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Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 09:23 AM
So it appears that we have pretty strong evidence that Edwards had a love child with a former campaign worker -- he was seen visiting the Beverly Hills hotel where she and her child were staying (under a different name) late Monday night. If Edwards had been the Democratic nominee, this story would've destroyed the party and cost them the presidential election. I'm not going to link to the National Enquirer story, but check out the link to it from Mickey's site (http://www.slate.com/id/2195359/#busted). Funny/sad excerpt from the Enquirer story:

Edwards went out of the hotel briefly with Rielle, they were observed by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER and then went back to her room, where he stayed until attempting to sneak out of the hotel unseen at 2:40 a.m. (PST). But when he emerged alone from an elevator into the hotel basement he was greeted by several reporters from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

Senior NATIONAL ENQUIRER Reporter Alexander Hitchen asked Edwards why he was visiting Rielle and whether he was ready to confirm that he was the father of her baby.

Shocked to see a reporter, and without saying anything, Edwards ran up the stairs leading from the hotel basement to the lobby. But, spotting a photographer, he doubled back into the basement. As he emerged from the stairwell, reporter Butterfield questioned him about his hookup with Rielle.

Edwards did not answer and then ran into a nearby restroom. He stayed inside for about 15 minutes, refusing to answer questions from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER about what he was doing in the hotel. A group of hotel security men eventually escorted him from the men's room, while preventing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporters from following him out of the hotel.

Said reporter Hitchen: "After we confronted him about seeing Rielle, Edwards looked like a deer caught in headlights!

"He was clearly surprised that we had caught him at this very late hour inside the hotel.

"Some guests up at this late hour watched the spectacle in amusement from a staircase nearby."


The Enquirer obviously isn't the most scrupulous newspaper, but there's no way they would make up this interaction with Edwards out of whole cloth -- Edwards would win an enormous libel judgment and the paper's reputation (such as it is) would be completely ruined.

Liberals owe Mickey their eternal gratitude for his tireless promotion of this story. If not for Mickey's efforts, Edwards might have been a more serious presidential or (more likely) vice presidential candidate, with this story emerging only in the late months of the presidential campaign. And that would have resulted in the Democrats losing a presidential election they would otherwise have been almost guaranteed to win.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 09:30 AM
I'm not going to link to the National Enquirer story ...

Pretty much says it all right there, doesn't it?

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 09:39 AM
Actually, it's mostly because I believe that Mickey deserves to get the extra traffic, given all the flak he's received for helping to save the Democratic party. Many lefties on this site and in the blogosphere MOCKED the Mickster for his efforts to destroy the Edwards campaign, going so far as to claim that he has sex with goats, a scurrilous charge that never had any evidence of being true, unlike the charge that Edwards had a child out of wedlock with an ex-party girl while his wife was dying of cancer.

Go on, click the link to Mickey's site. It will make you feel better for ever doubting him.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 09:40 AM
I already read that post. All he does is link to the National Enquirer. I continue to have very little respect for him.

Mickey was not seriously accused of blowing goats, either. That was a meme that began as a satire of Mickey's willingness to propagate rumors.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 09:58 AM
Brendan, I sense some reluctance on your part to express gratitude to Mickey, despite the fact that he helped save your political party's ass this election.

Why is that? You know, I just watched the Dark Knight movie this past weekend, and I now realize that Mickey is a lot like Batman. Like Batman, Mickey is a tireless champion of good who operates outside the system; a man who fights evil when ordinary men either can not or will not. And because of this, many people fear and resent Mickey, just as the people of Gotham came to hate the Batman for doing what they themselves were unwilling or unable to do. Their fear is such that they falsely equate Mickey/Batman with those who are their real enemies. But Mickey and Batman accept their fate as outcasts, and remain ever committed to fighting the forces of evil, no matter where they may be found.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 10:09 AM
Brendan, I sense some reluctance on your part to express gratitude to Mickey, despite the fact that he helped save your political party's ass this election.

Yeah, right. Mickey's been doing a bang-up job for Democrats for years now.

Edwards was never going to be the nominee. He was never going to be the running mate.

The more you do to try to puff Mickey, the less I'll respect him. Save your breath.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 10:24 AM
Edwards was never going to be the nominee. He was never going to be the running mate.

TIME (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1816620,00.html) magazine reports that Edwards was on the VP list.


The more you do to try to puff Mickey, the less I'll respect him. Save your breath.

Generosity often leads to resentment, so I assume that your reaction, like those of many Democrats who have been saved from political catastrophe by Mickey's tireless work, should be expected.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 10:35 AM
TIME (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1816620,00.html) magazine reports that Edwards was on the VP list.

Time magazine also pays Ana Marie Cox.

Besides, "being on the list" means nothing. It's just a courtesy. Hillary Clinton is also on the list. She won't be the running mate, either.

Generosity often leads to resentment ...

Mmmm. Nothing like cocktail-party psychobabble to boost your case.

Face it, Elvis. You're a conservative. Therefore, you like Mickey. He's the blogger equivalent of Joe Lieberman, the alleged liberal blogger that you on the right like to cite to "prove" how open-minded you can be.

I am not a conservative. That is one of many reasons why I do not like Mickey. There are many others. If you don't already know them, re-read some of the threads under his diavlogs.

Keep talking him up, though. If your aim is to harden my resolve against him, I mean.

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 10:55 AM
The Enquirer obviously isn't the most scrupulous newspaper, but there's no way they would make up this interaction with Edwards out of whole cloth -- Edwards would win an enormous libel judgment and the paper's reputation (such as it is) would be completely ruined.

Not knowing the backstory - the Enquirer's presumptive, implicit narrative is just speculative - without knowing how much of the situation was engineered (the Enquirer sure as hell isn't above cash payments and staging little dramas) - in other words considering the source, and with the understanding that they've been chasing this story since last summer (and all that stipulates that the version of facts reported in the story are accurate, again, considering the source, that's a stretch) there doesn't seem to be much reason to refer to this garbage, except political motivation or personal vindication. I'm sure Ace and Malkin, et al, will be all over it. But without something more than a narrative from the National Enquirer, of all things, no fair minded person is going to give this much credence. Why make the sleazeballs' jobs any easier, Elvis?

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 11:12 AM
Brendan, I'm surprised that you're having trouble seeing that my comments were mainly made with tongue firmly in cheek. I figured the Batman comparisons would have made that clear.

Seriously, though, I'm really looking forward to the next Wright/Kaus diavlog, as it's going to be fun to see watch Kaus tease Wright about this.


P.S. -- I'm wondering where this Edwards thing ranks in terms of recent sex scandals. Clinton, Gingrich, Spitzer, Foley, Craig, etc., all did some fairly tawdry things. But are any of their actions worse than having an affair with an ex-party girl and getting her pregnant while you're running for president and your wife is dying of cancer?

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 11:25 AM
Honesly, I think the whole thing is rather sad and wished it was never reported in the first place, at least until Elizabeth Edwards passed. But once Pandora's Box has been opened there's no going back (in much the same way I wished that the press wouldn't have reported on Clinton's affair with Lewinsky, but once it had occurred, it would have been pointless to pretend that nothing had happened). There's been a lot of talk about the Edwards rumors throughout the blogosphere, including in a few bloggingheads diavlogs. Given that the cat's out of the bag, I think it's fair to assess whether or not Mickey was actually right about the facts.

And I think it's pretty clear that he was right. It's one thing for the Enquirer to cite an unnamed source that suggests that Edwards had a kid with a former campaign staffer; it's another to states that Enquirer reporters themselves saw Edwards meet with the ex-staffer at a hotel at 2:30 in the morning, and then try to hide in a restroom when confronted by reporters. The Enquirer's decision to run a story is based on one principle -- would we lose a libel lawsuit if we ran this? Given what they felt comfortable running, I think it's clear that Edwards did meet with the ex-staffer and reacted like a guilty man when confronted. I think that's more than enough to prove the veracity of the story to a reasonable person.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 11:28 AM
Brendan, I'm surprised that you're having trouble seeing that my comments were mainly made with tongue firmly in cheek.

Sorry. Not buying it. Particularly in light of your P.S.

I'll grant that you sounded more like a wingnut than your usual thoughtful conservative self in this thread.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 11:32 AM
Elvis:

Your reply to AemJeff is self-serving bullshit. You are delighted to repeat the rumors about Edwards and I'd bet anything you were happy to fan the Lewinsky flames. Don't give me any of that sanctimonious "fair to assess" crap, at least until you treat stories and gossip about Republicans the same way.

Let's see a few posts from you on McCain's dalliances, both proven and alleged. Then you might have a leg to stand on.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 11:59 AM
Sorry. Not buying it. Particularly in light of your P.S.

I'll grant that you sounded more like a wingnut than your usual thoughtful conservative self in this thread.

I think you're conflating two different things here: my motivation for posting this and my reaction to the underlying facts of the case.


My motivation for posting was to tease my left-leaning friends on this board who have ceaselessly mocked Mickey, one of my favorite bloggers, for as long as I can remember for pushing scurrilous and untrue stories about Democrats. Much contempt centered on Mickey's focus on the Edwards rumor. But Mickey was actually correct!

My reaction to the story was that it sure looks like it was a good thing that Edwards didn't win the presidential nomination. What a vile person he turned out to be. Can you imagine what would have happened if he was either the presidential or vice-presidential candidate?!! The Democrats would have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory this November.

I think both my motivation to post on this subject and my reaction to the underlying facts of the story were completely legitimate.

PS -- I think my posting history suggests that I'm not some crazy wingnut, and I can't see why this thread should change that perception. Surely, John Edwards appears deserving of our contempt -- what kind of person has an affair and a kid while running for president with his wife dying of cancer?

Let's keep in mind, too, that several well-respected lefties on this board have frequently painted conservatives with broad brushes as stupid, racist, etc.; gained much glee from the scandals of Republicans like Foley, Craig, and McCain; and have even expressed the sentiment that a recently-deceased Republican Senator should "rest in Hell." I don't think anything I've said in this thread is out of the accepted bounds of discourse around here.

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 12:12 PM
You're assuming facts not in evidence, as I pointed out elsewhere. The existence of a story in the Enquirer is not prima facie evidence of what's being implied by the story, even if - and I've already said there's no compelling reason to grant even this much - you stipulate that the facts, as presented in the article, are an accurate representation of what actually occurred. I think you're, to borrow a phrase, stealing a couple of bases here.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 12:33 PM
Elvis:

Your reply to AemJeff is self-serving bullshit. You are delighted to repeat the rumors about Edwards and I'd bet anything you were happy to fan the Lewinsky flames.

Check my post history -- did I post anything on the Edwards rumor until today? I didn't mention anything about it until the evidence became clear that they had merit. When identified sources are quoted observing Edwards in a hotel late at night, alone and with a rumored lover and her child, and he runs away when asked about it, that's sufficient evidence to prove guilt to me.

