September 27, 2004
— Ace Awesome:
Bush currently receives 51 percent among likely voters while Kerry gets 45 percent and independent Ralph Nader receives 1 percent. Among all registered voters, Bush holds a seven-point advantage.
By healthy margins, Bush continues to be seen as the stronger leader and better able than Kerry to keep the United States secure from terrorist attacks. On virtually every other issue and measure of character, Bush holds the advantage over his rival among registered voters -- findings that underscore the importance of the upcoming presidential debates to the Kerry campaign.
Kerry continues to be viewed unfavorably by a plurality of voters. Fewer than four in 10 voters -- 37 percent -- say they have a positive impression of him, while 42 percent have an unfavorable impression of him.
— Ace This time it's former NJ Republican Senate candidate Doug Forrester -- the man who was defeated due to the last-minute substitution of Frank Lautenberg for Robert Torricelli -- and he's buying anti-Rather ads during Rather's broadcasts.
Oh, and the affiliates are sweating, too.
— Ace I guess I have to.
Jessica Cutler, author of the infamous DC Sex Blog Washingtoninenne, is in discussions with Playboy magazine to pose for a nude pictorial, The National Debate has confirmed. Ana Marie Cox spoke exclusively to The National Debate's Robert Cox (no relation) and confirmed that Playboy contacted Cutler earlier this week. The sex-obsessed Blogger is currently considering the offer which is said to include an additional offer for Ana Marix Cox. Cox says she has not been approached directly by Playboy about appearing in the pictorial but would "definitely consider it".
In related news, the celebrated magazine Model Railroading Enthusiast just offered me twenty clams to explain my process for making quick and dirty miniature lamp-posts.
I'll give you a hint, for free: Q-Tips, my friend. It's all about Q-Tips.
Update: Bill from INDC tells me Washingonienne already did Playboy. I guess this means no Wonkette-- although it does seem as though the price could be right in the future.
Man, I've got to do a better job with keeping up with pornography. And whorebloggers.
Definitely Not-Safe-For-Work Update Link: Say Anything blog actually posted Cutler's pictures. Remember, this is not safe for work.
I'm not even sure it's safe for home.
I'm having trouble comprehending that not a single one of you guys tipped me to this earlier.
What the fudge? How did this just slip by?
— Ace Content Warning: The typical silly sex stuff I do here a lot. It's no worse than a Dennis Miller nightclub act, but still, you might want to hold off until you get home. more...
— Ace And it's actually a little bit better among registered, 53-42.
KerrySpot has the sneak peak.
— Ace Karol of Alarming News, who claims not to disfavor pajamas, will be heading off to Colorado to serve as Senate candidate Pete Coors' deputy press secretary.
Another "shadowy link" between "internet partisan political operatives" and the GOP for Josh Marshall to whine about.
Make sure you get in touch with John "Back2Back" Elway.
— Ace Dave from Garfield Ridge wants to know what's up with John Kerry sipping at his beer like a kitten at spoiled milk.
A different Dave, this one from an Undisclosed Location, points out this series of "candid, spontaneous beer-drinkin' photos with regular guys" and notes, "He takes three sips and makes one toast (after which he presumably takes another sip), yet the only change in the beer is the head goes away."
Oh, well. Sipping at his beer is, I guess, better than chugging the Chivas.
Correction: Actually, both Dave from Garfield Ridge and an entirely different Dave -- this Dave from an Undisclosed Location -- tipped me to this.
I had thought that both were the same guy.
It's getting a little confusing.
— Ace Pakistan is so far denying it, and such denials have usually been accurate.
Still-- room for hope.
— Ace That's not a joke. Nor is that my "twisting of their words," George Bush style (according to Jennifer Loven, I mean). That's the actual headline.
Lower rents could hurt poor
HUD may reduce housing subsidies
By William Grady and Antonio Olivo
Tribune staff reporters
Published September 27, 2004
Apartment costs seem to be trending flat to slightly higher these days for many renters.
But new calculations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development say rents in the Chicago area will be mostly lower starting next month. And that could make life tougher for low-income families in need of assistance from the federal housing choice voucher program, according to critics, including Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Housing Authority officials.
"Especially for the larger bedroom units, it hurts families because it limits the areas they can get access to," said Meghan Harte, the CHA's managing director for housing vouchers.
At issue are new benchmark rents that HUD proposes to implement nationwide Friday.
The agency uses the benchmarks to determine the maximum subsidies that vouchers will provide for modest one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom apartments.
