And The Shackles Tighten: Weaponizing Accreditation For Ideological Conformity

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) has voted to downgrade the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media to “provisional accreditation” status. Why? ACEJMC felt that the school’s commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) was less than robust after journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones turned down a tenured position there. A controversy over her hiring arose in 2021 when  Hannah-Jones was offered the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, but only as a five-year contract position instead of tenure. Then, after her supporters forced the trustees to offer tenure by accusing them of racism—it always works! —Hannah-Jones rejected the school to take a tenured position at Howard University.

“[T]he UNC Hussman School is dealing with an existential crisis both internally and externally,” the ACEJMC wrote. “The [Hannah-Jones] controversy… exposed long-standing problems. Many stem from inconsistencies in executing the goals in the 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.”

No, the fact that the school offered a thoroughly exposed fake historian and fact-manipulating, racist journalist  a teaching position at all raise questions about Hussman being fit to train journalists. Nikole Hannah-Jones is an unscrupulous activist, not a journalist, and the dishonesty and misrepresentations of American history in her polemic “1619 Project” are not in serious dispute. She should not have been offered the chair in the first place. The should not be employed as a journalist, never mind being paid to teach journalism. Continue reading

The Curse Of The Great Stupid: This Woman Was A Journalist At The New York Times, Received A Pulitzer Prize For Fake History, And Now Indoctrinates Students As A Howard U. Professor

If what’s ethically objectionable about Howard Journalism professor Nikole Hannah-Jones isn’t immediately obvious, you’re probably already beyond hope.

Hannah-Jones was furious at MSNBC covering an example of serial shoplifting because it undercuts the argument for reduced policing and law enforcement . “This drumbeat for continued mass incarceration is really horrific to watch,” said the major force behind the racist propaganda screed “The 1619 Project.”  “A person stealing steak is not national news, and there have always been thefts from stores. This is how you legitimize the carceral state,” she tweeted indignantly.

This woman pretended to be a journalist. She is now a tenured journalism professor. That is the level of her quality of thought and reasoning. She is advocating keeping facts and destructive national trends from the public because they disprove a far-left narrative that is contrary to history, facts and common sense. As always with Hannah-Jones, she leads with dishonesty: MSNBC did not show the video of a brazen shoplifting incident in the middle of an epidemic of such crimes because of the item stolen. Then she resorts to the hoariest of rationalizations—‘This isn’t new’ (“Everybody does it!”), plus another lie: everybody hadn’t shoplifted as frequently and destructively before cities like San Francisco decided not to enforce the laws against it. In fact, the kind of shoplifting, including “smash and grab” mobs, we saw in 2021 were unprecedented.

Finally, she declares that showing the truth will undermine the movement to stop “over-incarceration,” which means that it is unjust to have disproportionate numbers of imprisoned members of a group just because members of the group  commit a disproportionate amount of crimes. This is the “disparate impact” theory at its least defensible.

The professor has a right to flog whatever idiotic leftist talking points she chooses, but people of good faith have a similar right to point, laugh, and demand that institutions we entrust with informing and educating the public do not celebrate, empower or enable an advocate of deceiving the public to achieve her radical ideological ends.

In related news, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Crazytown) whose mind is made up regarding the wisdom of defunding the police and reality will not dissuade her, tweeted

With a mandate to end police brutality, why oppose redirecting money from racist policing into social programs proven to save Black lives? Our movement for racial justice helped deliver the White House & Congress. We won’t stop until we get justice.

As with Hannah-Jones, this is dishonesty squared with a deceitful cherry on top. There has always been a mandate “to end police brutality,” but what the wild-eyed activists like Bush and Hannah-Jones call “brutality” is often the act of law enforcement itself. (Sixties radicals were taught to scream “Police brutality!” when they were physically dragged from property where they were trespassing.) Bush, like Hannah-Jones, regards enforcing the law when black criminals are involved as “racist.” The assault on policing is costing lives, not saving them, with blacks being disproportionately the victims.

Finally, claiming that the BLM rioting in the summer of 2020 and demands to defund the police “helped deliver the White House & Congress” is pure fantasy.  Both were among the reasons President Trump outperformed the polls predicting a Democratic landslide, as well as why Republicans narrowed the Democratic majority in the House.

