Both at No on Amendment E and on our own blogs, PP and I have repeatedly invited proponents of J.A.I.L. to explain exactly why South Dakota needs the initiated measure and to point to the judicial misconduct of which they always complain. Not surprisingly, it seems that’s the last thing they want to do. They’d much rather keep diverting attention by moving around shells that don’t have much to do with anything.
One of the latest examples appears in a recent addition to the website South Dakota’s J.A.I.L.ers proclaim exists “to educate the public and the media about the largely unaddressed problem of judges operating above the law.” And as so often is the case, it is a view from through a California prism.
In that site’s “Upcoming Events” section, they write:
A word about bloggers, the majority of which appear to be ethicially [sic] challenged, hiding behind “I am not a journalist” whose lame excuse for posting inaccurate to out-right [sic] lies, is best described as “compromised.” The word comes not from us, but LA times [sic] editors about the blog site of one of their own, and (best remembered when reading the drivel blogged by Amendment E opponents.).[sic]
Setting aside the fact this doesn’t seem to have much to do with any events or the merits (or lack thereof) of J.A.I.L., let’s do a little accuracy screen on this bit of commentary.
Evidently, J.A.I.L. thinks whether a blogger is a journalist or vice versa has something to do with J.A.I.L. But guess what? Not only is the guy who was suspended from his job a journalist employed by the L.A. Times, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in 1999. Maybe J.A.I.L.’s greater minds have some explanation of how a guy working fulltime as a reporter for a major metropolitan daily is relevant or comparable to a few South Dakota bloggers who don’t work in the news media. I anticipate, though, that the explanation is as nonsensical as the premise.
J.A.I.L. also refers to the L.A. Times shutting down “the blog site of one of their own.” Sorry, twasn’t the guy’s blog site. It was a blog appearing on the Times’ own site. It appears the L.A. Times has corporate policies governing the blogs on its web site and the activities of its reporters. This is not a case where the paper was shutting down an employee’s personal blog because of untruths. It is about an employer taking disciplinary action against an employee for violating company policy in the use of company property and resources.
J.A.I.L.’s publicist says this event is relevant to bloggers “posting inaccurate to out-right lies.” But what did the L.A. Times actually say? “[A]n internal inquiry found no inaccurate reporting in [the reporter’s] postings in his blog or on the Web.” Instead, the reporter was suspended for violating company policy against using pseudonyms to post comments. Maybe the fact there was “no inaccurate reporting” is really the ultimate relevance of this story. The repeated offers PP and I have made for J.A.I.L. to point out what it now describes as “inaccurate to out-right lies” are still being met with resounding silence.
J.A.I.L. likes to generate all sorts of smoke in attacking opponents. Once you peer through the smoke or take the time to look under the shells, you’ll find, as usual, just more flimflam that has nothing to do with the issues or merits. That’s why close attention must be paid to the statements made by J.A.I.L. at its upcoming “town hall meetings” and each must be run through an accuracy screen.
Extremists often attack the character or reputation of an opponent rather than deal with the more concrete issues and views they present.
Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe