Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

How Ann Coulter Went Down on the Truth and Had to Swallow

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Randy

unread,
Jul 16, 2002, 6:56:32 AM7/16/02
to
Bryan Keefer of Salon, July 13, 2002

http://www.salon.com/politics/col/spinsanity/2002/07/13/coulter/print.
html

The rise of Ann Coulter's new book, "Slander: Liberal Lies About the
American Right," to the top of the New York Times bestseller list may
be a shock to some, but the controversial pundit's scathing rhetoric
and outspoken conservatism have helped position her as exactly the
sort of figure who sells books. More polemic than argument, "Slander"
is riddled with factual errors, egregious misrepresentations and a
constant stream of broad, inflammatory claims about liberals, as
numerous critics have been quick to point out. Yet despite the limits
of her one-sided argument, she actually offers a troubling lament for
the state of our political discourse -- even as she contributes to
its decline.

Coulter began her career as a pundit during the investigation and
impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. An attorney, Coulter
aided Paula Jones with her legal case and later wrote a book on
Clinton titled "High Crimes and Misdemeanors." Since then, she has
written a syndicated column and made frequent television appearances.

Coulter is self-consciously inflammatory. As she told the Sunday
Times of London recently, "I am a polemicist. I am perfectly frank
about that. I like to stir up the pot. I don't pretend to be
impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do." It is exactly that kind
of invective which has earned her so much publicity.

"Slander" has already come in for heavy criticism over her factual
errors and distortions. Throughout the book, for example, she relies
heavily on quantitative searches of the Lexis-Nexis news database to
support her assertions about the media's bias and its unfair
treatment of conservatives, making at least 15 such claims. At first
blush, these bits of evidence seem to provide strong support to her
arguments. Yet very serious questions have been raised about her
methodology.

The American Prospect's weblog, Tapped, noted that Coulter's claim
that "Between 1995 and 2001, the New York Times alone ran more than
one hundred articles on 'Selma' alone" is demonstrably false. Tapped
also reported the inaccuracy of her claim that "In the New York
Times archives, 'moderate Republican' has been used 168 times," while
"There have been only 11 sightings of a 'liberal Republican.'" But a
search in the New York Times' own archive found 22 hits for "liberal
Republican" since 1996; in a search of the Times archives for "all
available dates" in Lexis-Nexis, the weblog found 524 such citations.

Bob Somerby punctured Coulter's argument that the New York Times
reveals a liberal bias by having used the phrases "Christian
conservatives" or "religious right" 187 times during, roughly, the
2000 calendar year, while never using the phrases "atheist liberals"
or "the atheist left." Somerby found that the New York Times compared
favorably with the conservative Washington Times, which had 151
references to "Christian conservatives" or the "religious right" in
2000 -- along with, of course, no references to "atheist liberals" or
"the atheist left."

Coulter also repeats several well-debunked myths in her book.
Particularly striking is her relentless repetition of the claim that
former Vice President Al Gore falsely suggested that he was the
inspiration for the book "Love Story" -- a claim Coulter makes four
separate times. As Robert Parry noted in an article in the Washington
Monthly, author Erich Segal told the New York Times in a Dec. 14,
1997, article that Gore was indeed part of the inspiration for the
main character in the novel. Gore did mistakenly say that the
character of Jenny had been based on his wife Tipper, but he based
this comment on an incorrect report in the Nashville Tennessean.

Another favorite tactics of Coulter's is the use of deceptive
paraphrases to distort others' viewpoints. Blogger Scoobie Davis has
noted that Coulter misrepresents the views of Frank Rich and Bruce
Ackerman on the war on terrorism. Early in the book, Coulter writes
that "New York Times columnist Frank Rich demanded that [Attorney
General John] Ashcroft stop monkeying around with Muslim terrorists
and concentrate on anti-abortion extremists." The column that she
cites, however, makes no such argument. Coulter also writes that
"Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman recommended dropping the war
against global terrorism ('declare war at the first decent
opportunity'!) and instead concentrate on 'home-grown extremists.'"
Yet Ackerman's column suggests a cautious approach to a global war on
terrorism, not "dropping" it, and nowhere does he advocate
concentrating on domestic terrorists instead of international
terrorists. Coulter's paraphrases are both wild distortions.

Another problem plaguing "Slander" is the deceptive way Coulter uses
footnotes to lend a false sense of legitimacy to questionable points.
To take one example, in her discussion of media treatment of former
Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., she provides a list of 10 quotes
alternating between positive coverage prior to his political demise
following allegations of sexual harassment, and negative coverage
afterward. Coulter introduces the list with the claim that "What
happened to Packwood is a stunning example of the media's power both
to destroy and protect ... In the case of Packwood, the media's good
dog/bad dog descriptions were applied to the exact same human being."

To the casual reader, the list must seem fairly damning. Yet if one
flips to the back of the book and checks her sources, it turns out
that her claim about "the media" rests on a very small sample. Rather
than the 10 different articles the casual reader would assume Coulter
is quoting, she relies on one article for four of the five negative
quotes, a second for three of the five positive quotes, and a third
for the other two positive quotes. In all, the list comes down to
four articles -- thin evidence at best for the broad suggestion that
coverage of Packwood proves "[t]here is no intellectual honesty
whatsoever in media descriptions of politicians," which she makes two
paragraphs later.

Coulter's use of quotes from liberal commentators as proof of media
bias is equally problematic. She disregards the importance of
conservative commentators, by writing, for example, "Rush Limbaugh is
not the president, the vice president, or a Massachusetts senator.
He's not the New York Times. He's not ABC, NBC, or CBS." Coulter also
tells us that "What conservatives object to is not liberal opinion
commentary, but rather ostensibly objective news coated with smears."
Yet much of her evidence for media bias and unfair attacks on
conservatives comes from the opinion columns of liberal pundits.
Particularly damaging is the way in which she bases broad comments
about "the media" in at least two places exclusively on opinion
columns. Writing that "the media quickly sketched out the larger
themes" about Bush's intelligence, she cites the Kansas City Star's
Steve Kraske and the New York Times' Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman
to support the contention that the media portrayed George W. Bush as
dumb -- all of whom are columnists.

In all, Coulter offers more than 40 citations of columnists and
pundits to support her assertion that conservatives are treated
unfairly by the mainstream media. Though most of these quotes are
identified as coming from commentators, and some of her examples are
certainly outrageous, the danger is that the casual reader may
interpret many of these as evidence of reportorial bias. If read
carefully, however, much of her evidence reveals little more than
then banal fact that liberal pundits and the New York Times editorial
page are critical and often unfairly dismissive of conservatives and
their policies. Using Coulter's methodology, one could easily string
together quotes from conservative pundits and Op-Ed pages to make the
case that the media treats liberals unfairly, rather than
conservatives.

In addition to her troubles with facts, Coulter also engages in what
my co-editor Brendan Nyhan has called "some of the most consistently
emotional, subrational jargon in national politics." Throughout
"Slander," she uses what Nyhan identifies as her three favorite
tactics: various names and issues used solely to rile her readers'
emotions; vicious, sweeping attacks on "liberals"; and loaded
language and nasty insinuations disguised as rational arguments.
Former President Bill Clinton comes in for some of the harshest
treatment; she refers to the "pizza boxes, women's panties, and other
detritus of the Caligula administration," describes his "adolescent
cramming in all-night slumber parties, leaving the place littered
with pizza rinds and women's panties" and refers to him as "IMPOTUS"
and "the felon." Coulter even uses "clintonized" as an adjective
without a capital letter, genericizing the name into an attack as
others have done. Nor is she above simple name-calling, referring to
Katie Couric as "the affable Eva Braun of morning TV" and referring
to Tom Rosenstiel of the Committee of Concerned Journalists as
"Concern Propagandist Rosenstiel."

Coulter also pummels nonsensical straw-man caricatures of political
opponents throughout the book. Most obvious and striking is her
treatment of "liberals." Without ever bothering to define exactly who
she intends the term to include (at various points it includes Andrew
Sullivan and Republican-turned-Independent Sen. Jim Jeffords, R-Vt.),
she makes sweeping judgments:

"Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do."

"[T]he left is itching to silence conservatives once and for all."

"[I]f Americans knew what they [liberals] really believed, the public
would boil them in oil."

""Principle is nothing to liberals. Winning is everything."

Of course, in Coulter's asymmetrical political world, conservatives
are universally good:

"[A]lmost all serious debate takes place exclusively among
conservatives."

