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Archive for the ‘Medialites’ Category

Gored oxen, oxen and Gores

Posted by Ron Coleman on December 21, 2008


The real question, given the way the press covered for John Edwards, Barack Obama, et al. is whether the press would cover a Watergate if it happened under a Democratic administration.

They would.  Have we forgotten Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky?  The Clintons felt from almost Day One that the press was their bitter enemy, but with Monicagate the dogs were loosed.  While overall, cultural elites swooned over Clinton — churning out several thinly-disguised valentines in Hollywood, naming him (how embarrassing now!) our First Black President, and of course running down the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy when the time came for that — “the press,” which we now call the mainstream press , went in for the kill once their cheese was moved by Matt Drudge.

Media on media on media

Media on media on media

It’s not a paradox.  The MSM will never forgive a Republican for being elected to audience, and will pull out the stops to do everything they can to insure that it doesn’t happen again.  Democrats do get a honeymoon, and no matter how badly received their efforts are they will always receive, for example, the endorsement of the New York Times — as bad as they are, after all, they’re not Republicans.

But within that limiting principle, their ambition, especially when Election Day is close by in the rear view mirror, overrides their loyalty to the individual.  After all, if you bring down Bill Clinton, what do you get?  A Pulitzer, editorial tenure for life, book contracts and hefty speaking fees — and, hey, President Al Gore.

What’s not to like?


Posted in Medialites, Politics and Poker | 4 Comments »

Reuters: Still no such thing as terrorists

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 27, 2008

I wondered if perhaps the Mumbai attacks were enough for Reuters “news service” to admit the existence of terrorism?

Here’s the article.  The answer:  Nope.  “Militants” all.  “Fighters.”

Because after all, if they’re merely killing you-know-whos … who’s to say?

Posted in Medialites, Sisyphus | Leave a Comment »

“Anti-gay”: Rights, wrongs and everything in between

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 23, 2008


THOUGHTS ON gay rights and the G.O.P.’s future: “It’s not that we’re likely to crack more than 35% of the gay vote (well, maybe 40%). But, to win back the suburbs, Republicans can’t alienate suburbanites. And anti-gay attitudes don’t resonate with families who have known gay people in college –and maybe even in the workplace–and even in their own families.” Sounds right to me.

Yeah sounds right, unless you think about it.. even a little.  Then it sounds absolutely chilling, even if Gay Patriot himself doesn’t put chillingly.

Guess what:  Notwithstanding the antique Jerry Falwell image of cultural conservatives painted in the media — including the libertarian blogosphere — the vast majority of cultural conservatives are not “anti-gay” any more than they’re “anti-black.”  We know homosexuals … gays, yes… and blacks.  We’re friends with gays and blacks.  And regarding gays In the 21st century, few but the most hopeless paleoconservatives, fundamentalists of mainly non-Judeo-Christian stripes, and, well, weirdos have any interest in busting into bedrooms and getting any bit involved in what goes on behind closed doors.

But this is not the issue.  Conservatives are labeled “anti-gay” because people don’t know that some of our best friends — really — are gay.  And here Glenn Reynolds is not writing like a law professor, but like, well, a libertarian blogger.  But, in fact:

Regarding civil rights of blacks, it was not enough to say that they could be “tolerated” for being black.  It was and is a moral imperative to ensure that blacks received every legal right and benefit under the law that any other American received.  Beyond that, we can agree to disagree as to specific policies and goals to address America’s legacy of racism, but on fundamentals, in our time there is no disagreement.

It’s different for gays.  Yes, it is.  Gays are not asking for the same rights as everyone else, no matter how much they jump up and down and threaten to hold their breath till they turn blue.  It is not mere semantics to say “we want the same right to marry whom we love as straights have”; it is a fundamentally different, new, radical, revolutionary right that they want — the right to change the word very concept of marriage to include “marrying whomever they love,” whereas until just right now it has meant, semantically and legally, the right to join in matrimony with a person of the opposite sex.

