Patterico's Pontifications

8/14/2019

Politifact: the Precise Meaning of Words Doesn’t Necessarily Make Warren and Harris Wrong

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:23 pm



[guest post by JVW]

This blog has covered various rulings that the “fact-checking” site Politifact has issued over the years. At times, we’ve been critical of rulings that we think are ill-advised, such as with the government’s mixed-messages regarding the ebola virus, or their apparent squeamishness with the dining habits of a young Barack Obama, or their reluctance to concede that Obamacare can indeed be fairly characterized as a government takeover of the healthcare system. Occasionally though, they have surprised us by, for example, reversing four years of rulings to the contrary and finally confessing that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your plan” was in fact a lie, or the time they acknowledged that Democrat claims that Republicans would end the Medicare program were based upon a willful misrepresentation of the GOP’s platform.

Sadly, today we are back at the head-scratching obstinacy of Politifact when searching for reasons to let progressives off the hook for their wild claims. Earlier this afternoon, the site announced in a post that Tweets from prominent Democrats that allege Michael Brown was “murdered” five years ago would not be subject to an official accuracy evaluation, as the meaning of the word “murder” is — get this — “subject to some dispute.” Here is what they had to say, emphasis in this case is added by me:

After these tweets came out, PolitiFact heard from numerous readers who asked us to check whether [Sen. Kamala] Harris and [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren were correct in calling Brown’s death a “murder.”

There is no question that Wilson killed Brown, and there’s strong evidence that it was not accidental.

In discussing the case with legal experts, however, we found broad consensus that “murder” was the wrong word to use — a legal point likely familiar to Harris, a longtime prosecutor, and Warren, a law professor.

Well now, Politifact acknowledges that a whole bunch of their readers called BS on the tweets issued by those two shameless demagogues. I guess that in and of itself forced them to respond. But instead of saving time by agreeing with the legal experts with whom they consulted and concluding that the word as everyone with a modicum of sense recognizes it is not an accurate description of what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, they start dissembling:

That said, experts who have studied police-related deaths and race relations said that focusing too much on the linguistics in controversial cases comes with its own set of problems.

“I don’t know if the legalistic distinction intensifies the anger, but it does feel like an attempt to shift the debate from a discussion about the killing of black and brown people by police,” said Jean Brown, who teaches communications at Texas Christian University and specializes in media representations of African Americans. “This is unfortunate, because rather than discussing the need for de-escalation tactics and relations between police and communities of color, this has become a conversation about legal terms. Quite frankly, it’s a distraction that doesn’t help the discussion.”

Yes, what this discussion really needed is an academic from the soft sciences who specializes in racially-charged cultural studies to try and argue that using accurate language is a distraction from the goals of perfect wokeness (or should that be wokenness?).

Politifact then instructs us that murder generally means the deliberate taking of a human life, but confides to us that according to Missouri law that definition doesn’t apply to law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty! Who knew? I wonder if there are any other states that exempt police, sheriffs, and other sworn peace officers while they are on the job. They then quote a University of Missouri law professor who astounds us by reporting that law enforcement is given a pretty wide latitude in using deadly force when they feel that their lives are in danger. The things we learn from media fact-checking sites!

Our source of all of this rich legal information is forced to acknowledge that both a Missouri grand jury and a United States Department of Justice investigation concluded that Officer Wilson did not commit an act that would subject him to prosecution. Unsurprisingly, Politifact makes sure to remind us that the federal investigation detected what they believed was systemic racial bias in the Ferguson, Missouri community where this incident took place. And then, after having written a post that pretty much conclusively establishes that Senators Harris and Warren had been irresponsible in using the word “murder,” Politifact grasps at the last straw available to them in an attempt to exculpate the two Presidential aspirants:

Some legal experts argued that there’s a difference between being legally precise and using language more informally.

“When my grandmother read the newspaper, she would sometimes blurt, ‘It’s a crime!’ in response to a story,” said Ben Trachtenberg, a University of Missouri law professor. “Everyone present realized that she did not literally mean that someone described in the article had violated a criminal statute. It seems at least possible that (Harris and Warren) wished to convey a sentiment like my grandmother once did and did not intend to apply the criminal law of Missouri as one might on a law school exam.”