"[C]onservatives in America are the most tolerant (and
long-suffering) people in America."

"[W]hen right-wingers rant, there's at least a point: There are
substantive arguments contained in conservative name-calling."

Coulter's style of argument is often based on jargon and invective
rather than substance. Consider this dismissal of claims of
conservative bias in the media:

"A 'study' analyzing the New York Times's coverage of the 2000
presidential race conclusively proved that 'this "liberal bastion"
published 50 percent more anti-Gore articles than anti-Bush, and
nearly twice as many pro-Bush article as pro-Gore.' Claims of
'conservative bias' in the media at large are amusing oddities. But a
claim that the New York Times has a conservative bias can be
explained only by the sheer joy liberals take in telling lies. This
is how liberals flaunt their massive control over news in America.
The fact that everyone knows they are lying is part of the fun. They
take insolent pleasure in saying absurd things, like college radicals
giving revolutionary speeches at their parents' dinner table: We will
raid their wine cellars and have their women!"

Nowhere does Coulter engage the actual substance of the study.
Instead, she places key words in quotation marks ("study,"
"conservative bias") to make them appear to be untrue, and makes
reference to broad stereotypes of liberals. Finally, she rams home
the suggestion that liberals lie by repeating it twice, then coining
a jargon phrase ("We will raid their wine cellars ...") which she
repeats later in the book. None of this has anything to do with
whether or not the New York Times ran more stories that were critical
of Bush or critical of Gore; it has everything to do with appealing
to preconceived notions about the media -- notions Coulter herself
has helped to construct.

Yet if readers can leave aside all of these problems (admittedly not
an easy task), Coulter is actually driving at something important
about the state of political debate in the media. She's right, for
example, that left-leaning politicians and editorial pages sometimes
mount sophisticated and unfair rhetorical campaigns against their
political enemies. The example she chooses -- attacks against former
Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his policies -- is exactly on
point. She also chooses other examples to good effect, such as Rep.
Charlie Rangel's equation of Gingrich's policies with those of Nazi
Germany. Absurdly, though, she steadfastly refuses to admit that
conservatives can be guilty of exactly the same thing -- an asymmetry
so glaring that only the most partisan readers can accept it at face
value.

A surprising amount of what Coulter has to say about the conduct of
contemporary political debate rings true. "Instead of actual debate
about ideas and issues with real consequences," Coulter writes, "the
country is trapped in a political discourse that increasingly
resembles professional wrestling." Likewise, she derides "arguments
by demonization" and argues that "[l]ies and personal attacks are
deeply corrosive of public debate and democratic compromises." She
correctly observes that perceptions and falsehoods promulgated in the
media have a self-reinforcing quality: "Cliches, biases and outright
lies are constantly reinforced through the media echo chamber." But
given how she herself uses these tactics throughout the book, even
Coulter's more astute observations raise obvious charges of
hypocrisy.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 16, 2002, 10:50:44 PM7/16/02
to
In article <randyd9-0C0FAB...@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
Randy <ran...@xmacx.com> wrote:

> Coulter's use of quotes from liberal commentators as proof of media
> bias is equally problematic. She disregards the importance of
> conservative commentators, by writing, for example, "Rush Limbaugh is
> not the president, the vice president, or a Massachusetts senator.
> He's not the New York Times. He's not ABC, NBC, or CBS."

Whether Coulter's rhetoric is incendiary or not, doesn't change the fact
that the mainstream media *is* biased. When was the last time any
senator or congressman was identified as "the liberal senator from ____"?

When Harry Smith was co-host of "CBS This Morning", he introduced a
segment on sexual harassment with the following: "...has anything really
changed? Just ahead we're going to ask noted law professor Catharine
MacKinnon and conservative spokeswoman Phyllis Schlafly to talk about
that."

Why is it that Phyllis Schlafly was identified as a conservative but
Catharine MacKinnon was not identified as a radical feminist or a
far-left law professor or even a plain old liberal? MacKinnon is at
least as far to the left as Schlafly is to the right. Why was she simply
a "noted law professor"? The clear implication is that Catharine
MacKinnon is an objective, well-respected observer and Phyllis Schlafly
is a political partisan. Never mind the fact that MacKinnon is the
feminist ideologue who has famously implied that all sexual intercourse
is rape.

When the media does a "politics in Hollywood" story, certain actors like
Tom Selleck and Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are identified as
conservatives, but Barbra Streisand or Rob Reiner, no matter how active
they are in Democratic politics, are just Barbra Streisand and Rob
Reiner.

Rush Limbaugh is the conervative radio talk show host but Rosie
O'Donnell is never identified as the liberal TV talk show host.

The most glaring example was the ABC News coverage of the Clinton
impeachment trial. During live coverage of the proceedings, Peter
Jennings identified each senator as they signed the oath book. When Ted
Kennedy and Barbara Boxer signed the book, Jennings identified them as
senators from Massachusetts and California. However when John McCain
signed the book, Jennings said, "Senator John McCain of Arizona,
left-hander. More right then left in his politics and intending to run
for president of the United States." Next came McConnell: "Senator
McConnell of Kentucky, very determined conservative member of the
Republican Party."

Next: "Senator Mikulski of Maryland." Plain and simple. Unadorned. Not a
word that Mikulski is a liberal Democrat from Maryland.

Next: "Senator Rick Santorum, one of the younger members of the Senate,
Republican, very determined conservative member of the Senate. That's
Senator Daschle there in the left-hand side of your picture."

Santorum was a conservative Republican but Tom Daschle, a liberal from
South Dakota was simply Senator Daschle. Same with Charles Schumer when
his turn came around-- just Senator Charles Schumer. But after him was
"Senator Smith of New Hampshire, also another very, very conservative
Republican intending to run for the presidency."

Not just conservative. "Very, very" conservative.

And it went on like this through the entire roll call. The word
"liberal" never passed through Jenning's lips. There's a better chance
that Peter Jennings would identify Mother Teresa as "the old broad who
used to work in India" than there is that he would call a liberal
Democrat a liberal Democrat.

Why is it that the word "left-wing" has virtually vanished from the
media's vocabulary? "Right-wing", on the other hand, is doing a thriving
business. We have right-wing Republicans and right-wing Christians and
right-wing radio talk show hosts.

Isn't anybody left-wing anymore? Aren't Jesse Jackson, Barbara Boxer and
Barney Frank on the left-wing of the Democratic Party? Obviously they
are, so why are they not identified that way, the same as their
Republican counterparts?

scruffy

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 2:27:23 AM7/17/02
to
In article <BTR1702-09B146...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

somewhere around the 5000th time this load of insufferable crap was
making the rounds it was actually debunked.

<http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~nunberg/bias.html>

what's the problem with being labelled a conservative anyway? maybe
schafly is called a 'conservative commentator' because on her own
website she calls herself...wait for it...a 'conservative'! and having
read some of the things she writes i think it's pretty charitable to
call her one and just leave it at that.

right now every republican politician around here running for office is
falling all over himself trying to come across as more conservative than
his opponent. if he plasters the word 'conservative' all over his
campaign materials how is it wrong for the media to call him
conservative? shouldn't he be thanking the media for playing along with
his marketing strategy?

you are the guys who try and throw 'liberal' out there like it's some
kind of obscenity. an idiotic law is enacted and you kneejerk
yourselves in the groin blaming it on the 'liberals'.

you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like all the
al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna have to
swallow.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 10:34:46 AM7/17/02
to
In article <scruffy-C34535...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
<scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

Debunked? Those examples were from actual news broadcasts. The evidence
is there. Jennings, et al said what they said. How has that been
"debunked"?

> <http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~nunberg/bias.html>
>
> what's the problem with being labelled a conservative anyway?

Nothing. I might ask the same of you. What's wrong with being labeled a
liberal and why are liberals never identified as such? Are you so
ashamed of your political views that you have to try and hide them from
the public?

> maybe schafly is called a 'conservative commentator' because on her own
> website she calls herself...wait for it...a 'conservative'! and having
> read some of the things she writes i think it's pretty charitable to
> call her one and just leave it at that.

Yeah, as opposed to MacKinnon, right? The things she writes are
perfectly reasonable. Sure.

> right now every republican politician around here running for office is
> falling all over himself trying to come across as more conservative than
> his opponent. if he plasters the word 'conservative' all over his
> campaign materials how is it wrong for the media to call him
> conservative? shouldn't he be thanking the media for playing along with
> his marketing strategy?

