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Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta


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Ancient History


WaPo Completely Rewrites UVA Rape Story Without Any Update Note

On December 5 at 1:01pm, T. Rees Shapiro, the education reporter for the Washington Post, hit the internet with a blockbuster story exposing Rolling Stone‘s UVA gang rape article as full of errors.

It ran with the headline of “U-Va. fraternity to rebut claims of gang rape in Rolling Stone” and had an accompanying photo of a nighttime protest in front of the Phi Psi fraternity house.


Anyone that had originally shared or bookmarked that story at the link would later be greeted with a new headline of “Key elements of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape allegations in doubt” and a new photo of a calmer, more soothing close-up photo of tea candles being lit, in place of the angry signs of the mob in front of the frat house. (Note also that the current URL of the story is evidence that it was originally the old story, because the headline in the URL is the headline of the original story, not the one that appears there now.)


But it wasn’t just the headline and leading photo that changed over time. The text also dramatically changed.

It’s difficult to display the entire scrolling screen of the original WaPo story in a blog post. The complete text of that story is provided later in this post, but for photographic comparison of the original and its current state, here are the opening paragraphs of the original story:


in comparison to the completely rewritten lede that currently appears at the link:


In doing a crude comparison of the text of the original and the current article, it appears to be completely rewritten, keeping many whole paragraphs, rearranging their order, correcting minor factual errors (such as the names of the aquatic facility where Jackie worked and the name of the restaurant where Jackie claims “Drew” took her), adding numerous new paragraphs, and deleting numerous paragraphs, including quotes from various parties.

Despite all of these changes, the Washington Post has made no mention at the article that changes, corrections and updates have been made, leaving readers to assume the article they view now is the same unaltered information they viewed in the early afternoon of December 5.

When the article was first posted, the article ended with these notes.


Here is the current state of the page’s area where a correction or update notice is usually made. Note the absence of one, but the clear addition of extra reporters contributing to the story. Also note that the original ending paragraph giving information from the Inter-Fraternity Council is gone (information that some may have deemed as important to the fraternity’s defense, or pointing to hole in it):


The Prudence Paine Papers has attempted to get a comment from Shapiro, starting with the simple inquiry of where the original story went, but tweets requesting information have gone unanswered.

It has become an ongoing trend, even for the supposed standard bearers of journalism, in which leading newspapers make alterations to their stories without alerting readers that the story has changed. The Washington Post itself got significant attention for its reporting that the original Rolling Stone apology for their rape story had been changed without any notice.

Perhaps some do it out of sloppiness, figuring it’s just a minor little tweak, why call attention to it. Or perhaps it’s because it’s embarrassing to have to point out that the original post had errors that needed correcting.

Rolling Stone‘s quietly turning its three-paragraph apology into a four-paragraph one, with significant changes in tone and blame-casting, garnered much attention. Maybe they figured it would be too hard to write an update notice to attach to it, since the political correctness that caused their changes could fill an entire essay.

It’s quite mind-boggling, though, that they actually thought they would be able to get away with making such changes to their already-widely-quoted apology without noting it had been changed.

But the amount of change they made, without notice to the reader, cannot compare to the astonishing number of changes that the Washington Post‘s article on the Rolling Stone story has undergone.

The WaPo post has enough changes to warrant its own URL as a separate story. A correction notice cannot possibly explain all the alterations and deletions. In fact, several changes may even warrant stories about why the change or deletion was made.

Here is the complete text that was originally posted (unless changes were already made before this copy was opened in a browser).

A key to the text colors:

  • Brown is text that a quick “Find” search was unable to locate in the final article. It appears to have been completely deleted and not reused in later versions.
  • Purple is text that appears (most likely) without change in the final article, although it may have been significantly moved to another location. (The qualifier “most likely” is appropriate because in the crude comparison, not every word was checked. There may be some changes that were not caught–or that may have even been changed since the comparison was run several days ago.)
  • Black/gray is notes from The Prudence Paine Papers calling attention to certain changes, additions or deletions.
  • Red is text that contained an error that is later corrected.
  • Lime green is text that has been tweaked in later versions.
  • Teal is text that has been moved to a different paragraph. (Efforts to consistently highlight teal and lime text was not diligently done due to time constraints. Therefore, there may be other tweaked or separated/merged text that goes unnoted here.)

By T. Rees Shapiro December 5 at 1:01 PM Follow @TReesShapiro

A lawyer for the University of Virginia fraternity whose members were accused of a brutal gang rape said Friday that the organization will release a statement rebutting the claims printed in a Rolling Stone article about the incident. Several of the woman’s close friends and campus sex assault awareness advocates said that they also doubt the published account.

Officials close to the fraternity said that the statement will indicate that Phi Kappa Psi did not host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that a university student named Jackie alleges she was invited to a date party, lured into an upstairs room and was then ambushed and gang-raped by seven men who were rushing the fraternity.

The officials also said that no members of the fraternity were employed at the university’s Aquatic Fitness Center during that time frame–a detail Jackie provided in her account to Rolling Stone and in interviews with The Washington Post–and that no member of the house matches the description detailed in the Rolling Stone account.

The attorney, Ben Warthen, who has represented Phi Kappa Psi, said the statement would come out Friday afternoon. He declined to comment further. [Note: in final story, the attorney is never named.]

Capt. Gary Pleasants of the Charlottesville police department said that detectives are looking into the allegations at the request of the university but declined to comment on the status of that investigation. [Note: This original is missing a Pleasants quote that is later added.]

Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, also released a statement with new doubt. “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” he said in a statement. [Note: A later edition adds tweets by Dana that are missing here.]

A group of Jackie’s close friends, who are sex assault awareness advocates at U-Va., said they believe something traumatic happened to Jackie but have come to doubt her account. They said details have changed over time, and they have not been able to verify key points of the story in recent days. A name of an alleged attacker that Jackie provided to them for the first time this week, for example, turned out to be similar to the name of a student who belongs to a different fraternity, and no one by that name has been a member of Phi Kappa Psi.

Reached by phone, that man, a U-Va. graduate, said Friday that he did work at the Aquatic Fitness Center and was familiar with Jackie’s name. He said, however, that he had never met Jackie in person and had never taken her on a date. He also confirmed that he was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi.

The Washington Post has interviewed Jackie several times during the past week and has worked to corroborate her version of events, contacting dozens of current and former members of the fraternity, the fraternity’s faculty adviser, Jackie’s friends and former roommates, and others on campus. Fraternity members said anonymously that the description of the assailant doesn’t match anyone they know and have been telling others on campus that they did not have a party the night of the alleged attack.

Speaking for the first time since the details of her alleged sexual assault were published in Rolling Stone, the 20 year-old U-Va. junior told the Post that she stands by her version of the events. In lengthy in-person interviews, Jackie recounted an attack very similar to the one she presented in the magazine: She had gone on a date with a member of the house, went to a party there and ended up in a room where she was brutally attacked–seven men raping her in succession with two others watching–leaving her bloody, permanently injured and emotionally devastated.[Note: The final version mentions “bloody” in other places, as well as “emotionally devastated.” But the words “permanently injured” are absent–a critical claim made here, forever vanished without comment or explanation.]

“I never asked for this” attention, she said in an interview. “What bothers me is that so many people act like it didn’t happen. It’s my life. I have had to live with the fact that it happened every day for the last two years.”

