damnum absque injuria

September 26, 2008

Fascist Jerk of the Day: Robert F. Bauer

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:23 am

Apparently, it’s not enough for Barack the Bully to have the Washington Post, the New York Times, the L.A. Times Jake Tapper, Annenberg Political (humorously known as “Factcheck.org”) and every other mainstream media outlet in its pocket. No, that’s not good enough; you got to stop the paid ads, too. What good would Pravda or Neues Deutschland have been if they ran paid editorials from dissidents? [That’s a pretty crappy analogy, Xrlq. Everyone knows the commie governments of the USSR and the GDR had full control of their economies to an extent Obama can only dream of, so even if some dissident were ballsy enough to submit an ad like that to a state-run newspaper, where was he going to find the money to pay for it in the first place? -Ed. Shut up. -Not Ed.] Enter Robert F. Bauer, the scum attorney serving as General Counsel to another scum attorney currently seeking the Presidency. On Tuesday, Scum Attorney #1 sent a cease and desist letter on behalf of Scum Attorney #2 to a number of TV and radio stations suspected of running a hard-hitting – but absolutely truthful – advertisement by the National Rifle Association (links added by me):

Dear Station Manager:

As General Counsel to Obama for America, I write about an advertisement sponsored by the national Rifle Association (“NRA”) that may be airing on your station. The text of the advertisement, and a thorough explanation of its falsity, is attached.

Looky here. Apart from his inapt use of “thorough” to mean “selective” and “falsity” to mean “inconvenience,” he got the whole first paragraph right! The letter really was sent to station managers, Bauer really is General Counsel to the Obama campaign, the letter really is about an ad sponsored by the NRA, and the text of that ad really was attached to it. By Democrat standards, well done!

This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about Senator Obama’s position on the Second Amendment. In an article published today, the Washington Post fact-checks this advertisement and awards it three “Pinocchios,” meaning: “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

Translation: one news organization that is every bit as rabid in its opposition to gun rights as Barack Obama is, has said the ad wasn’t true, therefore, it must not have been true, and no other news organization should even consider the possibility that it might be. Of course, let’s not go overboard or anything. We don’t want you to shut down all ads that get three or more Pinocchios, just the ones that make our side look bad.

For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement.

Translation: I’m not stupid enough to say that I’ll kill you if you don’t do as I say. Instead, let’s just say that it would be a real shame if someone were to do it. We all know the current President would never do anything like that, but who’s to say who might be President in the future?

The unarguable falsities in this advertisement include the following:

Of course, as the Journal of Irreproducible Results (now known as Annals of Improbable Research) demonstrated, the -able/ible can refer either to that which cannot be done, or to that which should not be done. In this case, it’s pretty clear which one the B.O. campaign is talking about. Of course the facts of Obama’s record on guns can be argued, at least for now. Just don’t, dammit, or else.

  • The NRA advertisement falsely claims that “Barack Obama supports a huge new tax on my guns and ammo.” Note that the NRA is claiming that Obama, in the midst of his presidential campaign, supports such a tax. In fact, Senator Obama has no policy to raise taxes on firearms or ammunition. The Washington Post found this article to be based on “very flimsy evidence.”

Of course the ad said nothing about what positions Obama advanced “in the midst of his Presidential campaign.” Bauer simply made that part up, as if to suggest that Obama’s past record is completely irrelevant to what he would do as President.

  • The NRA advertisement falsely claims that Senator Obama “voted to ban virtually all deer hunting ammunition.” This claim is based on Senator Obama’s vote for the Kennedy Amendment, which would have expanded the definition of armor-piercing ammunition. As the Washington Post noted, Senator Kennedy – the author of the amendment in question – explained that it “will not apply to ammunition that is now routinely used in hunting rifles or other centerfire rifles.” Factcheck.org unequivocally labeled the NRA’s claim “false.”

So the author of the bill lied about its scope. What else is new? As for “Factcheck.org,” a humorous reference to Annenberg Political, let’s just say if the names “Annenberg” and “Obama” sets off any bells, it’s purely a coincidence.

  • the NRA advertisement falsely claims that Senator Obama “supports a ban on the shotguns and rifles most of us use for hunting.” The source of this claim is the debate between Senator Obama and Alan Keyes on October 21, 2004; the full text of Senator Obama’s remark on the subject is attached. In it, Senator Obama voiced his support for the federal assault weapons ban, which was in place from 1994 to 2004. This bill banned only the most vicious types of assault weapons, not the “shotguns and rifles most of us use for hunting,” as any hunter who purchased a rifle or shotgun in that ten-year period can attest. And in that same debate exchanged, Senator Obama made clear that he only opposed firearms that were irrelevant for hunting unless the deer were “wearing bullet-proof vests.”

