Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Have Seen The Future of Liberal Media, And Its Name Is Bloomberg


The liberal bias of the mainstream media, as measured by both frequency and severity, feels like it is breaking new ground during this election season.

The one bit of solace for conservatives is the knowledge that the traditional liberal organs of the mainstream media are dying. Liberal newspapers have been hemorrhaging money for years. Even the New York Times, the market leader (the value of which has declined by over 80% in the past decade), seems to have little hope beyond winning the war of attrition, and picking up the readers of failed competitors as the last man standing. The viewership of network news broadcasts is both shrinking, and increasingly geriatric. The weekly news magazines seem entirely irrelevant to public discourse as they struggle to keep their heads above water.

Yet even as these dinosaurs flail about in the tar pits, a new liberal news organization is rising, distinguished not by the tired leftist cant with which its reportage is riddled, but by its sustainable business model: Bloomberg News.

As it happens, the best business model on Wall Street is not underwriting IPOs for 7% of the proceeds. Nor is it managing a hedge fund for 2-and-20. No, the best business model on Wall Street belongs to Bloomberg LP, which effectively levies a $2,000 per month tax on capital market professionals around the globe. Bloomberg is the most comprehensive, and thus the standard, source for financial market news and data. It would be difficult for many financial professionals to function without it, not just on Wall Street but in every financial center from the City to Shanghai. If you are a market professional, your company pays Bloomberg roughly $2,000 per month for you to have access. No discounts.

That business model is why Mike Bloomberg is so much wealthier than the Masters of the Universe that comprise his customer base.

And increasingly, that $2,000 monthly subscription fee for financial news also supports a broader news effort that combines the reflexive liberal bias of the New York Times with profitability the Sulzbergers can only fantasize about.

Consider just one Bloomberg article from late last week, bearing no possible relevance to capital markets, under the headline, Laws Revive "World Before Roe" as Abortions Require Arduous Trek.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The NFL Has No Good Reason To End The Referee Lockout

To judge by the intensity of the cries from sportswriters and football fans to END THE REFEREE LOCKOUT NOW!! one might imagine that the NFLs' replacement referees were the first refs to ever blow a call.

In reality, the phenomenon of blown calls was known to football fans, even those in Wisconsin, prior to last night's Packers - Seahawks game.

In fact, Packers fans in particular should have more perspective than most on the matter. If you're going to lose a game on a terrible call, it is far better for it to happen in week 3 than in, say, the Wild Card game.

This isn't to justify bad calls or to say that fans shouldn't care, but simply that they should realize that the officiating by replacement referees is only worse by a matter of degree.

Think of it this way: we typically get about one epically awful call per season. Let's use that as a baseline. That's about 1 irredeemably horrid call out of 267 total regular season and playoff games in a year. (We won't count blown calls in preseason or Pro Bowl games because honestly, who cares?)

In comparison, the replacement refs have delivered an historically terrible call after just 48 games. Based on that sample, one could say that the replacement referees are six times more likely to completely blow a major call than the locked out referees.

That's significant, but far from the end of the world, especially since the difference should narrow dramatically the longer the lockout goes on; the main thing that separates the replacement refs from the locked out refs is experience, and the replacement refs are getting more every week.

Moreover, while fans are perfectly justified in being unhappy about the temporary decline in the quality of officiating, claims that the NFL "needs" to end the lockout seem misguided at best.

Think about it from the perspective of each constituency - the referees curently locked out, and the fans expressing outrage at the replacement referees.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Is Anything Elizabeth Warren Says True?

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection points out that Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, despite evidence that she has been doing just that.

In other words, the Cherokee law professor turns out to be neither a Native American, nor even a lawyer, but merely a liar and a cheat.

Of course, this is hardly a revelation to anyone familiar with the flaws - to use the most benign term possible - in her work on bankruptcy. There are really only two plausible explanations for said flaws: either Professor Warren lacks a mastery of 8th grade algebra, or she is prepared to lie brazenly in an effort to advance her political views.

Either explanation should disqualify her from any job in academia, though either explanation also suggests she is eminently qualified for the Senate seat she currently seeks.

