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October 01, 2008

Comments

warren terra, in retrospect, I meant American soldier. Truce?
Sure. I didn't mean to make a big deal; I was just nitpicking last night, and honestly I was surprised to see that anyone responded other than to mock my nitpicking.

Besides, I learned from someone else's comment that there had been an actual third amendment case, which quite surprised me.

(And I do realize that Brokaw is moderating the Oct. 7 debate if that was your point rather than MTP. I just don’t really see him in the tank for a Republican.)

Quite frankly I find it hard to believe that the McCain campaign hasn't known about the whole Ifill thing for weeks, and only started to make a stink about it after it was too late to pick another moderator in order to give themselves a pretext to dismiss the debate should Sarah Palin continue to make an a$$ out of herself and to play into their general "teh mediaz loovze Obama" meme.

OCSteve, I think the idea was that Brokaw's bizarre "in all fairness" summing up on MTP Sunday -- in which he declared that the most important thing is that the American people a few weeks back thought McCain was better for commander in chief -- was evidence of his being in the tank.

Hmmm...I was wondering what Palin's inability to tell us what newspapers she reads reminded me of...

Couric: Stop! What is your name?
Palin: Sarah Palin of Alaska.
Couric: What is your quest?
Palin: I seek the Vice Presidency of the United States.
Couric: What is your favorite color?
Palin: Blue. No yel-- Auuuuuuuugh!

Phil, “Oh, and those two things as regards capital cases have been the ideas of conservatives, have they? I think that requires a cite, Sebastian. Actually more than one. Thanks muchly!”

You’re using Palin-like analysis. My point relies on those things having been done by liberals. My statement wouldn’t make sense if they had been done by conservatives. Otherwise I would be saying something like “I would like it more if liberal judges would vote the way that liberal judges vote”. So, maybe you could revist your comment.

Needless to say, this goes nowhere in proving that the earth is, indeed, hollow.

wow. taking a single sentence out of context in order to build a strawman around it? that was pretty cheap. congratulations.

--

Denial of medical treatment to an injured prisoner can be torture ...

take it up with John McCain. he didn't call it torture and i'm talking about his reaction to events as he described them.

For tonight's debate: Palin Bingo.

KCinDC: Cite?

Should have been Obamas with an "s". I get my talking points mixed up some times. “Gushing” is a relative term I guess. Here’s a couple from MM just because I’m lazy and that’s the go to place for stuff like this.

Take about any paragraph from this I guess.

DNC:
A lot of people have never seen anything that looks like a Michelle Obama before. She’s educated, she’s beautiful, she’s tall, she tells you what she thinks and they hope that she can tell a story about Barack Obama and about herself.

Maybe that’s purely objective. YMMV. She spent time with the family working on the book. She seems to like them. But the perception on the right, especially given the book, and the monetary incentives thereof, is that she is not an objective moderator.

And perception is what it’s really all about. In my original response to you, I used “perceived” three times. I agreed with you as well (excuse making) but added that I thought it was also about forcing her to “bend over backwards to appear to be impartial.

But I think it’s also a legitimate point that many here would take exception if a perceived McCain supporter was hosting this debate.

Ifill is not in any way equivalent to a Brit Hume of the left.

That’s your opinion. But many on the right perceive anyone from PBS just the same way you perceive anyone from FNC. That’s just how it is. It’s exactly equivalent IMO.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I think that the primary goal was to pressure her to be careful not to do anything that can be perceived as biased.

On Brokaw… I don’t know what that last MTP deal was, other than as I mentioned, he’s been working to mend bridges with the campaign. Bias or Olbermann damage control? Plenty on the right also think Browka is biased the other way. There’s an August MTP where he was pretty brutal with McCain’s surrogate (Lieberman) on the negative ads.

J. Sidney McCain III was never tortured.

He may have been enhancedly interrogated, but there is no evidence that he was ever tortured. Don't take my word for it, ask Bush or Yoo or Cheney or McCain himself. Please ask, someone, anyone?

Sebastian:

You’re using Palin-like analysis.

Durrr hurrr hur redux.

My point relies on those things having been done by liberals. My statement wouldn’t make sense if they had been done by conservatives. Otherwise I would be saying something like “I would like it more if liberal judges would vote the way that liberal judges vote”. So, maybe you could revist your comment.

Try to follow along like a big boy, Sebastian:

YOU say: "I sure would like it if liberals would pay attention to the 'property' part more."

I reply: "And I would like it if conservatives would pay attention to the 'life' part."

YOU reply (paraphrasing): "Hey, I'd love it if property cases were subject to the same scrutiny capital cases are."

Now, I never had to take the Miller Analogies Test, but I can read, and the statement you're making here is that you would prefer liberals to treat takings cases like capital cases are treated; except your riposte makes no sense in context, as a reply to me about how conservatives treat capital cases. Do you have something constructive to say on that front, or would you like to be pissy some more?

