IIPTDXTTNMIAFB is Ethics Alarmseese for “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden.” I could probably feature such stories every day, but that would be as boring as these episodes are infuriating. They all come under the sub-heading of “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias,” which I could justifiably update to “Nah, the mainstream news media didn’t steal the Presidency for Joe Biden.”
This one was so egregious that the AP even did a “factcheck”, but muted its description so absurdly that it is a perfect IIPTDXTTNMIAFB.
You see, President Biden said, in a CNN town meeting during which he periodically babbled incoherently, “If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the IC unit, and you’re not going to die…You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.”
That is a lie. It’s a lie because it is demonstrably false, and like so much else involving the pandemic, it is deliberate misinformation to manipulate the public. The Democrats, after all, fervently believe that the ends justify the means in all things. Apparently the truth, which the Biden Administration knows and thus its head is responsible for knowing, just isn’t good enough to move the herd along as its masters desire, so the strategy is to lie.
The 2021 All-Star Game was played in Denver last night because Major league Baseball allowed race-huckster Stacy Abrams to bluff the sport into punishing Atlanta and Georgia for passing a completely reasonable law shoring up the integrity of elections—a matter MLB has exactly no business involving itself in whatsoever. The day before, MLB announced that it was committing up to $150 million to the Players Alliance, a nonprofit organization formed last year and composed of active and former major league players “aiming to build more equitable systems in baseball and increase Black representation throughout the sport.”
This is more flashy virtue-signalling with a dubious nexus to the issue at hand. The money will go toward various programs, including those to support baseball in public and city schools as well as educational grants, scholarships and additional services to the Black community. Other programs will be aimed at increasing black youth participation in baseball as well as funding leagues, equipment, tournaments, clinics and other playground activities, and that’s all, as they say, well and good.
But the precipitous decline in African American participation in the National Pastime, as first discussed here in this post on the same day as MLB’s announcement, like a lot of alleged “inequities,” may have its roots in the culture of black America rather than any “systemic” biases. To quote myself: “[B]aseball is the most diverse of the professional sports, but the number of black players has declined significantly. African American participation in the majors peaked at 19% in 1986, but on opening day 2021 the figure was just 7.6%.” I foolishly passed along the conventional (or official) wisdom about why this might be so: baseball is more expensive than the other major sports to start playing because of the equipment, and colleges hand out far more scholarship money for football and basketball.
I wish it were my analysis, although every component of it (I think) has been covered here in the past, most of them several times.
One of those elements is the complete betrayal of the American public and our democracy by the news media. President Trump was excoriated and condemned for his pronouncement of the mainstream media as the”enemy of the people,” typical meat-axe rhetoric for him in an area that calls for more nuance and restraint by a President, but he was generally right, and Ethics Alarms declared him so. Similarly, he decried the weaponization of “fake news,” an accusation which was undeniable, yet people of good will and intelligence (well, they were once anyway) denied it, no matter how many instances occurred before or afterwards.
Last week a Rasmussen poll—it’s a conservative outfit: the other pollsters wouldn’t dare ask the questions—reported that 58% of likely voters agree with the “enemy of the people” assessment. It’s amazing and disturbing that the figure isn’t much higher. Who are the 23% who told Rasmussen they “strongly disagreed” with that description? What are they? Idiots? Saboteurs? Relatives of journalists? Or just progressives covering for their allies in a hostile takeover of the culture and nation?
But as I said, this was just one element. The tweeted epic by “Martymade,” apparently a podcaster whose real name is Daryl Cooper, covers far more than that. He wrote this in a series of 36 tweets on July 8, making it essentially unreadable by people like me (especially people like me who have quit Twitter), but managed to “go viral” nonetheless. Tucker Carlson read it all on Fox, but of course it’s not Fox News viewers who need to consider the analysis, but everyone else.
Here is the whole thing, made possible by an innovative new app called Threadreader. It is long, but it needs to be long. It is also clear, and true; I cleaned it up a little for readers here:
As you can see in the chart above, a report released by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford and the University of Oxford found that out of 46 nations surveyed the US public ranks last in its trust of the news media at 29%. The study surveyed 92,000 news consumers in those countries. Finland finished first with a trust rate of 65%.
