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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 3, 2015
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
  w/ Brad & Desi
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...
Previous GNRs: 9/24/15 - 9/22/15 - Archives...
Exxon Knew Decades Ago: 'BradCast' 9/28/15
Neela Banerjee on her investigative report into Exxon's long knowlege of global warming and efforts to obscure it. Also: Shell quits the Arctic; NASA's big discovery; Obama, Putin at U.N....
Sunday Toons: 'Political Climate Change' Edition
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...
Bernie Sanders' Three-Phase 'Political Revolution'
Ernest Canning on the popular and populist Vermont Senator's battle for the 2016 Democratic 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
  w/ Brad & Desi
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...
Previous GNRs: 9/22/15 - 9/17/15 - Archives...
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: Wisconsin native John Nichols of The Nation. PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position on the Keystone XL pipeline!...
Judge Fuller 'Physically Abused' Wife 'At Least 8 Times', Committed Perjury
U.S. Judicial Conference report recommends impeachment, contradicts attorney's claims to BRAD BLOG...
'Green News Report' 9/22/15
VW cheated on pollution laws; Exxon knew about climate change, funded denial instead; Kochs' fave candidate drops out; PLUS: Pope arrives in U.S., Repubs freak out...
About That New Report on 'America's Voting Machines at Risk': 'BradCast' 9/21/15
Co-author explains study and call to replace old voting computers w/ new ones. PLUS: Walker out, Fiorina up...
Sunday Toons: 'Not Debatable' Edition
'PDiddie' rounds up the very best toons -- some quite ingenious -- from an exhausting week of debates, homegrown GOP panic, and other related nonsense...
Smearing Bernie: 'BradCast' 9/18/15
With Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and Blue America PAC. Plus: NYT notices GOP is crazy; Trump's plan to 'save Social Security'; Hottest August ever recorded...
Making Sense of the CNN/GOP Reagan Library Debate(s): 'BradCast' 9/17/15
Insight and analysis with 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger and journalists Heather Digby Parton...
'Green News Report' 9/17/15
11 candidates, 1 question on climate in latest GOP debate; Australia dumps climate change-denying PM; PLUS: August 2015 was the hottest August on record...
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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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...

By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2010 7:43pm PT  

For those who have asked, no, I'm not particularly interested in Andrew Breitbart's latest, deceptively-edited video scam campaign which, shamefully, the Obama Administration and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack fell for before bothering to view the whole video.

We did what we did earlier this year --- exposing Breitbart's ACORN scam in extraordinary detail and for months on end --- in hopes that the rest of the media would not fall for such scams again in the future.

Clearly, the entirety of the corporate MSM has yet to fully learn the lesson. (e.g., see this piece on Washington Post's ombudsman falling for Fox/Breitbart's ridiculous "New Black Panther Party" non-scandal, non-story over the weekend and WaPo's embarrassing coverage of the Sherrod incident tonight --- even after the hoax has been exposed --- where they waited until the 15th graf(!) to note the video was deceptively edited!) Obviously, the Obama Administration hasn't learned its lesson at all, as witnessed by the firing of Shirley Sherrod without any due diligence.

But it's nice to see that, this time, it took many in the media just 24 hours or so before catching on to Breitbart's hoax...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2010 12:23pm PT  

If you didn't already know that the latest Fox "News" fake "outrage" about the jackass from the New Black Panther Party who was caught on video standing outside a Philadelphia polling place with a nightstick in 2008 was another predictably trumped-up Rightwing scam story, Jamison Foser will help you understand why that is.

But as with the phony ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, the most unsettling part of this latest scam is not just that Fox is promoting a phony story, round-the-clock, to rile up and scare their gullible viewers. That's what they do. We all know that by now. Or should. What's disturbing is that so-called Ombudsmen at major, theoretically non-wingnut "liberal media" outlets have yet to figure any of that out.