So your position is that Peter Jennings' impromptu identification of
every Republican senator as conservative while never doing the same for
the liberals during the impeachment hearings is part of the Republicans'
marketing strategy? I can't believe even you are that stupid.

Note that the impeachment hearings were well before 9/11 and no one was
"falling all over himself" to appear conservative at that time.

> you are the guys who try and throw 'liberal' out there like it's some
> kind of obscenity. an idiotic law is enacted and you kneejerk
> yourselves in the groin blaming it on the 'liberals'.

"We" don't sit behind anchor desks. "We" don't make editorial decisions
to label conservative groups and politicians "right-wing" but leave the
term "left-wing" off descriptions of groups like NOW and GLAAD and
politicians like Daschle and Boxer.

Why does asking for *equal* treatment by supposedly objective
journalists scare you so much?

> you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like all the
> al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna have to
> swallow.

Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the media is
biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence. When I
provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's dismissed as
anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in the ass and
you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge
anything that proves you wrong.

David &/or Joan May

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 10:42:48 AM7/17/02
to
BTR1701 wrote:
"...What's wrong with being labeled a liberal and why are liberals never
identified as such?.."

The most plausible reason is that liberals don't choose to identify
themselves with that term while consevatives often refer to themselves
as consevatives. The media are just taking their cues from the
politicians themselves.

Coulter can't imagine that there may be an explanation for her
observations other than her conclusion of deliberate media bias. Errors
like this are typical of what I've read or heard of her so far -- i.e.
her misrepresentation of what Falwell said, both in print and on the
Couric show, and her not realizing that Reagan was in fact approaching
senility in his final term.

Her faulty reasoning adds support to the hypothesis that the main
purpose of law school is to divest its students of all ability to think
logically or distinguish right from wrong.

Best,
Joan

http://community.webtv.net/Jem33b/tairan/index.html

scruffy

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 12:05:54 PM7/17/02
to
In article <BTR1702-D6D35D...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

did you even bother to look at this link?

> > what's the problem with being labelled a conservative anyway?
>
> Nothing. I might ask the same of you. What's wrong with being labeled a
> liberal and why are liberals never identified as such? Are you so
> ashamed of your political views that you have to try and hide them from
> the public?

nothing at all, and had you bothered to look at the link i provided you
would see that the 'liberal' label *is* routinely given.

> > maybe schafly is called a 'conservative commentator' because on her own
> > website she calls herself...wait for it...a 'conservative'! and having
> > read some of the things she writes i think it's pretty charitable to
> > call her one and just leave it at that.
>
> Yeah, as opposed to MacKinnon, right? The things she writes are
> perfectly reasonable. Sure.
>
> > right now every republican politician around here running for office is
> > falling all over himself trying to come across as more conservative than
> > his opponent. if he plasters the word 'conservative' all over his
> > campaign materials how is it wrong for the media to call him
> > conservative? shouldn't he be thanking the media for playing along with
> > his marketing strategy?
>
> So your position is that Peter Jennings' impromptu identification of
> every Republican senator as conservative while never doing the same for
> the liberals during the impeachment hearings is part of the Republicans'
> marketing strategy? I can't believe even you are that stupid.

no, my position is that peter jennings is not the entire media.

> Note that the impeachment hearings were well before 9/11 and no one was
> "falling all over himself" to appear conservative at that time.
>
> > you are the guys who try and throw 'liberal' out there like it's some
> > kind of obscenity. an idiotic law is enacted and you kneejerk
> > yourselves in the groin blaming it on the 'liberals'.
>
> "We" don't sit behind anchor desks. "We" don't make editorial decisions
> to label conservative groups and politicians "right-wing" but leave the
> term "left-wing" off descriptions of groups like NOW and GLAAD and
> politicians like Daschle and Boxer.
>
> Why does asking for *equal* treatment by supposedly objective
> journalists scare you so much?

i'm not scared at all; you're the one having a hissyfit.

> > you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like all the
> > al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna have to
> > swallow.
>
> Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the media is
> biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence. When I
> provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's dismissed as
> anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in the ass and
> you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge
> anything that proves you wrong.

don't you ever get tired of the victim mentality? and yes, it's
anecdotal when you only provide an example from peter jennings and harry
smith and paint the entire media with that broad brush.

Kirk

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 1:02:33 PM7/17/02
to

"scruffy" <scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

>
> somewhere around the 5000th time this load of insufferable crap was
> making the rounds it was actually debunked.
>
> <http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~nunberg/bias.html>


This certainly doesn't debunk everything. There's nothing here at all
about tv (except that the author found it too hard to research), let alone
Dan Rather.


>
> you are the guys who try and throw 'liberal' out there like it's some
> kind of obscenity. an idiotic law is enacted and you kneejerk
> yourselves in the groin blaming it on the 'liberals'.


We don't all believe everything that's on talk radio.


>
> you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like all the
> al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna have to
> swallow.


I still think most of the Al Gore stories were true.

-- Kirk


"I do not like this word 'bomb'. It is not a
bomb; it is a device which is exploding."

-- Jacques Le Blanc, French ambassador
to New Zealand, describing France's
nuclear testing, 1995


BTR1701

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 11:43:07 PM7/17/02
to
In article <scruffy-A10555...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
<scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

Yeah, it basically talked abouyt newspapers, saying TV was "too hard" to
research. Very convenient because even if the pattern doesn't hold true
for newspapers, TV is where most Americans get their news.

> > > right now every republican politician around here running for office
> > > is falling all over himself trying to come across as more conservative
> > > than his opponent. if he plasters the word 'conservative' all over his
> > > campaign materials how is it wrong for the media to call him
> > > conservative? shouldn't he be thanking the media for playing along
> > > with his marketing strategy?
> >
> > So your position is that Peter Jennings' impromptu identification of
> > every Republican senator as conservative while never doing the same for
> > the liberals during the impeachment hearings is part of the
> > Republicans'
> > marketing strategy? I can't believe even you are that stupid.
>
> no, my position is that peter jennings is not the entire media.
>
> > Note that the impeachment hearings were well before 9/11 and no one was
> > "falling all over himself" to appear conservative at that time.
> >
> > > you are the guys who try and throw 'liberal' out there like it's some
> > > kind of obscenity. an idiotic law is enacted and you kneejerk
> > > yourselves in the groin blaming it on the 'liberals'.
> >
> > "We" don't sit behind anchor desks. "We" don't make editorial decisions
> > to label conservative groups and politicians "right-wing" but leave the
> > term "left-wing" off descriptions of groups like NOW and GLAAD and
> > politicians like Daschle and Boxer.
> >
> > Why does asking for *equal* treatment by supposedly objective
> > journalists scare you so much?
>
> i'm not scared at all; you're the one having a hissyfit.

Just so we can define terms here, what is your definition of "hissyfit"?
I suspect it's merely having the temerity to disagree with you because
by any objective definition, what I've written here cannot be classified
in any way as a "fit" of any kind.

And if you're not scared, then why do you object to broadcasters
throwing around the labels with equal frequency on both sides?

I'm not saying that TV news should stop identifying conservatives as
conservative. Just that they should do the same for liberals. Why is
that a bad thing?

> > > you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like all
> > > the al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna have to
> > > swallow.
> >
> > Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the media is
> > biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence. When I
> > provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's dismissed as
> > anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in the ass
> > and you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge
> > anything that proves you wrong.
>
> don't you ever get tired of the victim mentality?

Ah, so now even discussing the issue means I have a "victim mentality".
Very clever. That is if you can actually find someone stupid enough to
buy that argument.

> and yes, it's
> anecdotal when you only provide an example from peter jennings and harry
> smith and paint the entire media with that broad brush.

Okay, so just for shits and giggles, how many concrete examples from
actual broadcasts would it take to cross the line from anecdotal to
actual evidence?

scruffy

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 9:58:16 PM7/17/02
to
In article <BTR1702-36FE4B...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

ok, so you start the argument proclaiming "Whether Coulter's rhetoric is

incendiary or not, doesn't change the fact that the mainstream media

*is* biased." and now you want to change the focus to TV news. why is
that i wonder?

arguing against a nonexistent bias constitutes having a fit in my book.

> And if you're not scared, then why do you object to broadcasters
> throwing around the labels with equal frequency on both sides?

i don't. IF YOU WOULD TAKE A MOMENT TO READ WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE YOU
WOULD SEE THAT THIS ALREADY HAPPENS NOW. except for your 2 examples.
clearer now?

