March 22, 2005

Little Green Smackdown

As noted in Powerline yesterday, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has responded to last week's insipid op-ed by Tamara Baker in the Strib:

In a March 19 counterpoint ("Article on blogs should have said more on political divide"), Tamara Baker made a bald-faced lie: "[Eric] Black's article also didn't mention "Little Green Footballs," a right-wing blog whose founder, Charles Johnson, claims that he and not John Hinderaker's PowerLineBlog was the first to lead the charge against Dan Rather last fall."

I have never written or said anything like this. In fact, in my posts about Rathergate on the day the story broke, I very clearly credited Power Line and "Buckhead" at Free Republic.

Charles - a self-described 9/11 Democrat who has become a lighting rod for the loony left - demands an apology from the Strib.

Note to Charles; good luck with that. The Strib's not big on admitting mistakes.

Speaking of the Strib's mistakes, let's look at the rest of the Tamara Baker piece.

Leaving aside her abject flub of the Rathergate timeline, Baker's piece can only be described as a flight of fancy:

Eric Black's March 9 article on blogging was interesting, but incomplete.

For one thing, it focused on the local Republican bloggers,

Largely because they were the ones that brought down Dan Rather. The piece was contemporaneous with the Center of the American Experiment's party in honor of Rather's exit.

But there's more:

... but didn't name any of the liberal blogs like DailyKos and Eschaton, which have been around a lot longer and which still, despite their not getting as much mainstream-press publicity as the righties, get more readers than the righties.
Both of those blogs get a lot more attention than they deserve. Where Powerline and the better conservative blogs provide analysis, investigation and commentary, Kos and Eschaton provide snarks, scatology and talking points. There is no comparison, except in terms of traffic. How do we explain the traffic? Go figure.

Then, go figure this:

The big thing left out, though Black hinted at it with his mention of right-wing blogs hounding the Star Tribune, is that the right and left halves of the blogging world have very different goals.

As Garance Franke-Ruta noted in a recent American Prospect, "The targets of the liberal blogosphere are conservative activists; the target of the conservative blogosphere is the free and independent press itself, just as it has been for conservative activists since the '60s."

Franke-Ruta's incoherent rant was pretty well gutted by Powerline's Deacon:
I'm not aware of any conservative blogger (or other conservative, for that matter) who questions the right of MSM outlets to exercise free and independent judgment in reporting the news. Here's the way it works -- the MSM has the right to report the news as it sees fit; bloggers and others have the right to report what they take to be inaccuracies and bias on the part of the MSM; the public has the right to sort it all out. In short, the conservative blogosphere is targeting bias and inaccuracy in the MSM, not the MSM itself (or its freedom and independence). And the left, one hopes, is targeting bias and inaccuracy on the part of the conservative blogsophere and other conservative media, not conservatives themselves.
Neither Baker nor Franke-Ruta can show a coherent, serious example of such a goal (barring yuks like the NARN's josh pledge to bring down the Strib).

But as you read Baker's piece, you have to wonder what she means by "independent press":

David Brock, a former conservative activist who now runs a media-watchdog group called Media Matters for America, agrees with Franke-Ruta that Republicans' ultimate aim is the destruction of all objective reporting, so that they can say whatever they want, true or not, and get away with it: "Their explicit goal is to get us to the point where there are blue [state] facts and red [state] facts."
Now, why didn't Baker mention that Media Matters is bankrolled by George Soros?

Why didn't she mention - why didn't the Strib require her to include the fact, indeed - that Duncan "Atrios" Black of "Eschaton" and Oliver Willis, two of the biggest liberal bloggers, are direct employees of Media Matters?

Or that all the major leftybloggers are directly beholden to major lefty institutions (Matt Yglesias at the Prospect, Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly, Kos as a consultant to Howard Dean and many other liberal politicians, and Black and Willis by Soros)?

Because passing this bit of information along to the Strib's readers might have helped them put this bit of slander...:

In other words, Republicans for decades have wanted to control the press much as Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler did, by attacking and attempting to discredit independent journalism, and for them blogs are just the latest tool in their war.
...into context.

Of course, the whole story is the last thing Tamara Black and the Strib's editorial board want the public to get.

Posted by Mitch at March 22, 2005 06:46 AM | TrackBack

Her name is Tamara Faye Baker or ocassionally Tammy Baker and has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 20 years.

