Media Criticism

Journalists Abandoning 'Objectivity' for 'Moral Clarity' Really Just Want To Call People Immoral

Trading unattainable exactitude for unimpeachable morality will lead to a scoldier and less accurate journalism.

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Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize–winning correspondent for the 60 Minutes offshoot 60 in 6, has the latest and perhaps loudest in a recent series of think pieces extolling the virtues of newsroom revolts such as the one that erupted at The New York Times earlier this month after its opinion pages published a controversial piece by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.).

Lowery and his industry allies contend that the national tumult stemming from the police killing of George Floyd is a prime opportunity to overhaul journalism's very mission statement. "Neutral objectivity" as an aspiration, he argues in a Times essay, has failed, and should be replaced by "moral clarity."

"Moral clarity would insist that politicians who traffic in racist stereotypes and tropes—however cleverly—be labeled such with clear language and unburied evidence," Lowery writes. "Racism, as we know, is not about what lies in the depths of a human's heart. It is about word and deed. And a more aggressive commitment to truth from the press would empower our industry to finally admit that."

This proposed objectivity-for-morality swap is gaining momentum in the spaces where professional journalists congregate, pontificate, and/or swarm on Twitter to get senior managers fired.

Newsrooms "are really struggling to cover…in a way that appears to be nonpartisan a kind of political landscape where one political party in many ways has gone rogue and is not following the rules," the Times' Pulitzer-Prize-winning Nikole Hannah-Jones said on CNN's Reliable Sources after the Cotton flap, in which she was a driving figure. "This adherence to even-handedness, both-sidesism, the View from Nowhere, doesn't actually work in the political circumstances that we're in."

Relying on the creaky tools of liberalism in the era of Donald Trump, the new argument goes, is like bringing a banana to a knife fight.

"Can the view-from-nowhere, tabula rasa, Objective Unbiased Journalism tradition survive the current moment?" Esquire Politics Editor Jack Holmes mused recently. "Is it capable of dealing with bad-faith actors, and of prioritizing the truth over concerns about accusations of bias? Can we psychically handle the task of saying one of our political parties has lost its mind, or will we Both Sides ourselves into oblivion?…[H]ow much bullshit can any one person stomach—and spread—in the interest of 'norms'?"

For non-journalists, understanding this rapidly spreading sentiment (and the repetitive, in-group jargon that comes with it) is a key to basic media literacy. The institutional stuff you read, watch, and listen to will increasingly be shaped by people whose moral warning systems are on ever-higher alert to make sure valued "platforms" remain unsullied—and unmanipulated—by barbarians.

"Cotton's views should be known, but not amplified and normalized within the prized real estate that is the op-ed page of the New York Times," wrote influential Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan earlier this month. "What if we framed coverage with this question at the forefront: What journalism best serves the real interests of American citizens? Make decisions with that in mind, and at least some of the knotty problems get smoothed out."

There is an obvious paradox at the heart of this project, one that is all the more glaring for passing undetected under the noses of its most prominent practitioners. In replacing their decidedly strawman version of the "objectivity" ideal with a more courageous "moral clarity," journalists are trading the unattainable for the unknowable, and consciously elevating narrative "truths" over verified facts.

Wesley Lowery wants journalists to be unshackled so that they can positively identify individuals and organizations as "racist," adding that: "Racism, as we know, is not about what lies in the depths of a human's heart. It is about word and deed." But there's a wide swath of hotly contested territory within just that four-letter word deed.

Do policies, rules, and practices that correlate with comparatively poor outcomes among people of historically discriminated-against racial (or gender, or sexual, or national) classifications count automatically as racist, regardless of intent? You certainly hear that argument in New York City about public school admissions criteria, for example:

But if that's the standard then intellectual consistency requires it also be tested out on the War on Poverty, minimum wage laws, gun control, and—yes—the removal of public school admissions criteria. The point here is neither to play racism gotcha nor argue ad absurdum that it's fruitless to worry over unequal outcomes; it's to observe that these assessments are very much under dispute, and rightly so. Difficult questions do not suddenly get "smoothed out" by the bold assertion that they belong to a binary category marked either "moral" or "immoral."

A classic pitfall of such simplistic thinking, widely unremembered now on the journalistic left, is the presumption that a proposal born in moral virtue will retain its luster after coming in contact with the real world. Policy—particularly the thorny, emotional, life-and-death stuff like immigration, criminal justice, and war—is hard, with the wreckage of unintended consequences all around us.

Margaret Sullivan in her piece asserts that "It's more than acceptable that [journalists] should stand up for civil rights—for press rights, for racial justice, for gender equity and against economic inequality." I agree! But these issues are not on-off switches, nor should their depiction be in the press.

Do "civil rights" include the individual right to keep and bear arms, or to grow your own medical marijuana for personal consumption? Do "press rights" include an extra "journalist privilege"? Does "gender equity" require government intervention to mandate wage levels? Does "economic equality" mean that an "ultra-millionaire tax" is a good idea? These are all heavily contested questions, not dividing lines between the virtuous and the deplorable.

You do not have to share the foundational anti-media animus of modern conservatism to guess from where the future errors of a newly emboldened journalism class will emanate. Wherever there is a preponderance of ideological sympathy—say, toward the cause of erasing the gender gap—there will be an abundance of journalistic sloppiness. Wherever there is a broad ideological or personal revulsion toward a person or group or class, there will be actual malfeasance.

Evidentiary standards, particularly as concerns the most radioactive of contemporary accusations—racism—threaten to become so one-sided that only journalists could fail to notice the double standard. Media critics have spent so long on the lookout for opportunistic conservatives "working the refs" that they have become slow to recognize the tactic when it comes from the left.

In Lowery's essay, he declaims Tom Cotton's op-ed as being "beneath" the paper's "standards," due in part to its "inflammatory rhetoric," "overstatements," and "unsubstantiated assertions." Lowery also makes such arguably inflammatory unsubstantiated assertions as:

  • "The views and inclinations of whiteness are accepted as the objective neutral."
  • "[S]elective truths have been calibrated to avoid offending the sensibilities of white readers."
  • "Black journalists are speaking out because one of the nation's major political parties and the current presidential administration are providing refuge to white supremacist rhetoric and policies, and our industry's gatekeepers are preoccupied with seeming balanced, even ordering up glossy profiles of complicit actors."
  • "The turmoil at The Times and the simultaneous eruptions inside other newsrooms across the country are the predictable results of the mainstream media's labored refusal to racially integrate."
  • "[I]t remains to be seen if the changes at The Times will include aggressively tackling a culture that leaves its own staff members so internally powerless that they have to battle their own publication in public."

Even if all these statements are 100 percent accurate (which I doubt), they are not substantiated, nor given anything like the post-facto scrutiny applied to a single 700-word piece by a sitting U.S. senator. (The same day that the Gray Lady's staff was melting down over Cotton's allegedly harmful words, the paper published an op-ed encouraging people to tell their relatives and loved ones that "you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions.")

Times staffers will explode in public vitriol when presented with an utterly inoffensive Twitter recommendation from controversial opinion staffer Bari Weiss, yet mostly sit on their hands when Nikole Hannah-Jones encourages people to read conspiratorial claptrap about possibly racist fireworks campaigns. More productive energy will continue to be spent policing the paper's not-quite-anti-Trump-enough headlines and tweets than will for the same treatment of every elected Democrat combined. You don't need a map to see the direction all this is heading.