Finally, some cautioned that over-analyzing legal terminology can obscure the discussion of larger issues.

Melita M. Garza, author of the 2018 book, “They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression,” said that it’s common for people to talk past each other on matters of race and ethnicity. “That is doubly so when contemporary events have visceral past parallels whose indelible images are still rooted in our public memory,” she added.

Joy Leopold, an assistant professor of media communications at Webster University in Missouri who has studied the Brown case, said it’s not uncommon for smaller issues such as legal terminology to crop up in controversial cases like this.

“Focusing on the language opens up the opportunity for some to discredit the conversation about police brutality and the criminal justice system in general,” Leopold said.

So there you have it, helpfully distilled by the deep musings of three more academics: words, even those from famous politicians who are vying for the highest office in the land, should be taken colloquially, not literally; when speaking about race we have to understand that grievances from the past allow for narrative liberties to be taken in the present; and getting hung up on words, even when they are used irresponsibly, keeps us from achieving our perfect woke selves.

What an utter load of horse manure.

– JVW

56 Responses to “Politifact: the Precise Meaning of Words Doesn’t Necessarily Make Warren and Harris Wrong”

  1. Can anyone envision a scenario where any Republican — let alone President Trump — would have such loose and inflammatory language excused by an outfit like Politifact?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. I can only hope Montagu doesn’t see this, it will be a big disappointment.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. JVW, why are you even bothering to fisk the murderers at Politifact?

    Yes, I understand that they probably have not knowingly or intentionally ever killed any person without legal justification, but let’s not get boggled down with legalistic semantics when discussing the much deeper problem of media bias and dishonesty.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Apparently, while words mean things, those things are “living” and always in a state flux. Pretty convenient. Good post, JVW.

    Dana (fdf131)

  5. The Mary Mapes/Dan Rather approach.

    They made a movie about it and called it ‘Truth’.

    harkin (58d012)

  6. Should have mentioned this in the post, but Politifact is run by the Poynter Institute, which purports to be a training institution for journalists and which this past spring tried to organize an advertisers boycott of several conservative news sties, smearing them as being “unreliable” which they then had to walk back when their methodology was called into question. If that doesn’t suggest media bias and dishonesty then nothing does.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  7. #1

    “Can anyone envision a scenario where any Republican — let alone President Trump — would have such loose and inflammatory language excused by an outfit like Politifact?”

    Yes, anyone can envision – let alone President Trump – a scenario …. that would have such loose and inflammatory language excused ….

    Catch a clue old man – come in out of the rain.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  8. You have to read between the lines. Politifact is basing its analysis on a version of the facts that is most unfavorable to the police officer and not in accord with reality.

    They are saying that if Michael Brown tried to surrender, cf. the “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan
    it would not be considered murder because the policeman could have been still in fear of his life..

    But that version of events has no support.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)

  9. I can only hope Montagu doesn’t see this, it will be a big disappointment.

    Juvenile taunt noted. The DDID was more honest, appropriately giving Lizzie and Kamala 4 Pinocchios for their lies.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/13/harris-warren-ignore-doj-report-claim-that-michael-brown-was-murdered/

    Paul Montagu (070be1)

  10. 7. You’re talking about the way he blamed the Clintons for killing Jeffrey Epstein? But he didn’t say it flat out. And now he’s said that was a re-tweet, and the origina; tweet was by somebody with a lot of followers, and hey, did Bill Clinton visit the island? And that it could very signficant if he did.

    I am not sure that there is any “conservative” mythology abut somebody having murdered someone. At least as definite fact.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)

  11. [blah, blah, blah, blah, blah]

    Catch a clue old man – come in out of the rain.

    That’s an entirely unhelpful comment, devoid of substance and a complete waste of everyone’s time. You are off to a stunning commenting start at this site. I would say that I look forward to reading more of your mindless blather, but I actually do not.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  12. I take a retweet as endorsement, and it’s a backdoor way of communicating his views while falsely denying they’re his. Trump shouldn’t get away with that bulls**t.

