More Coulter Stuff Today I'll have it later.
UPDATE: D'oh. I forgot. Tonight is the premiere for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. I'll post tomorrow.
THE NEXT MORNING UPDATE: The T3 premiere after-party ended at around 12:30 (that's a half hour after midnight). They started throwing us out at 12:45. Hell, I was just getting warmed up. I guess I'm not in a position to complain. It was a spectacular set-up though. There were props from the film and full-sized Arnold and cyborg figures at the party.
Capturing the Truth Warning! Spoilers in the next couple paragraphs. I saw the film Capturing the Friedmans and thought it was great. The film takes a look at a Jewish family which lived in an affluent Long Island suburb. In the 1980’s, postal inspectors investigated the father, Arnie, because he had order child pornography from The Netherlands. In the ensuing investigation, law enforcement uncovered a stash of kiddie porn that Arnie had hidden in his home office. Member of law enforcement were rightly concerned because Arnie taught computer classes in the home to children. After investigators interviewed former students and their parents, Arnie and one of his sons were charged with multiple counts of rape because of what the children told investigators.
That’s where it became complicated. There was no doubt that Arnie was a pedophile who had obtained illegal material (for which he deserved to be arrested), but did he and his son molest his computer students? That leads to some disturbing questions about the way in which law enforcement has investigated these types of cases. The filmmaker provides some compelling evidence that former students were manipulated by law enforcement to make the allegations. The charges were unbelievable. A problem with interviewing procedure in this case, as was the case with the McMartin case, was that the children were given leading questions and were pressured to make the allegations. Many law enforcement were ill-trained in the proper procedure to interview possible victims
Another problem in the 1980’s in regards to these types of cases was the lack of separation between church and state—more specifically the cozy relationship with various fundamentalist charlatans and law enforcement. While the case involving the Friedmans didn’t involve this, many of the allegations of molestation involved claims of satanic ties. After the success of films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, various fundamentalist preachers and fundamentalists who were self-described experts on Satanism found it to be a lucrative gig to do the lecture circuit and give lurid tales of widespread satanic covens that were engaging in ritual abuse and mass murder. It was a paranoiac’s dream come true.
People in the media aided and abetted these fundamentalist mountebanks. To no surprise, one of the biggest culprits in the 1980’s was Geraldo (don’t call me Jerry) Rivera who had several of these charlatans on his talk show and misinformed millions. It doesn’t surprise me that now Rivera works for a political operation that presents itself as a fair and balanced news channel. Fox News and Rivera go well together.
Joe McCarthy Lives I'll have an article on Joe McCarthy soon. McCarthyism never really died; it has just manifested itself in new and creative ways--and its proponents has been treated with kid gloves by the mainstream media. We need a journalist like Edward R. Murrow today. On a related note, I was informed about a web site that has some great posters; check it out here. I especially like Gallery 6. Question W.
Ann Coulter was on fellow wingnut Michael Savage’s radio show tonight (the guest host was Lars Larsen). This time, I posed as “Russell.” This conversation is interesting in many ways. Here is the Columbia Journalism Review article I mentioned. And you can read about the New York Times columns and Falwell’s statements I accused Coulter of misrepresenting in Slanderhere (scroll down to “Ann Coulter’s Slander: The Title is Correct—But for the Wrong Reasons.”) I’m reporting; you decide. Did Paul Krugman make accusations about Slander and then failed to back them up? I doubt it. Krugman is too smart and Slander is too full of lies for Krugman to back away from such a challenge. There’s only one way to find out; someone should contact Krugman and ask him.
LARSEN: Russell, welcome to the Savage Nation. You’re on with Ann Coulter.
SCOOBIE: Thank you. Thank you. I got a good look at Treason and it has striking rhetoric and I just wanted to ask Miss Coulter: have there been any prominent liberal critics of Treason as there were of Slander. In fact, the Columbia Journalism Review supported the contention of liberal bloggers like the Daily Howler and Scoobie Davis Online who wrote that you were playing fast and loose with the facts and you made grievous misrepresen—
LARSEN: Let her answer the question, Russell, or I’ll drop you. Ann--
COULTER: Name one.
