Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times: Ideology is Okay in “Criticism” Whether Relevant or Not

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:28 pm

The other day we learned that the L.A. Times has put out an ethics code that includes the following risible passage:

A fair-minded reader of Times news coverage should not be able to discern the private opinions of those who contributed to that coverage, or to infer that the newspaper is promoting any agenda. A crucial goal of our news and feature reporting – apart from editorials, columns, criticism and other content that is expressly opinionated – is to be nonideological.

Apparently, the green light to publish ideology in “criticism” means it’s okey-dokey to write a movie review that takes an uncalled-for swipe at James Dobson:

From the first scene of the movie, as screenwriters Steve Faber and Bob Fisher’s raunchy, lunatic jokes begin to spill from the mouths of the protagonists in great, cheerful, Tourretic bursts, it’s clear that “Wedding Crashers” hearkens to a simpler, more innocent time — a time before the movies were hijacked by family-friendly merchandisers and bully moralists. Witty, unhinged and fearless, it’s exactly the kind of movie we need now; if only to give James Dobson something to get exercised about after a long day of focusing on the family.

It’s hard to imagine a Times critic taking a totally gratuitous potshot at a comical leftist figure. (“This is one Chinese restaurant that serves food so plentiful, even Michael Moore wouldn’t be hungry an hour later!”) [UPDATE: Or, a review of the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie might say: “This throwback to simple Southern pleasures, complete with the Confederate Battle Flag proudly displayed, is exactly the kind of movie we need right now; if only to give Jesse Jackson something to go on about after a hard day of shaking down corporate boards.” (Credit for that line goes to Kevin Murphy, with a tweak from the Clam.)]

So, frustrated Times staffers, take your cue from this piece. If you’re itching to have your ideology printed in the paper, and it’s too blatant even for the L.A. Times news pages (a tall order indeed!), you can find your outlet in “criticism” — regardless of whether your ideology is relevant to the piece. It’s a free-for-all! So get in while the gettin’s good!

(Thanks to TVD for the pointer.)

The Nomination Hearing That Will Have to Wait a Decade or Two

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Judiciary — Angry Clam @ 7:25 pm

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

A bunch of lefty law professors (read through the list, and you’ll spot a bunch of National Lawyers Guild types- if the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society are the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, the NLG is between the Green and Communist Party USA territories, literally) have, with the Center for American Progress, produced a set of questions to inquire into the judicial philosophy of Supreme Court nominees.

Whomever is nominated may or may not be asked them, and may or may not answer. Some of them are obviously loaded questions- particularly the “follow precedent”/”open mind” distinction. The answer they’re looking for is “follow precedent that we like, and keep an open mind about precedent we don’t.” Just remember, stare decisis is fo’ suckas.

Regardless, I thought that it would be interesting to answer them myself, particularly after Dafydd ab Hugh’s recent foray into constitutional theory.

The format will be as follows: the introductory material associated with the questions will be in italics, while the questions themselves will be in bold. My responses will be in ordinary Roman font. I would also like to point out that jurisprudential discussions, while obviously involving ideology, also involve an amount of pragmatism and empiricism. Thus, actual, thoughtful responses/follow-ups are encouraged, since I am quite willing to admit that reasonable people differ, and my opinion on issues (for example, incorporation in the Fourteenth Amendment) has changed before, and will likely change again about some doctrine or another.

Additionally, as part of the questions game, follow-up questions will be answered. I’m playing nominee, you all can play senate judiciary committee members. I ask that those questions be phrased similarly to the ones below and left in bold in the comments, to distinguish them from the back-and-forth that I hope this post produces.

Bear Flag League Conference

Filed under: Bear Flag League,Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 4:19 pm

[7-15-05 UPDATE: I am bumping this post to near the top of the blog this evening because of the link from Hugh Hewitt. There is a special deal available for his listeners in this post that I don’t want you to miss.]

This is a reminder that the Bear Flag League Conference will be on July 17 at the Avery House at Caltech in Pasadena.

$50 [but see below] gets you lunch, the chance to hear Dan Weintraub, Bob Hertzberg, Ted Costa, and others — and the chance to meet some of your favorite Southern California bloggers, including Gerard Vanderleun of American Digest, Xrlq, Baldilocks, Gay Patriot, BoiFromTroy, members of Local Liberty Blog, Little Miss Attila, and others. Including me.

And the invitation is open to anyone! You don’t have to be a blogger.

If you are a Hugh Hewitt listener, I can get you in for $40. Just write me at this link and tell me that you’re a Hugh Hewitt listener, and I’ll make the arrangements for you.

I hope to see you there.

UPDATE: Offer extended to readers of Captain’s Quarters (though I believe there is substantial overlap between his audience and Hugh’s). Thanks to Dafydd for mentioning this. To start the process, just leave a comment with a contact e-mail.

UPDATE x2: Dafydd ab Hugh and his lovely wife Sachi will also be attending.

UPDATE x3 (7-5-05): I just learned that Kevin Drum will be attending. I respect Kevin (who is wrong about almost everything) a lot, and love his blog. I am very much looking forward to meeting him.

Joe Wilson: Opportunist

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 7:13 am

At, Art Green checks into Joe Wilson’s assertion that he contributed to both Bush and Gore in 2000, which Wilson apparently offers as evidence that he’s not a partisan Democrat.

No — it’s just evidence that he’s an opportunist.

From the transcript of the TODAY show interview:

Gangel: Your critics have said that this is partisan on your part, that you are part of a Democratic attempt to discredit Iraq policy.

Wilson: That’s simply not true.

Gangel: You are a Democrat?

Wilson: I exercise my rights as a citizen of this country to participate in the selection of my leaders. And I’m proud to do so. I did so in the election in 2000 by contributing not just to Al Gore’s campaign but also to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Now: what kind of person contributes to both candidates in a presidential campaign? I submit to you that such a person is not someone simply interested in seeing the best leader selected. Such a person is someone who wants something from the winning candidate. Like a plush ambassadorial assignment, for example.

So Joe Wilson, masquerading as a concerned citizen, reveals himself once again to be primarily interested in self-promotion.

P.S. In his post, Green asks whether Wilson’s a liar on this issue. I rather doubt it; nor do I much care, since we already know Wilson is a liar on other issues. But I’m grateful to Green for highlighting Wilson’s claim, which is pretty amusing, regardless of its truth.

Just a Question

Filed under: General,Politics,War — Patterico @ 7:01 am

An L.A. Times editorial on the Plame leak says:

The questions that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald is probably pursuing are these: Who gave Rove the information in the first place? Were there other White House officials who were gunning for Plame?

Bush owes it to the American people to order Rove to cough up some of the answers.

But, according to a Power Line reader: “Andrea Mitchell was asked, on MSNBC, whether it was generally known to news people, before the hullabaloo, that Ms. Plame worked for the CIA. She answered, somewhat reluctantly, that it was.” If this is true, why would it be so critical to learn how Rove found out?

Name the Picture

Filed under: Crime,Scum — Patterico @ 6:39 am

Nick at Horseback Riders asks readers to guess who is depicted in the picture.

I don’t have an opinion about the incident as a whole, except to note two things: 1) the guy depicted in the picture was scum; and 2) he shot a cop in the shoulder, an area of the body located less than a foot from the head.

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