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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 10, 2015
Caught on Tape: FL GOP's Race-Based Scheme To Dilute Minority Representation
State Rep is heard revealing plot to oust black U.S. Congresswoman with gerrymandering scheme, as a somewhat related landmark U.S. Supreme Court hearing looms...
Speaker Interrupted: 'BradCast' 10/8/15
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) joins guest host Nicole Sandler to discuss stunning turns of events in GOP plan to replace Boehner; Also: Emptywheel's Marcy Wheeler on U.S. bombing of hospitcal in Afghanistan...
'Green News Report' 10/8/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Sen. Graham wants aid for SC flooding, voted against it for Hurricane Sandy!; Enviros slam TPP; New pesticide rules; Fracking waste; PLUS: Obama creates new sanctuaries...
Previous GNRs: 10/1/15 - 10/6/15 - Archives...
Shredding the NRA's 'Good Guy With a Gun' Myth:
'BradCast' 10/7/15
The Nation's Joshua Holland explains why combat vets laugh at the ridiculous lie. Also: GOP Rep. who defunded gun research regrets it; Boehner could stay Speaker; and more!...
Electric BUG-Aloo: How VW Can Save Itself and the World: 'BradCast' 10/6/15
Author Steve LaVine on e-cars and our battery-powered near-future; ALSO: Sen. Lindsey Graham's short memory; GOP bum fight for U.S. House Speaker; and Jeb's 'death rattle'...
'Green News Report' 10/6/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record rain, flooding in South Carolina -- is this the new normal?; India will cut its carbon emissions; PLUS: EPA announces new ozone rules to cut dangerous air pollution...
Previous GNRs: 10/1/15 - 9/29/15 - Archives...
'New Normal': Climate Change and SC's '1000-Year Flood': 'BradCast' 10/5/15
Climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann joins us to discuss that and much more. Plus: Updates on AL vote suppression; NM's indicted SoS; OR's school massacre...
Sunday Toons: 'Not Making Sense' Edition
A grim week in the Toons, though 'PDiddie' manages to find a few laughs in his latest curated collection of the week's best...
AL Shuts Down Photo ID Offices; IA Blocks Former Felons: 'BradCast' 10/1/15
With ACLU voting rights attorney Julie Ebenstein; PLUS: All of today's grim breaking news to remind us why voting matters...
'Green News Report' 10/1/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Jeb wants more oil and gas in US; Alberta, home of tar sands oil, wants to phase it out; New standards for refineries; PLUS: Tesla unveils world's first all-electric SUV...
Previous GNRs: 9/29/15 - 9/24/15 - Archives...
Hand-Counting Paper Ballots in Columbia County, NY: 'BradCast' 9/29/15
Guests: Both the Democratic and Republican Election Commissioners of Columbia County! Plus: Rush on Mars; MSNBC snubs Bernie...
'Green News Report' 9/29/15
China to launch cap and trade system; Pope calls for UN climate treaty; Report: World can move to 100% renewables in just 35 years; PLUS: Shell quits the Arctic...
Exxon Knew All Along: 'BradCast' 9/28/15
Neela Banerjee on Exxon's long knowledge of global warming and their efforts to obscure it. Also: Shell quits the Arctic; NASA's big discovery; Obama, Putin at U.N....
Sunday Toons: 'Political Climate Change'
PDiddie's latest curated collection of an explosive week in political toonery...
Bye, Bye, Boehner; Hello (Again), Florida Vote Suppression: 'BradCast' 9/25/15
And many other breaking world affairs at the end of an insanely busy news week...
Sanders' Three-Phase 'Political Revolution'
Ernest Canning on Bernie's battle for the 2016 Dem nomination, what happens if he receives it, and how he'd be able to govern as President of the United States...
The Pope & the Dopes - Francis Goes to Congress: 'BradCast' 9/24/15
Guest: Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network...
'Green News Report' 9/24/15
Pope delivers climate change message in D.C.; 11 House GOPers call for climate action; Big biz pledges to go renewable; PLUS: Hillary finally announces KXL position...
Pope Francis and the GOP! VW and the Voting Scam!: 'BradCast' 9/23/15
Plus a bunch of callers on all of the above (some quite amusing) and much more!...
Walker's Failed Campaign; Fuller's Serial Spousal Abuse: 'BradCast' 9/22/15
Guest: WI native John Nichols of The Nation. PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position Keystone XL!...
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Guest: Neela Banerjee, co-author of an explosive report on Exxon's long knowlege of man-made global warming and their efforts to obscure it
Also today: Shell out of the Arctic; NASA's big discovery; Obama and Putin at the U.N....
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2015 5:04pm PT  

