The New York Times' Disingenuous Campaign Against Citizens United

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    Feb 26, 2012 8:10 AM GMT
    Used in recent years as the keystone by the extremists for the argument that the government has been overtaken by unidentified "corporations", not surprisingly many of the criticisms are disingenuous if not outright false.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/02/the-new-york-times-disingenuous-campaign-against-citizens-united/253560/

    Like Fox News, The New York Times has a First Amendment right to spread misinformation about important public issues, and it is exercising that right in its campaign against the Citizens United ruling. In news stories, as well as columns, it has repeatedly mischaracterized Citizens United, explicitly or implicitly blaming it for allowing unlimited "super PAC" contributions from mega-rich individuals. In fact, Citizens United enabled corporations and unions to use general treasury funds for independent political expenditures; it did not expand or address the longstanding, individual rights of the rich to support independent groups. And, as recent reports have made clear, individual donors, not corporations, are the primary funders of super PACs.

    When I first focused on the inaccurate reference to Citizens United in a front-page story about Sheldon Adelson, I assumed it was a more or less honest if negligent mistake. (And I still don't blame columnists for misconceptions about a complicated case that are gleaned from news stories and apparently shared by their editors.) But mistakes about Citizens United are beginning to look more like propaganda, because even after being alerted to its misstatements, the Times has continued to repeat them. First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams wrote to the editors pointing out mischaracterizations of Citizens United in two news stories, but instead of publishing corrections, the Times published Abrams' letter on the editorial page, effectively framing a factual error as a difference of opinion. Since then the error has reappeared: A February 21 post by Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal attributes Sheldon Adelson's ability to influence the election to Citizens United. "Thanks to Citizens United, unlimited contributions to third-party groups are legal," Rosenthal asserts.

    It's only fair to note that the Times has recently made small, slippery concessions to the truth: References to Citizen's United now are more likely to be misleading or, at best, greatly oversimplified, rather than indisputably, explicitly wrong. A January 23 report on a $5 million contribution by Miriam Adelson to the Gingrich PAC stated, for example, that Citizen's United "paved the way for Super PACs," implying that it legalized Adelson's individual contribution. It did not.
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    Feb 26, 2012 9:10 AM GMT
    Your lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.
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    Feb 26, 2012 9:12 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    Irony abounds.
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    Feb 26, 2012 9:19 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    Irony abounds.


    If you want to see your relentless pronouncements about things that are factually wrong as "ironic", you're welcome to.
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    Feb 26, 2012 9:29 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    Irony abounds.


    If you want to see your relentless pronouncements about things that are factually wrong as "ironic", you're welcome to.


    Nah - I mean if you actually understood a fraction of what you claim you do, then it wouldn't be ironic. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Feb 26, 2012 10:17 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    An absolutely absurd comment. The author of the article is Wendy Kaminer, so you should be directing your comments about her. Surely one of your left wing sites have something negative to say about her, so at least you would sound a bit more relevant if you did a search there and did a copy and paste. It must be very distressing to several of the radical members here that Riddler knows a hell of a lot more about the US economy than many US citizens, as amply evidenced by many of the comments here.
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    Feb 26, 2012 12:20 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    An absolutely absurd comment. The author of the article is Wendy Kaminer, so you should be directing your comments about her. Surely one of your left wing sites have something negative to say about her, so at least you would sound a bit more relevant if you did a search there and did a copy and paste. It must be very distressing to several of the radical members here that Riddler knows a hell of a lot more about the US economy than many US citizens, as amply evidenced by many of the comments here.


    That's funny, John, because you're the one who sounds increasingly distressed, if not downright screechy.

    And my comment was directed at riddler, since he seems to think that Citizens United is being blamed for the corporate takeover of the government. Anyone who actually knows anything about US politics would know that the critique of corporatism goes back to the populist movements of the late 1800s and inspired many of the reforms that followed the Gilded Age and Great Depression. The idea that anyone on the left is blaming Citizens United speaks to a very limited understanding of US history, whether by him or Kaminer (who, btw, is an antipornography zealot not a leftist).
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    Feb 26, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH said
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    An absolutely absurd comment. The author of the article is Wendy Kaminer, so you should be directing your comments about her. Surely one of your left wing sites have something negative to say about her, so at least you would sound a bit more relevant if you did a search there and did a copy and paste. It must be very distressing to several of the radical members here that Riddler knows a hell of a lot more about the US economy than many US citizens, as amply evidenced by many of the comments here.

    Hilarious on many levels.
    1. The only posters here on RJ whose politics could be considered "radical", as in "significantly departing from mainstream political thought" are all on the right. The leftists here range from one tiptoe to the left of center to mildly left. Only Christian and I embrace the "socialist" label, and our socialism is of the European (don't clutch your pearls, now) social-democratic sort. But for one of us to be as far left as the average Conservaposse member is far right, we'd have to seriously want to bring back the old Soviet Union. Which is precisely why I joke about that so often, You and your pals are the mirror image of the Politburo, though you alarmingly share some of its characteristics.

    2. Anyone who thinks that Riddler understands anything at all about US culture or politics does not himself understand either. His "facts" are more often than not either made up from the whole cloth or, more often, wholesale repitition of dishonest nonsense gleaned directly from rightwing sources, none of them reliable (Drudge? really?)

    3, As to the substance, the Times is correct in treating this as a dispute. The creation of super-PACS does owe to the Citizens United ruling, and donations of the openly scary kind, such as Adelson's, were unknown under previous campaign contribution rules. To claim that it is not, because he donates now under his own name and not that of his corporation (since that is the subject of the Citizens ruling) is splitting hairs of the most dishonest type.

    4. But dishonesty is the Riddler's stock in trade. That, of course, and sneering at anyone who disagrees with him. Calling people old (as if that were relevant), stupid (major irony, that one), and displaying tribalist hatred are all his tired, sad acts. None of them make up for his ignorance, his arrogance, or his general low brain wattage. No doubt he'll respond that I'm old or something. Yawn.

    All a matter of perspective. From yours, some of these guys you see as mildly left I see as extremists. The only thing that would moderate my opinion some of them is a few don't really understand much, they just hide behind trash talk to hide their stupidity, so they really don't have an economic position.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH said

    4. But dishonesty is the Riddler's stock in trade.
    No shit! But add "whiney".
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Feb 26, 2012 6:04 PM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    JPtheBITCH said

    4. But dishonesty is the Riddler's stock in trade.
    No shit! But add "whiney".


    Me? I thought he was Blonde until I saw that he was Asian icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Feb 26, 2012 6:57 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    JPtheBITCH said
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidYour lack of knowledge regarding American politics never fails to amaze.

    An absolutely absurd comment. The author of the article is Wendy Kaminer, so you should be directing your comments about her. Surely one of your left wing sites have something negative to say about her, so at least you would sound a bit more relevant if you did a search there and did a copy and paste. It must be very distressing to several of the radical members here that Riddler knows a hell of a lot more about the US economy than many US citizens, as amply evidenced by many of the comments here.

    Hilarious on many levels.
    1. The only posters here on RJ whose politics could be considered "radical", as in "significantly departing from mainstream political thought" are all on the right. The leftists here range from one tiptoe to the left of center to mildly left. Only Christian and I embrace the "socialist" label, and our socialism is of the European (don't clutch your pearls, now) social-democratic sort. But for one of us to be as far left as the average Conservaposse member is far right, we'd have to seriously want to bring back the old Soviet Union. Which is precisely why I joke about that so often, You and your pals are the mirror image of the Politburo, though you alarmingly share some of its characteristics.

    2. Anyone who thinks that Riddler understands anything at all about US culture or politics does not himself understand either. His "facts" are more often than not either made up from the whole cloth or, more often, wholesale repitition of dishonest nonsense gleaned directly from rightwing sources, none of them reliable (Drudge? really?)

    3, As to the substance, the Times is correct in treating this as a dispute. The creation of super-PACS does owe to the Citizens United ruling, and donations of the openly scary kind, such as Adelson's, were unknown under previous campaign contribution rules. To claim that it is not, because he donates now under his own name and not that of his corporation (since that is the subject of the Citizens ruling) is splitting hairs of the most dishonest type.

    4. But dishonesty is the Riddler's stock in trade. That, of course, and sneering at anyone who disagrees with him. Calling people old (as if that were relevant), stupid (major irony, that one), and displaying tribalist hatred are all his tired, sad acts. None of them make up for his ignorance, his arrogance, or his general low brain wattage. No doubt he'll respond that I'm old or something. Yawn.

    All a matter of perspective. From yours, some of these guys you see as mildly left I see as extremists. The only thing that would moderate my opinion some of them is a few don't really understand much, they just hide behind trash talk to hide their stupidity, so they really don't have an economic position.


    Yes, far be it for me to call some idiots on their age and stupidity, but it's the height of dishonesty for JP to be casting aspersions here given that I only give what I get. Of course, it's amusing that they barely graze over the basis of this dispute and the outright dishonesty/misrepresentations they and others make about Citizens United. It's also perhaps telling that they would happily associate themselves with a known bigot in their attack on me - and have little regard to either facts to ideas.
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    Feb 26, 2012 7:22 PM GMT
    GQjock said
    TropicalMark said
    JPtheBITCH said

    4. But dishonesty is the Riddler's stock in trade.
    No shit! But add "whiney".


    Me? I thought he was Blonde until I saw that he was Asian icon_rolleyes.gif
    Yep.. but dont point that out.. he whines 'racist' when anything to do with his 'features' is mentioned.. He's a little wimpy that way. Guess it was the silver spoon he was fed by.