Sunday, February 24, 2008

Russert lapses on "Meet the Press" on 24 Feb 08

Interviewing (now-declared presidential candidate) Ralph Nader on 24 February, Tim Russert suggested that Nader might be perceived as a Wendell Wilkie, repeatedly running hopeless presidential campaigns. Later in the show, Russert acknowledged he meant to say Harold Stassen. Continuing to screw up, Russert later spoke of "Samuel" Blaine losing the nomination to Hayes [in 1876].

James G. Blaine did lose the Republican nomination in 1876. Blaine was introduced to the convention by Robert Ingersoll. Ingersoll had used a speech style in which the speaker says: "I see....", later used by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ingersoll wrote:

"I see a world where thrones have crumbled and where kings are dust. The aristocracy of idleness has perished from the earth.

"I see a world without a slave. Man at last is free. Nature's forces have by Science been enslaved. Lightning and light, wind and wave, frost and flame, and all the secret, subtle powers of earth and air are the tireless toilers for the human race.

"I see a world at peace, adorned with every form of art, with music's myriad voices thrilled, while lips are rich with words of love and truth; -- a world in which no exile sighs, no prisoner mourns; -- a world on which the gibbet's shadow does not fall; -- a world where labor reaps its full reward; where work and worth go hand in hand; where the poor girl trying to win bread with the needle -- the needle that has been called 'the asp for the breast of the poor,' -- is not driven to the desperate choice of crime or death, of suicide or shame.

"I see a world without the beggar's outstretched palm, the miser's heartless, stony stare, the piteous wail of want, the livid lips of lies, the cruel eyes of scorn.

"I see a race without disease of flesh or brain, -- shapely and fair, -- the married harmony of form and function, -- and, as I look, life lengthens, joy deepens, love canopies the earth; and over all, in the great dome, shines the eternal star of human hope."

For himself, he said that when he struck the balance, this life had been to him worth living. This was optimism.

Nader himself did not appear sharp. His rapidly delivered responses appeared well-rehearsed (and canned), but when he got off track, he fumbled as in referring to the once-Florida Secretary of State as Katherine Bush. Stassen at least was funny in his self-deprecation. Unless Nader polishes up his approach to delivering his message, he is well on his way to becoming an unpleasant anachronism.

Of "canned lines," the Meet the Press panel got into the Obama / Clinton plagiarism polemic. Kind of funny that Doris Kearns
Goodwin of the panel, a known plagiarist, was discussing plagiarism of others. There was a line about an old couple who begin to look like each other and evolve into one another. Russert used his "patented" clip technique to show similarities between speeches of Hillary and, prior to her, Bill and the former North Carolina Senator (you know, the plaintiff's lawyer).
The panel pointed out that the candidates had no time to read or to think, and sort of just ended up copying one another.
Gee, that sounds like intellectual property professors discussing patent reform!

One panelist pointed out that Clinton's plagiarism attack was a specific tactic to address Obama's perceived general advantage on the authenticity front. IPBiz notes the plagiarism charge won't get any traction.

See also

from IPFrontline:

One can find similar statements, critical of the patent system, in various law review articles, and one can find similar text in the book Innovation and Its Discontents. Nevertheless, one patent attorney wrote: "The critics consist of a tightly knit group of university professors and non-patent attorneys who are critical of the patent system and who favor weakening patent rights. The critics publish countless articles every year and repeatedly cite to one another's work, if not simply to repeat it or provide a synopsis thereof in a different venue, which gives the impression that there are numerous opinions consistently critical of the patent system. This coterie of most frequently published patent critics is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of their work is likely."
Footnote 1 of the article cites the Jaffe/Lerner book and states "most articles critical of the patent system published since this book [2004] represent synopses of the book in one form or another." [See Patrick Doody, The Patent System is Not Broken, 18 Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal 10 (December 2006)].

There is merit to the suggestion that the group of legal academics who criticize the patent system are close knit and not entirely imaginative in their analyses. It is also correct that the publications of some accept the conclusions of the Jaffe/Lerner book as a given (for example, 59 SMU L. Rev. 1717).


Blogger patrick gorse said...

Russert also said it was Nader's "third run for the presidency." It may be his third independent run, but he's also run on the Green Party ticket and he had a write-in candidacy. I think when Nader runs as a write-in, that counts as a run. (If I run as a write-in, that wouldn't count!) If you add them all up, I believe for Ralph, it's five.

5:33 PM  

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