This is getting to be an embarrassing habit. Right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart has already shown us he doesn't know what a "hate crime" is," and that he doesn't understand what "blackmail" means. And now, apparently he can't read Supreme Court rulings.
Breitbart's been wildly (over) hyping a batch of ACORN documents that a San Diego private investigator (and failed GOP candidate) by the name of Derrick Roach stuffed into his car one night back in October. Roach got the docs after a dumpster dive behind ACORN's office. Breitbart has been claiming the latest ACORN installment is Watergate-meets-the-Lindbergh-kidnapping in terms of blockbuster news, even though, to date, his site hasn't produced the goods yet on San Diego, which is why the story's gone nowhere.
But in a recent post, note how Big Government pushed back against claims that the ACORN docs may have been obtained illegally; a claim that California AG's Jerry Brown seemed to endorse. Here's how Breitbart's site defended the charge [emphasis added]:
At age 71, California's top cop and erstwhile Gov. Moonbeam might benefit from a refresher course in current law. Attorney General Brown cited a case from the 1960's where items placed in the garbage were considered private; however, in 1988 the United States Supreme Court ruled in a case, California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988), that there was no expectation of privacy when items are thrown in the garbage since it is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public. As for the local National City ordinance prohibiting scavenging through garbage that the ACORN office and its supporters cite, that law was enacted in 1984 and was nullified by the United States Supreme Court ruling just four years later.
Breitbart's Big Government pointed to a 1988 Supreme Court ruling to suggest that everything Roach did in obtaining the ACORN docs was okay.
From CALIFORNIA v. GREENWOOD, 486 U.S. 35 (1988):
Here, we conclude that respondents exposed their garbage to the public sufficiently to defeat their claim to Fourth Amendment protection. It is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags left on or at the side of a public street are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public. See Krivda, supra, at 367, 486 P.2d, at 1269. Moreover, respondents placed their refuse at the curb for the express purpose of conveying it to a third party, the trash collector, who might himself have sorted through respondents' trash or permitted others, such as the police, to do so. Accordingly, having deposited their garbage "in an area particularly suited for public inspection and, in a manner of speaking, public consumption, for the express purpose of having strangers take it," United States v. Reicherter, 647 F.2d 397, 399 (CA3 1981), respondents could have had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the inculpatory items that they discarded.
Furthermore, as we have held, the police cannot reasonably be expected to avert their eyes from evidence of criminal activity that could have been observed by any member of the public. Hence, "[w]hat a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection."
The 1988 ruling clearly dealt with garbage disposed "on or at the side of a public street." And today, Breitbart's Big Government claims that that decision means their actions were legit. But where did Big Government obtain the ACORN documents? Did they come across them in garbage bags that "could have been observed by any member of the public" and "left on or at the side of a public street"? Were the documents "knowingly expose[d] to the public"?
Of course not. According to Big Government's own telling of the tale, the docs were taken, under the cover of night, from a dumpster located behind ACORN's San Diego office. In fact, here's the photo Big Government posted showing the dumpster in question. And yes, the dumpster was caged:
In 1988, the Supreme Court ruled there was no claim to privacy regarding garbage bags placed on the side of a public curb from pick-up. Today, Breitbart says that law pertains to them, even though Big Government's docs were taken from a caged dumpster; a dumpster that Breitbart even concedes was located not on the side of a public curb, but "behind ACORN in San Diego."
And get this: Roach himself even admits that he drove by a no trespassing sign to get to the ACORN dumpster!
UPDATED: Big Government itself has referred to the San Diego document retrieval as a "dumpster dive." Obviously, the 1988 Supreme Court ruling did not concern itself with late-night dumpster dives into caged containers located beyond a no trespassing sign.
Continuing its proud tradition of doubling as a GOP bulleting board, where every possible anti-Obama talking point is treated as breaking news (hello Drudge link!), Politico's John Harris cobbles together a breathless laundry list of all the awful things people (i.e. Republicans and Village pundits) are saying about Obama. Y'know, that he's an "over-exposed" "opportunistic" "patsy" with a low opinion of America.
But oh my, the evidence of the 'trends' is awfully thin and Harris doesn't even bother to maintain the traditional three's-a-trend newsroom rule. Take a look at this knock [emphasis added]:
Obama, a legislator and law professor, is fluent in describing the nuances of problems. But his intellectuality has contributed to a growing critique that decisions are detached from rock-bottom principles.
Both Maureen Dowd in The New York Times and Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post have likened him to Star Trek's Mr. Spock.
The Spock imagery has been especially strong during the extended review Obama has undertaken of Afghanistan policy.
So far this year, out of the tens of thousands of Obama mentions made in the mainstream press, Harris found exactly two examples of his pundit pals comparing Obama to Mr. Spock, therefore voilà! it's a disturbing trend for the White House that's "gaining momentum."
Folks, this is why they call it The Village.