"I fear a new misunderstanding is taking root in newsrooms today, one [that] could destroy the already weakened system of journalism," wrote media historian Tom Rosenstiel, in a long and worthwhile Twitter thread responding to Lowery's piece (which he praised repeatedly). "That misunderstanding is the idea that if we adopt subjectivity to replace a misunderstood concept of objectivity, we will have magically arrived at truth—that anything I am passionate about and believe deeply is a kind of real truth….If [moral clarity] invites people to think that simply opining is some kind of truer or more moral form of reporting, they would be wrong and the effect would be tragic. If journalists replace a flawed understanding of objectivity by taking refuge in subjectivity and think their opinions have more moral integrity than genuine inquiry, journalism will be lost."

Lowery, who has done valuable work covering the criminal justice system, makes several good points in his op-ed about media bias and grotesque euphemism when it comes to portraying the perspective of those in power, particularly the police. There is, I think, an obvious truth in the critiques that elite journalism spent a half-century abandoning and alienating itself from entire communities, and overly fretting about giving off the surface appearance of bias.

But by my lights, that half-century ended around 2010 or so. An oddness about this contemporary journalistic discussion is that it largely carries on as if the past decade of industry navel-gazing and transformation hadn't taken place. Ten years ago the Washington Post was agonizing over having hired a young (formerly of Reason!) political writer who was subsequently discovered to have said intemperate things about some conservatives. Now, David Weigel works comfortably at…the Washington Post.

Fifteen years ago, we were arguing about whether cable news should have an openly left-leaning network; now, it's over which one has the sassiest chyrons. "False balance," "View from Nowhere," "both-sidesism," "working the refs"…all of these notions were being vigorously debated among media observers and participants during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, Facebook launched in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, and the iPhone in 2007, combining to form the mother of all workarounds to legacy media inattention. As Peter Suderman recently put it, "We Filmed Cops. People Changed Their Minds."

The genius of American media, from the penny daily to the illustrated monthly, national newsweekly to local alt-weekly, broadcaster to blogger, TED talker to podcaster, is that every new establishment quickly creates its own vibrant alternative. The emerging new establishment, busy overhauling a newsroom near you, is about to discover just how popular their interpretation of moral clarity is.

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153 responses to “Journalists Abandoning 'Objectivity' for 'Moral Clarity' Really Just Want To Call People Immoral

  1. We will never engage in propaganda; trust us, we’re propagandists.

    1. They’re always sincere even when they don’t mean it.

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    2. How dumb it is to assume that only black students need “help” getting into college. The tests are NOT given to exclude people on any basis but whether the college thinks they are ready to learn at that particular college. Do you really want unprepared and under-educated students to be let in to colleges they can’t HOPE to flourish at??? I wanted to go to Harvard, but I just didn’t have the chops, and I am a white man from a wealthy suburb of Chicago.

      1. Universal admission, at least for dark-skinned people, is just the first step. The same logic will justify universal degree granting. Good luck with the doctors, engineers, and others who have meaningless degrees but who will fuck up and kill people. Preferably their own.

        1. I recall an assessment on AA at the start of the millennia, and the overwhelming beneficiaries of such programs were- white women.

          In fact, attainment didn’t much change for any minority group, but boy did you win the jackpot if you were white and female.

          Turns out increased admission didn’t mean being able to complete the coursework.

          I believe this was when student debit started becoming a thing.

      2. Do you really want unprepared and under-educated students to be let in to colleges they can’t HOPE to flourish at???

        You don’t need a big brain for a grievance studies degree.

        1. in fact, having a functional brain is an impediment to a grievance studies degree.

        2. Isn’t that the argument for keeping the LP off the ballot? That our votes might change bad laws rather than help looters get elected?

    3. Only good reporter is a dead one.

      1. I expect that from Nardz. That the sentiment seems to be spreading to others is not a good thing.

        Can’t blame it though. What a failure of Lowery’s teachers, that he feels that propaganda is the purpose of journalism.

        1. I just cut to the chase.
          You can’t say I didn’t see all this coming…

          1. http://www.zerohedge.com/political/smith-insanity-political-left-and-balkanization-us

            “It is clear that SJWs cannot live with or get along with anyone who respects liberty or logic. They are a destructive force in society and they have no comprehension of the non-aggression principle. They believe that they have the right to enforce their ideology and beliefs on others. They infest every aspect of our culture with the sole intent of destroying what we have previously built so that our history can be erased and replaced. It is only natural that reasonable and free-thinking people would want to get as far away from them as possible.”

            HIGHLY recommend reading this

            1. This is why we have competing governments separated by borders and jurisdictions. It means they can safely move to North Korea or Cuba where Boss Trump can’t kick sand into their sensitive beady eyes. Even the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers got a taste of living outside the U.S. and were glad to get back.

      2. Nah. The simple solution is to avoid journalists and publications that have repeatedly lied to you with propaganda and spin.

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  2. They would be welcome to if they didn’t also get to control the narrative.

    If we actually had free speech we’d have the opportunity to present counter arguments for consideration.

    We do on this website, for now, because libertarians value 1a, for now.

    1. Yeaah, even scumbag bigots like you can post here.

      1. Presenting any argument isn’t bigotry.

        Refusing to consider one is.

        You demonstrate the latter.

        1. Spouting bigotry =/= “resenting any argument”.
          Peddle your lies over at stormfront, scumbag.

          1. Sorry, presenting an argument you personally do not like is not bigotry. You can type equal signs all day and it will not change this fact. You don’t get to decide unilaterally.

            Moreover, Rob Misek presented an opinion, which is not fact or fiction and therefore not “lies” as you put it.

            Go peddle your totalitarianism over at kcna.

            1. You may not know it, mojavewolf, but Rob Misek is an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier. Fuck him and all that hold those views.

              Sevo’s terse, but right as rain on this one.

              1. Naah, not “terse”; just goddam pissed at such pathetic scum as Misek repeating lies which have been shown to be bullshit since (likely) before that pile of shit was born.

            2. mojavewolf
              June.24.2020 at 9:32 pm
              “Sorry, presenting an argument you personally do not like is not bigotry…”

              Sarc or stupidity?
              Misek ‘presents’ anti-semite bigotry (he’s a holocaust denier) as and “argument”; one which every educated human rejects on the face of it:
              No, the death camps were not ‘delousing centers’ for Jews where the Nazis just couldn’t quite get the dose right; one of his “arguments” makes that claim.
              Want your crow rare or well-done? Or are you one more anti-semite bigot?

              1. If you had reviewed the evidence in the many counter arguments, you might not misrepresent them.

                But when refusing to consider counter arguments is your pathetic strategy, you are by definition a bigot.

            3. Normally I’d agree with those statements, mojavewolf, but Misek is a different level of bigot altogether.
              If you knew the crap he posts here you definitely wouldn’t say “which is not fact or fiction and therefore not “lies””.

              Misek IS a lying sack of shit.

              1. Confused eh? Who the fuck cares what whim you agree with?

                Unlike you, I’m not a bigot.

            4. There is no shortage of brainwashed bigot trolls.

              They are afraid and refuse to consider many good arguments refuting their cherished false holocaust narrative.

              They try to shame and coerce others to be bigots as well. Their bigoted perspective is safety in numbers. Not very libertarian.

              Necessarily to maintain bigotry, science and logic that soundly refute the holocaust are illegal in every country where the alleged evidence exists.

              These retards demonstrate bigotry.

            5. There is no shortage of brainwashed bigoted trolls as you can see.

              These people are afraid and refuse to consider many sound arguments refuting their cherished false holocaust narrative.

