Friday, September 15, 2006

Kudos to the U of M College Dems!

"Anonymous, pissed off source" dropped me a letter in the Freedonian Mailbag today.

The College Democrats met with Harold Ford Jr. at his HQ today. After he spoke to them, he let his asshead little brother speak to the volunteers that showed up.

Asshead is apparently running his campaign out of Harold's HQ (Something to ponder before sending Harold a check) and using his volunteer base as well.

The College Democrats did the right thing (Although perhaps not my favorite thing, which would have consisted of kicking both brothers in the nuts and dumping garbage cans on them as they lay on the ground) and made it clear that they are there to work for Jr. and ONLY Jr.

So keep that in mind if you ever feel the urge to send money to Harold or actually volunteer at his HQ--- You WILL be helping Jake too.

CORRECTION: I am now informed that he did not officially address the crowd, but he worked the crowd. The rest still stands.

If you give money, time, or support to Harold Ford Jr, you are now aiding and abetting his brother.


When I was writing this piece for the River City Mud Bugle, I called the Harold Ford Jr. campaign HQ for comment. After running in circles for a couple of minutes, they gave me an "explanation" so ludicrous that it belongs in The Onion.

Harold and his brother kind of look alike. Maybe that’s where the confusion is.”


autoegocrat said...

We need to confirm this and put it on the Bugle, ASAP. If this is true, it's on.

Freedonian said...

Double sourced, my friend. The only part that seems to be open to debate is whether or not his working the crowd at HQ amounted to a speech or not.

kibitzer said...

I am honor-bound to append this comment, made in response to someone's query about the Friday-morning rally and the reports that came of it:

Well, frankly, ___, I'm skeptical -- not that ALL the Fords aren't busting for Jake. The evidence is certainly that they are. But I was at that little (actually, big) rally Friday morning> I was there before Jr. got there and left after he left. As for the rally: (a) it did not seem to be a College Democrats function; in fact, David Cocke served as mc; (b) Jr. addressed the crowd, which may certainly have included several College Democrats; it also included several senior citizens, business types, midtown Dems, suburban Democrats, etc., etc.; it was a general Democratic crowd, very mixed. (c) After Jr. (who had arrived on his campaign bus) finished speaking, he decamped -- to go, as he indicated, to join Ben Hooks for the dedication of the Hooks Job Center in Whitehaven. He scooted; the crowd was milling about; I stayed a few minutes and left.

I did see Jake there, very briefly. If he talked to the crowd, or worked the crowd, or whatever, it was well after Jr. left, and without any public say-so from Jr. Whatever he did, and with and to whom, he also did after I left. So I couldn't say. But it appears that the accounts that have been posted and that we've read may be exaggerated.

Note, ___, that all these reports were of Friday morning's meeting. I'd be as outraged as anybody else if what they described had happened at that meeting. I'll just let my above description stand. Maybe there was another meeting, another day, in which some Jr.-to-Jake handoff occurred, but I doubt it. Sorry.

English Rose said...


Appreciate the fact that you have been fair and measured in your remarks. Very decent of you to express your reasoned opinion; how you read the situation sounds perfectly feasible, to me. On this occasion, your ability to even entertain a positive truth/reality - even though it involved someone you dislike - distinguishes you from other TN (so-called) progressive bloggers.

Opportunists will always want to jump on the bandwagon. Spreading rumour and running with it like wildfire, is an indication of immaturity or possibly, worst still, malicious intent towards Congressman Ford.

Also, the lack of inquisition/querying of veracity of said allegation, is startling. Considering how pious most of y'all sound regarding the purity of Democratic ideology, it really makes me question the credibility/motives of those concerned.

Very, very interesting remarks and reaction indeed --- what, based purely on a SINGLE, uncorroborated (supposedly) ANNONYMOUS quote from a seemingly disgruntled student. Nice one! What a low threshold. I may as well stick to the tried and tested MSM - with all its obvious shortcomings.

Is it any wonder that you guys are - for the most part - talking amongst yourselves!

PS. The above-mentioned was posted to ninja turtle. However, in addition, I duly note that auto suggested that this rumour be 'confirmed' - which is rather sensible, n'est pas? Now, I can only but wonder what actually constitutes 'double sourced'.

This kind of reminds me of MyDD slagging off Obama a couple of months' ago, based on an erroneous article - not actually something the Senator said himself or an action which could have been attributed to him; I'm not sure if MyDD read too much into the article/got his wires crossed. Tellingly, when it was brought to MyDD's attention that he'd got it wrong, he didn't have the decency to apologise - saving face was more important. The jist of his response was to justify his bias against Obama - which continues to this day... Sadly, his apparent zeal/quest to rub off some of Obama's lustre, got in the way - of the truth of the matter.