Maybe we should look on the bright side; if she wins, maybe she'll turn out to have been lying about believing the socialist views she espouses.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Morally Deformed Patriotism of the Democratic Party


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Democrats have finally found a use for our armed forces. They may oppose using the military to fight the Taliban or protect our diplomats, but now they've found a project they can get behind: converting our troops into members of the Democratic client groups known as public employee unions.

The moral deformities of the modern Democratic Party could fill volumes, but this effort is particularly odious.

All one really needs to know about The Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012 is that it was introduced by Senators Nelson, Schumer and Murray. That should be sufficient information to justify opposition from any sentient observer.

And perhaps it was enough for the 42 GOP Senators who blocked it. But read on to understand why this patriotic-sounding bill was so pernicious, and why the Senators who blocked it are modern profiles in courage.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rule 5 Post: Girls with Guns, IDF Edition


Tommy Shaw didn't just dream up the idea of girls with guns out of whole cloth. They're real, and they're spectacular. In this week's Rule 5 post, Senator Blutarsky salutes the lovely (and fierce!) ladies of the IDF:

NHL Players Would Be Better Off Without A Union


With yet another lockout upon us, it seems like an opportune time to ask whether NHL players are really made better off by their union, the NHLPA. A comparison with the non-unionized soccer players of the English Premier League suggests that the NHL players should ditch their union.

With former MLBPA chief Don Fehr at the helm, the NHLPA has the best leadership it has ever had, by a wide margin. Yet with the NHL seeking to further ratchet down the players' share of revenues, one must concede that at some point it ceases to be worth maintaining the union. After all, without a collective bargaining agreement, it would constitute illegal collusion for the NHL to place any artificial limit on player salaries.

To see how a non-unionized labor market works in a major professional sports league, one need look no further than the English Premier League.

With total 2010-2011 revenues (the most recent season for which figures are available) of 2.3 billion Pounds (about $3.7 billion), the EPL is the world's most lucrative soccer league.

Think about it this way; the NFL, viewed in the US as the model of a successful sports league, pulls in annual revenue of $9 billion in a home market of about 310 million people, while the EPL pulls in annual revenue of $3.7 billion in a home market of about 62 million. On a per capita basis, the EPL takes in $60 for every person in its home market, just over twice the $29 the NFL collects for every person it its home market.

And with no union, players claimed a full 70% of total EPL revenues. That's a lot better than the 57% the NHL players settled for in their last CBA, to say nothing of the sub-50% level the NHL owners are reportedly seeking in a new agreement. Indeed, it rivals the 75% of revenues the NHL owners dubiously claimed to be paying out in salaries prior to the last NHL lockout.

The EPL also undermines the claims by American team owners that "competitive balance" is critical to the success of the overall enterprise.

In the 20 years of the Premier League, Manchester United have won 12 championships, been runners up 5 times, and finished in third place in the remaining three seasons. More than half of the remaining top-3 finishes during the past 20 years were posted by either Arsenal or Chelsea.

And the money continues to pour in at twice the per capita rate of the vaunted NFL.

The NHL's annual revenues are reportedly around $3.3 billion, so even without any givebacks in a prospective agreement, if one uses the EPL as a benchmark for what players might claim in a free labor market, they are leaving about $430 million on the table in exchange for securing a collective bargaining agreement.

What do the players get in exchange for that $430 million?

Wealth redistribution, mostly. They get a voice in other areas, such as expansion and contraction decisions, scheduling, and rules. But mainly, through a salary cap (and floor), they force a redistribution of salaries from elite players to less talented players.

Under the previous CBA, individual player salaries were capped at 20% of the team salary cap. As a result, an Alex Ovechkin earns significantly less than he would in a free market, and much of what he would have earned is instead paid to his average-to-above-average teammates, who earn more than they would in a free market.

As owners continue to press for further reductions in the players' share of revenues, the proportion of players earning meaningfully less than they would under a free market system seems likely to grow.

I gauging the utility of the union, one must look not at average salaries, but median salaries. I can't find comprehensive salary data for the EPL, but one would expect top EPL players to earn much more, relative to the median salary, than their unionized NHL brethren.

We can look at what the top players earn as a proportion of total revenues, and there the data is surprising. There are 500 players on EPL rosters, and the top 2% - the top 10 players - claim 3.66% of total revenues. There are 690 players on NHL rosters, and the top 2% - the top 14 NHL players - claim 3.80% of total revenues.

