Caught Race Baiting, Breitbart’s Site Blames the People Breitbart Snookered

The scandal around the firing of USDA staffer Shirley Sherrod began on Wednesday when Andrew Breitbart, the notorious tea-bagger propagandist, posted a deceptively edited video of a speech Sherrod gave on racism to his website, Big Government. Here’s part of what he wrote about the video then:

[…] Derides Vapid Health Care Email

Even has had it with the level of inanity coming from opponents to health care reform. The normally dispassionate site is addressing a ridiculous email (which so far, I haven’t gotten, praise Allah!) written by a rightwing blogger who posts the famous “Joker” picture of Obama on his home page.

It’s clear from the tone of FactCheck’s response that even they consider these lies over the top.

‘This chain e-mail shows evidence of a reading comprehension problem on the part of the author’

Our inbox has been overrun with messages asking us to weigh in on a mammoth list of claims about the House health care bill. The chain e-mail purports to give “a few highlights” from the first half of the bill, but the list of 48 assertions is filled with falsehoods, exaggerations and misinterpretations. We examined each of the e-mail’s claims, finding 26 of them to be false and 18 to be misleading, only partly true or half true. Only four are accurate…

This chain e-mail claims to give a run-down of what’s in the House health care bill, H.R. 3200. Instead, it shows evidence of a reading comprehension problem on the part of the author.

Ouch, FactCheck! But right on. We also like what they had to say about the ridiculous nod-nod-wink-wink campaign against ACORN. ACORN is an advocacy group for the poor that mainly deals with such issues as predatory lending but was portrayed as something else entirely during the last election. The misrepresentation evidently continues in the notorious email.

It claims that a section about “Community-based Home Medical Services” means “more payoffs for ACORN.” ACORN does not provide medical home services. The e-mail interprets any reference to the word “community” to be some kind of payoff for ACORN. That’s nonsense.

If you got the email, get over to Hit the “Share” icon at the top of the page and send the assessment to whoever sent you that piece of rubbish, and everyone else on their address list as well.

Bidding Starts for Nude Video Session with Levi Johnston

On Monday, we noted that Levi Johnston, the grandbaby-daddy of Facebook blogger Sarah Palin, told an interviewer that he would be open to posing nude but “it depends on the money, man … It’s gotta be right for that.”

Well, the first publicly announced offer is in, and, while it sounds intriguing, it’s probably an on-camera sex act too far for Levi. And even if not, his advisers will likely suggest he reject it or at least encourage the bidders to sharpen their pencil quite a bit.

The offer comes from Bait & Tackle, a wryly named gay porn company in Las Vegas that produces the website They have taken the peremptory step of launching a new site called (SFW), where they posted their offer to Johnston in an open letter:


White House Offers Reality Check

As the Quote du Jour and Jon’s post about Palin exploiting her children to distort Democratic health care reform point out, there is a lot of misinformation making the rounds on the topic. Enter the White House, which has launched a new site to set things straight. Health Insurance Reform Reality Check dispels such rumors as the death panel euthanasia horror, the end of veteran’s benefits, and my favorite, the idea that relieving small employers from the burden of insuring their employees will put them out of business.

Anticipating the reading level of people who fall for such bunk to begin with, most of the information is provided in video format. Check it out.

Oh, Those Uncomfortable Social Media Moments

The new social media environment is rich in opportunities to connect, communicate, create a sense of community and, occasionally, to produce the odd awkward moment. As a marketing communications practitioner, however, I had no choice but to dive into the social media maelstrom.

I admit I did hesitate at first, not because I am averse to new things, but because I could not know the ramifications of putting myself out there on the Internet. If I had known then what I know now, I would have done it anyway, but at least I’d have an idea of what to expect.

Discomfort is inevitable, because social media is changing the way we communicate with and relate to one another.

