Unethical Quote Of The Week: NYT Pundit Nate Cohn

“The disconnect between Mr. Biden’s popular policies and his personal unpopularity is a little hard to understand.”

—New York Times columnist Nate Cohn, either actively trying to gaslight his readers or demonstrating the after effects of a lobotomy.

I hate to pick on Cohn, because this is just the most recent example of what appears to be the latest progressive/news media tactic to somehow rescue Democrats from the accountability at the ballot box they so rightly deserve. Just as the Big Lie used as part of the battle plan to remove President Trump was Big Lie #5: “Everything is Terriblewhen everything obviously wasn’t (too many things were good under Trump, see, and that was terrible for Democrats), the new Big Lie is “Joe is doing a great job!,” which is ridiculous. The mystery with Cohn and others who are publicly scratching their heads and wondering out loud, “Gee, what is it that the public doesn’t like?” is whether they really are so biased that they have become too stupid to be let alone to cross the street, whether they think the public is so stupid that they can be convinced by repetition,, Orwell-style, that Ignorance is Strength and Inflation is Good, or if they are really engaged in mass gaslighting, relying on the Jumbo, “Total policy failures? WHAT total policy failures?”

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Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Flea Market, 8/28/21: An Atheist Chaplain And Other Exotica”

triple facepalm

In this potpourri piece, I linked to a Salon rant by a regular contributor named Chauncy DeVega, who, I summarized, “believes conservatives have been programmed by Fox News to believe in an ‘alternate reality’ based on anger and outrage while he proves that he exists in an alternate reality based on anger and outrage.” DeVega’s perspective is genuinely frightening (but then so is “Salon,”) as it is literally what he accuses conservatives of creating, a mad, counter-factual delusion fueled by hate. I consider the piece self-indicting, but I also didn’t have the energy to fisk it. Thus I am grateful to veteran commenter Michael Ejercito for accepting the challenge to a significant extent.

I hope Michael forgives me for injecting a few editorial notes as we proceed. They will be bracketed in italics. I couldn’t resist.

Here is Michael Ejercito’s Comment of the Day on the Chauncy DeVega head-explosion hazard linked to in “Ethics Flea Market, 8/28/21: An Atheist Chaplain And Other Exotica.”

***

I will reply to some of this article….

In my public warnings about the Age of Trump and America’s descent into fascism, I have often been far ahead of the hope-peddlers, stenographers and professional centrists of the mainstream news media. But I am no Cassandra or otherwise possess any preternatural gifts. I simply pay close attention to what the Jim Crow Republicans, Trumpists and other neofascists say and do — and I take them at their word. As a black working-class person in America I do not have the privilege and luxury that many white folks do — especially those with money — of pretending that everything is going to magically be fine, that “the institutions are strong,” that the “norms” of democracy will hold, or that “we are a good people.” I know for certain that the Trumpists and other neofascists are not “exaggerating” or engaging in “hyperbole” in their threats to create a new American apartheid.”

Government executive officials (not legislatures) have taken unprecedented coercive actions purportedly to combat the spread of COVID-19. This recently includes vaccination requirements to go to bars and restaurants, even though no such requirements existed with respect to polio, measles, or mumps.

So he has a point there.

[ME is being arch. That wasn’t DeVega’s point, but that “Trumpists” are trying to create an “apartheid” nation where only whites are protected. I also have to note that this is a great example of DeVega accusing the Right of advocating what the Left is doing. See today’s post on segregated classes at American University.]

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Morning Poll: Incompetent Elected Official, Gaslighting or Jumbo?

 

Wait, what? Did Rep. Jim Clyburn really say that he wasn’t aware of any Federal building being attacked in Portland?

I was trying to decide whether the statement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Fox and Friends was signature significance for an incompetent, or whether he was just attempting Jimmy Durante’s stratagem, the Jumbo. (“Elephant? What elephant?”) I realized that the two alternatives were mutually exclusive. Clyburn also might be gaslighting us. In gaslighting, unlike the similar but distinct Jumbo, the ethics miscreant is trying to make everyone else think they are losing their minds, and somehow imagined something that, in truth, really happened. The Jumbo is a sign of desperation. Gaslighting is sinister.

