TINFOILHAT: “Fake news” Rathergate

Monday, October 22, 2018

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Case Study 1: Rathergate

My first case study is the episode known as Rathergate. It represents one of the great journalistic frauds of our time. It is a case study in the fabrication of fake news and partisan bias. The Rathergate scandal erupted from a 60 Minutes Wednesday segment rushed to air on the evening of September 8, 2004, in time to influence the approaching presidential election pitting George W. Bush against John Kerry, as it was clearly intended to do. The segment consisted of two parts that didn’t quite fit together except in their antipathy to Bush.

In the first part, based on an interview with the vice chairman of Kerry’s national finance committee, Rather essentially claimed that political influence had been brought to bear to secure Bush’s admission to the Texas Air National Guard as an interceptor jet pilot in 1968. In the second part, based on documents supposedly from the “personal file” of Bush’s commanding officer, Rather reported that Bush had defied an order to take a physical necessary to maintain his flight status and, among other things, thus failed to discharge his military obligations. The segment was produced and written by Mary Mapes.

In researching the story, Mapes had interviewed witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the Texas Air National Guard’s personnel needs. She was told that they needed pilots at the time and that no influence would have been necessary to secure Bush’s admission. The documents on which Rather based the second segment proved to be fabricated on Microsoft Word in the computer era, not typewritten in the early 1970s by Bush’s commanding officer or anyone else. The content and format of the documents also betrayed their fabrication. The story began to fall apart within a few hours of its broadcast. On September 20, 12 days after the broadcast, Rather extended an apology “personally and directly” to viewers for his inability to authenticate the documents.

To investigate what happened, CBS commissioned a panel chaired by former attorney general Richard Thornburgh and former Associated Press president Lou Boccardi. Released in January 2005, the report provides evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the entire segment was false and/or fraudulent from beginning to end.

Mapes was promptly fired as were three other executives with responsibility for the story. Rather stepped down from the CBS Evening News in March 2005 and was let go from the network the following year.Writing about the 60 Minutes segment on the morning after the broadcast on Power Line, I posted a brief item linking to the 60 Minutes story and the PDF copies of the documents that CBS had made available with the online version of the story. Thinking there might be something more to be said about it than what 60 Minutes had reported, I called my post “The 61st Minute” and published it on Power Line at 7:51 a.m.

Together with my colleague John Hinderaker, I updated the post with additional information provided by readers and fellow bloggers through the early afternoon. By noon, anyone following along online could see that the 60 Minutes segment had been based on fabricated documents and falsehoods. The 60 Minutes segment, reported with great earnestness by Rather, had been produced by knaves or fools, or both.

Rather and Mapes nevertheless persuaded CBS News to stick with the story for nearly two weeks before Rather rendered his on-air apology. In his 2012 memoir Rather Outspoken — that’s the title he gave it; it should have been Rather Full of It — Rather reveals that he didn’t mean it. Both he and Mapes stand behind the story and the authenticity of the documents.

Mapes too wrote a memoir standing by the story (Truth and Duty, published in late 2005). In 2015 Hollywood made a film out of Mapes’s memoir — starring Robert Redford as Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mapes. They called the film Truth, purporting to tell the Rathergate story from the inside.

Despite Mapes’s responsibility for perpetrating a shocking journalistic fraud, the film portrays Mapes as a heroic figure. Mapes not only gets a stellar actress to play her, she is portrayed as a martyr to the First Amendment and a victim of corporate cowardice. By contrast, the film portrays the attorneys who supported the work of Thornburg and Boccardi as cartoon villains. The events depicted in the film had happened only 10 years before, but the ignorance of the reviewers who took the film at face value demonstrated that the truth behind Truth was as obscure as ancient Greek history.

When President Trump refers to fake news, he has in mind something like the cast of characters and the insane bias that brought us Rathergate.

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Source: Fake news: Two case studies | Power Line

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A very good summary of “Rathergate”.  Of course, it sufficiently muddied the water so no one could fairly assess if the original allegations against Bush had any merit.

Argh!

