Patterico's Pontifications


Another Blogger Fired for a Blog Post

Filed under: Blogging Matters,California Recall Election,General — Patterico @ 2:53 pm

Another blogger has been fired over a blog post. In this case, the blogger was a video store clerk who had rented a video to Tucker Carlson, and then wrote a rather creepy blog post about it. The post is here, and said:

Tucker Carlson opened an account last night at my video store. I thought the name seemed familiar but I couldn’t figure out why. It was after he left that I realized he was on the list of Gigantic Cobagz. I could tell you what he and his ridiculously wasped-out female companion (wife?) rented if you really want to know. I won’t tell you where he lives, though. That would be wrong and stupid. I will also not be running around ordering 10,000 copies of America: The Book and having it sent to his place even if that would be more awesome than frozen urine treats for his home.

The Washington Post piece about this doesn’t mention that bit about “frozen urine treats for his home” — something I think Carlson could reasonably have taken as a veiled threat, coming as it did from someone with access to his home address.

I think the guy deserved to be fired.

My question: does Carlson wear a bow tie while renting a video?

UPDATE: I initially wrote: “Carlson arguably overreacted (he threatened the store with legal action), but I think the guy deserved to be fired.” But a commenter noted that Carlson denied having threatened legal action. I tried to clear it up in an update by noting that sending a lawyer down to ask questions is arguably an implied threat — but Carlson denied that, too. For clarity, I have decided to remove the reference from the post entirely, and to collapse the two previous updates into this one.



Filed under: California Recall Election,Humor,Politics — Patterico @ 12:23 am

I don’t have the energy to participate in this Talk Like Your Governor Day thing all day long. For me, humor comes rarely, in quick bursts, and takes too much energy to keep up constantly. (Plus, when I do attempt humor, people sometimes don’t get it — see the post above for one example.) But here is one post honoring the day, in anticipation of this afternoon’s inauguration:

I am happy to be here in the Sacramento, so much closer to Stanford, where you know I have been spending some time lately and all those kinds of things.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.



Filed under: California Recall Election — Patterico @ 3:56 pm

Today’s Dog Trainer reports that 11 women have now come forward to say that Arnold groped them. Perhaps more interesting is that 7 of them are no longer anonymous. Their allegations are corroborated by numerous people who say that the women have been saying this for years.

Reasonable people can debate whether this has anything to do with whether Arnold would be a good Governor. Under the circumstances of this election, reasonable people can vote for him, even knowing everything that has emerged regarding his groping tendencies. But reasonable people who have been following this would have to agree that the guy appears to have acted like a complete jerk for much of his life. The early indications of this (I linked to a couple of examples in this post) were right. It can’t be fun to be his wife right now.

Many people who did what he did would have faced criminal charges. He has gotten away with it, no doubt, because he is wealthy and a big celebrity. Celebrities get away with things that other people don’t. To take a trivial example, my wife and I got a phone message on our answering machine today from some woman opposing the recall. She sounded angry. I asked my wife why Democrats thought it was a good idea to have some woman haranguing people in an angry voice. My wife told me it was Barbra Streisand. All of a sudden it made sense. It’s okay because she’s famous.

I suspect that, in the end, Arnold will ride out this storm because he’s famous. It’s the same reason O.J. beat the rap. We are a celebrity-crazed society. I think it will be close, but I think the recall will happen and Arnold will win. Next stop: a constitutional amendment and the White House.

Meanwhile, my wife and I filled out our absentee ballots today. We followed our arrangement and voted our principles. I was tempted to vote for Arnold because I know the Dog Trainer doesn’t want me to. But in the end, I think what they’re reporting is largely true, and it wouldn’t change my vote anyway. I have, as they say, drunk the Kool-Aid. I voted for Tom.



Filed under: California Recall Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:24 am

The Dog Trainer‘s slime job on Arnold may create some interesting opportunities to see hypocrisy on display. I am particularly interested to see if Bill Clinton fans will turn purple with outrage over a guy who engaged in some groping.

While we’re talking hypocrisy, somebody ask the folks at the Dog Trainer why it’s fair game to run stories about Arnold’s treatment of unidentified women — but not similarly sourced stories about Gray Davis’s physical abuse of his employees, including “hurling of phones and ashtrays at quaking government employees and his incidents of personally shoving and shaking horrified workers.” Jill Stewart, a former Dog Trainer reporter, has not only written about this, but has said that the Times was aware of the stories and didn’t run them because the sources would not identify themselves. Double standard? You make the call.



Filed under: California Recall Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:35 pm

Nothing will get me on the pro-Arnold bandwagon faster than the Los Angeles Dog Trainer (aka Los Angeles Times) coming out with its incredibly predictable hit piece on Arnold. (A tip of the hat tip to fresh potatoes for breaking the news of this smear job.)

This pathetic rag of a newspaper does this every election. As a regular reader of this site informed me just today, they slammed Bruce Herschensohn with a last-minute hit piece having to do with his visit to a strip club. They hit Michael Huffington with a late-breaking story about his illegal nanny. They were quick to trumpet the last-minute Bush DUI story. George Will (predicting a last-minute smear job on Arnold) reminds us that Darrell Issa took a “late hit” regarding his military record. And now this — a story the paper has been developing for seven weeks, and releases now.

How predictable is this? Well, Mickey Kaus predicted it, right down to predicting the exact day they’d release the story for maximum effect:

Tomorrow would be about the logical last day for the Los Angeles Times to drop its bomb on Arnold Schwarzenegger. If editor John Carroll waits any longer it will look like a late hit designed to stampede the electorate.

That was posted today; the story will appear in the print editions tomorrow.

P.S.: When I call this story a “smear job” or “hit piece” or “B.S.” I am not saying that the allegations of the women in the piece aren’t true. How could I possibly know? In fact, the allegations sound fairly credible, and this behavior is pretty consistent with what we have all heard about this guy.

What I am saying is that I think it’s absolutely indefensible for the folks at the Dog Trainer to sit on this story as long as they did. The timing is especially suspect because the allegations are not really new, but rather a repetition and elaboration of a March 2001 article from Premiere Magazine called “Arnold the Barbarian.”

The motives of the Dog Trainer editors are crystal clear — after all, they have consistently editorialized against the recall, and the news side has a regular piece called Recall Madness. The paper’s recent decision to portray the election as a two-man race between Davis and Arnold can be fully understood only once you also understand that the editors have been sitting on this stink bomb for weeks, waiting for just the right time to release it.

UPDATE: The Times staff writer who pens the “Recall Madness” pieces, Roy Rivenburg, writes to correct me on a couple of points. He says that he writes for the features side of the paper, not the news side. Fair enough. I meant to distinguish between the paper’s editorials, which are supposed to represent opinion, and the rest of the paper.

He also says that he believes that his column is not an example of pro-Davis or anti-recall bias. I actually think this is a fair statement — but I don’t think it addresses my point. I did not mean to argue that the content of his column is the problem. Rather, my point is that the very act of running a light features column with this title seems to indicate an editorial decision to trivialize the recall effort. (This is a quibble with the editors, not with Mr. Rivenburg.)

Even this, standing alone, would not be so objectionable — there is an undeniable circus aspect to this process. My comments above address the Dog Trainer‘s actions in their totality. It’s the editorials; the last-minute Arnold smear job; the refusal to run a comparable story about Davis’s abuse of women; the insistence that the sources for the Arnold hit piece were unconnected with the Davis campaign, but the inevitable refusal to tell us who they are; the ridiculous references to Davis’s “calm demeanor” when they know better — and so on, and so on, and so on. Very telling, in my opinion, is the Dog Trainer editors’ recent decision to emphasize the view of the recall election as a two-man race between Arnold and Gray — all the while knowing that they were sitting on a big Arnold stinkbomb. That undeniably has the feel of a “set ’em up and knock ’em down” strategy.

I would be thrilled to hear from Mr. Rivenburg or any other Times writers as to how they feel about the paper’s timing on this story, in light of the above factors I have mentioned. I would especially love to hear from anyone with any insight on the paper’s refusal to run the Gray Davis story that Jill Stewart has been pushing since 1997. Anonymity will be guaranteed if requested — if unidentified sources don’t bother the Times, why should they bother me? If anyone from the paper has anything to offer on this issue, you know what to do — click on the “E-mail me” link to the left.



Filed under: California Recall Election — Patterico @ 9:21 am

A reasonably funny analysis of the recall debate can be found here. (Via Slings and Arrows.)

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