Patterico's Pontifications


Obama: Don’t Reject Leaders Who Make the Hard Decisions

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 10:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama appeared recently with Governor Jon Corzine, who faces a tough election fight in New Jersey. Obama urged New Jersey voters to re-elect Corzine because, like Obama, he’s a hope-and-change politician who should be rewarded for making good, tough decisions:

“I’m here today to urge you to cast aside the cynics and the skeptics, and prove to all Americans that leaders who do what’s right and who do what’s hard will be rewarded and not rejected.”

That’s what Democrats like Barack Obama did when they cast aside their cynicism and skepticism and supported President Bush when he made the right decisions and the hard decisions that kept Americans safe for 8 years.

Oh, wait. They didn’t.

Okay, that’s what Democrats did when President Obama adopted most of President Bush’s war policies. Because, you know, that was hard.


You Cannot Trust Big Media

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:49 pm

This is a simple statement, and most regulars have already heard it. But for the new people, it bears repeating.

You cannot trust Big Media.

Big Media might get it right, sure. But it also might get it wrong. As I have demonstrated for weeks with the Roman Polanski saga, Big Media does get it wrong, regularly.


And if you tell them they got it wrong, chances are they’ll just ignore you.

You’re stuck getting most of your information from Big Media. But for God’s sake, view it with a critical eye.

Because for the most part, it’s not an engine for truth. Sorry, but it just isn’t.

Reuters Errs on Polanski: Claims He Pled for “Time Served”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:42 pm

Via Tim K. comes yet another article that mistakenly says Polanski pled for time served. This time the offending news agency is Reuters:

However, [Polanski] fled the United States before the case was concluded because he believed a judge would sentence him to up to 50 years behind bars despite a plea agreement for time already served.

As I explained at length this morning with citations to numerous sources, Polanski most certainly did not plead for time served, or 90 days, or anything of the sort. At the time of his plea, he was made no promises whatsoever regarding the length of his sentence.

It seems all of Big Media misunderstands this. We can shrug our shoulders, or we can try to correct the record. I intend to correct the record.

As I always, I do not act on behalf of my office. I act as a private citizen seeking the dissemination of truth.

I would like to enlist the help of readers in a) identifying other inaccurate news stories like this one, and b) identifying contact information for the news organizations who are botching this story. Tonight’s post is about a Reuters story; this morning’s was the AP. I’m reliably told by no less a personage than Eric Boehlert that Big Media sets itself apart from the Andrew Breitbarts of the world though its amazing ability to admit error (a trait that Boehlert does not share, but let’s not quibble over that right now!). So all we have to do is contact the AP and Reuters and these mistakes will be corrected straightaway.

P.S. In an unrelated story, today marks 19 days since I sent Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post a detailed letter regarding four separate inaccuracies by Anne Applebaum regarding Roman Polanski. (He is Applebaum’s editor. I wrote him after the ombudsman told me that factual inaccuracies in opinions pieces are Not His Yob — and I needed to write Hiatt if I had a problem with Applebaum’s blog entries. Which I did.)

No, Hiatt has not sent one word in response. No, I have not seen a correction of any of the four mistakes. Yes, I am very impressed with the professionalism and intense devotion to accuracy regularly displayed by Big Media.

Obama’s War on Fox News Escalates . . . And Other News Organizations Fight Back

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:56 pm

Via Hot Air, this video says it all:

First Tapper fought back, now other media organizations are fighting back as well. Good for them.

P.S. Who else tries to control media coverage of his presidency? Oh, yeah . . . this guy:

UPDATE: An interesting footnote: at that little gathering of liberal pundits mentioned by DRJ earlier, guess what Obama whined about?

Fox News.

Wow. They’re really getting to him.


This Guy’s Pretty Good

Filed under: General,Humor,Music — Patterico @ 5:55 pm

Way better than these clowns:

“President Approved Punditry”

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 1:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tom Maguire has the list of people who recently attended a 2-1/2 hour off-the-record briefing with President Obama at the White House:

  • Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post.
  • E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post.
  • Ron Brownstein of Atlantic Media and formerly with the LA Times.
  • John Dickerson of Slate Magazine.
  • Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.
  • Frank Rich of the New York Times.
  • Jerry Seib of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Maureen Dowd of the New York Times.
  • Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.
  • Bob Herbert of the New York Times.
  • Gloria Borger of CNN.
  • Gwen Ifill of PBS.
  • Once again it looks like the White House has time for its troops in the media but not our troops in Afghanistan.

    — DRJ

    Obama Speaks Out

    Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 1:20 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Obama for dithering about Afghanistan and not doing what it takes to win. Meanwhile, President Obama is using his time to focus on fundraisers while attacking Republicans and Fox News. For instance, here’s Obama on Fox News:

    “I think what our advisers have simply said is that we are going to take media as it comes,” Obama told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. “And if media is operating basically as a talk radio format then that’s one thing, and if it’s operating as a news outlet that’s another but it’s not something I’m losing sleep over.”

    And here’s Obama at Tuesday night’s NY fundraiser discussing Democrats who think for themselves and Republicans who don’t:

    “You know, sometimes Democrats can be their own worst enemies. Democrats are an opinionated bunch. You know, the other side, they just kind of sometimes do what they’re told. [Laughter] Democrats, ya’ll are thinking for yourselves. I like that in ya, but it’s time for us to make sure we finish the job here. We are this close, and we’ve got to be unified.”

    It looks like Obama’s bipartisan campaign rhetoric has gone under the bus.

