Thursday, February 23, 2017

Let me spell the last name for you

Stop press! This just in from the Drudge Report, courtesy of the WashTimes:
Conservative sleuth James O'Keefe is ramping up his effort to take down the mainstream media by enlisting the help of ordinary citizens to go undercover and expose wrongdoing in newsrooms around the country.

The Project Veritas leader announced he will give $10,000 to anyone who brings him evidence of “corruption, malfeasance and wrongdoing” in the press.

You can just make the check out to me.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Angry snowflakes

Awwww! What has the little snowflakes upset over at InfoWars today?

The new season of Homeland features an obnoxious Alex Jones-style radio host in what is a transparent effort to discredit Infowars and appease liberals via the medium of entertainment.

The Alex Jones character was introduced early in the season via a voice on the radio. One of the lead characters, Quinn, is seen obsessively listening to the show. This same character has become violent and semi-deranged since surviving a biological assassination attempt and a stroke.

The not so subtle inference is that anyone who listens to Alex Jones is violent and semi-deranged.

Yes, you can see why someone might draw that inference. But if you're not yet familiar with Alex Jones-level droolerism, read on:

... The plots of earlier Homeland seasons were usually focused around Islamic terrorism, but in later series the show has kowtowed to political correctness and allowed social justice narratives to ruin the dynamism of what was once an enjoyable watch.

How very sad for you. Surely, though, there are some predictions!

... Expect the writers of the show to implicate the Alex Jones character as being responsible for a terrorist atrocity towards the end of the season.

The fact that an Alex Jones character has been written into the show tells us two things.

One – Infowars is part of the cultural zeitgeist and cannot be ignored.

Two – The establishment knows that young people don’t watch television news and don’t trust mainstream media so they have to resort to propaganda placement by smearing Jones through the medium of fictional entertainment.

It’s essential for our readers to understand that there is a concerted effort to take down Infowars on all fronts, including the suspension of our ability to run advertising which is set to cost $3 million dollars annually.

Weird. You know, usually they teach journalism majors that your "ability to run advertising" is sort of predicated on, oh, your ability to sell advertising.

It’s outrageous that we can be demonized in mainstream media, print, on national television, and even by fictional TV shows, while having our right to respond censored and removed.

"Right to respond." Where do you poor children think you are -- Canada or something?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Getting ahead of the story

You have to figure anyone at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network could have written the hed in their sleep -- when Massster speaks, it's going to be "rousing," whether anyone actually saw the candidate eat the rat or not. But just as a matter of not getting caught, don't you think it might help to wait for the speech itself?

President Trump returns to friendly and familiar ground Saturday with a campaign rally in Florida, after a challenging first several weeks in the White House, largely deprived of the voter enthusiasm that helped propel him to his unexpected November win.

Trump will hold the event inside an airplane hangar in the central Florida city of Melbourne. The Republican president visited Florida nearly two dozen times during the 2016 presidential campaign and won the state after Democratic President Obama was victorious there in 2008 and 2012.

Even the alleged kings of the fake news business had updated their story before 8 p.m. Eastern:

Melbourne, Florida (CNN) President Donald Trump, after a month of arduous and, at times, turbulent governing, got what he came for Saturday during a dusk rally here: Campaign-level adulation.

... "I am here because I want to be among my friends and among the people," Trump said to open his rally. "This was a great movement, a movement like has never been seen before in our country or before anywhere else, this was a truly great movement and I want to be here with you and I will always be with you."

As of 8:25, though, Fox was still mired in the future:

... Since his November win and officially entering the White House in late-January, the president has continued to argue that much of the news media has treated him unfairly, which has slowed progress for his young administration.

Trump has continued to use Twitter to sidestep reporters and communicate directly with Americans. But his use of social media has not appeared to spark as much energy as his freewheeling campaign stops -- notorious for chants of “Drain the swap,” "Lock her up" and “Build a wall.”

Saturday’s rally will likely be a return to the old style, which appeared to energize Trump as much as it did voters, if his roughly 70-minute press conference Thursday was a prelude.

Read more »

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

More squirrels!

The degree seems to have gone out from Caesar Augustus, and the Fair 'n' Balanced network is on the case! (Indeed, it's the No. 3 story on the homepage at this writing.)

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has refused Democratic requests to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump, is seeking criminal charges against a former State Department employee who helped set up Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Well, OK, it's an AP story, as you probably could have told by that annoying relative clause in the lede. You can see how that might have slipped by in the thrill of the chance to say "homebrew server" -- let alone BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!! -- again. But the real fun is in the fourth graf:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday asking him to convene a grand jury or charge Bryan Pagliano, the computer specialist who helped establish Clinton's server while she was secretary of state.

Pagliano did not comply with two subpoenas ordering him to appear before the oversight panel. The GOP-led committee later voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.