    Paul Montagu (070be1)

  13. One of the things that does happen at politifact is that they look more at technical detail than over-all context. I can, for example, say that you have a weapon of mass destruction and, if you have certain cleansers, this is true. But you don’t have nukes.

    Harris, though, should be more careful with legal language. She should know not to say that someone who hit someone in the face without warning didn’t assault that person, they committed battery, and if someone would not have been able to murder someone under legal definition then she shouldn’t call it murder.

    (of course, people do often use “murder” in order to incite an emotional response in situations where “kill” wouldn’t do the same thing, but Harris should know better.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  14. of course, people do often use “murder” in order to incite an emotional response in situations where “kill” wouldn’t do the same thing, but Harris should know better.

    As should the Harvard Law professor who is guilty of the same offense.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  15. Well, as Biden pointed out “fact” does not mean “truth” anyway.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  16. black women put clinton in in 2016 and will decide who gets democrat nomination in 2020. they say michael brown was murdered and will only vote for democrats in primary who say so too! what you say is irrelevant. you don’t vote democratic primaries.

    lany (f5856f)

  17. JVW – this is one of their most extraordinarily mendoucheous “fact” checks.

    JD (734fdd)

  18. How is a retweet an endorsement? Let’s say Toure tweets something brain jarringly stupid, a daily occurrence. If I retweet his nonsense to highlight his idiocy, by your standards I am actually endorsing his asshattery?

    JD (734fdd)

  19. So if I say that Planned Parenthood “murders” millions of babies a year, that’s just semantics, right?

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  20. There is no question that Wilson killed Brown, and there’s strong evidence that it was not accidental.

    This is true of all self-defense killing. If someone is threatening my life, and I shoot back to defend myself, and he dies, then, yes, I killed him, and it was not an accident.

    What differentiates self-defense from murder is justification. You are allowed to kill someone in self-defense, and it is perfectly justifiable, both legally and morally.

    So, the person who wrote this is either a moron or disingenuous.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  21. Nice Post, thank you for writing it. It was good to read that think about.
    I hope you have time to read/respond to my comment since the difference between the technical meaning and the legal meanings of words comes up often here.

    You wrote:

    So there you have it, helpfully distilled by the deep musings of three more academics: words, even those from famous politicians who are vying for the highest office in the land, should be taken colloquially, not literally;

    I think quotes should be taken in context. I think it’s fair to debate what that context is. I think Politifact did terrible job here.

    Context matters. In this case the speakers are highly trained legal professionals. Harris was a prosecutor and Warren a Harvard law professor. I’m confident they both know both the legal definition; To kill unlawfully and the common definition to kill wantonly or immorally. Since I’m confident they know both definitions very well I conclude that they’re pandering to their base by focusing on the morality of the shooting, and trying to make an emotional impact by saying “murder” rather than “the sad results of a local system of justice and governance that I think was unjust”.

    I think PolitiFact should have 100% called them out on it. Even if PolitiFact wanted to spin for them they should have acknowledged that the word murder is not correct in the legal sense, that the speakers knew this, and then gone on to editorialize about what they probably meant.

    But context matter. If this had been said by a Candidate without an equivalent legal background I’d be charitable. As bored lawyer pointed out, referring to abortion as murder is common in the pro-life movement. I don’t think those speakers are confused about the legality. I don’t think they’re lying about it being illegal when they know its legal. I think they feel it’s the immoral taking of a human life.

    PolitiFact failed to do a good job and highlight the context and the speakers (Harris and Warren) failed to say what they wanted in a way that was both emotionally impactful and technically correct.

    Let me try an example that isn’t political.

    I have a degree in engineering. I know that entropy has a precise meaning that can be measured in Joules/degree Kelvin. That doesn’t mean that everyone who uses it as a synonym for disorder is wrong or that when I look at the kids play room and say “The entropy of this room always increases” I’m lying. I’m using it there in the colloquial sense. If I were talking about a thermal system and said “The entropy of that part always increases” when I meant “the outside of that part keeps getting dirty” I would clearly be wrong on the facts because in the context of a thermal system the technical definition would be expected. If i should reasonably expect that the listener had an interest int he thermal behavior of the system it would be fair to say i was lying.

