MartiniPundit

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Archive for the ‘2004 Election’ Category

Stoneless Story – The Ellen Goodman Version

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Well, it seems the “Jill Carroll abused by right-wing bloggers” theme is developing into an outright meme. At least that’s the case when a well-known columnist like Ellen Goodman stoops to outright duplicity. (Or sleight of hand, your call.) In this column from the Boston Globe, she moralizes that “Bloggers owe Jill Carroll an apology.”

Do they? This one surely does not, and I’ll stack up my rightwing credentials next to anybody’s. I never wrote a word about Jill Carroll’s release before this week, and nothing that was derogatory. I do find this latest (jealous) attack on the blogosphere to be more than a little farfetched. Let’s take a look:

Remember when a former CBS executive described bloggers as guys in pajamas writing in their living rooms? Well, it seems that many have only one exercise routine: jumping to conclusions.

Starting out by repeating a gratuitous slur is particularly silly when one recalls that the blogosphere was right and the CBS executive wrong. Just like him, Goodman attempts to denigrate that which she can’t refute.

However, unlike the last time we looked at this, Goodman does at least name some names:

The printouts on my desk describe the 28-year-old journalist, a hostage and victim for 82 terrifying days, as something between Patty Hearst and Baghdad Jane, between a traitor and ”Princess Jill.” TBone posted a potshot, calling Carroll ”a liar” and the kidnapping ”a total scam.” PA Pundits said that ”I still just can’t get past her being (for the most part) unharmed.” And Debbie Schlussel called her a ”spoiled brat America-hater.”

At first, the only name I even recognized was Debbie Schlussel, whom I tend to lump in with the fringe, but if she wants to count her, OK. She’s not A-list, but she’s known. And she seems to be examining Carroll’s views and motivations from a reporter’s perspective – I’m not sure what’s wrong with that unless Ellen Goodman somehow believes reporters are above such questions.

But the other two blogs are a stretch (and let’s note they come first). I went looking and found the TBone story and the PAPundits piece. Like I said, I’d never heard of these guys, but wow, what a scoop!

TBone is a blog about fifteen months old that averages around 800 hits a month. No shame there, this blog doesn’t do that much better. He’s skeptical about the story, and that’s all. Hardly a representative of the blogosphere. So I then looked at PAPundits and find they’ve been around less time – since September 2005 – and they’re bigger, averaging better than 8600 hits a month. Goodman doesn’t even bother, however to quote them honestly. Here’s what she quotes:

I still just can’t get past her being (for the most part) unharmed.

(Harsh words indeed.) And here’s what they actually say:

For everyone out there that is whining about how mistreated Jill Carroll has been by the blogs, I say — Fah! — .

The basic fundimental question of why she was released has not been answered. Until we get some answers as to why she was released, pretty much unharmed, after her kidnappers didn’t get what they wanted …

It just doesn’t add up to me, but then I am a distrusting soul.

I really couldn’t care less about the anti-american remarks she made shortly after her release. That really doesn’t phase me and I am willing to let that go. Her remarks in Germany pretty much cancel out her comments anyway.

I still just can’t get past her being (for the most part) unharmed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am HAPPY she’s is fine, I am HAPPY she is alive and free. I just don’t understand why her captors chose to do what they did.

He thinks there’s something fishy about it – maybe there is. I don’t know, and I’m sure Ellen Goodman doesn’t either.

But that’s all she’s got, two bloggers (I don’t count Schlussel), one tiny, one modest. Of course, there’s no story there (not to mention no links; I had to Google them.) So she resorts to this subterfuge:

The political bloggers first flexed their muscle in 2002 when they trumped the MSM — blogspeak for Mainstream Media — by forcing Trent Lott out of the Senate speakership after he toasted the good old segregated days of Strom Thurmond. In 2004, they proved the power of the Internet as a great equalizer when they confronted the house of CBS and Dan Rather over Bush’s military records.

Two years later, we have — ready, fire, aim — the Jill Carroll affair. These attacks raise the question of what bloggery is going to be when it grows up. An Internet op-ed page? Or a polarized, talk-radio food fight?