SCOOBIE: There were criticisms of her last book--
LARSEN: Give one of the criticisms, Russell.
SCOOBIE: That she misrepresented what people say--
COULTER: Name one.
SCOOBIE: such as Frank Rich—
LARSEN: Name one. Name one.
SCOOBIE: Yeah, on page five of Slander, she misrepresented two New York Times articles as well as misrepresenting the rhetoric of—
LARSEN: What was the misrepresentation, Russell. Let’s get it specific so she can answer it.
SCOOBIE: Okay, Absolutely. She said in terms of Jerry Falwell’s outrageous things that he said right after September 11th—Coulter wrote that it was because Falwell said something about gay marriage—which was not the case. In fact, Falwell said outrageous things and she downplayed Falwell’s outrageous—
COULTER: [inaudible] the article. No, Keep him there.
LARSEN: Oh, I dropped him. Sorry.
COULTER: Oh well, let me just say that is an example of, well, what is always done to conservatives—what was done to McCarthy. They call in with wild demagogic charges: You lie; you misrepresent things; you destroy reputations. But they can never actually name one. What is this babble about Frank Rich? On all of these web pages, which actually are great. The Daily Howler, I believe, is the one put out by Al Gore’s roommate. I have not read all of these but I have seen some of the alleged misrepresentations and it’s always something like “She called Al Gore a clod. Well, he’s not a clod. That’s a lie. That’s a lie. I demand a correction.” [Larsen chuckles] Look, I assure you, I’m published by Random House. They would correct anything—I would be enthusiastic about correcting any mistakes that were found. Despite all of the gnashing of teeth and the complaints about opinion being a factual mistake, there were none.
LARSEN: Ann Coulter is my guest. Her book is called Treason. Ann, we’ll be back in just a moment...
[NOTE: I TURNED OFF THE RECORDER AFTER THE STATION BREAK STARTED; AFTER LARSEN AND COULTER WERE BACK ON THE AIR, THEY BAGAN TO DISCUSS MY CALL; I TURNED ON THE RECORDER WHEN LARSEN WAS IN MIDSENTENCE]
LARSEN: --as the last one that we had.
COULTER: It illustrates the book’s point better than I could, especially after a long day.
LARSEN: Unbelievable. And you know I do at some point--
COULTER: Can I mention one other thing?
LARSEN: Go ahead.
COULTER: This has been a big liberal approach to go around claiming: their lies. Their lies. They seem not to even know what the meaning of truth is since it’s always something that isn’t a lie like the incoherent babble we got at the end there about Falwell or a Frank Rich column. The Frank Rich column had nothing to do with Jerry Falwell. Paul Krugman, an op-ed writer for the New York Times, was going around New York apparently saying that you know what Ann Coulter says in Slander is wrong. We’re going to get a correction on that. But he was saying this primarily at dinner parties and cocktail parties so we only got it back through the grapevine. Someone at my publisher starting calling his office asking to know what those corrections were because we certainly want to make them. Never did get a response from him. [Both Coulter and Larsen laugh]
LARSEN: And this is a guy who could have demanded it in print since he has a regular column.
COULTER: Oh yeah, no, they love talking about lies. They can never actually produce them though—much like they never produce any innocent victims accused by Joe McCarthy.
LARSEN: Exactly. Let’s take this call from Ellen from Maine...
A Badge of Honor Dr. Jeffrey Satinover’s web site has listed me as a critic. Satinover wrote the book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. I criticized Satinover (click here and here) for relying on the flawed and dishonest research of anti-gay fanatic Dr. Paul Cameron.
New Post on Treason Blog I posted the article on Random House's shame on the Treason blog. I added a paragraph that addressed the odd situation of an author who accuses the left of treason but who is also an apologist for a truly treasonous (and racist) movement.
Hooray for Google My Treason site ranks third and forth on Google for a search with the words "treason+Ann+Coulter" I'll have more posted later. Sorry about the slow start but for some reason, I thought the book would be released tomorrow.