As for Lewinsky, as I said before, I wish the story was never published, and I certainly didn't "fan the...flames." But once the story broke, it unquestionably had implications. I did not think the President should have been impeached, though censuring him for lying under oath was appropriate. Whether you choose to believe me or not is really not a concern -- I can't see how I can demonstrate what my beliefs were in 1996, nor do I see the need.

Let's see a few posts from you on McCain's dalliances, both proven and alleged. Then you might have a leg to stand on.

If there are quoted and identified sources saying that McCain met someone he is rumored to be having an affair with late one night at a hotel, and he ran away and hid in a restroom when he was confronted, you can bet I'd have an opinion. Likewise, I bet if this same story had been about a Republican politician like Mitt Romney instead of John Edwards, you and several other posters would have been on it in a hearbeat.

I don't think you've heard me say one peep in defense of McCain, Larry Craig, Elliot Spitzer, Mark Foley, Ted Kennedy, Newt Gingrich, or any other politician who has been shown to have engaged in this kind of tawdry behavior. If I haven't commented on it, it was because there was no reason to say anything more than had already been said (and also because most of these scandals occurred well before I started posting here).

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 12:37 PM
It is only in a criminal trial that we find that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is necessary proof that a fact occurred. In this case, I think the circumstantial evidence, presented by quoted and identified sources who would be financially ruined in a libel lawsuit if their claims were untrue, indicates that the rumors are true. I'm sure one can construct a benign scenario for Edwards visiting a woman he's rumored to have had an affair with alone and late at night at a hotel, and then running away when confronted -- but is such a scenario likely at all? I don't think so.

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 12:42 PM
Update: Damn! I've linked to the older article from 10/07.

quoted and identified sources

Where? (http://www.nationalenquirer.com/john_edwards_cheating_scandal/celebrity/64271)

Enquirer:

A source close to the woman, whose name is being withheld by The NATIONAL ENQUIRER, says that she confessed to having an affair in phone calls and emails, saying that her work with Edwards soon exploded into romance.


"The affair started about 18 months ago," a friend says the woman confessed to her. "When they met at a bar, sparks flew immediately.

etc...

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 12:56 PM
You're quoting a much earlier article. You need to read the most recent (http://www.nationalenquirer.com/sen_john_edwards_caught_with_mistress_and_love_chi ld_in_la_hotel/celebrity/65193) one:

At 9:45 p.m. (PST) Monday, Edwards appeared at the hotel, and was dropped off at a side entrance. NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporter Alan Butterfield witnessed the ex-senator get out of a BMW driven by a male companion and stroll into the hotel.

Said Butterfield: "Edwards was not carrying anything. He walked in alone. He was wearing a blue dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He was looking around nervously before he entered the hotel.

"Once inside, he interestingly bypassed the lobby and ducked down a side stairs to go to the bottom floor to catch the elevator up - rather than taking the elevator in the main lobby. He went out of his way not to be seen."


and

Senior NATIONAL ENQUIRER Reporter Alexander Hitchen asked Edwards why he was visiting Rielle and whether he was ready to confirm that he was the father of her baby.

Shocked to see a reporter, and without saying anything, Edwards ran up the stairs leading from the hotel basement to the lobby. But, spotting a photographer, he doubled back into the basement. As he emerged from the stairwell, reporter Butterfield questioned him about his hookup with Rielle.

Edwards did not answer and then ran into a nearby restroom. He stayed inside for about 15 minutes, refusing to answer questions from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER about what he was doing in the hotel. A group of hotel security men eventually escorted him from the men's room, while preventing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporters from following him out of the hotel.

Said reporter Hitchen: "After we confronted him about seeing Rielle, Edwards looked like a deer caught in headlights!

"He was clearly surprised that we had caught him at this very late hour inside the hotel.

"Some guests up at this late hour watched the spectacle in amusement from a staircase nearby."



As I suggested earlier in this thread, I haven't said anything about the Edwards rumor until today, when the story was based entirely on unnamed sources. But today's revelations are totally different. The Enquirer wouldn't identify and quote their own reporters as observing Edwards at a hotel late at night with Rielle, and thereafter running away and hiding in a restroom when confronted, unless they clearly had no fear of losing a libel suit. I think the events described by the quoted sources are sufficient to indicate the veracity of the rumor. I'm sure it's possible to construct an alternative explanation, just like it's possible to believe that Larry Craig simply has a wide stance -- but is it believable?

graz
07-23-2008, 01:06 PM
Let's keep in mind, too, that several well-respected lefties on this board have frequently painted conservatives with broad brushes as stupid, racist, etc.; gained much glee from the scandals of Republicans like Foley, Craig, and McCain; and have even expressed the sentiment that a recently-deceased Republican Senator should "rest in Hell." I don't think anything I've said in this thread is out of the accepted bounds of discourse around here.

I think you make a fair point. Reveling in misfortune and scandal are not pretty.
And I accept that the goading was out of respect for Mickey whom you admire.
But Mickey propping up and linking to the rumors, till as you say, they became "facts" was no great feat. Nor does he deserve great credit for saving the Dems. That is more of you goading I think?

I am also with you on the potential good viewing that the next Bob/Mickey episode will provide. Let's hope it happens today.

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 01:09 PM
You're quoting a much earlier article. You need to read the most recent (http://www.nationalenquirer.com/sen_john_edwards_caught_with_mistress_and_love_chi ld_in_la_hotel/celebrity/65193) one:



and



As I suggested earlier in this thread, I haven't said anything about the Edwards rumor until today, when the story was based entirely on unnamed sources. But today's revelations are totally different. The Enquirer wouldn't identify and quote their own reporters as observing Edwards at a hotel late at night with Rielle, and thereafter running away and hiding in a restroom when confronted, unless they clearly had no fear of losing a libel suit. I think the events described by the quoted sources are sufficient to indicate the veracity of the rumor. I'm sure it's possible to construct an alternative explanation, just like it's possible to believe that Larry Craig simply has a wide stance -- but is it believable?

Yeah I noted the mistake.

I don't agree that the newer article (http://www.nationalenquirer.com/sen_john_edwards_caught_with_mistress_and_love_chi ld_in_la_hotel/celebrity/65193) goes much further. It puts Edwards at the hotel. Other than that the narrative is still innuendo. An organization like the Enquirer who is demonstrably willing to do anything including make cash payments to manipulate a story, whose interest is clearly in breaking the story, and whose lack of even respect for veracity is so well established, isn't a sufficient source even to quote in a story like this. There's still no evidence - not just a lack of convincing evidence, a lack of evidence of anything except Edwards' presence at the hotel. (And I won't even grant that that's definitely true based the assertion of employees of the Enquirer.) And if it was Jesse Helms meeting Larry Craig in the hotel men's room, I'd have the same view.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 01:44 PM
My post was meant to be a good-natured ribbing. I like Mickey a lot and think some commenters are a bit too mean towards him, but I would never seriously compare him to Batman or claim that Democrats owe him their eternal gratitude. Unfortunately, I guess enough internet posters compare people to comic book characters in complete honesty that it isn't immediately clear whether someone is kidding or not.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 06:10 PM
My motivation for posting was to tease my left-leaning friends on this board who have ceaselessly mocked Mickey, one of my favorite bloggers, for as long as I can remember for pushing scurrilous and untrue stories about Democrats. Much contempt centered on Mickey's focus on the Edwards rumor. But Mickey was actually correct!

Up next: Your gloating over the fact that, at one point today, a broken clock showed the correct time.

My reaction to the story was that it sure looks like it was a good thing that Edwards didn't win the presidential nomination.

Which never was going to happen, as I pointed out, and as you surely had to have known. And even if you didn't, it became a moot point months ago. And please stop pretending that you have any concern for the success of the Democrats. It won't wash.

PS -- I think my posting history suggests that I'm not some crazy wingnut, ...

As I already said.

... and I can't see why this thread should change that perception.

I didn't say you have become one. I said you sounded like one in this thread. You're gloating over a hatchet job in a gossip rag because the target is a Democrat with high name recognition.

You're also seizing upon one datum, and acting as though it all by itself should suddenly make Mickey Kaus an Important Voice To Be Listened To. Even if I stipulate to the datum, which I don't, that doesn't change his long history of publishing crap, giving voice to right-wing smears, and treating wingnut bloggers and gossip rags as unquestionable sources. As I have already noted, you on the right assign to Kaus an undeserved credibility, merely because he claims to be a liberal while spending his entire writing life bashing them while giving the right and the GOP a pass.

So, you're pumping an unfounded and unimportant story, and plumping a guy just because he preaches to your choir. This is wingnut behavior.

Surely, John Edwards appears deserving of our contempt ...

Surely, a man's private life is of no concern when he does not hold any political office. Surely, forming judgments on the basis of third- and fourth-hand innuendo is not something that places you on any kind of moral high ground.

And if you want to be judgmental about someone else's behavior, let's hear from you on John McCain's treatment of his first wife. And if you want to judgmental based on innuendo, let's hear from you on John McCain and his lobbyist trysts.

Let's keep in mind, too, that several well-respected lefties on this board have frequently painted conservatives with broad brushes as stupid, racist, etc.; gained much glee from the scandals of Republicans like Foley, Craig, and McCain; and have even expressed the sentiment that a recently-deceased Republican Senator should "rest in Hell."

Foley admitted his actions and resigned, in large part due to pressure from others in his own party. Craig pleaded guilty in a court of law. Both of these guys compounded the attention they got because of their hypocrisy -- they both pushed legislation that condemned the very behavior they were exposed as enjoying.

McCain has received virtually no attention for any of the scandals that he's been involved in. Show me some examples of comments from outside this thread on this, if you disagree.

Hell, even if it existed, would be too good for Jesse Helms. Cry me a river because this racist, phobic burp of bile, who is personally responsible for the deaths of who knows how many thousands of people, didn't get reverence he didn't earn. And you know what? Making a big deal out of something that John Edwards may have done while dismissing the established, decades-long record of Helms's reprehensible behavior is classic wingnut behavior.

I don't think anything I've said in this thread is out of the accepted bounds of discourse around here.

First you try to say that your comments are worthy, then you try to establish how low the bar is to meet the criteria for worthiness, then you say your comments clear the bar. Previously, you said you were speaking tongue-in-cheek. Might want to work on your story. If nothing else, it lacks consistency.

In any case, I have not been arguing whether you deserve to feel the wrath of the Comment Nanny. I have been arguing that you're placing too much stock in a dubious story, that the story doesn't have any importance, that Mickey Kaus isn't rehabilitated as a respectable political commentator simply because his original source for gossip published more of the same, and that your chortling tone of schadenfreude over the whole matter is contemptible.

look
07-23-2008, 07:55 PM
Up next: Your gloating over the fact that, at one point today, a broken clock showed the correct time.



Which never was going to happen, as I pointed out, and as you surely had to have known. And even if you didn't, it became a moot point months ago. And please stop pretending that you have any concern for the success of the Democrats. It won't wash.