This time around, it's Washington Post's Ombudsman Andrew Alexander who takes the bait --- hook, line, nightstick, and phony whistleblower --- in support of his paper's coverage of what they shamefully headlined as a "political bombshell." Hoax Accomplished. Again.

Media Matters' Simon Maloy predicted this story would play out in exactly this way back on July 2nd [emphasis ours]:

1. Right-wingers shout loudly about bogus story.
2. Fox News picks up bogus story, reports on it incessantly.
3. Right-wingers and Fox News start complaining that "liberal media" are ignoring bogus story.
4. Other outlets are shamed into covering bogus story, mini-frenzy ensues.
5. Pundits credit Fox News for "being ahead of the curve."
6. Responsible media outlets determine bogus story is bogus long after damage is done.
7. Repeat.

See Foser for details, so we can go back to (hopefully) ignoring this ridiculous non-story.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2010 1:32pm PT  

It's slightly inside baseball, but the laugh should be worth the quick trip here. So, in short, if you're not familiar with the backstory: Conservative Libertarian-ish journalist/blogger Dave Weigel was recently forced to resign from his new job at the Washington Post covering the "conservative" movement, after rightwingers released stolen, off-the-record emails from a private listserv called "JournoList", set up many years ago by Washington Post journalist/blogger Ezra Klein for random discussion and kibutzing between center to center-left progressive and liberal journalists. The selectively quoted Weigel emails included some snarky (if pretty funny) comments about some of the wingnuts he is forced to cover on his beat.

In the ensuing brouhaha, and shameful response by WaPo, Klein decided to shut down JournoList entirely and delete its archives so they couldn't be further used to selectively "ACORN" other members of the list. (For the record, no, we've never been a member of that email list.)

Thereafter, Rightwing sleaze-monger, Republican operative, opportunist and conspiracy theorist Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 to anyone who anonymously gave him the entire JournoList archives.

So far, there have been no takers, but it looks like Breitbart may now owe our friend Skippy the Bush Kangaroo at least part of that $100k! Check out Skippy at what may perhaps be his absolute --- and most high-larious --- best...

* * *

While Skippy does a fine job of making Breitbart look like a jackass in the highly recommended link above, in truth Breitbart doesn't need much help. If you missed it the first time, don't miss this exclusive video interview with Breitbart that we ran a few months ago, during the height of exposing his ACORN "Pimp" Hoax scam. The video is reposted below for your convenience...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2009 12:39pm PT  

We closed yesterday's Green News Report, with a new tune from They Might Be Giants called "Science is Real". The song was written for children, but seems to work as aptly for today's wingnut denialists, such as the embarrassing George Will, who, again, as we noted in the report, used his Washington Post column last week to make a fool of himself by ignoring and/or misunderstanding and/or misusing actual science when making his "scientifically illiterate" case that the world is cooling down, rather than heating up.

As Des noted during our report, which you can listen to here...

'Green News Report' w/ Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen
October 6, 2009

Click to listen (or download)
More info on today's report here...

...using the last ten years of "relatively stable" temperatures, the hottest years on record, and the "absence of significant warming since 1998" as evidence that the earth is cooling, versus the very clear evidence from the last several hundred thousand years showing that it's rapidly warming, is akin to using "one day on the stock market and calling it a trend."

Will's use of quotation marks around the word "scientists" is also rather telling.

To make matters even more embarrassing from him, his column, titled "Cooling Down the Cassandras," also misuses mythology, in that Cassandra was the prophetess who was actually always correct in sounding her alarms in hopes of avoiding disaster, but was never believed by those in power until it was too late.

Anyway, while I'm working a deadline in the background, I thought you guys might appreciate the light-hearted video for the awesome They Might Be Giants tune as a short respite from our heavy-ish coverage of late. Hopefully your kids will appreciate it. And perhaps even the wingnuts who chance across The BRAD BLOG today might end up learning something they should have picked up in 2nd grade...

