How To Mainstream Conspiracy Theories 101

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I turned on CNN and there was Wolf Blitzer, breathlessly (and I mean that literally) reporting the TigerBeat conspiracy theory while showing a rather ambiguous video over and over again with the chiron “CLINTON STUMBLES” and “BREAKING NEWS.” And this:

Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post

Hillary Clinton falling ill Sunday morning at a memorial service on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will catapult questions about her health from the ranks of conservative conspiracy theory to perhaps …

Notice that the first sentence of this scrofulous story is not a news lede, but, rather, a soothsayer lead. This NOT journalism “will catapult the propaganda.”

And this is how c0nspiracy theories — no matter how dubious, no matter how corrupt, no matter how questionable — are walked into the mainstream press by the Rightie blogosmear.™

And it is a fundamental betrayal of the press corpse’s social contract with their consumers.  Continue reading


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Belabor Day

Time to belabor what OUGHT to seem obvious, but you know how that goes in the land of the grave and the home of the brie.

Cheese and walnuts with basil

The Brie

The phony false equivalency showed up this morning with an outlier poll on CNN which gave all the talking heads the vapors and allowed them to pretend that this is a horse race, when, in fact it’s a whore’s race, and by that I mean “media whores” in the sense of Les Moonves’ infamous, this election may be bad for the country but it’s GREAT for CBS!  Well, I see BS all right:

Poll: Nine weeks out, a near even race

Washington (CNN)  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton start the race to November 8 on essentially even ground, with Trump edging Clinton by a scant two points among likely voters, and the contest sparking sharp divisions along demographic lines in a new CNN/ORC Poll….

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Photo Finish

August drawings. Something to relieve the heaviousity.

hart williams august drawings

Pictures below the fold.

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Really Bad Journalism 101


It’s not often that the stench of the really bad article wafts so odoriferously from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but today’s Washington Post [WaPo] piece in question does, raising the question: Is it even POSSIBLE to get up wind of this?

‘Dr. Drew’ show canceled days after host’s negative speculation about Hillary Clinton’s health
Fred Barbash / Washington Post

Drew Pinsky’s six-year-old HLN show, “Dr. Drew On Call,” has been canceled by CNN, effective Sept. 22. In a statement, CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz said he and Pinsky “have mutually agreed to air the final episode of his show on September 22″ but gave no specific reason for the cancellation.

CNN Money, in its reporting of the announcement, connected it to a broader shakeup at HLN, including the end of Nancy Grace’s flamboyant show devoted to criminal court cases. But the decision came eight days after Pinsky’s comments on a radio show on Aug. 17 questioning the health and medical care of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton …

Seriously? You’re going to make Pinsky’s UNETHICAL* commentary the reason for his firing? Perhaps he was crappy all on his own? No: the “Drew Pinsky, Martyr” narrative (cribbed in this article from Right Wing websites) is the driving “motivation” in this story, without the slightest proof that it even exists! [* see below] Continue reading

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The Clinton Rules on Reporting … Again

gopaganda victims

The whole panoply of Republican disinformation was on display this week, leading up to the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the presidential campaign (after the “Death March to Bataan” primaries and year preceding them): lies, deception, lies, mendacity, lies, prevarication, lies and manipulation of a bought and complicit “mass media” owned by the One Percent via six media companies. And then came the Clinton Foundation “scandal.” It was ubiquitous this morning. And it was false:

The AP’s big exposé on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess
Matthew Yglesias / Vox

—  Tuesday afternoon, Stephen Braun and Eileen Sullivan of the Associated Press released the results of a review of State Department appointment data that they used to make some striking claims about Hillary Clinton’s schedule as secretary of state…. Except it turns out not to be true. The nut fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan’s reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct.

I will not belabor the fact further here, because there is a wider issue at play and, given what we’ve seen this week, the double standard of “reporting” and “facts” will continue to hold sway, to the detriment of the voters and to the republic for which they stand in line to vote. Continue reading

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The Great Gawker Lie

gawker RIP

Gawker is dead. It is dead because they decided, cruelly, to “out” a wealthy gay man, and then foolishly decided to publish a stolen sex tape from a public figure and then refused to take it down because of their committment to “journalism.”  And now this: is out of business because one wealthy person maliciously set out to destroy it, spending millions of dollars in secret, and succeeded. That is the only reason.

Yes, Virginia, some sophist has decided to continue to bamboozle the public and the poorly-educated among the journalistic community that Gawker was a champion of journalism and free speech, rather than an arrogant assortment of snarky wordsmiths with an inflated view of their value to society and a casual disregard for the pain that their words could cause, magnified through the megaphone of mass media:

Gawker Was Murdered by Gaslight
Tom Scocca / Gawker

—  A lie with a billion dollars behind it is stronger than the truth.  Peter Thiel has shut down  —  This is the final act in what Thiel wished to present, and succeeded in presenting, as a simple and ancient morality play, a story of hubris meeting its punishment….

Alas, the moral question is far different than Mr. Scocca pretends it to be. Continue reading

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Quick: What is the GOP term for ‘Political Correctness’?


I  know that they MUST have one, and that it MUST have an Orwellian tinge, like “Clean Skies Initiative.”  The latest example of whatever-you-call-it showed its ugly face for the Olympics (and, of course, NOT racially at all):

Social Media Outraged After Gabby Douglas Doesn’t Put Hand Over Heart During National Anthem
CBS New York

RIO DE JANEIRO — Several people took to Twitter to take Gabby Douglas to task for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem after the U.S. women’s gymnastics team captured the gold at the Olympics….

No Republican leaders in evidence, of course. Continue reading

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