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Don’t Blame Us, Judge Beatty May 10, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.



FITSNews – May 10, 2007 – We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we’ve got nothing against Judge Donald W. Beatty. We don’t have a dog in the S.C. Supreme Court fight, nor does Sic Willie or any of his clients. Our primary interest in writing a recent blog that touched on his candidacy for the state’s highest court was to expose allegations of corruption in the S.C. General Assembly … which we did.

Yet in the midst of fresh allegations of unethical legislative maneuvering on his behalf, Beatty took it upon himself to send a letter to every member of the S.C. House of Representatives yesterday calling FITSNews‘ recent reporting on this subject “negative,” “reckless,” and “untrue.” Beatty went on to say that our reporting was “specifically designed to hurt (his) candidacy and intimidate potential supporters.”

Beatty now has two major problems: First of all, each one of the “negative, reckless and untrue” accusations he attributed in his letter to FITSNews were actually statements made by the Palmetto Family Council. Which is why we put those particular statements in quotation marks and identified the source. Second, as it turns out those statements may not be so “reckless” and “untrue” after all, as Beatty appears to have lied to legislators in his letter by saying that he “did not vote” on two hot button conservative issues (gay rights and school choice) when House Journal records clearly show that he did.

“As for supporting gay rights, no such legislation was ever debated or voted on during my service in the House of Representatives,” Beatty wrote in his letter.

According to the House Journal, however, in 1993 Beatty cast three procedural votes on H. 3298, a bill urging the U.S. Congress to uphold its ban on gays in the military. Each of these procedural votes saw Beatty aligned with Representatives opposing the bill.

For the record, FITSNews agrees with Beatty in supporting the right of gay Americans to serve in the military.

“I never voted for or against school choice in 1995,” Beatty’s letter also claims. “It was not an issue.”

Again, House Journal records prove Beatty’s memory to be incorrect. In March of 1995, an amendment sponsored by longtime school choice supporter Lewis Vaughn would have provided for the creation of a legislative study committee to “develop a plan for the implementation of a voucher system for the financing of public education in South Carolina.”

The Vaughn amendment was killed by one vote, 57-56 – with Beatty voting against it.

Beatty’s inconsistencies came on a day when new allegations were made concerning unethical deal making on his behalf in the General Assembly.

Two state legislators who spoke with FITSNews on the condition of anonymity claim that one strong Beatty supporter, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, promised another legislator that she would not object to funding for a specific budget item in that legislator’s district in exchange for a vote for Beatty. Another legislator’s brother’s law partner is rumored to have been promised a judgeship on a lesser court in exchange for a vote for Beatty.

Like we said, our interest in this story pretty much evaporated the moment we finished blogging on it last week. It’s boring stuff, people, and we are anything but boring girls. In fact, had Judge Beatty not attacked us yesterday by name (for somebody else’s quotes, no less), we wouldn’t have felt the need to set the record straight today.

Maybe we should care a little bit more about who our next Supreme Court justice might be, but frankly we don’t see it changing what we eat for breakfast in the morning. That’s between us and our nutritionist.

Some free advice though, Judge Beatty – if you’re going to call us liars for something somebody else said you ought to at least refrain from lying yourself when you do so. That’s generally considered bad form.



1. Don Johnson - May 10, 2007

When someone lashes out publicly at an insignificant blog (no offense, Will), it shows that he’s losing support and getting desperate.

2. Tubbs - May 10, 2007

I agree Don. This blog is insignificant, but it sure is entertaining isn’t it?

3. LessThanJakie - May 10, 2007

So what ever happened to your reporting on a Legislator’s “Strom problem?”

You’ve never closed the loop on that. And if kind of affects these other stories you’re doing because you tend to quote anonymous sources a lot. A LOT a lot.

So what this blog ends up looking like it really just the offshoot of a guy who hangs out in the State House and waitis for someone to whisper in his ear a little “tidbit” he/she heard (which most of the time sees rather self-fulfilling) then asks you to run a piece on it with no attrabution to the source.

