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Editor Admits Breitbart Publishes Fake News

I know it won’t come as a shock to any of you that Breitbart News plays dirty. Still, this is a pretty amazing admission [1] by its editor in chief, Alex Marlow, regarding its coverage of the Roy Moore race:

Marlow said one of the factors in Breitbart’s coverage of the allegations against Moore is that, he believes, the news media was trying to use them to set a bar on sexual misconduct “that President Trump cannot match.”

“I think they want to create a standard where President Trump either from past or future accusations, will not be able to match whatever standard is now in place for who can be a United States senator,” he said. “Based off not any sort of conviction or any sort of admission of guilt, but based off of purely allegations.”

“I think that’s the playbook here,” he added. “And I think it’s part of the reason why it was so important for Breitbart to continue our coverage of the way we covered it … and for Steve in particular to hold the line the way he did for — I think part of it is because it’s not just about Judge Moore, it is not even just about establishment, anti-establishment. It’s about what’s coming next for President Trump.”

change_me

Though Marlow concedes that Breitbart made coverage decisions around protecting Trump, before the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore, Breitbart had been hammering the news media and Hollywood for supposedly protecting individuals like Harvey Weinstein. Asked about the view from critics that Breitbart had done exactly that with Moore, Marlow claimed the website has been “much more careful” than other outlets when covering ongoing allegations of sexual harassment and assault, saying the website looks for “certain factors,” such as “a certain level of detail” in allegations.

Marlow also stressed that he was personally uncomfortable with the behavior attributed by The Post to Moore, and noted that he did believe the accusations from Leigh Corfman, who said Moore assaulted her while she was 14 — they were “not perfect,” he said, but had “a lot of credibility.”

Read the whole thing. [1]

Do you understand this? Even if they believe that you were sexually assaulted at 14 by an older man, they will continue to destroy your reputation as a way of protecting that older man, because their real mission is to protect Donald Trump — and extremism in the defense of Trump is no vice.

Truth, fairness, and ordinary human decency don’t matter. Only winning.

It is useful to know that you can’t believe a thing Breitbart says, because it’s willing to publish fake news that serves its perceived interests. I mean, you knew this anyway, but now you’ve had it confirmed by the editor-in-chief.

130 Comments (Open | Close)

130 Comments To "Editor Admits Breitbart Publishes Fake News"

#1 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 26, 2017 @ 9:55 am

If Rombald’s argument is the best anyone can offer about the blind prejudices of the mainstream press, case closed, the press is the pristine epitome of objective journalism. Which we all know, in one way or another, is not true.

Most of us were alive during the run-up to Bush 2’s Iraq War 2. There was a good deal of reporting on whether Iraq did or did not have WMD’s, and few journalists were arguing forcefully that it most certainly did. There was a lot of reporting of official press releases, etc., which is part of the job of the press.

While there has certainly been American provocation of Russia and conspicuous overlooking of understandable Russian motives, to suggest that there is no aggression on the part of the former KGB agent and his cronies running the country is ludicrous.

While the U.S. military, and war hawks such as John McCain, have made some serious errors in judging who can be trusted, who should be trained and armed, in Syria, to describe the government as secular, or semi-democratic, betrays profound ignorance. The Syrian government is controlled by a religious sect, which is one reason the government fears and is despised by the majority population of other religious sects. Its true that Alawites have found safety in opportunistic alliances with Christian and Shia minorities, although they find equally opportunistic comfort in persecuting Jews. Nothing democratic about it. In due course, the Obama administration realized that the Kurdish forces were the primary force on the ground whose interests aligned with ours… for now.

I doubt very much that Russian election hacking had an impact on the outcome. But that attempts were made is well documented. It was probably stupid, definitely clumsy, but the intent and attempt were there.

There are a lot of misconceptions about “Syrian refugees,” many of which are not Syrian, among other things, but the press hardly foisted these misconceptions on political leaders previously committed to a sensible realpolitik.

In 2002-2003, I read reports from many sources ranging from the NYT to the Nation and Glenn Greenwald, and after weighing the evidence, I concluded that the US did not possess any evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. That turned out to be correct in the end.