The Absurdity of Ann Coulter’s Treason: Part One; Random House’s Shame
I haven’t had a chance to read Treason by Ann Coulter, 41, but I’m accusing Crown Books (a division of Random House) of selling its soul by agreeing to publish it. Make no mistake, Crown has every right to publish the book; however, it is the moral duty of a publishing house to exercise good judgment and to assess the honesty and intellectual integrity of its authors. Regarding these matters, Crown Books is guilty of gross dereliction of its literary responsibility.
I know what some people were thinking as they read the first paragraph: Isn’t it a priorism to denounce a book before you have a chance to read it? My response:
1) Who is Ann Coulter to lecture America about treason?
2) Coulter’s previous book for Crown, Slander: Liberal Lies About The American Right, was a case study in deception and should have been sufficient to sink any projects with the author (assuming that Random House had any integrity).
Also, the person who is lecturing us on treason is the same person who said the following: “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." This illustrates the absurdity of a finger-pointing book in which Coulter accuses others of engaging in the same types of behaviors that she herself is guilty of. It’s as absurd of Coulter’s previous book in which she accused the left of slander—when the book itself was an exercise in the very kind of political assassination she denounced.
The Intellectual Dishonesty of Coulter’s Previous Book For Crown Books
I got an advance copy and just in the first few pages found that Coulter had systematically distorted the views of people whom she was denouncing as soft on terrorism (in addition, Coulter distorted what Jerry Falwell said to make his comments appear less loathsome; click here and scroll to "Ann Coulter’s Slander: The Title is Correct—But for the Wrong Reasons"). I and other bloggers found other distortions and factual misrepresentations in the book. The Columbia Journalism Review published an article supporting our views on Slander. At that point, it was the responsibility of Crown Books to investigate these findings of literary dishonesty. Although Crown did agree to make some revisions, they shirked their literary responsibilities by not dropping Coulter as one of their authors. It is no more presumptive to argue that Crown should have taken a pass at Treason than it is to argue that any publishing house should reject a book by Michael Bellesiles or John Lott.
Be Patient I'm getting a lot of hits thanks to Tom Tomorrow and others. I'll have a Treason article up later in the day. While you're waiting, scroll down to May 19 post--I had a fun conversation with Coulter's friend Matt Drudge (whom Coulter alleged in Slander of having a "new special high standard of accuracy."
Treason Articles Soon Ann Coulter, the person who said that her "only regret" was that Timothy McVeigh didn't target The New York Times building, will be releasing Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism today. I didn't get an adance copy but I will be posting articles on my Treason site soon.
Premiere stuff What drink has vodka, sour-apple schnapps, and a dash of sweet & sour? A Hulk-tini. That's what they called it at the premiere after-party for The Hulk. It was in front of the Unversal Amphitheatre (the screening was at the amphitheatre). I was going to report on the Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle party but that fell through--a friend had tickets but had to use them all. I went to Grauman's Chinese Theatre anyway--it was a spectacular event. There was a huge crowd.
No Way Mercer Human Reseources Consulting compiled a list of the cost of living in major cities around the world. To no surprise, Tokyo was the most expensive city. The most expensive US city was New York which ranked 10 on Mercer's list. I have to question Mercer's methodology because Los Angeles ranked 22 ahead of San Francisco and Paris. I know that LA is a lot less expensive than both cities. Try finding a studio apartment in San Francisco for less than $600 a month; good luck. LA is relatively cheap and there's a lot of perks that one won't find in a lot of cities. There are many dollar stores. Also, there are a lot of free films for Angelenos--these marketing screenings allow us not only to see the films for free but we get to see them months before the rest of the country.
Exclusive: Hard-line Immigration Author Funded by Undesirable Alien The more I look at the political economy of the hard right, the more it looks like the script of a bad movie—it’s too incredible to be believed; the characters involved are cartoonish and the theories put forth by the characters are far-fetched—except for the mainstream media who all too often have swallowed right-wing propaganda hook, line, and sinker.
Published works by the right are all the more absurd if you follow the money trail. For instance, previously I have mentioned Daniel Pipes, the author of Conspiracy: How The Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From. The book has some scholarly research but has one fatal flaw: the author’s blind spot regarding his own benefactor who is one of the most notorious and influential paranoid conspiracy theorists of the last part of the twentieth century: Richard Mellon Scaife.
