Patterico's Pontifications

3/5/2004

L.A. TIMES REPORTS LEFTIST VIEW OF 2000 ELECTION AS FACT

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:51 pm

The 2000 presidential election continues to polarize the country. Luckily, the staff of the L.A. Times is not divided in its view of that election, but rather holds a uniform opinion of what really happened. Not surprisingly, the paper’s view is the leftist view.

There are two partisan ways to characterize the Supreme Court’s decision ending the dispute in the 2000 election.

Right-wingers say that Bush was duly elected, won several recounts, and was certified as the winner pursuant to law. The recount was a blatant attempt to rewrite the rules in the middle of the game to manufacture votes for Al Gore. All the Supreme Court did was halt a partisan travesty of a recount designed to undo the certification of Bush as the winner.

The left, by contrast, claims that the Supreme Court simply stepped in and anointed George Bush the victor.

Today’s Los Angeles Times leaves no doubt as to which view is held by the paper’s editors. In today’s edition, a story about the beginning of the Bush and Kerry campaigns contains the following quote:

Kerry’s first stop Wednesday was in Florida, site of the disputed 2000 presidential election, which hung in the balance for weeks until the U.S. Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote, stepped in to make Bush the winner.

Note that, according to the Times, the voters didn’t make Bush the winner; the Supreme Court did. And this is reported as fact, in a straight news story.

Nope, no taking sides there. “What Liberal Media?” indeed!

BEAR FLAGGER MEETING

Filed under: Bear Flag League — Patterico @ 5:53 pm

I had a wonderful time at lunch today, meeting Justene from Calblog, the “Controversial Calblog Husband,” and the BoiFromTroy. Very good folks. We missed the Angry Clam. The lunch seemed so much less, I don’t know . . . angry without him.

I took a digital camera but forgot to take pictures. (I wouldn’t have posted them, but they would have been nice to have.) I’ll try to remember at the Marina del Rey get-together next weekend. I hope we see all these folks again at that gathering.

THE POWER OF THE JUMP

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:40 am

(Note: “The Power of the Jump” is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Dog Trainer‘s use of its back pages to hide things it doesn’t want you to see.)

Every so often, an incredibly liberal think tank called the “Justice Policy Institute” comes out with a “study” that purports to establish something about the criminal justice system with scientific precision. And the Los Angeles Times reliably trumpets the findings on its front pages. Today is no exception, as the paper’s California section fronts a story that should be titled “Leftist Think Tank Attacks Three Strikes Law,” but instead is titled Three-Strikes Law Has Little Effect, Study Says. The story begins:

A decade after it was enacted, California’s three-strikes sentencing law has had little impact on violent crime while costing taxpayers $8 billion to imprison tens of thousands of felons, most of them for nonviolent offenses, according to a study released today.

The report by the Washington, D.C.-based Justice Policy Institute also found that blacks have been imprisoned under the three-strikes law at 10 times the rate of whites, while the rate for Hispanics has been almost 80% greater than for whites.

Do you think it’s relevant that the Justice Policy Institute is a reliably left-leaning organization? The Times doesn’t bother to mention this little fact until page B10 — after the jump:

“What our studies show is that California’s three-strikes law costs too much, does too little and targets the wrong people. And particularly in these times of fiscal crisis in the state, California cannot afford to do that,” said Vincent Schiraldi, coauthor of the study and executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, a left-leaning research and public policy organization.

The part you just read in bold is the sort of description you usually see in a news story the very first time that the organization is mentioned. This way, readers are on notice that the study may be a line of propaganda. I see no legitimate justification for waiting to tell readers that that the study was put out by a leftist organization.

So why did they wait? I have a theory. As I have explained before:

The Dog Trainer editors know: studies show that hardly anybody reads the stuff on the back pages. So when there is information you are ethically bound to report, but you don’t want people to see, you simply bury it on the back pages — after the “jump.” For most people, this is as good as not reporting it at all.

As for the merits of the study, I will leave that to the reader’s common sense. For example, one of the findings is:

The six largest California counties using three strikes most frequently had lower decreases in crime rates than the six that used the law less often.

If this seems counterintuitive to you, you are right. Obviously, there are other factors at work. Correlation does not equal causation. It’s Statistics 101.

Raise your hand if you think that it is safer to leave more people on the streets who have twice committed crimes like murder, rape, arson, robbery, residential burglary, or assault with a deadly weapon. We can debate the cost-benefit analysis, but to imply that leaving such people on the streets is safer is pure horse manure. It’s the sort of conclusion that makes sense only to people who work in a left-leaning organization. Perhaps this is why the information was saved until after the jump.


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