As the pointless dying continues unabated...
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
As requested...The Gannon/Guckert scandal is moving quickly. AmericaBLOG and RAW STORY are both all over it. I'm working on a few things, so can't add to it for the moment. But you can. As you wish. Right here...
The story of CNN's bogus North Korean nuke plant photos seems to have legs of its own, as links to our original exclusive report (and its followups here and then here) continue to sweep around the net with surprising popularity.
And in print, The University of Texas' Daily Texan picks up on the story of the Iran/N. Korea/Iraq satellite photos (all of the same nuclear facility as it turns out, presumably in Iran) which ran on CNN's website, and then were found also to have been running at least a year earlier on the U.S. government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website at least a year prior to having shown up on CNN. On RFE/RL they were variously used to illustrate nuke or WMD sites in Iran, North Korea and Iraq!
The unbylined Daily Texan opinion piece points out the troubling "easily duped" state of the U.S. media by describing it as "whacky-tragic". They follow up our reporting with a similar statement from a different RFE/RL employee than the one we spoke to. Though, notably, like us, it seems they were similarly unable to get any statement from CNN on the matter.
Advancing the story a touch, their piece closes with...
There is no question both Iran and North Korea have nuclear programs - Iran admits to researching nuclear technology for non-weapon energy production. North Korea says it has nuclear bombs. But the media has not had good luck with satellite photography; before the invasion of Iraq, then Secretary of State Colin Powell used satellite photography to make the case before the U.N. that Iraq had WMD laboratories. That turned out to be false. What, in retrospect, were probably fire trucks became "decontamination vehicles," and flatbed trucks became "mobile weapons labs."
Considering this administration's willingness to misrepresent the facts to the tragiwacky media and ambitions to use propaganda, until satellite photography is fully opened to the public, it should enjoy the same skepticism one would reserve for a report in Chinese news agency Xinhua or communist-run Pravda.
We appreciate that they've given "blogger Brad Friedman" credit for first reporting the story. And our thanks to BRAD BLOG reader "Ziggyczar" for bringing the piece to our attention!
We have continued over the last week to get comment from CNN, and will continue to do so. We will, of course, report here when and if we are able to get one.
In a text-book case of everything that the MSM might appropriately use to illustrate everything that can be wrong and dangerous about bloggers and blogging, a report filed just before Christmas on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) vote-rigging software scandal was published by a blogger.
The report included demonstrably false information passed on by the blogger on behalf of both Feeney and an unnamed attorney from YEI. The report was so poorly researched, so scurrilously irresponsible and so inappropriately damaging to a single American citizen, that if all blogs articles were like this one, we'd be the first in line calling for the immediate abolition of all such Internet web logs.
Unfortunately, that reprehensible report was filed on the "Bloggerman" blog of the mainstream media's (or MSM's) own Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's prime-time Countdown program.
As we reported back in late December of last year, Olbermann gave a wonderful Christmas gift to Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and his longtime friends and clients at YEI by filing a one-sided, unconfirmed and unverified report on his blog, sourced only by Feeney himself and YEI's unnamed attorney.
The victim was, of course, Clint Curtis, who Olbermann didn't even bother to reach for comment before giving Feeney a national platform to say that Curtis had "slandered and defamed a lot of people." Neither did Olbermann give any examples of who Feeney was claiming to have been slandered nor how they were defamed.
(Attempts to reach Olbermann for comment after he posted his blog item went unanswered, but his producer, who asked to remain unnamed, distanced themselves from the "reporting" by telling The BRAD BLOG that "this was Keith Olbermann's writing. He didn't work with me or anyone else on this.")
There was a fair amount of other inaccuracies in his report, but it was this following chestnut, apparently not fact-checked in any way, from an unnamed YEI attorney (believed to be Tom Feeney's old law-partner and current contributor, Michael O'Quinn) that has really ticked us off over the last two months:
...And what might have been, for actual reporters, a promising lead or break to look into in order to advance the story and perhaps add a new dimension to it, was dumped wholly unfact-checked on an eager public from Mr. Olbermann's high-profile perch.