As I already said.



I didn't say you have become one. I said you sounded like one in this thread. You're gloating over a hatchet job in a gossip rag because the target is a Democrat with high name recognition.

You're also seizing upon one datum, and acting as though it all by itself should suddenly make Mickey Kaus an Important Voice To Be Listened To. Even if I stipulate to the datum, which I don't, that doesn't change his long history of publishing crap, giving voice to right-wing smears, and treating wingnut bloggers and gossip rags as unquestionable sources. As I have already noted, you on the right assign to Kaus an undeserved credibility, merely because he claims to be a liberal while spending his entire writing life bashing them while giving the right and the GOP a pass.

So, you're pumping an unfounded and unimportant story, and plumping a guy just because he preaches to your choir. This is wingnut behavior.



Surely, a man's private life is of no concern when he does not hold any political office. Surely, forming judgments on the basis of third- and fourth-hand innuendo is not something that places you on any kind of moral high ground.

And if you want to be judgmental about someone else's behavior, let's hear from you on John McCain's treatment of his first wife. And if you want to judgmental based on innuendo, let's hear from you on John McCain and his lobbyist trysts.



Foley admitted his actions and resigned, in large part due to pressure from others in his own party. Craig pleaded guilty in a court of law. Both of these guys compounded the attention they got because of their hypocrisy -- they both pushed legislation that condemned the very behavior they were exposed as enjoying.

McCain has received virtually no attention for any of the scandals that he's been involved in. Show me some examples of comments from outside this thread on this, if you disagree.

Hell, even if it existed, would be too good for Jesse Helms. Cry me a river because this racist, phobic burp of bile, who is personally responsible for the deaths of who knows how many thousands of people, didn't get reverence he didn't earn. And you know what? Making a big deal out of something that John Edwards may have done while dismissing the established, decades-long record of Helms's reprehensible behavior is classic wingnut behavior.



First you try to say that your comments are worthy, then you try to establish how low the bar is to meet the criteria for worthiness, then you say your comments clear the bar. Previously, you said you were speaking tongue-in-cheek. Might want to work on your story. If nothing else, it lacks consistency.

In any case, I have not been arguing whether you deserve to feel the wrath of the Comment Nanny. I have been arguing that you're placing too much stock in a dubious story, that the story doesn't have any importance, that Mickey Kaus isn't rehabilitated as a respectable political commentator simply because his original source for gossip published more of the same, and that your chortling tone of schadenfreude over the whole matter is contemptible.Methinks thee doth protest too much.

Apparently, Mickey was correct, as I suspected he probably was, and John Edwards is a complete schmuck.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 08:31 PM
Methinks thee doth protest too much.

Apparently, Mickey was correct, as I suspected he probably was, and John Edwards is a complete schmuck.

Sad to see you turning into such an uncritical thinker, look. I fail to see how relying on the National Enquirer as a sole source proves anything, and even leaving that aside, I fail to see how the allegation establishes a sweeping indictment of personality.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 09:16 PM
Sad to see you turning into such an uncritical thinker, look. I fail to see how relying on the National Enquirer as a sole source proves anything, and even leaving that aside, I fail to see how the allegation establishes a sweeping indictment of personality.

Leaving aside the reliability of the circumstantial evidence that Edwards visited his rumored lover late at night at a hotel and ran away when confronted (which I think can reasonably be described as reliable and damning), how can you NOT think that the allegation, if true, is a sweeping indictment of Edwards's personality. It takes a special kind of schmuck to have a child out of wedlock while you're running for president AND your wife is dying of cancer.

look
07-23-2008, 09:22 PM
Sad to see you turning into such an uncritical thinker, look.You bastard.

I fail to see how relying on the National Enquirer as a sole source proves anything, and even leaving that aside, I fail to see how the allegation establishes a sweeping indictment of personality.I said 'apparently.' If true, what do you think of a man with a cancer-ridden wife impregnating another woman, and then being stupid enough to sneak into a hotel when he's the suspected father?

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 09:31 PM
Leaving aside the reliability of the circumstantial evidence that Edwards visited his rumored lover late at night at a hotel and ran away when confronted (which I think can reasonably be described as reliable and damning), how can you NOT think that the allegation, if true, is a sweeping indictment of Edwards's personality. It takes a special kind of schmuck to have a child out of wedlock while you're running for president AND your wife is dying of cancer.

Except that it's pure allegation. Until some evidence is on the table it's an ugly smear that victimizes Elizabeth Edwards more than any other person. You're applying a standard in this case that I doubt you would let stand in almost any other circumstance. How many times has the Enquirer been sued on the basis of the accuracy of their claims and lost? Since when do fair-minded people trust it as a sole source, especially when the story is as sensational and damning as this? The Enquirer are serial liars, and you're willing to accept their assertions on this? Because you don't like the guy and it'll feel good if it's true?

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 09:45 PM
Leaving aside the reliability of the circumstantial evidence that Edwards visited his rumored lover late at night at a hotel and ran away when confronted (which I think can reasonably be described as reliable and damning), ...

Again with the consistency. If you're going to leave something aside, why do you then feel compelled to reiterate all the details and then assert that it's reliable, after all?

It's not reliable. It's a story that ran in the National Enquirer. Do you also believe that Hitler is alive, that Satan's face appears in clouds, and that Elvis was kidnapped by aliens?

... how can you NOT think that the allegation, if true, is a sweeping indictment of Edwards's personality. It takes a special kind of schmuck to have a child out of wedlock while you're running for president AND your wife is dying of cancer.

Because people succumb to moments of weakness and self-indulgence all the time, for all sorts of reasons. Such a momentary failing does not, in and of itself, mean the person has no worth at all. And if you are going to be some kind of Puritan scold and insist that a scarlet A means "case closed," then I await your matching condemnation of John McCain.

I also think you and look are making way too much of Elizabeth Edwards's health. You're granting her some exalted status that I don't accept. Cheating on your spouse is what's at issue, and I agree that there's nothing to be admired about that. On the other hand, who knows what the state of the marriage was? Who knows what effect her condition might have had on aggravating tensions? I'm not saying that this would excuse John, but if you've ever taken care of someone who's terminally ill, you might at least have some sympathy for the pressures that build. You might also acknowledge that whatever John might have done on the side, he has hardly abandoned Elizabeth.

In fact, if Edwards did have a fling and this is his child, then it's possible he went to visit this woman to figure out how to deal with things in an adult fashion, perhaps to discuss financial security for the mother and child. If so, more power to him -- he would in this case be accepting the consequences of a past decision.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-23-2008, 09:46 PM
If find it pointless and futile to argue with someone who claims to know your motivations better than you do. All I will say is that it's almost invariably a mistake to assume that your opponent is arguing in bad faith, because too often it causes you to make assumptions and lapses in logic that you wouldn't otherwise make.

Here, I raised two separate arguments. First, I stated that your understanding of the facts was wrong -- contrary to your assertion, I raised this subject in an effort to tease people who've been saying Mickey's all wet, and not to score political points. Second, I argued even if your understanding of the facts had been correct, your position would still be illegitmate -- given the norms for discourse on this board, there would be nothing offensive or contemptible about me mocking Edwards. However, you've worked yourself into such a frenzy that you're seeing the raising of a secondary argument as an admission that the primary argument is in error.

I'm also disappointed by your cynicism in believing that a right-leaning fellow couldn't be relieved that Edwards didn't have a chance to destroy the Democratic party's chances this fall. Maybe this is lost in the internet, but many people do think there are things more important than their side winning the election. I may generally prefer the Republican presidential candidate over the Democratic one, but I'd still be very concerned if the Democratic candidate didn't receive Secret Service protection. I'd rather lose an election than see the political process seriously derailed by something tragic and avoidable. If Edwards was his party's nominee for president or vice president and this story broke, the policy debate between the two sides would become irrelevent, and the campaign would be over before it even began. That would be terrible for our system. I'd much prefer to lose to Obama than win on account of the Democrats nominating a person who would be destroyed on account of his behavior.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 09:51 PM
You bastard.

Sorry to piss you off, but that's how I see it. You're treating the National Enquirer as gospel. Is there any other way to say this lacks critical thinking?

I said 'apparently.'

Forgive me. I forgot deploying a weasel word buys blanket immunity from criticism.

If true, what do you think of a man with a cancer-ridden wife impregnating another woman, and then being stupid enough to sneak into a hotel when he's the suspected father?

Answered this in my reply to Elvis (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=84665#post84665).

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 10:13 PM
If find it pointless and futile to argue with someone who claims to know your motivations better than you do.

Yet continue to argue you do. Or perhaps you are saying that I do not claim to know your motivations better than you do?

All I will say is that it's almost invariably a mistake to assume that your opponent is arguing in bad faith, because too often it causes you to make assumptions and lapses in logic that you wouldn't otherwise make.

I'm evaluating purely what you have put on display in this thread -- blind acceptance of the National Enquirer as an unimpeachable source, building upon that to make sweeping claims about the worth of Mickey Kaus, and meaningless predictions about political futures in an alternate universe. Then, after backing off from your confident initial assertions and vacillating between "just tongue and cheek" and reiterating all your points as though you're serious, you now want to condemn a man based on hypotheticals. I'm not assuming bad faith, I'm observing it.

Here, I raised two separate arguments. First, I stated that your understanding of the facts was wrong -- contrary to your assertion, I raised this subject in an effort to tease people who've been saying Mickey's all wet, and not to score political points.

Okay, we're back to the "just kidding" defense.

Second, I argued even if your understanding of the facts had been correct, your position would still be illegitmate -- given the norms for discourse on this board, there would be nothing offensive or contemptible about me mocking Edwards.

I am not judging you against some imagined norms for this board, and in any case, I never used the word offensive. I am using my own standards, and yes, I do find what you've been saying in this thread contemptible, for the reasons I listed above.

I'm also disappointed by your cynicism in believing that a right-leaning fellow couldn't be relieved that Edwards didn't have a chance to destroy the Democratic party's chances this fall.

I'll take your word for this, since you do have a history on this board that supports it. Sorry to conflate you with what I hope you will admit are an awful lot of others out there, who share your basic views, who do like nothing finer than the thought of Democratic Party problems.

look
07-23-2008, 10:13 PM
Sorry to piss you off, but that's how I see it. You're treating the National Enquirer as gospel. Is there any other way to say this lacks critical thinking?



Forgive me. I forgot deploying a weasel word buys blanket immunity from criticism.



Answered this in my reply to Elvis (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=84665#post84665).You didn't piss me off, I was being facetious. One of my biggest problems with this board is treating issues like this with such deadly seriousness.

What gets me here is the the sanctimonious tone when it's a Dem under discussion, yet Helms, a fellow human being is invited to rest in hell upon his demise. Mickey is doggie doo-doo, but Edwards is a poor, misunderstood, stressed-out victim. Even granting all of that, he was stupid to take a chance on getting caught in such an obvious manner. There's a new invention out. It's called a telephone.

