Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

------------------

Visit Prudy's Latin Lovers Store for textbooks, readers and fun Latin miscellany!

Support this site. Buy a book.*

@PruPaine Tweets

Ancient History

|Political Prudence

Out-of-State Hacks Resort to Documentable Lies to Try to Ding Sanford in #SC1 Race

The lousy reporting on the congressional race in South Carolina’s 1st District for the seat vacated by Tim Scott (whom Governor Nikki Haley named to replace Senator Jim DeMint, who retired to head the Heritage Foundation) has reached a nadir of facts and truthfulness. In place of honest reporting, national audiences are treated to half-truths, innuendos and outright lies. Reporters and bloggers that have little knowledge of South Carolina politics or Lowcountry issues repeatedly pop off with downright laughably misconstrued “facts” to arrive at opinions that have little basis in reality.

Let’s take just one example to illustrate my point. From the illustrious Slate Magazine, we have king of the Journolist, Dave Weigel, doing his darnedest to tear down Mark Sanford’s whopping 53 to 40 lead over challenger Curtis Bostic.

Here’s the opening paragraph to Weigel’s gem of corrupt, lying propaganda:

Last night, the two Republican contenders for South Carolina’s open House seat finally debated one-on-one. Mark Sanford hadn’t bothered to attend every primary debate. He had a clear path to a runoff berth, and he eventually won 37 percent of the vote as a team of munchkins split the rest. But Curtis Bostic, the conservative former Charleston councilman who eked into the runoff, had worked all of the GOP’s low-profile events and debates. He was tested, ready.

Pure baloney, from start to finish. One of the chief complaints against Bostic in #SC1 is that he has not been showing up to events, and has been refusing to debate. Mark Sanford has been at these events, eager to answer any and all questions. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the publicly available record (easily searchable by esteemed journolisters such as Weigel himself) at the Charleston daily newspaper, The Post and Courier. Here’s the newspaper’s archive search engine. (Unfortunately the search results use temporary one-time URLs, otherwise I would provide convenient links to each article for you.)

Regarding a candidate forum on February 12th before 150 members of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, just as the quick sprint race was starting, the paper notes: “16 of 20 candidates – from the Republican, Democratic and Green parties – sat elbow to elbow on a stage inside a Charleston hotel.” The paper reports what attendee Mark Sanford said about “the one issue where [the candidates] diverged the most,” immigration, especially on Lindsey Graham’s amnesty plan:

Former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford said he didn’t support the plan.

But we never got to hear the position Curtis “Sometimes You Have to Say Yes” Bostic took on Grahamnesty that day. Why? Because, as Weigel could have seen in the paper: “Those candidates who didn’t appear Tuesday include Sullivan’s Island businessman Keith Blandford, former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, state Rep. Peter McCoy and Democratic candidate Ben Frasier.”

Okay, maybe Weigel’s opening could have just been a minor error, if Sanford then hid the rest of the campaign, resting on his name recognition, as Weigel implies. But no. Let’s check in on the other two forums to see who was there. If you took Weigel at his word, I think you’ll be surprised:

In the Post and Courier story on March 1, regarding the forum attended by both candidates Sanford and Bostic, it was a good thing Bostic showed up because in the midst of much agreement by all 15 candidates there, “Only engineer Jeff King and former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic indicated clear support for instant background checks for gun purchases.” So if Bostic’s wildest dreams were realized and he made it to the floor of the US House, he would be Mr. Yes and vote with the Democrats against the NRA and Lowcountry gun owners.

Then we have the March 7th forum hosted by the Republican Liberty Caucus. Fifteen of the 16 GOP primary candidates appeared. Guess who showed up? Mark Sanford. Guess who didn’t? That’s right. “Only former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic did not appear.”

That was the last debate prior to last night’s post-primary debate. Clearly someone gave Weigel intentionally wrong facts that he lapped up without bothering to check, or he made them up out of whole cloth, weaving a little fantasy tale for low-information voters.

[Update 3/29/13 6:20pm: I forgot to mention that Bostic has also declined to participate in a couple other one-on-one post-primary debates, including a second one by the RLC.]

Now, let’s move down in Weigel’s piece of fiction. He rates Bostic’s performance as just “okay,” while noting Sanford’s was superior. But this is just the setup to smack Sanford down again:

He was okay. Sanford absolutely outplayed him. It took nearly an hour, past a long digression about whether the candidates should do a Lincoln-Douglas style debate (the primary is in four days!), for an audience member to ask about “the elephant in the room.”

“In 2009, you broke the trust of the people of South Carolina,” said the questioner. “How do you reconcile redemption with the costs of your personal decision, which could have compromised the state and/or the party?

I don’t know what debate Weigel watched, but it wasn’t the one last night at Porter-Gaud School, where moderator David Webb, not an audience member, asked Sanford the question, as noted by the Post and Courier, The State and local journalists on Twitter. (Oddly, Weigel still repeats Webb’s quote verbatim, while attributing it to someone else.)

He closes his short and bloody piece by bookending Sanford’s response with this:

This was a friendly way to ask the question. An unfriendly way might bring up the scandal (pretty much forgotten now) of South Carolina paying for Sanford trips that turned into trysts. But a “how can we trust you” question? Easy for Sanford.