The BRAD BLOG has spent the last two months attempting to track down this anonymously claimed threat to "the firm and its top officers". A threat, mind you, that was described as being "in writing" and apparently so threatening that it required a police report be filed.
Olbermann, apparently, thought it perfectly proper to pass that information on to the nation without asking the unnamed attorney if he might be allowed to review the alleged "in writing" threat, or to even contact the police to find out if, in fact, any such report had ever been filed.
Well, The BRAD BLOG did both.
After nearly two months trying to track down the unchecked Olbermann report, we've finally located the supposed threatening writing as well as the police report which was indeed filed. Though it was not filed at YEI's local police precinct in Oviedo, FL. Nor by "the firm" or its "top officers".
It was filed in Winter Springs, FL, the next town over, at the local police precinct of Mike Cohen, Curtis' co-worker and the executive secretary, at the time, to YEI's CEO, Mrs. Li-Waon Yang. The letter "sufficiently concern[ing] to file a police report" as Olbermann described it, seems very clearly meant as an attempt by Curtis to help his former friend and co-worker, Cohen, not to threaten him...
Please go vote for us in the finals of the 2004 Koufax Awards if you haven't already! The big guys with more readers get more votes! So let 'em hear from you! But only vote once per Finalist category! This isn't Florida, ya know!
The text which is a bit too small to read up there says...
LITTLE GUY ON LEFT: "Tell them to go to bloggery"
LITTLE GUY ON RIGHT: "Too late I fear"
Too late, indeed.
(Hat tip to BRAD BLOG commenter "Charles" for the find!)
Of the 14,000 sites that Popdex.com claims to "crawl" to "determine the most popular links on the Internet", it seems that our exclusive from Monday on CNN's Identical Nuke Plants in both North Korean and Iran is, as of this posting, the #1 most popular link on the Internet!
Seems a bit difficult to believe to us, but there it is. We'll take it!
Long time BRAD BLOG readers will recall our (fairly) regular "Daily Show Moment"; a somewhat regular staple here featuring a "best moment" from a previous evening's The Daily Show.
We admit we became somewhat disenchanted with them after the election and their lack of coverage of "Election Irregularity" issues. Just as we became somewhat disenchanted with a number of (theoretically) progressive bloggers who displayed some revealing "true colors" vis a vis their timidity in covering such issues at a time when we needed all hands on deck.
It's clear, at the very least, that the eventual historical challenge to the Ohio Electoral Votes in Congress on Jan 6th, 2005, at least validated the concerns that a few of us bloggers were willing to discuss openly and report vigorously on after November 2nd. (And it was amusing to watch some of those other bloggers begrudgingly cover the Congressional Electoral Challenge event on Jan 6th...But we digress.)
So it was, last night, with no small amount of interest, that we noticed, in the wake of the Gannon/Guckert Scandal, The Daily, for the first time to our knowledge, had finally acknowledged that blogs actually exist! Let's hope that was a watershed moment for the real news-breakers of late having finally cracked into the "mainstream".
With that in mind, here's an amusing moment or four from The Daily Show's notable blog-o-rama from last night as their entire first segment was devoted to blog-related matters...
Sorry for the short notice, but we were just asked to jump in and do the show today at 1:20pm PT (4:20pm ET) for twenty or thirty minutes to discuss the Clint Curtis story on Radio Left.
UPDATE: I was told I'd be on for about 20 or 30 minutes, and we ended up chatting for an hour! About Clint Curtis, about Velvet Revolution, left and rightwing blogging, Jeff Gannon, weak-kneed Democrats, hypocritical Republicans and the state of politics and the country in general. Was a lot of fun!
Since I didn't know I'd be on that long, my computer stopped recording around the 40 minute mark, so there's a few minutes missed in my recording and a glitch in the tape right around that point before I was able to start up the recording again.
My thanks to Geoff Staples of RadioLeft.com for inviting me on. And I look forward to chatting with both him and his partner Carolyn again in the near future!
