Patterico's Pontifications


Marcotte Issue Hits WaPo and NYT

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 11:36 pm

Amanda Marcotte has said,

you don’t pick on Twisty’s glorious coinage “godbag” without tangling with me.

And indeed, that glorious coinage shows up in quite a few of her posts.

But apparently the “godbags” have decided to tangle with her. The Washington Post (in an AP article) reports:

Two bloggers hired recently by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were criticized Tuesday by a Catholic group for posts they had written elsewhere on the Internet.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, demanded that Edwards fire Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan.

“John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots,” Donohue wrote in a statement. “He has no choice but to fire them immediately.”

And the New York Times has more:

Ms. Marcotte wrote in December that the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of contraception forced women “to bear more tithing Catholics.” In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Well, don’t leave us in suspense, New York Times! What did she say? The New York Times won’t tell you — but that’s what blogs are for, right? Here you go:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?

A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.


The New York Times also has a quote from that post she deleted about the Duke lacrosse non-rape case:

She has also written sarcastically about the news media coverage of the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault, saying: “Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.”

I disagree with Donahue. As I have already said, I urge John Edwards to keep these bloggers on.

Because when it comes down to it, who really cares what the godbags say?

From the “You Read It Here First” Category: Patterico Collects Two Corrections from the L.A. Times in a Single Day

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Humor — Patterico @ 6:37 pm

This blog picked up two corrections from the L.A. Times today. First up is this one:

‘The Supreme Court’: A review in Wednesday’s Calendar section of a PBS documentary about the Supreme Court said there was a justice named Hamburger. There was a chief justice named Warren Burger.

Oh come on, say it: “And there was none named Hamburger.” (Or Potroast Stewart, Fred Venison, or “Sloppy Joe” Story.)

I originally told you about this error here. Howard Bashman gets the original credit for catching this, though I was the one petty enough to actually write the Readers’ Representative about it — just because I enjoy collecting corrections.

Yes, I am a jerk.

Next up is this correction:

Child molestation sentencing: An article Saturday in the California section about the sentencing of scientist William French Anderson mentioned lawyer Blair Berk and said Anderson was “his client.” Berk is a woman.

I told you about that one here. Mrs. P. gets the credit for the original catch, though once again, I’ll take the credit for being annoying enough to actually write the paper about it.

I think two corrections in one day is a first. But every record is meant to be broken, so we’ll shoot for a hat trick next time out.

Marcotte Airbrushing Edwards’s Blog?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Should John Edwards be concerned that the person he put in charge of his blog has a history of airbrushing inconvenient content?

I would think the answer is “yes” — at least if she is doing it on Edwards’s blog, as one of Jeff Goldstein’s guest bloggers charges.

P.S. I should add that I don’t agree with what appears to be the premise of Jeff’s now-disappeared comment at Edwards’s blog, namely, that a candidate should not hire bloggers who have said embarrassing things, or things that don’t line up with the candidate’s positions. Most of us have said something embarrassing at one point or another. And few of us line up with the candidates of our choice on every issue.

Nor should it necessarily be a big issue that the blogger in question is generally shrill and unreasonable. After all –especially on the left — if you disqualify such people, your pool of talent (such as it is) shrinks considerably.

But all of these issues are quite different from the issue of whether a campaign blog is going to be run with integrity and honesty. There, I think this incident shows Edwards has problems. People might well ask: if the chief blogger will airbrush history to protect herself, might she not do so to protect the candidate? And if so, what does that say about the candidate’s web site — and perhaps the candidate himself?

For these reasons, I hope he keeps Marcotte.

L.A. Times actually does some good when it comes to on-line reporting [Pigs Fly Alert!]

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Justin Levine @ 4:23 am

[posted by Justin Levine]

Patterico does a fantastic job when it comes to pointing out the (very) many flaws of the L.A. Times. But that shouldn’t stop us from taking notice when it manages to move in the right direction.

The L.A. Times’ homicide blog is definitely a step in the right direction. Every big city newspaper should have a site like this one. [hat-tip:]

It is cynical to think that a newspaper doesn’t have the space to cover every murder that happens in its city, but that is the cold reality of all general interest newspapers working in large metropolitan areas. However, there is no excuse for not providing such coverage on a newspaper’s website. This is one indication that the L.A. Times may just learn to “get it” after all when it comes to how best use this medium. Kudos!

[posted by Justin Levine]

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: I already praised the blog here. But I guess it can’t hurt to reinforce the point.

UPDATE x2 FROM PATTERICO: To avoid two comment threads on the same topic, I’m shutting down comments on this post. Go to the other post to comment.

Convicted Border Patrol Agent Beaten in Prison by Illegals?

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:08 am

Via Allah comes a link to a story that one of those Border Patrol agents convicted for shooting an illegal immigrant has been beaten in prison — by illegal immigrants.

At this point, I’m agnostic on what actually happened. Allah sets forth some reasons to be skeptical, but it seems hard to believe it’s entirely made up. Based on what I know, I lean towards the position that these guys were properly convicted. But that doesn’t mean that they should be beaten up — and if they weren’t properly segregated, there’s some gross negligence going on at a minimum.

Unlike Bill Lockyer, I’m not a fan of prisoners getting raped, either. You do the time that you were legally sentenced to, and that’s all the punishment you should get.

If this really happened as reported, heads should roll.

New L.A. Times Blog: The Homicide Report

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

L.A. Times crime reporter Jill Leovy has an absolutely fascinating new blog called The Homicide Report. Leovy explains:

The list represents an effort to provide comprehensive coverage of all homicides that occur in Los Angeles County.

Overwhelmed by the sheer volume, the Los Angeles Times, like other major media organizations, covers only a fraction of the more than 1,000 murders in Los Angeles County each year. Many violent deaths become, in essence, private homicides — catastrophic on a small scale, invisible on a broader one.

Starting with this week’s homicide report, however, the Times will list all homicides reported to the Los Angeles County coroner, plus additional information gleaned from street and law enforcement sources. This week’s list is larger than usual because of a January crime wave, but otherwise fairly typical in terms of the ages and ethnicities of those killed and the manner of their deaths.

If Leovy keeps this up, the small-scale tragedies will truly be visible on a broader scale.

It’s a great idea. I often feel that parts of the city are a war zone, and that the murders that take place don’t get the coverage that they deserve from the local paper. The answer is always that there isn’t enough space — but with the Internet, there is always more space. Leovy is taking advantage of this important strength of the Internet, and I salute her for it.

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