When Andrew Breibart died, the conservative punditry world befouled it self with weepy odes to his bravery and dedication to right’s mission, whatever it is. In fact, he was a sloppy and unethical ideologically biased pseudo journalist, who made Fox News really look fair and balanced and MSNBC seem like the epitome of professionalism. Journalism with an agenda isn’t journalism, and Breitbart’s website never let nuances like facts get in the way of a good smear or a dubious accusation.
Earlier this week I read for the first time—since I avoid Breitbart like I avoid centipedes—that there were rumors that The Donald was sending favors the way of the website, and in return, it had grabbed the niche of pro-Trump media mouthpiece, thus setting itself up to run the Ministry of Truth when he gains power and begins rounding up the Unsuitables. THere’s no proof of this, but it could explain articles like this one today, titled Trump 100% Vindicated: CBS Reports ‘Swarm’ On Rooftops Celebrating 9/11.
To cut to the chase, nothing in the article vindicates or supports Trump in any way, and certainly not “100%.” That’s pure linkbait, though the disgraceful story holds on to the like like grim death, tossing excuses, equivocations, deceits and logical fallacies at it as if this junk can turn lead into gold.
You see, the only way Trump could be 100% vindicated would be if there was a video recording of “thousands upon thousands” of Muslims celebrating the carnage of 9-11 in New Jersey, and proof that the video was shown on a television broadcast where Donald Trump could see it. There was not. What does Breitbart’s hack reporter John Nolte shout as vindication (the whole silly post is written as if Nolte identified the second shooter on the Grassy Knoll), while accusing the mainstream media of a conspiracy to discredit poor Donald? Well…
- Eight men were found celebrating at a Jersey apartment and were arrested (illegally, I’d say)
- There was a local CBS broadcast including a report that investigators told a journalist that another apartment was “swarming with suspects,” identified as such because they were cheering.
- MTV—that esteemed news organization— ran one report about some uncounted Muslims celebrating.
- Isolated radio reports.
- The New York Post, not even in a news story but in an op-ed, said, “Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attack in New York and Washington.”
That’s it! That’s what Breitbart’s reporter calls complete vindication of Trump’s statement, which Trump refuses to admit wildly misrepresented facts in scope and significance, that he saw, on television, thousands upon thousands of Muslims celebrating on September 11, 2001, yet none of those pieces of “evidence,” individually or collectively, vindicate any part of Trump’s fantasy:
1. The video that is Nolte’s smoking gun shows no celebrating.
2. The author of the op-ed admits that he didn’t witness anything, and wrote what he wrote based on some radio reports and what two acquaintances told him. He says today that he has no reason to believe there were “thousands” celebrating.
3. Nolte’s argument about the significance of “swarming” is risible. A reporter either using “swarming” as a colorful verb or serving as a hearsay source of what a single, unidentified “investigator” told him neither suggests “thousands upon thousands” nor supports it. Swarm means a”large number in motion.” Twenty can be a swarm, if the word was used correctly, and if the reporter using the word didn’t actually see the “swarm,” we have no way of knowing if it was.
4. Nolte makes an utter fool of himself arguing for the persuasiveness of this single use of an ambiguous word:
“People are arguing falsely that the fact that only 8 suspects were apprehended contradicts the “swarm” claim. Read it again. An “investigator” told CBS about the “swarm.” The fact that a certain number were brought into custody does not change the fact that there was a “swarm.” The obvious impression is that of the “swarm,” only eight were brought into custody. Eight people do not swarm on all those rooftops. They “gather.”
Actually, you boob, people don’t swarm at all. Insects swarm. The word is a slur, not a reliable measurement. To prove that Trump was accurate and not making stuff up, you have to find someone who says there were “thousands upon thousands” celebrating, who saw them, and who is reliable. That someone also has to have a name, so his story can be checked.
Then the Breitbart writer really gets desperate:
You are Donald Trump. You are taking in all the news during that awful week. You are told by the media that “swarms” of Muslims in a known terrorist’s neighborhood were seen on rooftops celebrating 9/11. Just two days earlier you have read [the op-ed in the NY Post] You hear radio news reports about Muslims celebrations. MTV runs a news report about Muslim celebrations.
