“Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias”: Roll Over, Ed Murrow!

CBS News, once symbolized by iconic journalists like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Fred Friendly, is now more appropriately defined by disgraced partisan hack Dan Rather. The past week has demonstrated how far the ethics rot has progressed, or, perhaps, how illusory CBS’s reputation for integrity really was.

In truth, CBS has had a bad month, marked by the Sharon Osbourne debacle on “The Talk.” In that mess, the network allowed the reality show figure turned pundit to be tarred as a racist for not agreeing that Piers Morgan was one when he dared to doubt the sincerity of Princess Meghan, a pretty obvious self-promoting celebrity sociopath. But she’s “of color,” so criticizing her is per se racism according to Woke Law.

Ethics Alarms also flagged the current level of CBS’s trustworthiness in news reporting yesterday, noting,

“…CBS News recently ran a report titled “Asian Americans Battling Bias: Continuing Crisis” in which it stated,  “Nearly 4000 crimes against Asian-Americans have been reported since the start of the pandemic, an increase of about 150 percent in major U.S. cities.” Then it showed  videos of former President Trump calling coronavirus the “Kung Flu.”….In order to inflate the numbers, ratchet up hysteria and attack Trump, [CBS] used numbers from Stop AAPI Hate, led by Arizona State University Professor Aggie Yellow Horse and San Francisco State University Professor Russell Jeung, an “incident” tracker launched in March 2020….The “tracker” counted anonymously reported  incidents, which of course could not be checked or verified. The latest report showed nearly 4,000 of them, most consisting of “verbal harassment” and “shunning.” Those are not “hate crimes.”

But CBS was just getting started. On last night’s “60 Minutes” deceptively edited an exchange that reporter Sharyn Alfonsi had with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) two weeks ago about how Florida was handling its vaccination program. Here is how the exchange was presented:

Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Matt Zoller Seitz, With An Assist From Ann Althouse, Sliming Principled Whistleblowers

Stoller tweet

Let me preface this commentary with some disjointed points:

  • When tweets are involved, I should probably call this category “Unethical Tweet Of The Hour.” Minute, even.
  • Matt Zoller Seitz is a hard-left critic and screenwriter who sometimes opines for the proudly Left-Lunatic “Daily Kos.”
  • Ann Althouse’s reaction to this—she gets the EA Pointer for finding the tweet—puts me in mind of Captain Von Trapp’s rebuke to his friend, the venal and principle-free theatrical producer Max, in “The Sound of Music” film when Max tries to rationalize the Anschluss by noting that it was “peaceful”: “You know, Max. . . . . .sometimes I don’t believe I know you.”
  • She also professed ignorance at the tweet’s reference to “the Bruenigs.” See the note immediately above: it took me ten seconds to check the reference, longer than it must have taken Ann to write that she didn’t understand it. Matt Bruenig is a Socialist pundit, and Elizabeth Bruenig is a former columnist at the Washington Post of similar ideological sympathies, now with the New York Times. The Bruenigs have a podcast called “The Bruenigs.”
  • The “tweets” Althouse refers to relates to a re-tweeter of the Seitz tweet who added this shot from a film I couldn’t identify:

Preppy assholes

Sietz is scummily implying that criticizing the now obvious turn by the American Left to totalitarian-style speech suppression and the mainstream news media’s complicity in the process is the equivalent of Fifties-style, white prep school  conservatism mocked in films like “Auntie Mame,” Animal House,” and “Trading Places.” In fact, Greenwald, Sullivan, Yglesias and, though unsmeared here, Matt Taibbi are all left-leaning journalists or pundits of long standing who have had the integrity to break with their biased and unethical employers to blow necessary whistles on their former colleagues, as mainstream journalism has abandoned any pretense of doing its job while following its own ethics rules.

Continue reading

Another “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Smoking Gun, From Glenn Greenwald

The latest post from the exiled investigative journalist who has no patience with the unethical conduct of his biased, dishonest and incompetent colleagues is titled, “Journalists, Illustrating How They Operate, Yesterday Spread a Significant Lie All Over Twitter” with the sub-head, “Eager to obtain vindication for the pre-election falsehood they spread about the Hunter Biden story, journalists falsely claim that the CIA blamed Russia for it.” As usual, Greenwald is very thorough, and the episode, like this week’s Washington Post admission that it publicized fake quotes created to smear President Trump, shows just how corrupt American journalism has become. I suppose, in a small way, the emerging proof of this is satisfying for me, as I have been bruised, impugned and insulted for accurately seeing this unethical pattern and pointing it out. Not that I need any further validation for my conclusions, for I don’t. It is, however, helpful to have such an objective and passionate real journalist’s work backing me up.