Well, precisely. You were able to read all these sources and come to your own conclusion. I infer, and expect, that you did not merely read what they wrote and assume the opposite to be true. There was a variety of data, sources, opinions, made available, and you thought for yourself about what it all added up to. That’s how journalism is supposed to work. If the NYT had failed to report what Colin Powell said, that would have been an error of omission, quite as much as if what he said was the ONLY thing reported.

This does however remind me of a Doonesbury cartoon in which a fictitious senator asks Powell, “And this makes sense to you?” Powell’s cartoon answer was “Come on, they make me say this stuff.”

If you read the NYT and WaPo during Merkel’s refugee crisis from two years ago, you would have gotten the impression that (i) most of the “refugees” were from Syria, (ii) they were all medical doctors, physicists and engineers, and (iii) they were fleeing genocide and persecution.

Yup, that was a weak point. But I wonder how productive it would be to wade into a crowd of anxious young men without shelter facing a barbed wire fence at the Hungarian border and ask them “So, are you REALLY Syrian or are you from Somalia? Do you have your passport and your medical school diploma in your backpack?” There were some women and children available for photo ops, and there are some whole families settled in Germany (some of whom are causing serious problems). Was there a “deep throat” available who knew the real score?

As a religious person, you are taking a faith-based approach to news – you have faith in the NYT and WaPo just you have faith in the Bible, so you believe what you read there.

To an avowed atheist from a henotheistic cultural background who disdains the press wholesale, I suppose it would be difficult to differentiate religious faith from informed confidence in a human institution.

#2 Comment By TR On December 26, 2017 @ 10:20 am

Noah172–ok, I’ll give you Richard Jewell. And anyone else who has had a media army camped out on their doorstep. That was before Fox came on the air, but do you think Fox would have reported the Jewell story any differently? More professionally?

(I suspect you and I and maybe ten others even know what we’re talking about.

#3 Comment By JonF On December 26, 2017 @ 12:24 pm

Re: Iraq’s WMDs: No journalists suffered any career difficulties due to their consistent lying on behalf of the warmongers.

— I remember the media reporting the Bush administration claims on this– which were newsworthy after all, but I don’t recall the media (at least generally) reporting that claims as established fact.

Re: The way that the conflict with Russia is presented as being due to Russian aggression

— The Russians are not innocent babes in the woods. Things had been mended between the US and Russia during Medvedev’s term. Then Putin returned and went back to the policy of confrontation.

Re: The way that US-NATO is presented as fighting ISIS and other Wahhabi head-choppers in Syria, when, especially under Obama, it was supporting them, and fighting the secular, semi-democratic, multireligious government.

— Huh? The claim that the US supported ISIS is absurd. And no, the Assad regime (though, yes, preferable to ISIS) was not remotely “semi-democratic”.

Re: All the preposterous nonsense about Russian election-hacking.

— The Russians did not “hack” the voting process, and as such I’d prefer the word “hack” not be used– but the Russians most definitely were up to their eyeballs in shady stuff last year. Anyone who participates in the blogosphere (other than on this well-curated site) has run into Russian trolls stirring up disputes. Not to mention the torrent of fake news spread via Facebook.

Re: The lies about how “Syrian” “refugees” would benefit Europe.

— This is a claim put about by some European politicians, and as such it is newsworthy. I have not seen the media reporting the claim as established fact (you seem to have a problem with the media reporting on leaders’ views when you disagree with them).

#4 Comment By No Comment On December 26, 2017 @ 1:01 pm

Rod works in the media, knows real reporters and editors, and actually knows what he’s talking about. The commenters who can’t tell the difference between Breitbart and the NYT don’t know much about the subject other than what they want to believe.

Don’t you think his experience in the profession needs to be weighed against his personal biases? His judgments about the media appears to be clouded by his emotional attachment to his profession, his personal affection and affinity for the journalists he knows personally and therefore can’t be objective about, and his stubbornness on the topic of Trump and his supporters in general.

As for the differences between Breitbart and the NYT, the main difference between them is very clear: one publication doesn’t conceal that it offers partisan interpretations for its readers, while the other one does.