A lawyer who is representing Jackie said Friday morning that she and her client are declining to comment beyond her interviews. The Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assault without their permission, and the Post is identifying Jackie by her real nickname at her request.
The University of Virginia held a special meeting last week to discuss recent allegations of sexual assault that have rocked the campus. University President Teresa Sullivan said any systemic problems “must be rooted out.” (AP)

Alex Pinkleton, a close friend of Jackie’s who survived a rape and an attempted rape during her first two years on campus, said in an interview that she has had numerous conversations with Jackie in recent days and now feels misled.

“One of my biggest fears with these inconsistencies emerging is that people will be unwilling to believe survivors in the future,” Pinkleton said. “However, we need to remember that the majority of survivors who come forward are telling the truth.”

Pinkleton said that she is concerned that sexual assault advocacy groups will suffer as a result of the conflicting details of the Rolling Stone allegations.

“While the details of this one case may have been misreported, this does not erase the somber truth this article brought to light: Rape is far more prevalent than we realize and it is often misunderstood and mishandled by peers, institutions, and society at large,” Pinkleton said. “We in the advocacy community at U-Va. will continue the work of making this issue accessible to our peers, guiding the conversation and our community into a place where sexual assaults are rare, where reporting processes are clear and adjudication is fair and compassionate.”

The fraternity’s statement will come two weeks after Rolling Stone ran a lengthy article about what it characterized as a culture of sex assault at the flagship state university, using Jackie’s story to illustrate how brazen such attacks can be and how indifferent the university is to them. The article, which said Jackie was raped repeatedly during the course of a three-hour attack in a Phi Kappa Psi bedroom that at one point involved a beer bottle, has received increasing scrutiny in recent days as major details have come into question.

The article published in the December issue of the pop culture magazine drew headlines around the world and rekindled discussion on college campuses about sexual assault, putting U-Va. at the epicenter and sending its administration scrambling to respond. The article spawned protests and vandalism, and the university quickly suspended all Greek system activities until the beginning of next semester and put out a call for zero tolerance of sex assault.

The Rolling Stone allegations shook the campus at a tumultuous moment, as the university was still mourning the death of U-Va. sophomore Hannah Graham, whose body was found five weeks after she went missing in Charlottesville. Jackie’s story empowered many women to speak publicly about their own attacks, but it also immediately raised questions about the decisions Jackie made that evening–not going to a hospital or reporting the alleged crime to police or the school–while some expressed doubt about her story altogether.

Jackie told the Post that she had not intended to share her story widely until the Rolling Stone writer contacted her. [Note: This initial phrasing could be misunderstood that Jackie had never told her story to the public before speaking to Rolling Stone. The final version implies that Jackie had shared “elements of” her story at a Take Back the Night campus rally before she was ever contacted by the writer.]

“If she had not come to me I probably would not have gone public about my rape,” said Jackie, who added that she had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and that she is now on a regimen of anti-depressants.

Earlier this week, Jackie revealed to friends for the first time the full name of her alleged attacker, a name she had never disclosed to anyone. [Note: was this not critical info? why was this quietly removed?] But after looking into that person’s background, the group that had been among her closest supporters quickly began to raise suspicions about her account. The friends determined that the student that Jackie had named was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and that other details about his background did not match up with information Jackie had disclosed earlier about her perpetrator.

The Post determined that the student Jackie named is not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and had never met her in person. [Note: This “the Post determined” phrasing is deleted in later version. The final version instead places the information in mouths of named person and friends, leaving the Post out of being the judge of the definitive nature of the info.]

Emily Renda was a U-Va. senior when she first met Jackie in the fall of 2013. In an interview, Renda said that she immediately connected with Jackie as they discussed the bond they shared as rape survivors. Renda said that she was raped her freshman year after attending a fraternity party.

Jackie told the Post that she bawled [Note: it says “wept” in rewrite, which seems to indicate a much different emotional state. Which word did Jackie actually use?] as she spoke about her own sexual assault to Renda.

Renda said on Thursday that Jackie initially told her that she was attacked by five students at Phi Kappa Psi on Sept. 28, 2012. [Note: is later deletion of the date a critical admission that Renda had not given specific date that she independently remembered?] Renda said that she learned months later that Jackie had changed the number of attackers from five to seven.

“An advocate is not supposed to be an investigator, a judge or an adjudicator,” said Renda,a 2014 graduate who works for the university as a sexual violence awareness specialist. But as details emerge that cast doubt on Jackie’s account, Renda said, “I don’t even know what I believe at this point.”

“This feels like a betrayal of good advocacy if this is not true,” Renda said. “We teach people to believe the victims. We know there are false reports but those are extraordinarily low.”

Renda said that research shows between 2 to 8 percent of all rape allegations are fabricated or unfounded.

“The doubt cast on Jackie’s story has been feeding the myth that we have been combating for 40 years that women lie about rape and I feel that will put women at a disadvantage in coming forward,” Renda said.

“There’s definitely a lot of confusion and raising of a lot of questions that need answers,” Renda said. “I have faith and hope that Jackie will answer those in time.” [Note: This quote, casting doubt on Jackie’s story, from the person who recommended her to the writer, has been completely removed from the final version. Did Renda request its removal?]

In July, Renda introduced Jackie to Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the Rolling Stone writer who was on assignment to write about sexual violence on college campuses. Overwhelmed from sitting through interviews with the writer, Jackie said she asked Erdely to be taken out of the article. She said Erdely refused and Jackie was told that the article would go forward regardless.

Jackie said she finally relented and agreed to participate on the condition that she be able to fact-check her parts in the story, which she said Erdely accepted. Erdely said in an e-mail message that she was not immediately available to comment Friday morning.

“I didn’t want the world to read about the worst three hours of my life, the thing I have nightmares about every night,” Jackie said.

Jackie told The Post that she felt validated that the article encouraged other female students to come forward saying that they, too, had been sexually assaulted in fraternity houses.

“Haven’t enough people come forward at this point?” she said. “How many people do you need to come forward saying they’ve been raped at a fraternity to make it real to you? They need to acknowledge it’s a problem they need to address instead of pointing fingers to take the blame off themselves.”

As classes resumed this week after Thanksgiving break, Jackie, whose family lives in northern Virginia, went back to the campus where her story is still a daily topic of conversation. Although anonymous for now, she said she remains afraid that fellow students and fraternity members will somehow recognize her as the victim from the Rolling Stone article.

Jackie said that she never wanted to go to U-Va. Graduating near the top of her high school senior class of 700, she had planned to attend Brown University. She dreamed of pursuing a career in medicine like her childhood hero, Patch Adams.

“I wanted to help people,” Jackie said.

She said she was disappointed when her family told her that they could not afford the Ivy League tuition. She enrolled at U-Va. without ever visiting the school.

She said that she performed well in course work that included rigorous pre-med classes in psychology, chemistry and religious anthropology. She said soon found a job as a lifeguard at a campus pool, where she said she met a charming junior who had dimples, blue eyes and dark curly hair.

Jackie told the Post that the same student later took her out for an extravagant dinner at the Boar’s Head Inn before they attended a date function on Sept. 28, 2012 at his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. Jackie said that her date appeared to have orchestrated the sexual assault by attempting to ply her with alcohol before escorting her into a darkened room on the second floor of the fraternity house. Jackie said she did not actually drink alcohol that night because she said she was on a migraine medication and said that she remembered the events that night clearly. [Note: is this not critical info to judge her later statements by–that she has a clear memory? why would this be deleted from later versions?]

