Saturday, November 17, 2007

Time for another blogger ethics panel

Gee, it doesn't seem all that long ago when we terribly partisan and vitriolic bloggers were being lectured on our having lowered the tone of political discourse to previously unheard of vile depths, posing an existential threat to the happy bipartisan landscape. But I guess our Very Serious Village Elders are taking some time out from their let's all get along musings to get their own little raunchy oats on:

From the November 14 edition of CNN's American Morning:

CHETRY: All right, so then on the flip side, let's go over to the GOPs for a second, and maybe being too candid can be the problem in this case. This was a campaign event of John McCain's in South Carolina on Monday. And let's just listen to what happened.

[begin video clip]

FEMALE QUESTIONER: How do we beat the bitch?


McCAIN: May I give the translation?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Leave it alone.

McCAIN: The way that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: John, I thought she was talking about my ex-wife.


McCAIN: But that's an excellent question. ... I respect Senator Clinton. I respect anyone who gets the nomination of the Democrat [sic] Party.

[end video clip]

CHETRY: All right, Mike, does that hurt McCain?

[Politico scribe Mike] ALLEN: Oh, give me a break. Of course not. First of all, I think it's kind of funny. You watch that tape, it's clear to him who she was referring to. He could have said, whoever were you talking about? Which might have been the deftest way to handle it.

CHETRY: But he said that's an excellent question.

ALLEN: All right. But what Republican voter hasn't thought that? What voter in general hasn't thought that? And what people like about McCain is his straight talk, his candor, and if he had folded or buckled under that question, that would have looked ridiculous. There's no question about, as he said, the respect that the two of them have -- this is something actually your viewers would not know -- Senator McCain and Senator Clinton actually do have a genuine friendship in part because of their overseas travels from the Armed Services committee, so they do not attack each other. But Kiran, this was just a funny moment on the campaign trail.

CHETRY: Well, it's only funny unless you're offended by somebody calling a woman the b-word. And I'm sure there are many who are. So it'll -- I mean, yes or no before I let you go: Should Hillary address this or just leave it alone?

ALLEN: This question? I think she should leave it alone because others will address it for her. People who are upset about it will have seen this clip, and Senator McCain will pay that price.

CHETRY: All right, it was great to have you on the show this morning. Mike Allen, chief political correspondent for Politico. Thanks.

ALLEN: Likewise, have a good week Kiran.

CHETRY: You too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We Did Not Vote for Chavez

In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But a team of women who represented Venezuela at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.

At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Chavez.”

By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”

“This isn’t a free-speech issue,” said Jan Martel, president of the Venezuelan Bridge Federation, the nonprofit group that selects teams for international tournaments. “There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.”

Internet bloggers loyal to the Chavez administration also lashed out at the Bridge team:

" about we add suspending their passports for a couple of years and put them on a no-fly and no-drive list to prevent them from leaving the country during that time …"