An ethics lesson for USA Today's queer tyrants
by Michelle Malkin
Union of Creators
Copyright 2018

This week, I did something that USA Today's leaders apparently did not do recently: I read the newspaper's "Ethical Principles of the Journal for Newsrooms."

It's rather high. The Virtue Manifesto of Virtue, posted, address to all employees "working with any information platform, including newspapers, websites, mobile devices, videos , social media channels and live events. Whether writing online or covering the latest events, USA Today reporters are expected to engage in:

-Search and report the truth in a truthful manner.

-Serving the public interest.

-Exercise fair play.

-Take with integrity.

Now, let's compare noble rhetoric to sneaky reality. On Sunday, quarterback Kyler Murray of the University of Oklahoma, 21, won the Heisman Trophy. He delivered a gracious and emotional speech celebrating his faith in God, his respect for his fellow athletes, his love of the family, his work ethic for life and his team spirit.

"I've worked all my life to reach my goals, but at the same time, I know that higher power scorns me. It allows me to do everything. I am grateful for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon me, "Murray told reporters humbly.

But a journalist was not interested in the cover of the news of the Heisman winner's triumph. He was interested in sabotaging him. Just hours after the press conference, USA Today sports editor Scott Gleeson wrote an article attacking Murray for publishing "tweets using an anti-gay insult". Murray and his family woke up Monday morning under the flood of personalities who criticized his "homophobic" articles. a few years ago – when Murray was 14 or 15 years old and jokingly called his "queer" friends. Google is now clogged by the cover of one wall to the other of its CNN teenage antics at "The Today Show" in all sports shops and in its home town Oklahoma newspaper.

Gleeson's success is marked by deceptive vigilance, not journalism. After noting that Murray had a "Saturday to remember," Gleeson wrote that "Oklahoma's memorable nightback night also helped resurrect the social media memory of several homophobic tweets over six years old."

Who has "resurfaced the memory of social media?" Why, it's Gleeson himself! By creating the illusion that Murray's tweets of schoolchildren were subject to all control and outrage other than those of Gleeson, USA Today gave us a shining example of making false information. Is the deceptive passive voice not great?

In fact, Gleeson's biography is that of a defender of social justice dedicated to propaganda on identity politics. "My company and my work on the LGBT movement in sport have made me an APSE Award finalist in 2016 and a winner of the 2017 USBWA Award," says Gleeson. Was he planning another award with his ambush against Murray? Gleeson certainly had her new scalp and prominently displayed it, with the help and encouragement of USA Today's silent editors, AWOL. A few hours after publication, Murray apologized.

The new Gleeson title has sounded:

"Kyler Murray apologizes for homophobic tweets that have resurfaced after winning the Heisman Trophy."

On Tuesday, I wrote to USA Today Editor Nicole Carroll and News Editor Jeff Taylor with the following questions:

How does Gleeson's article conform to the USA Today principles for newsroom ethics?

In particular, how does the play "serving the public interest", "exercising fair play", show "fairness in relationships with people who are not used to dealing with the media ", does she observe" standards of decency "and is she demonstrating integrity?

And have there been discussions about this article since its publication with widespread public reactions?

Publishers have not yet responded. In the meantime, I have more questions.

How to queue for months or years unknown (when Gleeson could have "resurfaced" the old tweets at any time) and publish a smear in the middle of the night before giving Murray a chance to meet the promises of the newspaper that :

"We will be honest in the way we collect, report and present the news – keeping in mind the relevance, persistence, context, thoroughness, balance and fairness.

"We will seek to better understand the communities, individuals and issues we are dealing with in order to provide an informed account of activities.

"We will defend the principles of the First Amendment in order to serve the democratic process.

"We will reflect and encourage understanding of the various segments of our community.

"We will provide editorial and community leadership.

"We will treat people with respect and compassion.

"We will strive to include all relevant parts in a story.

"We will pay special attention to fairness in dealing with people who are not used to dealing with the media.

"We will act respectfully and ethically to the sources of information, the public and our colleagues.

"We will respect the standards of decency."

Will editors respond publicly to criticism and turn to readers and employees for action?

"We will explain to the public our journalistic processes to promote transparency and commitment.

"We will correct mistakes quickly.

"We will take responsibility for our decisions and consider the possible consequences of our actions."

TIC Tac.

***

Update: I received the following answer last night, not to the editors I talked to, but to Assistant Editor Peter Barzilai and the editor of "Ethics and Standards," Manny Garcia:

Good evening Michelle,

We thank you for reaching out. We covered Kyler Murray a lot this fall, leading to his Heisman Trophy win. We reported on Murray's tweets after they aired on social media and he was named winner of Heisman on Saturday night. We then apologized the next morning, in which he acknowledged that the statements were inappropriate. As a winner of the Heisman Trophy, we reported the news as it unfolded, as he is a public figure.

Thank you,
Peter Barzilai and Manny Garcia

Translation: Double down.