September 3rd, 2008

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Industry Think Tanks Unhappy w/What Comes Around Goes Around

I am amused by this paper from the Progress and Freedom Foundation on multiple levels. Ken Ferree, who now runs PFF, was all about screwing due process to push his agenda when he was head of the Media Bureau at the FCC. My favorite example being when he and his staff went over to DoJ to review documents in the Comcast/AT&T acquisition in order to keep them out of the public record. Oh yeah, and his decision not to release the Radio Competition Report in 2004 because it undercut the position he had taken in the media deregulation proceeding. Barbara Esbin, the paper's author, was never a particular fan of due process when she was shilling for the cable industry inside the FCC.

But now they are just shocked an horrified that the FCC is not treating cable companies fairly. A complaint made doubly hypocritical because -- if one actually troubles to read the cases -- the requirements of due process are met. Some folks may think "the law is a ass" if it allows the FCC (and other administrative agencies) to operate by adjudication rather than by rulemaking, but take it up with Congress to get the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) revised.

No, this is just the delightful whining of Bush refugees who never imagined that all the crap they pulled might someday rebound on them. I expect more of this as time goes by.

For myself, I have long maintained that "if the law, in its majestic equality, equally forbids rich and poor from sleeping under bridges," then any rich guy found passed out under a bridge goes to jail. For the last 8 years, and even before that, you all thought the existing APA protections were sufficient. Suddenly, when the worm turns, that's not good enough?

I care about due process, but I'm not an idiot. Nor am I so wonderfully post-partisan that I do not enjoy seeing you hoist by your own petard. You wanna talk process reform? Excellent. But only on a going forward basis. You all will have your conduct judged under the rules that you made.
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Must Be That Liberal Media Bias, But Why Are Liberals Such Idiots?

Remember when everyone got upset about that ABC reporter who got arrested when he refused to comply with a police officer request to move behind the security line?

Oddly, there is absolutely zero mainstream news coverage over the arrest of Amy Goodman, whose news show Democracy Now! is distributed on various NPR and PBS stations.

Let us be clear. Amy had valid press credentials for the RNC Convention. She repeatedly and respectfully asked the police to recognize her credentials and to allow her to pass as an authorized reporter legally allowed to enter the secure convention area. She did not refuse to comply with any instructions. Is the mainstream media outraged? Here them crickets! (More details here at Crooks and Liars).

Mind you, this is of a piece with the general free pass the RNC has gotten over the military build up in St. Paul, and the general low key reporting of the mass arrests and use of such delightful aids as tear gas and pepper spray -- all of which were absent from the DNC convention in Denver. The Daily Show Indecision08 Blog captured this nicely with a comparison photo of Denver and St. Paul.

What appalls me is the number of liberals and progressives who were so happy to hold the Dems to a higher standard and play the game of the conservative noise machine. I can only assume this is yet another example of what Lois McMaster Bujold termed "the will to be stupid" that infects mots human beings. Happily, as Bujold also observed, "there are certain kinds of stupid you don't have to be."