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We tend to think that when people oppose evil, they oppose it for noble or altruistic purposes. We think they oppose evil because the first principle of ethics is to do good and avoid evil. As rational beings who have a Jeffersonian view of men, we believe that people are basically good and that those who oppose evil are basically good. Usually, that’s true. Sometimes, however, it isn’t.
All it takes to dispossess one of the view that people who oppose political violence are good is about 20 minutes of CNN, apparently. On Tuesday, Fredo, Lemon, and company decided, much to the horror of ardent leftists, that all that violence in Portland, Chicago, Seattle, and of all places, Kenosha, Wisconsin, might need to be called out. CNN needed to go on record opposing the violence.
Stop the presses. Check the core temperature in Hell. Make sure you’re not watching an SNL re-run. CNN on the record against violence, evil, and looting? Say it isn’t so Ethel!
In the dark comedy The Good Place, the character Tahani Al-Jamil, who was a wealthy British socialite with philanthropic good works, finds herself in the Good Place, believing she actually belongs there, based on her many noble good works. It isn’t until the closing scenes of the first season that we learn that the Good Place … isn’t. It is really a novel way to torture souls in the Bad Place, and that Tahani earned her way there not with her works, but because her motivation in performing those works was self-serving.
I had to laugh and think about that today when Fredo and company were seen complaining about the violence not because it’s wrong to burn down businesses because cops completely unrelated to those businesses may have killed a man in an unjustifiable manner. (Note: that it now appears the shooting was justified because he was going for a knife in the car.)
People like Fredo and Lemon don’t oppose violence because burning down a furniture store that was a family’s life work is wrong. They don’t oppose it because 87 days of rioting in Portland (with thugs viciously assaulting good Samaritans trying to help a robbery victim) exposes the banality of evil. They don’t oppose it because looting a Saks Fifth Avenue doesn’t show that Black Lives Matter. They don’t oppose it because innocent people are hurt, and lives and livelihoods are lost. Those would be good reasons.
No, they oppose it because it is converting Democrats into Republicans and threatening to re-elect Donald Trump. These hapless propagandists (I refuse to call them “journalists” because journalists have ethics) are trying to squeeze the toothpaste back in the tube because they realize that normal people (those who don’t live in east coast glasshouses or sip soy lattes on the west coast) are alarmed for their personal safety and realize they can do something about that with their vote. Fredo has seen the focus groups. Lemon has seen the polling. Both doubtless listened in to C-Span after the first night of the Republican Convention and learned that people really are “walking away” because the Democrat party left them. And a big reason they left them is the “defund the police” scam.
CNN has effectively become self-parody. When it started, CNN was about bringing you all the news, all the time. Its headline news channel was everything you needed to know in 30 minutes. It provided a service, usually without a lot of editorializing and just a few annoying infomercials (but wait! That’s not all you get! …). But somewhere along the line, that train left the tracks. CNN began to serve the interests of the Democratic Party. The principles of balanced reporting, fairness, and accuracy initially suffered. Then, with the Trump election, every single principle of journalistic integrity was thrown right out the window in an effort to push hoaxes and hobble the Trump presidency. No one at CNN cared if the Russia Hoax was true. They just cared that they could report it as if it was. None of them believed it; all of them reported it.
I studied journalism in school. I once thought I might like to do that work. But a tour in the Army convinced me that the medical field was my calling, and spending time with hospital administrators convinced me we needed better lawyers. But one thing I remember clearly from journalism classes is that you are supposed to report both sides, you’re supposed to stick to the truth, and you’re supposed to be neutral unless you’re either an opinion writer or an entertainer. These rules have now been so thoroughly shredded by the news media in general (CNN, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, and OANN all push an agenda, sometimes at the expense of truth) that there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle. News today is driven by mouse clicks, and those are driven by sensationalism.
So, pardon me if I laugh at the numbskulls who’ve scattered a bunch of fire-wielding anarchists through major US cities like BBs on a tile floor and who now are tripping over themselves because the Summer of Mayhem is now serving to illustrate how feckless Democrat leadership in these cities is.
There is a reason to oppose the evil of rioting and lawlessness. There is a reason to oppose evil in every form. That reason is that humanity and morality demand that we call out and denounce evil. It isn’t because it’s temporarily unhelpful to our cause.
I pity today’s “journalists.” They are doomed to an existence completely devoid of respect.Published in