Radley Balko, Anatomy of a Right-Wing Activist on the Internet
July 28, 2013 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Radley Balko's transformation into a crusading journalist exposing police abuse is a relatively recent turn in his career, most of which has been spent climbing up the Republican Party’s think-tank network. Balko began his career working the phones for a major GOP campus recruitment outfit, before moving to the Koch brothers' Cato Institute and Reason magazine, where Balko lobbied for Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and mass-privatization, and lobbied against affirmative action and "the nanny state."
The S.H.A.M.E. project dossier (previously) on journalist and right-wing activist Radley Balkomefi ( previously, 1, 2, 3, 4)
posted by ennui.bz (21 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry for the delayed action, but this is not a great post for Mefi - ad hominem, via an editorially undiscriminating site, etc - and people are giving strong feedback against it. -- LobsterMitten



 
Even if he personally gave cigarettes and Oxycontin to schoolkids to get them hooked, it wouldn't change the fact that he is exactly right on the militarization of police.
posted by 445supermag at 8:22 AM on July 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


Stopped clocks, etc.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:25 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Stopped clocks, etc.

I thought the left was supposed to be against militarization. You shouldn't discount the evidence Balko has dug up simply because you don't like the messenger for other reasons.
posted by jonp72 at 8:31 AM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Posted this link to his FB page.
posted by dfriedman at 8:32 AM on July 28, 2013


Reason Magazine: so viciously wrong on just about everything and shamefully stuck up the Koch's ass, but right on the abuse of police powers.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 8:32 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


you can see the problem in his advocacy for "stand your ground" laws. what you say is always secondary to what you do: see ALEC.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:35 AM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Radley Balko got an innocent man sprung from death row.

If he did it while collecting a salary from the Koch Brothers slush fund, that makes it all the better.
posted by ocschwar at 8:35 AM on July 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's never been a secret that Balko's a Liberterian, and that's really all this project Shame page proves. The guy was a senior editor at Reason for god's sake.
posted by dortmunder at 8:36 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, this is a treat. A hit piece that doesn't even attempt to explain why any position that Balko holds or held is wrong, choosing to rely on extensive mischaracterization, innuendo, and guilt by association. I can see why the shame project is so influential and Radley Balko is a virtual un-HAHAHAHAHA ok I can't continue here.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:36 AM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter's front page is not your personal soapbox and this FPP feels gross and ax-grindy.

If you want to announce to the masses that Balko is not to be trusted, why not try twitter?
posted by R. Schlock at 8:37 AM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've been following Balko on Twitter for 2+ years and 90% of his tweets are about police militarization, the police killing people's dogs for no reason, and stuff about the city we both live in. The only other thing I really know him for was advocating for Cory Maye.

The link was borked for me so here's the cache. I think it's pretty gross, I'd rather celebrate and encourage people for doing good work that I agree with than pretending that they'd be "shamed" by dredging up their other beliefs.

Like seriously, what's the point of this? To convince liberals not to listen to Balko even though they agree with him on most of what he now works on?
posted by ghharr at 8:39 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree with him on police militarization, but it is useful to know where he comes from, especially the next time he speaks about the Koch Brothers or something funded by them. Thanks – I really had no idea.
posted by ignignokt at 8:44 AM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If S.H.A.M.E. has proven that the most outspoken and effective fighter against police abuse is a Reason editor and Koch employee, that has the effect of making Reason and Koch look much better than they did a moment ago.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:48 AM on July 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


If S.H.A.M.E. has proven that the most outspoken and effective fighter against police abuse is a Reason editor and Koch employee, that has the effect of making Reason and Koch look much better than they did a moment ago.

Or that Reason and the Koch media empire have done an outstanding job in making a an angry white guy the face of a movement consisting of many civil rights and social justice groups that have been doing the real work since before he was born, most of whom want little to nothing to do with him.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:54 AM on July 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it's almost as though people with whom I agree on some issues don't march in lock-step with me on every thought I have, but might nevertheless be useful and welcome members of a political coalition to stop a particular, shocking, systemic abuse of the state's power.

I really do think that these purity tests are as stupid when the left applies them as when the right does.
posted by gauche at 9:01 AM on July 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


The death row conviction of Cory Maye posed a threat to “Stand Your Ground” because he had plead not guilty, arguing “self-defense,” and lost.
posted by destro at 9:06 AM on July 28, 2013


who is Glenn Greenwald?

"The free market has nothing to do with the current crisis."

-Balko

"chip the classes, crack the gates
thats what Balko Baggit hates

blunt the prisons, burn the dorks
babby comes from healthy storks

smoke your baccy in the store
smoke it with your wild boar...

oh you get it
posted by clavdivs at 9:10 AM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's almost as though people with whom I agree on some issues don't march in lock-step with me on every thought I have, but might nevertheless be useful and welcome members of a political coalition to stop a particular, shocking, systemic abuse of the state's power.

Yes, but when his end goal is privatization of law enforcement and the justice system, which would inevitably lead to feudal-style protection rackets for the poor, a vigilante middle class (let a thousand Zimmermans bloom!), and mercs for the rich, you may want to ask yourself how much of an ally he really is.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:13 AM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Confusing libertarians for conservatives is a rookie mistake. Balko annoys me, but as far as I can tell, he (and Reason and Cato) aren't in favor of telling people what they can and can't do. Libertarianism has nothing to do with left and right.
posted by gjc at 9:16 AM on July 28, 2013


Well, this is a treat. A hit piece that doesn't even attempt to explain why any position that Balko holds or held is wrong, choosing to rely on extensive mischaracterization, innuendo, and guilt by association. I can see why the shame project is so influential and Radley Balko is a virtual un-HAHAHAHAHA ok I can't continue here.

I know! It is almost like a critical review posted on Reason!
posted by srboisvert at 9:24 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is embarrassing ad hominem. Balko is one of the good guys, and this partisan point-scoring is part of another narrative about which part of the 1% is going to tell the paramilitary wing of police departments who to oppress.

You know who else is a libertarian with ties to Cato? Metafilter's favorite, Glenn Greenwald. Libertarians disagree with us progressives on a lot of stuff, but we should recognize that they are powerful and committed allies in the battle against state-level domination and increasingly in the battle against the domination of corporate-state alliances. They're often better at consistency on this issue than liberals.

And Balko isn't the only one who blames the drug war on too much democracy: so does Michelle Alexander. They're both wrong, though: the drug war is largely the product of prosecutorial discretion and the implosion of the right to a jury trial it has created.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:31 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


« Older This might come in handy sometime...   |   Time to collect firewood Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments