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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, July 29, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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
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'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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...


Long history of Republican registration fraud continues, dwarfs allegations against ACORN workers
UPDATE: Over 7,500 bad cards from GOP's firm since September...
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2012 3:44pm PT  

You're unlikely to hear a peep about this on Fox "News" (unless they happen to have me on), but the California Secretary of State's Election Fraud Division is now reportedly investigating a firm hired by the Sacramento County Republican Party said to have submitted thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms.

According to a report today from Sacramento ABC affiliate News10 [see video posted below], a private, for-profit firm calling itself Momentum Political Services, hired by the local Republican Party "to boost GOP registration ranks in key battleground communities" has turned in more than 3,100 invalid voter registration cards during their recent drive.

[UPDATE 5/7/12: According to Sacramento Bee's 5/5/12 report, the number of bad registration forms is much higher than 3,100. The paper reports that since September, out of some 31,000 cards turned in by Momentum Political Services, "at least one-fourth of them have been thrown out because of inaccuracies," according to the Sacramento Registrar of Voters. That puts the questionable registrations from the GOP's company at more than 7,500.]

Voter registration forms have allegedly been turned in with fake addresses, voter names that don't exist, duplicate Social Security numbers, and party affiliations that seem to have been changed "by someone" to Republican. The head of the firm has admitted she has hired workers with criminal backgrounds, as found via Craigslist.

The charges of serial voter registration fraud sound very similar to those leveled in 2008 against another outfit hired by the California State GOP to register Republican voters before that year's Presidential election. In that case, the head of the firm was arrested, and eventually pleaded guilty to voter registration charges himself.

In 2006, another firm hired by the CA Republican Party turned in thousands of registration forms with fake names and an error rate as high as 60 percent. And in 2004, a firm hired by the GOP was investigated in a number of states for shredding Democratic voter registrations and tossing them into dumpsters. Despite those allegations, the same folks were later hired by the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008 to run voter registration drives before the Presidential election.

Of course, you probably haven't heard of any of those stories, even while you've heard plenty about a handful of ACORN workers --- no actual ACORN officials, mind you, and they were never hired by the Democratic Party, and never led to a fraudulent vote --- turning in fraudulent registration forms in past years.

But nobody who ever worked for the non-profit ACORN has ever been accused of what these Republican firms continue to do on behalf of the Republican officials who hire them, paying them per Republican registration, year after year, as is once again apparent in the allegations surfacing today against Momentum Political Services...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2012 3:06pm PT  

It so long and detailed, with so many clickable links within it, it took us this long to get through the entirety of a brilliantly written post mortem on the life, havoc and "malicious career" of Andrew Breitbart, as written by mobutu and Gen. Ze'evi at Gawker earlier this week.

The piece is as much about the unforgivable failure of the corporate media who fell, repeatedly, for Breitbart's scams as it is about Breitbart himself. That failure, of course, is the only reason, as we noted in our own "obit", that The BRAD BLOG ever even bothered to step into the toxic swill of his particularly poisonous pig pen of fear, loathing and cruelty towards his fellow man.

The article offers several nods to our months-long tangle with the New York Times and others in the "liberal media", over the "maliciously, fabricated hoax" that was the phony ACORN "scandal". An historic reminder of our occasionally successful attempt at trying to shake the compliant lapdog media out of their stupor to explain how they had fallen embarrassing victim to little more than a series of cheap, partisan con jobs. For example, the story notes how Breitbart's own lies about the ACORN hoax were "definitively debunked on factual grounds several times over" here at The BRAD BLOG and elsewhere.

The entire thing is worth a read --- if you're feeling dirty --- if only for its exceedingly smart prose and unabashed truth-telling about the realities of the shameful moment in American history when a huckster and dishonest profiteer such as Breitbart was able to both flim-flam and expose our once-great Fourth Estate for the utter --- and deadly --- embarrassment they have now become.

Here's just one snippet from the piece to give you an idea...

In anything other than a throughly beshitted republic, Breitbart's shamelessly pimping a false exposé like [the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax] would have seen him broken on a rack. That same magical land of justice and proper incredulity would at least have addressed itself to the quality of investigation brought by an accuser, rather than running like pageload mercenaries and buzz merchants to update their sites' banner headlines. Instead, Breitbart's allegedly sworn enemies did his work for him. They weren't his antagonists: They were his accomplices. When Andrew Breitbart mounted the head of a community organization onto his wall, it was the liberal media that had hoisted it into place.

