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Caveat lector

18 January 2002

Our current howler: JOHN NASH AWARD NOMINEE

Synopsis: Hay-yo! Andrew Sullivan, bollixed again, slammed Larry Klayman—for liberal bias!

Andrew Sullivan,, 1/17/02

You simply can’t make this stuff up. All hail our hero, the bollixed Brit, Andrew Sullivan:

THOSE PESKY LABELS: "The lawsuit alleges the defendants, during a Dec. 10, 2001 public meeting to discuss the awarding of minority-oriented contracts by Toyota, surrounded and assaulted Rev. Peterson—calling him "nigger" as they taunted and harmed him. Rev. Peterson is a nationally known conservative civil rights activist who has been critical of Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/Push operation. At one point during the assault, Gregory Mathis, who hosts the nationally televised program "Judge Mathis," is alleged to have yelled "where’s your buddy (Bill) O’Reilly (of Fox News) now?" (Rev. Peterson is a regular guest on the O’Reilly’s program, "The O’Reilly Factor.")" — U.S. Newswire. So Peterson is a ‘conservative,’ but it is not relevant that Mathis or Jackson are left-liberals?

According to Sullivan’s meticulous web site, this item was posted at 1:34:50 P.M.—ten seconds before 1:35.

Anyone who follows the battling Brit will recognize the line he was pushing. He’d again found the heartbreak of liberal bias; the Big Liberal Media had identified Rev. Peterson as a "conservative," but had failed to identify Rev. Jackson as a "liberal." Sullivan was once again boohooing loudly. Before we get to our major point, let’s examine the brawling Brit’s lesser fumbles:

  1. No one has ever heard of Rev. Peterson. No one can escape from Rev. Jackson. Ever hear the expression, "This next guy needs no introduction?" The line was invented for Jackson. Does anyone think that Jesse Jackson needs to be ID’ed this way?
  2. Even if the two Reverends were equally famous, would this be an example of "liberal bias?" It’s hard to divine an author’s intention or motive when your "N" is the loneliest: 1.

But don’t waste your time with these minor memos. Let’s go straight to the Big Entertainment. You may have noticed the source of the biased piece which Sullivan slams; the brainy Brit seems to think that he’s quoting a report by some Liberal Outfit called "U. S. Newswire." But what exactly is U. S. Newswire? It’s an on-line service which, for a fee, will post a press release for you! What was Sullivan actually quoting? It wasn’t a media story at all. Incredibly, Sullivan was quoting a press release posted by—that’s right—Larry Klayman! Go to and you may still find the posting (release 112-0116). Klayman’s Judicial Watch was posting notice of a press conference scheduled for Thursday at noon. Silly Sully—bollixed again—was quoting the section marked "Details."

So hay-yo! Helping you learn about media bias, Sullivan quoted a press release. It was not a media story. It was a release by—egads—Larry Klayman!

Maybe the dude is just doing bad pills. Maybe the dude drinks too much Diet Pepsi. But one major fact has long been clear; the bollixed Brit has gone way round the bend. So the next time the little guy starts his loud, nasty ranting, we advise you to recall this latest brouhaha. Andrew Sullivan—writing bravely, writing boldly, at precisely ten seconds before 1:35—took the time and the trouble to warn you of a serious problem: Larry Klayman has liberal bias!!

Note to many concerned observers: You’re right—Robert Bork was never a Supreme Court Justice; he was a nominee, but then he got borked. But as we said (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/12/02), the transcript of the CBS Evening News program quoting Bork and Tribe is the transcript as it appears on LEXIS. We don’t know who made the blunder in the parenthetical tag line for Bork. But as you’ll note, it doesn’t affect the ID lines which were given by the CBS reporter, Jacqueline Adams.

Meanwhile, strain though we might to make the connection, we can’t imagine how ID’ing Bork as a Supreme Court Justice could be an example of "liberal bias." But, for those who would feel better if they heard that it was, we’re sure that someone could figure it out over at Just give Sully his incomparable password. You’ve heard it: the cattle are lowing.