> I'm not saying that TV news should stop identifying conservatives as
> conservative. Just that they should do the same for liberals. Why is
> that a bad thing?

it isn't because they don't. but once again, how did this become about
TV news when it started about the "mainstream media?"

> > > > you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like all
> > > > the al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna have
> > > > to
> > > > swallow.
> > >
> > > Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the media is
> > > biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence. When I
> > > provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's dismissed as
> > > anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in the ass
> > > and you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge
> > > anything that proves you wrong.
> >
> > don't you ever get tired of the victim mentality?
>
> Ah, so now even discussing the issue means I have a "victim mentality".
> Very clever. That is if you can actually find someone stupid enough to
> buy that argument.

no, not by discussing it, but by whining about how "lambasted" you
always are.

> > and yes, it's
> > anecdotal when you only provide an example from peter jennings and harry
> > smith and paint the entire media with that broad brush.
>
> Okay, so just for shits and giggles, how many concrete examples from
> actual broadcasts would it take to cross the line from anecdotal to
> actual evidence?

more than two.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 12:54:43 AM7/18/02
to
In article <scruffy-560279...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
<scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

> In article <BTR1702-36FE4B...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
> BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> > In article <scruffy-A10555...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
> > <scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:
> >
> > > In article <BTR1702-D6D35D...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
> > > BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > In article <scruffy-C34535...@news.fu-berlin.de>,
> > > > scruffy

> > > > > you are the guys who try and throw 'liberal' out there like it's

> > > > > some kind of obscenity. an idiotic law is enacted and you kneejerk
> > > > > yourselves in the groin blaming it on the 'liberals'.
> > > >
> > > > "We" don't sit behind anchor desks. "We" don't make editorial
> > > > decisions to label conservative groups and politicians "right-wing" but leave
> > > > the term "left-wing" off descriptions of groups like NOW and GLAAD and
> > > > politicians like Daschle and Boxer.
> > > >
> > > > Why does asking for *equal* treatment by supposedly objective
> > > > journalists scare you so much?
> > >
> > > i'm not scared at all; you're the one having a hissyfit.
> >
> > Just so we can define terms here, what is your definition of
> > "hissyfit"? I suspect it's merely having the temerity to disagree with you because
> > by any objective definition, what I've written here cannot be
> > classified in any way as a "fit" of any kind.
>
> arguing against a nonexistent bias constitutes having a fit in my book.

Well, it's a good thing "your book" is neither accepted by anyone but
yourself nor dispositive of the issue since you have yet to show the
bias is non-existent.

I suppose I could make up new definitions for words also and transform
what you've written here into evidence of a nervous breakdown on your
part. Hey, redefining the English language is kinda fun!

> > And if you're not scared, then why do you object to broadcasters
> > throwing around the labels with equal frequency on both sides?
>
> i don't. IF YOU WOULD TAKE A MOMENT TO READ WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE YOU
> WOULD SEE THAT THIS ALREADY HAPPENS NOW. except for your 2 examples.
> clearer now?

No. *You* haven't written anything but a couple of ad hominem attacks
against me. Care to point out anything you've written that shows "this
actually happens now"?

> > I'm not saying that TV news should stop identifying conservatives as
> > conservative. Just that they should do the same for liberals. Why is
> > that a bad thing?
>
> it isn't because they don't. but once again, how did this become about
> TV news when it started about the "mainstream media?"

Is TV news not mainstream media? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the role of
television in our society...

> > > > > you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like
> > > > > all the al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're gonna
> > > > > have to swallow.
> > > >
> > > > Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the media
> > > > is biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence. When I
> > > > provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's dismissed
> > > > as anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in the
> > > > ass and you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to
> > > > acknowledge anything that proves you wrong.
> > >
> > > don't you ever get tired of the victim mentality?
> >
> > Ah, so now even discussing the issue means I have a "victim mentality".
> > Very clever. That is if you can actually find someone stupid enough to
> > buy that argument.
>
> no, not by discussing it, but by whining about how "lambasted" you
> always are.

Oh, please. That's an objective fact on this group. Just do a google.
Back when lazarus was around, about all he did was take me to task for
not providing web links to footnote every statement I made. Now I *have*
provided with examples and I could have gone on with several more but
the post was already long enough and it's *still* not good enough. No
evidence is bad. Evidence is bad. Apparently nothing satisfies you
people.

> > > and yes, it's
> > > anecdotal when you only provide an example from peter jennings and
> > > harry smith and paint the entire media with that broad brush.
> >
> > Okay, so just for shits and giggles, how many concrete examples from
> > actual broadcasts would it take to cross the line from anecdotal to
> > actual evidence?
>
> more than two.

Okay, here's one more: during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings
and subsequent Anita Hill scandal, Roberk Bork was identified by CBS
news as a "conservative judge" but in the same broadcast, Lawrence Tribe
was identified simply as a "Harvard law professor". Tribe is easily as
liberal as Bork is conservative, yet no label for him.

Now by your own definition, I've provided you more than two examples so
we have moved from anecdotal to actual evidence and since I've provided
actual evidence, my case is proven. QED

It must really sting when you're beaten with your own stick, no?

scruffy

unread,
Jul 17, 2002, 11:10:13 PM7/17/02
to
In article <BTR1702-4204E9...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

i'm supposed to prove a negative?

> I suppose I could make up new definitions for words also and transform
> what you've written here into evidence of a nervous breakdown on your
> part. Hey, redefining the English language is kinda fun!

well, you do have fun redefining arguments to suit your purposes.

> > > And if you're not scared, then why do you object to broadcasters
> > > throwing around the labels with equal frequency on both sides?
> >
> > i don't. IF YOU WOULD TAKE A MOMENT TO READ WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE YOU
> > WOULD SEE THAT THIS ALREADY HAPPENS NOW. except for your 2 examples.
> > clearer now?
>
> No. *You* haven't written anything but a couple of ad hominem attacks
> against me. Care to point out anything you've written that shows "this
> actually happens now"?

i've already done that.

> > > I'm not saying that TV news should stop identifying conservatives as
> > > conservative. Just that they should do the same for liberals. Why is
> > > that a bad thing?
> >
> > it isn't because they don't. but once again, how did this become about
> > TV news when it started about the "mainstream media?"
>
> Is TV news not mainstream media? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the role of
> television in our society...

it's only a *part* of the mainstream media, not the whole thing itself.

> > > > > > you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks like
> > > > > > all the al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days you're
> > > > > > gonna
> > > > > > have to swallow.
> > > > >
> > > > > Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the media
> > > > > is biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence. When
> > > > > I
> > > > > provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's dismissed
> > > > > as anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in the
> > > > > ass and you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to
> > > > > acknowledge anything that proves you wrong.
> > > >
> > > > don't you ever get tired of the victim mentality?
> > >
> > > Ah, so now even discussing the issue means I have a "victim mentality".
> > > Very clever. That is if you can actually find someone stupid enough to
> > > buy that argument.
> >
> > no, not by discussing it, but by whining about how "lambasted" you
> > always are.
>
> Oh, please. That's an objective fact on this group. Just do a google.
> Back when lazarus was around, about all he did was take me to task for
> not providing web links to footnote every statement I made. Now I *have*
> provided with examples and I could have gone on with several more but
> the post was already long enough and it's *still* not good enough. No
> evidence is bad. Evidence is bad. Apparently nothing satisfies you
> people.

get off that cross already, btr.

> > > > and yes, it's
> > > > anecdotal when you only provide an example from peter jennings and
> > > > harry smith and paint the entire media with that broad brush.
> > >
> > > Okay, so just for shits and giggles, how many concrete examples from
> > > actual broadcasts would it take to cross the line from anecdotal to
> > > actual evidence?
> >
> > more than two.
>
> Okay, here's one more: during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings
> and subsequent Anita Hill scandal, Roberk Bork was identified by CBS
> news as a "conservative judge" but in the same broadcast, Lawrence Tribe
> was identified simply as a "Harvard law professor". Tribe is easily as
> liberal as Bork is conservative, yet no label for him.

are you getting all this stuff from goldberg's book?