If he knows that the “peaceful” rioters were laying siege to the Portland courthouse—and how could he not?—then Clyburn must be employing the Jumbo or attempting flagrant gaslighting. If he doesn’t know, he’s telling the truth, and that means he is a lazy, incompetent fool.

Which is it?

Also, I wonder: Continue reading

New Media Gaslighting Update, And An Insufficiently Inflammatory Rant

As the majority of Americans gradually come around to appreciating the President’s efforts and leadership in the uncharted metaphorical waters of a strange and still infuriatingly under-understood pandemic, the Get Trump media has shifted into pure propaganda and fiction to claim otherwise. Here’s David Leonhardt, arguably the most rabid and untrustworthy of all the op-ed writers in the Times “resistance” stable, claiming, Trump Is Hurting His Own Re-election Chances: Don’t be fooled by snapshot polls.” That should be, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” Even worse is The Atlantic, which is literally a full time Trump Derangement publication now. Peter Wehner is the prime balladeer of the magazines fantastic songs: two weeks ago, he wrote, “The Trump Presidency Is Over: It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.”

This kind of hysteria-mongering is even worse: “How Donald Trump Could Steal the Election.” The First Amendment allows publications to publish such vomit, but that doesn’t mean its ethical for them to do it. Like earlier article about how the President might just refuse to leave office if defeated, or use the epidemic to declare himself dictator, such fever-dreams are based on nothing but clinical obsession and hate. The author The Atlantic dredged up is a professor of political science at the University of Maryland named Jeffrey Davis. He, his university, and The Atlantic should all be discredited in the future, as their judgment is stunningly awful and their trustworthiness is non-existent.

Then there’s this: In an open letter to Vice-President Pence, British journalist Mehdi Hasan writes in The Intercept that he must  invoke 25th Amendment and have the President removed as “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Yes, it’s good old Resistance Plan E (on the list that goes up to S.) And what triggered the resort to this oldie but goodie? The President was mean to a reporter, Hasan is a journalist, so that settles it! Cementing the total lack of seriousness in his article, Hasan cited Bandy Lee as authority—you know, the discredited Yale psychiatrist who has breached her profession’s ethical standards by diagnosing the President from afar, and who is thus the go-to guest any time CNN or MSNBC has another “How do we get rid of this guy without beating him in an election?” panel. (She also exposed her integrity and motives recently by refusing to diagnose Joe Biden’s cognitive problems.) It’s another embarrassing article. Why would anyone publish such garbage? Continue reading

Let Us Thank Rep. Al Green For His Candor And Integrity In Confirming That The Resistance, Democrats and The Anti-Trump News Media Are Lying

It is amazing to me that so many commentators,elected officials and Facebook demagogues insist on denying both the fact and the significance of the fact that the plots to remove President Trump from office began the second he was elected, thus establishing the dishonest and illegitimate nature of everything that was to come. This is gaslighting. Fortunately there is Rep. Al Green of Texas, who isn’t the brightest bulb on the impeachment tree but is at least refreshingly candid, I suspect because he sees nothing wrong with trying to reverse an election that was determined by racists, misogynists and idiots.

Green already handed a brightly wrapped gift to those who accurately maintain that whatever the virtues and deficits of the President, the Democratic effort to remove him “by any means possible” is an abuse of the Constitution and destructive to the stability of the republic. That gift was his guileless statement, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.” Green has also said  that the House may continue to impeach Trump after he is acquitted by the Senate and if he is re-elected. But Al wasn’t through yet, and for this we should be grateful. Continue reading

Policy Clarification: If The Subject Of An Ethics Story Is The Use Of The Words “Nigger” Or “Fuck,” Ethics Alarms Will Appropriately Use Those Words And Not “N-Word” And “F-Word,” Because To Do Otherwise Will Be To Enable The Language, Speech And Expression Censors…

…whose real goal is to control thought.

It is a matter of constant amazement to me how many news publications and editors choose to either keep their readers uninformed and confused (by using a vague and ambiguous term like “a racial epithet” or “a vulgarity” when the word in question is central to an episode, or, in my view worse, use the juvenile “N-word” or “F-word” euphemism as if the actual word isn’t what these codes mean, so the pretense that they are anything but the equivalent on speaking in pig-latin because the kiddies are around is an insult to adults everywhere. I wonder: would it be considered benign to use “N-word” as an insult, as in “You stupid N-word!”? Would am employee still be fired if he told his boss, “Oh, go F-word yourself you mother-F-wording  F-word head!”? If the euphemism means the same thing as the word, then why not use the word itself?

