Patterico's Pontifications

1/4/2005

More on the Revisionist Columbia Journalism Review Piece on Rathergate

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 1:56 pm

Plenty of people have taken apart Corey Pein’s lousy revisionist history in his Columbia Journalism Review piece on the CBS forged documents scandal. Much of the criticism focuses primarily on details relating to typography. I’d like to focus on a couple of non-typographical points.
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Nothing But Net

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 1:45 pm

When you view this clip of a cheerleader being thrown through a basketball hoop, you can’t help but think to yourself: is this real? [UPDATE: it's not. See below.]

One thing convinced me that it was: the concern shown by the guys for the cheerleader’s well-being afterwards.

UPDATE: PoliticaObscura opines in the comments that it’s fake. It does seem pretty unlikely — but I still love those guys’ reactions. It’s good acting if nothing else.

UPDATE x2: Steve M. also opines that it’s fake, and offers actual evidence. I’m convinced. It’s still damn funny.

Armed Liberal’s Dialogue (If You Can Call It That) With Someone at NPR

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 12:48 pm

Check out this post from Armed Liberal. What I find interesting about it is that the NPR guy — apparently a journalist, whose job requires him to be curious, to engage various points of view, and to keep an open mind — casually dismisses Armed Liberal’s information because he assumes (incorrectly) that it’s all right-wing propaganda.

L.A. Times Editors: Clueless About the Internet

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:03 pm

At the end of this post, Jay Rosen has an interesting story about L.A. Times editors and their ignorance of the Web:

September, 2003: In publishing this op-ed piece with the Los Angeles Times, I had the strange experience of penetrating the newspaper’s online operation to fix something. Despite assurances, they had failed to include a “live” link to PressThink in the bio lines. But they did print the url itself with the http:// and everything; and so I called the city desk to try to speak with an editor. Found there were no editors available who understood what a link was, and why it mattered, or what the url meant. The “web guys” knew. Different silo.

By suggesting that my own call be transfered, I finally reached the kid on duty who was running the LATimes.com site live. He changed it for me in 30 seconds, though it took 30 minutes to get to him. He wasn’t a journalist, he was a geek, and all alone there. Or so it seemed to me. I felt like he inhabited a Los Angeles Times future that was a ghost town.

That’s an interesting attitude for a publication that scrapped its national edition because it’s counting on people to read it online. One hopes things have changed since September 2003.

KFI Radio Host Mentions Patterico

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 11:37 am

Xrlq says that KFI’s Bill Handel mentioned this blog on the radio this morning, as a way to keep up with the bias of the L.A. Times. I missed it, as I have the day off and was sleeping in.

Xrlq says that Handel butchered the pronunciation, but I don’t care — as long as he spelled it right.

If anyone is visiting as a result of this mention, please drop a comment and let me know. I have this theory that a blog mention on the radio rarely leads to much traffic, but I’d love to know if this is wrong.

UPDATE: Xrlq says Handel didn’t spell it. This illustrates the advantage of having a name like Xrlq, which must be spelled every time it is said.

A Liberal Former Supreme Court Clerk on Justice Thomas

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 8:38 am

Eugene Volokh points to an excellent post about Justice Thomas by a liberal former Supreme Court clerk. The former clerk says that he is “no fan” of Justice Thomas’s jurisprudence — but he respects him as an intelligent and independent thinker:

Frankly, I don’t see what [Senate minority leader-elect Harry] Reid is talking about — Thomas’s opinions seem to me no better or worse written than anyone else’s on the Court, and calling him an “embarrassment” without further explanation is just, well, embarrassing.

. . . .

[L]et’s be clear: Thomas is a smart, creative thinker — he is not a “Scalia clone” — and he has staked out reasonably clear and consistent positions on many important legal issues. Democrats, particularly those in the Senate, need to get that through their sometimes frustratingly thick skulls and deal with it.

. . . .

It’s also legitimate to argue against Thomas as Chief Justice based on a reasoned disagreement with his legal views. But to demean him with terms like “an embarrassment to the Supreme Court” (especially while simultaneously praising Scalia as a “smart guy” who might make a good Chief) plays right into the hands of those who think that all Democrats are hypocrites. Democrats should know better.

I’m fairly confident that those who criticize Thomas, like Sen. Reid, have never actually read anything written by Justice Thomas. Those of us who have, like myself and the former clerk who wrote the linked post, generally agree that Justice Thomas is a smart guy who stakes out his own ground.

For example: I thought that Justice Thomas’s dissent in the term limits case was one of the best opinions I’d ever read from the Court. You can read it by going to this link and searching for the phrase “It is ironic” — the first three words of his dissent. It is a brilliant discussion of the source of governmental authority in the United States, and should be required reading for anyone interested in concepts of federalism. I commend it to Sen. Reid.

UPDATE: Via Howard Bashman, James Taranto offers further evidence that Sen. Reid doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about when he criticizes Thomas. Asked for specifics, Reid cited a perfectly lucid one-paragraph dissent as an example of Justice Thomas’s allegedly poor writing skills. According to Sen. Reid, Justice Thomas’s dissent was written at an eighth-grade level, while Scalia’s dissent was well reasoned. Minor problem: Justice Scalia didn’t write a dissent in that case.

It’s really a joke that a guy like this has any power whatsoever over whether Justice Thomas could become Chief Justice.


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