Posts Tagged ‘Mark Steyn’

Conrad Black trial

One of the best white-collar-crime bloggers around, Tom Kirkendall, has a roundup of links on the Black trial, including to this Mark Steyn column. I’m staying out of this one: I have colleagues who know Black personally, my old law firm represents clients adverse to Black in civil litigation, and my law-school roommate is the lead prosecutor on the case. I will note, however, that if I were Conrad Black, I’d be awfully concerned about the number of potential jurors who assume someone is guilty just because they made a lot of money, especially given the prosecution’s inclination to introduce prejudicial evidence of expenditures. [New York Times; Globe and Mail]

Separately, this Economist commentary piece not only mentions the Black trial, but Larry Ribstein’s “Apple rule.” (cross-posted at Point of Law)

Marcotte encore

John Edwards’ selection as his blogger-in-chief of Pandagon‘s Amanda Marcotte has mushroomed into what National Journal “Beltway Blogroll” terms “the first blog scandal of campaign 2008,” made more piquant by Marcotte’s quick move (documented in our Friday post) to delete her bizarrely abusive rantings about the Duke case once they began to attract attention. I should note that in our very active comments thread, Ted takes a different view than I do of the affair, and I explain in turn (in a comment kindly quoted by K.C. Johnson) why I think the episode does reflect poorly on Edwards’ campaign:

John Edwards’s life in the law and experience with the justice system is his major resume item dating back beyond the past few years, as well as the major reason this site has given his career extensive coverage. Moreover, the Duke case, which looks ever more like the Scottsboro Boys case of our era, has been convulsing his own state of North Carolina for month after month. Edwards’ dodging of the case — his apparently successful stifling of any urge to speak out at the plight of the falsely accused — might on its own stand as merely cowardly. Marcotte’s hiring, on the other hand, throws an even less attractive light on it, rather as if, in Scottsboro Boys days, an on-the-sidelines Southern senator took on as a major spokesperson someone who’d been yelling the Boys’ guilt from the rooftops in the most crudely prejudicial language.

On Marcotte’s quick removal of her Duke comments, Dale Franks at Q and O makes the legitimate point that there’s nothing intrinsically improper in bloggers’ going back to amend or delete past posts that they now realize are mistaken or which no longer reflect their evolving views. And Ted cautions, also quite fairly, against evaluating a blogger’s fitness for a real-world post by pointing to the most inflammatory of his or her thousands of past posts.

Part of what lends the Marcotte episode such a comic aspect, however, is the timing and nature of her post and later revision. Her vitriolic rant asserting the lacrosse players’ guilt was posted a mere two weeks ago, almost certainly at a point after (as the Atlanta airport reference indicates) she had already entered talks with the Edwards campaign and thus had reason to know that she might soon come under the heightened scrutiny accorded to an official spokesperson. These were not the impulsive utterances of a Net Newbie. Moreover, the temperate-sounding new “official stance” with which she replaced the scrubbed post is ludicrously different in both tone and content from the rant it replaced; at a quick reading, one might even take it for a defense of the lacrosse players. A closer examination of its dodgy language, however, reveals that she does not actually take anything back; there is no indication that she has reconsidered her view of Jan. 21 or sees it as being in need of actual correction.

As for whether Marcotte was just having a bad day and slipped into an abusiveness that is unrepresentative of her usual tone, even a cursory glance through her output at Pandagon makes clear that there is much more embarrassment for the Edwards campaign to come: a few examples are collected at LieStoppers (scroll to “Earlier Comments”), Michelle Malkin, and Creative Destruction.

Some further commentary: Common Sense Political Thought, Protein Wisdom, Mark Steyn @ NRO (“There are two Americas: one in which John Edwards gives bland speeches of soporific niceness, the other in which his campaign blogger unleashes foaming rants of stereotypically obsessive derangement.”), Patterico (& welcome Michelle Malkin readers).

