Mexican Chat Dance

The Outfoxed gals have established themselves as masters of mendacity, but are they also pedigreed pilferers? Updated! The hounds attempt to rewrite history.

Back on March 1 the newshounds (another fine product of the Outfoxed gang) decided to appropriate a Bill O'Reilly column and did a cut-and-paste reprint on their web site. They were promptly contacted by Creators Syndicate, who hold copyright on Mr Bill's columns, and under threat of legal proceedings, the hounds removed the column. Keep this in the back of your mind. We will return to it anon.

On March 13 the tail-waggers rummaged around the internet and found a column written by Juan Hernandez. There was a controversy regarding books, subsidized by the Mexican government, that glorified drug-dealers. Mr Hernandez appeared on Hannity and Colmes to discuss the issue, and newspup deborah decided that it was the evil Fox News that had outraged Hernandez:
After an appearance on Hannity & Colmes, Juan Hernandez, a former member of the Mexican Cabinet,was disturbed enough to express his concerns to the Fort Worth Telegraph today...

Note how deborah begins her article with a lie--or what is in its most charitable interpretation an unfounded speculation. Hernandez was not "disturbed" after his appearance. He was "disturbed" before his appearance. In fact, nowhere in his article does he say that his interview on FNC bothered him one whit!

Further on down we read:
And folks like Fox -- who highlight one sensational element because it suits their confrontational, right/wrong format and segment-length -- aren't helping anyone.

Oddly enough, it wasn't Fox who "highlighted" this story. Long before it appeared on Hannity and Colmes, it was a headline story at...MSNBC. And they got their report from...the Associated Press! Furthermore, the segment only mentioned the books in passing, so it wasn't "highlighted" by Fox at all. In fact, it wasn't even all that confrontational:

MICHELLE MALKIN [subbing for SEAN HANNITY]: I think that hell is going to freeze over and pigs are going to fly because we actually agree on something.
JUAN HERNANDEZ: I know, Michelle. [laughing]

You can watch a video clip of the interview and decide for yourself if Mr Hernandez was "disturbed" by an interview that "highlighted" only "one sensational element".

What's more, the anti-Fox terriers deliberately omit a key paragraph from Mr Hernandez's article. This just happens to be where he most strongly expresses his agreement with the importance of the issue:
I know we are only talking about a few lines in a couple of songs. Nevertheless, I have no intention of excusing misguided decisions that might result in children being taught that drug lords are anything other than murderous, greedy, immoral merchants of addiction and death -- period.

In other words, Mr Hernandez, far from being "disturbed" that Fox would report on this issue, is in fact as outraged as any responsible citizen would be. (Of course, the hounds don't appear to be outraged at all...but we did say "responsible".) Why is this paragraph omitted by the doggies? For that matter, why do they offer no link to the complete article? Do they not want their readers to know what Mr Hernandez actually said? Is this why the name of the newspaper is consistently misidentified by deborah as the (nonexistent) Fort-Worth "Telegraph"?

All of which brings us back to the O'Reilly incident mentioned above. Back then, the hounds were quick to explain that, oh, they would never deliberately steal someone else's work and cut-and-paste it onto their site. The perpetrator herself claimed:
I had inadvertently posted the complete text of his Buster the Bunny column --Marie Therese

Just how one can cut and paste an article "inadvertently" is unclear, but that didn't stop the rest of the dog pound from joining the echo chamber:
We admitted the error of posting the column and removed it. None of us is saying that because it was inadvertent posting it was OK. I'm just saying that it wasn't posted out of malicious disregard for copyright laws.... -ellen

Believe me, it was a mistake. --Melanie

Yet two weeks later, the newshounds used great gobs of cut-and-paste to take Mr Hernandez's article, copyrighted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and reprint it on their web site without permission. After all the legal wrangling with Creators Syndicate, surely they were educated on what constitutes "fair use". You can use excerpts from an article. You can use portions of a broadcast. But you cannot just reprint the bulk of someone else's column without permission.

So within just 48 hours, the newspups once again found themselves defending an "inadvertent" posting that was just another "mistake". The hounds removed the text of Mr Hernandez's article at the request of the newspaper. Meanwhile, the revised version of the hound "report" engages in an elaborate series of dance steps designed to further obfuscate the facts. First, all posted comments (including ours) pointing out the shortcomings of deborah's "report" are nuked into the memory hole. To make it as difficult as possible for readers to find Mr Hernandez's piece, they conveniently neglect to provide a link (again!). Finally, they give this "explanation":
The Telegraph asked me to remove the letter for copyright reasons but it can be easily googled.

Really? Then why didn't you Google it for us and give us the link? And how "easily googled" can it be when you refer (three times!) to the paper as the nonexistent "Fort Worth Telegraph"?

Despite all the fancy footwork, this is just another clumsy effort to smear Fox and camouflage the facts. And there are paw prints all over it.

Update: Just how embarrassing was this story to the newspoodles? Embarrassing enough for them to hide it from their readers. As noted above, first they erased our critical comments from the page. Now the newspups have gone even further. Remember Marty McFly in Back to the Future, who was gradually disappearing as a result of his changing history? The hounds' original article is similarly fading from view. After we published this entry, exposing their shoddy tactics, the doggies went a step further, erasing all comments from their "report". Then, since we had "pinged" their posting via a trackback, they erased that too, and redirected the trackback URL to an unrelated piece on John Bolton. Their latest trick was to remove the article from their index--it doesn't appear on the front page, or in any of the categories it was assigned to, not even in the listings by date. Poof! It's gone. Except that it can still be found in all its revised, edited glory, minus all comments, here. At least until we publish this update, after which it's only a matter of time before the tail-waggers catch on and completely bury another of their mistakes.

posted: Tue - March 15, 2005 at 11:44 AM       j$p  send 

But history is saved in the bowels of Google. Here is a link to where I posted the original (with some comments) and the scrubbed versions (with no comments):
The original was cached om Mar 13; the edited on Mar 14. (The formatting is different because of the lack of inaccessible supporting files on their site.)
March 16, 2005, 5:35:16 PM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Very nice, Mike. On the internet it's very hard to bury your mistakes so deeply that someone else can't unearth them. Good work!
March 16, 2005, 5:42:14 PM EST – Like – Reply

Here's the link to the original on their site - when they see it, I'm sure they will erase it:
March 16, 2005, 5:46:25 PM EST – Like – Reply

Update again: I found the original ORIGINAL page with your comments on it. It is now posted on my original link, and it can be seen in original formatting in Google's cache here:
(I don't know how long it will last in the cache.)
March 16, 2005, 6:18:23 PM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Mike I think you should be the official J$P internet archeologist!
March 16, 2005, 6:37:12 PM EST – Like – Reply

Glad to help out - especially when it makes the news dogs look like sick puppies.
March 16, 2005, 6:40:31 PM EST – Like – Reply

Might I inquire how you have stayed out of legal touble with NewsCorp's attorneys with your posting of copyrighted videos and images, and now have even altered a trademarked image?
It seems that NewsCorp has very thin skin at best...
March 18, 2005, 5:12:43 PM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Yes. You may inquire.
March 18, 2005, 5:15:12 PM EST – Like – Reply

Are you afraid to answer the inquiry?
March 18, 2005, 5:17:00 PM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Terrified. Shaking in my cyber boots. Don't know how I'll sleep at night.
March 18, 2005, 5:19:26 PM EST – Like – Reply