OCSteve:

NPR is to much of the right what FNC is to many of you here.

Perhaps, but this is what's known as "false equivalence." FNC is what it is to Democrats because they simply lie on the air and engage in rampant boosterism for right-wing ideology. NPR is what it is to "the right" because it doesn't kowtow to right-wing shibboleths.

It's like saying, "FDR is just as bad to a lot of libertarians as Hitler is to Jews." Why give that statement anything but a snort of derision?

Beyond the book there are interviews where she is just gushing over Obama.

To which, conveniently, you aren't able to link a single one.

I can think of an example where denying constitutional rights to corporations would impair free speech. The New York Times Co. is a corporation. In NYT v. Sullivan it was sued for libel, but successfully defended on 1st Amendment grounds. That defense would not have been available if corporations did not have constitutional rights. Without that defense Commissioner Sullivan could have won his libel case and seized the paper's assets to satisfy whatever judgment he won. It would make no difference that the individual reporters could assert 1st Amendment defenses because the corporation itself was the defendant.

Your last sentence doesn't follow from your premise. If corporations didn't have legal personhood, Sullivan would not have been able to sue "The New York Times Corporation," as should be obvious. You can't sue something that can't be a party to legal ongoings.

He'd have had to sue the individual reporter and, perhaps, the owners and publishers -- who could have then, indeed, gone on to assert their individual free speech rights. Which is exactly what happens in the case of newspapers or other organs that are self-published.

cleek: take it up with John McCain. he didn't call it torture

McCain does not get to define what constitutes torture.

Try to follow along like a big boy, Sebastian:
YOU say: "I sure would like it if liberals would pay attention to the 'property' part more."
I reply: "And I would like it if conservatives would pay attention to the 'life' part."
YOU reply (paraphrasing): "Hey, I'd love it if property cases were subject to the same scrutiny capital cases are."
[NOTE: the actual quote is “Hey if we had mandatory appeals and constant appellate court review of nearly every single property taking case I'd be thrilled.” Weird to paraphrase something almost as short as the paraphrase. ]
Now, I never had to take the Miller Analogies Test, but I can read, and the statement you're making here is that you would prefer liberals to treat takings cases like capital cases are treated; except your riposte makes no sense in context, as a reply to me about how conservatives treat capital cases. Do you have something constructive to say on that front, or would you like to be pissy some more?
You seem to have forgotten your reply. To refresh your memory it was “Oh, and those two things as regards capital cases have been the ideas of conservatives, have they? I think that requires a cite, Sebastian. Actually more than one. Thanks muchly!”
This clearly implies that my argument ought to rely on conservatives coming up with the scrutiny for the capital cases. But that doesn’t make any sense.
I noted that liberals paid attention to the property part less than the life part.
I noted that I would like it if property cases were subject to the same scrutiny as the capital cases and since I already noted that liberals paid more attention to the life part I’m clearly aware that they have a bigger part in the life part.
You sarcastically replied with “Oh, and those two things as regards capital cases have been the ideas of conservatives, have they? I think that requires a cite. Sebastian. Actually more than one. Thanks muchly?”
And you worry about me being pissy? ;)
But even as a sarcastic throw-away quip it doesn’t work well. My statements don’t require that conservatives have created the large number of appeals in the *life* cases. In fact it wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever if I believed they had been. Clearly my statement relies on the fact that the life cases which liberals pay attention to get more scrutiny than the property cases which they pretty much ignore. If they didn’t pretty much ignore the doctrine around the property cases, it wouldn’t make sense to be thrilled by applying that level of appeals scrutiny.
Are you following along?

Phil: FNC is what it is to Democrats because they simply lie on the air and engage in rampant boosterism for right-wing ideology. NPR is what it is to "the right" because it doesn't kowtow to right-wing shibboleths.

NPR is what it is to Republicans because they simply lie on the air and engage in rampant boosterism for left-wing ideology. FNC is what it is to "the left" because it doesn't kowtow to left-wing shibboleths.

What’s the difference? They are just as sure as you are, just as convinced they are right. I’m perfectly happy to acknowledge that FNC engages in rampant boosterism for right-wing ideology. Are you willing to admit NPR leans left? Or is this a one sided issue?

To which, conveniently, you aren't able to link a single one.

Excuse the use of the word “interviews”. It’s been a long day. I linked to an article she penned. It wasn’t worth taunting the s-p-a-m filter to also link her DNC reporting, which I assume anyone can find if they actually have an interest.

Columbia Journalism Review, for the record:

Conflict of interest is often about appearances. There appears, to us, to be a conflict in Ifill moderating tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate.

