The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘New York Times

What a year this week has been! I’m going to try to run through some of the exciting developments.

Beto O’Rourke has won the Democratic primary in Texas and will now face Ted Cruz DXuu3JXXkAAAqwn.jpgin the election. While generally people think it’s still a long shot for a Democrat to win in Texas, we have seen some surprise elections and flips since Dump lost the popular vote. Democrats have flipped deep red seats which Dump won by  40 points. So who knows what will happen in November. We do know that Cruz immediately began blasting O’Rourke. Cruz’ first shot was a radio ad which said: “If you are going to run in Texas, you can’t be a liberal man. I remember reading stories, liberal Robert wanted to fit in. So he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.” Ok fine, Rafael “Ted” Cruz. What’s your excuse for changing your name? When confronted with the hypocrisy, Rafael Cruz gave the most predictable answer you can imagine from a Republican today: “Satire! LOL!” Everybody’s a goddamned comedian.

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress, is suing Donald Dump.

“Despite Mr. Trump’s failure to sign the Hush Agreement, Mr. Cohen proceeded to cause $130,000.00 to be wired to the trust account of Ms. Clifford’s attorney. He did so even though there was no legal agreement and thus no written nondisclosure agreement whereby Ms. Clifford was restricted from disclosing the truth about Mr. Trump,” the document states.

In her lawsuit Daniels also says that she has photographs and/or text messages from Donald Trump… which, lord help us, means there are dick pics. Which also is one step 180306203120-trump-stormy-daniels-split-medium-plus-169.jpgcloser to a pee tape. Sarah Huckleberry Sanders, when questioned about all this, said that there was no hush agreement, but that Ms. Daniels is in violation of one. Or something to that effect. Republicans in Congress are livid about all this and are demanding Trump resign. LOL, satire! I’m a comedian too. Nobody in the GOP cares. It’s almost as if decades of hunting and complaining about Bill Clinton cheating on his wife wasn’t a real moral outrage on their part. Because they are just fine with candidate Trump paying hush money to a porn actress a month before the election and demanding she sign a hush agreement after having an affair with her while his wife was pregnant. Perfectly normal, peak Trump-age.

Hope Hicks, the mute former White House Communications Director, told the House Intelligence Committee that her private email account was hacked. So, Hope Hicks was using a private email account. LOL, she’s a comedian too! And it was hacked. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

And finally, the New York Times, that putrid rotting corpse of the old grey lady, just demonstrated why it’s an irredeemable rag. They just promoted Patrick D. Healy to bepatrickhealynyt.jpeg.256x256_q100_crop-smart.jpg their Politics Editor. Healy is one of their leading Clinton Derangement Syndrome carriers. Healy is the one who came up with the “Clinton cackle” line to describe HRC’s laugh. Healy is the one who wrote their massive 2,000 word investigation into the how the Clintons spend their time together as a couple, going as far as suggesting that Bill was still having affairs. Healy’s writing history with the paper, documented here, is full of attacks on both Clintons and softness on Trump. It is further proof that the Times’ coverage of 2018 and 2020 is going to be just as catastrophic as their coverage of 2016 was. Brace for impact.

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Good morning Vietnam! I mean, Widdershins.

The big bomb of the week (more like a nuke) was Dianne Feinstein releasing the transcript of the complete Fusion GPS testimony to Congress. The owner of Fusion, Glenn Simpson, asked for it to be released because he thought Republicans were leaking incomplete and inaccurate information about what he said. Committee chairman, Chuck Grassley, refused to release it citing an on-going investigation. The on-going investigation included Grassley and Lindsey Graham sending a recommendation to the Justice Department that Christopher Steele, who did the research for the infamous Steele Dossier (which just celebrated 1 year anniversary since being published by BuzzFeed, who were accused by “journalists” like Chuck “Underprepared” Todd of publishing smut and lies), be investigated and prosecuted. These actions by Grassley and Graham made Feinstein’s decision essential.

On March 15, 2017 Grassley and Feinstein emerged from a meeting with the FBI director and they looked shaken. They heard something that terrified them. But the terror they experienced did not come from the same place. They are not afraid of the same thing. Grassley, one can conclude from his actions, heard something that put the fear of the goddess into him. What is Grassley guilty of that he has done all that he could to stifle the investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia, and then to flat out sabotage it last week? When he (and Lindsey Graham – another Rethuglican who has become a full on Trump sycophant) sent the recommendation to the Justice Department to prosecute Steele, they did so without consulting the other Democrats on the committee. So earlier this week Dianne Feinstein took Grassley’s playbook and shoved it up his rear end.

