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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Some People are More Equal than Other People
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The District Court for the District of Columbia has decided to allow access to the Scooter Libby hearings for bloggers.

This, of course, is absolutely wonderful, seeing as how such access has traditionally been limited to the MSM and their fabled eleventy-seven layers of rigorously fact checking editors. There is one caveat, however. To be considered for a press pass, you have to be a member of a specific club of bloggers, in this case the Media Bloggers Association.

The Imperial Chef and Educational Advisor has a few words about that issue, and we couldn’t have said it better our Imperial Self, so go read. We’ll be here when you get back.

Now, in the comments on the site that occasioned Mrs du Toit’s post, the discussion has, of course, immediately wandered off on a tangent wholly unrelated to the actual issue, which is all too often the case. All of a sudden it’s about “sour grapes” and some alleged personal dislike of the Media Bloggers Association.

We obviously can’t speak for Mrs du Toit’s personal likes or dislikes (although we’re happy to venture a very educated guess that she and we agree very much on this particular issue as well) but, speaking for ourself, that is complete and unadulterated bovine fecal material. Not that we’re surprised that so many people out there, time and again, seem to have trouble with basic reading comprehension.

The Media Bloggers Association is, to the best of His Imperial Majesty’s knowledge, a fine organization that counts among its members a number of fine people that we consider friends. It’s also an organization that has done important work in the past defending bloggers against SLAPP suits and continues to act as a check and a balance on big pockets trying to muzzle private citizens. In other words: We like the MBA. We like them quite a bit.

We’re also quite happy for them that they’ve managed to achieve access in this case. Happy for them AND for ourselves, because it assures that we’ll at least get some information out of the hearings that is actually likely to be worth reading. Good job, guys.

But THAT’S NOT THE BLOODY POINT.

The point IS that a government institution, the District Court for DC, has decided to limit access to a private fraternity, that they have, in FACT, decided that those 1,000 members speak for all of us. That they’re “where it’s at” where blogging is concerned. We don’t know about you, but we certainly weren’t a participant in the process by which a club, open by invitation only, became our spokesperson.

OK, now let’s say it again. We know we already did so, but we know that unless we repeat ourself until we become blue in the Imperial Face throughout this post, we’ll be reading 10,000 comments about how we hate an organization that we have nothing but the highest respect for, so here goes: We don’t dislike the MBA in the slightest. We like them a LOT. We think they’re doing important work.

We’re talking about the actual issue here, which is that part of the government has decided that some people are more equal than other people, that it is allowable to restrict access based on arbitrary guidelines decided upon at the whim of government officials. Let us make it easier on those who might still have trouble understanding the difference here:

Let’s assume that Congress had decided to allow blogger access to budget hearings. Only, in order to vet the applicants, they’d decided that you had to have a diarrhea diary on The Daily Kos. Is it any clearer now? No, we’re not comparing the MBA to The Daily Trots in any way here, but the principle is the same.

We understand and sympathize with the District Court’s need for criteria for filtering applicants, but this isn’t how you do it.

We’ll now busy ourself with contacting the Court, letting our views be known. Politely, of course.

You should too, unless you’re fine with your spokespersons being arbitrarily chosen for you, without you having a say in the matter whatsoever.

10 Responses to “Some People are More Equal than Other People”
  1. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

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    I don’t see why any private citizen couldn’t sit in on the proceedings as long as they do not disrupt court procedures.

  2. Unregistered Comment by irish19

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    FWIW I suspect that the Court picked this as a quick and easy way to vett the bloggers they would allow. While quick and easy isn’t always the best, it is quick and easy.

  3. Unregistered Comment by mrsdutoit

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    “Quick and easy” when the courts are involved, also establishes precedent, which is why it is so important to get this decision changed.

    The government doesn’t get to choose expediency over equal access… it is Constitutionally prevented from doing that, but when was the last time the government chose the Constitutional protections of its citizens over what was easy, unless they made a fuss about it?

    Please make a fuss about it and write the court. It is very important that the press be FREE from regulation and association.

  4. Kristopher Comment by Kristopher

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    If we went the “Quick and Easy” route with elections, our new socialist overlords will simply tell us who won, with out all this election bother.

  5. LC RobertHuntingdon Comment by LC RobertHuntingdon

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    Hey Kristopher, it “works” for venezuela! Why not try it here?

    /windbag sheehag off

    RH

  6. Unregistered Comment by irish19

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I guess I was a little too snarky. My point was that, assuming that space at the hearings cannot be unlimited, there has to be some method to decide who gets in and who doesn’t. The court chose one method. I would be more than pleased to hear suggestions for others. I don’t say what the court did was the best way, but it was what they came up with. Again–suggestions?

  7. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

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    Here’s a sugestion. “Henceforth, any activity undertaken by any elected or appointed government official, that directly affects the citizenry of the United States of America, shall be open and available to said citizens upon their demand. The ONLY exception to this rule is any sensitive, classified information that, if made puplic, could undermine or endanger said nation. Also any elected official who achieves office by making campaign promises, must adhere to said promises. Or be castrated (if offending testes can be located), tarred and feathered, and be subject to ridicule and scorn, and be forced to watch every episode of Teletubbies while under the influence of LSD.” And that’s if we’re feeling generous. :thumbup_tb:

  8. Unregistered Comment by irish19

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    and be forced to watch every episode of Teletubbies while under the influence of LSD.”

    That would be ruled extremely cruel and unusual punishment.

    Ten-Ten, I understand and approve the concept. My main point is one of practicality. It may be nit-picky but there it is.

  9. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    My main point is one of practicality. It may be nit-picky but there it is.

    Uh…..umm…..er… That was a little thing we like to call sarcasm. It was also a poor attempt a humor(what do you want, it’s cold and I’m tired).

  10. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I guess I was a little too snarky. My point was that, assuming that space at the hearings cannot be unlimited, there has to be some method to decide who gets in and who doesn’t. The court chose one method. I would be more than pleased to hear suggestions for others. I don’t say what the court did was the best way, but it was what they came up with. Again–suggestions?

    I agree. The court had to come up with some sort of plan that would allow coverage without being overwhelmed. This is the primary reason behind press passes. It is to provide a balance between allowing media coverage and still carry on the trial that the press is covering.