Tag Archives: Mother Jones

The Mueller Indictments: Observations And A Spin Report

Late yesterday afternoon the Justice Department announced that it had indicted thirteen Russians and three Russian companies for participation in a scheme to interfere in the United States political system. From the Justice Department website:

“The Department of Justice announced that a grand jury in the District of Columbia today returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 Presidential election. The defendants allegedly conducted what they called “information warfare against the United States,” with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”

The full 37-page indictment is here, giving citizens a rare example to read everything reporters know and to thereby be able to gauge exactly how accurate and fair their reporting is, if the citizens are so inclined. SPOILER ALERT: The spin efforts thus far have been staggering.

The press release also tells us in part:

According to the allegations in the indictment, twelve of the individual defendants worked at various times for Internet Research Agency LLC, a Russian company based in St. Petersburg, Russia. …Internet Research Agency allegedly operated through Russian shell companies. It employed hundreds of persons for its online operations, ranging from creators of fictitious personas to technical and administrative support, with an annual budget of millions of dollars. Internet Research Agency was a structured organization headed by a management group and arranged in departments, including graphics, search-engine optimization, information technology, and finance departments. In 2014, the agency established a “translator project” to focus on the U.S. population. In July 2016, more than 80 employees were assigned to the translator project….To hide the Russian origin of their activities, the defendants allegedly purchased space on computer servers located within the United States in order to set up a virtual private network. The defendants allegedly used that infrastructure to establish hundreds of accounts on social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, making it appear that the accounts were controlled by persons within the United States. They used stolen or fictitious American identities, fraudulent bank accounts, and false identification documents. The defendants posed as politically and socially active Americans, advocating for and against particular political candidates. They established social media pages and groups to communicate with unwitting Americans. They also purchased political advertisements on social media.

Also:

The Russians also recruited and paid real Americans to engage in political activities, promote political campaigns, and stage political rallies. The defendants and their co-conspirators pretended to be grassroots activists. According to the indictment, the Americans did not know that they were communicating with Russians.

Thirteen paragraphs into the release is this statement: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Talk about burying the lede!

Observations: Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Around the World, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Social Media

ARGHH! Why Didn’t I See This Earlier? (Slaps Forehead)The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck Demonstrates Why We Cannot And Must Not Trust The Mainstream News Media…

This is the revolting, understated, under-reported truth that the still rockin’ Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck has made explicit and beyond dispute. Journalists don’t report the news we need to know. They report the news they choose to allow us to know, when they choose to allow us to know it, in the form that serves their interests. This can no longer be denied by its enablers, who mostly look down on us from the Left.

Daniel Greenfield—yeah, yeah, he’s a conservative and this is on a conservative website—shut up and don’t play that game. He’s spot on—wrote in part..,

“Everybody f____g knew,” a top Hollywood screenwriter wrote of Harvey Weinstein. “Everybody knew” about Matt Lauer at NBC, Variety reports, and it “wasn’t even considered a secret.” “Every female in the press corps knew that, right, don’t get in elevator with him,” ABC’s Cokie Roberts said of Rep. Conyers.

Everybody knew.

The #MeToo sexual harassment scandals have hit CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, PBS, Vox, New Republic, Mother Jones. Forget Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose. They were just the talent. Their big decisions were limited to which hairpiece looked best in all three mirrors and which naïve intern to prey on this month. The heads of the men who actually make the news are rolling left and right.

NPR lost its Chief News Editor and its Senior VP of News. Vox lost its Editorial Director. The New York Times lost its White House Correspondent and Mother Jones lost its D.C. Bureau Chief. MSNBC lost two prominent contributors who had done much to shape the political landscape, Mark Halperin, who had written the definitive media account of the ’08 election, and David Corn, who had debuted the 47% attack on Romney and got the first look at Hillary’s Trump dossier.

The massive media machine built to smear and steamroll Republicans never bothered to report what everybody on the inside already knew. The wannabe Woodwards and Bernsteins in every paper, news bureau and explainer site weren’t investigating the scandals they already knew about. Those weren’t the scandals they were looking for.

