Patterico's Pontifications


Been There, Done That . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:13 pm

Dr. Helen (Glenn Reynolds’s wife) has the following ridiculous suggestion (via her hubby):

Post comments around on various lefty blogs such as FireDogLake, The Daily Kos or Alicublog. These comments should disagree with the view of the host or view of the blog or diary; for example, state that you support Israel at the Daily Kos, wonder if feminists who are against sexual harrassment should support Bill Clinton at FireDogLake, and/or politely stand up for colleagues at Alicublog who you feel have been treated unfairly just because they disagree with the views of the host. Now, check back to evaluate scores for these paragons of openness for their ideas, actions and feelings. If your comments have been troll-scored by the Kossacks, deleted by Jane Hamsher, or ridiculed by whoever runs the Alicublog, give an openness score of zero. Negative bonus points if you are called a douche, told to stay in your place so as not to “assail your betters,” or have a racial slur thrown your way.

Thanks . . . but no thanks!

Incidentally, Glenn told me that his wife really enjoyed the Stashiu series on Gitmo. (I really appreciated that — both her saying so, and his passing it along.) So she’s not as crazy as the above suggestion makes her seem . . .

Patterico: Looks Like Bill Engvall???

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:43 pm

I had a guy today tell me that I look like Bill Engvall.

I had no idea who that was. Turns out he’s one of those redneck comedians. Here’s a picture.

Anyone reading this seen me recently? Is the guy right? I am currently sporting a goatee, but that’s about as far as the similarities go, as far as I can tell. I think most guys with goatees look pretty much alike anyway.

Rick Ellensburg’s Curious “Logic”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:04 pm

Rick Ellensburg pretends to be Mr. Spock, the very king of logicians, in a post patronizingly titled Introduction to Logical Reasoning 101. In it, Ellensburg claims that I personally have “no standing” to voice any complaints about the treatment of Larry Craig, because some people in my “political movement” have made references to opponents’ sex lives.

Of course, this is simply attributing others’ arguments to me, which is a logical fallacy itself. All Ellison/Ellers accomplishes is to show that, if you personally tar a blogger with every sin committed by people in the same party that the blogger most often agrees with, you can justify any old illogical attack on that blogger. Dishonestly painting the right portion of the blogosphere with a wide brush is Greenwald’s favorite tactic.

But it’s not very “logical.”

If it were, then “logically,” Glenn Greenwald would have “no standing” to complain about any Congressman pursuing underage boys, or even screwing them. After all, Gerry Studds had sex with a 17-year-old boy. Yet when Studds died recently, people in Greenwald’s “political movement” — liberal Democrats — did not condemn Studds, but rather praised him. Ergo, therefore, and thusly, Glenn Greenwald personally has “no standing” to say a word about Congressmen chasing underage boys. Accordingly, I expect that from this point forward, Greenwald will shut his festering yap on the subject of Mark Foley.

To think otherwise would be . . . illogical.

P.S. I love how Wilson/Ellison/Ellers/Ellensburg won’t tell us whether he’s for outing or against it. That way, he can let his followers believe he’s for it — a logical conclusion, based on his apparent defense of outing (given that he harshly and unfairly criticizes those like me, who are against it). At the same time, should anyone on the right actually have the gall to note that he seems to be for it, he can claim that — for all we know — he might be against it.

To recap: Ellensburg is weaseling this issue. How very unlike him! Don’t make us guess, Rickie my boy! Muster some courage and tell us what you actually think.

UPDATE: In the same post, Greenwald derides Kirsten Powers as someone who “giggles” with Michelle Malkin and Bill O’Reilly about those crazy liberals, thus playing the role Fox News wants her to play as token but non-dangerous liberal. For a mere giggly girl, Powers makes a pretty good point about Greenwald: for all his suggestions that he may very well be against outing, his lengthy screed contains not one line that clearly says so.

Pretty sharp girl, that giggly KP.

Larry Craig Story Hits Big Media Web Sites

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:31 pm

USA Today and CBS News now have pieces on their web sites about Mike Rogers’s allegations that Senator Larry Craig is a closeted homosexual who engaged in sordid sexual encounters in public restrooms.

