Archive for Media Bias

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.


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.


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.


I’m Sorry, So Sorry

$75,000 was just an installment payment:

My first encounter with Stephanopoulos was during the 1992 New Hampshire primary, when Bill Clinton was grappling with womanizing allegations and his aide was trying to talk me out of doing a story. As a White House aide during the 1996 campaign, he gave me information—and a subsequent interview—aimed at tarnishing a former FBI agent who was making allegations about the president and the administration. Standard spinning stuff from a savvy operative.

People now forget that ABC originally hired Stephanopoulos as a liberal pundit, paired with Bill Kristol on the Sunday roundtable. But the network, impressed by his smarts and his political acumen, decided to move him into a journalistic role, first as host of “This Week” and then adding “Good Morning America” to his portfolio.

You know how Stephie got to be a “savvy operative” at the ripe old age of 30-35? By working on the Dukakis campaign at 27, followed by a job with Dick Gephardt. He stayed with Clinton through the 1996 campaign, for a full eight years of inside Democrat politics.

Who better to be an impartial journalist?

Let me be blunt: For George to give money to the Clinton Foundation, out of all possible charities, knowing full well that Hillary was gearing up to run, is a grave error in judgment. For him not to disclose this to his network or to viewers—especially when he was aggressively interviewing “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer about that very foundation—is unthinkable. And for ABC to brush this off as an “honest mistake” is embarrassing.

People already distrust the media as too liberal. A late-in-life journalist who began his career as a prominent Democrat working in the White House faces a special burden to demonstrate his independence. By donating to the Clintons’ family charity and keeping it secret, Stephanopoulos has failed that test.

In his statement of apology, Stephanopoulos said he gave the money because he cares deeply about AIDS and deforestation efforts.

I laughed out loud when I read that. The New England Patriots have mounted a more credible defense. If my wife should ever catch me in a compromising position, I’ll have to remember to cite my deep concern for deforestation.

Even a kinder, gentler BTL can’t accept this apology. In his position, I would have kept my “savvy operative” past foremost in the minds of the viewers. Not boastfully, but rather because every word I uttered, every thought I thought, would be suspect if I weren’t scrupulously open about my background. Just as they have been.

Son of a Greek Orthodox priest, and holder of an MA in Theology, where did he learn to prevaricate and obfuscate so expertly?

PS: Regular readers will know that my greatest beef is not with the individual reprobates in the Democrat/Media Complex, but with the Complex itself. ABC “News” (I’m laughing out loud as I type that) has not only excused Stephie’s “lapse”, they helped him spin it:

A worthy side note to the Stephanopoulos exposé is contained in its genesis. The story appears to have originated at the Washington Free Beacon, which asked ABC News for comment about the Stephanopoulos contributions last night. The next thing the Free Beacon knew, POLITICO had broken the story this morning. Free Beacon writer Andrew Stiles and site editor Matthew Continetti accused Stephanopoulos’ office and ABC of shipping the scoop to POLITICO. I sent email to ABC News seeking clarification on this point and did not hear back. I also asked Byers about the origin of his scoop to which he responded, “I’m not going to be able to talk about matters related to sourcing.”

If ABC News shopped the scoop, as the Beaconites claim, it wouldn’t be the first time that a news organization has been so preempted. Government and business play this retaliatory game all the time when journalists surprise them with a request for comment. What’s unbecoming is that a news organization might engage in this practice.

Come to think of it, that’s precisely the type of thing you could imagine the Stephanopoulos-era Clinton administration doing without compunction.

Exactly. But when “savvy operatives” become media whores, what is the network but a brightly lit brothel? Even Brian Williams was a career “journalist”—snort!—after interning for Jimmy Carter.


From the White House to the Outhouse

Let’s just jump straight to the latest Stephanopoulos update:

UPDATE – Stephanopoulos now says he donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, says the donations were an error in judgment, says he was wrong not to disclose the donations to ABC and his viewers, and has recused himself from participating in the network’s 2016 New Hampshire GOP primary debate. Good enough?

That’s one honking big “error in judgement” and ginormous “oversight” in disclosure. Especially when Stephie has been hammering anyone who raised the Clinton’s shady dealings:

In a recent interview, Stephanopoulos grilled author Peter Schweizer over his potential “partisan interest[s]” in exposing the Clinton Foundation’s dodgy web of cash, concluding for viewers that no “smoking gun” proving corruption exists.

Put that smoking gun in your mouth and pull the trigger, Stephie. In a just world you and Brian Williams (and Mike Barnicle), and all the other plagiarists and fabulists would be selling pretzels in Central Park, not peddling the nightly “news”.


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.


