Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2003

KLEINFELD: Check out the most

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:49 pm

KLEINFELD: Check out the most recent How Appealing’s 20 Questions — 20 questions put to an appellate judge. The current installment is an interview of Ninth Circuit judge Andrew Kleinfeld. He was one of the judges in the majority upholding California’s Proposition 209, the initiative against racial preferences. Accordingly, he was vilified by the Los Angeles Times as a right-wing nut. Read the whole interview to see what a thoughtful judge Kleinfeld actually is. My favorite quote:

“There is an unfortunate tendency among people who don’t think about it too deeply to think that if something is very important, then it must be a matter of constitutional law. That implies that if something is very important, power is transferred from the majoritarian institutions to the courts.”

Required reading.

Talking Woman in Your Computer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:18 am

Type in text and listen to a woman say it. And please — resist your base urge to have her say something dirty.

Warning: the web site imposes a daily limit on how many times you can use the demo.

LUFKIN DAILY NEWS DROPS DOWD:

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:04 am

LUFKIN DAILY NEWS DROPS DOWD: This is pretty humorous, I think. The local newspaper in Lufkin, Texas has dropped Maureen Dowd’s column, as some guy from that paper explains here. Apparently, Dowd violated one of the fundamental “tents” of the newspaper business. And the Lufkin Daily News is not going to respond to the violation of tents with the sort of “naval gazing” that they do over at the New York Times.

Moral: if you do any naval gazing, take a blanket, ’cause it gets cold at the shore. And remember to take the tents of the newspaper business with you, in case it rains.

Well, this guy’s heart is in the right place. Goofs and all, I’d read him over Dowd any day.

5/30/2003

CARROLL MEMO: I just re-read

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am

CARROLL MEMO: I just re-read the abortion story that caused Times editor John Carroll to send the memo about internal bias I mentioned immediately below. I am struck by the fact that the story, while objectionable for precisely the reasons Carroll mentions, is actually fairly innocuous as Dog Trainer stories go. If this guy thinks this is the worst example of liberal bias he has seen at the Times in recent history, he is delusional.

5/29/2003

“HELL FREEZES OVER” IS RIGHT:

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

“HELL FREEZES OVER” IS RIGHT: HELL FREEZES OVER is the title of a post in National Review Online’s blog “The Corner.” The post quotes in its entirety an amazing memo from Dog Trainer editor John Carroll. The memo critiques a recent article in the Times, which ridiculed a Texas law mandating abortion counseling for women.

What is so eye-catching about the memo is that Carroll actually recognizes the evident liberal bias of the story’s author. (Side note: I read the abortion story the day it appeared in the Times, and I noticed all of the things Carroll mentions — but had neither the time nor the energy to write about it here. It was just another pro-abortion story in a major newspaper; i.e. nothing remotely surprising. My reaction was to complain to my wife and forget about it.) Carroll uses some hard-hitting language in the memo. For example, he notes the reporter’s description of the counseling as “so-called counseling” — a phrase he correctly notes is “loaded with derision.” He says: “we are not going to push a liberal agenda in the news pages of the Times.” I would add “any more” — but otherwise I applaud Carroll.

I was so impressed with this memo that I wrote Carroll this morning and congratulated him. I also registered a complaint about the Times‘s coverage of the Miranda decision (discussed in the post immediately below) — coverage which is, in my opinion, far worse than the abortion story that Carroll critiques in his memo. I am not holding my breath for a response from Carroll, but if I get one, Patterico readers will be the first to know.

5/28/2003

LYING BY OMISSION: Mark Twain

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:02 pm

LYING BY OMISSION: Mark Twain once said: “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.” Today’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer (aka Los Angeles Times) pays tribute to Twain’s wisdom in its stories about yesterday’s Miranda decision.

The decision held that police did not deprive Oliverio Martinez of a constitutional right when they interrogated him without first reading him his Miranda rights. Martinez was riding a bike and was stopped by Oxnard police officers conducting a drug investigation. They frisked him and found a knife. Then there was an altercation, which ended up with Martinez getting shot multiple times. A supervising officer thought Martinez might die, and wanted to get his side of the story. So he followed Martinez to the hospital, and asked Martinez questions about what had happened while Martinez writhed in pain. Martinez was never charged with a crime, but he sued the police department for the shooting — and for asking him questions without first reading him his Miranda rights.

The parties disputed why Martinez was shot. Police claim Martinez pulled an officer’s gun from its holster and pointed it at them, so they shot him. Martinez says he never touched the gun. The police have one fairly major thing favoring their version: in a tape-recorded interview, Martinez admitted he pulled the gun on the officers. As you can learn from reading the opinion itself here, Martinez “admitted that he took the gun from the officer’s holster and pointed it at police.” (Page 2 of the opinion.)