What’s the difference? They are just as sure as you are, just as convinced they are right. I’m perfectly happy to acknowledge that FNC engages in rampant boosterism for right-wing ideology. Are you willing to admit NPR leans left? Or is this a one sided issue?

You are very balanced, OCSteve, but are you fair? Flat-earthers and Scientologists are also convinced they're "right". Strength of conviction is one thing; objective reality (with its well-known liberal bias) is another.

--TP

OCSteve, I think you cover up a multitude of sins when you talk about Ifill's book so obliquely. The problem with having Brit Hume moderate a debate isn't that he's conservative, it is that his conservatism causes him to lie and distort the truth. Ifill may have that problem, but you'd need to make an affirmative case that she does. Simply writing a book that says some good things about Obama isn't really sufficient: Obama, no matter what you think of him, has done some impressive things that really should be praised. In a country where Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are thought of as representative black politicians, Obama has had far more electoral success and has demonstrated far more political skill. Now, one could easily write a highly critical book about Obama, but if it doesn't start from those premises, it is not a book grounded in reality. Therefore, the mere fact that the book says some nice things about Obama doesn't tell us whether the author is so biased about him as to behave dishonestly and unprofessionally when moderating a debate. All it tells us is that she's not totally nuts.

I'm open to real evidence that Ifill both likes Obama AND is sufficiently dishonest so as to skew her debate moderation. This should be easy enough to find: the woman has been writing about politics for a few decades, right? Hasn't she moderated debates before? Did you see examples of obvious bias in her previous performances or writings? If not, what is it about Obama that suggests she would be especially prone to dishonesty on his behalf? Is it just the theory that black people can't resist helping each other out because, you know, that's just how they are? I kid, I kid; I know you don't believe that, but I'd be willing to bet that some people on the right that are "concerned" about her do believe it.

McCain does not get to define what constitutes torture.

it's not about what you think. it's not about modern definitions. it's not about Guantanamo. it's not about anything but John McCain, his experience, and what he felt he was experiencing at the time. he says he was merely "beat up a little" before he offered information.

now, to the point: substitute "Barack Obama" for "John McCain" in this scenario, and imagine the race. Barack Obama says (his own words, in writing, in a major news magazine) before he was tortured, he offered military information. imagine you're Rove, or Schmidt, or Jerome Corsi, and run with it (actually, Corsi already did).

that's the point.


f'n a

There appears, to us, to be a conflict in Ifill moderating tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate.

I'm not thrilled about the potential conflict of interest, but I'm looking at this from a different perspective than CJR. I look at the media landscape and I see an astonishing number of profoundly stupid people. I'd actually be OK with a moderately conservative debate moderator, on one condition: they have to be really smart. At this point, I just want smart people guiding our discourse; that's a lot more important to me than ideological purity or objectivity. Maybe that's just me though.

I’m perfectly happy to acknowledge that FNC engages in rampant boosterism for right-wing ideology. Are you willing to admit NPR leans left? Or is this a one sided issue?

Do you understand the difference between "leaning left" and "lying?"

"I just don’t really see him in the tank for a Republican."

But the liberal blogs have been filled with evidence that he is that is not dissimilar to that thrown at Ifill.

And -- unremarkably -- few Democrats who have watched the PBS Newshour and seen the scrupulous fairness that they go at politics with, and noticed how many more Republican/conservative interviewees they have than leftists of any sort, don't see Ifill as remotely in the tank for Obama. Your point?

The conclusion mostly seems to run along the lines of "she's black, and writing a book on black politicians, therefore she must be sure to act in a biased fashion towards Obama."

Personally, I don't think Brokaw will be seriously biased towards McCain -- though he will surely be less hard on him than, say, Amy Goodman would be. And I don't think Ifill will be remotely seriously biased towards Obama -- though she'll surely be less hard on him than, say, Hugh Hewitt will be.

All that's going on is working the refs, save that any effort regarding Brokaw is pretty minor, no matter that the evidence is more or less on the same level.

"wow. taking a single sentence out of context in order to build a strawman around it? that was pretty cheap. congratulations."

Huh? What was your point, then?

I don't know what that means

it means Googling "mccain songbird" gives you 160K hits, which, try as I might, can't all be tracked back to a handful of angry vets who wanted to smear McCain.

Sorry, if your point isn't that 160k hits for those two words is somehow significant, I have no idea why you brought it up and what point you're making; I don't get what the significance of googling words and counting the number of hits is, as regards whether a particular claim is true or not. I'm perfectly prepared to believe I'm being slow, and it's shot over my head, but, with apologies, you'll have to unpack it for me, please.

Huh? What was your point, then?

i think i've written it enough times here already. so maybe we should just let this go.

NPR is what it is to Republicans because they simply lie on the air and engage in rampant boosterism for left-wing ideology. FNC is what it is to "the left" because it doesn't kowtow to left-wing shibboleths.

What’s the difference?