From all of those news reports, it is perfectly reasonable and nothing close to lying to put together a picture of “thousands”.
No, from all those news reports it is reasonable to conclude that some Muslims celebrated, and saying that you saw thousands upon thousands of Muslims celebrating on TV is, at first, to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, a complete false memory. Once Trump knew how wrong his recollection was and refused to retract it, then it became a lie.
“FACT,” says Nolte. “Donald Trump is now 100% vindicated.”
The fact is that Nolte’s reporting and reasoning is embarrassing, and Breitbart is even more of a disgrace than it used to be.
65 thoughts on “Dishonest Headline and Story Of The Month: Breitbart And Reporter John Nolte”
What difference, at this point, does it make?
Weird, you’re the second person I’ve seen make this comment on this issue. Who decided this was a clever comeback?
Well, perhaps the intent is to reference the attitude that obfuscations, repeated long enough until they get stale, no longer should be pursued or criticized. Though the situations are quite different, so, no, I don’t really get it.
Isn’t that what was and is said about Clinton’s emails? If Trump continues trumpeting, he needs to be drummed down each time, such a boring and annoying din as it may be. The alternative is to put your fingers in your ears and ignore the horrible noises inside your head.
I think your leader did…
Hilary Clinton is “my leader?” News to me…
She leads the polls of the party you support, no?
Yes. By that definition, would it be accurate to call Trump your leader?
I’m glad you took the bait.
1) As a libertarian, I can safely say, no, it wouldn’t be accurate.
2) As for poll leaders, with Clinton sitting at 60% amongst Democrats, she IS without question, the leader. Trump, sitting at 27%, still has a ways to go have majority Republican support. Things *will* change when the serious voters involved in primaries start voicing their opinions. Interestingly enough, the affect on Trump will not be the same as the effect on Clinton.
3) In the interim, it IS disgusting that Trump is the poll leader for Republicans.
4) The problem with this sidebar, is that you are digressing from the original topic…that is to say, your asinine question “Who decided this was a clever comeback?” Had Trump said something as stupid and corrupt as Clinton’s comment and then months down the line, YOU used it as a sarcastic rejoinder to an attack on Clinton, you wouldn’t find me making some facile diversionary quip like “Who decided this was a clever comeback?”
Trump is openly lying, it makes a tremendous difference at this point; it’s a direct window into his true character.
In my humble opinion…
Regardless of why you presented it, your trivializing sarcasm comment ended up to be just a deflection from the real points and the evidence that it was a deflection can be read in each of the replies.
What was your motivation for posting what you did?
Were you trying to make a point; what was that point?
With all the things pointed out in the piece, I honestly think you could have come up with a better comment.
I think you need to turn your sarcasm detector up.
He knows it was sarcasm. He said it was sarcasm.
Yes he did. Which is precisely why the rest of his comment makes no sense. Hence he needs to turn his sarcasm detector *up* not *on*.
Do you read critically at all?
rt’s comment made perfect sense. Sarcasm usually has a point; rt asked what that point was.
(I’ll also echo rt’s comment to lucky and apply it to you. Your comments are so much more interesting when you drop the petty partisan sniping and semantic games.)
Hey pot, here’s a kettle.
“Petty partisan sniping” I’ve often found is the accusation from one side, yet when that side engages in it, it is “astute political observation”. You’re sounding like a martyr.
“…the rest of his comment makes no sense.”
Reading comprehension is a learned skill; if you read more, comprehend better, and attack others less, you’ll “appear” less foolish.
Your choices, your consequences.
I did read your post. If you recognized his comment as sarcasm (which you claimed you did), I’m not sure why you then attempted to analyze it as though it wasn’t sarcasm.
Your follow-on snark doesn’t change that.
I do understand your confusion though, unless you’re an old commenter under a different name, then you are new here or returned from an extremely long absence. That said, luckeyest could answer your questions, but I knew what he was talking about immediately…that being the case, I’ll let him answer if he wants.
