Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Runs One-Sided Story . . . Jeez, I Could Use This Headline for Half of My Posts!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Politics,Race — Patterico @ 12:02 am

A black Democrat runs for political office, and Republicans sponsor an advertisement attacking his record. Democrats assert that the commercial has racial overtones. Republicans claim that the ad makes a perfectly valid point about the candidate’s hypocrisy, as well as his devious way of answering questions.

A responsible media outlet describing such a commercial would simply report all the relevant facts, and let its readers decide which interpretation is true. (It might even link the ad on the Web version of its article!)

By contrast, an irresponsible leftist media outlet that favored the “racial overtones” explanation would present only those facts that support the assertion that the commercial is racially charged. Meanwhile, any hint that the commercial might be making a legitimate point would be excised from the story — neatly and cleanly, like a skilled surgeon removes a cancerous growth.

If the operation is successful, readers will never know there is another side to the story.

I’ll give you one guess as to which way the L.A. Times handled one such situation yesterday.

[Cue Jeopardy theme music.]

The correct answer, as you have no doubt guessed, is that the L.A. Times handled this situation with the hackery and dishonesty that you have come to expect from this newspaper.

The short version is that the paper has an entire article about how Republicans are racist for running a commercial in which a white actress says she met Ford at a “Playboy party.” Yet the article fails entirely to explain the relevance of the reference: namely, that there is an ongoing controversy in Tennessee regarding Ford’s attendance at a Playboy party, including his and his campaign’s lame attempts to implicitly deny it. Readers are left completely in the dark — as L.A. Times readers so often are.

Here are the full details:

Yesterday the L.A. Times ran an article titled GOP attack ad draws heat for racial overtones. The deck headline read: “The Tennessee spot is denounced as more of the ‘Southern strategy.'” The story opens:

A new Republican Party television ad featuring a scantily clad white woman winking and inviting a black candidate to “call me” is drawing charges of race-baiting, with critics saying it contradicts a landmark GOP statement last year that the party was wrong in past decades to use racial appeals to win support from white voters.

Ah, “critics.” Isn’t it wonderful how they tend to hold leftist viewpoints? That’s why I love reading their opinions in newspapers. I’m sure you feel the same way. At least, the L.A. Times is sure that you do — and so the article is filled to the brim with opinions from the “critics.” Let’s hear more from them, shall we?

Critics said the ad, which is funded by the Republican National Committee and has aired since Friday, plays on fears of interracial relationships to scare some white voters in rural Tennessee to oppose Democratic Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. Ford is locked in a tight race, hoping to become the first African American senator since Reconstruction to represent a state in the former Confederacy.

It is a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African American men and white women,” said [critic] Hilary Shelton, head of the Washington office of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, the country’s oldest civil rights organization.

A former Republican senator, [critic] William S. Cohen of Maine, was more blunt. Cohen, who was also Defense secretary under President Clinton, said on CNN that the ad was “a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment.”

We hear plenty more from the critics during the course of the article, but first let’s find out what the commercial actually says. There’s no link, of course, so we’ll have to settle for a verbal description of this insidious ad:

The 30-second ad features fictional characters satirizing Ford.

A black woman notes that Ford “looks good” and asks, “Isn’t that enough?” Others suggest Ford backs privacy for terrorists, accepts money from the pornography industry, wants to raise taxes and backs letting Canada deal with the North Korea nuclear threat.

The character who has raised complaints is a blond woman who speaks in a hushed, suggestive tone and says that she met Ford at “the Playboy party.”

At the end of the ad, she reappears and says: “Harold, call me.” She winks and holds her hand up as if holding a phone.

So a character — one of several in this 30-second commercial — says that she met Ford at “the Playboy party.” Hmmmm. What’s that all about?

Incredibly, the article never tells us. Instead, it leaves the reader with the impression that this is simply a white woman conjured up out of thin air by racist Republicans to scare hick white trash in Tennessee with the thought that she might have a relationship with a black man. The article is nothing but a long series of complaints from critics screaming that the ad is nothing but base racism. Only a single brief pause for a defensive-sounding and entirely unilluminating quote from a Republican shill fulfills the mandatory obligation of presenting the “other side.”

The idea that there might be a controversy involving Ford and a “Playboy party” never quite gets mentioned . . . even once.

