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Glenn Greenwald and Pals Throw Matt Taibbi From the Train

An amazing picture of total disarray
Media • Views: 7,716

Wow. This is an extraordinary statement from Greenwald, Poitras, Scahill and Cook, throwing Matt Taibbi under the bus and backing it over him several times: The Inside Story of Matt Taibbi’s Departure From First Look Media - the Intercept.

In June, Taibbi, Greenwald, Poitras, and Scahill wrote a joint letter to Omidyar outlining their principal grievances—the lack of clear budgets and repeated and arbitrary restrictions on hiring—and making clear that a failure to resolve them would jeopardize the feasibility of both projects.

That letter led to lengthy and often heated discussions. But they were productive: Most of The Intercept’s problems were eventually resolved. The magazine received a substantial budget, which Cook was free to use as he wished without consultation with First Look, and The Intercept resumed hiring a team of talented reporters, editors, and researchers. The site began producing stories more regularly, morale improved significantly as oversight from First Look diminished, and the team is free to do the reporting it wants to do without interference.

For a time, it appeared that Taibbi’s project had also found the right path. It, too, received its own multi-million-dollar budget, began to hire more reporters, filmmakers, and editors, and set a launch date for September.

But because the site had not yet launched, First Look continued to focus on organizational and corporate issues, and managers actively supervised and at times overruled Taibbi’s management decisions. His relationships with both First Look managers and some Racket employees who reported to him were strained.

Taibbi and First Look disagreed over the functionality of the website, the timing of its launch, which designers and programmers they would use, Racket’s organizational chart—even, at one point, over office seating assignments.

But wait… that’s not all.

These simmering problems came to a head this month when a Racket staffer complained to senior management that Taibbi had been verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile, and that she felt the conduct may have been motivated, at least in part, by her gender. Temple conducted an investigation, and First Look determined that while none of the alleged conduct rose to the level of legal liability, the grievance bolstered their case that Taibbi should not be the manager of Racket. Among their concerns were the staffer’s claims that Taibbi had been privately criticizing First Look managers, particularly Ching, that Taibbi’s abrasive demeanor was alienating some on his staff, and that Taibbi instructed Racket staff to resolve any grievances directly with him rather than going to upper management.

On October 10, according to Taibbi’s account, Temple and Ching told Taibbi that he would be immediately stripped of all managerial responsibilities pending their investigation. (First Look managers dispute this account, claiming that Taibbi was never stripped of any duties.)

Taibbi was adamant that the complaint had no merit, and rejected any demotion or change in his responsibilities. On the day he was confronted by Temple and Ching, Taibbi left the office and—aside from one staff meeting he attended, after which he was instructed by Omidyar not to come back until they reached agreement on his role—did not return. He repeatedly told First Look that he would resign if it did not reverse the decision to reduce his managerial duties, and was insistent that he would accept no changes that could be construed as an acceptance on his part of the validity of the employee complaint.

Just go read it all; it’s a jaw-dropper. These excerpts only scratch the surface of the dysfunction.

Clearly Greenwald and his comrades knew this story was going to come out soon, so they decided to get out in front of it first and spin it their way. All these months they’ve been playing it like everything was just great, no problems, we’re redefining journalism over here and it’s cool — but behind the scenes it was a nightmare.

This ain’t over yet, folks.

Right Wing Blogger Chuck C. Johnson Is Now a Real Live Stalker

Creepy and disturbing behavior
Weird • Views: 9,377

Today at Talking Points Memo, Tom Kludt has a report on our pal Chuck C. Johnson, who has now crossed a major line into outright stalking behavior. The target: yours truly.

After a pitstop for an Italian dinner on Tuesday night, right-wing agitator Charles C. Johnson showed up at what he thought was the residence of his biggest online adversary — a man who just so happens to share his name — and snapped photos of himself standing outside the complex’s gate holding conspiracy theory bumper stickers.

Johnson said he retrieved the address to the Pacific Palisades apartment online.

