RETRACTED And Revised: “Scared Yet? Twitter Censors A Times Op-Ed Columnist For Calling Anti-White Racism What It Is”

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This is the revised part. The retraction is that despite the headline and what I wrote below, Twitter didn’t suspend New York Times columnist Bret Stephens account for violating Twitter’s rules with his recent op-ed calling anti-white measures showing up in the Biden Administration and elsewhere what they are: racism. The Daily Wire, a conservative website that was founded by right wing gadfly Ben Shapiro, wrote the post based on “a Twitter user” as its source,” and I foolishly assumed that the site would have checked out the claim before posting on it. It turns out the Stephens’ account says it’s “suspended” because he suspended it himself, in 2019.

Thus I am made an accomplice to this confirmation bias chain reaction, and I resent it. This is the kind of crap I experienced more than once from Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit, both of which are no longer cited as sources on Ethics Alarms, and whose stories I will not believe unless I find a credible source that independently confirmed it. Now I’m adding the Daily Wire to that black list. There are plenty of left-leaning sites on that list as well, but since it is virtually impossible to ensure that a story that reflects poorly on the allies of progressive propaganda hasn’t been obscured or deliberately distorted by the mainstream media, conservative media has to be trustworthy and professional, and far too often, it just isn’t. Situations like this make it easier for the mainstream media to call every report they wish would disappear “conservative disinformation.”

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire just notes (a few minutes after I’ve posted relying on its fabricated story) that the post had been “corrected.” It was originally titled, “Twitter Suspends NY Times’ Columnist’s Account After He Denounces Equity as ‘Racism.” NOW it is headlined “NY Times Columnist Denounces Equity as ‘Racism’” which is both inaccurate and not news, since Stephens’ column is three days old. He also never called “equity”racism. That’s like something they would say on MSNBC to distort what was written. I thought the phrasing was strange and sloppy in the first version, but since the topic was Twitter’s censorship, I didn’t bother with it. Now, the misrepresentation is the subject of the whole post. Then, in the body of the piece, it now says, “On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account.” What it should have said is On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account, and we, because we were looking for another reason to bash Twitter, believed him without checking. We apologize to our readers and any other websites, commentators or blogs who were misled due to our mistake.”

But I DO apologize (and thank to JutGory for the prompt alert). Confirmation bias also played a part in my gullibility: I do not trust Twitter, and what was represented is just a bit beyond what Jack Dorsey’s arrogant cyber-creature has done already. The last line of the post is still valid, though the rest was built on garbage: “Boy, am I glad I quit Twitter. But I’m ashamed that I didn’t do it sooner”

Like Bret Stephens.

The rest of what follows, except for that last part, is retracted.

***

I didn’t see this one coming, because I am an idiot.

Two days ago, I wrote in the morning warm-up, (Item #2),

“Today [The New York Times] allowed Bret Stephens , one of the endangered species in their op-ed stable, a conservative, to write an anti-antiwhite racism piece under the Times’ main editorial gaslighting those who see Critical Race Theory for what it is. (On the opposite page, one of the Times’ usual far-left shills has another op-ed defending the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the schools, so the Times makes sure that Stephens is shouted down by his own paper, 2-1.) Stephens’ op-ed is called “The New Racism Won’t Solve the Old Racism,” which one would think is self-evident, but in the Year of the Great Stupid, it certainly is not. His “money quote” comes at the very end:

“Thoughtful liberals who think this is much ado about nothing should spend some time pondering how perfectly people like [ Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has announced that she won’t be interviewed by white journalists] are now playing into right-wing stereotypes. They should also spend time wondering whether the ideal for which they have long fought — a society that, if not colorblind, can at least see past color — is being jeopardized by progressives who apparently can see only color. Whichever way, it shouldn’t be hard to see that trying to solve the old racism with the new racism will produce only more racism. Justice is never achieved by turning tables.”

