Archive for Journalism

Cynical? Moi?

Try not to let this destroy your faith in the integrity of the Fourth Estate:

The ABC News spokeswoman who slow-walked The Washington Free Beacon’s request for comment on George Stephanopoulos’ undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation also worked in the Clinton administration.

Heather Riley — spokeswoman for ABC News programs “Good Morning America” and “This Week” — worked in the White House press office from 1997 to 2000, according to her LinkedIn profile, and is a member of the Facebook group “(Bill) Clinton Administration Alumni.”

The Free Beacon, a conservative-leaning publication, contacted ABC News on the afternoon of May 13 to request comment on George Stephanopoulos’s previously undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation.

“I was just forwarded your email about George. I’m going to send you something,” Riley emailed later that night, according to The Free Beacon. “Want to make sure you get it in time.”

Riley later told the Free Beacon that she would deliver a statement by 7 a.m. the next morning. However, the statement did not arrive until 9:40 a.m., about 15 minutes after POLITICO published its “scoop” about the donations.

White House records show that Riley’s duties included serving as a press contact for then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

So, a PR flack who lives to protect the Clintons, Stephanopoulos, was himself protected by a PR flack who lives to protect the Clintons. And it’s called news!

Howard K. Smith is spinning faster in his grave than Kristi Yamaguchi at the dramatic conclusion of her Olympic routine.

PS: Even when she doesn’t live to protect the Clintons, she—you guessed it—lives to protect the Clintons!

Prior to joining ABC News, Riley worked as a senior director of brand communications for Rodale, Inc.

The company and its charitable foundation have donated $20,000 to $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation, records show. The Rodale family contributed at least $5,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns from 2005 to 2008.

Kim Jong Un doesn’t command such loyalty.

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Why is This Man Smiling?

Wouldn’t you smile if your entire industry had your back?

ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, already under fire for his contributions to Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s charitable foundation, served as a moderator and awards judge for an arm of the organization for years without disclosing those roles to viewers.

Stephanopoulos was among a number of well-known TV news figures and columnists who have volunteered to help the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation that convenes meetings to discuss domestic and international issues.

A former campaign aide and White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, Stephanopoulos has apologized repeatedly since last week for contributing $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation between 2012 and 2014. He has acknowledged that the contributions created an apparent conflict of interest, given that he will be ABC’s chief political correspondent during a campaign in which Hillary Clinton is a leading candidate.

But Stephanopoulos has not to date disclosed lending his name to panels organized by CGI, which convenes world leaders for conferences.

Stephanopoulos was a panel moderator in 2006 and a panelist in 2008 and 2009 at CGI’s annual conference, according to Peter Schweizer, the author of “Clinton Cash,” a book about the Clintons’ finances. He also served as a judge with Chelsea Clinton in 2013 and 2014 on a CGI contest.

The ABC News anchor did not disclose those roles or his financial contributions when he grilled Schweizer about his book last month on his Sunday morning program, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

We’ve already covered this, but consider: who outed Stephanopoulos’s massive conflict of interest? The very victim of Stephie’s journalistic jihad on national TV! It’s like a mugging victim having to arrest the perpetrator because the police couldn’t be bothered. You think another reporter couldn’t have found this stuff out? He emceed not one, not two, but three Clinton Crime Family annual conferences. Which are hardly as secretive as get-togethers of the Trilateral Commission or the Illuminati.

Yet no one looked.

George must remember a lot of birthdays. Because when the story first broke, remember, the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative paper, called ABC for comment. In about the weaseliest move in that narrow field laughingly known as journalistic ethics, ABC stiffed WFB and leaked the story, and their response, to a much friendlier site, Politico. George must remember a lot of kids’ names.

I wish I had such loyalty among my friends and peers. I wish I had such loyalty in my family.

This was a conflict of interest waiting to happen. It was a conflict of interest all along. But the media weren’t going to turn on one of their own—even when he wasn’t one of their own! He was James Carville with hair. David Axelrod without the porn ‘stache.

No wonder Obama rails against Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Without them and a very few other media outlets, the Left could get away with anything. They already have: look who’s president.