Housing choice vouchers generally are worth less when the benchmarks, called "fair market rents," are reduced.
Yes, but of course that's because the government needs to spend less in order to subsidize the rent. If the apartments have lower rents, and the government reduces the subsidy by the value of that reduced rent, how on earth have the poor been hurt?
As Windy City remarks (paraphrased), the writers of the story seem to be confusing reduced rents, which help the poor, with reduced dependency on government subsidies, which hurts the Democratic Party as well as its various political-advocacy auxilliaries.
— Ace Introduces Bush in Colorado as a man who "knows how to make the right calls when the pressure is on."
It's just too sweet.
Yeah, I remember the first time someone threw a football to me, too. I was seven, and too I flinched from it like it was a french kiss from Ron Jeremy.
In the ensuing years, I've learned to keep my eyes open. That goes for both football and Ron Jeremy soul-kisses.
More embarassing photos at Football Fans For Truth.
By the way: If that picture doesn't show, as it didn't for me, click on it and hit Show Picture.
— Ace He doesn't suddenly agree with them down the line. But he does now seem to understand that it's not some petty criticism that John Kerry accused his comrades of murder and rape in Vietnam:
Those who dismiss critics of John Kerry's Vietnam service as just a bunch of right-wing Republicans out to advance George W. Bush's cause don't know what they are talking about -- or they are engaged in wishful thinking. Okay, I may have once thought that about the critics, too. But after poring over the large volume of e-mail I received after my Aug. 28 column, "What Matters About Kerry and Vietnam," I don't any longer.
I spoke with Coleman this week about citing his e-mail in a column. He agreed, adding that he was still wrestling with his Election Day decision. His final written words are worth remembering, especially by those in the Kerry high command.
"I served my 13 months in combat. Returned in 1972 with the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Technical Services Honor Medal to a very anti-Vietnam America. [Harry] "Butch" Robinson, Denny [Dennis] Hightower, and many more that you know did the same. We endured the pain of separation from our loved ones, were frightened when the rockets came in to camp and lives were lost. But we were never unfit for command.
"Kerry still hasn't satisfied me and many others. . . . It's September and I'm still conflicted. Speaking for myself, it is NOT enough that he served!" Those aren't the thoughts of a Republican-funded, right-wing, over-the-top Swift boat veteran. Ignore them, Kerry camp, at your peril.
It's a little shocking that liberals actually thought this would never be a live issue. Just because they didn't mind a bit slander in agitating against the Vietnam War, they assumed that no one else did either; they also assumed, as they frequently do, that their near-monopoly on the dissemination of information would be enough to keep this story underground and unread.
It's been pointed out by others -- Jonah Goldberg, I think -- that in some ways the LLM actually hurts Democrats. It cocoons them; it misleads them into a false notion that the nation's thinking mirrors that of the LLM; it leads them unaware into nasty surprises.
The LLM might want to start getting on these stories earlier if only to help the Democratic Party they love so much.
Thanks to TL for sending me the article.
September 26, 2004
— Ace Via Drudge, this NYT piece mentioning easing Document Dan out by May.
Well, I don't know what to say about this. This looks to me like the preamble, the warming-up before the actual firing.
This sounds an awful lot like CBS telling Dan Rather, "I really like you, Dan, but I think we should also see other people." Which usually means, "We're over as a couple the moment I get you to pay your half of the phone bill."
— Ace MeTooThen sent me the following official winners (as he sees it and he decrees it) with his commentary, except I've done some editing, clarifying, and added the prizes.
As a guide to judging I used the following references:
Writing and Enjoying Haiku by Jane Reichhold,
published by Kodansha International, 2002
A Net of Fireflies by Harold Stewart, Charles E.
Tuttle Company, 1960
Wabi-Sabi, for Artists, Designers, Poets &
Philosophers by Leonard Koren, Stone Bridge Press,
In the Wheres Joe? Category comes these, from Joe.
Good enough for me.
Run it through the copier
Fifteen fucking times.
I have documents.
Kerning? What the fuck is that?
Fake, but accurate.
Posted by Joe R.
Prize: One copy of John Tesh's A Deeper Faith, signed by the artist himself with the inscription, "I still can't believe I'm banging Connie Fucking Selecca. My Mom was a genius for forcing me to take harpsicord lessons. Keep Rockin'-- John."
In the Don't Make a Fucking Maniac Out of Me Category...
An empty walker.
Bedside oxygen unhooked.
Who let Rather out?
Posted by the UNPOPULIST.
