Patterico's Pontifications

4/22/2006

Rutten: Hiltzik Critics Can’t Stand the Truth

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:25 am



The Hiltzik affair makes an appearance in the pages of the Los Angeles Times today, in Tim Rutten’s “Regarding Media” column. After a discussion of the New York Times‘s publication of classified material, and a denunciation of right-wing bloggers who want to see the reporters prosecuted for it, Rutten says:

In this case, what you have is the latest extension of the right wing’s mantra-like criticism of the American news media. Like the constant hum of traffic, it now seems an unavoidable part of our contemporary life. It’s interesting to recall that it began as a perfectly reasonable — indeed, beneficial — discussion of unexamined bias in newspaper and broadcast journalism and of news outlets’ institutional lethargy when it came to correcting errors. As it turns out, though, addressing those things isn’t what the critics have in mind. They don’t want an unbiased news media, they want a press that reflects their bias.

They’d like a press that is wholly blue or wholly red, one that stops bothering a nation increasingly divided in this very fashion with inconvenient facts and doubts. That was a sentiment that came through with particular clarity this week, when the Los Angeles Times was forced to suspend columnist Michael Hiltzik’s blog after it was revealed that he had posted comments on the Internet and this paper’s own website under false names. An editor’s note regarding the decision was published Friday and the circumstances surrounding Hiltzik’s conduct are being examined.

The incident has provoked a kind of cybernetic thunderstorm, and one of the most revealing claps came from talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who used his popular blog to argue against what The Times had done.

In his view, “The paper should admit that their journalists are just polemicists who carry their opinions with them into battles they care deeply about. They are as biased as the day is long and getting longer. They aren’t objective, and never have been…. Hiltzik may be the most honest guy at the Times.”

Here, as in Bennett’s and Johnson’s attack on the three prize-winning reports, we confront an attempt to win through bluster and intimidation what cannot be gained through politics or persuasion.

It takes the prize.

“They’d like a press that is wholly blue or wholly red, one that stops bothering a nation increasingly divided in this very fashion with inconvenient facts and doubts.”

Maybe we just want an honest press, Mr. Rutten. How about that?

UPDATE: Hugh has more.

76 Responses to “Rutten: Hiltzik Critics Can’t Stand the Truth”

  1. Tim Rutten laboriously goes the extra mile to miss the point. The issue wasn’t that Hiltzik was posting under a false name; Hiltzik was praising himself and praising the LAT under false names. Rutten’s article is yet more evidence that intellectual honesty is unwelcomed at LA Times.

    Perfect Sense (024110)

  2. Yes, indeed, full marks for diversionary tactics. If distorting and / or changing the subject are going to be their line of defence, one suddenly wonders if the dishonest & unethical journalist (and suspended blogger-person) has any reason for concern. This looks suspiciously like the beginnings of a range of rationals for why the man will get to keep his job – if not his blog. Or perhaps if they bluster enough, they hope no-one will notice that he was never disciplined or fired; perhaps that’s the way this will go?

    One journalist…

    Two journalist…

    How many journalists have to be misrepresenting themselves, on blogs, or in any media or forum, before the LATs takes decisive action & makes a few unambiguous statments of their own contrition?

    More than two, it would seem.

    Frey – you’ve done a good thing, all kudos to you. Very nice work.

    Ck (975608)

  3. Rutten seems to think Patterico runs the LAT.

    J. Peden (1515f5)

  4. OK, I haven’t said anything about this part but I’ll since you brought up intellectual dishonesty among the press I’ll point it out.

    “we confront an attempt to win through bluster and intimidation what cannot be gained through politics or persuasion.”

    They keep repeating this sort of thing. Hiltzig said something similar in his Hewitt post – that his conservative views had lost with the public or something – and I see this assertion a lot among liberals and Dems.

    It is exactly the opposite. The Pubs control every branch of the federal government and have for going on a decade. The ones that are “trying to gain” something that “cannot be won through politics” are the left, Dems and liberals in the media (I know, I repeat myself). It is a flatly false meme among them and representative of either how out of touch they are or how dishonest they are.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  5. Like the first commenter says Rutten seems to be deliberately missing the point. As I wrote at my blog, it is clear to me that these liberal journalists simply fail to understand that sometimes they ought to think through the likely consequences of their actions

    Francis (8b3e1a)

  6. Unbelievable. Rutten and his fellow MSMers must look at their ethics code like jaywalking laws — a nuisance never to be invoked.

