On Tuesday, former Washington Post pundit (and Prospect alum) Ezra Klein sent a shock wave through the gay community by announcing he had hired gay anti-gay apologist Brandon Ambrosino to join him at Vox Media, the much-hyped digital venture that’s aiming to remake journalism for the Internet age. Liberal watchdog group Media Matters was the first to sound the alarm, but within a day, gay-rights supporters—from Mark Stern at Slate to John Aravosis at AmericaBlog—had joined the chorus of voices asking Klein: What were you thinking?
The problem with hiring Ambrosino is not that Klein isn’t entitled to bring someone on board whose views the gay community finds distasteful. It’s that Ambrosino’s quick rise to notoriety—and now, his ticket aboard the profession’s hottest new upstart—is an object lesson in the way new media equates click-bait contrarianism with serious thought and gives hacks a platform in the name of ideological balance.
A 23-year-old graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Ambrosino has earned his name as a journalist—and his coveted spot at Vox Media—by being the gay writer who comes to the defense of gay-rights antagonists. He most recently stirred up a storm by proclaiming, at The New Republic, that homosexuality is a choice and that he has chosen to be gay. Time magazine gave him space to call gays the real bigots for piling on Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, who had equated homosexuality with bestiality and said gays weren’t going to heaven (still, Ambrosino says he wouldn’t mind going fishing with the guy).
Newsweek emerged from its hibernation this week with a blockbuster story: the real identity of the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Newsweek claims he is a 64-year-old, Japanese-American software engineer born Satoshi Nakamoto.
On Thursday, that Satoshi Nakamoto said Newsweek got it wrong.
In an exclusive two-hour interview with The Associated Press, Nakamoto, 64, denied he had anything to do with it and said he had never heard of bitcoin until his son told him he had been contacted by a Newsweek reporter three weeks ago.
Nakamoto acknowledged that many of the details in Newsweek’s report are correct, including that he once worked for a defense contractor, and that his given name at birth was Satoshi. But he strongly disputed the magazine’s assertion that he is “the face behind bitcoin.”
“I got nothing to do with it,” he said, repeatedly.
Meanwhile, the real Satoshi Nakamoto says he’s not Newsweek’s Satoshi Nakamoto. p2pfoundation.ning.com Of course, since he’s remaining anonymous, no one is really sure if that’s the for-real Satoshi, or someone pretending to be the real Satoshi.
And so the plot thickens … Did Newsweek fumble its cover story? Is Satoshi Nakamoto of Temple City, Calif., trying to hoodwink us? Is the real Satoshi sowing seeds of confusion and doubt? Will the real inventor of Bitcoin please stand up, please stand up?
Stay tuned for another exciting episode, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!
Hmm. He reminds me of someone. I just can’t quite put my finger on who.
Christopher Ruddy, 49, the chief executive officer and founder of conservative media company Newsmax Media, is giving a tour of his neighborhood in an Acura driven by his chauffeur, Hector. The car heads south on I-95 from West Palm Beach to Boca Raton. It’s the heart of Florida’s Red Belt. Ann Coulter lives a few blocks away—Ruddy spent New Year’s Eve there. Rush Limbaugh is just across the bridge. Donald Trump, David Koch, Patty Mellon Scaife, and a host of other Republican power brokers have homes across the lagoon in Palm Beach. To live among such conservative heavyweights is one reason Ruddy settled in West Palm Beach; the other is that Florida has no state income tax. The headquarters of Newsmax is here, too, off Okeechobee Boulevard; virtually every Republican presidential candidate makes an obligatory visit.
