Tag Archives: smears

Unethical Quote Of The Week: NYT Columnist David Brooks [UPDATED}

“Biographies describe a man intent on making his fortune and not afraid of skating near the edge to do so. At one point, according to Politico, federal investigators found that Frederick used various accounting measures to collect an extra $15 million in rent (in today’s dollars) from a government housing program, on top of paying himself a large “architect’s fee.” He was hauled before investigating committees on at least two occasions, apparently was arrested at a K.K.K. rally in Queens (though it’s not clear he was a member), got involved in a slush fund scandal with Robert Wagner and faced discrimination allegations.”

—New York Times columnist David Brooks arguing that Donald Trump, Jr.’s conduct in holding the controversial meeting  with some Russians and Russian-Americans to acquire useful negative information about Hillary Clinton for his father’s campaign came about because his family is just no damn good, as shown by the conduct of Fred Trump, the President’s storied father.

Unlike some commentators, I have no ethical problem with Brooks’ basic thesis. Culture molds ethics, children are influenced by the conduct and values modeled by their parents, and I have pointed out too many times to  count that Donald Trump doesn’t know ethics from a merry-go-round, and appears to have no  conventionally functioning ethics alarms at all. It makes perfect sense that Donald Jr. would grow up similarly handicapped.

However, Brooks’ evidence that Trump family patriarch Fred Trump was corrupt and without scruples is all innuendo and supposition, and thus dishonest, incompetent, and unfair. Let’s examine the components of Brooks’ attack:

  • “federal investigators found that Frederick used various accounting measures to collect an extra $15 million in rent (in today’s dollars) from a government housing program, “

Were the accounting measures illegal? Apparently not. Was the  “architect’s fee”? I guess not: Fred wasn’t indicted or prosecuted. Being investigated by the feds does not prove or indicate wrongdoing. Maybe Fred was cheating; I wouldn’t be surprised. But Brooks has no facts to support that assumption, just a pejorative characterizations.

  • “He was hauled before investigating committees on at least two occasions…”

I love the “hauled.” Being asked to testify isn’t evidence of wrongdoing either. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Quotes, Finance, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

Comment of the Day: “Breaking Ethics Thoughts: The White House Bars The NYT And Others From Its Press Briefing”

 

pewdiepie-youtubeThis Comment of the Day by repeat awardee Humble Talent was really yesterday’s Comment of the Day #2, but it seems silly to keep the 2 when it is being posted today. See how hard my job is? I should hire an accounting firm to take care of this stuff and make sure it doesn’t get screwed up.

I was aware of the PewDiePie  (that’s him on the left) flap, but not enough to investigate it (name bias on my part), and am grateful to Humble for highlighting the story, and its significance. The news media bias crisis is not going to end well, especially if they and their beneficiaries on the Left continue to deny it. Eventually, most of the public will wake up. My wife just flipped out when a Facebook friend posted, as part of her ongoing attack on the President, that he was undermining an “independent press.” It has to dawn on these semi-ignorant partisans that independence without standards, integrity, competence, objectivity and honesty…in short, ethics…just means “unaccountable.” And, of course, the current mainstream news media isn’t independent by a long shot.

Other than that, it was a perceptive observation.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, Breaking Ethics Thoughts: The White House Bars The NYT And Others From Its Press Briefing:

I was thinking of previous administrations, and the news while I was growing up…. It seems to me, and this might be my ‘member berries in action, but it seems to me that I remember a time where the news was biased, perhaps, but it was a subtle bias, the kind of bias that you’d only notice if you were of a mind to look.

They’d report the facts you see, ostensibly giving enough rope to their targets to skip or swing, and the bias would be in the form of selection, not solicitation.

What is…. or should be… absolutely indefensible about how the media covers Trump is in the pillars of journalistic ethics.

https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Seek The Truth and Report it, Minimise Harm , Act Independently, Be Accountable and Transparent, and Don’t be an Ass.

Alright, I made that last one up, but I bet you could hardly tell. The problem is that the outlets in question don’t even attempt the fig leaf anymore. And this isn’t just unique to Trump…

Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture

New Media Ethics Rule For The Presidential Campaign…

RedSmears

This kind of smear (from Salon)…

Washington man stabs kissing interracial couple, cites Donald Trump when arrested

…has got to stop.