    Keep up the blanket condemnations, Mr. Rutten. I can hear the LAT’s subscription rate plummet even furhter.

    The Hound (f452bd)

  7. Dwilkers, I don’t think that it makes much sense to Pubs to keep shooting the messenger when they control the federal government just about across the board. Your message is getting out there somehow isn’t it? Playing the victim in this era of republican power is outlandish. A victim mentality is entrenched in the republican psyche.

    The truth is, sure; there are left leaning and right leaning news organizations. (I know, what a shocker.) For either the left or right to single one out as representative of all of them is just politically opportunistic and that’s all it is.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  8. Writing so good it’s criminal?

    That certainly gives the LA Times a target to shoot for instead of it’s current standard – which is emetic quality ‘journalism’.

    Don S (a96e27)

  9. I think you missed the point of my post psyberian. I didn’t make a complaint about anyone’s message not getting out. What are you talking about?

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  10. >>>They don’t want an unbiased news media, they want a press that reflects their bias.

    This is the same kind of lashing out the MSM did when Dan Rather and Mary Mapes got caught peddling false documents. Instead of examining their own behaviour, it became all about some Rovian plot. These people are hopeless. Folks, just stop reading their newspapers until they finally get it.

    Carlos's sock puppet (98df3a)

  11. Here, as in Bennett’s and Johnson’s attack on the three prize-winning reports, we confront an attempt to win through bluster and intimidation what cannot be gained through politics or persuasion.

    It takes the prize.

    Ah,the halo of innocence,after all the reporters should never be questioned.
    Bluster and Intimidition are the the daily bread of the press.
    But,to project it onto the oppsition?
    Coal to Newcastle? so 20th century,
    now sockpupets to LAT.

    StainlessSteelRat (016e23)

  12. Mr. Frey, this story is the gift that keeps on giving and the only reason it retains life is the defensive posture assumed by the guilty. The fact that the stronger their defense is the better the overall point of this blog is proved seems to be lost on these folks. Or maybe not. Maybe Mr. Rutton is just one of the many that know they’re caught with their pants way down and thinks people are stupid enough to swallow their lame excuses. This would seem par for their course. It’s fun to guess how many other birds will be flushed from this bush? Any bets?

    Eric Morris (61fe73)

  13. I hope most of Patterico’s readers take the trouble to click on the link to the LAT article. There’s something special about the way Rutten’s ugly bias shines through when it’s simply his own words.

    In Rutten’s discussion of the tainted (or “tainted” as he would have it) Pulitzers, somehow the issue of the award for the staged pictures of Iraqi election workers’ executions got missed. Here is the link from The Belmont Club that Rutten inexplicably failed to provide.

    AMac (678d25)

  14. This reminds me of all those “it’s not our fault we got it wrong” kind of corrections you see in the paper.

    sharon (fecb65)

  15. Newspapers, all of them, are not worth the money and time to read them. The recent post regarding the immigration reporter, says it all about objectivity in the news. Newspapers, don’t make me laugh.

    jeffersonranch (4fcd1c)

  16. It’s about power. Tim Rutten is always an especially annoying read. The Times is trying to wave off bloggers and the demand for truth and accountability. They’ve gotten so much mileage on the “we’re liberals, therefore we’re good” crap, it’s turned into a comedy.

    Tim Rutten: You saw the dozens of worldwide links to Patterico’s article. You saw your colleague outed for dishonesty. Stop with the nonsense. Bend over and take it like a man.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  17. Mr Rutten = projection. Yeah, I’m just tired of the MSM providing me with “inconvenient facts”. Katrina coverage was just chock full o’ facts. Reporting on the economy, just stop, too many facts. And the full coverage of all the facts in Iraq, the global jihad and terrorism is just so full of facts. There’s no limit to the topics that the MSM is just totally dishonest, fact-free, inconvenient or not.

    Jabba the Tutt (7af240)

  18. So Tim Rutten disapproves of “bluster and intimidation” does he?

    Rutten apparently never read Hiltzik’s posts, employing exactly those tactics, against anyone who disagreed with him.

    Dennis Mosher (b7be9d)

  19. Dwilkers, that’s my response to complaints about the liberal media meme. I’ve said it before, so I repeat myself too.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  20. psyberian-

    It wasn’t a complaint about the liberal media psy, it was a point about logical fallacy or intellectual dishonesty, which is the subject of the post.

    /shrug

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  21. A victim mentality is entrenched in the republican psyche.

    “psyber-analysis” of our collective “psyche”, eh? But seriously, I’m really feeling victimized these days … it is to laugh.