You can listen up if you wish, via one of the following links (NOTE: If there's any surveillance experts out there who wish to offer an opinion on all of that clicking you'll hear on my phone line, and if it sounds like a phone tap to you, let me know! If my phone is now tapped, then...Hi Guys!...How are ya?!...I guess I have the radio show I always wanted, but didn't even know I already had!
(As mentioned previously, working on several stories I'd hoped to have ready for today...Due to this delightful interruption and a few others, I've been set back. As usual. Hope to have a few things, however, later this evening, and more again for tomorrow in any case!)
Can we clone her?
(P.S. The problem in this country is just activist bloggers in case you didn't get the Fox News Alert.)
After yesterday's BRAD BLOG exposé on the use of a satellite photo of a (presumably) Iranian nuclear facility which was misrepresented as a nuclear facility in North Korea by the U.S. Government funded "news" site Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in an April 2004 story, the site has now removed that photograph from the article without giving explanation on their webpage for the removal.
To make matters worse, we pointed out yesterday that the photo of the (follow closely now) supposed Iranian nuclear facility that was used with the article on North Korea was actually filenamed "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"!
It has now been discovered that the same photograph was indeed also used on RFE/RL stories about WMDs in Iraq!
A search of RFE/RL's website reveals that there were at least 9 different instances of that same "Iraq-nuclear.jpg" photo being used along with stories about nuclear or WMD programs in all three different countries. The first known instance of its use at RFE/RL was on February 5, 2004 in an article headlined --- ironically enough --- "CIA Head Defends WMD Intelligence on Iraq"!
In another instance (see screenshot at bottom of this story, captured prior to scrubbing of photo), a story from RFE/RL published on April 20, 2004 titled "Iraq/U.S.: New Book Contradicts CIA Director's Intelligence" the photo was --- again, ironically enough --- used above the caption: "Convincing enough?"
As of this afternoon it seems that all of the RFE/RL stories on either Iraq or North Korea, which had once used that same file photo to represent nukes or WMD in all three respective countries, have now had the photo either removed entirely or replaced by another. Only the stories on Iran continue to use the photo, and even one of those was changed to a photo of the International Atomic Energy Association's Muhammad el-Baradei (again, for reasons not explained on the site).
After asking for comment on the originally discovered use of the photo with their North Korea story from March 2004, Martins Zvaner from RFE/RL's communications office emailed the following explanation to The BRAD BLOG...
Zvaners supplied no answer to our inquiry into the original source for those photos. That issue is of the utmost curiosity here given that it was originally CNN's use of a photo of the same purported Iranian facility represented as a North Korean facility in their story last Saturday on six-way talks with North Korean President Kim Jung Il.
CNN, unlike RFE/RL is not funded by the U.S. government and, in theory, should be checking facts before reporting to America and the world and displaying photos possibly supplied by Administration officials who may have a particular agenda to grind.
Our discovery of the photo on additional stories at RFE/RL, including Iraq stories, occurred during the interim as we were waiting for the above email reply from RFE/RL. We have since followed-up asking for further explanation of the photograph's use on the Iraq stories and why no explanation was given for the various removals of the photo from the many different web pages. We will update with that reply when and if it is received. (NOTE: We have now received a reply to our follow-up email to Zvaners. Please see the bottom of this article for that updated info.)
As BRAD BLOG's story from yesterday pointed out, RFE/RL is funded by the U.S. Government and its corporate board of directors is composed of nine Presidential appointees. It broadcasts news from an American point of view across Europe. Therefore, the use of American propoganda is not wholly surprising for them.
CNN's use, however, of the same Iranian facility in a story about North Korea still requires some explaining since --- in theory --- CNN is not a government-funded propoganda arm of the United States government!
It was the discovery of CNN's use of that same alleged Iranian nuclear facility used to represent a facility in North Korea that begin this odyssey on Monday with this BRAD BLOG exclusive showing the use of the same facility in stories over the past week describing the image respectively as a nuke plant first in Iran and then again as one in North Korea.
