post by tensor
And, appropriately enough, he’s not going to be honest about it, either:
In an editorial that will not win them any support from fans of the 1st amendment, our local monopoly newspaper attacks people and organizations making political arguments this election year.
We who actually support Constitutional rights (I’m a third-generation Member of the American Civil Liberties Union) will wonder what the heck Jim is talking about, as the editorial never demands censorship of the political ads, nor punishment for those who produced them; indeed, it counsels readers to ignore mud-slinging, and to educate themselves honestly on the issues and candidates. (Maybe that’s why Jim’s upset?)
Oddly, nowhere in this page-long editorial do they criticize a specific ad.
That’s because everyone’s already had too much fun doing that already.
The Times is especially unhappy because they don’t know who is paying for some of the ads.
Newspapers have no business knowing things.
(Have I offered to help our local reporters with metaphors? Why, yes I have — and more than once. I wish some of them would take me up on that offer.)
(Has anyone told Jim that nobody cares what he thinks about local reporters? Why, yes, we have — and more than once. We’re still happy he’s ignoring us, because we’re here to make fun of him.)
Actually, the groups do have to say who they are; they just don’t have to say who gave them donations.
Jim believes this is a meaningful distinction.
The editorial writer(s) thinks that many of the ads are unpleasant and even dishonest, and the editorial writer(s) wants everyone who contributes to a political argument to be exposed.
Imagine, an editorial criticizes something, and a newspaper wants facts to be known! Jim can only shake his head and cry.
If you believe in freedom of speech, then you have to accept that you may hear and see many political arguments you find unpleasant, even dishonest. It’s that simple.
I don’t think anyone who reads your output could ever doubt any of that, Jim.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t encourage political figures to be more honest in their arguments, just that we should do that by making arguments of our own.
We could write newspaper editorials, for example.
For instance, I contributed a little toward that goal by comparing what local House candidate Suzan DelBene says in one of her TV ads with what she says in her economic plan.
Telling us about your abject failure to understand economics doesn’t really count as a public contribution.
And — credit where due — the news side of the Seattle Times has done a fairly good series rating the truth of various ads.
They then wrote an editorial about a topic of which they had made an effort to obtain knowledge. (OK, so this is why Jim’s complaining!)
The second argument is not as simple; everything else being equal, I would prefer to be able to know who is paying for a political ad.
We citizens didn’t just prefer it, Jim, we required it, via the public disclosure laws we passed. And we’re angry outsiders can violate our laws with impunity. Your witlessly dishonest apologia for these scofflaws doesn’t help:
But everything else isn’t always equal, and supporters of free speech almost all believe that even anonymous free speech deserves our support.
As even you’ve admitted, the speech is not anonymous; the sponsor is. And we don’t have any need to excuse such lawbreaking.
…but even a journalist who has not studied history should know that the Federalist papers were written under a pseudonym, “Publius”.
And their authors’ reasons for so doing had nothing to do with hiding money from public scrutiny, as Jim Miller would know, if he indeed were actually to know
And in more recent years, courts have often protected the anonymity of those who might be subject to reprisals, in particular, those who contributed to civil rights organizations or far left political parties.
So, let’s have the anonymous masters of our local political puppets go to court, and claim persecution. By their doing so under oath, this problem would pretty much resolve itself. (And, we’d get the added bonus of another post to mock, as Jim equated blatant perjury with free speech.)
Those who think that such reprisals are in the past should study the politics in Chicago, where Obama and some of his closest aides learned their political lessons. Or just take a look at what happened in California during the fight over Proposition 8.
You’ll have to look for yourself, as Jim has wisely decided against any attempt to justify those smears with any evidentiary citations of any kind whatsoever.
One last mildly ironic point: The Times editorial attacking unpleasant ads and anonymous donations is filled with unpleasant language and is — unsigned.
Jim blows through yet another bottle of smelling salts, and tears another lace hanky. Fie on you, you foul-mouthed ink-stained wretches!
And Jim, you’ve gotten it backwards yet again. We don’t care that the editorial was anonymous, because we’re pretty sure The Times paid for it.
… younger readers might find this hard to believe …
…that Jim still thinks you exist.