NPR Continues To Distort The News. Barack Obama And Ben Carson, Contrast And Compare

This morning I heard two back-to-back pieces on NPR. The first was all about how Obama is so concerned about low-income African American male youth that he plans to spend the rest of his life working to help them. This was followed by a piece on Ben Carson.

I am fascinated by language, by the way that the media distorts reality with the inclusion or exclusion of words or phrases. In this example, let’s compare the frequency of words having to do with blacks or African Americans. And let’s recall that Dr. Ben Carson is indeed an African American, that he was the head of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Consider this: Dr. Carson is almost certainly descended from slaves. Barack Obama cannot be, and furthermore, it is possible that he is a descendent of slave owners on either his mother’s side or his father’s side.

Here is the Obama piece. How many mentions of his race, the race of the people he wants to work with, Baltimore, etc. do you find here? You can read it below or listen at the link.

President Obama says he wants to address the kinds of social problems exposed in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo. That work is likely to dominate his public life after he leaves the White House. He’s focusing on the lack of opportunity for young men of color. And yesterday, the president made plans to act using private money. Here’s NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: With the unrest in Baltimore still fresh in the national mind, President Obama went to the Bronx in New York yesterday to announce an offshoot of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, created at the White House in 2014 after the Trayvon Martin killing. The new My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a private effort, funded by companies such as American Express and News Corps, to provide education, job training and mentoring for young men of color. The goal, the president said, is to make sure equality of opportunity is not an empty promise.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And we won’t get there as long as kids in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York or Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Pine Ridge Reservation believe that their lives are somehow worth less.

LIASSON: The target is communities with 30, 40, 50 percent unemployment where positive male role models are scarce. The president said he’s interested in responsibility and results, not blame, but he didn’t hesitate to indirectly implicate the Republican Congress.


OBAMA: Politicians talk about poverty and inequality and then gut policies that help alleviate poverty or reverse inequality.


LIASSON: The president’s inability to pass programs he thinks would help, like a higher minimum wage or universal prekindergarten, is part of the reason he’s reaching out to the private sector. Howard University professor Michael Fauntroy says Mr. Obama is constrained in what he can do to solve these problems.

MICHAEL FAUNTROY: There’s no question in my mind that if the president says it’s sunny outside, there going to be people in Congress who says he hates the rain, and that’s just a function of the way the relationship is. I will also say that it’s really frustrating for many of us who observe what’s going on in these kinds of communities every day, that there’s a whole lot of attention spent on the blame but not the spark that actually lit the flame.

LIASSON: Political analyst Michelle Bernard says many in the African-American community are relieved the president is feeling some urgency about these inner-city issues.

MICHELLE BERNARD: He has absolutely nothing to lose. Early on in his administration, I was somebody who always said he is not the president of black America, he is president of the entire United States of America. But we have seen acts of overt racism actually become more visible since he has been president, and if he doesn’t vocally say something very strong about it, who will?

LIASSON: President Obama says this is the issue that will preoccupy him long after he leaves the White House. We’re in this for the long haul, he said yesterday.


OBAMA: This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency, but for the rest of my life.


FAUNTROY: Isn’t that ironic…

LIASSON: Michael Fauntroy.

FAUNTROY: …That a candidate who in 2008 was all too willing to accept the applause for being the first viable African-American candidate for president would then govern for eight years with not a whole lot of attention to it and then it appears that he’s actually going to do more work on it when he’s not president than when he was?

LIASSON: The president said My Brother’s Keeper will be a sustained effort to focus on policies that work, such as making sure boys are reading at grade level by third grade, intervening to prevent school suspensions and finding mentors to help boys graduate, go to college and find jobs. It’s a huge task and one that could define Barack Obama’s life after he leaves office. Mara Liasson, NPR News, the White House.

This is the piece on Ben Carson. Please count the times the words African American or black or people of color or even Baltimore appear regarding him.


Now let’s turn to a man who has never been in office. He thinks that is a strength as he now runs for president. His name is Ben Carson. He’s a famed neurosurgeon who added his name yesterday to the list of people running for the Republican nomination. It’s becoming quite a crowd. Carly Fiorina announced yesterday. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is expected to announce today, but let’s turn now to the newcomer, Ben Carson. NPR’s Brakkton Booker was at his announcement.

BRAKKTON BOOKER, BYLINE: Ben Carson has a habit of doing thing his way.


CHOIR: (Vocalizing).

BOOKER: At his campaign kickoff event, Carson, a Detroit native, had a choir singing the Motor City’s anthem, “Lose Yourself,” by hip-hop star Eminem. After a brief introduction of his family, he uttered the words everyone in the music hall came to hear.


