Tag Archives: msm

The DozierInternetLaw / Direct Buy case comes closer to mainstream media attention

The DirectBuy home improvement firm has been the subject of numerous investigations, and Dozier Internet Law‘s “cyberlawyers” mishandling of a client’s case made the Franchise Times. So both companies are used to bad publicity from their business practices. Now it appears that their lawsuit against Infomercial Scams (check out the Public Citizen and tdaxp summaries) is creeping ever so close to mainstream media coverage.

Walter Olson of Overlawyered, who appears on Fox News, Headline News, and other shows as a legal expert, has an excellent case on the Direct Buy / Dozier case titled “Nastygram: Don’t you dare post this nastygram on the web.”

Read it.

Additionally, South Dakota Politics, a blog featured prominently in the real-life election thriller Daschle vs. Thune, also joins the fray.

And if all that isn’t enough to attract your attention, John Dozier’s bizarre public statements have attracted a second post by Public Citizen.

What the Mainstream Media was already saying about DirectBuy

DirectBuy, before sicking the hounds (and copyrighted c&d‘s) via Dozier Internet Law, was a company that received mixed reviews from the blogosphere.

Even more interesting, though, is the negative reviews Direct Buy has earned from the mainstream media. Channel 12 News and Consumerist both reference a Consumer Reports article that reads, in part:

After the fee disclosure, we discovered that we had to sign up on the spot or never come back. We couldn’t bring DirectBuy’s “confidential” prices elsewhere to comparison shop, the representatives said, because this would likely anger retailers who might then retaliate against the manufacturers by refusing to sell their merchandise…

The fine print in the DirectBuy contract says you cannot return items, cancel orders, or terminate your membership. When we asked if, after plunking down $5,000, we could cancel and get a refund, a salesperson said, “You’ll have to check state law.” A review of New York state law revealed that the three-day cooling-off period for canceling contracts wouldn’t apply in this case…

The lack of price transparency makes it hard to evaluate whether you’ll save by joining DirectBuy. But even if you were to save 25 percent on purchases after joining, you’d need to spend more than $20,000 just to recoup your membership fee. DirectBuy might save you money if you’re furnishing a house from scratch or doing a major renovation. But since you can’t shop around beforehand, you’ll be joining blind

DirectBuy may be a scam, but it’s a business that uses a very “hard sell” and one should think twice about.

Blogs v. Forbes: Blogs win

Lyons, D. (2007). Snowed by SCO. Forbes.com. September 19, 2007. Available online: http://www.forbes.com/2007/09/19/software-linux-lawsuits-tech-oped-cx_dl_0919lyons_print.html (from Slashdot).

From the confession of error:

In the print edition of Forbes there’s a great (albeit sometimes painful) tradition of doing “follow-through” articles where a reporter either takes a victory lap for making a good call or falls on his sword for making a bad one. Online publications don’t typically ask for follow-throughs. But I need to write one.

For four years, I’ve been covering a lawsuit for Forbes.com, and my early predictions on this case have turned out to be so profoundly wrong that I am writing this mea culpa. What can I say? I grew up Roman Catholic. The habit stays with you.

The case is SCO Group v. IBM. In March 2003, SCO sued IBM claiming that IBM took code from Unix–for which SCO claimed to own copyrights–and put that code into Linux, which is distributed free. Last month a judge ruled that SCO does not, in fact, own the Unix copyrights. That blows SCO’s case against IBM out of the water. SCO, of Lindon, Utah, is seeking bankruptcy protection.

In June 2003, a few months after SCO Group sued IBM over the Linux operating system, I wrote an article that bore the headline: “What SCO Wants, SCO Gets.” The article contained some critical stuff about SCO but also warned that SCO stood a chance of winning the lawsuit. “SCO may not be very good at making a profit by selling software. … But it is very good at getting what it wants from other companies,” I wrote. …

I reported what they said. Turns out I was getting played. They never produced a smoking gun. They never sued any Hollywood company.

Over time my SCO articles began to carry headlines like, “Dumb and Dumber,” “Bumbling Bully” and “SCO gets TKO’d.”

But I still thought it would be foolish to predict how this lawsuit (or any lawsuit) would play out. I even wrote an article called “Revenge of the Nerds,” which poked fun at the pack of amateur sleuths who were following the case on a Web site called Groklaw and who claimed to know for sure that SCO was going to lose.

Turns out those amateur sleuths were right. Now some of them are writing to me asking how I’d like my crow cooked, and where I’d like it delivered.

For some reason, a lot of technology journalism has devoled into hit-piece journalism, like the recent factually untrue CNET review of Lotus Symphony. Forbes, seeing blood in the water, did the same, attacking both a respected global services provider (IBM) and bloggers following the case (GrowkLaw), helping the corporate scheisters of SCO spread fear, uncertainy, and doubt.

But IBM was right, the blogs were right, and SCO (and the mainstream media in Forbes) were wrong. Now Forbes admits it.

Good.

The Silence of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader

South Dakota bloggers, both Republicans and Democrats, are slamming the Argus Leader‘s hypocritical and sanctimonious non-coverage of the Clean Cut Kid imbroglio.

Like almost everyone else, the behavior of the mainstream media can be predicted this prediction: They love themselves, their friends, and their families more than they love you. The Argus Leader‘s combination of political and personal bias is sickening. The Sioux Falls paper is not reporitng on political news happening down the block, though both regional (Yankton, Rapid City) and national (The Hill, Associated Press) sourcs are.

Fortunately the Mount Rushmore State has a blogosphere capable and responsible enough to criticize the Argus Leader when it’s wrong. And this is one of those times.

The Horrors and heroes of the Mike Nifong / Crystal Gang Mangum Hoax

The story is well known: Crystal Gail Mangum — a prostitute and stripper who had previously falsely accused innocents of rape — once again accused youths of rape. Michael Byron Nifong, the corrupt prosecutor of Durham County, North Carolina — acted on those charges, in spite of Mangum’s unreliably testimony and increasingly strong contradictory evidence.

Mike Nifong is now no longer a lawyer and no longer a prosecutor. His victims will be suing him, so he may lose his pension. The State may further prosecute him, so he may lose his liberty.

Criminals

It’s easy to feel sorry for him, but it’s important to remember how close he came to getting away with his evil. At worst, youths would have spent decades in prison, and become the victims of sadistic guards and fellow inmates who are real rapists. At best Nifong would drop the charges while still slandering the youths (read Gerald Bard Tjoflat’s words for more).

The State Bar voted to investigate him by only one vote.

Clearly, the actions of the mainstream media were part of the horror. By referring to Crystal Gail with positively charged words as a “working mother” and “college student,” they were complicit in covering up her past crimes and forming the Mike Nifong hoax echo chamber.

However, there were heroes too. Dilby.com‘s research was a great effort to break the echo chamber and let the truth — that Crystal Gail Mangum is a liar and Michael Byron Nifong is a corrupt prosecutor — be known.

If Dilby‘s work helped to shift just one vote of the NC State Bar — which is quite possible — then Dibly.com is a hero. For even the innocent athletes who fought back had little choice. But Dilby risked his reputation so that the truth could be known.

The Mainstream Media Discovers J.L. Kirk and Associates

Allen, J. 2007. Nashville woman, local headhunting firm squaring off over comments woman made on her blog; libel suit threatened. The City Paper. April 16, 2007. Available online: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section=9&screen=news&news_id=55677.

The public relations nightmare that J.L. Kirk Associates created by threatening a blogger who complained about their treatment of her husband continues to snowball. Both Newscoma and This is La Vergne, TN link to an article from Nashville’s The City Paper.

Add to that the televised report about JL Kirk Associates from Nashville is Talking. One wonders how far away the Associated Press can be.


J.L. Kirk On Television

At the same time, another former customer of JL Kirk Associates steps forward to tell his story (h/t to NiT.)

Meanwhile, the kirking continues. There are now only two Kirk pages in the first 3 Google pages for J.L. Kirk. New additions include Katherine Coble’s “JL Kirk Update” post and Enclave‘s “Blogger Jujitsu: JL Kirk Lands in 10th Spot on Net Indexer’s Top Searches List After Trying to Throw Its Weight Around in Nashville.”


JL Kirk on Technorati

Lastly, Live Search remains generally immune to the blogosphere’s immunodeficience, with only one relevant non-corporate site in the top 30: you guess it, tdaxp.

Mainstream Media Climate Change Bias

What the AP reported:

Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor who had feuded with Gray over global warming, said Gray has wrongly “dug (his) heels in” even though there is ample evidence that the world is getting hotter.

