Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:47 pm

A CARTOON IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: See if you can guess why I find this cartoon so amusing.

FUNNY STUFF: Howard Dean said

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:37 pm

FUNNY STUFF: Howard Dean said the recall wasn’t a statement against Democrats, but against an incumbent paying the price for George Bush’s policies. Xrlq has uncovered proof that Dean wasn’t just spinning.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:27 pm

THE DOG TRAINER RESPONDS, SORT OF: As I mentioned the other day, I wrote the Los Angeles Dog Trainer‘s “Reader Representative” (Jamie Gold) to ask why the paper apparently found anonymous sources to be a sufficient basis for the Arnold stinkbomb, but not for the story that Gray Davis has physically abused government workers, including women.

In my e-mail, I had specifically noted:

Jill Stewart has said that the reason the Times never ran the story about Gray Davis throwing ashtrays, shaking workers, and screaming the f-word is because the paper didn’t want to run a story against a major political figure based on anonymous sources. That rationale would appear to have applied to the Arnold hit piece on Thursday as well.

I asked whether the standards had changed, and why they hadn’t run the Davis piece if it was indeed based on similar sourcing as the allegations against Arnold.

I heard back from Ms. Gold today. She politely apologized for taking so long to respond, explaining that she has been very busy. She then gave this “answer” to my question:

The Times did have reporters more than once look into these allegations. However, articles are published only when editors and reporters find the facts verifiable and the story credible. In this case, they didn’t.

That’s it! That’s the entire justification!

Here is my response:

Thank you for getting back to me. I understand that you are probably swamped nowadays with inquiries and complaints from people furious about the Arnold hit piece.

However, the “answer” you gave me was a non-answer. Jill Stewart has said that she was told that the Davis story was spiked because the paper would not print a piece with negative information against a major political figure using anonymous sources. I pointed out that, if she’s right, the paper seems to have changed its standards. If you have actually read her story, you know that the allegations, while made by anonymous sources, were corroborated in many respects by numerous witnesses.

Is Jill Stewart wrong? Have the specific standards changed since 1997? If not, what specific standards apply, and how were they met by the Arnold story but not the Davis story?

Your paper would benefit by getting this all out in the open. People across the country have raised questions about the apparent double standard. While John Carroll has defended the timing and the content, nobody has explained with any specificity why these particular serious allegations — which would no doubt shock many voters — were not reported, while the ones against Arnold were.

It does not address readers’ suspicions simply to assert that the Arnold allegations were verifiable and credible, and the Davis ones were not — without explaining what the specific standards were, and how they were met by the one situation and not the other.

The election is over, but unless this issue is addressed head-on, it will never be entirely forgotten by those who suspect the L.A. Times of a double standard. I think it would serve not only your readers, but also your newspaper, for Mr. Carroll to publicly address the specifics of why the Times has never printed the Davis abuse allegations.

As always, I’ll let you know if I hear anything.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 am

RECALLING ARNOLD: I have heard a lot of talk from the Retaliacrats™ about how they are going to recall Arnold. I certainly hope such talk continues.

Try something that stupid and Bush just might win California.

UPDATE: The Interocitor says he’s so excited about the idea, he’ll sign the petition!


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:47 am

A SILVER LINING, AND THERE ISN’T EVEN A DARK CLOUD: I was heartened to see this line at the end of Peter King’s column today: This is Peter H. King’s final column on the recall election.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:37 am

ARNOLD’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: Interesting. He praised his wife first — for all the votes she got him.

His line about ending politics as usual in Sacramento reminded one of Bush’s pledge to change the tone in Washington. In both cases, if you listened closely, you could hear the faint but distinct sound of knives being sharpened.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:16 am

PATTERICO VINDICATED ON DO NOT CALL DECISION (warning: non-recall related post follows): Vindication is sweet when it comes, but it comes all too seldom. So perhaps Patterico can be excused for taking some satisfaction in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’s order issued yesterday, allowing (for now) the Do Not Call list to be implemented.

When I critiqued the District Court’s decision in this post on October 1, I argued that the District Court should have given more weight to three factors which distinguish this case from the principal case upon which the court relied. Yesterday, the Tenth Circuit has cited each of these three factors in its decision to reverse the injunction. (All emphasis mine.)

First, I argued that telephone calls “invade people’s homes.” The Tenth Circuit said: “The prevention of intrusions upon privacy in the home is another paradigmatic governmental interest,” and noted that this interest applies with special force when determining whether government regulation of solicitation is appropriate.

Second, I noted that “the Do Not Call list is an opt-in provision.” The Tenth Circuit said: “We find it relevant that the national do-not-call list is of an opt-in nature, which provides an element of private choice and thus weighs in favor of a reasonable fit.” (Order at p. 22.)

Third, I argued that “the Do Not Call list goes a long way towards accomplishing the government’s objective.” The Tenth Circuit said: “Finally, this is not a regulatory scheme that will affect only a ‘minute’ portion of the problematic speech because the great majority of all telemarketing calls — and therefore the preponderant source of the problem of invasion of privacy and abusive calls — are commercial calls which are covered by the FTC’s rule. See Discovery Network, 507 U.S. at 418.”

The Court also emphasized another factor that had troubled me, but that the opinion really gave me no substantial basis to question. The FTC had advanced arguments as to why commercial telemarketing calls were more intrusive than non-commercial ones. I was bothered by the District Court’s rather glib rejection of these arguments, but ultimately felt that I had to accept the court’s representation that there was no evidence supporting the arguments. The Tenth Circuit (which had access to portions of the record which I had not seen) unearthed evidence that did, in fact, support the FTC’s position. Without access to that evidence, I cannot blame myself for missing the issue, and I am still declaring this a rare across-the-board vindication. Sweet.

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