This is not an argument about whether they should be entitled to that right.  If Instapundit and the rest of the decidedly irreligious rightosphere believes that gays should be entitled to a new right — the right to same-sex marriage — let them say so, as many do.  But conservatives are entitled to insist that this right be acknowledged, debated and addressed as new, radical and different, not — as its advocates insist in utter disregard of intellectual honesty — the axiomatically, morally-mandated extension of basic civil rights to gays comparable to ending the ban on miscegenation.  It is not that. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Homo sapiens, Medialites, O Mores! | 21 Comments »

Depressed? Maybe. Depression? Not close.

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 23, 2008

Daniel Gross in Slate:

All this historically inaccurate nostalgia can occasionally make you want to clock somebody with one of the three volumes of Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s history of the New Deal. The credit debacle of 2008 and the Great Depression may have similar origins: Both got going when financial crisis led to a reduction in consumer demand. But the two phenomena differ substantially. Instead of workers with 5 o’clock shadows asking, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” we have clean-shaven financial-services executives asking congressmen if they can spare $100 billion. More substantively, the economic trauma the nation suffered in the 1930s makes today’s woes look like a flesh wound. . . .

So what’s with all the speakeasy-era speak? Financial executives invoke distant history in part to make up for their own recent shortcomings. If a force as powerful as the Great Depression has been unleashed on the global economy, how can a mere mortal like Merrill’s John Thain be held responsible? The specter of the 1930s has also been deployed by political leaders to create a sense of urgency.

Gross could have said a lot more, but the article is a good starting point.  Too bad he throws away the historical accuracy — or, perhaps, relies too much on Schlesinger — with this whopper:

A final difference: After the 1929 crash, the nation had to wait more than three years for a president who simply wasn’t up to the job to leave the scene. This time, we’ve got to wait only two more months.

Ha, ha, ha.  Forget the slam at George Bush, utterly backed up with argumentation or proof, or the premise that the “president who is up to the job” is the utterly unproved Barack Obama.  It’s Slate, so these “facts” are simply presumed accepted by readers.  But it’s the facile take on Herbert Hoover that’s ignorant.  Clearly the worst thing Hoover did in connection with the Depression was done well before the Depression, though it probably either caused it or made its depth inevitable:  Signing the overwhelmingly popular Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.  But the main thing FDR did when he got in office was basically more of everything Hoover was doing — much of which was wrong, but virtually all of which was made legendary when effectuated with the increased political support in the hands of Roosevelt.

So maybe the parallel isn’t so inapt.

Posted in Gelt, Medialites, Politics and Poker | Leave a Comment »

Fear this

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 4, 2008

Well tell you whats fair and balanced.

We'll tell you what's fair and balanced.

I have been writing consistently, stridently and at some cost to my frazzled nerves, based on the reactions, that fear-mongering by anti-Obama partisans is a mistake, is unwarranted, is irresponsible.  (UPDATE:  Not just me.)

But there is one thing I really do fear, and unlike socialism or any other bogeyman trotted out in this election, you need not look under the bed to find it:  It’s the Orwellian-named Fairness Doctrine.  And Democrats have unabashedly promised to bring it back via legislation.

This is a genuine threat to everything unless the Supreme Court either revisits is prior, wrong decisions upholding the Fairness Doctrine and rules, as it should, that it is unconstitutional.  The Internet helps, because it is an alternative medium — for now.  But the Fairness Doctrine is the scariest thing the Democrats are promising, and it makes anything else that you can imagine, or have imagined, and that the likes of me have poo-pooed, eminently possible.

So, yeah, on this I do say “be very scared.”

UPDATE: Maybe people are getting scared, finally.

Posted in Lex scripta, Medialites, Oppression, Politics and Poker | 2 Comments »

On writing the New Testament

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 27, 2008

Jack Shafer, while denying the press is in the tank for Obama, demonstrates in Slate exactly how much it is just that — and explores the pixel-stained wretches’ anxiety over how to contain their transcendental glee while still writing for The Ages about the transformative new era aborning for mankind.