This is a counter-intuitive result; if it were completely accurate, then it seems to be that there could be no doubting that NHL players would be better off without their union. However, my instinct is to say that the EPL may use a more inclusive (and accurate) definition of revenues, making it not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. Even so, it suggests that the higher share of total revenues enjoyed by players in a non-unionized labor market may not be spread much more unevenly than those in a unionized market.

That notional $430 million works out to about $623,000 per player, which would increase the average NHL salary by 26%. Or put another way, the average NHL player is taking a 20% haircut on his free market wages for the privilege of being represented by a union.

And given the similarity between the share of revenues claimed by the top EPL and NHL players, it strikes me as more likely than not that the median NHL player is also taking a significant haircut on his notional free market salary.

In which case, the NHL players would seem to be far better off passing on a union and collective bargaining altogether, and letting the market allocate a much higher share of revenues among them.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Didn't Build This: 9/16 Rule 2 FMJRA Post

In continued obedience to Stacy McCain's Rule 2, another round of thanks to everyone who has thought enough of my ramblings to link or tweet them. If you linked or tweeted something and I have failed to note it, then I apologize; please let me know and I will be only too happy to update the list.

Democratic Presidents Produce More Combat Deaths, Too

was linked by:


retweeted by @DartmouthReview Wah hoo wah!
retweeted by @John_Monahan

No, GM Is NOT Losing $49,000 On Every Volt It Builds

was linked by:


retweeted by @Joseph_MSU

Democrats Vs. The First Amendment

retweeted by @jamesperson

Black Wednesday: A Blessing In Disguise

retweeted by @jamesperson

Rule 5 Post: Janina Gavankar Is Dreamy

was linked by:


Rule 5 Post: Democratic Mistress Edition

was linked by:


retweeted by @JDanielsBrower

Rule 5 Post: Even Communist Air Travel Now Superior To Ours

was linked by:


Black Wednesday: A Blessing In Disguise

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Black Wednesday, the day when the UK was forced to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) following the Bank of England's futile effort to prop up the pound against the Deutsche Mark. Looking back, there is good reason for the British view Black Wednesday as a blessing in disguise.

Admittedly, to paraphrase Churchill, if it was a blessing, then it was very well disguised indeed. The debacle reportedly cost the UK treasury some 3.3 billion Pounds, on top of slower economic growth and lasting damage to the reputation of the Tories.

But the debacle did demonstrate the folly of monetary union, and in doing so likely helped keep Britain from joining the Euro. A few billion Pounds is a small price to pay to be clear of the Eurozone's ongoing implosion. Not for nothing does Norman Tebbit call it "Bright Wednesday."

Black Wednesday should stand as a lesson for central planners everywhere that markets can only be subverted for so long. They eventually clear, and that is every bit as true for Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke as it was for John Major and Norman Lamont. And it is every bit as true for Dollars, Treasury Bills, health insurance and electric cars as it was for Pounds.

George Soros was widely villified for making such large bets against the Pound, on which he reportedly made over $1 billion in ,profit on Black Wednesday. Considering the costs the UK would be facing had it adopted the Euro, perhaps the British should be arranging parades in his honor.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Henny Youngman And The Now-Popular Auto Bailouts

The past week had more than its share of bad news, with lost American lives, attacks on our embassies, and serial Obama Administration apologies for the First Amendment.

Yet for all that, I think there was one bit of news which, if not worse, was at least more shocking and perhaps more ominous. Rasmussen reported that 53% of Americans now view the auto industry bailouts positively. Only 36% of Americans now view the bailouts as bad.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

This new popularity presumably reflects the impact of the DNC, at which all and sundry sought to perpetuate the fiction that said bailouts "saved" one million or more jobs.

Any attempt at gauging the merit of the GM and Chrysler bailouts calls to mind the old Henny Youngman gag:

"How's your wife?"

"Compared to what?"