    Time123 (36651d)

  22. “The entropy of this room always increases”

    You would not be lying. You would be telling the literal truth. The entropy of everything is always increasing. Showing off a little, maybe. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  23. The 1/2 Indian and the 1/1024 Indian literally lied by the same expert-in-their-field standard.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Did we not learn with wikipedia how minitrue asoirational they were, same with this outfit.

    Narciso (e490f4)

  25. Thanks for this. This was not a close case, and “murder” has a specific meaning both in law and in general parlance. Was it a homicide? Sure. That’s one person killing another.

    The other thing about this is that it’s cheap signalling – you want to tell your side that you are with them. But your side is wrong about this. And it’s wrong to badmouth people who haven’t done anything wrong (see: Presidents of the United States Trump (x 1 billion), Clinton (x a lot)).

    JRM (c80289)

  26. Reminders on what the Dems said:

    Kamala Harrris:

    Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system.

    I guess, if Politifact had just written about that, the harumphing, galumphing, excusing post would be within the realms of somewhat reasonable comment. But Warren pretty much starts a chant of “Lock Him Up in her tweet:

    5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.

    This is pretty much as bad as Trump, which may be why people like Tucker Carlson have this strange new respect for her. Politifact should just stop pretending they do fact checking. They are in the business of opposition research and excuse making.

    Appalled (c9622b)

  27. If Politifact was really PolitiFACT they would have just said:

    There’s a chance one of these two women will be the Democratic nominee for President (or Vice President). Pointing out that they blatantly lied about a white police officer murdering a black man will not only damage their credibility, it will also once again expose a false meme carefully constructed over a long time to maintain Democratic Party control of the black voting bloc.

    Therefore, linguistics and distraction”
    _

    IOW: Shut up, they explained.
    _

    harkin (58d012)

  28. 12. Paul Montagu (070be1) — 8/14/2019 @ 10:38 pm

    12.I take a retweet as endorsement, and it’s a backdoor way of communicating his views while falsely denying they’re his. </bl They might be the views of most people who retweet, ut actually in Trump;s case they're not. (Which is being dishonest)

    Trump only looks at the bottom line of whatever he quotes (he just asks himself, does this help me or my argument?) and the status of the person making the claim. (he asks himself, does this tweet or statement of suoport matter? If it's from someone on Fox News, or a Senator, or someone on Twitter with a lot if followers, it does to him))

    He almost never pays attention to the substance of the argument. He was perfectly comfortable citing the National Enquirer as to there being a picture of Ted Cruz's father with Lee harvey Oswald, (which wasn't true, and if it had been true, what would it have meant?) because it was a srt of argument not to vote for Ted Cruz.

    He did that without endorsing anything – he was just happy that someone had given another "reason" to people not to vote for Ted Cruz.

    So you can't say that what he retweets are his views.

    And with Bill Clinton, now that he's pulled back from any endorsement f the suspicion that Bill Clinton arranged the murder of Jeffrey Epstein, he's seizing onto the claim that he visited the island (which there's reason to believe whatever supports that claim is not good) and hintig that that if Clinton he did..what? I mean even it means something bad about Bill; Clinton, is it supposed to mean something else? At this point Trump is just justifying his hasty retweet (which was partially based on the notion that Jeffrey Epstein was on suicide watch, which he wasn't.

    Every wild statement Trump makes is based on what someone else said, and Trump often withholds an actual affirmation. They;re not on;y ften not his views, he doesn't want peole to think that they are, and you can't even say he wants people to believe them – he is just interested in he bottom line: Donald Trump good; somebody else bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)

  29. JVW

    Here’s more “mindless blather” for you.

    This quote is from your article:

    “There is no question that Wilson killed Brown, and there’s strong evidence that it was not accidental.”

