Patterico's Pontifications


Bunnies Re-Enact Horror Classics

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 10:41 pm

Two horror classics, re-enacted in 30 seconds, by bunnies. Just click here.

Beheading Your Dog as the Third Strike

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 10:37 pm

The L.A. Times reports about a guy who is seeking to delay his sentencing until after the vote on Proposition 66, the initiative to gut the Three Strikes Law.

The man was convicted of

beating his German shepherd mix with a golf club in January 2002, shoving a wooden stake through her heart and decapitating her with pruning shears.

The defendant has two previous convictions for assault with a deadly weapon. But his attorney is arguing that the current offense is not a strike.

The man’s lawyer is correct that animal cruelty is not a “strike” by itself. However, if it was alleged and proved that the defendant personally used a dangerous and deadly weapon, it would be.

If the initiative passes, whether this guy goes away or not may depend on whether the prosecution bothered to plead that specific allegation. If he just killed the dog with his bare hands — by strangling it, drowning it, or breaking its legs and leaving it in a ditch, for example — that would not be a strike. Pass the initiative, and such a repeat felon could receive at most three years in prison — of which he’ll serve half.

You’re the voter. It’s your call.

Chicago Tribune on a Form of Unreliable Media

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 10:28 pm

The Chicago Tribune has an article criticizing the

media world where questionable truths joust with plausible fictions, agendas are often hidden, and motives are frequently mixed . . .

Refreshing to see Big Media turning the magnifying glass on itself in an honest fashion.

What’s that you say? That quote is about blogs?

Never mind.

The article is pretty dang snarky about the potential dark, hidden motives of bloggers. It describes an interview with the person who runs

“Blogs are supremely transparent,” Krempasky said in a telephone interview. “With a very few exceptions, bloggers are real people that can be reached and talked to and held up to the light.”

Nowhere on Krempasky’s site, however, did he disclose that he is the political director for American Target Advertising, a Virginia firm run by Richard Viguerie, the conservative strategist widely credited with inventing political direct mail and helping Ronald Reagan and numerous other Republicans get elected.

The episode was hardly isolated.

“Buckhead,” the mysterious blogger on who was among the first to raise questions about the authenticity of the documents within hours of Rather’s broadcast, declined repeated requests from the Chicago Tribune and other media to reveal his identity.

But on Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that “Buckhead” is Harry MacDougald, an Atlanta lawyer with ties to conservative Republican causes who helped draft the petition urging the Arkansas Supreme Court to disbar President Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

That revelation will likely fuel the suspicions of some Democrats that Republicans were behind a scheme to discredit CBS by supplying the network with fake documents.

Of course, there are quite often little tidbits about reporters that don’t get reported.

Take, for example, Bill Arkin, who until recently was an L.A. Times reporter on military issues — and who famously misquoted Gen. Boykin. As I pointed out in this post:

Arkin’s e-mail address, listed in his byline, traces to, the home page for a radical leftist organization called the “Institute for Global Communications.”

Or take L.A. Times reporter Ken Silverstein, whom I took to task in this post for blatantly misrepresenting quotes in a Sunday talk show. Silverstein’s bio describes him as follows:

Freelance writer, Washington, D.C., contributing editor of Harper’s magazine, Washington editor of Mother Jones, contributor to The Nation, Mother Jones,, Slate, The American Prospect and Washington Monthly, 1993 -2003.

I am quite sure that these random examples only scratch the surface of what you’d find if you really started looking into the backgrounds of mainstream media reporters.

If the mainstream media insists on investigating the backgrounds of the bloggers, what makes reporters immune from such scrutiny?

UPDATE: Welcome to Instapundit readers, and thanks to the Professor for the link! I hope new readers who like what they see will bookmark the site.

TalkLeft Opposes Assault Weapons Ban

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 10:25 pm

Believe it or not, TalkLeft does not support the assault weapons ban:

TalkLeft does not support the renewal of the assault weapons ban. No matter how you view terrorism, the drug war or street violence, stripping citizens of 200 years of civil liberties is not the answer.

Wow. Still, she finds a way to turn it against Bush:

However, if you disagree with us, then John Kerry is correct, you should be blaming Bush.

Yes. And if you agree with y’all (or youse guys), then you should be blaming Kerry.