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rule 5 Post: Janina Gavankar Is Dreamy


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In previous Rule 5 posts I have rationalized the inherent shameless exploitation of the medium with some sort of political tie-in, such as potential replacements for those fading Obama posters, or Democratic Presidential tastes in mistresses, or the superiority of even Vietnamese air travel to our degrading government- and union-dominated airport experience. But this week I've got nothing, so I'll just post photos of an exceptionally beautiful woman and will be interested to see whether this attracts more or less traffic.

True Blood's season is over, and The League's season hasn't started yet, which means several weeks of television with no programs featuring the dreamy Janina Gavankar.

Let's not waste time trying to assign blame; this is quite obviously Obama's fault. But like most conservatives I have come to terms with the fact that part of my role in life is to clean up the messes left by feck-deficient liberals. In which spirit I present the following photos:

Google Adds Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon Searchability

Google continues to make life easier in ways large and small. Time reports that Google has now introduced Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon functionality; just type in a celebrity name followed by "bacon number", and you get the answer, along with a list of the connections. For example:

Elvis Presley's Bacon number is 2
Cesare Danova and Kevin Bacon appeared in National Lampoon's Animal House

It's a great time to be alive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th, Eleven Years On

In New York, the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2012 was remarkably similar to the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. A beautiful, sunny, unseasonably warm morning.

I had not noticed the parallel, and in fact had not been conscious of today's date, until I took my dog out for her morning walk. We came across an elderly man who wanted to say hello to her, and in chatting he mentioned the date. A short time later it emerged that his step-son had been working at Cantor Fitzgerald, and had never come home after leaving for work that morning. That's when it dawned on me that this was such a comparably lovely morning.

The man said his now-former wife had received a mid-seven figure settlement. We both shrugged. So what?

Why You Should Follow Senator Blutarsky on Twitter

Just look at what people are saying:

"Do yourself a favor and just follow @USSenBlutarsky" - @jamesperson

"Note to all: follow Bluto => #ThisIsNotOptional" - @smitty_one_each

"You're not clever" - @LilyOutLoud, humorless feminist

If you're not a humorless feminist, or even if you are yet inexplicably enjoy the blog anyway, then feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Racist Peanut Butter & Jelly, or Why I Blog Under A Pseudonym

With respective tips of the hat to Ace of Spades, Twitchy, and Snark and Boobs, I give you the perfect illustration of why I blog under a pseudonym: the racist peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

To you and me, and any other sane person, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is "food."

To a group of genuinely horrible sounding people in Portland, some of whom are inexplicably permitted to wield authority over children, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a "seemingly innocent example" of "the subtle language of racism."

Monday, September 10, 2012

No, GM Is NOT Losing $49,000 On Every Volt It Builds


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An otherwise informative Reuters article on the economics of the Chevy Volt makes the erroneous claim that "GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds."

No, it isn't. The reporter and editor of the story just don't understand mircoeconomics.

I take a back seat to nobody in criticizing GM for its outrageous bailout, its poor management, its rapacious unions, and its money-sucking boondoggle called the Volt. If you doubt this, then see here, here, and here.

But I try to rely on arguments with a factual basis. If I didn't care about that, I'd just become a liberal and wallow in the smug self-satisfaction that comes from knowing that real-world results matter less than the fact that I care

Besides which, a reliance on demonstrably false claims is injurious to the long-term project of convincing the skeptical of the validity of conservative arguments.

Which is why I bother to point out that Reuters' claim of a $49,000 loss per unit is clearly the byproduct of the author's economic ignorance. 

The calculation confuses sunk costs - i.e. the $1.2 billion GM spent developing the Volt - with marginal costs - i.e. the incremental cost of parts, labor and other inputs to produce the next Volt. Spreading out the sunk costs across the Volt's modest production volume gives us an average all-in cost, which is important to know for the purpose of analyzing the overall profitability of the Volt, but it is not the right benchmark to gauge whether or not GM is better off producing that next unit.

Democrats Vs. The First Amendment

Democratic politicians may disagree on the desirability of gay marriage, but they are evidently united in opposition to the First Amendment.

From the wise and beautiful Amy Alkon comes this report from Overlawyered that Maryland State Delegate Emmett Burns wrote a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens on official stationery stating that:

"I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbedejo, would publicly endorse same-sex marriage"

Amazingly, Burns' shock that a football player would avail himself of his First Amendment rights is not the worst part of the letter. The worst part is this:

"I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a national Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions."