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 10:33 PM
What gets me here is the the sanctimonious tone when it's a Dem under discussion, yet Helms, a fellow human being is invited to rest in hell upon his demise. Mickey is doggie doo-doo, but Edwards is a poor, misunderstood, stressed-out victim. Even granting all of that, he was stupid to take a chance on getting caught in such an obvious manner. There's a new invention out. It's called a telephone.

look, I created the "Rest In Hell" thread. I stand by the sentiment, too. Jesse Helms was a contemptible bastard who I blame for a lot of misery and a legacy of shit politics that will take generations to undo, and who for me was instrumental - not so much for my political identity - but certainly for a lot of my political fervor. As I said in that thread, I have nothing charitable to offer regarding the son-of-a-bitch. But just because I think so little of that one guy, I don't generalize my feelings toward conservatives as a whole, whom I'm no less likely to respect than anyone else. My hatred of Helms was very specific.

I haven't seen anybody in this thread, certainly not me, and while he can speak for himself, I daresay not Brendan either, has said anything like " Edwards is a poor, misunderstood, stressed-out victim." All that we've said is the evidence ain't there - the National Enquirer ought not to be dignified as a channel for truth, a status they manifestly don't deserve. If Edwards has cheated on his wife, let the story get picked up by a reputable organization. I, for one, will be perfectly sanguine with that outcome. But as long we're talking about allegations from this particular source, there's no reason even consider the matter aloud (as it were.)

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 10:53 PM
You didn't piss me off, I was being facetious. One of my biggest problems with this board is treating issues like this with such deadly seriousness.

Well, in that case, I'm sorry for my reaction to you. I did not realize you were being facetious. Hard to pick up tone from a two-word sentence.

As for my taking things seriously, especially in reaction to Elvis, I don't know what to tell you. Am I supposed to let rightwingers spread smears and say nothing? Am I supposed to back off after their long tirades on the strength of "oh, I was just speaking tongue in cheek?" I'm sick of them getting to say whatever they feel like saying about my side, and I'm doubly sick of them getting all fluttery when I call them on their shit.

If I unloaded more than was warranted on Elvis (and you), sorry about that, but there's a quarter-century's worth of wholly justified resentment at work here. There is overwhelming precedent for exactly this sort of tactic from the right -- throw something out there, see what happens, and if it provokes anger, back off with a disingenuous "I don't see what you're getting so upset about ... I was just kidding ... I was just speculating ..." And if it doesn't provoke anger, push the ball down the field a little more, and say something even more obnoxious.

What gets me here is the the sanctimonious tone when it's a Dem under discussion, yet Helms, a fellow human being is invited to rest in hell upon his demise. Mickey is doggie doo-doo, but Edwards is a poor, misunderstood, stressed-out victim. Even granting all of that, he was stupid to take a chance on getting caught in such an obvious manner. There's a new invention out. It's called a telephone.

To begin with, you're over-simplifying. I hold no brief for John Edwards -- didn't care for him as a candidate, don't care about him as a person. But when the right goes on the attack, especially on the basis of innuendo, I just might mount a vigorous defense, and the only thing I'm sorry about is not having the strength to do it every single time.

Second, I don't see what's "sanctimonious" about demanding credible evidence. And even if we stipulate that Edwards behaved as alleged, then I don't see what's sanctimonious about pointing out that one bad act does not stand in for everything else he's done in life. I also don't see what's sanctimonious about showing a little understanding for human frailties.

You know who's being sanctimonious? You and Elvis. You've granted Elizabeth perfect innocence and you're ready to burn John at the stake. And, I might add, on very dubious evidence, and without any knowledge of any of the surrounding events.

Third, even if this Edwards thing turns out to be true, Mickey is not suddenly and unutterably vindicated. In my book, he remains worthy of scorn for a whole host of reasons that I've listed elsewhere.

And finally, don't even try to defend Jesse Helms. The idea that you're equating rumors about adultery with a documented career of racism and homophobia that resulted in thousands of needless deaths is just ridiculous.

Oh, and about the phone? Please. You're as good as admitting all your previous points are without merit, and throwing something else out in the hopes of changing the discussion.

look
07-23-2008, 11:36 PM
Brendan, I don't want to get into a long, drawn-out post, besides my modem is cutting out on me intermittently, and I don't want to get ready to post and it dies.

I'll just say that in my opinion, TSE's post was mild-mannered and he admitted the questionability of the Enquirer. I think you take these things way too seriously and you couldn't even see the humor in the Batman post. Some people like Mickey and think Edwards is a schmuck, if the story is true, and it appears to be. I'm not sure what you meant by my 'phone' comment. It's just that it was stupid of him to further endanger Elizabeth's finding out the truth, if she didn't already know it. Maybe she did.

Brendan and Jeff, as far as Helms, I was just surprised that Jeff, who had mentioned to EW that he thought his Teddy Kennedy joke was offensive would entitle his post 'rest in hell.' It was just so harsh. I think some on the left pick and choose who they like and who they trash without regard for their humanity. I don't know, it just didn't sit well with me. I recently read in passing somewhere that in Liberation Theology the oppressor is also a victim.

0h, well, 'night.

TwinSwords
07-23-2008, 11:46 PM
BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS
By JENNIFER LUCE and DON GENTILE

Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.

Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe.

Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.

His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George."

Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add.

"When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!"

[...]

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/63426

look
07-23-2008, 11:50 PM
http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/63426That poor, dear, troubled man. Bless his heart.

AemJeff
07-23-2008, 11:55 PM
I was just surprised that Jeff, who had mentioned to EW that he thought his Teddy Kennedy joke was offensive would entitle his post 'rest in hell.' It was just so harsh.

I plead guilty to some inconsistency here. But I'll add two things. As an atheist "Rest In Hell" is something of a null construction as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure I'd wish an eternity of torment even on Hitler or Pol Pot. (In those cases I might be tempted actually, but the point stands.) And brain cancer has some pretty specific and personal associations for me. I emphatically would not wish that on Jesse Helms or any other person, it's the worst thing I've ever seen. There is no possibility of humor at all there, as far as I'm concerned.

bjkeefe
07-23-2008, 11:55 PM
Brendan, I don't want to get into a long, drawn-out post, besides my modem is cutting out on me intermittently, and I don't want to get ready to post and it dies.

I'll just say that in my opinion, TSE's post was mild-mannered and he admitted the questionability of the Enquirer. I think you take these things way too seriously and you couldn't even see the humor in the Batman post. Some people like Mickey and think Edwards is a schmuck, if the story is true, and it appears to be. I'm not sure what you meant by my 'phone' comment. It's just that it was stupid of him to further endanger Elizabeth's finding out the truth, if she didn't already know it. Maybe she did.

Brendan and Jeff, as far as Helms, I was just surprised that Jeff, who had mentioned to EW that he thought his Teddy Kennedy joke was offensive would entitle his post 'rest in hell.' It was just so harsh. I think some on the left pick and choose who they like and who they trash without regard for their humanity. I don't know, it just didn't sit well with me. I recently read in passing somewhere that in Liberation Theology the oppressor is also a victim.

0h, well, 'night.

I'll cop to missing the Batman reference.

I'll grant that Elvis acknowledged the dubiousness of the National Enquirer, but I'll point out that didn't stop him from continuing to treat the story as true, or, in some cases, to start "Okay, maybe it's not true, but supposing it is ..." and then to continue on at length.

I don't accept that his post was mild-mannered, especially not when you add the follow-ups. His tone may have been civil, his content was not.

Is it possible that I overreacted in this specific case? Maybe. But if you still don't get why I take these things seriously after what I said in my last post about the history of the rightwing noise machine, then there's nothing else I can tell you.

And regarding Helms: Yes, "some on the left pick and choose who they like and who they trash." It's called evaluating and treating people as individuals. (Some of the better people on the right do this, too.) You think there's something wrong with this?

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-24-2008, 08:58 AM
I've indirectly addressed this sort of thing above. I don't pay attention to any Enquirer story based solely on the hearsay of unnamed sources, which is why I didn't pay attention to the Edwards rumor until now. If the story is untrue, the Enquirer doesn't stand to lose anything in a libel suit -- all they were doing was passing along gossip, and so long as they can demonstrate that they weren't doing it with reckless disregard for whether it was true or not (e.g., they can show that the source actually knew the subject of the story), they're fine. On the other hand, I will take seriously any of the allegations directly made by Enquirer reporters. If their allegations prove to be false, then the Enquirer will lose a libel judgment. The plaintiff could recover not only any of the profits made by the Enquirer off the story, but also money for emotional distress, etc. The Enquirer would also likely have to print a public retraction, and its tabloid competitors would use the incident to portray the Enquirer as less reliable than themselves. In short, the Enquirer isn't going to put its own butt on the line unless the allegations made by its reporters can be proven.

I'm not going to give credence to an Enquirer story that just says that an unnamed source claims Bush is drinking again. However, if the Enquirer subsequently ran a follow-up story that stated that Enquirer reporters spotted Bush at a liquor store, and Bush ran away and hid in the store's restroom when asked if he had started drinking again, I'm going to believe the reporters' allegations -- the Enquirer wouldn't risk the libel suit unless it had compelling evidence that Bush was at a liquor store and ran away when questioned about his drinking. And those claims alone would make for pretty strong circumstantial evidence that Bush is indeed drinking. Substitute "Edwards," hotel," and "affair" for "Bush," "liquor store," and "drinking," and it describes the current situation.

Bobby G
07-25-2008, 12:37 AM
Let's actually look at The National Enquirer's reliability. It's lost two libel suits (with Carol Burnett in 1981 and Kate Hudson in 2006) and settled one out of court (with Gary Condit's wife, in 2003). It briefly published a story in 2005 alleging that Cameron Diaz had been caught cheating, and then retracted and apologized for the story. In 2005 it said that G.W. Bush was drinking again, though this was never shown one way or the other. It also published, in conjunction with reporters from the Salt Lake Tribune (whom it had paid $20,000), a false article in 2002 about Elizabeth Smart, which it apologized for.

On the other hand, it was generally regarded to have the best OJ Simpson coverage; it broke the n-word story about Dog the Bounty Hunter; it uncovered that Jesse Jackson had an illegitimate child; it also was the first newspaper to reveal that OJ Simpson was writing the "If I did It" story.

All told, I think it has more than zero credibility.

More important than all this, though, John McCain cheated several times on his wife. It wouldn't surprise me if he cheated with that lobbyist (which, BTW, Mickey thought was likely).

AemJeff
07-25-2008, 08:06 AM
Let's actually look at The National Enquirer's reliability. It's lost two libel suits (with Carol Burnett in 1981 and Kate Hudson in 2006) and settled one out of court (with Gary Condit's wife, in 2003). It briefly published a story in 2005 alleging that Cameron Diaz had been caught cheating, and then retracted and apologized for the story. In 2005 it said that G.W. Bush was drinking again, though this was never shown one way or the other. It also published, in conjunction with reporters from the Salt Lake Tribune (whom it had paid $20,000), a false article in 2002 about Elizabeth Smart, which it apologized for.