Facts literally don’t matter to ethics corrupters like Hannah-Jones and Bush. Those who support, employ or vote for such individuals are complicit in the damage they inflict on society.

 

As The Previous Post Demonstrates Why We Can No Longer Trust Teachers, Schools And The Agencies That Regulate Them, This Post Shows Why We Cannot Trust Journalists Or Those Who Employ And Train Them…Ever!

The newly tenured celebrity journalism professor at Howard University told CBS News, “All journalism is activism.”

Res ipsa loquitur. This statement is signature significance for a fake journalist who understands neither her profession, nor its function in a democracy, nor a professional’s ethical obligations, not just in journalism, but in any profession. No competent, qualified journalist would ever say such a thing out loud. No trustworthy journalist would even think it.

Yet this “journalist” will be teaching aspiring journalists in college that their chosen profession is the antithesis of what it was designed to be.

Oh! Did I forget to mention her name? It is New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. Consider: journalism departments were fighting over who would get her to corrupt their students. She spurned the offer of an academic chair by the University of North Carolina, which we now know places higher priority on wokeness credentials than on, say, competence, to take the post with Howard.

The culprit responsible for the racist and anti-America fake history exercise called the “1619 Project” went on to tell CBS,

“When you look at the model of The Washington Post, right? ‘Democracy dies in darkness,’ that’s not a neutral position. But our methods of reporting have to be objective. We have to try to be fair and accurate. And I don’t know how you can be fair and accurate if you pretend publicly that you have no feelings about something that you clearly do.”

Combined with her statement that journalism is activism, Hannah-Jones provided smoking gun evidence of the staggering number of facts and concepts she doesn’t comprehend. (Again, she is going to be teaching students, and spreading her ignorance as pearls of wisdom.) Let’s see.

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Noon Ethics Munchies, 7/14/2021: On Cuba, Big Lies, Roy Moore, and More [Corrected]

Munchies

1. The President gets a cheap shot...Commenting on Joe Biden’s generally hysterical speech about “voter suppression,” “Bonchie” writes on the conservative blog Red State,

“Of note here is that Biden is channeling Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels by using the phrase “big lie” to disparage Republicans who have concerns about the 2020 election. Yet, despite the phrase’s murderous, anti-Semitic past, the president seems to have no problem saying it repeatedly. In doing so, he echoed CNN’s Jake Tapper and others who have also been fond of the phrase.”

There is nothing wrong with using the phrase or the description. The device was championed by both Goebbels and Hitler, and is an accurate description of a propaganda tactic, an unethical but powerful one, used by both the Right and the Left. Whether the description is used fairly in any particular case is a separate issue. “Big Lies” is a very accurate description of the assault by the “resistance”/Democratic Party/mainstream media against Donald Trump—can you think of a better one?—which is why Ethics Alarms used it here and elsewhere.

What would be fair to note is that Biden has often been an eager employer of Goebbels’ favorite trick himself…as noted in this post.

2. Does anyone understand why Democrats are trying to downplay the current Cuban protests against the Communist government? This makes no sense to me. Thousands of anti-regime protesters took to the streets across the island over the weekend, waving American flags and chanting “Freedom!” and anti-government slogans. Cuba has been a repressive Communist regime since Fidel Castro pulled his bait and switch with the U.S. in 1959, but the most extreme elements in the Democratic Party, the proto-Marxists, have always thrown Cuba metaphorical kisses, like Michael Moore. Barack Obama reversed decades of U.S. policy by opening relations with Cuba without requiring any human rights concessions in return. One would think an outbreak of democracy on the island would be viewed as a good thing, but Biden’s paid liar, Jen Psaki, absurdly explained that the reason for the protests was “concern about rising COVID cases, deaths, and medicine shortages” rather than political oppression.

While Republicans have immediately announced their support for the Cuban people, Reps. Bobby Rush (D., Ill.), Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.), Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), Gwen Moore (D., Wis.) and the more 70 members of Congress, including “The Squad,” of course, signed a letter asking Biden to lift Trump sanctions Cuba in March. They have not had any comment on the demonstrations so far.