To be fair to Pipes, although he doesn’t mention Scaife by name, he alludes to Scaife’s activities. Pipes mentioned the report put out by the Clinton White House that detailed the media food chain of the paranoid smears of the Clintons (the report showed how Scaife-funded smears first published in right-wing rags like the American Spectator eventually made their way into the mainstream media). Pipes' conclusion was not that the fanciful smears embodied the paranoid style; rather, the Clinton White’s attempt to track down how lies about it made their way into the mainstream press was “a conspiracy theory about conservatives.” That’s a gem of pure logic.
Moon is a criminal and foreign national living in the United States. Moon previously served time for income tax violations. But what makes Moon a particularly flagrant undesirable alien are his crimes against the woman whom he portrayed as his daughter-in-law, Nansook Hong—who was not legally his daughter-in-law because she was not of legal age to marry Moon’s son.
Let’s look at Nansook Hong’s charges (she was the topic of a 60 Minutes program and her story checked out). Sun Myung Moon arranged for an underage Hong (she was fifteen at the time) to be brought to the United States through immigration fraud. Once in the United States, Hong became the child bride of Moon’s deranged son in an illegal marriage. Hong lived in hell for the next fifteen years (if you have a strong stomach, you can read all about it in Hong’s book, In The Shadow of the Moons).
Had Moon’s activities been discovered, his crimes would have earned him a stiff prison sentence followed by deportation (immigration fraud is a basis for deportation; also, Moon’s procurement of Hong for the statutory rape and illegal detention by his son are also grounds for deportation). If Malkin were sincerely concerned about undesirable aliens, she would work for Moon’s deportation instead of sucking on his sugar tit (sucking on Moon’s sugar tit is big for people on the right such as George H. W. Bush, William Bennett, and Jerry Falwell). I have previously written INS to look into Moon’s case but have received no reply; perhaps Malkin could start to practice what she preaches and use her pull to get Moon out of the country. I’m not holding my breath.
Must Read Every Democrat in the Congress needs to read Michael Tomasky's article on why it is important for Democrats to raise hell about Bush's lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Later in the month, I will be commenting on Ann Coulter's soon-to-be-released book, Treason. If lying about WMD in order to get American soldiers to lose their lives is not treason, I don't know what is.
Hannity Playing Dumb Today's Daily Howler has a thorough article on Kathleen Willey, liar. What I found surprising was that Sean Hannity mentioned her as a credible witness last Friday. In the previous week, Hannity had Sidney Blumenthal on his radio show and mentioned Willey's allegation in an attempt to trip up Blumenthal; Blumenthal knocked it out of the park simply by stating the facts--facts you won't find on thealleged journalistic outlet Fox News--namely, that even the Independent Counsel Robert Ray called Willey a liar and a witness who completely lacked credibility. After the interview with Blumenthal, Hannity had little to say; all of his anti-Clinton talking points were decimated--Blumenthal ain't Alan Colmes, Sean.
Apparently Hannity has a short memory, because as the Howler pointed out, he brought up Willey as if she were a credible witness. Hannity's interview with Blumenthal didn't sink in or he just didn't care. Hannity apparently didn't want to remember the truth. The contemporary American right is sad.
Candidate Schwarzenegger Was a Big Hit With The Involuntarily Celibate I had a good time at last Sunday’s Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention. Yes, I usually go but mainly because they usually have a strong film tie-in and great movie giveaways and chances for autographs. Last month, the picture being promoted it was The Matrix Reloaded. This month it was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
If you ever go to the convention and want to see me, I’m one of the handful of the vast male crowd that looks as if he had a recent date. I’m not being mean here; it is the truth. I know there are stereotypes about comic book fans (e.g., Comic Book Guy), but the stereotype exists because there is a lot of truth to it. It’s no accident that a couple of the merchant booths deal in porno (yes, there are men who are combing through the porn as conventioneers are walking down the aisles).