Meet John Edwards’s new blogger-in-chief

Well after the revelation of the undisclosed DNA results, the ATM, taxi and dorm alibis, the umpteen times the stripper has changed her story, Amanda Marcotte still is willing to blast the Duke Lacrosse Three as guilty, guilty, guilty; and what do you know, the John-Edwards-for-President campaign has just saluted Marcotte’s acuity by naming her its blogger-in-chief (Pandagon, Jan. 21, foul language galore; Edwards blog, Jan. 30; Blogger News Network, Jan. 30, via Taranto; LieStoppers, Feb. 1). It’s enough to distract attention from all the comic joshing over the Friend of the Downtrodden’s gigantic new residence, or “Suing-’em Palace” as Mark Steyn calls it (NRO “The Corner”, Jan. 30; Dean Barnett, Jan. 30).

Update: Marcotte has now (1 p.m. Friday) yanked down her original post of Jan. 21, and appears also to have deleted several comments, but GoogleCache still has it for the moment. Here is its text, in the spirit of Fair-Use-ery:

Naturally, my flight out of Atlanta has been delayed. Let’s hope it takes off when they say it will so I don’t miss my connecting flight home.

In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good f**king god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and f**ked her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.

111 Responses to “Stuck at the airport again…..”

Further update (1:20 p.m. Friday): Here are two comments that Marcotte appears to have deleted from the original thread. The “In her part of the country” comment had already drawn criticism from readers on the LieStoppers site:

Amanda Marcotte Jan 21st, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Yes, how dare a rape victim act confused and bewildered like she was raped or something.

# Amanda Marcotte Jan 21st, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Natalia, do you know the details of the case? If so, why do you think a women enthusiastically jumped into a sexual situation with men making slavery jokes at her? Furthermore, what is your theory on why she supposedly looooooved having sex with guys holding her facedown on the bathroom floor? There’s no “if” they behaved in a disrespectful manner. We have conclusive evidence that happened.

This is about race and class and gender in every way, and there’s basically no way this woman was going to see justice. In her part of the country, both women and black people are seen as subhuman objects to be used and abused by white men.

Plus: I see that K.C. Johnson (“Durham in Wonderland“) is on the case in typically thorough and powerful fashion. Marcotte also provides this further comment reacting to her critics (“if I see the words ‘Duke’ or ‘lacrosse’ in an email that has the whiff of accusatory tone, I’m deleting it and simply not going to reply to it”).

And again (11:30 p.m. Friday): In a further post, K.C. Johnson cites chapter and verse about how Marcotte’s hiring won much praise for the Edwards folks as a shrewd way of reaching out to progressive netroots forces. More discussion: TalkLeft forums, Betsy Newmark, Jeff Taylor at Reason “Hit and Run” (R-rated), Outside the Beltway, Patrick Ruffini, South of Heaven, Little Miss Attila, Brainster; & welcome Glenn Reynolds, Kevin O’Keefe and Michelle Malkin readers.

Further updates: see Feb. 4, Feb. 7, Feb. 8, Feb. 12 (Marcotte quits Edwards post), Feb. 16.

Sensitivity in the U.K.

“Novelty pig calendars and toys have been banned from a council office — in case they offend Muslim staff. Workers in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, were told to remove or cover up all pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.” (“Muslims win toy pigs ban”, The Sun, recent undated; Mark Steyn, “Making a pig’s ear of defending democracy”, DailyTelegraph, Oct. 4; Bookworm Room, Oct. 4). And: “Prison staff have been told to stop wearing Cross of St George tiepins because they could be ‘misinterpreted” as a racist symbol. Anne Owers, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, was ‘concerned” to see a number of officers at Wakefield jail in Yorkshire wearing the tiepins, apparently in support of a cancer charity.” The Cross of St. George is the English national flag. (Philip Johnston, “Prison bans Cross of St George tiepins”, Daily Telegraph, Oct. 4).