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Stephanopoulos Syndrome

It’s like Alzheimer’s, but it strikes younger:

When Stephanopoulos invited me on his Sunday program, I knew that he had worked as a top adviser and campaign manager to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, but I didn’t know about his donations or his other ties to the foundation founded and overseen by the former president and his wife, potential future president Hillary Clinton.

If Stephanopoulos had disclosed his donations to the very foundation I was there to talk about, perhaps it would have put the aggressive posture of his interview with me in context.

But he didn’t.

And even though he has apologized to his viewers for keeping this information from both his audience and his bosses, there is much that Stephanopoulos has yet to disclose to his viewers. Indeed, far from being a passive donor who strokes Clinton Foundation checks from afar, a closer look reveals that Stephanopoulos is an ardent and engaged Clinton Foundation advocate.

For example, in his on air apology for this ethical mess, Stephanopoulos did not disclose that in 2006 he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

He did not disclose that in 2007, he was a featured attendee at the CGI annual meeting, a gathering also attended by several individuals I report on in Clinton Cash, including mega Clinton Foundation donors Lucas Lundin, Frank Giustra, Frank Holmes, and Carlos Slim — individuals whose involvement with the Clintons I assumed he had invited me on his program to discuss.

Stephanopoulos did not disclose that he was a 2008 panelist at the CGI annual meeting which, once again, featured individuals I report on in the book, such as billionaire Clinton Foundation foreign donor Denis O’Brien.

ABC’s most visible news employee did not disclose that in 2009, he served as a panel moderator at CGI’s annual meeting, nor did he disclose that in 2010 and 2011, he was an official CGI member.

Stephanopoulos did not disclose that in 2013 and 2014, he and Chelsea Clinton served as CGI contest judges for awards, in part, underwritten by Laureate International Universities — a for-profit education company I report on in the book. Bill Clinton was on its payroll until his recent resignation.

It’s a wonder he can still read the teleprompter, the poor dear. His mind’s obviously gone. Who but a drooling vegetable would give 75 Gs to Bill Clinton for “children” and “deforestation” when Bill pocketed over 90% of the cash?

If you’d like to contribute toward the cure of the terrible scourge of Stephanopoulos Syndrome, I understand the Clinton Foundation is taking donations.

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And Another Thing

George Stephanopoulos said he donated $75,000 out of concerns for “deforestation”:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Now, I want to address some news you may have seen about me. Over the last several years, I have made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record. But I should have made additional disclosures on-air when we covered the foundation and I now believe directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake. Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment in poor countries

Then why didn’t he donate to organizations that worked for those causes, and not to one for the care and feeding of Hillary and Bill (and Chelsea)?

By one reckoning, only $4,500 of his $75,000 went to “help children”. Which makes Rush Limbaugh’s cynical headline “Fake Newsman Caught Giving 50 [sic] Large to the Clinton Crime Family Foundation” the most truthful statement on the story.

Stephanopoulos was paying tribute money to the Godfather. The only concern for deforestation was in paying with $100s, rather than $10s and $20s.

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Netanyahu Forms New Government—Let the Hating Begin!

Do I detect the stench of a War on (conservative Jewish) Women?

Benjamin Netanyahu’s formation of one of the most right-wing government in Israel’s history has fuelled concerns in Europe and the United States about further settlement building and dimming prospects for peace.

But it also has diplomats on edge about wider policy proposals, particularly on social and judicial affairs, where the far-right Bayit Yehudi party, an influential member of Netanyahu’s coalition, is determined to leave its mark.

Ultra nationalist Bayit Yehudi, led by former technology entrepreneur Naftali Bennett, has secured two important cabinet portfolios: the education and diaspora ministry for Bennett and the justice ministry for his number two, Ayelet Shaked.

“Far-right”, “most right-wing”, “ultra nationalist”—Reuters, is that you?

Say shalom to your brothers from another mother, AP:

The Israeli prime minister’s new coalition government is dominated by nationalists and religious parties, setting Israel on a collision course with the international community on multiple fronts.

At least they’re not described as “ultra nationalists”.

The prime minister faces many challenges, both at home and abroad, as he begins his fourth term as prime minister. His narrow religious-hawkish coalition

Thank you. I think we get your point.

[Moshe] Yaalon caused a discord with Israel’s closest ally when he called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” over making peace between Israelis and Palestinians and dismissed a U.S. security plan for the region as worthless.

