Tuesday, October 20, 2009

John Ziegler....What Can You Say About Him?

I honestly don't know what to make of John Ziegler. Some hail him as the best thing ever, others excoriate him by saying he's a shameless self-promoter. I think he's got good intentions, but is obnoxious by nature.

Thank goodness someone put together a documentary about the media malpractice during the 2008 election. Thank goodness someone was there to spotlight the farce of the Katie Couric award. Thank goodness someone had the gall to call out David Keene.

Does he get a little carried away sometimes? Oh, yeah. Does he not always know when to quit? Yeah. But I don't think he can help it. Like I said, I think it's just his nature. And I'm not about to tell the man what to do.

Here are the videos that are kicking up all of the controversy:

Josh Painter over at Texas for Palin got into a little debate with John about his recent clash with David Keene. The article is here. The debate is in the comments section:

John Ziegler: This is John Ziegler. I am very sorry that you have completely misunderstood my actions and intentions and have somehow missed that continuing the interview provoked Keene into a profanity-laced tirade that did more to reveal the truth of what I was saying than anything else. I was willing to put myself out there to get some accountability for actions that should upset you greatly. It is too bad that you don't "get" or appreciate that. Unlike Keene, I did absolutely nothing wrong and the video shows that.

Finally, the notion that I am a self-promoter is absurd. Whether you choose to realize that or not, no one outside of Sarah Palin's immediate circle has suffered more for her cause than me. If I am only interested in self-promotion I must be the dumbest person on the planet.

Josh Painter: Sorry, John, we call 'em as we see 'em. First of all, we have been upset with Keene ever since he made his remarks disrespecting Sarah Palin. We also have question his commitment to conservative principles since 2004, when he supported the liberal Specter over conservative Toomey.

We appreciate what you did with your standout documentary and your support for Sarah Palin while promoting the film.But we stand by what we said. The incident where you got handcuffed for trying to ask questions about Katie Couric's "award" was one thing. But taken together with the W-CPAC dustup, it is just too much theater. Because you got Keene to call you an a-hole, you believe that's the important thing, but you had already shown that he was unfair to Sarah Palin, a faux conservative and a whore just seven minutes into the interview.

We stand by our opinion that you should not have followed him into the hallway. That took what had been a great job on your part beyond the point of diminishing returns. We're not the only ones who share this opinion. Dan Riehl also thinks you went too far, and though we don't agree with all of what he had to say about it, we do agree on that point.

You had Keene nailed, if you would have just wrapped it up sooner. If we have misjudged your motives, we apologize, but we can't think of any other good reason for following him into that hallway other than you took your eye off the ball.

John Ziegler: If I had wrapped it up, as you judge from your computer, at the exact right moment (when was that exactly??) would anyone have cared about this at all???? Hardly anyone cares as it is.

Your arm chair quarterbacking is hilarious. Let's see, a true-blue Palin defender asks legitimate questions for a couple minutes more than you want vs. a total Palin sell out going into a profanity-laced tirade, stifling free speech, and calling the cops and you guys side with the latter than the former?! That is rich. Wow. And you wonder why Sarah Palin was allowed to be destroyed and so few defend her? This is why.

Josh Painter: Where are we siding with Keene, John? Let's see... we called him unfairly biased against Palin, a phony conservative and a whore. Please explain how that is siding with him against you? Step back, John. It isn't all about you.

Upinak: Mr Z.,You seem to have made money off Gov. Palin due to the "media malpractice" but where were you when Sarah was being attacked by those who did exactly as Keene did? You were making a movie. I was here in Alaska ... in the background, starting to have laws reversed, which is still in the works.

Are people like myself, who are silent or quietly working to undo the problems of the past going to be blasted by people such as yourself? I would respect that you keep in mind that it is people like Josh, I and other bloggers who keep people informed whether you like it or not. Interesting. What is next Mr. Z.? As I do not like wasting my time. Time is money.... as you well know.

John Ziegler (to JP): Believe me, I know it isn't all about me. I wish someone else would do this work and take these chances and that it wasn't about me at all. As for your question, I must have missed your headlines: "Keene embarrasses himself at CPAC" "Outrage! WCPAC Stifles Free Speech" or "ACU Chairman Exposed as a Fraud." All I caught was the one where you ripped on me unfairly.

John Ziegler (to Upinak): To answer Upinak, While I don't have exact figure right now, if you take all the hours I put into the film Media Malpractice, I doubt very seriously that I would come close to making minimum wage. I have been to 20 cites across the country screening the film and have given away many copies of the film (including in Alaska) just to educate people about what really happened. I have also taken numerous losses in trying to promote the film instead of sitting on the small profit that was made. What else did you want me to do?

Josh Painter: No sir. We called Keene biased, a fraud and a whore. We recognized your film and your earlier support of Sarah Palin as outstanding. We said that the first part of your interview was very good work. But when we criticized you for going too far with it, you went off like a Roman candle, and you say such criticism is unfair. We have nothing further to say on this matter. You can have the last word, if you want it.

John Ziegler: I posted earlier about the absurd "money" issue but seems to have disappeared. As for me going off like a "roman candle," I called it "unfair." Please. And almost all of your focus on this episode was on me (rather ironic considering want to remind me it isn't about me) instead of on Keene's errors, where it belonged.

All I can say is that John must be feeling pretty lonely right about now.

I'm kind of in the middle on this. I feel like Mommy and Daddy are fighting and I'm the kid sitting in the middle wishing they would just get along.

And a word to Upinak (a once-highly esteemed member of the C4P family who hasn't dropped by in some time): I do think it's a little unfair to criticize John Ziegler for the role that he plays. You and other bloggers are doing your part. Ziegler lives in L.A. His part was a movie. Everybody has their own role and their own water to carry. I blog and do whatever I can. We all do. Don't be so defensive.

JP's position seems to be that we have to weigh what we do as Palin supporters to make sure that it doesn't do her any harm. I can see the point in that, but trying to herd conservatives is like trying to herd cats. They're independent-minded. And I for one reserve the right to support Sarah Palin and have my own opinions and the freedom to act as I see fit. I will sacrifice that freedom for no one, not even the good Governor. On the other hand, I also respect JP's right to call John out if he thinks John is doing things wrong.

Could John be slightly more civil? Yes. He's obnoxious. He could tone that down if he really wanted to. But that is up to him. And I don't think that if Sarah Palin saw the David Keene interview she would have any real problem with it. Not her style, to be sure, but she likes John Ziegler.

John defended himself on Eddie Burke's radio show:

Two things on John's style:

1. Since John's not well-known the only way to draw attention to this interview, and thus to the issue, might be to make a scene. I mean, we're talking about it, aren't we?

2. Okay, so you got our attention. The danger now is that the focus might be shifted away from the issue of David Keene and to the style of John Ziegler, which obviously has happened at least in some circles.

As to whether John's a self-promoter, we can't see inside someone's head and heart to know what their true intentions are. I hesitate to go there.

(Hey, John, if you want to comment on this post you can!) Yeah, right:)

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