On today's BradCast, first, a number of breaking news items, including Shell Oil coming up dry and calling an end (for now) to their misadventurous quest for oil in the otherwise pristine Arctic; NASA announcing the discovery of flowing liquid water on Mars, allowing for the possibility of human travel to the planet; And Presidents Obama and Putin both addressing the U.N. General Assembly, offering conflicting assessments of the worsening crisis in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Then, I'm joined by Neela Banerjee, investigative journalist at Inside Climate News, to discuss the Pulitzer Prize winning organization's explosive new series of reports revealing that Exxon's scientists had confirmed the catastrophic effects of man-made global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels as long ago as 1977. But, rather than continue their work on that finding, they turned tail in an attempt to obscure their own science with the massive funding of climate change denial front groups.

"In the '70s and '80s they really wanted to be seen as a leader in climate research because they understood the implications of climate change for their business as a fossil fuel producer," Banerjee explains. She says Exxon "thought that the best way to shape whatever policies would emerge to limit fossil fuel emissions...was do really good science and have a seat at the table. That's obviously different from the approach they started taking in 1989."

Banerjee, formerly a New York Times reporter and now co-author of Inside Climate's multi-part series based on months of digging into four decades of company documents and interviews with former Exxon scientists and other employees, goes on to explain the known circumstances of the company's sudden about-face to become a major funding source for the denialist movement.

"Even before the question of CO2 appeared on the scene and started to shape their thinking about continuing to produce fossil fuels, Exxon was already starting to think of potentially becoming a diversified energy company," she tells me, detailing the company's early work on lithium ion batteries, solar and nuclear energy and even hybrid cars. "Exxon had this mindset that they were not just wedded to oil and gas."

But then, with a drop in oil prices, things changed, including leadership at the company. Exxon began discussing "uncertainty and kept cherry-picking quotes from scientists to say that there was too much that was unclear to warrant enormous action on cutting back fossil fuels and changing our economy." In other words, they knew, they denied, and they didn't seem to care.

I also ask Banerjee about the lack of corporate mainstream media coverage of her remarkable series --- (even MSNBC has failed to cover it) --- and she describes how its even worse than I had realized. We also discuss whether Exxon (and other Big Oil entities) might face legal liability for obscuring the known harm caused by their products in the same way that Big Tobacco eventually did.

Lots of revealing conversation on all of that and more on today's BradCast...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and Blue America PAC
Plus: NYT notices the GOP is crazy; Trump's plan to 'save Social Security'; and the hottest August ever recorded on the planet...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2015 5:11pm PT  

After a week talking (mostly) about sleazy Republicans, we switch to sleazy Democrats today for a bit on The BradCast.

I'm joined by great progressive blogger Howie Klein of, who is also co-founder of the Blue America PAC, to discuss the recent smear of Bernie Sanders by a Hillary Clinton-supporting Super PAC, which is not supposed to be coordinating with the Clinton campaign or vice versa. But are they?

"There's no chance that it's not coordinated," Klein tells me, while admitting he has no hard evidence. "They'll deny it. It's illegal. If they admitted it, they would all go to jail. But the Clinton campaign, just like the Republican campaigns of Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz and Scott Walker --- they're all coordinating with their SuperPACs."

