Patterico's Pontifications

5/23/2006

L.A. Times Will Not Correct or Clarify the Story About the “Ambivalent” Immigration Activist

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:42 pm



The L.A. Times won’t be issuing any correction or clarification regarding the story of Cyndi Smallwood, the allegedly “ambivalent on immigration reform” entrepreneur who is actually an activist against the Sensenbrenner bill. Recall that, this morning, I wrote Readers’ Representative Jamie Gold about this issue, quoting extensively from sites that had uncovered the extent of Smallwood’s activism. The Readers’ Rep has replied to my e-mail as follows:

Thanks for sending me links to websites that include others’ interpretations of the Times article from last week.

The Times article outlined the reasons why Cyndi Smallwood supports a guest-worker program. It reported that she lobbied her own congressman on the issue. I think the article as a whole makes it clear what Smallwood wants in the way of immigration reform, and why she wants it. There is no need for a correction.

Jamie Gold
Readers’ Representative

And so it goes. As Mickey Kaus says, the Times piece was “based entirely on someone it pretends is a regular citizen (and an “ambivalent” one at that) when really they are a pro-guest-worker activist!” Conor Friedersdorf added this comment:

If traveling to Washington DC to lobby for a trade association, planting pro-guest worker program quotes in multiple press outlets and backing a specific faction in the immigration reform debate is considered ambivalence on immigration reform I’d like to see the Times version of an activist!

. . . .

[I]t’s absurd for the Times to write that article without mentioning those affiliations, and downright dishonest to include inaccurate language that gives readers a flawed impression of who Ms. Smallwood is. This is particularly egregious because we do learn, for example, that Ms. Smallwood had a son that died of a drug overdose — in other words, the information wasn’t cut for lack of space as the most irrelevant thing to the story — and that she talked to her local Congressman about immigration (that near the end of the story), a detail offered without any hint that her political actions go far beyond a citizen visiting her Congressman’s district office.

Evidently, Times readers are going to be left in the dark as to the extent of Smallwood’s activism. And this is a conscious decision by Times editors.

You can express your opinion at the paper’s handling of this issue by writing to: Readers.Rep@latimes.com.

25 Responses to “L.A. Times Will Not Correct or Clarify the Story About the “Ambivalent” Immigration Activist”

  1. Slanted reporting is to be expected. Newspapers have always done that sort of thing. But this goes beyond “slanted.” This is flat-out distorting the story and is reprehensible. Once again we are reminded that the LATimes has no ethics, no morals, no shame.

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  2. You have proven your “Dog Trainer” case beyond all reasonable doubt, Patterico. But are you sure you want to expose your dog to such mental pollution?

    nk (2ab789)

  3. Paterick Frey, Prevericator, once again allows his fevered senses of persecution and media bias to run free. As (almost) always, to hilarious effect. Thanks for the laughs.

    First, get a dictionary and visit the definition for “ambivalent.” Then read the article.

    Based on what Smallwood says she believes, she is indeed ambivalent. Of two minds. One, against citizenship for illegal aliens. Two, dependent on legal workers for her business to survive.

    The reporter relies on facts and statements; apparently, Streitfield doesn’t possess Paterick Frey’s scary psychic ability to see into people’s minds and to divine their true intentions.

    He’s not relying on associations, memberships or affiliations to, as you would have it, distort or shape his story. Rather, he relies on emperical evidence, and the word of his interviewee. He even pretends Smallwood is a ‘regular’ citizen.

    The best part is Gold’s reply, in which she parks you — deftly, gently, firmly — back into your dark little extremist corner. It’s a technique called wit, and a tactic called understatement – concepts that are clearly foreign (alien?) around your part of the world (where freeways are clogged only because of those shifty, felonious illegals.)

    In the process, Gold tacitly points out that you really don’t understand the purpose for newspaper corrections in the first place. They’re not issued if a certain article isn’t written the way you wish it had been; they’re written to correct misstatements of fact, intentional or not.

    Another superbly unhinged performance. Again, thanks for the laughs.

    [Ah, jmaharry aka drummaster. The guy who came on this blog using a different name, and then tried to justify this dishonest action with a transparently phony story about how he was threatened by commenters from this site — and refused to back up this serious charge when I demanded he do so. (See here and scroll down.) The guy who made a string of misstatements in his first comments on this site, and never corrected them. And you think I’m going to let you forget? Where are the threatening e-mails, jmaharry? Let’s see them. Until I see them, I’m asking you every time you pop up in the comments. — Patterico]

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  4. Ms. Gold’s response failed to address the statement at issue — how the description of Smallwood as “ambivalent on immigration reform” can be justified.

