From Greenwald, A “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Spectacular!

Glenn Greenwald has become, unexpectedly, one of the prime journalist whistle-blowers who are finally accusing the mainstream media of becoming partisan propaganda agents and public deceivers. Yesterday he delivered one of his most direct and broadest indictments yet, beginning with a rogues’ gallery of some of the worst offenders:

Tawdry propagandists who helped drive post-9/11 America into a bottomless pit of lies and self-destruction have become the most highly-paid and beloved stars of liberal media. They include:

  • Former Bush White House speechwriter David Frum of The Atlantic and CNN;

  • Bush/Cheney CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden of CNN;

  • Ubiquitous amoral neocon warmonger Bill Kristol of MSNBC and various #NeverTrump groups;

  • Al-Qaeda/Saddam conspiracy theorist Jeffrey Goldberg, now editor-in-chief of The Atlantic;

  • The various scumbags, con artists, predator-protectors and fraudsters of the Lincoln Project, drowning in #Resistance cash and frequent MSNBC appearances;

  • Pro-war Florida GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, now a multi-million host of MSNBC’s flagship morning show and anchor of its corporate brand; and,

  • Rep. Liz Cheney, long-time vocal supporter of her father and now a literal “hero” to American media liberals.

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A “Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” Pop Quiz (Don’t Worry, It’s Easy): What’s Unethical About This NYT Quote?

Here is a paragraph from yesterday’s news article by reporter Jonathan Weisman in the New York Times:

In Missouri, Georgia, Ohio and now Nebraska, Republican men running for high office face significant allegations of domestic violence, stalking, even sexual assault — accusations that once would have derailed any run for office. But in an era of Republican politics when Donald J. Trump could survive and thrive amid accusations of sexual assault, opposing candidates are finding little traction in dwelling on the issues…

Now think about that for 30 seconds. What’s missing? Cue the thinking music…

Ready? Got the answer? Continue reading

“Nah, There’s No Mainstream Media Bias!” CNN Headlines Progressive Disinformation As Fact (Again)

This screenshot, which is really from MSNBC, isn’t directly related to the post but certainly relevant, and besides, I couldn’t resist…

Usually when I see things like the CNN banner that I am about to discuss, I mentally file them away for the next warm-up, round-up, potpourri or whatever. Then I forget about them. This item annoyed me sufficiently that I’m preserving it on the record before I forget.

Rounding the news channels in desperate hope of finding any discussing something other than Ukraine or Will Smith, I saw this full caption under a report on CNN: Ala. Governor Signs “Don’t Say Gay” Bill.” This is the network Chris Wallace fled to because Fox News “question[ed] the truth”?

Here’s the bill. The word “gay” isn’t mentioned. Nothing in it contains an edict about “not saying” anything. Like the Florida law it resembles, all the law does (besides the reasonable requirement that students should use the bathroom designated for the sex that is on their birth certificates) is direct teachers not to cover the issue of sexual orientation or gender identity “to students in kindergarten through the fifth grade at a public K-12 school” or “in
a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” Terming that bill “Don’t Say Gay” is a flat-out adoption by the news media of a false characterization created by LGBTQ activists. It is per se partisan and political.

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From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: Brian Stelter’s Response To A Question About CNN’s Bias And Dishonest Journalism

There is a lot to mock regarding University of Chicago’s “Conference on Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy,” dominated by Democrats, who are determined to continue eroding democracy in ways that will increase and guarantee the party’s power, and their allies in the mainstream media, or “the mainstream media” for short. The Federalist has one of many deft take-downs here, though it is a bit like shooting genetically-altered fish born with targets on their sides in a barrel.

To the event’s credit however, it has permitted University of Chicago students to ask questions that exposed the hypocrisy of the partisan exercise, as in the Anne Applebaum video clip I embedded here. This exchange was even better, as another student took aim at CNN’s fake media watchdog, the revolting and incompetent Brian Stelter.

