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Wednesday, October 23, 2002

 
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

It's possible that Melissa Brown is not an evil, racist woman. But if so, she really ought to apologize for her recent campaign ads which are blatantly racist and, therefore, evil.

Brown is the Republican candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 13th District. Her ads don't explicitly mention race, but the subject lurks below the surface unseen like the shark in the first hour of Jaws. That shark was, of course, a great white, but the scary monster in Melissa Brown's imagination isn't white at all.

"Joe Hoeffel twice voted with Mayor Street to expand Section 8 housing" Brown's ad says, the announcer's tone conveying utter disgust at a man so corrupt, so morally bankrupt as to increase funding for low-income housing.

Philadelphia Mayor John Street is black. Many of the tenants in Section 8 housing are also black. The ad couldn't be clearer if Melissa Brown dressed up as Paul Revere and rode horseback through the suburbs shouting "The Negroes are coming! The Negroes are coming!"

The whole point of the ad is that Brown will help homeowners fight to keep "those people" out of their neighborhoods. Melissa Brown has cast herself as the defender of white suburban outposts against the influx of "undesirables." She has earned her place with Jesse Helms in the race-baiting Hall of Shame.

Today, the 13th district. Tomorrow ...
posted by Fred Clark 12:28 PM


Tuesday, October 22, 2002

 
CONVENTIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY?

This story is good news for responsible shoppers, healthy eaters and anybody else who cares about the food they eat or the land its grown on.

New labels appearing on some organic foods this week will tell consumers the products were grown by a specially certified farmer who does not use conventional pesticides, fertilizers or biotechnology to produce them.

But since when were pesticides and biotechnology "conventional"?

My local Fresh Fields uses this same distinction between "organic" and "conventional." (SHOPPER: "What's the difference between 'organic' and 'conventional'? CLERK: "About $4.00.")

But it's still kind of odd to take new technologies from the late 20th century -- technologies whose long-term sustainability is doubtful -- and refer to these as "conventional." What's next -- "traditional genetic engineering"?



posted by Fred Clark 5:26 PM

 
WEAK STANDARDS.

Does the Weekly Standard even care if the stories it prints are true? The two "corrections" the Standard published of Larry Miller's bogus story on Buzzcocks/Blink 182, only served to repeat the weird urban legend falsehoods in the first story.

Comedian Larry Miller and writer Jack Burditt (who worked together on episodes of "Mad About You" and "Just Shoot Me," and who are reportedly developing a sitcom for ABC) turned a quotidian, dog-bites-man nonevent -- punk rockers protest authority -- into a weird Rush Limbaugh fairy tale in which thousands of pierced teen-agers eerily band together in a show of impromptu support for Republican President George W. Bush.

So far, every account by everyone else who was present at the concert says: Miller's tale is pure fiction. It did not happen. No chorus of boos. No spontaneous embrace of Miller's confusion of patriotism with partisan support for the GOP.

This is starting to look like a serious Stephen Glass/Christopher Newton fabrication.

(Maybe Stephen Glass and Christopher Newton should develop a sitcom for ABC? "Sources Say" -- Fridays at 8:30!)

Here's the original article. Here's corrections number one and number two.

The original piece and the followups are full of refutable details -- refuted by the band, the crowd, even the Rolling Stone article Miller himself cites (without reading).

More to come ...

posted by Fred Clark 3:06 PM


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