Archive for the 'stupid' Category

Unprofessionalism, defined

(yes, I know “unprofessionalism” isn’t a real word)

So there’s supposedly a new daily paper launching in the LA area. Rather than being transparent about their operations, they’ve been posting “writers wanted” ads in Craigslist without identifying themselves and who their backers are.

A recently laid-off LA Times reporter emailed them with the simple question, “Who are you?” Here was their ultra-professional reply:

right now we are the asking the questions – you are the 1500th respondent…

Sounds like the editor of a defunct non-paying webzine fancies himself a business man. These are the kind of people that start up companies and then don’t answer phone calls or emails asking why employee pay checks haven’t been sent out in two weeks, followed by a quick round of civil lawsuits and bankruptcy.

So send in those resumes!

Pssst. Dunkin Donuts is one of our sponsors.

So remember Donutgate? Possibly the dumbest “scandal” manufactured by the right-wing blogosphere (and that’s saying a lot)? Well before it gets swept into the dustbin of stupidity forever, make sure you watch this clip from a Fox News show. It turns out that nobody informed this guy that Dunkin Donuts was one of Fox News’ sponsors. Hilarity ensues.

Donutgate: Michelle Malkin sinks to a new low

I don’t have much time to blog about conservative blogger Michelle Malkin’s latest “scandal,” so I’ll point you to a few other blogs who do a more-than-adequate job of highlighting the inanity. First we have this post from Sadly No!. Then there’s this one from John Scalzi. And to tip it off, there’s this post from Daily Kos.

Car dealership voluntarily shoots itself in foot

This is utterly bizarre. A car dealership in Mojave, California called Kieffe & Sons Ford has been running this advertisement on local radio stations:

["Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, "Under God" out of the Pledge, and "In God We Trust" to be taken off our money?"]

“But did you know that 86% of Americans say they believe in God? Since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians, who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don’t tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech. None of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford is afraid to speak out. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond, if we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.”

First off, they don’t even have the statistics correct. As The Underground Believer notes, only 73% of the U.S. identifies as Christian. Secondly, what the hell does this have to do with cars? The dealership is voluntarily going out of its way to offend a sizable portion of its potential customer base with an advertisement that has nothing to do with its business.

Not only are you directly attacking 27% of the population, you’re also likely offending a good number of left-of-center Christians who would cringe at such unsubtle bigotry.

Here’s one way to strike back: Gather around five atheists in that area. Over the course of the week have each of them go in and show interest in buying some of the most expensive cars in the lot. Then, after they’ve wasted a good 30 minutes to an hour talking to you, bargaining with you, and getting ready for you to sign the contract and give them those great commissions, have sudden epiphanies that this was the dealership that had those offensive ads. Then have them walk out without buying the cars.

This way, not only does this get them thinking they’ve lost out on thousands of dollars in sales, but it also wastes their valuable time they’ve spent tending to you.

So who’s up for it?

Fact checking Jonah Goldberg

Hey Jonah,

You know that “MIT study” that you cite in your column titled “Why we need nukes and Gitmo“? You know, the one that says that homeless people supposedly have twice the global footprint than average? You do know that that wasn’t an MIT study at all but instead was a class project done by a bunch of MIT undergraduates? And that it included in its calculations the carbon footprint of the entire US infrastructure and just basically divided it by the number of US citizens, rather than actually determining the carbon footprint of homeless people?

If you ever need someone really good at Google searches to fact check your articles for you, you can always forward them to me.

Take care,
Simon

An email sent to Kenneth Green at the American Enterprise Institute

Kenneth,

I just read your article about Polar Bears, and came across this line:

“In October 2007, NASA announced the results of an in-depth study of Arctic sea-ice melting and found that what has caused the unusually large melting seen in the last eight years was not greenhouse gas-induced global warming.”

Wouldn’t you say this is fairly disingenuous, considering that “greenhouse gas-induced global warming” was never once mentioned in the NASA press release you cite? A person reading that paragraph in your piece would think that the NASA study addressed green-house gases and concluded that they had nothing to do with the ice melting. The press release does not really address what is causing the wind patterns, and whether they have been caused by green-house gases. In fact the release attributes the patterns to “Unusual atmospheric conditions.”

How familiar are you with the cause of wind patterns? How familiar are you with the effects of atmospheric temperature on wind?

What do you have a degree in?

Why do you cite mostly news reports in your study, rather than peer-reviewed literature?

–Simon

The anatomy of a Michelle Malkin post

Updated below

In a recent post criticizing blogger Michelle Malkin, I said that she “will stop at nothing to drag her opponents through the mud, often at the expense of actual facts.” And then, once she’s been caught in an error, “she spins her way into oblivion by backtracking on just about every incorrect claim she had made.”

To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at Malkin’s “lead story” for today, a post titled “Question of the Day: Where did the DNC get its IED footage?

It hit the web at 11:43 a.m., and highlights a recent advertisement made by the DNC that shows a very brief (less than half a second) clip of a bomb going off near American soldiers. Malkin takes the clip and asks where the footage came from. She then favorably block quotes a source that accuses the DNC of getting the footage from terrorist jihadis “who videotape IED explosions that kill American combat troops. The jihadists place the video on the internet to tout their ‘kill Americans’ campaign success.”

After the block quote, Malkin writes, “they’re certainly dumb enough and indifferent enough to our men and women in uniform to incorporate jihadi propaganda into their campaign ads.”

Next, she posts an “update” at 11:56 a.m. claiming that the DNC got the footage not from a terrorist website but from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. She then asks where Moore got the footage from (thereby passing the ball to him) while also accusing the DNC of plagiarizing Moore.

And then finally, she posts a second “update” at 12:12 p.m. pointing out that the footage actually came from a network news source from right after the invasion.

The post then ends with a long quote that accuses the DNC of exploiting the images of soldiers being blown up for political gain.

So just to recap for those playing along at home, here’s the narrative that takes place on a single post over a span of 29 minutes and 500 words:

1. The DNC is using terrorist propaganda videos in advertisements to attack John McCain. 2. Actually, Michael Moore is using terrorist propaganda videos in advertisements to attack John McCain. Also, the DNC is plagiarizing Michael Moore by using footage without permission. 3. Actually, neither Michael Moore nor the DNC is using terrorist propaganda videos to attack John McCain. They were both using footage from a US news network. But that’s not the REAL issue here. The REAL issue is that they’re using videos of soldiers being blown up for their own political gain.

According to Malkin’s sitemeter stats, around 16,000 unique visitors went to her site during the hour in which this was posted. The time lapsed between the initial posting and the final update was about a half hour. So that means about 8,000 people visited her site in between the posting and the update, not counting all the RSS feed readers. Depending on the number of people who checked back at the site to see the new update, that means that as many as 8,000 people went out into the world today thinking the DNC is using terrorist video footage for its advertisements. And who knows how many people they will repeat this lie to.

And Michelle Malkin has the gall to criticize other news networks? Imagine if a mainstream news source had committed such an act targeting a conservative; she wouldn’t have stopped attacking them for weeks.

UPDATE: Surprise surprise. It turns out the footage came from Getty Images. Various reports show that it was licensed legally. So no copyright infringement and no terrorist propaganda video.


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