    — DRJ

    ObamaCare: The (Doc) Fix Isn’t In

    Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:35 am

    [Posted by Karl]

    A dozen Democrats — and Independent Joe Lieberman — joined all 40 Senate Republicans to block a permanent repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula for doctors, as there was no consensus over how to pay the $247 billion 10-year price tag. Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid wanted the “doc fix” as a payoff to keep the American Medical Association on board for ObamaCare — so naturally, he blamed the AMA for failing to deliver 27 GOP votes. The AMA was not amused:

    The reference to 27 votes was made well before S. 1776 was introduced and in the context of bipartisan health reform legislation,” said J. James Rohack, AMA president. “The majority of Democrats and Republicans support SGR repeal for seniors and baby boomers, but today’s vote appears to be becoming the victim of Senate politics. Congress needs to fulfill its obligation to seniors, baby boomers and military families, and repeal of the SGR is an essential element for health reform to succeed.” (Emphasis added.)

    Accordingly, I doubt docs are going to be too impressed with Reid’s comment that “We’ll take this up again when we finish healthcare.” Moreover, Reid knows he may be forced to take it up sooner:

    Aides to Mr. Reid said they had no choice but to try to fix the doctor payment formula ahead of debate on the larger health care legislation. Otherwise, they said, an amendment would be offered on the Senate floor to add the formula adjustment to the bill, pushing the overall price-tag of the legislation above $1 trillion and seriously imperiling its chances.

    (BTW, if you want a study in media bias, compare the NYT blog post I just linked and quoted to the standard NYT story, in which Poor Harry is the victim of those Rascally Republicans, despite having a caucus of 60. But I digress.)

    So Reid, in one fell swoop: (1) failed to keep his caucus together on a cloture vote on healthcare just ahead of a massive battle on the issue; (2) failed to deliver a payoff to one of the Dems’ allies on the issue; (3) blamed that ally for his own incompetence; (4) created the likelihood of a damaging amendment and a bruising floor fight when he brings ObamaCare to the floor; (5) gave the GOP “Exhibit A” for the case that the Dems are running a dishonest shell game to hide the true costs of ObamaCare.

    Heckuva job, Harry!


    Polanski Did Not Plead in Exchange for An Assurance That He Would Receive Only 90 Days

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

    There is a meme spreading through the news that Roman Polanski pled guilty “in exchange” for a 90-day sentence. Here is the AP quoted at ABC News:

    Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. Polanski was released after 42 days by an evaluator but the judge said he was going to send him back to serve the remainder of the 90 days. Polanski then fled the country on Feb. 1, 1978, the day he was to be sentenced.

    The same language has appeared in other AP stories, such as this one (published in the New York Times).

    The story’s clear implication is that a 90-day sentence was part of Polanski’s plea agreement — that he pled guilty only because he had previously received assurances that we would serve only 90 days in prison.

    That is absolutely false. The documentary film about Polanski does not make this claim. Polanski’s lawyers do not make this claim. His plea transcript does not substantiate this claim.

    According to all those sources, when Polanski plea guilty, he was promised only: 1) that other charges would be dropped, and 2) that the judge would decide the sentence after hearing the arguments of counsel and reviewing the probation report. Polanski acknowledged in his plea that he might receive prison time:

    MR. GUNSON: Mr. Polanski, who do you believe will decide what your sentence will be in this matter?

    THE DEFENDANT: The judge.

    MR. GUNSON: Who do you think will decide whether or not you will get probation?

    THE DEFENDANT: The judge.

    . . . .

    MR. GUNSON: Do you understand that at this time, the Court has not made any decision as to what sentence you will receive?

    THE DEFENDANT: (No response.)

    MR. GUNSON: Do you understand that the Judge has not made any decision?


    . . . .

    MR. GUNSON: Mr. Polanski, do you understand that at the time of probation and sentencing, the prosecutor may argue that you should be sentenced to State Prison, or incarcerated in the County Jail?


    The sentence was up to the judge, who had the right to send Polanski to prison. In the film, Deputy D.A. Roger Gunson says he was pleased with the agreement because it exposed Polanski to as much as 50 years in prison. Polanski acknowledged in the plea transcript that he understood that the charge to which he was pleading carried a lengthy potential prison sentence.

    According to all parties, the alleged promises by the judge to send Polanski for a 90-day diagnostic and then release him were made after the plea, in comments made in chambers. Nobody says that Polanski pled “in exchange” for these assurances, which were made only after his plea.

    So can you stop misleading people, AP? Thanks!

    P.S. The latest AP story contains this remarkable passage concerning internal e-mails between people working at the L.A. District Attorney’s Office — for whom I work, but for whom I do not speak on this blog:

    It is unclear from the e-mails why Los Angeles officials were concerned about Austrian cooperation on a Polanski extradition request. There was no reference to Polanski’s history as a Jewish Holocaust survivor whose mother died in Auschwitz, or the sensitivities about having him pursued in the land of Adolf Hitler’s birth.

    Wow. So now the D.A. is insensitive for considering having Polanski arrested in Austria because Hitler was born there? Did I really just read that?


    Is This Fair Use?

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

    Does this seem like fair use of NPR’s content to you?

    It does to me, and it does to copyright expert Ben Sheffner. (Unlike Orin Kerr, he is a copyright lawyer!)

    But it doesn’t to NPR, which has sent a takedown notice to the original poster. (The version embedded above is a re-post by another YouTube user.)

    I have downloaded the video, and if this version disappears, I’ll post it on YouTube myself. If NPR sends a takedown notice, we’ll go down that path — the one you go down when you’re fighting for free speech.

    Maybe we’ll end up in the Supreme Court and (as Ben suggests) Nina Totenberg can give us her opinion.

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