Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, March 26, 2012 8:01 pm

Breitbart really was the brains of the outfit; or, In which O’Keefe takes on the IRS

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 8:01 pm
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Man, March 22 really was a red-letter day for James O’Keefe, the Andrew Breitbart minion. Not only did we learn about his “Panty-Stealing ‘Rape Barn’ Sex and Racism Scandal,” we also learned that his Project Veritas was advertising itself as a charitable nonprofit when, in fact, it was no such thing – and that O’Keefe is not above using the pretense of undercover journalism to try to settle personal scores. That latter post also has some things to teach conservaclowns about the difference between real journalism and the kind of funhouse-mirror crap practiced by Breitbart and his acolytes.

O’Keefe, the provocateur/fake pimp whose faked very selectively edited videos involving the organizing group ACORN led to its demise although no wrongdoing by the group was ever proved, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after being charged with a felony after some sort of weirdness involving the office phones of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. He also attempted to prank CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau by luring her onto a boat filled with sex toys, which makes the barn incident involving onetime colleague Nadia Naffe enlightening even if no charges came from it.

It’s true that the IRS violation committed by Project Veritas was technical and easily corrected. But it’s also true that it’s potentially a very big deal if a lot of money gets contributed to the group under false pretenses. It’s also true that it’s never a good idea to go out of your way to get on the bad side of the IRS.

If stupidity were painful or lethal, the world would be a more pleasant place. O’Keefe’s been cutting corners for a while, now, and if he keeps it up, we’re going to get an illustration of how much more pleasant it could be.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 10:10 pm

Andrew Breitbart is still dead. And still stupid. And yet, apparently, the brains of his outfit.

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns!,Fun — Lex @ 10:10 pm
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That’s apparently the only rational explanation for the Big Reveal: Obama hugging some guy more than 20 years ago in video that aired on PBS in 2008.

This was supposed to bring down a Presidency? Really?

Some stuff is so stupid that all one can rationally do is mock. I didn’t check, but I’m sure the Farkers were on the case. And before I went to bed, not only was Twitter joining in (@owillis, in particular, made a number of distinguished contributions), but a submeme also had arisen involving mashing up #HugGate with lines from movies. Forthwith, because Samuel L. Jackson is a badass, my humble contribution to the proceedings:

I’m honored that Angry Black Lady made this her Tweet of the Day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 2:39 pm

Compare and contrast

Filed under: Journalism — Lex @ 2:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

Right and Left take on a CNN segment on anonymous blogging.

Newsbusters thinks the CNN anchors are crazy.

Glenn Greenwald thinks the CNN anchors have a point … but not the point that they think they have.

For the record, I believe any governmental effort to regulate anonymous/pseudonymous blogging would be constitutionally flawed and doomed on practical grounds to fail. This is not anything government can or should do anything about.

I also believe that media outlets and commentators overuse anonymous sources and that while there’s a lot more talk about that problem than there was 15 or 20 years ago, there’s been no action.

But I also believe that when the Drudges and Breitbarts of the world pull stuff out of their nether orifices, they should be held accountable. I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see Shirley Sherrod sue the stuffing out of Breitbart. What could happen, if reporters and commentators could be troubled to grow a pair, is that they could stop relying on the Drudges and the Breitbarts of the world when they’ve been proved as wrong as they have on as many big stories as they have. And the fact that Drudge has occasionally been right does not let him off the hook, let alone let off the hook the more respectable outlets that let him drive their agenda.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:14 pm

Odds and ends for 1/28

The ultimate Miller Time: Earlier this month, Harriet Ames turned 100 and then scratched the last item, getting her college diploma, off her bucket list. The next day, that sheepskin in her hand, she died.

To the best of my ability, I will never again say a bad word about the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Conflict of interest?: The New York Times isn’t commenting on a report that the son of its Jerusalem bureau chief is serving in the Israeli military. I understand the problems that publication of this fact, if fact it be, is likely to create for the editor and the paper, as well as the possible security threat for the son and his unit if in fact this is the case. But this isn’t something the Times can ignore or stonewall.

Sen. Judd Gregg: PWNED!!111!!: Gregg, who has been pimping this idea of a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission to shield Congress from the political liability of making tough decisions, shows why he needs the shield when MSNBC’s Melissa Francis, whose work will never keep the Peabody Award people up nights, asks him to name something he’d cut from the budget and he refuses to answer. (To say nothing of the fact that he hems and haws around the question of cutting education spending when that has practically been Job 1 for the GOP since Reagan. Brother, please.)

But you don’t want to reward them, either: Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz says we not only need a lot more stimulus spending, we need it targeted where it will provide a decent rate of return if we’re going to be able to reduce our debt long-term. And where would that be? Technology, infrastructure, education — all the things the Republicans have been trying, by and large, not to fund. Even a ROI of 6% will help pay off long-term debt. But the ROI on spending on banks is 0%. You listening, Mr. President?

Conservative victimization: Obama calls out the Supreme Court for its wrongheaded, wrongly reached ruling in a wrongly accepted case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and the wingnuts accuse the president of trying to “intimidate” the conservative activist wing of the Court. Questions, for the wingnuts (which is most of ‘em) who spent eighth-grade civics out back smoking dope: How, exactly, do you go about intimidating someone who already has been confirmed to a lifetime appointment? And how easily intimidated do you have to be to hold such a job and still be intimidated by … well, pretty much anything?

The cops lied, and fortunately, 12 of 14 jurors were willing to do something about it. I’ll say it again: I have too much respect for good cops to have any tolerance for bad ones.

George Stephanopoulos asks a good question. NewsBusters has a hissy fit, spouts objectively false claims. (“Liberal media” = “They won’t tell the lies we WANT them to tell.”)

In many important ways, the United States sucks compared to other countries, and it is important to remind ourselves of that. On the other hand, we — alone, I believe, among industrialized countries, and I’d be sad to be wrong about that but not for the reason you probably think — have given corporations more rights and fewer freedoms than people, so we’ve got that going for us.

Bigotry in Malawi: A gay couple in that country are being held “for their own safety” in jail. Where they’re being beaten up.

“I’ve never actually played FarmVille, but any game worth playing has to have Pork Knights”: How to Suck at Facebook.

The Great American Interrogation Disaster, from the man who may know more about interrogation than anyone else alive.

Memo to Andrew Breitbart from the Universe: Payback’s a bitch.

You may be a mansplainer if …: Consider me warned.

Freeloaders: In Moscow, stray dogs use the subway. For free. For real.

Britain’s libel laws are much stricter than America’s. There’s just one problem.

America loves Brett Favre: How much? More than anything that wasn’t a Super Bowl since the “Seinfeld” finale in May 1998.

Huge loss: Journalist Joe Galloway is hanging up his notepad. In recent years, Americans who have worn the uniform and those who wear it still have had no better friend.

Huger loss: J.D. Salinger, RIP.

I have just found the one college course even cooler than my employer’s “Ten Greatest Pop Songs of the Past 50 Years”: ZDI.001: Introduction to Zombie Defense. I forwarded this to several friends, one of whom said she also would post it and added, “I’m also going to read closely for practical purposes.”

And in that vein, I love people who think like this: Seated with Michelle Obama during the State of the Union was 18-year-old high-school senior Li Boynton, who’s researching ways to test water for purity. After reading Life of Pi, a novel about a guy stranded in the middle of the ocean, Boynton designed a solar-distillation device in case the same thing ever happened to her. She was in fifth grade.

And, finally, this is genius: Dante’s Internet:

The Rubric Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

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