Important question, and I suspect one that I’ll wrestle with at one level or another for the rest of my life. An old timer took me aside and said, you know, if you live long enough, you’re fonna fail at something. And I failed. I failed very publicly. But, you know, in the light of failure, you know, I guess you have a choice to make. This sermon, this Sunday, he said: Do the events of your life define or refine your life? And so, in the wake of my failure, you sort of push through to finish your term. I went down to our family farm, about an hour south of here, and I had an awfully quiet and very spiritual year. And to a degree I refined it. I wallowed in it. I struggled with it. And you go through this incredible soul-searching. You probably do more soul-searching on the way down than on the way up.

Well, of course you do! This string of Dale Carnegie blather got Sanford some mild applause.

One can only presume he’s being sarcastic with his parenthetical saying the Sanford scandal has been largely forgotten. Otherwise, he must be living on another planet.

But that last line of his post is the most preposterous. “Mild” applause. See, Weigel and company would prefer that Elizabeth Colbert-Busch face a weak, relatively unknown candidate (especially outside of Charleston County, and the congressional district spreads over five counties, from the upper reaches of Berkeley County down to near the Georgia line at Beaufort). But even they know that it is extremely unlikely that Bostic could win, so when it comes down to the one issue they can use against Sanford, they are desperate to hide the deep reservoir of forgiveness that Sanford has from Lowcountry voters, stemming not just from his past political record of service to them but in his humble approach to them since his fall.

How odd that local media (no cheering section for Sanford) found it worthy to note the rousing, loud, approving sustained applause that Sanford’s answer generated:

Even operatives from the Bostic camp noted their surprise at the applause.

There you have it. Four short paragraphs and two quotes, and Weigel gets it all wrong. Well, except for his assessment that Sanford outdebated Bostic. The rest is pure hackery and lies.

So if you read other similar tales of Sanford not giving it his all to reach out to voters or not getting a good reception in response, be very, very skeptical. Check to see if it’s written by anyone that knows South Carolina, the Lowcountry and its people. If not, they may just be weaving you a fairy tale to suit their political purposes.

Update 3/29/12 8:15pm: David Weigel has conceded that he made errors in his Slate article and says that he will make corrections. The Slate post currently reflects a very small, but still very wrong update, which Weigel tweeted to me that he had made “earlier” but took a long time to show up.

The current state of the Slate post:

Weigel's Initial Correction

In it, you’ll note that in the original post, he merely ripped out the second sentence that had said Sanford hadn’t shown up: “Mark Sanford hadn’t bothered to attend every primary debate.” As a result, his post now begins by only referring to Sanford as “he,” without saying who “he” is. [And he left in the sentence saying Bostic went to all of them.]

In his italicized update, Weigel says “Bostic, too, skipped forums,” still directly implying Sanford missed some (I’ve asked him to name which ones, as I am unaware of any). His clever wording also implies that Bostic showed up more often than not. He went to one, and skipped all the rest until last night.

Parts of my conversation with @DaveWeigel:

I’ll update more later as Weigel updates his post at Slate.

|Media

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.

Sigh.

 

|Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri

Obama 2012 Co-Chair to Have Her Own NBC Millionaire Dating Show

NBC has begun running promos for its newest reality TV show, a dating game for the 1%, for the Buffett Rule eligible, called Ready for Love. And guess who is serving as the face of this slice of entertainment: none other than the National Co-Chair of the Obama 2012 Campaign, Eva Longoria.

How odd that just a couple of weeks ago when the Latina hottie appeared on Fox & Friends to promote her love of all things Obama, she made no mention that her campaign role would coincide with a high-profile run as a primetime reality game show executive producer and spokeswoman:

Longoria said that after Desperate Housewives ends, she plans to hit the road for the president’s reelection effort engaging in voter contact and outreach. “I’m one of the co-chairs for the Obama campaign,” Longoria told the Fox & Friends panel. “So I’m going to be really dedicating a large amount of my time going to the swing states.”

In previous interviews about the show, Longoria has claimed that she won’t be on-air, so it makes it a very odd choice that NBC’s entire promo for the show prominently features her.

Poor old Guilianna and Bill Rancic, the supposed real hosts of the show, are apparently too homely to feature on the show’s promo pictures and videos. People would probably run screaming if the couple popped up on the show’s Facebook page. Even the three rich guys being set up are but briefly flashed on screen in the advertisement. These promos are about one person: Obama 2012 co-chair Eva Longoria.

Longoria’s bio at the show’s site gives a full account of her entire resume, but just happens to neglect to mention that she is a co-chair of a presidential campaign, and thus putting NBC in an ultra biased position.

So the question is, when will NBC give a top Romney advisor his or her own primetime TV show as well? Wouldn’t that only be fair? Hello, FEC.

|Tea Party

Short Film on The Tea Party

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, says this short documentary, The Tea Party: Brewing Up a Movement, was produced by the Knoxville News-Sentinel, which is quite surprising because it has no head-spinning or eye-rolling as they take a closer look at the Tea Party. Instead, it’s respectful, curious and balanced.

Reynolds is featured as one of the authorities on this oddity most members in the media can’t get a grip on. Ramesh Ponnuru, of National Review, also takes part as a talking head, with some prescient advice for tea partiers near the end.

Kudos to the Knox News for making a meaningful effort at multimedia reporting. It would be nice to see more papers around the country get away from wire service pablum and really report on their communities.