Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back to Miss Manners

I'm a brute, no foreplay yet again.

Have the Republicans "lost" Jindal?:

As a viable candidate in 2012? Yes. He was already competing with Huckabee and Palin for the same slice of the base, and he's brown. He's toast. Of course, Megan disagrees, because she's stupid.

And now, for the next few posts, a soundtrack.

Playboy dips a toe into investigative journalism:

Sure, I live with a former employee of one of the entities I'm pretending have been slandered, I've interacted with Boss Koch personally and hope to tap that (money) ass, I'm wrong about several of my claims, and I don't even attempt a direct answer to the majority of the detailed charges in the piece, but.... ummmm...
They're poopyheads.

Is this why Playboy took the article down?:

See, sure, maybe there's some astroturfing at play here, but that whole claim whut two groups with a shared origin and ideologically identical agendas who communicate back and forth on many levels of their organizations are working in concert is a total conspiracy theory. Y'see, these large organizations don't like each other personally. They both fell for the same girl junior year and, well, you know the rest.
And I'm with Megan, when someone at an organization known for astroturfing and the like says they're not astroturfing, that's good enough for me. Why would they lie?

(Grass) roots:

It does strike me that perhaps some of the people who linked the article without wondering about its weak sourcing just couldn't quite believe that ordinary people would be moved to protest a gigantic government spending package. They don't think of that as something one protests about. War, yes, taxes no.
Megan? Only about 2000 teabaggers showed up nationwide. That's not a protest, it's a weak turnout for a minor league baseball game.

Tea party follow up:

I'm very fortunate not to work for an organization that has ethics. Here's some unquestioned spin straight from the main organization accused of dishonest public relations mixed with indignation that anyone would ever impugn the good name of such a fine, fine group of people who are such heroes.
Overall, I'm pretty surprised that Playboy let the piece go up, left it up so long, and then took it down with no notice. To be sure, bloggers speculate all the time. But they make it clear that that's what they're doing. And when it seems clear that they've made an error (and those assertions about the Koch family now seem to, at best, require some good sourcing), bloggers update their posts. They don't vanish them and hope that no one will notice. I'm contacting Playboy's offices for comment, but not holding out all that much hope.
Final word, for the moment, goes to the bloggers in question, who are quite capable of speaking for themselves.

What is Jean-Claude Trichet thinking?:
A year ago, if you had asked me, or most economics journalists, or most economists, if America would have another Great Depression, I would have said no. Thanks to Milton Friedman, we knew what had caused the Great Depression: the Fed's inappropriate tightening in the wake of a financial panic. We could not do that thing, and would therefore not have another major crisis.
Or you could have asked Paul Krugman or all the other non-Friedmanite/Hayekians who, a year ago, were saying the recession Megan was pretending didn't exist was only going to get catastrophically worse. But, as always, since Megan got it completely fucking wrong, that means she knows more about the topic now than someone who was correct from the goddamn beginning and she hasn't been completely discredited. She's still on wingnut welfare, she doesn't have to acknowledge reality.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am in love with Peter Suderman, which is convenient, because we are dating:

Also, I don't care if I know what you did last summer.

And we're back up to date. Whoopee and shit.


Chad said...

You were right to skip it. Basically her entire "rebuttal" amounted to "My conflict of interest doesn't count because I said so! And I totally did disclose it anyway, so there!"

But you did miss her write this, "they make a large number of unsupported assertions, one of which I am told by multiple sources is highly unlikely", never describe who any of these "multiple sources" are, and then go right into accusing the original writers of sloppy journalism because they never cited their sources.

CaptBackslap said...

If anyone's looking for a good fantasy baseball name this year, I suggest "Peter Suderman's Amazon Fetish" (as long as your league includes some other people who keep up with blog doings).

Susan of Texas said...

I'm sure a grass-roots organiztion will spring up to hire Suderman for a well-paying job dispensing film criticism that's a little bit conservative and a little bit rock-n-roll.

Susan of Texas said...

I just read that last post. She really has a problem with showing dignity.

Maybe someone will be able to get her to realize that she was grossly unprofessional, but probably not. She made a lot of mistakes--for all we know her boyfriend was her anonymous "sources," she jumped on the issue with uncustomary vigor, and she actually made phone calls for info, supposedly. She never should have said anything. Especially that last messy post.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, that full disclosure post is beyond ridiculous. It's one of those epic length if-I-just-keep-rambling-on-about-my-personal-life-nobody-will-notice-that-I'm-not-saying-anything-and-then-all-these-words-means-I-win posts. I stopped when I read this: "While it is true that we shared a queen-sized air mattress for several hours, Peter was a perfect gentleman."

Has anyone ever pointed out that she is stupid?

NutellaonToast said...

At least when he proposes he won't have to bother getting down on one knee....


Dhalgren said...

Fuck yeah!

Peter Suderman's Amazon Fetish

I usually pick the name 'Anger Mismanagement' but damn that's better!

Dr Zen said...

Did she really call herself an "economics journalist"? She knows practically no economics at all, and "journalist" is really pushing it. I LOL'd at her suggestion that banks would not have gone bust had they been partnerships, because partners don't like to take on debt. She's clearly never heard of hedge funds.

M. Bouffant said...

No words for this. ?, maybe.

Susan of Texas said...

This smackdown is good.

Susan of Texas said...

clever pseudonym said...

Help me out here - am I missing something about this whole "who funded the tea parties" supposed controversy? The only reason I can think that an organization wouldn't want to admit to being behind them is because they were so pathetic.

That Megan post is the biggest case of "too much information" on the part of a so-called professional journalist I have ever read in my life.

Anonymous said...

John Scanlon registered the site - whether he's a relation to Terrence Scanlon, someone else can find that out.

But if he is, then the story stinks even more.

Susan of Texas said...

It's one thing to not have training--it's another thing to never improve. Doesn't she pick up anything by osmosis?

Hmm, a review would be helpful.

Basically, McArdle threw the full weight of her authority and support behind a person and group known for astroturfing. The events:

Megan reported that Playboy accused the tea parties of being astroturf, funded by Koch. The article Playboy and Megan quote says that FreedomWorks is Astroturf. Megan "debunks" the quoted article without specifically addressing what it says about FreedomWorks. Megan discloses she's sleeping with a former FreedomWorks employee.

Next post--Megan quotes an anonymous friend whom she says is in the know that Koch doesn't support FreedomWorks. Again she does not address whether FreedomWorks is an astroturf firm.

Third post--Megan quotes American Spectator, reinforcing that the protesters are not connected with fake grass-roots firms.

Forth post--Megan contacts FreedomWorks, who assures her that they are not a fake grass-roots firm.

Fifth post--Megan quotes her harsh critics at length. Megan discusses her romance with Peter Suderman at length. Megan says since she disclosed her connection to Suderman, she does not have any conflict of interest. She says FreedomWorks weren't astroturfing because they had a link on the fake Angry Renter site.

She also misleads about the point of contention:

"The question is whether, as they basically asserted, Charles Koch masterminded a vast attempt to create the impression of popular support for a project in order to apply political pressure, while hiding his involvement through front groups that manufactured wholly imaginary popular support."