The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Banality of Bias

The whole world is jumping about the cracking of the Journolist archives.   The Daily Caller should be praised for getting this and this promises to be the first of days to come.

So by now we all know how they tried to spike the story of Rev. Wright, the unreconstructed racist who served as Obama’s preacher for some twenty years.  Read it all if you haven’t already.

But let me add my two cents to the issue.  I think what is truly shocking isn’t that people like Spencer Ackerman proposed smearing random conservatives as racist because they didn’t recognize how self-evidently awesome Obama is.  No, what is shocking is that no one is shocked by it.  No one speaks up and says, “are you insane?  That would be unethical as a journalist.”  No instead what we saw was the sheer banality of it, in their eyes.  Just as Hannah Arendt found it remarkable that the Nazis could talk about exterminating the Jews with all the fervor of your typical county zoning commission meeting, we should find it damning that nobody thought there was anything shocking in what Ackerman said.

And isn’t that an ethical breach?  I mean in law we are required to report when other lawyers do something unethical and it’s the same rule for doctors and nurses.  But aren’t journalists required to report when other reporters are behaving unethically?  Or are we prepared to say that journalists are not held to the same high standards as lawyers?

But let’s go on, because this seems to be a running theme these days.
I have long said that the most damning this about climategate isn’t that scientists were colluding to skew the science.  What was damning was no one called them on it.  Because one or two guys faking data, that happens.  But the fact that laughably false documents like the hockey stick were never called out as the frauds they were, shows that the scientists either 1) didn’t notice or 2) didn’t care.  Neither answer makes them look good.

And we find the same thing in the video of Shirley Sherrod, where she says that she didn’t help a farmer because he was white.  The shocking thing isn’t her racism, but the fact that her audience wasn’t shocked by it.  That’s why the NAACP dumping on her now doesn’t help their reputation one bit.  Its clear they don’t care about racism in their ranks until it, you know, embarrasses them.  Its not quite the same with Sonia Sotomayor and her wise latina comment.  A sitting supreme court justice with an expressed racial/gender-based prejudice is itself really problematic.  And no, I don’t buy her saying she misspoke.  But I know the academy well enough to know that this was greeted with feelings of happy diversity basking, rather than anyone going, “wait, so white males are not wise?”

And of course there is the banality of the guy who started all of this, Rev. Wright.  First, wholly apart from the racial stuff, and the America-hating stuff, there is the fact that the man acted like a clown.  I admit some of it is funny.  His comments about Clinton and Monica made me laugh despite it all.  But it also made me think of how inappropriate it was, a minister dry humping his podium to imitate the President receiving sex.

But then there was the racism.  And the president’s banal reaction to it.  Ho hum, this man is teaching my daughter to hate their grandmother and great grandparents.  The president said he took the title of his second autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope” from one of Wright’s sermons.  But apparently he took little notice in the same sermon when Wright railed against “White greed.”  Which is rich given Wright’s multi-million dollar home.  Not exactly a vow of poverty, there.

A long time ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood over the graves of four little girls who were killed by klan terrorists while they attended Sunday school.  He said the problem was not just the perpetrators, but everyone else, too:

> And so this afternoon in a real sense they have something to say to each of us in their death. They have something to say to every minister of the gospel who has remained silent behind the safe security of stained—glass windows. They have something to say to every politician [Audience:] (Yeah) who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats (Yeah) and the blatant hypocrisy of right—wing northern Republicans. (Speak) They have something to say to every Negro (Yeah) who has passively accepted the evil system of segregation and who has stood on the sidelines in a mighty struggle for justice. They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.

Thankfully, we are not faced with murder and the like when discussing it.  But that same apathy is present today.  Over and over again bias is expressed and unchallenged.  That must end.

P.S.: Althouse has some interesting commentary on this.  So take a look.