    The cop shot the guy six times. At the point where you quote that statement the rest of your article is mindless blather. You can accidentally shoot somebody but not 6 times. And then there a couple of dozen comments opining on the mindless blather. Blah blah blah blah blah ya’ll need to catch a clue or then again you can get the outrage machine cranked up to 10 … which I think was your point of the post.

    Go look at post 20.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  30. There’s no reason for me to trust these left-wing “fact-check” sites. Everupme knows that murder is a crime, and self-defense isn’t. Further, to say Brown was “innocent” and “Unarmed” implies Warren really believed the officer committed murder. This brings up a common failing of the center-right. How many times does a left-wing site or newspapers have to lie and distort before you right them off? With the Center-right the answer is NEVER.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  31. It all depends on what the meaning of “is” is, is not something a “fact check” site should be asserting as its main argument. BTW, we’ve had several more instances of Left-wing violence against ICE – have the D candidates disavowed this violence? Has anyone asked them to?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  32. This is pretty much as bad as Trump,

    At a certain point a difference in scale becomes a difference in kind.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  33. The facts are no in dispute. Brown attemepted to take the officer’s gun, and was shot. He then ran away, but when chased turned and “Bull Rushed” the officer. Brown continued to charge despite being told to stop and the officer backing up. Finally, the officer fired and Brown continued to charge until the 6th bullet entered his brain. At 6-4 300 lbs. ti took 6 bullets to stop him.

    One can, of course, distort the facts and make them into anything – with enough words.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  34. RCocean, When you say

    There’s no reason for me to trust these left-wing “fact-check” sites.

    are you excluding this one that called it out correctly?

    The Pinocchio Test
    One can certainly raise questions about whether Wilson should have fired as many shots as he did or acted appropriately under the circumstances. The racial profiling by the Ferguson Police Department is well documented and fair game for criticism.

    But Harris and Warren have ignored the findings of the Justice Department to accuse Wilson of murder, even though the Justice Department found no credible evidence to support that claim.

    Instead, the Justice Department found that the popular narrative was wrong, according to witnesses deemed to be credible, some of whom testified reluctantly because of fear of reprisal. The department produced a comprehensive report to determine what happened, making the senators’ dismissal of it even more galling. Harris and Warren both earn Four Pinocchios.

    Four Pinocchios

    Time123 (36651d)

  35. If I retweet his nonsense to highlight his idiocy, by your standards I am actually endorsing his asshattery?

    Do you honestly believe that was Trump’s intent when he retweeted an Arkancide conspiracy theory?

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  36. Here’s more “mindless blather” for you.

    Indeed it is. And I was correct that there was nothing to look forward to in reading further comments from you.

    No one argues that Wilson didn’t kill Brown. It’s not as if the bullets left Wilson’s gun and traveled to Brown’s body by random happenstance. But that doesn’t make it murder, not by any legal definition and not by the definition of the word that is in common use.

    Every few months we get a new commenter here who thinks that he or she will come in and set us nasty right-wingers straight with unassailable progressive logic. It would appear that you are the latest contestant in that tired game. This site will still be around long after you have gone back to Slate and Salon.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  37. “The entropy of this room always increases”

    You would not be lying. You would be telling the literal truth. The entropy of everything is always increasing. Showing off a little, maybe. 😉

    No, the entropy of the toy room doesn’t always increase. Sometime we put energy into it and reduce the energy. This is true both from a thermodynamic sense and a colloquial sense. 😉

    crap, now i’m being pedantic about my example. :)

    Oh well, occupational hazard.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  38. Thanks for the comment, Time123. I did indeed read it.

    I think your comparison to referring to abortion as “murder” is quite helpful in terms of framing the argument. The major difference that I see is this: when abortion is characterized as such, it is used as a sweeping generalization. I think that using that language is oftentimes crude and counter-productive in many cases. I am fine with saying that Kermit Gosnell committed murder, because there is ample evidence that he did just that. I don’t think I could bring myself to tell some 17-year-old girl leaving a Planned Parenthood clinic that she has just murdered her child.