Earlier this month, Chaffetz met with Trump at the White House and agreed not to discuss oversight. He has rebuffed calls for his panel to look into Trump's businesses and possible conflicts.

Why do you suppose comments aren't enabled on this one?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Although it easily could be!

Q: Do they really think like that?
A: Why, yes!

The U.S. military plans to take over America by 2030.

No, this is not another conspiracy theory. Although it easily could be.

Nor is it a Hollywood political thriller in the vein of John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May about a military coup d’etat.

Although it certainly has all the makings of a good thriller.

No, this is the real deal, coming at us straight from the horse’s mouth.

When you skip ZeroHedge, you're not just missing the had-hitting economic reporting, you're missing the, something. You should go read the whole thing (and definitely watch the video), because it's hard to excerpt without, you know, just copying the whole thing, but here's the summary you need:

... Suddenly it all begins to make sense.


As you can imagine, it really hasn't been a good day to talk about national security at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network, so you can see why Tuesday evening's No. 2 story is -- libruls! Doing "science"!

On any given day, the Twitter account of New Real Peer Review features the latest in wacky, abstract liberal research, from feminist glaciology to the racism of Pilates and pumpkin spice lattes.

The account, which has some 23,000 followers, is shrouded in secrecy -- its moderators unknown to those reading the satirical tweets mocking what it considers outlandish theses, like a Ph.D. dissertation titled: "'Wow, that bitch is crazy!' Exploring gendered performances in leisure spaces surrounding reality television."

Anonymity is required, say moderators of the account, which has been threatened by hackers looking to shut it down.

Because it's Fox (and thus, because almost anything is more fun at this point than talking about how national security is actually compromised by hiring drooling racist buffoons to actual policy positions), we have certain expectations about the sourcing:

Read more »

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The second-cycle lede

What's the top story at 6:45 a.m. there, Fair 'n' Balanced Network?
A Russian official said Tuesday that the resignation of President Trump’s national security adviser may show early signs that the administration has been “infected” by anti-Russian feelings, Reuters reported.

Michael Flynn handed in his resignation late Monday night, conceding that he gave "incomplete information" about his calls with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.

"Either Trump has not gained the requisite independence and he is consequently being not unsuccessfully backed into a corner, or Russophobia has already infected the new administration also from top to bottom," MP Konstantin Kosachev said, according  to news reports out of the country.

Does it seem that's applying the old forward spin a little early? How does it look overseas?

US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over allegations he discussed US sanctions with Russia before Donald Trump took office.

Mr Flynn is said to have misled officials about his call with Russia's ambassador before his own appointment.

How about in the elite swamps of the nation's capital?

Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Trump, resigned late Monday over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials. 

The WashTimes can't quite be bothered to wake its own sources up, but at least it doesn't indulge the old apology tour with the Evil Empire:

But hurt feelings are definitely the order of the day at Fox:

Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said in a post on Facebook that firing a national security adviser for his contacts with Russia is "not just paranoia but something even worse."

Kosachev's counterpart at the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, Alexei Pushkov, tweeted shortly after the announcement that "it was not Flynn who was targeted but relations with Russia."

My, my, my, Can't wait for the White House press briefing!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A date which will live in ... wait, what?

Here's the paragraph as it appears at the Herald's website:

Lawyers at the Guantánamo war court had wanted military judges to obtain and preserve copies of the report for use in the Sept. 11 and USS Cole death-penalty cases of six men who spent years in the CIA prisons called Black Sites. The chief judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, refused but eventually ordered the Pentagon to safeguard one of its copies.

Shakespeare's job is safe. There are no early entrants for Clause of the Year here, and that's fine.  Reporting is less like a first rough draft of history than a first rough draft of furniture. Reporters go into the forest and return with freshly hewn lengths of news, which the factory then shapes, sands and polishes -- with an eye on demand, space on the assembly line and the like -- into finished journalism. There's a lot to learn from what happens at different stages of the assembly line: in this case, a story's transition from the wires to the individual paper (here, the Freep, though I can't find the story on its website).

I'm glad Black Sites was lowercased, though I probably would have put it in quotes as well, under the old "words as words" concept. I'd want to  unstack the noun pile* in the highlighted sentence, too. But since even the AP Stylebook says "Sept. 11" (or "9/11") can stand by itself, it's hard to see what exactly was improved by inserting the year after "Sept. 11." Particularly if -- just a suggestion here -- you insert the wrong year.

It's worth noting that none of the grisly battlefield photos from the War on Editing are unique to this particular stage of industrial upheaval. The same mistakes showed up when we were plucking and sharpening our own goose quills, and they'll be around when we edit with eye-mounted lasers. That's one of the reasons no single mistake can be blamed on any particular change to the process. But the really glaring ones do contribute to the steady erosion of the assumption that the assembly line adds value just by being there.

* Should we start a pool on when "nounpile" becomes one word?