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It Has Been a Really Bad Week for Journalism

It has been a particularly embarrassing week for the press, and it’s only Saturday.

T. Becket Adams writes: For an industry that’s as disliked and distrusted as Congress, there’s a lot of work that media need to do to win back viewers’ trust.

There’s no room for error, especially now that there’s a subgenre of “news” that has zero basis in fact, and is created from thin air for the sole purpose of generating cash.

But learning to be more careful and even-handed is apparently difficult for much of media, and this week was especially rough for newsrooms that are already struggling to regain credibility.

In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week:

The New York Times’ unsubstantiated hit on Rick Perry:

The New York Times reported this week that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed to be energy secretary without knowing the department oversees and maintains the country’s nuclear arsenal.

The story is written in such a way that Perry comes across as a bumbling bumpkin who’s in way over his head.

[Read the full story, at Washington Examiner]

The problem with the report – well, there are many problems – the main problem with the story is that it hinges entirely on a bland quote from a GOP energy lobbyist. That source, Michael McKenna, has disavowed the story, and he says the Times took him out of context.

Other problems with the article include that McKenna was booted from the Trump transition team in early November, while Perry was nominated in mid-December.

Nevertheless, the paper’s editors say they stand by the story, “which accurately reflected what multiple, high-level sources told our reporters.”

This is a particularly interesting defense, considering there is nothing in the article to suggest the authors had more than one source.

Bonus: USA Today falls for a parody Twitter account:

In my story this week on the Times’ unsubstantiated hit on Perry, I included a link to USA Today’s Dec. 14 report on the former governor accepting the position at the Department of Energy. I included the link for one purpose: To provide citation for Perry’s acceptance remarks, which were published originally in a joint statement with the president-elect.

What I didn’t notice until later was that the linked USA Today report also included a bogus reference to the North Koreans.

The Dec. 14 article read, “The Twitter feed of the nuclear-armed dictatorship said, ‘Donald Trump minister of nuclear weapons Richard Perry known as governor of Texas province, famed for its production of tacos and bumpkins.'”

Unfortunately for USA Today, the North Korean government did no such thing. Like many others in media, the widely circulated newspaper fell for a parody Twitter account created and maintained by members of the libertarian-leaning website, Popehat.com. I removed the USA Today hyperlink from my article debunking the Times, and I updated with a link to a source that doesn’t include an embarrassing mistake. Read the rest of this entry »

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REWIND November-December, 2008: ‘We Must Swear In Obama Right Now’

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Source: Media Research Center


[VIDEO] Watch Democrats Try to Convince a Libertarian to Vote for Hillary

With the growing dissatisfaction of the two-party system, more and more Americans are ditching their party identification and turning independent. A 2015 Gallup Governance survey found that 27 percent of the electorate can be characterized as libertarian—outnumbering conservatives (26 percent) and liberals (23 percent).

This makes them a highly coveted voting bloc, and one that Hillary Clinton needs to win over in order to prevent a Donald Trump presidency.

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Reason editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie found delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA to see if they could convince him why libertarians should vote for Clinton in November or if they’re better off with a third option.

Approximately 3 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »


That Day I Became a Democratic Stooge

lewis-stooge

The Democratic sit-in included one of the most embarrassing moments of my career.

WASHINGTON –  Paul Singer writes: The House Democrats’ anti-gun sit-in last week included one of the more embarrassing moments of my journalism career.

The Democrats had grabbed the House floor for what amounted to an impromptu 25-hour filibuster to protest the unwillingness of Republican leadership to call a vote on gun control legislation.

“The Democrats were pumping up their energy. They congratulated each other and cheered. The partisans who had packed the public visitors’ gallery cheered with them — a no-no when the House is in session.”

This was a new and unusual tactic, and nobody had any idea how it was going to end. The House doesn’t have a filibuster, so it also doesn’t have a way to end one. That makes it newsworthy.

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As the protest dragged on through the day Wednesday, the rows of stools in the press gallery — up above the House floor — usually nearly empty during House business, had become full. This had become a full-blown Event, and more than two dozen reporters sat in the gallery documenting it.

“The lawmakers then turned to the galleries and thanked the visitors for their support, and everybody cheered some more.”

At around 9 p.m., as they were girding for House Republicans to return and attempt to re-establish control of the floor, the Democrats were pumping up their energy. They congratulated each other and cheered.

“And then, my moment of shame. Someone on the floor called out thanks to the press, saying our reporting had spread the word and fueled their protest.”

The partisans who had packed the public visitors’ gallery cheered with them — a no-no when the House is in session. Visitors are supposed to sit quietly, but by this hour many of the rules of the House floor had long since been thrown out the window.

RETROSPEKTIVE JERRY LEWIS The Stooge (dt: Der Pr¸gelknabe), Norman Taurog, USA, 1952 *** Local Caption *** The Stooge, , Norman Taurog, USA, 1952, V'13, Retrospektive

“But to be fair, when Republicans voted more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare, that was a “stunt,” too. And of course, they were sending fundraising appeals every time.”

The lawmakers then turned to the galleries and thanked the visitors for their support, and everybody cheered some more. That was another no-no — lawmakers are prohibited from acknowledging the galleries from the floor.

“Congress is legislating less and less, and much of what it does nowadays is a stunt.”

And then, my moment of shame. Someone on the floor called out thanks to the press, saying our reporting had spread the word and fueled their protest. The 100-or-so Members of Congress on the floor and the several hundred partisans in the gallery cheered for us.

My colleagues and I were mortified. Read the rest of this entry »


‘California Has the Strictest Gun Control in the Nation, so Obama’s Politicization of San Bernardino Rings Sickeningly Hollow’

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No, Mr. President, the NRA is not to blame

Chris Cox writes: Just when we think that politics can’t sink any lower, President Obama once again proves us wrong by politicizing the tragedy in San Bernardino before the facts were even known. What we do know is that the American people are heartbroken by these horrific crimes — and despite what the president would have us believe — America’s law-abiding gun owners are heartbroken by these horrific crimes as well. At the same time, we are sick and tired of this president suggesting the men and women of the National Rifle Association are somehow to blame.

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The National Rifle Association is not to blame. Neither is our Second Amendmentfreedom. An act of evil unfolded in California. President Obama used it not as a moment to inform or calm the American people; rather, he exploited it to push his gun control agenda.

[Read the full text here, at USA Today]

Policy discussions should be intellectually honest and based on facts, not politics. And the fact remains that California has already adopted President Obama’s gun control wish list: “universal” background checks, registration, waiting periods, gun bans, magazine bans and an expansion of Hands off my gun - Dana Loeschprohibited gun categories. But those laws did nothing to prevent this horrific crime from taking place. Nothing.

[Order Dana Loesch’s booHands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America” from Amazon.com]

Here’s another fact: the president’s failed foreign policy has made us less safe. And his domestic gun control agenda would jeopardize our safety even further. In California, President Obama had what he wanted — the strictest gun control in the country — and it did not prevent this evil act. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: Journalists Who Peddled Mayweather Domestic Violence History Say They Had Credentials Revoked Before Fight

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ESPN.com news services/ABC News reports: Two reporters said their credentials were revoked for Saturday night’s Floyd MayweatherManny Pacquiao fight, and a third reportedly had his taken away as well.

Rachel Nichols of CNN and Michelle Beadle of ESPN/HBO said via Twitter that they had been told their credentials were pulled. USA Today reporter Martin Rogers’ credential was reportedly pulled as well, according to SI.com.

Beadle was credentialed through HBO and not ESPN, both networks and Beadle said.

A spokesman for Mayweather denied the allegations from Beadle and Nichols.

A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap that Mayweather Promotions insisted on having approval of credential Strange-Media-Planet-250applications, a stipulation included in the fight contract.

A source with Showtime told Schaap that it had nothing to do with Beadle’s credential situation — only that it denied her permission to film inside MGM Grand arena. A Mayweather promotions source, meanwhile, said  Nichols had a temporary credential, but CNN never confirmed she’d need a fight credential.

All three of the reporters have been at the forefront of reporting in Mayweather’s history of domestic violence. Nichols had a contentious interview with Mayweather on CNN last September. Rogers has written a number of stories chronicling Mayweather’s domestic violence issues, and Beadle has been outspoken about Mayweather.

Kelly Swanson, a media relations spokesperson for the Mayweather camp, denied that Nichols and Beadle has lost their credentials. Read the rest of this entry »


Rachel Lehnardt Loses 5 Kids Over ‘Naked Twister’ Sex Party with Daughter’s Friends

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35-year-old Georgia mother has lost custody of her five children after being arrested for allegedly hosting a ‘naked Twister’ party for her teenage daughter and joining in the festivities

Michael Winter reports: A 35-year-old Georgia mother has lost custody of her five children after police say she hosted a sex party for her teenage daughter. Rachel Lehnardt is accused of joining the teens in sex, drugs and naked Twister.

A 35-year-old Georgia mother has lost custody of her five children after being arrested for allegedly hosting a party for her teenage daughter and joining in the festivities, which featured booze, pot, sex, a hot tub and naked Twister.

Rachel Lehnardt was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for the party at her home in Evans, an Augusta suburb. She was arrested Monday after her new Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor alerted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday following a meeting with Lehnardt, who is divorcing her husband, an Iraq war veteran.

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The sponsor said Lehnardt told her she had lost custody of the children — ages 4, 6, 8, 10 and 16 — at an emergency hearing April 6 after her husband learned about the party. The sheriff’s report did not indicate when it occurred.

[Also see – OH YES SHE DID: Georgia Mom Rachel Lynn Lenhardt Accused of Hosting ‘Naked Twister Party’ for Teen]

The children were with their father one night when the 16-year-old daughter texted her mother to ask if she and some friends could come over “to party,” according to the sponsor’s account.

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“Come on, let’s party,” Lehnardt replied.

The teens drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, Lehnardt said she joined them playing naked Twister, her sponsor told investigators. She then had sex in the bathroom with an 18-year-old boy, and afterward used sex toys in front of the teens before everyone piled into her hot tub, where “the party continued.”

The sponsor said Lenhardt later recounted waking up at 3:30 a.m. to discover her daughter’s 16-year-old boyfriend having sex with her. She said her daughter “felt guilty,” explaining that if she could have accommodated his large penis “he wouldn’t have needed to rape her mother.” Read the rest of this entry »


CORPORATE RETREAT: Starbucks Baristas Stop Writing #RaceTogether on Cups

SB-cup

BRAND DAMAGE: According to a recently released internal memo, Starbucks baristas will no longer write ‘Race Together’ on customers’ cups starting Sunday

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson says the campaign to create discussion on diversity and racial inequality will continue without the handwritten messages, which are phasing out as originally planned….(read more)

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CBS DC – TIME


Starbucks Wants To Talk To You About Race

#RaceTogether

Blake Neff writes: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has launched a new initiative that will encourage the company’s baristas to talk to patrons about America’s racial issues.Giant Coffee Cup

“If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race. And we believe that we are better than this, and we believe our country is better than this.”

To trigger the conversations, in the next week baristas will be encouraged to write the phrase “Race Together” on customers cups, which is intended to “facilitate a conversation between you and our customers,” according to Schultz.

“If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race. And we believe that we are better than this, and we believe our country is better than this,” Schultz said in a video shown to Starbucks employees, according to USA Today.

The campaign is being bolstered by an 8-page supplement that will be published Friday by the coffeemaker in USA Today. The supplement will include “conversation starters,” such as the statement “In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times.”

