Sarah Palin on the First Amendment

I promised myself I wouldn't write about Sarah Palin ever again, but I couldn't pass this up. From an interview that aired this morning:

Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by "attacks" from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

A brief refresher on the protections the First Amendment provides:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 

Dear lord, I'm pining for Nov. 5.

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  • ||

    Sigh. Sounds like something Sean Hannity would say, no? That rapid-fire spewing of talking points.

    Question for the gallery: Which form of demagoguery is worse: rapid-fire spewing of talking points, or artfully couched and sonorous semantic nullities?

  • ||

    Dear lord, I'm pining for Nov. 5.

    Guy Fawkes night? Whatever you're planning mike, count me in.

  • Orange Line Special||

    Here's my list of nineteen non-partisan reasons to oppose Obama. For the issues that BHO and his supporters have with the First Amendment, see #s 11, 13, and especially 14.

    The intelligent libertarian will note that the treatment JTP received (discussed at the link) is indeed a FirstAmendment issue. Does anyone know if the intelligent libertarian still visits this site?

  • Warty||

    There's just no defending that woman's idiocy.

  • ||

    "The intelligent libertarian will note that the treatment JTP received (discussed at the link) is indeed a FirstAmendment issue. Does anyone know if the intelligent libertarian still visits this site?"

    I'm not going to read the article. Could you pleas explain this claim without sounding like a total moron? Thanks.

  • Ska||

    Are the reason articles going to continue to be about pot and video games, or is today my lucky day?

  • Kolohe||

    Question for the gallery: Which form of demagoguery is worse: rapid-fire spewing of talking points, or artfully couched and sonorous semantic nullities?

    The former. You can at least appreciate the artistry sometimes present in the latter.

  • ||

    Freedom of the press. Freedom from the press. Who could fault her for confusing the two?

  • ||

    Way back when I was still interested in the election, I was discussing Joe The Plumber. I thought it kinda creepy that he asked Obama a pointed question and then, next thing you know, I knew his yearly salary, his medical billing history, and his license status.

    I said that I found this kind of creepy. I said that it felt like... you ask Obama a question and make him look bad (fsvo "bad", of course) then your dirty laundry will be aired for the world to see.

    I had someone ask me if I wanted to repeal the 1st Amendment.

    I can't help but think that the person who asked that question of me missed the point.

  • Elemenope||

    I concur with Kolohe, for much the same reason. If a person is literally painful to listen to, I'm less likely to listen, and so might miss the latest travesty.

  • the innominate one||

    now Riggs is shilling for Obama. Weigel's powers of persuasion know no bounds.

  • ||

    Just about as scary as her getting a blessing to protect her from witches from a guy who urged his parishioners to drive a woman from their neighborhood in Kenya.

    I'm afraid the more I hear about her the further I want her from any level of political power.

    It's not that she's stupid, she just seems remarkably uncurious about the world.

    But that seems to be the way Republicans like them. The same thing has been said about GWB.

  • ||

    OMG, what a complete and utter MORON Failin is! Holy Smokes man, her and McBush deserve one another, they are like two peas in a pod!

    Jiff
    www.anonymity.cz.tc

  • KenK||

    Yeah, Obama knows how to handle uppity reporters - or even non-uppity reporters from papers that don't endorse him.

    Palin is just not as subtle or nuanced as Obama.

  • Orange Line Special||

    Why am I not surprised that Reason Magazine and its sockpuppets wouldn't understand the deep relationship between the JTP case and the FirstAmendment?

  • ||

    Jaybird, you left out a few parts.

    Like how the McCain campaign and the conservative media flogged the story in an effort to turn Sam Wurtzelbacher into a media star, before the media began paying him any attention.

    Wurtzelbacher, like Palin, has set out to put himself in in the public eye, and had a big media machine working to do exactly that. Of course the press is going to pay attention to them. This is someone discomfitting?

  • ||

    Use the man's name, fer chrissakes. He's not a minor league baseball mascot with a big styrofoam head.

    Calling someone "Joe the Plumber" is the elitist rich guy equivalent of calling someone "my black friend, Tony." Hey, look at me, I know someone who works for a living!

  • BDB||

    Yes, poor Joe, me might get a record deal deal out of it, and possibly a nomination for Congress.

    Keep playing the world's tiniest violin.

  • BDB||

    Oh, also a book deal.

    Morons like OLS think he's being sent to a concentration camp.

  • ||

    Palins complaints seem weird until you realize that we have a media that demands and has been granted special legal and economic status based on the idea that they comprise a de facto fourth branch of government.

    When you do have a privileged group with extraordinary power (in part granted by government monopoly) who then turn in mass against one segment of the polity or the other, then you do begin to have de facto if not de jure censorship.

  • ||

    Sam the Plumber was kinda askin' for it by asking a hypothetical question that had no basis in reality and acting like Obama was personally attempting to enslave him, "destroy America",etc.

    As far as Palin, I'm not trying to defend her..BUT, her idea of the First Amendment sounds about the same as millions of "liberal" First Amendment activists, no?

    The Left has been stretching the bounds of the First Amendment and showing ignorance of its application just about forever. So now the Right joins the party. Depending on how look at it, this is either equally stupid or hypocritical ( if the rightist previously criticized the left for their "misoverestimation").

  • ||

    Why am I not surprised that Reason Magazine and its sockpuppets wouldn't understand the deep relationship between the JTP case and the FirstAmendment?

    I don't know, why are you not surprised?

    [audience laughter]

    Thanks, Folks, I'll be here all week. Try the 'fu. Tip your waitress.

  • ||

    """"Freedom of the press. Freedom from the press. Who could fault her for confusing the two?"""

    Not Borat.

    I'm not suprised that OLS can't understand there is NO politician interested in looking out for the 1st amendment.

