Patterico's Pontifications

5/27/2007

Memo to Stephen Kaus: Let’s Use Facts and Not Mythology

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:34 am

Memo to Mickey’s brother Stephen:

  • Carol Lam did not engage in a “continuing investigation[] of powerful GOP Congressman Jerry Lewis . . .” — Debra Yang did. (Blame misleading wording by the L.A. Times, reinforced by Think Progress, for this one. Still, I’ve written about it, Stephen, and I know you’ve read my posts on the issue because you say you have.)
  • It is not true, as you claim, that the investigations of Jerry Lewis and Dusty Foggo caused

    Kyle Samson to famously write on May 11, 2006 that “[t]he real problem we have right now is Carol Lam.”

    Rather, Sampson wrote: “Please call me at your convenience to discuss the following,” referring in part to “[t]he real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires.” It’s “with,” not “is.” As long as you’re putting things in quotation marks and all. “Let’s discuss the real problem we have right now with x” is not as serious as “The real problem we have right now is x.” Subtle — but still, the facts are the facts, and quotes are quotes. Get them right.

  • Also, it’s “Sampson.” The hair is way different from Samson. (It’s a typo, unlike “Inglesias,” or “Mark Garagos” both of which misspellings appear again and again.)
  • You say James Comey “debunked a charge by political DOJ appointees that Lam had an unacceptably low rate of gun prosecution. Comey pointed out that if the local District Attorney[‘s] office was adequately prosecuting gun crimes, as it was in San Diego, there was no need for the federal government to step in.” Comey didn’t say that the local District Attorney was adequately prosecuting gun crimes. He said only that if it was, that could justify a low number of federal prosecutions. He didn’t debunk the charge regarding Lam’s low numbers on guns. He said that Lam had been “in the bottom 10 in terms of gun prosecutions” and that John Ashcroft had asked him to speak to her about it. (Blame TPMmuckraker for getting this wrong initially.)

There’s this whole mythology building up around little misstatements like “Lam investigated Jerry Lewis” or “Comey said Lam’s gun numbers were just fine” or “Sampson said ‘the real problem we have right now is Carol Lam.'” And Kaus’s post incorporates ’em all.

P.S. That’s not to say there’s definitively nothing to this scandal. I’ve seen no proof, but some limited evidence that seems suspicious. But all arguments need to be rooted to facts and not mythology.

4 Responses to “Memo to Stephen Kaus: Let’s Use Facts and Not Mythology”

  1. Patrick:
    Once those “18 words” become embedded within the media, nothing can change the CW short of a lobotomy.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  2. Even lobotomies seem to be ineffective, actually.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  3. I am quite late to this whole firing deal, but I must that I am quite unimpressed and maybe even disimpressed. Why is the word scandal being used with the meme of the firing? I did not see anyone explain why a POTUS can not fire anyone for whatever reason they want, or even no reason.

    The only thing that seems to be a bit off is the various testimonies, but I am not sure how testimony in Congress compares as to its rules as to testimony in the judicial system. And if people are going to get into knots about the Congressional testimony given by people of the AG office, how about the Plame testimony given this past Spring that the Congress is saying was an out-and-out lie?

    seePea (38fcb2)

  4. Patterico, you just don’t get it. Republicans are always guilty as charged, no matter who makes the charges and then the media will regurgitate them endlessly in order to make sure that everyone believes them. Lam is the latest PC nominee for AG.

    Howard Veit (4ba8d4)


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