All deer wear bullet-proof vests. As for the “vicious” guns banned as “assault” weapons, let’s just say that Obama was not an author of the federal ban in question, which predated his political career. He was, however, a sponsor of a more recent, much broader bill that would have labeled just about anything an “assault” weapon.

Unlike federal candidates, independent political organizations do not have a “right to command the use of broadcast facilities.” See CBS v. DNC, 412 U.S. 94, 113 (1973).

Last time I checked, federal candidates don’t have that power, either; only sitting Presidents do, and then only if they have “Chavez” or “Hussein” in their names. Caveat elector.

Because you need not air this advertisement, your station bears responsibility for its content when you do grant access. See Felix v. Westinghouse Radio Stations, 186 F.2d 1, 6 (3rd Cir.), cert denied, 314 U.S. 909 (1950).

Arguments like this one are commonly referred to by my powdered-wig-wearing colleagues as merda equi, which is law-Latin for “excrement of, pertaining to, or emanating from, a horse.” All Felix actually says is that if you weren’t required to air an ad, you can’t defend a suit against the ad by arguing that you were. It doesn’t provide an iota of evidence that any station faces liability for running an ad truthfully (or, for that matter, even falsely) attacking a public figure. The plaintiff in Felix wasn’t a candidate or a public figure. He was the guy associated with the candidate being attacked in the ad. For the cases to be remotely analogous, picture the NRA (or any other group, save for the McCain campaign itself) running an ad attacking Obama for his cozy relationship with unrepentant terrorists like William Ayers, only to have Ayers himself turn around and sue them for defamation (which Ayers would be free to do, but for the inconvenient fact that he really is an unrepentant terrorist).

Moreover, you have a duty “to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.” Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.C.2d 623 (1961).

The FCC piece in question is not about political advertisements, which enjoy the broadest protection under the First Amendment, but about commercial advertisements, which have only limited protection today – and had none at all in 1961. For a political campaign to argue that any station has a “duty” to “protect” its viewers from advertisements that portray their candidate in a negative light is nothing short of frivolous.

Failure to prevent the airing of “false and misleading advertising” may be “probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility.” Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).

Cosmopolitan Broadcasting Corporation lost its license for almost completely turning over its programming to time brokers, who in turn committed a host of FCC violations the courts concluded would not have occurred if Cosmopolitan had maintained control of their station. Boy, Mr. Station Owner, it sure would be a shame if that were to happen to your station, too, only this time for failing to do the very thing that got Cosmopolitan in trouble. Just to be on the safe side, don’t run any ads against Candidate Obama now that you wouldn’t want to have to defend in front of President Obama later.

This advertisement is false, misleading and deceptive.

Translation: Barack Obama is such a congenital flip-flopper that any ad based on his actual voting record in the past, rather than the stuff he’s been saying on the campaign trail post-Heller, is false, misleading and deceptive.

We request that you immediately cease airing this advertisement.

Not a demand, of course, just a polite request, that only happened to be signed by a lawyer because the P.R. guy was busy. And only happened to cite threatening references to other cases because … well, just because.

We would request the courtesy of a reply;

I’m sure the B.O. campaign will be getting plenty of those, not necessarily from the stations that they were trying to intimidate.

and if you have questions, or believe that this ad is somehow fit for airing on your station, we ask that we have an opportunity to discuss this matter further, in person or by conference call.

‘Cuz hey, if threatening you with the loss of your livelihood didn’t do the trick, there’s always a Plan B.

Please contact Kendall Burman, at (312) 819-2433 or kburman@barackobama.com, for more information or to inform us of your decision.

Fair enough, but his letter is from Bauer, why not contact him or, if that fails, the bar he answers to? If Ms. Burman is in a position to defend the frivolous theories advanced by the letter, perhaps she should have signed it herself.

Patterico, Allah, Uncle, Sebastian, Instapundit and Jonathan Adler, Alphecca, Bitter Bitch, Robb Allen, Linoge, David Zincavage and Chad Johnson, Rustmeister, McQ, Curtis Lowe, Mad Rocket Scientist and David Hardy have more.

24 Responses to “Fascist Jerk of the Day: Robert F. Bauer”

  1. SayUncle » Must stop the signal Says:

    [...] Xrlq addresses the Obama Campaign’s threats on the first amendment: Apparently, it?s not enough for Barack the Bully to have the Washington Post, the New York Times, the L.A. Times Jake Tapper, Annenberg Political (humorously known as ?Factcheck.org?) and every other mainstream media outlet in its pocket. No, that?s not good enough; you got to stop the paid ads, too. [...]

  2. Patterico’s Pontifications » Obama’s Thuggery Explained Says:

    [...] dissects the dead fish that Barack Obama’s consigliere left on the NRA’s [...]

  3. ECTOPHENSIS Says:

    ADD post number 3? 4?…

    I confess, I’ve not been paying attention.