So, he’s a shrew judge of character. Is that so bad?

Naftali Bennett, Jewish Home

….

Jewish Home, which is linked to the West Bank settler movement and opposes even talking about withdrawing from territory for the establishment of a Palestinian state, brings a hawkish tone to the coalition. Bennett has called peace talks with the Palestinians a waste of time and his positions will make it difficult to make any progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, if those are rekindled. Bennett is slated to be minister of education in the emerging government, a post where he can infuse some of his world view in the Israeli school system.

About time! But they neglected to mention he kicks dogs and pulls the wings off flies.

Ayelet Shaked, Jewish Home

A pugnacious, secular woman in the Jewish Home party, Shaked is popular with supporters as a telegenic and unapologetic voice for the nationalist camp.

I.e., she’s hot.

Remember, these are pieces from two supposed news organizations. They barely remember to mention that the right wing of Israeli society trounced the Left in the recent election—despite (or due to?) Obama’s personal interventions. Netanyahu’s difficulty in forming a government is much more due to personality than politics.

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It’s Not a Toomah!

Are you sure, Arnold?

Suspended NBC anchor Brian Williams “fabricated, misrepresented or embellished” news accounts a half-dozen times – including a previously undisclosed fib about his coverage of riots in Cairo during the Arab Spring, a new report said Friday.

The revelations are more bad news for the truth-challenged talking head, and come from NBC’s internal report into contradictions and other problems with his reporting, The New York Times reported, citing two sources familiar with the network’s probe.

Williams – serving a six-month suspension from the anchor desk at “NBC Nightly News” – gave conflicting accounts in February 2011 of his actions in Tahrir Square, where pro- and anti-government forces engaged in violent clashes, the paper reported.

Appearing on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” Williams said he “actually made eye contact with the man on the lead horse,” referring to camel- and horse-riding pro-government troops.

Stewart asked about reports that the pro-government forces were using whips, and Williams said about the leader he claimed to have encountered: “Yeah, he went around the corner after I saw him, they pulled out whips and started beating human beings on the way.”

But the network’s reports on the clashes said Williams was working from a balcony overlooking Tahrir Square — not on the ground from the chaotic square itself.

When confronted with the evidence of his serial lying, Williams wondered if he had a brain tumor. If so, that sucker’s go to be the size of a cantaloupe.

The anchor had repeatedly told the tale of his helicopter being struck by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003.

But it was actually a Chinook helicopter that was ahead of Williams’ craft that was hit and forced to do an emergency landing.

Williams also claimed to being mugged in a New Jersey Christmas-tree-lot and seeing a body floating down a French Quarter street in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Both stories have been seriously questioned.

Maybe all these “inventions” can be lumped under Dan Rather’ contribution to journalism: “fake but accurate” (so named by the New York Times.)

Still, he’s always got that piece of the chopper that crashed in Abbottabad that the Navy Seals sent him after the mission to take out Osama.

Doesn’t he?

PS: Of all the people who’ve lied to us repeatedly over the years—Obama, Bill and Hillary, Lena Dunham…Eric Holder, John Kerry, Susan Rice, Joe Biden…Kathleen Sebelius, John Koskinen, Lois Lerner, Jay Carney…okay, that’s enough—why do we emphasize the brazen lies of Brian Williams? Isn’t he the most harmless?

If you consider the leading face of an entire network news department harmless, and I do, I suppose that’s correct. Who actually watches Brian Williams spin his yarns, much less listens to him? The 75-and-up crowd who grew up on Huntley-Brinkly? So what if over their canned peaches and cottage cheese they actually for one second believe he stared down a whip-cracking Al Qaeda operative in a New Orleans Christmas tree lot? They believe in a lot of things, the dearies, and if they equate Williams’s preppie good looks with the truth, who are we to dissuade them?