According to her account in Rolling Stone and in interviews, Jackie said she was thrown to a rug, breaking a low glass table in the process. She said that she did receive cuts to the back of her arm as a result but noted that her attack happened on a thick rug.

Jackie told the Post that the men pinned her down and then raped her, the trauma leaving her bleeding from between her legs.

“One of them said ‘Grab its [expletive] leg,'” she said, ler [sic] lip quivering and tears streaming down her face. “Its. I’ll never forget that. I felt like nothing, like I wasn’t even human.”

Jackie’s former roommate, Rachel Soltis, said that she noticed emotional and physical changes to her friend during the fall semester of 2012, when the two shared a suite on campus.

“She was withdrawn, depressed and couldn’t wake up in the mornings,” said Soltis, who told the Post that she was convinced that Jackie was sexually assaulted. Soltis said that Jackie did not tell her about the alleged sexual assault until January 2013. Soltis said that she did not notice any apparent wounds on Jackie’s body at the time that might have indicated a brutal attack.

The Post asked Jackie on multiple occasions for her to reveal the full name of the two attackers she said she recognized. She declined, saying that she didn’t want the perpetrator “to come back in my life.”

Jackie said numerous times that she didn’t expect that an investigation the Charlottesville Police department opened after the article’s publication to result in any charges. She said she knew there was little if any forensic evidence that could prove the allegations two years after they occurred.

“I didn’t want a trial,” Jackie said. “I can’t imagine getting up on a defense stand having them tear me apart.”

Jackie said early in the week that she felt manipulated by Erdely, the Rolling Stone reporter, saying that she “felt completely out of control over my own story.” In an in-person interview Thursday, Jackie said that Rolling Stone account of her attack was truthful but also acknowledged that some details in the article might not be accurate.

Jackie contradicted an earlier interview, saying on Thursday that she did not know if her main attacker actually was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.

“He never said he was in Phi Psi,” she said, while noting that she was positive that the date function and attack occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on Sept. 28, 2012. “I know it was Phi Psi because a year afterward my friend pointed out the building to me and said that’s where it happened.”

Tommy Reid, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said that all Greek organizations must register parties with the IFC. He said that the council’s records did not date back to the fall of 2012. [Note: the name of the IFC president is missing from later editions, as well as his stated defense, and the IFC’s inability to back up Phi Psi’s statement they had no party on the night in question. Did Reid’s statement turn out to be wrong?]

Jennifer Jenkins and Julie Tate contributed to this report. [Note: later edition adds two more reporters]

It’s possible that the Washington Post realizes that they made a journalistic error in making such massive changes to a story without alerting its readers. A follow-up Washington Post article on the UVA rape story was published on December 10 at 5:12pm. But by 6:00pm that evening, they had already added a note to the bottom: “This story has been updated.”


The generic, undefined nature of the note makes it a pretty shabby alert, as it gives readers no idea if that update added, corrected, deleted or massaged critical information, or if it tweaked a grammatical error.

But it’s certainly better than rewriting an entire article and pretending it’s the same one that was originally at that link.


|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Do Pants Make the Man? Bret Baier Viewers Say Yes [Funny Video]

In the conservative blogosphere and twitter world, there’s a running joke about everyone preferring to go without wearing pants, commonly referred to as #NoPants. I’m not sure where this started, but comedian and conservative pundit Stephen Kruiser is one of the leaders of the pantsless revolution.

Not everyone is on board with the no-pants thing, though.

In celebration of Bret Baier’s fifth anniversary as the anchor of Fox News’ excellent Special Report, the guys with RealClearPolitics’ Morning Commute car interviews took Baier for a ride and got a funny pants story.

Safe to say, it scared the pants off of Baier to think someone was going to force him to publicly join the #NoPants movement.


Media Malpractice: The Reality of Satire

Back in 2009, the satire website The Onion did a spoof on how the media avoided doing any negative story on Barack Obama. Ann Coulter tweeted a link to it yesterday (with no mention of it being three years old), and it just goes to show how the media has, if anything, grown more protective of him—especially in the wake of the AlQaeda murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens on 9/11 2012.

Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama’s Double-Homicide

WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”

Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.

“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”

“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”

So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.

While Obama has expressed no remorse for the grisly murders—point-blank shootings with an unregistered .38-caliber revolver—many journalists said it would be irresponsible for the press to sensationalize the story.

“There’s been some debate around the office about whether we should report on this at all,” Washington Post seniorreporter Bill Tracy said while on assignment at a local dog show. “It’s enough of a tragedy without the press jumping in and pointing fingers or, worse, exploiting the violence. Plus, we need to be sensitive to the victims’ families at this time. Their loved ones were brutally, brutally murdered, after all.”

Click to read the rest of the scathing lampoon.

Since the media enjoy special protections, get unique access to people and places from which the hoi polloi are excluded, I’d suggest a professional oath of objectivity. But would that be the thing that would finally make them shape up and do their jobs properly? No. Our President, Congress and cabinet members take a loyalty oath to protect and defend the Constitution—the foremost priority of their jobs—and they often ignore that pledge, with no penalty. Oaths don’t seem to mean much anymore.

Plus the profession already has a code of ethics. Take a look at it. It is laughable (cry-able?) how few of the mainstream media political reporters actually abide by a tenth of these simple Society of Professional Journalists rules.



|Media | Prudence Potpourri

JawDropper: The Elite Media on Why Obama Won't Endorse Gay Marriage

Ok, so Barack Obama has finally come out and told the world what we knew he has been hiding all along: he supports gay marriage. Guess his team did some flash polling and focus grouping over the past couple days to find he can apparently live without the homophobic black vote in November—or they will have no where else to go.

But according to an MSNBC contributor, you’re racist if you think blacks are homophobic. See her rant here.

On NBC political director Chuck Todd’s show, The Daily Rundown, his panel briefly discussed the oddity of having Joe Biden come out over the weekend in favor of gay marriage and then having the White House scramble to make it clear that is Biden’s opinion, not Obama’s position. (Todd and his panel didn’t mention the coming out of Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this morning, thus setting up the Obama campaign strategy of surrounding himself with pro-gay marriage personnel while he can claim to be sympathetic to the issue but yet “still evolving.” What a coward!)

Todd asks his panelists (Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster; Michael Steele, former GOP Party Chairman; and Dan Balz, Washington Post liberal) why Obama won’t just come out in favor of gay marriage. The unified panel opinion may surprise you—or at least seem racist to you, even though they don’t blink an eye in saying it:

While these same people and their peers frequently deem anyone who opposes gay marriage to be “homophobic,” they apparently have absolutely no problem accepting the widespread opposition to gay marriage in the black community.

To not even elaborate on the reason why the black community is the primary cause for Obama’s phony posturing smacks of…paternalism. While they bash religious communities and redneck regions for disapproving of gay marriage, they give the black community a complete pass. It’s as if they think the black community is simply not ready to be held to the same standards as whites. Do they think the black community just doesn’t know any better, is incapable of meeting their elite requirements, so it’s okay to appease them? Better to pat them on the head and get their vote than to offend their homophobic sensitivities?