We have attempted since Monday to receive an explanation from CNN who has since replaced the photo on their North Korea story following our story. Numerous messages to various CNN divisions have gone unanswered, while a staffer in their Press Relations office yesterday morning promised us a comment "soon". We are still waiting to hear back from them and will report what --- if anything --- they have to say for themselves.
The stories at RFE/RL which all used the same Iranian nuclear facility photo are listed here (we have most of the original stories cached showing the photo which has, in most cases, now been scrubbed from these pages):
UPDATE: Martins Zvaners from the communications office at RFE/RL has replied to our follow-up questions with this answer:
To my knowledge, our web editors got the photo file from a wire agency photo service, run by either AFP or the Czech news agency CTK.
So he's blamin' it on the Czechs, huh?!
Either way, we appreciate the quick response from Mr. Zvaners. Especially, while we're at three days and counting and still waiting for a reply...any reply...even a made up reply...from CNN.
We had just under 25,000 unique visitors to The BRAD BLOG yesterday. Without combing the records too deeply, I do believe that was a daily record for unique visits. It was a busy day.
Which either means I'm doing a lousy job at blogging, or a lousy job at letting folks know that your support here means everything. Especially now.
As this little habit of mine has become a 24/7/365 pursuit in the last several months, the imperative to toss out the occasional humiliating plea for your support becomes more and more necessary if I'm to have a chance of staying on the job and continuing to fight the evil-doers.
So thank you to all of you who have supported us with a donation of late! And to the others, feel free to cancel cable TV for a month, read The BRAD BLOG instead, and send at least half of your savings here!
You'll be more entertained, have a few more dollars in your pocket, become much better educated, and you won't go to bed at night feeling quite as dirty!
(Have a business or blog of your own that may benefit from reaching the many loyal BRAD BLOG readers? Consider buying a BlogAd! You can get a reasonably priced Premium ad by clicking here, or get The BRAD BLOG Top Spot by clicking here!
And seriously, if this is not your blog of choice, please consider donating to any other blogger or alternative media site whose work you appreciate. Almost all of us take donations these days. And we need it!
In case you haven't noticed, our work is becoming increasingly more important and influential in helping to set the national agenda and take back the media! But to continue do that, we need to be able to make at least part of a living along the way.
Please help to make that possible by giving whatever and whenever you can.
Your grandchildren may thank you some day. I'll thank you today.
Yesterday we reported that CNN's website was using photos of the same alleged nuclear facility in two different stories about two different nuclear programs in two different countries.
One CNN story, from last Wednesday, was on Iran's purported nuclear program; the other, from last Saturday, was on North Korea's purported nuclear program.
The satellite photos accompanying each respective story turned out to be the same facility despite captions below each photo claiming each represented an alleged facility in the respective countries discussed in each article.
Later in the day, after our report swept the net (topping out mid-afternoon at #6 on Technorati) CNN changed the photo in the North Korea article to a different satellite image of, apparently, a different facility purported --- as was the first one --- to be near Pyongyang, North Korea.
No explanation was given for the error beyond a statement by CNN, in a correction box, that "an image that was incorrectly identified..."
And now...thanks to some crack sleuthing by "EarlG", an administrator over at Democratic Underground, we've discovered yet another "news" outlet who used another photograph of that same facility --- which is apparently in Iran --- in yet another story on North Korean nukes!
The newly discovered story is from March of 2004 and found on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website!
RFE/RL is a U.S. government funded "news" organization broadcasting over Europe!
And to make matters even more troubling and/or confusing, the filename of the photo used in the RFE/RL story is "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"!
Here is a screenshot from the RFE/RL story which shows the same facility as seen in the photos used with both of the CNN stories:
Here again are the photos from the two different CNN stories (prior to the so-far-unexplained "correction" by CNN):
And here is a side-by-side comparison of the photo from CNN's Iran story again, next to a rotated shot of the photo from RFE/RL's story on North Korea:
So we ask again, what the hell is going on here? And, again, who are the sources for these photographs that keep running with stories on both North Korea and Iran?