Yesterday, out of the blue I received an e-mail from a guy who is a contact on LinkedIn. He asked me to “endorse” him. When I clicked the link, it took me to the page where you can post a recommendation for a contact on LinkedIn. Recommendations are important on LinkedIn because they enable you to be listed in business directories, which enhances your business networking possibilities, and the more you have, the higher you’re ranked.

Now I would gladly recommend someone I know well, but I don’t really know this guy at all. We worked together at a the same company in 1992 in different departments. We have both changed jobs since then and have had no contact whatsoever. And now he wants me to recommend him? For what? Based on what?

After a moment’s reflection, I wrote him back explaining that I didn’t feel qualified to recommend him since I don’t really know him and it’s been 16 years since I even said good morning to him at the water cooler. He seemed disappointed: “OK. Thanks for the response anyway. I hope you are well.”

Perhaps if he had established a basis for my recommending him, or at least reached out and asked after my well being before he hit me up for a recommendation, I might have been more receptive rather than just kind of creeped out.

Then there’s the former girlfriend from my college days who friended me on Facebook. I figured that it had been a sufficient number of decades ago and she lives half a continent away, we’re both happily married to other people, so what’s the harm?


Evolution of a Rightwing Tweet

Rubio’s twitter profile pic

Love twitter, hate twitter, or just wish people understood the difference between status updates on facebook and tweets, and didn’t post the identical thing in both places. But. Whatever you feel about twitter, you have to admit that something very brief can provide huge insight.

Take Marco Rubio for example, or should I say marcorubio? The only guy not scared of running against Charlie Crist in a Republican primary in Florida for U.S. Senate is exploring his inner Iranian freedom meme on twitter. In successive posts on Father’s Day, you can watch him home in on how best to slam Obama, strike the proper note of patriotism and far rightwing zealotry, and applaud fatherhood. It’s not an easy job, but I think he’s done it.

First, there was this.

#May God bless those fathers in Iran who are speaking out in order to protect their childrens future. #iranelection #tcot #sayfie44 minutes ago from TwitterFon

A good start, but we’re missing the “terrorists have won” sentiment that Republicans so enjoy.

#An American govt afraid to speak out for freedom is exactly what the terrorists wanted to accomplish. #sayfie #tcot #iranelection #tehran36 minutes ago from TwitterFon

That’s better, but not overtly insulting to Obama and the Democrats.

#American govt may be afraid to speak out in support of Iranian freedom but the American people are not! #sayfie #iranelection #tehran #tcot32 minutes ago from TwitterFon

Almost perfect. Let’s just think about it a little more…Hey! Guns!

# I have a feeling the situation in Iran would be a little different if they had a 2nd amendment like ours. #sayfie #tcot #nra20 minutes ago from TwitterFon

Now you’re tweeting, Marco! Way to make that Charlie Crist guy look like a wuss!

Why Senators Should Not Be Allowed to Twitter

Because it makes them sound even less eloquent than usual.

NBC political editor Chuck Todd offered this in his “first Read” column this morning.

[President] Obama devoted his Saturday radio address — even while he was overseas — to the topic of health care. “All across America, our families are making hard choices when it comes to health care,” he said. “Now, it’s time for Washington to make the right ones. It’s time to deliver.”

However, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee took offense to Obama’s radio address. “Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us ‘time to deliver’ on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND,” he said via Twitter, later adding: “Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said ‘time to delivr on healthcare’ When you are a ‘hammer’ u think evrything is NAIL I’m no NAIL.”

Call me persnickety, but somehow that just don’t sound, er, senatorial ….

Hey Kids! It’s The Web 2.0 Bullshit Generator

I like the term “Web 2.0” about as much as the word “blogosphere.” So it was with some glee that I encountered bullshitr beta, which automatically generates bullshit phrases straight out of the Web 2.0 playbook. A few examples:

  • beta-test rss-capable folksonomies
  • integrate podcasting communities
  • remix rss-capable ecologies
  • integrate authentic web services
  • integrate data-driven life-hacks
  • aggregate semantic communities

So go here and make some bullshit today.