    The ones that are “trying to gain” something that “cannot be won through politics” are the left, Dems and liberals in the media (I know, I repeat myself). It is a flatly false meme among them and representative of either how out of touch they are or how dishonest they are.

    Exactly. And with the latest appointments to the SC, even that last bastion of “trying to gain” something that “cannot be won through politics” seems to be slipping from their grasp. I sense a certain level of desperation in these latest two responses for the “awarded ones” of the LAT.

    And a Pulitzer award should mean that we accept all future pontifications from that writer without question? pshaw!

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  22. Yeah, I’m just tired of the MSM providing me with “inconvenient facts”. Katrina coverage was just chock full o’ facts. Reporting on the economy, just stop, too many facts. And the full coverage of all the facts in Iraq, the global jihad and terrorism is just so full of facts. There’s no limit to the topics that the MSM is just totally dishonest, fact-free, inconvenient or not.

    The real shame is that the preponderance of the MSM can’t see this. They are so blinded by their self-righteousness and arrogance that they honestly do not comprehend that their world view literally oozes from their “reporting”.

    Thus, with the “democratization” of the news via the internet and other sources, the desperation deepens. Now we, the great unwashed, can fact check for ourselves. And their power slips away …

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  23. What on earth are you folks complaining about? Rutten said Hewitt’s blog is *popular*!

    Bradley (e619fc)

  24. The MSM is becoming the new American underclass, displacing economically deficiency with its trademark dishonesty. Before too long, they and their believers will be just an Orwellian counterpoint as civilization marches on and over them. As liberals might say (incorrectly), Darwinism in action

    martin (fb2430)

  25. 24. s/b”economic”

    martin (fb2430)

  26. I love the way Rutten says that the Times was “forced” to suspend Hiltzik’s blog. Okaaaay.

    Laura (16d8db)

  27. I’ve responded to Rutten’s comments at my blog and also linked back here: http://laurasmiscmusings.blogspot.com/2006/04/la-times-tim-rutten-doesnt-get-it.html

    This is getting stranger and stranger!! Wonder what the next chapter will bring… Best wishes, Laura

    Laura (16d8db)

  28. I really want you folks to enjoy every last orgiastic moment as the sun slowly but surely rises over our nasty national night on Bald Mountain, but I’ve gotta interrupt here to say that just when the joke about your “intellectual honesty” was getting a mite old, Patterico himself comes along to juice up the comedy with this line:

    “Maybe we just want an honest press, Mr. Rutten. How about that?”

    My cappuccino came flying through my nose on that one. Between subsequent sips, I conducted a few cursory searches of the Pontificator archives (nothing on the exhaustive Whitewater scale of the Patterico investigation of course), and here’s what I came up with:

    “Armstrong Williams”

    Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

    “Maggie Gallagher”

    Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

    “Pentagon payments to Iraq newspapers”

    Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

    “GAO” (report on Bush payments to private PR firm to make and distribute “news” videos to TV stations)

    Bingo:

    A FUNNY BULK E-MAIL FROM NIGERIA: Eugene Volokh got the e-mail, which you can read here. It’s worth reading, trust me. Here’s how it starts:

    “Dear Mister GAOrge Bush

    Oh, well, moving on…

    “Michael Massing” (incisive, must-read in New York Review of Books on current state of the press in America)

    Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

    In all your celebrating, you may have missed the dark turn blogging made week. With Michele Malkin posting the private home phone numbers of the San Jose student protest organizers and Patterico worming his way back to expose the source of his commenters (bogus or otherwise…and one day, Righties, believe me this shoe-bomb is definitely going to be on the other foot), we are now all on notice that these bloggers are the monarchs of all they survey…and your identity and my identity are theirs to do with as they please. Which reminds me, this post appeared in another thread:

    The only way this story could possibly get any better is if it turns out that Asinistra is really Robert Scheer.

    Comment by JVW — 4/21/2006 @ 10:48 pm

    Don’t be so naive, JVW. I’m sure Patterico has already sleuthed out that possibility and is reasonably sure that I’m not Scheer, though I’m guessing he’s still not sure if the goods he’s got on me are “explosive” enough on the Masha Scale to warrant YET another thread.

    Asinitra (4d1ba9)

  29. JVW,

    Nice misstatement about really happened re: the Malkin situation.

    You Lefty’s are so totally clueless…

    thebronze

    thebronze (b6dc65)

  30. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the students at UCSC post their information in a press release?