I doubt that Finland’s journalists deserve that much more trust, which is one reason the report is good news for the United States. I think it is highly likely that the journalists everywhere else suffer from the same arrogance, relative lack of intellectual depth, and hive-mind leanings as U.S. journalists. I think that the U.S. public’s lack of trust shows growing and essential understanding of the true nature of what has become a corrupt and dangerous false profession that does not serve the interests of the people as it is pledged to according to journalistic ethics, but its own. Nor do I believe the U.S. has the worst and most unethical journalists in the world—far from it, I suspect. The U.S. has the journalists with the most freedom, making it especially easy to do their job as dishonestly as they do; yet unlike in many of those nations, their government isn’t forcing American journalists to substitute spin, distortion and propaganda for the truth.
The U.S. public has, finally, had its blinders ripped off, and is no longer under the delusion that they are being informed by altruistic and dedicated pros who only seek to reveal the facts necessary for us to live our lives as we choose to. Knowledge is power, and while our news media is wielding their control over knowledge to transfer power to their political allies, the public, at least most of it, has acquired crucial knowledge to neutralize it: the knowledge that that are not trustworthy.
Unfortunately, the bad news aspect of the study’s finding is arguably worse than the good news is encouraging. Democracy cannot function without a trustworthy news media, or as the Founders called it, “press.” Journalism rot is an existential threat.
When President Trump claims the election was stolen, this is the kind of thing he should focus on.
The U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General released its findings after investigating law enforcement’s actions on June 1 of 2020, when police removed protesters from Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., ahead of President Donald Trump walk to St. John’s Church, after “peaceful protesters” had set it aflame. The authorities made the decision to clear out the park in order to install fencing amid ongoing rioting in the area following the death of George Floyd, the investigation determined, and not for to give Trump a photo op, as the news media furiously reported. Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt’s thorough and detailed report concludes,
“We found that the USPP had the authority and discretion to clear Lafayette Park and the surrounding areas on June 1. The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church.”
Oh! That’s funny…at the time, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos reported that “The administration asked police to clear peaceful protesters from the park across the White House so that the President could stage a photo op.” “Reported” means it’s factual, right? ABC checked it out, it didn’t just follow what protesters said and the DNC told them to say, right? Just like NPR‘s headline “Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op” had to be based on solid facts and objective reporting, or it would have said “allegedly” or “some say,” correct? The New York Times–you know, the best of the best?—would never have printed “Protesters Dispersed With Tear Gas So Trump Could Pose at Church” if it wasn’t true, isn’t that how the “paper of record” is supposed to work? In a widely circulated video, a man interviewed on the scene said, “To me, the way our military and police have behaved toward the protesters at the instruction of President Trump has almost been Nazi-like.” Perfect!
Then, handed a false narrative, another Big Lie to run with, Democrats didn’t disappoint. Here’s Joe Biden or his ventriloquist:
Here is the NBC News headline: “The state of Alabama took his gun away. When authorities gave it back, he shot and killed his wife.” Here is the sub-head: “Alabama authorities took his gun away after a violent domestic incident. Nine months later they gave it back, and he used it to shoot and kill his wife.”
And this is what readers don’t learn until, (let’s see) 17 paragraphs into the story:
“On the night of Feb. 23, 2019, [Megan] Montgomery and [Jason] McIntosh got into a physical altercation at their home. Fellow officers from McIntosh’s department responded to a 911 call from McIntosh, who reported that Montgomery had a gunshot wound. According to the responding officers, Montgomery said she had grabbed McIntosh’s duty weapon with her right hand for her own protection. The two began to struggle for the weapon. Montgomery, 5’8″ and 135 pounds, was shot in her upper right arm. McIntosh, 6’4” and 225 pounds, told the responding officers that during the struggle he thought Montgomery had his cell phone in her hand. According to the report, McIntosh said it was only when the gun went off and the bullet hit his wife that he realized they’d been fighting over a gun. Because McIntosh was a police officer, the head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) ordered Special Agent Vince Cunningham to investigate the incident….Cunningham took McIntosh’s firearm as evidence. He interviewed Montgomery on Feb. 26, 2019. She told him that during the incident “she was afraid,” according to the investigative summary written by Cunningham…The ALEA summary says that when Montgomery was asked if the shooting was an accident, she said yes. The summary also says that the officer who took Montgomery to the emergency room told Cunningham that when doctors asked Montgomery what happened, she told them, “He shot me.”….The district attorney did not file charges, concluding in a letter there was “no evidence of the commission of any felony offenses by either Mr. Mcintosh or Ms. Montgomery.” The DA left open the possibility that the City of Hoover could file a misdemeanor offense against either one of them. That never happened. Meanwhile, McIntosh was repeatedly texting ALEA Special Agent Cunningham asking to get his gun back, according to documentation reviewed by NBC News. McIntosh claimed he needed the gun to get a new private security job….Though he had used it as a duty weapon with the Hoover Police Department, the gun was his personal property.”
