On today's BradCast, I'm in for Brad again. We start by pick up where we left off yesterday, with another review of fake news - this time, contrasting it with lazy, bad, or mistaken news reports.
And - about that reported book contract a flamboyant neo-Nazi is crowing about: why it's way too early to say, "We're boycotting Simon & Schuster!"
Then Natalie Blake with the California National Party explains how a state can secede from the US (hint: more than one option here). This is NOT the same California independence group allied with Russia, although you'd never get that from most media.
And an excerpt from a live conversation with author and culture critic Jeff Chang. Kind of fun to hear the Executive Director of Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts explain how diversity is problematic.
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Watchdog Group Demands Retraction and Explanation From New York Times for Multiple Inaccurate O'Keefe/ACORN/'Pimp' Reports
NYT's Senior Editor for Standards "stands by" repeated misreporting, cites Fox News appearance by rightwing propaganda "journalist" as "evidence," despite contrary eye-witness testimony, independent reports and video
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- National nonpartisan watchdog group Velvet Revolution calls on the New York Times to immediately issue a retraction and correction of its repeated, inaccurate reporting that James O'Keefe entered offices of The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) dressed as a "pimp." This information is false.
"Not since the Times' flagrant and inexcusable front-page 'reporting' by Judith Miller on Saddam Hussein's non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction has the paper so irresponsibly, and repeatedly, in saturation coverage, helped to mislead the American people in a way that has caused so much harm," says Brad Friedman, Velvet Revolution co-founder and publisher of The BRAD BLOG, which first reported on the Times' errors.
In several stories over the past six months, the Times falsely reported that O'Keefe:
Shepard Smith's days at Fox "News" may have to be numbered at this point. Even the filthy Judith Miller, for Chrissakes, is joining him in being appalled by the torture memos.
"If there was torture, there was a crime. If there was a crime, there were criminals who ordered the torture," he says to the reprehensible apologist Clifford May before he and Miller both concur that these "horrendous techniques are illegal"...
But later, Smith completely blows his stack on Fox's online-only show The Strategy Room, pounding on the table and SHOUTING: "We are America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps! We are America! We do not fucking torture!!!":
The response from the guy who works at the real NYTimes alone --- after he claims "we've been all over the Bush administration since day one, we set the standard for coverage of the Iraq War" before the reporter mentions the name "Judith Miller" --- makes this a must-see video (appx. 2 minutes)...
Thank you to those who dare to dream, even if such dreams are little more than saying out loud what we all know to be possible. Even that much, incredibly, in 2008, seems to have become the impossible for so many, in a country which once saw nothing as impossible.
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had ‘not distinguished themselves’ on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation...
The item was sourced to unnamed “administration officials” who gave it to two WaPo reporters “yesterday.”
This juicy lede graf was followed up:
The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. attorneys..." but above "weak U.S. attorneys who...chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents.
The major problem with this story? It’s not true. The Department of Justice never 'ranked' U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald negatively or as 'undistinguished.' According to sworn testimony by D. Kyle Sampson, today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fitzgerald was rated 'very strong' internally in the DOJ.
So who fed the Post that story? And why did they run it without pinning it down first?...
In today’s Washington Post ombudsman column, “Covert Question, Open Controversy,” Deborah Howell says, “Wilson's New York Times op-ed piece, critical of the Bush administration's use of intelligence, set off a chain of events that led to the disclosure of Plame's job.”
But information and testimony revealed during the course of the Libby Trial indicates that it wasn't Wilson's op-ed piece that set the off the chain of events leading to their disclosure of the CIA WMD analyst and her covert network. The Bush administration began its campaign to discredit Valerie Plame/Wilson at least a month prior to the release of her husband's article.
But when Wilson wrote his book, he did not have access to behind-the-scenes discussions about his wife now revealed through the perjury and obstruction trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff. Retaliation there was, in spades, but testimony and documents in the Libby trial demonstrate, unrefuted, that administration discussion of Mrs. Wilson began several weeks before Wilson’s column appeared.
The reasons why are still unclear, and the prosecution was not permitted to delve into ramifications of the leak. But that the administration was already targeting both Wilson and his wife, Valerie --- overseeing a crucial intelligence network monitoring WMD activity in the middle east --- is now beyond question.
So why, beyond Wilson's op-ed, was the Bush Administration previously so intent on discrediting one of its own CIA assets?...
...And the rest is history. Or at least current history as it is unspooling in Courtroom 16 of the Prettyman Courthouse in D.C., in the Perjury Trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Today, following a long, leisurely courtroom session with witness David Addington, the government lawyer for Vice President Cheney as opposed to Cheney’s private attorney, prosecution witness Judith Miller was escorted into the courtroom a little after 2:00 p.m.
Just in time to contradict her previously friendly “deeper-background” “former Hill staffer” source, Libby. The one who was Chief of Staff to the Vice-President of the United States.
Giving her current occupation as “freelance journalist” and her former employer as the NYTimes, Miller laid out under prosecution questioning the basic chronology of her acquaintance with Libby. Miller testified that she came to know Libby through her book Germs, co-authored with Stephen Engelberg and William Broad. The book, basically a highly torqued argument in favor of being very afraid of bioweapons, came out on September 10, 2001. In spite of being given a free taxpayer-funded boost by then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, it did not rocket to the top of the bestseller lists immediately; however, the anthrax attacks, which began a few weeks after 9/11, did enhance sales. At least the book mentions (eventually) that anthrax spores can be killed by direct sunlight, a fact that boosters of war with Iraq seem to have overlooked.
Engelberg had interviewed Libby in the course of writing the book, Miller testified, and found him helpful, so Miller later – “some time between 9/11 and the beginning of the war with Iraq” – phoned Libby and asked to see him. She and Libby met in the Old Executive Office Building; he said he liked her writing on WMDs and terrorism; she expressed a wish to talk with him often; he said “fine” but on condition that his name not appear in print; she said “fine” to that.
A neocon marriage of minds between government official and sympathetic journalist, one might think, and one would be right...