Obviously, he’s racist, or so the totalitarianism-enabling censors at Twitter decided. Yesterday, Twitter suspended Stephens’ Twitter account which now just says, “Account suspended.” His opinion, you see, violates Twitter rules, primarily the unwritten one that holds that any statements that in any way undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the Left’s efforts to undermine the Constitution and core American values will be censored so as few citizens get to ponder non-conforming arguments as possible.

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/29/21: Beautiful Morning, Ugly Ethics

This date in 1972 witnessed one of the more egregious examples of liberal judges using political ideology and capriciously-applied ethics to avoid following the law. In Furman v. Georgia,the remnants of the Warren Court, now under conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger, who dissented, prevailed in a narrow 5-4 decision that ruled the death penalty to be “cruel and unusual” under the Eighth Amendment. This was about as far away from “originalism” as the Court could get, since the Founders obviously did not regard executions as unusual at all, and cruelty has always been a subjective concept. But the Court left the metaphorical door open for new Congressional legislation that could make death sentences constitutional again if it included standardized guidelines for juries that would ameliorate “arbitrary” applications of capital punishment. Four years later SCOTUS reinstated the death penalty, which was overwhelmingly supported by the public, and in 1977, Gary Gilmore, a career criminal who cruelly and unusually murdered an elderly couple who refused to give him their car, faced a firing squad in Utah, a fate he definitely deserved.

1. I wish I had the time and fortitude to detail just how bad this New York Times Magazine article is, but I don’t, and maybe nobody with a life does. So I’ll just leave it to you to read it: “What if American Democracy Fails the Climate Crisis?” in the New York Times “Climate Issue.” Despicably, the Times handed the article over to openly and egregiously Left-biased journalist Ezra Klein, the founder of Vox and a dedicated practitioner of journalism as progressive propaganda. This means that only one point of view pervades the exercise, differing only in degrees and minor details. Even the title is loaded with assumptions that poison fair discourse, and I hope I will not be spoiling the suspense by pointing out that the “solution” Klein and his of-one-mind panelists (including one of the authors of the risible so-called “Green New Deal”) is a Leftist take-over of the U.S. and preferably capitulation to world government. I was going to list the most outrageous and dishonest quotes, but that would have taken up the whole post. The “I mentally checked out here” moment was in the introduction, in which Klein writes, being “hopeful,” “A rising generation understands the urgency of the moment, even if their elders do not.” That rising generation understands nothing about climate science, much like their “elders,” but have been indoctrinated into thinking they do. That’s “hopeful” for a nascent totalitarian like Klein. The rest of the issue is substantially deceit and propaganda, like the article about how climate change is already ravaging islands like the Bahamas, focusing on Hurricane Dorian as if there is any way to trace its origins to the topic of the issue.

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Unethical—Or Maybe Head-Exploding—Quote Of The Month: New York Times Media Writer Ben Smith

“But the paper needs to figure out how to resolve these issues more clearly: Is The Times the leading newspaper for like-minded, left-leaning Americans? Or is it trying to hold what seems to be a disappearing center in a deeply divided country? Is it Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden?”

—-Ben Smith, the New York Times’ media writer, regarding the “moral ” dilemma [ Postcard From Peru: Why the Morality Plays Inside The Times Won’t Stop” ] revealed by the controversy over the Times forcing out its top science writer for saying “nigger” in Peru instead of “n-word”.

Hold the center? HOLD THE CENTER?? HOLD THE CENTER????? Oh, God, I can’t…oh no ..ARGHHHH!

Head jack boom many

What a mess! I’m so, so sorry.

And that’s just one paragraph! Since my head has already been shattered beyond hope, here’s another one:

This intense attention, combined with a thriving digital subscription business that makes the company more beholden to the views of left-leaning subscribers, may yet push it into a narrower and more left-wing political lane as a kind of American version of The Guardian — the opposite of its stated, broader strategy.