    If the Kamala Harrises and Elizabeth Warrens of the world want to generally characterize police killings of young black men as murder, such as Tweeting “our sons and brothers are being murdered in the streets by bad cops,” then I would view that as incredibly inflammatory and irresponsible, but it is nowhere near as wrong as taking a specific case such as Michael Brown’s, which has been analyzed by both a grand jury and the DOJ, and rewriting history to reach a conclusion that runs counter to what our legal system has determined. Because this is a specific case and not a generalization, we can’t help but conclude that these irresponsible demagogues simply want people to believe a narrative that our legal system has rejected. That’s why it bothered me enough that I wrote the original tweet bashing Sen. Warren (I should have also realized that Sen. Harris had tweeted something similar), and that’s why I was so amazingly disappointed in Politifact’s ruling on this matter.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  39. what you say is irrelevant. you don’t vote democratic primaries.

    I do this time around, lany. Team Little Aloha Sweetie all the way!

    JVW (54fd0b)

  40. The cop shot the guy six times. At the point where you quote that statement the rest of your article is mindless blather. You can accidentally shoot somebody but not 6 times.

    You seem to think there are only two possible choices:

    1. Intentional killing (murder).

    2. Accidental killing (not murder).

    But self-defense is also intentional killing, and it is not murder.

    DRJ (15874d)

  41. Always a pleasure to hear from you, JD. Hope you are well.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  42. The Michael Brown case is what you can call fact checked in Chapter 4 (pages 21-30, especially 21-25 of Heather Macdonald’s book The War on Cops (Encounter Books, 2016)

    Excerpt:

    …At no point did Wilson fire at Brown when Brown’s back was turned or when he was on the ground.

    As for the now classic “Hands up, don’t shoot” claim, the DOJ report is withering: “There are no credible witness accounts that state that Brown was clearly attempting to surrender when Wilson shot him. As detailed throughout this report, those witnesses who say so have given accounts that could not be relied upon in a prosecution because they are irreconcilable with the physical evidence, inconsistent with he credible accounts of other eyewitnesses, inconsistent with the witness’s own prior statements, or, in some instances, because the witnesses have acknwledged that their initial accounts were untrue.”

    Barack Obama must be given credit for not being dishonest about this (and I think he probably had to order Eric Holder not to be dishonest) although he let them down very easily, and here we are.

    The Obama Administration didn’t release this report until they could find something else bad to say about Ferguson, Missouri. They also didn’t go into what was behind the witnesses’ lying.

    The substitute thing they found wrong in Ferguson, Missouri, was this: The town had a reliance of the town on fines for revenue, which was tilted heavily toward things that black people, who were new to the town and didn’t vote much in local elections, did, and also impacted poorer people more.

    They didn’t say it, but what this was, was really government of the public employee unions, by the public employee unions and for the public employee unions. And this was true of other towns near St. Louis as well, and Ferguson was not the very worst. It’s been substantially reformed; blacks now vote in local elections in Ferguson, Missouri; and the police force is now maybe majority African American.

    Heather Macdonald also writes:

    The initial news stories on he Brown killing contained several key elements of Wilson’s defense, which the Justice report would vindicate, but they were immediately purged from the dominant narrative. They resurfaced periodically: a caller to a local radio show in mid-August, for instance, reiterated the essential facts; in October, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the autopsy and several witnesses corroborated Wilson’s account of the encounter, (A San Francisco pathologist who had seconded the autopsy conclusions for the Post-Dispatch recanted a day later, after coming under attack for her initial assessment) None of this had the slightest effect on the Wilson juggernaut.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)

  43. Of course we cant forget the part of the community resource service, in hiding the video evidence from the store, for a week.

    Narciso (e490f4)

  44. Now that I’ve read all your comments, Master Baker, please apologize for using personal attacks to bolster your opinions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  45. I do this time around, lany. Team Little Aloha Sweetie all the way!

