Whose Gore Is Being Oxed?
Well, Cyberjournalist.net posted this two days later:
Conservative Wikipedia launchesThey're good people, and I subscribe to their e-newsletter. subscribe: http://cyberjournalist.publishmail.com/
March 18, 2007
Andrew Schlafly, son of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, has founded a new site called Conservapedia.com, which describes itself as "a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American."
And, I note in the latest issue that they're linked to this site, wherein a nice fellow named Yehuda Berlinger has posted his version of "A Blogger Code of Ethics," which -- I will note in passing -- I have ALWAYS followed, with respect to this blog. I've been a professional writer and journalist for 31 years now, and those hard-won lessons in "ethical" writing are so ingrained that I never stop to consider that most people don't know them, and most online 'journalists' and, sadly, print journalists, NEVER seem to follow them, let alone evince any evidence that they KNOW them.
Case in point:
Yesterday's "John Edwards" announcement. Elizabeth Edwards, it had become known, had received news about her breast cancer, diagnosed following the 2004 Presidential Election (felony convictions in Ohio on that one, not being covered in the media), and there was wild speculation about whether Edwards would abort his presidential campaign.
A wannabe commercial news blog "Politico.com" has a news blogger named Ben Smith, who posted that Edwards was going to suspend his campaign. CNN Radio, ABC, CBS, Reuters and UPI all reported that bit of gossip, rather than simply wait for the actual news and press conference. A few minutes after the address, they scurried (scuttled?) to expunge the erroneous bit of news, and, in the case of Politico, the blogger 'fessed up, and received props for his online "honesty."
Of course, the bogus story was expunged.
Go ahead and take a look. Many mea culpas, but history has been erased. And what's to stop "Ben Smith" from erasing the culpas mea'ed, given time?
Ethics. (Oh. Whoops.)
A gazillion newspapers printed the vicious little gossip piece and then posted the post-speech AP followup as fast as they could. Notable is NEWSDAY, whose "Glenn Thrush" article was neatly "disappeared." Compare that with "Yehuda's" 'blogger ethics' point:
CorrectionLadies and Gentlemen, THAT is a dishonest coverup. Here are some of the journalistic criminals who violated that precept of Journalism 101: 'Get it first, but get it right.'* Alas for them, the Google cache isn't quite so easily expunged.
Unless my posting inadvertently violates one of the other codes mentioned, I will generally not change the URLs or delete my postings, although I may correct for grammar, clarity, or spelling.
If corrections need to be made, I will try to use strikeout rather than deleting the material and mark all updates as such.
Edwards to suspend presidential campaign: source[* borrowed from a reader comment on Smith's blog: Posted By: Mike | March 22, 2007 at 12:48 PM -- first comment in thread, which Ms. Sklar and I both borrowed without attribution. - HW 13:40 PDT]
ABC News -
25 minutes ago
Mar 22, 2007 — CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Reuters) - Democrat John Edwards is suspending his US presidential campaign, and may drop out completely because ...
And the Los Angeles TIMES:
Edwards to suspend presidential campaign, Democratic source saysHere's NEWSDAY'S "GLENN THRUSH" (perhaps a relative of "Gary Gentile"?)
Los Angeles Times, CA -
38 minutes ago
Democrat John Edwards is suspending his US presidential campaign, and may drop out completely because his wife has suffered a recurrence of the cancer that ...
John Edwards to halt presidential campaignHere's some more "legitimate" journalistic outlets whose commitment to "truth" seems, at best, a marriage of convenience:
Newsday, NY -
1 hour ago
BY GLENN THRUSH. WASHINGTON -- John Edwards is expected to suspend his presidential campaign Thursday, and might drop out of the race altogether, ...
Source: Edwards To Suspend 2008 CampaignLet's see: ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC (bpoth CNBC and MSNBC), Orlando Sentinel, NewsMax, NEWSDAY, Reuters, LA TIMES. Who else?
CBS 11, TX - 25 minutes ago
(CBS News) WASHINGTON John Edwards is suspending his campaign for president — and may drop out of the race completely — because his wife has suffered a ...