Prize: The Unpopulist will soon be the proud owner of a limited-edition lithograph of former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's foray into tasteful homoerotica:
The photograph is titled Butter My Baguette.
Winner in Category:
Dan Rather's a hack,
And a really bad one too.
I question timing.
The documents are
actually real in content if
not in their forged form.
Burkett isn't a base
Dole would kick his ass
Surely, he's on fricken' fire,
Like a viking, ace.
Posted by Rob.
Prize: Rob wins a copy of Rich "Psycho" Giamboni's upcoming collection of wit and wisdom, tentatively titled I've Got a Shovel and a Bag of Lime and the Only Thing Keeping You Alive is Well-Nigh Superhuman Level of Emotional Restraint.
Of all the many Haiku submitted, the following are the most
authentic, or put another way, these are the ones with
Each contains a reference to season, and
the sense of transience or fading. These are important
elements to Haiku. Each also deals with the subject
of the memos and/or the larger issue of their
relationship to the election.
Like fallen leaves
Big media turns to dust
Blown away by truth
Posted by HFreeman.
Prize: HFreeman is the proud winner of a day with Dan Rather during his impending retirement. He'll spend 24 hours tying lures and hearing for the five bazillionth fucking time how Daring Dan "really stood up to Nixon."
And then he also gets a length of rope with which to hang himself.
An anchorman falls like snow
Blown from a mountain.
Posted by Chris.
Prize: Chris wins one copy of Joshua Micah Marshall's unfinished novel, which he's been working on for eight years.
The novel has no title and is only twenty-six pages long. So far it doesn't seem to be anything more than a journal about hanging out at Starbucks six to eight hours a day interspersed with sexual fantasies about "Willow"/"The Band Camp Girl" from American Pie.
bright burning memos
Cinders fall on black asphalt
Nothing can trace them
Posted by SarahW.
Prize: SarahW. wins a Mary Mapes-scheduled four minute phone call with Joe Lockhart. She can talk about documents, the SwiftVets, or whatever, if you know what I'm talking about.
Snow on Mt. Fuji
Settles soft and white, like death,
Like burnt memo ash.
Posted by Sobek.
Prize: One Oliver Willis foot massage. I tried to negotiate him massaging your feet, but no dice-- you get to massage his.
Burnt memo ash
Falls soft and white
MeTooThen (thanks to Sobek)
Prize: For having the insight and wisdom to reward his own haiku, MeTooThen gets a signed copy of Bush's 2000 Vice Presidential Search Committee official recommendation, in which Dick Cheney decides the best possible Vice Presidential candidate would be... Dick Cheney.
Winner in Category:
the kerry campaign withers
musty autumn leaves
Posted by msl.
Prize: My sixth-grade shoebox diorama of the Pilgrims celebrating the first Thanksgiving with the Indians, featuring Han Solo as Captain John Smith, Optimus Prime as "Indian Chief BigRig," and Greedo (in a customized gown made of tissue paper) as Pocahantas.
The diorama also features the garbage-compactor monster from Star Wars, but I don't know what the hell he's supposed to represent. Perhaps he's symbolic for the betrayal of the White Man. Even as a sixth-grader, I knew how to kiss up to liberal teachers.
In the Do You Like Your Job? Category, come these, both by LauraW:
Danny put me some
Fucking Integrity here.
Do you like your job?
Winner in Category:
Clinton in his bed
Gazes up at the ceiling
There's a mirror there
Prize: For these two haikus, LauraW becomes the new owner of my pet monkey "Monsieur Beppo." I got Monsieur Beppo off a gypsy grifter in Marseilles; he was apparently trained to steal jewelry off tourists.
Unfortunately, Monsieur Beppo mistakes the human eyeball for jewelry, and he's constantly attempting to snatch human eyes from their sockets.
This isn't a probelm for me, since I tend to wear safety goggles around the house 24/7 anyway (I'm a major soldering enthusiast, as well as a big fan of the style of Kareem Abdul Jabbar), but, before you decide to accept Monsieur Beppo, you have to decide 1) if you're ready for a pet monkey and 2) if you put a priority on retaining your current number of functioning eyes.
From the You Thought Category come these:
Thumbing through thrilling
theory, thieves thank themselves. Think
Posted by JHeslin.
Prize: JHeslin wins a copy of my unfinished homebrew fantasy role-playing game, titled DEATHMASTERS-- THE MURDER-CORPS OF WARFACTION: BLADEKILLER.
It's about elves.
I trusted he who
said what I wanted to hear.
Does that make me bad?
Posted by Bear.