You can, and should, read it all here.

P.S. So long as we're wading through this particular muck today, see also The Fix's Maer Roshan and Hunter R. Slayton's similarly smart take, and very fine reporting, on "What Really Killed Andrew Breitbart? The Likely Cause of Death the Mainstream Media Ignored", as published at Alternet on Thursday. It documents, among other things, how, even in his death, Breitbart still has the mainstream corporate media shuddering in fear of the mighty reach of this ultimately very small man.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2012 2:50pm PT  

Sean Hannity makes a living dishing it out --- perhaps I should say shoveling it --- but he seems to have trouble taking it in return.

If you missed his "EXCLUSIVE!" Fox "News" interview last night with two young Breitbart rubes, featuring the shocking, unedited version of the video of Barack Obama in his 1991 Harvard days that the late Andrew Breitbart had long promised would help destroy the President, well, you didn't miss much. Not much more than a "smoking hug" and the latest embarrassing moment from the Rightwing's current collective nervous breakdown, anyway.

I happened to catch it though. And I enjoyed it so much, I tweeted mercifully about it while watching. For example, as it ended, I observed...

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

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Now UPDATED with shocking NOT 'selectively edited' version!...
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2012 11:03am PT  

Wow. This must be one of those videos of Barack Obama during his wild-eyed leftist college days at Harvard that the late Andrew Breitbart had promised to shock the world with this year before --- as so many Rightwingers have told me since the day he died --- he was obviously murdered in order to keep the disturbing truth about Obama's radical past from seeing the light of day!

Thankfully, the folks at BuzzFeed have courageously been able to face down the threat of Obama's thugs in order to help get some of that disturbing truth out to the American people who deserve to know just what kind of a far-Left radical now has his finger on the button!

Now that I've seen this remarkable proof, I understand how Breitbart was totally right! Obama and his leftist friends are just "totalitarian freaks"! What more evidence is needed? In this video, we finally see him, at long last, at his most dangerously radical! As President of the Harvard Law Review (Communist organ, obviously), he is exposed here as posing a menacing threat to all those who don't agree that women and African-Americans should enjoy the same equal rights to tenure at the university as everyone else. Shocking!...

(In all seriousness, it's rather remarkable how the guy in this video from twenty years ago appears to be pretty much the exact same guy now sitting in the Oval Office. I can't imagine I would hold up so well against twenty-year old video. But I'm sure Breitbart would have been able to offer the very same video with a more, um, enlightening context for us all...had he not been murdered to keep him from being able to do so, of course!)

* * *

UPDATE 8:29pm PT: The Breitbarters are yammering that the above video was "selectively edited!!!" Setting aside the hypocrisy of that "outrage", the complete video in question seems to come from a PBS Frontline segment. That shocking segment, plus damning raw video taken for it, is now posted in full below...Sigh...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2012 12:00pm PT  

On the day that news of Sen. Ted Kennedy's death hit after decades of service to his nation, Andrew Breitbart took to Twitter to call him a "duplicitous bastard," "a prick," and, "a special pile of human excrement."

Breitbart died here in Los Angeles last night, reportedly of "natural causes," sometime after midnight. He leaves behind a wife and four children. He was 43.

His legacy will speak for itself. It need not be embellished. Though, undoubtedly, it will be. Just not by us. We don't do that here.

We've covered his work honestly, accurately and fairly over the years in more articles than we care to remember and certainly more than we cared to write. It was a courtesy he did not reciprocate. Each time we wrote about him or even spoke of him, it was reluctantly, as it is today. Our interest in Breitbart was never in him, no matter his, or his followers, misguided beliefs to the contrary. Our interest was only in the failures of the mainstream corporate media that he, ironically enough, helped to highlight, and in our hopes of standing up for those he'd harmed.

While pretending to point out "liberal media" bias, what Breitbart ultimately served to do was highlight the corporate media's cowardice, laziness and penchant for trusting in scoundrels. Oddly, that may have been exactly what he wanted to do --- just not in the way he had hoped...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2012 2:22pm PT  

Last week was a bad week to be Republican con-man Andrew Breitbart. But, really, what week isn't?

First there was his embarrassing, angry, drunken, video-taped "stop raping people" bender outside of CPAC, followed by his sober, but completely debunked, attempts to justify it all on the morning after.

And now comes this...

WASHINGTON (CN) - Former U.S Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod's lawsuit against right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart survived a motion to dismiss, clearing the way for her to pursue the high-profile defamation suit she filed against him and a colleague last year.

