Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:18 pm

CHICAGO TRIBUNE JUMPS ON THE ANTI-SEMITIC BANDWAGON: The guy who drew this cartoon and the KKK agree on one thing: nothing says “funny” like a depiction of a hook-nosed Jew drooling over money. My advice to the cartoonist: just round out the week with some cartoons of black men with thick lips doing Stepin Fetchit accents. What a hoot that would be! (Via InstaPundit.)

I’m cancelling my subscription to the Tribune! Oh, that’s right — I don’t have one. Well, I’m going to stop reading it online! Oh, wait — I never do. Okay, how’s this: I’m going to keep ignoring it like everyone else does! There. I feel better.

DOUBLE STANDARD: Ouch. Alberto Gonzales

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:19 pm

DOUBLE STANDARD: Ouch. Alberto Gonzales makes a heck of a case today in the Washington Post for the proposition that the Democrats are applying a double standard to Miguel Estrada. Read the whole thing to see for yourself how convincing it truly is. Gonzales effectively shows that John Roberts — just confirmed to the D.C. Court of Appeals — has a background almost identical to Estrada’s. All of the objections currently being raised with respect to Estrada could have been raised with respect to Roberts. But they weren’t. Estrada is a Hispanic; Roberts is not.



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:27 pm

MORE ON THE UNREPORTED DOG TRAINER SCANDAL: Regular readers know that I have been reporting about the distorted coverage by the Los Angeles Dog Trainer (aka Los Angeles Times) of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision addressing the scope of citizens’ Miranda rights. (If you have missed any of it, read this and this. The bottom line is that the plaintiff in that case, who was shot by police, admitted on tape that he had pulled a gun on police — and the Times never once mentioned that admission.)

The current news: yesterday the Dog Trainer/Times printed a letter to the editor which shows that the newspaper’s fictional account of the incident is taking root in the public consciousness. (It’s the second letter down when you click on the link.) The opening quote of the letter repeats the false story that the Times has been telling people: “An Oxnard police officer shoots an innocent bystander, paralyzing and blinding him and then mercilessly interrogates him in the ambulance and at the hospital.”

There are at least two major factual errors in that sentence alone. Both errors come straight from the news stories and editorial in the Times (in particular the incredibly dishonest editorial titled — I am not making this up — Justice Takes a Beating.)

First, Martinez was not “innocent” in the sense that he did nothing to precipitate the shooting — given that the Supreme Court itself said that Martinez had admitted to pulling one of the officers’ guns and pointing it at police. As I mentioned last week, the L.A. Times news stories said nothing about this admission, and the Times editorial actually asserted (perhaps based on the false implications of the news stories) that police “got nothing useful” from Martinez — a misleading assertion at best.

Second, the officer who interrogated Martinez was not the officer who had shot him, or even one of the officers who had been present when Martinez was shot. Where did the letter writer get the idea that the interrogator was the shooter? Answer: from the Times editorial, which stated that “the officers discovered [Martinez] was carrying a knife and Martinez was shot” — and then states that at the hospital “the officers” pressured Martinez to confess. (My emphasis.) The clear implication is that the “officers” in each case were the same. In fact, only one officer — a supervising officer not present at the shooting — questioned Martinez at the hospital. This is important because it sounds much worse if the interrogator is the same officer (or “officers”) who did the shooting (especially when the shooting is portrayed as clearly unjustified).

This letter is further evidence that the readership of the Times, which is over a million people, has been gravely misled about what really happened in this case. (For example, a friend of mine had read the articles and was actually thinking about sending this plaintiff money, until I told him about the plaintiff’s admission that he had pulled a gun on police.) The Dog Trainer‘s phony version also helps keep alive the canard that wild-eyed conservative judges are running rampant. This, incidentally, is the point made by the letter writer I quote above, who argues in support of the Democrats’ filibuster of judicial nominees. You can see how pernicious the Times‘s lies are.

Finally, this letter raises an interesting journalistic ethics question: is it proper to print a letter that asserts facts the paper knows (or should know) are not true? I think not. As I mentioned the other day, I wrote Times editor John Carroll about this issue on Thursday morning. If he and his staff couldn’t figure out what the Supreme Court had said actually happened, he was on notice of it as of Thursday morning when he received my letter. Not only did I receive no response, but now Carroll has printed the misleading letter I describe in this post. Alas, my faith in Carroll is diminishing rapidly.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:32 am

TONGUES WITH EYES: Tim Rutten, media critic for the L.A. Times, creates an interesting metaphorical image with his latest piece on Jayson Blair:

“Earlier this week, some of the sharper tongues bearing witness to events inside the New York Times were calling the drama convulsing their newsroom ‘The Blair Witch Hunt.'”

(Emphasis mine.) Rutten has a metaphor addiction. His next sentence is: “Either way, it was a lousy week for the Times, whose self-inflicted wounds continue to bleed onto American journalism as a whole.”

Ick. That stain on your fingers isn’t just ink.

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