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The campaign is said to be inspired by the controversy emanating from the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner last year, both of them black men killed by white police officers. What the initiative hopes to accomplish in the long run is unclear, though the company will be offering more information during its annual meeting on Wednesday.

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The new effort is only the latest of the company’s actions that appear designed to bolster the company’s reputation as a socially conscious corporation. Last year, the company created a new program that allows employees to take free online college classes at Arizona State University.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Newspaper Scene from ‘Roxanne’

This throwaway scene from Steve Martin’s 1987 romantic comedy classic “Roxanne” is one of the best examples of his comedic genius.

 


A Campus Epidemic: Rape Hoax Culture

UVa Fraternity

Rolling Stone deserves all the suffering it can possibly enjoy.

editor-commen-deskFriday, December 5th, 2014, may be recorded as the worst single day for Left Wing Media in more than a decade, as two of its most iconic institutions self-destructed, independently, but simultaneously, on the same day, in the same news cycle. The New Republic, and Rolling Stone Magazine, for very different reasons, suffered major setbacks. The more important of the two — The New Republic — is getting less media attention than it deserves. Which is understandable, of the two, its problems are more complex, less visible, and not as controversial. The majority of The New Republic‘s staff resigned, en masse. If almost no one noticed, it’s perhaps because the New Republic isn’t as relevant as it once was. Unfortunate, because of its long history, NR is a first-rate political journal that’s enjoyed the attention and respect of its admirers and critics alike. But mainly because the epic, high-profile disaster at Rolling Stone was sucking up all the oxygen.

And let’s fact it: Rolling Stone deserves all the suffering it can possibly enjoy.

Providing both the matches, and the gas, Rolling Stone willingly made itself into a bonfire for its opponents and critics. A preexisting record of journalistic mismanagement set the stage for disaster. Years of lurid, sensational, sloppy journalism had already established it as a bad actor in media. Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s bogus, discredited rape reportage — though a spectacular failure in itself — isn’t even the problem. It’s a emblematic of larger problem, not just with Rolling Stone, but with Left-Wing advocacy journalism and progressive-activist media culture in general. One of deception, invention, and opportunism.

As the Rolling Stone scandal unfolds, one question that bothers me — that I haven’t seen explored much yet — is, where were the lawyers and editors, before the story went to press? For purely financial reasons, institutions like Rolling Stone have to weight costs and risks, especially when dealing with controversial material that could expose them not only peer scrutiny, but to litigation. That’s what the suits are for. Think about it, if the writer and editor won’t do due diligence with sources, and investigate more than one side of a story, they can be sure their critics will. Writers and editors might be willing to go out on a limb to advance an activist agenda or pump up sales, but every publication has its legal advisors and bean-counters to protect the publication’s reputation, or at least avoid inviting lawsuits. Where were they? What happened?

In the coming days, answers to this question may be revealed. In the meantime, the following is a sampling of commentary from Jonah and Kevin (both of whom are familiar to our readers, and are promoted so frequently here that I take the liberty of referring to them by their first names) at National Review Online. Stay tuned for more.

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Rolling Stone should be held accountable for its false accusations against UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter.

jonah-GFrom Jonah Goldberg‘s The UVA Gang Rape that Wasn’t

“…So I am having a hard time getting my head around something. All week people have been calling me a “rape apologist” and “pro-rape.” I’m being constantly informed that I don’t understand “rape culture.” These often hysterical accusations tend to come from people who seem to understand rape culture the same way some people understand the geopolitics of Westeros or Middle Earth: They’ve studied it, they know every detail about it, they just seem to have forgotten it doesn’t exist.

[Also see – Meltdown: Rolling Stone Backtracks on Explosive UVA Rape Story, Issues Apology]

Now, hold on. I certainly believe rape happens. And I definitely believe we have cultural problems that lead to date rape and other drunken barbarisms and sober atrocities. But the term “rape culture” suggests that there is a large and obvious belief system that condones and enables rape as an end in itself in America. This simply strikes me as an elaborate political lie intended to strengthen the hand of activists. There’s definitely lots that is wrong with our culture, particularly youth culture and specifically campus culture. Sybaritic, crapulent, hedonistic, decadent, bacchanalian: choose your adjectives.