Klein details his assertions and his thoughts on the $1.2 million raised by Sanders in response to the smear, in the 48 hours after it!

Also, we discuss the absurd fiction of these so-called "SuperPACs", the failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to do anything about blatant violations of campaign finance laws, and the remarkable hypocrisy of the DNC and the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) in the wake of the GOP's latest threat to shut down the government, this time over a pretend Planned Parenthood "controversy".

Also today: New York Times finally notices how the Republican Party has lost touch with reality; Donald Trump's ingenious "plan" to "save Social Security"; and Desi Doyen joins us with Green News Report coverage of this week's CNN/GOP debate and the hottest August ever recorded on Planet Earth...

Download MP3 or listen online to the complete show below...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2015 5:52pm PT  

Seriously. To hell with false balance.

On today's BradCast: a ton of news on Election 2016 --- from the horse race (as ridiculous as it's become) to the horrible track conditions on which the horses will be running, as Americans try to vote and have their vote counted, counted accurately and in a way that they can know it's been counted accurately.

Meanwhile, the media, particularly the New York Times continue to confuse repeating with reporting on both voter suppression and climate change --- and they actually appear to be getting worse, not better. So, Desi Doyen joins us to debunk the latest global warming denial nonsense from GOPers Trump, Fiorina and, yes, Palin with none of the Times' 'he said, she said' false balance.

And finally, we finish with some thoughts very much worth pondering from Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch and The Nation on this 14th anniversary of 9/11.

That's a very short description for a very busy, news-packed show today. Enjoy!...

Download MP3 or listen to the complete show online below...

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'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Edward Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his 2006 revelations...
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2015 5:29pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...First, I need to pick up with a few more points from yesterday's show, concerning how the Republican Party is, frankly, no longer a legitimate political party, how they have absolutely no governing philosophy, how they will say whatever they need to say in order to support whatever they feel like "believing in" at any particular time and, basically, how they are simply making this shit up as they go at this point. I offer a few more examples of that today concerning Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Donald Trump and a couple of others.

Then, it's on to our main interview with AT&T/NSA whistleblower Mark Klein, the now-retired 22-year AT&T employee who, in 2006, infamously exposed that the company had a secret room in its San Francisco facility --- Room 641A --- where the NSA had been allowed to install a splitter to trap and record all Internet traffic coming and going over AT&T's backbone lines.

Over the weekend, the New York Times and Pro and ProPublica revealed newly disclosed documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden concerning AT&T's long and happy --- and illegal --- relationship with the NSA. The documents, in many ways, he believes, vindicate precisely what he had blown the whistle on in 2006.

I discuss the newly released documents with Klein on today's show, what they reveal about AT&T and NSA, how he came about discovering the secret NSA room at AT&T, and his experience since then as a whistleblower.

Among other things, he tells me he doesn't buy "the government's cover story that 9/11 changed everything," pointing to the new Snowden docs which cite AT&T's cooperation with the NSA going back as far as 1985. The friendly relationship between AT&T and the NSA goes back decades and underscores his contention that "AT&T gives NSA what it wants."

On the billions (perhaps trillions?) of land lines, cell phone lines and Internet traffic intercepted by the government illegally, he says that "there was no warrant that could cover this. Warrants are supposed to be specific, covering individual people, papers and whatnot - they were sweeping up everything."

On George W. Bush's claims that "we're just listening to a few phone calls from no-good people who are calling the Middle East," he says: "That was a complete lie and a diversion from the fact that they were collecting billions and billions of communications every day on the Internet."

On the recently passed legislation, the USA Freedom Act, which was supposed to have curbed many of the greatest warrantless wiretapping abuses under the USA Patriot Act, Klein says: "That law does not address Internet surveillance at all, it does not touch the secret rooms that are still in place doing what I already described. That law did not address that at all. So the Freedom Act is a fraud, in my opinion."