Freedonian said...

Rosie, your slobbering over Harold has been duly noted. Your defenses of him are reminiscent of his pals over at Fox News, only (presumably) without the bad hairpieces.

As I told Kibitzer in an email today, Kibitzer is well known enough that no one is violating campaign ethics in his presence. The fact that he didn't personally see it is irrelevant.

Very, very interesting remarks and reaction indeed --- what, based purely on a SINGLE, uncorroborated (supposedly) ANNONYMOUS quote from a seemingly disgruntled student.

Funny, considering that not only am I TRIPLE sourced by now (Double at the time I wrote the above comment), but you want me to change course based on a SINGLE source--- You, have been shown to be a drooling, fawning apologist for Harold Ford every time you've shown up on a blog.

Is it any wonder that you guys are - for the most part - talking amongst yourselves!

Yet you manage to make yourself available for comment every time someone doesn't like Harold.

English Rose said...


Further to your eloquent response, there's not much I could possible say, is there?

Btw, I'm not 'defending' a person per se, but a principle.

Good day!

Freedonian said...

No, there's not much you could "possible" say. You've made it clear time and again that you're not only not defending principles, but that you actually have no principles. It's all about getting in there and throwing an elbow any time Harold is criticized.

English Rose said...

Ouch! OK, should read "possibly". Gosh, now I'm being belittled for a typo!

So, I'm obviously a HFJ supporter - and this is hostile turf. This pointless 'exchange' must, therefore, make me a sucker for punishment...

If I happen to have a different take on things, that doesn't mean that it's alright to be insulting and deriding that I have "no principles".

I'm outta here --- there, you've scared the crap out of me and seen me off with your masterly debating skills. Let me run for cover.

Freedonian said...

What in the hell did you give me to debate?

You proved your literacy level when you responded to the phrase "double sourced" by insisting that it was a single source. You've pretended that anonymous TO YOU means anonymous TO ME. I know who all three of my sources so far are. I expect to develop even more.

So what in the hell have you ever given me or anyone else that's worth debating?

Freedonian said...

Rosie, Rosie, Rosie...

Did you hear Jake on the radio? He confirmed that he was indeed campaigning at Jr's HQ last Friday.

So... I guess I have at least one source that I can name after all, huh?

College Democrat said...

Thanks for the post, and I'm hoping that Jake's comments on the radio clear up any misconception that others seemed to have over the whole incident. I want Harold Ford Jr. to win the Senate seat simply because I want a Democratic majority. However, I've worked my heart out to get the College Democrats where they're at (with the help of many others). I refuse to allow our hard work to benefit an unqualified person, Jake Ford, to run as an independent. We want to help out the Harold Ford Jr. campaign, but the University of Memphis is Steve Cohen territory. We tend to support candidates who finish their degrees.

Freedonian said...

My pleasure, CD. This piece is an "attaboy" to an organization that did the right thing.

With Senate candidates out there like Harold, all I can say is that it's more important than ever that we focus on the House.

English Rose said...

The Final Word on the Campaign Rally

Memphis Flyer reporter Jackson Baker took the loose threads in our story about Jake Ford’s possible collusion with his brother, untied the knots, and found the single straight line:

Subsequent to the event, the impression got out in some quarters that it had been an affair for College Democrats (it wasn’t - though they, like other Democrats, had been invited and responded) in which, according to a widely circulated email from a University of Memphis student:

“Apparently, after Junior was done speaking, his fucktard brother got a chance to speak to the volunteer base that we acquired for Junior.”

Hearsay of this sort begat further hearsay, and soon an honest blogger or two had picked up on a gathering outrage among supporters of 9th District Democratic nominee Steve Cohen that the “fucktard brother” (i.e., independent congressional candidate Jake Ford) had benefited from what had now, in some tellings, become a “handoff” at the rally from Rep. Ford.

Actually, nothing of the sort occurred.

Jake Ford had been no more than one member of the large and milling crowd. He had no role in the proceedings, which ended after his congressman brother left to go join the Rev. Ben Hooks for the dedication of a Whitehaven Job Corps center in Hooks’ honor.

If Jake Ford “worked the crowd” afterward (as a revised version of the ever-shifting story had it), then so did anybody else who had been in the throng.

It was just a case of a large gathering breaking off into isolated conversational clumps as people made their way out the door.
[Jackson Baker]

This conflicts with our previous reporting, and we owe our readers an explanation.