Delegate Burns is a minister by training, which likely explains why the text of the letter suggests an attempt to sound lawyerly by someone relying on a thesaurus and having once watched a few episodes of Matlock.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Best. Political. Show. Ever. "The Thick Of It" Returns!

Last night BBC 2 aired the first new episode of The Thick of It in nearly three years. If you like politics, and if you're reading this blog you presumably do, then this is cause for rejoicing. If you've seen any of the previous series of The Thick of It then you already know this. If you haven't seen the show, stop reading and go watch it now.

Seriously. You will thank me later.

Unfortunately, it's not clear when the new series will air in the U.S. Far be it from me to endorse piracy, but if one were so inclined, new episodes of The Thick of It may be worth the extra time in Purgatory.

I enjoyed creator Armando Iannucci's Americanized version, HBO's Veep, but not nearly as much as The Thick of It. I think what Veep lacked, and what makes The Thick of It so great, is Peter Capaldi's menacing, epically vulgar Malcolm Tucker character. I thought the final episode of Veep was the funniest by far, in no small part due to Dan Bakkedahl's Tucker-like Roger Furlong.

When Todd Akin revealed his Captain Science alter-ego, it occurred to me that the GOP could really use a Malcolm Tucker, who really knows how to explain to somebody that they are resigning, right now:

Even if you don't especially like politics, the sheer creativity of Capaldi's swearing is a wonder to behold. I just can't recommend this show strongly enough.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rule 5 Post: Democratic Mistress Edition


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 After a DNC featuring Bill Clinton and chaired by Antonio Villaraigosa, what else were you expecting?

This is actually another area where the Democratic Party shines. Democratic Presidents don't only produce far more jobs and dead U.S. servicemen than their Republican counterparts, they also produce far more Presidential mistresses.

Nixon? Ford? Reagan? The Bushes? Not a mistress among them.

For Democratic Presidents, though, if you haven't got at least one bit on the side, you're not doing it right.

More than Marilyn (and more of Marilyn) after the jump.

Democratic Presidents Produce More Combat Deaths, Too


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Former President Bill Clinton's speech to the DNC this week was notable for several reasons.

It was notable for being such a lengthy catalog of lies and half truths, even after one considers the source.

It was notable for the skillful, earnest delivery of those lies, reminiscent of the way a younger Bill Clinton assured the American people that he did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. For those who want to believe him, he makes it easy.

It was perhaps most notable, though, for Clinton's observation that “Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what's the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two.”

This actually is not a lie, or even a half-truth. It is true that there have been many more jobs created under Democratic Presidents than under Republican Presidents, even though it is something Bill Clinton said. That's a bit like walking out into your backyard and finding a unicorn, so take a moment to savor it.

The meta-propagandists fact checkers at CNN quibble that the correct figures are actually 44.7 million for Democratic Presidents and 23.3 million for Republican Presidents, but presumably every sentient listener knew that there might be a thumb on the scale, or even 21.3 million of them.

I'm sure it was an honest mistake on Clinton's part. Maybe he just accidentally double-counted the half-million American jobs that President Johnson created in South Vietnam. Forty three times.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Didn't Build This: Rule 2 FMJRA Post

Now with added Twitter FMJRA functionality!

This blog just turned three weeks old, and just reached 25,000 hits. While that's chicken feed for many of the bloggers who have linked to me, it represents a much faster start than I dared hope for and I am genuinely grateful for their efforts. So in obedience to Stacy McCain's Rule 2 I offer this post as a small token of thanks.

Special thanks go to Instapundit, Power Line and The Other McCain, which have all brought especially great attention to Senator Blutarsky.