              They try to shame and coerce others to share their bigotry. Like sheep, they bigots find safety in numbers. Not very libertarian.

              They relish in the fact that by necessity the science and logic that refutes the false holocaust narrative is illegal to share in every nation where any alleged evidence of it would exist.

              They choose to wear their bigotry in the open, like bigoted badges of delusional honour.

              They are scaredy bigots.

            6. It was an argument.

              Examples of bigotry in a Sentence
              “ a deeply ingrained bigotry prevented her from even considering the counterarguments”

              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigotry

              1. I tried to post this here as a response to Rob before. Let’s see if it works now.

                I really think you are misusing the word “bigot.”

                Who exactly do you have to be bigoted against to not be a Holocaust denier? Bigoted against Nazis? I’ll admit that many people probably have an ingrained bias against Nazis, and therefore are dubious of them presenting sincere and objective arguments about anything.

                But that bias is not bigotry. It isn’t prejudice against a race or religion or skin color.

                I don’t like The tenets of communism. I think the philosophy is evil. Does that make me a bigot? Whom am I bigoted against? There has to be a clearly defined set of innate characteristics that person hates in order to be a bigot.

                It’s like if you denied the earth being round. If we dismiss your flat earth theory is that because of bigotry?

                You’re just using a word because you don’t like it being used against you. But why does it bother you? If you actually believe that Jews are evil and need to be gotten rid of, them why hide that bigotry? Why not just say that your bigotry is justified rather than claim it isn’t there.

                How can you convince us of the Jewish threat if you want us to also believe that you love the Jews as equal human beings?

                Choose a side and be proud of it.
                Wave your White Pride banner with gusto or not at all.

                Everyone here already knows you’re a bigot. You have deceived no one. But now we also think you’re too much of a coward to own your beliefs.

                Real Nazis didn’t bother to say, “are not! You’re the bigots! I’m
                a rubber Nazi and you’re a gluey Jew!”

                No, real Nazis proudly wore their bigotry on their arm bands as they tattooed and executed their enemies.

                They probably would have tossed you into the ovens as well for being such a sniveling coward who refused to boldly spew that Jews must die. And you disgrace the memories of those Nazis by claiming that they were utterly inept at pulling off their stated goal.

                Was the Final Solution a noble cause or wasn’t it? If it was, are you calling Hitler a bumbling loser for going about it so badly that he couldn’t even pull off a proper Holocaust?

                I guess we really have nothing to worry about then. You Nazis and White Power stooges can’t shoot straight or do anything right. If you couldn’t systematically and efficiently kill Jews when you had all the power in a country, what chance do you have in the coming race war?

                You’re much like the Southern Civil War losers. Proud of a heritage that earned you nothing but a participation trophy. And you still want to fly the flag that reminds the world of your pitiful ineptitude.

                We really do make too big a deal about the threat of white supremacists. What CAN you do well?

                1. I don’t need or want you or anyone else to put words in my mouth, lie about what I have ever said or done, to try to coerce others to persecute me.

                  I don’t give a fuck about what happens to Jews. When they lie the truth exposed them like anyone else. Lying about the bullshit holocaust narrative and crimes committed using it will be exposed.

                  Now about bigotry. That is simply demonstrated by the refusal to consider counter arguments, like all the evidence refuting the holocaust.

                  That’s what you and your gang of bigots do and you have been exposed as such.

                  I on the other hand welcome counter arguments for scrutiny. The fact that I refute them with logic and science says more about your intelligence, or lack thereof, than mine.

                  If you do ever grow a pair and review the evidence that soundly refutes the false holocaust narrative you will need to provide arguments that refute it. Those arguments in turn scrutinized.

                  That’s how people who aren’t bigots agree on the truth. They live with the rational conclusions.

                  As it stands, you are a demonstrated bigot, a loser.

                  1. Here is all the evidence that anyone needs to soundly refute the false holocaust narrative.

                    If you refuse to review it, you’re a bigot. Get over it.
                    Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust, Myth & Reality.

                    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23629458-breaking-the-spell

    2. They don’t control the narrative, hence the spittle-flecked rants and visceral anger.

      It’s been pointed out by many (including me) that institutions can be at their most dangerous when they’re in their death throes– or perhaps cornered (to be less hyperbolic). Media has turned out to be no exception.

      It’s certainly a good and complicated discussion as to not only where traditional media institutions went wrong, but why. But something has happened in the last… I’ll be conservative and say eight to ten years, where the goal is no longer to inform but to “take down” people with certain viewpoints that the media clique find unsavory.

      It’s not like “getting” the target of their reporting or investigations is an entirely new thing. But something fundamental changed a few years ago where it became the ONLY thing, and journalists were willing to do literally anything to achieve it, including but not limited to ignoring uncomfortable fact, editing interviews and interactions to bend the narratives, and even outright lying.

      1. The media had to switch to self proclaimed partisan entertainment because free speech in the internet exposed their propaganda for what it was.

        People who aren’t accessing social media still believe them. They also preach to the choir, bigots looking for confirmation bias. Apparently that’s enough for effective propaganda.

        1. “…They also preach to the choir, bigots looking for confirmation bias…”

          You should be thrilled!

          1. Project much?

  3. Sounds like they are ready to take the next steps in making the news media even less relevant than it is now.

    1. In Pravda, there is no truth, and in Isvestia, there is no news.

  4. scoldier *populace*. journolists very small pie-piece.

  5. The Twitter quote above is priceless:

    “If you’re out their marching and shouting Black Lives Matter but oppose removing admission tests and screens that keep most black children out of the best public schools, then your outrage is performative.”

    Implicit in that quote is that tests that gauge performance and knowledge are bad for black kids? Why? Does she feel that they aren’t able to compete in these tests as well as their lighter skinned counterparts? I certainly don’t feel that way and frankly, I find that offensively racist.

    1. I also just find the formulation offensive.

      “If you’re out their marching and shouting Black Lives Matter but ______________________________________, then your outrage is performative.”

      I used to have a girlfriend that would start sentences with “If you loved me you’d ___________________.” I told her the very first time that putting things that way would never work with me. The two things are clearly unrelated.

      The assertion of this Twitter quote is precisely the same thing. It’s saying “I’m going make a never ending list of of outrageous demands and to deny me even one of them means you’re an evil racist.” Society used to be really awful to people that looked you. So now as a grandchild of the people that suffered, you get to have literally anything you ask for? Is that how they think this is going to play out? I can completely agree that black people have gotten a pretty raw deal for the majority of this country’s history, but to pretend like this mentality is going to fix a single thing is insane.

      1. to pretend like this mentality is going to fix a single thing is insane.

        This mentality made sure she never has to worry about a paycheck again. So it fixed that.

        1. Great. So this helps all 87 people of color in the country who have successfully found profitable careers in the aggrievement industry. How does this help anyone else? If anything it’s counter productive. Teaching people that they need white people’s approval to make it in America might be the single biggest hurdle that people face today. If Ta’Nehesi Coates grew up reading and taking the advise of Ta’Nehesi Coates, he wouldn’t have become the influential Ta’Nehesi Coates. Surely he can understand that right?

          1. Great. So this helps all 87 people of color in the country who have successfully found profitable careers in the aggrievement industry. How does this help anyone else?

            A) There are thousands of such people just in academia so your numbers are off by somewhere between x100 and x10,000. This is going to be like growth in computer techs.

            B) Why would they care about anyone else?

      2. Good point. I’m very keen to people manipulating me like this.
        The formulation you’ve put out is good to be aware of, and it seems to be increasingly common.
        It’s no longer acceptable to be non-racist, you have to be anti-racist.

