The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Media Tripe’ Category

It’s a day of the week that ends with “ay,” so it must be Hillary Derangement Syndrome day. On Tuesday night Washington Post fired off a nuke into the political media with a shocking story called: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier.” This sent the internet reeling with indignation. About half of the political press forgot that this information is about a year old. Let’s travel back in time to October 31, 2016 when the very first article about the Steele Dossier was written by David Corn of Mother Jones. In it Corn noted that the Dossier was originally commissioned by a Trump opponent (probably Jeb!) But after the GOP imploded and Trump became the nominee, they abandoned it, to be picked up by Democrats. In January 2017 both CNN and New York Times specifically mentioned that the Democrats had connections to the Clinton campaign and the DNC. So almost a year later, WaPo identified the Democrat (lawyer Mark Elias.) That’s the bombshell. I hope your bomb shelters are fully stocked folks.

So what reporter had the hottest take of all on this HUGE story? I’ll give you one guess. You’re right!Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 9.19.49 PM.png

Please note here Haberman’s use of the word “lie.” Lie! Infamously, this is a word the press will not use when describing Donald Trump or any member of his cabinet. Twitter user Patrick Karlsson put together a stunning thread of Haberman’s past tweets refusing to use the word “lie”about Trump. Over and over and over. It’s worth checking out here if you want to get very angry. “Untruths,” “falsehoods,” “inaccurate narrative,” etc. are the words Haberman has chosen when discussing Trump. Never “lie.” Not even once.

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Some members of the press did react with surprise at the surprise. Joy Reid tweeted: “Only the American media could make a scandal out of opposition research.” Michael Weiss: “OK, people, let’s cut the shit. Trump dossier was commissioned by the team of a *Republican* candidate (not hard to guess which one either).” Josh Marshall: “The Big WaPo Story & Why Everyone Needs to Thank Marc Elias.” Chris Hayes: “Ah yes. We’ve now entered the “Real Russia Scandal” phase.” NPR’s David Folkenflik: “Better headline for valid WaPo story: Trump oppo research dossier funded first by anon GOP foe and then by HRC/Dems.”

But the damage is done, once again. As Joy Reid also said: Who paid for the Steele dossier is the new “but her emails.”

Also worth noting: Sarah Huckabee Sanders retweeted Haberman’s sanctimonious tweet.

Also, Fox before the WaPo story.

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This is an open thread.

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In Brief

Posted on: October 18, 2017

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Hello Widdershins,

My apologies for being an absentee poster. I run out of hours in the day and have no computer at work. Only a very weak signal on my iPhone. But I’m sure the news keeps everyone busy. I’ll be back to my regular schedule in a week!

The worst thing I read all day is Dump’s awful phone call to the widow of slain U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson. After ignoring the 4 American soldiers killed in Niger for weeks (he golfed though), he finally brought himself to call a family. And he told the pregnant Myeshia Johnson: “He knew what he signed up for.” There truly is no end to Trump’s depravity. But we should read the names of the 4 soldiers killed and a hold a moment of silence because our president doesn’t care.

From one kind of depraved to a very different kind of depraved, the story of Harvey Weinstein is continuing to reverberate in the entertainment industry. There are now at least 47 women who have accused Weinstein of harassing or assaulting them. Of the well-known actresses the most recent story comes from Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” The story, of course, is bigger than Weinstein. The singer/actress Björk, who has starred in only one movie, critically acclaimed “Dancer in the Dark,” wrote a letter in which she referenced being abused by a Danish director. Since she only appeared in one film and that film was made by a Dane, the unnamed director is Lars von Trier. Von Trier makes controversial films (I personally detest each and every one of them). In 2011 he stunned the Cannes Film Festival when he announced during a press conference:

“I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”

Molly Ringwald has also said she’s had “plenty of Harveys of my own.” She says she was first assaulted when she was 13. Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16. And America Ferrera said that she remembers the first time she was assaulted was when she was 9.

On Monday I went out to grab a Starbucks while at work. Crossing the street on 49th St and Park Avenue (a short distance from Grand Central station), I saw an SUV almost run over a young woman. He was backing up against his light and not paying attention. He side-swiped this woman (she was not breaking any laws), and only reason he didn’t actually run her over was because she jumped out of the way in time. So she started yelling to him to watch it, he hit her with his car. This man, big man, in his late 40’s, looked out of the window and said: “Oh did I hit you? Let me see. Where? In the back? Show me. Turn around baby, let me see you from the back.” As she began to turn to show him…she froze. I think all the witnesses did. It became obvious he was literally trying to see her ass. He was sexually harassing woman in the middle of the street that he just literally hit with his car… You could see her face changing as she realized what was happening and that dumbass grinned at her. It was truly breathtaking.

