Category Archives: Media Cluelessness

Oh, There Was Another Debate Today

Perhaps as an indication of the degree of debate fatigue I have, I wasn’t even aware that the Republicans were debating in Iowa today.

Here’s a cursory roundup of information I’ve been able to glean on short notice:

Michelle Malkin is liveblogging.

The Des Moines Register’s Carolyn Washburn (a.k.a. Schoolmarm) is the moderator of the debate. She’s no plant, but she sure is a stick in the mud. Her line of the debate so far: “A little snappier, gentlemen!” An hour into the debate, there’s no pile-on on Huckabee. There’s no time for one. Schoolmarm won’t allow it! She did, however, find time to show time-wasting videos of the candidates answering questions from Register reporters–even though the candidates are standing in front of her on the stage.

Congratulations, Schoolmarm: Washburn managed to suck all the life and color out of one of the most contested, exciting, unpredictable campaign fields in recent history. She stamped out any attempts between the candidates to engage each other. Not a single question on immigration.

I think, quite frankly, I preferred the plants!

Over at The Corner a consensus is developing that Romney and Thompson did well, but McCain and Giuliani didn’t get much in because Ron Paul and Alan Keyes were so disruptive.

Hot Air has video highlights, including Alan Keyes as his usual unhinged self.

The following video, from Hot Air, is great. I now wish I would have watched the whole thing.

Yikes. Malkin was right about the moderator, and BRAVO to Thompson for saying NO to yet another stupid “show of hands” question.

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Dangerous To Whom?

Via Ace of Spades HQ comes this bit of opinion from someone named Stephen A. Smith, a former sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer who now works in radio and I’ve never heard of before. Here’s what he has to say about bloggers:

==On if he considers going back to newspapers, or whether it’s a dying industry:

“I don’t believe that. All the newspaper industry has to do is connect itself better with the internet and guess what? People will read the newsaper on the internet, not rely so much on the paper copy and get with the internet age more so than it has. The foundation of the newspaper business… should never die. We shoud do all we can possible to make sure it lives in perpetuity because it’s extremely important with everything. It keeps radio and television on their ps and qs.

“And when you look at the internet business, what’s dangerous about it is that people who are clearly unqualified get to disseminate their piece to the masses. I respect the journalism industry, and the fact of the matter is …someone with no training should not be allowed to have any kind of format whatsoever to disseminate to the masses to the level which they can. They are not trained. Not experts. More important are the level of ethics and integrity that comes along with the quote-unqoute profession hasn’t been firmly established and entrenched in the minds of those who’ve been given that license.

“Therefore, there’s a total disregard, a level of wrecklessness that ends up being a domino effect. And the people who suffer are the common viewers out there and, more importantly, those in the industry who haven’t been fortunate to get a radio or television deal and only rely on the written word. And now they’ve been sabotaged. Not because of me. Or like me. But because of the industry or the world has allowed the average joe to resemble a professional without any credentials whatsoever.”

That’s some pretty strong language from Mr. Smith. We shouldn’t be allowed to give our views or share what we know because well, we’re just not qualified! The second bold part, noticed by Ace as well as me, is the most telling because he lets it slip that he knows his old profession is in trouble.

A more irreverent take here.

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The New York Times’ Constitution Problem

“Editorial Observer” Eduardo Porter in The New York Times today:

The framers of the Constitution evidently believed that happiness could be achieved, putting its pursuit up there alongside the unalienable rights to life and liberty. Though governments since then have seen life and liberty as deserving of vigorous protection, for all the public policies aimed at increasing economic growth, people have been left to sort out their happiness.

As pointed out elsewhere, the framers of the Constitution said nothing about life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness being Constitutional rights. What Mr. Porter is referring to is the Declaration of Independence.

Back in August The New York Times editorial had this:

It is an eminently good thing that the anti-suicide measure would require medical specialists to keep track of veterans found to be high risks for suicide. But that’s to care for them as human beings, under that other constitutional right — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Respect for the grave sacrifices by veterans requires the Senate to strike down the Coburn ploy and hurry this vital measure to President Bush.

I wonder if they know the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Do they think they’re both parts of the same document? Here’s an apt response to the editorial; by Brennan at The American Pundit in August:

Oy vey. Attention Editors: “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is in the Declaration of Independence, among the inalienable rights of man – not the Constitution. Being a “constitutional right” would imply that it is in, you guessed it, the Constitution.

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