    I’m getting irritated of the increasingly common practice among bureaucrats, politicians, journalists, and others to ignore a direct question or complaint and instead offer a red herring response.

    aunursa (358b58)

  5. I get the feeling Jamie Gold would have fashioned a short clarification of Smallwood’s “ambivalence” for a complaining reader other than Patterico.

    steve (f8c5a5)

  6. Nah. There is no way in the world I am the only person who wrote in about this story.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  7. […] Longtime L.A. Times critic and Southern California blogger Patterico has followed up on the L.A. Times story that misleads readers about the identity of Cyndi Smallwood. (The whole saga is detailed here by Beyond Borders Blog. […]

    A Special Report on Immigration - Beyond Borders Blog » LA Times Won’t Issue a Correction on the Cyndi Smallwood Story (8a9a2e)

  8. To get beyond ambivalance you have to be a
    La Raza Aztlan Terrorist maybe?

    Dan Kauffman (0cf47b)

  9. Nice attempt at a dodge. You’re a laughing-stock, as I reveal, so you react not by addressing what I write, but by going on about your big scoop: jmaharry is drummaster; drummaster is jmaharry. An anonymous commenter changed anonymities.

    How is commenting anonymously under a different name dishonest? Especially when my comments under drummaster (in May) came three months after my comments under jmaharry (in February).

    And, especially after I got a couple of creepy messages to my home email & phone, because my first commenting name was an easy clue to my real name.

    You indeed ‘demanded’ I send you my personal emails, complete with header information. Again, I ask, ‘are you crazy?’ I am free to ignore your demands. Especially when acquiescing could lead to further problems and threats to me, my husband, my family, and my dogs.

    Your inchoate reasoning and wild-eyed, baseless accusations are enough to raise questions about the efficacy of our District Attorney’ office. You are indeed: Paterick Frey, Prevaricator.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  10. What do other commenters think? Should I ban jmaharry for making unfounded and almost certainly false accusations about commenters on this site?

    (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, follow the links above. He tried to get away with changing his identity after making several false statements under his initial identity. When he was caught, he offered a wild story about being threatened by Patterico commenters! Threatened!)

    There are two choices about what to do with jmaharry: 1) ban him and be done with him, or 2) allow him to keep commenting, and remind everyone about his past, each time he comments.

    Option #1 removes a distraction: someone who pollutes this site with unfounded accusations and nonsensical explanations for his failure to back them up.

    So far, I am following option #2. It’s what I do with croche as well. It’s more work — but it’s funnier.

    But if others are getting tired of this guy distracting from the discussion, let me know.

    Remember: All jmaharry need do is prove his wild accusations, and I will ban the alleged offending and threatening commenters, and allow him to comment without further ridicule regarding this topic. All for simply proving that he received threatening e-mails. He can start by publishing the content without including the headers, and tell us how he knows it’s a commenter here that sent them. This exposes him to no risk and allows him to regain credibility.

    Ergo, he won’t do it. Why? The obvious conclusion is that his claim was a lie. I’ve cross-examined enough lying defendants to be able to spot when someone’s behavior does not square with his claims. It’s a dead giveaway, every time. And that’s what we have here.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  11. Patterico

    I don’t think anyone believes a word this flaming kook says. Although it’s rather amusing to read the words of the truly insane.

    Capitalist Infidel (2f6027)

  12. Bias? Qué Bias? LAT’s agenda-driven immigration article

    Yesterday the Los Angeles Times ran a story (”A Job Americans Won’t Do, Even at $34 an Hour“) that featured information and quotes from a business owner described as “ambivalent on immigration reform.” This turns out to b…

    Independent Sources (dd41d6)

  13. It is difficult to determine who is more unhinged, the LAT or jmaharry.

    Perfect Sense (024110)

  14. It is difficult to determine who is more ambivalent about being truthful, the LAT or jmaharry.

    Perfect Sense (024110)

  15. Patterico

    I googled “cyndi smallwood” and found out she’s the president of a pro illegal immigration organization. I’m sorry if you’ve already posted this. In case you haven’t noticed I thought you’d like to know.