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To make you feel maybe 1% better about all this insanity – there is the story of the immortal Carrie Fisher. After being told by a friend, screenwriter Heather Robinson, that a studio executive sexually assaulted her, Carrie Fisher took matters into her own hands. She personally delivered to the executive a Tiffany box. Inside the box – a cow tongue. And a note: “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.”

And finally, if you follow reporters on social media you may have noticed that a few voices have been oddly missing for several days. New York Times voices. The normally rambunctious Maggie Haberman has been MIA. Glenn Thrush quit twitter altogether. And then we found out why. The bosses have slapped down their on-line behavior. Dean Baquet (a man who has a lot to answer for as far as the 2016 coverage) announced new social media rules for his reporters. And poor Maggie and Glenn, their entire gig is up. The stuff they are best at – snide condescension and sarcasm are discouraged. I think these rules broke Maggie.

So what’s on your mind Widdershins?

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Good morning Widdershins.

My current job refuses to give me internet access during the day (I think that may be unconstitutional and I’m talking to lawyers about it), so I’m going to be a bit MIA during the day for the next month.

Being away from the cyber has its advantages: not being bombarded by Dump news feels weird, but ignorance is often bliss. If Kim Dong-Bum launches a nuke I’d rather just die not knowing it’s coming towards us. Same goes for Dump launching one.

I was able to witness some of the latest batshit insanity from Maggie Haberman, however. You’ll recall that her partner in intellectual dishonesty and moral bankruptcy Glenn Thrush quit Twitter (RIP). I’m grateful because there’s enough stupidity there already. Haberman has so far held out as the most active voice of the New York Times’ Clinton Derangement Syndrome. If anyone out there in the universe has thinner skin than Donald Dump, it’s Maggie Haberman. I used to think Chris Cillizza was the worst reporter alive (yes, worse than anyone on Fox). But today I came to the conclusion that actually Haberman is worse than Cillizza. In fact, I think Haberman is worse than Hitler. Literally, she’s worse than Hitler.

I was going to write a whole summary of how shit went down today on Twitter in the war between Haberman and Nate Silver, but then I read this Wonkette piece titled “New York Times’ Maggie Haberman Has Chosen To Be A Dick Today” and they summarize the series of unfortunate events of the day beautifully. The only thing I would change here is their belief that Haberman is sometimes a good reporter. She’s not really. She gets her Trump fluff from Jared and Ivanka. She sells her soul to the devil for access and 666 looks like Javanka. I’d bet money that those are her two primary sources in the White House. I’d also bet Bannon and Kellyanne were Thrush’s (RIP.)

And it wasn’t just about the fucking emails either. When there wasn’t any Hillary email dirt to make up shit about, NYT was going hard on whether the Clinton Foundation was raping puppies or Hillary was getting lesbian ass on the side, or, literally, stories about Hillary Clinton’s contractor not getting the permits for her kitchen reno, you know, just asking all the normal journalism questions you’d expect from the Grey Lady. Oh, and how can we forget, but the NYT payroll department was financing Maureen Dowd’s pot brownie habit the ENTIRE TIME, so she could write her asshole columns about Hillary Clinton and her big dick.

Meanwhile, the Times, in the form of haggard loser “reporter” Eric Lichtblau, was maniacally jizzing itself to exonerate Donald Trump of all Russian crimes past, present and future. Heckuva job, you lazy cockbags.

Haberman, instead of saying, “Yeah we really did blow a goat on that one,” went ad hominem at Nate Silver, because as we said in the headline, she has decided to be a dick today.

All this dick waving today, of course, comes on the heels of Hillary Clinton giving -2,009,982 fucks about what any of these assholes think anymore. We know Haberman and Thrush (RIP) were furious at Clinton since 2014 for not giving them access. They avenged their fragile egos by working furiously to get Trump – who gave them access – into the White House. At the end of the day, journalists are not indifferent about who wins or loses. Throwing Thrush’ hat in with Trump’s cabal has made them appear invaluable. Because they have access. Haberman made her career by getting Trump elected. This is why I think she’s worse than Hitler.

Let us not forget that the New York Times has gifted America two things: WMDs/Iraq War and now Hillary’s emails/Trump. This is the New York Times’ legacy.

To be fair, Haberman was not the only dick today. I was surprised that The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza whipped his out today too. For a minute, as I read it, I thought it was a comment by Cillizza and that seemed normal. Then I realized it was Lizza. Fucking asshole.

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So in short, I’m glad I don’t have cyber access all day.

What’s on your mind Widdershins? This is an open thread.

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Good morning Widdershins,

Hurricane Harvey has been a massive catastrophe. As I was writing this on Tuesday evening, a levee in a county south of Houston has breached. “NOTICE: The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! GET OUT NOW!!!” Brazoria County said on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Many trillions of gallons of water have fallen. The entire Texas National Guard has been deployed. Meanwhile president Dump and his wife (wearing 4” heels) went to visit and Dump wondered at the size of the crowd assembled. “What a crowd, what a turnout,” he declared in Corpus Cristi. Meanwhile Glenn Thrush of the New York Times declared that Dump “used the dulcet, reassuring and uplifting language of prior presidents” when speaking of the disaster, in an article with the headline: “Harvey Gives Trump A Chance to Reclaim Power to Unify.” I assume that’s when Dump wasn’t wearing his $40 hats his company sells while making appearances in Texas. The New York Times has reached peak dumpster fire in their apologia and legitimization of Dump. Just a few days ago their reporters (you know the ones) were screaming on twitter that everything is Hillary’s fault. (I’m sure I’m wrong about it being peak. Bigger dumpster fires are yet to come.) The only person at the Times with any sense of decency is Paul Krugman who sent out a series of tweets pointing out the media screwed up. Sadly the political desk at the Times, headed by Dean Baquet, doesn’t listen to Krugman.

Speaking of Dean Baquet, read this remarkable article about Baquet, the media, Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech, and Meredith McIver, who took responsibility for stealing Michelle Obama’s words. Is McIver an actual person? Who knows! Even though the Times, among others, wrote glowingly about her, nobody seems to have met this woman in at least 10 years. And Baquet thinks the reporter who asked to confirm that someone at the Times actually has met this woman is a “moron.”

…we really don’t know if Meredith McIver is real, alive, and well, or not — she may very well be. But I know the explanations from Team Trump for what happened at the time were completely ridiculous — one involved Sean Spicer and a My Little Pony box (please, Google it); I know that other people searching for Meredith have received anonymous threats; I know that a phone conversation I had with Meredith’s alleged ex-boyfriend, Stephen Palitz, led to far more questions than answers; I know that fake social media accounts for Meredith popped up immediatley after she accepted blame…and suddenly and inexplicably began communicating in Russian before disappearing again.

A few months ago, Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the NYTimes, fired the paper’s public editor. The public editor was originally hired after the paper’s disastrous coverage leading up to the Iraq War. Now Sulzberger declared the role was no longer necessary because the public would keep his reporters honest. On Tuesday evening Peter Daou, a former Clinton staffer who is very vocal in his defense of Clinton on twitter, announced he has now been blocked by 3 major Times reporters, including Thrush and Haberman. How does one keep reporters honest – when reporters block you?

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What’s on your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.

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Hello Widdershins,

We have survived another week without a nuclear apocalypse. Yay? Doesn’t mean another one won’t come tomorrow. The 45h Dump is escalating the war in Afghanistan (hey, remember when Rita Skeeter Maureen Dowd wrote a whole column arguing that Dump was a “dove” and Hillary was the “hawk?” LOL yeah.) John McCain and Lady Graham couldn’t be happier about more war. And a twitter war broke out between the NYTimes Twins (Thrush and Haberman) and people with a brain, many of whom happened to be Clinton supporters, but not exclusively, after Thrush went on a sexist tirade listing all the things Hillary did wrong during the election. This is after a Harvard study showed that “her emails” was the single most covered story in the media, which perhaps was unwise of the media. But Times Twins found other reasons for the 2016 disaster, among them that Hillary flew home for dinner every night of the campaign (some have disputed that), that she spoke too much (he actually said that) during the campaign, waged a silly war on the media, and should have listened to people more, and that Huma Abedin should have fired. These are things Glenn Thrush tweeted and Haberman backed up, and then Jonathan Martin jumped in too. I’ll just leave the topic right there because I’m getting palpitations right now.

