Patterico's Pontifications

6/10/2010

Eric Boehlert: “Why does the Los Angeles Times hate Obama?”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:29 pm

Yes, that is really the title of his post. You’d think one glance at one of my year-end reviews of the L.A. Times would somewhat dispel that notion. And it would . . . for honest people.

But such a label does not easily fit Eric Boehlert, Senior Lotion Fellow at Media Matters, who asks how the L.A. Times can possibly allow one of its bloggers, Andrew Malcolm, to display something less than complete respect for the legend known as Barack Obama:

So my question is a simple one: Why does one of the largest newspapers in the country allow its political writer to routinely disrespect the president in a casually insulting way? To portray the president as some kind of punk. . . . [W]hy does the Times allows one of its high-profile political writers to continually adopt a hateful Rush Limbaugh and Fox News-like tone and personally degrade the presidency?

Indeed. Don’t they know that opinion people at major newspapers need to be kept in line? At least when they’re criticizing liberals.

Boehlert is upset because Malcolm has been allowed to call Barack Obama things like this:

* ”the United States’ Democratic Smoker-in-Chief”
* “the Real Good Talker”
* “Smoker-in-Chief”
* “the community organizer”
* “ex-state senator”
* “The Smoker”
* “the nation’s top talker”
* “what’s-his-name in the White House”
* “Duffer-in-Chief”
* “the ex-senator from Illinois”

Those are all pretty good, I’d say . . . and accurate.

I asked Andrew Malcolm if he would like to respond to Boehlert’s nonsense. He sent me this quote for publication:

Receiving this kind of free publicity AND our second Keith Olbermann Worse Person Award on only our 3rd blog birthday is a heartwarming treat. As are all the resulting new Twitter followers @latimestot. We also heartily enjoyed the claim that there are no counterbalancing liberals at the LA Times. God bless America and what’s-his-name.

The penultimate sentence refers to Boehlert’s bleating and incredible whine that “There is no sharply partisan liberal voice on the blog or any other of the Times’ political commentary outlets.”

Really?! When did they fire Tim Rutten, Michael Hiltzik, David Lazarus, and James Rainey? (Boehlert will probably try to tell us that these aren’t political commentators; Hiltzik, for example, is a “business columnist.” Uh, right. Just keep telling yourself that.)

Boehlert says:

And I don’t even have to do a Google search to know for a fact that when President Bush was in office, there was nobody on staff at the Times, and certainly nobody writing off the opinion pages, who was allowed to so casually insult the office of the presidency on a regular basis.

Well, he certainly packed that with enough weaselly qualifiers that he can mount a bullshit rebuttal to any mass of evidence to the contrary, but let’s collect some counterexamples anyway, shall we? I sauntered around the Top of the Ticket blog and found a few items; no doubt you could find more . . .

Kate Linthicum wrote that President Bush’s Hannukah invitations made him look “like a schmo.” Such disrespect for the office of the president!

Johanna Neuman talked about Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy” and never missed a chance to note that Dick Cheney has often been described by liberals as the “Darth Vader of American politics.”

Steve Padilla had this rip-roaringly funny joke about the George W. Bush Presidential Center:

We can’t help wondering if the center will include an exhibit on weapons of mass destruction. It could even be interactive — visitors could wander the complex and never find the WMD. Just a thought.

Hey, they laughed around the water cooler in the newsroom . . .

Mark Milian called Bush “the master of malapropisms.” Similarly, Don Frederick called him the “malaprop gift that keeps giving.”

Oh, the lack of respect for the presidency!!!! except that he kind of had a point . . . like Malcolm does with Obama.

For example, Boehlert faults Malcolm for calling Obama the “Smoker-in-Chief.” But here is the context: health care legislation pushing nannystate provisions:

Many of us were unaware of the need for federal regulation of local menus. But apparently the Democratic congressional majorities and the Smoker-in-Chief believe their bureaucrats must assist health-conscious Americans who are too dumb to figure out that a salad has fewer calories than a triple-burger buried in fries, even if those same stupid Americans were smart enough to elect all these folks in 2008.