Posted in Faith and Works, Medialites, Politics and Poker | 1 Comment »

The silence deafens

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 23, 2008

A long time ago I identified Erwin Chemerinsky as a pretty contemptible guy, a left-wing extremist in the groves of legal academia who gets away with all sorts of things because of the way the game is played in that high-end segment of the business:

In April 2005, he was named by Legal Affairs as one of “the top 20 legal thinkers in America.”

Never right means never wrong

Never right means never wrong

Named by the Daily Journal every year from 1998-2003 as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California. Awards include the 2003 President’s Award from the Criminal Courts Bar Association; 2003 Freedom of Information Award form the Society for Professional Journalists; 2002 Community Service Award from the Western Center on Law and Poverty; 2001 Community Service Award from the Anti-Defamation League; 2001 Clarence Darrow Award from the People’s College of Law; 2000 Alumni Achievement Award from Northwestern University; the 1999 Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California; and the 1998 Judge John Brown Award for Contributions to Federal Judicial Education. Also received awards for work on the Los Angeles City Charter from the American Society of Public Administration, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and the Los Angeles Urban League.

Wow!  But as I pointed out in my earlier post, Chemerinsky goes beyond the Larry Tribes and Alan Dershowitzes of the world to a never-never land where the political end comes far ahead of intellectual honesty.  Walter Olson has a post that confirms the point:

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the newly founded UC Irvine school of (ideologically charged) law seems to fancy himself the conscience of legal academia. But it’s looking very much as if he — along with some bloggers and legal publications who should know better — owe an abject apology to Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The affair began when the New York Daily Record, a Rochester, N.Y. legal publication, reported on a speech Judge Jacobs gave to a Federalist Society gathering in that upstate city. As soon summarized on several blogs and publications, Judge Jacobs supposedly dismissed pro bono work by lawyers — all of it, in its enormous variety from high to low, humble to headline-driving, plain-vanilla to goofily cutting-edge — as at least “primarily”, if not entirely, driven by “anti-social” and self-seeking impulses. As criticism mushroomed, it was pointed out that Judge Jacobs had himself been quite involved with efforts to promote pro bono work among lawyers. Rather than cause the writers to question whether the Rochester report accurately summarized Jacobs’ views, this circumstance was seized on as evidence that the judge was being hypocritical, or inconsistent, or something else bad.

Like, I suspect, a great many other readers, I knew from the very first reports that there was something very “off” about the story as it was being retailed. . . . In short, I clicked past the story figuring that a correction would soon be forthcoming, and more than a little surprised that those spreading it didn’t seem to regard the reporting as suspect.

But it was the reaction of Erwin Chemerinsky that will long be remembered. Without, it seems, waiting for any further clarification from Judge Jacobs of exactly what he had or hadn’t said, Chemerinsky mounted the highest horse available and rushed into the pages of the National Law Journal with a piece unsubtly titled “Shame on Dennis Jacobs“. Jacobs “should be ashamed of himself,” the speech was “a slap in the face”, “I hope that he is widely denounced for his misguided views”, and so forth. All of which happened to rest, readers may have noticed, on a wobbly little phrase in Chemerinsky’s second sentence, namely namely “it was reported that“.

Can you hear the “oops” coming?

Only in my mind’s ear, despite this revelation from Walter:

When the WSJ law blog turned to the story yesterday, it too at first seemed to take it at face value. But later in the day, it added the following:

UPDATE: Through a spokesman, Judge Jacobs conveyed the following message to the Law Blog: “Dean Chemerinsky’s article was evidently based on a newspaper article of my talk that grossly misstates what I said and think. Neither the National Law Journal nor Dean Chemerinsky have contacted me. I support, endorse and solicit pro bono work, and my talk said just that. The talk identifies abuses.”

