Dan Riehl purports to comment on Paul Mirengoff’s post “Huckabee’s gambit” in his post “Powerline’s predicament: Bought and paid for by Karl Rove.” As one might deduce from Riehl’s heading, he has virtually nothing to say about the substance of Paul’s post, which he misconstrues as a defense of Karl Rove.
In lieu of commentary on the substance of Paul’s post, Riehl makes a couple of ad hominem assertions. First, he weirdly refers to Paul as our “resident lobbyist.” Paul is a practicing lawyer and partner at the Akin Gump law firm concentrating in employment law. He is not now nor has he ever been a lobbyist. I have no idea what Riehl is talking about, and I don’t think he does either.
Second, Riehl asserts that Paul’s comments on Huckabee were “bought and paid for by Karl Rove” because Riehl saw ads on our site that had been paid for by the American Crossroads outfit with which Rove is affiliated. In an update, Riehl added: “To be clear and fair here, there are other ads rotating through at Powerline. So, clicking back may yield a different look. But the point holds. Powerline is part and parcel of the Republican establishment. That may make them more viable for ads and they’re fully entitled to capitalize on that. I’m not begrudging them that.”
I don’t think this even rises to the level of a Rachel Maddow retraction. So let’s set the record straight.
A couple of years ago our tech guru Joe Malchow worked with developers to design an algorithm that would maximize revenue each time a Power Line page is loaded on a reader’s computer, by selecting from among a set the most lucrative advertisement campaign, as supplied by a half dozen advertising networks. We do not have knowledge or approval or particular ads, which we may never even see. I have no knowledge of the ad sponsored by American Crossroads that Riehl saw, and neither does Paul.
During this election season, for example, California readers have seen ads on our site from both Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. We haven’t seen either of them, but we heard about the Brown ad from a few perturbed readers. Consider the waste of resources expended by Brown on running the ad on our site our contribution to the Whitman campaign.
Just to round out the picture, Minnesota readers (including me, for example), have seen ads for Minnesota Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner. Readers of our site know that we have ignored Horner while harshly criticizing DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton and supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
By Riehl’s logic, we have therefore been “bought and paid for” by Republicans, Democrats and third-party candidates during this election cycle. Does anyone see a flaw with this charge? While Riehl implies that Paul is lacking in integrity, Riehl’s attack is itself deficient in this respect.
Anyone who regularly reads this site knows that our views are our own, whether you like them or not. Paul’s jaundiced view of Huckabee goes back to the 2008 campaign in numerous posts that predate the advertisement giving rise to Riehl’s inane charge.
The Riehl question is why the author of the charge is so intent on an ad hominem attack that he doesn’t even bother to make an argument. Is it because he doesn’t have one?
I have no desire to spend my time engaging with the likes of Dan Riehl and have no plan to return to this subject. However, I did want to set the record straight on the issue of integrity that Riehl raises in his inimitable style.
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