Self-defense in the U.K.

Mark Steyn in the Telegraph:

These days, even as he or she is being clobbered, the more thoughtful British subject is usually keeping an eye (the one that hasn’t been poked out) on potential liability. Four years ago, Shirley Best, proprietor of the Rolander Fashion emporium, whose clients include Zara Phillips, was ironing some clothes when the proverbial two youths showed up. They pressed the hot iron into her flesh, burning her badly, and then stole her watch. “I was frightened to defend myself,” said Miss Best. “I thought if I did anything I would be arrested.” There speaks the modern British crime victim….

The right to protect your family does not derive from any home secretary or chief constable.

(“An Englishman’s Home Is His Dungeon”, Dec. 7). (& letter to the editor, Mar. 15).

U.K.: ban proposed on disrespecting religions

In Great Britain, where there is no First Amendment to protect free expression, Home Secretary David Blunkett has proposed a law banning so-called hate speech directed against religion, apparently in a gesture toward Muslim clerics offended by vigorous criticisms of their preachings. David G. Green, Director of Civitas: the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, warns that such a step would endanger Britain’s history of intellectual liberty — Hume, for one, might have been open to prosecution given the rude things he said about priests — and would act as a protective charter for religious extremism by giving its adherents a way to persecute scoffers by dragging them through the courts. (“Background Briefing”, Civitas, undated). Iain Murray comments as does Mark Steyn (“Blunkett’s ban will fan the flames”, Daily Telegraph, Jul. 13)(via AtlanticBlog). More: Mick Hume, “Don’t you just hate the Illiberati?”, The Times/Spiked-Online, Jul. 12. For earlier proposals along the same lines, see Oct. 19-21, 2001.

Insensitivity sought; win cash prizes

The province of Nova Scotia “is offering cash prizes to people who spot ‘offensive’ language in newspaper and magazine articles related to mental health and suicide. Readers who pick out inappropriate language will be entered into a draw for prizes worth up to $2,000. Included on the list of are such words and phrases as ‘basket-case, cracked-up, crazed, demented, fruitcake, kooky, loony, lost their marbles, lunatic, madman, maniac, nutcase, and schizo.'” (“Nova Scotia urges media to watch its language”, CTV, Mar. 7; “Are these guys nuts?” (editorial), National Post, Mar. 4; “Here’s an idea that really is nuts” (editorial), Montreal Gazette, Mar. 5; Mark Steyn, “Beware of the fruitcakes in government”, Daily Telegraph, Mar. 9)(via Tongue Tied).

Mark Steyn on John Edwards

“[H]is stump speech often sounds less like a political platform and more like a laundry list of class-action suits he’d like to get a piece of ?- we need to act against credit card companies that charge excessive interest etc.” (“Knowns, unknowns and the Ketchup Kid”, Daily Telegraph (UK), Jan. 27). The cash register continues to ring for Edwards with his friends in the Texas bar: “At the end of the fall filing period for campaign contributions, Texans had given more to John Edwards than to all of the other Democratic candidates combined, almost $2 million.” (Shelley Kofler, “Texas money a major part of Edwards’ NH campaign”, WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth), Jan. 27). On the other hand, Dave Barry thinks the photogenic Senator may be losing the bowlers’ vote (“Senator who? We’re trying to bowl here!!”, Miami Herald, Jan. 26; Julian Borger, “Edwards bowls along, with Dean still at a loss”, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 26)(via Command Post). See also Rich Lowry, “The Trial Lawyer?s Shtick”, syndicated/National Review Online, Jan. 27.

Archived Canadian items, pre-July 2003

‘Father files suit after son fails to make MVP award’” (hockey, New Brunswick), Nov. 8-10, 2002.

‘Sorry, Slimbo, you’re in my seats’“, June 7, 2001 (& updates Dec. 15-16, 2001, Oct. 25-27, 2002); “Obese fliers“, Dec. 20, 2000; “Welcome Toronto Star readers” (Jason Brooks column, disabled rights), Sept. 27-28, 2000. 