    How is McCain better than Obama on the issue? They both get an F. But I get it, OLS prefers red team's F to blue team's F. That's fine, but let's not pretend that one F is better than the other.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Warren Harding's Birthday?
    No, wait. That's Sunday. Party on.

  • Fluffy||

    This has nothing to do with Joe the Plumber, OLS, you moron.

    Sarah Palin went on the air and claimed that if reporters wrote stories claiming that she was a negative campaigner for her statements about Obama, that meant they were restricting her 1st Amendment rights.

    This is further evidence that she is an idiot.

    In order to defend her from the charge that she is an idiot, it's necessary to indulge in absurdities like Shannon Love's, where you assert that "the media" is part of the government.

  • ||

    joe,

    Calling someone "Joe the Plumber" is the elitist rich guy equivalent of calling someone "my black friend, Tony." Hey, look at me, I know someone who works for a living!

    It comes as absolutely no surprise that a someone such as yourself would think that.

    Coming as I do from a rural middle-class background as well as a long line of small business as well as knowing many people who started out humble and worked for decades to be "rich", I can say that "Joe the Plumber" crystalizes differences between the present day left and right.

    You see a plumber who will always be working stiff and can never aspire to anything more. His only hope for a better life lays in handouts from his betters. I see someone with dreams and ambition who could very well rise far up the economic ladder by dent of his own efforts.

    The elitism you see is your own dark reflection.

  • ||

    Joe, I suspect that you missed the point of my post too.

    It's cool that you did, of course. I'm glad it gave you an opportunity to make the point you wanted to make.

    I'm just saying that I'm guessing you missed the point of my post.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    joe? Elitist? But he means so well. How can he be elitist?

  • Benway||

    I dunno, Joe. I don't think it would be too farfetched to see the Toledo Mud Hens re-christen themselves the Toledo Plumbers, and roll our a mascot named "Joe" that looks eerily like the Steelers' mascot, only with a big styrofoam monkey wrench.

    I think the First Amendment lesson in his story, though, is one we already knew: if you become newsworthy, for whatever reason, the news media has the resources to find out just about anything they want to know about you. And those of us who believe in free speech have to bite the bullet and accept this. For whatever reason (I blame McCain's shameless sloganeering) the man's livelihood and earnings became an issue. Subjecting his life to scrutiny may be unsavory, but it's certainly within the bounds of legitimate journalism.

  • BDB||

    Nothing illustrates the pathetic vapidness of the McCain/Palin campaign better than the fact that the "Joe the Plumber" narrative lasted longer than three days.

  • rhywun||

    Good heavens, cries of "media bias" are so 1990. Have a little respect for individuals' ability to think for themselves.

  • cunnivore||

    That wasn't Sarah Palin. That was Tina Fey with a boob job.

  • Fluffy||

    Benway,

    I also think you have to draw a distinction between what the press did [which was certainly permissible] and the actions taken by government employees [which certainly were not].

    Pretending that they're the same allows McCain supporters to play little martyr violins about the incident. And they're not the same.

    Any government employee who abused their position to pry into Joe W's background deserves to lose their job. And I say that even though I think the majority of the snooping was probably done for personal curiosity and because abuse of the systems in question is routine, and not for overtly political purposes.

  • Les||

    Palins complaints seem weird until you realize that we have a media that demands and has been granted special legal and economic status based on the idea that they comprise a de facto fourth branch of government.

    Since the media isn't part of the government, and unless the government is preventing her from saying something stupid (which no one can seem to do), the complaint is more than "weird." It's a reflection of an abysmal understanding of the Constitution, and a pathetic piece of whining, to boot.

    Defending such willful ignorance and childishness from someone who actually thinks she's qualified to be President indicates a powerfully partisan reflex.

  • ||

    You see a plumber who will always be working stiff and can never aspire to anything more.

    No, dipshit, I see a guy who is a complex human being, who is more than what he does for a living, being reduced to a cardboard cutout of a blue collar everyman, by people who seem deseperate to call attention to the fact that, holy shit, they actually met somebody who works for a living, and need to draw attention to that fact by refering to him by the appellation one would give to a mascot.

    That's what they've done with this guy's public persona - turned him into a mascot. I don't consider it so noteworthy when I'm intereracting with someone who isn't rich and works in an office that I'm compelled to call everyone's attention to it. Then again, I'm not a Republican.

    The McCain campaign has been treated Mr. Wurtzelbacher the same way Michael from the Office would - hey, have you met my friend Joe the Plumber? Yeah. A plumber. Right, buddy? Tell everyone what you do for a living. Hey, quite down, I want everybody to hear what my friend Joe does for a living.

    But noticing that they're condescending to the guy is elitist. Uh huh.

  • Paul||

    thought it kinda creepy that he asked Obama a pointed question and then, next thing you know, I knew his yearly salary, his medical billing history, and his license status.

    1. Knowing his hearly salary.

    This is always important so we know who's giving enough and who's not.

    2. Medical billing history.

    See: Single payer system. And why we need it so badly. His billing history is proof that our system is failing, and why Obama's healthcare plan will help J.T.P.

    3. License status.

    If you're not licensed, you're outside the system, and if you're outside the system, you're against the system.

  • BDB||

    "thought it kinda creepy that he asked Obama a pointed question and then, next thing you know, I knew his yearly salary, his medical billing history, and his license status."

    It's called investigative journalism. And it would have never happened had McCain not said his name 30 some odd times in the debate, thereby making him a public figure. Jesus.

  • ||

    Benway,

    There's a picture on the web of some devoted McCain supporters who dressed up like Joe the Plumber for a rally. Dark bib overalls, big wrenches, work boots...maybe he'd look something like that.

    Did I mention that my black friend, Tony My Black Friend, is black?

  • Orange Line Speshul Bus||

    I've decided that telling people they're idiots is the best way to get them to click my links.

    Oh, by the way, PLEASE click my links! You don't know how much time I've spent in Mom's basement working on those things.