Who on NPR, specifically -- which shows? -- are the equivalent of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly?

Does NPR send out memos to anchors giving direction each day on how stories should be slanted? Fox does. Cite on NPR doing it?

The difference is that Fox News has a directed slant to the news. I don't see how this can be denied in the face of the clear evidence. NPR, on the other hand, is accused of things like a "liberal sensibility," which even if true, isn't remotely the same things as deliberately slanting the news. There's no, so far as I know, person sitting at NPR going "how can we make our coverage more liberal?" There are, on the other hand, people at Fox News doing that.

That's the difference.

"Are you willing to admit NPR leans left?"

Even you yourself can't bring yourself to draw an equivalence.

To respond: not without evidence, no. But, to be sure, I hardly ever listen to NPR (or any radio) myself. But since your erstwhile pals on the right either almost never use a definition of "left" that makes sense to me ("Barack Obama is an extreme leftist"), or they come up with insane theories with no evidence, that they find convincing, I'm inclined to suspect that I'll find little different as regards NPR. But, hey, by all means, give us some cites on NPR actually being leftist, rather than simply not crazy right-wing.

cleek: now, to the point: substitute "Barack Obama" for "John McCain" in this scenario, and imagine the race. Barack Obama says (his own words, in writing, in a major news magazine) before he was tortured, he offered military information. imagine you're Rove, or Schmidt, or Jerome Corsi, and run with it (actually, Corsi already did).

Oh, right: yeah, no if that's your point, I totally agree - it's not just the torture/POW thing, it's everything about McCain that, if it were true of Obama, would mean he wouldn't stand a chance - that's white privilege.

"I think there's a very powerful argument that that was the intent of the 14th Amendment, functionally reversed by the Sup. Ct. in the Slaughter-house cases."

Slaughterhouse was in 1873; it interpreted the privileges and immunities clause of the 14th Amendment.

More generally though, I agree that conservatives will sometimes break with originalism when it leads to [perceived] unacceptable outcomes. Scalia's admitted that and called himself a "faint-hearted originalist." Thomas actually seems willing to follow things through though. That's why I said that liberal scholars will temper originalism with concern for stare decisis and public policy. Since, as you point out, conservatives do this too, I think it's better to be open about it. But even the most liberal jurists rely on originalism to some degree. For example, in Heller, Justice Stevens tried to counter Scalia's originalist argument with an originalist argument of his own; he did not simply reject the methodology.

Nevermind (original) Francis, I completely misread your point, sorry. Yeah, Slaughterhouse gutted the P&I clause. There's a good originalist case against it. But everything P&I was supposed to do ended up getting done by the due process clause, which is how we ended up talking about a "liberty" clause in the first place.

Also, making state citizenship derivative of national citizenship rather than vice versa was hugely important. I didn't mean to suggest the reconstruction amendments didn't radically alter constitutional law. Sorry again for completely missing your point.

"Your last sentence doesn't follow from your premise. If corporations didn't have legal personhood, Sullivan would not have been able to sue "The New York Times Corporation," as should be obvious. You can't sue something that can't be a party to legal ongoings."

That's true, but that's not what I had in mind. I was thinking of a scenario in which corporations law existed as it does now, but that corporations did not have constitutional rights because the word "person" in the constitution was held not to include them as a matter of constitutional law. If they exist at all, corporations by definition have to be juridical persons. As I said, we can imagine a world without corporations, I just think that would be economically inefficient. But I can't imagine a world with corporations that weren't persons. Personhood is inherent in the meaning of the word itself.

it's everything about McCain that, if it were true of Obama, would mean he wouldn't stand a chance - that's white privilege.

There's definitely white privilege involved, but a lot of what's going on is Republican privilege. IOKIYAR.

NPR is to much of the right what FNC is to many of you here.

There are lots of differences between the two which, I think, show that the two are not really equivalent. Some of them have been mentioned already.

My take, personally, is that NPR does, in fact "lean liberal", which is not the same as "lean left".

For example, there's a very popular NPR show called "Marketplace", but I've never heard of a program called "Organized Labor Today". Nor have I ever heard anyone on NPR call for, frex, the kind of aggressive negotiation for compensation for publicly held mineral rights that seems to be Sarah Palin's claim to fame.

More's the pity.

IMO, while the quality of the actual journalism on NPR is pretty good, the tone and editorial stance is more about being nice than about taking a strong position either to the left or right.

Even so, I'm sure they still get up lots of conservative's noses, especially when they think about the deli sandwich and bag of chips that they could have bought with the tax money they, personally, spend on NPR each year.

The only counter-argument that I'll really make to your point is that many folks on the left-to-liberal side of the spectrum also find NPR's commentary feeble and annoying. Many jokingly claim that the acronym stands for "Nice Polite Republicans".

Thanks -

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