        Whenever someone says I need to do something in order to show I’m not _________ (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.) I start to tune out.

        1. “Whenever someone says I need to do something in order to show I’m not _________ (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.) I start to tune out.”

          The proper response to such a demand is: Why? Why do I have to show (whatever)? Who says? Who the (blank) do you think you are?!

    2. Last I heard Stuyvesant had 6 black students, most of whom weren’t obviously black. She’s objectively right.

    3. “Implicit in that quote is that tests that gauge performance and knowledge are bad for black kids?”

      The racism of reduced expectations.

  6. “…”Neutral objectivity” as an aspiration, he argues in a Times essay, has failed, and should be replaced by “moral clarity.”…”

    Mission accomplished years ago at NYT, CNN, MSNBC, SF Chron, WaPo and others.

    1. Not moral clarity, moral posturing.

      Nothing clear about their morals that shift like blowing sand and are not self consistent.

    2. That quote shows Lowery got it wrong from the start. Not only are you right those outlets aren’t objective, the lack of objectivity doesn’t mean objectivity has failed either.

      Matt deserves credit for an excellent article. It’s amazing how hard Lowery works to come up with these arguments – searching for a way perhaps to excuse their obvious failure regarding the Russian collusion delusion they fed us for years, because with the standard he wants, it’s OK because they were so morally superior.

      Dr. Jonathan Haidt writes about the differences between conservatives and liberals, and it has to do with different views of morality.

  7. ENB most convinced by Lowery.

  8. If disproportionate impact is the standard is the NYT going to label “Defund the Police” as racist?

    No? So really they’re just saying they should write whatever they want in support of their far left political preferences?

    1. Haven’t they been doing that all along?

      1. Yes, but they’re tired of being criticized for it.

  9. ‘ “Neutral objectivity” as an aspiration, he argues in a Times essay, has failed, ‘

    Neutral objectivity didn’t fail, it’s just summarily rejected by Marxists and always has been.

    1. Any “failure” is attributed to those charged with providing it.

    2. “Neutral objectivity” has never really been tried.

    3. Lowrey sounds line a baseball player saying “We have failed at hitting home runs. We should change the goal of hitting home runs to scoring touchdowns!” And an accurate response to this guy would be “Perhaps you should stop playing football and actually swing the bat for once. This is baseball after all.”

  10. This isn’t really new to Trump or this era. The only different is that Trump actually fights back, although at the level of kindergarten name calling.

    But Republicans have been called Hitler since at least Reagan (I don’t remember the Ford era, but he was probably too dimwitted to be insulted too much) which is pretty much the most serious charge that can be made – hey, you’re a genocidal racist madman.

    Even charges against Romney that he would literally re-enslave black people are pretty minor against that.

    What’s different now is that once upon a time, there were partisan newspapers and organizations of both ends of the spectrum/parties. This has largely given way to only the left having a voice in the media.

  11. I’m assuming he means subjective moral clarity.

    1. Yeah that struck me, too. He thinks he can’t have objective clarity on facts in the world but he can have objective moral clarity? 😐

      This is what drove me out of academia.

      1. Were you teaching geometry?

  12. I completely endorse the abandonment of Both Sidism.

    So, when do we see a denunciation of all Marxist thought? If we’re going to talk about police reform in the language of communist revolution, shouldn’t the media point out how crazy that is, and how badly we don’t want communism? Hello? 20th century?

    That’s more important than hand-wringing about Tom Cotton getting to write an op-ed.

    1. Yeah – if he tells me “Can we psychically handle the task of saying [only] one of our political parties has lost its mind,” I suspect I’m not going to agree with him about which party that is.

  13. Fuck Lowery. Fuck Hannah-Jones. Fuck any other ideological asshole who is making a play to seize power, indoctrinate the masses, and control society.

    This will not end well. And a hint to the SJW revolutionaries: when things turn violent, the city dwellers seldom win. The fascist government you seem to want to confront will bus in the troops from the countryside to bust some heads or worse. Woke vs. broke will not be kind to you.

  14. The scary part is when you end up interacting with someone who actually believes in subjective moral clarity instead of facts and reality. It’s religious, in a very medieval kind of way, where faith is the only thing that matters.

    1. We’re seeing this “moral clarity” all around us. As John McWhorter says, it’s a religion; not like a religion but an actual religion.
      Why, may I ask, does this “moral clarity” always favor the progressive left? Surely there must be one issue where it doesn’t? One? As a poster above says, surely “moral clarity” reveals Marxism as a failed ideology that has devastated countries for about a century? But I don’t see this “moral clarity” being applied.

  15. “This adherence to even-handedness, both-sidesism, the View from Nowhere, doesn’t actually work in the political circumstances that we’re in.” Relying on the creaky tools of liberalism in the era of Donald Trump, the new argument goes, is like bringing a banana to a knife fight.”

    They think they’re being too fair–to President Donald Trump–are you kidding?!

    Do they have any idea how completely insane this sounds to average Americans? I, myself, am starting to wonder if they really believe the things they’re saying.

    1. It shows how spooked they are by having to defend their views and prejudices.

      Thinking is hard work.

      1. I had a discussion recently with my wife, daughter, and two other women in which I was criticizing our female health officer (Amy Acton, here in OH) for stopping the OH primary back in March. My point was that she was not an elected official, and should not have such powers. After flailing around a bit, they determined I was being sexist.

        This is the usual fall back for Progs when they can’t respond reasonably. Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. It signals that they LOST the argument when they resort to ad hominems

        1. This post made me appreciate my wife.

        2. I’ll defer to Bill Burr on this one.

          When women go down to that level, it means you won the argument. They’re trying to make you lose your temper, at that point, which they usually know you well enough to accomplish. Once you get angry, they’ll say something like, “Perhaps we should discuss this after you’ve calmed down”.

          Like Bill Burr says, when they go that low, it means they’ve lost their temper, but they’ll never show it. Because that would mean they lost. So when they call you a sexist or something, instead of getting angry, realize that you just won the argument, turn to them as cool as a cucumber and say, “Maybe we should discuss this once you’ve calmed down”. The reason they hate being told to calm down is because it means they just lost the argument.

        3. Like you said, thinking is hard work. You could say if the world view of a progressive (or anyone) is challenged, then that can cause them stress or pain, and if it is easier to dismiss an argument by damaging the credibility of their opponent by calling them a sexist/racist/bigot, then they may go that route (math and science were created/discovered mostly by men, and is therefore part of the oppressive patriarchy and can readily be dismissed as well, for example). If they have trouble dismissing them, then they may shout them down so that no one can hear them (the heckler’s veto). If it’s hard to shout them down, then they may try to de-platform them by threatening the venue, the speaker, the listeners, etc. Eventually, they’ll just want to imprison the people who don’t agree with them, since those people are Nazis at this point and therefore are actively evil humans that lack any humanity, but a lot of those people are armed, so those scary looking assault rifles (a.k.a. effective weapons) will have to be confiscated first. It being OK to punch a Nazi (anyone that doesn’t agree with you) will eventually lead to other things.

          Like Dale Carnegie said in his book about how to win friends and influence people – when people argue, they are rarely seeking truth, they are almost always seeking justification for the view that they already have. It’s all just mental gymnastics, creatively made up to justify their world view, which itself is justification to accomplish something like lessening their stress by living off the backs of others or something – since they find life too difficult because they are nihilists and don’t believe in anything, or something like that. I’m still trying to figure this stuff out in my head.

