Patterico's Pontifications


CNN E-Mail to Anchors: Say Nice Things About Fidel!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:25 pm

An e-mail from a CNN producer instructs anchors on talking points about Fidel Castro. The e-mail includes these tidbits:

* Please note Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba – namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration. in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech.

. . . .

* While despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero, especially with leftist in Latin America, for standing up to the United States.

The e-mail concedes that “the bulk of Cuba’s economic problems are due to Cuba’s failed economic polices” and not America’s embargo. Still, as a smoking-gun style piece of evidence of leftist media bias, it’s pretty good. He brought social reforms — but was only “criticized” for oppression and stifling free speech?

Now that’s calling a spade a digging tool!

The e-mail was written by Allison Flexner, who was a producer in CNN’s Havana Bureau in 2000, and whose current position appears to be unknown. Head Defender of Dictators, I think. Something like that.

The Obligatory McCain’s Alleged Affair and Ethics Scandal Post

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Hell, if all I’m going to do in this post is quote Allahpundit, I might as well steal his headline conventions as well.

A sex scandal that may not be a scandal tucked inside an ethics scandal that may not be an ethics scandal tucked inside an ethics scandal that was a genuine scandal 20 years ago, and for which McCain has begged forgiveness ever since. The Paper of Record.

The media halo’s gone, Maverick. Nothing personal. Just business.

Like I said, the boy’s on a roll.

Who Has Proved Their Ability to Reach Across the Aisle?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:57 pm

Tom Maguire:

David Brooks offered a fruitful variation on the “What, if anything, has Barack accomplished (I have a free thirty seconds)” question – why has he ducked the big bipartisan pushes of the last few years?

Where was Barack when the Gang of 14 teamed up to move judges through the Senate? McCain was there!

Where was Barack when the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill was stumbling through the Senate? McCain was there!

Where was Obama when roughly 20 Democratic Senators joined the Republicans in trying ti update FISA? McCain was there!

The reality is that McCain has practiced the sort of bipartisanship Obama has merely preached, and has the political scars to prove it. Do we want the guy who does a great job of talking the talk, or the guy who has walked the walk for years?

It’s a good point. Reaching across the aisle isn’t all sweetness and light, and a couple of the specific examples offered have really upset Republicans — me included. But if what’s really important to people is a candidate who has proved he can do it — even when it’s tough — McCain is the obvious choice.

Again, I don’t consider these actions by McCain to be strengths. But if bipartisanship really is your thing, then you should.

Word Usage Quibble of the Day

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:45 pm

An article in the L.A. Times says:


Huckabee is saying we shouldn’t vote for people just because we’re used to them?

P.S. On a substantive note, I love Obama’s defense for waffling on his public financing pledge:

As for the charge of waffling on a pledge to abide by campaign finance limits, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said it would be “presumptuous” at this point to talk about public funding in the general election because “we’re not the nominee yet” and this remains a “hard-fought campaign.”

Ah. But saying “When I am President” isn’t presumptuous. Gotcha.

Monday Al Martinez, Today Tim Rutten

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Jack Dunphy @ 2:42 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

There must be something in the water over at the Los Angeles Times building. On Monday, columnist Al Martinez couldn’t resist insulting police officers even as he praised slain LAPD officer Randy Simmons. In a 790-word column, he devoted the first hundred of them to reminding his readers of what brutal, racist, militaristic thugs he believes cops to be.

Today brings us Tim Rutten’s latest column, in which he criticizes Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the “casually malicious use he made of his trip to the microphone” at Simmons’s funeral on Friday. Rutten accuses the mayor of “pandering” to the L.A. Police Protective League – the police labor union – so as to gain some sort of political advantage.

It’s not as though there was nothing objectionable about Villaraigosa’s address to the 10,000 mourners gathered that morning in the Faith Dome. The mayor has the annoying habit of being self-referential in his speeches, regardless of the occasion, and indeed he opened his remarks at the funeral by talking about all the times he had gone to hospitals to visit wounded police officers, as though the inconvenience of doing so was somehow comparable to that of being shot.

But that isn’t what so troubled Rutten as to rouse him to the keyboard. No, Rutten was instead offended that the mayor would stoop so low as to use the occasion to criticize the local press. Here’s a passage from the column:

Now, few politicians can be fully trusted near a microphone, particularly before a large audience on an occasion as emotionally charged as Friday’s, but nobody could have predicted the reckless digression in Villaraigosa’s eulogy of Simmons. First, he informed the audience that “the newspapers” only “tell the truth” about LAPD officers in obituaries. Then the mayor went on to say, “We know that the central story of this department has never been written in consent decrees or the reports of inspectors general.”


If newspapers, including this one, only tell the truth about dead police officers, we are left to assume that they lie about the living ones. Does the mayor have an example in mind? Does he really believe that The Times’ stories on the Rampart scandal, which helped lay the groundwork for the reforms now being undertaken under the federal consent decree, were lies? If so, let him say so directly and give examples.

Though I have been fortunate enough to be published in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere, I am a cop, not a journalist. I am unschooled in the expectations a community might rightfully have of its largest daily newspaper. But it seems to me that telling the “truth” requires more than printing stories that are factually correct. The Times’s stories on the Rampart scandal may have been correct down to their last detail, but do those stories, or any stories about the LAPD’s well-publicized misdeeds, represent the “central story” of the LAPD Villaraigosa was talking about?

No, they do not. Here is a passage from my column that appeared in the L.A. Times on Sunday:

What’s disheartening to L.A. cops is that the need for reform seems the longest-running and most familiar narrative about their department. I’ve lived through many LAPD scandals during my career, including on-duty cops committing burglaries in Hollywood in 1981, the beating of Rodney King in 1991 and Rampart. These stories were exhaustively covered in this newspaper and in other media.

But how many people will recognize the names of Steven Gajda, Filberto Cuesta and Brian Brown? These police officers were murdered doing their duty during the time former officer Rafael Perez and other cops were committing the crimes that led to the Rampart scandal and the consent decree.

Now here is a fuller version of that portion of Villaraigosa’s address that Rutten found so troubling:

We don’t say it loud enough, but there’s no higher service to the public than the work that you [police officers] do. Even if the newspapers only tell the truth when there’s an obituary to be written, we know that the central story of this department has never been written in consent decrees or the reports of inspectors general. It’s written in the footprints of thousands of cops like Randy Simmons who go out there and risk everything, everything, every day, for the rest of us.

Randy Simmons and the other officers who entered that house in Winnetka did so knowing there was someone inside waiting for the chance to kill them. They went in anyway. If the standoff had instead ended peacefully, the Times would have run a story about the triple murder that preceded it, but there would have been no mention at all of the officers’ dedication and bravery. That is the “central story” of the Los Angeles Times.

This may be the last time I ever say this, but Mayor Villaraigosa got it exactly right.

And it almost certainly won’t be the last time I say this, but Tim Rutten got it exactly wrong.

Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic – Part 12 [Environmentalism, The Politcs of Fear, and the Search for Meaning]

Filed under: Buffoons,Environment — Justin Levine @ 11:30 am

[posted by Justin Levine]

Peter Suderman points to a must-read essay concerning why global warming has morphed into a false religion.

It serves as a great companion piece to the ‘The Infantilism of  Anti-Americanism’ that wrote about earlier. Both deal with the existential crisis among the Western affluent, and the different roads they can take to try and hide from their depression.

‘The Politics of Fear’ essay manages to encapsulate why I’ve felt Al Gore has made for such a sorry public figure. The man can’t contemplate living life without the adoration and aggrandizement of others within a larger social movement. First he sought it in Democratic politics. When that house of cards caved in on him, he sought refuge in the ‘meaning’ of global warming. His Nobel Prize will probably make him forever trapped in his own delusions. After all, its difficult  for even the bravest people to admit when much of their life has been built around a fraud.

Regardless of how many awards, riches or standing ovations Gore may receive for being a true believer, I will always think of it as a wasted life.

Bias in Action

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:02 am

David Bernstein:

[O]ver time I’ve become extremely suspicious of prosecutors.

Fair enough. Over time I’ve become extremely suspicious of law professors.

Just kidding! I wouldn’t become suspicious of all law professors just because I stumbled across one who says something he hasn’t thought out too well. That would be condemning an entire profession based on a limited and skewed sample — and that would be pretty silly, wouldn’t it?

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