February 20, 2010
February 17, 2010
Triumph of the willfully ignorant
The saddest part of the entire "ACORN Pimp" story is how the media is content with being made to look like fools over it:
It's one thing to be suckered in by Breitbart and O'Keefe's pimp costume tale, it's another for the Times to now defend its erroneous reporting. And even worse is the Times' implication that it's O'Keefe who gets to decide which version of the pimp story is true, despite all the contrary evidence.
Last December, former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, commissioned by ACORN to independently review the facts surrounding the scandal, released his findings. Highly critical of ACORN and its employees, Harshbarger nonetheless concluded the undercover sting did not catch any employees breaking the law.
Harshbarger also shed light on the controversial videos, noting that portions had been "substantially" edited, including some voice overdubbing. And because O'Keefe and Breitbart refuse to let any outside observers -- including journalists -- view the full collection of unedited tapes, it's impossible to tell just how significantly the tapes were manipulated prior to their release.
And yet, you just saw that in a blog post on Media Matters. You won't see it anywhere else. NBC, CBS, CNN, et. al. aren't going to come back to this story. Why? It's boring to them. But more importantly, it's the bigger story about all this: a fradulent, albeit cleverly edited, prank duped the entire multi-billion-dollar American news industry into pushing a false story. It's no better or worse than the lunatic father and his Balloon Boy kid, except he's going to jail and James O'Keefe is joking on Fox News about how he tried to illegally break into a senator's office.
While O'Keefe is a whackjob and should be in jail, the greater absurdity here is how the media pushed and then defended this story, which anyone who has shame now has to accept was a carefully-edited YouTube propaganda piece reported by every single network as "investigative journalism." They were, at some time I once heard, perhaps in my childhood, supposed to be the responsible ones here.
February 15, 2010
"Why People Laugh at Comedians and Not Political Cartoons"
A lot of editorial cartoonists are losing their jobs. Ironically, the kneejerk response from many people- webcartoonists, bloggers, or just garden-variety assholes, is that "well of course they are- editorial cartoons suck!" So here's the irony: they're losing their jobs because the newspaper industry is in shambles. It has nothing to do with them sucking. They've been making millions sucking for decades now.
There are a lot of great political cartoonists out there. I'm not going to pretend there aren't ten times as many who are god-awful, and by the nature of statistics make that precious decimal look bad. No greater recent example can be found than in the last few weeks of cartoons about global warming, where the entire collective consciousness of hackery decided to all tell slight variations of the same stupid comment. That it's not even smart- nay, actually makes the teller look like an idiot- isn't the point. It's that they are pretending this is funny. As if it not being funny is your fault, not theirs.
Don't believe me? In less than a few hours' worth of time, someone created a website compiling all of these shitty cartoons about global warming. There's so many to choose from here but I think special attention needs to be given to Wayne Stayskal- syndicated- that means he is paid for this- cartoonist for Tribune Media Services, for managing to actually draw three separate versions of the exact same goddamned terrible one-liner. And keep in mind, he has four other cartoons on that web page.
Not to sound too pretentious here, but in the ten years I've been drawing cartoons, including the years that were so terrible I don't even keep them online, I've stuck by a major principle- actually believe what you say, and actually be proud of your own goddamn work. If these global warming cartoon hacks want to see some real skepticism, they should tell me to my face they believe that of their own turds here.
February 14, 2010
Yes, clearly what will be best for the Democrats in all of the very close Senate races they face this year will be for Harry Reid to luck his way into staying Majority Leader without needing to change his stance on anything.
Update: To stave off the whiners, no, I'm not saying I want Harry Reid to lose re-election, or that I want Democrats in general to lose more seats. But the reality we're facing now is that the absence of Harry Reid would make either Dick Durbin or Chuck Schumer Majority Leader, both of whom are incredibly better choices. The lack of a strong opponent for Reid that would force him to emphasize Democratic principles, or a strong primary challenger, forcing him, Specter-like, to actually act like a progressive, means we're stuck with the same lousy Harry Reid we have now. I don't want Harry Reid to lose his job as much as I want him to do his job. He's not, and it's bad if he risks no punishment for that whatsoever.