Checking what I had written previously about the despicable race-baiting journalist Jemele Hill (who has authored a piece for the Atlantic advocating a return to segregation in college), I re-read the post I had written two years ago as Hill when paving her road out of ESPN. As is often the case, I had completely forgotten what I wrote, and getting re-acquainted with it, I not only approved of the analysis but saw its application as relevant to other situations we have seen since and will continue to see.
Let me add that the fact that angry, divisive, unethical journalists like Hill have a place in legitimate (or what once were legitimate) news and commentary outlets is proof of ethics rot in the industry. She is no better nor different from ugly hacks like Alex Jones on the right, yet maintains visibility and a platform for her cultural poison for three reasons: she is a progressive, she is black, and she is female. None of these are valid reasons to inflict her personal vendettas and hateful rhetoric on America. Jones has been largely banned from social media, but Hill’s bile still flows undammed.
The post also is depressing proof of how relentless and irrational “the resistance” has been The line in the two-year-old essay—“Too many of Hill’s likely peer groups and those around her have, since last November 8, engaged in nearly continuous disrespect of the President’s person, his office, and the process that elected him. This continues to be divisive, destructive, and dangerous for the nation. It is wrong.”—has a familiar ring, for I have written almost the same sentence too many tomes to count since. I will probably write it again next week.
Here, lightly edited, is the September 14, 2017 post titled, “Portrait Of An Ethics Train Wreck:The Race-Baiting ESPN Commentator”:
The recent still-rolling ethics train wreck launched by ESPN “SportsCenter” co-host Jemele Hill is a perfect example of how such cultural fiascos occur.
Stage I: The Instigator
Hill, a young African American woman, went on a Twitter rant against President Trump this week.
“Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime,” Hill tweeted. “His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period. He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”
Factors, Stage I
A. An ethics alarms doesn’t ring.
Why in the world would Hill think that the face of a national broadcast network could publicly call the President of the United States a white supremacist without causing a problem for her employer? The key ethics values being breached are trust and responsibility. She has a responsibility to ESPN, which should be able to trust her not to harm it or upset viewers.
B. An instigator has an inflated view of his or her own importance, indispensability, wisdom, expertise or authority.
We are living in an age where narcissism is epidemic, but even so, a sports anchor has to be able to comprehend that once he or she is outside the realm of sports, her opinion on the President or anyone else cannot possibly have a positive effect on public discourse unless it is carefully thought out, crafted,, and expressed.
The key ethics values being breached are competence and humility.
C. Social media. Continue reading