Source: John Edwards to Suspend 2008 Campaign
NewsMax.com, FL - 28 minutes ago
Democrat John Edwards will suspend his presidential campaign, and may drop out completely, because his wife Elizabeth has suffered a recurrence cancer that ...
John Edwards To Suspend Presidential Campaign-MSNBC*
CNBC, NJ - 38 minutes ago
By Reuters | 22 Mar 2007 | 12:02 PM. Democrat John Edwards is suspending his US presidential campaign, and may drop out completely because his wife has ...
[*how's THAT for incestuous? CNBC reports that MSNBC quotes Reuters ...]
John Edwards to halt presidential campaign
Orlando Sentinel, FL - 54 minutes ago
BY GLENN THRUSH | email@example.com. WASHINGTON -- John Edwards is expected to suspend his presidential campaign Thursday, and might drop out of the ...
Well, WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa offered this piece of local investigative journalism:
... State party leaders believed that Edwards would suspend his campaign. Former Democratic party chair Gordon Fischer earlier, ( ',' is sic) confirmed that Edwards is suspending his campaign due to his wife's health, perhaps indefinitely....At LEAST it wasn't the national echo machine. Do you begin to understand how poisonous this media concentration is? One bad story gets into the hopper, and every major news outlet ends up with egg on their face.
Er ... I mean that they OUGHT to, except that none will cover it, and the coverup of the irresponsible journalism continues. Politico.com probably WON'T lose credibility as a mutant print/internet news outlet -- neither fish nor fowl, Smith neither a quite blogger nor reporter -- mostly because it was an embarrassment, and in the nooz biz, embarrassments are best forgotten-- except for Christmas parties and drunken late nights at hotel bars, where the secrets sins of the botherhood (and cisternhood) of journalism 'fesses up to their secret shames, which are legion.
So, don't think that the "legitimate" press doesn't know about coverups. I've been around newsrooms (usually as a freelance book critic) for nearly thirty years now (since I became the first freelancer at the late Los Angeles HERALD-EXAMINER in 1978 because my buddy who worked at the telephone company overheard their scuttlebutt while he was rewiring their phone system, and heard that they were thinking of allowing freelance pieces in the paper, after having been exclusively staff-written for years). And, as such, I've had a unique perspective into their office politics (although they would be embarrassed to know it) , which are, like the office politics anywhere, feral and only in the realm of gossip.
And who guards the guardians? Who protects the public trust with those who allegedly protect the public trust?
Generally, no one. And so, they are allowed to get away with this atrocious behavior. Think about it, the largest news outlets in America were more than happy to quote secondhand, ONE anonymous source, because telling you in ADVANCE is more important than simply reporting the event in real time.
There is something fundamentally poisonous, cancerous and diseased about a news media that regularly reports the news to you -- wait for it -- BEFORE it happens!
Prima fascie, there is something WRONG with the headline: SO AND SO IS GOING TO DO SUCH AND SUCH. It cannot be.
Any fool who's actually observed reality knows that even things that EVERYONE knows are going to happen sometimes don't -- think of the 1989 World Series Game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's that was cancelled at the last minute by the SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE.
Any editor who passes on a story that tells you what is GOING to happen is in dereliction of every canon of journalism, and, by all rights, should have his face held to the stat camera glass, and repeatedly photostat'ed by quartz lamps until he's charcoal.
Well, except weather and financial reporting, which are always whimsical journeys into the flim-flam world of soothsayerdom and seance-land "the Market fell today because of concerns over the burgeoning widget shortage." Oh, reALLLLLLY? How could anyone short of "God" know what ALL investors were thinking? And, if this was a "poll" when was it taken? Or, was it, in fact, pulled straight out of your Collective Ass? The latter, I'd wager.
