February 6, 2008

Area man believes inane theory.

Local newspaper defends inane letter publishing policy.

IN THE COMMENTS: Pogo summarizes:
So the Capital Times is concerned that Ann Althouse - who is "from their area"- ripped on (huh? What are they at CT, high schoolers?) Kevin Barrett who is also "from their area", so they "let people have their say"?

Baloney.

They are nutters, and support a fellow loon.

MORE IN THE COMMENTS: Quoting the letter at the link from the Capital Times opinion editor Judie Kleinmaier — "Are you suggesting that we should believe everything our government — the government of George Bush and Dick Cheney — tells us?" — Tibore writes:
(*Sigh*)... Judie, instead of making it all about "what the government tells us", how about you consider "what the evidence, science, and engineering" tells us? Then maybe you'd see why 9/11 conspiracy fantasy is so baseless.

Yet another person who'd probably say to me "Put aside the physics for a minute, consider what Bush..." yadda yadda... sheesh...

Palladian writes:
What will these people do when Bush and Cheney aren't running the government anymore, yet the "official" version of 9/11/01 doesn't change?

Henry responds:
That's spot on. The fact that Judie Kleinmaier thinks her argument is enhanced by qualifying who the "government" is reveals a profound level of ignorance about science and actual, unbiased, journalism...

ADDED: Area Woman Rips Area Opinion Editor.

42 comments:

PatHMV said...

That cries out for an experiment, where Madisonians send in letters in support of the idea that Capricorn One was a true story, that the CIA took out Kennedy, and that a secret government agency keeps track of every sale of any copy of Catcher in the Rye. Then we'll see if the paper really is that open to nutball theories, or if they just suffer, as appears from the editor's closing remark, from Bush Derangement Syndrome.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Bush Derangement Syndrome:

Being deranged enough to actually believe a word he says?

Sounds terminal.....

Ron said...

Is this the Wisconsin I'm supposed to pay attention to, or the one I should blissfully ignore?

George said...

Why not? It's fun to read.

And, hey, you "publish" goofy stuff that people send in, too.

But it's the editor's second paragraph that's most revealing...

"Are you suggesting that we should believe everything our government -- the government of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- tells us?"

Middle Class Guy said...

Let's see, you ripped on him. So, I guess they give some credence to his grievances. But, did they believe everything the Clinton/Gore presidency said? Did they beleive Bill did not have sex with that woman? Did they beleive that Gore did not take campaign contributions from monks?

Evidently the paper is a truth leaning publication- the truth is what they say it is. Of course, if you can afford the ink, you can print what you want.

Keep on ripping....

Palladian said...

You "ripped on him"? Is that how newspaper editors write these days? Is this paper some Wisconsin High School's "underground" newsletter? Good Lord. What will these people do when Bush and Cheney aren't running the government anymore, yet the "official" version of 9/11/01 doesn't change?

SMGalbraith said...

Are you suggesting that we should believe everything our government -- the government of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- tells us?"

No, you should always question it; but at least have some standard of proof for those who challenge the government's statements as well.

Some claims aren't worthy of attention. Even if they're made against those, run!!, twin spawn of Satan, Bush and Cheney.

Simon said...

Pat - call it Empirical Media Studies. ;)

Pogo said...

So the Capital Times is concerned that Ann Althouse -who is "from their area"- ripped on (huh? What are they at CT, high schoolers?) Kevin Barrett who is also "from their area", so they "let people have their say"?

Baloney.

They are nutters, and support a fellow loon.

Dr. K. said...

Area woman thinks the buttocks are genitalia.

The Drill SGT said...

PatHMV said...
That cries out for an experiment, where Madisonians send in letters in support of the idea that Capricorn One


I think you need to revise your experiment to write about a conspiracy that stikes a liberals. The ones you cited all are about Evil government conspiracies.

Try Obama is a Muslim or Hillary is a Lesbian or Bill sold pardons to Marc Rich (wait, that one may be true :)

Note: Did they believe Bill when he responded to a truther with outrage?