It’s a fair point to note that a guy driving all these sanctimonious health care nanny provisions is consistently engaged in one of the least healthy habits known to man.

Ultimately, Boehlert is the same pathetic whiner he always is. But this screed really takes the cake. Thanks to Bradley J. Fikes for bringing it to my attention.

P.S. A couple more examples penned by Malcolm himself: in this post he called John McCain “the old guy from Arizona” and Sarah Palin “the Alaskan lipstick lady, who’s gonna do her own book about losing.” And in this one he referred to “those GOP suits on Capitol Hill who make Benadryl seem like a stimulant.”

Eric Boehlert didn’t tell you about those . . . did he?

UPDATE: Boehlert has cross-posted his post at a site devoted to incivility to Bush: The Smirking Chimp.

The Joys of Euthanasia

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:20 pm

It’s so great, they’re choosing death for you — whether you like it or not:

Almost half of deaths by euthanasia in Belgium have involved patients who have not explicitly requested their lives to be ended by a doctor, a study has suggested.

A fifth of nurses interviewed by researchers admitted that they had been involved in the euthanasia of a patient based on the “assumption” they would want to die. Nearly half of the nurses – 120 of 248 – admitted they had taken part in “terminations without request or consent”.

Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002. It accounts for two per cent of all deaths annually. The law states that patient consent must be given and that doctors must carry out the procedure. But the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that the rules are routinely flouted and shows how doctors often delegate the administering of fatal drugs to nurses.

Thanks to Allahpundit.

Some Thursday Night Music: Brad Delp Edition

Filed under: General,Music — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

Brad Delp fans, gather ’round.

First we have an amazing clip of Delp’s Beatles cover band doing the Abbey Road medley . . . at a high school.

Wow.

Then we have a video of the classic track “Dreams” from the Barry Goudreau solo album. It’s a video made from a wobbly VCR recording and it goes all wompy-jawed at a couple of moments, including right at the beginning. You can listen to a cleaner recording of the song here, but I prefer this version because you can see Brad belting it out:

Let’s close strong, with an unreleased demo of “More Than A Feelin'”:

The range this guy had is beyond the capacity of words to describe.

This version has additional harmonies and a raw, real feeling that makes it a real find. The video has only 3500 views on YouTube, which is hard to understand.

BP Spills Something Completely Different

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 9:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

BP Spills Coffee

H/T qdpsteve.

— DRJ

BP Oil Spill may be Twice as Big

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 8:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Researchers claim the BP oil spill could be twice as big as originally thought — up to 100 million barrels of oil. Remember in 2006 when candidate Obama said oil isn’t the answer to America’s energy problems?

“It would be nice if we could produce our way out of this problem, but it’s just not possible. We only have 3% of the world’s oil reserves.”

This is a glass half full, glass half empty moment. The Deepwater Horizon production estimates suggest this may be a big reservoir. Eventually someone will produce that oil, if not for America then for China, India or somewhere else. Wouldn’t it be better if we solve this problem and produce the oil for the American market, instead of imposing a moratorium and demonizing the oil industry that fuels America’s economy?

But if you really, really can’t stand the thought of offshore drilling, why not open up the bonanza of oil and gas on federal lands? (Just don’t let BP be the operator.)

— DRJ

Congress Concerned About Big 12 (Updated)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 7:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Senators from Iowa and Kansas are concerned about the possible breakup of the Big 12 and looking at ways to prevent Nebraska from leaving.

I don’t think Nebraska regents will turn down the Big 10 lifeboat and jump back in the water with Kansas, K State, Iowa State, Missouri and Baylor.

— DRJ

UPDATE: From a “high-ranking” Texas Tech official:

“An announcement out of Nebraska about its future plans is next. If the Cornhuskers leave for the Big 10 Conference, Tech, Texas and Texas A&M are gone, too, a high-ranking Tech official told the [Lubbock Avalanche-Journal] on Wednesday.”