    If she starts a “Lock him up!” chant at her rallies, she has my vote too.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. We’re going to get more MasterBakers deflecting criticisms of Democrats between now and November 2020.

    nk (dbc370)

  47. We’re going to get more MasterBakers deflecting criticisms of Democrats between now and November2020.

    There will doubtless be a new one every few weeks. The double-entendre commenter name is a dead giveaway.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  48. In Philly, even though 6 police officers were shot and mayhem ensued, local residents had no compunction about taunting the cops and throwing crap at ’em. Does blame lay at the feet of Warren and Harris, who even now are promoting hatred and distrust by doubling down on the Ferguson “hands up – don’t shoot” lie?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  49. In Philly, even though 6 police officers were shot and mayhem ensued, local residents had no compunction about taunting the cops and throwing crap at ’em.

    I saw some of that video. It’s brutal. Law enforcement hasn’t always acted with the greatest of diplomacy in low-income minority communities, but at the same time the residents of those communities are their own worst enemies. “How dare you come into our neighborhood and bust up our drug dens?” And demagogues among the racial grievance left and the anti-cop libertarians continually fan the flames with ugly rhetoric.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  50. Well they taunt santa over there, so, the progs seems to operate on theory ‘the worse the better’ mayor nutter street, kenney prove that point in spades.

    Narciso (50a424)

  51. JVW, thank you for the response. This has been helpful for.

    I think calling abortion murder is a sweeping generalization, I also think that many people who characterize it as murder mean that it’s an immoral taking of life, regardless of the legality. If you sincerely believe that life begins at conception and that ending the development of a pregnancy is the taking of a life I have no problem with you calling it murder regardless of the law. Depending on context it may be counterproductive, I think in the circumstances you describe it would be.

    If the Kamala Harrises and Elizabeth Warrens of the world want to generally characterize police killings of young black men as murder, such as Tweeting “our sons and brothers are being murdered in the streets by bad cops,” then I would view that as incredibly inflammatory and irresponsible, but it is nowhere near as wrong as taking a specific case such as Michael Brown’s, which has been analyzed by both a grand jury and the DOJ, and rewriting history to reach a conclusion that runs counter to what our legal system has determined. Because this is a specific case and not a generalization, we can’t help but conclude that these irresponsible demagogues simply want people to believe a narrative that our legal system has rejected. That’s why it bothered me enough that I wrote the original tweet bashing Sen. Warren (I should have also realized that Sen. Harris had tweeted something similar), and that’s why I was so amazingly disappointed in Politifact’s ruling on this matter.

    I’m not picking a good example with which to prove my point about context and the meaning of words. Harris and Warren are clearly pandering because they haven’t made the case that circumstances have made this a immoral killing. In contrast, the pro-life movement has made their case. Not everyone agrees, but it’s clear what they’re trying to communicate.

    I’m willing to listen to an argument that the justice system in KC was so bad for minority and low income people that both Brown and Wilson were put into a no-win situation by circumstances and that the death resulting from those circumstances is immoral. The reporting on how municipalities in that area ran makes me willing to listen. At this point I don’t think it’s correct, but I’ll listen. I think the Brown killing was self defense, and i think the bad reporting on the killing lead to the exposure of an unjust situation, but that’s besides the point. Neither of them have made that case so far as I’m aware. I agree with you that failing to make that point and just saying “He was Murdered” is wrong, and PolitiFact should have labeled it accordingly. Wapo did a much better job.

    Time123 (36651d)

  52. #44

    I apologize for the personal attack.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  53. #46

    “We’re going to get more MasterBakers deflecting criticisms of Democrats between now and November 2020.”

    The first time I posted here was in response to you. My response is still valid.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  54. #47

    “There will doubtless be a new one every few weeks. The double-entendre commenter name is a dead giveaway.”

    I’m not saying it wasn’t a legal righteous killing. I said it was ludicrous to mention there was strong evidence the shooting was accidental.

    My apparent lame attempt at humor did not go over very well. I’m sorry I offended you and I offer my heartfelt apology to you.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  55. If rcocean wants to know David French’s opinion on the matter, then he’s got his answer. The subhead: “By excusing the lies Senators Warren and Harris told about Michael Brown’s death, the fact-checking site abandoned its mission.”

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  56. OK – have yer social club to yourself.

    I feel better without it.

    Good Luck Patrick.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)


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