It doesn’t matter which candidate some despicable, hateful wacko “cites.” It’s not news, it means nothing, and it proves nothing positively or negatively about the individual so mentioned, praised, or referenced. Any news source that highlights it to suggest otherwise is playing despicable cognitive dissonance games, and is devoid of fairness and honesty.

Of course, this is Salon. But it is not alone. Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

Anyone Who Tries To Use A 43 Year Old Essay To Smear Bernie Sanders Is An Unethical Jerk, And You Can Tell Them I Said So

Come to think of it, Gene's poetry was as bad as Bernie's porn,

Come to think of it, Gene’s poetry was as bad as Bernie’s porn,

It is all Richard Nixon-style smearing… designed for mouth-breathing audiences, bottom-of-the-barrel, unfair, irrelevant, democracy-polluting garbage that has no more of a legitimate place in campaigns than surreptitiously commandeered laptop camera photographs of the candidates naked. To say such miserable archeological dirt-digging violates the Golden Rule is giving it too much prestige; it violates the Brass Rule, the Tin Rule, and the Cheap Styrofoam Rule. It is the kind of revelation that thrills the jerks who applauded smut-merchant Larry Flynt when he offered a bounty for proof of adulterous affairs in the distant pasts of Republican members of Congress, to support the Lanny Davis “Everybody does it” defense of Bill Clinton’s Monica cover-up.

Mitt Romney was a bully in prep school, George Allen used the word “nigger” when he was a teenager, Jim Webb had sexy passages in his novels, Hillary Clinton’s honors thesis praised Saul Alinsky, Bill Clinton maneuvered to avoid serving in Vietnam, Rick Perry used to go hunting at a lodge rented by his father that was once called “Niggerhead” and a rock with the name on it was still visible even though it was painted over…yes, the Washington Post even gave a front page story to that last one. Ugh, yuck, pooie, gag, ichhhhhhh, ew.

So now we have learned that Bernie Sanders, who is 74 years old, wrote an essay about rape fantasies in 1972, when he was 31 years old. Just as he’s too old (realistically)  to be elected President now, he was too young to be elected President then. There’s a reason for that: the Founders believed that a man isn’t mature or experienced enough to be trusted with the job until he is at least 35. The most relevant aspect of Senator Sanders’ creative writing experiment might be that it suggests that Jimmy Madison and the gang were, as usual, right. Otherwise, so what? 43 years ago, I mistreated a wonderful, sweet girl I was dating, and I’m sure she hates me to this day. If my son behaved like I did, I’d ream him out. But that distant incident no more represents who I am today than my exploits on my high school tennis team. Sanders’ essay was written so long ago, it is far beyond the statute of limitations for prosecuting actual rape…you know, like what Hillary Clinton’s husband probably did to Juanita Broderick in Arkansas (Statute of Limitations: 6 years). Continue reading

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Filed under Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Leadership, The Internet

Case Study In Unethical Journalism And The Unethical Editors Who Spawn It: Jezebel and Editor Natasha V C

Natasha. Jezebel must be so proud.

Natasha. Jezebel must be so proud.

It is obvious that the mainstream media is determined to shoot down Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by any means possible, because Democrats a) hate him to pieces and b) fear him. The primaries aren’t even underway, and they are already outing their own bias with over-heated criticism of his refusing to be drawn into gotcha questions about evolution and President Obama’s religion (to which he gave essentially the same answer as Hillary Clinton did in 2008: he has no way of knowing for sure), dropping subversive reminders that he never got a college degree, and already are breaching Journalism Ethics 101 principles by running bogus accusations without checking the facts. This will continue—it worked with Sarah Palin and Romney, after all—until the American public figures out what’s going on. I’ll try to help the best I can.

New York Times star columnist Gail Collins, who detests Walker with a passion that apparently obliterates all professional ethics, wrote two weeks ago that Walker was responsible for Wisconsin’s 2010 cuts to education, resulting in teacher layoffs. Walker didn’t take office until 2011. The Times retracted—six days later!—but you know how it works, and so does the Times: a fraction of the readers who read the mistake—this was a reckless, biased, embarrassing mistake—see the correction. The Times is better than Fox News…barely. Collins and her editor should have been disciplined.

