If someone tries to claim the L.A. Times is a respectable news organization, tell them the paper runs the horoscope.
If that doesn’t work, show them my five years’ worth of Year in Review posts (links available here).
If even that doesn’t work — and if all other attempts at persuasion fail — show them this story.
That’ll do it.
Via Mickey comes this fun tidbit from Tim Cavanaugh, an honest man who oddly enough once worked for the L.A. Times:
This summer the National Enquirer caught former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards (to Lakoff, an anti-corporate crusader; to Luntz, an ambulance chaser) meeting with his mistress in a Beverly Hills hotel. The Los Angeles Times demonstrated a pronounced lack of enthusiasm for the story in its own back yard, even putting out a notice to its bloggers to avoid mentioning it. Before long, Mickey Kaus and other prominent media critics had jumped all over the paper. As a participant in the fun (I approved the one blog post the L.A. Times had on the matter prior to the gag order; I and the author of the post were both subsequently fired, though the events were unrelated…as far as I know), I can say that while some of the principal players’ roles were misinterpreted, the overall characterization was accurate. The L.A. Times desperately wanted to avoid this damaging story, dressed up its desires in media-diligence drag (we were told not to comment until the paper’s reporters were through looking into the matter), and as a result was beaten and humiliated in its own backyard. Tim Rutten, the sanctimonious endomorph who leads the paper’s columnist lineup, ended up admitting as much in a column written after Edwards had confessed and everybody else had stopped caring. Bias unpacking: 100 percent successful.
Bold emphasis is mine; other emphasis belongs to Cavanaugh.
Henceforth, should I ever refer to Tim Rutten as a “sanctimonious endomorph” (and I have the distinct sense that I will), it will be with a link to this post, to explain the provenance of this wonderfully descriptive phrase.
[Posted by Karl]
The establishment media continues to drive the theme that John McCain needs a game-changer at tonight’s debate. I find myself in the odd position of agreeing more with Stu Eizenstadt that Presidential debates have historically tended to help the lesser-known opponent for the party out of power at the expense of the better-known candidate of the incumbent party. Thus, the debates were (absent some monumental gaffe) likely favor to Obama even before the current economic turmoil moved the middle against the GOP.
I tend to doubt that there is a game-changer to be had, let alone that the McCain campaign could come up with one.
However, McCain could use the third debate to frame the final three weeks of his campaign. The Obama campaign seems to be returning to the theme that McCain is erratic and unsteady. McCain could make the case that he is in fact The Devil You Know — or simply “tested,” if Maverick is not comfy playing Satan to the Obamessiah.
It is a strategy that might seem counter-intuitive, given that this year was shaping up as a “change” election, much like those we have had about every 16 years since WWII, long before the current panic in the financial markets. Some examples may explain my hypothesis.
[Guest post by DRJ]
Congressman John Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania and confidante of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, called his own constituents racists
“The 17-term Democratic congressman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story posted Wednesday on its Web site: “There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area.”
Murtha said it has taken time for many Pennsylvania voters to come around to embracing a black presidential candidate, but that Obama should still win the state, though not in a runaway.
In a separate interview posted Wednesday on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Web site, Murtha said Obama has a problem with voters’ racial attitudes in western Pennsylvania that could trim his winning margin on Nov. 4.”
Here’s a map of Murtha’s 12th Congressional District in southwestern Pennsylvania.
It’s hard to believe voters actually elect someone who talks about them this way.
[Guest post by DRJ]
The third and final Presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is tonight at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. The moderator is Bob Schieffer of CBS and this is the set for the final debate:
My gut feeling is that John McCain doesn’t want to attack Barack Obama on things like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, either because he believes it’s counterproductive or because he’s unwilling to attack on these topics. However, at this point, I don’t think it matters.
Voters either already have doubts about Obama or they are resistant to these arguments. I hope the past week has been, in part, a head-fake by McCain designed to convince Obama to focus his debate preparation on Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and related topics and to induce Obama to spend that much less time focusing on the details of the candidates’ policies. Thus, while these topics may come up, I think McCain should respond vigorously, succinctly, and move on.
Instead, McCain should talk to the American people about conservative strengths: That he is a capitalist on the economy and experienced in international affairs. Ideally McCain will describe in simple terms his plans and details, and contrast them with Obama’s pandering and vague promises. Can McCain do it? I don’t know.
This is the final debate. Many people view it as make-or-break for McCain and maybe it is, although the primaries and the general election have shown that a lot can change in a few days. McCain’s character is clear to most Americans, so I hope he can look back on this night and know that he also made his policies clear to the American people.
Feel free to use this as an open thread on the debate and, no matter what happens, savor the political drama of this last debate.
Posted by WLS:
What I’m about to say will, if it works out to be true, cause Lawrence O’Donnell to have a coronary on Nov. 5. In the immediate aftermath of Kerry’s loss to Bush in 2004, O’Donnell called for blue states to secede from the Union. So, we will need a volunteer in the blogosphere to stay with O’Donnell on election night with a portable defibrillator in order to zap him back to life.
ASSUMING that the pre-election polling is close to accurate, if Obama is leading in the national polls coming out of the final weekend by 52% or less, he’s going to lose. If he’s at 53% it’ll probably be very close, but he may still lose. If its 54% or above, he will win. And it’s not the “Bradley Effect.”
Why does he have to be that high? It’s the revenge of the small states on steroids in the electoral college. The math is actually pretty simple, although some assumptions have to be made about turnout and victory margin in specific states (i.e., that current polls in those states are close to being accurate).
I have to investigate options for hosting, and with family in town and a day job, my time to research is limited. I’m hoping you can help.
What hosting sites do you folks recommend (do not recommend Hosting Matters)? Given the current traffic the site is experiencing, and the fact that it will almost certainly fall off after the election, what should I expect to spend per month?
Keep in mind that I don’t understand virtually anything about technology, so your answers will have to be as if you were speaking to a complete layman.
Also, if anyone has suggestions for advertising, please let me know that as well. For whatever reason, Blogads has become far less effective at drawing advertisers, at least for me — I made much more during the 2004 election than I’m making now, although my traffic is multiple times what it was then. Pajamas Media does not appear to be signing anyone up at this time. Without significant advertising, I’m looking at the site being a losing proposition that I can’t afford. I may end up having to go back to Blogspot, as I’m not a bottomless pit of money.
In theory, this should be a good problem to have. But I feel guilty toward you, the reader, who has been putting up with problems at the site for weeks. I believe that is my fault: the traffic here has exploded (as it has everywhere) and I wasn’t prepared for it and didn’t take the bull by the horns when there were problems. I’m trying to do that now, but my time is very limited, so your input will be helpful.
If there is anyone among the readership who knows about these matters and would be willing to “hold my hand” through the process of seeking a new host and moving, that would also be greatly appreciated. But any suggestions are welcome.
This is not a bleg for money, by the way. I just want information.