“At the world headquarters of Little Green Footballs…” Johnson tweeted, appending a hashtag to signify his latest obsession.

Here’s his tweet:

But in Chuck’s usual incompetent way, he went to the wrong place to stalk me.

Little Green Footballs, of course, is the online home of blogger Charles Johnson. But the apartment shown in the tweet hasn’t been his actual home for more than 10 years.

“Actually, when I first saw it I didn’t recognize the place because I haven’t lived there for so long,” Johnson of Little Green Footballs told TPM on Wednesday. “I thought he was just making a joke at first and I looked at it again and realized that’s the place I used to live.”

Here’s how he attempts to justify this threatening behavior; note that it’s extremely common for a stalker to accuse the target of being “the real stalker.”

“The lesser Charles Johnson encouraged his followers to stalk me for daring to report the name of the Ebola nurse, Nina Pham, 12 hours before the rest of the media,” the founder of the fledgling GotNews said in the email. “He’s kind of crazy and I’ve talked to law enforcement about what can be done about his sending stalkers my way. Showing up at his apartment complex door was intended as something of a joke. I knew he would go nuts on Twitter all night, which he promptly did.”

The lies in this statement are numerous:

  1. I never encouraged anyone to "stalk" Chuck. Not once. It didn't happen.
  2. I never "sent stalkers his way," and I seriously doubt he ever "talked to law enforcement." Filing a false police report is a crime.
  3. This was definitely not a joke. It was very obviously intended to scare me, to stop me from criticizing him.
  4. I didn't "go nuts on Twitter all night," although Chuck himself has done this more than once.

Here’s what I told Tom Kludt about this:

The Little Green Footballs founder didn’t find it funny, calling it a “total violation of privacy.”

“For somebody who calls himself a journalist to do something like this, it’s way, way over the line,” he told TPM. “If I had kids, I’d be even more upset. This is basically threatening. The guy has posted pictures of himself holding guns online. It’s a very threatening, stalker-ish thing to do. What can I say? I’m just very upset about it.”

Since this article was published, Chuck is now openly bragging on Twitter about stalking me, saying it was “a joke,” and at the same time repeating his false claims that he’s the real victim.

All I have to add to what I told Talking Points Memo is that if Chuck thought he was going to scare me into shutting up about him, he made a serious miscalculation.

Video: The Sunny Personality of Chris Christie

Presidential material
Politics • Views: 13,082

YouTube

Here’s the inimitable Gov. Chris Christie, appearing at an event on the Jersey shore to mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, demonstrating once again the patience and calm resolve that’s the mark of a true leader. This man is presidential material, no doubt about it. Sit back and dig the optics.

Pope Francis Takes a Stand for Evolution

US conservatives are now to the right of the Pope
Religion • Views: 14,094

Pope Francis is more pro-science and anti-superstition than most Republicans: Pope Francis Takes a Stand for Evolution, Against ‘Magic Wands’.

Social conservatives in the United States who’ve been unhappy with Pope Francis’ moderation today have one more reason to be upset.

Daniel Berger reported this afternoon:

Pope Francis broke with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real, and remarking that God is not “a magician with a magic wand.”

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” the pope said at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, during a plenary meeting dedicated to evolving concepts of nature.

The pope’s remarks came earlier today in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it,” the Roman Catholic pontiff said. “Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of [divine] creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.”

Glenn Greenwald on “The Last Word:” Canadian Attacks Weren’t Terrorism

Because Canada was asking for it by being a war-mongering country
WTF • Views: 15,122

Video

Here’s the Mighty Glenn Greenwald on the Lawrence O’Donnell show, explaining that in his view the attacks in Canada last week were not terrorism — but on the other hand, the US and Canada and Israel (he’s obsessed with Israel) are always committing terrorist acts.

I think that’s a fair description of his viewpoints. See what you think.

Video: Orbital Sciences Rocket Explosion From 3000ft

Tanks full of rocket fuel blow up real good
US News • Views: 20,506

YouTube

Took this video of the very unfortunate Orbital Sciences rocket explosion. Video was taken in our Cessna 177 Cardinal from an altitude of 3000ft. Sorry for the sound. I’ll have a better one up once it’s been edited out.