    John Ekdahl (1fe18c)

  31. Geez Louise, can the BDSers get any dumber? I don’t whether “itra” is a sin or not, but it is most certainly a dolt. If, like M.H. you are interested is sumo wrestling, this blog is not for you. Try reading the posts and you’ll discover that many of them have to do with the L.A. Slimes.

    You can’t even get your pathetic comeback straight. Michelle Malkin did not publish the “private home phone numbers” of the punks who are lower life forms than banana slugs. The contact information was from a press release. Ask the extinguished “workingjournalist” the meaning of that term.

    Tom (640768)

  32. Props to Eric and #12.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  33. You’re absolutely right, John

    How could Malkin posting information contained in a press release be regarded as sleazy? Sleazy would be a UCSC student digging into Malkin’s information and posting her private address in an attempt to intimidate her.

    P.S. I just wanted to try this sock-puppeteering thing for myself.

    Not John Ekdahl (1fe18c)

  34. The pitiful state of the LA Times is no one’s doing but their own. I was a subscriber for 45 years but gave up in 2003 after one-too-many Scheer columns. When I called to cancel, the girl taking the call laughed at my answer when she asked why I was cancelling. I said “Getting a lot of these calls?” She laughed and said it was busy at the cancellation desk.

    The failure to see where all this is taking them resembles the old definition of insanity; Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Fortunately alternatives abound.

    Mike K (529717)

  35. Assinatra, do you have a point (other than the one on your head)? It’s not as though Patterico has been singing the praises of Armstrong Williams or the rest of the individuals you’re getting bent out of shape about. Bringing up Michelle Malkin is especially rich, as your beef with her appears to be with the fact that she printed truthful information, not anything remotely inconsistent with Patterico’s appeal for an an honest press.

    If you had half a brain, you’d quit while you’re behind. You don’t, so you won’t.

    Xrlq (6a3c55)

  36. Masha – Is this you?

    About the Author
    For ten years, Masha Hamilton worked as a foreign correspondent overseas, first for the Associated Press in the Middle East and then as a Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. She also wrote a newspaper column from Moscow and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio.

    http://www.mashahamilton.com/bio.html

    TakeFive (018e9c)

  37. Is it possible for a lefty to just one time make an argument that does not involve some non sequiter or red herring? Their guys gets busted for an unethical action and the response is, “Oh, well, you didn’t make a big deal about Armstrong Williams.” So what? What does this have to do with anything?

    You guys are just out of ideas. Face it. You can’t win an argument on its own terms, so you must constantly resort to these types of irrlevant arguments, or, in the case of Rutten, intellectually dishonest straw men.

    Remember kids – when the facts are against you, just dodge, dodge, dodge.

    paul zummo (a8d0f1)

  38. If this speculation turns out to be true, the CIA may have successfully adopted the sting method used by the LA Times in Moscow to uncover Hiltzik:

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/173171.php

    Dan Collins (208fbe)

  39. Asinitra (#28) wrote, ” With Michele Malkin posting the private home phone numbers of the San Jose student protest organizers…” This mirrored an in-passing accusation made by regular commenter Psyberian in another Hiltzik-related thread on Friday.

    Neither chose to provide fellow readers with links to back up their charges. Having now spent a few minutes Googling, I’ll do so.

    Malkin wrote:

    The unhinged group behind the anti-troops movement at UC Santa Cruz is “Students Against War.” [Malkin then lists 3 students and their contact information.]

    UPDATE: SAW has removed the contact information from its press release and is now lying about the fact that it made the info publicly available on the Internet. I am leaving it up. If you are contacting them, I do not condone death threats or foul language. As for SAW, my message is this: You are responsible for your individual actions. Other individuals are responsible for theirs. Grow up and take responsibility.

    The redacted Students Against War press release is here.

    A copy of the email that “Josh” of SAW sent around to its allies is posted here. It reads (with bolding of Josh’s unsupported and possibly libelous charge):

    > Tue, 18 Apr 2006
    > Students Against War at UC Santa Cruz included the names, emails, and phones of 3 members of the organization so that press could contact them for interviews, etc. However, prominent right-wing bloggers have taken the contact information, posted them online, and sent scores of death threats to the students.
    > These pages on Sydney IMC have the numbers listed:
    > http://sydney.indymedia.org/node/36508
    > http://sydney.indymedia.org/node/36508/print
    > If you could remove the names and contact information of the students, that would be wonderful.

    Asinitra and Psyberian: whether out of ignorance (probable) or malice (possible), your references to Malkin in these threads have been misleading. Each of you owes your readers an apology (not that one will be forthcoming). What Malkin did was to reprint information listed on a press release.

