Tag Archives: ignorance
Comment Of The Day: “Reluctant Additional Ethics Notes On A Manufactured Crisis: The Comey Firing Freakout”
It took Dan Rather to force me into this quagmire.
As you may have heard by now, the President was being interviewed and the topic of Andrew Jackson came up, the great, flawed, fascinating man who was the first populist President and who reshaped the Presidency and the American political system. Donald Trump quite logically identifies with Jackson, and if he can show half the governing skill and leadership abilities of Old Hickory, the U.S. will be ever in his debt. at one point, Trump said…
As we have seen again and again, if Donald Trump said that the sky was blue, pundits and journalist would erupt with indignation and mockery about the statement, because everyone knows that the sky isn’t blue, it just looks blue. This is the Left and “the resistance” telegraphing their complete abandonment of fairness, good will and proportion regarding the President of the United States. It is transparent, it is intellectually dishonest, and it is now boring and annoying, since it began more than a year ago. In this case, talking heads who know virtually nothing about Andrew Jackson were screaming on CNN about how “stupid” Trump’s statement was. At The Washington Post, Aaron Blake wrote in his essay, “Trump’s totally bizarre claim about avoiding the Civil War”:
Historians with more academic experience than Trump have indeed asked this question about the Civil War often… It’s generally assumed that a deal to avert the Civil War would have included concessions to Southern states having to do with their right to own slaves — the central dispute of the Civil War. Is Trump saying he would have been okay with a more partial or gradual phasing out of slavery? Was there really a deal to be cut on that front? Or does he think Jackson, a slave owner himself, would have convinced the South to abandon slavery immediately, somehow?
Ann Althouse nailed this one: if Trump’s question about the Civil War is so “bizarre,” how come historians have asked the question “often”?
The simple and ugly answer is to much of Left and the news media, what Trump says is presumptively stupid or sinister, even if others saying the exact same thing would be ruled reasonable and benign. (See: Loyalty Day)
But I am so tired of this game. Until a friend posted an attack on Trump’s statement by Dan Rather, I had decided to let this round pass. After Dan’s ignorant and biased take, I couldn’t stay on the sidelines.
He wrote on Facebook, the only forum regularly available to him because no legitimate news organization would sully its credibility by having a journalist who tried to influence a Presidential election by representing a forged document as authentic, and who still won’t admit that there was anything wrong with that…
I wanted to let this story go. I really did. I don’t want to be distracted from all the important things taking place. Where are we on the Russia investigation again?
But the sheer craziness of this obsession by Donald Trump with Andrew Jackson and the Civil War is a carnival act unlike anything I have ever seen at the White House. And not to let something drop, there is Mr. Trump on Twitter just recently pouring gasoline on the fires of his ignorance.
Never mind that Mr. Trump’s knowledge of American history seems below that of most gradeschoolers. Never mind that in many people’s view, Jackson is not exactly the kind of president, or man, you would want to hold up as an example. And never mind that there is an implicit criticism of arguably our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. (It reminds me of his slam against John McCain and how war heroes aren’t captured. Apparently great presidents don’t wage a war to keep the Union together).
These are the rantings of someone who really should be focused on the job of governing. Should we not conclude that he approaches policy decisions with the same half-baked conspiracies with which he apparently approaches history?
To be President of the United States is to part of the great American story. To not understand that story is to not understand the presidency. Maybe Frederick Douglass can give Mr. Trump some advice. Apparently, he’s “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more.”
This is a post that demonstrates Rather’s ignorance and poor reasoning, not President Trump’s. Continue reading
Incompetence Saturday Continues: Those News Stories About President Trump Claiming That Protesters Have No Right To Protest or Violated His Rights Are Fake News
This is also cross-filed under “Bias makes you stupid,” a file (and tag) now stuffed to overflowing by the anti-Trump-obsessed, members of “the resistance,” and journalists—but I repeat myself—who are meticulously destroying their credibility and trustworthiness with every manufactured outrage. (For an amusing related video, look here.)
Over at Popehat, First Amendment specialist lawyer/blogger Ken White dutifully defends the President from incompetent and biased reporting, not for the first time, regarding Nwanguma v. Trump, the case pending in federal court in Kentucky where plaintiffs, protesters at a March 1, 2016 Trump rally in Louisville, claim that Trump incited his fans to assault them. Writes Ken, in a statement that echos what has been written on Ethics Alarms many, many times:
“It is not necessary to make things up to paint him as censorious and uninformed about free speech values. Yet here we are again.”
He goes on…
Previously I lawsplained that no, a federal judge didn’t rule that Trump had incited violence, and no, it’s very misleading to say that one of the allegedly violent rally-goers sued Trump for inciting him to violence.