Has Chemerinsky got it in him to acknowledge his egregiously unprofessional error?  Or is mere truthiness going to be enough for him to sleep at night?  I have a pretty good idea which.  But if I’m mistaken, I’ll be sure to let you know — right here!

UPDATE:  Walter now links, via the Federalist Society, to the speech itself here.

Posted in Lex scripta, Medialites, Narcissus Rex | 2 Comments »

No cream, thanks — I like mine Socialist

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 22, 2008

Kansas City Star columnist Lewis Diuguid:

Read my lips!

Read my lips!

McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black. It set whites apart from those deemed unAmerican and those who could not be trusted during the communism scare.

Wow.  Imagine if you described Obama as a SKINNY socialist!  He’d be so black he would actually absorb energy instead of just money.

Posted in Medialites, Politics and Poker, Sisyphus | 3 Comments »

Paranoid? Try this.

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 20, 2008

The polls could be wrong. There could be a split between the popular vote and the electoral college vote. Obama Barack could end up losing the election.

But let’s say he doesn’t. Given what we’ve seen about a willingness to use the state to enforce opinion from Barack Obama (not that John McCain is blameless)… and the mainstream media’s contempt for citizen journalism… and the preposterous extent to which, by all accounts, the MSM is not only in the tank, but unconscious at the bottom of it, for its messiah…

Would you want to be a blogger, much less a — how shall I put it? — right-wing blogger, after the revolution?

Of course you would. There would be nothing cooler, funner or, for most of us, nothing that would be a better way to participate in the marketplace of ideas and perhaps make a difference in opposition to what could be the most left-wing administration in history. The frisson of “danger” only makes it ginchier, because in fact as conservatives we have confidence in our Constitution and fundamentally the institutions that make it work and survive, notwithstanding our frequent disappointments. Unlike left-wing crybabies who threaten (always with no intention to follow through) to run for friendlier peoples’ paradises if this or that Republican is elected, we are here, we aren’t going anywhere, and we aren’t trading in our bloggin’ pajamas until they blade it off our cold, green corpses.


Now what are you going to do make sure it never comes to that? Now, given your faith in the Constitution, how are you going to act, to advocate, to engage — if I may use the word? — collectively to make sure alternative media, a concept once considered the sole property of lefty S&M and “escort service” shopper newspapers like the Village Voice and the Chicago Reader, remain vibrant, fearless and online 24/7?

Well, I am biased, but in view of the horizon before us… I would recommend membership in the Media Bloggers Association.

The MBA is non-partisan – its members, board and history are ample proof of this. The MBA is, to some extent, the institutionalization of a dynamic that is anathema to many bloggers: Joining organizations, agreeing to standards (not standardization), bestowing a limited quantum of representative proxy, and interacting cooperatively with people like the MSM, the courts and others whom many bloggers consider sacred cows.

There will always be the ACLU, the EFF and many fine organizations — not all of which are conservatives’ first choice of whom they’d want to call in an emergency — and individuals who are out there fighting the good fight. But right now the MBA is the only grouping of bloggers across the spectrum that is in a position to protect, and is formed for the sole purpose of protecting, the rights bloggers have to express themselves in their chosen medium to the full extent of their constitutional rights to do so.

If you’re as afraid of an Obama Administration and how it might go for bloggers as some of you say you are (which is a lot more afraid than I am, notwithstanding the scare links in my first paragraph), you’ll consider joining the MBA or perhaps replicating what it has done in a manner consistent with your own tastes — “while you can”!

If you’re not afraid but, like me, you have your concerns… there’s no rush. But you should check us out. Just in case.

Posted in Blogophilia, Medialites, Politics and Poker | 6 Comments »

Joyner hits the mark

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 2, 2008

James Joyner has what I think is the closest sense of the matter of the debates to mine that I’ve seen.

Of course he watched them.  Still.

Posted in Medialites, Politics and Poker | 2 Comments »