Palladian said...

Area troll thinks that by changing his screen name 500 times we won't know he's AJD.

Ann Althouse said...

No, Dr. K, area woman resists expanding collection of tags.

Tibore said...

"Are you suggesting that we should believe everything our government -- the government of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- tells us?"

(*Sigh*)... Judie, instead of making it all about "what the government tells us", how about you consider "what the evidence, science, and engineering" tells us? Then maybe you'd see why 9/11 conspiracy fantasy is so baseless.

Yet another person who'd probably say to me "Put aside the physics for a minute, consider what Bush..." yadda yadda... sheesh...

Original Mike said...

Are you suggesting that we should believe everything our government -- the government of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- tells us?

Yeah, that blew me away too.

Why they printed the nutters letters is simple. Follow the money. The Capital Times is in serious decline. If they were to call Truthers nutty, they'ed be calling many of their readers nutty. Not good for circulation.

PatHMV said...

Drill Sgt., excellent. We'll send in both types, to gather even more data to expose their lunacy and bias...

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Are they liable if they publish a letter that libels you?

Henry said...

Palladian -- What will these people do when Bush and Cheney aren't running the government anymore, yet the "official" version of 9/11/01 doesn't change?

That's spot on. The fact that Judie Kleinmaier thinks her argument is enhanced by qualifying who the "government" is reveals a profound level of ignorance about science and actual, unbiased, journalism (h/t to Tibore).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Nothing like an impartial media to deliver unfiltered and unbiased news.

Journalism....not so much.
Propaganda...pretty much.

Synova said...

I would suppose that newspapers sometimes print letters from crazy people for the same reason crazy commentors are allowed to post comments.

It's entertaining and increases readership.

OTOH, yeah, when the administration changes and the "official story" doesn't... that will be a problem, won't it.

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

The rule with truthers is to keep them away from the topic.

``Why don't we talk about something else?''

It's like wives of avid boaters : keep them away from water.

Mr. Forward said...

Sorry to rip on you but is "area woman" supposed to be a link?

Pogo said...

is "area woman" supposed to be a link?

It is, I believe, a reference to a recurring joke in The Onion, which routinely has headlines entitled Area Man....

Michael_H said...

Does anyone remember when the Cap Times was a better newspaper than The Onion? It seems like that was a long time ago.

Ann Althouse said...

The "Area Woman" is me. I'm referring to the post itself.

Tibore said...

"Does anyone remember when the Cap Times was a better newspaper than The Onion? It seems like that was a long time ago."

The question now is, which one's more accurate?

</snark>

B said...

How strange . . .

I have no idea what the "Government's official version is". Really.

I didn't bother to read the Commission's Report. In fact, all i know about 9/11 is from what I read in the papers and the paper's online websites, and what I saw on the television news.

And that seems to square with the "official" version.

Truthers = Wasted lives.

Sad

Roger said...

I don't suppose that doofus editor realizes that it was Bush-Cheney that delivered the official version of 9-11. It was a bipartisan commission consisting of both Ds and Rs. Apologies to all history majors, but journalists are art history majors who couldn't hack graduate school in art history. As to truthers: they are destined to live very unhappy lives because they wallow in their own ignorance.

Mr. Forward said...

Sorry, should have caught that.

But now you got me wondering.

Is there a word for countering an argument with the opponents own words.

Crowbate?

JohnAnnArbor said...

where Madisonians send in letters in support of the idea that Capricorn One was a true story

Some nimrod, when OJ was first arrested back in '94, made minor news by saying it had nothing to do with, you know, hacking people to death. He was in jail because he was in "Capricorn One"!

Fen said...

Is there a word for countering an argument with the opponents own words.

Swiftboating.

Tibore said...