“Playboy party”?? What is this mention of a “Playboy party”?!?! Why, Times reporters and editors have no idea what the commercial is talking about!!

Well, guess what? There is indeed a controversy involving Ford and a Playboy party. Unlike most L.A. Times readers, Tennessee voters know exactly what the ad is referring to. Byron York recently explained:

One minor argument in the Tennessee Senate race is over Rep. Harold Ford’s reported attendance at a Super Bowl party thrown by Playboy magazine in Jacksonville in 2005. Republicans, who note that Ford has taped a campaign ad inside a church, accuse him of hypocrisy — of partying with Playmates and then promoting himself as a man of faith.

Now, I’ll grant you that this may not be the most effective controversy ever raised by a political campaign. Glenn Reynolds calls it “pretty weak tea,” and I tend to agree.

But the L.A. Times has no business pretending that the controversy doesn’t even exist. For all I know, the “Playboy party” controversy resonates with some voters — for completely non-racist reasons. After all, some voters are more moralistic than Glenn Reynolds is — or than I am, for that matter. And if a political campaign wants to play to those voters, it’s a legitimate point of attack.

Apparently Harold Ford, Jr. and his campaign are worried about this . . . because they weaseled the issue, big-time. And, just as the cover-up is always worse than the crime, the Ford campaign’s sneaky attempts to mislead voters on the issue are actually a legitimate issue, even if the initial moralistic accusation might have been a poor argument for some voters. For more on Ford’s slippery treatment of this issue, let’s go to the Hendersonville Star News:

The way Republicans like to tell it, Harold Ford Jr. partied with Playboy playmates at a Super Bowl Party last year.

So, was he there or not?

Responses from the Memphis Democrat and his campaign have varied:

His campaign, when asked Monday, said the war in Iraq, not Playboy parties, is what reporters should be inquiring about in the U.S. Senate race.

Then, later in the day, campaign adviser Michael Powell said, “Consider the source. It was in a gossip column.”

In Ford’s own words, he told interviewer George Stephanopoulos a couple of Sundays ago, “I’ve never been to a Playboy mansion party.”

Which is true . . . in the Clintonian sense. Meaning that it’s technically true, but designed to mislead. As it turns out, Ford did indeed attend the Playboy Super Bowl party. It’s just that this particular Playboy party, with its scantily-clad Playmates, took place in Jacksonville, Florida — not at the Playboy mansion in California.

So Ford tried to mislead people with a technically accurate but highly deceptive comment.

Tennessee voters have heard about that, too.

But not one word of this controversy makes it into the article in the Los Angeles Times. There is not one word about the possible hypocrisy of a candidate who films campaign commercials in churches, but parties with Playboy bunnies. (I just want to see you try to claim with a straight face that a Republican candidate could get away with that.) There is not one word about the fact that his campaign spokesman tried to suggest that the rumors of his attendance at the party were false, when Ford damn well knew they were true. There is not one word about the fact that Ford falsely implied — with a highly technical and carefully worded denial — that he had not attended a Playboy party.

Nope. None of this merits space in the article. Because it’s all about the racism!!

But Ford is black, and the actresss who claims she met Ford at a Playboy party is white!! Surely that’s racist!! Except that, as Allahpundit notes:

Of course, if they’d used a black actress instead, the left would want to know why they’d deliberately broken from the stereotype of the blonde white playmate.

Come on. Try to deny it.

The L.A. Times article ends with this passage, which (like the rest of the article) virtually screams the message: “We love Ford and think that his opponent is a big jerk!”:

A new response ad by Ford that began airing Monday features the candidate, talking to the camera, accusing [Ford opponent Bob] Corker of unleashing attacks rather than talking issues.

“If I had a dog,” Ford says, “he’d probably kick him too.”

[Rim shot.]

This article is one big advertisement for Harold Ford, Jr.

Look, it’s generally accepted that the L.A. Times is a joke as a newspaper covering national issues. (Via L.A. Observed.) I can’t say that articles like this are the reason. But they should be.

P.S. There is no link to the actual ad in the Web version of the Times article, which is just pathetic and lazy. It’s inexcusable to run an entire article about an ad without giving readers a link to the ad, so they can watch it themselves. Blogs treat you better. You can watch the ad here.

