Patterico's Pontifications


Sophistry? No, Lying

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:50 pm

Behold Marcy Wheeler, @emptywheel on Twitter, employing the usual leftist thuggery and sophistry.

Her claim, which she repeats again and again and again, is that I somehow don’t support Steven Crowder reporting the assault on him to authorities. I never said that, ever. And I never would. So, I challenged her to back it up. Her responses make the word “sophistry” seem kind.

I don’t have time to screenshot 100 tweets, but basically it’s just one long exchange that sounds like this:

Wheeler: You said Crowder shouldn’t report the assault!

Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did!

Wheeler: Incredible that an ADA doesn’t think crimes should be reported!

Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did!

Wheeler: Wow. I think I’ll tell your boss that you don’t believe in reporting crimes.

Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did.

Wheeler: Sheesh. A law enforcement officer saying crimes shouldn’t be reported. Can you believe it?

Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did.

Wheeler: Looks like it’s time to ask your boss why their ADA thinks crimes should not be reported.

Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did.

Wheeler: [more of the same, ad infinitum]

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Yes, her responses are actually that stupid. I am not making this up.

Don’t believe me? Go look at the feeds. I’ll embed just a couple right now:

The kicker was when she accused me of DELETING the evidence that I had repeatedly demanded, and that she could not provide.

That’s when I knew she wasn’t just engaged in blatant sophistry. That’s when I knew she was lying. She was making things up. Because I deleted NOTHING about Crowder. NOTHING.

The last time I felt like this, Neal Rauhauser was accusing me of framing Anthony Weiner. It was an accusation so out of left field I was shaking my head. But that was a precursor to a lot of evil.

So this, frankly, has me creeped out. Wheeler is a friend of Brad Friedman, business partner of Brett Kimberlin. And she is manufacturing something. I don’t know what’s going on, but it has me decidedly creeped out.

Rewriting History on the Attack on Steven Crowder and the Relevance of Kimberlin/Rauhauser Tactics

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 am

Last night I blogged about a portion of an Empty Wheel post on the assault on Steven Crowder in Lansing. Today I want to discuss the way it fits into a disturbing trend, in which politican partisans rewrite history for a gullible audience more interested in a politically convenient narrative than in fact.

For over two years now, I have watched as Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser, and a small band of confederates have literally rewritten history regarding anybody who happened to report on them. In coming days and weeks I will document this revisionism point by point, but for now it is enough to note certain trends:

  • The targets of the smear campaign are reporters.
  • The smear artists attack the reporter in some over the top way.
  • Then the smear artists portray the reporter as the aggressor.
  • The smear artists work to make the narrative political, because they know that politics causes people to ignore facts and shut off the “objectivity” portions of their brain.

You see precisely this effort at work with the Crowder incident. The actual story yesterday is that Steve Crowder went to cover a union protest, and was attacked by union members. It was caught on video.

So what does Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel do? Immediately accuse the accusers. She writes a post titled “Breitbart Folks Appear to Fake Violence in Lansing.” She immediately labels the destruction of a tent as a probable false flag, and then updates with: “Here’s a picture of Steve Crowder deliberately provoking peaceful union people from before he was claiming to have been attacked.” This update was made before video evidence emerged that proved Crowder was attacked.

Keep in mind: Crowder has actually been repeatedly punched at this point. But literally before any actual evidence is known, Wheeler is smearing Crowder, labeling him the aggressor, and turning it into a political issue that totally rewrites the narrative. She declares with heavy sarcasm:

I assume, given that the cops say the tent was no big deal and no arrests have been made, Crowder did not share his accusations of assault with any of the hundreds of cops standing right near by.

Now she’s committed. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, you see — from this point on she will have to spin anything that contradicts her set belief.

And as facts come in, and a video emerges showing Crowder was attacked, she dismisses it all with an airy wave of the hand: HEAVILY EDITED!!!!1!!

Here’s Steve Crowder’s very obviously heavily edited video.

