Hit job on conservative family reveals how low journalists will go and other media madness

Journalism can do great things or awful ones. The Daily Beast’s Taylor Lorenz took the awful route. She decided to out the social media famous daughters of a prominent conservative woman – Pamela Geller.

There’s an enormous problem with that. Geller is publisher of The Geller Report, the author of “Fatwa: Hunted in America” and a vocal critic of radical Islam. She was targeted by armed radical Muslims in Garland, Texas, where police saved her and others from the attack and killed the two Islamic terrorists. Connecting her to her daughters puts them at risk, too.

No one at The Daily Beast seems to care about that point.

What Lorenz did was endanger the four sisters who, in her words, “have gone to great lengths to conceal their connection to their mother.” Why? Because: “None of the girls have spoken out or denounced their mother’s extremist views.”

That’s it. Lorenz set out to destroy these four young women as a way of harming their mother by digging through old posts and humiliating them. Because that’s the way the left plays the game now. Then she proceeded to tweet as she caused them harm, costing them business connections. Here’s The Daily Beast quick to note just one example: “Oath cancels show starring Muslim-hater Pamela Geller's Instagram-star daughters.”

The story went viral as all awful journalism tends to do. Cosmo, Variety, TMZ and others all followed with stories. Not because of a few stupid things the young women might have said, but because the left is going after Geller.

The article attacked Geller’s comments as “racist, Islamophobic.” That apparently gave Lorenz carte blanche to do anything to the family. But she also cited the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make her bogus point.

Even Politico called the SPLC out for straying from its roots as a legitimate civil rights organization. And National Review gutted it in a new article. The SPLC is the same group that attacked respected scholar Christina Hoff Sommers from the American Enterprise Institute in its report on “Male Supremacy.”

What Lorenz did was far worse. Someone should have introduced her to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which includes a whole section urging that journalists “minimize harm.” It further adds: “Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.”

As in this case, where the consequences now mean these young women have become potential targets for ISIS. But Lorenz didn’t care. She got to hurt Geller, jeopardize the lives of her daughters, make the left happy and help make a name for herself. Impressive, if you can live with yourself.

2. They Have to Hate Trump: When all else is lost, journalists and entertainers still can turn to their hate for the man in the White House. And they do. A lot.

Anti-Trump New York Times columnist (they all qualify) Bret Stephens envisions Never Trumpers as epic heroes, like “Armageddon” stars doing “deep blue hero stuff.”

Stephens wrote that “Never Trumpers haunt the conservative movement the way Polish or Czech dissident intellectuals such as Czeslaw Milosz and Vaclav Havel haunted that segment of Central European intelligentsia that made its peace with Stalinism after World War II.”

So, if you are following at home, Times Never Trumpers (again, everybody who works there) envision themselves as anti-Soviet heroes. And, of course, President Trump is like Stalin. Except when they say he’s like Hitler. Or Mussolini.

No matter, President Trump must be defeated. Enter Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos, who could use the Society of Professional Journalists site himself. He has already declared against Trump in 2020. “The real challenge, first, is to resist. To say no. And then beat Donald Trump, now or in 2020,” he explained.

It’s not just attacks on President Trump. It’s anyone tied to him – like White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who just resigned.

The #MeToo Hollywood types spared no attack in trying to destroy Hicks with multiple allegedly funny people asking, “who will steam Trump's pants?” Others accused Trump of trying to have a sexual relationship with Hicks and even said she’s “super pretty and pretty complicit.”

3. Online World at War With Users?: Talk of online censorship against conservatives continues to escalate. “YouTube’s New Moderators Mistakenly Pull Right-Wing Channels,” reported Bloomberg, though few conservatives might accept the “mistakenly” claim. Facebook even alerted on the excellent satire site Babylon Bee.

The much-criticized liberal fact-check site Snopes ran with this headline: “Did CNN Purchase an Industrial-Sized Washing Machine to Spin News?” It sure looks like someone had his or her funny bone surgically removed. But attempts to share the original Babylon Bee story generated a warning that linked to this ridiculous story.

Facebook’s response claimed: “There’s a difference between false news and satire” and admitted it made a mistake. But mistakes like this happen frequently and few users respect either the process or the alleged neutrality of the fact checkers.

Even more concerning was a lengthy Twitter rant by its CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter and Facebook have come under extensive criticism both for Russian accounts and for reportedly being bad for society.

Dorsey created an online firestorm with his comments that began with this: “We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation.”

He went on to whine that his firm had “been accused of apathy, censorship, political bias, and optimizing for our business and share price instead of the concerns of society…. This is not who we are, or who we ever want to be.” Many on Twitter mocked the claim.

Only Dorsey’s solutions might be worse than the problem: “Our friends at @cortico and @socialmachines introduced us to the concept of measuring conversational health. They came up with four indicators: shared attention, shared reality, variety of opinion, and receptivity.”

Conservatives keyed on the “shared reality” comment as a danger. Who decides reality? If Twitter rules in favor of one, will the other be banned? It sounds more like “1984” than 2018.

None of the tech giants seem to grasp that both sides of the political spectrum are ready to regulate or break up companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter. They have few friends and many enemies.

4. Hurray for Hollywood: It was a banner week for TV. On “The View,” Joy Behar stepped away from her attacks on Christians to claim Hollywood isn’t at war with Trump supporters. “Nobody is making a joke about Trump supporters. I have not heard it anywhere,” she said.  Meghan McCain wasn’t having any of it. “I have no interest in being lectured to about my friends who are Trump supporters,” she told Behar, who didn’t seem to grasp what was said.

Of course, Behar was wrong. Over at the laughably archaic “Will & Grace,” Will took his weekly shot at the right. He noticed a TV couple giving each other furtive glances and decided to go political. “Whoa, did you see that smoldering look? I think they're in love. That's sexual tension. It's the same look Lindsey Graham gives John McCain.” Only liberals can call someone gay as a way of attacking them. If conservatives did that, they’d be haters.

Of course, there’s TV racism, too. Oh, and bad cops.

ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” decided the nurture/nature debate. The show proclaimed: “Racism is built into the DNA of America.” (Is it racist to hate America, then, if it simply was born that way?)

CBS’s “S.W.A.T.” ran a thoroughly woke, pro-illegal immigration episode that argued that police can’t work with federal authorities without alienating the illegal immigrants. “And we need their trust,” said one officer.

The time TV seems to like police most is when they go left. Otherwise they are viewed with suspicion or are evil, as Netflix’s “Seven Seconds” claims. One character there tells the officers: “You’re all racist a-------. Every one of you cops.” In the Netflix world, he’s correct.

Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.