Newsmax, which had revenue of $104 million in 2013, up from $85 million the year before, is perhaps best known for its namesake, 200,000-circulation monthly magazine. A conservative reimagining of the traditional newsweekly, Newsmax publishes political stories such as “President Obama’s Outrageous Power Grab” and ads for gold coins and hearing aids. For conservative politicians, making a Newsmax cover is an important stamp of validation. Newsmax.com, launched in 1998, before the magazine, is the most trafficked conservative site on the Web, with more than 11.5 million visitors in January, according to ComScore (SCOR). On a recent morning, the featured posts on the home page were “Obama Intel Reforms Threaten US Security,” “GOP Poised to Retake Senate as Disillusioned Democrats Depart,” and “Bomb-Strapped Islamists Threaten ‘Present’ at Olympics.” Ruddy has amassed a 5 million-person e-mail list, one reason Republican presidential candidates stop in to see him.
Following hot on the heels of the fluoride truther lady, another RT anchor realizes exactly who’s she’s working for. But going one step further and actually quitting on-air. No word on whether it was to avoid complimentary plane tickets to Crimea:
Russia Today anchor and correspondent Liz Wahl announced her resignation live on air Wednesday, saying she couldn’t “be part of a network that whitewashes the actions” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wahl began her remarks by referencing comments another personality on the government-funded TV network made criticizing Russia’s invasion of the Ukranian region of Crimea.
I can’t help wondering why this, of all things, was the last straw for Wahl. I mean sure, blatant invasion/annexation of a country is an objectionable offense, but it’s a pretty low bar at that point.
RT Anchor Quits On Air
I always knew the Nazis would hate B.J. Blazkowicz, after all he’s killed well over a thousand of them, and even Hitler himself in the first game’s universe. Now It seems that the they would have hated him even more.
There’s been speculation for more than two decades that the hero of the iconic Wolfenstein first-person shooter games—B.J. Blazkowicz, the guy who you use to machine gun hordes of Nazis—was Jewish. But the game’s creators have long been coy about the character’s origins. Not so much anymore.
It’s not clear if the next Wolfenstein game, slated for release on May 20 from Machine Games and Bethesda Softworks, will be explicit about it. When we last saw the game, it appeared to avoid the topic directly despite making a reference to Blazkowicz being able to read Hebrew and forcing an undercover Blazkowicz to stomach the prattling of Nazis about people with “pure blood”. Admittedly we saw only a thin slice of the game and, for all we know, the full, new Wolfenstein might be more explicit.
“The FCC will not move forward with the Critical Information Needs study,” an FCC spokesperson said in a statement. “The Commission will reassess the best way to fulfill its obligation to Congress to identify barriers to entry into the communications marketplace faced by entrepreneurs and other small businesses.”
The FCC acknowledged last week that some of those questions “overstepped the bounds of what is required.” It shelved a proposed pilot study and made clear that this and any future studies would not involve interviews with “media owners, news directors or reporters.”
this news was not enough to quell the conspiracy theorists / republicans :
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., head of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, said Tuesday that he’d bring forward a bill, and hold a hearing, aimed at completely stopping this and any similar studies in the future. It’s unclear whether the bill and hearing will now go forward.
read more @ Fox News
Salon has a wonderful piece up called “I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria,” and it’s just about the saddest thing you’ll read today.
My mother has to come to family dinners with a written list of topics that can’t be discussed, but it really doesn’t matter what’s on it because everything comes back to the cult mentality instilled by Fox News. Let’s consider this article and comments through that mentality below the twisted orange emotion of the children of Fox News viewer.
Cult members are “focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.”
Father Lost to Fox:
He defended with stridency his choices, citing his favorites, like Stuart Varney, “The Five” and the great Charles Krauthammer.
Also See From Salon: I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria Old white people are drowning in despair and rage. Here’s how my father lost his mind — thanks to his cable diet
In real life Archie Bunker isn’t that cute. If he’s Archie, that makes me either Meat Head or Sallie Struthers (the very definition of lose-lose).
I’m overeducated in the humanities, so I’m an imperfect ambassador for science. I respect scholarship, peer review and the scientific method. When I tell my dad he should believe the experts in climate science, he gets really mad.
“Global warming is your religion,” he says. Because I’m an atheist, calling me religious is the worst insult he can summon, so he uses it often.