Is Smith gaslighting us? Is the Times really that lacking in self-awareness? This outrageous piece was featured on the front page! “Gee, I wonder if we’re too biased…”

The New York Times drove one of its veteran journalists out of the paper for speaking the specific word he was discussing in the context of a student question about racist and sexist language, because some woke high school students said they were offended, and the Times’ staff censors of color demanded their pound of flesh. The Times editor then made the ridiculous and untrue statement that ‘intent’ didn’t matter, which was correctly condemned by a Times op-ed writer in a column that was censored by the paper.

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Comment Of The Day: “Ethical Quote Of The Month: Bret Stephens’ Critical Column About New York Times Cowardice And Hypocrisy That The Times Tried To Censor”

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Comment of the Day auteur Glenn Logan (one of many at EA) has helpful thoughts about the intertwined issue of speech control/ racial epithets/ intent and political correctness. I’m behind on COTDs again, but jumped Glenn’s ahead in line because the blog has been active on related topics today.

Here is Glenn Logan’s Comment of the Day on Bret Stephens’ discarded op-ed and the post, “Ethical Quote Of The Month: Bret Stephens’ Critical Column About New York Times Cowardice And Hypocrisy That The Times Tried To Censor’:

This is an excellent inquiry into the current state of political culture. The left has discovered one of the things it has historically eschewed — the concept of strict liability, and the power it brings them to redefine the English language in America, and by extension, the political environment. For years, liberals have found crimes which didn’t consider intent offensive, and for good reason. Alas, it seems that is no longer the case.

At the risk of being pedantic, strict liability — for those who may not be aware — is a type of crime or regulatory violation where intent does not matter. The quintessential strict liability crime example is statutory rape, where violation of the statute requires no general or specific intent. Regardless of whether the violator knew, had reason to know, or intended to have sexual relations with a minor person, the fact he/she/xe/them did is all that matters.The word “nigger” has now become, in the world of the Left, a strict liability offense when uttered in any form and for any reason. More and more, this is also becoming true of descriptive constructions like “n-word, ” “n*****,” “n—–,” or “n_____.”

The recent incident with the Times shows just how successful this effort has become, and is sure to become a model for other words considered to be offensive at some fundamental level. There is no reason to believe the proponents of this new morality will be circumspect in this expansion, either.Using the power of the mob, the Left has found that they can circumvent the First Amendment by ginning up social outrage and placing pressure on companies to do what the law cannot — punish speech.

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Ethical Quote Of The Month: Bret Stephens’ Critical Column About New York Times Cowardice And Hypocrisy That The Times Tried To Censor

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Ethics Alarms is temporarily parting with its usual practice by publishing Times columnist Bret Stephens’ suppressed column in full. Normally, I regard doing this as unethical: the publication that pays for an essay deserves to have the benefit of the links and the views. But this was published not by Stephen’s employer, whom he serves as house conservative with varying effectiveness, but by a competitor, the New York Post, to which the piece was leaked. As a leaked document, it is fair for Ethics Alarms to publish, and as an important piece of evidence further proving the corruption of American journalism, I believe that Stephens’ spiked op-ed needs to be widely read. I doubt that the mainstream media can be trusted to give it the circulation it needs.

Stephens wrote his column in response to this incident, where his paper fired a respected journalist after its investigation of his reportedly using the word “nigger” in a discussion with students indicated that none of his remarks had been, I wrote, “sexist or racist, but that he had used words employed by sexists or racists to talk about sexism or racism, rather than using the approved poopy/ pee-pee/woo-woo baby talk codes (n-word, b-word, c-word) demanded by language censors.” “Initially, the Times’ editor, Dean Baquet, tried to be fair and to uphold what the Times is supposed to respect—the Bill of Rights,” I continued,”but eventually capitulated to his woke and anti-free speech staff, as he has before.”

Stephens told colleagues the column was killed by Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger. The piece the Times didn’t want the public to see circulated among Times staffers and others until someone sent it to the New York Post.

I will say at the outset that Stephens should quit, just as Glenn Greenwald quit his own organization when it blocked publication of his piece about the Hunter Biden story embargo .I don’t know if there are enough journalists of integrity and honesty who are concerned about the ruinous abdication of their profession from its crucial obligations to democracy to prevent the death spiral into totalitarianism. But the few there are need to step up.