With no accountability on behalf of your anonymous sources, when you run a story like the Strom Problem and then nothing ever comes out of it, it’s not so hard to believe you were just duped by a source.

But you should tell us that.

“Listen, someone told me something that I believed to be true at the time, I reported it; it looks like it was wrong,” would work.

Ignoring it altogether will not, because like you said in this recent post you had no desire to follow up on the Supreme Court story but only did because youthought you had to defend yourself.

That’s drive-by journalism.

4. Drive By Journalist - May 10, 2007

And this drive-by journalism is different from traditional media in what way? Less Than Jakie is reasonable and correct, but his comments are probably more likely to find a welcome reception here than in places where, say, they print the news in ink and paper.

I am all for expecting blogs to act responsibly, but let’s not get carried away and start expecting from them that which we have let traditional media ignore for years without penalty. Last time I checked, for example, The State was free to use anonymous sources…isn’t that how the Post brought down Nixon?

This is a good piece, and anyone is welcome to double-check Will on his facts as to Beatty’s voting record. My guess is that you will find that he is right…believe it or not.

5. Ducky - May 10, 2007

Why is it that there is a comment about the “Strom” problem story on every post regardless of the topic of the post?

6. yep - May 10, 2007

It appears that someone trying to discredit the “Strom” problem is ironically keeping it alive by continuing to write about it. Look, Will isn’t going to admit he can’t substantiate it, so go on about your life.

7. GK Panayiotou - May 10, 2007

The “Strom Problem” comments are called ad hominem attacks, and it is pretty much all you get here in the comments section of FITS. Since a lot of people don’t like Will — or his methods — or both —- it makes it easy for them to ignore the message and assault the messenger. That is probably because most of the audience are political hacks and, let’s face it, ad hominem attacks are pretty much all they know. Too bad, too, because Will has hit on a half dozen or so really juicy bits in the last couple of weeks.

That said, ad hominem attacks have been properly maligned now for, oh, 2000 years as the weakest of the logical “arguments,” and those who use them are generally, and rightly, dismissed as being either unable or unwilling to argue the merits.

Which, I suppose, is an ad hominem attack in itself. So be it.

Rock on, FITS.

8. yep - May 10, 2007

but can’t you learn something about the message if you know the messenger is a lyar?

9. yep - May 10, 2007

that is “liar” typie quickie, makey mistakey

10. GK Panayiotou - May 10, 2007

Actually, formal logic (which, for you young guys, used to be taught in schools) would say no. Watch:

Will says 2+2 = 4
Will regularly lies, cheats, and steals. (To quote Curt Schilling, “he cheated on his wife, he cheated on his taxes, he cheated on baseball)
Therefore, Will must be lying here, and 2+2 does not equal 4.

Does the fact that Will is an acknowledged miscreant have anything at all to do with the merits of the assertion? Clearly, in this example, the answer should be clear to even Hillary supporters.

Go see for yourself if Beatty was right about his voting record. Or talk to Harry Cato about who he is supporting for supreme court justice, and why. But don’t agree (or disagree) just because Will like to post photos of girls with large boobies.

11. Spock - May 10, 2007

To GK Panayiotou:

You are wrong, wrong, wrong. Someone apparently didn’t pay attention in his/her logic class. Your premise is flawed and would only be correct if you stated:
Will says 2+2 = 4
Will only tells lies.
Will lied when he said that 2+2 = 4

Even though we know that 2+2 does equal 4, your premise is faulty because you stated that because Will (allegedly) conducts himself in a certain manner on a regular basis, there is no chance for him to tell the truth.

You lost your argument in your 2nd proposition because you left room for circumstances when Will deviates from his normal behavioral pattern, thereby creating the possibility for will to tell the truth that 2+2 does equal 4 which is indeed the case.

Boo-Yah! Damn, my old professors would be shocked that I actually used some of that stuff in an argument.

12. fitsnews - May 10, 2007

Dear Logic Class,

As any fan of Radiohead knows, 2+2=5. Plus Sic Willie says so which means it must be true.