Klein also harshly criticizes then-Senator Obama for voting in 2008 to grant AT&T and other telecoms retroactive immunity on the heels of his 2006 disclosures. Obama "knew what he was doing," he argues. "He was running against Hillary for the nomination in 2008, so he postured to the left and said explicitly he would oppose any bill with immunity in it. He tried to gather his liberal supporters by making that promise. As soon as he won the nomination and beat Hillary, he quickly switched sides, and came out for immunity. It was a cynical move on his part, not some light-minded stupidity."

We covered much more during our discussion, so please give the full interview a listen!

Finally, speaking of Obama and Hillary, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report as the Obama Administration gives final approval for Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic, even as Obama announces a visit to the Arctic to decry global warming and as Hillary comes out against drilling in the Arctic. Try and square all of those (Arctic) circles if you can!

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Guest: Computer security expert Michael Gregg
Plus (speaking of hacks): 'Paper of record' keeps digging & Gullible global warming trolls...
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2015 4:14pm PT  

While we have, for more than a decade, covered the extreme vulnerabilities of voting machines and electronic tabulators and broken numerous exclusive stories about it on both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast, my guest on today's show offers a number of additional ways --- some of which had largely never even occurred --- by which bad actors could disrupt U.S. elections.

Michael Gregg, IT security expert and COO of the private, Houston-based computer security firm, Superior Solutions wrote about some of those concerns recently at Huffington Post. He joins me today to discuss several of the ways that U.S. democracy could be disrupted by political hacktivists, election insiders or even foreign entities and how we might not ever even know about it if they did --- thanks to the type of electronic voting systems we now use in all 50 states and the different ways in which the public is now being blocked from overseeing our own elections and election results.

"Attackers could potentially get in and do these things and it would be very hard to prove. The scary part is, by the time any of this is worked out, the election is over with, so it's too late," he tells me. I ask him how elected officials in his home state of Texas --- much of which forces voters to use 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems --- react when he points out these concerns. "We've brought that up multiple times, but that seems to be the powers that be, how they want to do things."

Gregg, who I've never spoken to previously, concludes, as I have, that paper ballots (hand-marked and hand-counted, in my case) are the most secure way to run elections. "I agree with you 100%," he says. "If you have a paper-based system, it's very very hard to attack, it's very much easier to be able to detect those types of things."

As to Internet Voting, well, you'll want to tune in for this computer security professional's opinion on whether or not the Internet can ever be secure enough to use for the most important aspect of our representative democracy.

Also today: New York Times digs deeper still on their inaccurate Hillary Clinton reporting (as we covered in great detail on yesterday's show); Incurious global warming trolls fall, once again, for the old "Earth is cooling" scam; The racist Charleston, SC church shooter pleads "not guilty"; And Shell Oil evades activists to try and begin drilling in the Arctic...

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Guest: Eric Boehlert of Media Matters
Plus: Medicare turns 50; Trump dominates GOP (But not Dems); MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2015 5:02pm PT  

Today on The BradCast...

Medicare turns 50! That's right, the original "socialized medicine" that, Republicans told us, would be the end of freedom (sound familiar?) is just 15 years away from being eligible for Medicare! We revisit Ronald Reagan's completely wrong 1961 warnings about one of the nation's most successful and beloved social programs.

Trump beats everyone! Except for Democrats. He loses to all of them, but the polls continue to show The Donald beating all of his GOP competitors by a long shot. And now, he's even beating former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in Florida!

Then, the misinformation from the "paper of record" continues! Eric Boehlert of Media Matters joins us to discuss the latest New York Times "journalistic" fiasco. After getting it completely wrong on the Iraq War and then getting it completely wrong on James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart's ACORN "Pimp Hoax", they've moved on to reporting a completely false story about a "criminal probe" of Hillary Clinton. And then, to make matters worse, they screwed up their "apology".

As Boehlert tells me on today's show, these screw ups always seem to redound to the benefit of Republicans. "Who is the target always? Is it ever Jeb Bush? Is it ever the RNC? Is it ever the NRA? No. It's always progressives, it's always Demcorats, it's always the Clintons, it's always Obama, it's always a low-income advocacy group. Where are these colossal screw-ups when the New York Times digs in deep and screws up about a rightwing Republican organization? It doesn't happen. Because they know you cannot make mistakes when you go after the NRA. You cannot make mistakes when you go after the Republican front-runner."

"There's a pattern here," Boehlert argues. "Do you think the New York Times would've thrown up a half-hearted reported piece suggesting Jeb Bush was under criminal indictment, and then find out 90 minutes later none of it was right? And they never called the Bush campaign? And they never called anyone else? To me it's inconceivable. But if it's the Clintons, 'throw it up there, see what happens, we're gonna get huge traffic.'"

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on the tragic story of the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe and about record wildfires in the U.S. west (and around the world)...

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Guest: D.R. Tucker of Washington Monthly...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2015 3:35pm PT  

No, "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" is not global warming, as scam artists like Rush Limbaugh and fellow climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe would like you to believe. The greatest hoax was the one set in motion by Ronald Reagan some 35 years ago --- and its still in play today, unfortunately.

But that hoax may be coming to an end. (Emphasis on may). Washington Monthly blogger (and too-occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) D.R. Tucker joins us on today's BradCast to discuss what he describes as the Republican Party, Fox "News" and "wingnut radio" becoming "the snake that consumes its own tail."

Plus: The New York Times deeply misinforms America again; Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee (RI) gets into the 2016 Presidential race...for some reason; Jeb Bush continues to blatantly flout campaign laws; And FOIA goes on 'trial' in the U.S. House. All of that and more on today's BradCast...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/11/2015 6:35am PT  

When Vermont's independent Senator Bernie Sanders recently entered the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination, we explained how the corporate U.S. media was certain to "set out to marginalize candidates who pose a threat to corporate wealth and power."

Now, a venerable media watchdog organization has documented how, as predicted, both America's "Paper of Record," The New York Times and the nation's most widely watched Sunday public affairs program, NBC's Meet the Press, wasted little time in fulfilling that prediction.

As we recently wrote (and discussed some days later during an appearance on The BradCast), Sanders' principle opponent in the upcoming primary election is not Hillary Clinton. It is, in fact, what Noam Chomsky describes as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives. Chomsky attributes the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

In our article, we pointed to two examples in which the corporate-owned media, sans any discussion of where Sanders or Clinton stood on vital issues, had immediately set out to marginalize the Sanders candidacy by either describing it as a "long shot," or dismissing it altogether with headlines such as the Washington Post's: "Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president. That's not the point." The practice of simultaneously anointing a corporate friendly candidate as a "front runner" while dismissing those who challenge the status quo is designed to become a self-achieving prophesy at the polls by discouraging citizens from backing a media-dubbed "long shot."

The respected media watchdog organization, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), has now begun to document instances in which The New York Times and Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, applied a second, tried and true media method to both evade issues and marginalize candidates who threaten the interests of "the substantial people." The strategy appears to entail "manipulation by omission" --- a method in which the MSM aspires to mold public opinion by simply pretending that a disfavored candidate and his/her issue-laden campaign doesn't even exist...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2014 5:06pm PT  

We've written about this problem for years here and, indeed, have spent no small part of those years repeatedly spanking papers like the New York Times for being amongst the worst repeated offenders.

Fairness is one thing. Balance, on the other hand --- particularly in cases of known, independently-verifiable, well-established facts on one side of an issue but not on the other --- is largely bullshit meant to do little more than level an unlevel playing field for bad guys. That's why Fox "News" loves the motto "Fair and Balanced", because it gives them an excuse to forward bullshit disguised as "balance", as if it was only fair to counter an established, well-supported (if not Right-leaning) view point. Never mind if that established view point has mountains of evidence and independently verifiable facts to support it. If those facts don't agree with ideological Republican dogma, they must be "biased" and "unbalanced".

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias," Stephen Colbert once famously quipped.

The New York Times has a long history of falling for, and forwarding in "the paper of record", false balance produced by those on the Right. Often, as was the case when The BRAD BLOG outed the James O'Keefe ACORN "Pimp" Hoax for being a complete fraud in 2010, the paper has sided simply with the word of Rightwingers, actual evidence-before-their-eyes be damned. Longtime readers will likely remember Greg Brock, the Times' Senior Editor for Standards(!), telling us that falsely reporting O'Keefe wore a "pimp costume" into ACORN offices (he never, ever did) was perfectly appropriate, because, as Brock explained to us in email at the time, "Our article included that description because Mr. O'Keefe himself explained how he was dressed --- and appeared on a live Fox show wearing what HE said was the same exact costume he wore to ACORN's offices."

"If there is a correction to be made," Brock incredibly added, "it seems it would start with Mr. O'Keefe himself. We believe him. Therefore there is nothing for us to correct."

After we took our complaint, and the independently verifiable facts to support them, to Clark Hoyt, the New York Times Public Editor at the time, he embarrassingly backed up Brock, despite the actual hard evidence that existed --- such as an independent investigative report from a former prosecutor and the videos themselves --- to the contrary. His remarkable defense of that egregious and damaging misreporting, repeated over a series of articles, earned Hoyt an infamous depiction as an actual "weasel" by cartoonist Tom Tomorrow. Eventually --- some six months later --- Hoyt admitted that both he and the paper were wrong, but not before the false reporting led to irreversible damage to ACORN, which had been long-vilified by the Right for little more than the crime of legally registering millions of largely low- and middle-income voters to participate in their own democracy.

So it's refreshing, finally, to see that the Times' current Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, is not only not falling for the same old crap, she's actually attempting to hold the paper accountable for inappropriately advancing false balance on Rightwing stalking horse issues like pretend GOP claims about voter fraud and global warming denialism. And she's doing so repeatedly...

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Of course they do...
By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2014 7:05am PT  

From Juliet Lapidos at NYTimes...

On Sunday the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and television host, mentioned that voter turnout in the Ferguson, Mo., area was a mere 12 percent in the last election, and pledged to help boost that number with a registration drive. Twelve percent, he said, was "an insult to your children." He wasn't the first to think of channeling the anger over Mike Brown's death in this particular direction. Twitter users on Saturday noted voter registration tables in front of the makeshift memorial where the unarmed teenager was shot by a police officer.

Encouraging more participation in the democratic process in a community that feels alienated from political power - hence the demonstrations - seems like an obviously good idea; and one that's particularly compelling because it's so simple. Voting is an alternative to protesting in the streets.

And yet, the executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, Matt Wills, denounced the plan.

Mr. Wills told the right-wing website Breitbart: "If that's not fanning the political flames, I don't know what is. I think it's not only disgusting but completely inappropriate."

On another right-wing site, Red State, Dan McLaughlin also argued that there was something indecent about the registration drive. Ferguson presents an opportunity for "Right and Left" to find "common ground," he wrote. But "the minute you turn your energies into just another effort to register Democratic voters and fire up the Democratic base in advance of an election," he argued, "the harder you make it to keep the common ground from vanishing in the fog."

Who said anything about "register[ing] Democratic voters"?

"Voter registration for #Ferguson residents is at the QT & the crime scene. SIGN UP. Get on the juries, choose your leaders," tweeted attorney and activist @ReignOfApril. "Voter Registration is a brilliant way to honor #MichaelBrown's memory. It's a positive reaction to horrible situation," wrote @Koursey in reply.

While the city of Ferguson is two-thirds African-American, the vast majority of their police force and almost all local elected officials are not.

"Though whites make up just 29% of the city's residents," reports MSNBC's Zachary Roth, "five of Ferguson's six city council members are white, as is Mayor James Knowles. And six of the local school board's seven members are white."

