Ethics Quiz: What Rationalization Is This?

A gang of Washington, D.C. rocks, plotting an attack on city buses.

A gang of Washington, D.C. rocks, plotting an attack on city buses.

If living near the District of Columbia doesn’t transform you into a right-wing nut, it’s probably because you quickly learned not to read the columns in the Washington Post Metro Section. There refugees from the darkest, looniest corners of the Sixties have held sway for about fifty years, making illogical, emotional, angry and reliably leftist arguments, often in semi-literate form. The Post obviously believes, with good reason, that these would embarrass the paper if they were allowed to invade the Op-Ed Page, so they are buried in the middle of the paper.

The Post has a passel  of these writers, who only occasionally venture into the land of the fair and reasonable. About 30% of the time, their creative output is devoted to race-baiting. I decided decades ago that my sanity and political equilibrium depended on my ignoring these daily sanity-bombs, way back in the days when a community-revered wacko named Dorothy Gilliam regularly defied logic in her 700 word rants. I now only learn about the most absurd of these columns only when a Post letter-writer flags one of them as particularly mind-blowing.

Coutland Milloy has been the main offender on the Post’s Metro page since Gilliam retired to the Big Angry Leftist Padded Room in the Sky, and he was in top form last week, when he addressed the recent problem of city buses being pelted with stones in some of the poorer areas in D.C. Read his piece if you dare: his basic premise was that it is significant that at a public hearing about the problem, nobody “spoke up for the kids” or discussed “why” the rocks were being thrown. You don’t really have to read the essay to guess its larger thesis: the areas are poor, city resources are misaligned, gentrification is breaking up neighborhoods, kids are frustrated, so it’s not the kids fault that they are attacking Metro buses. In the printed version of the Post, his column was titled “Don’t Pin the Rock Problem On The Kids.” Continue reading

Ethics Quote of the Week

“I know how the “tea party” people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their “Obama Plan White Slavery” signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads.”

——Washington Post columnist Courtland Malloy

That’s it, Courtland, just the ticket for helping to cool the inflammatory rhetoric, encourage mutual respect and restore civil discourse. As long as it makes you feel better, go ahead and use your space in the Washington Post to be just as hateful as those whose conduct you deplore. Next step: call anyone a Cro-Magnon racist who takes you to task for it.

Any journalist or columnist who stoops to this kind of irresponsible and emotional name-calling needs to be taken off the job and given a nice, long paid vacation in the Bahamas to get his perspective back. There is too much primal screaming in print already, and it only raises tensions and entrenches both bad feelings and bad conduct. Malloy has been simmering for a long time, so his outburst comes as little surprise. A responsible newspaper, however is foolish to print such a column.

Spoiling “Precious”

Courtland Milloy is a Washington Post Metro columnist, which means that his job is to decry racial outrages even where there are none. This time around, he has been offended by “Precious,” the nearly universally acclaimed movie about an abused black teenager, and attacks it with gusto. [Typically I would link to the piece here. I’m not, and you will soon find out why.] Continue reading