country folk to be up and to arm!”

Today, the third Monday in April,  is supposed to be Patriots Day in Massachusetts (and  few other states.) It absolutely should be a national holiday, as it celebrates the battles of Concord and Lexington as well as the rides of Paul Revere and his fellow messengers the night before. I typed the excerpt above from Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” from memory; I wonder how many students today  have even heard of the poem, or Concord and Lexington, for that matter.

The original holiday was on April 19, the date of both battles, but Arlington, Massachusetts, where I hail from, was actually the site of a bigger battle than either on the same day. On their way back from Concord after being soundly beaten at the bridge, the Redcoats marched through the town of Menotomy (Arlington now), where 5,100 militia men from surrounding towns had gathered after, unfortunately, the British had marched through the Menotomy on the way to Lexington Green with little resistance.  The volunteers, stationed around houses, stone walls, fields and barns, did considerable damage to the already limping British in the fighting that followed, but Arlington residents have always been a bit sheepish about the timing of the fight, and historians regard it as  anti-climactic following the tragedy at Lexington and the surprise victory at Concord.

Patriots Day is a big  deal in Boston, where the Boston Marathon is run annually on that date. The Red Sox also play a unique 11 am game, so spectators can leave the park and watch the finish of the race. All gone this year, of course.

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t remember, and honor, the heroes, victims and events of 1775 that made the United States of America possible.

1. This is the kind of thing that will lead to serious back-lash against the pandemic dictators. The city of San Clemente was alarmed that some teens, bored with pplaying video games all day, every day, continued to skateboard in a local skate park despite orders that all parks be closed. Its solution?  Fill the park, at taxpayer expense, with 37 tons of sand. The money to build the park was raised by a nonprofit coalition of local families who wanted a place for their kids to be able to skate safely, and they were not even notified that the park would be filled with sand, according to KCAL-TV. Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse…And Some Astoundingly Unethical Quotes That Make Her Point

“Does the press have any responsibility for tearing down Trump’s credibility right when we need it? I’d say they should be scrupulously careful not to do any of the ordinary political partisanship that had already badly infected journalism. There’s a lot of ruined credibility out there. Everyone ought to be trying to crawl back toward the truth. I think Trump — in his daily briefings — has been “appeal[ing] to common values and emphasiz[ing] moral standards and solidarity.” But the Trump-hating media will not help him do this. They’re looking for ways to blame him, to worsen his credibility. Why not help?”

——Bloggress Ann Althouse, reacting to one more New York Times Trump-hate piece, this one called “Trump’s ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ Is a Delusion;”yesterday’s (by Obama’s disinformation chief, Susan Rice) was “Trump Is the Wartime President We Have (Not the One We Need)/He should start leading with the decency and resolve that we deserve. I’m not holding my breath” 

The answer to Ann’s rhetorical question is “of course they do,” and I mainstain hope that a sufficient number of citizens will hold them responsible for an unprecedneted breach of tradition, duty and common sense. Attacking and undermining any leader in the midst of a national challenge is irresponsible and dangerous, yet virtually all of the mainstream media is not only doing it but doing it with increasing intensity. (The exception is Fox News, which is condemned for not pitching in.) Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/6/2020: Another KABOOM!, Two Deranged Op-Eds, And Kansas City Police Adopt The Nuremberg Defense

Feeling blue, beleaguered and dispirited: time for my favorite “Good morning” video again:

1. Yes, it’s another KABOOM! to begin the day. The same critics who attack the President every day for his response to the virus, whatever he does or says, have been alternately praising China for its handling of the pandemic or defending it. Now look at these photos  from two days ago, April 4, showing Chinese citizens heading for the Huangshan mountain park to enjoy the great outdoors, as CNN put it.

2. Today in leadership ethics…on this date in 1841, President William Henry Harrison, then the oldest man by far to take the Presidential oath of office (America take note),  died after just 31 days from a cold he caught by grandstanding to show he wasn’t so old (he refused to wear a top coat in freezing weather, and delivered what is still the longest inaugural address in our history). He was the first President to die in office. He also died after being elected in a year ending with a zero,  launching a creepy 120 year tradition of every POTUS elected in such a year also dying in office (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, FDR, JFK)  until Ronald Reagan beat it, though just barely.

Vice President John Tyler was sworn into office amidst mass confusion: the Constitution was unclear about what happens when a President dies. It directed that in case of the President’s death “the Powers and Duties of the said office” “shall devolve upon the Vice President” until a new President is elected. Here the most unlikely of leaders, an obscure figure from the opposition party (Tyler was a Southern slave-holding Democrat  put on the Whig ticket, maybe because “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!” scanned) who had no constituency, looked like Ichabod Crane…

…and who later joined the Confederate cabinet, made a bold decision that changed American history in too many ways to imagine.