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NEWJERSEY: New Jersey Fails To Strike Down Hair-Braiding Licensing Requirements

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Perhaps, Nzali’s stance continues to be ignored or downplayed because of the stronger, much more powerful beauty lobby. But while regulators claim that the field must be under scrutiny because of the chemicals used in their products, African hair-braiding is also called natural braiding precisely because they use no chemicals.In addition, economists explain that even if there is a legitimate risk, the market is better at regulating than the government.Associate professor of economics at Saint Francis University Edward Timmons thinks that especially when it comes to hair braiding, the market has the best solution for both customers and entrepreneurs.

Source: New Jersey Fails To Strike Down Hair-Braiding Licensing Requirements

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Nothing racist here.

“Move along, people. Nothing to see here. Go home, you looky-loos.” Officer Barbrady’s Catch Phrase South Park

Yet, the D’s seem to have lock on the black vote.

As a little L libertarian, this demonstrates the power of “licensing” to keep monopolies in power.  In fact, you can’t have a monopoly without the Gooferment.

Argh!

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TINFOILHAT: Did Saudis, CIA Fear Khashoggi – LewRockwell

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The macabre case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises the question: did Saudi rulers fear him revealing highly damaging information on their secret dealings? In particular, possible involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks on New York in 2001.

Source: Did Saudis, CIA Fear Khashoggi – LewRockwell

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This does explain why the Saudis would do something so blatant.  And, explains why the Deep State is so anxious not to make a big deal about it.

My purpose in using “tin foil hat” in this blog is just to suggest the questions that no one seems to be interested in asking.

Interesting that one of the participants in this assassination just had a “traffic accident”.  Was this one like George Patton’s  — just too convenient?

Will we get any answers?  Of course, not. Does it mean that everyone should stop asking “annoying” questions?  Of course, not. When do the sheeple wake up that they are on the farm and being managed and harvested?  Of course, not.

Argh!

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Elizabeth Warren, typical white person – The Boston Globe

Friday, October 19, 2018

On Monday, Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test confirming what everyone already knew: The “vast majority” of her genetic makeup is European, but she may have a Native American ancestor in her distant past. That makes her, as Barack Obama once said in a different context, a “typical white person.”

Source: Elizabeth Warren, typical white person – The Boston Globe

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And, a typical politician. What an embarrassment!

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GUNS: Cleveland To Help Crooks Dump Guns Used In Crimes

Monday, October 15, 2018

What buybacks do, with their no-questions-asked policy, is allow criminals to dump incriminating evidence in a way that won’t link back to them. It makes it more difficult for police to gather evidence to put these criminals behind bars.

Source: Cleveland To Help Crooks Dump Guns Used In Crimes

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Gun Buy Backs obstructs the investigation process?

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25+ Of The Most Unbelievably Smart Things Animals Have Done That Surprised People | Bored Panda

Saturday, October 13, 2018

– Be living with myself and my two pets, a cat and a dog;- Dog barks at everything and cat never give a **** about anything or anyone;- Be asleep;- Hear my dog barking;- He shuts up after 30 seconds;- I try to fall asleep again;- After two minutes my dog start barking again like crazy;- I go down to tell him to shut up;- When I get down there is a freaking burglar on the bookshelf;- Ski mask and all;- On the floor lies a gun;- Beneath bookshelf is my dog barking and jumping up after him;- On the couch sits my cat looking like he found my tuna stash;- I call the police;- They arrest the guy;- I give my dog a sausage for being a good guard dog;- A couple of days later a guy calls from the station;- During the interrogation the burglar admitted that he broke into my house, kicked my cat and lured my dog into a closet;- My dog jumped him two minutes later;- The burglar didn’t know my dog can open doors;- He can’t;- My cat being “**** everyone else” – king of the house can though;- Taught himself so he can come and go as he pleases;- My cat must have become pissed and released my dog so he could attack the burglar;- MFW my cat is a ****;- MFW I added animal cruelty to the charges.

Source: 25+ Of The Most Unbelievably Smart Things Animals Have Done That Surprised People | Bored Panda

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I thought this was hysterical!

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An important update about Facebook’s recent security incident | Facebook Help Center

Friday, October 12, 2018

Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?Based on what we’ve learned so far, your Facebook account has not been impacted by this security incident. If we find more Facebook accounts were impacted, we will reset their access tokens and notify those accounts.

Source: An important update about Facebook’s recent security incident | Facebook Help Center

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Seems worth it to check.

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