On the other hand, it was generally regarded to have the best OJ Simpson coverage; it broke the n-word story about Dog the Bounty Hunter; it uncovered that Jesse Jackson had an illegitimate child; it also was the first newspaper to reveal that OJ Simpson was writing the "If I did It" story.

All told, I think it has more than zero credibility.

More important than all this, though, John McCain cheated several times on his wife. It wouldn't surprise me if he cheated with that lobbyist (which, BTW, Mickey thought was likely).

By any reasonable standard of credibility the data you listed adds up to zero. A liar who's occasionally correct doesn't get credit for the random accidents of truth.

Bobby G
07-25-2008, 09:23 AM
Ignore the 1981 libel suit--that was what changed the direction of the Enquirer to become more scrupulous. I don't know that they were lying about stories, so much as overeager to believe certain sources. And a lot of times, that overeagerness has paid off, in that they were the first ones to get stories before anyone else. So I think they have more than zero credibility.

AemJeff
07-25-2008, 09:37 AM
Ignore the 1981 libel suit--that was what changed the direction of the Enquirer to become more scrupulous. I don't know that they were lying about stories, so much as overeager to believe certain sources. And a lot of times, that overeagerness has paid off, in that they were the first ones to get stories before anyone else. So I think they have more than zero credibility.

We can dance around the language issues here, but it avoids the point. What's important for me in this context is: When the Enquirer pushes a narrative, is there any reason to take them seriously? Their business is selling sensational stories, and they've repeatedly demonstrated a lack of basic scruples. The issue of credibility isn't about whether they've ever been right about something. Rather, when they present a story, is there any reason to take it at face value? In a case lacking independent sourcing I don't think it's going very far out on limb to assert that the answer to that last question is an emphatic "No!"

bjkeefe
07-25-2008, 09:40 AM
Ignore the 1981 libel suit--that was what changed the direction of the Enquirer to become more scrupulous.

I don't agree about them becoming more scrupulous. I think they became more hard-nosed. This is a little dated, but still worth a read, since I doubt any of the larger realities have changed: "How the Supermarket Tabloids Stay Out of Court (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE1DA1139F937A35752C0A9679582 60).

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-25-2008, 09:49 AM
Here's a 2004 piece (http://www.slate.com/id/2102303/) by Slate's media critic Jack Schaefer, arguing that the Enquirer has become as reliable as most media outlets. I personally think that's a bit of a stretch, but a lot of his points are valid.

Bobby G
07-25-2008, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the link, BJ. I'll check it out. (As for Thus Spoke Elvis's link, I'd already read it, which is part of what motivated my take on things.)

AemJeff
07-25-2008, 10:08 AM
By the time of the 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson-Ron Goldman murders, the Enquirer truth machine had become so good that reporter David Margolick was toasting it in the New York Times for scooping the competition—and applauding it for spiking many of the false stories that appeared in mainstream media.


The Enquirer may overplay stories, as it does in the most recent issue (June 14, 2004) by describing Jessica "Washingtonienne" Cutler in a headline as the center of a "Bush Sex Scandal" when all she's confessed to is having slept with an unnamed Bush appointee for money. But the particulars of the Enquirer story appear to be true.

Schafer's not really making an entirely consistent case. Bobby G's good summary:
Let's actually look at The National Enquirer's reliability. It's lost two libel suits (with Carol Burnett in 1981 and Kate Hudson in 2006) and settled one out of court (with Gary Condit's wife, in 2003). It briefly published a story in 2005 alleging that Cameron Diaz had been caught cheating, and then retracted and apologized for the story. In 2005 it said that G.W. Bush was drinking again, though this was never shown one way or the other. It also published, in conjunction with reporters from the Salt Lake Tribune (whom it had paid $20,000), a false article in 2002 about Elizabeth Smart, which it apologized for. really isn't consistent with Shafer's conclusions, either. I think the bottom line is that if they have something that's true, they'll run it. (Duh!) If they think they might be able to make a case for a story, they'll do a risk assessment. If they like the odds they'll run it.

Bobby G
07-25-2008, 10:11 AM
I think Thus Spoke Elvis's "Just Kidding"-defense, as you call it, needs some explanation. By comparing Mickey to Batman, and calling it tongue-in-cheek, he didn't mean that he thought Mickey was wrong, or that he wasn't helping Democrats. Rather, he was simply putting his point hyperbolically--thinking of Mickey as a caped crusader who cares only about truth and justice and is willing to take the slings and arrows of his misunderstanding critics is not to be literally believed. While there is a grain of truth to it, in Elvis's eyes, he chose the analogy because he thought it funny, and because it would tweak those who had been bashing Mickey about his John Edwards's love child items. It would be somewhat similar to your describing David Brooks as the Mouth of Sauron (not that you ever did this). You think there's truth to it, which is why you chose the analogy, but you would also think of it as a tease.

bjkeefe
07-25-2008, 10:21 AM
Here's a 2004 piece (http://www.slate.com/id/2102303/) by Slate's media critic Jack Schaefer, arguing that the Enquirer has become as reliable as most media outlets. I personally think that's a bit of a stretch, but a lot of his points are valid.

Interesting. But.

I usually think Shafer makes a solid case for whatever he's arguing, but here, he comes off as more bombastic than substantive. The only numbers he presents are from one set of survey data (where the general public sees the Enquirer as unreliable) that he wants to debunk. I accept his debunking, mostly, but in any case, it's really a minor point. However, about 3/4 of the article is focused on this single aspect.

The rest of his piece is hand-waving. He's got an anecdote about one other guy who once said something good about the Enquirer, and then he gets to his weakest claim: the Enquirer is reliable because he could name one failing apiece from several MSM sources. By that reasoning, I should be an NBA All-Star because one person admired my dribbling once, plus, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson have all missed an open jump shot.

In fairness, I haven't even lifted a copy off the Enquirer off the rack while waiting in line at the grocery store for years now, so whatever recent impressions I have of them come from their covers, which, it must also be admitted, are probably blurred in memory with the covers of whatever other trash is featured nearby. Maybe they don't report on the living Elvis or UFO abductions anymore. Still, unless there's some way to assess their reliability* other than asking random people what they think, I place Shafer in this category for the moment, and ask, why should I respect his empty opinion more than anyone else's?

I also write this piece off to the usual "Need an idea for your column at Slate? Write something contrarian!" shtick. Shafer suffers this problem less often than most, but he's probably not immune.

==============
* One measure might be the number of libel lawsuits filed against them, compared to other newspapers and magazines.

bjkeefe
07-25-2008, 10:23 AM
I think Thus Spoke Elvis's "Just Kidding"-defense, as you call it, needs some explanation. By comparing Mickey to Batman, and calling it tongue-in-cheek, he didn't mean that he thought Mickey was wrong, or that he wasn't helping Democrats. [...]

I acknowledged elsewhere in this thread that I'd read right over the Batman part.

Bobby G
07-25-2008, 10:38 AM
Oops.

bjkeefe
07-25-2008, 10:46 AM
No prob.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-25-2008, 11:33 AM
I agree with all of those criticisms of the substance of the piece. I was basically making an argumentum ad verecundiam. Jack Shafer's position and experience make him more of an authority on media matters than most of us, so I'm going to give his opinion about the reliability of news sources consideration.

As I've said before, I think the strongest argument in favor of the Enquirer's story is that they name themselves as witnesses to Edwards being at the hotel with Hunter and running into a restroom when confronted. If those allegations weren't true, they could very easily be disproven, and Edwards coud easily win a major libel judgment. I also think those two allegations, if true, are very strong circumstantial evidence that Edwards has been engaging in some unseemly shenanigans.

bjkeefe
07-25-2008, 12:12 PM
Elvis:

Yeah, I'll give you the point on Shafer's cred. I kind of exaggerated by lumping him in with the general public toward the end of my last post.

(I still stand by my need-for-a-column-idea speculation, but no matter.)

Slate's Gabfest podcast gets into the Edwards issue this week, and pretty heatedly. Some good points, but mostly entertainment. It hasn't been posted on their web site yet, so you can either check the Gabfest home page (http://www.slate.com/gabfest) later, or subscribe (for free) to the podcast now (iTunes link (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=158004641)). The Edwards segment starts at around 29:30.

JoeK
07-29-2008, 08:36 AM
How can a man with such a good health care plan be such a pig?

bjkeefe
08-06-2008, 10:58 PM
If this (http://www.eschatonblog.com/2008_08_03_archive.html#1500195932574634503) doesn't get Mickey off the Edwards story, we've lost him for sure.

Ocean
08-07-2008, 07:23 AM
If this (http://www.eschatonblog.com/2008_08_03_archive.html#1500195932574634503) doesn't get Mickey off the Edwards story, we've lost him for sure.

Lovely child. I mean... cosmically speaking...

Eastwest
08-08-2008, 12:38 AM
Liberals owe Mickey their eternal gratitude for his tireless promotion of this story. If not for Mickey's efforts, Edwards might have been a more serious presidential or (more likely) vice presidential candidate, with this story emerging only in the late months of the presidential campaign. And that would have resulted in the Democrats losing a presidential election they would otherwise have been almost guaranteed to win.

Obama's gonna lose anyway. It would have been a much greater service if Mickey would have taken out Barack.

EW

AemJeff
08-08-2008, 12:45 AM
Obama's gonna lose anyway. It would have been a much greater service if Mickey would have taken out Barack.

EW

What the hell are you going to do with yourself if he wins, even despite the ocean of bile in your stomach? Four or even eight years of EastWest/Eeyore bellyaching about Obama is greater punishment than even the worst of us deserve!

bjkeefe
08-08-2008, 12:58 AM
^if^when

Eastwest
08-08-2008, 06:02 AM
What the hell are you going to do with yourself if he wins, even despite the ocean of bile in your stomach? Four or even eight years of EastWest/Eeyore bellyaching about Obama is greater punishment than even the worst of us deserve!

Actually, I'll be delighted if he wins. Any chatter I've set out post-primaries has totally been out of concern on this matter, principally over Obama's acting so anxious to please everyone that he will end up deflating his support among everyone. You'll note I'm not the only one underwhelmed by the jelly-spine syndrome (Think "Open Letter") and also you have to admit the polls, even before Bradley Effect, don't look so very thrilling.

He's obviously striving to allow almost no "air" between his positions and McCain's, figuring he'll then be the slam-dunk choice. Excuse me Barack, you're likely to be very, very surprised how many folks just default to their very conservative version of "playing it safe."

Politicians all inevitably disappoint. But McCain would do it in spades.

Hoping I'm wrong.

EW

osmium
08-08-2008, 03:09 PM
If this (http://www.eschatonblog.com/2008_08_03_archive.html#1500195932574634503) doesn't get Mickey off the Edwards story, we've lost him for sure.

it seems the shoe is falling (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5441195&page=1).

edit: oops, i am late. i admit i am surprised.

