Patterico's Pontifications

2/10/2010

The Three Liberal Stooges: Brad Friedman, Eric Boehlert, and Marcy Wheeler

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:15 pm

Did you know that you can “pose” as a pimp without dressing like one?

Can someone explain that to Brad Friedman of the “BRADBLOG”? And to his oafish sidekicks Marcy Wheeler and Eric Boehlert?

Three Stooges
Above: Brad Friedman, Eric Boehlert, and Marcy Wheeler

Friedman has not one, not two, but three lengthy screeds complaining that the New York Times should correct a “suggestion” that James O’Keefe wore his pimp costume inside the ACORN offices:

In short, the Times suggested in an article a week ago Sunday — and at least seven others prior to it, all published after the release of the former MA Attorney General’s report — that O’Keefe was wearing his infamous pimp outfit inside the offices of ACORN while speaking to employees in his now-infamous hit videos. In actuality, according to the December 7th report by AG Scott Harshbarger, in direct contradiction to the Times reporting, he was not.

Note how slippery this is. First Friedman says the Times merely “suggested” O’Keefe wore the pimp costume in the offices. Well, if the report by “AG Scott Harshbarger” (actually a former AG) stood in “direct contradiction” to the New York Times‘s reporting, then the Times must have done more than “suggest” this.

But, of course, they didn’t. Friedman provides no quotes from any news outlet directly asserting that O’Keefe wore the pimp get-up inside the ACORN offices. Here’s what the New York Times actually wrote:

Mr. O’Keefe is a conservative activist who gained fame last year by posing as a pimp and secretly recording members of the community group Acorn giving him advice on how to set up a brothel.

You can “pose” as a pimp without dressing like one. Look up the definition if you don’t believe me.

And “posing as a pimp” is precisely what O’Keefe did. Yet Friedman writes a huge, several-thousand-word post wailing about the New York Times‘s failure to “correct” something that they never got wrong.

Naturally, dopey ol’ Eric Boehlert walks right into this one:

Go read the BradBlog for a truly eye-opneing [Yes, he wrote "eye-opneing." Stand in awe of the Soros-funded copy editors! -- P] encounter the blogger had with a Times standards editor after the blogger pressed for an ACORN/O’Keefe-related correction. Specifically, Brad Friedman urged the paper to correct its erroneous reports that suggested O’Keefe, when making his undercover ACORN clips, entered the ACORN offices dressed outlandishly as a pimp.

According to an independent investigation into the ACORN matter, that claim is not true. (i.e. “He was dressed like a college student – in slacks and a button down shirt.”) But the Times, like lots of news outlets, has made that dressed-as-a-pimp assertion again and again.

Uh, no, dopey. The Times hasn’t.* Nor have the other outlets cited by Friedman. These outlets have made the “O’Keefe posed as a pimp” claim. And that claim is true, because if you have seen the tapes, that’s exactly what O’Keefe did.

Friedman doesn’t seem to realize that, of course. In his screed the third, he credulously repeats this nonsense from Kevin Whelan, ACORN’s Minister of Lies Communication Director, who makes this outlandish and easily disproved claim:

“In fact,” he continued, “the transcripts posted on biggovernment.com themselves reveal that O’Keefe presented himself as Giles boyfriend not her pimp – his scam involved a story about rescuing her from a violent pimp. So it would not have made sense for him to wear the costume, even within the fictional scenario he presented.”

Uh, except that O’Keefe most assuredly did present himself as a pimp. Specifically, as a pimp willing to run a house of child prostitution. This is apparent to anyone who has even the slightest passing familiarity with this scandal.

Friedman also repeats lies told by ACORN in Philly:

In the video (seen at right), Russell explains what happened when O’Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles — seen dressed similarly to a prostitute in the edited videos from other cities where O’Keefe carried out his campaign — came in for an interview in her office. “They never said that she [Giles] was a prostitute, and he was not dressed in any usually flashy manor,” Russell explains.

Uh, that’s “manner.” Anyway, that’s an easily provable lie, as Friedman should know by now:

OK, now on to Marcy Wheeler. Her post is titled NYT Thinks TeaBugger James O’Keefe Entitled to Own Set of Facts. And she says . . . wait. What is that term? “Teabugger”? Oh, I get it. It’s like “tea bagger” — only the word “bugger” is substituted . . . a reference to O’Keefe’s “bugging,” which it’s now clear he did not do. So it’s a joke name based on a lie. Which tells you all you need to know about Marcy Wheeler.

Anyway, Wheeler sez:

Brad Friedman lays out an entire exchange that, first, one of their readers, and then Brad Friedman himself had with the NYT, attempting to get them to either correct or back up the claim that O’Keefe dressed as a pimp.

Except that, again, the paper never made that claim in the way (at least in the way that Wheeler means, if you read her post).

Also, all three bloggers repeatedly refer to a supposedly “independent” report by a guy paid by ACORN, which makes various findings totally at odds with the unedited audio that the report (and all three bloggers) refuse to acknowledge even exists. (Did you know there is unedited audio? In all the whining about the lack of unedited video, did anyone ever bother to tell you that you can listen to the full unedited audio of these visits? It’s true! Click the link if you don’t believe me.)

In short, these three are pathetic hacks.

Seriously: if Brad Friedman, Eric Boehlert, and Marcy Wheeler are the best liberalism has to offer, we conservatives have nothing to worry about.