While many experts and legal scholars argued that he was only a temporary, acting-POTUS until a special election could be held, Tyler decreed that he was, in fact, the President, and would serve out Harrison’s full term. Congress couldn’t figure out how to stop him, and thus the United States, by accident and the unilateral decree of an otherwise minor political figure, adopted the smooth manner of transition that has served it so well. It wasn’t until the 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967,  that there was anything in the Constitution saying directly that the Vice President permanently assumes the job and finishes out the term upon the death, resignation or removal of the President.

Fun fact:  President Tyler, who was born in 1790, has a grandson living in Virginia. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr., born in 1924, is 96 years old. I once saw him from afar when he was still living at the Tyler plantation, dubbed Sherwood Forest. Continue reading

Ethics Observations On A Case Study In Combining Bad Journalism With Bad Science

Yes, it’s the New York Times again. I use that paper for the majority of the Ethics Alarm unethical journalism posts for a few reasons. One is that the paper comes to my door every day, so I read a lot of articles that I might miss on the web.  Another is that the Times is the most successful and influential newspaper in the country,  and its work is more closely followed and more criticized than any other paper, and most news sources generally. The Times also advertises itself as the nation’s “paper of record,” placing itself on a pedestal with standards of integrity and reliability that it is obligated to meet….and does not. Finally, the paper is unacceptably biased in its political coverage and editorial product.

Today’s “Where America Didn’t Stay Home Even as the Virus Spread”  is far from then times at its worst. It is, however, unacceptable and unethical. I’m not even in disagreement with the piece’s main thesis, which is that the regions that have not imposed shelter at home restrictions on the public are at more risk of exploding Wuhan virus cases. That makes sense; that’s even obvious. However, the Times’s main tool in making a case was the map below, which it explained this way:

“Stay-at-home orders have nearly halted travel for most Americans, but people in Florida, the Southeast and other places that waited to enact such orders have continued to travel widely, potentially exposing more people as the coronavirus outbreak accelerates, according to an analysis of cellphone location data by The New York Times. The divide in travel patterns, based on anonymous cellphone data from 15 million people, suggests that Americans in wide swaths of the West, Northeast and Midwest have complied with orders from state and local officials to stay home.”

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Everybody SING! “How Do You Treat A Problem Like Joe Biden?”

This would be an early song from the obscure, unfinished and strangely prescient Rodgers and Stephen King  musical, “The Sound of Panic,” the draft manuscript of which was recently discovered in a Maine landfill.  The Democratic nomination process is slipping into ethics train wreck territory, if it isn’t there already. But it’s an astounding story. It would make a great musical, but one more like “Sweeney Todd” than “The Sound of Music.”

When I first set eyes on Joe Biden after a couple of years, when he emerged in 2015 to run for the Democratic nomination, I was shocked at how old and enervated he appeared. When I heard him speak, I realized that he was slipping from his barely tolerable career-long muddle-headedness into senility or dementia. Reaching this conclusion required no special perception on my part; it merely required an absence of denial. I could not believe, and wrote as much here, that Biden could ever be the Democratic nominee. No matter how unpromising the field of candidates was—and it was historically awful—voters couldn’t possibly vote for “Slow Joe,” as our perpetually juvenile POTUS cruelly dubbed him.

Yet here we are. Biden, having been the beneficiary of the besieged “moderates” of the now thoroughly radicalized Democratic Party coalescing behind a single representative as its best chance to defeat President Trump (essentially the Democrats have become the “Hate Trump Party,” quickly pivoting its position on anything to the opposite of whatever he advocates or does) is now broadcasting from a bunker somewhere during the Wuhan virus emergency, reminding everyone sentient of the carnage to come in November after Biden quadruples the number of doomsday gaffes in all of US Presidential debate history.

Think about it: a single moment of brain lock sunk Gerald Ford in 1976, when he inexplicably said that Poland wasn’t an Iron Curtain country. Then, in 1980, Jimmy Carter caused America to doubt his seriousness and honesty when he cited his daughter Amy, then 9, as an expert on nuclear armaments while debating Ronald Reagan. How do Democrats think the public will respond when Biden suddenly starts reciting a recipe for Rice Krispie Squares in response to a question about immigration? Even Trump Hate has its limits for those not in the late stages of the disease. Admittedly, the number of those is staggering, with total U.S. cases exceeding cases of the Wuhan Virus in China even if China wasn’t faking its numbers.

Continue reading