Why the double standard? Seems fairly racist to me.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

How to Produce a Frack Nation...For Only $1

The financing period for the upcoming documentary FrackNation is coming to a rapid end. Tomorrow morning at 9:00am EDT, the filmmakers will get to collect their funding obtained at the crowdfunding site, (That’s 6 am Pacific time.) They have almost reached $200,000 in pledges. We need to get them over that line…and beyond.

This FrackNation billboard reads: "THE WATER WAS ON FIRE IN 1669. Burning Springs, NY." Yahoo's Photo of the Day caption reads, in part: The feature-length film looks at the process of fracking for natural gas, demolishing much of the scaremongering surrounding the process and featuring the millions whose lives have been positively transformed by this emerging industry. “FrackNation will feature small farmers, the working class and others who are benefitting from this economic boom. We will also look at the backgrounds and motives of those opposing fracking," said McElhinney.

Hurry! This is your chance to be a producer of a movie. (Yes, a producer! Anyone donating at least $1—before the funding cut-off time—will be listed in the movie credits as an Executive Producer. Increase your contribution to a mere $20, and you will also receive a DVD copy of the documentary. There’s more goodies available for those with deeper pockets, too.)

The filmmakers wanted to nip in the bud any lefty, environmentally deranged accusations that they are just dopey tools of the oil and gas industry, so they have asked anyone working in the industry to withdraw any contributions the Kickstarter campaign. They want this movie to be 100% by ordinary citizens wanting the truth about fracking to be known.

This documentary could not be coming at a better time, just as the Left and the environmental fearmongers are kicking into high gear to put an end to a key to solving America’s energy problems and making us self-sufficient. (Don’t know much about what fracking is and why it is crucial to the economic success of this country? For some fracking facts, check out, a Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and a pro-and-foe panel discussion transcribed at the Wall Street Journal.)

First, there was the lefty documentary Gasland claiming fracking makes people’s water flammable—but neglects to mention what the filmmakers wrote in a project update:

First, there are centuries old documents that state the water in many places across US was flammable because of naturally occurring methane. Second, hundreds and hundreds of people living in the places Josh Fox says were affected by fracking have told us how they always had methane in their wells they even used to bring the water to schools for science class experiments and sometimes set it on fire at parties (please DO NOT attempt doing that yourself). We decided this was very important information that the rest of the public should know about, so we put up a big billboard in New York State, where bans and moratoriums on fracking have put many families’ dreams and hopes on hold.

Even the usually anti-fracking Huffington Post was forced to acknowledge our billboard and the truth and Yahoo News selected it as a Photo of The Day. “This is something that people need to know” Phelim said in an interview with the Blaze.

Joe Biden is out on the campaign trail, spreading misinformation and scaremongering, claiming fracking causes earthquakes.

Next comes a Gasland sequel (don’t hold your breath that it will correct any of the misinformation and hyperbole of the first one). And yesterday, we learned that Matt Damon will soon star in an anti-fracking Hollywood blockbuster that his fevered liberal brain has co-written. According to FrackNation filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer:

PROMISED LAND will be directed by Gus Van Sant and co-star John Krasinski, who plays Jim in NBC’s The Office. This will be a huge movie – with a big budget and a lot of promotion and advertising and sources tell us it will be portraying fracking in a very negative light.

As you probably know, Matt Damon is just the latest Hollywood superstar to come out against fracking. Robert Redford, Debra Winger and Mark Ruffallo have also campaigned against the process.

We want to make FrackNation because we want the truth about fracking to b e told. But it will not be easy getting the message out with a sequel to Gasland in the works and now a big budget Hollywood movie concentrating on scare stories rather than true stories. Now, we recognize Hollywood movies don’t have to be truthful – they just have to be entertaining, but it’s likely thatPROMISED LAND will increase unfounded concerns about fracking.

Ann and Phelim need our help. (Yesterday was Phelim’s birthday. Contributions make excellent belated gifts.)

Want to learn more about the exciting new, factual documentary FrackNation? Go HERE and watch the short video from the filmmakers. Then go make a contribution to the movie before 9 o’clock Eastern tomorrow morning. (That’s 6am crack-of-dawn for you West Coasters.)

Still want more information before you’ll part with your Executive Producer money? FrackNation has been getting lots of press coverage. Here’s a sampling:

Now go punch Hollywood in the gut. Become a producer. There’s only a few hours left to be part of it. I contributed. How about you?

NOTE: FrackNation has raised $200,000 from an army of citizens like you. But the sequel to frack-fearmonger Gasland has raised $750,000 through HBO and other corporate sources. Give all you’ve got. Let the truth prevail.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Someone's Scrubbing the Internet of First Daughter's Taxpayer-Footed Extravagant Spring Break

Malia Obama is 13 years old, and yet the American taxpayer is currently paying for her to jetset around Mexico with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service nannies—and no Mom and Dad. It’s bad enough that Michelle Obama seems to think her position as First Lady is so grueling that she deserves luxurious vacations every quarter—with at least one a year without her husband. But now we are forced to pay for a teenager to galavant around?

But what’s worse, the White House or someone with extreme power is attempting to scrub the entire news media of any mention of this outrageous expense.

At Google News, there are supposedly 26 “news articles” left online at this moment regarding Malia Obama’s vacation from her arduous life as a pampered teen attending an elite private school. But many of those articles have vanished:

Malia Obama, President Barack Obama’s Eldest Daughter, Travels To 

Huffington Post – 3 hours ago
President Obama’s 13-year-old daughter Malia Ann joined thousands of American students as they crossed the border to Mexico for spring break this weekend.

Malia Obama heads to Mexico on a SCHOOL TRIP… but brings 25 ‎ Daily Mail
Obama’s daughter spends springbreak in Mexico‎ AFP
Spring Breaker! Malia Obama’s Mexican Vacation (PHOTOS)‎ Global Grind
all 26 news articles »

The first article at the Huffington Post links to this URL: Go ahead. Click on it all you want. HuffPo has ripped the story from their site. You’ll just get redirected to their front page, where you will find absolutely no mention of your tax dollars footing the bill for a teen to lounge around south of the border. (Funnily, HuffPo may have thought they scrubbed their whole site, but I found a little remnant:

(click the image to see it full size)

The next link at the UK’s Daily Mail took great effort to get in good with the White House by putting part of their headline in ALL CAPS. They can holler that Malia was on a SCHOOL TRIP all they want, but no other remaining story on the internet says that. And the Daily Mail has since ripped their entire twisted story from their website as well. Go to their link (–brings-25-Secret-Service-agents-her.html) and you’ll get a lovely:

The page you have requested does not exist or is no longer available.

The next link in Google’s list is possibly the original English-language report of the trip, from Agence France-Presse (AFP). They are so proud of their enterprise reporting that they have scrubbed their site clean of any mention of it. Go ahead, click the link and see for yourself:

The URL remains the same for some direct AFP story links showing it was originally about Malia (such as, but it now contains a Malia-free story about a musician (“Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail”).

I was late to the story, so I did not see the very original AFP story, but I believe I have found a copy of the original story at the Canadian Edmonton Journal:

Obama’s daughter spends spring break in Mexico


OAXACA, Mexico – The elder daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama is spending her spring break in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, a state police official said.

