Ethics Dunce: The Traverse City Record-Eagle

Fake Front Page

Bias and incompetence is a terrible combination…especially for a newspaper.

You may have read about the car  that sped through a crowded intersection during Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade, killing fours and injuring dozens. The driver was charged with four counts of second-degree murder. [ NOTE: The post here originally said that the driver was drunk;her lawyer now says she was not, but is mentally ill.]  According to the Record Eagle, however, that was a shooting, and the car was a gun. That’s the paper’s front page above. How could this happen?

It happens because journalists are so obsessed with convincing the public that the United States is in the grasp of unprecedented gun violence that the desperately want to see as many shooting as possible. It happens because the news media is so used to warping facts to assist progressive indoctrination that they increasingly don’t pay attention to facts. It happens because journalism is no longer a profession, because it has no standards, just agendas. It happens because bias is not only not discouraged, it’s celebrated.

How many news organizations highlighted the recent Pew study showing that U.S. gun deaths had declined 30% since 1993? Were you aware of it? The media largely ignored that news item, because it does not support the predominant, media-driven hysteria aimed at eventual gun confiscation.

The editors explained the fantasy headline with a correction that said… Continue reading

It’s STUPIDITY SATURDAY, Celebrating That Fascinating Nexus Between Dumb and Unethical! First Up: The IRS Picks A Contractor


Perusing the many ethics issues that have slopped into my inbox, I realized that a fascinating theme was developing: wanton, willful, inexcusable stupidity. Being stupid is not intrinsically unethical, for in many cases it is a malady, a Nature-dictated state like being short or bald, just one that is more limiting than most. Being stupid and allowing yourself to be placed in a position where your stupidity will harm others, however, is unethical.

Incompetence is not the same thing as stupidity necessarily, but it is a kind of stupidity and it generates stupidity: stupid risks, stupid decisions, stupid statements, stupid policies, stupid results. The recent Pew study showing that the two most common descriptions of President Obama were “good” and “incompetent” was intriguing on that issue. A man can be both “good” and “incompetent,” but a leader cannot. Obama can be a good man (though after hearing his defiant, dishonest, petulant and self-destructive State of the Union address, I find that hard to believe), but he cannot be a good leader while being an incompetent one.

The President is incompetent, and the incompetence has, as it always will with those serving under incompetent leadership, metastasized throughout his administration into incontrovertible stupidity of a sort that it is unethical for a leader to tolerate or allow to continue. Yet he does.

This brings us to the IRS. Believe it or not, just even months after federal officials fired the firm CGI Federal for its botched work on the Obamacare website, the IRS awarded these same bunglers a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program.

Let me say that again, slowly, so it sinks in: Continue reading

The Republicans Devolve

devolutionWhether your party is becoming more ignorant, or whether ignorant people are increasingly drawn to your party, the conclusions to be drawn when over 50% of those who identify as members also proudly admit that they have a 19th Century understanding of the universe cannot be called encouraging. Thus the Pew Research Center’s just released data showing that only 43% of Republicans understand and accept evolution is bad news for that party, and indeed for the nation as a whole.

Democrats have nothing to be proud of, as just two thirds (67%) of them told Pew that they believe in evolution, but at least the members of that party are getting smarter: the last poll, in 2009, showed 64% had absorbed the conclusions of Charles Darwin and Stephen Jay Gould. Republicans, in contrast, have gone backwards, dropping from 54% to the current, pathetic figure. For the American public as a whole, the takeaway is that a full 33% are incompetent at life, for that is what complete confusion about and misunderstanding of the world around us means in practical terms. Continue reading

Well, Let’s Kill All The Lawyers, Then!

One reason why democracy doesn’t seem to be working very well is that the public is becoming increasingly ignorant about what makes it work at all. Evidence of this trend comes by way of a provocative study by the Pew Research Center, which polled the public regarding which professions it believes contribute the most to society.

The results can be found in this press release, this summary, and this article in The Careerist, but here is a snapshot:

Worth study

Continue reading

NOW You Tell Us: The Undeniable Deceit In The Post-Sandy Hook Anti-Gun Push

It's a litmus test: if this story doesn't bother you, then you believe the ends justify the means, as long as you like the ends.

It’s a litmus test: if this story doesn’t bother you, then you believe the ends justify the means, as long as you like the ends.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Gun crime has plunged in the United States since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show. Yet few Americans are aware of the dramatic drop, and more than half believe gun crime has risen, according to a newly release report by the Pew Research Center. In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half. Other gun crimes fell even more sharply, paralleling a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns. Violent crime dropped steeply during the 1990s and has fallen less dramatically since the turn of the millennium.”

Interesting timing, don’t you think? This information would have been invaluable during the months of Democrat-fueled hysteria following the Newtown tragedy, when gun violence suddenly was represented far and wide, on television, in print and on the stump, as a deepening crisis so serious and deadly that it warranted pushing all other priorities aside. Now, after the dishonest and emotion-based assault on guns and gun-ownership stalled, the public is provided with the information, always there and waiting in official government statistics, that would have placed the need for new gun laws in proper perspective. Instead, the public was treated to laments by mourning parents, scripted statements by Gaby Giffords, and harangues by Piers Morgan.

Gee. I wonder why more than half the public believes that gun violence is getting worse? Continue reading

Five Sarcastic Observations About The Least Surprising Ethics Story Of The Year…

.Hands down.

And in addition, we can all agree, can we not, that:

  1. …this does not indicate media bias?
  2. …the timing was completely coincidental, and had nothing to do with journalists fearing that their candidate might lose?
  3. …there was no ethical obligation on the part of responsible news media to make certain that its coverage was balanced in the final week, given its likely disparate impact in a close race?
  4. …this had no impact on the election?
  5. …Nate Silver knew it was going to be like this all along?


Graphic: Davintosh

Ethics Dunces: Half of the U.S.A.

“Who’s Plato?”

According to a recent  Pew poll, almost half of the U.S. is still unaware of last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, limiting Congress’s power to control private choices through reliance on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and flagging the Democrat deceit in passing a substantial tax on the middle class while hiding the fact in public and political discourse. 15% of the public must have been watching Fox and CNN the way listeners of Orson Welles “The War of the Worlds” listened to the 1938 radio broadcast, turning the dial before misinformation was clarified. These trusting or lazy souls still think the ACA was over-turned. This is, admittedly, better than thinking the world has been conquered by Martians.

The poll means that as we head into a watershed election that challenges the nation to make hard choices about its future course in tax policy, addressing the debt and deficit, foreign policy, commitment to national defense, entitlement reform, immigration, education, infrastructure renewal, employment, financial regulation, and equally vital matters that could have a decisive impact on America’s success, stability and even survival, one half of the public lack the interest and initiative to  stay current with crucial national developments. Continue reading

The Tragedy of the Climate Change Fiasco

Americans woke up today to a snow-covered world that might not be getting warmer after all.

You may not hear about it or read about it right away, depending on what your news sources of choice are. Many news organizations and reporters have disgraced themselves, their profession and their professional ethics standards (values trashed: competence, diligence, responsibility, honesty, objectivity, fairness) so thoroughly that they will surely wait as long as possible before admitting they were wrong, if not how wrong they were. But I know where this is going, and it is not going to be good for anyone. Ethics fiascos, a.k.a ethics train wrecks, never are. Continue reading