If only the victims of progressive propaganda, insidious totalitarianism, anti-American indoctrination and Trump Derangement were capable of being persuaded by facts…

Late in the piece (which I am publishing in its entirety with Greenwald’s permission), he writes,

Do you see how they behave? Take a look. Prior to the election, out of desperation to ensure that Biden won, they censored and maligned this reporting by mindlessly endorsing an assertion from life-long CIA operatives that never had any evidence: ignore these documents; they are Russian disinformation. They not only invoked that claim to justify ignoring the story but also to successfully agitate for its censorship by Twitter and Facebook. So they spent weeks spreading an utter lie in order to help the candidate that they favored win the election. Remember, these are journalists doing that.

I remember. I am not surprised. Nobody should be. President Trump has seldom been more correct than when he labeled them “enemies of the people.” Until the public wakes up and pays attention, they will continue to be, and the people will continue to suffer.

Here is Greenwell’s article. You should want to subscribe to his posts.

Go here to do so.

*************************************************************

Continue reading

Ethics Dessert, 3/12/2021: Goodbye “Jimmies”

IceCreamJimmies

1. Have you been following the Taylor Lorenz affair? Let me see if I can bring you up to date without spending more time than is justified, since she is, all things considered, trivial. She is a New York Times culture and tech reporter who has botched things up enough to be fired under previous standards of journalism (which now has no standards.) She has been repeatedly caught fabricating claims about public figure: in the last six weeks she twice publicly lied about Netscape founder Marc Andreessen: once claiming she overheard him he used the word “retarded” in a Clubhouse room (he hadn’t, but so what if he had?) and later accusing him of plotting with a white nationalist to attack her, which also didn’t happen. She also often uses her platform with the Times to attack private citizens by accusing them of harboring non-acceptable beliefs. Last week, she took to Twitter on National Women’s Day to claim victim status, writing on Twitter,

“For international women’s day please consider supporting women enduring online harassment….it is not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I have had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life…No one should have to go through this.”

This, in turn, triggered Tucker Carlson, in his Fox News show, to refer to Lorenz in a segment on how powerful people like Meghan Markle got away with playing victim. He mocked Lorenz’s tweets in light of her position as a star reporter for the Times when much of the nation is out of work. “Lots of people are suffering right now,” Carlson said. “But no one is suffering more than Taylor Lorenz.”

The Times, incredibly, accused Carlson in a public statement of unleashing “a wave of harassment and vitriol” at “a talented New York Times journalist,” and concluded with, “Journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment.”

Continue reading

Creeping Totalitarianism Alert! As Expected, The Democratic Party Moves To Censor Speech And Suppress Dissent

Committee anouncement

“In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it,” writes Glenn Greenwald at substack. But the point is, they want to cross it, and have been signalling that they want to cross it for a long time. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is real.

On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.” “Misinformation and disinformation” is defined by Democrats as any opinions, theories or analysis that they find inconvenient. Such statements as “President Trump colluded with the Russians,” “President Trump incited a deadly insurrection” or “Hunter Biden has done nothing wrong” are not “misinformation and disinformation.” Clear?

Writes Greenwald,

“House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.”

This is a direct attack on democracy, and the certainly that the Democratic Party was poised to use this strategy once they were in power was the reason, as I stated in November, that I concluded that the only responsible choice was to vote to re-elect Donald Trump, who is as attractive to an ethicist as head cheese is to a vegan. Those who allowed emotion, bias and propaganda to convince them otherwise were irresponsible and incompetent, and have enabled an existential crisis.

Continue reading

Your Deranged Friends Don’t Care That They Are Being Lied To About The “Insurrection,” But You Have An Obligation To Tell Them Anyway

tie guy

In “Journalism Ethics/Legal Ethics/Government Ethics Rot: The Democrats And Journalists Tried To Convict Donald Trump With Fake News,” Ethics Alarms covered the fact, and it is a fact, not an opinion, that the mainstream media and Democrats—the AUC, essentially—deliberately lied to the public in order to appeal to emotion and hype the significance of the January 6 riot. It appears that they were caught at the last second, which is why the decision to call witnesses was suddenly and mysteriously reversed in favor of a vote the Democrats knew they were going to lose.

I think it’s an important post about an important story, but very few people have read it (it’s been viewed 5 times today), or know that contrary to the assertions of President Biden and others, nobody was killed by the rioters, and a park police officer did not “give his life in defense of democracy.” There have been very few news stories pointing out that the Times quietly changed its false story that launched this myth, or that the Democrats deliberately entered it as false evidence in the impeachment trial.