But you will search our local Dog Trainer in vain for any mention that Martinez admitted pulling the gun on officers. In the main story covering the case, David Savage describes the interrogation — but never once mentions Martinez’ admission.

This omission, which seems merely surprising in Savage’s story, becomes shockingly dishonest in the context of the companion piece — a slavishly favorable portrait of Martinez titled It’s ‘Just Wrong,’ Says the Plaintiff. The sub-head reads: “Oliverio Martinez is blind and paralyzed, and lives in a cramped trailer. He attributes his problems to his shooting by Oxnard police.” You can get the flavor of this puff piece from the following quotes:

“Oliverio Martinez hadn’t yet heard the news about his case, but that was no surprise. . . . He lives a world away from the marble chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court. He doesn’t have a phone, or even a bathroom. With his father, Oliverio Sr., he resides in a dark, cramped trailer about the size of a suburban walk-in closet, a dilapidated tin box outside Camarillo beside the strawberry fields he had worked for the better part of 20 years. . . . Martinez, 35, is blind and paralyzed. His prospects shrank dramatically one November night in 1997 when he was shot five times by Oxnard police. . . . Celebrating his father’s birthday, Martinez planned to go out with [his girlfriend] tonight, perhaps for seafood. . . . She will give Martinez’s father a shirt and a pair of pants. Martinez will give him the only gift he said he could afford a hug.”

What a great guy, huh? The story makes Martinez sound almost like a saint — by carefully omitting any hint that maybe he brought this on himself by grabbing a policeman’s gun and pointing it at him. This is a fact that the Dog Trainer editors don’t want you to know. So, they just don’t tell you. The deception is breathtaking.

UPDATE: I thought I’d plumbed the depths of the Times‘s lies on this issue, but that’s because I hadn’t read their editorial titled Justice Takes a Beating, which contains the following bald-faced lie: “In the end, the officers got nothing useful from Martinez and never charged him with a crime.” Nothing useful — other than what the Supreme Court described as an admission that he had pulled the officer’s gun and pointed it at police!

Incredible.

5/24/2003

THE POWER OF THE JUMP:

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:52 pm

THE POWER OF THE JUMP: Another installment in our semi-regular series. For the background, visit this earlier post.

Today’s installment: a piece titled Tax Cut Is a Victory and a Risk for Bush. The piece is by Ronald Brownstein, a Dog Trainer political writer with a good reputation as a tough, fair, thorough analyst. It opens with a view of the recently passed tax cut as a remarkable accomplishment for Bush — but one that carries risks as well as opportunities. Fairly high in the piece is this quote from a presidential historian: “It [the tax cut] gives Bush the image of a leader, an impression as someone who cares and someone who is effective — all of which are good arguments for people to hire you for four more years.”

If you read this piece on the Internet, you’d never know that quote was — you guessed it — after the jump. You should have seen the physical paper itself; it’s hilarious how tiny a space they had to cram the column into so that this quote would not appear on the front page. I can tell you there is no way the Dog Trainer editors were going to allow a quote that favorable to Bush to grace the actual front page.

MORE FUN FROM OUR CRIMINAL

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:43 pm

MORE FUN FROM OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: A brutal murderer’s death sentence was vacated because there were Gideon Bibles in the sequestered jurors’ hotel rooms.

BLAIR SAGA CONTINUES: This is

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:02 pm

BLAIR SAGA CONTINUES: This is just amazing. Howard Kurtz is reporting that Jayson Blair is proposing to write a book called “Burning Down My Master’s House” in which he refers to the New York Times as his “slavemaster.”

Kurtz says: “Blair casts his story as one of ‘a young black man’ told he would never succeed ‘by everyone from his white second-grade teacher to his editor at the Times, who rose from the fields and got a place in the master’s house and then burned it down the only way he knew how.’”

Oh. And here I thought he was just an a**hole who plagiarized and made a bunch of sh*t up.

If the Bob Herberts and William Raspberries of the world had any rationality, they would be condemning this proposal as a huge step backward for blacks. Don’t hold your breath.

GOOGLE SEARCH UPDATE: I am

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:09 am

GOOGLE SEARCH UPDATE: I am thrilled to announce that this page was visited by someone who accessed it by running the Google search:

senator+byrd+pompous+idiot

Whoever ran that search: welcome! You are my kind of reader!

I am also proud to state that this blog comes up #2 in that brilliant search. I’ll see what I can do to push Patterico to #1. I’m guessing it might help to call Senator Byrd a pompous idiot.

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