With the NYT, if the topic of the article in any way intersects with politics or cultural politics, usually I can’t get through the first paragraph, and often the fist sentence, without groaning and rolling my eyes over some lie by omission or statement based on false, misleading or disputed premises. The Washington Post is even worse. It reads like one giant editorial page nowadays.

These people in the media know exactly what they’re doing. They have an agenda, and they relentlessly pursue it. While they certainly are professional in the narrow sense that they are competent in the craft of writing and editing, all the best propagandists are competent at those things. True from Walter Duranty to Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman.

#5 Comment By Rossbach On December 26, 2017 @ 1:14 pm

“It is useful to know that you can’t believe a thing Breitbart says, because it’s willing to publish fake news that serves its perceived interests. I mean, you knew this anyway, but now you’ve had it confirmed by the editor-in-chief.”

Can we infer, based on MSM coverage of the 2016 Presidential Election, that this statement applies to them as well?

#6 Comment By Mightypeon On December 26, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

Generally speaking, I believe that Breitbart knows when it is lying and when they are trying to tell the truth.

I am increasingly uncertain if this is the case for many MSM outlets. Concerning Russian matters (I was born in Russia, speak the language and have somewhat of an understanding of the country) the mainstream coverage is so incredibly bad and deceitful that I am reminded of Soviet era propaganda.

It is interesting to know that, in an inversion of how things were during the cold war, the Russians translate US news pieces into Russian to laugh at them while the US is trying to ban Russia Today from the country.

#7 Comment By Alex Brown On December 26, 2017 @ 1:41 pm

RD: What they do attempt to do, sometimes failing, is to be fair and accurate. All quality newspapers do.
This is a fundamental issue. This is how much of the current wave of disturbances started on the Left 3-4 years ago, with rioting and denunciation of ‘AmeriKKKa’ as perpetually and irredeemably racist state and ended up with election of Trump (so far) as, in part, protest vote. Ok, journalists sincerely believe that they are taught to tell the truth. But they somehow don’t believe that police taught to be fair, or that our criminal system is just! Instead, they believe in ‘systemic racism’ which apparently taught in police academies. They falsely claim that our criminal justice system is incarcerating innocent black men en masse. Why is that? Why is NYT eager to publish leftist professors who willingly spread lies about ‘advantages of socialism’ year after year, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Why they publish Noam Chomsky but not say Ann Coulter?

I no longer believe that it is possible to have some ‘objective’ media. Better to have openly partisan one and form your opinion on the subject after reading several opposing stories on the same subject. Admittedly, only a few of us will do that.

#8 Comment By Lllurker On December 26, 2017 @ 2:06 pm

@Glaivester: “In any case, should I assume that to be deliberately misleading so I should cut off NPR (or at least that show)”

That’s a solid point. Incidentally my recommendation for someone who hasn’t developed the habit of vetting sources for credibility (instead of for bias) is to focus initially on written articles, since the standards in print journalism tend to be better defined and details are usually easier to sift through when in writing. For example it’s often harder to spot non sequiturs when someone is speaking than when the same information appears in print.

Having realistic expectations of reporters is at the heart of all this, including an awareness of the limitations and pressures associated with the job. Your example with the non-profits seems to involve some fairly granular domain expertise. This may be asking a bit much of a general reporter whose usual beat includes a broad range of subjects and who has no prior experience wading into those particular weeds. On the other hand a veteran reporter with experience in financial and tax matters, or perhaps in election law, could be expected to have a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter. (Off the top of my head reporters like Joe Nocera and David Cay Johnson come to mind.) So I don’t see a clear indication that in this case the reporter was deliberately misleading, at least not within the context of what you wrote here.

“Deliberately misleads in some fashion” is a broad enough category that it could apply to a lot of things, or not apply, based on how you feel about a particular source.”

Assessing a reporter’s credibility based on a single story can be an iffy thing. I find that if you follow the reporter’s work for a spell a pattern usually surfaces fairly quickly. When there are doubts about a specific reporter it can help to think of him as being “on probation” until more clarity is reached.