The young tourists, including 13-year-old Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, the official said.

“We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites,” the police official told AFP under the condition of anonymity.

Malia Obama and her friend are guarded by 25 U.S. Secret Service agents as well as Mexican police, the official noted.

The group, which arrived in Oaxaca Saturday, has already visited the architectural zone of Mitla and the tree of El Tule believed to have one thousand years.

The sightseeing plan also includes visits to Monte Alban known for its archeological research sites and Oaxaca’s famous artisan quarters.

Duplicates of this AFP story exist on the websites of the Canadian media group of which the Edmonton Journal is a part (Windsor Star, Regina Leader-Post, The Province, Star Phoenix, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times Colonist, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, and times 2.

TurkishPress printed a shortened version of the AFP story (and at this moment still remains online). Nigeria’s This Day Live also carries the same AFP story. Note how both sites are well outside of the typical American’s reading list. So persons in Europe/Middle East and Africa will be privy to information that our own White House wishes to keep from US citizens.

Likewise at the UK’s Telegraph link (, the story has vanished:


We cannot find the page you are looking for.

  • The page may have been moved, updated or deleted.
  • Or you may have typed the web address incorrectly. Please check the address and spelling.

At The Australian (, same thing:

The requested file was not found. The link you followed may have been incorrect; or the page may have been removed or renamed.

Australia’s (

We had a good look, but couldn’t find the page you requested.

This is either because:

* There’s an error in the address or link you have entered in your browser;
* There’s a technical issue and the page has not been properly published;
* The article was removed to comply with a legal order;
* It is an older article that has been removed from the site.

If you believe that this is a technical error, please contact us and tell us the location of this page.

At the Australian Eye (, also the same thing:

Page not found!

Sorry the page you were looking is not here.

At the Global Grind (“the world according to Hip-Pop”), which also promised PHOTOS of Malia’s trip (, alas, the same thing:

requested page not found

Of all the various original links to a story regarding Malia’s spring break, very few publications were brave enough to let them remain online for more than a few hours. Once such location, with an original story is International Business Times (they have since chickened out as well and deleted their story before I could even publish this post):

Amid Travel Warnings, Obama’s Daughter, Malia, Spring Breaks In Mexico With 25 Secret Service Agents
March 19, 2012 12:33 PM EDT

President Barack Obama’s 13-year-old daughter, Malia Ann Obama, will be spending her spring break in the Mexican city of Oaxaca with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents.

The young tourists will be in a downtown hotel in the city known for its colonial architecture and native traditions, reported a state police official.

“We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites,” the police official told AFP under the condition of anonymity.

Along with the 25 Secret Service agents, Obama and her friends will protected by a slew of Mexican police officers, according to the AFP.

The group arrived in Oaxaca on Saturday and reportedly visited the architectural site of Mitla. They also visited the tree of El Tule, believed to be approximately 1000 years old. The group also plans to travel to Monte Alban, which is known for its archaeological research as well as the artisan sections of the city.

On Feb. 8, 2012, the State Department issued a travel warning to all potential tourists to the Mexican region.

“U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter TCOs, which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico,” wrote the State Department in a statement. “The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere.”

However, while the State Department has issued travel warnings throughout the country, there is no warning in the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:


In the time I was working on this piece, Essence removed their story at, even though they are renown for chronicling the activities of the First Daughters. (Just search their site for the keyword of Malia to see a galore of stories.) Clearly, someone told them to remove this one:

Sorry. This page was not found.

Please use the search above or view the sitemap below to find what you’re looking for

Read more:

Mexico Today did not get the notice yet, apparently, as their Flickr account still has four photos of Malia (although one appears to be a stock photo taken by Annie Lebowitz for the White House, unless she has traveled to Mexico to photograph the trip too):

Malia In Mexico---from Mexico Today Flickr Account. If you don't see the photo, the White House has gotten them to scrub it.

Mexico Today’s caption:

Malia Ann Obama Vacations in Oaxaca, Mexico


Malia Obama and Middle School Friends Enjoy Mexico on US Taxpayer Dime. (If you don't see an image, the White House has gotten Mexico Today to scrub it. Let me know.)

Mexico Today’s caption:

Malia Ann Obama Vacations in Oaxaca, Mexico

Source: El Imparcial, Mexico

More of 13-Year-Old Malia Obama Jetsetting in Mexico Without Parents But 25 Secret Service Nannies and 12 Friends, Courtesy of Your Paycheck.

Mexico Today’s caption:

Malia Ann Obama Vacations in Oaxaca, Mexico

Source: Century21 Sun &Sand | C21Cancun


Some small blogs are also scrubbing their sites, such as:


Places that still have the story:

One of the original reporting resources, the Mexican site, still has their full story running: It was published on March 16, three full days ago, and tells where the group is staying and what they are visiting, providing further evidence that the scrubbing of the story from US and English-language websites is not for security concerns as the information is widely available outside of the US. (quoting the now scrubbed Telegraph story) (by Dan Riehl) (which notes the scrubbing began one full day after the Mexican news reported the information, so the cat’s already out of the bag as far as any security concerns would be addressed by covering up the trip. DBKP also found a Mexican site, Quien, with additional information, albeit en español, but with extra photos.) (which features additional photos) (which captured the text of several big site stories before they were yanked)

TeaPartyAtPerrysburg (which has some cost estimates from the scrubbed Daily Mail story) (which captured the Australian story with a photo of Malia at a ruins before it was scrubbed) (from whose tweet I first learned about this story)

hard-core left-wingers

a brief report on the Daily Caller

and yours truly,

If there are others refusing to let this story be covered up, let me know and I’ll add them to the list. Freedom of information must not be suppressed. The White House has no business forcing citizens to erase stories it finds inconvenient when the story has nothing to do with national security.


Follow me on Twitter: @PruPaine

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Chimichangas, Chop Suey, Blackface and Haagen Dazs: What Do They Have In Common?

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank used his column today to have his fun smacking Republicans around, deriding the GOP for not sufficiently pandering to the Latino community to buy their votes.

He titled his column “Does the GOP care about Latino voters?” But it seems he wanted to call it “Why does the GOP hate Latinos?”

He tsk-tsks that the GOP doesn’t want to give citizenship to illegals that go to college for a few semesters (squeezing out citizens for seats in classes and dollars to pay for them). Milbank, however, doesn’t mention the college portion of the so-called Dream Act. He phrases it that the GOP wants to deny citizenship to any illegal that serves in our military. Apparently Milbank doesn’t know that it is already US policy, supported by Republicans, to grant citizenship to foreign-born soldiers serving in our armed forces. What is not current policy is to permit illegal immigrants to join. (By the way, not all illegal immigrants are Mexican, or even Latino. Do we really want to encourage al-Qaeda members to cross over the border, join the Army and voila!?) Fair and balanced perspective is not Milbank’s point here. Smearing the GOP with bigoted stereotypes is his point.

He tosses a few other smoke bombs in: “Arizona-style” immigration laws, a ludicrous comment about electrifying the border fence by a defunct GOP presidential candidate who never had a chance of going anywhere, and “anti-immigrant” rhetoric (despite the fact that the GOP has spoken quite loudly about being PRO-immigrant, but anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant).