We are also learning that the DNC is having a hard time raising money. Liberal organizations are not having difficulties. Individual political campaigns, like Jon Ossoff’s for example, and organizations like ACLU. So liberals are giving away a lot of money – they’re just steering clear of the DNC. Perhaps, possibly, just maybe the reason is Bernie Sanders? The disastrous “Unity Tour” and endless screaming by Sanders proxies like Nina Turner, as well as DNC’s attempts to reach white people, at the expense of its actual base (women and people of color)  is not going to bring out the donations. And Sanders supporters are not going to start sending their $27 to the DNC. So Tom Perez has some decisions to make. Stick with Bernie and his Bros, and starve DNC of its base money, or throw Bernie into the trash where he belongs.

New Republic also notes that

“Obama and Clinton are both high-profile Democrats and neither have been helping the DNC raise much money,” Beckel said. There is a finite amount of resources, and it’s possible that Obama and Clinton are pulling the deep donor networks that they have cultivated away from the party itself. (Obama, however, has reportedly been privately advising Tom Perez.)

And in really fun news: there’s a state of war between Dump and McTurtle.

It seems that the President personally berated McConnell the last time they did talk, on August 9, repeating his complaints about the Senate and about the mild criticism its leader aimed at him. And the two pols have been carrying out a proxy war via Trump’s attacks on, and McConnell’s vigorous support for, Republican senators who have disrespected POTUS, notably Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who recently published a book that rejected Trump’s claim to be a legitimate conservative.

Per the failing NY Times, the Dump/McTurtle conversation on August 9th turned into a cursing shouting match. Lordy I hope there are tapes!

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

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On Sunday, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo posted an article about some latest poll Democrats must be worried about, adding in his own words: “Democrats need to be for something and about something to make gains with voters.” Someone left a comment that “Dems were about something. The media were about her e-mails.” Cuomo responded to this person: “Main slogan was ‘I’m With Her’ – doesn’t exactly top the list of making it about the voter.”

As anyone who followed the Clinton campaign knows, Clinton’s actual slogan was Slogans.png“Stronger Together.” It was right there on the campaign bus, on the backdrop behind Clinton at rallies, and on the cover of her book of proposed policies. “I’m With Her” was a twitter hashtag started by her supporters, which the campaign sometimes also used. If Cuomo knew this and forgot, or if he literally didn’t know the actual slogan of the candidate whose campaign he covered on CNN for over a year, we’ll never know. His response to people who criticized him for a factually incorrect statement was a link to Chuck Schumer’s Hillary bashing article in WaPo with the words: “’You guys’ like Schumer?” He then went on to say that everyone really missed the point. Yes, everybody missed the point.

The WaPo article Cuomo linked to with Schumer had nothing to do with Clinton’s slogan. It was the classic journalistic whataboutism. Instead of admitting he made such a public mistake, Cuomo deflected, and with a straw-man argument. The intellectual dishonesty would have been breathtaking if it wasn’t so common among journalists.

The same day some in the media celebrated the one year anniversary that Jeff -Jeff MasonMasonbecame president of the White House Correspondents ‘Association. Mason launched his tenure with an op-ed in USA Today titled “Trump, Clinton both threaten free press: The White House Correspondents’ Association is alarmed by the treatment of the press in the 2016 presidential campaign.” Let us remember Trump’s attacks on the free press…so so many. And that at the White House has held almost a month’s worth of off-camera White House briefings. But yes, tell us more about how Clinton and Trump both threaten the free press…

This is all coming on the heels of the preposterous New York Times interview with Donald Trump by Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker and Michael S. Schmidt. (A few days later Baker wrote the NY Times article saying Trump’s treatment of Bob Mueller is exactly like Bill Clinton’s treatment of Ken Starr…) The insane discussion with Trump was pure Trump: confused and malicious. The response of the Times reporters was pure NY Times: confused and juvenile. The reporters (how many NY Times reporters does it take to screw in a light bulb?) all talked over one another, giggled, and let Trump ramble. Nobody corrected him or steered him anywhere. There is a school of thought in journalism that this is how journalists should behave. After countless readers lambasted the trio for not fact-checking Trump’s insanities in real time and to his face, some reporters came to their defense. Nick Riccardi, of the Associated Press, tweeted: “You don’t interview people to ‘call bullshit.’ You don’t interview people to put them in their place or DESTROY them a la John Oliver.”