Personal responsibility, 2002:Skating first, instructions later” (Edmonton), Sept. 25-26; “‘Woman freezes; sues city, cabbie’” (Winnipeg), Sept. 18-19; Personal responsibility roundup” (social host alcohol liability), Sept. 12; “Paroled prisoner: pay for not supervising me“, Jan. 4-6.  2001:Don’t rock the Coke machine“, July 20-22; “‘Gambling addiction’ class action” (Loto-Quebec), June 20 (& update May 20-21, 2002; “‘Woman who drove drunk gets $300,000’” (Barrie, Ont.), Feb. 7-8; “By reader acclaim” (sues alleged crack dealers over own addiction), Jan. 11.  2000:Not my fault, I” (woman who murdered daughter sues psychiatrists), May 17; “Blue-ribbon excuse syndromes” (Metis Indian defendant allowed to cite cultural oppression as defense to stabbing charge), Feb. 12-13. 

Cash demanded for drug users and panhandlers inconvenienced by film crews” (Vancouver), Aug. 23-25, 2002. 

Activist judges north of the border“, May 31-Jun. 2, 2002 (& letter to the editor, Jun. 14). 

Flowers, perfume in airline cabins not OK?“, May 17-19, 2002; “Scented hair gel, deodorant could mean jail time for Canadian youth“, Apr. 24, 2000. 

‘Unharmed woman awarded $104,000’” (Manitoba chemical exposure), May 6, 2002. 

‘Targeting “big food”‘” (Lemieux, National Post), Apr. 29-30, 2002. 

Pharmaceutical roundup” (silicone implants popular), Apr. 16-17, 2002. 

Web speech roundup” (flag logo on website), Mar. 25-26, 2002. 

Tribulations of the light prison sleeper“, Mar. 25-26, 2002; “Prison litigation: ‘Kittens and Rainbows Suites’” (cellmate’s smoking violates rights), Jan. 11-13; “Paroled prisoner: pay for not supervising me“, Jan. 4-6, 2002. 

Couldn’t order 7-Up in French” (suing Air Canada for $525,000), Mar. 18, 2002; “Gotta regulate ’em all” (Quebec official upset that Pok?n cards not in French), Dec. 16, 1999. 

Stop, they said” (Manitoba: stop sign too vague?), Feb. 4-5, 2002. 

Planners tie up land for twenty years” (plus B.C. land use story), Jan. 18-20, 2002. 

Family law, 2002:‘Avoiding court is best defence’” (Dave Brown), Jan. 14-15.  2001:‘Crying wolf’” (Christie Blatchford on sexual abuse charges), Oct. 30; “Why she’s quitting law practice” (Karen Selick), Aug. 13-14; “Canadian court: divorce settlements never final“, May 15; “‘Victim is sued for support’“, Feb. 9-11; “Solomon’s child” (Donna LaFramboise), Jan. 26-28.  2000:Pilloried, broke, alone” (LaFramboise on “deadbeat dads”), April 10.  1999:Down repressed-memory lane: distracted when she signed” (Ont. judge voids separation agreement), Dec. 29-30. 

Front-row spectator sues ‘reckless’ exotic dancer” (B.C.), Jan. 7-8, 2002; “Embarrassing Lawsuit Hall of Fame” (injured by exotic dancer in Ottawa), Aug. 14, 2000; “‘Toronto Torch’ age-bias suit” (stripper in Brantford), May 23, 2000. 

Overlawyered schools roundup” (challenge to Ontario standards), Dec. 7-9, 2001. 

Columnist-fest” (asylum policies), Nov. 27, 2001; “Opponents of profiling, still in the driver’s seat” (Air Canada), Nov. 2-4; “Security holes: to the North…” (anti-terrorism security), Sept. 14-16, 2001. 