Milbank doesn’t let facts get in the way of his feelings. He claims the Senate GOP “roughed up” a Cuban-American nominee for the 11th circuit of the US Court of Appeals. In reality, Milbank is doing nothing more than carrying Democratic water. It’s their latest trumped-up talking points. As he notes in his column, Adalberto Jose Jordan will be confirmed today, but Sen. Rand Paul tried to stop $1.3 billion in foreign aid from going to Egypt while they hold our citizens hostage. So he put a hold on Jordan’s confirmation in an effort to force a vote on a potentially life-or-death matter. There is no “roughing up,” or anything bad being done to Jordan. He will be a judge, and just maybe, due to Paul’s efforts, Egypt will release our citizens and permit them to exit the country freely.

But the Senate Democrats put out their talking points, which Milbank so dutifully reprinted. Acording to Roll Call, in a story that quotes only liberal sources:

But if no agreement is reached, the vote would take place Wednesday morning, forcing the Senate to waste up to two days and halting progress on a surface transportation bill currently on the floor.

“What’s happened on the Senate floor tonight is just ridiculous,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We are supposed to be on a highway bill, a bill that will protect 1.8 million jobs and create” more.

Just before the Senate adjourned for the evening, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), in announcing the Senate’s business for Tuesday, said Democrats expect Jordan to be confirmed Tuesday.

There are about 20 Americans among 43 individuals who are accused by Egyptian authorities of illegally receiving foreign money in a case against nongovernmental organizations that have pushed for democratic reform in Egypt. The case has strained relations between the two nations.

Paul wants to use the $1.3 billion a year the United States provides to Egypt in aid as an incentive for the Egyptian authorities to release the Americans.

Attention, Senator Boxer. One of the people being detained in Egypt is the son of the US Secretary of Transportation. How ironic she thinks a 30-hour delay in a transportation bill is more important.

But the real doozy in Milbank’s column comes at the very end. He ridicules Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for promoting various things for which his state is known, such as lettuce and the invention of the chimichanga.

Milbank uses that chimichanga mention as a chance to end on a dig, to really stick it to the GOP. He concludes his column with the lines:

The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos.

That has stoked a firestorm in the twitter community of conservatives and Latinos. It’s being taken as a slur against Latinos, a perpetuation of low stereotypes.

But I would argue that it’s even lower than that. Apparently Milbank didn’t notice what he quoted. The chimichanga is not traditional Mexican food. It’s an American bastardization of the burrito. Folklore claims it was invented and named when a burrito fell into a fryer, and the cook began to cuss, but caught herself mid-exclamation and changed it to the Spanish word for “thingamajig.” Thus was born the “chimichanga.”

But to claim it is Latino is like serving up chop suey to Chinese Americans. Or trying to lure some mythical amalgamation of Scandinavians with cones of Haagen Dazs. Or saying blackface may be the only thing Republicans have to offer to black Americans.

Such a statement is a stereotype of a stereotype. Chimichangas, chop suey, blackface and Haagen Dazs. These are all things made to seem exotic and appealing for people that are afraid to enjoy the authentic cultural offerings of the communities they purport to represent. Only someone badly misinformed would equate chimichangas with the rich and hearty flavors of real Latino cooking. Someone who views Latinos through elitist eyes, who probably thinks Taco Bell and Sonic’s jalapeno poppers are the height of authentic Mexican cuisine, would write a line like that—and think it’s a funny little quip.

But who should then tweet that Milbank’s stinky slur was the “line of the day”? None other than Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina.


Birds of a feather, they are. Shows how little Milbank and Messina know about the Latino community or its food.

And it seems that Messina is feeling some heat, as he just tweeted that he was just “Tweeting someone else’s words”:


There’s a difference between tweeting someone else’s words and calling them “the line of the day.” Messina knows that, but he hopes his buddies in the media will go along with that angle, as he tweets a link to…an image page at… Of an Obama campaign memo touting their cherry-picked poll numbers of Latinos preferring Obama’s devastating mismanagement of America to the GOP’s attempts to keep us from drowning.

No wonder Messina can be so smug in his smears and slurs. He has a major political website storing images of his memos for him to tweet at will.

Update: Hat tip to SooperMexican for sinking his teeth into this story and alerting us all.

RB at the Right Sphere points out how other Obama supporters enjoyed the “line of the day” as well: Pasty White Dana Milbank Gets Obama Campaign Props.

Michelle Malkin says “Chimichanga Is the New Macaca.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Dear Media: Yes, He's Black and GOP. Get Over It.

I just finally got around to reading a Politico story (“S.C.’s Scott: Tea Party Talent Scout”) about Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) and how he’s a bridge between the Tea Party and the establishment GOP—and how he has become a kingmaker as the South Carolina GOP presidential primary approaches. Halfway through the article, it mentions that Scott is black, and then for the rest of the article, that’s all it is about.

Hello, Politico. Tim Scott was elected nearly a year ago. It’s not “news” anymore. Can the media please stop marveling over the fact that South Carolina Republicans elected a black man? Their obsessing over it is little more than an attempt to keep antiquated stereotypes alive and to dig around and see if they can’t get someone to say something mildly racist. It’s offensive.

Granted, at times it’s appropriate to mention a certain Republican is black, and I wish black media would give more coverage to black Republicans to provide more examples that it is possible—and preferable—to be both. But liberals, refusing to see blacks as anything other than subpar victims in need of Democrat handouts and control, take it as an affront that any black could be a Republican. When the liberal media attempts to probe the topic, their disbelief and even racism seeps through their words.

Let’s take a look at a few of the prime examples from the Politico piece. Here’s the first mention that Scott is black:

Scott, who served 13 years on the Charleston County Council as the first black Republican elected anywhere in the state since Reconstruction, consistently downplays the historical importance of his popularity in the state’s political scene.

Of course Scott would “downplay the historical importance of his popularity.” For one, Scott is a rather modest man, not given to braggadocio, so he downplays much of his qualities and achievements, especially “popularity.” He prefers instead to praise others that have contributed to his success, such as his mother.

But what in the world is the writer, Marin Cogan, trying to say: “historical importance…of popularity”? How is it historically important to have a black man be popular? Important for what?

It subtly, insidiously implies: “Scott downplays that long-time racist whites now like him”? Forget the vast majority that ignored his color and liked his positions. We’re all slimed with the racist taint.

Perhaps that’s one reason Scott “downplays” her framing of his popularity. Maybe Scott knows that there’s a goodly more people in the room that care more about the content of his character than the color of his skin.

Scott won a primary in a massively large field of heavy-hitting establishment GOP names and hardcore Tea Party newcomers. This, in an election year in which the Republicans in this neck of the woods were practically foaming at the mouth to not just halt but reverse every bit of damage inflicted by Barack Obama and the Democrats. There was no way in hell anyone was going to do something so stupid as to turn our congressional seat over to someone because of the color of his skin.

But it is undeniable that a part of his success is rooted in his seemingly preternatural comfort operating in the most conservative of South Carolina’s political circles, ones that were until recently seen as largely exclusive to whites.

That quote angers me: “[conservative political circles] that were until recently seen as largely exclusive to whites.” As if the South Carolina GOP has had a sign on the door saying “No blacks allowed.” Anyone, regardless of their skin color, has been welcome to enter the door. No one has been excluded in many decades, from either party.