Then  the progressive feminist website Jezebel printed this:

“Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget—which would cut $300 million dollars out of the state’s beloved public university system—has a non-fiscal bombshell tucked in between its insane pages.Under Walker’s budget, universities would no longer have to report the number of sexual assaults that take place on a campus to the Department of Justice. Under Walker’s plan, university employees who witness a sexual assault would no longer have to report it.There are no policy recommendations in Walker’s budget how or what would replace these reporting mechanisms. The Governor simply instructs that they should be deleted.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the bewildering force that is Scott Walker, know this: he is a small-time guy who is having a big-time moment by playing the conservative werewolf, a role Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are so far unwilling to play in their presidential bids.”

[Translation: “Small time” means “no college degree.” Ad hominem, naturally.]

The Daily Beast, which bleeds blue and has its own stable of wildly left-slanting commentators, uncritically picked up the story, as did many others. They kept it around, too, well after this was revealed: Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, The Internet

Unethical Quote of the Day: Slate’s David Weigel

“The Washington Post condemned Reid for “smear tactics not unlike those of Joseph McCarthy,” which makes sense if you think that refusing to release your tax returns is like being unfairly accused of membership in the Communist Party. It’s a nice idea, that the majority leader of the United States Senate should operate under some rules of decorum about truth, even if it is only randomly applied.”

—-Slate’s David Weigel, in a post dismissing Harry Reid’s Big Lie attack on Mitt Romney as “politics as usual.”

Somewhere at the bottom of the journalism barrel you may see David Weigel, mangling ethics

David Weigel is a Democratic flack posing as a political reporter, and my standards for his writing is low—but not this low.

The Post’s quite correct condemnation of Reid does not, as Weigel disingenuously suggests, amount to saying that “refusing to release your tax returns is like being unfairly accused of membership in the Communist Party.” It amounts to saying that publicly accusing a political adversary of evading his taxes for ten years using nothing more than hearsay from anonymous, dubious and unrevealed sources is like accusing a political adversary of belonging to the Communist party using similar tactics. Romney’s choice not to release his taxes doesn’t justify or excuse Reid’s smear, any more than McCarthy’s victims’ associating with Americans who exercised their Constitutional rights by espousing Communist sympathies justified McCarthy’s smear. Weigel is using a false and flawed analogy to excuse the inexcusable, because, like Reid, he’s on Team Obama. Continue reading

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Ethics Dunce: Redstate Blogger Moe Lane

The other Moe, the one who probably COULD use a search engine…

Redstate blogger Moe Lane is offended that I think emulating Harry Reid to get even with Harry Reid is as despicable as Harry Reid, and since Lane hasn’t the wit or diligence to make a coherent argument against the position articulated in my recent post, which has flushed out a covey of mouth-foaming right-wingers, he plays the hypocrisy card, and like most players, doesn’t really know what hypocrisy is. Unlike many players, however, he doesn’t even bother to get his facts right, apparently because the Ethics Alarms search engine is too tricky for him. As I opined that the Right was attempting to “santorum” Reid by associating his name with something unsavory (in his case, pederasty), Lane fulminates that I didn’t express similar objections when Santorum himself was santorumed. He writes:

“…Hence the aforementioned shocked, shocked response from this Ethics Alarms site, which is very disapproving of the whole thing, and goes so far as to call it ‘santoruming.’ For those unfamiliar with the concept, Ethics Alarms provides a footnote: “Thanks to blogger Dan Savage, the former GOP Senator’s name is now a synonym for a disgusting bodily discharge.” And that, of course, is just as bad when it happens to Harry Reid as it was when it happened to Rick Santorum.”…which, given that (as near as I can tell) this seems to be the first time that Ethics Alarms has bothered to mention to the world that, hey, attacking Rick Santorum like that was bad, just indicates to me that the “Reid is a Pederast” meme is having the desired effect. It’s getting self-absorbed, pretentious websites that hate hardcore social conservatives** to stand up for those self-same social conservatives! Without prompting, even! Lo, indeed, truly we live in an Age of Wonders.”

Well, no, Moe, in fact this was not the first time that I expressed disapproval of Dan Savage’s successful effort to slime Rick Santorum, and if you could search the web or my site with the deftness of the typical Special Ed teen, you would have seen that over a year ago I wrote a post entitled, Dan Savage’s Curse on Rick Santorum: Funny! But Wrong. Note that the title was specifically evoked by the heading for the recent Reid post, which would have been a big fat clue for anyone who cared about being fair and accurate rather than being snide and obnoxious, like Moe Lane. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Research and Scholarship, The Internet, Unethical Blog Post