When Ethics Alarms becomes a primary source of news that supposed journalists refuse to cover, we are in big, big trouble, especially since fewer people appear to be coming here (theories abound).

Glenn Greenwald, the primary beacon of that post, is doing what he can to spread the word of just how dastardly the AUC has been in spreading disinformation about the riot. He, as you know if you have been reading here, lost his job at his own journalism organization when it refused to allow him to spill the beans about the Hunter Biden scandal. In his latest post, Greenwlad revealed that the Brian Sicknick falsehood was far from the only example. [I will mention again here that everyone who wants to fight against the increasingly tight noose biased journalism has around the neck of our republic should subscribe to Greenwald’s feed at substack. Do it here.]

For example, we have another false story peddled by the Times and repeated up and down the news media. Here’s Greenwald:

Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Reinforcements, 2/7/21: The “Don’t Watch The Concussion Bowl” Edition

Brain Damage football

Ethics Alarms has been chronicling the mounting evidence that pro football condemns a large percentage of its players to future dementia and premature death for a long time, often in conjunction with what a Georgetown professor friend calls “The Concussion Bowl.” Many of those posts are here, under the CTE tag. Incredibly, the NFL has done little to stop the carnage, perhaps because seriously addressing the inherent damage to brains caused by a necessarily violent sport would end football as we know it, and that would cost owners, TV networks, colleges and merchandisers billions. Can’t have that.

Equally amazing, the public and the news media have allowed the NFL to get away with distracting from its unethical priorities with the flagrant and cynical virtue-signalling of pandering to Black Lives Matter. I’m pretty sure that when it is all tallied, the NFL will have killed more innocent black men by far than all the brutal police officers over the same period. But most people just don’t care. If they cared one hundredth as much about athletes getting permanent brain damage for their Sunday (Monday, Thursday) TV viewing as they do about a single ugly incident where an overdosing lifetime petty crook died under the knee of a Minneapolis cop, there would be action. Not riots and take-overs of public property, but serious, effective action, including safety regulations.. Football would have to change, evolve, or vanish. The public and the media (and government officials) don’t care, and neither do the NFL executives. If Colin Kaepernick had performed his on-field protests against CTE, he would have been suspended and eliminated from the sport faster than Deion Sanders running for the goal line.

Talk about conspiracies….

1. False Narrative Dept. Now dishonest anti-Trump propaganda is showing up on Turner Classic Movies, which has been generally exemplary in avoiding partisan pandering over the last four years. Today, Eddie Muller, TCM’s film noir maven, pointedly showed the 1950 move “The Killer Who Slaked New York,” about a potential smallpox outbreak that was shut down by New York City health officials in 1947. Ultimately only 12 people were infected, and the threat was a single contagious smallpox victim who had to be found and contained. As you can see, this is a perfect analogy for the Wuhan virus outbreak in 2020. Noting that New York City quickly launched a mass vaccination effort (because there was already a smallpox vaccine, another close parallel), Eddie raised an accusing eyebrow and said,voice dripping with contempt, “That’s how we did things then.”

It’s Eddie’s show. I don’t think he should be fired or suspended. He’s welcome to his ignorant and obnoxious opinion. But he’s part of a disinformation campaign and an effort to distort reality, He’s also annoying TCM’s generally mature audience members who have been paying attention, and who presumably watch old movies to get a break from political BS, not to be subjected to more of it by movie nerds driving out of their lane.

Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Month: Glenn Greenwald

A republic

“Unleash this monster and one day it will come for you. And you’ll have no principle to credibly invoke in protest when it does. You’ll be left with nothing more than lame and craven pleading that your friends do not deserve the same treatment as your enemies. Force, not principle, will be the sole factor deciding the outcome. If you’re lucky enough to have important and famous media friends…you have a chance to survive it. Absent that, you have none.”

Glenn Greenwald, in his post on the attempted “canceling” of writer Will Wilkenson over a facetious tweet.

The “monster” Greenwald is referring to is mob anger and indignation, magnified by social media, and enabled by self-preservation and cowardice. His essay, titled “The Moronic Firing of Will Wilkinson Illustrates Why Fear and Bad Faith Mob Demands Reign Supreme,” was triggered by the recent firing of an intellectual I never heard of by a think tank I never heard of, as well as his looming dismissal by the New York Times. His “crime” was this tweet…

Willkerson tweet

…which a hoard of online cretins and power-hungry wastrels pounced upon, falsely calling it a call to do violence to the ex-Vice-President and thus mandating his public humiliation and rejection.