Unlike the others, however, he’s accessible. All of the others we expect to lie. We know they’re lying as they’re lying. We even accept news reporters as liars, happily so, if their lies flatter our political beliefs. But anchors are different. It’s a tradition as quaint and old-fashioned as the Lawrence Welk re-runs the dearies still watch on Saturday night, but anchors speak directly to us and tell us what happened. Walter Cronkite still takes his glasses off to wipe the tears from his eyes as he tells us that President Kennedy is dead. He’s sitting on a set, black-and-white, holding a piece of paper, reading through glasses the size of a Buick. He can’t believe what he’s just read, can’t figure out how to say it. He even checks a clock—a real clock!—to give the time of death.

That really happened. That wasn’t theater. And it is still more genuine and immediate, infinitely so, than any of Brian Williams’s fantasies, however well intentioned, however fake but accurate. For breaking that bond (however limited the appeal), Williams will never be forgiven.

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Journalistic Malfeasance

Q: What’s the secret of—

A: Timing

Q:—comedy?

BROCKTON — Take a drive down Main Street at sunset and it becomes clear why the city wants to revitalize its downtown. The street is poorly lit and there is little activity, save at a few businesses — a barber shop, a Dunkin’ Donuts, an auto parts shop. Corner stores attract crowds that hang out by the entrances, but many storefronts are dark.

Brockton appeared to be on the rise a decade ago, yet the city has continued to struggle, beset by a perception that it was in decline and hit hard by the loss of manufacturing and a devastating foreclosure crisis.

Now, though, Brockton appears to have new energy: More than $100 million is being invested downtown, and a new city administration is aggressively pursuing economic development opportunities, prompting renewed attention from the state.

City leaders and investors are hoping that this time, at last, the renaissance will be real.

“The biggest challenge we face is changing the perception of Brockton,” said Mayor Bill Carpenter, who took office in 2014.

That was from today’s Boston Glob.

So, alas, was this:

Three people were stabbed during a fight Wednesday night at a playground in Brockton, according to police.

Brockton police said the fight occured around 7 p.m. at the James Edgar playground on Dover Street They said they could not provide details on the incident or the condition of the victims.

Thank goodness for other news outlets:

One teenager is dead following a brawl in a Brockton park involving hundreds of people.

Three teenagers were stabbed on Wednesday during a brawl in Brockton. One teenager, stabbed five times, was flown to an area hospital and later died of his injuries.

About 100 teens engaged in the huge fight at Edgar Park at about 6:30 p.m.

Over 50 police officers responded to the park and police say they have a suspect in custody.

Fine. You be shirts, and we’ll be skins.

Good luck with that perception problem, Mr. Mayor.

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Justice for Scooter

I wasn’t on Scooter Libby’s jury, so I can’t say for certain that he was railroaded.

But Judith Miller can:

In “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey,” which hit book store shelves Tuesday, April 7, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller revealed in the final chapter that she now believes that she was induced by then-Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald to give false testimony in the 2007 trial of I. “Lewis” Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Given that Fitzgerald’s three-and-a-half year-long investigation and prosecution of Libby riveted the nation’s capital and generated vast news coverage implying, when not outright declaring, that the Bush administration lied the nation into war, one might think that recantation of testimony by a pivotal prosecution witness would command attention and excite controversy.

Miller’s assertions, which I wrote about last week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, are fascinating—and important. In a more extensive online-only essay, I reexamined the entire trial and concluded that Fitzgerald’s theory of the case was fundamentally flawed and that his unscrupulous conduct was not limited to withholding exculpatory evidence from Miller and the defense; I believe it extended to other prosecution witnesses as well.

To remind you, Libby was convicted in 2007 of perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice. But his real crimes, to the bloodhound press, were serving Dick Cheney and being nicknamed Scooter. My impression of the case, if that’s the right word for something so flimsy and inconsequential, was that Libby’s sole error was in answering questions from memory. If he had said, “I don’t remember” (“recall” is also good), he would have made no false statements, committed no perjury, obstructed no justice.

Libby was the small fish, a minnow swimming among tiger sharks. The real quarry was Cheney himself, and even George Bush. And just as his trial was a mockery of justice, so was the greater crime, the so-called “outing” of CIA operative Valerie Plame in revenge for her husband, Joe Wilson’s critical op-ed in the New York Times. Except that Plame was no operative in any meaningful sense, her employer no secret, and no one knew or barely cared who Joe Wilson was. Oh yes, if her outing was a crime at all, it was committed by Richard Armitage, who was never charged—even though the prosecution knew he had done so while they were charging Libby.