Sherrod Sued Breitbart and associate Larry O'Connor in February 2011, charging the two men posted a heavily editor clip of her online that led to accusations of racism and ultimately got her fired.

Breitbart filed his motion under the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, which provides that if a defendant can show the claim at issue arises from an act in furtherance of the right to free speech - and if the it is also related to an issue of public concern-he can file a special motion to dismiss.

But in a terse decision, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon tossed the motion...

See Courthouse News Service for the rest of the details.

You'll recall the Rightwing race-baiting hoaxster Breitbart published a deceptively edited video of Sherrod from a 2010 speech at an NAACP event, which, he claimed, included a "racist tale" that provided proof that "this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions."

After the full context of the video became known, and that she was actually relating a story from which she had learned a lesson decades earlier, Breitbart continued lying about it, claiming he had only charged racism among the NAACP, not Sherrod. He claimed the short video clip offered evidence that they, not she, was racist, despite the quotes from his article, and the headline which is still: "Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism-2010".

He continues to tell the same lie about it all to this day, even as he faces Sherrod's lawsuit, and did so again as recently as last week during an interview with Cenk Uyger on The Young Turks on Current TV.

Breitbart's Sherrod deception (see Media Matters' complete timeline here) resulted in her firing by the White House which, as they similarly did in the ACORN case, failed to review the full context of the deceptively presented material before tossing her under the bus and forcing her to resign. The White House eventually apologized and asked her to come back. She declined and then filed her defamation suit against Breitbart. They never made good, however, on having signed the federal bill that eventually destroyed ACORN, the four-decade old community organization which legally registered millions of low- and middle-income voters to vote, legally helped them receive loans to purchase houses, and fought back, for years, against the very predatory lending practices by the vulture capitalists who eventually tanked the global economy.

Breitbart's then employee, the now convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe is still battling a lawsuit by an ACORN worker who was inappropriately terminated after Breitbart published O'Keefe's "severely edited" videos of him and other ACORN workers (none of whom, as 5 or so different independent investigations have all determined, committed any crimes.) As we reported last September, Breitbart may very well be pulled into that lawsuit as a defendant as well, as the case continues to move forward.

Yes, it's a bad year --- actually, lifetime --- to be Andrew Breitbart.

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UPDATED: Super-genius Barr responds, shoots self again...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2011 11:53am PT  

Apparently, disgraced former HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr just can't help himself.

The guy who lost his job and was publicly humiliated after promising to reveal the identities of the supposed leadership of hacktivist group Anonymous and getting caught devising a plan to illegally discredit, defraud and spy on perceived opponents of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America is now palling around with a self-appointed NYPD/FBI "snitch" at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and beyond, according to --- ironically enough --- emails accidentally released on the Internet by the "snitch" himself, Thomas Ryan.

These two are the government corporate welfare queens and "cyber security" clowns that can't shoot straight, it seems. But at least they have each other --- and your tax-payer dollars --- as they both work for highly remunerated, government contracted security firms. And while they each claim to represent different sides of the partisan aisle, strangely enough, as an investigation by The BRAD BLOG reveals, they've found common ground in representing government and corporations in their fight against We, the People.

Barr had been CEO of the U.S. government contracted firm HBGary Federal until earlier this year, after the firm was embarrassed when their hard drives were scrubbed, their websites hacked, Barr's Twitter account defaced, his iPad remotely wiped and some 70,000 of the "cyber security" company's emails were stolen and posted on the Internet by Anonymous in retaliation against Barr who, the hacktivist group claimed, was poised to release inaccurate information about the group's supposed "leadership".

Found among the treasure trove of Barr's HBGary emails was a $12 million plot being hatched on behalf of the criminal thugs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest and most powerful Rightwing lobbying outfit. The scheme was being secretly devised, according to the emails, by the Chamber's high-powered D.C. law firm Hunton & Williams along with HBGary and two other U.S. cyber security contractors, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies. Their plans were to smear, defraud, plant fake documents and spy --- even hack --- perceived political opponents of the Chamber.

The plot was accidentally discovered via Anonymous' hack of HBGary just days before it was to be put into action. The scheme was to take tools developed by the three companies with public money for use in the "War on Terror" and turn them against U.S. Citizens like myself and my family who were discovered to have been named as targets in the emails, along with photos and personal details about us. A number of progressive advocates and organizations, including other journalistic outlets, were also to have been targets of the Chamber's plot.