Given that there were witnesses to the early confrontation, where Crowder was clearly inciting people, it amuses me he tried to make a video showing the same people.

And what supports the headline, that Breitbart folks apparently tried to manufacture this? Unnamed witnesses.

All this, in spite of the fact that witnesses say the Americans for Prosperity people were trying to provoke union members to violence, and witnesses reportedly saw AFP people loosening the ropes on the tents so they would come down. And in spite of the fact the place was crawling with cops (shipped in from around the state) who didn’t do see anything amiss. (Cops are as we speak arresting people engaging in civil disobedience at the Romney Building, where the Governor’s office is.)

Sadly, many of MI’s local journalists don’t know enough to distrust anything a Breitbart affiliate says and have repeated the violence narrative, based on such discredited sources.

They tried to do this to Breitbart himself. Remember? In Nevada, union people threw eggs at him and claimed he did it, and tried to have him arrested.

It didn’t work, because there was a video.

But it was the same playbook.

Stacy McCain gets it:

After yesterday’s incident in which labor union activists tore down an Americans for Prosperity tent in Lansing and sucker-punched Stephen Crowder, this headline zoomed up the Memorandum aggregation:

Breitbart Folks Appear to Fake Violence in Lansing

Huh? This was a decidedly odd piece of blogging: The claim that somehow the union thug clobbering Crowder was part of a right-wing hoax, based on such “evidence” as the event having been reported by “James O’Keefe’s buddy” Lee Stranahan — because, hey, if anybody at Breitbart thinks it’s actually news, that means it must be phony, right?

Also, the video was edited. Anybody who edits a video is obviously engaged in some kind of evil conspiracy.

What the hell is this silly gibberish? Are these people crazy?

No, they’re engaged in a systematic effort to create confusion and discourage mainstream journalists from reporting on the incident.

“Accuse the accusers!” Re-arrange the narrative of events so that a story that obviously makes the Left look bad is, instead, a story about the Right unjustly trying to make the Left look bad.

There is a larger story to the Kimberlin/Rauhauser narrative. They believe they have successfully rewritten history regarding the people reporting on Brett Kimberlin. Now they are taking their tactics big-time. It’s no coincidence that Karoli Kuns, who has been pushing the rewritten Rauhauser narrative on the Kimberlin story, is pushing Wheeler’s revisionism as well.

We have to keep an eye on these folks.

I’ll continue to do so.

Dems: We Insist on Stimulus, By Which We Mean Things Like Extending Unemployment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:12 am

Democrats actually consider extending unemployment insurance to be “stimulus”:

Senior Democratic officials on Capitol Hill and in the White House say that the media and Republicans are mistaken to assume that the stimulus measures were included as mere bargaining chips. In fact, the Democrats say, they’re important building blocks for President Barack Obama’s second term in office.

. . . .

The specific measures — extension of unemployment insurance benefits ($30 billion) and the payroll tax cut ($115 billion), infrastructure spending ($50 billion to $75 billion), and a series of other tax cut extenders ($27 billion) — hardly constitute a robust stimulus package, particularly considering all the spending cuts likely to surround them in any final deal. Yet top Democrats view these measures, drawn from the president’s proposed American Jobs Act, as an essential component of that deal.

“Our approach must be ‘first, do no harm’ to the recovery,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Huffington Post. “That means extending emergency unemployment benefits and, if not preserving the payroll tax cut, then replacing it with something that gives similar help to middle-class families.”

Pardon me while I go scream into a pillow.

OK, I’m back.

Look: if you want to argue for extending unemployment benefits, be my guest. Such benefits depress the job market but help out those down on their luck (as well as others). It’s a trade-off.

Just don’t pretend it’s not a trade-off, that’s all. Because it is.

P.S. The link goes to EconTalk, a podcast by Russ Roberts that I have become a fan of. The link is well worth a listen, for a serious and nonpartisan examination of how rule changes such as extending unemployment benefits are almost certainly responsible for a higher rate of unemployment.

More economic literacy, please.

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