Patterico's Pontifications


Is the Washington Post Police Shooting Database About the Truth?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:52 pm

In the free missive that went out today, I summarize an interview that Wesley Lowery, one of the creators of the Washington Post police shootings database, did with the Fifth Column podcast in July 2020. In particular, I focus on his admission that he does not necessarily see the pursuit of truth as the primary role of a journalist.

Lowery and I have a very different view of the job of a journalist. I believe the job of the journalist is to find the truth and report it. Sure, there are always choices to be made about what stories to cover, what to emphasize, and so forth. But you have to have a North Star, and that guiding principle can’t be repeating potentially false narratives to the powerful to get their reaction. It has to be speaking the truth, whether that truth helps or harms people you believe to be powerless or powerful.

If a bunch of people think the system is racist, and there are good reasons to suspect it’s not, it is the job of a journalist to figure out that truth and report it.

But Wesley Lowery doesn’t even believe that to be his job.

Perhaps his preference for narrative over truth helps explain why the Post has not corrected the error in the database I told you about a few weeks ago.

I also tease a future newsletter in which I will explore what it really means to say black men are “disproportionately” the victims of police shootings.

Read it here. Subscribe here.

As Expected: Liz Cheney Is Ousted From Her Leadership Position (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:16 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s official. The House GOP has voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from the No. 3 position:

Many House Republicans on Wednesday celebrated the removal of Rep. Liz Cheney as their conference chair, a decision that came after months of building tensions over the future of the party folowing President Trump’s departure.

Some said the decision was in the best interest of the party to stay united ahead of the 2022 midterms. Others said it was a positive for Republicans to repudiate Cheney’s “neoconservative policies.” Others were simply glad Cheney is no longer the third-ranking Republican in the House.

When a political party votes to boot a member from a leadership role because said member tells the truth about Trump, no matter the political cost to her, because she understands that it’s absolutely essential that the Party reject Donald Trump’s lies and destructive influences if they want to regain their relevant standing, then it’s all too clear that today’s Republican Party is no longer interested in founding ideals or the Rule of Law. Instead, the Republican Party is now about whitewashing truth and promoting proven lies (about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 insurrection), and further, canceling anyone who rejects these lies. Truth and integrity no longer have a place in today’s Republican Party. Here is a good summation of the new Republican Party in all of its new-found glory and seriousness:

Meanwhile, while Rep. Elise Stefanik seemed positioned to replace Cheney in her leadership position, especially as Leader Kevin McCarthy gave her his blessing. Yet, one has to ask why today’s MAGA Republican Party would want a squishy conservative like Stefanik, who only recently went MAGA when it was politically convenient when it could have Trump darling and full-blown MAGA queen, Marjorie Taylor Greene, instead. This especially as she is clearly lobbying for the job:

Because of the Republican Party’s break from reality, a number of concerned Republicans, including former officials, are speculating about a third party:

More than 100 influential Republicans plan to release a call for reforms within the GOP alongside a threat to form a new party if change isn’t forthcoming, a person familiar with the effort said.

The statement, set to be released Thursday, involves a “Call for American Renewal,” a credo that declares that it is imperative to “either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative.” The push will include 13 yet-to-be-revealed principles that the signatories want the GOP to embrace.

A push to channel anti-Trump sentiment with the “Never Trump” movement in the spring of 2016 was largely unsuccessful at the time, and none of the people backing this latest effort are serving as elected Republicans. However, it comes as Trump’s pull within his party appears to have lessened. A recent NBC News poll found that 44 percent of Republicans said they support Trump more than the GOP, compared to 50 percent who said they support the GOP more than the former president.

And finally, yet again demonstrating consistency in being a projecting sleaze with no self-awareness, here is the leader of today’s Republican Party commenting on the ousting of Cheney. Because no one does bitterness like Donald Trump, who has single-handedly done irreparable damage to the Republican Party and provided Democrats with red meat for the past five years:

Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country. She is a talking point for Democrats, whether that means the Border, the gas lines, inflation, or destroying our economy. She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East Disaster, draining our wealth and depleting our Great Military, the worst decision in our Country’s history. I look forward to soon watching her as a Paid Contributor on CNN or MSDNC!

UPDATE: A formidable and undeterred Cheney:


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