Scott’s skin color does make him visually stand out at GOP functions—but with about as much import as a redhead standing out. It’s not as if people are whispering, “oh look, a black man is here!” Cogan would not have been incorrect to say the conservative SC circles have been “largely white,” leaving out the “exclusive to.” The GOP still is significantly white, but not because whites want it to be. The only time I think about Scott’s race is when thinking of ways we conservatives can make inroads into the black community, fight against the abhorrent liberal taunts of “Uncle Tom.”

Yet, that’s exactly what Cogan has subtly done. It is true that Scott has great comfort operating in conservative circles. Of course he does. He is a conservative. But it is offensive to say he’s “preternaturally comfortable” mingling with conservatives. That’s calling Scott an Uncle Tom. Translation: “That black man is unnaturally comfortable hanging out with whites, joining their exclusive club, acting like he’s one of them.”

It lingers on the tips of the tongues of most everyone who searches for an explanation for his popularity.

First Cogan says Scott downplays his being black in a predominantly white group. Now she says all the whites aren’t eager to mention it either, though “it lingers on the tips of the tongues,” as if we racists are just one second away from blurting some racist statement about Scott.

If she felt she detected any interviewee reservation to discuss Scott’s skin color, it was probably because color is not a foremost factor in our support of him. It surely crossed their minds that she might attempt to paint them as a racist no matter what they said.

It’s hard to know for sure what Cogan encountered, but I would be mightily disappointed in my fellow conservatives if “most” of them felt Scott’s race was the reason for his popularity.

Let’s see those “tip of the tongue” quotes:

“Obviously, having an African-American representative elected from the South, it’s unique, it’s an oddity, because the South is criticized for being so anti-black and anti-African American. It’s refreshing,” said Tommy Hartnett, who formerly held Scott’s seat.

I can see that response being given to a reporter who asks something along the lines of “how does Scott’s race affect his popularity.” However, I doubt that would be the answer to the question of “why is Scott so popular” without being prompted about race. If asked why Scott, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Joe Wilson are popular, a conservative would not rave about the latter two’s conservative principles but attribute Scott’s to race.

Plus, Barack Obama’s election showed there are some people stupid or gullible or liberal-guilt-ridden enough to vote for someone because of their race. As a pure political calculation, therefore, race can play a factor in selecting a candidate. I’m sure some GOP politicos take that into consideration in putting together a slate. But in a place that’s supposedly such a hotbed of racism, wouldn’t you run the risk of losing just as many votes as you gain? Especially if it’s the Republicans that are supposed to be the racists? Isn’t that risky for them to run a black man?

No. It’s about character and principles and fortitude.

“We have a not-so-pretty history with regard to race. For conservative and Republican activists who unfairly get deemed with the stereotype of being racist, to have a guy who is incredibly conservative and just so happens to be black, it’s part of the appeal,” said a South Carolina Republican activist.

That quote just infuriates me. Quite interesting the “activist” was embarrassed enough by it that he or she didn’t even want to have his or her name attached. The second sentence of the quote is true enough if you clarify it. “[Scott’s color] is part of the appeal” if you are looking for accolades and approval from liberals or the media. They’re the ones continually trying to hold us down and foist the rancid stereotype on us, even if it belongs in the era of black-and-white news footage.

But what’s outraging is the first part: the “we” have a “not-so-pretty” race history. I am sick and tired of being forced to wear the hair shirt of dead and dying generations. My peers and younger generations aren’t living in the past. We’ve long moved on and aren’t stuck living in the flickering images of 50 years ago. Our part of history may not be perfect, but it’s getting things done, without being consumed by race.

Leave me out of your smears about your ugly history. Talk to me about something I’m responsible for. Something I created or advanced. Don’t play the reporter’s game and wring your hands and affirm her stereotypes. If it’s all about race for you, say so, but put your name on it so we’ll know who to avoid.

The quote that most disappointed me, however, was from Rep. Trey Gowdy, a solid freshman GOP congressman from upstate SC:

“Although he doesn’t talk in those terms, he is historically significant,” said Gowdy, who noted that he dreams of taking his children to visit Scott in the governor’s mansion some day. “I’m proud of the fact that Tim Scott’s the face of our congressional delegation and, in many respects, the future of the conservative movement in South Carolina.”

There is indeed a historical fact of note about Scott: it’s not that he’s popular among conservative whites, but that he was the first GOP black elected since Reconstruction in SC.

The rest of the quote I’m hoping dearly is taken out of context. That Gowdy wants to have his kids visit a Gov. Scott not because he’s black, but because he is a politically principled conservative. Likewise about being the “face” and the future. I hope more blacks do join the GOP, do join the fight. I think the Tea Party movement has been a wonderful way to bring in more faces of color. The more diversity of color, the less insulting coverage of “oh, look there’s a black or brown person in that conservative [racist] group. why in the world are they there? do they need help?”

Out of everyone quoted in the racist fishing expedition, the one that most agrees with me—the one who knows better than anyone else exactly how Tim Scott feels about and experiences the race versus character issue—was Tim Scott himself:

“At the end of the day, it’s what you do that matters to my voters, not what you look like,” Scott said. “I’ve seen the ugliness that comes with a racially divisive world, but I’ve experienced very consistently that if you represent what you are more than what you look like, people respond to it.”

It is some small salve that the quote most able to be deemed racist came from the sleazy South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, Dick Harpootlian:

Of course, not everyone is enamored with Scott’s brand of post-racial politics. “He’s popular among Republicans, absolutely. He’s someone they can roll out who is a tea party African American. How rare are they?” said Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the state’s Democratic Party. “If you are willing to forgo any sense of conscience, or right or wrong, you can be a superstar in the Republican Party.”

Interesting how that quote brings us back to the original story, long since abandoned. What started as a story about a congressman rising in statewide power ends up interviewing all the white folk about what they think about him being black. Seems to me that Politico really wanted to do a story about “lookee here at all these southern white conservatives (i.e., racists) having a black man tell them who to vote for,” but they just didn’t have the courage to so blatantly frame it that way.

From the paragraph that mentions Scott is black to the ugly Harpootlian quote, the whole racial half of the story, the non sequitur into 2010 breaking news that SC elected a black GOP congressman, could be removed from the article without losing any context or information in the original story.

It would have addressed Scott respectfully as a principled man in his own right, capable of being powerful and successful solely because of his ideology, behavior and character. To inject the odd racial aspect revealed more about Politico and the writer than it did about South Carolina politics.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Chris Matthews: Black Communities Need Gay Marriage Because They're Unstable

To discuss whether gay marriage will be an issue in the 2012 election, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews had former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, and gay rights activist Ross Levi, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, on his show to debate. In the course of questioning them, Matthews had this rambling intro to a question:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

[Entire segment is available here.]

In case you missed it, Matthews said [with my emphasis]:

Ross, I’ve watched politicians, like in Ohio in the 2004 election, with the help of Don King, the fight promoter, get black clergymen up in Cleveland, the Cleveland area, to get their flocks to vote against the Democratic candidate, John Kerry, on that issue. They got the vote out. They create a lot of rumble and excitement about the evils of same-sex marriage in communities that you’re very much in need of more marriages, obviously, because they’re unstable in many ways, some of the families.