"We warned people about these kinds of things," John Gaskin of the Missouri NAACP told Roth. "Who hires the police officers? The police chief. Who hires the police chief? The mayor. Who hires the mayor? Who elects the council folks?"

As the Times' Lapidos goes on to note, "Mr. Sharpton did not say that the residents of Ferguson should vote for Democrats; he said they should vote, full stop." She adds: "Isn't it telling that both Mr. Wills and Mr. McLaughlin make no distinction between voter registration and Democratic registration?"

For the record, Ferguson's local elections are nonpartisan.

* * *

(Separately, kudos to the Times' Lapidos for describing those two websites for what they are, "right-wing", rather than usual "conservative". It must not have been easy to get that past the Times' editors, even though it's completely accurate. Or maybe the paper has changed their previously unhelpful style rules under their new Executive Editor Dean Baquet, along with this one. Either way, truth in reporting there is accurate, a great change of pace and far more helpful to the electorate.)

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By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2014 3:44pm PT  

For all of the long-time smokers who are quitting or have now quit the deadly habit (myself included) thanks only to the miracle of e-cigs (which offer none of the thousands of known, harmful byproducts of smoking tobacco), it's remarkable to see anti-smoking zealots actually fighting against their use in myriad ways.

Several weeks ago on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show, I interviewed Paul Koretz, one of the L.A. City Councilmembers who, beyond all reason --- and without a single shred of scientific data to back up his reasoning --- recently voted to ban vaping in all the same places where smoking is banned (on beaches, public parks, inside work places, restaurants, bars, etc.) Those who vape, if L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti decides to approve the City Council's ridiculous and dangerous ordinance (as other mayors have done in other cities) would be consigned to having to go outside to a smoking area to use their safe, odor-free vaporizer.

As one caller to the radio show pointed out, that ill-considered policy is akin to forcing recovering alcoholics to go sit in a bar. It's almost assured to keep more people smoking rather than quitting. That, even though, as Koretz admitted to me on air, there's a "99% possibility" that vaping is "much safer than smoking" and the former. (And he was low-balling that number, no doubt.) The former President of the American Lung Association describes the L.A. ban on vaping as "misguided" and "a public health disservice".

Which brings us to Monday's New York Times, where the Idiotic War on Quitting Smoking continues with a misguided hit piece on e-liquid --- the "juices" used in e-cig vaporizers --- headlined "Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UPDATED with response to election law professor Rick Hasen's critique...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2013 2:54pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by The Progressive...]

This story just keeps getting more insane.

We recently told you --- at The BRAD BLOG and at Salon --- about Judge Richard Posner's remarkable disavowal of his own majority opinion in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals case that became the basis for the U.S. Supreme Court's 2008 approval of the Republican implementation of polling place Photo ID restriction laws.

Though it's the only court case of note that Republicans are able to cite in claiming the "constitutionality" of such laws, last week, during an interview with HuffPo Live, Posner recanted the opinion he wrote in the case. He claimed that he "did not have enough information...about the abuse of voter identification laws," to make a better decision in 2007's Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. If he had, he said, the Indiana case "would have been decided differently."

Of course, at the same time, he noted that the dissenting judge in the case seems to have had no trouble ruling correctly at all. Judge Terence T. Evans blasted at the beginning of his dissent in the case [PDF]: "Let’s not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic."

Evans "was right", Posner now admits, and his own decision was wrong. Apparently, Evans somehow did have the information needed to decide the same case correctly, even if Posner now claims that he, personally, did not for some reason.

Today, the New York Times finally decided to cover Posner's admission, and they add at least one more head-spinning element to all of this...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Another 'Fair and Balanced' failure of the U.S. corporate media...
By Ernest A. Canning on 10/4/2013 1:49pm PT  

As the government shutdown began, the corporate U.S. media played its usual unhelpful role by not taking sides in what was clearly a one-sided argument.