That’s why no one trusts them. Hollywood, the media and the Democrats have been preaching to us about sexism and feminism for generations. Meanwhile behind the cameras and the chambers, an assault spree was in progress. And everybody knew.”

Well, that’s one of the myriad reasons nobody should trust them. I don’t think the causal connection between the #MeToo eruptions and the biased. partisan, ideologically driven manipulation of the news by our unethical, incompetent journalists has permeated the public consciousness yet—it took too long  to permeate mine—but I’ll do my part to help, now that my brain has finally has engaged. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

Ethics Hero: Mother Jones Pundit Kevin Drum

Impalings-of-Vlad-the-Impaler

It is sad and yet somehow comforting to watch the members of the crypto-totalitarian left writhe like Vlad the Impaler’s staked victims (above) as they try to deny, accuse, spin and otherwise humiliate themselves arguing against the factual assertion that the  anti-gun “no-fly list” = no gun rights ploy is blatantly unconstitutional, a breach of due process, and “pre-crime” legislation. It is sad, because it shows how far liberal ideology has fallen from its traditional aspirations, and how hypocritical it has become, embracing the “by any means necessary” approach to political power rather than actually respecting the civil rights it claims to worship. It is comforting, because it is signature significance. I thought much of the progressive movement  had become this corrupt and intellectually dishonest; now I know I wasn’t being unfair. This single episode proves it.

There is an ethical response to be adopted by someone previously cheering on the foolish Senator Murphy, or the smugly ignorant Ashleigh Banfield, once they are forced to think a bit about what these secret list tactics really mean in Constitutional terms. They don’t have to attack the messenger, often me, or make non sequitur statements about the Second Amendment is about muskets and militias. That ethical response is, “Oh. You know, I was so upset, I never thought about it that way, but you’re right. Wow. Thank-you.”

Most of them just can’t do it. It may be a lack of character, it may be a case of emotion killing brain cells, it may just be that an individual isn’t very bright, or that he just doesn’t want to be educated. That is, however, the ethical response.

If my floundering, foundering progressive friends want some inspiration to get them over the hump, I may have it for them, ironically from, of all places, Mother Jones, whose due process -mocking headline I recently dissected. That far left publications’ most prominent journalist is Kevin Drum, a progressive to his core. He is, however, also well-informed, intelligent, and true to his principles, and thus, while reporting on the various anti-gun measures being proposed as part of the cynical Democratic “DO SOMETHING!” initiative regarding guns, Kevin Drum wrote, Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, Rights

Unethical Headline Of A Week Of Unethical Headlines: Mother Jones

Senate vote

Almost Every GOP Senator Just Voted to Keep Letting Terror Suspects Buy Guns

You know, I just had an astounding and depressing exchange with a knee-jerk Democrat friend, who reacted to my Facebook post pointing out that CNN’s fake legal expert Ashleigh Banfield—who hosts a show called “Legal Views” and not only isn’t a lawyer, but can barely spell “Constitution”—displayed her rank ignorance once again by expressing amazement that anyone could possibly object to a law banning those placed without due process on a secret list, based on mere suspicion, from buying a gun. It’s called the Fifth Amendment, Ashleigh, you smug incompetent fool–read it. My friend’s response to this utterly factual post was the non sequitur that SCOTUS refused to review a lower court decision upholding a Connecticut law banning semi-automatic rifles. “The Supreme Court disagrees with you,” he wrote.

Huh?

You see, the left is deranged and incoherent on this issue. Totally bats, with principles draining out their ears. Because I object to breaching the core Constitutional principle of due process for any purpose–like every American should; it’s not a partisan issue—he “reasoned” that I must therefore believe that there is a right to own semi-automatic weapons. In fact, I have no position on that and didn’t mention it anywhere in the post. But, you see, good little gun-hating zealots like him believe that if you understand that Guns BAD, you must naturally approve of gutting the rule of law and the Constitution to restrict the sale of guns.  If you won’t happily gut the Fifth Amendment, you must be a gun nut.

