Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wiederaenders: Writing on the 1070 wall

It comes out: For Tim, the Constitution is a "technicality."

For no reason I can see, first Tim extensively quotes a press release by Speaker Kirk Adams that's nothing more than a clumsy political frame for the legal issue against 1070. Then he indirectly lays out the true purpose of 1070, which is not to pass court muster or do anything about the phony "immigration problem," but simply to stain Democrats and anyone else who rightfully stands against it as "immigration lovers" -- to win election points. But even though it's right there in print, I have a feeling that Tim doesn't quite connect the dots on this yet.

Yes, the federal court will strike 1070 down -- it's clearly illegal -- and yes, that may push some undereducated citizens to vote R in November. If voters were better informed about how our layered government works, this schoolyard ploy would fall flat, but there's no hope of it at this point. Whether it will be significant in federal-level polls is an open question, and we're already expecting more radical rightism in the statehouse, so I don't see it altering the political landscape much by itself. It may help balance those who come out to vote for medical marijuana, raising participation in the midterm overall.

As for embarrassing the President, Tim, I'm afraid Mr Obama has much bigger fish to fry than worrying about the antics of Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe. Let's have a little perspective, shall we?


birther t. bagur said...

I commented to Tim's blog that the Legal Arizona Workers Act (passed in 2007, takes away business licenses of companies that hire illegal immigrants) has been held up in court since its' inception by Republican business groups challenging the constitutionality of the law on the exact same basis as SB1070 is being challenged. Now I did a search of the Courier archives, and they have basically ignored the existence of LAWA, especially since Republican groups took it to court. I asked Tim if there was some reason he and the other right wingers were up in arms about one court case but pretend the other one doesn't exist (it goes before the US Supreme Court in Oct. btw). I speculated it had something to do with Obama Derangement Syndrome.
The Courier rarely, if ever prints my comments anymore. I write them and they disappear into the nether (they didn't print my comment this morning about the oil spill letter either, and being an oil worker who used to work on BP rigs I thought my comment was rather informed).
I am frankly amazed that they link to you from their blogs page.

Steven Ayres said...

That's a great angle, btb, good work and thanks for sharing it.

Feel free to copy your comments here. (I can do open threads or whatever for specific subjects.) Part of the point of this blog is to create a public space safe from editorial monkey-wrenching. Having comments show up that the editors are deleting arbitrarily could shame them into adjusting their practices. It's worked before.

Your work in the comments has earned you some respect, at least outside the Courier offices. I hope you might consider coming out from behind the handle one day.

birther t. bagur said...

Thanks, fwiw, Wiederaenders wrote me tonight about the fact that they disappear my comments. He said to follow their terms of service. Here is what I wrote back:

(part 1)
Sorry , but you are incorrect. My comment on the gulf oil drilling letter to editor today broke none of your rules, yet was disappeared. This isn't the only time this has happened.
I did see that my comment on your blog page finally showed up after you sent me this e-mail. Maybe accusing you of 'Obama Derangement Syndrome', because you ignore right wing constitutional challenges to a law while playing up the new one the Obama DOJ just started, is an "attack" in your book, but if that is the case, it is pretty weak tea. There are a lot of instances of far more egregious "attack" language that appear at your website every day (and I won't even get into all the "harassing" comments that appear).
Unlike a lot of users of the Courier website I generally cite my research; there is all sorts of "misleading" material posted. Under your criteria you state that comments that are "misleading" will be removed. Perhaps there is some sliding scale we should know about?
Do you remember that 'Betsy Ross' lady, who wrote, misleadingly, that Obama was building a train between Disneyland and Las Vegas? Despite overwhelming evidence that there was never any such train being built, you continued to print her comments asserting that it was fact. I actually appreciate that you left them up, as I got to use them as evidence that she was a liar and her comments should bear little weight, but that is an aside (although I gotta say that I am surprised you let me point out that she was a liar, as we all know that confronting a thin-skinned tea-tantrum type with facts and evidence and whatnot is kinda like harassment).
What really worries me is the ethics of it all... I mean here are supposed journalists deciding to simply ignore a comment and not print it, pretending it never existed, without any indication that it existed, much less broke some rule or another.

birther t. bagur said...

(part 2)
For example, remember when Ben Hansen wrote how he hated people posting anonymously because there was no accountability and people should just use their names? I posted a comment as "The fake Ben Hansen", in which I simply stated that just because you see what appears to be a legitimate name on an internet comment doesn't mean it is. Such a comment did not break a single one of your "Use of Service" rules, yet it was deleted. Calling myself "The fake Ben Hansen" was in no way misleading, and was what I thought was a rather clever way of making my point regarding the veils of the internet [fwiw I like "pseudonymous" registration-style systems]. There was no harassment or vulgarity either. Basically, an editor of the Courier was getting made to look silly; from what I gather you all approve comments personally in your free time, and someone petulantly started chop-chop-chopping them because their position was indefensible any other way.
And as much as it humors me to think of the temper tantrums Ben Hansen (and likely yourself) throw over things like internet comments (imagine Ben's outrage when he found out Betsy Ross wasn't actually a lady named Betsy Ross but rather some dirty anonymous person!), it really worries me that you all probably consider yourselves journalists, yet you are willing to put your thumb on the scale of any legitimate debate by secretly and behind the scenes slanting and micro-managing any said debate when you don't like the outcome or where it is going. And that is truly what I think happens. It is part and parcel of the arrogant, God-mentality that makes you think that unsigned editorials cast down from the high and mighty desk of "The Editors" is cool.
-birther t. bagur

P.S. You also tend to delete comments that point out that the owners of the Courier (i.e. the Soldwedel family of Yuma) contribute a heck of a lot of money to Republicans and that taints your paper's objectivity (e.g. the immigration bill hypocrisy I was talking about today), especially in terms of editorial policy. I don't know how that breaks your "Use of Service" policy but if it does maybe you should update the policy to reflect that comments that point out evidence of the Republican leanings of Western News will not be tolerated.