  • Benway||

    I don't know whether there's a legal disctinction to be drawn between government employees and the news media when it comes to "reporting" (i.e., snooping), Fluffy, but in any case I agree that there ought to be.

    Private citizens are another matter. I've never really bought into the idea that "the press" is a formal, institutionalized structure, neatly divisible from the rest of the world.

    I don't know where campaign workers would fall on this spectrum, but I tend to think they're more like private citizens. They're responsible for more "news stories" about the election than any of us likes to think.

  • Orange Line Speshul Bus||

    Did I mention you should ClickMyLinks?

  • Orange Line Special||

    They still don't get the link between the JTP case and the 1st. Sad.

  • BDB||

    OLS, why do you DoThis with CerainWords?

  • Seitz||


    I'm not going to read the article. Could you pleas explain this claim without sounding like a total moron? Thanks.


    I think LoneDipshit has proven time and again that the answer to this question is a resounding "NO".

    Way back when I was still interested in the election, I was discussing Joe The Plumber. I thought it kinda creepy that he asked Obama a pointed question and then, next thing you know, I knew his yearly salary, his medical billing history, and his license status.

    Right, Jaybird, it was just because he asked BHO a question. It had nothing to do with McCain using him as a rhetorical device about 800 times over the next few days.

  • ||

    Sure, Seitz.

    McCain started using JTP as a rhetorical device.

    And the next thing I knew, I knew all about his yearly income, his debts, and his licensing status.

    Why was he used as a rhetorical device, again?

  • LarryA||

    Sarah Palin went on the air and claimed that if reporters wrote stories claiming that she was a negative campaigner for her statements about Obama, that meant they were restricting her 1st Amendment rights.

    Freedom of Speech is also a First Amendment right. If the press criticizes her when she tries to "call Barack Obama out on his associations" but gives him a pass for doing the same, it's at least unfair. At least Palin just bitched about it, and didn't have her lawyer write letters threatening to sue if the articles ran.

  • ||

    "It's called investigative journalism. And it would have never happened had McCain not said his name 30 some odd times in the debate, thereby making him a public figure. Jesus."

    BDB, are you explaining to me why I shouldn't be creeped out?

    Because, if you are, you are, like, failing.

  • Les||

    If the press criticizes her when she tries to "call Barack Obama out on his associations" but gives him a pass for doing the same, it's at least unfair.

    She could have said that without mentioning the 1st Amendment and looking like a whiny ignoramus.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    OLS, why do you DoThis with CerainWords?



    Theory #237: It all began with OLS's complete misunderstanding of the phrase, "Space, the Final Frontier"...

  • Scary Monsters||

    Shed a tear for Joe the Plumber.

    Hmm, I wonder how much the McCain campaign is currently payin' him to go on tour?

  • Geotpf||

    Orange Line Special | October 31, 2008, 4:20pm | #

    Here's my list of nineteen non-partisan reasons to oppose Obama. For the issues that BHO and his supporters have with the First Amendment, see #s 11, 13, and especially 14.


    Your list, especially the three numbers you mention, is completely retarded. All three of those are about things people who support Obama do or will do, not what Obama does or will do himself. So, (using your logic) I'm voting against John McCain because the KKK supports him and they are racists.

  • Scary Monsters||

    Larry A: Freedom of Speech is also a First Amendment right....

    So you think Freedom of Speech means freedom from criticism? Boy, you must have your Constitutional Rights infringed quite a bit.

  • SIV||

    BDB,


    "Investigative journalism" is when government employees, who are also Obama campaign operatives,delve into government databases and leak the information therein because a citizen asked their candidate a difficult question?

    They justified it as a "background check" because he publicly stated he was possibly buying a business.

  • BDB||

    Jaybird--

    If someone mentions you in a debate 30 times, and you're creeped out by it, I'd expect you would tell he media "Please respect my privacy. No, won't go on our. No, I don' want interviews on Fox News. Please stop using me in your stump speech. Etc.

    If the media kept after him after he said "I want to be a private person" THEN it would creep me out.

    If he wants to be a media whore/D-list celebrity, cry me a river. Deal with it. You're a public figure now, and you want to be.

  • BDB||

    Keep playing that tiny martyr violin, SIV.

  • Orange Line Special||

    Geotpf: if BHO wins, the NationOfIslam is going to cheer. However, BHO winning isn't going to give the NOI much additional power. An even stronger case applies to McCain and the KKK: they might be happy if he wins, but that won't give them additional power.

    However, if BHO wins, the other people mentioned in my list of nineteen non-partisan reasons to oppose Obama will get additional power. For instance, those borderline fascists in the nutroots will have additional power. The civil servants who can look up your personal information if you cross The One will get additional power. If that's not understandable, perhaps someone can provide it to you in comic book form.

  • BDB||

    Does it creep you out when they go into Paris Hilton's personal life?

  • voxpo||

    Palins complaints seem weird until you realize that we have a media that demands and has been granted special legal and economic status based on the idea that they comprise a de facto fourth branch of government.

    See: BCRA media exemption
    Thank: McCain, et. al.

  • Jennifer||

    What is the "special economic and legal status" Shannon Love thinks government has granted the media?

  • SIV||

    TV stations were threatened with government license revocation for airing NRA ads that didn't pass the "factcheck.org test", despite that they were completely factual.

    That should be enough to abolish the FCC on First Amendment grounds.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    mentioned in my list of nineteen non-partisan



    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means"

  • JLE||

    Freedom of speech is pure; sometimes the truth hurts, Sarah. No one wants you to be president, and most of us are convinced the old fart is going to die shortly. By whatever means necessary this country will not allow you to be its most revered icon. Not possible--too many smart people here. Now, I need to go dress badly. I'm going to be Sarah Palin for Halloween.

  • *||

    OLS,

    Are you Socially Retarded or Just Plain Retarded?

  • SIV||

    BDB,


    You are right. Anyone who doesn't want to bea media whore/D-list celebrity shouldn't ask a politician a question.
    If you don't like it keep your mouth shut.

  • ||

    "I promised myself I wouldn't write about Sarah Palin ever again, but I couldn't pass this up."

    Well I passed it up. Because long ago I promised myself I wouldn't read another Hit & Run Palin piece. After about 300 it got kind of old.

    Guess my willpower is superior to Riggs'.

  • ||

    Jennifer - a good place would be "shield laws" (33 states have them) that allow journalists not to testify WRT their sources.

    And guess who gets to define who is a journalist?

  • ||

    JLE - "revered icon"? Fuckin' sick.

  • JLE||

    I can pretend.

  • Les||

    Anyone who doesn't want to bea media whore/D-list celebrity shouldn't ask a politician a question.

    If all he did was ask a question, you'd be right. But we all know he did more than that, so you're not.

  • BDB||

    Les he's just repeating the talking points now.

    Jesus. "All he did was ask a question". In what universe?

  • SIV||

    Les,

    All he did was ask a question before the State employee Obama operatives leaked his government data. I don't blame him for what he ahs done since. The State of Ohio and Plumber's Union might make things a little difficult for Joe and his employer.

  • Jennifer||

    Jennifer - a good place would be "shield laws" (33 states have them) that allow journalists not to testify WRT their sources. And guess who gets to define who is a journalist?

    I never applied for or received a "journalist license," and I'm pretty sure none of the Reasonoids have, either. If you want to start a magazine, newspaper or for-profit Website, you might need to get the same generic business license required for any money-making venture, but you don't need a journalist license for that, either.

    And protection-of-sources hadn't prevented certain journalists from going to prison on contempt charges for refusing to reveal their sources, either. So I'd like to ask again what these "special legal and economic privileges" are, especially in the context of Shannon Love's original quote implying that Palin was somehow justified in her bullshit complaint, because of all these special privileges those mean ole journalists enjoy, presumably at her expense.

  • SIV||

    BDB,

    OK what did he too before they went into his background?

  • ||

    OLS, there's absolutely nothing more compelling than a blogger's list that justifies its talking points with self-referential links. "I wrote it before so it MUST be true!"

    So ... I guess you figure that because Republicans will be voting red based on zero ideas from their candidate then you figure everyone else should be swayed by a blog post with zero ideas? Maybe. After all, Palin is a viable VP candidate to some folks, too, so we can't rule out complete insanity.

  • LGF Fan||

    Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012!

    TAKE THAT, LIBS!

  • BDB||

    "OK what did he too before they went into his background?"

    John McCain used him as a talking point thirty-three some odd times in the debate.

    Any normal person at that point would have told McCain and the entire media to fuck off. But what did Joe the Martyr do? He gave a press conference.

    At that point, you're a D-list celebrity.

  • BDB||

    Unless you think public figures aren't fair game. Which I don't think you do.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Like all good celebrities, Joe the Plumber has hired a publicity team.

    But I'm sure he really, really just wants to be left alone.

  • BDB||

    Don't get me wrong, I don't hold it against the guy that he's trying to make a buck. But if he's doing that, he's doing this by making himself a minor celebrity. Which means his personal life is gonna be open to the media. Tough noogies, grow a pair.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    "If he gets his way, Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber," plans to enjoy a lot more than just 15 minutes of fame. Two weeks after emerging as the Republican Party's favorite proxy for the American working man, Mr. Wurzelbacher has signed a management deal meant to keep him in the public eye past next week's election and earn him some money at the same time, preferably as a show business personality"

    Why, oh, why won't the media just leave this privacy-loving man alone?

  • BDB||

    But Brian! All he did was ask a question!

    WAAAAH!

    /Republicans

  • ||

    "What did he do before they went into his background?"

    "John McCain used him as a talking point thirty-three some odd times in the debate."

    Is this seriously supposed to make me feel less creeped out? Then they asked him to show up on a tv show... at which point he said "wow, television!" and he showed up.

    At what point would you say his medical bills became something that shouldn't be something that would creep me out if I found out about them?

    "Something about Paris Hilton."

    I know nothing at all about Paris Hilton's medical bills.

    Though, granted, the thought of learning about them also creeps me out.

    Is your argument that I should not be creeped out by this?

  • ||

    "Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012!"

    After the drubbing the GOP is likely to take in this election, the party leaders may decide George Will has a point, and aim just a bit higher on the intellectual ladder for their nominees. One can only hope.

  • BDB||

    Well Jaybird, then you have a rather quaint notion that the media is going to leave alone the personal lives of minor celebrities.

    Good luck with that.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Is your argument that I should not be creeped out by this?



    If you're not creeped out by Paris Hilton, you're not paying attention.

  • JLE||

    No medium will leave alone anything. Ever. The media have a right to make shit up just as much as everyone else. To not defend that is deplorable.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    After the drubbing the GOP is likely to take in this election, the party leaders may decide George Will has a point, and aim just a bit higher on the intellectual ladder for their nominees. One can only hope.



    I'm hoping next time we get "Quinn The Eskimo" or "John The Fisherman"

  • BDB||

    "After the drubbing the GOP is likely to take in this election, the party leaders may decide George Will has a point, and aim just a bit higher on the intellectual ladder for their nominees. One can only hope."

    Don't count on it. Look at the people on this board who idolize Palin and Joe the Plumber.

    Someone should draft George Will for 2012, though.

  • Les||

    SIV,

    Like BDB said, he held a press conference and was interviewed by Cavuto and Couric before the digging began.

  • SIV||

    BDB,

    Are you fucking retarded? Joe didn't do anything other than ask his question before State employee/Obama operatives Outed his data.
    What he did after that is irrelevant.