Prize: Bear wins the remaining four months of my Heath Ledger Fan Club Membership. I'm keeping the iron-on Heath Ledger patch. Sorry. It's already on my jean-jacket.
In the category of Loose Shit are these haikus:
How's "I will not rate?"
"Sweet" said Mr. Tickles (the
Dude on my shoulder).
Posted by tachyonshuggy.
Prize: TachyonShuggy wins a year's supply of Snausages, Sausage Flavored Dog Treats, as well as the new product from the Snausage folks, Smeatballs.
Winner in Category:
on little bunny slippered feet.
It sips coffee
with uncombed hair
and then moves on.
Posted by Dave.
Prize: Dave wins my prized collection of Red Lobster matchbooks and lobster-bibs.
In the category, "Slice Like a Fuckin' Hammer" come these:
Dan scans the ashes
of his career. Pokes them with
a stick. Still burning
Posted by JHeslin.
Prize: JH is now the proud owner this super-extended European "I Gotta Have More Cowbell" Mega-Mix.
(Link provided to me by Len, by the way.)
Winner in Category:
Tears fall silently on
CBS mementos glistening,
Dan sits on the sidewalk.
Posted by Cedarford.
Prize: MeTooThen says that Cedarford also takes the prize for "Best Pure Poetry" (although he's not the overall winner of the contest).
For slicing like a fucking hammer, Cedarford wins a powerful symbol of slicing like a fucking hammer-- one of the sweatbands worn by Lawrence Taylor when he broke Joe Thiesmann's leg like a fuckin' popsicle stick.
Dude, you must be psyched. I would be.
In the Category of That's Just the Fuckin' Way It Is"...
And the contest's Overall Winner...
Like seared memories,
Forgeries show inner truth.
Fuck actual truth.
Posted by Dave Pasquino.
Prize: Dave posted the best haiku of the contest, and therefore he gets the best damn prize of all. Dave gets this link to sensuous homoerotic "slash" fan fiction of Captain "Jim" Kirk having sex with First Officer Spock:
"Two of the reports told me that male Vulcans can perform oral sex on themselves," said Kirk suddenly.
Spock blinked, digesting this new topic. "The flexibility of the Vulcan skeleton allows the body to bend in ways that would be impossible for nearly every Human."
"What about a half-Human?"
"I have never attempted it," Spock mused to himself, looking interested in the abstract, "although I expect an attempt would be successful. I am in good physical shape."
"Can I watch?"
"You wish me to perform this act *now*?" Spock walked closer to the bed and brushed his hand against Jim's. The Human shifted ever so slightly against the bedclothes and Spock eyed the appealing bulge in his pants.
Kirk shrugged playfully. "Why not? We've got time. We don't always have that."
Spock drew closer to permit Jim access to his body. Jim reached out and slipped one lazy hand inside the folds of Spock's bathrobe. Spock closed his eyes and shivered slightly as Jim's hand closed around his growing erection. A tug and a half and it throbbed to its full length.
There's more -- so much more -- at the link. Congratulations, Dave. And may stories of Kirk dorking Spock up the buttpie bring you as much pleasure as they've brought me.
And thanks again to MeTooThen, who did me a real favor categorizing and judging these haikus. Thanks, pal. I owe ya.
— Ace Instapundit didn't seem especially bothered by the NYT article on blogging, notable only for its failure to actually interview any bloggers making genuine news:
I think it's a pretty good article. Some people are unhappy that it focuses on the lefty bloggers, but that was the intent of the piece from the get-go, and it's been underway for a while -- I had a long conversation with the reporter a few weeks back -- and it's not as if folks like me and Andrew Sullivan and Mickey Kaus haven't had our time in the media spotlight.
With all due respect, Mr. Instapundit, you and the increasingly left-wing Andrew Sullivan may have in fact had your time in the media spotlight, but the bloggers who were most important in breaking this story haven't yet. Yes, the PowerLine guys have been on Fox and CNN, but that's because they deserved to be.
They, along with LGF and Bill from INDC (he who now just interviews subjects at will!) also deserved to be in a NYT article on blogging. They weren't, and they were omitted quite intentionally.
Furthermore, this sentence:
Some people are unhappy that it focuses on the lefty bloggers, but that was the intent of the piece from the get-go
... is simply a non-sequitor. Yes, of course the NYT set out to only interview lefty bloggers. And that is a defense against the charge of political bias how, exactly? Once again, the NYT is determined to promote leftist causes and leftist voices while ignoring their opponents; I don't see how the fact that this was their "intent from the get-go" is some sort of mitigation.
