Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

February 28, 2010

Times Plagiarist Uses Jeff Jarvis-isms to Defend His Practice in "The Age of Blogs"

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:45 pm

You may have seen that The New York Times has suffered another plagiarism episode, this one on the part of one of its “Dealbook” financial bloggers. What was different about this one was the spin the admitted plagiarist put on his act. The vigilant Times-watch blog picked up this quote from the plagiarist, one that first appeared in the Greenwhich Time newspaper:

“I don’t know what to tell you,” the plagiarist said, “Things move so quickly on the Web that citing who had it first is something that is likely going away, especially in the age of blogs.”

He also is quoted thus: :

“For instance Dealbreaker and other blogs report on a lot of stories, but I don’t think anybody has ever cited them as being first with a particular scoop. I’ve had it happen to me a bunch of times at The Post and it really didn’t bother me because most readers just don’t care. They don’t read bylines and they don’t care about whether one paper cited a website or another paper in their stories.”

What struck me is that though media guru Jeff Jarvis is by no means an advocate of plagiarism, the new plagiarist defense is essentially to mouth Jarvis-like platitudes about how everything’s different in the brave new world of blogs and that information wants to be free and the story is no longer the unit of the new age of the web journalism with its “content-farms” ,and those poor souls who develop information into a story, i.e. connect the dots, not just throw them at the screen, don’t have any right to any proprietary feelings about what they craft.

Crediting people for their work is “going away” the plagiarist tells us, “readers don’t care” about by-lines so what’s the point of not stealing, right?

This guy has a brght future as a new media guru.


An Interesting Comment on Comments

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 2:48 pm

One of the first and best lessons about journalism, is one I learned from Nat Hentoff and the late Jack Newfield at the Village Voice. (Newfield spent decades crusading to get child-poisoning lead out of the paint in New York City public schools and housing before getting a strict law passed. You know the kind of evil regulation that represents tyranny to the Tea Partiers) )

Just keep at it, they’d say. Don’t let them of the hook. It’s not really my style or practice, I tend to jump from one subject to another but every once in a while I do find something to pre occupy me.

I haven’t felt that way about anything for a whle as I do, for instance about the Tea Partiers, the new Know Nothngs of our time.(look it up, Tea Partiers) the more you criticize them the more you learn about them, specifically how much in favor of the Consitution they supposedly are, until you use your First Amendment rights to criticize them. That’s one thing blogging allows: you can pursue a subject over time–not just in one story–pursue something until you’ve nailed it.

And I’ve made a point of a running commentary on blog commentary as well since it seems such a toxic social dynamic in the blogosphere as a whole. Anonymous abusive commenter cowards may not realize in what contemt theyre held in wdening circles of the blogosphere. I’m proud to have done my part.

Still, I don’t know if I agree with what Prof..Jeffrey Weintraub wrote in his blog about comments.Sure the can be so ignorant and repulsive they can mamke you e think human nature, nonetheless I think they’re very revealing, especially the ones by anonymous abusive cowards who can’t help showing the ugly, twisted mask of fear and hatred beneath their anonymity. But others, like Weintraub disagree. And it would probably good for some commenters to see how others see them, not just me.

So here’s his opening:

” Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Why I have never been tempted to activate the “comments” feature on my blog
Perhaps I’m being unfair or excessively finicky to say this, but my impression from reading blogs for almost a decade is that, as a general rule, the “comments” threads on most blogs tend to be dominated by junk that is useless at best–and often worse than that, since it’s common for them to fill up with mindless ranting and vituperation. There are occasional exceptions, and some blogs with well-established constituencies even manage to generate intelligent discussions in the “comments” threads. But, even for those blogs, keeping things from getting out of hand usually requires persistent and draconian policing of the “comments” to weed out postings and posters that go over the line (trolls, obsessives, bigots, conspiracy theorists, outright loonies, and so on). That strikes me as more time-consuming than it’s worth, though I can appreciate why other bloggers might feel differently.”

Something to keep in mind.

Who Are the "Tyrants"?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:23 am

An extremely thoughtul piece by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen which discussed how journalists should cover the Tea Partiers claim of “impending tyranny”. I’m not sure I agree completely with him that an objective journalist needs to say how ridiculous the claim is, but the discussion and comments are valuable and thought provoking.

In fact, it is the Tea Partiers who the ones who seek to impose a kind of tyranny by seeking to crush dissent from their views. For all their reverence for the Founding Fathers, respect for the First Amendment right of free expression (something quite important to the Founding fathers)–even if it is vigorously critical free expression, like the Revolutionary War anti-tyranny pamphleteers–seems to have escaped them. As soon as they see anything critical of them, they want to see it banned.

Shame on them. I guess we’ll see if anyone is craven enough to cave to them.

February 26, 2010

How Many Children Will Develop Autism Because of Tea Party Hatred of Federal Regulation?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 1:13 pm

I hope all you Tea Partiers out there read this Nicholas Kristof column in the Times.

Read the whole thing. But there are two key quotes, one about a new study by a professor of pediatrics at one of America’s leading hospitals which strongly suggests exposure to toxic chemicals in the first trimester can cause autism inducing brain injury in a fetus. This is not, by the way the old vaccine controversy. As I said take the time to read the study’s provenance.

