I have never thought much of BuzzFeed, even before it decided, earlier this year, to go “Whole Hog Memeorandum” and stick its chicken neck into the “political reporting” clickthrough sweepstakes. The most recent swill is a case in point. Here, we have political slander rendered in mindless stenography [emphasis added]:
How The Romney Campaign Decided To Take The Gloves Off
Surrogates will bring up cocaine, Fast and Furious, and ties to Blagojevich, one aide says. What Romneyland is thinking.
Indeed, facing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney’s finances and business record, the Republican’s campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the next chapter of Boston’s pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a “liar” — very little will be off-limits, from the president’s youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced Chicago politicians.
Romney’s bold new move? To run the McCain 2008 campaign, minus the prohibition against going after Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
“Building a bridge to the Nineteenth Century!” ought to be our robber baron’s slogan.
But Romney isn’t the issue here. The issue is the shameless stenography of McKay Coppins, former BYU student newspaper editor and LDS “reporter” on Romney for BuzzFeed.
Here’s from his LinkedIn profile:
Newsweek/The Daily Beast
Public Company; 201-500 employees; WPO; Publishing industry
April 2010 – Present (2 years 4 months) Greater New York City Area
Cover politics, religion, and national affairs for Newsweek and The Daily Beast
The Daily Universe
August 2009 – April 2010 (9 months)
Senior student editor at Brigham Young University’s daily campus newspaper. Coordinated front-page packages, supervised about 50 student editors and reporters.
Coppins afield: The BuzzFeed bio photo
Take a gander at his current piece’s headline (which is a deliberate distortion, else the editorial staff doesn’t actually speak English as a first language and is, in fact, an outsourcing shop in India):
“We will be ruthless,” Meredith famously said of Dell’s 2001 layoffs. [emphasis theirs] He’ll host the president at his Four Seasons penthouse …
Not only isn’t this news, it’s a blatant smear, intended by the Dancing Horse Gazillionaire to prove that Obama is an a) elitist, b) pals around with bastards LIKE Mitt Romney (kind of some cognitive dissonanceitude there, ain’t they McKay?) and to condition a la Pavlov, by smashing the words “Ruthless” and “Obama” together.
On the FACE OF IT, this is absurd. If someone said something about “ruthless” in 2001, how does that translate to “Obama is Ruthless” in 2012? (Other, of course, than using partisan dream logick of the sleaziest kind.)
BYU? Gee. Funny how many non-Mormons rise to positions of prominence at BYU. Need we actually ask?
Let’s go back to the first piece. Do you notice how this turdball “journalist” manages to freight that first paragraph with slurs attributed to anonymous sources?
That’s some REAL reporterin’ young ‘un. (And by “young ‘un” I mean Brigham Young, author of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.)
Then there’s this from Politico, explaining how ex-Politico crap-journalist Ben Smith* hired Coppins at BuzzFeed:
McKay Coppins, the Mormon on Mitt’s trail
By DYLAN BYERS | 1/31/12 11:15 AM EST
All eyes are on Florida today, but BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins has already moved on to Nevada — a tricky state, Newt Gingrich has argued, “because of the Mormon influence.”
Coppins, who joined BuzzFeed from Newsweek earlier this month and serves as the site’s Mitt Romney correspondent, is staying at the Luxor. But unlike most guests at that famous pyramid on the Las Vegas strip, Coppins is not gambling. Nor is he drinking — another Vegas pastime. And it’s not because he’s traveling on a limited expense account.
“I think the Strip is less fun for observant Mormons,” he wrote from his hotel room last night.
Most BuzzFeed readers probably didn’t know that Coppins is a Mormon. (The editors have alluded to it once or twice, but only indirectly). Now that they do, his “Brief Guide to ‘Mormon Underwear’” — a well-informed 900-word item on the faith’s sartorial expressions of “inward commitment” — probably makes a lot more sense.
Coppins’s religion also helps to explain how the reporter has been able to write so authoritatively about Romney’s tithes to the LDS church and his reluctance to confront anti-Mormon bigotry.