Our sources, who were eyewitnesses to the event, maintain that Jake Ford “worked the crowd” and furthermore, “held court.”

However much we stand by our sources, we are also aware that multiple eyewitnesses to the same event will percieve it differently according to their own biases.

We defer to Jackson Baker’s account of the campaign rally, and we are grateful to him for his correction.

The purpose of this website is to provide voters with the information they need to make good choices at the ballot box.

We contend that the corporate news outlets do not take their role in politics as seriously as they should in order to preserve a healthy democracy.

We hope to attain to the high standards of journalism set by Jackson Baker at the Memphis Flyer, Marc Perrusquia at the Commercial Appeal, and a precious few others in the Memphis media.

But we have much work to do before we get there, and we will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way.

We ask that you, our dear readers, bear with us as we find our footing, and please keep in mind that this website has not even been officially launched yet.

Once we broke our first story, the site took on a life of its own, and we were caught unprepared for what came next.

Original reporting is only one part of our manifold mission, and we have much more in store for you as time passes.

We hope that you will check back with us after our official launch, at which time we will have all of our regular features in place.

Jake Ford was indeed present at the rally, he was indeed speaking to those present, but we have no concrete evidence to support the claim that he was “working the crowd.”

We do not know exactly what Jake Ford was doing there, but before we say anything for sure in the future, we are going to base our reporting on more solid data that can withstand greater scrutiny.

We apologize to our readers, and to Jake and Harold Ford Jr., for presenting unconfirmed conjecture as verified fact. We will not make that same mistake again.

Derek Haire
Editor and Administrator
River City Mud Bugle

Freedonian said...

You know Rose, as much as I like and genuinely respect Jackson Baker, I don't buy into the notion that if he didn't see it, it didn't happen. I know from speaking to him on this matter that he left within a few minutes of Harold finishing his speech, so he's reconstructing it just the same as me. The difference is, this story was out by that point, and there was a notable "hunkering down" within the Ford camp.

I'll give you an example: On Monday, I spoke to someone about this. On Friday, I know this person wrote an email apologizing for Jake being able to work the room, and insisted it would never happen again. On Monday, this same person was saying "I have no idea how this thing got started". Considering that Jake had already said a few hours before that he had campaigned with Harold that Friday morning, I thought it was pretty funny and didn't push further.

The conflicts in the original story here (gave a speech vs worked the crowd) are due to the differing perceptions of two witnesses. When the conflict came up, I played it safe simply because I didn't know which was right. The phrase I used on the Mud Bugle, "handed off", was chosen (And I admit, rather clumsily) as a way of allowing room for both perceptions.

Regarding Derek's apology--- He and I have spoken on this. I will not sign onto it. I stand by my sources. He can do what he feels is right. So will I.

kibitzer said...

I want to change the subject here -- to the valuable watchdog role that the Freedonian is performing. To the extent that there were inaccuracies in his original account (and he has conceded there were) that should not obscure the facts that there is no more vigilant, resourceful, and -- for the most part -- accurate observer of events in this campaign.

Suggestion: those of you who are contributors to this worthy sentinel's work be careful that the facts you give him will stand up to scrutiny. If you do, he and Pam will uphold your trust, your confidence, and your hopes for the political future. They're wonderful writers and advocates. Tom Paine had noting on these two. But make sure what you pass on to them is true 'gen. Otherwise, you're doing them -- and your own cause -- no favor.

kibitzer said...

(Gee, the preceding reads awfully solemn-like, don't it? I can jiss and piss with the best of them. All I'm trying to do here, though, is express the reality that Free and Pam are as good as you get, serious stewards and altogether on the side of the angels.)

Freedonian said...

Last night, Derek, Pam, and I hung out at Bosco's until about 2 AM. As soon as I got into bed, Pam gave me a call about Kibitzer's comments here.

So I feel fairly safe in speaking for her when I say we're honored by Kibitzer's endorsement here.

We're gonna keep on keeping on. Thanks, Kibs.

English Rose said...


Whilst I may not agree with you on all fronts, I would not question your commitment and passion to/for what it is you believe in.

I really do think it's crucial that politicians be held to account. I'm just concerned at how we go about this.

I dare not express myself on certain blogs because, once it becomes apparent that I'm a HFJ supporter, all hell breaks loose.

Although I'm not directly impacted by this mid-term election, to an extent, I appreciate why feelings are running high. Nevertheless, I have always valued discourse.

As it pertains to this particular episode, I was merely raising a red 'caution' flag; I do this, as a matter of course, when it comes to anon sources.

I'm not going to labour on this particular post further, as I think Kibitzer has been kind and concluded it well enough.

Peace out!