Patterico's Pontifications

2/6/2005

Hewitt and Eastman Fail to Confront Chemerinsky

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

Juan Non-Volokh notes that Erwin Chemerinsky was given a pass the other day on his hypocrisy on filibusters.

This marks the second such time in recent days. The other day, I heard Prof. Chemerinsky on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show making the same exact hypocritical remarks. Even though I e-mailed Hewitt and Prof. Eastman (who regularly appears with Chemerinsky on Hewitt’s show) several weeks ago to ask them to confront Chemerinsky on this issue, they both dropped the ball the other day.

So if you drove by me while I was on the freeway, and saw me yelling at my radio, that’s why.

I’m Upset About Mattis

Filed under: War — Patterico @ 2:10 pm

I disagree with Captain Ed about recent remarks made by General James Mattis. According to CNN, Mattis talked about how much fun it was to kill the enemy:

“Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot,” Mattis said, prompting laughter from some military members in the audience. “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.

“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” Mattis said. “You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Captain Ed says:

I don’t think that Mattis materially damaged our war efforts by playing into a stereotype of American bloodlust that foreigners have of our soldiers, because those who believe that will do so whether a Marine general makes undisciplined remarks or not.

There may be something to that, but like it or not, we are waging a public relations war as well as a military war. Comments like this hurt the public relations war badly. I agree with Captain Ed that I don’t want our soldiers to get “weepy” about killing the enemy — but I don’t want them to be stupid in how they talk about it, either. If Mattis made a blunder this big in the military war, he would be disciplined harshly. I don’t think he should escape harsh discipline just because his blunder was in the P.R. realm.

The Penalty for Stealing My Bandwidth

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 11:49 am

I have implemented Xrlq’s fix. (Actually, One Fine Jay implemented it.) Anyone who attempts to link directly to one of my pictures is going to get this instead.

UPDATE: Meh. Apparently it’s not working yet.

More Made-Up Stuff in an L.A. Times Editorial

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:56 am

I just now cracked open the dead trees edition of yesterday’s L.A. Times. There is an editorial that I can’t find online titled “And as for the Seven Dwarfs . . .” [UPDATE: The link is here.] It opens:

Readers of this page may recall our cynicism at recent reports that SpongeBob SquarePants, who we thought was just a treacly cartoon sponge-person, actually has lurid designs on young children. Last month, James Dobson, Focus on the Family’s thoughtmeister, declared that SpongeBob’s penchant for holding hands with his male starfish pal and his soft and swishy, er, squishy demeanor signals that he is really a homosexual cartoon sponge. Bob, he suggested, is an unsuitable, if not alarming, role model for kids.

As far as I know, the language I have emphasized is utterly false. If there is a shred of evidence that Dobson made the declaration attributed to him in the editorial, I’ve yet to see it.

I have seen plenty of evidence to the contrary. In the only public statements of his on the subject that I am aware of, Dobson has explicitly denied accusing SpongeBob of being gay. A statement on his organization’s web site explains that Dobson objected to the video, not to SpongeBob. And Dobson addressed the issue in detail in a newsletter, accusing the media of distorting his remarks.

It’s not just Dobson or his supporters saying this. An editorial in Toon Zone, an online magazine about cartoons, savaged the New York Times for implying that Dobson had attacked SpongeBob directly:

Deliberately or not, [The New York Times] appears to have twisted Dobson’s position and imputed to him (without evidence) an argument he does not seem to have made.

Flawed as the New York Times article was, it still only implied that Dobson had accused SpongeBob of being gay. It never explicitly claims that Dobson made such a statement — unlike yesterday’s L.A. Times editorial, which directly attributes such statements to Dobson.

I blogged about this two weeks ago, criticizing Jeff Jarvis for placing his faith in the accuracy of factual assertions in L.A. Times editorials — especially about cultural issues. I am sending Jeff a note with a link to this post. I hope that, his dislike of Dobson aside, Jeff will join me in criticizing the Los Angeles Times for making assertions of fact without any evidence to back them up.

If the editors of the Los Angeles Times wish to mock Dobson’s criticism of a pro-gay video in which SpongeBob makes an appearance, they have every right to do so. But while they are entitled to their opinions, and even their (properly labeled and factually based) speculations, they are not entitled to their own facts. Unless they have some basis for saying it, they do not have the right to assert as fact that Dobson has “declared” that SpongeBob is gay.

I have written the Reader’s Representative to ask if the paper has evidence supporting the assertion in the editorial.

UPDATE 2-8-05: The paper plans to run a correction in response to my complaint.

Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for the link, and welcome to Hugh’s readers. If you like what you see, please bookmark the main page and return often!

Blogroll News

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 9:16 am

I am working on reconstructing the blogroll, so this seems like a good time to solicit nominations for new entries. If you run (or know of) a good blog, and that blog has Patterico blogrolled, let me know. I’ll take a look at it, and if I like it, I’ll add it to my blogroll.

One site I never had blogrolled previously is Just One Minute. What was I thinking?


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