    AMac (678d25)

  40. “My cappuccino came flying through my nose on that one.”

    Switch to decaf.

    Jim Treacher (f69e1b)

  41. Whew! I’ve written a lengthy, caffeine-fueled analysis of L’Affaire Rutten.

    Bradley (e619fc)

  42. Mr. Frey:
    First Rutten tries to bootstrap Hilzik’s pathetic and tacky little actions on to a serious journalistic problem. The question of whether the press can decide on it’s own to release secret information that could kill Americans is a serious one and there is arguments on both sides. Then he gives his readers almost no information on the facts and tries another version of false id’s isn’t that bad, everyone does it” when that is not the real problem. He spends all his time on the response to the story and gives his readers almost no information on the story itself. Why bother, those silly readers don’t need facts so they can come to their own conclusions, I will make that decision for them. The Times was “forced” to suspend the blog? Ah. of course, Hewitt and Patterico. Those nasty reactionaries.

    Rutten spends no time examinig the Hilzik case, he gives his readers no information, that way his readers can focus on the reactions and don’t have to spend anytime looking at what caused the reactions. Hilzik victim, Hewitt and Patterico bad, thats all you need to know silly readers. I tell you they are overreacting, you don’t have a Pulitzer, so you are not qualified to have the facts of the case.

    Kevin Peters (92760e)

  43. What about all the sock puppets who may be put out of work due to this? What are we going to do for them? They do all the jobs regular pseudonyms won’t do, and what? we’re going to kick them off of the internet?

    Dan Collins (208fbe)

  44. From masha’s bio:

    “She worked as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press for five years in the Middle East, where she covered the intefadeh, the peace process and the PARTIAL Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.”

    Only a “partial” withdrawal from Lebanon? Notice how closely moonbat talking points are to terrorist ones! lol!

    Carlos's sock puppet (98df3a)

  45. DISCLAIMER!

    I put up that “Masha – is this you?” post just in the spirit of the hunt. Please all, remember, this may not be the same Masha. Or, it may be someone posing as her. I don’t want to be responsible for directing hostility at a presumably uninvolved party.

    That said, I thought it was a coincidence both Hiltzik and this Masha worked for the LA Times in the Moscow bureau.

    TakeFive (97a9ad)

  46. LA Times Gets the “Award” — & Boy Do They Deserve It!

    I didn’t think that I would get to award another of these so soon, but it just can’t be helped. The Los Angeles Times and it’s columnists Michael Hiltzik and Tim Rutten, along with another Patterico outed comment poster from the Times IP address all…

    OKIE on the LAM - In LA (e2cef7)

  47. AMac, the blogsphere has all kinds of information on Malkin’s lack of decency on this matter. If you are so insulated in your republican cocoon that you don’t know about Malkin’s latest stunt, then get out there are read something besides right-wing news.

    I was not there, so I don’t know what the truth is. But the accusation is that Malkin refused to withdraw the information even when she was politely asked. I do know that she did publish their personal information though, because I saw it on her blog. And no, it wasn’t just via a link either as one commenter said before. Their information was just printed there bigger than Dallas.

    Yes, they may have included their contact information on the press release, but that did not force Malkin to release her angry minions on them. She was just being a bitch again, plain and simple.

    Now, from what I’ve read, there are people from the left releasing personal information about Malkin because it was supposedly public as well. I don’t agree with that either since they are sinking to Malicious Michelle’s level.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  48. Malkin’s private address was not publicly available, and that’s what they published. Malkin only provided email and phone numbers from students who voluntarily provided them it in a press release. There’s a difference.

    Not John Ekdahl (1fe18c)

  49. Not John, Malkin knew what would happen after she published their information. The students thought that the information was only going to reporters and they mistakenly assumed that all reporters have some sense of decency. Obviosly, that is a bad assumption, at least when it comes to Michelle Malkin.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  50. Somebody’s desperately trying to change the subject.

    Evil Pundit (1772ee)

  51. She never encouraged anyone to harass them. She was appalled by the violent behavior of the students at UCSC and posted contact information from people who wanted that information public. Hence the press release. Agree or disagree with her all you want, but all she did was post the information these students released of their own free will. I’m not sure how this puts her in the wrong. These students knew that by releasing the information they could get responses by anyone (maybe they didn’t understand that, they are UCSC students after all).