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Longtime counterintel official acknowledges evidence behind key aspect of allegations against Marc Grossman made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
Bureau vet says investigation was 'buried and covered up,' calls for new investigation, 'accountability'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2009 5:08pm PT  

[UPDATE 10/5/09: Cole has now greatly expanded on his confirmation of Edmonds' credibility and is calling for a 'Special Counsel' investigation, prosecution. Full story here...]

George W. Bush's third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a "decade-long investigation" by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the bureau's Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments.

For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately "buried and covered up," according to the official.

The comment from the former FBI official John M. Cole, in response to recent, stunning disclosures made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, helps to shore up a key aspect of her allegations. Cole is now calling for an investigation to help "bring about accountability" in the matter.

Edmonds' allegations of bribery, blackmail, and infiltration by foreign agents at the highest levels of the U.S. government were recently detailed in a remarkable cover story interview, as published last week by the American Conservative magazine.

"I read the recent cover story by The American Conservative magazine. I applaud their courage in publishing this significant interview," Cole says in his public response, as posted today at the AmCon website by interviewer and former CIA agent Philip Giraldi.

Cole then went on to verify his knowledge of the espionage investigation which, he says, included Grossman. Edmonds has long alleged he had been a key target in the agency's counterintelligence probe of the Turkish lobby and their relationship to current and former members of Congress and high-ranking officials in the Bush State and Defense Departments.

Cole also charges, in his brief comment, that the investigation was ultimately quashed by still-unnamed officials.

"I am fully aware of the FBI's decade-long investigation of the High-level State Department Official named in this article, Marc Grossman, which ultimately was buried and covered up," Cole notes, adding his call to re-open the matter. "It is long past time to investigate this case and bring about accountability."...

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

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Press cites now-former green jobs advisor's past support of new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal as grounds for resignation...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/8/2009 10:25am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Separate articles appeared in Monday's New York Times and in the Washington Post. Both suggest that the resignation submitted by Van Jones, a special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council for Environmental Quality, were the result of inadequate White House "vetting." Neither newspaper examined the question as to whether the true problem was the inability to withstand a smear campaign led by extreme right-wing whack jobs like Glenn Beck; an inability reflected by the Times' description of a "terse" acceptance of the resignation, with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs taking pains to stress that President Barack Obama "did not endorse" Jones' views.

The three Jones sins were his having uttered an expletive in referring to Republicans, his having "signed a petition in 2004 questioning whether the Bush administration had allowed the terrorist attacks of September 2001 to provide a pretext for war in the Middle East," and his support for Mumia Abu-Jamal ("Mumia")...

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Still fail to discuss Scahill bombshell
Official source idiocy reigns...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/20/2009 11:23am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Aug. 20, 2009 The New York Times published a front-page article:

[Emphasis added]The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials.

A substantially similar article appeared in the Washington Post and in the Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times article provided limited background information on Blackwater aka Xe, referencing what amounted to a massacre of 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians gunned down by Blackwater mercenaries in Nisoor Square as simply an instance in which Blackwater had been "accused of using excessive force."

In "Blackwater = Murder, Inc." I covered the explosive allegations made in sworn statements by two former Blackwater employees --- murder, weapons smuggling, corruption, and the use of child prostitutes. I argued:

The failure of the bulk of the corporate press to responsibly cover this explosive story is manifestly irresponsible. The ramifications of permitting a President to create a private, unaccountable army of mercenaries --- one which was permitted to have a heavily armed presence inside a U.S. city, a presence that took precedence over saving the lives of Katrina victims --- are truly frightening.

Now, that same corporate press learned from "official sources" that Blackwater is linked to former Vice President Richard B Cheney's "assassination wing." It repeats, without challenge, the official source contention that the only ones targeted by the "assassination wing" were senior al Qaeda officials --- this despite Jeremy Scahill's and Keith Olbermann's revelation that John Doe 2, reportedly a former member of Blackwater's management, alleged:

Mr. Prince views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.

These articles reveal as much about the sorry state of mainstream media journalism as they do about Blackwater...