TwinSwords
08-08-2008, 03:12 PM
Crap (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5441195&page=1).

bjkeefe
08-08-2008, 03:28 PM
it seems the shoe is falling (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5441195&page=1).

edit: oops, i am late. i admit i am surprised.

Thanks for the link, and ditto to Twin.

All right, all you chortlers -- might as well get the "I told you so!!!1!" out of your system now.

TwinSwords
08-08-2008, 03:34 PM
Thanks for the link, and ditto to Twin.

All right, all you chortlers -- might as well get the "I told you so!!!1!" out of your system now.

I suspect they won't drop it until Edwards "admits" he is the father of the Hunter's child.

Thus Spoke Elvis
08-08-2008, 03:44 PM
Don't doubt the Mickster.

Exeus99
08-08-2008, 04:09 PM
DAAMN (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/usa/2008/08/that_john_edwards_story_partly.html), I hope Mr. Kaus isn't insufferable after this--but I can't think of a good reason why he shouldn't be!

Thus Spoke Elvis
08-08-2008, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the link, and ditto to Twin.

All right, all you chortlers -- might as well get the "I told you so!!!1!" out of your system now.

So I assume you've come around to my "Mickey=Batman" analogy?

harkin
08-08-2008, 06:08 PM
So many coming at this from a completely skewed and wrongheaded perspective. It's like you're saying 'OK - It's our party's turn to have a slimeball exposed and dangit, Mickey has scoreboard but we'll get over it'. To think in that way totally misses the relevant points here.

If Edwards had just said 'I was a jerk, I had a moment of weakness and when I should have been faithful to my sick, devoted wife, I was commiting adultry', he still would have been vilified but he also would have gotten points for being honest about his sins. We still really don't know the full extant, I mean, why would someone as slippery as Edwards admit the affair if the child is not his?


To everyone who applauded the NYTimes when they were happy to smear J McCain for an affair that apparently never took place but will give them a pass for ignoring the Edwards story.....shame.

As to anyone who still maintains the ridiculous position that this is a 'non-story', let's reflect on Edwards own words when he was taking heat for not only continuing his campaign after his wife's illness was discovered, but also for using her illness as a device to solicit donations:

"I say all of those judgments and questions are entirely legitimate. I mean, you offer yourself up for service to the country as the President of the United States, you deserve to be evaluated. I am perfectly open to that evaluation. I think that I know, when I'm running for president, I'm running for president because I want to serve this country, and because I want all people in America to have the same kind of chances that I've had.

I've come from nothing to now have everything. And I think everybody in this country, no matter who their family is, or what the color of their skin, ought to get that chance.

But, throughout this process, people will be able to see very clearly into what we do, what we say, how we behave, and they can evaluate for themselves whether they think I'm, in fact, doing this for the right reason.

We know the truth. We know the truth, but I think it's a fair judgment for Americans to make."

AemJeff
08-08-2008, 06:22 PM
So many coming at this from a completely skewed and wrongheaded perspective. It's like you're saying 'OK - It's our party's turn to have a slimeball exposed and dangit, Mickey has scoreboard but we'll get over it'. To think in that way totally misses the relevant points here.

If Edwards had just said 'I was a jerk, I had a moment of weakness and when I should have been faithful to my sick, devoted wife, I was commiting adultry', he still would have been vilified but he also would have gotten points for being honest about his sins. We still really don't know the full extant, I mean, why would someone as slippery as Edwards admit the affair if the child is not his?


To everyone who applauded the NYTimes when they were happy to smear J McCain for an affair that apparently never took place but will give them a pass for ignoring the Edwards story.....shame.

As to anyone who still maintains the ridiculous position that this is a 'non-story', let's reflect on Edwards own words when he was taking heat for not only continuing his campaign after his wife's illness was discovered, but also for using her illness as a device to solicit donations:

"I say all of those judgments and questions are entirely legitimate. I mean, you offer yourself up for service to the country as the President of the United States, you deserve to be evaluated. I am perfectly open to that evaluation. I think that I know, when I'm running for president, I'm running for president because I want to serve this country, and because I want all people in America to have the same kind of chances that I've had.

I've come from nothing to now have everything. And I think everybody in this country, no matter who their family is, or what the color of their skin, ought to get that chance.

But, throughout this process, people will be able to see very clearly into what we do, what we say, how we behave, and they can evaluate for themselves whether they think I'm, in fact, doing this for the right reason.

We know the truth. We know the truth, but I think it's a fair judgment for Americans to make."

Despite the inability of a subset of conservatives to distinguish between the NYT and publications like the Enquirer, a distinction which it seems fair to say harkin misses, as well: the sourcing of a story matters. Mickey pursuing his enigmatic grudges, and the Enquirer chasing scandal whether or not it exists in any given instance, don't, together or separately, constitute a reason to dignify any topic with even so much as notice, let alone greater media mention. The matter of Edwards' guilt in this is a side show, a distraction from the actual issue of not allowing sleaze-merchants any footing whatsoever. I do like how you complain in reference to a Times story about a candidate you like as a "smear," even while never once taking a public stand on the Enquirer story about someone you don't, before his mea culpa.

Exeus99
08-08-2008, 07:18 PM
It's a distraction!

AemJeff
08-08-2008, 08:57 PM
It's a distraction!

I said that. I'm not sure what you're saying, though.

bjkeefe
08-08-2008, 09:11 PM
So I assume you've come around to my "Mickey=Batman" analogy?

If you mean by that someone who is predisposed to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants, yes.

But seriously ...

I'd say Mickey might deserve credit for having the right instincts about this particular case, but I am unsure how much of that is anything beyond the stopped clock model. I suppose he might deserve credit for keeping the clamor alive, if one thinks it was important to get John Edwards to 'fess up, but I don't know how to measure the significance of his contribution. He did not get the MSM to jump on the story, as far as I can tell. And presumably, the Enquirer was going to do whatever it did, independent of Mickey.

He did not, so far as I know, do anything in the way of investigation or reporting. So, if I think of Batman as taking care of a job that no one else can or will do, then no, I don't accept your equivalence.

harkin
08-09-2008, 11:16 AM
Despite the inability of a subset of conservatives to distinguish between the NYT and publications like the Enquirer, a distinction which it seems fair to say harkin misses, as well: the sourcing of a story matters.

The big miss here is from those who still don't realize the Enquirer did a better job at 'sourcing' on the Edwards story than the Times did on the McCain story.

Unless one thinks it doesn't matter if the story is true or not. You'd think that would be Journalism 101 - apparently only one of these papers 'distinguish'ed itself in this manner.


Mickey pursuing his enigmatic grudges, and the Enquirer chasing scandal whether or not it exists in any given instance, don't, together or separately, constitute a reason to dignify any topic with even so much as notice, let alone greater media mention.

Once again. Who was doing the chasing, the Enquirer for following a true story that the MSM was doing their best to bury???.....or The NYTimes for pursuing an 'enigmatic grudge' by not only publishing a lie/rumor about a candidate they don't 'like' but going to the trouble of putting it on the front page? You know, after reading the Times story, I'm still not sure if they were stating 'rumor' or 'worry', but neither was worthy of being printed and in fact proved to be a disgrace to a once-fine paper.

The matter of Edwards' guilt in this is a side show, a distraction from the actual issue of not allowing sleaze-merchants any footing whatsoever.

Once again following the party line of calling this story a 'sideshow' because it's about a Dem. Hilarious. I can only ask the liberals here to be honest when reflecting on the fact that if this story had been about Tim Pawlenty or Bobby Jindal, whether they would have had anything more to say than calling the reporters 'sleaze-merchants'.

I do like how you complain in reference to a Times story about a candidate you like as a "smear," even while never once taking a public stand on the Enquirer story about someone you don't, before his mea culpa.

For someone who keeps track of what I say, it's interesting that you claim McCain is a candidate I 'like', when I honestly can't remember ever voicing support for him. For the record, I don't dislike John McCain but I don't think I'll vote for him, I think he's pretty slippery too, tho not near as much of a phony as JE.

And speaking of his (JE's) phoniness, Kirsten Powers has a nice column (http://www.nypost.com/seven/08092008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/he_was_always_a_fake_123661.htm?page=2):

"Edwards' statement yesterday explained: "In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic." Is he really past the narcissism bug? In an ABC interview airing last night, Edwards took great care to explain that he only cheated on Elizabeth when she was in remission - not when her cancer was full blown.

What a relief.

By the way, Edwards isn't the only one dishonored. The media accepted his denials of any affair - while holding at least one other candidate to a different standard. The New York Times insinuated in a front-page story that McCain had had an affair with a lobbyist - an allegation utterly without evidence. And MSNBC's Keith Ollberman broke into scheduled programming to hawk the story."

One more instance showing the complete lack of standards or integrity on the part of the NYTimes and MSNBC, two media sources doing their best to define the term 'sideshow'.

AemJeff
08-09-2008, 11:54 AM
The big miss here is from those who still don't realize the Enquirer did a better job at 'sourcing' on the Edwards story than the Times did on the McCain story.

Unless one thinks it doesn't matter if the story is true or not. You'd think that would be Journalism 101 - apparently only one of these papers 'distinguish'ed itself in this manner.


Well, no. The "big miss," if you like, is taking seriously a story that's only appeared in the Enquirer. The "truth" of this particular story isn't related to anything I've had to say about it. The Enquirer isn't lying this time? Phew! I'm sure I said it somewhere else in this thread, but my take on this would have been the same if McCain had been the target. The difference I see between this story and the one the Times developed about McCain, is that the Times is a reputable news source. Conservative attempts to paint it as a partisan organ notwithstanding. You seem to be assuming I care whether negative stories about John Edwards appear in print. I don't. I care when the Enquirer is sole-sourced for the purposes of a political hit on a anybody.


Once again following the party line of calling this story a 'sideshow' because it's about a Dem. Hilarious. I can only ask the liberals here to be honest when reflecting on the fact that if this story had been about Tim Pawlenty or Bobby Jindal, whether they would have had anything more to say than calling the reporters 'sleaze-merchants'.


I'm going to assume that you're not deliberately raising straw-men, and that I just haven't been sufficiently clear. This is not about partisan politics, as far as I'm concerned. If it had been about Pawlenty or Jindal I'd have felt the same way. And believe me, in the case of Jindal, particularly, I have the motivation to do exactly what you accuse me of.


For someone who keeps track of what I say, it's interesting that you claim McCain is a candidate I 'like', when I honestly can't remember ever voicing support for him. For the record, I don't dislike John McCain but I don't think I'll vote for him, I think he's pretty slippery too, tho not near as much of a phony as JE.