Oftentimes if a reporter has an online archive a quick scan of previous articles will quickly reveal if he is not a legitimate journalist.

#9 Comment By Lllurker On December 26, 2017 @ 2:10 pm

“I can see their biases and know that the strongest one is towards getting the story right”

A good standard for any reporter to shoot for.

#10 Comment By GB On December 26, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

Rod: I’ve been in a newsroom like the ones at WaPo and NYT, I know journalists personally and I understand the basic ethos of what these reporters are trying to do.

Fool: I’ve never been anywhere near any press outlets, don’t know anything about journalistic training and standards, but I read a lot of propagandist websites and believe them, so I’m sure you’re wrong.

Boy howdy, some readers here are a piece of work.

#11 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 26, 2017 @ 3:46 pm

“If anybody at ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN had reported as many incontrovertibly false stories as Sean Hannity, he/she would have fired a long time ago.”

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald has recently published the litany of falsehoods that the NYT, WaPo and MSM have published over the past year, which have never been corrected nor explained or even apologized for.

I too have a journalism degree and worked in the field. As a former director at a major metropolitan newspaper, I can also tell you that there is publisher pressure to not report or to report according to what gatekeepers consider news – and also acceptable. Political and economic pressures, if great enough, also determine coverage.

Now it might be that folks with strong pre-existing worldviews won’t automatically take what’s in black and white and read all over as unvarnished truth – but certainly those who have no strong opinions can certainly find themselves sharing the same outlook as the editors of the WaPo and NYT, and then sharing their opinions.

As mentioned earlier, I learned from the start of my news career that gatekeepers in pivotal positions really are so arrogant as to believe they have the right to tell people what to think. That’s why they characterize those who don’t slant the news as they do, as purveyors of “fake news.”

I will also note that while the MSM slant is socially left, it is also relentlessly economically corporate and consumerist.

One wonders also how to square claims of journalistic integrity with the takeover of so so much news by infotainment and celebrity gossip coverage.

#12 Comment By Lllurker On December 26, 2017 @ 4:22 pm

Noah: “Intelligent people look at any news story, from any outlet — CNN, FOX, NPR, WSJ, NYT, HuffPo, and, yes, Breitbart — and ask:
What evidence does this story present to support its claims?
Does the story match the headline?
What might this story be omitting?
Can the information in this story be verified independently?”

These are the usual right-wing talking points that are used to bogusly discredit legitimate journalism. To the uninitiated they can appear reasonable on the surface, but in fact they all are straw men:

— John Q Public has neither the time nor the resources to independently verify individual stories. Generally though he/she *is* capable of following a reporter or columnist or publication long enough to judge whether they try for accuracy. Or whether they tend to traffic in lies and intellectual dishonesty.

— Omissions are to be expected and often they don’t even originate with the reporter. Sometimes they a a result of the editorial process where articles routinely get chopped down to fit within a certain space in the paper. (And sometimes it is the reporter who is most irked by the results of this process.)

— Although a strong pattern of misleading and sensational headlines is a bad sign, the public needs to be aware that newspaper headlines are generally not written by the reporter who wrote the article, and that it is common for the headline to be out of sync with article. Consider the headline to be nothing more than an advertisement to get you to read the article, and draw your conclusions only from the text of the article.

— Due to space constraints and readability issues it is also completely normal to *not* include supporting evidence within an article. Newspapers are not scientific peer-reviewed journals.

If a story has legs and it leads to a series of articles then often the full picture of how the story was developed will gradually become apparent. If a story only ends up justifying one article however, well that’s just the how the process works and thems the breaks. (One more important reason to be vetting your news sources for credibility.)

Those who follow conservative media should consider the following whenever they hear these and the other typical straw-man complaints about the MSM:

— Whatcha got that’s better? Where is the higher quality right-wing counterfactual? What is the right-wing media doing to bring us higher quality and more accurate reporting? Let’s see those higher standards that are implied by these criticisms . . .

— How many right-wing “reporters” and columnists have been fired lately for misrepresenting the news? (In a sense this too is a straw-man argument, because as best I can tell no standards exist on which such a decision could be based.)

