Law professor and conservative/libertarian blogger Eugene Volokh has an excellent takedown of the noxious racism of one Randa Jarrar. The Palestinian-American writer published a screed at the left-wing online magazine Salon [see screen capture here] on Tuesday entitled, "Why I can’t stand white belly dancers." The long and short of it is that Ms. Jarrar views as "unwittingly racist" the practice of say a woman of European descent "appropriating" belly dancing by, well, belly-dancing at say an Arab restaurant (presumably for tips). Ms. Jarrar compared such a thing to both to drag queen performances -- wait, isn't that comparison "homophobic"? -- and the long-discredited practice of white performances doing a blackface routine.
Enter Mr. Volokh, who thoroughly eviscerated Ms. Jarrar's claims while slamming the hypocrisy of a liberal publication proudly printing such racist garbage, when they wouldn't dream of -- and rightly so -- printing someone denouncing say an Asian person performing a classical music piece (emphasis mine):
Tuesday was a big day over at the Washington Post with the announcement of the departure of one blogger and the bringing in of another. Left-wing blogger Ezra Klein who had been overseeing a supposedly ideologically neutral section of the paper’s website called “Wonkblog” will no longer be working with the Post. Supposedly, he was in a dispute with the paper’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, over some large-scale online project for which he wanted funding.
Joining the paper will be the blogging team put together by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, known in the web world for his libertarian-conservative political views and his love of data and free speech. Unlike Klein, however, Volokh and his co-bloggers will not make the pretense that their ruminations are utterly devoid of ideological thinking.
A former FBI informant who helped foil a bomb plot at the 2008 Republican National Convention has sued the New York Times for libel and defamation.
A Times story from February 22 claimed that Brandon Darby had "encouraged" others to bomb the RNC, when in fact he had been essential to law enforcement efforts that disrupted the plot. Evidence shows that the Times was aware of the error as early as March 3, yet the online version remains uncorrected. Applicable precedent holds that a publisher may be liable for continued publication of defamatory material, even if it was thought to be true when published, if the publisher does not make a sufficient effort to remove that material after being made aware of its inaccuracy.
"Though having to fight a Goliath that buys ink by the barrel is the last thing I wish to do," Darby said in a Thursday letter to the Times, "the New York Times has left me no choice." Darby said that he could not "allow a lie of this seriousness and magnitude about my character and integrity to go unanswered" (h/t Matthew Vadum).