Monday, January 23, 2006

It is not partisan - It is AMERICAN

There is nothing more American than free speech.

James Madison introduced his version of what free speech was to be, including what it was to mean to the press, to the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789.

"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."



Inviolable.

We have no grudge against Ms. Howell personally, despite her inability to see our righteous outrage for her own ego.

When the citizenry have been assaulted time and again, when it becomes too much, we lash out. Ms. Howell felt "drawn and quartered at high noon in the public square," but what she failed to see was this wasn't even about her. That she didn't understand is why we fight.

This is about America. The type of country we intend to fight for it to be.

We welcome all people, of whatever political persuasion and none.

But we will not abide untruths, no matter how unintended. We will not stand silent when the powerful won't claim error. We will speak out and be heard, because that is our right as Americans, it is our duty as citizens.

With Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin whispering in our ears, we take on this charge. In the 21st century, we are the Paul Reveres who will see it preserved.

God bless this great nation and the citizenry who fights to make it so.

18 Comments:

Blogger jurassicpork said...

But it had already been established on the Internet, Taylor, that your First Amendment rights don't mean diddly on the Internet. Sure, in theory, it would be great if the 1st Amendment spilled over into into cyberspace but the plain fact is it doesn't. When Congress decided about 15 years ago not to regulate the Internet, the decision was also made, albeit tacitly, that the webmasters would control their content. It's essentially the same thing as abiding by the rules when you're in someone else's house. You abide by their rules and not insult your hosat, watch your language, take your shoes off at the foyer, etc.

But I can see your point. The WaPo and Little Debbie went into this bold, brave new world claled Free Speech and found that they've been cherry-picking intelligence from the administration for so long that they no longer understand the concept of the First Amendment and that ideally, it should apply in a comment section. Obviously, they're not grown-up enough to handle that.

Oh, and Frist.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Zappatero said...

With Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin whispering in our ears...

Fuckin' a.

Oh Deborah, I hope that doesn't hurt your sensibilities.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Redshift said...

JP -- I guess I don't understand your point. No, the First Amendment doesn't give us a right to be heard on the Post website, but that's not a restriction on the Internet -- it didn't give us the right to be printed in the paper Post, either. It does give us the right to speak out about falsehoods printed in the paper, and Internet gives us the ability to create our own places to do that, where, with luck, they will get enough attention that the Posties will find it unwise to ignore them.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Redshift said...

I think the challenge we face here is that most of us don't actually want to destroy the old-line press (to use a neutral term), we just want them to do their jobs right. This puts us at a disadvantage compared to conservative media critics.

They attack the press hoping for one of two outcomes: Either the press bends to their criticism (which has produced modern "balanced" journalism that reports everything as an opinion controversy as if there are no actual facts), or they undermine the credibility of the press. Either one is a win, and reporting anything other than the conservative party line gets continual attacks for being "liberal," regardless of whether the facts support the conservative party line at all.

We have a tougher challenge, because we want to have a real press, one that seeks and reports the truth. We'd rather not end up with "their press" and "our press." We're fighting back because we're tired of the results of decades of dishonest "liberal media" carping, of right-wing "working the refs."

To our friends in the press, let me repeat what others have said elsewhere -- the right wants you to only say what they want to hear; we just want you to do your jobs. Remember that when you're deciding which are your enemies, whose opinions you decide are unworthy. You no longer have the luxury of caving (consciously or unconsciously) to the one side that won't give you any peace, and trusting that the other side will be polite and not make a fuss. You're going to catch it from us if you get lazy and repeat conventional talking-points wisdom instead of seeking out the truth. So you're going to have to decide which is more worth fighting for, access or truth.

Choose wisely.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

House of Brunswick, Hanover Line

Our King George III certainly had his problems, something to do with the colonies.

The new King George, Texas/Maine, Asshole Line, will certainly muck up the situation. (He certainly could hardly do any worse.)

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facts may hurt, but they are never unpatriotic.

Does the WashPo have an explanation for the decision to hire a former Bush pioneer as a "non-partisan" ombudswoman?

3:48 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

I blogged the chat with Jim Brady, the arrogance and complete lack of understanding of the WaahPoo is astounding. There was definitely an "I'm superior, therefore I'm right, why should I have to explain my actions" flavor to the whole experience.