> Now by your own definition, I've provided you more than two examples so
> we have moved from anecdotal to actual evidence and since I've provided
> actual evidence, my case is proven. QED
> It must really sting when you're beaten with your own stick, no?

no, because i didn't say three, only more than two mr. technicality.
but i hate to take the simple pleasure you get from redefining the
argument and declaring a hollow victory. if it makes you feel like
stripping down to your skivvies and doing a little tom cruise/risky
business victory dance around the house, knock yourself out.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 10:47:21 AM7/18/02
to
In article <scruffy-A17624...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
<scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

It's not a negative if you positively assert it.

> > I suppose I could make up new definitions for words also and transform
> > what you've written here into evidence of a nervous breakdown on your
> > part. Hey, redefining the English language is kinda fun!
>
> well, you do have fun redefining arguments to suit your purposes.

Hypocrisy, thy name is "scruffy".

> > > > And if you're not scared, then why do you object to broadcasters
> > > > throwing around the labels with equal frequency on both sides?
> > >
> > > i don't. IF YOU WOULD TAKE A MOMENT TO READ WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE
> > > YOU WOULD SEE THAT THIS ALREADY HAPPENS NOW. except for your 2 examples.
> > >
> > > clearer now?
> >
> > No. *You* haven't written anything but a couple of ad hominem attacks
> > against me. Care to point out anything you've written that shows "this
> > actually happens now"?
>
> i've already done that.

No, you've written nothing of substance. You've provided a link to
*somene else's* writing, an article which self-admittedly does nothing
to address anything I've brought up here.

All you've done is talk about "your book" and how words in your universe
don't have the same definitions as they do in the real English language.

> > > > I'm not saying that TV news should stop identifying conservatives
> > > > as conservative. Just that they should do the same for liberals. Why
> > > > is that a bad thing?
> > >
> > > it isn't because they don't. but once again, how did this become
> > > about TV news when it started about the "mainstream media?"
> >
> > Is TV news not mainstream media? Maybe I'm misunderstanding the role of
> > television in our society...
>
> it's only a *part* of the mainstream media, not the whole thing itself.

Ah, so I have to discuss every possible form of mainstream media or
nothing at all? Is this another chapter from your book?

> > > > > > > you can trot out your anecdotal stories and hope it sticks
> > > > > > > like all the al gore stories, but btr baby, one of these days
> > > > > > > you're gonna have to swallow.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Anecdotal? I love this. If I make a general argument that the
> > > > > > media is biased, I'm lambasted for not providing sources or evidence.
> > > > > > When I provide sources and evidence from actual broadcasts, it's
> > > > > > dismissed as anecdotal. Apparently it could walk right up and bite you in
> > > > > > the ass and you'd never know it because you steadfastly refuse to
> > > > > > acknowledge anything that proves you wrong.
> > > > >
> > > > > don't you ever get tired of the victim mentality?
> > > >
> > > > Ah, so now even discussing the issue means I have a "victim
> > > > mentality".
> > > > Very clever. That is if you can actually find someone stupid enough
> > > > to buy that argument.
> > >
> > > no, not by discussing it, but by whining about how "lambasted" you
> > > always are.
> >
> > Oh, please. That's an objective fact on this group. Just do a google.
> > Back when lazarus was around, about all he did was take me to task for
> > not providing web links to footnote every statement I made. Now I
> > *have* provided with examples and I could have gone on with several more but
> > the post was already long enough and it's *still* not good enough. No
> > evidence is bad. Evidence is bad. Apparently nothing satisfies you people.
>
> get off that cross already, btr.

As I said before, when you have nothing substantial to say, just attack
the writer personally. Points for the attempted distraction in any
event. If pointing out a double-standard puts me on "a cross", then so
be it. Wouldn't be the first time "your book" diverged wildly from
reality.

> > > > > and yes, it's
> > > > > anecdotal when you only provide an example from peter jennings
> > > > > and harry smith and paint the entire media with that broad brush.
> > > >
> > > > Okay, so just for shits and giggles, how many concrete examples
> > > > from actual broadcasts would it take to cross the line from anecdotal to
> > > > actual evidence?
> > >
> > > more than two.
> >
> > Okay, here's one more: during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings
> > and subsequent Anita Hill scandal, Roberk Bork was identified by CBS
> > news as a "conservative judge" but in the same broadcast, Lawrence
> > Tribe was identified simply as a "Harvard law professor". Tribe is easily as
> > liberal as Bork is conservative, yet no label for him.
>
> are you getting all this stuff from goldberg's book?

Some of it. Some of it from other sources. I have a few I've noticed
myself just in the last week or so. But the source doesn't really
matter. The fact is the people involved said what they said. It's not a
matter of opinion. These "anecdotes" are easily verifiable as the
broadcasts are part of the public record.

> > Now by your own definition, I've provided you more than two examples so
> > we have moved from anecdotal to actual evidence and since I've provided
> > actual evidence, my case is proven. QED
> > It must really sting when you're beaten with your own stick, no?
>
> no, because i didn't say three, only more than two mr. technicality.

And I provided you more than two. Careful not to hurt yourself while
backpedaling so furiously.

z

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 9:17:55 AM7/18/02
to
je...@webtv.net (David &/or Joan May) wrote in message news:<15769-3D...@storefull-2397.public.lawson.webtv.net>...

Good point. After all, a synonym for lawyer is advocate. And that is
what lawyers do; argue one side of a case as persuasively as possible,
without regard for the validity, or for which side has the better
case, or for whether a compromise between both sides is closest to the
truth. Which is significant, in that the people who run the government
contain so many lawyers. This is not true in other countries; in
Russia, for instance, most of the folks in the government seem to have
been trained as engineers. They bring their own bias with them
(largely, a naive belief that simple solutions can be found for all
problems), but this current bipartisan white/black dichotomy that is
so toxic for the US might be in part traceable to putting lawyers in
positions where they have to make decisions, rather than just argue
one side or the other.

z

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 11:13:33 AM7/18/02
to
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<BTR1702-09B146...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>...

> In article <randyd9-0C0FAB...@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
> Randy <ran...@xmacx.com> wrote:
>
> > Coulter's use of quotes from liberal commentators as proof of media
> > bias is equally problematic. She disregards the importance of
> > conservative commentators, by writing, for example, "Rush Limbaugh is
> > not the president, the vice president, or a Massachusetts senator.
> > He's not the New York Times. He's not ABC, NBC, or CBS."
>
> Whether Coulter's rhetoric is incendiary or not, doesn't change the fact
> that the mainstream media *is* biased. When was the last time any
> senator or congressman was identified as "the liberal senator from ____"?
>

Depends on whose ox is gored. Or bushed. The conservatives have
succeeded in making 'liberal' a dirty word and are now complaining
that it isn't applied to their opponents. Nonetheless, Coulter has a
germ of an idea in that tiny Afghan hound skull; she just can't pursue
it to its logical conclusions without smacking face first into the
unpleasant consequences. As follows:

Firstly: Somewhat simplified, her argument is that liberals represent
a cultural elite (cultural, but obviously not financial) who look down
their noses at conservatives, who they feel are ignorant. This elite
runs the elite academic institutions; the elite media (national
networks vs local, NYTimes vs Bridgeport Post, etc.); the elite
entertainment industry (Steven Spielberg vs Sonny Bono), etc.; and
from their position as an elite, disparage and delegitimize the
conservative positions as being inferior, as they are not products of
these elite institutions. After all, it's been observed for a lot
longer than the current generation that unsophisticated and uneducated
people tend to be more conservative; therefore the educated and
sophisticated are biased to think of all conservatives as inferior.

But, this brings her face to face with the question of why are the
best academic institutions so much more liberal than conservative? Why
are the cultural and intellectual elite so much more likely to be
liberal than conservative? And she punts. Instead of following through
to the conclusion that conservatism really does seem in fact to be the
philosophy of the non-elite, the province of the provinces to coin a
phrase, and then justifying this positioning as a valid philosophy
anyway; she trips all over herself trying to prove it isn't really
true, after having spent half the book proving that it is. A sharper
mind, or one who didn't have as much emotionally invested in proving
that conservatism should really be the elite, would either have come
up with 10 reasons why it's better or at least OK for conservatives to
not be the elite; or would not have written the damn book. But she
herself is a member of the cultural elite and as snobbish about it as
any of the villains in her book; she's just miffed that her politics
are sneered at by the clique she's spent her life trying to impress,
and she can't deflate that snobbery by arguing that the opinions of
NASCAR fans are as good as or better than the opinions of opera buffs,
because she herself wouldn't be caught dead at a NASCAR event.