My father sincerely believes that science is a political plot, Christians are America’s most persecuted minority and Barack Obama is a full-blown communist. He supports the use of force without question, as long as it’s aimed at foreigners. He thinks liberals are all stupid, ignorant fucks who hate America.
The irony is thick here:
How corrupt is the media machine? AP writes this story of national significance. Taken off wire for political reasons http://t.co/EzpGHncGz7
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) February 26, 2014
What would O’Keefe know about corruption and media practices? Oh wait, lying, creepy behavior, engaging in a range of criminal activities including illegally entering a US Senator’s office under false pretenses, voter fraud, and misleading videos resulting in 6-figure settlements over his smears.
So, what’s the setup here? Well, he claims to have caught Democratic group Battleground Texas in violation of state election law. He purports to have video showing the violations. And that the AP ran a story, but hasn’t run it nationally.
His argument is that since Democrats have decided to make Wendy Davis the focus that the media should be reporting on the investigation, and O’Keefe’s video is proof of election law violations that should be run nationally. Instead, he claims the AP is covering for Democrats.
It was video by his group that led to complaints being filed with state officials, who’ve thus far passed the buck by recusing themselves because they’re also on the ballot:
Pierce said the initial complaints were filed after a conservative activist group produced a video that purports to show a Battleground organizer talking about transcribing phone numbers off of voter registration cards. James O’Keefe, whose group Project Veritas made the video, alleges that transcribing the phone numbers off the registration cards is illegal.
Project Veritas uses hidden cameras to film Democratic Party and liberal politicians and activists. The videos are heavily edited and some in the past have misrepresented the actions of the people in them.
Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he believed there was enough evidence for a criminal prosecution.
“It appears that representatives of Battleground Texas were either official registrars who misused personal voter information, or they unlawfully posed as official voter registrars to trick people into handing over personal information,” Dewhurst said in a statement. “The seriousness of this issue merits immediate referral to the Attorney General’s office.”
Gee, why would AP be reluctant to move on this? Probably because there’s a nothingburger there — because O’Keefe’s been proven to produce fraudulent videos that are heavily edited to create a predetermined outcome for his purposes.
Given his history, it’s quite possible that the unedited video would show the exact opposite of what he’s claiming. It’d therefore be interesting to see the unedited video to know whether there’s anything there.
Now, if the unedited video does show the violations of Texas election law, then the Battleground Texas group should be investigated and held accountable.
So far, no one has released copies of the complaint filed against the group, so we don’t know exactly what’s going on here. Moreover, Battleground Texas says that the central assertion against them doesn’t violate state law.
On its face, it appears to be another smear job courtesy of O’Keefe.
@HGTomato provided me with links to some further insight/video. This video deconstructs the 3 hours of raw footage.
The video shows just how O’Keefe’s group has been stretching credulity with clever video editing.
WTF Discovery channel?
You can almost hear how this was cooked up:
Unpaid intern: “Sweeps week is coming up…”
Network Exec: “Sharks! -We need sharks!”
Unpaid Intern: “Reaaally BIG Sharks!”
Network Exec: ” And Nazis!”
-by Casey Johnston - Feb 21 2014, 2:29pm CST
It did not take many inquiries about a photo used by the Discovery Channel to find out it was fake. Author George Monbiot noticed some questionable images used in the channel’s documentary Megalodon: The Monster Shark Still Lives, including one with a Megalodon alongside Nazi ships. After a bit of digging, he found the images bore signs suggesting they are not even close to real.
The Megalodon is a species of shark that is estimated to have gone extinct around 2 million years ago. The Discovery Channel’s documentary purported to have collected evidence that the Megalodon is alive and well, or was as recently as the fall of the Third Reich.
The image in question showed a dorsal fin and tail fin that measured 64 feet apart cruising alongside a U-boat in a sepia-toned photo watermarked with a swastika in December 1942. Viewers originally pointed out several seemingly faked images in the documentary, but Monbiot was able to not only pinpoint several problems with one such image, but to locate its source.