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Incidentally, The Claremont Conservative will celebrate its first birthday on September 20th and I couldn't be prouder of all that it has accomplished. True, there's still a long way to go, but we're making our way, slowly and carefully along the trail to fun, wonder, and excitement. Thanks for coming along.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Some responses to the hijacking of the Athenaeum by the far left students from Pitzer.
- From The Other McCain, who called the protests "puerile crap"
- From Tom Bevan of The Real Clear Politics who spoke at the Ath tonight and who alluded to one of Rove's more memorable discussions about how effective attacks are "specific."
- From L. A. Times Blog which erroneously claimed that students were protesting the talk. There's an exchange between me and several of the more progressive nuts that littered our campus.
- From the Obama nuts who tried to hijack our facilities and sent out messages to everyone else.
Here was my response.
... it is entirely untrue that the paint did no permanent damage. It clogged up the vents of the fountains which had to be entirely drained, which meant a higher expense as we had to throw all that water out rather than simply pumping it through the filter. For people who tend to be so concerned about the environment, the Pitzer environmentalists tend to be most destructive of other people's! I guess property rights are a bridge too far for them!A few friends and I watched the facilities people come in and clean it all up. They had to drain the fountains, clean each and every tile as the dyed, red residue had to be scraped off, lest it sit. So much for caring for the little people, eh, protesters?
Last night I had the pleasure of dining with Tom Bevan, founder of Real Clear Politics, who came in a day early to see Karl Rove speak before the Athenaeum. He sat down at our table, one table over from Karl Rove. There, Ben Casnocha and I grilled Bevan on RCP, how he makes money, and where he sees the future of media going. He described Real Clear Politics as not entirely "democratic" as a "lot of editorial decision-making" goes into the site. I had some time to digest what he was saying, and came back with a decent question for this evening.
Bevan had a few interesting remarks on tech start ups and what goes into starting up a company and maintaining dominance. Real Clear Politics started in 2000 and weathered the tech bubble burst. But just how?
"We turned Real Clear Politics into a lean, mean, machine," Bevan said. Bevan wakes up at 3:30 am every morning to go looking for good articles to include and to keep up to date before the rest of the country has risen. He went on to describe how unlike some of the other people during the tech bubble, he avoided venture capital money or hiring lots of additional people. Bevan insisted on specializing his Web site, which has since grown to over twenty employees and three sister sites, devoted to world politics, markets, and sports.
I asked Bevan how he continues to stay innovative, given the precarious nature of internet companies post-bubble. Media companies tend to dislike sending the competition to other sites by inserting hyperlinks.
"When we were starting up, the mainstream media was adverse to linking to anybody's stuff because they didn't want to drive traffic to their competitors. They didn't understand that there's a big pie that's big enough for everybody, but that was the game they were playing."
Bevon admits that the idea of Real Clear Politics is pretty simple, but now that he was the first to enter the market, he's pretty confident that he'll stay there. "We kept asking ourselves 'why aren't other people doing what we are doing?'"
He moved on and pointed to three key things that had made Real Clear Politics successful. They are:
- That your website ought to be the destination and stay that way
- That you want to partner with people rather than compete with them, like the Washington Post with whom Real Clear Politics is working with on mashing some RCP features onto the Washington Post's website.
- That there's a pie that's big enough for everybody.
All in all, I thought the talk was very good from Bevan, if a tad bit too concerned with the minutiae of politics. Still, it was striking how many Claremont students replied and revealed that Real Clear Politics or Markets was a first stop (and for many, an all the time stop!) destination as they went about the internet.
Our friend Wes Woods II of The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin writes of the protest and the speech.
After the speech, Todd Logan, 21, of Pomona College, said he saw two people get hit by pepper spray when Rove was led out by security while other students reported three.
Some students said they were hit by the vehicle Rove was drove off campus in but officials denied their claims.
Henry Watkins, consultant for Claremont McKenna College, said no students were hit with pepper spray or hit by a vehicle.
A bomb was reported at 7:31 p.m. inside of nearby Collins dining hall but was later found to not be true, Watkins said.
Assuming that they were actually hit by the cars or pepper sprayed, is anyone really surprised? If you sit in front of the cars that want to leave from the Athenaeum and demand that the police arrest you, and then you are pepper-sprayed or hit by the cars, why are you shocked? In any event, here are some photos as promised.
The Forum has more, and video. I'll put more as more comes online.
I would also recommend Josh Siegel's blow-by-blow of the entire day. Josh is editor of the Forum and wrote a darned good post about the Ath dinner. It's honest, even though he committed a major faux pas by joking about McCain's war wounds.
The dinner was fun. During dinner, the discussion at the head table varied from questions about people Rove had met to questions about his life as a civilian over the past few months. “I went from 15 steps to the Oval Office to working out of my basement,” he said. He listed his staff, which include law school students, interns, and others, most of whom he had met recently while he was working in the WH. He also spoke favorably of Blake Gottesman, who worked in the WH after his freshman year at CMC. Rove also mentioned that he has spoken at more than a dozen schools since he’s left office including Penn, Pitt, Harvard, and SUNY Buffalo.
After another student asked him if he had seen the HBO movie Recount–he did–and he launched into a rant about how inaccurate it was. I then asked if WH staff (including Bush) watch stuff like that, the upcoming movie W, and follow what popular culture thinks of them. He denied that they follow popular culture, but said that he himself did follow it more so after leaving office to “research for his book.” He said Bush doesn’t “sit around googling himself.” I said I bet Obama probably does Google himself (he agreed), and joked that McCain would if he knew how. Rove didn’t like the joke and said that McCain couldn’t use computers because of his injuries as a POW (and he demonstrated how McCain’s injuries limit his movement).We asked him if the protesters bothered him. He basically said he ignores them, but wishes they would get the facts right, explaining examples of times when protesters blamed him for things he had absolutely nothing to do with. He also told a story about an elderly woman who wanted shouted at him and tried to do a “citizen’s arrest on behalf of humanity.” He thought it was funny because it was just one old lady and he wondered where she’d hold him if she did arrest him– her car? Meanwhile, about 100 protesters were chanting “Arrest Karl Rove” outside. Before we were finished eating, I mentioned that the protesters were mostly from Pitzer College, not CMC, which he was unaware of.