— 90% of all news-like sites on the Internet are actually peddling advocacy of some flavor, advocacy that is dressed-up to look like news. (It may actually be closer to 99%.) One cannot effectively navigate this landscape, and avoid filling one’s head with misleading and garbage-grade information, without vetting sources. *It is impossible.*

#13 Comment By jamie On December 26, 2017 @ 6:44 pm

the libel of Richard Jewell, Jayson Blair, Dan Rather, Brian Ross

Jayson Blair and Dan Rather were fired in disgrace, their careers ruined. Ross is still on suspension. I don’t recall any Breitbart “reporters” being fired or disciplined for any transgression of any kind. In fact, the quoted article documents Breitbart management explicitly demanding biased reports.

“Russia hacked the Vermont electrical grid,”

Russians did hack a computer in Vermont’s power utility, the stronger claim was retracted within 24 hours. Has Breitbart ever retracted an article? The only examples I can find are more hilarious than serious.

“Melania Trump is an illegal alien,”

Like many of Trump’s other employees, [2]

“hands up don’t shoot,”

?

the editing of George Zimmerman’s 911 call

Nothing exculpatory was edited out of his call. I’m perfectly willing to grant that Zimmerman isn’t more or less racist than the next man, considering how equal-opportunity he’s been with all of his subsequent victims.

Slogans don’t make arguments, none of this stuff actually bears scrutiny. Don’t bring it up, it makes you look glib and uninformed.

#14 Comment By Lllurker On December 26, 2017 @ 9:54 pm

“Journalism is rotten to the core. Breitbart is a symptom of the problem, not THE problem. ”

The problem with that statement is that it implies, perhaps unintentionally, that Breitbart actually does journalism. I would submit that this is a large part of THE problem, that folks have been snookered into thinking that the Breitbarts of the world are just another flavor of news, and not blatant political organs.

Frankly I wouldn’t mind the existence and popularity of any of these right-wing publications if they just made it clear they are advocacy sites and stopped pretending to be “fair and balanced” (ugh) or pretending to be news of any sort. The danger comes when people conflate them with the actual news, and actual journalism. And of course they try very,very hard to make sure that happens.

#15 Comment By R.C. On December 27, 2017 @ 2:31 am

What keeps escaping me is why anyone thought that Moore’s behavior, EVEN IF ALL ACCUSATIONS WERE TRUE, made any difference about whom Alabamans should elect.

Seriously. Assume for a moment Moore hit on a teenager in a mall parking lot when he was in his 30’s, and had a habit of leering at young girls in other venues, also.

This makes Jones a superior person to have in the Senate because…why, exactly?

Jones is a leftist who will empower leftists. He hopes among other things, to increase the public subsidies for the legalized murder of innocent pre-born persons. He is, in short, along the same spectrum of political evil as V.I. Lenin, albeit not so FAR along that spectrum.

Meanwhile, assuming for the sake of argument that the accusations against Moore are entirely true, what is Moore? A lowbrow So-Con carney blowhard, a dirty old man who spent years hitting on teeners, who will more or less vote correctly on policy. He is, in short, personally on the Caligula spectrum, but politically harmless or moderately helpful.

Given the choices, why not vote for Moore, then?

There’s only one reason, really; but it’s a stupid one:

The “reason” (if that’s the word) that some people “just couldn’t” vote for Moore is that they irrationally, superstitiously, believe voting for a candidate constitutes a generalized endorsement of that person’s character.

It doesn’t, of course. And if you asked them flat-out if that’s what a vote always-and-of-strict-logical-necessity-must-mean, many of them would answer (correctly) that it doesn’t.

But in their gut, they FEEL that it does, on the same level that a superstitious person feels dread because he left his lucky rabbit’s-foot at home.

This superstition causes people to imagine that voting for a candidate is a form of identifying oneself with that candidate, of approving their personality traits. It leads some people to make excuses or imagine that the candidate for whom they voted is a better man than he actually is. They have to repaint reality to cope with these feelings of Voting-Equals-Endorsement.