    2. This talk about evenhandedness being unsuited for the era of Donald Trump might be persuasive… if they hadn’t said exactly the same thing eight years ago about Mitt Romney, the alleged “biggest liar in American political history.” Or throughout the presidency of George W. Bush. Or while defending Bill Clinton during his sex scandals. Or if I had not heard Leslie Stahl complain thirty some-odd years ago that CBS News was “biased in favor of Ronald Reagan” and wouldn’t let her tell the “truth” about him.

  16. Racism, as we know, is not about what lies in the depths of a human’s heart

    AYFKM???????

    1. Thank you. A truly terrifying sentiment. Say I’m a waitress and two tables are seated at once. A black family sits at one and a white family sits at the other. I go to the white family first – maybe I saw them first or they were closer. WHOOPS there went my job, even though I harbor no racism in the depths of my heart.

      1. But if you, instead, go to the Black table first… BECAUSE of the color of their skin, then what is that? Did you not have intent to act toward them in a different way based on skin tone? Is that not the even more clearly form of racism? Or is the left trying to say that what we normally think of racism (you know… the thing in our minds and hearts) doesn’t exist and that the only racism is this amorphous ethereal systemic racism?

  17. Am I mistaken in seeing that the state of the news industry is abyssal? Aren’t journalists still losing their jobs pretty much all over the country? Does anyone see journalism as a growth industry?

    Part of that is because journalists are among the most hated people in our society. Even as relatively unpopular as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were in 2016, neither one were ever less popular than the news industry as a whole.

    Reading about a rebelling in the newsroom is like listening to the last of the buggy whip workers declaring that they’re going on strike. To some extent, the digital news has made up for all the losses in newspapers, but the streaming services are almost sure to put a crimp in that–just like they do with every media property attached to the cable industry.

    Right now, I’m using Philo as my streaming service–CNN, Fox, and MSNBC aren’t getting a penny from me. And I’m watching stuff on cable anyway. Up yours CNN! I bought a TV antenna and plugged it into a Tablo unit–and now I’m getting all the local broadcasts for free, too. Paying for the news used to be unavoidable, but now people are flocking to cheaper streaming services that don’t include cable news and local news–that most people hate anyway.

    Point being, the financial viability of journalism has been imploding for years, and that trend is likely to continue. Go look at the news offerings on your Roku nowadays, and you’ll see an almost limitless supply of free 24 hours news services. The money is getting sucked out of the news industry, even from the digital and television players. I know a lot of these news media outlets are backed by people who don’t buy the news media for the profits but for the influence, but the value of that influence will also wane as more and more people tune out.

    1. A cynic might view these insane media trends and think that if the writers and publishers are not delusional, true-believer zealots (and some certainly are), then they have decided their future fortunes, if not survival, depend on pandering to the mob and/or sucking up to the politicians aligned with the mob.

      Clearly, any old fashioned journalist ethics entail too much risk and not enough mass appeal.

      1. Please see my post below regarding Locast.

        I think it explains a big chunk of the reason why the news rooms in this country aren’t really competing for eyeballs.

  18. Cute. Journalist claiming to have morals.

    While not a fan of the “get both sides” school of journalism (do we really need moon-landing conspiracy theorist to comment on going to Mars), much like the howls over black depictions in media; don’t be surprised when a selection of whites are willing to take up the mantle of being called devils.

    This leaves the door open for the most abhorrent racism, no longer couched in dog whistles but “in the language of the unheard”. And as they point to their own psy-ops in relation to the MSM, what will they say?

    Congratulations on forcing the hand to where violent reprisals are all but inevitable.

    Fucking idiots.

    1. The pendulum will swing back.

      1. That actually frightens me even more.

        Rarely is there a move to just right, but a period of over-corrections that start losing inertia.

        For all the furor over the left, they are mostly incompetent.

        Give a power vacuum to someone with actual capabilities, and that’s how you get true fascism.

        1. “Human reason is like a drunken man on horseback: set it up on one side, and it tumbles over on the other.” – Martin Luther

          But I don’t think that the left is incompetent. I think many of the crazier stunts they pull are deliberate efforts to shift the Overton Window.

  19. “‘Neutral objectivity’ has failed”, says the guy who’s never even tried it. But sure. Keep driving your profession further and further into irrelevance. We will survive without you.

    1. David Waddle said “mean things about conservatives”. It’s not like he ran a list with journalists on there working to coordinate stories or anything.

      1. You mean like a… JournoList?

  20. Enemy of the people.

  21. I’m a big believer in technology and markets being the solution to our problems, and the solution to these sick fucks and the way they’ve been financing their newsrooms is a problem that technology and markets can solve. Here’s part of the solution: Locast.

    If you live in one of the following cities:

    Atlanta
    Baltimore
    Boston
    Chicago
    Dallas
    Denver
    Houston
    Los Angeles
    New York City
    Philadelphia
    San Francisco
    Seattle
    Washington DC

    You do not need to pay for cable in order to watch Baseball, Basketball, Football or anything else on your local broadcast stations. You can install Locast on any device you can think of–including a Roku player–and you will get all of your local broadcast stations for free.

    Your local broadcast stations are required to broadcast their signals free of charge as a condition of being given their spectrum by the FCC–without having to buy the spectrum from the taxpayer at auction. However, because Republicans (back in the ’90s) were afraid that cable operators like Turner Broadcasting might cut off local Fox affiliates as cable became more pervasive, they passed a federal law that requires cable companies to carry the local broadcasters’ signal–and the cable companies have to pay for the privilege.

    The amount your local broadcasters gets in revenue from the cable companies for carrying their signals now accounts for a huge chunk of their profits. In fact, in the biggest markets, where everyone is paying for cable, the parent companies of the broadcast networks have bought out the local broadcasters so that they can get those cable subscriber dollars themselves. Once they do that, some of them reportedly started downgrading the strength of their signals so that fewer and fewer people could watch them for free with an antenna. That way, they have to pay the cable company to watch their local football team, their local broadcast, etc. Yeah, of course Disney owns the local ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, New York City, and elsewhere!

    This is one of the reasons why the news media is so fucked up–because CNN and MSNBC get paid by you as a subscriber to the cable service–regardless of whether you actually watch their show. And, what’s worse, ABC’s, CBS’, NBC’s news divisions are getting money from you as a cable subscriber to carry their shows–regardless of whether you actually watch their news broadcasts, too! If the cable company has to pay to carry their signal whether they like it or not, you, as a cable customer, are having to reimburse them for those costs.

    If you start streaming and go to a service that doesn’t offer those local broadcasters, e.g, Sling or Philo, then they’re getting zero money from you as a subscriber. That’s one of the reasons, streaming is so much less expensive than cable. If the big broadcasters’ revenue were solely dependent on willing subscribers and the number of people who actually tuned in to watch their broadcasts, instead of the number of cable subscribers, their newsrooms would largely be dismantled–unless they adjusted their content to be more widely watched.

    That’s where Locast comes in. They put up a huge antenna in the middle of your city, which brings in all of the local broadcasts, and they distribute that signal for free. They’re not even charging for the service! (Legally, they can’t).

    If you hate the news media as much as I do and would love to see journalism subjected to market forces (rather than lob shit-bombs at average people and the politicians who stick up for them without fear of it really hurting their bottom line), then by all means, you owe to yourself to stop paying them to create the news you hate by subscribing to cable.