What a google search found within thirty seconds.:

Q: … is global warming behind this increase in hurricanes?

Gray: I am very confident that it’s not. I mean we have had global warming. That’s not a question. The globe has warmed the last 30 years, and the last 10 years in particular.

Hat-tip to Power Line, courtesy of John Hawks.

Update: South Dakota Politics agrees.

New Year, Same Old Mainstream Media

Finkelstein, M. (2007). ABC’s ‘sic’ choice suggests belief in afterlife an error. NewsBusters. January 1, 2007. Available online: http://newsbusters.org/node/9898.

“Sic” (“thus”) is a writing device used to distance the writer from an error. It is often used rhetorically to embarrass or ridicule the source of a quote. For instance, if I would say something stupid while misspelling a word, someone else might quote what I say, while writing sic, to focus attention on my poor writing ability. More technically, sic can be used when there is a fear that the reader will mistake a strange usage of the quoted person with that of the editor.

Which makes this disgusting. And sick.


“You were one of my best friends and I will never forget you. All my love and prayers go to your family and I’ll see you again.” (sic)

There is no grammatical error with the quotation — it is composed of two well-formed compound sentences. What the ABC News videographer appears to be distancing himself from — holding up to ridicule — is the belief that a friend will see his own friend — a soldier who died in Iraq — again.

This Richard Dawkins style of atheism — rude and socially inept — is an embarrassment.

One Man’s Descent Into Madness

Jonah Goldberg links to a New Yorker profile of Lou Dobbs.

An excerpt:

Dobbs’s rabidness provokes his critics. Not long ago, the Times columnist Thomas Friedman told a law-school audience, “And then you have a blithering idiot like Lou Dobbs, in my view, who’s using the platform of CNN in a news frame. . . . This is not news. And so we have a political class not making sense of the world for people and that’s why the public . . . is so agitated.” The Economist said that one might expect “CNN’s flagship business-news programme . . . to strive for economic literacy,” but, instead, Dobbs greets “every announcement of lost jobs as akin to a terrorist assault”; The Nation accused him of “hysteria and jingoism”; the Southern Poverty Law Center said that Dobbs “failed to present mounting and persistent evidence of anti-Hispanic racism” in his reports on anti-immigration groups like the Minutemen; one Hispanic group urged Time Warner to take Dobbs off the air.

In his new book, Dobbs says of Friedman, “His name calling would bother me more if he were anything more than a tool of international corporatism and a card-carrying member of his own Flat Earth Society.

Read the whole thing.

The Main-Stream Media Discovers Fourth Generation War

Critics: Pentagon in blinders,” by Stephen J. Hedges, Chicago Tribune, 6 June 2005, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0506060166jun06,1,7843788,print.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=2&cset=true (from ZenPundit).

Mark Safranski alerts us to the Chicago Tribune’s discovery of 4th Generation Warfare

Nearly 16 years ago, a group of four military officers and a civilian predicted the rise of terrorism and anti-American insurgencies with chilling accuracy.

The group said U.S. military technology was so advanced that foreign forces would be unlikely to challenge it directly, and it forecast that future foes would be non-state insurgents and terrorists whose weapons would be suicide car bombs, not precision-guided weapons.

“Today, the United States is spending $500 million apiece for stealth bombers,” the group wrote in a 1989 article that appeared in a professional military journal. “A terrorist stealth bomber is a car with a bomb in the trunk–a car that looks like every other car.”

The article correctly cites blood pork as a break on 4GW doctrine in the military

“The Pentagon, though, continued to equip for battlefield warfare, encouraged by a Congress that was more than willing to back big weapons, ships and aircraft programs and the jobs they create.

There’s no money in counterinsurgency,” said Hammes, the Marine colonel, who served in Iraq and whose recent book, “The Sling and the Stone,” has stirred more debate within the military. “It’s about language skills. It’s about people. It’s about a lot of soft money moving over to [the Departments of] State, Commerce, Treasury, and there’s no F-22 [fighter jet] in this program.”

Yet ends on a strangely defeatist note

Although they differ on the particulars of changing the military, the mavericks agree that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan and Iraq has been a lost opportunity. At best, they say, the outcome of both conflicts is uncertain. Some say they are doomed.

There’s nothing that you can do in Iraq today that will work,” said Lind, one of the original Fourth Generation Warfare authors. “That situation is irretrievably lost.”