44 Responses to “L.A. Times Runs One-Sided Story . . . Jeez, I Could Use This Headline for Half of My Posts!”

  1. Patterico wrote:

    “There is not one word about the possible hypocrisy of a candidate who films campaign commercials in churches, but parties with Playboy bunnies. (I just want to see you try to claim with a straight face that a Republican candidate could get away with that.)”

    Indeed, this did sort of happen with the Bruce Herschensohn senatorial campaign back in 1992. On the eve of the campaign, Democrats smeared Herschensohn on the grounds that he had attended the Seventh Veil, which Dems described as a “nude bar”.

    Herschensohn’s “hypocricy”, according to the Left, was he attended a nude bar while at the same time opposing federal funding for pornographic art exhibits.

    Got that?

    Well, apparently California voters did get it; Herschensohn lost by a whisker to Barbara Boxer.

    If that was fair game back in 1992, certainly Harold Ford Jr. attending a Playboy party should be fair game now.

    DubiousD (e715b1)

  2. Well, apparently California voters did get it; Herschensohn lost by a whisker to Barbara Boxer.

    A gift that keeps on giving.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  3. Why Pat, I’m amazed that you didn’t make the connection: they were going to explain in more completely, but that’s when the white powder from your previous story evacuated the building, which put them behind, and they just never caught up to complete the Ford piece.

    And here you thought it was bias!

    Dana (3e4784)

  4. The Herschenson comment failed to note that he had been invited to the strip club by a “friend” who may have set him up for a Barbara Boxer sting. The single visit was, of course, morphed into an obsession with pornography. Similar tactics were used on Bill Simon, the GOP candidate for governor in 2000. He was accused of business ethical violations that vanished after the election. Amazing how that happens.

    Mike K (416363)

  5. There is indeed a controversy involving Ford and a Playboy party. – Patterico

    Because Byron York says so?

    There’s controversy over Corker’s mayoral record and Ford’s unsavory kinfolk. Over a state sales tax, maybe. Corker’s former pro-choice abortion position isn’t even getting traction.

    There wasn’t an ongoing flap over the Super Bowl party.

    The ad was placed so Corker could take the moral high road and play the “I’m disgusted” card. It premiered the same day with an ad shot in similar style and background scenes in which Corker personally appears.

    [Oh, come on. You’re denying that there is a controversy? George Snuffleupagus asked him about it. I link an article above from a local paper about it. It’s a controversy, steve. I cite York only because he summarizes it well. I can’t believe you’re implying there’s no controversy. — P]

    steve (958fe5)

  6. The brassy trailer-trash blonde in the ad with the gaudy K-Mart jewelery couldn’t get into a “Girls Gone Wild” video, much less a Super Bowl party with Ashton Kutcher, singer Nick Lachey, comedian Chris Rock, NFL player Kyle Boller, NASCAR king Jeff Gordon and a still-single Congressman.

    George Snuffleupagus asked him about it. I link an article above from a local paper about it. – Patterico

    After the October 3rd ad started running, yes. This was NOT an ongoing controversy.

    Ken Mehlman says he can’t take the ad down in spite of its tagline: “The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertisement. Paid for by the Republican National Committee and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.”

    RUSSERT: Ken Mehlman, the Republican candidate in Tennessee has asked that you take that ad off the air, that it is over the top. Former Republican Senator William Cohen says it’s, quote, “overt racist appeal.”

    Will you take that ad down?

    MEHLMAN: Tim, I don’t have the authority to take it down or put it up. It’s what called an independent expenditure.

    This was an opportunity to remind TN knuckle-draggers Ford dates white women and for Corker to play the role of the shocked and morally superior candidate.

    steve (958fe5)

  7. Steve, we understand your intense partisanship, however, it is true that Ford has been asked on several occasions about the Playboy party.

    Had Ford truthfully answered the question the first time he was asked, it probably would not have mushroomed into a controversy being talked about on the Sunday morning talk shows.
    Now, everyone knows about it.

    And your objecting to a perceived racial overtone—and then lobbing YOUR OWN racial insult at the Tennessee electorate, hardly bolsters your argument—it merely reaffirms your partisanship.

    Desert Rat (ee9fe2)

  8. Corker’s up by 5 points in the latest LATimes/Bloomberg poll.

    The ad may be working as intended with rural voters and church-goers.

    Ron Brownstein’s poll summary:

    “Among whites who attend church once a week or more… Corker easily led among this group, 62% to 29%, even though Ford has stressed his religious faith.”

    steve (958fe5)

  9. Steve,

    The fact that Corker is up by 5 points does not in any way support your premise that it is on account of an ad.

    First of all, I would submit that Corker’s advantage among rural people who attend church services is an advantage that Corker enjoyed from the get-go.
    After all, Tennessee is a red state.

    But Ford ran in the first place because the Democrats believed he could poll well in a red state on account of the Ford family’s political legacy within the state—that’s hardly a strategy to take if they believed the state is full of “Deliverance” constituents, as you ignorantly attempted to characterize Tennessee.

    If there has been a shift in the polling numbers, one cannot discount that Ford has had an awful couple of weeks.
    Corker undressed Ford in their debates on television, and then Ford crashed Corker’s press conference, where Ford appeared immature and foolish.

    Perhaps, you’ll express your outrage about the hit job done in the Senate race by Maryland Democrats against Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, whom Steny Hoyer characterized as “slavish” to the Republican party.

    Desert Rat (ee9fe2)

  10. You’re out of touch or in denial if you think race doesn’t trump in Volunteer State politics.

    The Blacks on Blondes aspect was entirely coincidental. Yeah.

    Locked in a tight re-election against former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Jesse Helms pulled it out one last time with his famous end-of-campaign ad that showed a pair of white hands crumpling a rejection letter, while an announcer said, “You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota.”

    Harold Ford, incidentally, says he has no qualms: “I like football and I like girls.”

    steve (958fe5)

  11. Locked in a tight re-election against former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Jesse Helms pulled it out one last time

    Tennessee, North Carolina, they’re all the same to you. You’ve never been to either of them…

    The Ace (22647b)

  12. Why would anyone want to have been to either one of them?

    Leviticus (3c2c59)

  13. There is an ongoing controversy in Tennessee regarding Ford’s attendance at a Playboy party


    I mean, i’ll grant the point of your post, that there’s a controversy and that’s why the scene is in the ad.

    But why is this controversial? ISTM that, like his sexuality, what parties a candidate goes to are irrelevant, unless there’s some reason to believe that the party was used for the purpose of bribing him.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  14. aphrael:

    I think that, for many folks, there is a belief (right or wrong) that one’s personal behavior is both reflective of one’s morals, and that said behavior and morality is of import in your suitability to hold higher office.

    Whether or not that is actually true, that is a perception, and a not uncommon one. Thus, there were concerns about whether we would ever elect a divorced man as President (this was raised in the 1970s about Ronald Reagan).

    Similarly, one would assume that one’s religion is a personal issue, yet the path from Al Smith, through JFK, to Mitt Romney again suggests that there is a link drawn by much of the electorate between one’s personal views and beliefs, and what your potential policy preferences might be.

    Of course, few believe today that a Catholic will necessarily “submit to Rome” in matters of public policy—but that concern is still there. (I remember Cuomo having to address this back in the late 1980s.)

    Similarly, then, there is the perception that one who leads a dissolute life will, at a minimum, be open to temptation and even blackmail, and at worst, may well actually do things that counter the will of the people (and the law).

    In the case of Ford (and I should note I’m not a Tennessean), one also has to wonder if there isn’t scandal-fatigue among the electorate? Clinton was scandalous (which doesn’t necessarily mean he was a bad President), the constant drumbeat of Foleys and Reids and the rest is perhaps leading folks to ask if there isn’t someone out there who isn’t already tainted, even before they’re elected?

    And let’s be honest: Partying with the Playboy bunnies isn’t something anyone seeking higher office is going to want on their resume.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  15. I think that, for many folks, there is a belief (right or wrong) that ones personal behavior is both reflective of ones morals, and that said behavior and morality is of import in your suitability to hold higher office.

    I get that part. 🙂 The step i’m missing is how partying with playboy bunnies reflects on your morality; it strikes me as being neither moral nor immoral, at least not without making a whole bunch of assumptions that I can’t reasonably make.