And we know that the NYT decided that maybe it ought to interview Charles Johnson with all this Rathergate craziness going on. They did interview him; they then not only failed to quote him, but to even mention the man's existence.
This piece is what the lawyers call "an admission against interest" combined with an undeniable expression of liberal bias in MSM. The admission is that the blogosphere matters a lot. The expression of bias is the incredible series of whopping omissions in the coverage. This is MSM's attempt --and there will be many more-- to "credential" some of their favorites in the blogosphere, thus elevating them and hopefully their readership. How can you be surprised that the way left Times profiles way left bloggers for their way left audience to hopefully bookmark and consult as a sort of internet annex to the still dominant New York Times?
It is a vast cry for help, a plea for reinforcements. The bloggers are inside the citadel, so call in the allied bloggers.
As I wrote yesterday, this is just more Maginot Line thinking by MSM, and more of the same can be expected. The MSM is acting in response to the challenge to its authority as the Vatican did to Luther, first with indifference, then with threats, and eventually with attempted suppression and finally with capitulation and internal reform. The attempt at suppression will come in legal forms, with lawsuits about fair use and threats of business libel, but all for naught. The bleeding isn't just at CBS, and the wounded are angry.
The Times' motivation is transparent. With right-leaning bloggers suddenly getting getting all the attention, and deservedly so, given that they'd broken a major story, the Times has decided to give the left-wingers a little undeserved exposure of their own, to try leveling the playing field a bit.
Does anyone imagine that if left-wing bloggers had broken a major story and were thus getting all the attention from the rest of the liberal legacy media that the New York Times would have tried for a bit of fairness and given prominent exposure to right wing bloggers?
Anyone at all?
— Ace MSL points me to this very relevant article from 2002, in which a female producer for Dan Rather expresses her, ahem, latitudinarian views on Palestinian mass-murder.
Is this Mary Mapes? The article doesn't say, and it seems likely that Dan Rather has more than one female producer working for him/with him, even on Middle Eastern stories. If it's not Mary Mapes, well then fine-- Dan Rather has two, rather than one, hardcore leftist producer working on his stories for him.
How's that for diversity in the newsroom?
Either way, it's an interesting window into the sort of thinking going on over at CBS News:
After Dan Rather left, I spent some time with his producer, discussing her viewpoints of what was currently happening in Israel. After seeing the tone of her news segment, I was concerned. I began to question her about accuracy in reporting.
Her answer was even more shocking than what I had already observed. "The thing is," she told me, "it is impossible to be objective in this situation. The fact is that there is no objective truth -- neither side is right or wrong."
"Wait a minute," I asked her. "When a Palestinian straps on a belt of dynamite lined with nails and walks into a pizza shop, blowing up innocent people, that wouldn't be objectively wrong?"
"Of course I would think that is wrong," she answered me. "But the Palestinians believe this is a legitimate form of warfare. And they would say the Israelis are doing the same to them by killing innocent civilians when they retaliate militarily. Who am I to say what is right or wrong? Who am I to say that the Palestinians are wrong in their beliefs?"
"But don't you think there's a difference between a person blowing himself up in a restaurant, and a military that responds by searching for and killing terrorists. Granted that innocent civilians are killed in both circumstances -- but in one situation the innocents are targeted, and in the other situation they are regrettably caught in the line of fire?"
"Well, that's a very Western way of looking at things. You see I'm Christian and American. I see things the way you do as an Israeli -- we have the same moral framework. But the Arabs view things differently, and who's to say that we're right and they're wrong?"
At this point we both realized we weren't going to get any further in the conversation, and we politely thanked each other and parted ways.
I've said this before and I'll say this again: Leftists resort to the superficially-neutral-sounding "Who are we to judge?" posture when they actually support something, but dare not admit that.
For it is simply not true that Mapes, Rather, et al. cannot "judge." They would not argue, for example, that we cannot condemn a Ku Klux Klan race-murderer due to the fact that, from the KKK killer's point of view, what he's doing is defensible or righteous. In situations in which the leftist philosophy agrees with common-sesne morality, they do not resort to "Who are we to judge?" chin-stroking. The call a racist killer a racist killer.
But when the racist killers are a group for whom the left has political sympathy, suddenly their moral machinery is entirely disengaged and they can't quite make the difficult determination that blowing up Jewish schoolgirls on a bus is quote-unquote "wrong."
This is a rhetorical dodge of the most transparent sort. If someone really was committed -- in all situations -- to never calling politically-inspired killings wrong, then we might say that person was consistent and principled, if nonjudgemental to the point of monstrous immorality.