    Get yourself a Roku player. Find yourself one of the cable replacement apps that doesn’t carry your local broadcasters (and is much cheaper than cable because of it), and then install Locast with a single click. If you do so, you will be doing your patriotic duty to bleed the god-awful newsrooms of this country of revenue. When enough of us stop bending over for them, we’ll start seeing the newsrooms compete for eyeballs again rather than seeing them screech at average Americans like we’re the devil.

    1. You don’t even need that. I am agog that people don’t realize you can stick a cheap antenna to your tv and get all the local broadcasts. In the Chicago area that’s over 60 channels. I think NYC is close to 100. Granted many are of low interest, foreign language or home shopping or religious. But if people dumped their cable or streaming eventually all that programming would end up provided OTA. Many new TVs also include a DVR allowing you to skip over ads.

  22. “Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning…”

    Just like Walter Duranty.

    1. In the future two bottles of Victory Gin and a Pulitzer-Prize will be MiniTrue’s top award.

  23. Wait. There are selective government schools? Really? WTF? Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose?

  24. Is it just me, or do other people feel like the writers at reason are running around like Seinfeld with a version of “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” when it comes to these issues? I don’t know. I think this movement in the media towards moral instruction and exposing morally flawed humans (which is all of us) is terrifying. This is some seriously Orwellian shit, not just an interesting phase in the history of journalism.

    1. No, it’s not just you.

  25. “Racism, as we know, is not about what lies in the depths of a human’s heart. It is about word and deed. And a more aggressive commitment to truth from the press would empower our industry to finally admit that….”

    …they are the actual racists.

    Who traps black kids in failing schools and who supports policies that would let them escape?

    Who fights against neighborhood re-vitalization?

    Who supports policies that destroy black families?

    Who supports abortion-as-birth-control in black communities?

    Who keeps black people afraid of the people who might actually be able to get crime out of their communities?

    If it is actions that show what you are, then the left hates black people.

    1. Racist.

    2. Literally shaking.

  26. Re: my comment at 6:19.
    “Climate activism, racial justice intersect in Bay Area protests”
    […]
    “Oakland high school student Aniya Butler became an activist in large part because she was concerned about climate change, which threatens to shape her future in damaging and irreversible ways without decisive measures to curb the worst effects of a warming world.
    But lately, Butler, 14, has taken to the streets to champion another cause: racial justice…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Climate-activism-racial-justice-intersect-in-Bay-15361543.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    This is offered in the ‘journalism’ section of the paper – ’nuff said.

    1. Solving the climate “crisis” is easy. Simply pass a law prohibiting higher temperature averages than in any given year. Kind of like that Australian politician who asserted the dominance of Australia’s laws over the laws of mathematics. Just make a law that says ‘x’, and ‘x’ happens… right?

      As far as racial justice, social justice, and all of the other supposed types of justice… if they need such a qualifier before ‘justice,’ it’s because they are something other than actual justice. True justice doesn’t need a qualifier.

      It was unjust that George Floyd was killed, and actual justice demands something be done about it. Racial justice has no role in that case, even though that has been the catalyst for all of this push for ‘racial’ justice. A man was killed by an agent of the state, and that was either justified or it was not. Race doesn’t change anything. If the cop was black, it would change nothing. If the victim were white, it would change nothing. Agents of the state (like the rest of us) should not be doing this to anyone.

      There’s a reason the image of justice personified is blindfolded. If you’re asking her to peek and to put a thumb on the scale for one side or another, that’s not justice. That’s a perversion of justice, a destruction of justice.

      1. I should have said that a man was killed by an agent of government, not the state, as he was in the employ of a municipal PD.

      2. it’s because they are something other than actual justice. True justice doesn’t need a qualifier.

        Those appear to be qualifiers

  27. Interesting that there’s no mention on Reason today of the Ds blocking Tim Scott’s police reform bill, nor the death threats against him

    1. Who’s gonna put their life on the line for that ol Uncle Tom?

      /s

      1. Who’s gonna put their cocktail party invitations on the line for that ol Uncle Tom?

  28. The New York Times’ announcement was less concrete, but still expansive, saying it aims to rewire how it operates and makes decisions to yield a newsroom that is transformed by racial awareness, both in hiring and in coverage.

    Jesus christ, reading that gave me chills.

    1. You know who is the most racially aware?

      KKK
      Nazis
      White Supremacists
      Black Panthers
      BLM
      Progressives

      That should provide for a pleasant, balanced staff.

    2. So that’s a big “no” on MLK Jr’s thing about being judged by the content of character rather than color of the skin?

  29. Racism, as we know, is not about what lies in the depths of a human’s heart. It is about word and deed expressing things that some people don’t want to hear no matter how much truth they convey.

  30. Ive been seeing moral clarity for a long time.

    I’d like a little symbol to indicate that a piece is “morally clear”. Then I can avoid reading it, especially when I don’t have the time.

    1. Look for the words “Imprimatur” and “Nihil Obstat”

      1. My, you are just a font of interesting trivia!

        It’s crazy that people insist on conflating you with Michael Hihn. Hihn’s a low-watt nutjob. There’s nothing low-watt about you.

  31. Can we psychically handle the task of saying one of our political parties has lost its mind, or will we Both Sides ourselves into oblivion?

    The hilarity of this is that this push is the other political party losing its mind. Either that, or we can just say Trump has caused everyone to drop his mask.

  32. How blind to history can you be to believe that ‘moral clarity’ wins out over reality and truth?

    Lenin and Trotsky had moral clarity. So did Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Kammler, and other luminaries of the 3rd Reich. So did Nathan Bedford Forrest and other leaders of the confederacy. So did Mao, Polpot, Ho Chi Min, and every other ideological dictator of the 20th century. All that results from elevating subjective ‘moral clarity’ over other considerations is a pile of bodies. You’d think we might have learned something… you’d have been wrong.

    Just because you have subjective ‘moral clarity’ doesn’t mean it leads to good ends. Nor does it mean your opponents don’t equally have ‘moral clarity’. Shouting at other people never changed their minds, either.

    1. Shorter:

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    2. They’re too wrapped up in their illiberalism and too ignorant to understand your point.

      That’s how low I think of these people. They’re on the same level of celebrity chef. May as well put NYT and CNN on the Food Network.

  33. “Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning correspondent for the 60 Minutes offshoot”

    /giggles.

    Lying cronies giving lying cronies awards.

    And yeh ssssure. These fuckheads are going to provide ‘moral clarity’. Will Lebron and Pop join in?

    As Costanza once said, ‘where do you get the ego?’

    If you want moral clarity, it’s not that hard to achieve. IGNORE cocksuckers like Wesley, read history and philosophy or go see a Priest or Rabbi.

    But do NOT read the media which is just commie poison bull shit.

    They’re the last class of people you should be getting lessons of any kind from.

    How about, you know, you do your FUCKEN JOBS properly. You can’t even get a ‘noose in the house!’ story straight without fucking lying like the lying sacks of shits you are.

    This ‘moral clarity’ angle pissed me off. They’re gone from incompetent, lazy propagandists to anointing themselves ‘moral’ clerics. The arrogance is rather astonishing.

    2020 really is making me thirsty.

    1. They’ve

  34. This is a good article. Thank you.

  35. I find it odd that they say that “one political party has gone rogue”, and it’s not the one that is actively burning down buildings and allowing an open revolt in the streets of Seattle. Trump is doing a lot of things. A lot of those things, I’d prefer he’d not do. However, the Democrats have gone so far as to empower political prosecutions of government officials and impeach the president for investigating corruption.

    One party is going hard on their lines. The other is going off the rails.

    1. You honestly think that Trump was interested in corruption in the Ukraine. Was he also interested in Chinese corruption when he asked Xi for election help? This is why you people shouldn’t have the keys.