Lame Duck Bush Team Killing Time By Blogging

You know blogging has gone mainstream when two members of Bush’s cabinet start doing it.

Yes, I now have something in common with Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Defense. Welcome to the internets tubes, guys!

The men take very different approaches with their blogs.

Leavitt says he writes every blog entry himself, often late at night in hotel rooms when he is traveling. He is concerned that his entries are too long; on Aug. 20, he wrote 2,444 words about his trip to an orphanage in South Africa.

…Chertoff comes up with an idea for a blog entry, then someone in the department writes it, and Chertoff heavily edits it, said Jeff Ostermayer, a department spokesman who oversees the blog.

Mercifully, Chertoff’s picture is not shown on his blog, “Leadership Journal,” which also calls upon guest contributors like W. Ralph Basham, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Kip Hawley, Transportation Security Administration.

Leavitt, possibly a frustrated editor, features no guests but he does offer a confusing list of categories. I guess you have to spend some time on the site to understand the differences between “health” (capitalization Leavitt’s own), “Health Coverage,” “Health Diplomacy,” “Health IT,” and “Personalized Health Care.”

The blogs are not quite like, say, ours. Or most others for that matter.

The public can comment on Chertoff’s and Leavitt’s blogs, but both departments established ground rules that include a ban on personal attacks and vulgar language.

As all you Pensito Reviewers know, the three of us are on the receiving end of our share of personal attacks and vulgarity. And every once in awhile, we’re on the giving end too. But knowing how much time blogging takes the three of us, I have to agree with a comment on one of Chertoff’s posts.

Another comment said, “This is a serious question. How do you have time to blog? Don’t you have a 24-hour-a-day job with very important things to do?”

Not really.

Leonard Nimoy Is Just Another Hollywood Liberal

I guess I should have known that Leonard Nimoy was a flaming liberal. It’s pretty clear, based on whose campaigns he has contributed to over the years. A new Web site,, has a tool that enables you to search public records and find out who received dough (and we can assume support) from whom.

For instance, in January Nimoy gave $2,300 to Barak Obama’s campaign. In March he gave $1,700, then $2,300 to Al Franken’s campaign for Senate. He supported Barbara Boxer in 1992 and again in 2004. But Nimoy seems to hedge a little when he’s not sure about the horse he’s backing — he gave $2,000 each to Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004. And we won’t mention the $1,000 he gave to Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 2000.

But Nimoy seems to hedge a little when he’s not sure about the horse he’s backing — he gave $2,000 each to Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004.

Curious, I wondered how my co-editors voted with their money. Editor-In-Chief Jon Ponder in 1998 and 2000 gave a total of $1,500 to the campaign of Tom “Eliminate the Immigrants” Tancredo. Just kidding. That was Jon Ponder from Littleton, Colo. Co-editor Trish did not show up on the radar, but we suspect she could actually be in the witness-protection program. Some whack job with my given name gave $3,000 to help elect George W. Bush, and if I ever get to Portland, Ore., I’m going to look up the fellow and give him a piece of my mind. is a great place to waste time productively, if you have a drop of wonk in your veins. You can vote on who you think are the most important people. Overall most powerful is dead Republican Ronald Reagan and most powerful media person is Jon Stewart. Most trustworthy overall and among media people is Jon Stewart again. Most partisan are Ted Kennedy and Markos Zuniga of the Daily Kos blog.

Most attractive? Overall, it was Jon Stewart, Mitt Romney and Barak Obama. Among media it was Jon Stewart, Arianna Huffington and Keith Olbermann.

Stewart’s mom must be stuffing the ballot box. Which is one of the dangers inherent in a Wikipedia-style site that encourages visitors to become contributors, albeit with moderation.

The site was built by a handful of Web designers:

Early this summer, the five folks on your right started building as a resource for people wanting to make informed decisions when casting their vote. This team has worked on previous web sites like CNET, Comicvine, CHOW,, Rhapsody, and a few more.

Check it out when you have a few minutes to waste productively. It’s fun.