A note about Feinstein: she’s been around the block once or twice. I’ve expressed some concerns about her myself, we all have, probably. She didn’t do something fast enough or didn’t say something strong enough. I think those criticisms are all fair. But her going full Godfather Christening montage on GOP and Trump was proof of ovaries of steel. (She released the transcript while sitting in a meeting with Dump and getting him to say he wants DACA. Multitasking.) This is something that a more junior Senator would never have had the courage to do. So while we might get angry at long-serving members of Congress – and there is a lot to be said for term limits – there’s also no denying that in the current political climate throwing out senior members of Congress would be a horrific idea. Again, what Feinstein did without flinching could not have been done by a more junior member of Congress. Seniority matters now.

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Of all the things Fusion GPS testimony revealed – which terrified Grassley and Co. – another important revelation was that Christopher Steele told the NY Times about some of his findings two weeks before their infamous “FBI session no clear link to Russia” headline. That article stopped Steele from cooperating with the FBI. This article, which at the time was widely seen as  smacking down Clinton’s assertions that Trump was a Russian puppet, was also a smackdown at other reporters who were writing about Trump and Russia. Same day Times cleared Trump, the very same day, Franklin Foer wrote about odd communications between servers at Trump Tower and Russian Alfa Bank. The very same day David Corn wrote about a mysterious Dossier he was shown that nobody dared discuss out loud. That very same day New York Times gave Donald Trump a boost by publicly clearing him of colluding with Russia. We should remember this always.

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Good morning Widdershins.

This week has been rough. On Tuesday and Wednesday Republicans passed the Money Redistribution Act. Not a single Democrat voted for this travesty that will gut whatever is left of the American middle-class. But Republican centrists, those honorable people likeSusan-collins-e1465230869154.jpg Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – heroines of the ACA repeal fiasco – showed once again that when it really comes down to it, they are as dishonorable as every other Republican. Both sold out the American public for a handful of dollars; actually, when I say a handful I mean a huge handful for themselves and their corporate overlords. Susan Collins, when told that McConnell would not honor his promise to her about the ACA mandate, lashed out at the media:

“I believe that the coverage has been unbelievably sexist, and I cannot believe that the press would have treated another senator with 20 years of experience as they have treated me,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “They’ve ignored everything that I’ve gotten and written story after story about how I’m duped. How am I duped when all your amendments get accepted?”

A certain female former Senator, Secretary of State and almost President might laugh at Collins’ self-pity. The GOP tax bill for all intents and purposes repeals ACA. Collins voted to repeal it after claiming she wouldn’t. Because McConnell promised her something he has no intention of delivering. If she truly thought he would – she may not look it, but Susan Collins was born yesterday.

In other news, the New York Times continued to demonstrate why they are – as I like to say – the rotting corpse of a once great news organization. Just a few short weeks ago they suspended their star White House reporter Glenn Thrush after stories came out that multiple women were accusing him of harassment and assault. On Wednesday Dean Baquet announced that Thrush would be back at the paper, just not covering the White House.

“While we believe that Glenn has acted offensively, we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired,” Baquet said in a statement. He said Thrush will receive “training designed to improve his workplace conduct,” and that Thrush is undergoing counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own.

This is galling, especially when you consider that the Times previously wrote op-eds calling on Al Franken to resign. (Which he did and just announced that he will be gone atmaxresdefault.jpg the end of the year.) Thrush, one of the star male reporters who helped craft the narrative in 2016 that Hillary Clinton was unlikable and not trustworthy, was proven to be a misogynist. Perhaps considering the Times’ coverage, especially Baquet’s political coverage, one should not be surprised. But appalled and disgusted, yes. Or as Brianna Wu tweeted:

Dear . The issue with Glenn Thrush isn’t that he behaved “offensively.” It’s that he got drunk, sexually assaulted women he worked with, and then DESTROYED THEIR PROFESSIONAL REPUTATIONS with colleagues to cover his ass. How can you keep that in your newsroom?!

Perhaps more than any other paper, the New York Times has been responsible for normalization of Trump and White Supremacy, and the destruction of Hillary Clinton. If anyone still has a subscription to it, I urge them to cancel it. (Also worth noting Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of the Times, announced his retirement from the paper effective December 14th. His place as the head of the paper was taken his son, A.G. Sulzberger. Because, well, of course.)