I'm glad you've gone on-record with your opinion. I think you apply a different standard to a Democrat, and I think it's disingenuous to assume a political agenda on the part of NYT news-coverage. I haven't, btw, accused the Enquirer of a political agenda, just a lack of integrity or believability. The fact that they aren't always wrong doesn't sway my judgment.

harkin
08-09-2008, 12:48 PM
The difference I see between this story and the one the Times developed about McCain, is that the Times is a reputable news source.

You miss my point entirely if you think I'm saying that the Enquirer somehow has a better track record for hard news. Please read again my comparison of the McCain coverage and Edwards lackthereof.

If you still don't get my point I guess all I can say is that you're still on square one in this regard. How anyone can say a paper which prints an implied lie against a candidate they don't support while ignoring a true story about one who reflects their core beliefs is 'reputable' is beyond me. They even add insult to injury this week by publishing a story (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/business/media/09media.html?ref=politics) about Old Media's reticence on the JE story and never once referring to their McCain story or subsequent criticism by their own Ombudsman on the smear.

This is not about partisan politics, as far as I'm concerned. If it had been about Pawlenty or Jindal I'd have felt the same way. And believe me, in the case of Jindal, particularly, I have the motivation to do exactly what you accuse me of.

I'll take your word on this but I'm also fairly certain you would be the exception to the rule in these forums. It's also interesting that while you are quick to point out my lack of objectivity, you state that in Jindal's case you would have been particularly motivated. Pot meet kettle.


I'm glad you've gone on-record with your opinion. I think you apply a different standard to a Democrat, and I think it's disingenuous to assume a political agenda on the part of NYT news-coverage.

Are you saying that I'm the only person here who allows political leanings to have on impact on the opinions they post here? Truly remarkable. And believe me, I have plenty of criticisms to level at some conservatives, I hope you won't let the fact that the 10% clique of liberals here who make - what was it. - 80% of the postings here usually slamming conservatives??.....making that unneccessary escape you.

That you can't see the political agenda of the NYTimes is even more extraordinary and revealing. I thank you for this admission because it's a great illustration of the inability by many liberals to recognize the left-leaning bias of the MSM.

AemJeff
08-09-2008, 01:23 PM
This looks like it's going to become a long back-and-forth. If it does, so be it, it's a good conversation.

You miss my point entirely if you think I'm saying that the Enquirer somehow has a better track record for hard news. Please read again my comparison of the McCain coverage and Edwards lackthereof.

If you still don't get my point I guess all I can say is that you're still on square one in this regard. How anyone can say a paper which prints an implied lie against a candidate they don't support while ignoring a true story about one who reflects their core beliefs is 'reputable' is beyond me. They even add insult to injury this week by publishing a story (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/business/media/09media.html?ref=politics) about Old Media's reticence on the JE story and never once referring to their McCain story or subsequent criticism by their own Ombudsman on the smear.


That really not what I'm saying. My point is that as long as only the Enquirer is pushing a story, that story doesn't deserve any attention. I don't think you're asserting that they have a better track record than the Times. I'm saying they have a deep hole to climb out of before the issue of their "track record" is even worth considering. I have a graf about bias at the Times, but I moved to the bottom of the post.


I'll take your word on this but I'm also fairly certain you would be the exception to the rule in these forums. It's also interesting that while you are quick to point out my lack of objectivity, you state that in Jindal's case you would have been particularly motivated. Pot meet kettle.


My point, of course, is that I'm well aware of my own political biases, but that my point of view on this topic isn't related to that.



Are you saying that I'm the only person here who allows political leanings to have on impact on the opinions they post here? Truly remarkable. And believe me, I have plenty of criticisms to level at some conservatives, I hope you won't let the fact that the 10% clique of liberals here who make - what was it. - 80% of the postings here usually slamming conservatives??.....making that unneccessary escape you.

Do you seriously claim that you and Piscivorous are liberals? Both of you are among the top posters on the site. Other than Brendan, Pisc is the most prolific poster here. And if you actually read the postings by the liberals on this site, there's a wide array of opinion, and I hear a lot of praise for people from every point of view. This is a silly assertion. And nobody is saying you're the only person whose politics manifest in what they post. I made a specific observation about you, and you're free either to feel it's untrue or unimportant.


That you can't see the political agenda of the NYTimes is even more extraordinary and revealing. I thank you for this admission because it's a great illustration of the inability by many liberals to recognize the left-leaning bias of the MSM.

Your equating the Times story about McCain with the Edwards story is a perspective unique to people who comb the Times' coverage for any hint of partisan bias. The counterclaim to that perspective isn't that the Times is perfectly balanced - it's that detecting the Times supposed partisanship is a result of selection bias. The long disingenuous history of conservatives shrilling about media bias has netted a cottage industry of people devoted to detecting any story that doesn't conform to a subset of conservative views and screaming AHA! Regardless of the status of a particular story, the Times has a history of publishing stories from a wide range of views and there have been plenty of favorable stories about John McCain, for instance, that are ignored by the bias nanny contingent. If there is any bias in the coverage at a given moment, infatuation with a particular person, or attachment to a vivid narrative are far better theories for why it occurs than simple, blank partisanship.

AemJeff
08-10-2008, 05:42 PM
Kaus Can Suck It (http://thegspot.typepad.com/blog/2008/08/mickey-kaus-can.html)!

I think she nails the heart of this matter.

harkin
08-11-2008, 11:14 AM
Do you seriously claim that you and Piscivorous are liberals? Both of you are among the top posters on the site. Other than Brendan, Pisc is the most prolific poster here.

How you can equate anything I said to me claiming I'm a liberal is interesting indeed. Once again you missed the entire point.

I can't speak for Pisc but if you like you can count my posts along with everyone elses. I'd be very surprised if I placed very high. As I've said before, quality over quantity always has better results. On this thread alone head to head you win 9-4. And if you do count make sure you count all the threads, I rarely post in non-BhTV discussions (and I only use this user name).

And maybe you're disillusioned as to how much I post here because I'm not part of the liberal echo chamber. I would take that as a good sign as to my impact here on making people think. I think Bob and Mickey would like that too.


Your equating the Times story about McCain with the Edwards story is a perspective unique to people who comb the Times' coverage for any hint of partisan bias. The counterclaim to that perspective isn't that the Times is perfectly balanced - it's that detecting the Times supposed partisanship is a result of selection bias. The long disingenuous history of conservatives shrilling about media bias has netted a cottage industry of people devoted to detecting any story that doesn't conform to a subset of conservative views and screaming AHA! .


As I've already said, you are on square one. One doesnt have to comb the Times to find liberal bias. Plus if you read the latest Ombudsman column, you'll see that this opinion is much more prevalent than you know:

From Clark Hoyt:

"Murray Bromberg of Bellmore, N.Y., was glad The Times was not touching this seamy business. “I heartily approve,” he said. But everyone else I heard from over the past several weeks was either puzzled or outraged that the newspaper, which carried front-page allegations of a John McCain affair, was ignoring the relationship between Edwards and Hunter. John Boyle of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said, “I hope you will find the time to tell me why this news story is not reported by your paper.” Some readers, like Bert A. Getz Jr. of Winnetka, Ill., were sure they already knew the answer: liberal bias."

OK now, sit back, take a deep breath and put on the thinking cap if it helps....

The Times own Public Editor said that everyone he heard from over the past few weeks had a problem with a perceived double standard and/or bias...with the exception of Mr Murray Bromberg.

What were you calling a 'perspective unique' again?

Your simple-minded 'AHA' generalizations do your argument no favor.

And I recalled your words about the difference between the NYT and The Enq when I read this from H Kurtz:

"Those who blithely dismiss a brash supermarket tabloid -- what New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller called the "hold-your-nose quality about the Enquirer" -- had better check the record. The Enquirer's reporting of the O.J. Simpson extravaganza of the '90s was good enough to be cited by the Times itself. In 2001, the tabloid reported both that Hillary Clinton's brother had been paid $400,000 to secure a presidential pardon for a convicted businessman, and that Jesse Jackson had fathered an out-of-wedlock child. In 2003, Rush Limbaugh acknowledged an addiction to painkillers after the Enquirer reported that Florida authorities were looking into his drug use."

and

"The argument that Edwards is merely a private person who should be left alone doesn't carry much water. He's a two-time presidential candidate, was the party's nominee for vice president four years ago, and was carrying on with the smitten Hunter -- a fledgling filmmaker paid with campaign funds during his White House run. Do the standards change dramatically the day after you drop out?"

Once again I hope this stimulates thought.


Re: Kaus Can Suck It - How strange that a writer who would have been better advised to just eat her words seems to now want to be Mickey's managing editor, deciding what he can and can't write about. I'll have to look up her past posts where she condemned lib bloggers for attacking John McCain on the affair smear and failing to concentrate on weightier issues.

It's also interesting that in failing to own up to the fact that she was wrong, Kathy G does what Mickey never did, get down in the gutter of ad hominem braying in attacking the messenger. It's extra rich that she uses Eliz Edwards as a sympathy device to further condemn Mickey, a move directly out of the John Edwards playbook. And strike three for her commenters' generally proving that if you have no retort, you attack with profanity and goat-sex references. Hilarious.

Her delicious criticism of a 'once a respected journalist' only makes it more glaring that he's out of her league and all she can do is howl.

And this is so incredibly rich I had to edit it in:

Kathy G follows this on MK:

Furthermore, unless he was hiding documentary evidence that he never made public, Kaus had no idea whether the story was made up or not.

with this on JE:

The worst thing is, I think he's still lying. He admits to the affair, but says he's not the baby's father, and that he hasn't given money to the mother. I find that, very, very, very hard to believe. Especially because, as he admits, he never took a paternity test. And if the affair had been over for two years, what was he doing visiting her and the baby in that hotel room?

That may be the funniest bit of hypocrisy I've seen in awhile.

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 12:21 PM
How you can equate anything I said to me claiming I'm a liberal is interesting indeed. Once again you missed the entire point.

Good golly. You've never heard of reductio ad absurdum?

I can't speak for Pisc but if you like you can count my posts along with everyone elses. I'd be very surprised if I placed very high. As I've said before, quality over quantity always has better results. On this thread alone head to head you win 9-4. And if you do count make sure you count all the threads, I rarely post in non-BhTV discussions (and I only use this user name).

Ignoring so-called "junior members" you rank #20 currently. Using the "Active Members" report as a benchmark, that puts you well into the top ten percent of posters on this site.

And maybe you're disillusioned as to how much I post here because I'm not part of the liberal echo chamber. I would take that as a good sign as to my impact here on making people think. I think Bob and Mickey would like that too.

That's hardly worth a response.


As I've already said, you are on square one. One doesnt have to comb the Times to find liberal bias. Plus if you read the latest Ombudsman column, you'll see that this opinion is much more prevalent than you know:

From Clark Hoyt:

"Murray Bromberg of Bellmore, N.Y., was glad The Times was not touching this seamy business. “I heartily approve,” he said. But everyone else I heard from over the past several weeks was either puzzled or outraged that the newspaper, which carried front-page allegations of a John McCain affair, was ignoring the relationship between Edwards and Hunter. John Boyle of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said, “I hope you will find the time to tell me why this news story is not reported by your paper.” Some readers, like Bert A. Getz Jr. of Winnetka, Ill., were sure they already knew the answer: liberal bias."

