Another Person on the Internet is Wrong

This time it’s Ben Garrett. He says:

There are limits to everything, as there very well should be. In the case of the Nashville protestors, they were not prohibited from protesting or assembling themselves at the Plaza during the day. They were simply told that they had to go home at night and come back the next day, a demand that they chose to defy. There were various reports of criminal activity and littering on the Plaza, which calls public safety into question.

This is wrong. They were told they’d have to apply for a $65 permit every day and carry a million dollars in liability insurance (which can run you hundreds and hundreds of dollars). That’s not “simply” being told to go home at night and come back the next day. That’s “no one can protest at night” and “no poor people can protest during the day.” Couple that with the fact that they blatantly and forthrightly said that they’d let TPAC visitors and other people who were deemed okay trespass on the Plaza at night and you have a pretty arbitrary rule obviously designed to affect only Occupy Nashville.

But I also keep seeing this idea that there were “various reports of criminal activity and littering.” The only verified reports of criminal activity were against the Occupy Nashville people. If these are the only reports, then Haslam is rounding up and arresting crime victims solely because he’s annoyed that they’re crime victims. This is a worrying precedent.

But let’s talk about these “various reports.” Why hasn’t anyone named names? Why isn’t there one person, one person at all to come forward and say “I’m John Smith and I saw human poop” or “I’m Representative Smith from Smithville and I saw people having sex.” Or whatever. I want to know who actually complained and what their specific complaints were.

Because otherwise, it’s the same people who insist that Jonathan Meador was arrested for being drunk in public, even in the face of video in which it shows him being arrested for… oh wait… they have to come up with something… better hit him with resisting arrest, who are insisting that there’s actually some kind of public safety issue.

And guess what?

Those people’s credibility is shot.

So, I’m pretty flabbergasted at the amount of journalists who want to keep finding reasons why maybe this wasn’t quite so egregious as it looks.

I will try to see things from the Haslam administration’s perspective when the Haslam administration stops lying about what their perspective is. But that’s just me.

17 thoughts on “Another Person on the Internet is Wrong

  1. I’m in agreement with you for the most part, but I really feel like you’re overdoing it with the ‘TPAC visitors get to use the plaza’ bit. The one distinction I think they can make is between people sleeping all night on the plaza versus people walking across it to get to their cars. Trying to instigate class warfare based on that distinction doesn’t really help the argument.

  2. I’ve actually seen human poop on the sidewalk more than once, but it wasn’t at Occupy Nashville. It was by that little statue of a stack of books at the front corner of the library and nearly every morning it looks like someone took a leak on that statue. Not to mention, every year after the 4th of July party every recessed doorway or alley in the downtown area smells like urine for at least a week.

    So downtown isn’t a stranger to human waste.

  3. I think it’s weird that you perceive pointing out that TPAC visitors can violate curfew is class warfare. Isn’t the overlap between the type of people likely to engage in protests and the type of people who like to go to and support theater pretty high?

    It’s really more like one set of clothing makes you okay and another makes you a curfew violator.

  4. I’m pretty flabbergasted at the amount of journalists who want to keep finding reasons why maybe this wasn’t quite so egregious as it looks.

    Sort of like the journalists who defend economic injustice on the grounds that it’s “petty jealousy of the wealthy,” or that it’s “demonizing success.”

  5. This comment from your post on Friday (right after you quoted someone else talking about the theater attendees) is most of what led me to there…

    the amount of people who think that everything they think is wrong should be illegal, but that they should get to make exceptions for the “right” kind of people is out of control

    In my experience ‘the right kind of people’ is a comment that means racial or class differences. And comments from the Scene about ‘well dressed’ theater attendees reinforce it to me.

  6. When tickets were $450/person for the gala, is it really that much of a stretch that the people being told they can cross the plaza at their convenience might be more moneyed/socially acceptable to the also well-off Governor than those who are demonstrating related to a shitty economic situation?

  7. Not at all. But it’s one thing to say what you just said and quite a more inflammatory thing to say “fat cats.”

    Jeff Woods’ piece sounded like more of a blog entry than a piece of straightforward journalism.

    That’s my big issue with the bulk of the Scene writers in a nutshell. They often can’t relate a story without also telling the reader what she is supposed to think about it. Fine for a blog. Not fine for a newspaper.

  8. Are Fat Cat Pants really all that different from Tiny Cat Pants? Aren’t all cats the same under the costumes? Except those that have been driven insane by their owners dressing them in truly bizarre outfits that is.

  9. Oh, is that the post with the woman who’s throwing the affair talking about how she hopes the protesters will use the bathroom like her people will?

