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October 26, 2008

Where is Patterico???

I am still catching up with my email (and am consequently late to this party) but apparently Patterico has had his domain hijacked (start here and work backwards).

I don't really know what to say about this. I'm not overly prone to indulging in conspiracy theories. On the other hand, this sort of thing makes my blood run cold:

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher's driver's license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver's license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

Paul Lindsay, Ohio spokesman for the McCain campaign, attempted to portray the inquiries as politically motivated. "It's outrageous to see how quickly Barack Obama's allies would abuse government power in an attempt to smear a private citizen who dared to ask a legitimate question," he said.

Isaac Baker, Obama's Ohio spokesman, denounced Lindsay's statement as charges of desperation from a campaign running out of time. "Invasions of privacy should not be tolerated. If these records were accessed inappropriately, it had nothing to do with our campaign and should be investigated fully," he said.

I'm sure it was a complete coincidence... just like the queries on his outstanding liens, the information on his ex-wife, his plumbing license, etc.

All of which had exactly zero to do with the fact that a candidate for the presidency decided to engage him in a conversation and got a bit more than he bargained for. Since when does the press have the right to "vet" ordinary citizens who offend their political sensibilities?

One might be able to chalk stories like this up to chance ... if they weren't becoming so commonplace, and if journalists themselves weren't coming forth themselves to say things are getting completely out of hand. to the point where they're embarrassed to admit what they do for a living:

The traditional media is playing a very, very dangerous game. With its readers, with the Constitution, and with its own fate.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun — for the first time in my adult life — to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer”, because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist.

... nothing, nothing I’ve seen has matched the media bias on display in the current Presidential campaign. Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. But in the last few days, even Democrats, who have been gloating over the pass - no, make that shameless support - they’ve gotten from the press, are starting to get uncomfortable as they realize that no one wins in the long run when we don’t have a free and fair press. I was one of the first people in the traditional media to call for the firing of Dan Rather - not because of his phony story, but because he refused to admit his mistake - but, bless him, even Gunga Dan thinks the media is one-sided in this election.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Gov. Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the Big Leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play. The few instances where I think the press has gone too far - such as the Times reporter talking to Cindy McCain’s daughter’s MySpace friends - can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha Bureau.

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side - or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for Senators Obama and Biden. If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as President of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography. That isn’t Sen. Obama’s fault: his job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media’s fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.

Why, for example to quote McCain’s lawyer, haven’t we seen an interview with Sen. Obama’s grad school drug dealer - when we know all about Mrs. McCain’s addiction? Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview? All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Senator Biden’s endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?

The absolute nadir (though I hate to commit to that, as we still have two weeks before the election) came with Joe the Plumber. Middle America, even when they didn’t agree with Joe, looked on in horror as the press took apart the private life of an average person who had the temerity to ask a tough question of a Presidential candidate. So much for the Standing Up for the Little Man, so much for Speaking Truth to Power, so much for Comforting the Afflicted and Afflicting the Comfortable, and all of those other catchphrases we journalists used to believe we lived by.

Apparently we can look forward to at least 4 years of this nonsense if Obama is elected in November. It's a frightening thought to anyone who has any notion that it's their Constitutional right as American citizens to question their elected public servants.

Incidents like this are a warning shot across the bow of anyone who thought progressives meant any of that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" tripe they've been spouting for the last 8 years.

In the meantime you can access Patterico's site at http://patterico.net.

Posted by Cassandra at October 26, 2008 02:13 PM

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The domestic insurgency was always a tricky nut to crack, especially given that the US military could not handle foreign insurgencies a few years ago.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 26, 2008 03:07 PM

Make certain you pay your bill for this domain on time. Given them an excuse and you could be next!

We can talk about the Fairness Doctrine later...

Posted by: vet66 at October 26, 2008 03:27 PM

Come on now! Why is the media bias news anymore? While its still my habit to read the morning newsPAPER along with drinking my morning coffee, once I get my laptop (When pigs fly!) no more dropping coins into the local paper newsstand.

Of course, the new and "exciting" Fairness Doctrine might get me back to reading the underground newsPAPER again, in the privacy of my basement hidey hole!

Does anyone have a premier on Morse Code I could borrow, including how to hide your fist?

Posted by: DougW at October 26, 2008 03:39 PM

That was pretty funny email exchange for those that got it.

It's nice to see who really has the guts in a contest of wills between 1. playdough and 2. the Wife.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 26, 2008 04:02 PM

Hey Hey Hey now, easy on the big O-ma-ha, that beautiful island of the midwest....

Ok, really, we make for a great three day weekend, and not much more...

Posted by: Sgt. York at October 26, 2008 11:33 PM

Temporarily Patrick is at http://patterico.net/ (note the .net, not .com) while the domain name theft thing is worked out (it might be a while :growls:).

Posted by: htom at October 27, 2008 12:18 AM

Teaching me to read the entire post first!

Posted by: htom at October 27, 2008 12:19 AM

Too little, too late? Let's "hope" not...

Posted by: camojack at October 27, 2008 01:34 AM

> The domestic insurgency was always a tricky nut to crack, especially given that the US military could not handle foreign insurgencies a few years ago

They've learned a bit in the meantime.

Quite a bit.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 27, 2008 03:13 AM

...especially given that the US military could not handle foreign insurgencies a few years ago.

The problem wasn't at the small unit level, it was with Doctrine -- too many rice bowls in the E-ring needed constant filling...

Posted by: BillT at October 27, 2008 04:25 AM

The problem wasn't at the small unit level, it was with Doctrine -- too many rice bowls in the E-ring needed constant filling...

Does that imply that if Bush orders the dogs loose the domestic insurgency in AMerica would go the way of AQ in Iraq?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 27, 2008 02:29 PM