B has a point I think needs to be expanded: Conspiracy peddlers keep defining the "Official Story" as the one pushed out by the Bush/Cheney administration. Many truthers decide to further narrow down the "Official Story" as the findings from the NIST investigation (by the way, B, the 9/11 Commision Report didn't really deal with the physical/engineering issues surrounding the World Trade Center collapse). But even when you get that specific, you wonder if the truthers are just doing an intellectually lazy "Administration smear" without comprehending the reality behind NIST's conduct of the investigation or generation of the report. You see, most truthers probably don't know what the relationship actually is between NIST and their boogeyman "the Administration"; most of them probably couldn't place NIST in the overall hierarchy of government, let alone explain what they think the influence links are between the White House and the NIST World Trade Center team (FYI: NIST "is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce").

Why is that important? Well, because for all the talk about how the "Official Story" is a product of the Bush/Cheney White House, I bet you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the White House who's actually read any part of the NIST Report, much less dictated its contents or influenced its composition. Hell, if any truther can name even just one or two of the NIST WTC Investigative team without looking it up, I'd be in shock.

What's my point? This whole diatribe is that so many people make the official story out to be a Bush & Co. narrative when it's not. These people wrote it. I can't find any evidence that the NIST report was even presented to the President, or anyone outside the Secretary of Commerce, much less influenced by the administration. As a comparison: Does anyone accuse "the Administration" of dictating the contents or slant of the Surgeon General's "Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke" report? Or of NASA's climatology research into Anthropomorphic Climate Change?

It's so easy to throw mud at the huge edifice called "the Administration", but once you confront the devil that's the details, you have to wonder exactly how big the influence between the White House and the NIST investigators really is. And you have to wonder exactly how said White House would have actually slanted the investigation. Sorry, but PNAC and "Northwoods" claims are so thin it's ridiculous, plus neither of those ever had any steps on how to influence an investigation.

So, "Official Story"? Well, yes, in that NIST is a government organization, and that the investigation was for a certain departmental goal. But "Official Story" in that it's a slant to create a more favorable narrative? Sorry. It'll take a bit more than damning the source to do that.

Roger said...

Tibore: Unfortunately your lucid explanation will continue to be disregarded by the truthers like fstop. But I for one appreciate your efforts.

Anthony said...

I wonder if the Cap Times defended people in the '90s who were certain that Vince Foster was murdered and that The Administration planned the Oklahoma City bombing so they could Take Away Our Guns.

I am fully aware that this is a rhetorical question.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I've been to NIST in Maryland. It's Nerdvana. The little museum shows a bunch of old standard weights, balance scales, and other 19th-century measuring equipment. They work all the time on basic research. They're not going to be an agency to hide a conspiracy. But I bet they're also naive enough to believe that engineering and scientific evidence means something in the modern world. For far too many people, it doesn't.

former law student said...

"Area woman riffs on local 9/11 nutter"

Tibore said...

"I've been to NIST in Maryland. It's Nerdvana."

Oh man, I totally have to steal that for my sig over at JREF.

:D

Tibore said...

Thanks, Roger. But keep in mind I don't truly aim my responses at the truthers themselves; far too many aren't amenable to reason. I instead aim them at bystanders and non-posters (lurkers) who might not know what the truthful information really is.

So no, when it bounces off a conspiracy peddler's skull, I don't look on it as a wasted effort. Rather, I look on it as a demonstration for others of critical thought, involving a real-life object lesson for contrast.

James Wigderson said...

Kleinmaier must have a tough job. I asked her a follow question, and part of her response, "The only thing unusual about the Barrett
letters is that we ran more letters from out-of-state people."

In other words, normally they run the letters from the in-state kooks first.

Original Mike said...

This just up on the Capital Times web site: Late this spring The Capital Times will dramatically enhance its Internet site as well as alter its print frequency from six days to two days per week to address changing habits of afternoon newspaper readers, company executives announced Thursday.

I guess the volume of nutter letters isn't enough to support publication every day.

Mr. Forward said...

Not only is the "Capital Times" going from six days to two it will now be delivered wrapped in it's arch rival the "Wisconsin State Journal."

Very Vortexy, No?