Also discovered among the emails was a parallel scheme being coordinated by the same D.C. law firm and the same three U.S. government-funded cyber security firms --- who had banded together to call themselves "Team Themis" --- to target perceived proponents of WikiLeaks, including Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald, on behalf of the corporate giant Bank of America. In both plots, HBGary's Aaron Barr was seen as the lead developer of the various extra-legal schemes.

Barr, who has claimed on a number of occasions to be a Democrat, became a public laughing stock and was forced to resign in shame last February on the heels of the revelations. But his proclivity for scheming against law-abiding U.S. citizens and his vendetta against members of Anonymous has yet to be assuaged, as evidenced by both his recent bizarre, blue-haired appearance at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in Manhattan, and his various collaborative appearances in recently released emails and several Twitter exchanges with the Rightwing Ryan...

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

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PLUS: Local media outlet reports story accurately!...
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2011 3:40pm PT  

The civil trial against Republican propagandist and con-artist Andrew Breitbart's salaried employee James O'Keefe --- a convicted federal criminal as well as propagandist and con-artist in his own right --- continues in San Diego where a former ACORN employee has sued both O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles for violations of California's privacy act.

The case arises from the secret video taping by O'Keefe and Giles of then ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera, as part of the deceptively edited hit videos the pair would later release on Breitbart's several propaganda websites. Vera was terminated after the release of the videos, despite having committed no wrongdoing --- he had even notified local police about the pair, after he suspected they were up to no good --- as confirmed in a detailed report by the California Attorney General last year. O'Keefe and Giles, on the other hand, as the CA AG found, most likely "violated state privacy laws." While they were given criminal immunity by the AG in exchange for the raw, unedited video tapes, they remain liable for civil violations of the that law.

Now it appears Breitbart himself may be pulled into the case, and we're likely to soon learn how much he paid O'Keefe and Giles for their hit tapes.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin has adjudicated a discovery dispute by ordering both O'Keefe and Giles to disclose payments Breitbart made to them, as well as email communications and other relevant documents concerning the illicit video taping of Vera.

While that is likely to offer an interesting expansion of this story soon (and we'll offer a few more details from the court's ruling below), more than anything what caught our eye in this story for the moment, was the reporting by local journalist Heather Johnson of Courthouse News. She broke the story this week, and managed to actually report accurately on the details of O'Keefe and Giles' ACORN hoax.

On the other hand, the "paper of record" New York Times is still unable to do similarly. Even though we'd already forced a number of other corrections to their repeated misreporting on this, they've still managed to misreport the facts of O'Keefe's ACORN "pimp" hoax as recently as late last June and then again in late July.

So, to offer you (and, actually, the New York Times) an idea of what accurate reporting on O'Keefe --- a man who has, since his ACORN con, also pled guilty to a scheme involving an attempted wire-tap plot of a sitting U.S. Senator --- looks like, just read the first three grafs of Johnson's coverage this week...

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

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Paper ignores calls for criminal investigations of Supreme Court Justice, growing record of judicial lawlessness...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/4/2011 3:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

However historically inaccurate the phrase may have been, the idea that Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned seems apropos the appearance of a David G. Savage fawning Clarence Thomas puff piece on the front page of the Sunday, July 3 edition of Los Angeles Times.

On March 7, as part of our coverage of a Daily Beast article, in which Univ. of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos called for Thomas to be thrown off the bench, we noted:

The BRAD BLOG was among the first to specifically detail Thomas' years of "knowing and willful" violations of the U.S. criminal code, even as the mainstream corporate media largely ignored or downplayed those violations of the Rule of Law in their limited coverage...

In a March 6 Los Angeles Times op-ed, George Washington Law School Prof. Jonathan Turley found allegations that Virginia Thomas received monies from the groups that had a direct interest in the outcome of Citizens United to be "particularly alarming." He went on to compare Thomas' cynical effort to equate criticism of his ethical lapses with an attack on the integrity of the Court to Louis XIV's infamous view that there was no distinction between himself and the state.

Yet, on July 3, Los Angeles Times gave page-one coverage to Savage's uncritical piece that begins with a self-serving description in which Thomas seeks to portray his radical and, at times, outright bizarre legal positions, such as his stand-alone position that prisoners have no constitutional right to be protected from beatings by their guards, as simply a reflection of a rugged individualist who is not afraid to be a minority of one when he thinks he is right.