OK now, sit back, take a deep breath and put on the thinking cap if it helps....

Oh good grief. McCain is running for national office. Edwards is an also ran. This is exactly the sort of thing meant by the phrase "selection bias." You choose ideology as the sole test and ignore every other factor, because you're only interested in what effect ideology has. Take a course in critical thinking.

The Times own Public Editor said that everyone he heard from over the past few weeks had a problem with a perceived double standard and/or bias...with the exception of Mr Murray Bromberg.

What were you calling a 'perspective unique' again?

Your simple-minded 'AHA' generalizations do your argument no favor.

And I recalled your words about the difference between the NYT and The Enq when I read this from H Kurtz:

"Those who blithely dismiss a brash supermarket tabloid -- what New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller called the "hold-your-nose quality about the Enquirer" -- had better check the record. The Enquirer's reporting of the O.J. Simpson extravaganza of the '90s was good enough to be cited by the Times itself. In 2001, the tabloid reported both that Hillary Clinton's brother had been paid $400,000 to secure a presidential pardon for a convicted businessman, and that Jesse Jackson had fathered an out-of-wedlock child. In 2003, Rush Limbaugh acknowledged an addiction to painkillers after the Enquirer reported that Florida authorities were looking into his drug use."

and

"The argument that Edwards is merely a private person who should be left alone doesn't carry much water. He's a two-time presidential candidate, was the party's nominee for vice president four years ago, and was carrying on with the smitten Hunter -- a fledgling filmmaker paid with campaign funds during his White House run. Do the standards change dramatically the day after you drop out?"

Once again I hope this stimulates thought.

See the above. Trying to equate Edwards' importance with McCain's is sloppy and more than a little silly. If Edwards were the presumptive Democratic candidate the argument would hold water. Take note of how little damage the revelation about him is going cause the Democrats. He's not that important. Sorry.

Re: Kaus Can Suck It - How strange that a writer who would have been better advised to just eat her words seems to now want to be Mickey's managing editor, deciding what he can and can't write about. I'll have to look up her past posts where she condemned lib bloggers for attacking John McCain on the affair smear and failing to concentrate on weightier issues.

It's also interesting that in failing to own up to the fact that she was wrong, Kathy G does what Mickey never did, get down in the gutter of ad hominem braying in attacking the messenger. It's extra rich that she uses Eliz Edwards as a sympathy device to further condemn Mickey, a move directly out of the John Edwards playbook. And strike three for her commenters' generally proving that if you have no retort, you attack with profanity and goat-sex references. Hilarious.

Her delicious criticism of a 'once a respected journalist' only makes it more glaring that he's out of her league and all she can do is howl.

And this is so incredibly rich I had to edit it in:

Kathy G follows this on MK:



with this on JE:



That may be the funniest bit of hypocrisy I've seen in awhile.

You refuse to unlink the issue of whether to trust the source prima facie, from whether or not the allegation happens to be true. They are not the same issue.

bjkeefe
08-11-2008, 01:44 PM
harkin:

As I've already said, you are on square one. One doesnt have to comb the Times to find liberal bias.

I disagree. Well, maybe you don't have to comb the Times -- you can turn right to the opinion pages, where the editorial staff is center-left and some of the regular op-ed columnists are more or less liberal. As for the rest of the paper, most liberals would disagree with you. So, you can say the NYT is liberal, but I only accept this in a relative sense; i.e., compared to an unabashedly conservative source.

As for the so-called "hit job" on McCain, you're focusing on only one aspect of that article and ignoring the larger points. It's probably to the Times's discredit that they included the allegations of affairs without better evidence. I'd be willing to stipulate to that. But the bulk of that story described McCain's long, cozy (in other ways) relationships with lobbyists.

Overall, most liberals would say that the NYT, like virtually every other organ in the MSM, has been consistently easier on McCain than they have on Obama. They do not harp on his verbal slips (the way that "bitter" was covered), his relationships (compare the many lobbyists with, say, Ayers), prominent supporters (compare Wright verses Hagee and Parsley), the foul-ups of those on his campaign staff (compare Gramm with Clark), or the inner turmoil of his campaign (no Obama problem here, but compare to coverage of Clinton). The NYT does not run endless "think pieces" asking questions like Will McCain's age be a factor? Do people care about McCain's age? If they do, why do they? the way they do about various aspects of Obama. There is no examination of questions about his past (compare Keating 5 with Rezko, say). And finally, even on the op-ed page, you've got Kristol constantly either belittling Obama or plumping McCain, while the so-called and actual liberal columnists spend half their time criticizing Obama.

I know bashing the NYT for bias is something that they teach from Day 1 in conservative circles, but it's really not anywhere near as biased as you would like to pretend. Picking out individual anecdotes doesn't make your case, either. And, that you're still harping on one aspect of that one McCain story shows how little there is to reach for to support your assertion.

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 11:07 PM
harkin:



I disagree. Well, maybe you don't have to comb the Times -- you can turn right to the opinion pages, where the editorial staff is center-left and some of the regular op-ed columnists are more or less liberal. As for the rest of the paper, most liberals would disagree with you. So, you can say the NYT is liberal, but I only accept this in a relative sense; i.e., compared to an unabashedly conservative source.

As for the so-called "hit job" on McCain, you're focusing on only one aspect of that article and ignoring the larger points. It's probably to the Times's discredit that they included the allegations of affairs without better evidence. I'd be willing to stipulate to that. But the bulk of that story described McCain's long, cozy (in other ways) relationships with lobbyists.

Overall, most liberals would say that the NYT, like virtually every other organ in the MSM, has been consistently easier on McCain than they have on Obama. They do not harp on his verbal slips (the way that "bitter" was covered), his relationships (compare the many lobbyists with, say, Ayers), prominent supporters (compare Wright verses Hagee and Parsley), the foul-ups of those on his campaign staff (compare Gramm with Clark), or the inner turmoil of his campaign (no Obama problem here, but compare to coverage of Clinton). The NYT does not run endless "think pieces" asking questions like Will McCain's age be a factor? Do people care about McCain's age? If they do, why do they? the way they do about various aspects of Obama. There is no examination of questions about his past (compare Keating 5 with Rezko, say). And finally, even on the op-ed page, you've got Kristol constantly either belittling Obama or plumping McCain, while the so-called and actual liberal columnists spend half their time criticizing Obama.

I know bashing the NYT for bias is something that they teach from Day 1 in conservative circles, but it's really not anywhere near as biased as you would like to pretend. Picking out individual anecdotes doesn't make your case, either. And, that you're still harping on one aspect of that one McCain story shows how little there is to reach for to support your assertion.

I'm less and less inclined to offer a point by point rebuttal every time somebody asserts "liberal bias!" There comes a point when defending against a bad faith attack, especially one repeated as often, and as pernicious, as the bias trope is just helps to validate it. Which is not to say that you haven't made good points, or that you shouldn't have articulated them. I just find myself more likely to point out that it's a fallacy than argue it these days.

Ocean
08-11-2008, 11:13 PM
I'm less and less inclined to offer a point by point rebuttal every time somebody asserts "liberal bias!" There comes a point when defending against a bad faith attack, especially one repeated as often, and as pernicious, as the bias trope is just helps to validate it. Which is not to say that you haven't made good points, or that you shouldn't have articulated them. I just find myself more likely to point out that it's a fallacy than argue it these days.

It does have an educational value for the rest though...

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 11:37 PM
It does have an educational value for the rest though...

It's true. But one eventually begins to feel like Sisyphus...

bjkeefe
08-11-2008, 11:39 PM
It's true. But one eventually begins to feel like Sisyphus...

I know what you mean. That's why we all have to take a turn with the boulder.

And maybe if enough of us do, it won't be able to roll all the way to the bottom of the hill each time.

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 11:46 PM
I know what you mean. That's why we all have to take a turn with the boulder.

And maybe if enough of us do, it won't be able to roll all the way to the bottom of the hill each time.

Excellent point.

AemJeff
08-13-2008, 12:09 AM
harkin:
That may be the funniest bit of hypocrisy I've seen in awhile.

This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDA9NbPAK8o) is the funniest bit of inspired lunacy I've seen in a while. I'm not sure why, but this seems like the appropriate spot for it.

h/t Drezner (http://danieldrezner.com/blog/?p=3886).

Ocean
08-13-2008, 12:36 AM
harkin:


This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDA9NbPAK8o) is the funniest bit of inspired lunacy I've seen in a while. I'm not sure why, but this seems like the appropriate spot for it.

h/t Drezner (http://danieldrezner.com/blog/?p=3886).

Oh, you made me wake up from boredom with laughter!

Where do you get these concoctions?

AemJeff
08-13-2008, 09:23 AM
Oh, you made me wake up from boredom with laughter!

Where do you get these concoctions?

Click through the "Drezner (http://danieldrezner.com/blog/?p=3886)" link.

Ocean
08-13-2008, 09:52 AM
Click through the "Drezner (http://danieldrezner.com/blog/?p=3886)" link.

Thanks!

Exeus99
08-13-2008, 11:40 PM
Sorry, I meant to ask if "true but a distraction" was the new "fake but accurate" but I forgot. I think I was going to post something snarky about Sen. Obama's use of the term "distraction" to label something potentially counterproductive as off-limits for discussion, but all I can remember is this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/24/AR2008042402983.html) editorial, and you know, consider the source.
Anyway, I think you might do better arguing that the truth or falsity of Kaus' original allegations is a separate issue from whether allegations of that type are proper WITHOUT calling the fact that Kaus appears to have been correct a distraction.

bjkeefe
08-21-2008, 06:52 AM
Jonathan Stein (http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/08/9316_edwards_giuliani_infidelity.html):

John Edwards cheated on his wife. The media found out about it. John Edwards will not be attending the Democratic convention.

Rudy Giuliani used public funds to cheat on his wife and used city agencies to cover his tracks. The media found out about it. Rudy Giuliani will be delivering the keynote at the Republican convention.

IOKIYAR!

==========
(h/t: Steve Benen (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/16622.html))

graz
08-21-2008, 02:42 PM
The answer is as simple as 1,2,3:
1- Noun
2- Verb
3- 911

graz
08-21-2008, 10:08 PM
The answer is as simple as 1,2,3:
1- Noun
2- Verb
3- 911

1- Noun
2- Verb
3- P.O.W.

bjkeefe
08-21-2008, 10:56 PM
1- Noun
2- Verb
3- P.O.W.

You could imagine a Python-like routine where every time Rudy started to say "9/11," a McCain cut-out figure would pop up in front of him and say "P.O.W.!"

Except that John McCain doesn't like to talk about being a P.O.W., of course.