You can see why Cheney was so pi**ed that Bush only commuted the sentence, and didn’t grant Libby a full pardon.

And now this:

Although I had no illusions that my interest would be matched by the left-liberal media, I did expect that Miller’s claims about giving false testimony—and the consequent corruption of the jury verdict that found Libby guilty of obstruction of justice, making a false statement, and perjury—would spark at least a few days of debate. Perhaps I gave the establishment media too much credit.

What I did not expect was that Miller’s revelation—along with the new reporting she did on the flawed evidence against Libby and the damage inflicted on American national security by Fitzgerald’s prosecution—would be given the silent treatment by the left-liberal media, beginning with the New York Times and the Washington Post.

In connection to United States v. Libby, journalists failing to do their jobs is nothing new. And journalists doing the jobs of politicians is old hat.

The trial record provided ample reason to conclude that the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that, as Fitzgerald’s indictment charged, Libby lied about snippets of telephone conversations with NBC’s Tim Russert, Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper, and Judy Miller. That the prosecution’s case was anything but airtight, however, would have been difficult to glean from the standard media coverage.

In fact, serious memory errors afflicted every prosecution witnesses. And the errors were consistently of a certain sort. The prosecution witnesses’ memories of conversations with Libby changed significantly, always to Libby’s detriment, as time passed—from initial FBI questioning in the fall of 2003, through grand jury testimony in 2004 and 2005, to the trial in 2007—and as they were increasingly subjected to questioning by Fitzgerald, who was named to head the investigation in December 2003, and his team.

Despite his sly insinuations, Fitzgerald provided not a speck of evidence that Vice President Cheney had orchestrated a smear campaign. Moreover, the Times editorial writers appeared to be as ignorant as Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid of the high-level bipartisan investigations of 2004 and 2005, which found that that in making its case for war, the Bush administration relied in good faith on intelligence that was only discovered to have been faulty after the Iraq invasion.

A few journalists—outstanding among them Christopher Hitchens at Slate, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell—understood the incoherence of Fitzgerald’s case and the flimsiness of his evidence.

By acknowledging her mistaken testimony in the Libby trial, Judith Miller has given the left-liberal media an opportunity to correct the profoundly flawed account it promulgated of Patrick Fitzgerald’s prosecution of Scooter Libby. The early indications at the New York Times and the Washington Post are not heartening. We could use more journalists with the guts and the integrity that Miller has displayed in setting the record straight.

Don’t hold your breath. We entrust the press with the crucial role of digging for the truth in a swamp of lies and obfuscations. Indeed, there they stand with their shovels and spades, but instead of digging it up, they bury the truth alive.

Miller herself was drummed out of the journ0list corps for reporting that maybe, just maybe, Saddam Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction. From the front page and exalted status, she was kicked to the curb of West 43rd Street. She had to turn in her press pass and secret decoder ring. (It’s still not clear she was wrong—and since when a reporter get canned for getting a story wrong? The Times would look like a shopping circular if that were strictly applied.)

We owe George Bush and Dick Cheney a debt of gratitude, not least for entrapping the press to reveal itself as a pack of gibbering hyenas. They feast on the carrion of dead reputations, and leave the unburied carcasses to the flies and maggots of rumor and gossip.

Judith Miller was right, and Scooter Libby was innocent. Good luck trying to find that narrative anywhere in the public mind.

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A Fu**ing Embarrassment

The media have outdone themselves in self-emasculation:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s complete inaccessibility — and the media’s desperate desire to cover her every move — finally came to a head Tuesday, when MSNBC cameras caught a desperate gaggle of reporters chasing down her van as she arrived at an event.

MSNBC host Thomas Roberts seemed to enjoy giving a live commentary. “That guy in the orange pants is pretty quick. I’m looking at these people — wow! Orange pants, he’s really outnumbered now by all the people racing to the back.”

At least one respected member of the national media called out Clinton and the press alike for the “silliness.”

Not really, he didn’t. He just reacted to the absurdity of the Fourth Estate behaving like fourth graders at a Justin Bieber sighting. She drives right by them, treating them like the pissants they are, and they scurry in her exhaust wake to get a glimpse. Wretched worms.