Stelter has as much business as a featured authority in a conference on fighting “disinformation” as China has on the U.N. Human Rights Committee, The setting was a panel on “How Media Platforms Shape Consumer Realities,” , featuring moderator Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times (This tells you all you need to know about his perspective), The Dispatch’s Stephen Hayes, Lauren Williams of Capital B, and Stelter. His perambulations to avoid dealing with the substance of the question were the stuff of “Monty Python” satire:

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Evening Clean-Up On The Ethics Aisle, 4/7/2022: “Yecchh!”

April 7 is a really bad ethics date. In 1994, the worst episode of genocide since World War II was triggered in Rawanda, resulting in the massacre of between 500,000 to 1 million civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Rwandan forces even managed to avoid significant international intervention after the murder of ten Belgian peacekeeping officers: the Tutsis, a minority population that made up about 10% of Rwanda’s population, were never deemed important enough to be rescued by the international community. (Yes, the United Nations has been fearful, negligent, and in this case, racist, for a long time now.) The U.N. did eventually admit that a mere 5,000 soldier peace keeping force could have stopped the slaughter at the start.

That was big of the U.N.

Let’s send them more money.

The genocide’s seeds were planted the early 1990s when President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, began using anti-Tutsi rhetoric to consolidate his power . What followed were several massacres, killing hundreds of Tutsis. The government and army assembled the “Interahamwe” (meaning “those who attack together”) and armed Hutus with guns and machetes for the explicit purpose of wiping the Tutsis out. On April 6, 1994, President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down. In response, Hutu extremists in the military began murdering Tutsis within hours. Belgian peacekeepers were killed the next day, and the U.N’s reaction was…

It bravely pulled its forces from Rwanda. Thousands of innocent people were hacked to death with machetes by their neighbors, but the international community, and notably the United States, took no action to stop the genocide. An estimated 75 % of the Tutsis living in Rwanda had been murdered. Bill Clinton later called America’s failure to intervene “the biggest regret” of his administration.

At least it beat out Monica.

1. They are still trying to excuse Will Smith and blame Chris Rock! Surprised? There were two additions to the canon today. The New York Times featured an absurd piece called “The Slap, Hair and Black Women.” A sample: Continue reading

Tuesday Ethics Afterthoughts, 3/29/2022: A Cheat Sheet, Mask Mayhem, And More

(THERE IS NO GOOD GRAPHIC FOR “AFTERTHOUGHTS”)

The 29th is another of those ill-starred days in U.S. ethics, topped off in 1973 by the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the half-way war that was an ethics train wreck for decades. Two years earlier, on the same date, Lt. William L. Calley was found guilty of premeditated murder by a U.S. Army court-martial at Fort Benning, Georgia. Calley, a platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians including women and children on March 16, 1968. Ten years before Calley’s conviction, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. They were executed in 1953, a flashpoint in the schism between the American Left and Right that still is a sore point. (Ethel appears to have been a genuine villain.)

1. I thought this was a hoax. It’s not, unfortunately: someone got a photo of the cheat cheat for “talking points” that President Biden was holding when he massacred his explanation for his Russian regime change outburst in an exchange with Peter Doocy.

This does not fill me with confidence. You? The ethical value at issue is competence.

2. The propaganda and misinformation continues. Though some recently departed here could never grasp it, honest and trustworthy newspapers shouldn’t be publishing falsity and partisan propaganda in house opinion pieces. That’s when the opinion is offered using misleading or incomplete facts—deceit–and the New York Times does it almost every day. I can’t trust a group of editors who permit that. Examples:

It’s incredible how quickly we’ve normalized the fact that the last president tried to retain power despite losing the election and that a mob he incited stormed the Capitol. Many people took part in the effort to overturn the election — among them, we recently learned, the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice, who hasn’t even recused himself in cases about the attempted coup.

