Patterico's Pontifications

10/14/2003

MUST-READ OF THE DAY

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:29 pm

Jill Stewart’s response to John Carroll (and lots more) is here. Unfortunately, because it’s my wife and son’s birthday (both!), I don’t have time to pick out quotes, offer my own observations, etc. All I can do is say: read the whole thing, now.

My only comment is this: if a lot of what Stewart says sounds familiar, it’s because I already said it here.

UPDATE: Festivities are over, and I am free to expound on Stewart’s piece a bit.

Stewart’s piece consists of three parts, but only two are interesting: her response to John Carroll, and an interview with a Times reporter. (A final section, setting forth the opinion of an alleged expert, is superfluous and uninteresting.)

Stewart’s response to Carroll is well-stated, but obvious. As I said, I have already made most of the same points. I can’t be the only one to have done so.

To summarize: Carroll is either guilty of not reading the relevant criticism of his paper (much as he accuses the Dog Trainer‘s critics of not reading the Arnold hit piece), or he is deliberately misstating the criticisms, because he can’t respond to the actual criticisms. Either option is inexcusable, because this man has defended the Arnold story in a very visible and very personal way. For those who are paying attention, the name “John S. Carroll” is synonymous with a defense of the Arnold hit piece — a defense that, it is becoming increasingly obvious, just doesn’t add up.

The real potential revelation is Stewart’s interview of a long-time Times reporter. If the interview is accurate, and the allegations made in it are true, then it is explosive.

Why do I say this? Not just because the reporter quoted in the interview says that Carroll took a number of steps that he had to know would delay the story. That would be bad enough, if true. But what would be worse is that Carroll would be publicly revealed to be a dissembler we haven’t seen since the likes of Bill Clinton. The main point of Carroll’s defense is that the Arnold hit piece was not timed to run at the last second. Stewart’s interviewee says that it was — and that the principal culprit was John Carroll.

If Stewart’s interviewee is telling the truth, Carroll’s defense is substantially false. I have already suggested that some of Carroll’s phraseology appears Clintonian in its potential for hairsplitting. Stewart’s interview suggests that this may not be an accident.

Now, I have no idea whether Stewart’s allegations are true. For one thing, Stewart’s interviewee has not put his or her name on the record. If what the interviewee is saying is true, the interviewee’s motive for staying anonymous is obvious. Nevertheless, the anonymity of the source raises troubling questions regarding the reliability of Stewart’s piece — questions similar to the same questions that many critics raised about the Arnold story.

Also, even if Stewart is accurately reporting what her interviewee said, that person could be spinning a tall tale. I have heard enough credible praise of Carroll that I want to believe he is not that dishonest.

But at the same time, what I hear about Carroll is at odds with a very strong, reasoned opinion I have formed about the bias of the L.A. Times over the course of a decade. I have collected examples of this bias on this site for the better part of a year. This bias didn’t start with John Carroll, and it sounds like he has tried to get it under control. Even Stewart’s interviewee says so. Nevertheless, Carroll has been the editor of the Times since I started documenting the paper’s bias on this blog. He bears the ultimate responsibility for what any reasonable observer must conclude is a clear history of skewing the news to conform to the views of a small cabal of editors.

Some may say that I am being extreme when I point out that Howell Raines was brought down by allegations that were arguably less serious than this. But I don’t think this is an extreme observation at all. It is not outlandish to suggest that — if Stewart’s allegations pan out — this incident could end up leading to Carroll’s resignation. As I say, this reporter is all but accusing Carroll of having out-and-out lied to his readers, in the most public way possible. If this were proven, how could Carroll survive?

What is missing now is some clear corroboration of what the interviewee said — like the clandestine taping of Raines’s admissions of favoritism toward Jayson Blair. We don’t know if such proof exists; as a result, we don’t know what the ultimate effect of Stewart’s piece will be.

But I will make one prediction: this story is not going away. The L.A. Times should not continue to sit still, remain mute, and hope it all blows over.

OUR COURT SYSTEM, HARD AT

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:45 am

OUR COURT SYSTEM, HARD AT WORK: Xrlq reports that a cognitively disabled woman is about to be legally starved and dehydrated to death in Florida, by court order.

As described in this article about her case, her death is expected to be agonizing, and will take 10-14 days. She’s not terminally ill, or posing a danger to anyone — but it’s what her husband says she wants. A court is deferring to the husband’s wishes, even though a nurse has overheard her husband asking “When is that bitch going to die?”

Why is he so eager for his wife to pass on? Well, he collected over a million bucks in a malpractice suit, refused to pay for her medical care, and is now engaged to be married again. But he can’t get remarried and start living the good life until his wife finishes getting starved to death. Who can blame him?

In unrelated news, reported here, the Supreme Court has blocked the execution by lethal injection of a convicted murderer, to review his claim that lethal injection would be unconstitutionally cruel because he has collapsed veins.

Apparently, in this country it’s okay for you to die a slow, agonizing death — but only if you haven’t murdered anybody.

UPDATE: A reader complains that I am not reporting all the facts, and that I should tell you (at a minimum) that the woman has been bedridden for 13 years. Fair enough. My opinion remains the same. I have no personal knowledge of this situation. There could be another side. If anyone has a link to evidence from the other side, send it to me and I will post it. However, from the evidence I have seen, I think the other side is exactly what I have said. In any event, I can confidently say three things:

1) She should not be starved to death, no matter what. If the law says this is the only option, the law has to change.

2) Based on available information, I do not feel comfortable having her husband making these decisions.

3) For anyone who knows only the husband’s side of the story, please watch the videos at this link, showing her supposedly “persistent vegetative state.”

From the available facts, this case seems to be a perfect example of why many of us are suspicious of the “Right to Die” movement. Under some circumstances, it becomes closer to a “Right to Murder.”

I GUESS THAT’S HOW HE

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:44 am

I GUESS THAT’S HOW HE ADDRESSED IT: I dislike Patt Morrison, if for no other reason than the unnecessary second “t” in her name. [What about the second “t” in Patterico? — Ed. Necessary!] But she makes a good observation in this column: that before the election, when asked by Tom Brokaw when he would address the groping allegations, Arnold said: “soon as the campaign is over, I will.” Arnold’s comment after the election? “Old news.”

(Offered with the usual caveat: you saw it in the Dog Trainer, so don’t assume it’s necessarily true.)

GOOD QUESTION, MICKSTER

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:43 am

Mickey Kaus pulls apart the bogus Dog Trainer poll that showed the recall close, and asks: “How badly do you have to embarrass the paper (when the whole world is watching) to get fired at the LAT?”

THE RELIABLE TEAMSTERS: I am

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:41 am

THE RELIABLE TEAMSTERS: I am not taking sides in the grocery workers’ strike, but I was amused to read here about the support the grocery workers are getting from the Teamsters:

Meanwhile, the Teamsters union is throwing its support behind the UFCW. Its drivers have vowed not to cross the picket lines, and on Sunday many drivers parked their trucks outside stores or just down the street.

. . . .

Other Teamsters gathered outside the stores, keeping checkers and clerks company. “I’m just here lending a little support,” said Ralph Ochoa, a driver sitting outside a Pasadena Ralphs.

Good ol’ reliable Teamsters. Whenever they see other people not working, you can always count on them to pitch in and start not working themselves.

ONE LESS FREEBIE FOR THE

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 am

ONE LESS FREEBIE FOR THE ILLEGALS: Gray Davis has vetoed the bill to give free community college tuition to illegals. In his veto statement, the Governor said: “Ah, what the hell. I’m outta here.”


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