[More – So, How Much Fact-Checking Did Rolling Stone Do?]

What is most remarkable about our problems is that they seem to take people by surprise. For instance, it would be commonsense to our grandmothers that some drunk men will do bad things, particularly in a moral vacuum, and that women should take that into account. I constantly hear that instead of lecturing women about their behavior we should teach men not to rape. I totally, completely, 100 percent agree that we should teach men not to rape. The problem is we do that. A lot. Maybe we should do it more. We also teach people not to murder — another heinous crime. But murders happen too. That’s why we advise our kids to steer clear of certain neighborhoods at certain times and avoid certain behaviors. I’m not “pro-murder” if I tell my kid not to walk through the park at night and flash money around any more than I am pro-rape if I give her similar advice…” (read more here)

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The Left believes that lies can serve a greater truth.

Kevin D. Williamsonkevin-williamson‘s Bad Journalism, Even If It Were True

“The Left is committed to the notion that American colleges are hotbeds of sexual violence, racial bigotry, hatred of homosexuals, etc., because they are committed to the notion that the largely white and male upper echelons of American society — mostly products of those colleges — are secretly but unalterably committed to white supremacy, homophobia, and to using the threat of sexual violence to keep women in their place. 

The evidence suggests otherwise: Far from being an epidemic, sexual assault today happens at a rate about one-third that of 20 years ago, and rape seems to happen less often on college campuses than it does elsewhere. That should not be entirely surprising: Rape, like other crimes, tends to disproportionately affect people who are poor and non-white. As expected, the evidence points to sexual assault’s being more common in poor rural areas, Indian reservations, poor urban areas, etc. It is also more common where people tend to be relatively isolated, with Alaska having the nation’s highest rate of sexual assault. Read the rest of this entry »


The Probe That Launched a Thousand Shirts

Space scientist Matt Taylor apologized for the shirt he wore during live coverage of the Rosetta mission to land a probe on a comet. VPC

Better not to land a spaceship on a comet than let men wear sexist clothing.

Glenn Reynolds writes: So how are things going for feminism? Well, last week, some feminists took one of the great achievements of human history — landing a probe from Earth on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away — and made it all about the clothes.mt

“…what should have been the greatest day in a man’s life — accomplishing something never before done in the history of humanity — was instead derailed by people with their own axes to grind. “

Yes, that’s right. After years of effort, the European Space Agency’s lander Philae landed on a comet  300 million miles away. At first, people were excited. Then some women noticed that one of the space scientists, Matt Taylor, was wearing a shirt, made for him by a female “close pal,” featuring comic-book depictions of semi-naked women. And suddenly, the triumph of the comet landing was drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage about … what people were wearing. It was one small shirt for a man, one giant leap backward for womankind.

“Whatever feminists say, their true priorities are revealed in what they do, and what they do is, mostly,  man-bashing and special pleading”

The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth tweeted, “No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt.” Astrophysicist Katie Mack commented: “I don’t care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM.” And from there, the online feminist lynch mob took off until Taylor was forced to deliver new-schoola tearful apology on camera.

[Glenn Reynolds‘ book “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself is available at Amazon]

It seems to me that if you care about women in STEM, maybe you shouldn’t want to communicate the notion that they’re so delicate that they can’t handle pictures of comic-book women. Will we stock our Mars spacecraft with fainting couches?

Not everyone was so censorious. Read the rest of this entry »


New York Times to Eliminate 100 Newsroom Jobs While Preserving Its Prized Role as Most Overstaffed, Overpaid, and Irrelevant

The Daily Caller » Possible cyberattack knocks New York Times offline

The New York Times plans to eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs, as well as a smaller number of positions from its editorial and business operations, offering buyouts and resorting to layoffs if enough people do not leave voluntarily, the newspaper announced on Wednesday.