    Not John Ekdahl (1fe18c)

  52. Psyberian,

    > But the accusation is that Malkin refused to withdraw the information even when she was politely asked.
    See post #39 and you’ll see that she refused, so that’s correct. About the “polite” part, I’d have my doubts–you’re a pretty reasonable person, and you can’t manage civil language when it comes to Malkin.

    > they may have included their contact information on the press release
    They did include their info on their press release. See #39.

    > insulated in your republican cocoon
    Both charges are false.

    Maybe you can’t see what’s different about this latest exchange, but I’ll bet most people can. Now readers can refer back to the primary source material and decide for themselves. Transparency even benefits your position, as your revised accusation (“that Malkin refused to withdraw the information even when she was politely asked”) is much more in accord with the record than your original remark (“But what do you think should happen to Michelle Malkin for publishing personal information about protestors which led to them getting death threats? I think her blog should be suspended too – indefinitely.”).

    In writing a press release, one is engaged in releasing information to the widest possible audience. It beggars belief that the three writers of the SAW press release were somehow unaware of this defining feature. There are a lot of troubling questions about privacy in the Internet age–including the one you allude to–but copying contact information from a press release to a website isn’t one of them.

    AMac (5ffbb5)

  53. Somebody’s desperately trying to change the subject.

    See my comment above. That’s the usual tact.

    paul zummo (a8d0f1)

  54. You have a point there Evil Pundit. Maybe I should just let you all keep your blinders on and celebrate taking down Hiltzik. But if the subject is deviant bloggers, then it is relevant isn’t it? I think Hiltzik has been taken down a notch or two and rightfully so. But at the same time, we shouldn’t ignore the more serious transgressions of one of the biggest right-wing bloggers should we?

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  55. Serious transgressions? What are you talking about? She posted a copy of a press release. You’ve gone off the tracks.

    Not John Ekdahl (1fe18c)

  56. But at the same time, we shouldn’t ignore the more serious transgressions of one of the biggest right-wing bloggers should we?

    What one – the non-transgression of Malkin’s idiots like you keep mischaracterizing?

    Gerald A (ef86e6)

  57. Trying to switch the focus to Malkin is just a sign of how desperately some people don’t want to discuss Hiltzik. I understand, trying to defend him is a tough job.

    Kevin Peters (92760e)

  58. Patterico, you’ve taken this article out of context and misconstrued the meaning of the words, “In this case…” You make it sound as if it is a defense of Hiltzik’s antics, but it clearly isn’t.

    Here is the previous paragraph:

    There is a searching discussion to be had — one that never can be completed — on how responsible journalists should handle classified information when reporting on a government that uses the designation as a matter of political expediency and mere convenience, as well as a way to guard the country’s legitimate secrets. Any journalist who doesn’t acknowledge that there are legitimate national secrets is worse than silly; any commentator who pretends that every — or even most — things stamped “classified” is among them probably is grinding his or her ax.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  59. A rose by another name:

    Psy, you’re quick to attack Michelle Malkin, and you were equally quick to come to the support of masha. But back then, (12/14/05) when this all started, your comments were signed, Tillman. To your credit, you did leave a comment when you changed names, regulars will recall, but new readers have little chance to put two and two together.

    This quote is one of yours, “Saddam’s heavy hand, it can now be seen, may have been necessary to keep the peace.”

    And, don’t overlook the cheerleading, “Masha’s madder’n hell and ain’t gonna take it anymore! Tell ‘em Masha!”

    Your lecture on the elements of “Fascism” and their possible relationship to America was an especially low point in the debate.

    Now, given your participation in the comment thread which lead to today’s dustup, don’t you think it would credit you further if you forthrightly acknowledged your previous comments, especially as identity is somewhat of an issue here?

    Black Jack (f83b28)

  60. Rational Conservatives Weigh in on Malkin


    From: Don Surber: A Line Crossed, A Reader Lost

    On Monday morning, Michelle Malkin crossed a line by publishing the phone numbers of the people protesting military recruiting at the University of Santa Cruz.

    The names were on a press release that was taken down after the students realized that bloggers are not newspapermen and will publish your name, your address and your personal diary if you let them.

    Malkin knows better. Rather than take her posts down, Malkin published the phone numbers again.


    From Ace in the Hole
    Subject: Posting phone numbers

    Michelle, I have enjoyed your column quite a lot but I will not be visiting there any more…

    Publishing the phone numbers of those clowns was a very bad move on your part in my opinion, and crossed the line of Conservative journalistic ethics, this is the kind of crap I’d expect from the LEFT, not from YOU…

    You have lost a faithful reader, an occasional trackback, a link from my blog and my respect as well..