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

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Must-see video of Ralph Nader's spot-on analysis...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/17/2009 1:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In the final analysis, the ideological differences between Republicans and the corporate/controlling sector of the Democratic party are relatively narrow and insignificant as compared to the bi-partisan link to corporate wealth and power --- a link both share with the corporate-owned, mainstream media.

In 2008 it was the insanity that was the Bush/Cheney flirtation with fascism. Today, it's imaginary "death panels" and the undereducated, easily manipulated wing-nut mobs sent to shut down one of the oldest forms of American democracy --- the town hall meeting.

These provide the perfect cover. They permit the more gifted corporate Democrats, for example Barack Obama, to seduce the great masses of working stiffs who make up the American electorate with soaring, but ultimately deceptive, rhetoric; producing brief euphoria on the eve of the last election, followed by no real substantive change.

As the corporate media misdirects focus on brown shirt-like disruptions at the town halls, the real "death panels" --- the corporate profiteers and their bought-and-paid-for politicians --- hammered out a pseudo-reform package that will perpetuate a corrupt, dysfunctional and deadly health care system which kills more than 18,000 Americans each year simply because they can't afford coverage and countless more when carriers refuse to authorize vital, life-saving procedures...

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Almost all of nation's leading newspapers fail to cover explosive new allegations from two company employees...
By Ernest A. Canning on 8/10/2009 11:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

The Nation magazine headline was sensational: Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder. The article, written by Jeremy Scahill, an investigative journalist and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, exploded on screen during a must see Aug. 4, 2009 segment of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann (video posted below). It was summarized by Amy Goodman on Aug. 5 when Scahill appeared on Democracy Now!:

Murder, destruction of evidence, weapons smuggling, corruption --- those are just some of the explosive allegations made by two former employees of the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater. The claims were made in sworn statements filed on August 3rd in federal court in Virginia.

The two men claim Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince,* may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. One also alleges that Prince, quote, “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies, “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

The significance was underscored in Scahill's Aug. 4 remarks on MSNBC's Countdown:

[W]hat we had here was...a force that acted as an armed wing of the [Bush] administration, not subject to the military command, not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice...and the allegation that they were running around, shooting Iraqis as part of a war to eliminate Islam globally…is extremely disturbing to anyone who believes in any semblance of constitutional law or human rights.

While the allegations are extremely disturbing, they are apparently not disturbing enough to warrant coverage in almost all of the nation's leading newspapers. That, even though, as reported in Scahill's book, amongst the first to arrive in the aftermath of Katrina --- before the U.S. government and most aid organizations --- were a contingent of 150 Blackwater mercenaries, "some with M-4 automatic weapons, capable of firing nine hundred rounds per minute"....

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

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New email (released by Rove?) reveal 'greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors'
Continues the old 'voter fraud' canard...
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2009 2:23pm PT  

[Updated 8/3/09: Republican attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson says Rove broke the law in given his interviews to to WaPo and NYTimes. See update at bottom of article for details.]

Well, this is interesting...Seems Rove has now met a second time behind closed doors with the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today, according to this breaking report from Washington Post which also includes a review of newly disclosed email showing he "and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood" in the U.S. Attorney Purge.

WaPo reports "The e-mails emerged as Rove finished his second day of closed-door-testimony Thursday about the firings to the House Judiciary Committee." He had previously met with Judiciary Committee members in early July.

Keep in mind, as you read the article, that their piece feeds off of an "hour-long interview with The Post and the New York Times this month", so the piece is likely to offer a Rove-friendly framing to be taken with a grain of salt or three. Eg. "Rove described himself as merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers."

Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel concurs there is much "Rove spin" throughout the piece. She also asserts the newly revealed email may well have come from Rove and/or his attorney Robert Luskin who have a habit of leaking friendly documents to media whenever convenient, and in hopes of controlling the public reportage. Papers like WaPo and NYTimes have been historically all too happy to serve them to that end over the years.

