Monday, September 10, 2007

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers

Katherine Kerstin is like the local left-o-sphere's Nick Coleman. Except they obsess over her more. For every column she writes, you'll see a myriad of smug snot-drizzled crap from the usual suspects who will impute motives, ignore large swaths of text and break down Kersten's argument du jour to the atomic level just to make themselves feel smart. If Kersten were ever to make an overt error like, say, misspelling a certain legal term as "res ipsa loquiter", you can expect to see at least 30 different posts about it.

It's like the flooding of the Nile.

That said, MPR's Bob Collins - who generally does not suck - thinks he's caught Kerstin making shit up. Now typically this would have passed here without notice (I read Polinaut much less than I should), but Collins' "catch" seemed to get the kind of nodding approval of the local Hipster Doof-o-Sphere (oh, and here too - shocker!) that NonMonkey's weekly gaffes do not. In any event, here's Collins' beef with a recent Kersten column:

I covered that convention and stayed in the same hotel as the Minnesota delegates and I don't remember any attempt to take it over. And there was a good reason for that: there were cops out front and cops in the lobby. It was so quiet, the only action was delegates petting police dogs.

[Picture of a person petting a dog next to cops.]

But the comment about being spit at is the one that caught my attention because delegates didn't mix with protesters. See, the way it worked was a "tiered" security area was placed around Madison Square Garden... the closer you got to it, the tighter the security. Protesters were eliminated from as far away as the outer ring.

Ah. But then how do you explain this New York post article about the convention protest from September 1, 2004 (you'll need Nexis to find this; citation is 9/1/04 NY Post 8):

The demonstrations grew demonic at the Republican National Convention yesterday as protesters set fire to a traffic light, tipped over a fruit cart, tossed around garbage cans, attacked a journalist and spit on Republican conventioneers in a wave of mayhem across Manhattan.


At Madison Square Garden, the protests got physical - and a little wet - as Bush-haters roughed up and spit on GOP delegates who got caught up in the demonstration crowds as they tried to enter the convention.

One 63-year-old delegate from Mississippi told The Post he was manhandled by protesters who tried to block his way.

"I don't mind them demonstrating, but to spit on people is unbelievable," he said, as he wiped phlegm from his hat.

OK, so its the New York Post, and the language here is hardly neutral. So for the benefit of moonbats, here's a story from the NY Times, that doesn't mention any specific instances of protestor loogie hocking, but does demonstrate that the drooling sign-toting impotent rage-o-holics weren't aways kept out of loogie range from the delegates (and the story, ironically enough, can be found on leftyblog TruthOut):

As protesters converged on Herald Square in the evening, the police tried to contain the increasingly raucous crowds. Hundreds of protesters seemed to get too close to the buses of delegates and the crowd became unruly as the police moved in metal barricades and used scooters to try to push the crowd back.

And, more to support Kersten's point (protesters suck and will cause havoc in St. Paul) rather than to continue to bludgeon Collins' now-debunked debunking, there's this:

The demonstrators at Herald Square, frustrated by their lack of ability to move closer to Madison Square Garden, began breaking off in clusters of hundreds or so and storming the streets and avenues in Midtown, throwing cones and other objects at cars and windows as they ran.

Well, Bob didn't apparently see any of that, so it must not have happened.

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