      1. Fucking idiot once again conflating Republicans and libertarians.

        You’re an ignorant fool Tony. Your friends laugh at you (mostly) behind your back.

  36. Remember when we used to challenge declarations of moral value by asking “by what standard?” Since altruism is all the Gee-Oh-Pee and Dem halves of the entrenched Kleptocracy can come up with as an answer, which fact suffices to prove they are the same thing, the question became thoughtcrime to consider and hate speech to utter.

  37. so he wants to report the dog whistling that only he can hear.

    1. I hate that term… dog whistle. A co-worker throws that bomb at me all the time and I think… so which of us keeps hearing it? Sure as shit isn’t me.

  38. Both-sidesism has long been an appropriate object of scorn. Let’s be honest, slapping an (R) after your name and running for office gives you more credibility than the greasy schizo on the street corner, even if you say all the same things. And you do! We have two political parties so the guys with the worse ideas and the least attachment to empirical reality get a huge amount of affirmative action in media.

    But we shouldn’t leapfrog to demanding that journalists have certain political beliefs. But you’re an idiot if you think this habit is confined to one side of the political spectrum. Especially since when it’s the right doing the thought policing it’s not in service of social equality, it’s usually to start a war. Try being critical of Bush post-9/11. That was dangerous, and the hundreds of thousands of needless dead would say so too, if they weren’t dead.

    1. Snort. Yeah, “being critical on GWB” cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives.

      You should write for the Times.

  39. When journalists make this change (and most already have), they cease to be journalists. And it ought to be possible to bring false advertising actions against fake news media.

  40. When I was a kid in the 1950’s it was the conservatives who were in favor of banning books and movies. One response of the liberals was to create the ACLU.

    Sad to see liberals today wanting to suppress political speech they don’t agree with.

  41. Truly believing that you’re smarter, morally superior, and better in every way than everyone else (especially those who have the nerve to disagree with you about something) is not only the biggest self-delusion there is, it’s also the most dangerous.

    Sooner or later, people like this always and inevitably come to the conclusion that all the “deplorables” who stubbornly refuse to agree need to be exterminated in some big “Red Wedding” type of event.

    Our so-called “mainstream media” today is one of the biggest and most self-delusional group of egotists you’ll ever see.

  42. Its like an umpire making calls for Team A because “everybody knows Team A is the better team”.

  43. But just because someone claims that it was bigotry preventing her from buying the argument doesn’t make it so.

    And I really think you are misusing the word “bigot.”

    Who exactly do you have to be bigoted against to not be a Holocaust denier? Bigoted against Nazis? I’ll admit that many people probably have an ingrained bias against Nazis, and therefore are dubious of them presenting sincere and objective arguments about anything.

    But that bias is not bigotry. It isn’t prejudice against a race or religion or skin color.

    I don’t like The tenets of communism. I think the philosophy is evil. Does that make me a bigot? Whom am I bigoted against? The has to be a clearly defined set of innate characteristics that person hates in order to be a bigot.

    It’s like if you denied gravity, and the earth being round. If we dismiss your flat earth theory is that because of bigotry?

    You’re just using a word because you don’t like it being used against you. But why does it bother you? If you actually believe that Jews are evil and need to be gotten rid of, them why hide that bigotry? Why not just say that your bigotry is justified rather than claim it isn’t there.

    How can you convince us of the Jewish threat if you want us to also believe that you love the Jews as equal human beings?

    Choose a side and be proud of it.
    Wave your White Pride banner with gusto or not at all.

    Everyone here already knows you’re a bigot. You have deceived no one. But now we also think you’re too much of a coward to own your beliefs.

    Real Nazis didn’t bother to say, “are not! You’re the bigots! I’m
    a rubber Nazi and you’re a gluey Jew!”

    No, real Nazis proudly wore their bigotry on their arm bands as they tattooed and executed their enemies.

    They probably would have tossed you into the ovens as well for being such a sniveling coward who refused to boldly spew that Jews must die. And you disgrace the memories of those Nazis by claiming that they were utterly inept at pulling off their stated goal.

    Was the Final Solution a noble cause or wasn’t it? If it was, are you calling Hitler a bumbling loser for going about it so badly that he couldn’t even pull off a proper Holocaust?

    I guess we really have nothing to worry about then. You Nazis and White Power stooges can’t shoot straight or do anything right. If you couldn’t systematically and efficiently kill Jews when you had all the power in a country, what chance do you have in the coming race war?

    You’re much like the Southern Civil War losers. Proud of a heritage that earned you nothing but a participation trophy. And you still want to fly the flag that reminds the world of your pitiful ineptitude.

    We really do make too big a deal about the threat of white supremacists. What can you do well?

    1. This was meant as a response to Rob Misek.

      The fact that I couldn’t properly reply in the correct place maybe means that I’m
      Just as inept as Rob’s Nazi brethren who he claims couldn’t even pull off a proper Holocaust when they had all the power.

      1. You are inept.

  44. Any time journalistic objectivity is abandoned, we’re in trouble.

    HOWEVER: At least these journalists are abandoning journalistic objectivity for something objectively worthwhile (moral clarity). Compare that to what the “other side” is doing. The propagandists at FoxNews abandoned journalistic objectivity over two decades ago, and they did it for mere power and wealth!

    You may judge for yourself which motivation is worse for humanity.

    1. The fact that you think anything is “objectively worthwhile” indicates stupidity. “Worthwhile” is an inherently subjective concept. But I’m giving you too much credit for trying to make a moral or philosophical point when you’re just another metronomic “Fox News bad!” moron.

  45. Look, the supposed objectivity of the news media is a myth. It has ALWAYS been a myth. Reporters have always carried water for whoever set editorial policy. The Fascist Left propagated the myth to misdirect the energies of their opponents from publishing opposing bias into complaining about lack of objectivity. And it has worked very well for them, although somewhat less well recently.

    Journalists haven’t abandoned objectivity; they never had any.

    1. Journalists were never completely objective, but there was a time that they at least tried to maintain that appearance. They claimed to uphold the ideal of objectivity as a sacred trust in journalism, and in their minds (biased, as all humans are), some of them may have thought they were being objective, to the degree that anyone can be. In doing so, they (inavertently?) managed to inject some actual balance into the news they presented. That did not make the news reports unbiased by any means, but it kept it from going to 11.

      Now they’ve given up on trying to appear unbiased. During Obama’s campaign, it seemed that many of the supposed journalists were part of the campaign effort, and it’s only gotten worse since then. The NYT is simply admitting what they’ve been doing for years… they haven’t had objectivity as a goal in a long time.

      1. there was a time that they at least tried to maintain that appearance.

        Was it Cronkite who declared the Tet Offensive a massive US defeat and caused a shift in support of continuing that war?

  46. Every white liberal will learn the hard way, when they too are hunted in the streets, BLM movement doesnt want equality. They want supremacy! They tear down statues not caring if its a confederate or abolitionist. They only care because the statue is a white male. Wont be long now before white males are sent to concentration camps and white females are all Karens and PAWGS for black males.