I’m new here, never seen the site before; I was referred to this site by a fellow blogger at madison.com. The author of the blogs on this site and I seem to see more eye to eye on ethics than many bloggers I’ve encountered online, it’s a breath of fresh air.
“but I knew what he was talking about immediately”
Since luckeyest is choosing not answer my questions, be my guest and speak for luckeyest and offer your explanation…
What was luckeyests motivation for posting what was posted?
Was luckeyest trying to make a point; what was that point?
P.S. You said, “Your follow-on snark doesn’t change that”. You appear not to like it when others “snark” at you, but you sure seem to deliver plenty of “snark” towards others. Doesn’t your “snark” reference implies a bit of a double standard?
To explain my stance on snark:
I avoid it as much as possible. But when I detect someone being willfully obtuse, my inhibitions on snark begin to lift. When I detect someone engaging in snark, my inhibitions lift. It is tit-for-tat (an unethical rationalization), and I probably shouldn’t allow myself to engage it. But we all have our flaws.
As much as a non-justification that this is: I don’t start it.
Snark began immediately with Christ above with his willfully obtuse question about “who thought this was a good response” or something to that effect.
“when I detect someone being willfully obtuse, my inhibitions on snark begin to lift.”
I wasn’t being obtuse in any way, luckyesteeyoreman’s sarcastic comment was incomplete as to the motivation and/or the purpose, the questions were warranted. You can disagree with my reasons for posting the questions but for you to state that I’m “willfully obtuse” is an unwarranted personal insult – is that SOP for you?
“Snark began immediately with Christ above..”
That’s not accurate; the snark actually began when luckyesteeyoreman posted his snarky sarcastic deflection that took this thread down a path that was not likely intended by the publishing of the piece by Jack.
Aren’t you going to speak for luckyesteeyoreman and answer my questions?
You’ll enjoy this entire subthread:
I didn’t say you were being obtuse. I identified I was discussing my opinions on snark in general. I started off listing willful obtuseness as a leading cause. Then I even identified that Chris was being willfully obtuse.
What I did say was your response was nonsense as it related to luckyest’s sarcasm. Which isn’t an insult but a characterization of your response, though my explanation was brief, I showed why it was nonsense. I’m sure it tweaked a nerve with you. Sorry. We don’t hold punches here.
“… is that SOP for you?”
As I read luckeyest’s sarcasm, it seems mostly borne of the incredible frustration incubated by years of Left wingers getting away with corrupt commentary without so much as a batting eye, but a Republican does it? Bam. End the game for them. Now. I think my guess is accurate based on luckeyest’s previous commentary, before he became the self-proclaimed sarcasm-slinger he is today.
Now, can we get away from this diversionary spiral about snark?
If I misunderstood the direction your “willfully obtuse” personal insult then I stand corrected; but, based on your reply it was directed at someone so my “well poisoning” question to you “is that SOP for you” stands as is. Your choice, your consequences.
Let me be really clear about luckyesteeyoreman original sarcastic comment; that statement was too board as to it’s focal point and meaning, it’s like someone read a scientific dissertation and simply said “your wrong” to the author and walked away without any clarification whatsoever. Disagree all you want but my questions were valid based on the comment itself and not knowing the motivations of the comment author.
I’m ready to move on, are you?
‘based on your reply it was directed at someone so my “well poisoning” question to you “is that SOP for you” stands as is.”
No, it doesn’t still stand. Calling someone willfully obtuse, then they are being willfully obtuse is not an insult. So, not being an insult, your subtle assertion that insults are an SOP of mine does not stand. It is still well-poisoning.
“I’m ready to move on, are you?”
I did make the comment about getting over this diversionary spiral for a reason…
Anyone here who wants to answer honestly, will readily attest that I am eager to move on*, and even those I most vehemently disagree with ought to indicate that on items that we agree, I vehemently agree with them regardless of past scuffles.
*But I won’t as long as a party in the wrong insists on continuing in error.
“No, it doesn’t still stand. Calling someone willfully obtuse, then they are being willfully obtuse is not an insult. So, not being an insult, your subtle assertion that insults are an SOP of mine does not stand. It is still well-poisoning.”
So if calling someone willfully obtuse is not a personal insult in your opinion then it must be something else; do you consider it a complement to inspire civil conversation? You’re being hypocritical with your use of well-poisoning; you calling someone willfully obtuse is just as much well poisoning as my question related to you calling someone willfully obtuse.
“*But I won’t as long as a party in the wrong insists on continuing in error.”
Who’s “wrong” in this discussion is a matter of personal opinion, I think you’re wrong, you think I’m wrong – big deal. We differ in opinion on a couple of points in this conversation, but I’m guessing that we’ll agree on many other points.
Talk to ya later, hopefully under better circumstances. 😉
If someone IS being willfully obtuse, identifying them as such (even if they *feel* insulted) is NOT an insult. If I call someone willfully obtuse with the intent to hurt their feelings, then we tread into insult territory.
It really isn’t a double standard.
The error you are falling into is thinking I insulted him when I merely identified his line of “thought” with his comment. That being an error, claiming insults are my SOP IS well-poisoning just as much as my identifying obtuseness as obtuseness is NOT well-poisoning.
We have hard discussions here. Not for the faint of heart. If someone says something asinine, it will be called out.
“Who’s “wrong” in this discussion is a matter of personal opinion”
So? Is that relevant?
“If someone IS being willfully obtuse, identifying them as such (even if they *feel* insulted) is NOT an insult. If I call someone willfully obtuse with the intent to hurt their feelings, then we tread into insult territory.”
With a written justification like that, I have to ask you, now who’s being willfully obtuse? Let me explain: Intent is not a criteria that defines “personal insult”, intent would certainly be part of criteria defining an “intentional personal insult”. Perception of the receiver is what defines personal insult, regardless of intent. You’re wrong again.
A personal insult is a negative remark made about a person, usually made in a demeaning tone of voice, or when written, the remark is made using what are generally considered to be negative words, and the remark is personal in that it is directed at a person’s character, personality, or individual traits, and it is meant to invalidate that person’s feelings or opinions, and/or to make that person feel bad about themselves. The person’s feelings or opinions are not disputed with logic or knowledge or facts. Rather, the person making the insult believes that by finding fault with your character, personality, or other individual traits, that they are then justified in dismissing your feelings and your opinions. In making the negative remark, they believe that they are effectively invalidating your right to express yourself, and/or they are purposely attacking your feeling of self-worth.
Just to be clear, I did not say you slung an intentional personal insult.
Here ya go
[Reply to texagg04 Dec 3 at 11:54 am]
“As I read luckyest’s sarcasm, it seems mostly borne of the incredible frustration incubated by years of Left wingers getting away with corrupt commentary without so much as a batting eye, but a Republican does it? Bam. End the game for them. Now. I think my guess is accurate based on luckeyest’s previous commentary, before he became the self-proclaimed sarcasm-slinger he is today.”
Tex, you nailed it, even if it was only a guess. You pegged me and my thinking with 100 percent accuracy. Thank you. As usual, you express most clearly what I very often fail to, or am unable to, express, except by way of (I confess) cryptic sarcasm.
To all: I apologize for the diversion that I created, despite my having no intent whatsoever to create a diversion. (SO FAR, that’s a “1,” or at least, closer to the top of Jack’s Apology Scale than to the bottom, anyway.) Now – next – to utterly isolate my apology, which is to say, “I mean to make no apology from hereon, for diversions that result from others’ reactions to my sarcasm;” consider yourself warned: That first sentence said, I have now taken responsibility for something that I have no responsibility for. Which suits me fine, because that reflects my aspiration to avoid, if not absolutely and eternally differentiate and segregate myself as an opposite to, the antiBarack, antiHillary subset of the species (along the lines of “antiChrist”) – they, being perhaps the most well-known exemplars of the subset of the species that takes responsibility for nothing and apologizes for nothing, but especially for the things they say and do for which any other member of any other subset of the species is entirely, inescapably responsible and culpable (and, for which someone outside their subset of the species inevitably is publicly and “demonizingly” scapegoated).