But the left isn't so committed. They're willing to say that certain sorts of political murder are wrong; they're just not willing to say that Muslim terrorist murders are wrong. They should be asked, point-blank, what it is precisely that differentiates a KKK killing from a Palestinian terror-bombing such that the former is unambiguously wrong but the latter is defensible.
Update: Allah thinks it's important to note that the article is from 2002. I actually didn't check, and I don't know how relevant that is; I don't think the baseline assumptions of CBS News producers have suddenly tacked sharply to the right since 2002. Nevertheless, I have edited to note the year in which the article was published.
I hope Allah does not plan to continue these partisan political operative assaults on me.
— Ace Ron just blows my mind with the thought that liberals like passing lots and lots of campaign rules to restrict their opponents, while flagrantly violating those same laws and hoping the LLM will, as usual, not make a big deal about it:
WASHINGTON - A group of watchdog organizations charged Friday that Texans for Truth, whose TV ads question President Bush's service in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, has violated campaign fund-raising laws.
The Washington-based watchdog organizations, Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics, made the allegation in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission.
The complaint says Texans for Truth is accepting contributions and running advertisements to influence the presidential race and therefore comes under campaign finance limits, which cap individual contributions at $2,000 from an individual and $5,000 from a political committee.
Texans for Truth has reported a $100,000 contribution from Daniel O'Keefe, a California television producer.
September 25, 2004
— Ace It's another one of those blogosphere scoops.
We get this kind of scoop not because this stuff is hard to find out, but because the legacy media simply refuses to publish it.
(Okay, okay, not a true "scoop" since some legacy media somewhere published it-- in this case, a local TV station in Tennessee. But the major national media seem to be refusing to report it.)
— Ace Sorry, but reviewing MeTooThen's judging, I can't seem to see where he actually picks a winner. He picked many winners in numerous categories, but no actual winner in any category, and no overall winner.
I've written him to ask if he meant to select a winner, and, if he didn't, if he would just go ahead and do so now. If he doesn't get back to me on Sunday, I'll make my best guess and publish the winners.
— Ace TO: Bill Kehler, Managing Editor
Daniel Okrent, "Public Editor"
Martin Klam, writer
In an article published September 26, 2004 in the New York Times Magazine, writer Martin Klam interviews several left-wing bloggers and names several more. He only mentions in passing the right-leaning blogger king Instapundit, and gives only a brief mention to the non-blog forum FreeRepublic. Mickey Kaus, a centrist Democrat, rates only a paragraph.
Mr. Klam wrote his article during the Republican National Convention, and apparently chose only to speak with the left-wing bloggers blogging from a location nearby to Madison Square Garden. There were, of course, right-leaning bloggers at the convention itself, and thousands more blogging from their homes or offices. Mr. Klam, and the editor of the piece, chose not publish an interview with or profile of a single right-leaning blogger, despite such bloggers' wide publicity, ready availability, and eagerness to talk to the press. (Signatures of right-leaning bloggers attending the convention will follow, attesting to this fact.)
Mr. Klam cannot claim that a mere lack of press credentials to enter MSG kept him from interviewing any but left-wing bloggers. All Republican-leaning bloggers at the convention would have been available at practically any time during the day or night.
It is breathtaking enough that the New York Times -- a paper which still maintains, albeit half-heartedly and increasingly ridiculously, to be non-partisan and objective -- would chose to ignore half of the entire blogosphere in an article purporting to report on the blogosphere. Indeed, "half" rather understates the case; most of the biggest bloggers lean to the right.
But it is all the more baffling that such an article would do so now, given the fact -- incovenient for Mr. Klam and your editors, I'm sure -- that it is the right-leaning blogosphere which has actually scooped the entirety of the mainstream media in reporting and then proving that the documents presented to CBSNews and USAToday were forgeries, and indeed rather transparent ones at that.
There can be no question that the reason the blogosphere is even worth discussing now is that the right-leaning blogosphere, and the right-leaning blogosphere alone, actually did the media's job of fact-checking, consulting experts, gathering evidence, and disseminating that evidence widely to the public.
And not due to, say, Wonkette's estimation of John Kerry's penis size.
Two of the left-wing bloggers Mr. Klam is most fascinated by were, to varying degrees, defenders of the authenticity of Dan Rather's documents; certainly neither had any hand at all in uncovering the truth.
When all the world is talking about the Rathergate debacle, the New York Times choses to highlight its fellow dupes in this scandal rather that those who actually presented the truth to the world.