That is all material information necessary to understanding the tragic incident, isn’t it? Indeed, if the story is really intended to let readers know what happened and why, that part of the story needed to be part of the narrative, right at the beginning. Instead, the reporters set out to spin the facts to maximize anti-gun rights sentiment. An estranged wife with a history of physical altercations with her husband was shot and killed by him after an earlier incident involving his gun, after she had filed for divorce, after a restraining order, and after he had been given his gun back by the backwards state of Alabama. Outrageous! How could that happen?
1. When ethics alarms were never installed...The question here is not whether this was unethical. Of course it was. The question is how such an episode could happen anywhere in this country. Eight high school football coaches at McKinley Senior High School in Canton, Ohio have been placed on paid leave after apparently forcing a 17-year-old player, a Hebrew Israelite whose faith forbids the consumption of pork, to eat a pepperoni pizza in front of the team as punishment for skipping a practice. The family is suing the school district for violating the student’s First Amendment rights.
The head football coach, Marcus Wattley, allegedly told the boy that if he didn’t eat the pizza, his team mates would be punished. I don’t comprehend this. How can someone live in the U.S. and think forcing a child to violate his faith is anything but abuse? How does someone like Wattley get hired by a public school and entrusted with the welfare of children? Why would any high school have eight assistant football coaches?
If the facts are confirmed in an investigation, more than the coaches should be fired and, one hopes, prosecuted. The principal and other administrators should also be canned. [Pointer: JutGory]
2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias…The dozens of ways the mainstream media warps the news and manipulates public opinion becomes oppressive once you are sensitized to it. The headline in the Times two days ago, for example, was “GOP Challenges Teaching of Racism’s Scope.” That headline presumes as fact that “Critical Race Theory” and the “1619 Project” fairly and accurately convey “racism’s scope.” “GOP Challenges What It Calls Anti-White, Anti-America Indoctrination In the Schools” would be a neutral headline. Later in the same article, the news story refers to President Trump’s “racist comments, ” which is just a continuation of a narrative build on a media-fueled Big Lie. President Trump made many insensitive, provocative and politically incorrect comments. None were “racist.”
It will be interesting to see if the news media discusses the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 any more this May 31 than it has in the past. Discussing this horrible mass murder of blacks in Oklahoma over Memorial Day weekend has always been seen as sufficiently tasteless that the story has suffered the equivalent of a historical airbrushing. When did you first learn about it? I didn’t encounter the episode in elementary school, high school, college or law school. I was 50, and furiously researching the life of Clarence Darrow so I could churn out a one man show (that was already in rehearsal) after Leslie Nielsen pulled the rights we had paid for on the Darrow show performed on Broadway by Henry Fonda. I was looking for the context of Darrow’s epic closing argument in the Sweet case (1925), in which he referenced examples of white mob violence against blacks. That was my introduction to the tragedy. How was this possible? I was and am a voracious consumer of American history, movies, and television. Yet the facts of the Tulsa Race Massacre never entered my consciousness.