“Tex, you nailed it, even if it was only a guess. You pegged me and my thinking with 100 percent accuracy. Thank you. As usual, you express most clearly what I very often fail to, or am unable to, express, except by way of (I confess) cryptic sarcasm.
To all: I apologize for the diversion that I created, despite my having no intent whatsoever to create a diversion.”
That clarification and open apology get a well deserved thank you! I completely agree with you that “many” left wingers are VERY hypocritical!
Thanks again for the clarification, I really appreciate it.
CORRECTED last sentence:
“Which suits me fine, because that reflects my aspiration to avoid, if not absolutely and eternally differentiate and segregate myself as an exemplar of the antiBarack, antiHillary subset of the species (along the lines of the opposite of the “antiChrist”) – they, being perhaps the most well-known exemplars of the subset of the species that takes responsibility for nothing and apologizes for nothing, but especially for the things they say and do for which any other member of any other subset of the species is entirely, inescapably responsible and culpable (and, for which someone outside their subset of the species inevitably is publicly and “demonizingly” scapegoated).”
I’m not sure if you caught the reference. The comment wasn’t just sarcastic, but was drawing a parallel between Trump’s unwillingness to account for his deception with Hillary’s. Whether it’s a good one or not…well…
Anyway, I expect Lucky knows full well that it makes a difference.
Yes, I know full well that it makes a difference. (I just sometimes wish it didn’t, that is, make a diiference.)
Everyone caught the reference. It was still an unnecessary comment, and comes dangerously close to the “Everybody Does It” rationalization.
He’s rectified the problem, let it go.
No fair, Jack! Tex’s reply to Chris was time-tagged later than mine (and yours), yet his reply is listed after Chris’s comment as if he replied first.
That is exactly the opposite of how comments are listed according to time tags in all other comment threads. (Unfair to pennagain, too, but here, I am thinking only of my own interests.) What feature in this blogging “system” enables such injustice, such microaggression?
(I know, I know – “What difference, at this point, does it make?”)
Hey, Christ-like commenter (“resurrectedtoday”): What texagg04 said.
GO TRUMP! BAN GUNS!
I don’t know why that happened either. We need to revisit the time travel discussion spawned by Extradimensional Cephalopod.
It appears to have been corrected.
The mysteries of cyberspace never cease. [chuckling]
Due to the vagaries of WordPress, the universe lacks some crucial parsecs of its essential organization.
“Journalism with an agenda isn’t journalism, and Breitbart’s website never let nuances like facts get in the way of a good smear or a dubious accusation.”
That statement is total BS. In the history of this country, ALL “Journalism” has been agenda driven. This drivel about a fair and impartial press is a fabrication, done after WW2 when TV “Journalism” became a fact and the self-important TV reporters made that claim. “Journalism” as a profession is a myth. Unlike other Professions, there are no standards, no “accreditation” bodies, no tests to take. If you can write a coherent sentence, or read words aloud with confidence, you too can be a “Journalist”. There is no license or other professional standards body holding “Journalists” to a higher standard. It is now and always has been about making money by reporting with an agenda!
I tend to agree with what you said there, with some temptation to quibble over only: “If you can write a coherent sentence, or read words aloud with confidence, you too can be a “Journalist”. ”
But of course, it’s possible your not noticing that their hear.
Pretty silly argument. You’re saying that because journalism doesn’t practice according to it’s own stated mission and principles, the principles don’t apply. Sure they apply. Journalists usually descend into unethical advocacy…that doesn’t change what good journalism is and has always claimed to be. If I write, “pilots who always crash their planes aren’t pilots, and you say, “Bullshit, all pilots crash their planes,” my response is, “Then there are no pilots.”
I had no qualifications for any profession so I resolved to try my fortune as a journalist for there seemed to be no other profession that required neither ability nor training.
~ A.G. Macdonell (England, Their England) 1933
… ah, but this was a Scottish satire ….
“an unwarranted personal insult – is that SOP for you?”