    Let me roll my eyes for a second.

  10. Aunt B.,

    Not to defend Mrs. Weigel’s comment but to Katherine Coble’s point, did you know that the Scene ran an article mocking her younger daughter’s wedding?

    Back around 2000 during the income tax fight, the legislative session ran into july or early August. Mrs. Weigel’s daughter was marrying the youngest son of Senator Henry. The wedding had been planned for a date well beyond anyone’s expectation of the length that the session would run. But session ran on and on.

    The result was that Senator Henry had to miss one Saturday session to attend his son’s wedding. That resulted in an attack on the wedding by the Scene of remarkable vileness. I think the article has been removed from the Scene’s on-line archives but here is what the Scene included later in its Boner Awards:

    “Though the article contained some factual errors, readers were outraged more by the merciless ridiculing of the extravagant (but private) wedding party and its members—including Southern gentleman extraordinaire Douglas Henry, who was slammed for everything from his age and personal fortune to his “waddle.”

    And this is just one example of the Scene/Pith’s biased and ugly coverage.

  11. I don’t follow your logic here, Mark. The Scene acted like douches a long time ago. Weigel gave an interview last week to the Scene in which she mocked the toilet training of the protesters. What does the Scene’s war with Weigel (of which she seems to be somewhat unaware, since she’s doing interviews with them) have to do with her being snotty towards the protesters?

    Anyway, if you want to argue for continuity between today and 2000, I’ll just point out that that was at least three editors ago and one sale to VVM and back again. Unless the article in question was ALSO written by Woods, I’m not really seeing your point.

    Plus, Woods’ comments were on Pith, which is a blog, so… shouldn’t it sound like a blog?

    I’m not trying to be antagonistic here. I just don’t quite understand these lines people are drawing.

  12. Aunt B.,

    I said at the start of my comment that I was not defending Mrs. Weigel’s comment. I was supporting Coble’s observation “But it’s one thing to say what you just said and quite a more inflammatory thing to say “fat cats.”

    The only reason that I mentioned the wedding story is that Woods quoted Mrs. Weigel and it struck me as deliciously ironic that of all people he could use to make a point about the evils of the rich, it would be her.

    Regarding continuity, editors and writers come and go. But the ideological biases of the Scene, much like the NY Times, only promote people with similar views. That makes it much more fair to discuss the history of the Scene’s biases than, for example, to characterize the contemporary Tennessee Republican party which is heavily reliant on people who moved into the state over the last 40 years on the basis of a small number of racist native Democrats who switched parties in the 1960s.

  13. Mark, what do you want me to do, exactly? Do you need Jim Ridley’s email? Or Jeff’s?

    Let me be as plain about this as I can: I WRITE FOR THEM. I take their money and I talk to them in ways that make it seem like I like them (which I do, quite a lot), and I write for them, at least four times a week.

    I don’t want to host a conversation that is about running down people who’ve been good to me.

    It’s a shitty position you’re putting me in and I should have been clearer about that in my last comment.

    And, by your standards, if editors and writers come and go, but ideological biases remain, every shitty thing you’re saying about The Scene, you’re saying about me.

    And if you have some shitty things to say to me, don’t couch it in terms of “I’m just discussing the paper.”

  14. Aunt B.,

    I was just agreeing with Coble. Nothing more.

    But I don’t think Coble was ‘running down’ the Scene. She was making a mildly observation about the Scene’s coverage. “But it’s one thing to say what you just said and quite a more inflammatory thing to say “fat cats” is hardly using a literary baseball bat on the baby seals of the Scene.

    I don’t see how I am putting you in a shitty position. I am not asking to to agree with Coble or to offer mea culpas for other writers at the Scene and Pith. We can agree to disagree.

    Finally, if I had anything shitty to say about you, I would do it and in direct {if remarkably well phrased and witty manner}. However, I don’t have a single shitty thing to say about you. If I did, I wouldn’t bother reading you or occasionally posting a disagreement {or even an agreement}. You are both an insightful and talented writer.

    We disagree on no small number of things but I learn more from you and other posters here and at Pith than I would from 24 hours of Fox. Besides the debates here and at Pith are some of the best around and I always enjoy disagreement more than agreement.

  15. Mark, I’m in a twisty position in that I’ve had some discomfort with the Scene in the past and don’t care for them but I do like B. And if I understand correctly my attitude and comments are hurtful to her. I apologize for that; I’m holding a 7 yo grudge against people I don’t know and allowing that childishness to hurt others.

    B, I’m sorry for hurting your feelings here and in the comment last week.

    Mark, it’s best to just drop it.

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