Monday, July 23, 2012

In Reply: Dishonest Donald Douglas Lies About Media Bias (and me, of course)

In reply to Dishonest Donald Douglas's American Power post "When Even Sick Left-Wing Sites Like 'Wonkette' Want Brian Ross Fired, Despicable Hate-Blogger Repsac3 Attacks Michelle Malkin as 'Whiney Wingnut Victim'"
"But despite the universal condemnation of the left's attempts to politicize the Aurora massacre, Walter James Casper III decided to take to Twitter to --- wait for it! --- slam conservative Michelle Malkin as a "whiney wingnut victim"
While I disagree that there has been anything in the way of "universal condemnation" of anyone's attempts to "politicize" this story--much of the condemnation, including mine, and including the condemnation Donald Douglas finds in the Reliable Sources video he uses in a later post concerns the blog/print/tv media's rushes to judgement and poor vetting in their attempts to "publish" first and to fill airtime when they don't actually have established, vetted facts with which to do so--I do think that those who prattle on about media bias whenever someone makes an error or engages in piss-poor reporting like Brian Ross did--but seemingly only when it goes against their own political points of view--are whiners. (I don't hold Media Research Center--or any of their affiliated "echo chambers"--or Media Matters for America to this standard, though. Their whole purpose is to expose what they believe to be media attacks against their own political point of view or in favor of someone else's. While some of what these sites post is the same kind of whiny crap I reference above, some of it is legitimate.)

There is damned near ZERO evidence that ABC or Brian Ross are biased against Republicans, conservatives, or the tea party. Ross searched the guy's name, probably in conjunction with the "state," if not "city and state," and blurted out what he found without bothering to follow up or check it out in any way. Had he found a "James" or "Jim" "Holmes" from "Aurora, CO" who... ...wrote letters of support to The Nation Magazine, arrested for protesting against (or in favor of) the war in Iraq or income disparity, or ...was a member of the Aurora Symphony Orchestra, there is little doubt he'd've blurted out THAT dubious, unvetted "information," instead.

For all the partisan whinging and whining, what Brian Ross did was no different than what CNN and FoxNews did when reporting on the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Heath Care law. He spoke without knowing the facts. He found something that would allow him to keep talking on-air, and put it out there without bothering to make sure the information he found was accurate or relevant. Brian Ross is far from the only person to Google variations of the name and "Aurora, CO," and he isn't the only one to irresponsibly air "facts" and speculation regarding those search results without bothering to check them out first. (See: Joel B. Pollak, at, who speculated that the killer was a registered Democrat; and John Hawkins at Right Wing News, who posted a link to the Facebook page of a random James Holmes from Aurora, CO.) It's irresponsible, and shitty reporting...but it's rarely partisan. (Of the three examples, the Britbart one seems the most partisan. From the context anyway, it sure looks like they intentionally searched for a "liberal" or "democrat" from "Aurora, CO" named "James Holmes" or "Jim Holmes," to rebut Brian Williams shitty effect, engaging in their own shitty (and possibly intentionally biased) reporting. YMMV...)

After quoting conservative opinioneer (and whiner) James Taranto saying "Ross and ABC were out on this limb alone. Either other journalists learned their lesson from Tucson, or it didn't occur to them to look for a political motive this time (it was a more plausible hypothesis in a shooting that targeted a politician)", Donald says:
"And actually, Ross and ABC weren't out on a limb alone. Walter James Casper III jumped out on that limb too..."
As usual, there is no quote of or cite to my alleging or speculating about tea party involvement in the crime. I never said any such thing. Donald Douglas is simply lying, again, in an effort to attack. Perhaps he was angry that I called him out (See "REPOST," below) about his lie alleging that Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog searched for a connection between the tea party and the shooter-- (In fact, Steve was one of many who GoogleBinged the name and the location, and discounted as "not the guy" every possible link he found and discussed, in a post entitled "I DON'T BELIEVE THE AURORA MASSACRE WAS POLITICAL." --or maybe he just cannot resist lashing out at me personally for whatever slights he imagines I committed against him, but either way, the facts do not fit the specious allegations he's of course, he leaves them out of his attack. No surprise.

American Power: When Even Sick Left-Wing Sites Like 'Wonkette' Want Brian Ross Fired, Despicable Hate-Blogger Repsac3 Attacks Michelle Malkin as 'Whiney Wingnut Victim'
In Reply: Media and bloggers would do well to keep from reporting every thought that enters their heads as "news," and consider focusing more on reporting relevant facts, rather than any/all facts
In Reply: Whiny Wingnut Victimization and Unsubstantiated Speculation Masquerading as "News"
Covering the Colorado massacre - YouTube
American Power: 'Reliable Sources' Covers Media Response to Colorado Shooting
Exclusive: Contra ABC News, Dark Knight Aurora, CO Shooting Suspect James Holmes Could Be Registered Democrat - UPDATE: Not Registered?
Is This James Holmes’ Facebook Page? | Right Wing News

(I even saw one ass blaming Steve (the "No More Mister Nice Blog" blogger)for his quote of the Breitbart piece above and blaming Steve, not the Breitbart author or Brian Ross, for the speculation about Tea Party involvement. Even after the facts were pointed out to him, the same blogger repeats the lie a second time. UPDATE: Same blogger goes for the threepeat of that same lie. Steve M. searched the guy's name--just like Brian Ross, and just like John Hawkins at Right Wing News. Steve did not restrict his search to Tea Party members, nor did he report that the shooter was a tea party member--though he did quote a Breitbart blog post, which in turn quoted the Brian Ross piece, when THEY discussed the Tea Party angle. Donald Douglas is lying--and at this point, there is no doubt that he is aware of it, which calls his credibility--if not his sanity--into question.)
The Dishonest Donald Douglas Steve M. posts, and related material:
#1) "And Steve at No More Mr. Nice Guy was out of the gate looking for a tea party perp..."

Twitterer @kathykattenburg tries to steer Dr. Douglas toward honesty: "@AmPowerBlog And I think u should read Steve's piece again because he does not "search for a tea party perp." That is a complete misreading."

Needless to say, the facts had no effect:

#2) "Recall that Steve M. also searched James Holmes' name to find tea party ties, only to find out he was too young to be the "James Holmes" he'd found at the boards."

#3) "The decent, human thing to do would to be to gather facts, and especially not go looking around the Internet to see "what party is this insane person in?", or what tea party organization, as did No More Mr. Nice Blog did. That is, the decent, human thing would not be going all gonzo trying to score partisan points to destroy your enemies." (Talk about irony...)

And the title of the blog post about which Dishonest Don complains?:

Yeah... really.

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