The second quote is this:

“Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey is drafting much-needed legislation that would strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act. It is moving ahead despite his own recent cancer diagnosis, and it can be considered as an element of health reform. Senator Lautenberg says that under existing law, of 80,000 chemicals registered in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has required safety testing of only 200. ‘Our children have become test subjects,’ he noted”

80,000 chemicals. 200 tested. The rest “tested” on children and fetuses. Okay Tea Partiers tell me how much you oppose Federal regulation. Would you rather we not even test the 200 chemicals? Federal Regulation is evil in your world view. You’ve succeeded in demonizing everything the Federal government does (except torture) that lawmakers are scared to do anything that might increase vigilance over children’s health if it can be damned as “Federal regulation” Even if it might mean protecting your future child or that of a family member or friend’s child from autism.

But what the hell, those Tea Parties were fun! You guys are really really powerful You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Your hostile ignorance (see Ron Radosh’s recent PJM blog post about the “communist” White House books “scandal” ,oughtif you want to see your ignorance on display) and your control over the cowardly Republican Party (except maybe Scott Brown, who seems like an independent human being) is almost guaranteed to block testing for potential autism-trigger chemicals. Congratulations for saving the Republic. Think how you’ll feel when someone you know suffers the consequences of your callousness.

But I hope that when you meet a family dealing with autism you will tell them proudly of your role in blocking any further “Federal Regulation”. Don’t hide it. Tell them: “I did my part to make sure potential autism-trigger chemicals wouldn’t be tested for. It’s Federal regulation after all! Aren’t you glad.”

In case any of you are interested in the consequences this attitude, I received just yesterday a note from my friend Lauren Thierry whose beautiful son suffers from autism and who has become an activist and made a powerful short film about what it’s like to be the parent of an autism spectrum child.

She recommended a new book and I’ll just quote what she said:

Gravity Pulls You In: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum is now available at My favorite is the essay “Is There Anything Else We Should Know?” on page 181. But that’s not really why I am recommending it. In all of the wonderful 33 essays and poems, mothers and fathers raising children on the autism spectrum explore their lives in the context of autism’s own special gravity. I made a documentary film about a similar subject, called “Autism Every Day.” But even then I knew I could never tell the whole story in less than an hour. And, as a writer long before I was a filmmaker, I knew that honest words in the slapping up against the silence in one’s own head could be more powerful than the “distractions” of a film on the same subject, where one must watch the chaos and then try to comprehend — through sound-bites, not soliloquies — what these parents are trying to say.”

Since you constantly proclaim your family values, Tea Partiers, since you’re SO concerned about future generations, the debt etc., let’s see if you can muster some concern for future generations and the threat of autism. Put aside your indiscriminate and ignorant horror at Federal regulation and contact Sen. Lautenberg’s office to see how best you can support his bill. Think of other people, rather than your own self interest, your freedom from the tyrannical toxic chemical testing Federal government for a change.

"Bob Dylan: Messiah or Escape Artist?"

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 12:55 pm

That’s the question I ask in this review essay in the new Jewish Review of Books a new journal well worth the attention of Jews and non.

February 24, 2010

Here's Where I Agree With A Tea Party Sentiment

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 1:51 pm

Have I been too harsh about the Tea Partiers? Okay I have to admit there’s one thing I share with them: a contempt for the Washington establishment and the way they look after their own.

Last weekend on NPR I heard an astonishing defense of the late Al Haig’s corrupt bargain to get unindicted co-conspirator President Richard Nixon a pardon for his crimes by offering then Vice President Gerald Ford the Presidency.

The Haig defender was liberal NPR icon Daniel Schorr, a fixture of the Washington establishment who should know better, but clearly has, in this instance, become a spokesman for the all-too-comfortable DC establishment view that “stability”–for the DC establishment–must be maintained at all costs. Stability is the highest value, even if it means denying the American people the truth a trial might reveal.

Schorr recounted the long forgotten details of the corrupt bargain. Essentially what this meant was that in the last days of August 1974, Haig went to VP Ford on behalf of Nixon who was about to be impeached, convicted, and probably thereafter criminally indicted and said, in so many words, Nixon will resign now, go quietly if you assure him that when you become President you will issue him a pardon exempting him from any prosecution for his many demonstrated crimes.

According to this “insider’s” account by Schorr, Ford temporized and said he couldn’t be sure, but Haig went back to Nixon and basically said he had a yes. Tricked Tricky Dick. Haig performed this manipulation to ease Nixon out without a bruising fight, Senate trial and later criminal trial which the DC establishment, for reasons of “stability” and return to normalcy, and perhaps keeping the lid on things (there was a lot of embarrassing stuff that could have come out in a criminal trial).

Nixon then resigned and several months later Ford pardoned him.

February 23, 2010

Ha! Tea Partiers Thought Scott Brown Was as Cruel and Ignorant as They Are

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:46 pm

Because he voted for a jobs bill. Sure it’s imperfect, but did you ever see any piece of legislation that was perfect? We’re in a desperate economic crisis in case you hadn’t noticed.

And now, like whiny babies throwing a tantrum they’re calling their former hero Scott Brown, who deserves respect for his independence, nasty names.

Or trying to. I had to laugh out loud at the ignoramus who tried to call him a “traitor” but couldn’t spell it, so ended up calling him a “trader”. Ouch! A perfect demonstration of the level of intelligence exhibited by these people.

And a demonstration of the lack of any concern about suffering families in this depression. Where’s your jobs program Tea Partiers, or are you just too cruel to care?

February 22, 2010

Toyota Kills: A Grade School Lesson for Tea Partiers in the Calue of Government Regulation

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:14 am

I’d like all the Tea Partiers who must have skipped U.S. history to contemplate the death of a California cop and three others, killed according to today’s New York Post, no satanic liberal outlet “by a Toyota’s sudden acceleration when the pedal got stuck in a floor mat.”

Now read the rest of the story in the luciferian MSM you avoid to maintain you ignorance (or get someone to explain it to you). The rest of the story is all about e mails revealing how Toyota’s “Safety” division boasted to its bosses that it had saved a hundred millllion dollars by conning the lax Bush Administration regulators to limit, floor pedal recalls in 2007.

Now I want you to go to the family of that cop and jeer about the “terrible burden” federal regulations impose on free enterprise. How government is the enemy, and sure, their husband/father would be alive if there were vigorous regulation, but you’ve been told by your Tea Party leaders that it’s all bad. No government interference for you! Tell the family the cop died to preserve the purity of Tea Party values. I’ll bet that will console them.

Then go read some American history about how we learned in the New Deal that a rational system of regulation saves capitalism from itself, from its unrestrained greed even when that greed means making a buck off killing untold numbers of citizens by hiding the fatal defects in their cars.

This should be a lesson to you, unless it’s too late and you’re already brainwashed, which is my impression.

Maybe then you’ll realize that all aspects of government regulation are not all bad. Incompetent maybe, harassed by brainless de regulators, yes, need to be improved, strengthened, yes. But If the inspectors hadn’t been such pushovers for Toyota’s obscene greed, who knows how many families wouldn’t have to be mourning deaths now? Not just the ones who drove the Toyotas but the ones struck down by the killing machines the anti-regulation, anti-government ideology let loose on the highways.

What if it had been someone in your family? Still want to smash the windows of government?

February 19, 2010

Now the Violence of Town Hall/Tea Party Rhetoric Has Infected Previously Sane Republicans

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 2:08 pm

It’s beginning to look like a contest to see who can sound more thuggish.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty tells CPAC that he wants to take a nine iron and “smash the windows” of Big Government. Just a day after Scott Brown laughs off the murderous airborne attack on a government building by saying “nobody likes to pay taxes”. Ha ha. Tell it to the dead man’s family Scott. See if they laugh. Oklahoma City must have been a big yuk for these guys.

It sounds like the Tea Party endorses, tolerates or just gets a laugh out of the rhetoric of criminal violence.

And don’t try to make the Austin plane crash guy a lefty, He was anti-Bush because he was anti-politician of all persuasions (read his manifesto: Pat Moynihan his bete noire was a Dem). He was anti government as intrinsically evil. Just like the extremists in the Town Hall/Tea Party movement. Except when it comes to taking medicare handouts from Big Government. Then they’re “a handful of ‘gimme’, a mouthful of ‘much obliged’.”

I’ve seen the violence in blog commenters (anonymous cowards of course) defending the right to take guns to Town Halls. Nobody (or hardly anybody) disputes the right to do it , it’s the (lack of any sane) judgment. Children present and all that. But no… more important to show what a big man you are, gun-toter.

It’s just a matter of time before this kind of window-smashing, gun toting, government-is evil rhetoric turns into more violence against fellow citizens. Don’t say I didn’t predict it.

February 18, 2010

Hey, Tea Partiers: When are You Gonna Give Up Medicare?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:31 am

Or don’t you realize it’s a sinister government program? Government run health care! Socialized medicine! Aren’t you being a little hypocritical taking money from The Man?

What about all your brave “revolutionary” spirit? What about all the talk of the evils of the federal government? What about all the talk of secession? Why don’t you secede from taking any Medicare benefits? Declare it now. That way you’ll lower evil federal spending. Don’t tell me you don’t want to do your share to reduce the deficit. Don’t tell me you want to be one of those welfare recipients you despise.

Oh yeah, do you want to take away veterans benefits too? That’s a federal government socialized medicine program, right?

What do you mean — evil federal spending is okay if it’s for you? Come on, where’s that town hall spirit? Bond together in the good old-fashioned way of American individualism. Help each other out. Tell your doctors that you’re gonna do a barn-raising to pay for your gall bladder surgery. They’ll understand; it’s all part of the new American revolution you’re brewing.

I’d just like to know how many are really true to the anti-government principles and how many are just freeloading fakers.

Yes I know some of you are not old enough for Medicare, but if you make a declaration now that you won’t ever accept it you can reduce future budget estimates. What are you waiting for?

And, thanks!

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