    When the election is over please go back to DU.

  • joe||

    "OK what did he too before they went into his background?"

    John McCain used him as a talking point thirty-three some odd times in the debate.


    Which means that SIV will now start slagging the McCain campaign for turning this private citizen who just wanted to be left alone into a the main attraction of a media circus.

    Nah, jes' jokin'! Like that would ever happen.

  • Pete Guither||

    What a bizarre conversation. Here, in this post, we have a report on a candidate for Vice-President of the United States of America, who makes a grossly factually wrong statement about the First Amendment to the Constitution.

    This isn't a difference of opinion. It is news and it should be frightening to anyone who believes in the Constitution and liberty (and I've been led to believe that libertarians fit into that category).

    I even assumed that Riggs' inclusion of the text of the First in the post was a form of snark, since certainly we would all have it memorized.

    And yet, when I read the comments, it's like I've moved to a playground with retorts like "Oh yeah? Well, Bobby eats paste."

    What's up with that?

  • SIV||

    Les,

    The "digging" wasn't done by the media.

  • JLE||

    I'm into this now. I kind of enjoy the purveyeillence. (Yes, made it up.) You are all mistaken. Seriously. I can't tell the sarcasm from the honesty.

  • joe||

    Jaybird, do you frequently discuss how creeped out you are by the media attention given to D-list celebrities, or did the thought just occur to you in reference to the particular D-list celebrity whose alleged persecution is being used as a talking point by every Republican in America?

    Because this is a long standing complaint of yours, using this example to make that point is going to be misunderstood by a lot of people.

  • joe||

    Are you fucking retarded? Joe didn't do anything other than ask his question before State employee/Obama operatives Outed his data.

    False. Already refuted, long ago.

    Seriously, do you think this is the first person to ask Barack Obama question in the past 21 months?

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Joe didn't do anything other than ask his question before



    McCain mentioned him over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over....in a single debate.

    You're right, SIV, we should all hold Grandpa Crankypants responsible for what he did to poor old reclusive Joe.

  • voxpo||

    Jennifer | October 31, 2008, 6:19pm | #

    ...So I'd like to ask again what these "special legal and economic privileges" are


    The FEC has gone to some trouble to explain who and what is meant by the "media exemption" in certain campaign finance rules. Some "entities" have to NOT be exempt in order for this exemption to have any meaning. Being exempt from a rule qualifies, I submit, as a special legal privelege.

    "The Commission has decided to revise 11 CFR 100.73 and 11 CFR 100.132 to
    clarify that the media exemption applies to media entities that cover or carry news stories, commentary and editorials on the Internet, just as it applies to media entities that cover or carry news stories, commentary and editorials in traditional media, such as printed periodicals or television news programs. The Commission is also clarifying that the media exemption protects news stories, commentaries, and editorials no matter in what medium they are published. Therefore, the Commission has added "website" to the list of media in the exemption and is also adding "any Internet or electronic publication" to address publication of news stories, commentaries, or editorials in electronic form on the Internet.53 In so doing, the Commission recognizes that the media exemption is available to media entities that cover or carry news stories, commentaries, or editorials solely on the Internet, as well as to media entities that cover or carry news stories, commentaries, and editorials solely in traditional media or in both traditional media and on the Internet."

    http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2006/mtgdoc06-20.pdf

  • *||

    Joe the Plumber has a book planned. Should be a RIVETING read.

    Then perhaps a David Zucker movie?

  • SIV||

    One last time Democrat Party hacks:

    The media and John McCain weren't the chilling invaders of JTPs privacy.It was the Government employee/Obama campaign operatives.

    Cue up the "Liberal Fascism" references.....

    You know, the guys who threatened the TV stations if they ran NRA ads.

  • joe||

    I still want Shannon Love to explain to me how objecting to the way the McCain campaign has turned Wurtzelbacher into a novelty - look, everyone, I have friend who's a plumber! An actual plumber. Just call him "Joe the Plumber," he loves that, right Joe? - is elitist, and how exactly New England plays into this little theory.

  • joe||

    One last time Democrat Party hacks:

    Heh. "Democrat Party."

    Yeah, you tell those partisan hacks, SIV.

    *rolls eyes*

  • Scary Monsters||

    SIV: The media and John McCain...

    Hmm, McCain. That name sounds familiar. Wasn't he a footnote in the 2008 Presidential election?

  • JLE||

    If there is anyone here who is a true blue dem (or anything else), I'd be surprised. All seem to be as disillusioned as I am.

  • MAX HATS||

    OLS, why do you DoThis with CerainWords?



    If a guy writes like a mental patient, acts like a mental patient, then he probably is a mental patient.

  • BDB||

    Isn't that cute. SIV thinks I'm the partisan hack.

    SIV will be a trip on election night.

  • BDB||

    But remember, having a free press is a violation of Sarah Palin's First Amendment rights. Or something.

  • SIV||

    BDB,

    You are voting for Obama.Nearly everything you post here is netroots message.You aren't in joe's league but then he is an admitted partisan and often writes his own stuff.

  • BDB||

    SIV:

    You got it backwards.

    You're voting for McCain. Nearly everything you write here is copy and pasted from The Corner or Free Republic. You're not at TallDave levels, but then again he's an admitted partisan.

  • joe||

    You are voting for Obama.

    As are most independents, by about a ten point margin.

    Point?

  • Seitz||

    Oh Noes! They released public information about (not) Joe the (not) plumber that any douchebag with a Lexis account and 15 seconds could find out!! What will the libtards stoop too next?!?!

    This is like the flap over the release of the first fiver digits of Palin's SSN. Again, 15 seconds and a Lexis account is all it takes. But somehow, it's some huge invasion of privacy. I'm sure (not) Joe the (not) plumber will be whining about this (not) invasion of privacy when he signs his record and/or book deal.