“They said they had decided to wind down NYT Opinion because it had not drawn a substantial audience.”

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Mark Thompson, its chief executive, said that in addition to the job cuts, NYT Opinion, a mobile app dedicated to opinion content, was shutting down because it was not attracting enough subscribers.

“The Times has made cuts to its newsroom staff several times over the last six years. The paper eliminated 100 newsroom jobs in 2008, another 100 in 2009, and 30 more senior newsroom jobs at the beginning of last year.”

The reductions, they said, were intended to safeguard the newspaper’s long-term profitability.

“Despite those cuts, the newsroom staff has grown to about 1,330, approaching its largest size ever, according to the company, up from about 1,250 at the end of last year.”

“The job losses are necessary to control our costs and to allow us to continue to invest in the digital future of The New York Times, but we know that they will be painful both for the individuals affected and for their colleagues,” the announcement said. Read the rest of this entry »


Kirsten Powers on Iraqi Christian Nightmare: ‘Thanks to ISIS Persecution, Mosul is Without Christians for the First Time in 2,000 Years’

Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye, AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening?

For USA TodayKirsten Powers writes: Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in early June, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay jizyataxes levied on non-Muslims, or die. The extremist Sunni group is also persecuting and murdering Turkmen and Shabaks, both Muslim religious minorities.

 “This is a crime against humanity.”

Human rights lawyer Nina Shea described the horror in Mosul to me: “(ISIS) took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money. One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have 100 dollars?’, and they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off.”

“There is nothing to go back to even if ISIS left

“We now have 5,000 destitute, homeless people with no future,” Shea said. “This is a crime against humanity.”

For the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is devoid of Christians. Read the rest of this entry »


Microsoft to Cut up to 18,000 Jobs

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Microsoft confirmed it will cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, part of the tech titan’s efforts to streamline its business under new CEO Satya Nadella.

In a statement released Thursday, Microsoft says about 12,500 of the professional and factory positions will be cut as part of its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s handset business. Read the rest of this entry »


Glenn Reynolds: Our Criminal Justice System Has Become a Crime

(Photo: Karen Bleier, AFP Getty Images)

(Photo: Karen Bleier, AFP Getty Images)

Prosecutors too often abuse unrestrained powers

For USA TodayGlenn Harlan Reynolds writes: Here’s how it’s supposed to work: Upon evidence that a crime has been committed — Professor Plum, found dead in the conservatory with a lead pipe on the floor next to him, say — the police commence an investigation. When they have probable cause to believe that someone is guilty, the case is taken to a prosecutor, who (in the federal system, and many states) puts it before a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees that there’s probable cause, it indicts. The case goes to trial, where a jury of 12 ordinary citizens hears the evidence. If they judge the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they convict. If they think the accused not guilty — or even simply believe that a conviction would be unjust — they acquit.

[Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, available at Amazon]

Here’s how things all-too-often work today: Law enforcement decides that a person is suspicious (or, possibly, just a political enemy). Upon investigation into every aspect of his/her life, they find possible violations of the law, often involving obscure, technical statutes that no one really knows. They then file a “kitchen-sink” indictment involving dozens, or even hundreds of charges, which the grand jury rubber stamps. The accused then must choose between a plea bargain, or the risk of a trial in which a jury might convict on one or two felony counts simply on a “where there’s smoke there must be fire” theory even if the evidence seems less than compelling.

[Also, Harvey Silverglate‘s Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent at Amazon]

This is why, in our current system, the vast majority of cases never go to trial, but end in plea bargains. And if being charged with a crime ultimately leads to a plea bargain, then it follows that the real action in the criminal justice system doesn’t happen at trial, as it does in most legal TV shows, but way before, at the time when prosecutors decide to bring charges. Because usually, once charges are brought, the defendant will wind up doing time for something.

Read the rest of this entry »


Kirsten Powers: Millennial Isn’t Liberal

The generation making their own soda and designing their own shoes is voting Independent.