It would be rather unremarkable that the New York Times would, once again, give prominent coverage of liberal voices while suppressing the voices of conservatives. That is so routine as to hardly be worth remarking upon at this point.
But to entirely ignore right-wing bloggers at the very moment when right-wing bloggers scoop, beat, and downright embarass the mainstream media -- including of course the New York Times itself -- is something else entirely.
This cannot be passed off as some mere oversight; this was a blatant and deliberate suppression of the actual newsmakers of the moment, in favor of those who aren't making any news but who are reliably parroting the liberal party line.
When Rathergate has been the major media story for the past three weeks, only deliberate intent can explain an article so studiously avoiding the topic at all. One would think that Mr. Klam would mention it more than once, if only by accident.
Can you rebut this? Can you offer any scoops recently provided by the Daily Kos, Josh Marshall, or Wonkette? Have all of their postings of the past three years combined come close to equalling the enormous tumult in the mainstream press caused entirely by the right-wing bloggers Mr. Klam so studiously ignores?
By what criterion did you, and Mr. Klam, decide to feature only left-wing bloggers while ignoring their right-wing counterparts? As far as actual media impact, any such comparison would be laughable. In terms of traffic, Instapundit garner much more traffic than Wonkette and Josh Marshall; Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs gets more traffic than either as well. Mr. Klam has apparently heard of Little Green Footballs, and even interviewed him for 43 minutes; strangely enough, not even a passing reference to Mr. Johnson, or his role in providing the smoking-gun proof of the discredited documents' fraudulency, is made in the entire piece.
One would imagine Mr. Klam could have lost one Wonkette quote about raw tuna appetizers to make the required room to mention that Little Green Footballs had almost singlehandly debunked a major political fraud (and embarassed the entire legacy media while he was at it).
While attempting to cover-up its negligence in passing off obvious hoaxes as "unimpeachable" evidence of court-martialable offenses committed by our President, Dan Rather chose to not feature the words of any of his actual critics. He did not quote them or give them time to make their case; he deliberately omitted any mention of the strongest evidence against the documents' veracity in order to mislead his audience into believing he was responding to criticisms actually made.
It seems now that the New York Times is engaged in a similar game. Having been embarassed and humiliated by unpaid amateurs you consider your intellectual, professional, and moral inferiors, you choose to simply expunge us from the record, and by doing so avoid any mention that you were beaten -- badly -- by the pajama-wearing wannabes for whom you have such contempt.
Journalism has never been a science, but it has usually been understood to be informed by a scientific spirit. And the most important part of the scientific spirit is that critics will be given a full and fair hearing, if only to then be rebutted vigourously. Instead, the New York Times has chosen the far simpler method of defeating an opponent's critique-- ignoring it and hoping that it doesn't get wide dissemination.
It is curious indeed for an organization ostensibly committed to reporting the news to actively and deliberately avoid any mention of actual newsmakers, lest those newsmakers' revelations prove too embarassing, and their critiques too difficult to rebut.
Journalistic enterprises have not traditionally suppressed any mention of their critics from the record. Political advocacy groups of course do this by routine; a political advocacy group will report only what it believes helpful to its position while intentionally omitting any mention of strong arguments against its position.
It seems that CBS News, and now the New York Times, have chosen to cease being journalistic enterprises and become all-but-admitted political advocacy groups. That is your choice, but you have no right to continue misrepresenting yourself as a news organization.
Ace of Spades
Correction: As noted below, a coordiated assault by internet partisan political operatives has underhandedly exposed an error I made in this letter originally. It seems Josh Marshall says (says) that his big story was the Niger uranium story, not the Barnes/documents story. I have deleted the reference to that in the letter.
Furthermore, I have deleted the word "vigorous" in modifying Marshall's early defense of the forgeries as authentic. Kos defended them vigorously; Marshall merely defended them.
I was not presented with the defnititive proof of error that I usually require when dealing with internet partisans, but I've decided to be charitable in this case and relax that standard. For once.
— Ace Here is the most delicious of all ironies.
In an article that desperately attempts to pretend that left-wing blogs are the ones making news at the moment...
...in an article that all but pretends Rathergate simply didn't happen at all, in order to avoid giving "undue credit" to right-wing blogs...
...the NYT drops this tasty little nugget -- apparently before doing any of the fact-checking they claim that separates them from mere amateurs:
I ran into [Josh Marshall] later on in the press stands, to the right of the stage, where he had set up shop, squatting at a spot designated for an official news organization in the coveted blue section. He was fiddling with his computer and finishing a cellphone call about what he called ''the biggest story of my life,'' one that would quell any fears about his legitimacy as a real journalist, at least for a while.