    Hey, I'm a partisan dem. BDB wavers, for better or worse. SIV is as big a rightie hack as I am a leftie hack. At least I admit it. SIV's just a lying jackass.

  • Seitz||

    And BDB, you're wrong. SIV is totally in TallDave's league.

  • BDB||

    FWIW (and this isn't news for those of you that followed my back and forth with The Angry Optimist the other day) I'm voting for Barr, because he convinced me it's the best way of saying "You done fucked up, GOP" whereas voting for Obama would be seen as an endorsement for Government-run health are and protectionism and all sorts of other stuff that I don't endorse.

    But I do want to see the Republicans get their asses handed to them. Srssly, Joe the Plumber. This has been their campaign strategy for three weeks--something out of a children's book!

  • ||

    "D-list Minor Celebrities"

    See, I look at what made JTP a D-List Minor Celebrity.

    The spark seems to be that he asked Obama a hostile question.

    Am I mistaken on this? After he did this, he got mentioned by McCain (a billion times). Then I started learning about his medical bill history.

    I know, I know. The fact that he showed up on Fox and Friends or whatever it was means that his medical bill history is fair game.

    I remain creeped out.

    Paris Hilton notwithstanding.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    See, I look at what made JTP a D-List Minor Celebrity.

    The spark seems to be that he asked Obama a hostile question.

    Am I mistaken on this?



    Yes, you are mistaken. The story began with him asking a question, but if he had not been name-checked to death in that debate the story would have been over. Even the name "Joe The Plumber" was a result of the debate, and not a result of the question by itself.

    I remain creeped out.



    Agreed, the mutually-parasitic relationship that D-List Minor Celebrities have with the press is certainly creepy.

  • MAX HATS||

    What a bizarre conversation. Here, in this post, we have a report on a candidate for Vice-President of the United States of America, who makes a grossly factually wrong statement about the First Amendment to the Constitution.

    This isn't a difference of opinion. It is news and it should be frightening to anyone who believes in the Constitution and liberty (and I've been led to believe that libertarians fit into that category).

    I even assumed that Riggs' inclusion of the text of the First in the post was a form of snark, since certainly we would all have it memorized.

    And yet, when I read the comments, it's like I've moved to a playground with retorts like "Oh yeah? Well, Bobby eats paste."

    What's up with that?



    When one feels compelled to defend the likes of Sarah Palin and George W. Bush from any and all criticism, it's hard to stay 100% coherent.

    Besides, knowing what the Bill of Rights says is elitism. And as we all know, the only thing separating elitism from full on Red Communism is two news cycles.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Pete Guither: this isn't a libertarian site. It's a Kochtopus site; big difference. The sockpuppets here will support just about anything they're told in order to oppose those who are presented to them as the other side.

    James Butler: if you have any problems with any of my list of nineteen non-partisan reasons to oppose Obama, please specify exactly what those problems are. Otherwise, your comment is simply a content-free ad hom.

  • content-free ad hom||

    Does LonelyWackoff's lists of Nineteen Reasons for this and Fourteen Points of that remind anyone else of "I have here in my hand a list of 205 known..."?

  • gmatts||

    So it seems that the 2 best things the McCain campaign has going for it is Palin and Joe the Plumber.
    On Palin:
    She got the base all fired up, which I guess was good. Then she started talking w/ out the aid of a script and actually had to articulate opinions on issues. Leaving aside her inability to even form a coherent statement, she seems to be woefully ignorant of any issue pertaining to the specifics of her office. The 1st hill she had to climb was to be able to assure voters that she was up to the job of POTUS should something happen. That has not gone well. Now we are at the point where a large percentage of people don't even find her qualified to be VPOTUS.
    Joe the Plumber also got off to a hot start. But now we learn that his name is not Joe, he may not even be a plumber, and his dream of owning this plumbing business seemed to be about as realistic as him planning to win the lottery. And as for his plumbing skills, he is either the absolute best or worst plumber in his area. With the amount of free time that this guy appears to have, either every toilet in his area is functioning so well because of him and he's not needed or the people have decided to not let him go anywhere near their pipes.

  • ||

    How strange to quote the Constitution. When was the last time America bothered to use it?

  • Fluffy||

    Jaybird,

    It's nice that you're creeped out, but who cares, really?

    First of all, there are a couple of distinctions being made here that don't deserve to be made:

    1. The distinction between press and non-press [except for actual government employees].

    2. The distinction between "private citizen" and "celebrity".

    Anyone who does not have access to government information, or does not have a duty of care of some kind, is entitled to investigate anything and anyone they want. It doesn't matter if the object of their inquiry is John McCain, Paris Hilton or the first ten names in the phone book.

    It was an abuse of government office or position for state workers to troll state databases for information on this guy. But there's no indication that any of that data ended up being reported. Public records were the source of the reports about his plumber's license and his tax lien; both of those matters are in the public domain, and Joe had no expectation of privacy for either of them, reasonable or no.

  • ||

    When you do have a privileged group with extraordinary power (in part granted by government monopoly) who then turn in mass against one segment of the polity or the other, then you do begin to have de facto if not de jure censorship.

    I've failed to notice the MSM turning en masse (not "in mass") against Palin, unless you're counting Fox News as not part of the mainstream, which their audience numbers would belie.

    Seriously, have you thought this through and actually think that the First Amendment means the government should protect politicians from criticism?

    That said, Obama, Biden, and McCain (and virtually everyone in Congress) have shown an abysmal ignorance of the meaning of most of the Bill of Rights, or else understand it and have cynically decided to that it's in their best interest to violate the Constitution repeatedly and flagrantly soon after taking their oath of office.

    So, the question is, is Palin somewhat more or less worse than Obama or Biden regarding the constitution, including this fresh data point to ponder? I say they're all pretty close to the same level of badness. I mean, all four supported the frickin' bailout.

    That being said -- strong work, Mike Riggs. Good article.