But I’m digressing. I had to go because they had a big Terminator 3 promotion day. Arnold would be speaking there along with director Jonathan Mostow, actor Nick Stahl, and the bablicious Kristanna Loken (she is totally hot). During the discussion section, Arnold started out by saying, “I came here to announce my candidacy—oops, wrong speech.” The audience loved it. During the Q & A, some of the questioners asked as Arnold’s political ambitions, but he didn’t give much more information.
Sweeeet! The 2 Fast 2 Furious premiere after-party was held in front of the Universal Amphitheatre (the premiere itself was at the amphitheatre). It was slammin'. They had several of the cars from the film on display at the party. I was dressed like a tool (in order to get in; I can't elaborate any more than that); as I walked by a group of young women smoking some mean green, one said that she thought that I was going to ask them to put it out; I told her no, I just had to dress this way. She assumed I was with the studio. I was tempted to tell her that I'm casting for an upcoming film but that would have been bad karma. I usually leave at the end of the party but I was tired (I had done some killer ashtanga yoga earlier in the day) so I left a little after midnight. While I was at the party, I was tempted to point and yell out: "Hey, there's Vin Diesel!" but that would have been gauche (Diesel wasn't in the sequel; apparently he wanted too much money).
Last week, I finally got a chance to look over Hannity’s book and I found, to no big surprise, that Let Freedom Ring is just as much a literary cesspool as Ann Coulter’s Slander . I don’t have time or space to get into a long treatise on the matter but I did want mention Hannity’s clipped quote. Here is Hannity on Bill Clinton’s 1969 letter to Colonel Holmes:
He [Clinton] then went on to disparage the American Government, the American military, and those who were fighting and dying in Vietnam. He concluded by saying that he hoped his letter would help Colonel Holmes “understand more clearly how so many fine young people had come to find themselves still loving their country but loathing the military.”...It was highly controversial stuff when the letter surfaced during the 1992 Democratic primary in New Hampshire. But amid the political firefight, the importance of Clinton’s letter was overlooked...What should have truly disturbed us was not that Clinton disagreed with America’s involvement in the Vietnam War but that he showed such disdain for the very brave young people who serve in the military and safeguard our freedoms. [Let Freedom Ring, pg. 75 emphases added]
REALITY: Hannity methodically cooked the data Clinton’s quotes to support his false contention that Clinton was disparaging “those fighting and dying in Vietnam.” How? By clipping the end of Clinton’s quote and not letting his reader know that he was doing it.
There is nothing inherently wrong with leaving out the end of a sentence when quoting what someone wrote or said if:
1) The words at the end of the sentence are superfluous and/or don’t add significant meaning to the quote.
2) The person writing the quote uses ellipses (...) to indicate that it is not the end of the sentence.
Hannity falls shorts on both criteria:
1) Hannity didn’t use ellipses to indicate that the sentence was being clipped.
2) The words at the end of Clinton’s sentence add significant meaning to the quote. These words refute Hannity’s allegation. Here is the entire sentence from Clinton’s letter: “I am writing too in the hope that my telling this one story will help you to understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves still loving their country but loathing the military to which you and other good men have devoted years, lifetimes of the best service you could give.” There was no sin for Hannity to clip the front of the sentence because it didn’t give us any significant information. But by clipping the back of the quote, he deceived tens of thousands of people who weren’t given information that refuted Hannity’s lie that Clinton was denigrating those who were wearing the uniform.
That Liberal Media This month, Michael Kelly will receive a posthumous Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism at the 45th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards. When Kelly was killed in Iraq, some accused me of gloating at Kelly’s death with my post (scroll down to 4/5). Nothing could be further from the truth. I simply pointed out that in his life, Kelly was a hooligan posing as a journalist. In fact, if the Washington Post cared about journalistic integrity, then Kelly would be alive today. Had the Post bothered to look into the numerous cases of clear-cut journalistic dishonesty by Kelly (the Daily Howler reported on several cases), he would have been fired years ago and he would not have had the chance to be an embedded journalist in Iraq. Being a journalist means telling the truth and that is something that Kelly bothered to do only when it suited his purposes. Kelly dishonored the journalism community when he was alive and journalists are doing no favors to themselves by honoring his work.