And leave us not forget weather: I have, on tape our local weatherman, John Fishbeck, telling us that summer water worries were over, the Cascade snow pack was X number of inches. A week later, the "pineapple express" from Hawaii arrived with torrents of subtropical supersaturated air, and that warm rain melted the snowpack and we had flooding for weeks. And the summer water was NEVER replenished that year. Soothsaying. But with weather, the "could be" and "maybe" are understood to be there, since it's ALWAYS prediction, and rarely reportage -- except for them cutesy-pie sunset photos that local photographers send in, desperately attempting to get their 15 minutes of fame.
(Parenthetically, it's rather sad, you know, that most people have never been in a TV news studio for any length of time and seen how tawdry and, in many ways, commonplace it is. The photo of the cityscape in back of the anchors, for instance, is usually JUST THAT. If you get up close, you can see the flyspecks and coffee-stains left over from some forgotten diva tantrum, along with stray flecks of spittle and that pancake makeup that they slather on, slowly killing the TV performers' skin -- after all, mostly they just read the news, and make sure their hair is properly coiffed, their teeth are correctly capped, and their diction is airy. Not, however, their proper enunciation. Feb YOOO ary is the rule. February the exception that proves the rule.)
When "fact" is mixed with fiction, fact will suffer from the association.
Fiction may not benefit, but fact will surely suffer. This is why "creationist" books are sold at the Grand Canyon. This is why Conservapedia can claim, straight-facedly, that kangaroos may have surfed to Australia on rafts of vegetation torn up by the Great Flood of Noah.
And, why Bush & Cheney & Co. could sell a war to a credulous press eager for revenge and not for facts.
(Do you really think that it could have happened, if the terrorists had, instead, brought down the Sears Tower in Chicago and Independence Hall in Philadelphia? Puhleeeeze. The New York media's bloodlust for revenge seemingly throttled their critical faculties, and here we are. Any inference about the poisonous nature of concentrating all "news" in New York and Washington, D.C. is purely your own speculation.)
Which leads us finally to Al Gore.
The Right Wing has launched a full-out blitz on reality with the fundamental ad hominem "Al Gore says global warming is a reality, and, therefore, because Al Gore says so, it can't be true."
The Republican pavlovs have had a generation to condition their true believers to drool on cue, and "Bill Clinton" and "Al Gore" -- or as Rush desperately tried to coin but never caught on, Algore -- are guaranteed bell-ringers. Woof woof.
There is not time to go into the motivations of those behind this Fantasy Blitzkrieg to prove that global warming is a "myth." You probably know them already, and if you don't, watch this space in future. But, this much can be said: it is imperative to the invisible hands that pull the marionette strings of the Propaganda Media of the Right (PMOR) that their dogs foam at the mouth whenever "global warming" is mentioned, irrespective of the dangers involved.
But the salient and conspicuously absent ingredient in all of this is "reality." "Facts," said John Adams -- when he infamously and famously defended the accused British soldiers of the "Boston Massacre" --"are stubborn things."
Which is why the entire "global warming" debate revolves around a few kook scientists and smearing Al Gore.
Because, as science has been belittled by this administration, much as Hitler and the Nazis belittled science -- to their ultimate peril -- except that which was convenient to their purposes, thus sending all of the atomic scientists (many were Jews) to America to eventually build the Atomic Bomb, so, too, the Bush Administration has conveniently ignored any science inconvenient to their ends.
The title "An Inconvenient Truth" is, itself, a spot-on critique of the whole yowling mob of imbeciles that increasingly characterize the "right." I watched the Senate and House debates on the latest "supplemental" request for war-cookies from the spoiled brats in the White House yesterday, and I must say that the new Republican minority is setting a new World's Record for whiny petulance in pursuit of political ends. I mean, half the speeches were on the order of "Mommy, I saw Jimmy take a piece of candy," conveniently forgetting that a mere year earlier, whiny baby brother had been caught trying to slit Jimmy's throat in his sleep.
It is to marvel. And it's so petty: like the bark of a spoiled chihuahua who's just been humiliated with a rock square in the nose. He is suddenly struck not merely with comeuppance, but is literally traumatized at the sudden realization of his REAL priority in the Grand Scheme of Things. "The Democrats didn't let us put ANY of our fifty amendments into the Rules Committee hearing!"