By the way, this is the van she calls Scooby:

It has better armor than the Pope-Mobile. If Suge Knight had such a ride, he might still be in the pink (metaphorically speaking).

And to think the media minnows are missing the real story:

Although Hillary Clinton boasts a robust 3.6 million Twitter followers, not even a vast right-wing conspiracy would be able to interact with 2 million of them.

According to two popular online measuring tools, no more than 44 per cent of her Twitter fan base consists of real people who are active in using the social media platform.

And at least 15 per cent – more than 544,000 – are completely fake.

StatusPeople.com, the oldest publicly available Twitter-auditing tool, reports that 44 per cent of the former secretary of state’s followers are ‘good'; 15 per cent are ‘fake'; and 41 per cent are ‘inactive,’ meaning that they never tweet or reply to any tweets.

Social-media-Hillary is more than half fake. I have to admit that’s not as fake as I thought.

The new measurements will add to the Clinton presidential campaign’s embarrassment following news on Tuesday that a large number of her Facebook fans may represent ‘likes’ that were purchased rather than earned.

Vocativ reported that at least 7 per cent of them listed Baghdad, Iraq as their hometown, a larger number than any U.S. city.

That would represent more than 46,000 people.

While Clinton was America’s top diplomat, her State Department was buying Facebook ‘likes,’ according to an Associated Press report from last year.

‘In 2013, the State Department, which has more than 400,000 likes and was recently most popular in Cairo, said it would stop buying Facebook fans after its inspector general criticized the agency for spending $630,000 to boost the numbers,’ the wire service reported.

Scooby Doo, a semi-talking dog, was more real than this fake broad. Joan Rivers and all her plastic implants was more real. Barack Obama’s composite girlfriend was more real. Julia, his imaginary slave to government largesse, was more real.

And the media…don’t get me started.

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Hey, Rolling Stone! Have I Got a Story for You!

This one’s real, with video footage to prove it, if that’s okay with you:

Officers have arrested two students on charges of what authorities are calling a Spring Break “gang rape” on a crowded beach in broad daylight, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

And officials expect more arrests in connection with the incident to follow.

During a press conference Friday, BCSO officials announced the arrests of Delonte’ Martistee, 22, and Ryan Austin Calhoun, 23, both students of Troy University in Alabama, on charges in connection with a sexual battery by multiple perpetrators that occurred between March 10-12.

The initial incident went unreported, though it occurred in the presence of hundreds of witnesses on a crowded beach in broad daylight, leaving officials concerned with how much crime has gone unreported or ignored by visitors during Spring Break.

Sheriff Frank McKeithen fumed as he likened the scene to “wild animals preying on a carcass laying in the woods” and called the video the “most disgusting, sickening thing” he has ever seen.

“This is happening in broad daylight with hundreds of people seeing and hearing what is happening, and they are more concerned about spilling their beer than somebody being raped,” McKeithen said. “… This is such a traumatizing event for this girl. No one should have to fear this would happen in Panama City Beach, but it does.”

It seems the poor girl was drugged, and didn’t know what happened to her. How different from many rape stories we’ve read lately where the rape or even the victim is fake, but the alleged perpetrator isn’t. Preferably, he’s a Republican. Who knows, maybe Delonte’ and Ryan are big Rand Paul supporters.

I realize that to Rolling Stone reporters and editors (not one of whom has lost his job over their journalistic train wreck), fake rapes tell us more than real rapes. But until the next hoax comes along, we’ll just have to muddle through with the real deal.

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It’s My Rape and I’ll Lie if I Want To

There are some stories so tawdry, so debased, even to follow them is to feel dirty. The Rolling Stone/UVA rape story is one among many. If I’m going to follow an invented rape story, give me a real woman, no matter how pale and pudgy she may be:

But there’s one thing we can’t ignore, no matter desperately we want to: the embrace of the lie:

“A Rape on Campus,” as the article was called, was really that clumsy, preposterous, and just plain bad. So, naturally, no one got fired.

No, seriously: No one got fired. Not even Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the now-disgraced writer behind the piece: According to a spokesperson for publisher Jann Wenner, she will continue to contribute to Rolling Stone. This is astounding. After such a phenomenal blow-up—and a story so sensational that many writers, including yours truly, smelled an obvious rat—why would the magazine keep her on board? What about reviewing some of her past stories, which are starting to look just as fishy as her explosive fraternity gang rape report?