During Thomas' contentious Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearings in 1991, the late Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA) took a very different view as he likened the Thomas nomination to a game of "Russian roulette":

If we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation. We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation.

The firestorm of controversy surrounding questions about Thomas' conflicts of interest, severe ethical lapses, and possible crimes has momentarily slowed a bit over the past month of Congressional (almost) recess and the usual D.C. media "summer vacation." But the list of reputable individuals and organizations calling for the embattled Associate Supreme Court Justice to be investigated by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, removed from office, and possibly prosecuted is likely to grow again once politics as usual resumes following the Labor Day holiday, according to The BRAD BLOG's discussions with a number of those individuals and organizations.

In the meantime, the question remains as to why Los Angeles Times saw fit not only to publish a ridiculous puff piece on Thomas as the firestorm was still cresting in July, failing to so much as reference these serious issues, but why they even found it necessary to elevate such a softball article to their front page.

Before reaching that, however, let's again examine the real issues...

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

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Error-ridden puff-profile goes from shoddy to absolutely absurd...
By Brad Friedman on 7/4/2011 6:35pm PT  

While we wait for the New York Times to hopefully correct last week's puff-profile on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart, in regard to their demonstrably inaccurate statements about what occurred in his and James O'Keefe's phony "pimp" hoax videos, I just noticed that the paper, which already corrected another point in the same piece, seems to be purposefully covering for Breitbart's own original lie in their corrected text of the article.

At this point, they seem to be going out of their way to avoid calling Breitbart a liar, even if it means, impossibly, attempting to cover up for the very lie the paper states he originally told them!

As we noted last week, the Times issued a correction to Jeremy W. Peters' softball story, where he had originally reported that, in Breitbart's selective clip from a speech by then USDA official Shirley Sherrod, audience members (according to Breitbart, but inexcusably never fact-checked by the paper before publication) "applauded" when she discussed her initial reticence in helping out a white farmer decades earlier.

In fact, as Media Matters first detailed on the day Peters' NYTimes article was published --- and as easily apparent to anybody who bothered to view the selective clip that Breitbart published at his websites under the inaccurate headline "NAACP Awards Racism" --- the audience at the speech did not "applaud."

In the course of correcting the inaccurate report, however, which had previously asserted that "Breitbart said...the crowd applauded," the Times is now offering a completely different story about what Breitbart "said" --- a story that differs with their own published correction on the very same page!

Here's what the original June 26 version of the Peters' NYT report stated [emphasis added]...

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

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UPDATED: NYT Public Editor's office responds...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2011 6:40pm PT  

The New York Times has issued one correction to Jeremy W. Peters' error-ridden weekend puff-profile on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart.

They corrected the error where Peters reported, just as Breitbart lied to him, that members of the NAACP applauded when they heard now-former USDA official Shirley Sherrod discuss her initial reticence at helping a white farmer decades ago. As Media Matters pointed out on Sunday, and as the Times now concedes, members of the audience didn't applaud, as Peters might have discovered simply by reviewing the video in question (otherwise known as fact-checking or reporting).

On that error, at least, the Times has now issued a correction. No correction has been issued yet, however, in response to our article on Monday detailing other errors in Peters' story, which inaccurately reported that the phony and "severely edited" "pimp" videos published by Breitbart, as created by business-partner James O'Keefe, showed "Acorn workers offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution."

As we pointed out on Monday (and in much greater detail long ago, in March of 2010), the ACORN workers did no such thing, in fact all of the workers secretly video-taped by O'Keefe instructed him and his partner Hannah Giles that they must pay their taxes, even on money illegally obtained through prostitution. None advised them to "evade taxes" as the Times has now defamed.

Peters says in report that "The stories and videos Mr. Breitbart plays up on his Web sites...tend to act as political Rorschach tests. If you agree with him, you think what he does is citizen journalism. If you don’t, his work is little more than crowd-sourced political sabotage that freely distorts the facts."

This is not a matter of a "Rorschach test", Mr. Peters. These are simple, independently verifiable errors of fact. ACORN workers either "offer[ed] advice on how to evade taxes" or they didn't. If you have evidence that ACORN workers did so, we'd be happy to review it. We are aware of none. Are you?

Media Matters' Eric Boehlert picked up on our Monday article, after we highlighted, once again, what the transcripts of the unedited tapes reveal actually happened in those ACORN meetings, versus the way liars like Breitbart, O'Keefe, Giles, and their minions at Fox "News" and, apparently, the New York Times have repeatedly spun it in order to fool the public. Again.