Her husband, who will be nameless. works for the Social Security Administration.

Both are very much into left-wing politics and will spurn anyone or friendship that will not match their own. They see conspiracies everywhere. When I knew them they were very nice people in the early 80's but they changed into some really yucky people. They trashed my friendship when they could not convince me that some of the militia types were a danger to the Republic and that I did not want to talk politics with them. This was about 1995 and saw growing moonbat approach that Baker was already up to.

Posted by: Greg at March 22, 2005 08:59 AM

Tammy Faye Baker? Is that a joke?

From Evangelical side-(wo)man to liberal journalist...quite a transformation! ;-D

Posted by: Pious Agnostic at March 22, 2005 10:26 AM

Tammy Faye Baker? Is that a joke?

From Evangelical side-(wo)man to liberal journalist...quite a transformation! ;-D

Posted by: Pious Agnostic at March 22, 2005 10:26 AM

No joke, Pious Agnostic....she used to joke about it too...

Watched two people I knew and enjoyed there company turn into crazy people before my eyes because of the University politics and trying to apply it to the everyone around them...even to their wedding.

Real shame Baker and her husband have turned into people like this...

I think the guys at LGF have a word for it...Moonbats..

Posted by: Greg at March 22, 2005 10:53 AM

Powerline is also full of goofy science - such as creationism, calling people they disagree with - Jimmy Carter - traitors, conspiracy theories - and recycled talking points. I'll agree with your assessment of Atrios and Kos.

As I said before, Powerline likes to dish it out, but they can't take it. Look at how Hindrocket sent that abusive email to MinnPolitics - and another left leaning person who wrote them a civil email challenging them on their take on the Gannon/Guckert story.

I wonder if Baker mixed up LGF and Buckhead from Free Republic.

Posted by: Eva Young at March 22, 2005 11:26 PM

"Powerline is also full of goofy science - such as creationism,"

I haven't seen them argue for creationism, per se.

" calling people they disagree with - Jimmy Carter - traitors,"

In context - Jimmy Carter went to a hostile foreign power to try to influence a US election - Jimmy Carter WAS a traitor. Remember how Michael Moore barbered about Bush's alleged Saudi connections and their supposed influence on the election? With Carter it was the Soviets, and it really happened!

" conspiracy theories"

Don't recall any of these.

"and recycled talking points."

That's become one of the least-welcome rhetorical cliches, lately. Their point of view, being Republicans, will inevitably intersect with the GOP's official line at some point or another. Being establishment guys, probably more often than in the case of someone like me, in fact. "Recycling" implies a system to it. There is none.

"As I said before, Powerline likes to dish it out, but they can't take it."

That's become of the left's most irritating, self-adulatory memes of late. They "dished out" valid criticism of public figures, they "took" personal attacks on their livelihoods, families and characters. They "took" defamation from the Strib and the City Pages, harassment at home and work, and endless overwrought abuse. There is no rational comparison.

And then...

" Look at how Hindrocket sent that abusive email to MinnPolitics - and another left leaning person who wrote them a civil email challenging them on their take on the Gannon/Guckert story."

Get over it! Rocketman admitted his mistake and apologized, publicly and appropriately.

And leaving the context out for just a moment, Minnpolitics' email was on the ragged edge of civil, and was groaningly moronic to boot. Now, let's reintroduce the context; days of inbox-clogging vituperation, leftybloggers spreading phony rumors about is personal life and trying to call them in to his office, harassing phone calls at home?

Get over it, lefties. Powerline at its worst is better than any ten leftyblogs you can name at their best.

Posted by: mitch at March 23, 2005 05:20 AM

I wrote a comment on the "Bush is a traitor" thing when I stooped to Willis-baiting a few days ago. "Treason" is such an inflammatory word. Howzabout we stick to the definition of treason given in the constitution (Article 3, Section 3, clause 1) "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

Posted by: Terry at March 23, 2005 11:40 AM

So what's a better term?

'Cuz I'm open to a better word. It'd just better connote "Slime", and "Selling out your nation for political gain".

Have at it!

Posted by: mitch at March 23, 2005 04:09 PM

Er, term to describe Carter's action.

Posted by: mitch at March 23, 2005 04:11 PM
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