Administration Finally Responds To A Petition... About Something A Child Said On The Jimmy Kimmel Show

from the wow-such-power-to-the-people dept

As we just noted, the administration has put a wide variety of We the People petitions on the back burner with the average wait for a response currently sitting at 298 days. This includes one of the petitions to first hit the signature threshold back in 2011. While we're still waiting for the government to address the labeling of GMO foods, the dismissal of charges against Ed Snowden and allowing Tesla to sell vehicles in all 50 states, the administration has stepped up to declare it won't be removing Jimmy Kimmel from the airwaves.

Confused? Here's the petition in all of its clumsily-worded glory.
Investigate Jimmy Kimmel Kid's Table Government Shutdown Show on ABC Network

I was very disturbed by Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Kids Table’ show. It was aired on ABC recently and talked about killing all the Chinese so that the states do not need to pay back their debts to China. The kids might not know anything better. However, Jimmy Kimmel and ABC’s management are adults. They had a choice not to air this racist program, which promotes racial hatred. The program is totally unacceptable and it must be cut. A sincere apology must be issued. It is extremely distasteful and this is the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people. Please immediately cut the show and issue a formal apology.
A single quote from a single child was construed by this petitioner as being indicative of Jimmy Kimmel and ABC's inherent racist attitudes and the petition itself achieved full Godwin in less than seven sentences. It also instructed to government to trample the First Amendment by removing Kimmel's show from the air and apologize on its behalf. Lost in the shuffle is the title's request for an investigation, but apparently just killing the show without checking anything out would also be acceptable.

The administration has responded, pointing out that both parties have already apologized and that instructing ABC to remove the show would be a gross misuse of government power. It then invites the 100,000+ troubled petitioners to contact the FCC, presumably because their use of the We the People site shows they don't mind being ignored by government agencies.

This particular petition isn't even that old. It was created on October 19 and its deadline for a response would have been a month later. Less than 90 days from creation to response. That's some sort of land speed record for the Administration of the People, whose approach to open government is long on talk and short on action. And of the limited actions, it's most famous creation is the We the People site, which serves to remind users just how ineffective it is to petition the government directly. If nothing else, lobbyists can point to the ~300-day wait time (and the often-ineffectual, long-delayed responses) as an indication of the worth of their services. Not exactly the sort of message the administration should be sending.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 2:21am

    "that instructing ABC to remove the show would be a gross misuse of government power."

    Well I just had to do it
    http://i.imgur.com/FXeTeka.jpg

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 4:52am

    Every time I see "We the People" references it's followed instantly by the Imperial March and an image of the Death Star cannon firing. I wonder why =/

    So yeah, it's not completely useless, it provides me with background music (albeit I admit the availability of songs is rather poorer than Spotify).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:42am

    It sure is nice knowing the government has their priorities in order isn't it.

     

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    Wallabaloo, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:44am

    Don't fault the White House for responding to the small stuff. Better than nothing at this point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:56am

    Perhaps they could hire some efficient Chinese.

    I apologize.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 6:06am

    Tim: perhaps this is not the best place to bring it up, but do you have, or are you working on, a piece about the Kelly Thomas acquittals?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 6:27am

    Yeah, but otherwise, what would you do for topic you can handle?

    A non-story self-contained anomaly without any wider importance is perfect for Techdirt. It's why the kids keep coming here, they're not challenged to think.

    Techdirt supposedly has "Insiders" who've paid for that cachet.

    02:27:34[c-730-7]

     

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    RyanNerd (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 6:44am

    We the People renamed...

    You the Ignored.
    You the Forgotten.
    You the Neglected.
    You the Irrelevant.
    You the Insignificant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 6:59am

    Taking time to answer the hard hitting questions that keep the mouth breathers happy.

     

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    boomslang, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:13am

    Maths Police!

    "We the People petitions on the back burner with the average wait for a response currently sitting at 298 days."

    This is a misleading statement. 298 days, according to one of your previous articles, is the average response time for unanswered responses. Regardless of how dumb petitions that receive responses are (and there are plenty of dumb ones), you can't accurately say that 298 days is the average response time if you don't include any of the petitions that have actually received responses in calculating that average.

    I'm sure there's a way to include petitions that have not yet received responses with those that have received responses when calculating the average (i.e., add the disclaimer "If all unanswered petitions were answered today, the average response time is x days") but you can't really claim that 298 days is the average response time if your dataset doesn't contain a single petition that has received a response...

    Sorry to be so pedantic. I'm just trying to help.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:20am

      Re: Maths Police!

      I don't think it actually helps. Let's say you want to give a good impression. Reply the useless or non-sensitive petitions blazing fast so you can leave others sitting forever without hurting the average. You can add more stats to account for it and maybe produce some indicator of how effective the whole thing is (ie: index of sensitive petitions that got an answer or something).

       

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        boomslang, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: Maths Police!

        I agree completely. Point out average response time by itself doesn't mean much, other than average response time. My issue was just that, if you're going to point it out, at least try to calculate the average resp. time correctly.

        And also, I agree with your second point as well. Maybe some other measurement like "bills proposed as a direct response to a petition", or something along those lines would give a better idea of how effective the petition website is.

        Does anyone know if any legislation been proposed as a direct result of a whitehouse.gov petition?

         

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:20am

    "We the People" is the perfect example of how Obama has failed.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:25am

    SPEAKING OF IGNORING OTHER MORE IMPORTANT ITEMS:

    This irrelevant crap has been at top nearly two hours now.

    So I'll just JAM IN links to VASTLY more important:

    Google's robots and creeping militarization

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/09/googles-robots-and-creeping-militarization/

    Google gobbles upstart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 BEELLION IN CASH

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/13/google_buys_smart_home_device_builder_nest_for_32_beeelion_i n_cash/

    Google. We're spying right up to the creepy limit. (tm) -- And soon as you're used to it, we get creepier!

    03:24:55[d-577-1]

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 11:13am

      Re: SPEAKING OF IGNORING OTHER MORE IMPORTANT ITEMS:

      It would appear ootb has resorted to spamming. Just give up, troll, you're losing.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:25am

    The We The People site is just another data collection service to know who pay closer attention to because they supported something.

     

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    Nick (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:45am

    So, if the admin responded to a petition with an age of 90 days, and the average are at 298+... Did the administration do this JUST so it could increase the average wait time faster than if it ignored them all?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 8:34am

    I net all the signers were really confused Chinese people and not even US Citizens.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    when the answer can be given easily and without too much worry of backlash, it will be done. for everything else, there's 'sitting around, thumb up arse, brain in neutral, just waiting!'

     

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    Ron, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 9:33am

    Someone should make a petition to make them answer all the other petitions. I would, but I am Canadian.

     

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    Ron, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 11:18am

    There is no talking to OOTB, I don't think he comes back to read what we write. He keeps referring to all of us as kids, when the vast majority of us are adults. I am 48, not a teenager.

     

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    Digitari, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 3:50pm

    OOTB is the only reason I come here

    I just have a report button fetish, OOTB fulfills it, in Spades

     

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    Nick, Feb 8th, 2014 @ 6:15pm

    Ignored Petitions

    We'll try this again, but here is a petition asking Obama to respond to the unanswered petitions: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/respond-every-petition-reaches-required-number-signatures/ tFHJlTq4

    If this crosses the threshold and its ignored, then we will begin making tools to help with mass protest.

     

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