Patterico's Pontifications

11/19/2009

L.A. Times Columnist Uncritically Quoted Star of Latest ACORN Video

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:49 pm

Rainey EggFace
Above: James Carville shows James Rainey his future.

In September, L.A. Times columnist James Rainey wrote a column in which he uncritically quoted ACORN worker Lavelle Stewart suggesting that she had turned Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe out of her office:

[V]isits to other ACORN offices have gone almost entirely unmentioned. Lavelle Stewart, a fair-housing coordinator in the group’s Los Angeles office, told me this week that she tried to get the “prostitute,” who claimed she had been beaten by her pimp, to go to a women’s center.

“The fact she was not taking the help I offered her made me think something was not right,” Stewart said. “It raised a red flag.”

Media Matters gloated: LA Times report further undermines ACORN videographers’ credibility.

I wasn’t so sure — and I publicly declared that Rainey had likely been suckered and would end up with egg on his face. I wrote Rainey and asked him:

1) Did you contact Breitbart, Giles, or O’Keefe before writing your column, to ask them about what Stewart said?

2) If, by chance, you turn out to have been wrong about ACORN in L.A. — if it turns out that ACORN in L.A. tried to help Giles and O’Keefe with their purported underage prostitution ring — will you write another column acknowledging that?

When Rainey failed to respond, I contacted Breitbart (he’s very easy to reach) and asked him. Breitbart confirmed that Rainey hadn’t bothered to contact Breitbart — or Giles or O’Keefe — to ask their side of the story. I asked Breitbart what he would have told Rainey about Lavelle Stewart’s denials, and Breitbart said he would have told Rainey:

As an empathetic being, I urge you to think twice before accepting the word of an ACORN employee for anything. Because every journalist who has done so has ended up with egg on his or her face.

It’s too bad Rainey never received that warning. Because guess who is the star of Giles and O’Keefe’s latest ACORN video?

Quotable:

I mean, I think you have to hook up with someone who is on that international sex business level. . . . 14 and 15 year-olds been traveling overseas for years. that’s not something that’s brand new. You know what I mean? . . . I could do research for you I could find out what we can do — how to get you in that door. . . There are ways, people do it all the time.

Crow for Dinner

(Breitbart tells me that Rainey is now claiming he did try to contact Breitbart. Breitbart told me he can find no evidence of the attempted contact. Breitbart told me that tonight. It was very easy to contact Breitbart, as it always is.)

The best part: Rainey recently criticized Fox News for uncritically accepting only one side of the story. I mean, there are so many levels to the irony, you need an elevator to visit them all.

I now publicly ask the question Rainey would not answer privately: having written a misleading column that falsely suggested that ACORN in L.A. was clean — and that Giles and O’Keefe were dishonest — is James Rainey now going to write a new column and correct the record?

P.S. Time to confess. Good guesses are good. Certainty is better. It’s easy to be Karnak when you already know the future. See what I mean?

Thanks to Instapundit and Big Government for the links. And thanks to commenter Dodd for the links to the posters used in this post.

“RAINEY = GALE GORDON” UPDATE: Tim Cavanaugh has personally dealt with Rainey. So when Cavanaugh describes Rainey as a humorless prototype of Gale Gordon . . . he knows whereof he speaks.

UPDATE: Breitbart is upping the stakes. Details here.

ObamaCare: The Mammogram message

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:08 am

[Posted by Karl]

I did not blog the US Preventive Services Task Force’s new guideline — that women in their 40s should stop routine annual mammograms and older women should cut back to biannual exams — because I did not have anything new to add. But now I do, so here is the refresher quote:

Some questioned whether the new guidelines were designed more to control spending than to improve health. In addition to prompting fewer doctors to recommend mammograms to their patients, they worried that the move would prompt insurers to deny coverage for many mammograms.

The new recommendations took on added significance because under health-care reform legislation pending in Congress, the conclusions of the 16-member task force would set standards for what preventive services insurance plans would be required to cover at little or no cost.