As we asked in yesterday's piece, is the source for these photos "someone who may have an interest in ginning-up fears over the two so-far unconquered players in Bush's 'Axis of Evil'?"
Or is it all just an innocent mix-up, as some commenters have suggested?
That "innocent mix-up" explanation certainly becomes more difficult to swallow now that the very same facility has shown up again, apparently errantly, in a story from almost a year ago, on an entirely different site, and one which is funded by the U.S. Government!
As well, it's worth noting that RFE/RL's "corporate board of directors is composed of the nine Presidential appointees to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which has oversight responsibility for all nonmilitary U.S. government-funded international broadcasting activities" according to their website's "Mission Statement".
And now we must wonder why the RFE/RL photo was named "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"?! Just another "innocent mix-up"???
In regards to CNN's two stories, we have finally reached someone at CNN who has promised to get back to us with comment on the CNN-related questions from yesterday. We will, of course, share their explanation here if and when it's received.
We have asked RFE/RL for comment as well, and they too have promised a reply on this matter. The author of their North Korean piece, Mark Baker, RFE/RL's "deputy managing editor of the News and Current Affairs Department", apparently works out of Europe, however, and thus the time difference may delay a reply from him on this matter.
UPDATE 2/16/05: Same photo also used on Iraq stories at RFE/RL! While all North Korea and Iraq stories have now had the photo scrubbed from their web pages! Updated story with details here...
No, it's not Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute (Akroyd on SNL, circa 1979) but it might as well be.
The bloggers continue to break the news. And the news media continues to fault them for it. Feeling appropriately endangered much, boys?
AmericaBLOG gets the goods (and unfortunate --- no, really unfortunate --- naked pictures) on Gannon/Guckert's days as a gay male prostitute.
RAW STORY reports on WH press spokesman, Scott McClellan's possible gaiety and whether he may have come across Gannon/Guckert during alleged trips to gay bars in Austin. (Apologies for the almost-accidental disturbing turn of phrase there).
And the corporate media turns apoplectic as they begin to realize that we're doing the job they ain't. NY Times lashes out today and CNN's Judy Woodruff devoted the bulk of her Inside Politics hour this afternoon to us terrible bloggers.
The most appalling part of it all, ironically on a day where we had to hold CNN's feet to the fire for claiming an identical photo was a nuclear plant in both Iran and North Korea, is the MSM's new line that bloggers in the Gannon/Guckert story crossed the line by going into his private life.
To which we'd respond, as Aravosis has pointed out on several occassions, that one would think it somewhat troubling that a prostitute (gay or straight, former or current) used a fake name in the White House press briefing room and received, apparently, classified CIA briefings from the Administration. That's a legal issue. Not a personal one. We'll even leave the "moral" issue out of it for the moment.
Secondly, we note that it's only when leftie bloggers report on such things that it becomes an issue at all. In this case, the notion of "crossing the personal line" recently and continuingly floated by WaPo's Howard Kurtz and other soon-to-be dinosaurs is, pardon us, nothing but bullshit.
Setting aside the legal questions mentioned above, the assertion is being made that it's somehow inappropriate to question the sexuality of those in the administration, and/or Republican party in general, and/or their whores (in this case literally) in the media who have attempted to forward specifically anti-gay laws and constitutional amendments. Isn't it appropriate to point out when such people are saying one thing (supporting anti-gay laws) and doing another (being gay)?
So where was the collective fake moral outrage from the media when the internet (or the MSM themselves) reported for example that Al Gore was supporting public education, yet --- outrageous! --- in his private life he was sending his children to private schools?!
Did Howard Kurtz declare his self-righteous and self-serving indignation against the rightwing media that reported on that non-story at the time?
Of course not.
Lines are crossed by lefties only. While the wingnuts draw those lines where ever they damn well please (where it suits their political agenda, in other words).
And the so-called "liberal" media buys it. Hook, line and sinker. What a world.
Looks like we're on our own here, folks.
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028