Here is Bret Stephens’ column:

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Ethics Quote Of The Month: Time Op-Ed Writer Bret Stephens

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“It’s a compromise that is fatal to liberalism. It reintroduces a concept of blasphemy into the liberal social order. It gives the prospectively insulted a de facto veto over what other people might say. It accustoms the public to an ever-narrower range of permissible speech and acceptable thought. And… it slowly but surely turns writers, editors and publishers into cowards.”

Bret Stephens, intermittently conservative New York Times columnist, in an op-ed condemning the acceptance of censorship and self-censorship as norms by the modern Left.

Stephens is certainly on a roll lately. His previous column (effectively and accurately) condemning the pet Times race propaganda “1619 Project” for what it is (that is to say, cultural and historical toxic waste) was not his last, as many predicted, and apparently emboldened by his survival, Stephens is determined to “let it all hang out,” as they used to say in the Sixties. Once again, he is attacking his own paper, which has doubled-down in its determination to publish only the news it feels safe to let its readers know about.

It is telling that Stephens’ column was published in tandem this week with another attempt by the Times to hide the utter corruption of the Biden family from the public, at least until the election is over. Above the Stephens piece—also telling—is the poisonous Michelle Goldberg’s screed suggesting that the discovery of Hunter Biden’s incriminating (to both him and his father) laptop is more GOP “collusion.” The Times’ truly despicable headline: “Is the Trump Campaign Colluding With Russia Again?” Note “Again”: the Mueller investigation found no evidence of “collusion” by any American citizen, much less the Trump campaign (to be fair, it didn’t investigate the Clinton campaign’s Russian dealings), and yet the Times allows that lie to lead its Editorial page. Polls show (I know, I know: polls) that over 70% of Democrats still think the President won the election by colluding with Russia, and mainstream media descriptions like this is a main reason. And it’s intentional.

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Ethics Hero: New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Bret Stephens

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Bret Stephens has been criticized on this site for regularly failing his alleged assignment of bringing a principled conservative voice to the New York Times op-ed pages, and seeming to yield to the strongly biased culture of the uenthical paper that employs him.

In his most recent column, however Stephens courageously and unblinkingly calls out the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” for what it is—dishonest, misleading, falsified—oh, let’s not mince words— crap. [Ethics Alarms discussed the “1619 Project” and its unethical creator, Times reporter and race activist Nikole Hannah-Jones, here] Josh Blackmon, for example, writing at Reason, thinks that the columnist metaphorically biting the hand that feeds him will mark the beginning of the end of Stephens at the Times. After all, a Times editor recently resigned after the paper’s Jacobins called for his head for daring to allow a Republican Senator to voice an opinion that went against the Times’ view of the world. Stephens has gone far, far beyond that.

He knows it, too. At the end of his dissection of the bad history and unethical journalism that disgracefully won the Times a Pulitzer Prize, the columnist writes,

For obvious reasons, I’ve thought long and hard about the ethics of writing this essay. On the one hand, outside of exceptional circumstances, it’s bad practice to openly criticize the work of one’s colleagues. We bat for the same team and owe one another collegial respect.On the other, the 1619 Project has become, partly by its design and partly because of avoidable mistakes, a focal point of the kind of intense national debate that columnists are supposed to cover, and that is being widely written about outside The Times.

To avoid writing about it on account of the first scruple is to be derelict in our responsibility toward the second.All the more so as journalists, in the United States and abroad, come under relentless political assault from critics who accuse us of being fake, biased, partisan and an arm of the radical left. Many of these attacks are baseless. Some of them are not. Through its overreach, the 1619 Project has given critics of The Times a gift.

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Ethics May Day, 2020: Biden, Reade, Planned Parenthood, A Renegade Times Pundit, And The Democrats Get Their Way.

It’s May! It’s May!