"In shutdown blame game, Democrats and Republicans united: It's the other side's fault," declared Washington Post's headline. "Shutdown: Obama and Republicans Trade Blame as Deadline is Crossed," TIME unhelpfully noted, sounding much like the pretend news outlet Fox "News", which declared similarly "Partial shutdown begins: Can Congress, White House compromise?"

Never mind that Democrats had already compromised by agreeing to "Sequestration" level budget cuts, the only question was how would the two sides "compromise" on the Affordable Care Act which had nothing to do with the budget resolution itself, but has long been a bete noir for Republicans.

Meanwhile, the non-U.S. news outlet, The Guardian in the UK, accurately reported that the U.S. government shutdown occurred because Democrats refused to give into the Tea Party's extortion-like demands. Specifically, they wrote, it occurred after "Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance."

Was that so hard? Apparently so, for the U.S. corporate media anyway...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Op-ed by four former Republican EPA chiefs still won't be enough to break through modern GOP's climate of denial...
By D.R. Tucker on 8/4/2013 7:35pm PT  

There is no such thing as a Republican politician who reads the New York Times.

That's the obvious takeaway from the events of August 2, as the GOP-controlled House cast a symbolic vote against the concept of a carbon tax just hours after the Times published an op-ed written by Republican-appointed former EPA administrators William Ruckelshaus, Lee Thomas, William Reilly and Christine Todd Whitman calling for such a tax, and otherwise for the GOP to join President Obama in taking aggressive action to reduce carbon emissions before it's too late.

One wonders why Ruckelshaus (the very first head of the EPA, as appointed by leftist EPA creator President Richard Nixon), Thomas, Reilly and Whitman even bothered to write this op-ed. After all, they are calling upon Republicans to embrace policy.

Has it not been finally proven that the Republican Party --- the party I belonged to for fifteen years --- no longer cares about policy? And, to ask the even more obviously rhetorical question: do they not realize that in 2013, "Republican environmentalist" is as much of a logical falsehood as "clean coal"?...

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Rep. Stephen Fincher, latest in long line of wealthy right wing hypocrites, cites Bible as reason for slashing aid to needy...
UPDATED: GOP-Controled House Passed Farm Subsidies Only Bill
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/8/2013 9:05am PT  

Before their recess for the July 4th holiday, the U.S. House rejected what has, for decades, been largely a no-brainer for the United States Congress: the federal farm subsidies bill.

This year, however, with a Congress as dysfunctional as it has ever been, even that legislative "gimme" has been stymied, for now, by the far Right Republican caucus hoping to slash even more of the food stamp benefits included the bill, and by progressive Democrats furious about cuts to the federal food assistance program that the GOP-controlled House already managed to write into it.

Before the break, the bill was defeated by a 195 to 234 vote margin in what served as a humiliating embarrassment for House Speaker John Boehner. But the $939 billion bill --- which includes both subsidies to farmers (mostly to "Big Ag") and federal food stamp program appropriations --- will soon be coming back, whether Boehner likes it or not.

And, before its return, the hypocrisy embedded in the "Tea Party" caucus' opposition to the bill needs to be highlighted. That hypocrisy is almost certainly best exemplified by one Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN).

Even the ordinarily staid New York Times was taken aback by the level of Fincher's hypocrisy that emerged when he quoted the Bible as justification for slashing food stamp benefits for the poor. He claims that assistance, somehow, amount to theft.

But the facts of Fincher's argument are even more embarrassing than that. The Times notes that Fincher himself has "collected nearly $3.5 million in subsidies from 1999 to 2012" in federal support for his 3,000 acre family farm.

"In 2012 alone, the data shows, Mr. Fincher received about $70,000 in direct payments, money that is given to farmers and farmland owners, even if they do not grow crops."

Even more remarkably, his argument in favor of cutting $20 billion in food stamps came during a debate over the bill in a U.S. House sub-committee which voted to increase subsidies to farmers by $9 billion in the wake of last year's record drought. That, of course, was before the reality of his own reliance on federal funding for his family farm was brought to light by the media...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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