The paper also reports the WaPo/NYTimes interview was "conducted on the condition that it not be released until Rove's House testimony concluded." So the release of the piece would seem to signal that the behind-closed-doors testimony --- about which our Judiciary sources have been incredibly tight-lipped --- has now ended. Rove, and Harriet Miers, however, could still be called for public testimony before the committee according to the agreement between Bush Administration attorneys and the Judiciary Committee, as (questionably) brokered by the Obama White House. It also means that Judiciary sources may well begin revealing details and/or transcripts of the interviews soon, now that they've concluded (as per the agreement). So, of course, Rove is trying to get out in front of that with his own spin.

Here's WaPo's lede...

Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.

The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico's David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri's Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove's former clients; and Arkansas's Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protege.

UPDATE: NYTimes' article confirms the emails came from Rove himself. Their lede is even more favorable to him, in his attempt to downplay his role in the firings of 9 Republican U.S. Attorneys who, among other things, were not pursuing phony "voter fraud" investigations enough for the GOP, or otherwise pursuing corruption charges against Republican officials.

As in WaPo's coverage, NYTimes offers Rove's spin that he "did not involve himself in the details of the dismissals" and merely "went along" with the firings (rather than helped orchestrate them).

Here's a particularly fresh spin on the entire affair from Rove, that I don't recall seeing before...

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

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Corporate MSM minimize, serious journalist bloggers offer appropriate coverage, condemnation
Plus: YOU can take action...
By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2009 7:04pm PT  

Following up on Saturday's NEWSWEEK scoop that Attorney General Holder "may be on the verge of" appointing a prosecutor to investigate Bush/Cheney-era torture, Digby notes how the chuckling dinosaurs of ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday snickered their way through a discussion of prosecution for torture by the Bush/Cheney regime (in our name!) as if they were wise-cracking about any old political brouhaha from inside the Beltway. (Video/transcript here, courtesy of C&L.)

Note to Stephanopoulos: How about featuring some actual journalists and bloggers who've actually been covering this issue for months (years?) before you eventually come to wonder why your show has gone the way of all the dead trees in the newspaper publishing business. Greenwald, Scahill, Wheeler, Horton all come to mind. It might bring your show up to date...or at least, up to 2006 or so.

The serious folks out there, several mentioned above, took a look at Saturday's NEWSWEEK report with the grim sobriety and analytical acumen that it deserves, while in largely shabby followups Washington Post, New York Times, and Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal all seem to float anonymously sourced trial balloons, averring the notion that only low-level rogue interrogators who exceeded the boundaries of the DoJ's illegal torture justification memos would be targeted by such an investigation.

On that point, while Glenn Greenwald charges such an approach would be arguably "worse than doing nothing," as it would "actually further subvert the rule of law rather than strengthen it," he also notes:

It's worth emphasizing here that all of these reports are preliminary and from anonymous DOJ sources, so it's a bit premature to get too worked up over a prosecution approach which Holder hasn't even announced yet. Still, given how many DOJ sources went to multiple newspapers at the same time to disclose Holder's plans, it seems clear that this was a coordinated, approved effort to disseminate Holder's intentions as a "trial balloon" to gauge public reaction.

Scott Horton's reporting counters the indications from anonymous sources in the increasingly obsolete WaPo, Times, and WSJ coverage which suggests focus on only low-level agents and contractors, rather than policy makers, by reporting that his sources at DoJ indicate just the opposite [emphasis ours]...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2009 4:11pm PT  

Will Palin now have to threaten a lawsuit against Fox "News" too?! Oh, the tangled webs...

By way of reminder, Palin's private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, had issued a legal threat on the 4th of July to those in the media (seemingly only the perceived left-leaning media) who discussed questions about the Palin's contracting of their house in Wasilla, and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both built while the state's soon-to-be-former Governor was mayor of the small Alaskan town.

"This is to provide notice to [Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn] Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law," Van Flein wrote for Palin over the weekend.