But that's her lesser problem. Her biggest problem is, oddly enough,
that her main argument is inherently anti-capitalist, anti-freemarket,
and profoundly socialist. After all, she is basically arguing against
the right of a corporation or private business to carry out its
business in the way it feels appropriate. I'm sure when an airline is
accused by liberals of profiling for mandating extra security checks
for Middle Eastern passengers, she would be the first to defend them,
on the grounds that nobody has the right to tell them the best way to
do their business. So, what's her argument against the media, the
universities, the entertainment industry? That they are public
services whose performance must be watched over regulated for the
public welfare? Not a particularly conservative position. That
conservatives should start their own media, universities, and
entertainment companies and make their voices heard? Nothing stopping
them from doing that, they do that now. That people shouldn't send
their kids to those liberal schools like Harvard, they should send
them to Bob Jones U? They could do that now if they wanted. That
someone should count how many times Jennings uses the word
'conservative' to describe politicians and he should be required to
use the word 'liberal' an equal number of times or face prosecution?
Doesn't sound like something a conservative would advocate. That the
free market doesn't work in the case of political ideas and needs
tinkering with to ensure that the ignorant public doesn't make the
stupid mistake of putting their money into the wrong pockets? Again,
hardly a conservative point of view.

It's the leftist position that corporations can't be counted on to
behave optimally for the public welfare and need to be overseen and
regulated. It's the leftist position that there exist public services
like the media and educational institutions which need to be regulated
by the public for the public good. It's the leftist position that the
unfettered free market can't be trusted to deliver an accurate and
full portrayal of complex issues and needs to be regulated to ensure
this. It's inherently contradictory to argue these positions from a
conservative point of view.

She's a lawyer; to put it into legal terms, before the court (of
public opinion) bothers to make the effort to weigh the evidence and
determine the truth of her charges, let's ask what remediation does
she want, in the event that her charges are deemed true? Does she want
the government to enforce conservative content laws on the media and
educational institutions? I doubt it. Fact is, she's just whining
about how unfair life is to her particular point of view. Well honey,
it's unfair to everyone, and that's what makes it fair. Since there
isn't any action we could take that would make her happy, there's no
real reason for the court to make the effort to consider her claims.

This similar debate has arise previously regarding the generally
crappy content of the media. I observed then as I observe now;
conservatives tout the evils of government regulation and the virtues
of the free market; yet, ironically, when faced with the results of
one of the freest and least regulated markets, i.e. the entertainment
industry, where the only consideration is what will make the most
bucks, their response is revulsion and an inchoate urge to tell
Hollywood to clean up their act. But it's not the government requiring
sex and violence to be included in every movie, tv show, and record;
that's what people want to buy. Does anyone doubt for a second that if
there were no restrictions on the entertainment industry, we'd be
seeing live sex shows on TV to sell detergent? It's about time for a
deeply thoughtful conservative, someone smarter or less emotionally
conflicted than Coulter, to really rethink what it means when the
products of unregulated free market capitalism seem intuitively to be
less than optimally beneficial to society, and what to do about it, if
anything. The liberals have their answer, of course; government
regulation. The conservatives reject that solution, all the way down
to wanting to close the only non-sex-and-violence media out there,
i.e. PBS; but they have no answer of their own other than writing
books complaining that the media isn't behaving well and they should
stop it. Pretty weak.

z

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 11:22:34 AM7/18/02
to
Aside from the refutations of the results of Coulter's cited media
surveys 'proving' her case, one has to wonder, yet again, what is the
rationale for huge corporations owned by huge conglomerates which
spend huge sums installing pro-corporate candidates into office to
make it a major point of their business to promote an anti-corporate
position.
And the argument that the corporate owners may be conservative but the
folks who put out the news are liberal never did wash. Let's face it,
if most of the salespeople of some military hardware company were
Taliban sympathizers and sold a lot of hardware to bin Laden et al,
the owners wouldn't keep that going very long; and if they did they
couldn't evade prosecution on the grounds that they themselves were
patriotic, it was the guys selling the stuff that were the traitors.

Randy <ran...@xmacx.com> wrote in message news:<randyd9-0C0FAB...@news-server.nyc.rr.com>...

Laurel

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 11:27:21 AM7/18/02
to
z wrote:
>
> Depends on whose ox is gored. Or bushed.

(snip)

> Pretty weak.

Very very nice. I salute you. Send it to Ann, her head will explode.

Now I'm wondering how I can smoothly slip Eve off my arm so I can ask
you to the prom.

Randy, I see how it's so easy to fall into being a prom slut around here!

Laurel

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 3:23:32 PM7/18/02
to
In article <b91e2598.02071...@posting.google.com>,
gzuc...@my-deja.com (z) wrote:

> BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> news:<BTR1702-09B146...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>...
> > In article <randyd9-0C0FAB...@news-server.nyc.rr.com>,
> > Randy <ran...@xmacx.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Coulter's use of quotes from liberal commentators as proof of media
> > > bias is equally problematic. She disregards the importance of
> > > conservative commentators, by writing, for example, "Rush Limbaugh is
> > > not the president, the vice president, or a Massachusetts senator.
> > > He's not the New York Times. He's not ABC, NBC, or CBS."
> >
> > Whether Coulter's rhetoric is incendiary or not, doesn't change the
> > fact
> > that the mainstream media *is* biased. When was the last time any
> > senator or congressman was identified as "the liberal senator from
> > ____"?
> >
>
> Depends on whose ox is gored. Or bushed. The conservatives have
> succeeded in making 'liberal' a dirty word and are now complaining
> that it isn't applied to their opponents.

Well, the more radical liberals have had a field day calling just about
anyone who doesn't agree with them a "right-wing Nazi" and the like but
that doesn't stop conservatives from proudly calling themselves
conservatives.

Why do liberals duck and cover and hide from their own politics merely
because their opponents call them a few names in return? If they have
the courage of their convictions, it shouldn't matter that conservatives
have made "liberal" a dirty word. They should be proud of their beliefs
nevertheless.

I think the better question to ask is why we need to have "elites" at
all, whether liberal or conservative.

> But she
> herself is a member of the cultural elite and as snobbish about it as
> any of the villains in her book; she's just miffed that her politics
> are sneered at by the clique she's spent her life trying to impress,
> and she can't deflate that snobbery by arguing that the opinions of
> NASCAR fans are as good as or better than the opinions of opera buffs,
> because she herself wouldn't be caught dead at a NASCAR event.

True enough. Coulter certainly is no saint. She can be hypocritical at
times as well.

> I'm sure when an airline is
> accused by liberals of profiling for mandating extra security checks
> for Middle Eastern passengers, she would be the first to defend them,
> on the grounds that nobody has the right to tell them the best way to
> do their business. So, what's her argument against the media, the
> universities, the entertainment industry? That they are public
> services whose performance must be watched over regulated for the
> public welfare? Not a particularly conservative position.

I don't know what Coulter is arguing since I haven't read her book but
conservatives in general certainly aren't arguing that the media needs
to be regulated in terms of content.

Merely pointing out hypocrisy or bias does not automatically translate
to a desire for government intervention. For a liberal it would, since
liberals see the government as the solution to every conceivable problem
but I have never seen a conservative advocate government-run content
police.

> They could do that now if they wanted. That
> someone should count how many times Jennings uses the word
> 'conservative' to describe politicians and he should be required to
> use the word 'liberal' an equal number of times or face prosecution?

Now you're being disingenuous. Please cite me a source from anyone
anywhere who has suggested broadcasters should face criminal prosecution
for anything they say or don't say over the air regarding political
party affiliations.

Again, merely pointing out bias and asking questions about it hardly
translates to calls for arrest and imprisonment.

> Does she want
> the government to enforce conservative content laws on the media and
> educational institutions? I doubt it.

No, I would suspect she doesn't. Apparently in your world, it's
impossible for people to point out and discuss problems without
concomittently calling for government intervention and regulation.

> Fact is, she's just whining
> about how unfair life is to her particular point of view. Well honey,
> it's unfair to everyone, and that's what makes it fair. Since there
> isn't any action we could take that would make her happy, there's no
> real reason for the court to make the effort to consider her claims.