Obama to Meet with BP Officials

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 7:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration has summoned the top BP officials to a meeting at the White House next Wednesday. I’m fairly certain BP ranks with Israel’s Netanyahu in Obama’s estimation, so whoever shows up shouldn’t expect lunch.

I wonder if the White House would let BP bring a videographer?

— DRJ

A Vote for Obama …

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Law,Obama — DRJ @ 6:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

… is a vote to put laptops of persons passing through customs in legal limbo where the Bill of Rights does not apply.

Really.

— DRJ

Obama: Working to Revive the Economy

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 1:30 pm

Guest post by DRJ]

The good news is President Obama is worrying about how to help people start businesses and grow the economy. The bad news is the economy he’s worried about is in Gaza:

“We agree that Israelis have the right to prevent arms from entering into Gaza that can be used to launch attacks into Israeli territory. But we also think that it is important for us to explore new mechanisms so that we can have goods and services, and economic development, and the ability of people to start their own businesses, and to grow the economy and provide opportunity within Gaza.

And so we are going to be working hand in hand to make sure that we come up with a better approach, and urge Israel to work with all parties involved — Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, and the international community — to find a resolution to this issue.

In the meantime, the United States — which is already the biggest humanitarian aid donor in Gaza — is going to be announcing an additional $400 million in assistance for housing, school construction, business development — not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank, because we think it’s important for us to reaffirm once again our commitment to improving the day-to-day lives of ordinary Palestinians.”

Those Gaza residents who made phone calls supporting Obama’s candidacy knew what they were doing.

Meanwhile, according to President Obama, the American economy is getting stronger every day. A meager 31% of Americans agree with him.

— DRJ

ACORN: It’s Back

Filed under: Crime,Obama — DRJ @ 12:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In response to a Judicial Watch FOIA request, the government has provided FBI documents that implicate ACORN in election fraud and other wrongdoing:

“Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) related to the 2007 investigation and arrest of eight St. Louis, Missouri, workers from the “community organization” Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for violation of election laws and voter fraud.

The documents include handwritten notes from FBI investigators interviewing canvassers working with Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate. Among the highlights from the FBI handwritten notes:

* [ACORN] “Told employees not to talk to the FBI. ‘FBI trying to intimidate you.’”

* Fraudulent cards:
o To cause confusion on election day to keep polls open longer
o To allow people who can’t vote to vote.
o To allow to vote multiple times.

* Project Vote will pay them whether cards fake or not – whatever they had to do to get the cards was attitude.

* Constantly threatened

* Staff restricted on what to say to FBI

* “Poverty pimpin” (sic) ACORN

* ACORN HQ is wkg for the Democratic Party.

* PV [Project Vote] pays ACORN $6.00 per card…Said “You treat the cards like (cash) $”

* Some [names] went right from the phone book and made up the rest.

* Canvassers: homeless, volatile, drug users, drunks…

* Anyone who was against PV (Project Vote) or ACORN’s goals “right wing”

* She thought if she used a completely fake name it would be less like ID Theft…”Yeah, it’s against the law, I know.”

In addition to the hand-written notes, the documents also include copies of the arrest warrants, criminal case cover sheets and court documents. In April 2008, all eight ACORN employees involved in the scandal pled guilty to voter registration fraud.

In March 2010, Judicial Watch obtained a separate batch of FBI documents detailing federal investigations into alleged ACORN corruption and voter registration fraud in Connecticut. The FBI and Department of Justice initiated investigations. However, the Obama Justice Department, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” closed down the investigation in March 2009, claiming ACORN broke no laws.

“These documents show the need for a national criminal investigation by the Obama Justice Department into ACORN. Is Attorney General Holder doing nothing because of Obama’s close connections to ACORN and Project Vote? The information in these new documents has national implications that cry out for further investigation,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.”

At the Judicial Watch website link above, there are additional links that provide information for each allegation.

Also, the Daily Caller and Big Government have more on ACORN’s attempts to rebrand and reinvent itself.

H/T JD.

— DRJ

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