This is, frankly, preposterous. Riccardi essentially believes reporters are stenographers. To question the subject of their interview with facts is, apparently, bad journalism. One should simply write down what the subject says and occasionally whimper: “And then what happened?” This approach to journalism is what is wrong with American journalism. It allows people to get on TV and blather on whatever they wish. It seems many in the profession do not believe it is their job to correct the facts. I’m reminded of this interview with Jon Snow (no, not Game of Thrones guy) with Carter Page on BBC. Snow’s behavior would horrify American journalists like Riccardi and Haberman (Haberman is only good with twitter snark; that’s easier than putting facts in someone’s face.) Snow has his facts down pat and he doesn’t let Page get away with anything. The results are breathtaking. Because if Snow “destroys” Page, he does so with facts. The idea that facts don’t belong in an interview is beyond preposterous.Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 9.56.34 PM 1.png

Dan Froomkin posted a lot of fascinating highlights from the Times interview that demonstrated the complete and utter failure of the 3 reporters. (It is to Froomkin’s comments that Riccardi was responding.) You can see them in his thread here:

 

In 1977 when Hollywood star Joan Crawford died, her life-long rival and arch-nemesis Bette Davis remarked: “You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”

This brings me to Roger Ailes. It may appear in poor taste to say GOOD that Ailes died. Certainly for the sake of his family. But then we read about Ailes 17 year old son Zachary who at his father’s memorial service raved: “I want all the people who betrayed my father to know that I’m coming after them and hell is coming with me!” So there’s an asshole-in-training.

We must also never ever forget what Roger Ailes has done to America, its government and its people by turning Fox News into the juggernaut of right-wing lies, racism, misogyny and every other kind of prejudice. It is impossible to even enumerate all the Roger Ailesevil things his network has done, and all the terrifying things their anchors have said, since he became its founding CEO in 1996. All in pursuit of ratings and money, billions of dollars. It is not an exaggeration to say that Ailes broke America. Those who watched his network, which peddled fear of everything except white, heterosexual and male (except for the blonde anchors in short skirts, who toed the line on the air, even as many of them were sexually harassed and assaulted by Ailes), have been radicalized over the past 20 years into Trump supporters. It is Ailes’ greatest “achievement,” the installation of actual white supremacists and neo-Nazis into the White House. They want to talk about radicalized Muslims. But we should really talk about the radicalized white people, radicalized into intolerance, radicalized into violence, radicalized into hate by Fox News.

It is also not an exaggeration to say that political gridlock which has eaten at our government courtesy of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan (and John Boehner before him, and Newt Gingrich before that, and Trent Lott too), is also directly linked to Ailes. Roger Ailes was evil. It is men like him who make me wish there is actually a hell because men like Roger Ailes deserve to burn in it for all eternity.

Even Monica Lewinsky felt compelled to write an op-ed in the NY Times.

Some experts have noted that viewers found Fox for the first time because of the crisis. John Moody, a Fox executive editor, reflected on that period: “The Lewinsky saga put us on the news map.” As he put it in another interview: “Monica was a news channel’s dream come true.”

Their dream was my nightmare. My character, my looks and my life were picked apart mercilessly. Truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings. My family and I huddled at home, worried about my going to jail — I was the original target of Kenneth Starr’s investigation, threatened with 27 years for having been accused of signing a false affidavit and other alleged crimes — or worse, me taking my own life. Meantime, Mr. Ailes huddled with his employees at Fox News, dictating a lineup of talking heads to best exploit this personal and national tragedy.

The legacy of Ailes’ Fox News has been on prominent display since his death. One of the last remaining nut-job anchors Ailes inflicted upon the world, Sean Hannity, has been peddling a nasty, obviously fake “news” story about the murder of a DNC staffer in 2016.