So without the possibility of a government "fix", a problem is not
worthy of discussion? Only issues that can be resolved by yet more
government regulation are worthy of even being considered?

scruffy

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 3:05:21 PM7/18/02
to
In article <BTR1702-6499F9...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> Why do liberals duck and cover and hide from their own politics merely
> because their opponents call them a few names in return? If they have
> the courage of their convictions, it shouldn't matter that conservatives
> have made "liberal" a dirty word. They should be proud of their beliefs
> nevertheless.

the point is that is has gone beyond being called a few names.
'liberal' has been redefined--pirate annie says in her book that all
liberals hate america. period. so if she were to ask me if i'm a
liberal i'd be forced to say no, because i obviously don't hate america.
newt gingrich blamed liberals for susan smith drowning her kids (but i
guess it would be leftist bias to point out that the stepfather who
molested her was a conservative republican party official).

it's not merely a few names; it's outright demonization.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 8:50:53 PM7/18/02
to
In article <scruffy-8A0D91...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
<scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

> In article <BTR1702-6499F9...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
> BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> > Why do liberals duck and cover and hide from their own politics merely
> > because their opponents call them a few names in return? If they have
> > the courage of their convictions, it shouldn't matter that
> > conservatives
> > have made "liberal" a dirty word. They should be proud of their beliefs
> > nevertheless.
>
> the point is that is has gone beyond being called a few names.
> 'liberal' has been redefined--pirate annie says in her book that all
> liberals hate america. period. so if she were to ask me if i'm a
> liberal i'd be forced to say no, because i obviously don't hate america.

Well, that's a pretty cowardly tact to take. You let your opponent
define your beliefs for you, allowing them to manipulate you into
denying yourself. You let them to score a double victory: first, you
allow them to redefine your own label, then you add credence to that
redefinition by avoiding that label. By shying away from the word
liberal, you give the impression that the conservatives were right all
along and that liberalism is something to be ashamed of.

If a liberal version of Coulter wrote a book and said "Conservatives
hate America, period" then asked me if I were a conservative, I'd just
tell her she's full of shit, that conservatives DON'T hate America and
yes, I'm a conservative.

> newt gingrich blamed liberals for susan smith drowning her kids (but i
> guess it would be leftist bias to point out that the stepfather who
> molested her was a conservative republican party official).
>
> it's not merely a few names; it's outright demonization.

So fight back. Don't tuck your tail between your legs and run like a
whipped dog. Jeez, nut it up a little.

scruffy

unread,
Jul 18, 2002, 10:14:23 PM7/18/02
to
In article <BTR1702-0DD392...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

you've been approaching this as if i shy away from being called a
liberal, which i don't. feel free to label me 'liberal scruffy!' if you
wish; it won't bother me in the least. but then again, i'm not running
for office, and i don't have to defend myself against the rush limbaughs
and ann coulters of the world. just lame usenet cranks.

i think the fundamental problem *is* with the definition of the word
though. to many conservatives it is anyone who they disagree with (e.g.
mccain, who is to the right of junior on most issues has been called
'liberal' by the bushies solely because of his support of CFR).

i don't think of clinton as a liberal; dick nixon was more liberal in
many ways. yet i'd be hard pressed to find a conservative who agreed.
what is it that makes someone a liberal? pro-choice? well, does that
mean barbara bush should be labelled 'liberal?' that old fave big
government? well, i guess junior is really a liberal by creating that
whole nutty homeland security department.

if a lot of people are not labelled 'liberal' i think in many cases it
is simply because they are not.

eve

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 3:56:38 AM7/19/02
to
L wrote:

> Now I'm wondering how I can smoothly slip Eve off my arm so I can ask
> you to the prom.

jesus, one well written post and you're trying to palm me off on the goat so
you can take up with z?

you total whore.

eve
~still adoring, though--such is the power of a redhead with virgin hair.

eve

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 3:56:40 AM7/19/02
to
well, z--if mere language skills, incisive thinking, well expressed points
and a comprehensive overview are suddenly the standard (???) I *can* see why
you turned her red head with this post--but I demand you give me
satisfaction nonetheless.

I challenge you to a posting duel--the topic: What It Feels Like to
Menstruate.

you go first, you cad.

eve

"z" <gzuc...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:b91e2598.02071...@posting.google.com...

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 7:06:31 AM7/19/02
to

I'm sorry. I must have misread this sentence: "pirate annie says in her

book that all liberals hate america. period. so if she were to ask me
if i'm a liberal i'd be forced to say no, because i obviously don't hate
america."

Seems like you're shying away from it there quite clearly.

> i don't think of clinton as a liberal; dick nixon was more liberal in
> many ways. yet i'd be hard pressed to find a conservative who agreed.
> what is it that makes someone a liberal? pro-choice? well, does that
> mean barbara bush should be labelled 'liberal?' that old fave big
> government? well, i guess junior is really a liberal by creating that
> whole nutty homeland security department.

Well, I don't agree with a lot of what Bush has done but the Homeland
Security deal didn't make the government any bigger. It just reshuffled
the agencies that already existed. Even the newest agency, the TSA,
existed before he created Homeland Security.

z

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 9:57:04 AM7/19/02
to
Laurel <laur...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message news:<3D36DE59...@bellsouth.net>...

But I'll need a goat-sitter.

z

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 9:59:08 AM7/19/02
to
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<BTR1702-0DD392...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>...

Yeah, worked fine for Bill Maher, just as well as it worked for all
the innocent victims (to distinguish them from any real 'destroy
america' commies at the time) of McCarthyism.

z

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 10:00:56 AM7/19/02
to
" eve" <j.ri...@verizon.net> wrote in message news:<WCPZ8.47357$IW4....@nwrddc02.gnilink.net>...

OK, you can be the goatsitter. $8 an hour, plus tip OK?

Laurel

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 10:13:13 AM7/19/02
to
eve wrote:
>
> L wrote:
>
> > Now I'm wondering how I can smoothly slip Eve off my arm so I can ask
> > you to the prom.
>
> jesus, one well written post and you're trying to palm me off on the goat so
> you can take up with z?

But, but, he was so *good*..... I can't help myself! Truly, I
struggled and struggled.

>
> you total whore.

Like it's the first time I've heard that.

>
> eve
> ~still adoring, though--such is the power of a redhead with virgin hair.

Whew...close call for me. You know I still love you, but my head just
got turned. Around, and around and around....

Laurel

Laurel

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 10:14:32 AM7/19/02
to

Well, choose one wisely, you don't want to come home and find your goat
with new knowledge brimming in her eyes.

Laurel

Kirk

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 11:05:16 AM7/19/02
to
"z" <gzuc...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> > So fight back. Don't tuck your tail between your legs and run like a
> > whipped dog. Jeez, nut it up a little.
>
> Yeah, worked fine for Bill Maher, just as well as it worked for all
> the innocent victims (to distinguish them from any real 'destroy
> america' commies at the time) of McCarthyism.


I don't know about those blacklisted under McCarthyism, but Maher was on tv
for what, seven years? Hardly sounds like he was punished for his beliefs.

z

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 12:18:51 PM7/19/02
to
" eve" <j.ri...@verizon.net> wrote in message news:<YCPZ8.47360$IW4....@nwrddc02.gnilink.net>...

> well, z--if mere language skills, incisive thinking, well expressed points
> and a comprehensive overview are suddenly the standard (???) I *can* see why
> you turned her red head with this post--but I demand you give me
> satisfaction nonetheless.
>
> I challenge you to a posting duel--the topic: What It Feels Like to
> Menstruate.
>
> you go first, you cad.
>
> eve
>

I can best illustrate this in the form of an interpretive dance, set
to 'I Am Woman'.

z

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 2:11:58 PM7/19/02
to
Laurel <laur...@bellsouth.net> wrote in message news:<3D381EC9...@bellsouth.net>...

Hank's out then.

scruffy

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 2:47:29 PM7/19/02
to
In article <BTR1702-C7E4B2...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>,
BTR1701 <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

for somebody who lives and dies nitpicking tecnicalities you're
slipping. i said if she asked me according to her definition of a
liberal. if a rational sane person in touch with reality asked me i'd
say yes.

> > i don't think of clinton as a liberal; dick nixon was more liberal in
> > many ways. yet i'd be hard pressed to find a conservative who agreed.
> > what is it that makes someone a liberal? pro-choice? well, does that
> > mean barbara bush should be labelled 'liberal?' that old fave big
> > government? well, i guess junior is really a liberal by creating that
> > whole nutty homeland security department.
>
> Well, I don't agree with a lot of what Bush has done but the Homeland
> Security deal didn't make the government any bigger. It just reshuffled
> the agencies that already existed. Even the newest agency, the TSA,
> existed before he created Homeland Security.

yet the question remains--what makes someone a liberal?