The ends justify the means for these people. Constitutional principles only apply to good progressives and their favorite rights. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Facebook, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, U.S. Society

Entry For “Unethical Headline Of The Year”: Mother Jones

mother-jones-3

The real “Mother Jones”

A headline is a declarative statement, and ethical headlines are factual—not teases, not bait and switches, not lies, not deceit, but factual. Misleading headlines have become increasingly common on the web (click-bait, you know), and if this one from Mother Jones is any indication, the election season is going to be ugly as well as confusing.

The headline is “Republicans Hate Planned Parenthood but Want to Put One of Its Backers on the $10 Bill,” and it is quite an achievement: almost every word is a lie or intentionally misleading.

Let’s begin with “Republicans,” who, according to the headline, both “hate” Planned Parenthood and “want” to put a Planned Parenthood “backer” on the ten. “Republicans” implies all Republicans. Do all Republicans “hate” Planned Parenthood? Gee, I am married to a Republican who served on the board of the local  organization affiliate. There are many Republicans who oppose one of Planned Parenthood’s signature activities, abortion, but that does not mean all Republicans hate Planned Parenthood. Many headline writers, including the one that wrote this one, are lying, manipulative partisan hacks, but a headline that said, “Headline Writers Are Lying, Manipulative Partisan Hacks” would be unfair and misleading.

As for the second part of the sentence, which states Republicans want to put one of Planned Parenthood’s “backers” on the ten dollar bill, it is even more inaccurate regarding Republicans. The article under the headline refers only to the CNN candidate’s debate, and only to three of the eleven Republicans on the stage. Since eight of the Republicans did NOT choose to place the “backer’s” face on the ten, using the article’s own deceitful employment of the term “Republicans,” the article could also be titled “Republicans Hate Planned Parenthood And Don’t Want to Put One of Its Backers on the $10 Bill.” That, of course, wouldn’t convey the impression that Republicans have no integrity, are hypocritical and ignorant, which was really the purpose of the headline and the article. A headline, however, that is less accurate than the opposite of the headline is a really misleading headline. Res ipsa loquitor! Fairer and more honest still would have been a version of the headline that read “Three Republicans Want to Put One of Planned Parenthood’s Backers On The $10 Bill,” but even that would be misleading.

Oh, I’ve just gotten started, for this is some terrible headline. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media

Time For Ethical People To Boycott Fox News

No-Fox

Brian Stelter, CNN’s media critic, just played a newly-uncovered tape of the phone call to then-reporter Bill O’Reilly telling him that a shadowy figure in the JFK assassination had committed suicide. This was the same gentleman that O’Reilly, in his best selling “history” book, “Killing Kennedy,” claims shot himself with a shotgun while O’Reilly was just outside his door.

Documentation of O’Reilly lies are proliferating like Republican Presidential hopefuls, and the Fox News Head Bloviator continues to respond with bluster, ad hominem attacks and threats. In doing so, he refuses to abide by the standards he articulated—correctly—explaining why NBC’s fabulist anchor Brian Williams could no longer be trusted by viewers.

Meanwhile, Fox News has disqualified itself as a news source even for those who (completely justifiably) distrust the left-biased mainstream media. At least NBC had the integrity and professionalism to (eventually) investigate Williams’ conduct and take him off the air. Fox, in stark contrast, has issued deceitful defenses of their most profitable commentator, and continues to back, promote, and air a proven liar. (We already knew Bill was a bully, a jerk, and a narcissist.) Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, History, Journalism & Media, Professions

Unethical Quote of the Week: Fox News

weasels

“Bill O’Reilly has already addressed several claims leveled against him. This is nothing more than an orchestrated campaign by far left advocates Mother Jones and Media Matters. Responding to the unproven accusation du jour has become an exercise in futility. Fox News maintains its staunch support of O’Reilly, who is no stranger to calculated onslaughts.”

—-Fox News, in a statement announcing that it was standing behind its beleaguered cash cow and star, Bill O’Reilly, who has been shown convincingly to have misrepresented his exploits on several occasions.

What an awful, slimy, deceitful statement. Yecch. It must have taken a veritable pack of weasels, plus some lawyers, to draft that. Let’s unpack it. Hold your nose: Continue reading

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