“Obviously”? Let’s assume his saying black communities need more marriages is not because he thinks too many blacks just live together in otherwise traditional family arrangements (what liberal would complain about that?), but because he believes too many black households are headed by single mothers. It’s still hard to understand how he makes the leap from that to how gay “married” households will have any effect on that. How will black communities will be made stable if instead of promoting traditional marriage for unwed mothers they promote gay marriage instead? That will stablize fatherless households? Gays are now going to have to set the proper example for them?

This is yet another accidental example of the convoluted, low opinion that the liberal elite holds of the people they claim to support.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Maddow Be Dammed

Rachel Maddow is a lefty elitist who thinks she knows better than everyone. So in the latest Spike Lee-directed commercial for her strident, ranting MSNBC show, she stands before the Hoover Dam and proclaims that it takes a nation, not a man or a village, to build such a feat. (Hey, Rachel, the vision starts with one man, generally.) She says we’ve got a lot of other such feats ready to go, but asks whether we as a nation have the guts to go forward with them.

Well, Rachel, why don’t you ask your buddies that question? Their answer would be a resounding NO! In fact, they are devoted to ripping down the dams. To hell with any energy or industrial or recreational purpose they provide to HUMANS. In the land of Rachel Maddow’s friends, humans are less than the other creatures of the earth.

If Rachel had just bothered to check the internet corner of MSNBC, she would have found a lovely 2007 story of GE, an energy contractor and owner (now part-owner) of MSNBC, heralding the demolishing of some of the grandest dams in the Northeast.

Because they had created new forms of energy? No. Because it would benefit humans? No. Because it would let the fish swim free (and not have to go over “human made” ladders to get from one side of the dam to the other)? Bingo! The MSNBC story even came complete with a smarmy left-enviro headline: “Ka-bye to dam that had blocked fish runs.” [Note to MSNBC copyeditor: The dismissive phonetic spelling of “Okay, bye” is “Kay-bye” to denote the long “a.”]

The largest dam removal in the Pacific Northwest in 40 years is under way, with 4,000 pounds of explosives used Tuesday to blast the top level of one structure into oblivion.

When the two dams are fully removed, one this summer and the other next summer, the Sandy River will be a free-flowing river for the first time in nearly a century — and no longer a hindrance to steelhead and salmon returning to spawn.

Odd how wind farm photos never show blurred spinning blades.

There went a whopping $17 million in demolition costs to destroy many more millions of dollars in human engineering efforts.

So what if the demolition of just one dam eliminates nearly 5% of the energy resources for the area. Part of the energy of a giant wind farm (which apparently doesn’t look as spectacular as a prop for Maddow to stand in front of) will be diverted to make up for it—instead of making up for fossil fuel energy:

PGE officials said the 22 megawatt capacity dam system, built in 1913, was too costly to maintain, particularly considering new environmental protections for endangered salmon and steelhead. The utility is building a 126 megawatt wind farm in southern Oregon that is expected to go online by December.

An AP story at, “Dam Blown Up for Sake of Fish,” celebrates the 2004 start of blowing up the Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, VA. Note how the story carefully describes the opinion of the residents so they appear good environmentalists and not opposed to the removal to suit the fish:

The $10 million project calls for the 22-foot-high dam to be removed by February 2006.

Residents began arriving before dawn to watch. For many, the demolition was sentimental, recalling an industrial era when the riverbanks were dotted with textile and grain mills.

“It’s sort of out of respect for the dam,” Bob Wallace said. “It’s done its job well. It’s a landmark.”

The demolition will make the Rappahannock the longest free-flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and should also open up hundreds of miles of river to migratory fish — including American shad, hickory shad and blueback herring — for the first time since 1854, when a wooden crib dam was built to power mills.

The Embrey Dam has not produced power since the 1960s.

Yet, the final paragraph seems to belie that the residents and the owners of the dam were not happy with the removal:

In 1999, the Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River was torn down to let fish swim upstream again, becoming the first hydroelectric dam in the country removed by the U.S. government against its owners’ wishes.

How odd they bring up a forcible dam removal a thousand miles and years away when it comes as a non sequitur to their feel-good fish story.

Build dams, Rachel? Looks like we’re mainly tearing them down:

By 2001, after losing every lawsuit and spending more than $1 million on legal fees, the district agreed to remove the dam. The next year the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board pledged $3 million, and a year later Congress started approving funding that would eventually cover the rest of the $39.3 million cost.

“One reason this project took so long is people had to adjust their notions of what progress was,” said John DeVoe of Portland, executive director of WaterWatch. “There was a lot of opposition to removing the dam because it was viewed as a symbol of progress.”

That’s right, we have to adjust our notions to fit the opinions of environmentalists, or we’ll get the heck sued out of us and end up sticking Congress (the American people) with the tab.

These are just the ones I found in a quick internet search—with most of the coverage coming, unintended, from MSNBC’s own website. A conservation group, American Rivers, says on their website that over 600 dams have been removed in the past 50 years, and they surmise that we will never return to dam building again (that is one of their goals).

Others have found Maddow’s hypocri-mercial laughable as well. Ladd Ehlinger, a conservative filmmaker who did the fantastic commercials in 2010 for a candidate in Alabama’s Secretary of Agriculture race, among others, is able to actually have praise for Maddow’s show (he’s more tolerant of collectivism and hard-left-skewed propaganda than I am) before he lays in on her inconsistent logic and questions whether she’s sold out to her GE corporate masters.

Ladd’s rant is rather blue in language (i.e., NSFW), but right on point. Here’s a safe bit to sample:

Collectivists have been BLOCKING projects like the Hoover Dam for decades for snail darters and other nitty little reasons! Collectivists have been PREVENTING projects like the Hoover Dam because human beings don’t deserve to live on Mother Earth and rape her resources. Do you have amnesia, or are you out of your mind?

This ad is entirely inconsistent and stupid. I want my philosophical opponents to be better than this, and Maddow used to be better than this. I am thoroughly disappointed. It’s no wonder that the damned dam thing has only 478 views since being uploaded over a week ago on NBC’s channel.

And in a post titled “MSNBC’s Nostalgia is Dam Inconvenient for President Obama,” Ed Driscoll of PajamasMedia notes a very interesting tidbit in answer to Maddow’s question of whether we can still think as big as the Hoover Dam:

And the answer from the Obama administration, as Joel Kotkin noted at the Politico last fall is…No We Can’t!

When FDR commissioned projects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, he literally brought light to darkened regions. The loyalty created by FDR and Truman built a base of support for liberalism that lasted for nearly a half-century.

Today’s liberals don’t show enthusiasm for airports or dams — or anything that may kick up some dirt. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Deanna Archuleta, for example, promised a Las Vegas audience: “You will never see another federal dam.”

Well, Rachel, I guess you got your answer, from one of your guys. Yes, we can think that big, but y’all do everything you can to tear it down.

By the way, Rachel, your ad says we’ve got a lot of other national projects as massive and significant as the Hoover Dam “on the menu.” That smacks of blowing smoke to me. What public works projects do we have ready to go—or even proposed—that come close to the size and grandeur of the Hoover Dam? Can you name a few? One? Are any of them dams?

We squandered one trillion dollars on picayune and non-essential (and even non-existent) projects with the stimulus debacle. Maybe back then was the time to talk about doing something real with that money if it had to be spent.

Update: Welcome Ed Driscoll readers.
Update: Welcome Ladd Ehlinger readers.
Thanks, guys! I’m much obliged.