Or let's put it this way, she's willing to pretend she has no idea what public polling is when it suits the interest of her column. So she writes an entire piece about how devastating Obama's bow in Japan was to the president's reputation (the image "took off" and became "iconic") without mentioning that, oh yeah, a strong majority of Americans approved of the bow. And even a majority of Republicans thought the bow was fine.
Noonan writes a column in which she suggests that almost overnight the Obama bow became the defining image of his supposedly failed presidency (she can just feel it), and yet Noonan forgets to mention that most Americans, and even most Republicans, approved of the bow.
Which means this point is worth repeating as you read Noonan's latest filing from the parallel universe:
Yet more proof that the right-wing noise machine doesn't even reflect mainstream conservatives. It's just its own bizarre, fact-free world that whips up an endless stream of nonsensical allegations that only truly radical Obama haters care about.
UPDATED: Watching Peggy Noonan, who worked for (and worshiped) Ronald Reagan, now regularly re-write Reagan history is more than a little amusing. However, it does not speak well of her attempts at intellectual honesty.
For weeks now, Noonan has been writing about how Obama's not up to the job, about how his presidency is slipping away, and Americans are turning against him. And now, with the bow, about how Obama's getting tagged as a failure. What she conveniently ignores is the fact that Obama's current job approval rating stands at almost the exact same spot Reagan's did ten months into first year in office. Noonan wants to write Obama off as a first-year failure, even though Obama's first year has unfolded almost exactly as her hero Reagan's did.
In fact, Reagan's second year, in terms of job approval, was a complete catastrophe, as his rating plunged into the mid-30's. But Noonan ignores all that and pretends that Reagan sailed through his first term in office.
Here's Noonan re-writing history in her latest column:
You can get tagged, typed and pegged your first year. Gerald Ford did, and Ronald Reagan too, more happily.
According to Noonan, Regan was "happily" tagged with a public persona his first year; a first year that looked almost exactly like Obama's, which she presents as a growing failure. But if Reagan was "happily" tagged in year one, than how does Noonan explain Reagan's second year in office, in which his administration virtually collapsed?
Seems that if Noonan's going to re-write Reagan history on a weekly basis now, she's going to have to be less sloppy about it.
American Power has more on the Salahi's leadership role with the the American Task Force on Palestinian, the "moderate" rights groups pushing a thinly-veiled program of Palestinian nationalism and the "right of return" (the backdoor destruction of Israel).
According to Discover the Networks, ATFP's former vice president is Rashid Khalidi, the Columbia University Middle East Studies professor and militant Palestinian rights activist. Khalidi cites the late Edward Said as his major influence, and according to the entry cited, "As with Said before him, Khalidi's involvement with the Palestinian cause goes beyond mere support." And, "Khalidi so strongly identified with the aims of the PLO, which was designated as a terrorist group by the State Department during Khalidi's affiliation with it in the 1980s, that he repeatedly referred to himself as 'we' when expounding on the PLO's agenda." Also, according to Campus Watch, ATFP remains in full support Kahlidi, for example, during charges of academic misconduct in 2005, at the time of Senator Barack Obama's meeting with Tareq Salahi. See, "ATFP EXPRESSES FULL SUPPORT FOR COLUMBIA PROFESSOR RASHID KHALIDI.
Note too that Obama's ties to the Palestinian community became something of an issue during the 2008 campaign. See, the Los Angeles Times, "Allies of Palestinians See a Friend in Obama." Plus, from Andrew C. McCarthy and Claudia Rosett, "In Obama's Hyde Park, It's All in the Family: Passing Anti-American Radicalism From Generation to Generation.
As you may recall. The LA Times hid the tape of Barack Obama attending a 2003 Jew-bash where he praised and toasted the former PLO operative Rashid Khalidi.
With Barack Obama, it's always about the radicalism. Always.
It looks like the Salahi security breach is much more than just an "embarassment" for the Secret Service. [emphasis in original]
From conservative web publisher Andrew Breitbart's Twitter account:
Someone get the smelling salts. WorldNetDaily is gonna need them:
Now, I won't pretend to be surprised that WND is outraged at a "'gay musical,'" when they presumably wouldn't think twice about a "'straight' musical."
But I am curious about one thing: why does WND repeatedly put the word gay in quotes? Do they think the musical isn't really gay?
Anyway, WND uses the musical as an excuse to hawk this charming little book:
Why have Americans come to tolerate, embrace and even champion many things that would have horrified their parents' generation? Get David Kupelian's "The Marketing of Evil" at the WND Superstore.
Newsbusters' Jeff Poor issues a proclamation:
We've already seen how ineffective the previous $787-billion stimulus Congress and the President forced through earlier this year has been with curbing unemployment, as it has raced into double-digits over the previous months. But will there be an effort to force through another one?
Now, let's set aside the question of whether the first stimulus really has been "ineffective" for a moment.