But it’s all stupid nonsense. Consider: If it’s a tight 50%/50% race between Satan and Stalin, you vote for Stalin. Why? Because Stalin is a wonderful guy? No: He’s an awful guy. But he’s better than Satan. Similarly in a tight 50%/50% race between Stalin and Mussolini, you vote for Mussolini. Why? Because Mussolini’s policies are your own? Not at all; but he’s better than Stalin. And if it’s Mussolini versus Obama, OF COURSE you vote for Obama, in spite of the fact that Obama’s worse for America than Nixon. But he’s better than Mussolini, and that’s who he’s running against.

What part of The Lesser Of Two Evils do you not get?

We can believe that Moore is a pervert all day long; but he’s better than Jones, so the intelligent thing to do is to hold your nose and vote for the pervert. At least in D.C. he’ll be far from alone. No need to pretend that he’s a worthy person, is there? He’s a scumbag, and so is the other guy, and between the two, Moore is the scumbag who’ll do the least damage.

It’s just that simple, and the alternative is just barbaric superstition.

#16 Comment By Donald (the left leaning one) On December 27, 2017 @ 10:45 am

I fall between Rod and Rombald in the NYT. I think they think they try to be honest, but on some issues their biasesfreque are so strong they might as well be telling deliberate lies. As humans I assume we all can remember times in our own lives where, with hindsight, we can see where we were self deluded.

So I think the NYT tries to be honest most of the time, but in practice this doesn’t mean much. At this point I direct you to Rombald’s post.

Incidentally, on the Hezbollah story I would take it with a grain of salt. The so called liberal press would be happy to publish a story that made Israel’s most formidable enemy look bad. But if it makes Obama look bad they might doublecheck it first. They haven’t been shy criticizing Obama for not intervening enough in Syria. If the story holds up, they will publish it. You guys really think that Israel itself won’t work very hard to push the story here? I haven’t googled or followed the news over the holiday weekend , so for all I know the NYT is on it.

#17 Comment By Donald (the left leaning one) On December 27, 2017 @ 10:52 am

I looked. The NYT has an AP story on its website summarizing the Hezbollah story.

[3]

And I want to expand my point. Whatever you might think or suspect about NYT motives, there is no way they would be able to avoid covering a story that makes Israel’s worst enemy look bad, IF the story holds up. They might be cautious about jumping on it if it makes Obama look bad, but they will cover it.

#18 Comment By JonF On December 27, 2017 @ 1:37 pm

Re: That’s why they characterize those who don’t slant the news as they do, as purveyors of “fake news.”

Fran,
Words have meaning and “fake news” means the reporting of known falsehoods as factual news. See: Obama not being born in the US; “pedophile pizza”.

#19 Comment By Noah172 On December 27, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

Lllurker wrote:

John Q Public has neither the time nor the resources to independently verify individual stories

I didn’t mean the general public (although with online records and social media ordinary people can participate in the news investigating process like never before). I meant other news organizations.

“John Doe, who was present at such-and-such event, said this-and-that happened.” Other news organizations can contact Mr. Doe for verification and follow-up questions, or investigate his background, or talk to people who know Doe or saw him at the such-and-such event.

“A source close to those who were at the such-and-event and familiar with their thinking, who requested anonymity, said that he heard that this-and-that happened.” What can other news organizations, much less the general public, do with this?

Don’t play dumb and tell me you don’t understand the difference.

Although a strong pattern of misleading and sensational headlines is a bad sign, the public needs to be aware that newspaper headlines are generally not written by the reporter who wrote the article

So now you’re making a fine distinction between the reporter and his employer? You were just condemning Breitbart and FOX as organizations, not individual employees by name. Misleading headlines are important because, let’s face it, a lot of people don’t read stories, so if a news source, cynically exploiting this sad reality, is going to lie or mislead about what its own reporters wrote, that calls the credibility of the entire enterprise into question.

#20 Comment By Franklin Evans On December 27, 2017 @ 2:59 pm

R.C.: What part of The Lesser Of Two Evils do you not get?

It’s simple, really, if it requires a bit of verbiage to explain.