Here’s your original little bit starting this spiral. In practical terms, there is no way to divorce intent from this. We live in a world where anyone can manufacture offense and literally anything said. Divorcing intent from the definition of “insult” pretty well ruins the meaning. I can’t be accountable for another person’s feelings being hurt unless I *intentionally* did so. If someone insists that 2+2=5, it may hurt their feelings to call them obtuse, but they ARE obtuse, and stating so may have no reason other than to jar them into some introspection without the intent to hurt their feelings.
“Just to be clear, I did not say you slung an intentional personal insult.”
Sure you did. Your insinuation that this is some sort of SOP indicates a perpetual intent to do so. But I don’t care. If identifying someone for what they are, in this case, being willfully obtuse, hurts their feelings, sorry, wasn’t the intent. However, when someone says something obviously obtuse, there is no reason not to point it out. If that’s your standard for “insulting someone”, then you may want to reconsider your entire stance on insults to begin with, that maybe, they aren’t so bad after all, if the sparing use of them may bring someone back from the brink of irrationality.
As a sidebar, I would humbly submit that you may want to reference a dictionary other than the user-edited Urban Dictionary, where it seems every definition is just two hyperlinks away from figuring out what a strawberry shortcake is…
I don’t want to drag this conversation into the abyss any further. You can claim you “won” if that will make you feel better, just kidding. Honestly, you’re pouring more poisoning in the well and I’d like to filter out the toxins, move on, and put it behind us. I really think you and I have similar opinions on some topics and I don’t want this squabble to tarnish the waters permanently.
This has gone far enough and I’m not going to squabble with you any more about it so please let this be the end.
Let it go, texagg04.
Yes. Let it go.
Nice sign off though paragraph though. Wow.
And the Bloggy award for “Most Successful Derail of a Thread” goes to luckyesteeyoreman, for “What difference, at this point does it make?”
*luckyyesteeyoreman goes on to talk about gun rights in his acceptance speech for fourteen minutes*
You seem relatively new here as well, though I have my suspicions. This discussion isn’t derailed. When people want to discuss the topic in depth they do. When people add side bars, they do. When a completely random side bar occurs, people discuss it. No one will stop you “getting it back on track” whatever that means to you.
This just sounds like additional bemoaning that you didn’t appreciate luckeyest’s sarcastic jab at the soon to be Democrat nominee..
As an interesting side note, often these posts calling out unethical behavior on the Right do not go on long at all…not nearly as long as the discussions coming from posts calling out unethical behavior on the Left. With relative consistency, it seems the Leftwingers here go into a predictably knee jerk defense of “their people”, drawing those discussions out, while it seems, in general, the Rightwingers here DON’T go into a knee jerk defense of “their people” but often acknowledge the criticism as accurate.
It’s a noticeable phenomenon, we’ll see how it holds up during a Republican presidency.
That this thread lasted this long is remarkable…of course alot of it had nothing to do with defending Trump at all.
He’s taken responsibility for what happened, rectified the problem, and openly apologized; continuing after he’s rectified the problem and apologized shows a sincere lack of maturity on your part.
There’s other things to discuss around the corner.
It’s time to move on; let it go.
How did you do that “Here ya go” text with the link; is that using HTML tags like this…
Were did you get the comment-page-1/#comment-368006 information from at the end of the tag?
Html markup like the google tag. I assume you did the basic method of the a href=xxxxxxxx, where xxxxxxx is the hyperlink?
The datestamp beneath your name on each individual post contains a link to that individual post. Right click and save link to insert it in a href markup.
Oops. Right click and “copy link” to paste it into the “a href=”
<a href=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>Link Text<a>
Where xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is the link, and the link is derived from the timestamp beneath the name on each individual comment.
Hopefully the 3 explanations make sense. Eventually.
Got it. Thanks. Yup I’m really used to using typical HTML tags; part of my wok experience is programming.
Let’s see if THIS LINK works.
Thanks again for the help with that.
Here’s a list of html tags that I know work with wordpress (there may be others)
<i> and </i> for italics
<b> and </b> for bold
<strike> and </strike> for
<blockquote> and </blockquote> for
Damn you, Dudley do-write. Like it wasn’t taking me long enough just to put the words together.