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2017 (which is almost over) will be remembered for many things. I can’t think of any good things. I’d be willing to take all the celebrity deaths in 2016 over what we’re living with now. But time travel is not an option.

One part of this year that has sent shockwaves through all of our collective lives is the slew of allegations (and confessions) about sexual assault and harassment done by powerful men in professional settings over decades. The first brick to fall was Harvey Weinstein’s long history of abusing Hollywood actresses. He is now joined in infamy by Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., New Republic president Hamilton Fish, journalist Mark Halperin, New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, Charlie Rose, film producer and director Brett Ratner, director James Toback, actor Casey Affleck, and his brother Ben too. This list is not at all up to date and it will grow longer. (I didn’t even mention Trump or Roy Moore…)

In some ways the most interesting names on that list, to me anyway, are the reporters. People like Fish, Halperin, Thrush and Rose (I’m sure that list will expand.) It is important to remember that these men, in their positions of extraordinary power and influence, helped set the narrative for the 2016 election. They helped paint Hillary Clinton as unlikable and untrustworthy. Not just in 2016, but long before that. How does one process the revelations about them with the filter of misogyny turned on? Because certainly their misogyny – which is no longer an abstract accusation, but now something very concrete and definitive – helped drive their coverage of the first female nominee for a major party. We had complaints about the coverage of Clinton and the election before. But now our complaints have something very tangible attached to them. These men, who do not respect women (at best, hate women at worst) helped paint Clinton as an untrustworthy, lazy, unlikable shill.

There is another aspect of this topic that I think is worth discussing. The wave of accusations was long-coming. But – there are risks involved. The tag “Believe women” carries a risk with it. Because not all accusations are true. This isn’t to bring up the irrelevant statistics about false accusations (which have historically been statistically insignificant.) It’s just to point out that we now live in highly polarized and divisive times. And some people will take a positive – believe women – and weaponize it. We may have seen some of that in the accusations against Al Franken. As a liberal Senator he has been the number one enemy of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That marked him. A day before accusations against him were publicly made, Roger Stone said that Franken’s time was coming soon. How did Stone know this? We know Franken’s accuser is a Trump supporter and some of her accusations about Franken harassing her on a 2006 USO tour have come under question. Is it fair to question her when liberals have said “believe women” until now? Does it reveal a bias? Or is it a necessary realization that “believe women” can and maybe has already been weaponized by the unscrupulous Right? Franken – if he survives the allegations – is damaged. (Another accusation was made against Franken by the NY Post on behalf of Arianna Huffington, claiming Franken grabbed her inappropriately in 2000 during the taping of the Bill Maher show. Huffington eventually responded defending Franken, saying she was not assaulted by Franken and the accusations printed by the Post were false. “I think I’m a better judge of how I felt in that satirical photo shoot with Al Franken than the recollections of an anonymous bystander,” she wrote. But that’s too late. I’m now seeing references to Franken as having multiple accusations made against him.) Perhaps we need to revise “believe women” to “take women seriously.” Accept the accusations and investigate. See where the investigation takes you.

Another – slightly different – example on Tuesday was The Hollywood Reporter story about the Pixar/Disney executive John Lasseter. Lasseter has been responsible to a very large degree for the animated masterpieces that have come out of Pixar over the years and he directed “Toy Story.” Lasseter has stepped away from Pixar after the allegations were made public. But in their article THR said the actress and writer Rashida Jones left “Toy Story 4” project (which she was helping write) because of Lasseter’s unwanted advances. By attaching a famous woman’s name to the story they made it travel so much further. The problem is that Rashida Jones’ statement (written with her writing partner) about why she left the project say THR was wrong. Nothing sexual in nature drove her away.

The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories. In this instance, The Hollywood Reporter does not speak for us. We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue.

They go on to say they left over creative and philosophical differences with Pixar. So whatever Lasseter’s behavior with other women, by throwing Jones into the mix, THR has also weaponized the sexual assault accusations and done a disservice to the actual victims. As reporters rush to find out more dirt, more and more mistakes (malicious or not) will be made. And there is a trip-wire to the whole cause, because once mistakes start happening the entire movement is at risk of crashing down.

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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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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Blog Archive

April 2018
M T W T F S S
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.7 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

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