13. Silence Dogood - May 10, 2007

Dang it LessThanJake, if you want to hit fitsnews on its problem issues there are plenty of them to do that on, but now you hit them on a ridiculouus point and make those of us who try to be intellectually honest have to defend fits (Thanks A LOT!) The thing about not following up on the “Strom Problem” is legit, but then you fall off the rails.

Your quote:

“you had no desire to follow up on the Supreme Court story but only did because yout hought you had to defend yourself.

That’s drive-by journalism.”

I realize “Drive by journalism” is supposed to be a derisive and negative term, but if the definition is as you define – the media (or here psuedo media) defending itself or its position when some one calls them out on something they wrote as a lie then drive by media must be another term for common everyday people. Most peole I know would probably feel the need to defend themselves or what they said if a person wrote the entire legislature of S.C. that they were lying. If an anonymous blogger posted comments about something they wrote, they may not feel that need quite so much. Please give some further explaination about how this was “drive by media” or at least give A. a better definition of the amorphously defined term “drive by media” and B. don’t use any other undefined talk radio created words to your definition so as to make it a sheer tautology.

Is there any paper or media source anywhere in the WORLD who would not print a million and one things (an obituary for instance) and never follow up on it, BUT if some one later sent out a letter saying “Joe Blow is not dead that’s a lie what the Post printed” come back and write a story saying “He is too dead” or “Hey, we were just qouting his family and the coroner” et cetera? That is your definition of ‘drive by journalism’? This is puposterous.

14. ellebells - May 10, 2007


Who ever told you Will was married?

I’m sure he’s well aware that the smartest way to avoid his very own “Strom” problem in the future.. is to remain unwed. Come on, now.

15. E - May 10, 2007

good call GK. However, don’t you think the use of ad hominem is a little excessive for the Carolina League?

16. yep - May 10, 2007

My point isn’t about logic its about evidence. If someone asserts that a statement is true you may look to corroborate the statement by an independent source. If the statement cannot be so corroborated then the credibility of the person “the messenger” becomes very relevant. If that person has very little to no credibility as a truthful person then one is justified in assuming that the message is not true. Therefore, if we cannot corroborate the “Strom” problem, we look to Will’s credibility. So is the fact that Will “said so” enough? Not for me but you have your own brain so you decide.

17. Give Me FITS - May 10, 2007


At the risk of taking this discussion someplace it isn’t meant to go, I encourage you to wait before calling your logic prof.

Your syllogism is not an ad hominem attack. To wit:

Description of Ad Hominem

Translated from Latin to English, “Ad Hominem” means “against the man” or “against the person.”

An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
3. Therefore A’s claim is false.

The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

Um, so…boo-yah back at you…I guess.

Rock On.

18. DriveByMedia - May 10, 2007

The drive-by journalism comment was to say Will had no desire to report anymore on the Supreme Courting. In other words, he passes by, drops what he would call “a bomb” or “fireworks” and then speeds off to toss M-80s onto other exits of the freeway like Lindsay Lohan’s boobs or John McCain’s bus.

Had he NOT had to defend himself and go back to the Supreme Courting coverage, he would have been doing a drive by, which he openly admited to doing when he said he had no desire to report on it again, it was boring, etc.

Drive-by journalism, also known as hit-and-run journalism is typical of “blogs” as is the no attribituion to sources whom other reporters could ask to fact check.

What’s funny is, a lot of these bloggers who use anonymous sources left and right as the entire meat of their stories, are probably the same bloggers crying their eyes out over, and wondering WHY, they aren’t getting press credentials to cover events.

19. Give Me FITS - May 10, 2007

By the way, for accuracy sake, I cut and paste a lot of that definitional stuff — after the “to wit” part — off of a website dedicated to logical arguments..no idea which one, though, and I can’t find it again. Sorry for the lack of attribution.

The “boo-yah” part was mine, though, so that has to count for something…not sure what.

Oh, and Spock has pointy ears.

20. GKP - May 10, 2007

DBM: So let me get this straight: Woodward & Bernstein were drive-by media, since they had a source that nobody else could back up.