    [I don’t see it as an issue, personally. What I think is wrong is for the article to hide the context of the commercial. For example, I am against the alleged outing of Larry Craig. But let’s pretend it’s 2008 and someone runs an anti-Craig commercial in which an apparently gay male character makes a reference to meeting Craig at a Union Station bathroom. That would be a low, disgusting commercial. But it would be bizarre for a paper to report on the commercial, to decry it as anti-gay, but include not one word about the Mike Rogers allegations — making it seem as though the allusion came out of nowhere. — P]

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  16. And let’s be honest: Partying with the Playboy bunnies isn’t something anyone seeking higher office is going to want on their resume. – Lurking Observer

    As we know, there are never barely-clad bimbos at NASCAR events with GOP office-holders stumping.

    There was no “ongoing controversy” prior to the October 3rd ad. It premiered at a time Ford was slightly up in polls.

    Corker now has pulled ahead and will likely prevail. He’s a decent guy who did good things in Chattanooga. I suspect he’ll represent Tennesseeans better than Frist.

    The Blacks on Blondes aspect was in the tool box. It checkmate’s Corker’s entire 2001-2005 mayoral and 1996 State Finance Commissioner records disappearing.

    Timing’s everything.

    steve (958fe5)

  17. Did’nt Ford’s Daddy,at the pro-life demonstraters outside a campaign office, call the group ” cracers”? I believe that is obviously a racial word and yet the Ford campaign calls the GOP ad racial? What would they have done if the women were black in the ad?
    And what was it with Ford saying that some ad., featuring him ,had darkened his skin color? I would’nt think that would be embraced by his african-american fans.

    alexandra2 (015be6)

  18. Again, you lefties can entertain yourselves with your “Deliverance” fantasies of southern states, but if Ford’s ‘being black’ would automatically be such a dramatic hindrance, why are the Democrats running Ford in the first place, as opposed to a white Democrat ?

    And if Tennesseans were so racist that they would not vote for a black, wouldn’t that exclude Ford from running a close race with Corker from the get-go ?
    Yet it HAS been a close race.

    Just what exactly was revealed in the Playboy controversy that voters did not know prior—that Ford is BLACK ??

    No, they already ‘KNEW’ he was black (yet it was still a close race)—but what the Playboy controversy revealed is that Ford misled, or LIED to voters about the situation, and quite frankly, maybe many of the voters are not comfortable with a Senator who parties like it’s 1999—but that’s their prerogative as voters.
    It does not mean they’re ‘racist.’

    Ultimately, in a democracy, voters elect people who represent their values.
    Orrin Hatch, a Mormon, can win in Utah, but maybe he doesn’t win in New York.
    What represents the constituents of Utah, may not play in New York, or Taxachusetts, and vice-versa.

    Ted Kennedy left a woman to drown, yet has been returned to the Senate numerous times since.
    The voters of his state have decided that his value as a Senator outweighs ‘other’ factors.
    He may not have been re-elected by other states, such as Utah.
    Again, it’s the voters’ prerogative.

    West Virginians have decided to overlook Bob Byrd’s KKK past, and I never hear Democrats complaining about that.

    I’m still waiting for one of you lefties to take on Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer for saying last week that Michael Steele is “slavish” to the Republican party.

    Desert Rat (ee9fe2)

  19. Aphrael wrote:

    The step i’m missing is how partying with playboy bunnies reflects on your morality; it strikes me as being neither moral nor immoral, at least not without making a whole bunch of assumptions that I can’t reasonably make.

    Well, A, that it strikes you as neithermoral nor immoral means precisely that: it strikes you thus.

    Other people have the right to have such strike them differently, and if those other people are voters, they have the right to base their votes on whatever inputs or thoughts or feelings they choose.

    Dana (3e4784)

  20. It is true, of course, that those of us who grew up in Kentucky look upon Tennessee and anything to do with it (other than the Grand Old Opry) with utter disdain. 🙂

    Dana (3e4784)

  21. What is amusing, of course, is that our liberal friends are setting this one up to accuse the good citizens of Tennessee of being racists if they don’t elect Mr Ford, despite the fact that Tennessee is a fairly strongly “red” state, having voted for George Bush against its own (estranged) favorite son in 2000, and having voted in Republicans in its past recent Senate races.

    One wonders if our liberal friends will also accuse Ohioans of being racist if they don’t elect Ken Blackwell, or Pennsylvanians of being racist if they don’t vote in Lynn Swann.