  47. Who appointed a bunch of journalists to be the moral police and when did it happen? I’m curious because I don’t remember voting on that issue. Journalists have abandoned objective journalism not because it failed us but because it failed them and their socialist agenda. They have had to admit as much and openly become propagandists. The irony is that journalists are probably the least moral profession out there and I’m taking into account personal injury lawyers, politicians and terrorists. They purposefully lie and distort to push their agendas or raise their ratings. Anyone remember the Tail Wind Scandal, the bogus Side Saddle gas tank investigation, the phony Bush ’43 draft board letter, etc.? I wouldn’t trust them to take out my trash, let alone decide what is moral and what isn’t. The Media in general and newspapers in particular are in decline for a reason – people don’t trust them. There is a reason that journalism’s most prestigious award – the Pulitzer – is named after one of the creators of ‘yellow journalism’ who was also a major player in the Democratic Party when it was in charge of the ‘Jim Crow’ south. I guess they’ll have to start a new prize – the Joseph Stalin Prize for freedom and kindness.

    1. Besides all that, many who call themselves journalists are dumb as posts. Recall that even Ben Rhodes confessed that the journalists who were covering Obama’s campaigns all seemed to be about 27 years old and knew nothing – tell them what to say and they go out and create an echo chamber. I have never been able to figure out why they are so proud of themselves.

      Unbelievable that Lowerey is “award winning.” He writes so vaguely that I for one can’t tell exactly what he is getting at after reading what he wrote several times. I suspect that the images and symbols he substitutes for clarity of expression were developed by university grievance studies departments to conceal their vapidity of thought. Publishers, please include a translation guide with future columns.

  48. The last thing a newspaper should do is lay out the facts when it could be the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. After all a 20 something journalist just graduated from one of our fine universities surely knows “right” when he or she sees it.

  49. “‘Black journalists are speaking out because one of the nation’s major political parties and the current presidential administration are providing refuge to white supremacist rhetoric and policies, and our industry’s gatekeepers are preoccupied with seeming balanced, even ordering up glossy profiles of complicit actors.'”

    Mr. Welch doubts that the above statement is true. There should be no doubt. Other than the lefties at the MSM, there has never been any accusation or proof of racism with the Orange Man’s administration.

  50. “If you think something is racist, have the courage to report it as such no matter what”

    That sums up the new moral clarity mantle of woke journalism. If you were objective, you would have to call out the likes of Jussie Smollett or pour cold water on the ridiculous notion that there’s “systematic” racism in the United States. Because facts don’t support it.

    But why report on basic truths that can undermine your subjective position, when you can advance a unverifiable narrative that bolsters it?

  51. Lowery is obviously not a journalist at all, but a left-wing propaganda operative. Fuck him, I don’t give a shit what he thinks on any subject at all.

    -jcr

  52. Back in the day, most intelligent Americans received their view of the world from the New York Times through it’s influence on the major national print and broadcast media. In contrast, the New York Daily News was ridiculed as the newspaper for working class slobs.
    I wonder who’s now presenting a more truthful view of the world and the nation as it is.

    1. We’re living through an insane age of political correctness fueled by media propaganda.

      There always was media propaganda but today with social media always threatening to expose it, liars with agendas have redoubled their attacks.

      Now with social shaming, no due process, and post truth laws giving lies the same weight as truth, people are being persecuted more than ever for exercising 1a and sharing the truth.

      Logically it can’t last. Reality will preside much to the chagrin of the liars. Social media is here to stay.

      Humanity will realize we can’t accept the censorship of truth, reality because the recognition of it is the basis of not only civilization but also evolution.

  53. Oh God No.

    Who have we become that we can say things like this with a straight face and earnest mien? “The point here is neither to play racism gotcha nor argue ad absurdum that it’s fruitless to worry over unequal outcomes; it’s to observe that these assessments are very much under dispute, and rightly so.”

    NO! They are not “very much under dispute”, nor “rightly so”! Logically, rationally, this so-called ‘dispute’ does not, should not, and cannot exist.

    Unequal outcomes are ONLY and ever unequal outcomes. They tell us absolutely nothing about the fairness or unfairness or neutrality of the process which produced the outcomes.

    Further, we can say with absolute confidence, that given Man’s essential, fundamental Inequality (save before God and the Law), we can guarantee that ANY neutral process will inevitably produce imbalanced outcomes as unequal individuals compete within any neutral system or process.

    If you beat me 10/10 times in a 100m. dash should my initial conclusion be that the race was fixed? That the refs are crooked? Would that be a ‘fair’ assessment which is — legitimately — “very much under dispute”?

    If a process or a system or a rule or a law is clearly race or sex or gender or whatever neutral then it is neutral EVEN IF the outcome of that process or system or rule is race or sex or gender or whatever imbalanced. Period. That’s it. There is no dispute.

    [But to object — rationally and logically — to the contention that unequal outcomes are evidence of some ‘ism’ must be, per the author, to argue ‘ad absurdum’. Obviously, in the Woke World, it can’t just be fact.]

    That Lowery — a Pulitzer Prize Winner (which, sadly, tells us way too much about the ‘system’ which awards Pulitzers — would seriously and passionately suggest that “Neutral objectivity” as an aspiration has failed, and should be replaced by “moral clarity”… indicates only that he is nothing more than a tool of the Totalitarian Left. The very idea — that ‘moral clarity’ should replace objectivity — is one that both Goebbels and Stalin would enthusiastically embrace. ‘Yes, we know best what’s best for you!’ As good ole’ Uncle Joe himself noted, “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.”

    So — if we replace the possibility of ‘wrong ideas’ with ‘moral clarity’ (because, after all, who knows better than we, what YOU should be thinking, should be reading, should be saying?! After all WE possess — praise the Lord — MORAL CLARITY.)… then we thereby eliminate the possibility of wrong thinking.

    But we cannot be surprised by this mendacity…nor by the embrace (tepid or not) by others in the media who suggest that ‘Yes, there is something to be said for moral clarity’. (It certainly makes reporting much easier since every Woke reporter already KNOWS what is right and wrong and what the audience should & shouldn’t read). This is all the fruit of the Progressively Poisoned Tree. Given voice by the Idiots at Pomona back in 2017 (in their illiterate response to their President’s plea for Free Speech):

    (Please excuse the length of the quote…the better to capture the depth of their idiocy):
    “Thus, if “our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth,” how does free speech uphold that value? The notion of discourse, when it comes to discussions about experiences and identities, deters the ‘Columbusing’ of established realities and truths (coded as ‘intellectual inquiry’) that the institution promotes… Either you support students of marginalized identities, particularly Black students, or leave us to protect and organize for our communities without the impositions of your patronization, without your binary respectability politics, and without your monolithic perceptions of protest and organizing. In addition, non-Black individuals do not have the right to prescribe how Black people respond to anti-Blackness.”

    They go on.
    “Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth–’the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny.”

    How can we be surprised that such anti-thought has now opened its maw wide enough to swallow what used to be journalism?

    “The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples”.

    And so even the pretense of Objectivity dies because Objectivity is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.

    “Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

    Say hello to “Moral Clarity”….that ‘rough beast, slouching towards Bethlehem to be born’.

    1. We exist in an age of people disregarding the meanings of words and redefining them to surreptitiously undermine how we understand reality.

      Here we read “moral clarity” as clear indoctrination in ideology. That’s not what “moral” means.

      Moral means

      “of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL“

      In case you’re now considering bastardizing me meaning of “right”. Right means “ the cause of truth or justice“

      So moral clarity should not be taken to.mean ideological clarity but instead clarity of truth and justice.

      The pursuit of truth and.justice is honourable and the basis of civilization.

      The pursuit of ideology is superstition.

      I hope that demonstrates why the two shouldn’t be conflated.

  54. While some will argue true objectivity doesn’t exist, I would disagree.

    Regardless, those wishing to abandon even the pretense of being objective do so not out of a desire for better journalism, but because they just can’t be bothered to try.

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