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 6:18:23 PM7/19/02
to

Bill Maher's demise wasn't because he was called a liberal by some
conservative somewhere.

> just as well as it worked for all
> the innocent victims (to distinguish them from any real 'destroy
> america' commies at the time) of McCarthyism

So you're equating Ann Coulter's polemics with McCarthyism? Wow.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 6:21:48 PM7/19/02
to
In article <scruffy-F7DE73...@news.fu-berlin.de>, scruffy
<scr...@bigmailbox.net> wrote:

And I said that if a liberal writer labeled conservatives the same way,
then asked me if I were a conservative, I'd say yes I am and that anyone
who says all conservatives hate America is full of shit.

I wouldn't deny my beliefs merely because some commentator's rhetoric.

> > > i don't think of clinton as a liberal; dick nixon was more liberal in
> > > many ways. yet i'd be hard pressed to find a conservative who
> > > agreed. what is it that makes someone a liberal? pro-choice? well, does
> > > that mean barbara bush should be labelled 'liberal?' that old fave big
> > > government? well, i guess junior is really a liberal by creating
> > > that whole nutty homeland security department.
> >
> > Well, I don't agree with a lot of what Bush has done but the Homeland
> > Security deal didn't make the government any bigger. It just reshuffled
> > the agencies that already existed. Even the newest agency, the TSA,
> > existed before he created Homeland Security.
>
> yet the question remains--what makes someone a liberal?

Well, you're one. You tell me.

BillParcellsFan

unread,
Jul 19, 2002, 10:46:51 PM7/19/02
to
>
> Whether Coulter's rhetoric is incendiary or not, doesn't change the fact
> that the mainstream media *is* biased.
Huh? What in the world are you talking about? Do you listen to Matt
Drudge and Rush Limbaugh? Do you read the NY Post and the Washington
Times? Do you watch Faux News(err...that's Fox News)? Wouldn't most of
the news media in the Rocky Mountains area(as well as Kansas) be
pretty darn conservative leaning?

And wait a minute...didn't these news sources report *lies* like Bill
Clinton fathering a child with a black prostitute, a Clinton
aide(Sidney Blumenthal) beating his wife, and an actress(Julia
Roberts) last year who clinched her Best Actress Oscar by going around
to her friends saying that Bush "wasn't her president"?

Of course, these were all lies, but are you telling me you believed
these stories word for word?

>
> When the media does a "politics in Hollywood" story, certain actors like
> Tom Selleck and Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are identified as
> conservatives, but Barbra Streisand or Rob Reiner, no matter how active
> they are in Democratic politics, are just Barbra Streisand and Rob
> Reiner.
>
1. Tom Selleck isn't a Republican. He's a libertarian who voted for
Bill Bradley and John McCain in their respective primaries. So please
tell me why would any conservative in their right minds vote for
McCain? Didn't he champion CFR?
Something that's supposedly championed by the liberals?

2. Do you ever watch ET, Access Hollywood, et all? They HAVE done
segments on liberal Hollywood. And, as much as I'm aware of it, they
didn't call the likes of Barbra, Alec, Rosie, et all just by their
names.

3. Are you telling me that you believe bogus stories that these
conservative celebs like Arnold, Bruce, The Rock, et all have been
given the shaft b/c they supported Bush? I found that rather laughable
when O'Reilly was interviewing Jeaneane Garoffolo in his special
segment "O'Reilly vs. Hollywood"(which I enjoyed watching alot at the
same time) and tried to imply this was true. And no, FWIW, when Arnold
was on his hot streak on the A-list for many years, he was ADORED by
the media. They FAWNED over him. Same with The Rock now.

4. Even Bill O'Reilly said Charleton Heston can be pretty vicious,
FWIW.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 20, 2002, 1:25:53 AM7/20/02
to
In article <1c6d0aea.02071...@posting.google.com>,
sbuc...@uno.edu (BillParcellsFan) wrote:

> >
> > Whether Coulter's rhetoric is incendiary or not, doesn't change the
> > fact that the mainstream media *is* biased.

> Huh? What in the world are you talking about? Do you listen to Matt
> Drudge and Rush Limbaugh? Do you read the NY Post and the Washington
> Times? Do you watch Faux News(err...that's Fox News)? Wouldn't most of
> the news media in the Rocky Mountains area(as well as Kansas) be
> pretty darn conservative leaning?
>
> And wait a minute...didn't these news sources report *lies* like Bill
> Clinton fathering a child with a black prostitute, a Clinton
> aide(Sidney Blumenthal) beating his wife, and an actress(Julia
> Roberts) last year who clinched her Best Actress Oscar by going around
> to her friends saying that Bush "wasn't her president"?
>
> Of course, these were all lies, but are you telling me you believed
> these stories word for word?

I never heard those stories. I don't listen to Limbaugh, I don't listen
to Drudge and I don't live in Kansas. Limbaugh, however, never pretends
to be anything other than partisan and his show is an opinion show not a
news show.

Dan Rather, on the other hand, purports to be an objective new reporter.

ralph

unread,
Jul 20, 2002, 3:43:28 AM7/20/02
to
z wrote:
>
> But that's her lesser problem. Her biggest problem is, oddly enough,
> that her main argument is inherently anti-capitalist, anti-freemarket,
> and profoundly socialist. After all, she is basically arguing against
> the right of a corporation or private business to carry out its
> business in the way it feels appropriate. I'm sure when an airline is

Once again we see that what often passes for conservative thought these
days is neither nor thought; just another kneejerk spew of venom in
response to a possible threat, as seen in many reptiles.

--
Correction: In the thread 'Canada Faces Disruption of Edible Tuber
Supply', I recently posted
'2.5 million Canadians live in Toronto, on taro root alone'.
This should have read
'2.5 million Canadians live in Toronto, Ontario, alone'.
I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

DevilGrrl

unread,
Jul 20, 2002, 3:28:29 AM7/20/02
to

--
"No, I'm saying -- I'm merely -- I'm saying what I'm saying. I don't
know why I'm always having people say, are you trying to say -- you
know what you can do if you want to know what I'm saying is listen to
what I'm saying. What I'm saying is what I said ..." -- Ann Coulter


BillParcellsFan

unread,
Jul 20, 2002, 9:39:03 AM7/20/02
to
> >
> > And wait a minute...didn't these news sources report *lies* like Bill
> > Clinton fathering a child with a black prostitute, a Clinton
> > aide(Sidney Blumenthal) beating his wife, and an actress(Julia
> > Roberts) last year who clinched her Best Actress Oscar by going around
> > to her friends saying that Bush "wasn't her president"?
> >
> > Of course, these were all lies, but are you telling me you believed
> > these stories word for word?
>
> Dan Rather, on the other hand, purports to be an objective new reporter.
So what does that make Shawn Hannity and Fred Barnes? Honest and
Truthful?

Hey man, I'm glad you've never heard(or even bought) into these silly
lies. Can't tell you how *ignorant* people were when they believe
these stories above word for word. Good for you. No really...it's just
a shame, in general, how various people in this world can be so
ignorant.

Anyways, believe it or not, Hannity and Barnes HAVE blasted these
stories on their shows on the FNC, believe it or not.

For example, the weekend of the Oscars last year, when Barnes was
interviewing a
Vanity Fair reporter on his show The Beltway Boys, he all of a sudden
asked this
(very)silly question--"Let's say Julia Roberts...goes...in a tirade
against George W. Bush to help her Oscar chances", or something like
that. If I were that reporter, I would have kicked him in the groin.
Don't get me wrong, I had alot of respect for FB when he appeared on
The McLaughlin Group alot many years ago. He was funny, witty, and his
opinions were really alot of fun to listen to. But I pretty much lost
all my respect for him when he started to spout out lies like this on
his show.

Laurel

unread,
Jul 20, 2002, 11:02:08 AM7/20/02
to
DevilGrrl wrote:
>
> --
> "No, I'm saying -- I'm merely -- I'm saying what I'm saying. I don't
> know why I'm always having people say, are you trying to say -- you
> know what you can do if you want to know what I'm saying is listen to
> what I'm saying. What I'm saying is what I said ..." -- Ann Coulter


No wonder she loves W.

Laurel

DLM

unread,
Jul 20, 2002, 12:01:05 PM7/20/02
to
"BTR1701" <BTR...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:BTR1702-BCE3A5...@nntp.ix.netcom.com...