The only thing we know to be true is that on July 10, 2016, a 27 year old employee of the DNC, Seth Conrad Rich, was shot and killed by unknown assailants in Washington DC. The police continue to investigate, but so far the conclusion seems to be that it was a Seth Richfailed robbery, with the assailants panicking and shooting Rich after he fought back. For a while now some segments of the internet have peddled the theory that Rich was actually murdered by the DNC and Hillary Clinton. (The day Seth was murdered, he was offered a job on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and was planning to temporarily move to NYC, where her campaign was based.) The conspiracy theory exploded into the mainstream after a Fox affiliate, and then the main Fox News channel, aired allegations from a private investigator (who happens to be a pundit on Fox) falsely claiming that he had been hired by Seth’s parents, and his investigation showed that Rich was the source of the DNC e-mails leaked to WikiLeaks and that his computer that would prove it was missing. The story fell apart almost immediately. The family said they never hired the man, they had their son’s computer, which had already been analyzed by the police and the FBI. It didn’t matter. Screaming headlines on Fox News and the alt-right web-sites were about DNC, Podesta and Clinton ordering the assassination of Seth Rich to punish him for leaking DNC e-mails. A previously known video of Seth’s parents thanking the internet for donating money to their GoFundMe page was now peddled by both Trump supporters and Bernie Sanders supporters as proof that the family agreed with the conspiracy. Sean Hannity, with guests that included Newt Gingrich and Geraldo Rivera, proclaimed for days that the DNC and Clinton murdered Seth Rich. Seth’s family released a statement saying that there was a special place in hell for people who peddled such painful stories. Hannity doesn’t care. The narrative for the conspiracy has been set. Rebuttals from CNN ,which described how even employees of Fox were disturbed by Hannity’s coverage, and many rebuttals from WaPo (both in print and via tweets from several of their reporters), were greeted with scorn from the believers. We are seeing Pizzagate Part 2 come alive before our eyes.

Today Seth Rich’s parents published an op-ed in WaPo asking people to stop politicizing their son’s murder.

[…] conservative news outlets and commentators continue, day after painful day, to peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC. Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel.

We know that Seth’s personal email and his personal computer were both inspected by detectives early in the investigation and that the inspection revealed no evidence of any communications with anyone at WikiLeaks or anyone associated with WikiLeaks. Nor did that inspection reveal any evidence that Seth had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks or to anyone else. Indeed, those who have suggested that Seth’s role as a data analyst at the DNC gave him access to a wide trove of emails are simply incorrect — Seth’s job was to develop analytical models to encourage voters to turn out to vote. He didn’t have access to DNC emails, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails, John Podesta’s emails or Hillary Clinton’s emails. That simply wasn’t his job.

Even Julian Assange, who was previously coy when asked if Seth Rich was the source of DNC e-mails, later tweeted that WikiLeaks has never and would never reveal the sources of their leaks, debunking claims that he had previously confirmed the info.

Finally, perhaps after lawyers at Fox intervened, Fox published a retraction to the story, though as media ethicist Kelly McBride writes, their retraction was “woefully inadequate.”

It didn’t include a correction, which would have gone a long way toward showing that the network learned from its mistake and was truly contrite.

Corrections are inevitable in journalism. When done well, they serve a purpose for both the audience and the news organization.

Sean Hannity’s response to Fox’s “retraction” was that he retracts nothing and will continue to “investigate.” He is truly Roger Ailes’ spawn. And I can’t wait for the good day when he, too, is dead.

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To change the subject from “good dead” to “bad dead” – I must acknowledge the passing
of Roger Moore at the age of 89. Moore was my first James Bond and for that reason retains a special place in my heart, though perhaps some of the movies he starred in have in some ways aged the worst because the fashion of the 1980s is just embarrassing, there were certainly some great ones Bond films too.  “Live And Let Die,” for example. Remember: it was Roger Moore’s 007 who ran across a row of hungry crocodiles as they snapped their jaws – one of the most iconic of all Bond moments. Moore’s humor and charm on and off screen were unforgettable. Below is a story about Roger Moore published on Facebook by a man named Marc Haynes. It may bring a tear and a smile. Rest in peace, Sir Roger.

As an seven year old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words “my grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?”

As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say ‘James Bond’. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says ‘Roger Moore’ – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying “he says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.” Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realisation and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, “I have to sign my name as ‘Roger Moore’ because otherwise…Blofeld might find out I was here.” He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed ‘James Bond.’ No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said “Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.” So that was lovely.

And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, “Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.”

I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man.


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Quick links for donations.

Donations for our furry, and other critter friends:

Texas SPCA Donate Page

Houston TX SPCA Donation Page

Red Rover Group

For the Virgin Islands (Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands)
CFVI.net

All Hands Disaster Relief:
https://www.hands.org/

Puerto Rico’s First Lady’s organization:
http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Americares (provides medical/health support)
http://www.americares.org/en/

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
3.2 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

PHONE CONTACT INFO FOR THE DNC:

202-863-8000

TELL PEREZ AND ELLISON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT BRAZILE NUT!

Storify version of E. Rogers HVF explanation

Reason(s) to vote for Doug Jones