It's hardly the first time the NYTimes has flagrantly mis-reported the ACORN "pimp" hoax story, though we hope it doesn't take us six months, like last time, before we they finally issue even a partial correction. Haven't they done enough damage already?

For the record, at least five separate independent investigations (see here, here, here, here and, just last week again, here) have all concluded there was no criminality seen in any of the ACORN videos, other than by O'Keefe and Giles who are now in court defending themselves against CA Invasion of Privacy Act violations.

NYTimes Public Editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, can be politely emailed at the following address if you'd like to help encourage the "Paper of Record" to correct the record: Public@NYTimes.com.

* * *

UPDATE 7/1/11: While Jeremy W. Peters has refused to respond to several inquiries concerning his errors, the office of the NYTimes Public Editor has note replied to thank us for our email notifying them about the errors, and to say...

This is going to take us a few days to look into, so realistically we won't have a response until later next week. Hope this is understandable.

So that's good. At least the Times finally appears to be looking into it. It's unfortunate that Peters, a media reporter for the paper who has a frequently used Twitter account, has declined to respond publicly to at least our queries on this matter. We will update, of course, when there is more.

UPDATE 7/4/11: The NYT correction for the Sherrod part of the story is even worse than we had realized, as the paper appears to be trying to protect Breitbart by re-writing history, even though their own correction undermines them. Full details now here...

ReddIt this story!



PLUS: Breitbart tells yet another 'provable lie'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2011 6:52pm PT  

How many times can the New York Times, the country's so-called "Paper of Record," misreport the very same story?! Even after being called out repeatedly on it? They seem to be working on breaking their very own previously set record at this point.

In the yet another puff-piece on Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart, published over the weekend, in which he's described as being "careless with facts," the Times' Jeremy W. Peters continues the paper's long and proud record of being exceedingly careless with facts themselves in reporting on the faked ACORN "pimp" videos created in 2009 by Republican activist and convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe, as published by Breitbart.

That, even as Breitbart would once again provably lie to the media --- this time to Fox "News" anchor John Stossel --- about the tapes once again just late last week....

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

ReddIt this story!



TONIGHT: Reporter Tommy Christopher & Author Richard Averett...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 6/20/2011 3:03pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with tonight's audio archives below!...]

We're back guest hosting for two more nights on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show as the Malloys' summer break continues!

Once again, we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT) tonight, coast-to-coast and around the globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE and lively chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

  • TOMMY CHRISTOPHER, online journalist at Mediaite on being scammed by fictional sources in his "WeinerGate" reporting, and on his full-throated defense of Rightwing scam-artist Andrew Breitbart.
  • RICHARD AVERETT, author of the new book ImaginePolitik, featuring a fictional character by the name of "Brad Friedman" who instructs a third-party "Independent Progressive Party" Presidential candidate who has just been named President-elect that his "victory" may likely have been due to electronic election fraud on touch-screen voting machines in the state of Georgia! Totally implausible, of course! ;-)
  • PLUS: The many crimes, "Judicial Insider Trading" and increasingly apparent ethical bankruptcy of Justice Clarence Thomas, plus everything else of note today, including whatever is on your mind via calls to 877-520-1150 and tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Tonight's archives follow below, both commercial-free audio and chat room. Enjoy!...

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

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2011 4:13pm PT  

Rightwing activists and propagandists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, employees of con-artist and propagandist Andrew Breitbart, may not use the First Amendment as an excuse for breaking the law in California, according to a federal judge's ruling this week.

Judge M. James Lorenz rejected the defendants' argument and motion for summary judgment in federal court, as part of the civil lawsuit filed against them by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera.

Giles had previously thrown O'Keefe under a bus by arguing that she should not be held accountable at all for violating California's Invasion of Privacy Act [CA Penal Code § 632], since he, not she, was actually wearing the hidden video camera used to secretly tape their conversations with Vera, even after they had asked if their meeting would be kept confidential.

For his part, O'Keefe, a convicted federal criminal, argued that he was allowed to violate the law because the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protected him as a "journalist". The judge ruled against the defendants on all points...

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

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2011 10:29am PT  

Hey, Andy, you're famous! Just like you always wanted to be!

Apparently, these are popping up all over town out here in L.A.

NOTE: I have nothing to do with it, even as it would be impossible for me (or anybody with any knowledge of reality) to disagree with the message.

ReddIt this story!



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