The people we elect to federal office carry a responsibility to serve all of their constituents, regardless of how many of them voted to elect them. It’s an implied trust and obligation, never more clearly stated than in their oath of office.

So, I retort more plaintively than sarcastically: what part of earning and maintaining the trust of the constituents do you not get?

Moore is a local problem for Alabama. The registered voters there get to make their own decisions, on their own criteria. If they trust Moore to serve them, that should be the final criterion for voting for him. If, on the other hand, the evidence of his character suggests that he is less than fully trustworthy — please note, I did not right nor do I imply any judgment of his competence — then Lesser of Two Evils boils down to the question of trust. Jones won the election as much or more on Moore supporters just declining to cast their ballots for him, as on people voting for Jones.

#21 Comment By Noah172 On December 27, 2017 @ 3:37 pm

jamie wrote:

Don’t bring it up, it makes you look glib and uninformed

Let’s see who is glib and uninformed here.

Jayson Blair and Dan Rather were fired in disgrace, their careers ruined

Rather was fired from CBS, but since then, he has hosted and produced news/interview programs (plural), and appears regularly as a commentator on MSM programs. A mainstream publisher issued his autobiography.

You should look up the meaning of the words “disgrace” and “ruin”.

Ross is still on suspension

For his latest transgression. He has caused ABC numerous embarrassments for years. Go to Ross’ Wikipedia page and read the “Controversies” section — which isn’t comprehensive, even though it lists four egregious examples (including the recent one). Google “brian ross taking on toyota” for more of his #FakeNews. He should have been fired a long time ago, not suspended.

Russians did hack a computer in Vermont’s power utility

A laptop not connected to the grid, with malware publicly available for purchase, which could have entered the computer because the human user clicked a bad website. No proof of Russian government or even Russian anybody involvement.

Like many of Trump’s other employees, Melania Kauss worked in the US without a proper visa.

Melania was not Trump’s employee.

The link you provide, dated a few days before the general election, was not the original story. The original story, appearing months earlier, implied that Knauss had worked for years (1995 or 96 to 2001) in the US illegally and had lied to the public about what kind of visa she had. (Turns out the State Department had put special restrictions on H1B3’s from the former Yugoslavia during the period in question.) Later reports implied she may have lied about her educational credentials to obtain her visa and later permanent residency. (Fact check: H1B3, for fashion models, requires no educational credential, unlike other H1Bs.)

The story to which you link shrinks the accusation from five years of visa violation to, at most, five weeks, and even there leaves some murkiness: the Italian recruiter is inconsistent in his story, but leans toward saying she followed the rules; and the documents which AP discusses state that they were not an employment agreement (meaning Knauss may have believed in good faith she was following the rules, even if the modeling agency was being unscrupulous).

“hands up don’t shoot,”

?

Ferguson. Missouri. It was like The Most Important Thing In The World three years ago. Uninformed, indeed.

Nothing exculpatory was edited out of his call

The editing was done to support an alleged motive for his alleged crime, in order to bias the general public (and thus potential jurors) against him.

Don’t bring it up, it makes you look glib and uninformed

Don’t be arrogant, smug, self-righteous, and disingenuous, because it makes you look arrogant, smug, self-righteous, and disingenuous.

#22 Comment By Rombald On December 27, 2017 @ 8:25 pm

Siarlys:

“While there has certainly been American provocation of Russia and conspicuous overlooking of understandable Russian motives, to suggest that there is no aggression on the part of the former KGB agent and his cronies running the country is ludicrous.”

At the time of the collapse of the USSR, Russia was given the assurance that NATO would not expand into the Warsaw Pact countries, which it then did, and even into former-USSR countries. In what sense is that not NATO aggression. The analogy would be if Russia had included Mexico and Canada in the Warsaw Pact.

The only arguable Russian aggression is in Ukraine. However, leaving aside the debate over whether Ukraine is a legitimate country, the USA funded a coup to overthrow the democratic government, and replace it with the current neo-Nazis, which persecute Russians in the east.