Here’s one useful resource…there are many others available online. A brief summary: After World War I, Tulsa’s African American community was notable for its affluence. The Greenwood District was known as “Black Wall Street.”But on May 30, 1921, an incident between a white woman and a black man on an elevator—nobody knows exactly what happened—was reported in the Tulsa newspapers as an attempted rape. The young African-American, Dick Rowland, had been arrested, and members of the community believed that he might be lynched. When an angry white mob gathered in front of the courthouse, a group of over 70 back men, some of them World War I veterans with weapons, confronted them. A gun went off in a struggled, and chaos descended on Greenwood. A white mob of thousands overran the Greenwood District, shooting unarmed black citizens in the streets. It burned an area of some 35 city blocks, and more than 1,200 houses, numerous businesses, a school, a hospital and a dozen churches. It is estimated that 300 people were killed in the rampage, though official counts at the time were much lower. 300 is the same death toll as the 1871 Chicago fire. I knew about that tragedy by the time I was 8.
1. IIPTDXTTNMIAFB! That’s short for “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden…”, introduced here. The current example: during a speech at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Langley,Virginia two days ago, President Biden began spontaneously complimenting a pre-teen girl who had joined her parents and two older brothers on the stage after her mother had introduced Biden to the crowd. Biden said, inappropriately and creepily, “ I love those barrettes in your hair, man. I tell you what, look at her. She looks like she’s 19 years old sitting there like a little lady with her legs crossed.” Republicans pounced, as the MSM cliche goes whenever Democrats are legitimately criticized. The episode was barely mentioned by the media dedicated to propping up Biden—that is, almost all of it—at all. IIPTDXTTNMIAFB…and President Trump didn’t even have a photographically preserved series of encounters like this:
2. AHHHH! It’s a virus ! Get a gun!!! The headline on the front page of the NYT website yesterday read, “Pandemic Fuels Surge in U.S. Gun Sales ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen.'” Incredible. People bought guns for the first time because rioting was going on all over the country, and in many places the police were doing little or nothing to stop it. Buildings were burning and being looted; citizens were being threatened. Who gets a gun to fight a pandemic? (There was never any threat of the kind of civic breakdown from the virus like that portrayed in the movie “Contagion.” Toilet paper riots?)
The degree to which the Times—the “paper of record’!—continues to distort reality to mislead the public and warp public opinion is astounding. Later in the same article, the Times said, “While gun sales have been climbing for decades — they often spike in election years and after high-profile crimes — Americans have been on an unusual, prolonged buying spree fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, the protests last summer and the fears they both stoked.”
Just as it is hypocritical in the extreme for any journalist, and certainly CNN, to tut-tut at Chris Cuomo for behaving exactly as biased, partisan, unethical and dead ethics-alarmed journalists do, it is absurd and self-defeating for alleged critics of our ethics-free journalism to stomp on Cuomo as if he did anything anyone paying attention should have known he would do without a second thought. (I assumed that the clip from “Casablanca” would make that sufficiently obvious. Guess not.)
The point is not to claim that Cuomo advising his high elected official brother in an official, if private, meeting of his aides is what an ethical journalist can or should do. Of course an ethical journalist shouldn’t do it. The point is that there are no ethical journalists; the journalism “profession”—the quotes are because professionals must be trustworthy, and anyone who trusts today’s fake journalists is a sucker—no longer has any ethical standards. Therefore a member of the “profession” who violates what are already dead letters cannot be said to have breached any “norm;” and we should not allow phony criticism of Cuomo to delude us into thinking otherwise.
CNN’s most unethical, incompetent and dumbest journalist—yes, yes, I keep telling you, even worse than Don Lemon!— is once again in trouble, and once again it’s because of his conflict of interest in matters involving his brother, besieged New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Chris advised Andrew and senior members of his brother’s staff on how to respond to the sexual harassment allegations made earlier this year by various women, in a series of conference calls including the Democratic governor, his top aide, his communications team, lawyers and a number of outside advisers. It doesn’t matter what Chris’s advice was; you can read the Washington Post story if you’re interested, but that’s irrelevant to the ethics issue. First, anyone who would take the advice of a boob like Chris Cuomo on anything needs to have his mittens connected up through his sleeves, and second, the problem is that Chris was involved in the discussions at all, even if all he did was blow spit bubbles.
Journalists are ethically obligated to be objective reporters of the news, not participants in it, assuming journalists today even know or care what their professional ethics rules are. Chris Cuomo clearly doesn’t: he made that clear by repeatedly interviewing his brother on CNN, tossing him softball questions, and basically serving as his brother’s PR flack. The network let him do it, because it meant good ratings and “fun” TV.