    Dana (3e4784)

  22. The ad today was PULLED:

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006, at 3:11 p.m.

    The Republican National Committee is in the process of switching out a controversial ad featuring a white woman asking Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. to call her.

    Mike Costa, vice president and general manager of WTVC-TV 9, said the station has replaced the spot featuring the woman and replaced it with another RNC ad that claims Rep. Ford took money from “porn moguls” and “wants to give the abortion pill to our schoolchildren.”

    Tom Tolar, president and general manager of WRCB-TV 3, said the station has received instructions from its advertising agency to replace the spot.

    In a news release responding to the ad mentioning abortion pills, Ford campaign officials said, “every statement in the ad is false.”

    The Ford campaign has denounced both ads, but RNC spokesman Danny Diaz said the ad featuring the woman was not replaced because of controversy from its airing.

    “The ad has run its course, and we’re going to continue to talk about Harold Ford’s flawed record,” Mr. Diaz said.

    steve (958fe5)

  23. Dana: of course. People have the right to vote based on whatever they want.

    That doesn’t mean it’s wise, and that doesn’t mean I understand it. My comments in this thread have been aimed at garnering explanations, and “people have the right to do it” an explanation isn’t. 🙂

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  24. The Right To Be Poked…

    More insidious and engraining of actual racism is the assumption that everybody sees interracial sex the way the NAACP assumes ‘racist Republicans’ see it, and therefore political speech must be devoid of any image or message that suggests such an in…

    Cobb (72c8fd)

  25. Jungle Drums Oooga Booga!

    This morning about 6:45 I’m getting ready for work and have the radio tuned to the local mega talk station. The hosts are talking about the heat that the Corker/RNC ads are picking up, but are pretty neutral on them themselves, suggesting that the ruckus–and the suggestions of racism–are overblown. They’re going through some callers, when one says, “That’s nothing. Have you heard the jungle drums on the radio ad?”…

    So they play it, and, sure enough, the caller’s right. Soaring music underneath the copy when discussing Corker’s merits, jungle-like drumming when cutting to Ford’s demerits. The hosts were stone-silent when it finished, until one whistled, and said, “Damn.” They both agreed that the drumming–and the intent–was obvious.

    In other news, the Times may have held up publishing articles about illegal wiretaps for a year, but the made up for it a bit.

    In fact, an untold number of classified documents were kept from the members of the vital oversight committee from at least April to September of this year, according to the chairman’s spokesman. In an interview yesterday, he blamed the months-long delay on technical problems with the “equipment” which handles the reports. (Harman’s office did not return our phone calls and emails requesting comment.)

    Hoekstra’s spokesman told the Washington Post last month that a computer problem had delayed for months the distribution of the now-infamous National Intelligence Estimate on terror and the Iraq war, which was eventually leaked to the New York Times.

    “There was a bit of a snafu,” the paper quoted the chairman’s flack as saying.

    I wanted more detail on this “snafu.” So yesterday I called Hoekstra’s spokesman on the committee, Jamal Ware.

    The committee uses an internal, secure Web site to share classified documents, he said. “The equipment that would be used to scan [documents] into the system went down.”

    “A number of documents were not scanned in,” Ware told me. He couldn’t explain the precise nature of the problem, although he assured me it was more complicated than simply “running out to get a scanner” at an office supply store. Ware also declined to tell me how long classified documents were kept from committee members.

    According to Ware, since the Iraq terror NIE did not make it to the committee’s internal system, it was filed quietly away for months. With the exception of the committee’s security officer, who receives classified documents from the intelligence community to provide to the panel, no one on the committee knew that the document existed.

    Press reports suggest that New York Times reporters began sniffing around about the document in August or early September. According to a statement from intel committee member Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), a Times reporter’s inquiry about the document prompted Tierney to find out if it existed. That’s when the committee’s security officer turned up the document.

    A firestorm erupted after the Times revealed the existence of the Iraq terror NIE, which found that the threat of terrorism had worsened in the wake of the war. The administration quickly released a declassifed version of the Key Judgments to the public. The body of the estimate remains classified.

    “This was a very anonymous document until the people who illegally disclosed it chose to make it into something,” Ware told me.

    Steve Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, had a different take.