Josh Marshall made this comment while blogging the Republican convention, several blocks north of Madison Square Garden.
And what was that "biggest story" of Josh Marshall's life at about that time?
What story was Josh Marshall pimping long before a genuine news organization was duped into publishing?
What story was Josh Marshall pimping during the convention itself?
What story supposedly all came together when Ben Barnes decided to give an interview to Dan Rather while watching the Republican convention?
The very story that the right wing blogosphere discredited, the very same bloggers the New York Times refuses to admit even exist!
Maybe if the sissy writing this piece wasn't trying so desperately to pretend that Rathergate didn't happen at all, he'd have been able to figure out what colossal embarassment Marshall was crowing about, and spare both himself and Marshall some further humiliation by omitting the statement.
Allow me to quote Marshall from September 1:
bit more on Ben Barnes, the guy from Texas who got President Bush into the Guard way-back-when.
Apparently, the attacks on Kerry's war record just proved too much for him. As we've noted previously, for almost a decade now Barnes has gone to great lengths to avoid causing trouble for the president on the Guard matter. And the Bush folks in Texas have made it clear to him during this election cycle that if he spills the beans about the president that they'll do everything in their power to put him out of business in the state (Barnes is now a lobbyist). And that heat has, I'm told, increased dramatically in recent days.
But apparently those threats haven't done the trick because he has already taped a lengthy interview slated to appear in the not-too-distant future on a major national news show in which he'll describe the strings he pulled to keep Bush out of Vietnam and apparently more.
(Between you and me, according to my three sources on this, Barnes told his story to Dan Rather -- remember, the Texas connection -- for 60 Minutes.)
Josh Marshall is celebrated in this article for almost breaking "the biggest story of his life" -- a story that turned out to be the greatest fraud in at least the last thirty years of journalism.
Meanwhile, the bloggers that actually uncovered this fraud are entirely ignored.
But remember-- they're the New York Times. They have no agenda.
None at all.
And of course that's only my little contribution.
Allah reports there's a couple of more absurdities in the piece. For one thing, the NYT interviewed LGF -- he who proved, beyond doubt, the documents were forgeries -- but decided that, goshdarnit, there just weren't enough column-inches to fit in both a mention of Little Green Footballs and a particularly witty Wonkette quote about radishes and tuna.
Further, he reports this catch by the Commissar:
Earlier this month, a platoon of right-wing bloggers launched a coordinated assault against CBS News and its memos claiming that President Bush got special treatment in the National Guard; within 24 hours, the bloggers' obsessive study of typefaces in the 1970's migrated onto Drudge, then onto Fox News and then onto the networks and the front pages of the country's leading newspapers.
Read that again. Right-wing bloggers conclusively debunked the forgeries that the mainstream media (including the NYT) reported to the public as genuine, without any real verification whatsoever, but we were:
1) a "platoon" -- no need for individual names; that could take away exposure from Josh Marshall
2) launching a "coordinated assualt" -- ah. A "coordinated assault," because we all spoke about similar issues simultaneously. What then, praytell, does that make the CBS-CNN-NYT-Boston Globe-USATOday-DNC/Kerry campaign simultaneous attack on Bush's TANG record? Was that also a "coordinated assault"?
Somehow I think the Times would just call that "journalism" and/or "following a hot story."
3) engaging in "obsessive study" -- by which this cocksucker seems to mean the ordinary fact-checking that the MSM should have done. See? They can't be blamed for not even checking to see if this was really a typewritten document; such "obsessive study" of mere details is something that only a crazy-person would do. The New York Times, thus, proves it's a better operation than blogs by not so "obsessively" fact-checking.
And if right-wing bloggers launch a "coordinated assault" when they truthfully and accurately debunk a story, what are we to call it when a left-wing blogger, such as Marshall, is an active participant in the (unwitting, let us say) perpetration of that very fraud?
A "coordinated assualt," I wonder?
Partisan Political Operative Update: A partisan political operative engaging in a "coordinated internet attack" on my reportage says that a Newsweek article has Josh Marshall implying that his "big story" was in fact the Niger-uranium forgery story, and not the Dan Rather forgery story at all.
On the other hand, I have an "expert" I met during an eBay auction for a Dr. Zaius piggy-bank that says I'm right.
Although I still believe my original reportage was accurate if not authentic, I must apologize for rushing to a conclusion.
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