  • ||

    I haven't followed joe the plumber news. But searching databases for information of people you want to target for whatever reason is SOP in the information age. It's a side affect of little brother.

  • ||

    Just Plain Brian wrote: " The story began with him asking a question, but if he had not been name-checked to death in that debate the story would have been over. Even the name "Joe The Plumber" was a result of the debate, and not a result of the question by itself."

    Actually, what brought Joe The Plumber into the media wasn't even his question. It was Obama's use of the phrase "share the wealth" in his response, and McCain's desire to use that to portray Obama as a rabid Socialist.

    But for those three words of Obama's, JTP would still be an unknown Ohio plumber.

    The way JTP provided a personal narrative in his question was the bait for journalists. Journalists *love* digging into a narrative.

    Had JTP phrased his question as a hypothetical, journalists wouldn't have dug into it. (Not that I mean to blame JTP, I'm just sayin'.)

  • Seitz||

    Public records were the source of the reports about his plumber's license and his tax lien; both of those matters are in the public domain, and Joe had no expectation of privacy for either of them, reasonable or no.

    Don't bother, Fluffy. Sure, they're public records, that any citizen could access if they wanted, and had some initiative. But Jaybird didn't know about that information, which means it's creepy to search public records apparently. In other words, tell Jaybird something he didn't know, and he/she gets a little creeped out.

  • Fascinating Captain||

    That a Quaylean VP choice continues to be given status of secretly trumping gov't as we know it and becoming dictator of the world. iT IS BREATHTAKING WHAT A PAIR OF lIBRARIAN gLASSES can do to tweak reality for a good sum of people. Wasn't there some sort of huge bail=out legislation we could fixate on instead? I guess I dreamed (nightmared) that. Sorry. I am back on my meds now. Sorry for the outburst...Sarah Palin is about to...

  • My Barack Pages||

    Lies that life is African-American and/or Eurocentric Western anti-Feminist communicated to my cranial contents I explored in my subconsious state while I caught up on sleep. We'll meet at the Presidential debates, sweating profusely. Oh but I was so much over-the-top mature beyond my years back then. Now? Heck, I am potentially the youngest one yet!

    Just trying to translate Dylan to modern readers.

  • Christopher the Plummer||

    How do you solve a problem like Obama?

  • ||

    SIV is excellent. Joe and BDB, not so much.

  • ||

    "Joe had no expectation of privacy for either of them, reasonable or no."

    Yeah, yeah. It's one of those weird things when you believe in stuff like "right to privacy" and other unenumerated rights.

    People come up and they explain to you how the world really works.

    I appreciate you explaining to me how the world really works, Fluffy.

  • ||

    What's worse, not knowing the constitution, or knowing it and hating it?

  • GILMORE||

    Orange Line Speshul Bus | October 31, 2008, 5:14pm | #

    I've decided that telling people they're idiots is the best way to get them to click my links.


    Great.

    Have you noticed that these few people who do "click your links" return, and universally begin calling you a dumb, diaper-wearing hysterical cunt every day, at every possible opportunity?

    Well done there. You're a celebrity douchebag

  • GILMORE||

    I realize now I was mocking someone else already mocking Lonewacko

    This, in my view, is inexcusable. I apologize sincerely.

    To lonewacko himself, I reiterate my total utter contempt and disdain. My only relief is that within days, you will quite possibly have a reason to finally go the fuck away.

  • mnuez||

    Come on, we all understood what she meant. So what if she has some misunderstanding regarding the finer points of constitutional law? It's not like she's running for president or anything.

  • Amanda the Plummer||

    Christopher the Plummer | November 1, 2008, 1:56am | #

    How do you solve a problem like Obama?


    If any of you fucking pricks move, I'll execute every last motherfucking one of you!

  • mnuez||

    Shannon Love wrote:

    joe,



    Calling someone "Joe the Plumber" is the elitist rich guy equivalent of calling someone "my black friend, Tony." Hey, look at me, I know someone who works for a living!



    It comes as absolutely no surprise that a someone such as yourself would think that.



    Coming as I do from a rural middle-class background as well as a long line of small business as well as knowing many people who started out humble and worked for decades to be "rich", I can say that "Joe the Plumber" crystalizes differences between the present day left and right.

    You see a plumber who will always be working stiff and can never aspire to anything more. His only hope for a better life lays in handouts from his betters. I see someone with dreams and ambition who could very well rise far up the economic ladder by dent of his own efforts.



    The elitism you see is your own dark reflection.



    And Shannon wrote this because he isn't very bright.

    Joe/Sam The Plumber/Non-Plumber was making some 35K a year and actually had very close to a 0% chance of "buying a business real soon that's going to be making over $250,000 a year". This "business purchase" of Joe's was something that he later explained he had "thought about" some six years earlier when he was first hired to apprentice for a neighborhood plumber.

    People like you enjoy spreading the nonsensical rumor that with just a "good idea" and some "hard work", you too can become rich! Why look at Sam Shmuckler who bought a lottery ticket an... okay, bad example, look at Joe The Plumber who just asked a question at a political get-together and then became a Congressman/Talk-Show-Host/(???)... you can do it too!

    The truth of the matter of course is that almost fuckin NOBODY goes from rags to riches in this country. The vast vast VAST majority of the wealthy people in this country were born wealthy. Of course these people aren't cause celebs and (Paris Hilton aside) try to stay pretty far from the limelight, but they are BY FAR the majority.

    Look Shannon (and fellow travelers) were we meeting in person, and were I to give a shit, I could spend a few hours loading you down with facts, figures and meta-data to counter the woolly vignettes that have been made to blind you these many years, but in this meager space this will have to suffice. I know that it will likely not give anyone any pause but I hope that it does succeed in providing some small aid and comfort to the few fellow non-blind Reasonoids who may venture this far down the thread.