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Tuesday That Feels Like Monday Ethics Clarifications, 7/6/2021

clarifications

1. What a surprise! Cheating works! Since Major League Baseball decided to enforce its 100 year old rule against doctoring the baseball as pitchers had recently begun using glue to let them throw faster and snap off devastating curve balls, the results have been obvious and significant. In a month since umpires were directed to check, the MLB batting average has gone up by seven points (it was at a record low before the enforcement). Scoring has increased, and several pitchers rumored to be dependent of “the sticky stuff,” notably Yankee All-Star Gerrit Cole, have been hit hard in recent starts. This is because, of the 35 pitchers with the highest four-seam spin rate on June 3, 33 of them saw a decline in spin rate since then by an average drop of 96 RPMs. Consequently, batters aren’t striking out as often.

2. Please clarify: Should I apply the Julie Principle to Maxine Waters? We know she’s an idiot, ignorant, partisan to the point of poisoning democracy and a race-baiting, hateful blight on Congress, her party, the nation and homo sapiens generally. Is there anything accomplished by complaining about Waters acting like Waters, since she’s obviously not going to change? [You can refresh your understanding of the Julie Principle here.] Water was in fine, typical form over the Independence day weekend, blathering as only a fool like her could,

“July 4th … & so, the Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal,” Waters began. “Equal to what? What men? Only white men? Isn’t it something that they wrote this in 1776 when African Americans were enslaved? They weren’t thinking about us then, but we’re thinking about us now!”

Of course, we know that “they” were thinking about black slaves a great deal, as anyone who reads about the debate over the Declaration in the Continental Congress knows. But why should a senior Congresswoman know anything about the founding of the nation? Maxine continued,

“Further, the Dec. of Ind. says we hold these truths to be “self-evident” yet:

– 17 states have enacted voter suppression laws

– Supreme Court gutted Sec. 5 of the Voting Rights Act

– George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice

Need I say more? #July4”

No, actually, Maxine, you didn’t even need to say that: we already knew you were a blathering, hateful dummy. But just to clarify:

  • Laws that are intended to ensure the integrity of elections are not “voter suppression laws”
  • The Supreme Court confirmed that the Federal Government should not meddle in state matters except for demonstrable evidence of racial bias, and since the standards in Sec. 5 of the Voting Rights Act were based on the conduct of Southern states through 1964 only (that’s 57 years ago) and thus did not reflect any reforms, changes or improvement, making the law out of date, SCOTUS quite correctly demanded new data and Congressional update. Get to work.
  • There is literally zero evidence that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, or Tamir Rice met their unfortunate fates because of racial bias.

Or is it silly even to pay attention to Waters’ incurable bile?

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Still Employed At The New York Times, Where Facts, Apparently, Don’t Matter

Hannah-Jones

….at least when promoting anti-American and anti-white propaganda is concerned.

New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones has no training in history and has the one-way bias of a typical intractable activist. Nevertheless, she was allowed to lead the Times discredited “1619 Project,” which asserted without evidence that the United States of America was created by slavery, and that the Revolutionary War was begun to protect slavery. This fantasy not only won the Pulitzer Prize for Hannah-Jones and the Times, but was quickly installed in thousands of school systems as part of the history curriculum despite being pure agitprop. After one distinguished historian after another pointed out its multiple falsehoods, the “1619 Project” was edited by the Times, without being retracted in its entirety, which would have been the responsible thing to do.

As for Hannah-Jones, she has adamantly refused to admit that her work was, well, crap. Tweeting under the moniker of “Ida Bae Wells” for some reason (I’m sure there is one, I just don’t care what it is), the reporter got in a revealing back-and-forth with Timothy Sandefur, the Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation who holds the Duncan Chair in Constitutional Government. He corrected Hannah-Jones’ attempted rebuttals to a point made by Reason editor-at-large Nick Gillespie and senior editor Damon Root, who noted that Frederick Douglass had called the Constitution a “glorious liberty document” that guaranteed the rights of all—which indeed it is. Hannah-Jones essentially refused to acknowledge the historical record, and did so in the sarcastic, arrogant, insinuating rhetoric that has characterized all of her defenses of the “1619 Project.”