BEN CARSON: Now I’ve introduced my family, you’ll say, well, who are you? I’ll tell you. I’m Ben Carson, and I’m a candidate for president of the United States.


BOOKER: Carson’s rise to this point is nothing short of remarkable. He grew up here in Detroit a poor kid whose single mother could barely read, but who worked multiple jobs to support them. Carson became a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and gained worldwide fame as the first to separate conjoined twins joined at the back of the head.


CARSON: And there are people who say but you can’t do this. You don’t have any experience. Let me tell you something. I don’t have a lot of experience busting budgets and doing the kinds of things that have gotten us into all the trouble that we’re in now, but I do have a lot of experience in solving problems – complex surgical problems that have never been done by anybody before.

BOOKER: In recent years, Carson’s become a darling of conservatives. It started when he criticized the president on his health care law and other policies at a prayer breakfast with the president sitting just a few feet away. His willingness to shun political correctness has endeared him to many, but also brought unwanted scrutiny, like when he attended a Values Voter Summit in 2013 and compared Obamacare to slavery.


CARSON: You know, Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery, and it is in a way – it is slavery in way…


CARSON: …Because it is making all of us subservient to the government.

BOOKER: Or when he was on CNN and was asked whether being gay was a choice.


CHRIS CUOMO: You think being gay is a choice?

CARSON: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Why do you say that?

CARSON: Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay.

BOOKER: He later apologized for that remark. But his candor has helped him gather a strong grassroots following. Carson now outpolls such established politicians as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Dr. Ben Carson, with absolutely no political experience whatsoever, occupies a very unique spot on the political landscape.

BOOKER: Kellyanne Conway is a Republican pollster, and she says Carson is a welcomed entrant in the 2016 mix, but he needs to prepare for the likely focus on international issues.

CONWAY: He’ll need to show the world, if not the voters, that he can be their commander in chief at a time when national security and foreign policy seems to be up there with jobs and the economy as a burning issue to many voters, particularly in the early primary caucus states on the Republican side.

BOOKER: And none comes earlier than Iowa, where Carson will get his first chance to address potential caucus goers when his campaign arrives in the state later today. Brakkton Booker, NPR News, Detroit.

Ok, so for Carson I counted one mention of Baltimore in the context of Johns Hopkins and absolutely nothing about his race. If you don’t know who he is, you could be forgiven for assuming that he is white.

Obama? Let’s see.. 10? And I left some out. What does this tell us?

Well, number 1, NPR really doesn’t like Ben Carson and won’t cover him fairly. Number 2, they really do like Obama. Digging deeper, we can fairly say that they lost the opportunity to present a fascinating man to their listeners, and more importantly, a needed debate about what can be done to help our troubled inner cities. Unlike Obama, Carson did really grow up in poverty and got out with a set of values and beliefs that might help people in impoverished neighborhoods. This is a conversation that we need to have. I thought that we were all about discussing race? I guess not so much.

– Aggie

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Clinton’s Worth VS. Romney’s Net Worth

USA Today has the Clinton’s net worth at over 100 million

So how much is Hillary Clinton worth? It’s hard to determine an exact figure. The financial disclosure form she filed in 2012 as secretary of State showed she and her husband, Bill, had assets that were worth about $5.2 million to about $25.5 million with liabilities over $1 million but less than $5 million.

Since leaving the State Department, Clinton reportedly has earned as much as $200,000 for each speech made at private events. Bill Clinton earned more than $106 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House through January 2013, according to a CNN analysis.

So how much more than say 110 million have they acquired since 2013? It is difficult to get to that number.

And how did they manage to get the money? Well, people give money to The Clinton Foundation, which has but 35 employees, and which only spends 10-15% of the take (depending on which source you believe) on charities. Additionally, people pay half a million dollars or thereabouts for a speech by Bill Clinton. And by people, I usually mean governments, the Saudis, etc. A cynical blogger might assume that the Clintons have amassed a tremendous fortune through bribery. And that what they have to sell is influence, US government policy, that kind of thing.

It is easy to get an estimate of Mitt Romney’s wealth – around 250 million. How did he acquire it? Well, he built businesses and he hired thousands of people to work in them. Yes, I realize that by creating Staples, many mom and pop business supplies stores went down. But at the same time, many businesses enjoyed cheap office supplies and many people found work. We can hate on capitalism, computers and the modern world, but if you are reading this, you are “benefitting” from all that.

So why is it that this analysis of the obscene wealth the Clintons have acquired, through influence, while creating almost no jobs for anyone outside of their inner circle, isn’t being screamed about the way that the Romney wealth was? I would take the evil capitalist who created jobs over the rich, pampered political influence peddler any day. But for Americans to consider this, the media needs to bring it up.

– Aggie

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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.


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., 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.


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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