Just wanted to check on that, you know, because I thought the folks at Pulitzer might want their award back…

21. Spock - May 10, 2007

Never did I claim that my syllogism (a word that still makes me laugh like a sixth grader) was an ad hominem attack. I was referring to “formal logic.”

I also apologize — not for waxing logically, but for not reading your entire post before responding.

I bubbled in “B” before reading the entire question. Shame on me.

A “balloo” is a bear.
“Suclch” is junk.
A “yonker” is a young man.

22. yep - May 10, 2007

“The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made). ”

Yes but here we’re not talking about an argument we’re talking about an accusation. It is what it is. Its either true or not. If it cannot be corroborated by an idependent source, isn’t an Ad Hominem argument all that is left?

23. BelieveItOrElse - May 10, 2007

This string has grown tiresome. Will, can’t you do something about Paris Hilton in jail? That has got to be a dream come true…for the monsters under your bed, or dustbunnies, or whatever.

24. yep - May 10, 2007

some say tired others hear stupid

25. GKP - May 10, 2007

Ah, the intelligentsia has spoken….

Yes, let’s go back to the boobies, for sure.

26. yep - May 10, 2007

yes. . . boobies

27. Spock - May 10, 2007

Some blogs contain interesting topics.
Boobies are interesting topics.
Some blogs contain boobies.

Yeah, logic. Yeah, FITS!

28. GKP - May 10, 2007

Egads, man, give up.

Some dogs are yellow
The sun is yellow
Some dogs are the sun?

Seriously, can’t you change your name to Scotty or Sulu, or maybe even just “unnamed ensign who gets killed by the green-skinned women of Nimbus 6”? You are giving Spock a bad name.

29. Spock - May 10, 2007

GKP, lighten up and remove that stick from your, well, you know.

I was trying to bring levity back. Since I already brought sexy back, it only made sense.

Reading your frustration, I think you may need to see boobies more than anyone else that’s posted today.

Close the thread already, and give GKP some Paris Hilton pix and some alone time.

I wonder if GKP has ever heard the words, “I’m Chris Hansen with ‘Dateline.’ Why dontcha have a seat over there?”

30. Alex Gillon - May 10, 2007

“Mais ou sont les neiges d’antan?”

31. Spock - May 10, 2007

That is a question that baffled men since the 15th century and continues to do so today.

32. Top Posts « WordPress.com - May 10, 2007


33. skinny - May 10, 2007

i heard they are making a movie about paris hilton going to jail.

it’s going to be called “The Shaw-skank Redemption”

i forget where i heard that one

34. E - May 11, 2007


35. Tee Ferguson's Ethics - May 11, 2007

I agree with BelieveItNot. Will Folks is nothing but a self-promoting, story fabricating “blogger.” He beat(s) his girlfriend, was fired from our state’s historically bad governor, has some substance abuse problem(s), and looks like shit while on the job… but that’s what my anonymous sources tell me.
This blog should change its name to FictitousNews, and begin taking notes from other Bush League bloggers like Earl Capps and the Shealy guys for credibility.
Like Fritz Hollings says: “Like the monkey screwing the skunk, I can’t take anymore of this.” It’s time for Folks to grow up, take responsibility for himself, and show the potential he really has, and who knows, maybe he could be big time one day, because although he thinks he is now, he should realize that he writes about people from Bonneau, Hanahan, Pumpkintown, and Hartsville. And when those are the most important folks you write about, you’re not important– at all….

36. AB - May 11, 2007

For everyone to dislike this blog so much you all certainly spend a good deal of time reading it and commenting on it. If Will is so self important don’t you think that all of this commenting is feeding the fire?

37. Earl - May 12, 2007

Tee, I’m puzzled …

What does “Bush league” mean?

You really sure you would want to recommend me as a role model to anyone for anything? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t recommend myself.

38. Next Supreme Court Justice Blasts Sic Willie « FITSNews For Now - May 23, 2007

[…] 2007 – It’s safe to say that Sic Willie won’t be on the Christmas Card list of Judge Donald W. Beatty, who was elected on the third ballot today by a joint session of the South Carolina General […]

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