Dear Readers: A series of recent news items have inspired another rant-based post. On College Insurrection last week, I had a chance to cover: Prager University Course: Proving Media Bias. In that video program, UCLA Economics Professor Tim Groseclose, the author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, mathematically demonstrates how our press creates a much more liberal viewpoint among Americans.
Case-in-point: Without the elite media’s help, this is how most voters would view our current President:
I would actually like to kick off this discussion by reviewing Legal Insurrection/William Jacobson’s article on an issue that has cropped up in the key Massachusetts Senate race: Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem. I think it reveals the complete lack of real investigative journalism conducted by our elite media when it comes to liberal candidates and issues.
The short version is that, in addition to lying about having Cherokee heritage to take advantage of affirmative action programs, Democratic Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren maintained a private law practice at her Harvard office for over a decade while NOT licensed in Massachusetts.
I thought a license to practice law in a state was a necessity — but perhaps rules, like true genetics, are applicable only to the little people.
Professor Jacobson presents a detailed case:
1. Warren Is Not Licensed To Practice Law In Massachusetts – an internet search and a series of calls to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers confirms her lack of license in that state (she holds/held licenses in Texas and New Jersey — the New Jersey one was recently cancelled).
2. Warren Used Her Cambridge Office as Her Law Office - a check of court documentation shows that Warren was related to cases such as Travelers’ Supreme Court Brief, FCC v. Nextwave Communications, a Supreme Court Brief for the National Association of Credit Management, and National Gypsum Co v. National Gypsum Trust, she listed her Harvard Law School office as her office address.
3. Warren Was Practicing Law From Her Cambridge Office - A law teacher need not even be a lawyer, but when that law teacher starts acting a lawyer, the usual licensing rules apply. After a detailed reading of case history, Professor Jacobson concludes: Warren’s activities on behalf of Travelers and other parties in the cases listed above would seem to fall easily within this definition of practicing law.
4. If Warren Was Practicing Law From Her Cambridge Office, She Violated Massachusetts Law. Professor Jacobson : As noted above, we do not know the extent to which Warren has represented Massachusetts clients or offered advice as to Massachusetts law. The American Bar Association has recognized the problem under Model Rule 5.5 for a lawyer who maintains an office in one jurisdiction but practices “virtually” in another jurisdiction. While the ABA is working on solving such internet-age issues, there is no authority which exempts from the licensing requirements an attorney domiciled in Massachusetts using a Massachusetts office but who offers legal advice and services only to out-of-state clients and as to non-Massachusetts law.
5. Harvard Law School Warns Its Students Against The Unauthorized Practice of Law – It seems Harvard Law School expects its students not to engage in the unauthorized practice of law in Massachusetts, and most likely expects its faculty to do the same. Professor Jacobson tried to confirm this view but, unlike many other Harvard schools, the law school faculty handbook is not available online or to the public.
6. Warren’s Possible Practice Of Law Without A License Requires Full Disclosure Prior To The Election – Yes! And if Warren had an (R) by her name instead of a (D), I suspect the disclosure would have occurred on every elite news outlet in New England.
Instead, an Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Law School has to do the digging the elite media will not do.
Captain Capitalism writes in his wonderful book Worthless that you do not need a Journalism Degree to do Journalism, and Professor Jacobson proves all you need is common sense, a computer, a phone, and dogged determination.
From the heights of Woodward and Bernstein’s “Watergate” articles to the depths a Hillary Clinton aide telling a reporter to F-off when hard questions about Benghazi were asked, the state of journalism has declined faster than the American credit rating.
So, reflecting on my own journalism courses and my experience with a variety of news publications, I have questions of my own I would like to direct to Beltway, New York, and Boston elite media types: WHAT WAS SO DAMN HARD ABOUT WHAT PROFESSOR JACOBSON DID, EXACTLY, THAT YOU COULD NOT DO IT YOURSELVES?
- You couldn’t use Google, Bing or other search engines to find license status or case records?
- You couldn’t be bothered to look into Supreme Court cases involving a US Senate candidate?
- You couldn’t pick up the phone and ask someone in the state Bar Association a few questions?
- There is no lawyer in your Roladex, to obtain background and understanding on law practices?
I suggest you perhaps contact the Professor and get some tips for future stories — for I sense that the Obama Administration is teeming with scandals yet unimagined. You might actually find real investigative journalism profitable AND satisfying.
Beers with Demo has his own smack-down of the American press, related to the fact it continued to report that the Libyan attacks were due to protests over an inane film — INSTEAD OF AN AL-QUEDA MEMORIAL 9-11 ACTIVITY THAT CONCERNED AMBASSADOR STEVENS ENOUGH TO NOTE IT IN HIS DIARY (held for a few days by CNN).
Where’s the press? Where have they gone? They’ve been played for fools in all this. Absolute fools and they are nowhere to be found… except sitting in their news trucks outside of the filmmakers home in Cerritos, California all but signing his death warrant.
They’ve been used by this administration and they simply don’t care. They’ve given up and the lack of outrage they have expressed with respect to how they’ve been played while the administration’s Arab Spring strategy has blown up in its face is stunning. Congrats to the administration.
When Obama promised us a transformational change, he wasn’t lying: In just over 3-1/2 years he and his administration have managed to transform an entire media structure from what should be a naturally skeptical, if not confrontational, 4th estate into one that has decided to just lay down if not be entirely complicit in promoting the deception and hypocrisy of this administration.
One last thought, via Tammy Bruce, who offered a highlight reel of Obama’s appearance on CBS (a network not known for its conservatism): Obama said Libya and Egypt were a “bump on the road”. He said our high unemployment was also a “bump on the road”. He claimed Israel’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear intentions were “noise”.
IF THIS WAS THE BEST MATERIAL CBS COULD OFFER OF OBAMA, WHAT THE HELL WAS LEFT ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR????
However, it did make for some rather wry tweets!
Naturally, the future President of the United States is concerned: The US is now at the mercy of events rather than shaping events.