In addition, Senator Blutarsky is now a multi-platform content provider (i.e. I have a twitter account). There being no good reason not to apply Rule 2 to Twitter, I thank Smitty from The Other McCain and James Person for their generous praise:

Chris Smith (@smitty_one_each) tweeted:

Note to all: follow Bluto =>

James Person (@jamesperson) tweeted:

Do yourself a favor and just follow

But to finally get to the main point, thank you to the following blogs for linking, and Twitterers for tweeting links, to Senator Blutarsky:

Instapundit/Althouse 2 - MSM 0 was linked by


and retweeted by

rbee (@rbeebbee50)

Bigotry Just Ain't What It Used To Be was linked by


Def Leppard's Hysteria at 25 was linked by


Bigotry at The New York Times was retweeted by

Joy Daniels Brower (@JDanielsBrower)

Why the Auto Bailout Is Far Costlier Than Treasury Claims was linked by


Rule 5 Post: Faded Poster Edition was linked by


and retweeted by

Joy Daniels Brower (@JDanielsBrower)

I Didn't Build This: Rule 2 FMJRA Post for August 28 was retweeted by

Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain)
Paul H. Lemmen (@anexconsview)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blessed Are The Union Busters

On this blog's first Labor Day, I'd like to offer a few words of praise for my personal favorite union busters, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Their clashes with unions helped set the stage for years of broad-based prosperity.

Were it up to me, I would see the Wagner Act repealed and public sector unions outlawed altogether. Until that bright day comes, however, I am resigned to finding contentment in less comprehensive victories over the socialism of the labor movement.

Private sector unions have in large measure proven to be a self-correcting phenomenon, by undermining the viability of employers with unionized workforces. In 2011 just 6.9% of private sector workers belonged to a union. Public sector unions are a greater scourge at present, both in terms of numbers - 37% of public sector workers were unionized in 2011 - and the structural imbalance in bargaining power that gives public sector unions the upper hand over taxpayers.

Still, recent events in Wisconsin and elsewhere offer some cause for optimism that taxpayers can ultimately be made to realize that public sector unions can never be anything but their adversaries.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

White Racists Attack President Obama

Senator Blutarsky has outsourced headline writing to MSNBC editors, to whom all complaints should be addressed.

Earlier today in Charlotte, a monument to the Dear Leader was vandalized by a band of obviously racist white stormclouds. The rain washed away part of the Glorious Sand Obama created for next week's DNC.

Toure could not be reached for comment.

In this photo, workers toil happily on the sand sculpture of our Dear Leader. Photo of the vandalized photo after the jump. Please exercise discretion in the presence of children, and child-like Obama worshippers.

Please Hit The Other McCain's Tip Jar

Stacy and Ali are having car (and cash) problems on the road home from the RNC. Stacy explains their situation in Fear and Loathing in a 2004 Kia Optima, and you can hit their tip jar here. If you can, then please do.

Instapundit/Althouse 2 - MSM 0


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The blogosphere has officially rendered the MSM commentariat obsolete.

It's like the difference between renting a videotape and streaming a movie in HD; the blogosphere delivers a more accurate picture, with less distortion, faster and at a fraction of the price.

This phenomenon is not uniform, of course. Prevailing First Amendment jurisprudence holds that even Ezra Klein has a right to pollute public discourse with his opinions. So one needs to know where are look.

Instapundit and Althouse are among the first places to look.

The Republican National Convention, and the events just preceding it, provided two shockingly one-sided case studies.

On the Friday before the RNC came the kerfuffle over Mitt Romney's quip about his birth certificate at a campaign stop in Michigan. Said Romney, "I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised. Where both of us were born . . . No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

The reaction was as swift as it was predictable.

Professional race-baiters, presumably looking to get in some warm-up reps ahead of the RNC, leapt in to action.

Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology, which is a totally legitimate field and not mere academic window dressing for left wing activism in any way, so shut up.

Applying the intellectual rigor that is the basis for sociology's great esteem within academia, Dyson charged Romney with "some of the basest, most despicable bigotry we can imagine."

Which would seem to say more about the limits of Professor Dyson's imagination than about anything else. Maybe when the fall semester starts we can get one of his students to loan him a Harry Potter book, or a box of Lego blocks.

In fairness to Professor Dyson, he did say "imagine," not "read about in even the most cursory history of the civil rights movement." Let's not put words in his mouth.

But hey, birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, race-baiters gotta race-bait. Surely the overpaid navel-gazing sloths sober mandarins of the MSM would bring a more balanced perspective to bear. 

If by balanced perspective one means "nod grimly in agreement with each other's more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger assessment of this vile slur and clear misstep," then yes. If one means "demonstrate comprehension of what Romney said and why he said it," then not so much.