Yeah, so?

Two dozen members of congress, led by Dennis Kucinich, write a letter to the publisher of the LA Times objecting to the dismissal of columnist Robert Sheer. If they were just readers writing to a paper complaining about something the paper had done, fine. Wonderful, in fact. But they don’t write as readers. The letter starts: “We, as Members of Congress, object to the dismissal…” What does being a Member of Congress (capitalized) have to do with this? Is this an effort to intimidate the press from an official position? Remember, people, we don’t do that here. In fact, you are sworn to protect against just that.

Next time, folks, write as readers.

: I posted a different version of this at Huffington here (I spared you the FCC/PTC rant).

  • Port

    Let’s recap: the LA Times fires an old favorite of liberals and replaces him with a conservative hack (PLEASE NOTE: Goldberg is not a hack because he’s a conservative; he’s a hack because he’s immature, ill-informed and only got to where he is because he was willing to shamelessly exploit his famous last name).
    In response, liberal Congressman write to the paper.
    What does self-proclaimed “liberal” Jarvis do?
    Parse the letter and attack the Congressmen!
    It would be one thing if Jeff had demonstrated a real streak of independent thinking. But again and again, the result is the same: he criticizes liberals and supports conservatives. He can argue all he wants, but the result sspeak for themselves.
    I’d love to do an audit of Jarvis, Kaus and most importantly Reynolds. Think these guys aren’t in the tank to the American right? I’m willing to bet they damn well profit off the relationship.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    If I dare criticize Dennis Kucinich I lose my liberal stripes? Let’s not play that tired game. The First Amendment isn’t left or right, last time I checked. Though I sure wish more of my fellow liberals on and off the FCC would be fighting to protect the First Amendment against the religious right there. There: That’s my litmus test, “port,” whoever the hell you are: Will you support Howard Stern’s speech? If not, you’re not a liberal in my book. We can play this all day… But perhaps it would be better to stick to the topic: Do you think that was a smart way to write that letter? What would you say if Cheney sent a similar letter to the NY Times? It’s an improper use of the office.

  • http://moviesandmore.typepad.com Patricia

    Anybody who cares about free speech would care about this bullying tactic.

    I can’t wait for George Clooney to make a movie about how Congress intimidated the press!

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Jeff…you know that a Liberal cannot, under any circumstances question ANYTHING another Liberal says or does. Check your membership card if you don’t believe me.

    Oops, gotta go, Karl Rove is faxing me next weeks marching orders on the GOP-FAX 9000.

  • Port

    As I clearly said, it’s not about “just” criticizing Dennis Kucinich et al. It’s about a pattern that anyone who reads this blog seriously can detect: Jeff always makes the liberals the bad guys. Always. Sure, he’ll say he’s a liberal to give himself cover, but his record is clear.

  • http://blog.spartac.us/ Brian O’Connell

    This reminds me of the stink around the White House allegedly telling Newsweek what to print (I think it revolved around the abused Koran controversy). There was “outrage” from the left and from the media- you can’t tell us what to do, etc.

    Now it’s turned around so the liberal position will be that Kucinich is acting in the interest of freedom or whatever.

  • Ravo

    Jeff always makes the liberals the bad guys.

    Instead of a statement like that, how about showing us where he made the liberals the bad guys when they weren’t the bad guys.

    This is definitely a misuse of office that the liberals would be screaming about were it done by conservatives.

    Their list of Kucinich “achievements”, indicate to me he

    criticized the most successful welfare reform program in history,

    defended the nuclear weapons scientist accused by many of selling nuclear secrets

    accused the president of inflating the price of gas

    urged a cut and run in Iraq that would have precluded all therecent achievements there

    Their case for keeping Dennis Kucinich reads like an iron clad case to get rid of him! I never read the guy, but from their letter, this is a guy that has lost all credibility and is in a league with the Leon Winers.

  • http://geistbear.blogware.com Thomas

    Kucinich has a long history of self agrandising and doing anything he can to grab headlines, even from other Democrats. When I worked on the Hill Ohio Democratic staffers would always complain about him, likewise family members (they are all from that part of Ohio) thought little of him.

  • Ravo

    I put Dennis Kucinich’s name, the Congressman leading the letter writers, where Robert Scheer’s should have been. Sorry ! Corrected it immediately, but spam filters seem to have caught that one.

  • Port

    Quoting Jeff:

    “Will you support Howard Stern’s speech? If not, you’re not a liberal in my book.”

    Of course I support Howard Stern’s “speech” (I assume you mean his right to speech).

    The point of my argument is not to see if your version of liberalism compares to mine. The point of my argument is that there’s a logic that works in all books and versions: if you never support something, you can’t declare yourself in favor of it with any degree of intellectual honesty.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    What Brian said… about journalists’ great umbrage directed towards Scott McLellan for merely suggesting sensible journalistic (not to mention *human*) conduct… that was the first thing I thought of, too.

    And did these Democratic politicians also object to the corresponding dismissal of Michael Ramirez, LA Times’ *conservative* cartoonist, political cartooning being a shrinking field dominated by liberal cartoonists? No, I thought not.

    Meanwhile, IIRC, Harry Reid et al are working feverishly to have Rush Limbaugh removed from Armed Forces Radio. Apologies to reasonable, normal Democrats, but too many Democrats these days are making a mockery of the first amendment.

    Wait, I just double checked. Folks like the Koz Kidz are furious that Limbaugh is “lying” about them… they don’t want him removed, just “counterbalanced” by other viewpoints like NPR, they say. This spin seems to be somewhat silly in light of this petition to remove Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio, apparently created by David Brock of Media Matters. Meanwhile, NPR, according to NPR themselves, is already on Armed Forces Radio… and represented with more than just one show, including news programs and batty Garrison Keillor’s PHC. If anything, soldiers probably wanted Limbaugh on as a counter-balance to everything else.

    As always… the fringers are so anxious to prove that everybody else is a liar, they can’t even keep their own story straight.

  • Ravo

    As always… the fringers are so anxious to prove that everybody else is a liar, they can’t even keep their own story straight.

    “A high volume of victim-babble hides the victim’s own misdeeds.”

  • http://lesterblog.blogspot.com Jon Lester

    So they stood up for Robert Sheer but not for Michael Kinsley? Interesting.

  • Mike G

    Yeah, let’s have guaranteed lifetime employment for newspaper columnists!

    Oh wait, we basically already do.

  • richard mcenroe

    Oh, come on, Jeff. How many people can write to the LA Times as readers, these days?