Obviously unsurprising, given that Pres. Obama has portrayed doctors as people who not only conduct wasteful tests, but unnecessarily remove tonsils and feet to pad their coffers.

In assessing the political impact of the announcement, I would note that prior polling has tended to show that women supported ObamaCare, while men opposed it. Democrats cannot afford to lose the support of women on this issue, but the announcement plays into a narrative already advanced by the pro-choice movement that ObamaCare will ration healthcare for women.

The Obama administration is clearly worried about this. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been busy misleading the public, noting that the task force’s recommendation is non-binding, while omitting that it would become binding under the PelosiCare bill Obama endorsed.

I will leave the debate over the science behind the guideline to the experts. But in a nation where most adults know someone affected by breast cancer, I suspect most people will see government influence in a negative light. You cannot play the “one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic game” when so many know one. The administration’s weaseling will only reinforce public suspicions about rationing under ObamaCare.

Update: Ed Morrissey notes that the brand new Quinnipiac poll has ObamaCare losing among women.

–Karl

Keep Watching Big Government

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

Just in case the new ACORN in L.A. video comes out. (Big Government is here.)

If the video is released, I’ll be at work all day and won’t be able to comment on it. But you can, here. (If it’s released.)

The name to watch for: Lavelle Stewart. If you see that name on a video — and if she’s helping Giles and O’Keefe — then you know one James Rainey of the L.A. Times will be squirming.

Jesse Jackson Declares Support for ObamaCare an Indispensable Part of Being Black

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 am

His quote: “We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill . . . You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.

Allahpundit’s exit question: Will our post-racial president be coming to [Rep. Artur] Davis’s aid on this one or will he be left to suffer in silence in the interests of passing ObamaCare?

In other words: will Obama pursue principle or politics?

I assume the question was rhetorical.

KSM Show Trial Watch: The Evidence Mounts

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:35 am

Eric Holder, reassuring the mother of a 9/11 victim that trying KSM in federal court is the right thing to do:

There are reasons why bringing this case in an Article III court when it comes to the admissibility of certain evidence is really the right way to go and really maximizes our chances of getting a successful outcome.

This statement comes at the very end of this clip. (An “Article III” court is a standard federal court under Article III of the Constitution.)

Although Hot Air and others have linked the clip, I haven’t seen anyone else focus on this particular statement, which I found very revealing. Commentators (including myself) have been arguing that Holder and Obama chose federal court because they thought they could win anyway, and make some Grand Point about due process. But this quote indicates that Holder and Obama actually think they have a better chance in federal court.

Combine that with Holder’s frank admission (which he quickly backed off of) that he might not choose this forum if he were not confident of success:

If I was concerned about the forum not leading to a positive result or if I had a concern — a different concern, you know, we would perhaps be in a different place.

And you can see that what we have is an administration that is choosing where to try the detainees, not based on some principle or neutral protocol (as they claim), but based on where they can win. They’re rigging the game.

And if they lose, they won’t let him go anyway.

This is just further evidence that the KSM trial will be a show trial.

P.S. I don’t want to make this argument. I want the world to consider the trial of KSM legitimate. And as I said before, I do like the concept of treating him like he’s nothing special.

But the way Obama & Co. are running this show isn’t about justice. I criticized the Bush administration when I thought they were stacking the deck and implementing unfair procedures, and I’m going to criticize Obama when I see him doing it.

UPDATE: Turns out Glenn Greenwald made this exact point yesterday, and has even more damning quotes from Holder, including this one:

Courts and commissions are both essential tools in our fight against terrorism . . . On the same day I sent these five defendants to federal court, I referred five others to be tried in military commissions. I am a prosecutor, and as a prosecutor, my top priority was simply to select the venue where the government will have the greatest opportunity to present the strongest case with the best law. . . . At the end of the day, it was clear to me that the venue in which we are most likely to obtain justice for the American people is a federal court.

I mean, he’s making no bones about it.


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2345 secs.