    1. With the current bailout thing happening or not happening, it seems like all Obama should need to do is keep low, show up, smile, speak the usual platitudes.  No, we get this instead:

    For the sake o…

  4. damnum absque injuria » Question for Obama Scumlawyer Robert F. Bauer Says:

    [...] you think three Pinocchios from the Washington Post are enough to shut down a TV station, what does that say about a campaign that just earned itself [...]

  5. Michael Ejercito Says:

    Ninety-five percent of political ads would be off the air if TV stations decided to run only honest political ads.

  6. Peg C. Says:

    My donation to the NRA is on its way.

  7. What’s He So Afraid Of? « Curtis Lowe Says:

    [...] Or that. [...]

  8. BlacquesJacquesShellacqes Says:

    OK, all true, this lawyer is scum. More importantly he lied in writing.

    So find out what jurisdiction holds his law license and file a complaint with his Bar Association.

  9. Xrlq Says:

    His office is in D.C., I presume he’s licensed there. If you want to file a complaint, be my guest.

  10. Ben Boychuk Says:

    Remember the ’80s? “La Prensa said there was no freedom of the press in Nicaragua. This was a lie and we could not let them print it.”

    Ah, but Obama’s righteous protests are nothing compared to Bush’s repression, I suppose.

  11. Chaz Says:

    They can stop this signal when they pry the transmitter from my cold dead hands!

    They can pry this transmitter from my cold dead hands when they pry my gun from my cold dead hands!

    But even if they do pry both my gun and my transmitter from my cold dead hands…. they can’t stop this signal.

  12. Kevin R.C. O'Brien Says:

    At the risk of bringing the wrath of Godwin down on me, google these two words: “Bauer Sobibor.”

    A relation? Probably not. Just a coincidence, two men of the same rather common name, and the same mercifully uncommon character.

  13. Xrlq Says:

    Don’t go there. For all I know this Bauer could be Jewish. A lot of Americans with German-sounding names are.

  14. BRc Says:

    Jews often have German sounding names–but Bauer isn’t one of them.

  15. kelly H Says:

    If I were king … stop laughing. If I were king, lawyers would be band from public office.

  16. Vero Says:

    Obama IS a Muslim – I will just say when they come after me with the goon squad, “well that depends on what the meaning of IS, is

    you know that they will not be able to argue with that

  17. Don Says:

    Bauer may in fact, be Jewish. A Jew named T. Bauer married one of my high school Jewish friends.

    Don

  18. JeanE Says:

    The GOP could make a great commercial using the footage from the newstory about the “Obama Truth Squad” in Missouri. They are quite open about using their authority as public officials to stop ads that critique Obama’s positions. I think a lot of people around the country would find that frightening, and it would all be true.

  19. Faster, Please! » Libel Tourism, American Style Says:

    [...] Meanwhile (h/t to the Instapundit), a smart and fun lawyer goes into more detail.   Read | [...]

  20. Kristopher Says:

    >> KellyH: If I were king, lawyers would be band from
    >> public office.

    Simple leg bands, or something more restraining?

  21. The Obama Truth Squad in Missouri | Missouri Says:

    [...] Arms and the Law: Damnum Absque Injuria unloads on them, too. He makes the governor sound [...]

  22. orly Taitz Says:

    Hi, I am an attorney handling several Obama illegitimacy for presidency legal actions. Can the auther of this article call me 949-683-5411

    orly Taitz´s last blog post..Follow up, trying to identify the congressman that raised his hand to object, but was interrupted by our beloved Pelosi

  23. Xrlq Says:

    Not that you seem to care, but before you find yourself on the wrong end of a Rule 11 motion (as Philip Berg has), it may be worth your while to take a closer look at 8 U.S.C. 1401 (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=8&sec=1401), which defines “nationals and citizens of the United States at birth” (the closest phrase to “natural born citizen” found anywhere in the U.S. Code) to include anyone who is either (a) born in the U.S. (subsection (a)) or (b) born outside the U.S. to at least one U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for at least five years total, only two of which had to follow his/her 14th birthday (subsection (g)).

    While you talked over me claiming that “everybody knows” the current version of 8 U.S.C. 1401(g) is not retroactive, the plain language of 8 U.S.C. 1401(g) itself clearly states otherwise: “This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date.”

    As an officer of the court, that leaves you only three ethical options:

    1. Find evidence that Ann Dunham was not Barack Obama’s mother, that she was not a citizen of the U.S. at the time of his birth, that she hadn’t lived at least 5 years in the U.S. or 2 following her 14th birthday, or that she really had Obama before 12/24/1952.
    2. Find a really good constitutional law attorney who can convince the U.S. Supreme Court to find some hidden prohibition on retroactive citizenship laws lurking about in the emanations and penumbras of the Constitution.
    3. Withdraw your frivolous suit.
  24. Xrlq Says:

    All this assumes, of course, that you can prove Barack Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. And that you can get past the obvious standing, political question and justiciability issues. Rotsa ruck.

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