This is political correctness gaslighting, and I reject it categorically.  Here is a recent headline from the College Fix:

Another ‘N word’-in-context incident costs a university employee her job

That  headline is over a story about how absurd and anti-free speech it is to punish a professor for using the word “nigger” in a discussion about free speech, and the publication still balks at using the actual word in the context of its relationship to the story it describes while condemning the university’s decision! What sense that does that make? It’s hypocritical and incompetent, as well as cowardly.

Marlon Anderson, the janitor we discussed last month who was summarily fired for using the word “nigger” to tell a student not to call him a “nigger,” said, in the course of his defense, “So if the class is reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and the teacher is reading the book out loud and it gets to the part where the N-word is, the teacher gets fired?” Continue reading

Afternoon Ethics Jolt, 10/8/2019: Gaslighting, And Other Lousy Things To Do…

HI!

1. Impeachment junk! There is so, so much of this. I am trying to decide if my launching an impeachment information and commentary website is feasible (for me, and any volunteers who step up), but it certainly is necessary.

  • Deja vu…I am again hearing and reading the opinion that the President’s various maneuvers to block testimony and subpoenas are indications of guilt. This is why the Democratic Party’s creeping totalitarianism is ominous—people slip so easily into totalitarian mindsets. “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!’ is an anti-civil rights position, and yet here are alleged progressives chanting that Orwellian motto again.

The President has every reason to regard the Democratic fishing expeditions and non-inquiry inquiry into impeachment as an attack on the Separation of Powers and Constitutional government itself. Thus he has every right to make Congress’s abuse of process as difficult as possible, whether he has anything to hide, or not.

Circulating claims of Trump-Russian collusion prior to the 2016 election didn’t work. Using foreign-supplied fake intelligence, from a British spy who utilized Russian sources, to obtain surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team didn’t work.Intimidating Electoral College Electors to change their votes after the election didn’t work. Having the Director of the FBI lie to, set up and try to entrap the president didn’t work. Having that same FBI Director leak memos to the media to manufacture grounds for a Special Counsel didn’t work.Trying to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unable to perform the job didn’t work.Two years of the Mueller Investigation didn’t work.Three years of a permanent crisis news cycle meant to paralyze the administration didn’t work.

After all these failures to unwind the 2016 election, Democrats and the mainstream media are trying a new tactic: Create a Star Chamber “impeachment” process fueled by anonymous whistleblowers and selective leaks that is not so much designed to remove the president, though they would if they could, but to manipulate the 2020 election…By cloaking witnesses with the protection of whistleblowers, the whistleblower protections are being abused. In response to the announcement of Whistleblower No. 2, we remarked: “Abuse of whistleblower protections. This person is simply a witness to someone else’s complaint who already has been interviewed. Weaponization of whistleblower laws is yet another breach of norms in effort to unwind 2016 election.”…With Whistleblower No. 1 failing to fulfill the mission, there was a leak to the NY Times of a potential Whistleblower No. 2. That’s how this is going to work, there will be leaks to the media to frame the public narrative just like regarding supposed Russian-collusion.”

I think this is probably right.

  • Don’t confuse them with facts, their minds are made up. Ann Althouse passed along Sheryl Attkisson’s tweet:

  • Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Also from Althouse, we learn that the following headline is on the Washington Post’s front page:

“The GOP’s bootlicking cowardice knows no bounds.”

  • Polls, for whatever they’re worth…According to one poll, President Trump is gaining among independent voters in head-to-head matchups with the Democratic presidential front-runners, according to a new IBD-TIPP poll. This would be expected by anyone other than deranged, impeachment obsessed Democrats, since the non-biased could be anticipated to object to a party attempting to circumvent an election through abuse of the system. but who knows. Conservative pundit Matt Margolis writes, “Many on the right have warned Democrats that impeachment fever will only benefit Trump in the long run—and they appear to be proven right by this poll.”

Wrong. How can a poll “prove ” anything? Yet polls are always being offered as “proof.” It isn’t even honest to describe them as evidence. Continue reading