    From Rhiel World View

    Another note I’ll add, having written numerous press releases for one organization some time ago – the contact information is understood to not be for publication, but for press inquiries. That’s a fact of the trade. At least, it was.

    Ezra Klein takes Michelle Malkin to task for publishing the personal telephone numbers of some students in a student group opposing military recruitment on a college campus in California. Foolishly, they included them on a press release.

    Make no mistake, I oppose what those students stand for. And the phone numbers being included initially was probably a sign of their naivate and lack of resources, as in an office for such things. But Michele is not naive. I’m not sure what her excuse is.

    Still, only faulting Michele isn’t really fair. I believe she’s the most frequently read conservative politics only blogger. Things like that happen for a reason. What it ultimately speaks to is the current state of blogs, blogging and blog readers as a whole.

    Asinitra (4d1ba9)

  61. Asinitra, you’re coming around. Now you’ve left some links to substantive posts that inform readers who care enough to click. This is much better than misleading by neglecting to mention relevant facts that cut the other way. I’ll submit Rosemary Esmay’s post and the back-and-forth in her comments for a good airing of the merits of Malkin’s conduct.

    This subject has nothing to do with Rutten, Hiltzik, and the LAT–the topics of Patterico’s post. I wouldn’t have written about it if it hadn’t been repeatedly brought up as a tu quoque. The internet, and blogs in particular, seem to be ushering us into a “best of times, worst of times” place when it comes to styles of argumentation. That point may be relevant.

    AMac (6a1547)

  62. Patterico, you’ve taken this article out of context and misconstrued the meaning of the words, “In this case…” You make it sound as if it is a defense of Hiltzik’s antics, but it clearly isn’t.

    No. I described and summarized what he was talking about in the previous paragraph and those before it. I can’t quote the whole article and don’t want to talk about the NYT release of classified information. From what I quoted, you can tell that he is bringing up Hiltzik for the first time in the article in the second paragraph. But I wanted people to see what he says about right-wingers in the first.

    Patterico (156eed)

  63. Assinitra, those are interesting enough comments about Malkin, but WTF do they have to do with Tim Rutten or Michael Hiltzik?

    Xrlq (061a15)

  64. Xrlq (#63),

    It’s my bad more than Asinatra’s for moving the thread off-topic. In providing links in #60, s/he was responding to my request to do more than leave a misleading, drive-by account of misdeeds, or “misdeeds” that are similar, or “similar” to those of Hiltzik. I think readers now have the URLs that give all sides of the Malkin story, and most will judge that it’s essentially irrelevant to Rutten’s claims about Hiltzik and his woes.

    AMac (0e0f0b)

  65. The Riehl World View link is from a guy who was humiliated when he acted like a juvenile toward Malkin, and got caught despite his efforts to paper over the silliness. You can bet he’ll criticize most anything she does (and that I do), and it’s all personal. That link should be discounted entirely.

    Surber, like John Cole, is also a reliable Malkin critic, though I’m not sure why. He has a chip on his shoulder about criticism of Big Media, since he is a part of a small part of it. I don’t know if that chip is behind the Malkin criticism, as Michelle is plenty critical of Big Media. But I’ve seen him slam Malkin unfairly before.

    Patterico (156eed)

  66. Patterico, of course you’re right about not being able to quote the whole article. I just think that the whole thrust of the article is significantly altered if it is read in its entirety. The headline of your post makes it sound as if the article was written as a defense of Hiltzik; but that’s not what it’s about.

    Black Jack, I’m not hiding anything. I explained the reason for the name change at the time. I saw the need to discard my screen name, Tillman, since I didn’t want to constantly make it clear that I am not related to the famous Pat Tillman, who was killed in the war in Afghanistan.

    My screen name changed almost four months ago. I continually refer to myself as a liberal. So there is nothing disingenuous about my using my newer screen name.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  67. The headline of your post makes it sound as if the article was written as a defense of Hiltzik; but that’s not what it’s about.

    No, it says that Rutten thinks Hiltzik’s critics can’t stand the truth. And that’s exactly what he says in his column, while saying diddly about Hiltzik’s dishonesty. If that creates an impression that he is defending Hiltzik, that’s Rutten’s fault — not mine.

    Patterico (156eed)

  68. Psy,

    My point had to do with forthrightness. You were an active participant in the several posts involving both Hiltzik and masha which are now at issue. Your opposition to the Iraqi war and your cheerleading for masha are quoted above. And, you are currently commenting on this matter under a different screen name. Don’t you see the potential for confusion?