Tony Blankley on the RatherGate Scandal

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 5:51 pm

From my last three posts you can tell I am catching up on my reading with Betsy’s Page, which has all sorts of great links. In one of her posts she links to this Tony Blankley column about the breaking of the RatherGate scandal. It has some wonderful quotes:

As each of these experts added their information to one blog, other bloggers would monitor it, pass it on, add a new fact, reorganize the analysis and synthesize new information. If new information proved wrong, it was corrected by yet another expert in the blogosphere. Mistakes were cheerfully admitted and instantly corrected. . . . It was like watching time-lapse photography of a cell dividing and growing. It was as if the very mechanism for establishing truth was a living, pulsating force.

. . . .

The Internet bloggers picked CBS’s story as clean as a school of piranhas would pick clean some poor water buffalo that wandered into their river.


Nat Hentoff Defends Fox News

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 5:32 pm

In a column from last Monday, Nat Hentoff had some praise for Fox News. (Via Betsy’s Page.)

Web of Connections Between CBS and Democrats

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 4:31 pm

The latest “web of connections” is one linking Democrats to CBS. (Via Betsy’s Page.)

Next we have an analysis of which political party is the primarily beneficiary of donations from CBS News staffers. The results just may surprise you.

Then again, maybe you were surprised to learn that Buckhead is a conservative . . .

Kristof Flubs Basic Points About Swift Vet Controversy

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 1:36 pm

Beldar and Captain Ed document several errors in Nick Kristof’s column today about the Swift Boat Vets. I would like to highlight the most egregious one:

Did Mr. Kerry deserve his Bronze Star? Yes. The Swift Boat Veterans claim that he was not facing enemy fire when he rescued a Green Beret, Jim Rassmann, but that is contradicted by those were there [sic], like William Rood and Mr. Rassmann (a Republican). In fact, Mr. Rassmann recommended Mr. Kerry for a Silver Star.

“In fact,” William Rood was not there, Nicky my boy. You’re mixing up your incidents. Here is a direct quote from Rood:

I was part of the operation that led to Kerry’s Silver Star. I have no firsthand knowledge of the events that resulted in his winning the Purple Hearts or the Bronze Star.


Keep in mind that this column was written by someone who chose to focus on the Swift Boat Vets’ allegations, and write a column about them in the New York Times.

So when you hear people like Tim Rutten talking about the “Swift boat nonsense” or the “phony Swift boat controversy,” ask yourself: do you think they are more informed about the controversy than Nick Kristof? Who himself lacks a grasp of the basic details?

I doubt it.

P.S. I have written Dan Okrent about this. I’ll let you know what he says. I have a feeling I am not the only one writing him, and that we will see a correction within the week.

UPDATE: One point mentioned in the Captain’s and Beldar’s posts was that Kristof misspoke when he said that “every enlisted man who was with Mr. Kerry on various boats when he won Purple Hearts and Silver and Bronze Stars says he deserved them.” But I believe that Kristof’s statement, while very carefully worded, is true. It ignores Swift Boat Veteran for Truth Steve Gardner, who served with Kerry longer than any of his supporters who served on the boat with him. But I believe that Gardner was not present for the specific awards mentioned.

UPDATE x2: Tom Maguire has more.

UPDATE x3: Beldar correctly points out that he did not specifically accuse Kristof of misspeaking, but rather of ignoring Gardner. Which Kristof undoubtedly did, in a way that was accurate — but misleading.

UPDATE x4: Thanks to Mickey Kaus for selecting me to join Beldar, Captain Ed, and Tom Maguire in the firm of “Fisk, Fisk, Fisk, and Fisk.” (An honor no doubt aided by Instapundit’s link.) With partners like that, I don’t even mind getting bottom billing!

Note to Custodian of Kinko’s Videotapes: We Have a Time and Date

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 12:47 pm

Buried in an L.A. Times story on the CBS document scandal is this tidbit:

Emily Will, a professional document examiner in North Carolina consulted by the network to help assess two memos related to Bush’s military service, said her copies showed a fax footer with a time stamp that read 6:41 p.m. Sept. 2.

The header of the fax, which presumably showed information about the sender, referred to a Kinko’s shop near Abilene, Texas.

What are we waiting for? We have the videotapes, the date, and the time! Break ’em out and let’s see who it is!

Hey Bill Burkett — do you have your hair-dying kit and your tickets to France ready?

UPDATE: Allah notes that the L.A. Times story suggests two interesting points: 1) the Kerry campaign may have had the documents before CBS did; and 2) CBS may have lied about how long they had the documents — to make it appear that their investigation was more scrupulous than it really was.

Celebrity Blog Sightings

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 10:49 am

I’ve meant to mention some celebrity blogsightings (or bloghearings) for days. This is blogging “inside baseball” (what Xrlq calls “inside blogball”), so if you don’t care about that stuff, skip to the next post.

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