Now, says Ken ruefully, we are seeing stories like this one in Politico, headlined,
Trump lawyer: ‘No right’ to protest at rallies
(The similar headline over my post comes from Charles Johnson, the blogger who exposed Dan Rather’s attempt to use a forged letter in a CBS News report, essentially ending Rather’s career as a legitimate journalist)
This, Ken explains, is untrue. This, Jack explains, is also fake news. Continue reading
“Of course I think he’s been blackballed, obviously. Maybe the players agree that there’s a place for politics in sports, but I don’t think the teams, or the organization, or even the fans believe there’s a place for politics in sports. I think people want you to do your job and shut up — score a touchdown, dunk a basketball, hit a home run and call it a day. We’ll buy your jersey, and that’s it.”
—-Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, speaking about the current fate of ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unsigned after spending much of last season refusing to stand for the National Anthem because the United States “oppresses black people and people of color.” Bennett’s comments came during an event at the artsy social justice warrior hang-out Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.
It’s an admittedly perverse selection for the ethics quote designation, since Bennett meant the statement as criticism. He went on to say that he endorses professional athletes taking pubic stands on social issues to “inspire others” to engage in mass action and demonstration. The 31-year-old defensive end, who makes about 10 million dollars a year, drew attention to himself in February when he opted out of an Israeli-government-sponsored trip to register his pro-Palestinian views, as if he actually knows enough the 80-year-old conflict to intelligently protest anything. This is about par for the course in the field of professional athlete off-the-field grandstanding.
Bennett was correct in his rueful description of the state of the culture, however. There is no place for politics in sport. Sport is entertainment, and fans follow sports to escape real world problems, not to be lectured on them by pseudo-educated celebrities with neither the training, skills or expertise to justify the giant megaphone celebrity affords them. Kaepernick’s stunt created a media circus around his struggling team, the San Francisco 49’ers, distracted its management fans and players, and cost the NFL viewers and advertising revenues. Since he was unable to articulate an intelligent rationale for his protest, it was also useless. Naturally, Kaepernick was cheered by the Left, and defended by many journalists as well as athletes who think their physical gifts should entitle them to social influence they don’t deserve. Continue reading
I used to watch Bill Maher regularly during his Comedy Central days, before he decided he was such an insightful political pundit that he could afford to eschew comedy and just engage in full-time conservative and Republican smearing. On his HBO show Bill is only useful now to remind us of the ugliest tendencies of the Young Angry Left, as Maher will engage in such “comedy” as calling Sarah Palin a cunt, while his audience of fawning dim bulbs clap and bark like hyper-active seals. All Maher does is try to fan the flames of societal division and hate, and HBO is apparently satisfied with that, since there are enough progressive fans of societal division and hate that being funny isn’t deemed essential. Maher’s weekly partyist ranting has even spawned imitators on other networks, like Samantha Bee and John Oliver. Both are funnier than Bill.
Still, millions of people see this poison and spread it around the internet, so I guess it’s past time to point out how Maher is either ignorant or determined to spread stupidity via confirmation bias. We can stipulate that he’s no longer funny, and seldom even attempts to be.
At the end of last week the latest episode of “Bill Foams At the Mouth” debuted, with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch the primary object of Bill’s wrath, I mean “wit.” He began with his monologue.
If anyone senses a joke, raise your hand.
“I don’t know why you’d be happy today. Today is a day Republicans are happy. They got their two favorite things — a right-wing asshole on the Supreme Court and Trump finally blowing some shit up.”
- Bill assumes that only one side of the political divide watches him. He’s right, but it’s not healthy for the culture, and he’s one of the reasons comedy and the arts now divide rather than unite us.
- Maher calls a dedicated jurist and legal scholar an “asshole” simply because he’s conservative. This is bigotry. Denigrating, stereotyping and demonizing whole categories of people based on their priority of values is no different ethically from denigrating them based on their religion or ethnicity. It’s unfair, disrespectful, irresponsible and undemocratic.
- Did you raise your hand? Maher, a professional comedian, gets laughs by using words like shit, asshole, and cunt. There was a guy I knew named Larry who did that quite successfully too.
Of course, we were in the 5th grade…
Then Maher, as usual, moved on to calling Republicans racists.
In 2013, 98 Republicans signed a letter saying bombing Syria in response to a chemical attack was unconstitutional without congressional authorization. But this is different because Obama was President then. That would have involved bombing while black, and you can’t — can’t do that.
In the wake of the embarrassment and the exposure of President Obama by President Trump’s decisive handling of an issue that his predecessor made into a trademark display of his weakness, fecklessness and dithering, the desperate Obama Fan Club has virtually made Maher’s spin a talking point. Almost all media accounts bolstering their narrative leave out the actual sequence of events, which was… Continue reading