I just want them to do their jobs, why is that too much to ask? At no point was there any acknowledgement that Ms. Howell didn't understand the job description of Ombudsman. They just don't get it. So I will keep repeating the truth, because with every person whose mind is opened we have a greater chance of changing the situation.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Grand Moff Texan said...

Well, debra, they've traded in their credentials for kneepads, but they still expect us to treat them as credible, even when they're wrong on the basic facts.

No matter how much they whore themselves out, they still think they're better than their readers, even when the readers are right and the pre$$titutes are wrong.

This is about status, not performance, and certainly not about ability. The pre$$titutes have spent so much time sucking up to the parasite class they've absorbed their values and attitudes. Ability doesn't matter, work is for suckers, status is everything.

Oh! Look at the little peons!
.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous RT said...

Debra, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Ms. Howell seems to have interpreted "ombudsman" as "someone who defends the paper against criticisms from its readership." Here's her conclusion to her last column:

To all of those who wanted me fired, I'm afraid you're out of luck. I have a contract. For the next two years, I will continue to speak my mind.

Keep smiling. I will.

Her job isn't to speak her mind; that's what op-ed columnists do. Her job is to be a voice for the readership in its dealings with the newspaper - to take the most significant reader complaints about the newspaper's coverage to management and get some answers.

She clearly has no interest in doing this job, and clearly doesn't give a flip about the readership. If a bunch of readers, on the one hand, have a complaint, and a political operative for the GOP has a counterbalancing complaint, then it's even-Steven from her perspective. Based on what she's published earlier, I doubt she'd have a clue about why that bothers me.

But she's got a contract, that's the main thing - so she can thumb her nose at the readership. She can conclude with one of those "have a nice day"-type dismissals that really means "screw you."

8:57 AM  
Blogger roger said...

One of the things I like about the WAPO is the discussions with the reporters. I hope this blog keeps tabs on these discussions. For instance, the K street reporter, yesterday, Jeff Birnbaum, not only talked about his contract with Fox news but praised them as a great and fair organization. I definitely liked this comment:


"If you look narrowly at any one segment or host in any media outlet you might find things that are less than balanced. But overall I defend Fox News vigorously. It offers terrific, fair coverage on many many many topics and is much better than its competition. Brit's show is by far the best political show on TV."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/01/19/DI2006011901870.html

Pretty much defines the WAPO attitude, no?

9:13 AM  
Blogger Dont_Feed_The_Meter said...

Clearly there is an agenda being served at WaPo that has little to do with providing the public something loosely resembling journalism and reporting - well - except for the have mores...
Realistically this is more than us vs. them, or the search for truth. It is a moment in the paradigm shift of how content and consumer interact.
Apparently the Post hopes that if it ignores its audience and belittles those who watch this will all go away quietly. But try as they might, the dinosaurs cannot undo the meteor or cover the crater.
Plainly, criticism and comments are reserved for club members, and the great un-washed need not bother to apply...unless they will play verbal volleyball from the right perspective.

Put succinctly, as my gran would always do, "when you're dealing with liars you might as well get a bucket, because all that comes out of their mouths is just
CRAP."

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Andy Ternay said...

We still have not seen any evidence that Abramoff "directed" contributions to to Democrats. That is still the false assertion of the WaPo. We must keep the pressure on them.

What I specifically want from the WaPo is either evidence proving that Abramoff did "direct" contributions to Democrats

or

a full retraction of that assertion.

The infamous stupid chart they have relied on is not good enough. First of all, of the three Democrats listed on the chart, only one got a contribution from Abramoff's clients. Second, the WaPo has not discussed the history of tribal donations to the Democrats and how those donations dropped after the tribes became Abramoff clients and third, Abramoff was not the only lobbyist involved with the tribes in question at the time.

Indeed, the one clear reference from Abramoff regarding donations to Democrats from his tribal clients was to call the Tigua's morons for donating to Democrats and comment: "I’d love to get our mitts on that moolah!"
The WaPo needs to put up their evidence or issue a written retraction.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for creating this blog.

I thought it might be helpful to recall another incident wherein the bolgoshpere rose up and produced a result. As I recall it:

When Richard Clarke's book on Bush and terrorism came out in 2004, the person the NY Times assigned to write about it was Judith Miller. The blogs rose up and within 24 hours the Times had taken her off the story.

The work you are doing can work.

Keep it up.

Dipsop

1:56 PM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

Speak of the fucking Devil.

1:57 PM  
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