Or, (I am not making this up): "They said they wouldn't legislate in the wee hours of the morning, but the Rules Committee session lasted until 1 AM.) This, from the bunch who held the prescription drug vote after 1 AM in the morning, and held the vote OPEN for hours until, after intimidation and whitewashed bribery, they twisted enough arms to turn it the other way?
Dear Lord. I used to say that you could never fully comprehend the sheer magnitude of rationalization that the human mind is capable of until you'd either tried to convince an alcoholic that they are, in fact, an alcoholic or had debated a Jehovah's Witness door-to-door salesperson.
To that, add listening to a Republican legislator in Washington, D.C.
But, in Al Gore's visit to the Hill, even the normally sane Jon Stewart decided to get into bed with Ann Coulter in picking up what needed to be lampooned in a man who, to the best of my knowledge, has done NOTHING ignoble or shameful in all of this, and only selflessly acted in a praiseworthy manner.
He is, Jon Stewart brilliantly observed, overweight.
That's it. The funniest joke in all of monkeydom save a couple: You're fat!
That ranks right up there with: "you're ugly! "
And "you're stupid!"
But below: "You have a funny name that I' m going to make a rude pun out of."
Of course, the piece de resistance of this brilliantine humor is: "I throw my shit in your face," of which the descriptive, "you're a poopyhead" is generally the first insult that we humans learn. Fortunately, we generally leave that ancient anthropoid joke (pre-dating our species, even as jokes like "shitting a brick" -- Aristophanes -- predate our language) to the realm of symbolic action (the pie-fight and the figure of speech) rather than actualize the metaphor.
Ann Coulter, clearly a mind in the same gutter as Jon Stewart's yesterday, has written a brilliant critique of global warming this week, entitled, "The Coming Ass Age."
I might speculate that Stewart's lapse into imbecility was engendered by the fact that Al Gore was invited to the Oscars this year and that Stewart, pointedly, was not. But that would be unfair.
No: as the complicit, increasingly criminal media (criminal for printing fantasy as "fact" and with no adjudgment as to which fantasies might be better, Left or Right) as that "legitimate" media covers the nooz about Global Warming (that's not right, quoth John Bolton, it is properly called "Global Climate Change" according to an administration who denied whatchamacallit's existence for five years and more) as that complicit media covers the brouhaha, they give "Equal Time" to the fantasy and the facts.
And, I have watched over the past month, as the Conservative Talking Points have quietly made the belief in science or facts a matter of True Faith.
They lampoon Gore because a slimy little Libertarian Think Tank* found that Gore's got big electric bills.
[*part of the State Policy Network, some of whose whose staff members, along with Oregon Blogger Kurt Weber of the Cascade Policy Institute, and CitizenFOIA, sit on the Board of Directors of the little company, Total Consulting Strategies, Inc., that "sold" their "SPEND-O-METER" applet to every TABOR/SOS Campaign, and many state policy groups from Maine to Oklahoma, to New Mexico, Michigan to Oregon to South Dakota to the Hawaiian Islands. Hint to journalists: look in the page code for this phrase, sometimes omitted by incompetent webmasters: "copyright 2005, all rights reserved. Spend O Meter is the intellectual property of Total Consulting Strategies, Inc. email at firstname.lastname@example.org"]
Woooo. Gore should use LESS electricity! (Even though we don't, because we don't believe in conservation, as Conservatives. We believe in profligacy, except in sexual matters. Right Mr. Bill "Virtues" Bennett?)
So, why do they feel themselves NOT hypocrites for using the internet and microphones, and glasses and airplanes, and cell phones and paper and PENCILS, when they reject science? Well, the bell seems to be ringing, after all. Woof woof.
And Jon and Ann notwithstanding, let me say this: if, in fact, we cut to the chase in this low pursuit of monkey humor, the final run will be the throwing of feces, and you two skinny pukes will NEVER win a shit-flinging contest from a fat man, so be warned. Think it through. (And, as I -- a fat man -- like to tell young people at buffets, "Kid, never get between a fat man and food. It ain't safe.")