    Capitalist Infidel (2f6027)

  16. Saying Cyndi Smallwood is ambivalent about illegal immigration is like saying the Ayatollah Khomeni was ambivalent about the Bahai’i.

    Alan Kellogg (7e1ac5)

  17. Patterico, re your comment #10:

    I agree with CI, #11 that nobody takes jmaharry/drumaster seriously. I do not think that he is even amusing. He will not be missed. What benefit is there to you, your site and your readers to allow him to use your bandwidth to attack you personally? I believe that you have worked, and continue to work, very hard to develop this site and to give it a certain (very attractive and admirable) character. Why let this troll pollute it? Ban the bum.

    [I won’t ban someone for attacking me. Telling lies, making phony accusations, etc. — that’s different. — P]

    nk (5e5670)

  18. I’d ban him. Croche is occasionally entertaining, JMAHarry is not.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  19. NK: I hope you have been able to find happiness with your hand reamer from Sears.

    Meanwhile, Paterick Frey Prevaricator: I am glad to see that Gold has tucked you back into your dark, dank fascistic corner. The place where the mold spores grow.

    Of course, you have run from all of my recent posts, using this jmaharry/drummaster ruse as a cover.

    You’ve been waving your little stubs about as it regards my ‘true’ anonymous identity. Probably it’s time to ban me. Until, or before, I post one of the creepy emails I got. Which, according to you, will vindicate me. I guess I gotta’ start working through my old emails.

    [Yup. Meanwhile, explain how you were anonymous as jmaharry, so the switch to drummaster wasn’t an attempt to evade responsibility for jmaharry’s misstatements, but you *weren’t* anonymous as jmaharry, because people found you. Also explain how you won’t forward/post e-mails because you are *so* scared of provoking threats by backing up your ridiculous story, but you *will* come on here and do everything else under the sun to provoke me and everyone else here. Also, speaking of dodging things, you’ve been dodging a retraction of misstatements since the first time you posted here. See link above. Address those before you talk about others dodging issues. I have drafted most of a post about this issue and will probably publish soon, seeking advice as to whether to ban you. Meanwhile, let’s see those e-mails. — P]

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  20. As for the controversial “ambivalence” in the article, if you have enough mental facilities to read an entire sentence, the rest of the sentence explains exactly what that ambivalence is about. Michell’s quoting that out of context and it’s purely political. This is ridiculous.

    Also, lying Michelle claims that “…the Times assures us that Smallwood has no ideological ax to grind.” Oh, really? Where? In fact, the article does mention her poltical activism:

    Smallwood has two signed photos of Bush on the wall of her office, one of them thanking her for contributing to the Republican National Committee.

    This is much ado about nothing.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  21. Correction: sorry – you have to actually read two whole sentences to find out what they mean about ambivalence. But you get the point.

    Psyberian (dd13d6)

  22. The best part is Gold’s reply, in which she parks you — deftly, gently, firmly — back into your dark little extremist corner. It’s a technique called wit, and a tactic called understatement – concepts that are clearly foreign (alien?) around your part of the world (where freeways are clogged only because of those shifty, felonious illegals.)

    NK: I hope you have been able to find happiness with your hand reamer from Sears.

    Meanwhile, Paterick Frey Prevaricator: I am glad to see that Gold has tucked you back into your dark, dank fascistic corner. The place where the mold spores grow.

    The reason to ban jmaharry is for being deeply disturbed.

    Gerald A (dd601b)

  23. Posting information that can be considered technically accurate (if you parse it the right way), but nevertheless misleading to readers, can be just as corrosive of trust as an outright falsehood. That’s what the Times did in this case. Such half-truths are corrosive of its own credibility, a commodity not in unlimited supply. It’s disturbing to see the Times remain in a state of denial about this.

    Bradley J. Fikes (d61e91)

  24. jmaharry/drumaster says:

    He’s not relying on associations, memberships or affiliations to, as you would have it, distort or shape his story. Rather, he relies on emperical evidence, and the word of his interviewee.

    This is just scary. On what planet are associations, memberships and affiliations distortions of the truth and what someone says is emperical evidence?

    So now judging what people say against what they actually do is being an extremist?

    This is so ridiculous on so many levels that I could write an entire dissertation on these two sentences alone.

    jmaharry/drumaster is a troll.

    Dark Lord Xenu (af8a25)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1685 secs.