  • mnuez||

    jasa said:

    "Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012!"



    After the drubbing the GOP is likely to take in this election, the party leaders may decide George Will has a point, and aim just a bit higher on the intellectual ladder for their nominees. One can only hope.



    I hope along with you jasa, but I can't say that I see any logical reason to be hopeful (aside for regression to the mean of course).

    One of the most frustrating things for me about this recent campaign has been how many intelligent Conservatives creamed their pants over the Palin pick in the first week after the announcement. They were all going on and on about how "authentic" and "American" and "real" (a.k.a. "non-"elitist"/intellectual/educated) she was and how refreshing this was to see someone like that so high on the national stage - all the fuckin while GEORGE BUSH IS THE STILL THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!

    When faced with the stark reality of such a plague of blindness of biblical proportions (the ninth plague, fyi), one would have to be very very naive to assume that the leaders/commonfolk/movers-and-shakers/whatever in the Republican Party are going to purposely look for someone of some intelligence to head up their party four years hence.

    But, again, we've still got regression to the mean so, with you jasa, I'm keepin' my fingers crossed.

    mnuez



  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    AND FLIPPY IS ABOUT TO MEET THE INSIDE OF A TUNA FISH CAN!!!

  • Nathan B Forrest||

    Of course without affirmative action Barack Obama would have a 4 year degree from Occidental College and be managing a Best Buy.mnuez is right, you are stuck in the class you are born into.

  • mnuez||

    First off I gotta apologize for the occasional typo and blockquote error. Damn you uneditable internets! (and typo-prone mnuezzy!)

    I hope this relieves me from any and all future requirements to spellcheck or proofread.

    To the point at hand, Nathan, I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me but you do realize I'm sure that exaggerating my point ad absurdum isn't going to fly with those few Reasonoids who are smart enough for me to care about their opinions, right?

    I am a little scared though that someone might show me up with nine vignettes about working-men-made-good, cause that would TOTALLY refute the boring data about overwhelming majorities and all.

  • mnuez||

    As for Affirmative Action, it sucks that it's race-based but overall, yeah, it does help some worthy individuals get out of the slums into which they were born. Obama's not quite the best example of that (one hopes he never needed to benefit from Affirmative Action along his educational route) but as an idea affirmative action isn't entirely ridiculous.

  • projecthappy||

    Are libertarians really defending the (possibly illegal) use of government computers to look up personal information on a citizen, just because he was mentioned in a debate? Say it isn't so.

  • fuckin\' fixed||

    Are libertarians Democrat shills really defending the (possibly illegal) use of government computers to look up personal information on a citizen, just because he was mentioned in a debate? Say it isn't so.

    Yes

  • VM||

    Nathan B Forrest = Kneel???

  • ||

    For whatever reason (I blame McCain's shameless sloganeering) the man's livelihood and earnings became an issue.

    My recollection is that the Dem assault on Joe, which included a number of illegal activities, began immediately, before he became a campaign fixture. In fact, their assault served to greatly heighten his profile. They turned a one or two news cycle story into something that will carry straight through the election.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What Joe the Plumber does to try to better himself, is his business. What Obama's goons have done by using government tools to dig into his life, is NOT the same as Joe being followed around by photogs and reporters. George Orwell did not intend "1984" to be an instruction manual.

    That said, I'm not voting for McCain OR Obama. I also don't believe there are enough *actual* racists that will abstain from choosing Obama simply on the basis of his outer hue - for a lot of people, it wouldn't matter if Obama were as pasty-white as Dick Gephardt; it's the policies that matter. And a lot of people don't buy the "high taxes and lots of government cures all ills", so hopefully McCain's numbers won't be great, either.

    Me? A 269-269 electoral split and very long, drawn-out battle, would do this country a world of good. You can't get drama of that caliber in the fantasy world.

  • VM||

    yeah, LG - sounds like you're full of shit.

    if you've been paying attention the past at least eight years, you should shut the fuck up.

  • MJ||

    "Like how the McCain campaign and the conservative media flogged the story in an effort to turn Sam Wurtzelbacher into a media star, before the media began paying him any attention."

    So when should we expect the deep investigative journalism about the parde of unfortunates Obama featured in his infomercial.

  • jtuf||

    When politicians are calling for a revised fairness doctrine, accusing a campaign of writing "unfair" advertisements takes on a whole new meaning. It's just the next step in sending the first ammendment down a slippery slope.

  • ||

    "or abridging the freedom of speech"

    So government doesn't do it.

    It is not prior constraint.

    The problem with this post is that you don't specify your complaint, you simply assume that enough people are against Palin that you can take a shot at her and people will fill in the necessary details. I don't find your comment stimulating, but it is circulating on the web for no other reason but its opportunism.

    People in dumb houses shouldn't throw insults.

  • ||

    Sigh... it would help if people actually read the law and no I am not referring to Palin.

    I really suggest Chemerinsky's book on constitutional law as a cliff notes.
    (Note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Chemerinsky's )

    This post and unfortunately the author of this reason article seems to confuse the idea of "State Action" and does not seem to have done the basic research on the exceptions to it.

    Simply he implies that private actors cannot be restricted by the Constitution. This is untrue since it does not state the whole truth and he passes a lie by most of the commenters. Private actors CAN be held to the constitutional standards government is under certain conditions for instance "Exercise by a private entity of powers traditionally exclusively reserved to the State". The real question is if this is happening, if this is what she implied, or if the author is competent to judge her.

    To interpret Palin's comments it seems that she implied that the newspaper is impermissibly overstepping its bounds by performing monopolistic censorship, a function of government, (and a violation of antitrust laws).

    Should we interpret this this way? Considering that she has been more like J.S. Mill, I would say yes. However even if you do not agree realize that it seems like the author is in fact falling prey to the accusation that he has made against Palin, that someone does not know the law or the Constitution (Ironically).

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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