    Now, I’m not accusing you of sailing under false colors, but I do think that if you choose to participate now, you should reveal your previous comments. I did mention your notice at the time you made the name change and gave you credit for it. Forgive me, but I thought the topic was sufficiently sensitive to require updated notification. Apparently you don’t share my concern.

    Again, disingenuousness is not my point, it’s a lack of forthrightness. But, it’s yesterday’s news now, unless masha turns out to be another of Hiltzik’s sock puppets.

    Black Jack (7bbb5c)

  69. And, laughably, we’ll never know Masha’s true colors.

    She used an LAT computer.

    Allegedly.

    [Ed, I already published the IP addresses used by Masha from the LAT. That was to prove that they were LAT IP addresses. But that doesn’t show who she is, because they’re shared IP addresses. And I’m not publishing her Comcast IP address because if she’s not Hiltzik, I don’t *care* who she really is. — P]

    Ed (a68826)

  70. Black Jack, it doesn’t matter to me in this instance who Masha is or was. If I was praising his or her comment(s), I must have found some merit in what Masha was saying. Had I known at the time that Masha was a LAT employee (assuming that is the case), then I can see how you would question that maybe. But I’m just here like the rest of you – I don’t know who these people are for the most part except for the bloggers and one infrequent commenter here who calls himself Charlie. I’m no ciber-sleuth like Pat, although I could be if it was important enough to me.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  71. Psy, you’re ignoring the point. Apparently “forthrightness” is a bit too fuzzy to make it onto your radar screen. Try thinking of it as an affirmative responsibility to disclose a previous connection. Maybe you’ll get my point, maybe not. In any case, I’m done with it. Do whatever you think is right and proper.

    And, you won’t have to put your “ciber-sleuth” talents to work here. Patterico has provided the all necessary links for you.

    Black Jack (7bbb5c)

  72. I don’t have a problem with Psyberian’s name change. If you were reading his comments when he was Tillman, you saw his explanation for the change (he didn’t want people to confuse him with Pat Tillman). If you weren’t, you’re unlikely to be misled. I don’t think it’s an issue, Black Jack.

    Patterico (156eed)

  73. Thank you for explaining that to Black Jack Patterico.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  74. OK, since it turns out that this thread is about Malkin after all, here’s my $0.02. I don’t think one’s personal views about Riehl, Cole or Surber should preclude anyone from hearing those arguments out. This strikes me as a prime example of “poisoning the well,” and not the kind of well-poisoning that is justified. Their arguments, like Malkin’s, should stand or fall on their own.

    Thus far, I’ve heard some fairly decent reasons why Malkin should have taken down the press release, or blacked out the home phone numbers, after being requested to do so. I’ve heard no reason, from Malkin or anyone else, explaining what greater purpose was served by NOT doing so. Therefore, I’m inclined to think Malkin was in the wrong. At first blush, it looks like she’s pulling the same crap on these knucklehead students that Lambert and Cabeza pull on me when they broadcast my real name all over the place, not to make any real, newsworthy point, but simply to be dicks.

    Full, hopefully Seipp-proof disclosure: I have disagreed with Michelle Malkin on some prior occasions, while agreeing with her on others.

    Xrlq (061a15)

  75. […] Kurtz isn’t the only mainstream media reporter to cover the story, either. Articles have appeared in Reuters, the AP, and the New York Times. The L.A. Times has kept largely mum about it except for columnist Tim Rutten, to whom Patterico responded here. And yet, despite all the coverage, not only have most media accounts continued to misrepresent why Hiltzik’s actions were objectionable, but only one reporter has even attempted to contact Patterico about the story. Fancy that. […]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Radio Alert: Patterico To Discuss Hiltzik on “Hoist The Black Flag” (3ca10e)

  76. […] First of all, there is no such thing as anonymity if you post on blogs. Time and again, this fact has been proven, to the great embarassment of the poster. My favorite example involves Cathy Seipp and Nikke Finke, two LA writers who don’t like each other. In a comment on Cathy’s blog, Nikke objected to something Cathy said about her. Then there was another post minutes later from someone claiming to be Nikke’s lawyer, threatening a suit. But the IP address showed they came from the same computer. And of course there’s Michael Hiltzik, the LA Times writer who posted anonymous comments on his own blog and others, praising himself and bashing his foes. Patterico busted him the same way. […]

    From the Desert to the Sea… » Blog Archive » There is No Such Thing as an Anonymous Blog Comment… (ca9c00)


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