One must marvel at the chutzpah. It works on at least two levels. First, conflating the injustice of attacking Jill Carroll with the CBS forgeries. I agree that all the evidence suggests that Jill Carroll got lucky and she should be left alone. However, despite Ms. Goodman’s attempt to place Dan Rather and CBS in the same category, it just doesn’t work.

This wasn’t about “Bush’s military records.” This was about Dan Rather and CBS news knowingly using forgeries to attempt to slander a sitting Presidnet of the United States and influence the outcome of an election. This was despicable behavior and Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and others lost their jobs over it. This simply doesn’t compare to Jill Carroll.

Secondly, the idea that bloggers such as TBone and PAPundits are the ones responsible for the Rather takedown (or Lott’s) is equally ridiculous. It was people like Captain’s Quarters, Hugh Hewitt, Instapundit, INDC Journal, many others I’ve forgotten, but most of all Power Line. These are the big blogs, the influential blogs. These are the blogs that collectively receive hundreds of thousands of hits a month. These are the ones that took down Dan Rather, and these are the ones that matter in the Jill Carroll story. And they aren’t attacking her which Goodman must know, otherwise she’d have cited them instead of small fry. Of course, then she wouldn’t be able to say silly things like this:

The difference between old media and new, MSM and blog, says Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute, is the difference between sitting at a restaurant and having your food delivered nicely plated or standing at a buffet nibbling constantly. It’s the 24/7 news cycle brought down to the 604,800 seconds-per-week cycle.\nIn the wake of the Carroll story, a few — far too few — bloggers stopped stocking the buffet long enough to eat their words. But this case provides a juncture for bloggers who want a respected role in the public debate.

Of course, this straw man is knocked down just by the bloggers Goodman cites.

Ellen Goodman has written a scurrilous attack piece. It’s as bad as anything she ‘accuses’ bloggers of doing, worse given its intellectual dishonesty, and for reasons which she only knows but others can guess at. Might they have something to do with the Globe’s financial and circulation woes?

Written by martinipundit

April 7, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Liberal Bias in the Media?

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For those of you on the Left who deride accusations of liberal bias in the media, one of your own has some bad news:

U.S. media coverage of last year’s election was three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than Democratic challenger John Kerry, according to a study released Monday. The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator. Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Not that this surprises me or anything …

Written by martinipundit

March 15, 2005 at 8:42 pm

Have the Dictacrats Struck Again?

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It truly boggles the mind. Captain Ed crunches some numbers and finds compelling evidence of vote fraud in Wisconsin. (Michelle Malkin weighed in last night.)

According to state records, 83,000 people executed a same-day registration for Milwaukee County, which is more than 20% of all voting-age residents in the county. Now, Wisconsinites may procrastinate a bit, but in order to believe that number, you’d have to expect that 20% of the county had moved or became newly eligible within the past two years (after the previous national cycle). Not only that, but the state now reports that 10,000 of those registrations cannot be verified, a whopping 12% of all same-day registrations and almost the entire margin of victory for Kerry for the entire state.

There’s more, but that’s the rub. A lot of attention has been paid to Ohio. The New York Times is even today making a gratuitous swipe in an editorial about the need for a paper trail for electronic voting (a good idea, by the way), yet no one other than the denizens of the fever swamps actually believes that Kerry won Ohio. The Democrats don’t want to talk about what happened in Washington where a ‘Governor’ now rules. They don’t want to talk about Pennsylvania and the disenfranchisement of military voters. They don’t want to talk about how the Florida panhandle votes. And the silence on Wisconsin has been deafening.

Don’t worry about the places where the questionable votes potentially exceed the margin of victory. Don’t look at actions taken by Democrats to suppress the military vote. The party that claims to want every vote counted is really the party of counting every Democratic vote – dead or alive, twice if necessary. And if we dare to question Their Imperial Highnesses, we’ll be tagged as “vote suppressors” and “tools of the rich” and “you never worry about Republican fraud.” Oh, and don’t forget the race card.

Yet, no one has actually come up with any compelling examples and certainly not at the state level. Just another spurious accusation to distract from the party of kleptocrats. They act like anything not nailed down is theirs, and anything they can pry up is not nailed down. And then they get huffily indigant when anyone dares call it theft. Maybe I’m wrong and being overly harsh. If so, what’s the explanation for Wisconsin? Washington? Pennsylvania?