As Greenwald correctly concludes, no reasonably intelligent reader could think the tweet, posted the night of Joe Biden’s inauguration, was anything but a pointed joke. Extreme Trump supporters were furious with Pence for not taking action to reject the 2020 election results. Anti-Trump extremists wanted Pence to remove President Trump using the inapplicable 25th Amendment ploy, which he correctly refused to do (and could do constitutionally anyway.) Thus lunatics on both sides of the U.S. ideological divide could be unified in their anger and hatred toward Mike Pence, ironically making his mistreatment a potentially unifying act. Wilkinson rueful point was valid (if clumsily made), and he wasn’t personally advocating violence against Pence. But a wealthy hedge fund manager and large-money GOP donor, Gabe Hoffman, condemned the tweet which he claimed “call[ed] for former Vice President Mike Pence to be lynched.” Hoffman asked the New York Times, which employs Wilkinson as an opinion writer, to comment on its ” ‘contributing opinion writer’ calling for violence against a public official,” then tweeted to Wilkinson’s other employers, the Niskanen Center, a moderate public policy think tank, to pressure them as well. The Center quickly fired Wilkinson, while his fate with the Times hangs in the balance. A spokesperson for the paper told Fox News: “Advocating violence of any form, even in jest, is unacceptable and against the standards of The New York Times. We’re reassessing our relationship with Will Wilkinson.”

Naturally, as happens in 99% of these increasingly common episodes, the victim of the deliberate misunderstanding resorted to a grovelling apology, saying in part,

“Last night I made an error of judgment and tweeted this. It was sharp sarcasm, but looked like a call for violence. That’s always wrong, even as a joke. It was especially wrong at a moment when unity and peace are so critical. I’m deeply sorry and vow not to repeat the mistake. . . . [T]here was no excuse for putting the point the way I did. It was wrong, period.”

No, actually it didn’t look like a call for violence, and apologizing for something it wasn’t but was deliberately misrepresented as being for malicious purposes is far worse than the tweet itself.

Continue reading

For The “Scared Yet?” Files: Glenn Greenwald On Parler’s Take-Down

List of apps

Greenwald, who lost his own organization for insisting on fair reporting on the Hunter Biden scandal deliberately hidden from the public by the partisan media, has delivered an excellent account of what was done to Parler. This is why Ethics Alarms subscribes to his new platform, substack. He is one of that nearly extinct species, a journalist who reports the facts, wherever they may lead.

Of the attack on Parler, the surging alternative to Twitter, Greenwald writes in part,

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor…In October, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a 425-page report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all possess monopoly power and are using that power anti-competitively. For Apple, they emphasized the company’s control over iPhones through its control of access to the App Store….Parler learned that Google, without warning, had also “suspended” it from its Play Store, severely limiting the ability of users to download Parler onto Android phones. Google’s actions also meant that those using Parler on their Android phones would no longer receive necessary functionality and security updates….

Continue reading

The Hunter Biden Laptop Story Suppression

Hunter and Joe

When people—like me—say that the 2020 election was stolen, they are not necessarily claiming that mass voter fraud changed the winner. They—and I—are saying that our democracy was not allowed to work because of a de facto conspiracy of the Big Tech firms and the mainstream news media to withhold important information from the voting public that they not only had a need to know, they had a right to know, in order to make an informed decision at the voting booth, or, sadly, the mail box. This was a disinformation campaign of more than four years in duration, but the latest example has proven to be the most infuriating: the suppression, in the closing weeks of the campaign, of the news that suspicious emails pointing to extensive influence peddling by Joe Biden’s black sheep son had been found on a discarded laptop belonging to the younger Biden.

Because there is disinformation about what happened still being peddled in the comments here, I’m going to revisit the issue. It raised its hoary head again after it was announced—by Hunter, a convenient distance from the election— that the Justice Department was investigating him over “tax’ matters. This, it should be said, was more obfuscation and misdirection. The documents published by the NY Post the in the weeks before the election—and subsequently buried and discredited by the rest of the news media— contained information about that, but we now know the investigation has been far broader. We know because now that the election is over, and Biden safely elected, reporters are finally asking questions.

Politico reported Monday night that “The federal investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been more extensive than a statement from Hunter Biden indicates,” Specifically, “the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances”; “investigators in Delaware and Washington were also probing potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties”; and “federal authorities in the Western District of Pennsylvania are conducting a criminal investigation of a hospital business in which Joe Biden’s brother James was involved.” CNNs Shimon Prokupecz reported that “at least one of the matters investigators have examined is a 2017 gift of a 2.8-carat diamond that Hunter Biden received from CEFC [China Energy’]’s founder and former chairman Ye Jianming after a Miami business meeting.”

Incidentally, here is Politico’s stance before November 2:

Continue reading