Patterico's Pontifications


Canada gets with the program regarding free speech protections

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Court Decisions — Justin Levine @ 11:01 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Kirk Makin of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports:

The media should not live in constant fear of facing a libel suit every time a provocative commentary is published or broadcast, the Supreme Court of Canada said yesterday in a major ruling won by controversial Vancouver radio broadcaster Rafe Mair.

In a 9-0 decision that modernizes the defence of fair comment, the court found that Mr. Mair did not defame Christian-values advocate Kari Simpson when he denounced her stand on a book-banning controversy.

Read the whole thing here.  You should also check out the court’s full opinion here.

I’ll admit that I don’t have much respect for the rather lazy and worn out argument that tries to compare school board officials to ‘Nazis’ or ‘Klan members’ simply because they reject certain books for a school curriculum or refuse to carry them on campus.    But that doesn’t mean that one should face the threat of a lawsuit merely for engaging in cliched hyperbole.

Extra! Stop the Presses! Think Progress Lies About McCain

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 12:38 pm

Think Progress has a post titled McCain: I ‘Don’t See How It Matters’ That I Don’t Know The Price Of Gas. Wow, that sounds pretty bad. Let’s take a look:

In a telephone interview with the Orange County Register earlier this week, John McCain acknowledged he was unaware of the price of gas.

Jeez. That’s really awful. But let’s take a look at the actual exchange that Think Progress is citing:

WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?

MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.

Later in the interview, McCain says:

I’ve been on the campaign trail for so long I don’t remember when I last filled up my own gas tank, but I certainly did for many, many, many years and I understand the difficulties and challenges that it poses for the people of California and my home state of Arizona.

Think Progess cites this as evidence of “McCain’s cluelessness about gas prices.”

But McCain isn’t saying he doesn’t know the price of gas. He is saying that he doesn’t remember the last time he pumped his own gas, and how much it cost then.

So, does John McCain know the cost of a gallon of gas in America? Yes, he does. Here’s a news story from June 18:

“The price of a gallon of gas in America stands at more than four dollars. Yesterday, a barrel of oil cost about 134 dollarsm” said McCain.

Again, that McCain quote is from June 18 — six days before the O.C. Register interview that Think Progress uses to claim McCain doesn’t know the price of gas.

This Think Progress post is a lie. At best, the story is that McCain doesn’t remember the last time he pumped his own gas. Even that is a non-story, since nobody pumps their own gas while on the campaign trail. Someone ask Obama when he last pumped his own gas.

Your mission: to go to every single blog that has linked this Think Progress post, and post the quote I just gave you that shows what a lie it is.

Have fun.

UPDATE: Here’s a partial list of bloggers who have repeated this: Andrew Sullivan (now partially corrected), James Joyner (no correction stand-up correction issued), and John Cole (now acknowledging that he may have gotten it wrong). For more, check Memeorandum.

L.A. Times: “MCain” Has to Position Himself for Conservatives

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:15 pm

The top story in the L.A. Times today is titled Obama is shifting toward the center. It has this interesting passage:

Eddie Mahe, a McCain supporter and former GOP official, said that MCain has to position himself for conservatives “in a way that provides them a motivation and incentive to vote.”


I’m always hesitant to point out typos in newspaper articles, because (like virtually all writing) my blog certainly has its share of typos.

But I always wonder what’s going on when these typos appear in the splashy lead article of the front page of the Sunday edition. That’s the article that, you’d think, gets top attention from those four experienced Times editors.

Maybe they overlooked spelling errors because they were too busy making sure all the relevant facts were included?

Nope, that’s not it . . .

UPDATE: It was actually yesterday’s lead story. How did I get that wrong? I trusted the L.A. Times! Currently, the website’s print edition page has an image of the front page for June 29, under a caption that reads: “Page one from today’s paper of June 30, 2008. (PDF file).”

UPDATE x2: It’s even more screwed up than that. It has an image of the front page for June 28 (yesterday). But if you click on it, you get an image for June 29 (today). And it’s labeled as an image for June 30 (tomorrow).

I’m thinking they don’t have four experienced Times editors checking the web page.

Too Bad This Perspective Wasn’t Fully Shared in the Original Story . . .

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Judiciary,Kozinski — Patterico @ 11:37 am

An op-ed in this morning’s L.A. Times is titled Why Dirty Is Funny and begins like this:

When a federal appeals court judge who is presiding over an obscenity trial is himself revealed to have a “porn stash” on a personal website, as happened a couple of weeks ago, some might get indignant. Others might titter. But what if it turns out that the judge in question, Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit court, is a connoisseur not so much of hard-core porn as of raunchy humor? That the stash was more about laughs than about titillation? Well, in that case, it’s a completely different story.


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