*In context, this statement is a refutation of the claim that Friedman’s evidence backs up his assertions. However, Boehlert has since dug up other apparent instances where the New York Times did appear to suggest that O’Keefe wore the get-up inside the offices. This actually makes ACORN’s case worse, as it removes any argument that they didn’t take O’Keefe seriously due to his ridiculous costume.

Someone to Watch Over Us

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Police and security guards are like triage nurses — they have to prioritize what to respond to and how to respond. After a recent incident in Seattle, the response by the Metro Transit Police is getting heightened scrutiny:

“Four youths have been charged with robbery as Metro Transit Police continue to investigate the beating of a 15-year-old girl in the transit tunnel at Westlake Center.

As surveillance cameras rolled, three unarmed security guards stood by during the Jan. 28 assault. The guards, who are trained not to get involved in physical confrontations, stood by as the girl was beaten, kicked and robbed.”

According to the report, the incident was the continuation of a confrontation that started in a nearby department store:

“Describing the incident to King County sheriff’s detectives, the 15-year-old girl who was attacked said her assailants confronted her in Macy’s, according to charging documents.

Egged on by [an 18-year-old male] and others, the female suspect in the attack threatened the girl repeatedly, the victim told detectives. Seattle police officers interceded, forcing both the girl and the group that had confronted her outside the store.

The girl told detectives she was immediately confronted by the female suspect after stepping onto Third Avenue outside the downtown Macy’s. She rushed back into the store, she said, where she again encountered the Seattle officers who’d ejected her moments before.

“I asked them to take me to the tunnel and they said they couldn’t because they didn’t have time for kids who started trouble,” the girl told sheriff’s detectives.

The officers eventually led the other group away, and the girl went to the transit tunnel to wait for her bus home. While she waited, her assailants returned, she said, and the other girl attacked her.”

Police suspect the attack was motivated by gang activity in which the girl was encouraged to attack while her companions rushed in to rob the victim. Prosecutors allege her purse, book bag, cellphone and iPod were stolen.

Meanwhile, some Metro patrons are understandably concerned to learn the Metro Transit Police are more like security “watchers” than security “guards.” The policy is reportedly under review.

H/T S, and there is video at the link.

– DRJ

The Health Care Summit

Filed under: Health Care,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 7:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In the interest of transparency, President Obama has invited Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders to attend a bipartisan televised half-day health care summit on February 25. The parties disagree on the agenda for the summit — Republicans want to start over while Obama and Democratic leaders want to tinker with the existing legislation.

Hugh Hewitt suggests three areas Republicans attending the summit should focus on:

  • Tort reform.
  • Interstate health care policies.
  • Economic vitality without massive debt: “Therefore we will use our last presentation to acquaint you and your colleagues with the details of Congressman Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap,” which we believe could be enacted in parallel with comprehensive health care reform thus setting our domestic policy house in order.”
  • These are good ideas, but I’d like to see something more comprehensive — like the 8-point proposal offered by Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey last August. Mackey’s list includes the first two on Hewitt’s list and six more that I think are worthy of discussion:

    1. “Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems.”

    2. “Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.”

    3. “Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.”

    4. “Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.”

    5. “Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.”

    6. “Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?”

    7. “Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.”

    8. “Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

    There are several benefits to Mackey’s proposal. It speaks to most of the problems people have with existing health care policies and addresses the uninsured. It includes a way to achieve transparency not only in how our leaders talk about health care but also in the information patients get about their health care costs.

    In addition, it can be enacted in stages and deals with both current and future problems, especially Medicare. Medicare is already paying out more than it collects and will be “officially” bankrupt by 2017 at the latest. Dealing with Medicare is important from a financial standpoint but it also gives Republicans a way to be proactive rather than reactive, and thereby counter Democratic claims that it is the Party of No.

    – DRJ

    Boehlert: Still Pretending He Never Said Those Falsehoods

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:44 pm

    Eric Boehlert is really just too dumb to engage, but it’s worth noting that he continues to pretend he never said the following:

    And how about the Daily Caller itself, which allowed its blogger to publish the allegation on its site that he’d been hit by the Secret Service, which was not true. The Daily Caller then posted a long, detailed account of the accident, suggesting a government conspiracy to cover up the crime. Yet in that accusatory article, the Daily Caller left out the fact that its employee originally, and eroneously [sic], accused the Secret Service of running him over, and did it on the Daily Caller site. That fact was conveniently flushed down the memory hole.

    Referring to “tweets” does not substantiate that pack of lies.

    And no matter how many dozen times he updates this piece or links it on Twitter, he is still dodging that core issue. As if he never said the above.

    Keep pretending, Boehlert. As I said, that is your Tactic #1: If you said something indefensible, pretend you never said it.

    While you’re doing that, enjoy this video:

    Whether I subscribe to every word or not, it’s certainly more accurate than Boehlert’s rewriting of history. Add this to the list of Boehlert lies and distortions, including the following, which he has also failed to address:

    • Distorted a quote from blogger See Dubya, taking See Dubya’s quote about one of two possible scenarios and turning it into a positive claim by See Dubya.
    • Falsely claimed that Jamil Hussein was “under arrest” — and then refused to correct the error . . . in a column about warbloggers’ failures to correct errors. (See? Today’s irony is not without precedent.)

    There’s a Word for This . . .

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:11 am

    It’s on the tip of my tongue. Or the palm of my hand.


    Watch CBS News Videos Online

    And the word is . . .

    Hang on . . .

    Lame Palm


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