The President in question wanted to challenge the results of an election he believed was the result of illegal manipulation, and as President, he had a duty to do that. I know Krugman isn’t a lawyer, but incitement is a term of art and a crime, and Trump did not “incite a mob” by addressing a crowd. Saying Justice Thomas “hasn’t even” recused himself because of the completely legal communications of his wife falsely implies that doing so is required or the justification for him to do so is undeniable. It isn’t. Editors should not allow such deliberately confusing and misleading opinion material Continue reading

Go Ahead, I Dare You, I Dare Anyone: Explain The Contrast Between The New York Times Reaction To The Jackson Hearings With Its Response To The Kavanaugh Hearings As Anything But Blatant Partisan Bias

I’ll admit it: I prepared for this yesterday. I’ll also confess that I post it in part to metaphorically rub the noses of the obstinate New York Times defenders who might visit here in their destructive denials of what is, daily, right in front of their noses.

As I knew it would as surely as I knew the Republican Senators would not do the ethical and statesmanlike thing and be polite, perfunctory and non-confrontational in their examination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, I knew that whatever they did would be attacked by the Times and mainstream news media as racist and hyper-partisan. Thus I tracked down the Times’ story following Justice Kanaugh’s confirmation, from October 6, 2018. You can read it here: Half of the focus was on the fact that his confirmation made the Court dangerously conservative, and not on the Democrats’ despicable smearing of the nominee with a contrived accusation of sexual assault (that supposedly occurred before he attended college or law school, much less before he was a judge).

The other half concentrated on Kavanaugh’s angry attack on the authors of this character assassination attempt, which, sayeth the Times and the anti-Kavanaugh partisan professors it chose to interview, raised questions about his “judicial temperament.” This was the most disgraceful treatment of any Supreme Court nominee ever, before or since, yet no hint of that verdict appeared in the Times.

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The New York Times Scandal Regarding The Mainstream Media’s Cover-Up Of The Hunter Biden Laptop Story Is Bigger Than The Laptop Story Itself

And, dammit, I don’t have the energy or clarity of mind to cover it properly right now.

I hate using clips and cuts from other sources to examine ethics stories, though it is a common technique around the web, perhaps the most common technique. I can do better, but as I have noted here several times of late, I’m shot full of pain-killers and antibiotics, and have approximately the mental acuity of Joe Biden along with the energy deficits of the United States, so I’m reduced to something less than my preferred methodology. Still, attention must be paid. As recently as last week, several counter-“echo chamber warriors were still making the absurd claim that the New York Times was not the outrageously biased Democratic Party propaganda organ it so clearly is, an assertion that literally requires that one stick fingers in both ears and hum like mic having a feedback crisis.

On March 17, the New York Times admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop report was accurate and genuine, more than a year after it allowed the Biden disinformation machine to falsely claim it was all “Russian disinformation.” This prompted a rare (but delicious editorial by the New York Post, which broke the story on October 14, 2020, while the 2020 Presidential election was up for grabs and got itself banned from social media for printing the truth. The Post’s victory lap said in part,

Forgive the profanity, but you have got to be s–tting us.

First, the New York Times decides more than a year later that Hunter Biden’s business woes are worthy of a story. Then, deep in the piece, in passing, it notes that Hunter’s laptop is legitimate.

“People familiar with the investigation said prosecutors had examined emails between Mr. Biden, Mr. Archer and others about Burisma and other foreign business activity,” the Times writes. “Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop. The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.”

Authenticated!!! You don’t say. You mean, when a newspaper actually does reporting on a topic and doesn’t just try to whitewash coverage for Joe Biden, it discovers it’s actually true?

But wait, it doesn’t end there. In October 2020, the Times cast doubt that there was a meeting between Joe Biden and an official from Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company for which Hunter was a board member.  “A Biden campaign spokesman said Mr. Biden’s official schedules did not show a meeting between the two men,” the Times wrote, acting as a perfect stenographer. Yet in the latest report, published Wednesday night, the Times said the meeting likely did happen. Biden had attended the dinner in question. Funny how this works when you don’t just take someone’s word for it.

In the heat of the presidential race of 2020, the Times never missed a chance to cast doubt on the laptop, saying the information was “purported” and quoting a letter from former Democratic officials who claimed — with no evidence — that it was Russian disinformation. As recently as September 2021, the Times called the laptop “unsubstantiated” in a news story.

