Saturday, April 24, 2021

Truth versus image-making

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. has a very good article titled How to Have More Police Shootings in the April 24 Wall Street Journal. Double negatives make the subtitle confusing. The main pairings to choose from seem to be:

1. More people resisting arrest with more police misconduct.

2. Fewer people resisting arrest with less police misconduct.

Only 20-25% of the article concerns police conduct and resisting arrest. Most of the rest is about choosing between the truth and promoting one's self image. Promoting one's self-image has much more priority nowadays, especially for newspapers, journalists, politicians and some business people. "Virtue signaling" is another, newer term for promoting one's self-image.

Seeing the whole article online requires a paid subscription (which could be somebody else's), so the following are excerpts from the article.

"[T]he cavalcade of CEOs who denounced Georgia’s election law didn’t know in the slightest what they were talking about. ... Instead a bunch of business leaders simply adopted Democratic talking points not knowing what the law contained. And, more importantly, not caring." 

"If you think The New York Times and Washington Post mind in the least that their coverage is off-putting to a large number of Americans, you misunderstand the business they’re in. Once upon a time, broad reach really was our industry’s goal, to meet the desire of our advertisers for as many customers as possible. In turn, this drove our need to cover the news in a way that we could defend to all comers as “objective” and straight down the middle."

That's no longer the case. The New York Times, Washington Post, and many other media outlets now prioritize promoting and protecting their self-images over truth.

Joe Biden and Maxine Waters make prejudicial comments about a pending jury verdict to promote their self-image. Finally, of course, many people express opinions about politics and much more that prioritize "virtue signaling" over truth.

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