    “It’s an interaction with the press that catalyzed the whole process. When the press is locked out, you have to imagine that little or nothing gets done.” Calling intelligence oversight in the current Congress a “slapdash, lackadaisical affair,” he added: “You know, if the committees aren’t paying attention to the estimates, then either we don’t need the estimates, or we don’t need the committees.”

    So everything your boy’s done has been a total fuck-up. The country is less safe. The ports aren’t secure. Taxes are dropped during wartime. Anti-Profiteering safeguards are scrapped and profiteering goes through the roof. Meanwhile you link to Anne Althouse cause she’s whining about someone’s sloppy prose style, and have a fit when someone states the obvious: that republicans have a long history of using the race card. And then again, there’s always Nino

    Alois Fahyling (6aa211)

  26. Nino,

    LOL, why are you changing the topic….your doing the democratic rant……..i’m sure you can find topics here or elsewhere that discuss each point of your laundry list.

    All I can say about this radio conversation you heard concerning ” jungle-like drumming when cutting to Fords demerits.” Perhaps you could do a review of Disney movies!
    Again, Ford Sr. made a OBVIOUS racial comment when he referred to pro-life demonstraters as CRACERS. Perhaps you might like to share today’s meaning of this CRACERS term?

    [Actually, he didn’t say “crackers.” He said “trackers.” — P]

    alexandra2 (015be6)

  27. I don’t know why my post says NINO, when I obviously meant the angry rag of Alois.

    alexandra2 (015be6)

  28. Re #6 & 12,

    Lefties are quick to look down their noses at folks from Southern states, make snide and derogatory comments, and later wonder why so few voters from Dixie are supporting Democrats any more.

    Quite a puzzle isn’t it?

    Black Jack (539ee5)

  29. Alex baby, click on the damn link. Listen to the ad yourself.

    Alois Fahyling (6aa211)

  30. See a tongue-in-cheek visual that gives Mr. Mehlman a dose of his own “Innuendo” medicine…here:

    Daniel DiRito (066493)

  31. “This was an opportunity to remind TN knuckle-draggers Ford dates white women and for Corker to play the role of the shocked and morally superior candidate.”

    As opposed to the overstuffed Carrie Nations of race sensitivity who see racism in a Southerner’s morning glass of whole milk.

    Chris (926a19)

  32. Alois, I believe your a tad paranoid, baby.

    alexandra2 (015be6)

  33. I’ve contacted some family in Memphis, and this is their basic summation of the saga of Young Master Harold…

    The problem that Young Master Harold has run into is that he is trying to be two people at the same time – he wants to be the actually black Clinton, a protypical Ford but with better flair and panache (for sale to his Memphis power base), but he also wants to be a ‘centrist’ Bible-believin, gun-totin’, church-goin’ Man Of The People (for sale to everyone not in the 901 area code).

    In short, he’s gotten busted for trying to have it both ways.

    And in doing so, he’s managed to piss off a large chunk of his liberal bastion in Shelby County (check the blog “The Flypaper Theory” for details), as well as practically anyone else not living in Nashville or Knoxville with his waffling on the Playboy issue.

    Had he come out initially with Stepinawfulstuff and said what he said the other day, (“I like football, I like girls”), 90% of the male voters in the 615 area code would have been down with that, and the controversy would have disappeared, and he would have been enjoying smooth sailing to the Senate.

    But, like Bubba, he couldn’t come right out and admit to something that people might see as a fault. He’s got only himself to blame.

    Out of Rocky Top (044292)

  34. I bet the same people complained when the Colorado Democrat education lobby ran an anti-voucher campaign focused on “keep blacks and Mexicans out of your private schools.”


    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  35. Advice from Dan Savage:

    Harold Ford should film a response to the GOP’s racist attack ad. He should look into the camera and say this:

    “The Republicans have accused me of being a heterosexual man. They’re implying that I have an interest in women. It would seem that today’s Republican Party is more comfortable with elected officials—male elected officials—who take an interest in teenage boys. Mark Foley is acceptable to Ken Mehlman’s GOP. Heterosexual men, it seems, are not.”

    Is it gay baiting? Yes it is, but so fucking what? African Americans in the GOP turn a blind eye to the the race-bating that their party indulges in. Condi Rice, Colin Powell, and Ken Blackwell haven’t had much to say about this ad, huh? Because they don’t care what their party says or does so long as it keeps ‘em in power.

    If a little gay-baiting helps the Dems seize power, shit, gay bait away, Harold. Make that ad, Harold, and this fag will send you a big, fat, fucking gay check.

    Oh, –“cough”– Snap!

    Alois Fahyling (6aa211)

  36. “Lefties are quick to look down their noses at folks from Southern states, make snide and derogatory comments, and later wonder why so few voters from Dixie are supporting Democrats any more.

    Quite a puzzle isn’t it? ”

    -Black Jack

    It’s really a conundrum, I must admit. They do something stupid, we call them on it, they get mad and don’t vote for leftist candidates. Which came first, them doing something stupid or… oh wait, we couldn’t have called them on “it” if “it” hadn’t happened yet. HARR HARR HARR!

    Hmm… well, it’s probably our fault anyway.

    Which isn’t to say that my own ignorance doesn’t lead me to stereotype an entire group of people based solely on their place of residence. I do so often, IN JEST. In jest. It’s just a joke; you think I expected anyone to take a comment like #12 seriously?

    It’s a good thing I’M not running for office…

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  37. For some reason I’m on the side of Leviticus (Comment #36) on this point. I hate rednecks. I hate hippies too, but I would never shoot a hippie.

    nk (4d4a9d)

  38. Josh Marshall pointed out that all of the other parts of the add were anti-Ford by stupidly exaggerating his positions. You know “I love higher taxes”, etc. Only the bimbo is having a straight conversation. The ad is really about the bimbo, the rest is filler. And I have a feeling that the people this ad is aimed at are exactly the bigots who don’t want no Negroes attending parties with slutty white girls.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (09dbed)

  39. Ford has filmed a spot in church. He’s mad mention of his faith so often that even the evangelicals want to barf. Hugh Hefner and his magazine are extremely critical of Christianity. Why isn’t this a legitimate issue?

    What is even worse is the monumental hypocrisy of the lefty charge of racism in the Ford race. Ford, his dad, and his brother are blatantly using race and anti-semitism to run Ford’s idiot brother as an independent for his Congressional seat against a white Jew with the most liberal voting record in the legislature (who won the Dem primary).

    stan (9f9858)

  40. Alois

    I have heard the ad and it’s fairly standard, off the rack, dramatic music… and you really really have to listen hard to notice the drums at all. JUNGLE drumming? Only if you consider all drums, such as those in Thus Spoke Zarathustra (aka the theme of 2001 A Space Odessey) are “racist.”

    Some watch the movie King Kong and see a fantasty of a giant gorilla rampaging

    Some watch the movie King Kong and see a racist movie framing white imperialist superiority over primitive, uncivilized blacks.

    Any questions which of these two are the real racists?

    Darleen (03346c)

  41. I also think the Playboy ad is fair to point out Ford, as a Dem candidate, ain’t exactly a champion of women’s rights now, is he?

    What do the Dem feminists have to say about Ford’s cavorting in Hef’s lair?

    Darleen (03346c)

  42. In #25, Alois Fahyling wrote about Jungle Drums Ooga Booga! and added a link to a post at TPMCafe. I clicked directly on the link Patterico provided to the RNC Corker/Ford ad.

    No drums, jungle or otherwise, in that TV ad. Huh?

    Turns out that Alois was alluding to this RNC radio spot. Does it have a background of ooga booga racist jungle drums — or just some standard radio shtick, with low notes/percussion for the opponent’s theme and uplifting horns (clarinet?) for “Our Guy”?

    Nice try, Alois, I sympathize. That dang Interweb–ordinary people might figure out how to click on links for themselves. Misleading filler text is good, but it will only take an argument so far.

    AMac (6b3ee3)

  43. The liberals and their dirty work hidden by the SMELL A TIMES

    krazy kagu (2f4b46)

  44. […] The ad was not “racially tinged,” as I explained in this post. It made a legitimate point about whether Ford was hypocritical for portraying himself as a churchgoing type guy, when he had attended a Playboy party. (It’s not a point I agree with, but I can see where other voters might.) […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » L.A. Times Once Again Reports Legitimate Ad Against Ford as “Racially Tinged” (421107)

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