Why was it unsubstantiated? Because of willful ignorance and the Times’ curious lack of curiosity. Hunter’s business partner Tony Bobulinski came forward immediately after The Post’s reports and confirmed that the emails bearing his name were legitimate. The Bidens didn’t even deny it was true! They just deflected, with the media’s help, saying it was a dirty trick or not a story. Mostly, the press just ignored it.Now we’re 16 months away from the 2020 election, Joe Biden’s safely in the White House, and the Times finally decides to report on the news rather than carry the Biden campaign’s water. And they find that hey, Hunter Biden’s business interests benefited from Joe Biden’s political status to a suspicious degree. Perhaps this is a topic worthy of examination.

How did the Times “authenticate” the laptop? It doesn’t say. Unlike The Post’s reporting, which detailed exactly how we got the files and where they came from, the Times does a hand wave to anonymous sources. No facts have changed since fall 2020. They knew the laptop was real from the start. They just didn’t want to say so….

Twitter banned us for supposedly publishing “hacked materials” that weren’t hacked. The company’s CEO apologized, but by that point, they had accomplished what they wanted. Like the Times, they cast enough doubt to avoid making their preferred candidate look bad.

Readers of the Times have discovered in March 2022 that Hunter Biden pursued business deals in Europe and Asia, and may have leveraged his father’s position as vice president to do it. Hunter also may not have properly registered with the government or declared all his income. All legitimate topics of discussion about a presidential candidate’s family, no?

The NY Post’s obvious bitterness should be matched by that of fair, civically competent, objective citizens who don’t like the idea of elections being stolen and the public having the metaphorical wool pulled over its eyes. Continue reading

The Quest For The Perfect IIPTDXTTNMIAFB Continues, And Joe May Have Given Us A Winner!

The issue is mainstream news media double standards, which are unethical in general and especially revolting in the news media’s protective stance toward President Biden no matter how badly he screws up in contrast to its coverage of Donald Trump, who could literally do no right in their jaundiced eyes. Yesterday Biden handed the news media a flaming IIPTDXTTNMIAFB, the convenient Ethics Alarms initials for “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden.”

One of the most damaging and despicable Big Lies pushed relentlessly by the “resistance”/Democratic Party/ MSM alliance from the moment Trump was elected in 2016 was that he was a racist. If you asked an adherent of this slander to name any evidence, the “best” they could come up with was inevitably that Trump had vocally embraced the Birther smear about Barack Obama. But this only stands as proof that Trump is an asshole and a troll, about which there has never been any doubt. He made similar claims about Ted Cruz in order to derail his efforts to beat Trump for the 2016 GOP nomination. Trump plays dirty against all rivals. He’s an equal opportunity jerk, but he’s not a racist (or a white supremacist, a related Big Lie).

But the idea of planting these idea was “priming”: make sure “Trump is a racist” is sitting around rotting in the brains of gullible Americans, and let confirmation bias do the rest. So imagine if Trump had ever looked out over a Fort Worth, Texas, crowd at a VA clinic, and, referring to three Texas members of Congress who looked like Rep. Colin Allred (D), Rep. Marc Veasey (D), and Rep. Jake Ellzey (R) (above) who were in attendance, said,

“The three congressman you have here, two of them look like they really could and did play ball, and the other one looks like he can bomb you.”

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“Democracy Dies In Dickness”*: The Washington Post’s Racism

This article in the Washington Post yesterday, authored by two “reports of color,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., a White House reporter for the Post, and Marianna Sotomayor (no relation to that other Sotomayor) who now covers the House of Representatives for the Post after coming over from NBC, gained quite a bit of notice from the conservative news media (and none at all from the much larger other side, for this passage when it was first published:

 
 
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Nice! The two post reporters managed to insult Thomas by reducing his legal opinions to knee-jerk bias, and to attack conservatives based on their race. The obvious rejoinder to this slur would be whether the Post would tolerate an article that criticized, say, Justice Kagan as issuing opinions that are in lockstep with the advocacy of “black progressives.” What does race have to do with either observation, the actual one or the hypothetical reverse negative?

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