Nurse Amber Vinson Ebola-Free, Discharged From Hospital

Another success for US medicine
Health • Views: 21,383

Video

Good news from the Ebola front: Amber Vinson, the second nurse who contracted Ebola through close contact with Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, has now been declared free of the disease and discharged from the hospital.

Vinson is one of two Dallas nurses who was diagnosed with Ebola after treating Liberian citizen Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed in the United States with the virus. Duncan, who had symptoms after flying from Liberia to Texas in September, was admitted to Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital but died on October 8.

The other nurse, Nina Pham, was treated at a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland before being declared Ebola-free on Friday. She was discharged from the hospital that day and met President Barack Obama at the White House before returning home.

Vinson was initially hospitalized in Dallas and was transferred to Emory University Hospital on October 15.

Ribner said that the Emory hospital staff has learned “a great deal” about treating Ebola after having successfully treated four patients with the virus, including Vinson. They’ve learned lessons about fluid and electrolyte management and that physicians can aggressively treat Ebola patients even when they become dependent on dialysis, he said. Emory is sharing those lessons with colleagues in West Africa and across the United States, Ribner said.

Jim Hoft Repeats the Right Wing Lie of the Week: That Nurse Kaci Hickox Hid Her CDC Job

Horrible people doing horrible things to decent people
Wingnuts • Views: 24,008
DERP

Here we go again, as the Dumbest Man on the Internet, the inestimable Jim Hoft, takes the ball of lies inflated by Chuck C. Johnson and runs with it: BREAKING: Ebola Nurse’s Ties to CDC Scrubbed From Website - Is Far Left Progressive & Obama Supporter | the Gateway Pundit.

(Ever notice that everything is always “breaking” at Hoft’s idiotic site?)

Hoft is calling nurse Kaci Hickox a “far left progressive” because she registered as a Democrat and supported Obama for President. Which makes more than half the country “far left progressives” in Jim’s benighted brain.

But what he’s really trying to sell in this typically deceptive post is that Hickox is trying to hide her employment at the CDC. Why would anyone do that? It’s a good thing to work for the CDC, not a bad thing. But in the universe of the DMOTI, everything becomes a conspiracy.

Hoft makes a big deal out of the fact that Ms Hickox deleted her LinkedIn account. And it’s true, she did. Now why would she do that?

The answer is appallingly obvious: because people like Jim Hoft and Chuck C. Johnson and their legion of mouth-breathing swivel-eyed loons are stealing her photos and scouring her Internet history for something to twist and distort and smear her with.

So Kaci Hickox deleted her LinkedIn account to protect herself against these horrible people’s dishonest attacks — and then they dishonestly attack her for deleting it.

I’d advise any health worker, especially those who work with the CDC or Doctors Without Borders, to delete their social media accounts, at least until this craziness subsides. Right wingers are stalking them, and they have a right to protect themselves as much as possible.

Hoft also repeats Chuck C. Johnson’s outright lie that Hickox didn’t disclose her CDC connection in her op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, which we already showed was completely false; in fact, it was disclosed in the very first paragraph of that article, and it’s also been disclosed in many other places.

Nobody is trying to hide this. But right wing bloggers are flat out lying about it, because they know the dumbed-down masses of Fox News viewers won’t even bother to check before spreading the lies.

Also see:
Left-Wing Nurse Knows Too Much About Ebola to Have Opinions About Ebola | Wonkette

Jim Carrey’s Parodies of the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln Ads Are Absolutely Hysterical

Hi there, little fella
Humor • Views: 29,066

YouTube

Saturday Night Live is so rarely funny these days, it’s a bit of a shock when they actually have skits that make me laugh — but these parodies of Matthew McConaughey’s advertisements for Lincoln cars, featuring Jim Carrey, are just hysterical.

If you haven’t seen the original ad for some reason, here it is.

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