The real question is why the New York Times continues to employ an openly biased and agenda-driven “reporter” who refuses to correct her false reporting and who believes that her role is to distort facts for political purposes. If that approach to journalism is acceptable in her case, why should we trust any of the Times reporters, or indeed the Times itself?

Here is the Twitter exchange, courtesy of Twitchy: Twitchy’s editorial comments periodically turn up between the tweets; if it were not for the hassle of removing them, I would have. They are unnecessary. The tweets, and Hannah-Jones obstinacy, speak for themselves.

I will point out my favorite part of the debate, where Hannah-Jones, having been definitively schooled regarding the historical fact that Douglass repudiated his earlier criticism of the Constitution, resorts to the desperate argument that he held “both views,” one of which she conveniently neglected to mention when she was pointing to the civil right’s icon’s words as supporting her anti-American thesis. Douglass did not hold both views simultaneously. Unlike the Times reporter, he was capable of growth and learning: when he concluded his previous view was wrong, he abandoned it. Saying Douglass held both views—that the Constitution protected slavery and that it is a pro-liberty document contained the principles essential to ending it—is like arguing that Barack Obama is still opposed to gay marriage, that Donald Trump is a Democrat or that I believe in Santa Claus.

Such are the people who are dismantling U.S. culture now.

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Wednesday Ethics Wind-Down / Thursday Ethics Warm-Up, 10/14-15/2020: The Unmasking Of News Media And Social Media Bias Continues…[UPDATED!]

phantom-of-the-opera

1. Notes from The Great Stupid. Here is a passage from a New York Times book review of “The Tragedy of Heterosexuality”:

In examining the pressure to partner with the opposite gender we find the extortions of capitalism, the misogyny of violence against women, the racist and xenophobic erasure of nonwhite families, and the homophobic hatreds that pervade so much of everyday life.”

Well, that and the biological imperative to continue the species. This brilliance is the work of Haley Mlotek,  a senior editor for SSENSE. Imagine: this is the quality of thought among our intellectual class.

No wonder the political class is so idiotic.

2. So this is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, is it? Nikole  Hannah-Jones, faced with a careful and accurate fisking of her fraudulent “1619 project” by Times columnist Bret Stephens (covered by Ethics Alarms here) did not try to rebut him, or make a civil, reasoned argument. She did what her entire generation of prominent African Americans have been conditioned to do, because it works so well. She accused Stephens and the Times of racism, with a dash of sexism for flavor. Hannah-Jones tweeted,

“In 1894, the NYT called Ida B. Wells a ‘slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress’ for daring to tell the truth about lynching. 100 years later she earned the Pulitzer Prize. These efforts to discredit my work simply put me in a long tradition of [black women] who failed to know their places.”

(It is satisfying to watch the Washington Post pounce on the Times over this fiasco. The rivalry between the papers is one of the few factors that ever pushed one of them into practicing actual journalism these days.)

As for Nikole Hannah-Jones, she is a child. Her tantrum was irresponsible and an embarrassment to the Times, and she should, by rights, be fired. She won’t be, because of black privilege, now enhanced in the wake of the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck. The embarrassment for the Times, however, will linger. This woman was given leave by the paper to create and promote a false historical narrative that was not designed to enlighten but to further a political agenda. In truth, the Times deserves the embarrassment even more than Hannah-Jones deserves to be fired.

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Ethics Hero: New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Bret Stephens

1619

Bret Stephens has been criticized on this site for regularly failing his alleged assignment of bringing a principled conservative voice to the New York Times op-ed pages, and seeming to yield to the strongly biased culture of the uenthical paper that employs him.

In his most recent column, however Stephens courageously and unblinkingly calls out the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” for what it is—dishonest, misleading, falsified—oh, let’s not mince words— crap. [Ethics Alarms discussed the “1619 Project” and its unethical creator, Times reporter and race activist Nikole Hannah-Jones, here] Josh Blackmon, for example, writing at Reason, thinks that the columnist metaphorically biting the hand that feeds him will mark the beginning of the end of Stephens at the Times. After all, a Times editor recently resigned after the paper’s Jacobins called for his head for daring to allow a Republican Senator to voice an opinion that went against the Times’ view of the world. Stephens has gone far, far beyond that.