The reason is a sad one: For some, the truth doesn’t matter. Jackie’s story, Wenner told Columbia, was “extremely strong, powerful, provocative. … I thought we had something really good there.”

Truth is irrelevant. Pace Al Gore, any truth is inconvenient if it doesn’t serve an agenda. As peddlers in the truth industry (as journalism was once thought to be), journalists are guilty of the crime of honest-icide. Some reporters pulled the trigger, others aided and abetted, still others drove the getaway car. They’re all guilty.

It’s the spoken and unspoken theme of every story we write.

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Out of the Closet

Not gays, reporters.

And they’re not exactly bursting out of the (literal) closet in which they’ve been locked.

They’re asking for permission. Pretty please:

The White House Correspondents’ Association, the organization that represents hundreds of reporters who cover the presidency, is crafting an extensive list of press freedom rules that it wants the White House to adhere to — following an incident in which President Obama kept reporters out of a meeting with Mormon leaders.

“The principle of the full [White House press] pool is so important to us that we’re working to address it in a set of written practices we’d like this and future administrations to follow,” Association President Christi Parsons said in a statement to the Washington Examiner media desk. “We’ve been working on that document for almost a year now and will have more to say about it when we release it later this spring.”

Don’t rush into things, Scoop. Take your time.

On Thursday, the pool of reporters following President Obama to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was meeting with leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were broken up and only photographers were allowed in to see the meeting.

Members of the Association complained to the White House that print reporters were not allowed into the meeting to write details about it. It was not, however, a formal complaint, which requires a vote by the Association board.

Oh no, nothing like that. This was more like a single stomp of a sockless, loafered foot.

Six years-plus into this most opaque administration ever, and after a year of careful deliberation. For a bunch of reporters, they sure seem unclear on the concept of news.

But it sounds like they won’t have Barack Obama to kick around anymore:

The lavish Honolulu “Magnum, P.I.” home may be the landing pad for President Barack Obama once he’s finished living in the White House, after the famous property was sold for $8.7 million in a mysterious deal involving one of the president’s prominent friends and a key donor.

The White House insists Obama isn’t a party in the deal for the beachfront property on the southeast coast of Oahu to a group called Waimanalo Paradise LLC, reports Fox affiliate KHON.

But a review of the deed and mortgage showed the buyer is a limited liability company, Waimanalo Paradise, which was formed just last month. The contact and mailing address for the company is Chicago attorney Seth Madorsky, a top Obama donor.

In addition, the papers were signed by Judy Grimanis, who is an executive assistant at a private capital firm in Chicago run by Obama friend and frequent golfing partner Marty Nesbitt. Grimanis’ name also popped up as that of a person who had worked for companies owned by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Could be a coincidence. Coincidences.

But the neighbors know better:

Residents of Waimanalo, the area where the property is located, have mixed feelings about the rumors that the Obamas may be moving into their neighborhood in a few years, even though they are used to tourists coming to look at the famous house.

“We enjoy this. I don’t know if it will be the same. If it’s the same, it’s all good,” Waimanalo resident Uncle Nawai told KITV. However, he’s worried about the impact his possible new neighbor could have.

“He’s going to be protected by the Secret Service all the time, there will be all kinds of traffic woes,” said Nawai.

Waimanalo resident Lee Siegel said he and others are also wondering about the security situation that could surround the Obamas.

“People are wondering what the security situation will be like, and will they be stopped every time they come home,” he said.

Anyway, sneaky real estate dealings are how the Obamas roll:

Obama has done property deals with his friends and donors in the past. In 2005, after he was elected to the Senate, he bought a dollars 1.65m home in the Kenwood area of Chicago.

The wife of one of his prominent donors, Tony Rezko, bought an adjacent parcel of land on the same day – and sold a 10ft strip of the property to the Obamas.

One more clue:

Nesbitt has an official role in Obama’s presidential after-life, serving as chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation – which is due to pass judgment soon on the location of Obama’s presidential library.

I think we know where the Obama’s will be living. Here’s hoping they can’t do more damage than they already have.

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