Sunday, April 12, 2015

Being An Asshole Must Be Genetic

The not-so-skilled media consultant
Conservative pundit Tucker Carlson’s brother Buckley Carlson made the news this week after he referred to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s spokesperson as a “self-righteous bitch” in an email.

Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson is a self-described "crisis communications media consultant", writer and political strategist.   It's not even certain that he even graduated from college-- according to his resume, Buckley was an "Aeronautical Science major from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University . . . he also "studied English at the University of Mississippi." 

Buckley's time in the white-hot limelight all started when de Blasio's spokesman Amy Spitalnick emailed Peter Fricke, an editor at the Daily Caller, requesting that they make a correction about a story in which they incorrectly stated that the Mayor didn't support Barack Obama's proposal for an $80 billion infrastructure investment in the federal transportation budget:
Peter -

Your story on Mayor de Blasio and the USCM is totally inaccurate. The mayors said $50B in flat funding was not enough, and cited the President’s $80B proposal as one that boosted funding to adequate levels.

The transcript is on

Peter Fricke denied her request, replying:

Based on what is in the transcript, I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment.  The mayor called Obama’s plan “an ideal reference point” and talked about “[following] the president’s vision,” but never said that $80 billion was “adequate.”

Indeed, his claim that “we’re going to push for the highest number attainable” clearly implies that the mayors would gladly accept an even higher figure. That impression is further reinforced by his response to the question about exact dollar amounts, where he said, “we’re all working on that together,” indicating that the task force has not endorsed any specific figure.

The Daily Caller editor grew even more steadfast in his refusal to make the correction, despite Spitalnick 's providing both a direct link to the video of the mayor, as well as an audio file of the Mayor's exact quote.  Fricke finally replied in the following manner:
We’re reviewing the video now, Amy. If you annoy me with another whiny email before then, I’m muting this thread, thanks.

Spitalnick then forwarded the entire thread (with comment) to Carlson (full name: Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, if you thought the name Buckley was too much):
Tucker – it’s pretty appalling that this is how your staff chose to respond to us requesting a basic correction (and providing a transcript that directly contradicts the original story).

To which Carlson Tucker replied:
Dear Amy,

Thanks for your email. You believe our story was inaccurate and have demanded a correction. Totally fair. We are going over the transcript now.

What Bedford complained about was your tone, which, I have to agree, was whiny and annoying, and I say that in the spirit of helpful correction rather than as a criticism. Outside of New York City, adults generally write polite, cheerful emails to one another, even when asking for corrections. Something to keep in mind the next time you communicate with people who don’t live on your island.

The story took an unexpected turn after Tucker (for some unexplained reason) decided to blind CC his brother Buckley on the above email.  Buckley (predictably) clicked on "reply all" when responding to his brother-- which resulted in Amy Spitalnick getting the reply below:
Great response. Whiny little self-righteous bitch. “Appalling?”  And with such an ironic name, too…Spitalnick?  Ironic because you just know she has extreme dick-fright; no chance has this girl ever had a pearl necklace.  Spoogeneck?  I don’t think so.  More like LabiaFace.

Buckley Carlson

Being a misognyist himself, Tucker Carlson didn't see any problem with his brother's reply, portraying him as the victim:
It really affected [Buckley's] job and he had all kinds of problems as a result….For some reason it became, like, this big thing because, I guess, they don’t like my politics or something. I really don’t know, but it was an accident and he apologized for it and I don’t really see why it was a big news story.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Important Of Monitoring Police Activity

The Walter Scott shooting in Charleston, SC has heightened the need for everyday folk to be prepared to film the public activity of law enforcement if needed.  Earlier this week, PBS Newshour aired a piece about the important of citizens recording police brutality and how to do it properly so that the evidence will hold up in court:

The ACLU has also documented some simple steps to follow when recording police/public activity:

1. Maintain your right to record. Police do not have the right to take your phone if you’re not committing a crime, and they need a warrant to search it. In Sharp v. Baltimore City Police Department, the court ruled that the public has the right to videotape or photograph public police activity in public places.

2. Capture as much information as you can. The video out of North Charleston was powerful because it was a wide shot, said Bock. “The person who was taping that was far enough away to not get involved, but close enough to see what happened.”

3. Do not edit the video.  The Walter Scott video was released as one continuous shot, which makes the timing look more faithful and greatly adds credibility to the footage as well as the photographer.

4. Be respectful. You legally may not interfere with police procedure, and you should not be argumentative or aggressive, said Bock. Instead, she recommends, a civilian monitor should maintain a distance and remind the officer of their rights: “I’m a member of the public, I’m in a public space, you’re doing public work, and I’m just documenting what’s going on.”

5. Be mindful of other laws. Just because you have the right to record doesn’t mean you have the right to trespass or damage property in the process.

6. If you are stopped or detained, ask to leave. You cannot be detained without reasonable suspicion that you have committed, or are about to commit, a crime. If you ask to leave and are denied, this constitutes unlawful detention.

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