Poor never once entertains the possibility that if it has been ineffective (or insufficiently effective), it's because it was too small. This despite the fact that many economists at the time said it should be bigger. And despite the fact that conservative economist Martin Feldstein, a former Reagan administration official, says "There should have been more direct federal spending," and former McCain economic advisor Mark Zandi says "there was a considerable amount of hand-wringing that it was too small, and I sympathized with that argument." Zandi also says "the stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do - it is contributing to ending the recession. ... In my view, without the stimulus, G.D.P. would still be negative and unemployment would be firmly over 11 percent. And there are a little over 1.1 million more jobs out there as of October than would have been out there without the stimulus."
No, forget all that: Newsbusters' Jeff Poor says the stimulus has been ineffective, and there shouldn't be any more. He doesn't offer any evidence or expert analysis -- but why would we need any? He's Newsbuster Jeff Poor. Isn't that enough?
You've probably noticed that Washington Post columnist David Broder and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are having a bit of a spat. Again. What you may have missed was the Beltway media rallying around Broder via a Politico article earlier this week:
In an age of ideological divisions, Broder is widely known as a fair arbiter on Capitol Hill, a journalist who's as interested in the process as he is in the policy and politics. He favors pragmatists over fierce ideologues and speaks up for decorum in Washington politics.
David Broder called for Bill Clinton's resignation over lies told about an affair, then refused to call for George W. Bush's resignation over lies told about a war, and refuses to explain the disparity. He writes extensively about the marriages of Democrats, but when asked if he plans to write a similar article about Republicans, replies, "Why would I write such an article? I know of no occasion for that." Broder may be "widely known as a fair arbiter," but it's hard to justify that reputation if you look at his actual track record. Which I have, in great detail.
As for Broder's staunch defense of decorum in Washington politics: that, too, is rather inconsistent. Or perhaps when he dines on quail with his good buddy, the famously indecorous Karl Rove, he does so in order to urge his pal to tone down the partisan attacks? (Or maybe Broder's insistence that reporters should apologize for Rove for -- correctly -- suggesting Rove was part of a campaign to out Valerie Plame was an example of his defense of DC decorum? Criticizing someone for outting a CIA agent is so rude.)
Anyway, take a look at the things Broder is praised for in that Politico article: his sense of "decorum" and his "temperate disposition" and the fact that he "knows everybody."
Well, I couldn't care less about his disposition or who he knows. I've read quite a bit of his work, and much of it isn't any good.
Maybe you thought that the recent outrage from the right over Newsweek's use of a photo of Sarah Palin in a running outfit meant conservatives are finally coming to understand that sexism has no place in the news media. And maybe you thought all the attention the mainstream media paid to the controversy was a sign that they, too, are beginning to see the light -- and not simply another example of them asking conservative media critics how high they should jump. Well, if you thought that, you'd be wrong.
Take, for example, Newsbusters. The right-wing media critics were all over the Newsweek/Palin controversy. But they haven't said a word about Mark Halperin doctoring a photo to portray Mary Landrieu as having semen in her hair.
But Newsbusters certainly isn't alone in ignoring Halperin's vicious portrayal of Landrieu. Do a Nexis search for news reports containing the words "Halperin" and "Landrieu" in the past week, and you'll get exactly one result: a blog post by Michael Tomasky. And this comes immediately after the media uproar over the Newsweek Palin cover.
Now, you might think the difference in attention is because Newsweek made the mistake of putting the photo of Palin on its cover, while Halperin's photoshop of Landrieu appeared only on Time's web page. On the other hand, Newsweek used a photo Sarah Palin voluntarily posed for in order to promote herself, whereas Halperin doctored a photo of Mary Landrieu to make it look like she had semen in her hair. So, let's call it even, shall we?
And, no, the disparity can't be explained by the fact that Beltway journalists love Mark Halperin, creator of ABC's insider gossip sheet The Note. Glenn Beck called Mary Landrieu a prostitute, and the media didn't give a damn. And when I say Beck called Mary Landrieu a prostitute, I don't mean that he hinted that Landrieu might do legislative favors in exchange for campaign cash. I mean he literally called her a "prostitute."
Progressive political figures like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi have been on the receiving end of sexist media treatment for years, and conservative media critics like Newsbusters don't give a damn. Nor does much of the mainstream media. The lesson? Newsweek's treatment of Sarah Palin was, indeed, sexist -- but many of those who criticized it don't really care about sexism in the media. They care that a Republican was the target, and that Republicans were upset.
First it was Newsmax columnist John L. Perry. Now it's Rush Limbaugh essentially advocating a military coup by saying that when Obama outlines his Afghanistan policy at the United States Military Academy at West Point next week, "hopefully" they will "detain him" there.
Note: If you are calling for military officials to detain a president, you are calling for a military coup.
Newsmax got rid of Perry's column after we highlighted it and endeavored to distance itself from the column. But Limbaugh is more known for people apologizing to him than for apologizing for his outrageous remarks.