Friday, July 31, 2009

Waiting for the unauthorized biography of El Somnabulo

The Earth is not flat and there are no non-partisan think tanks.

From the Center for Defense Information to the Center for American Progress, from Heritage to the Urban Institute, think-tanks exist to influence public policy, and--by defintion--you should always take into account the ideological bias and potential funding sources of any organization that purports to be publishing research reports or policy studies intended to shape public opinion or legislative priorities.

A lot of our liberal/progressive friends have severe underwear bunching problems over the fact that the Caesar Rodney Institute doesn't use the word conservative on its home page [even though terms like free-market, rule of law, individual liberty and other key code words appear right up front. The CRI even discloses its association with the State Policy Network openly; anybody who knows anything about the funding and political leanings of American think tanks should know that this means we are dealing with a conservative enterprise--no need for an expose.

But the issue of who is funding CRI and its association with Charlie Copeland has come up, with this amazing offer from Delawareliberal's El Somnabulo:

El Somnambulo finds himself in such a circumstance today. His insistence on openness and transparency is so profound, and Charlie Copeland’s failure to provide such openness and transparency is so…transparent, that ‘bulo is prepared to part with his most prized possession.

The Beast Who Slumbers is prepared to go much further than that. Not only will he publicly unmask, but he will reveal his civilian identity. He’ll even go further. He’ll permit Copeland to write an unauthorized bio of ‘bulo or, if Copeland prefers, Copeland will be free to select whomever he wants to write it–El Burrito Junior, Monsignor Lavelle, a ‘moonlighting flak’ from the Caesar Rodney Institute, or any other Mindless Mignonette (Greenville spelling) he might prefer. And DL will print it, word-for-word.

In exchange, all Copeland has to do is fully and completely answer the following questions HERE at Delaware Liberal (most of you have seen these questions before, but none of you have yet seen them answered by Copeland):


What's interesting about this is that Copeland has already unequivocally answered all of 'bulo's initial questions, presented here as pairs so that you can judge for yourself [questions from here; answers from here]"

'bulo:

Are you supporting CRI in any financial capacity and, if so, to what extent?


Copeland:

I have not given anything to CRI and am unaware of any significant gift by any family member to CRI (although their charitable donations are their own — I don’t ask and they don’t tell). I have never asked any family member to give any money to CRI, either.


'bulo:

What role did you play, and do you continue to play, in the choice of staff and/or board positions for the CRI?


Copeland:

I have had no involvement in the set up of the Board, the selection of employees, or the selection of areas into which they are doing research, I think that it is great and am very supportive.


'bulo:

If you are involved in CRI, why have you chosen not to provide the same transparency to your role as you demand of state government, for example?


Copeland:

[Answered by denial of involvement in previous two questions.]


'bulo added one additional question:

What involvement, if any, do staff and/or members and/or others affiliated with the Caesar Rodney Institute have in the creation of content and/or research for your Resolute Determination blog?


Copeland has not, to date, answered this lone question. I don't think, however, that this question is one for which an answer can legitimately be asked in a blogging community that has declared (and in the case of el Somnabulo whined about it) that the worst possible sin is the outing of a blogger. El Somnabulo regularly blogs based on supposed inside information, the source of which he/she does not disclose, along with his/her own identity.

It is, of course, possible that Charlie Copeland is lying, and if El Somnabulo or anyone else has proof of that they should now step forward and nail him, as his responses were all unambiguous.

Absent that evidence, however, it seems time for El Somnabulo to come forward with a few biographical details.

Just don't hold your breath.

Disclaimer: I don't work with or for CRI; don't have a high opinion of the work they have thus far produced; don't agree with their faux free-market approach; and think Charlie's blog is pretty much filled with drivel and GOP talking points rather than anything useful or informative.

But if you are going to make charges and demand answers, then when you get them you need to provide the evidence that the answers you got are wrong, or else you need to STFU and do what you promised.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the CRI paid for out of tax dollars? If not then they have no requirement to open anything. The same as bulo has no requirement to say who he is, but there is the rub of the whole situation. Liberals believe everything shoudl be transparent as long as it doesnt involve them.

The question, which is very similar to your post, is why does bulo and DL think CRI needs to be open and transparent if their pain goal is to get government more open?

Maria Evans said...

We need to take up a collection for DL so they can buy more tinfoil, the heavy duty kind, and some night specs for those black helicopters.

Hube said...

Maria: And they (DL) chide the Birthers?? If it was about Bush's birth certificate, they'd be all over it!

Delaware Watch said...

"El Somnabulo regularly blogs based on supposed inside information, the source of which he/she does not disclose, along with his/her own identity."

That's a big problem alright. Purportedly giving up confidential inside information w/o using one's real name when doing it. It's like saying "Here is information I will not verify and I won't even stake my reputation on it." It's all privilege and no responsibility.

Dave said...

What's funny is that they're so far of base. I was there at the beginning and Charlie was nowhere near it. I can say with 100% certainty that Charlie didn't give a dime to CRI for the first year, and with 99% certainty that he didn't give after I left. In short, Charlie Copeland has no involvement with CRI.

Oh, and I'm perfectly happy to out any of those jackasses right here if you want. I've never believed in that "code" of blogging that allows you to be a complete ass and keep your anonymity. Anonymity is a privilege. If you want to stay anonymous, do one of two things: keep it civil or don't let me figure out who you are.

I had a commenter, noman, on my site for 4 years who argued everything I said. But he/she nearly always did it with civility and never let me know who he/she was.

Ombudsman RSmitty said...

Briefly, I summed up to Jason exactly what I think of the witch hunt with this comment (I had made many others in their multiple threads, but this captures it all):
Jason (and to a point, ‘bulo):
I remain convinced that no matter what he says to you, nothing…*nothing* will ever be considered honest unless it fits the conclusion you have already made.