“[My faith] informs my way of understanding Romney, and some of his most avid supporters (Mormons),” Coppins explained to me, “and it gives me the ability to write authoritatively.”
“But,” Coppins added, “I approach the subjects of his candidacy and his faith as a journalist, not as a Mormon advocate.”
Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, hired Coppins on strictly secular terms, describing him as “an incredibly hungry and talented reporter with analytical horsepower and writing chops that’ll make him a star in any context.”
But Coppins’s faith is certainly icing on the cake, as it gives him expertise on a subject that is foreign to almost every other reporter covering Romney. Should Romney advance to the general election and Mormonism become a central issue during the campaign, that expertise will give him an even greater advantage.
“I just know a lot about his religion, his lifestyle, how he’s taught to raise his family, his worldview, etc.,” Coppins told me. “It helps me understand why he says the things he says, and does the things he does.”
In other words, one presumes, it explains WHY lying isn’t considered a sin in Mormonism, since that is all Romney has demonstrably done in this campaign, and seems to be all that being a “journalist” McKay Coppins is seemingly managing. And note how his denial doesn’t say that he’s not in the bag for Romney. It just says he’s not being an advocate for Mormonism.
Coincidental Drudge to Birthers horseshit headline on “Gloves off” day
Damned white of him. (Like virtually all Mormons.)
If you need further evidence of McKay Coppins’ “non-advocacy” just page ahead in your McGuffin Reader to Evangelicals for Mitt, wherein Coppins is praised to the rafters by those fanatics so in the bag for Jeezus that they want to stomp all secularity out of government, BUT so tolerant that they can constantly explain why Mormonism is “one of us,” and not a Christian heresy that the heretic hunters ought to pay no nevermind to. (A rather small demographic, we hope):
We’re All Aliens Now
By Charles Mitchell
17 Apr 2012
Over at Buzzfeed, McKay Coppins has posted a piece entitled “Why Ann Stayed Home” whose thesis is so simple as to be self evident to some of us: Mrs. Romney stayed home with her kids in part because her faith encouraged her to do so. But don’t tune out, dear reader. This is an immensely important article and it presages much that is to come.
If you read through what Coppins offers, it’s by no means a hatchet job. It strikes me as a reasonable effort by a journalist who is an outsider to a community to convey to a bunch of outsiders what that a certain community believes.
[UPDATE, 4/20/12: Numerous readers have pointed out that McKay Coppins is LDS. I should've suspected that based on his name and the fairness of his piece and I regret implying otherwise with the way my "Earthling" language was constructed above. However, even with an LDS writer trying to make things comprehensible for a secular audience, I think my Earthling/extraterrestrial point still stands, along with the rest of the piece. I've edited accordingly above.]
Make no mistake, fellow evangelical. Gov. and Mrs. Romney will be defending our values under a harsh spotlight between now and November. The only question is: Will we throw them under the bus because we differ with some of the details of Mormon theology, or will we stand and fight for the values we both believe in? We can do the latter without endorsing their theology, and we can’t do the former without doing a severe disservice not just to all those who would be harmed by a second term for the most pro-abortion, pro-debt president in American history, but also to future candidates who share our “antiquated” values, including but by no means limited to conservative evangelicals….
Ah. Facts and faith. Never the Twain shall meet. Interesting that a man who easily spews lies as fact in his BS screed ["the most pro-abortion, pro-debt president in American history" -- which is, factually BULLSHIT, actual journalists please note] would think that McKay Coppins is a “great reporter.”
Not to be confused with media whores
I guess it is if you’re in the bag for your Church’s first presidential nominee* (* a serial liar whose mendacity beggars the imagination), and who has lovingly stalked Mitt’s campaign since at least LAST year, but who BuzzFeed doesn’t bother informing their readership is a Mormon, and a former editor of the BYU newspaper. Because of course, that wouldn’t be important in the least in evaluating his stenography of slander. Why, it’s just GREAT journalism! Evangelicals love it!
Nothing like those anonymous sources being quoted in all their slanderous glory by our little BYU grad to establish journalistic credibility.
And I do mean “nothing.”
But you make up your own mind: quietly partisan stenography or “journalism”?