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For USA Today, Kirsten Powers writes: Bad news for Democrats: It seems Millennials are special little snowflakes after all.

A new report by the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way highlights the political complexity of a generation raised to believe they were utterly unique. When it comes to politics, they do it their way. Which could make the cohort that turned out en masse for President Obama unpredictable as voters.

Third Way focused on how Millennials’ experience as the first generation raised in an information-on-demand culture has shaped them. They are not “adaptors.” They have only known a world full of endless choices, not a life where you make do with what is available.

Third Way reported, “Living in an à la carte world with unlimited options, Millennials don’t feel they have to choose between two limited choices.” For their elders, it was Coke or Pepsi. But Millennials create their perfectly flavored soft drink with a Soda Stream. They design their own shoes on the Internet. They buy just the songs they like.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] $180,000 in Taxpayer Money Swallowed in Corvette Museum Sinkhole

The Daily Caller‘s  writes:  “The Museum paid more than $200k out of pocket as it was a matching grant,” she explained in an email. “With these simulators we offer free teen driving courses, international driving courses, older driver courses through the NCM Drivers’ Safety Academy.”

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Frassinelli added that the simulators offer the capability for people to practice things that cannot be road tested, like dealing with a blow out tire and wheel drop off, as well as different weather conditions.

Last week the National Corvette Museum made headlines when a sinkhole formed under the facility and swallowed eight of the cars in the museum…

Read the rest of this entry »


USA TODAY Editors Abandon O: ‘Credibility Going Up in Smoke’

New HealthCare.gov data show just how broken it is

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The health insurance signup numbers the White House released Wednesday afternoon were deeply disappointing, though not particularly surprising.

Everyone knows that the HealthCare.gov website has been performing abysmally, and the actual numbers confirmed what everyone could only guess at until now because the White House had withheld the data.

Overall, only about one-fifth of the people the White House expected to sign up for insurance in the first month actually did so: 106,185 against a forecast of 500,000. That’s just slightly less than a capacity crowd at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. And of those who signed up, only 26,794 did so on the federally run exchanges in 36 states. The rest enrolled on state-run exchanges.

Read the rest of this entry »


Train Wreck? We Told You So

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VINDICATED: Not So Extreme After All

Deroy Murdock writes:  One year from today — and perhaps much sooner — Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and other Republican “extremists” will look like heroes. For trying to defund the (un)Affordable Care Act, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid smeared them as “anarchists,” and both liberals and some weak-kneed Republicans have offered their own denunciations.

Read the rest of this entry »


Survey: Majority of Americans Would Not Turn to the Government for Help in a Major Catastrophe

Only 14% say a government agency would be the most help in a catastrophe. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

Only 14% say a government agency would be the most help in a catastrophe.
(Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

The Ten Words You Don’t Want to Hear: “I’m from the Federal Government and I’m Here to Help”

In the aftermath of the federal shutdown and congressional fight over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, a survey finds that a majority of Americans would turn to family and friends rather than the government for help if a major catastrophe struck.

Nearly nine in 10 said it is likely the world will experience a major catastrophe, and about a third expect it will occur in “less than a year from now,” according to the online survey of more than 1,100 Americans 18 and older, conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 2 by the National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research.

In case of such an emergency, 57% said they would prefer to turn to family, friends or neighbors for help. Just 14% said FEMA or another government agency would be “the most help.” Read the rest of this entry »


Bombshell: IRS Documents Reveal Agency Flagged Groups for ‘Anti-Obama Rhetoric,’ Big Three Networks Refuse to Report

week-in-tech-senatorial-censorship-crusaders-copyright-troll-smackdown_1ABC, CBS and NBC have so far refused to report the latest bombshell in the IRS scandal – a newly released list from the agency that showed it flagged political groups for “anti-Obama rhetoric.” On September 18 USA Today, in a front page story, reported the following: “Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about ‘anti-Obama rhetoric,’ inflammatory language and ’emotional’ statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.”