So the whole debate about Global Warming, and the tremendous amount of decency, of taking a SCREWED situation (the theft of his legitimate election in 2000) and turning it into something decent and good, it all comes down to FAT jokes?
Why, that's almost as bad as the lousy job that the media is doing safeguarding our liberty. For instance, did you know that felony convictions have been handed out Ohio for tampering with the election of 2004? That Kerry -- it increasingly looks certain -- had the persidential election stolen by Bushies ... AGAIN?
(Posted 10 hours ago) Explosive new vote fraud developments continue to rock Ohio and Florida
Yeah. I know.
But it's literally all about having their own facts.
And I can tell you that life is self-correcting. If your simulation of reality (that which you perceive as reality, but which you KNOW to be five senses sampling little slices of the electromagnetic spectrum, most of which you CAN'T perceive without scientific instruments) varies with reality itself, you are in for a crash.
It's like a drunk on a river with a foot in two canoes. As the current increases, the separation between the canoes is going to increase to the point that one canoe or the other must be abandoned (assuming the drunk doesn't fall in the river). If he chooses the "fantasy" canoe, the drunk ends up institutionalized or dead. If the latter, he has a chance of surviving.
Facts are stubborn things.
So: we report news before it happens. We decide to throw facts out when politically inconvenient. Might I lobby meekly for reality? For 'just the facts, ma'am"?
Thought not. OK. Onward.
To you reporters:
There is such a thing as "reality." There are such things as "facts." Your job is to filter those and give us a reasonably accurate picture of what's going on. The fact that it's impossible is a dumbass cavil from sophomore philosophy: can you ever know the perfect final Truth? No. Deal with it. Do the best you can.
I am beginning to think that the single most dangerous innovation of the XXth Century was sending these boobs to ivory tower journalism schools, and not to the harsh realities of real life on the streets. Trust me: it ain't nothin' that you can learn in some airy-fairy j-school. There's crap out there that'll curl your toes, chillun. Just ask my friend, SG, who was shot in the back of the head and stuffed into the trunk of his car in Hollywood -- the smell finally gave away his condition: murdered in cold blood.
(Everybody knows who did it, but nobody -- this reporter included -- is going to go after them. We'll have to leave that one to karma.)
You don't learn about that crap in journalism school. But the unreality that our j-school "journalists" of the last couple generations have learned seems to stick with them for a lifetime.
To you non-dittoheads:
Hang in there. Reality is a powerful principle, and the truth will, finally, set you free. But you have to be unflinching in facing it. It is often inconvenient.
To the pavlovian dittoheads (who can read or know someone who can):
You don't get your own facts, anymore than you can say that because Al Gore says the Earth is round, it is, therefore, flat. It is not a matter of political "belief." If Hitler says two plus two is four, that does not make it a false proposition. If you don't like Algore, that has no bearing on global warning. (Whoopsie! I think I hear your bell ringing.)
It is also, I charge, a form of criminal political insanity, and you are NOT allowed to take part in the decent politics or governance of this country.
If you're so goddamned cocksure of your own insane "reality" -- because the White House fax machine has told Rush and the Wall Street Journal editorial page staff to TELL you it is so -- then you may NOT live on this continent. I freely cede you the giant island just east and south of the Hawaiian islands.
I know that it isn't on any "map" or on "satellite photos," but, given your deep belief in your ability to force reality to conform to whatever cockamamie belief system you non-thinking "dittoheads" subscribe to, I'm SURE that you will find it.
If only you believe hard enough. Like with global warming. Like with "abstinence-only" education as a way of stopping AIDS in Africa; like cutting down all the trees, and despoiling the Earth because "Jesus is coming soon."
I understand the sunsets there are spectacular. You can even call it "Reaganland."
So, ask not for whom the bell rings.
It rings for thee.
Addendum: Rachel Sklar on Huffington Post has a similar story about the wrong call on the Edwards campaign.