Written by martinipundit

January 18, 2005 at 10:16 pm

‘Governor’ Gregoire Sworn In

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Washington has a new ‘Governor,’ at least for now. Court challenges are proceeding and widely expected to be settled ultimately by the state’s supreme court. Meanwhile, Gregoire seems to be somewhat lacking in support. A fairly significant majority wants a revote:

An Exclusive KHQ NewsPoll conducted by Survey USA shows, 62% in the State of Washington say there should be a new election to re-vote on the governor’s race.The survey was conducted January 10 and 11, 2005, and 36% statewide say there should not be a new election. A re-vote is supported by 76% of Republicans and 64% of Independents.

In Eastern Washington 59% of those polled back a re-vote, 61% in the Seattle area back a re-vote. Democrats oppose a re-vote, but even among Democrats, it is close:45% support holding a new election, 52% say they oppose it.

More here.

Also be sure to check out Sound Politics which has been covering this story like a terrier on a rat.

Written by martinipundit

January 13, 2005 at 10:44 pm

The Farcical Land of King County

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With “Governor-elect” Gregoire scheduled to be sworn in tomorrow, you’d think King County would be taking extra special measures to appear above board. But you’d be wrong.

Three days after King County election officials explained most of a controversial discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and voters known to have voted, the gap has grown again. After whittling the discrepancy from 3,539 votes to 1,217 last week, officials yesterday said they had made a mistake. The number of votes now unaccounted for is “somewhere around 1,800,” county Elections Superintendent Bill Huennekens said yesterday.

Yet voters in Washington State are still expected to have confidence in the outcome of the election? Apparently so:

Huennekens said the larger number of unaccounted-for votes should not shake people’s confidence in the outcome of an election that he said was still “99.9x” percent accurate.

Maybe, but that’s a problem when the outcome is decided by 0.0000459% of the votes.

Written by martinipundit

January 11, 2005 at 12:02 pm

Cox and Forkum on the Washington Election

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Somewhat more succintly:

Heh.

Written by martinipundit

January 10, 2005 at 11:08 pm

John Fund on the Washington Election

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In today’s Opinion Journal:

In Washington state, the errors by election officials have been compared to the antics of Inspector Clouseau, only clumsier. At least 1,200 more votes were counted in Seattle’s King County than the number of individual voters who can be accounted for. Other counties saw similar, albeit smaller, excess vote totals. More than 300 military personnel who were sent their absentee ballots too late to return them have signed affidavits saying they intended to vote for Mr. Rossi. Some 1 out of 20 ballots in King County that officials felt were marked unclearly were “enhanced” with Wite-Out or pens so that some had their original markings obliterated. Most disturbing is the revelation last week by King County officials that at least 348 unverified provisional ballots were fed directly into vote-counting machines.

“Did it happen? Yes. Unfortunately, that’s part of the process in King County,” elections superintendent Bill Huennekens told the Seattle Times. “It’s a very human process, and in some cases that did happen.”

King County elections director Dean Logan, Mr. Huennekens’ boss, also concedes the discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and the list of people who are recorded as voting. Even though the gap is 1,200 votes, he says, “that does not clearly indicate that the election would have turned out differently.” Are voters supposed to trust an election merely because it can’t “clearly” be shown to be hopelessly tainted? Mr. Logan is certainly singing a different tune now than he was on Nov. 18, when he responded to charges of voting irregularities in an e-mail to colleagues, which read in part:

“Unfortunately, I have come to expect this kind of unsubstantiated crap. It’s all too convenient, if not now fashionable, to stoop to this level when there is a close race.”

Slade Gorton, a Republican former state attorney general and U.S. senator who is advising Mr. Rossi, says a court should order a revote rather than declare valid one of the two earlier vote counts that Mr. Rossi won.

“No one can govern effectively under the cloud this race has created,” Mr. Gorton says. He notes that state law doesn’t require any showing of fraud to contest an election.

“That is irrelevant to whether the election should be done over,” he says. “The law is quite clear in giving a court the right to void any election where the number of illegal or mistaken votes exceeds the margin of victory, and it has done so in the past.”

This one ain’t over. A must read.

Written by martinipundit

January 10, 2005 at 3:10 pm

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