Not only have ABC, CBS and NBC not reported this story they’ve flat out stopped covering the IRS scandal on their evening and morning shows. It’s been 85 days since ABC last touched the story on June 26. NBC hasn’t done a report for 84 days and CBS last mentioned the IRS scandal 56 days ago on July 24. Read the rest of this entry »


USA Today headline-oops: ‘Obama calls Kerry a liar’

Mis-tweet o’ the morning >> @TheOval Obama calls Kerry a liar usat.ly/1a9c9XR—
Teri Christoph (@TeriChristoph) September 05, 2013

Great catch via Twitchy


Towards a New Dictionary of Received Ideas

First-rate  by Ace.  (you won’t want to miss the part about the ‘milking bell’)

La Dictionairre d’Idees Reçues

La Dictionairre d’Idees Reçues

Ann Althouse writes of Flaubert‘s La Dictionairre d’Idees Reçues, or “Dictionary of Received Ideas.” A comical, cynical spoof of the Thoughtless Thoughts people are infected with.

This is what I think Jonah Goldberg was talking about in his Tyranny of Clichés.

It’s these automatic thoughts that cling to the brain like parasites that destroy thinking and reason. Rather like, and I don’t think could possibly be a cliché, alien Body Thetans of idiocy that are interfering with the lucid functioning of our own spirit Thetan.

Amusing Ourselves to Death briefly noted the long, long history of Thoughtless Thoughts. In pre-literate cultures, when all knowledge was stored in human memory and recalled by verbal trope, it was useful to have cute and memorable aphorisms, appellations and other received wisdom in the form of canned cliché. Thus all dawns reflexively had rosy fingers, and were you to dig into the ground, you’d find some money rooting all evils.

Although we’ve long since gained the capacity to write and read, we’ve kept many of the Automatic Associations we’ve been taught.

Read the rest of this entry »


Report Updates: NSA collecting daily phone logs of millions of American Verizon customers

According to a breaking report from the UK Guardian, Barack Obama’s National Security Agency has been collecting phone records of millions of domestic customers of Verizon under a court order obtained in April. The order requires Verizon to turn over phone records on an “ongoing, daily basis” to the NSA, both within the US and between the US and international sources.

Update: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has long accused the government of this type of surveillance, says this action is being undertaken under a section of the Patriot Act, but is a clear overstep of the law’s requirement that it be targeted at individuals under some sort of suspicion in specific investigations:

“This confirms what we had long suspected,” says Cindy Cohn, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a civil liberties organization that has long accused the government of operating a secret dragnet surveillance program. “We’ve been suing over this since 2006.”

The order is based on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows law enforcement to obtain a wide variety of “business records,” including calling records. EFF has long criticized Section 215, which sets a threshold for obtaining records much lower than the “probable cause” standard required to get a search warrant.

But Cohn argues that the kind of dragnet surveillance suggested by the Verizon order exceeds even the authority granted by the Patriot Act. “Section 215 is written as if they’re going after individual people based on individual investigations,” she says. In contrast, the order leaked to the Guardian affects “millions and millions of innocent people. There’s no way all of our calling records are relevant to a terrorism investigation.”

“I don’t think Congress thought it was authorizing dragnet surveillance” when it passed the Patriot Act, Cohn says. “I don’t think Americans think that’s OK. I would be shocked if the majority of congressmen thought it’s okay.”

Update: Obligatory flashback with soaring, beautifully worded hypocrisy.

Update: The other obligatory flashback to USA Today‘s reporting on what was presumably the same program, under the Bush administration, in 2006. This is separate from the warrantless wiretapping story, which got much more press. Greenwald’s court order is the first documentation of the practice continuing under Obama, despite the fact he was elected on promises to do pretty much the opposite:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

“It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world,” said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA’s activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency’s goal is “to create a database of every call ever made” within the nation’s borders, this person added.

For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.

via  Hot Air & Brietbart.com