‘Hate speech’ law invoked against anti-American diatribe“, Oct. 17-18, 2001; “Most unsettling thing we’ve heard about Canada in a while” (hate speech laws), Dec. 17-19, 1999. 

‘Hama to sue bridge owners over her daughter’s fall’” (Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver), Oct. 8, 2001. 

Fear of losing welfare benefits deemed coercive” (N.S.), Oct. 3-4, 2001. 

Zero tolerance, etc.:John Leo on” (Halifax: snowball-like gestures banned), Aug. 15, 2001; “Fateful fiction” (Cornwall, Ont.), Jan. 30, 2001; “Hug protest in Halifax” (school’s no-physical-contact policy), March 2, 2000; “Zero tolerance roundup” (Windsor: 11-year-old’s fictional school essay), Dec. 27-28, 1999. 

Why she’s quitting law practice” (Karen Selick), Aug. 13-14, 2001. 

Welcome readers“, June 26, 2001. 

‘Dead teen’s family sues Take Our Kids To Work’“, May 31, 2001. 

Holiday special” (misconduct by N.B. lawyer), May 28, 2001. 

‘Insect lawyer ad creates buzz’” (Torys, Toronto), May 23, 2001; “‘Not-a-Lawyer’” (Vancouverite’s business card), Feb. 10-11, 2000. 

Columnist-fest” (Mark Steyn on Indian residential schools), May 1, 2001; “Bankrupting Canadian churches?“, Aug. 23-24, 2000. 

Canada’s secret legal aid“, April 10, 2001. 

Putting the ‘special’ in special sauce” (alleged rat in Big Mac”, March 29, 2001. 

Saves her friend’s life, then sues her“, Jan. 3, 2001. 

Canada reins in expert witnesses“, Nov. 22-23, 2000. 

Malpractice outlays on rise in Canada“, Oct. 2, 2000. 

‘Mother sues over lack of ice time for goalie son’” (Quebec), Sept. 11, 2000. 

‘Mugging victim “stupid”, judge says’” (Winnipeg case), Aug. 2, 2000. 

‘Skydivers don’t sue’“, May 26, 2000 (update July 6: Canadian diver prevails in suit against teammate). 

Cash for trash, and worse” (“Vancouver solution” for Microsoft?), June 26, 2000. 

Welcome Montreal Gazette readers” (columnist Doug Camilli cites this website), June 7, 2000; “Trop d’” (we are recommended by the Gazette), Oct. 18, 1999. 

‘More lawyers than we really need?’” (aftermath of Walkerton, Ont. E. Coli outbreak: columnist cites this website), June 2-4, 2000. 

Less suing = less suffering” (Sasketchewan no-fault auto study), April 24, 2000 (& update June 26). 

Swissair crash aftermath” (Peggy’s Cove disaster in U.S. courts), March 14, 2000; “Montreal Gazette ‘Lawsuit of the Year’” (bagpipers sue Swissair for lost income), Jan. 17, 2000. 

‘Girl puts head under guillotine; sues when hurt’“, March 8, 2000. 

Ontario judge okays hockey-fan lawsuit“, Jan. 12, 2000; “Spreading to Canada?” (hockey fan sues Alexei Yashin), Oct. 20, 1999. 

Update: toilet of terror” (Canadian tourist visits Starbucks in NYC, sues), Dec. 8, 1999; “Starbucks toilet lawsuit“, Dec. 1, 1999. 

Mounties vs. your dish” (satellite regulations), Nov. 1, 1999. 

Sensitivity in cow-naming“, Oct. 21, 1999; “Weekend reading” (Bugs Bunny television complaint), Aug. 21-22, 1999. “You may already not be a winner” (prisoner suit over sweepstakes entry), Aug. 23, 1999.

For a discussion of the loser-pays principle, which Canada has retained to a considerable extent in its courts, see our loser-pays page