Patterico's Pontifications


Judith Regan’s ‘Mel Gibson’ Moment

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Justin Levine @ 5:52 pm

[published by Justin Levine – not Patterico] 

Memo to Super Lawyer Bert Fields:

If you threaten to file a defamation lawsuit against somebody, you had better be real sure that you have the goods on the defendant. Otherwise, it is likely to do your client even more PR damage than if you had just kept your mouth shut.

I would have figured that somebody like Fields would have figured this out by now. But I guess not.

[published by Justin Levine]

Marc Danziger’s Jam(a)il Hussein Post is Up

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:46 pm

As you probably already know, Marc Danziger has his post up on Jamil Hussein. As he says, it’s not quite what he’d expected to post. Go to this link to read it. I’ll offer commentary in an update when I get time.

UPDATE: If you’re looking for analysis now — and frankly, better analysis than I’ll likely be able to give — go to Allah at Hot Air. Allah tells you what’s important about Marc’s post in the light of what we already knew. This is the sort of thing Allah does better than anyone.

I agree with him that “Armed Liberal did yeoman’s work but the results, alas, didn’t match the hype.” In my own update, I’ll explain a little more of what I expected to see, and why I thought it would be important.

Some of that, by the way, may be yet to come.

UPDATE x2: Here’s what got me excited. When I spoke to him by phone, Marc told me that it looked like Jam(a)il Hussein was indeed at the Yarmouk station, but 1) wasn’t even a Captain; 2) was a Baathist holdover (much as Maj. Jeff Pool had predicted in my “third way” post); and 3) had a poor reputation for honesty. I’m not talking out of school here — Marc says this in today’s post:

[A]fter some calls, IMs, and e-mail we get a call back by Sat night (California time)/Sunday morning (Baghdad time); there is no Capt. Jamil Hussein at Yarmouk, but there is a Sergeant by that name, with a somewhat dubious reputation (worked directly under Uday, Baathist remnant, etc.).

This, to me, seemed like potentially important information. However, further investigation complicated the picture, as you can see from Marc’s post.

Also, Marc said he was working on getting pictures of all four mosques alleged to have been burned. Again, he mentions this in his post:

[T]wo different sources in Hurriyah confirm that at least two of the mosques in question are just fine, are standing strong, a couple of bullet marks on them, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. We also hear that they are closed for worship from fear of retaliatory attacks. There are two other mosques there that were claimed to have been attacked (the claim was later reduced to one) and we’ll see if we can get some pictures of them all, at which point we’ll have some facts to report.

So as of when I hyped his post, it was looking like: 1) Jam(a)il Hussein had been located and determined to be a noncredible Saddam holdover; and 2) we might have the first real photographic proof I’ve seen that four mosques were not burned, despite the AP‘s original claim that they were.

That seemed hypeworthy to me — although I loaded my post with caveats like:

If everything comes together the way he hopes it will . . .


If he’s able to put together what he told me about on the phone . . .


. . . if this comes together . . .

I think we’re still waiting to see, frankly. Marc’s post doesn’t tell us everything about “Who is Jam(a)il Hussein” — but it tells us something. What that is, exactly, is not clear. We need more time and information to see what the significance of his work really is.

And we may never know for sure.

To some extent, as Marc says, “I think we discovered something, but it turns out probably not to have been useful.” Except that more information is always useful, to the extent it leads us closer to the truth. The worry is that the truth will remain ever elusive, but that’s not a reason to fail to seek it.

Me, I’m still interested to see those pictures . . . and Marc says they may be coming.

UPDATE x3: After further reflection and another conversation with Marc, I think he’s found a lot. Rather than explain it in a new update, I’m going to do a new post.

Perez Hilton – Hero of the Internet

Filed under: Civil Liberties,General,Law,Public Policy — Justin Levine @ 1:56 pm

[posted by Justin – not Patterico] is not only one of the best sites on the Internet, but a recent front page news article demonstrates why Perez should be considered to be a bona fide hero to bloggers everywhere.

A few choice cuts from the article:

On one side: the paparazzi who stalk celebrities in their moments of greatest vulnerability — at doctors’ offices, with their newborns, when they are falling-down drunk.

On the other: a blogger who helps himself to those photos, scrawls puerile comments on them, and posts them on his immensely popular and profitable website.

The owners of one L.A. photo agency are so frustrated with what they consider to be blatant theft by self-styled “gossip gangsta” Perez Hilton that they’ve decided to make a federal case of it.

On Nov. 30, X17 Inc., known for the aggressive pursuit of celebrity prey, filed a $7.6-million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Hilton, alleging that he has used 51 photos without permission, payment or credit.

If it turns out that what he does is copyright infringement — rather than a fair use of newsworthy images, as Hilton’s attorney claims — (more…)

David Mills on the LAT (Non-)Coverage of the Long Beach Black-on-White Hate Crime

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Race — Patterico @ 6:46 am

David Mills, a former reporter and a black lifelong Democrat, recently wrote Romenesko to criticize the L.A. Times for its lack of coverage of a black-on-white hate crime in Long Beach:

We have in Los Angeles an ongoing case study of what happens when a major American newspaper is confronted with an event outside of its politically correct comfort zone. The LAT isn’t doing itself proud.

On Halloween night, in an upscale neighborhood of Long Beach called Bixby Knolls, three young white women were surrounded and severely beaten by about 30 black youths, who allegedly punctuated their assault with comments like “We hate white people, f— whites.” One of the victims suffered multiple facial fractures; reportedly she was struck with a skateboard. Ten black kids, ages 12 to 17, are currently on trial for felony assault. Eight of them are charged with a hate-crime enhancement. Nine of them are girls.

. . . .

The Halloween mob assault appears to be the worst instance of black-on-white violence in Southern California since Reginald Denny took a cinder block to the head. Why is the LA Times covering it so grudgingly? The only reference to the beatings on the op-ed page came last Sunday, when Michael McGough, a senior editorial writer, wrote of this case: “I wouldn’t dare to prejudge [it] even if the facts weren’t so murky.” He then fretted that an “unintended consequence” of hate-crime laws is that “such laws could end up punishing blacks who commit violence against whites — which is a far cry from the historical experience that inspired hate-crime statutes.”

Say what? I didn’t realize that hate-crime laws were supposed to punish only white people. Presented with a shocking instance of black-on-white violence, the Times thinks the only larger issue worth discussing is whether hate-crime legislation is wrongheaded?

There is much more at the link.

Fishbowl LA followed up with Mills, who said some very interesting things. An excerpt:

I don’t live anywhere near Long Beach, nor do I have any particular knowledge of these beatings. This case just happened to push my buttons. I’m black, I’m a former newspaper reporter (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times), and I’m a lifelong Democrat, but as I get older (now 45), I’ve become disenchanted with the liberal orthodoxy on race. We need to talk more frankly about things like crime.

The L.A. Times coverage of the Long Beach attack is so obviously underplayed, and its reporting so passive, I have to wonder whether political inhibitions have overcome the editors’ news judgement. Do they think they’ll be accused of racist rabble-rousing if they play the daily trial coverage on the cover of the California section? In other words, are they cowardly? Or is it deeper than that? Do they truly believe, in their hearts, that a black-on-white mob assault is less newsworthy than a white-on-black mob assault would be?

Read it all.

UPDATE: I should note that Mills’s letter and the Fishbowl LA post are both more than a week old. The paper has done stories about the trial since then.

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