He knows it, too. At the end of his dissection of the bad history and unethical journalism that disgracefully won the Times a Pulitzer Prize, the columnist writes,

For obvious reasons, I’ve thought long and hard about the ethics of writing this essay. On the one hand, outside of exceptional circumstances, it’s bad practice to openly criticize the work of one’s colleagues. We bat for the same team and owe one another collegial respect.On the other, the 1619 Project has become, partly by its design and partly because of avoidable mistakes, a focal point of the kind of intense national debate that columnists are supposed to cover, and that is being widely written about outside The Times.

To avoid writing about it on account of the first scruple is to be derelict in our responsibility toward the second.All the more so as journalists, in the United States and abroad, come under relentless political assault from critics who accuse us of being fake, biased, partisan and an arm of the radical left. Many of these attacks are baseless. Some of them are not. Through its overreach, the 1619 Project has given critics of The Times a gift.

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Thursday Ethics Warm-Up, 9/24/2020: It’s “Supreme Court Day”!

Literally!

On this day in 1789, The Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George Washington, thus establishing the Supreme Court of the United States. Notably, it was then designed as a tribunal made up of only six justices—an even number! (The Horror!)  President Washington quickly nominated John Jay to preside as Chief Justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison and James Wilson to be Associate Justices.  You should know Rutledge: he sings that cool song about slavery and the Triangle Trade  in “1776.”  You also should recall Wilson from that show—he’s the one slandered by being portrayed as a total weenie, which he most assuredly was not.  Two days later, the six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Nobody thought it was a big deal.

1. We knew the New York Times’ “1619 Project” was flagrant Black Lives Matter-inspired propaganda and based on lies, correct? Ethics Alarms discussed this when the Pulitzers honored the thing’s Liar in Chief, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who even admitted that it was really more about creating a useful “narrative” than accurately presenting history. Ben Crump, the serial race-hustler who gets huge damage settlements for family members of black victims of various tragedies by proclaiming the police and America as racist, cited  the “1619” project’s narrative yesterday while helping to incite riots. See? It works!

But the project is used in many school systems as “history,” and the central dishonesty was a problem, so the Times, without announcement or explanation, erased the central claim of the 1619 Project, which was that the year the first slaves were brought to Colonial Virginia was the “true founding” of the United States.

The  initial introduction to the Project, when it was rolled out in August 2019, stated that

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from the New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

Sometime this year, the text became,

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

The change was discovered after Hannah-Jones denied  last week that the project’s core thesis was what she and the Times  had said it was. It “does not argue that 1619 is our true founding,” she said. Well, not any more. Continue reading

Friday Ethics Footnotes, 7/31/2020: 1619, Dumber Lawyers, And Trader Joe’s Stands Up For “Trader Ming’s”

1. Psst! This doesn’t send a message that is complimentary to minorities...The California Supreme Court, which oversees the state bar, agreed to lower the passing score for the exam. The objective is to raise the number of black and Hispanic lawyers. 40 % of California’s population is white, and 60% are not. But 68% of California lawyers are white, according to a new report by the State Bar of California.

Well, so what? Maybe more whites want to be lawyers; whatever the reason, lowering the standards for getting a license seems like a poor way to improve the situation, since it promises to add more dim attorneys. Why do all professions have to have identical demographics to the population at large?

“There is absolutely no evidence that shows having a higher score makes for better lawyers,” said UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin. “There is significant evidence that it reduces the diversity of the bar.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure letting people get law licenses by playing beanbag would also lead to a more diverse bar. There is no way to determine whether having higher scores on the bar exam correlates with being a “better lawyer,” but I guarantee not being able to pass the bar exam correlates with being significantly slower on the uptake that a lawyer who can.  Mnookin is saying that intelligence and critical thinking skills don’t factor in the practice of law. What an interesting thing for a law dean to say. Do you think she really believes that?

No one has been able to show that the bar exams anywhere have a racial bias, but since other explanations for comparatively low passing rates among African-Americans are not politically palatable, the George Floyd Freakout has led to this. California will now have dumber lawyers of all colors. Progress! Continue reading