Of the outlets named above, only MSNBC had actually discussed the controversy (video here), during a telephone interview with Moore following her Huffington Post blog item referencing a potential "iceberg scandal," and the further details we followed up with on that here.

When asked why the other outlets, which hadn't reported on the matter, had been targetted as well in the statement,"Van Flein said he believed they were asking questions," according to the Anchorage Daily News. "What I've been informed is that they've been interviewing people in Wasilla about this, and have tried to interview the governor's parents about it," Palin's attorney told the paper.

For her part, Moore quickly shot back in her own defense, against the Van Flein/Palin legal threats, assailing the outgoing Governor as "a coward and a bully."

So does Fox "News" now need to lawyer up too?

[Via HuffPo, hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "IDontGetIt"]

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ALSO: LA Times rebuts 'rumored FBI investigation into...public corruption charges'
By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2009 1:53am PT  

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin marked the Independence Day holiday by firing back at "false and defamatory allegations" made over the past twenty-four hours; noting limits on the "right of free speech"; declaring herself a victim; and issuing threats of potential litigation against a number of journalists and media outlets.

Through her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, Palin issued a statement on Saturday in response to stories concerning suggestions of a federal investigation into the contracting and building of her house on Lake Lucille in Wasilla and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both constructed during her tenure as Mayor of the small town.

The four page response [posted in full at the end of this article] rebuts allegations as discussed on this blog and other news sites on Friday following the former Republican Vice Presidential nominee's surprise announcement that she would be resigning from office with a year and a half still remaining in her first term as Governor.

The defiant statement includes a warning "to provide notice" to journalists and media outlets that she "will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation."

The statement opens by charging that following her stunning, and often beguiling, hastily called press conference at the beginning of the holiday weekend, "several unscrupulous people have asserted false and defamatory allegations that the 'real' reasons for Governor Palin's resignation stem from an alleged criminal investigation pertaining to the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex."

Also, late tonight, the Los Angeles Times has filed a short article featuring a response from an FBI spokesperson in Alaska who denies that the agency is investigating the Palins on those matters...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2009 12:09pm PT  

As of tomorrow, the increasingly useless Washington Post will become more so. Dan Froomkin, one of the few journalists at the once-credible newspaper who bothered to do his job by investigating and asking the questions that mattered during the Bush Administration's historic gutting of America and so much of what it stands for, filed his final "White House Watch" column today. He described, today, what he does as "accountability journalism." We could use dozens more like him in the MSM.

His piece today echoes FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley's exposé on these pages yesterday, in his description of Bush as "the proverbial emperor with no clothes." He goes on to note how, after 9/11, "the nation, including the media, vested him with abilities he didn't have and credibility he didn't deserve."

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By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2009 8:15pm PT  

Seemingly dead-set on hastening its obsolescence, Washington Post has fired "White House Watch" columnist Dan Froomkin, one of their only unflinching truth-tellers who never stopped telling those truths, even through every dark year of the former oppressive regime when McCarthyesque tactics prevailed, and 99% of the men and women who held jobs like Froomkin's failed the nation by pulling their punches and folding to the cynicism of fear and intimidation.

Says Froomkin in response: "I'm terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn't "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online."

Ironically, folks like Howard Kurtz and Dana Milbank remain employed by WaPo in the meantime. So do unapologetic wingnut liars and tools such as Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, George Will and a bevy of others. And in more irony, despite the paper's purge of just about anyone who might have been described as "liberal" or "progressive" (and yes, Froomkin held Obama feet to the same fire he held Bush's), the still-employed wingnuts will continue to label the hard-right charging WaPo as "the liberal media," even as the editors and publishers of the paper run out of money, wonder what happened to them, and blame "the Internet" for their own failures in falling for the bait.

"As I've written elsewhere," Froomkin said in his statement, "I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That's what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else."

Glen Greenwald notes in his Froomkin "obituary"...

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