1. So Joe Biden went on “Morning Joe” and denied that Tara Reade was telling the truth. So what? What does this tell us? Was there any chance whatsoever that he was going to say, “Yup, I finger-fucked her. I don’t know what came over me!”? No. This is like the Kurt Gödel conundrum about the island where there are only truth-tellers and liars, and there are some questions where they will give exactly the same answers. He picked a screamingly partisan journalist, Mika  Brzezinski, to ensure soft-ball treatment (she actually was a bit tougher than expected), and, to some eyes, looked as if he had rehearsed his statement. Ann Althouse does an extensive analysis here.

I don’t see the point. It’s a pro forma denial, and Biden was pressured into it.

I do think the Post article used some unfortunate phrasing..

“The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was rebutting Tara Reade’s accusation that he reached under her skirt to penetrate her with his fingers somewhere in the Capitol in 1993. This denial requires him to thread a thin needle.”

2. Showing it has more integrity than most women’s groups, Planned Parenthood, the Daily Beast reports, was the only one among  the major pro-abortion groups in the nation that responded directly to the progressive site’s request for a comment regarding Tara Reade’s allegations. The “Democrat-aligned” groups either “did not respond” or ” replied and did not provide a statement”…except Planned Parenthood.

Its president released a statement saying in part, “We believe survivors—and saying we believe survivors doesn’t mean only when it’s politically convenient…Joe Biden must address this allegation directly.'” Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/27/2019: Two Bingos, Two Drag Shows, and Poop

Good morning!

1. Is it me, or is this TV commercial indefensibly gross, and signals the impending end of civilization?

2.  Reasons not to duck the New York Times op-ed pages…Yale student Kathryn Hu contributed a sane and thoughtful essay on the topic of classic operas with characters and plot elements that seem sexist or racist to today’s more enlightened audiences. As we know, today’s “woke” censors of the arts and arbiters of what we are allowed to watch and hear have their own solution: never do the piece again, despite its obvious virtues, or interpret and rewrite it out of existance or into nausea, like John Legend injecting “It’s your body and your choice” into the lyrics of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” I had to suppress my gorge from rising while reading this article, for example, that described the current production of  J.M Barry’s 1904 classic “Peter Pan” in Washington D.C:

In [Playwright Lauren Gunderson’s] version now playing at Shakespeare Theatre Company (retitled Peter Pan and Wendy…), the character of Tiger Lily has been completely reconceived. No more the helpless princess in distress, Tiger Lily is now a spirited and fearless Native rights activist whose people thrived in Neverland long before Captain Hook’s pirate ship dropped anchor and Peter showed up with the Lost Boys.

Because as we know, there were so many Native American activists in 1904. To anyone with brain cells and cultural perspective that haven’t been woked to death, it is obvious that Barry’s Neverland is a child’s fanciful impression of Indians, pirates, and friendly wild animals. It has nothing to do with reality , so imposing current day adult political views on the and characters is neither fair nor necessary.

Hu’s solution to the supposed horrors of 19th Century biases and social mores in opera: Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/12/2019: Sorry, An All “Bad Left” Post. Just The Way It Worked Out, I Swear….

Good morning…

A good and long, LONG-time friend whom I forced to abuse his legs through years of bruising choreography comes home from knee replacement surgery today, and I’m feeling guilty. So I need to watch Gene, Donald and Debbie hoof it up, even if you don’t…

1.  This is New York Times punditry. Over the weekend, Bret Stephens, the Trump-loathing token conservative on the Times op-ed team, wrote of the Presient’s generally well-received remarks on D-Day that “he didn’t mean the words he mouthed.” How does Stephens know what the President does and doesn’t mean? It’s the biased news media Catch-22: If the President says something outrageous, they criticize him. If he says something admirable, he doesn’t really mean it.

2. Why is John Dean a witness in the Democrat’s faux-impeachment hearings?  He has no direct knowledge of anything that occurred in the Trump Administration. He’s a disbarred lawyer who has made his living accusing other Presidents—all Republicans—of impeachable offenses.

His appearance as the very first witness to testify signals that this is not a serious inquiry. Continue reading