Crimea has been Russian since the 18th century, and was only handed to Ukraine in the 1950s, in an intra-USSR administrative reshuffle, by the anti-Russian Stalin. It has Russia’s main naval base, and thus one of its main defences against NATO aggression. In the election, more than 90% of the population voted to join Russia.

Russia is both (i) the wronged party vs. NATO; and (ii) on the side of the angels in the world, fighting Wahhabis in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine.

#23 Comment By One Salient Oversight On December 27, 2017 @ 9:21 pm

“I think they want to create a standard where President Trump either from past or future accusations, will not be able to match whatever standard is now in place for who can be a United States senator,”

I remember when Gary Hart had a photo of a young woman on his lap, and that was enough to discredit him.

Or when Howard Dean yelled. That was enough to discredit him.

Or when Dukakis sat in a tank.

#24 Comment By Richard Parker On December 28, 2017 @ 1:51 am

“Crimea has been Russian since the 18th century, and was only handed to Ukraine in the 1950s, in an intra-USSR administrative reshuffle, by the anti-Russian Stalin.”

Khrushchev lost the Crimea in a card game. The closest analogy to the Crimea in the US is Hawaii. If some US President gave Hawaii away to Mexico, his predecessors in the White House would want Hawaii returned to the US and sooner or later one of them would take it back.

#25 Comment By JonF On December 28, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

Re: Russia is both (i) the wronged party vs. NATO; and (ii) on the side of the angels in the world, fighting Wahhabis in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine.

There are arguments on Russia’s side in the Crimea matter, with that I’ll agree. Though awkwardly the Russian Republic let it go when the USSR broke up so that does weaken those arguments.
Claiming that the Russians are fighting “Nazis” in the Ukarine is ludicrous. Yes, there are some fascist types there– but we have those in the US too. I would not say our Antifas are the “good guys” because they stand up to racist creeps occasionally.

#26 Comment By William Tighe On December 28, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

“want Hawaii returned to the US”

I guess that there are few who, like myself, think that Hawaii should be returned to the Hawaiians.

#27 Comment By JWJ On December 29, 2017 @ 2:26 pm

Mr. D, don’t really expect you to post this comment, but this is the only way I know to communicate with you (assuming you are the person approving comments on your particular posts).

I read through all the comments on this Breitbart post, and so many different views, some thought out, some just trying to score nasty points.

However, you really are a heckuva guy to publish those comments that disagree with you (mine included). Especially those that are a bit snarky or mean in the way they phrase their disagreement. It takes a strength of character to do so that is rare these days (for example, Mr. Larison tends to only publish those comments that are in agreement with him). Just wanted to say that this anonymous commenter, JWJ, admires you for this.

p.s. now that your book is out in paperback, I got myself a copy.

Cheers and Happy New Year

#28 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On December 29, 2017 @ 5:04 pm

“It is useful to know that you can’t believe a thing Breitbart says, because it’s willing to publish fake news that serves its perceived interests. I mean, you knew this anyway, but now you’ve had it confirmed by the editor-in-chief.”

He denies he said that.

[4]

#29 Comment By A. G. Phillbin On December 31, 2017 @ 12:42 pm

@Noah172,

Nothing exculpatory was edited out of his call

The editing was done to support an alleged motive for his alleged crime, in order to bias the general public (and thus potential jurors) against him.

The person responsible for that edit was fired as soon as it was pointed out to the media outfit (NBC, I think) that he had done so. That is the difference between professional media and amateur outfits like Breitbart, which is what Rod is getting at. NBC did not conspire, either before or after the fact, to make that edit a perceived reality.

#30 Comment By A. G. Phillbin On December 31, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

@Jon F,

Claiming that the Russians are fighting “Nazis” in the Ukarine is ludicrous. Yes, there are some fascist types there– but we have those in the US too. I would not say our Antifas are the “good guys” because they stand up to racist creeps occasionally.

You are comparing kumquats and watermelons here. There are not merely “some” fascist types in the Ukraine: the junior partner in the governing coalition is the Svoboda Party, which is practically an unreconstructed Nazi outfit. In addition, entire units of the Ukrainian military are associated with various fascistic factions. There may be racists in the US army, but there are no Klan-affiliated units.