The CBS piece is a blog entry, and the USA Today piece is a column. No matter. The dam is broken. We’re seeing only a trickle now, but it’s about to be a flood.

I predict that, by the weekend, the story will have hit most of the major newspapers, and will be discussed on the Sunday yakkers. All using the excuse that “the blogosphere is buzzing” or phrases to that effect.

This is the approach used on today’s Big Media web site entries. The authors pretend that they aren’t reporting the allegations, so much as they are reporting or commenting on others’ discussions about the allegations. For example: an entry on CBS News’s “Public Eye” site blames it all on the Spokane Spokesman-Review, and waxes philosophical about the implications:

On Wednesday, the Spokane Spokesman-Review made the controversial decision to run a story about rumors swirling around Idaho Senator Larry Craig – a story that likely never would have seen the light of day a few short years ago. The basics of the story are as follows: Gay-rights activist Mike Rogers claimed on his blog and a syndicated radio program that confidential sources had provided him information concerning consensual homosexual relationships involving Craig. The senator responded to the story through a spokesperson, calling it “completely ridiculous.”

You can read the paper’s story here for the background and comments by Rogers and Craig’s spokesperson. What makes this particular incident an interesting test case, though, is not the detail — it’s the existence of the story itself. Until recently, the traditions of journalism would have kept such a story from being written. Rumors, of course, have always been a staple of politics, but news outlets have traditionally shied away from repeating those rumors out of concern that doing so would provide a level of validation. News organizations also legitimately feel that they would be doing the dirty work of political opponents to push rumor and innuendo.

None of that is to say legitimate journalists couldn’t try to look into such rumors, but the old rules mandated real evidence be produced before a public airing. In today’s atmosphere, however, when rumors can fly around the world in an instant, there is a direct challenge to the media’s old way of dealing with such stories. If the media ignores it, they appear oblivious to the world they purportedly are covering. If they cover it, they’re open to charges of rumor-mongering. So what to do?

The answer is easy: talk about how others are talking about it. If the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported it, it must be news! A similar piece approach is used in the USA Today column:

Journalists love to expose hypocritical politicians, like environmentalists who drive SUVs or the traditional values pols who frequent strip clubs. But the mainstream media (aka “old media” or MSM) have long been reluctant to write about closeted gay politicians, even those espousing an anti-gay rights agenda.

A blogger obliterated that line last week.

Although these web entries pretend to be simply reporting on others’ reporting, they’re not really fooling anyone. This is simply a back-door way to report Rogers’s allegations, despite the fact that the sourcing of the allegations doesn’t meet the standards that these organizations pretend to adhere to when publishing such explosive accusations.

By the way: while I think that the allegations never should have been made in the first place, I do think it’s appropriate to discuss them at this point. Whatever you think of Rogers’s actions — and I happen to think they are despicable — Rogers has a track record of accuracy in making similar allegations. That doesn’t mean they’re true; the sources are still anonymous and the entire story is completely unverified. But my precept for journalism is: tell the reader what you know and what you don’t know. As long as news organizations do this, I think it’s legitimate to air stories like this.

But, Big Media types, some advice: don’t pretend that you’re above it, and don’t bypass your nonexistent “standards” by reporting on the “buzz.” That’s gutless. If you think the story is worth discussing, discuss it.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Big Media’s “standards” are really no different than those of the bloggers they decry. It’s time for Big Media to admit it.

Reacting to Jonah Goldberg’s Column on the War

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 6:58 am

I’m not always a fan of Jonah Goldberg, whose desire to be funny sometimes causes him to say silly things. But this column on the Iraq war is thought-provoking. I think it’s worth quoting at length, so I can give my reactions. Please share yours in the comments.


Will the L.A. Times Ever Publish Jack Dunphy Again?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:00 am

LAPD officer and brilliant pseudonymous columnist Jack Dunphy called me Monday, to tell me that the L.A. Times won’t be publishing his op-eds any more — at least as long as he uses a pseudonym.

But I checked into it and it may be a miscommunication between Dunphy and the folks at The Times. What does appear clear is that The Times is taking a harder line on printing op-eds by authors using pseudonyms. What this policy means for Jack Dunphy remains to be seen.

Details in the extended entry.


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