March 24, 2015

CNN Panelist: Suggestion That ‘Jackie’ Made Up UVa. Rape Story ‘Flies in the Face of Statistics’

On CNN yesterday, after the network cut away from the press conference where Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department announced that it “found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012,” network panelist and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin bizarrely resorted to “statistics” to defend “Jackie,” the student-fabulist involved.

The panel discussion which followed the press conference seemed to be all about telling viewers that “Despite what everyone says, it’s really not over.” Hostin’s major contribution to that meme was to essentially contend that because “only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false,” any allegation that “Jackie” was making things up is unfair and likely incorrect because it “flies in the face of statistics” — even though, in a new development, we learned that “Jackie” claimed that she was the victim of a second gang-rape incident in April 2014. Police also could find no evidence supporting that incident’s occurrence. Video and a transcript follow the jump:


March 23, 2015

USAT Reaction to Discredited Rolling Stone Rape Story: ‘Didn’t Quite Hold Up’

The press’s reluctance to let go of a popular but debunked meme — in this case, the nonexistent “epidemic” of college campus sexual assaults — is sometimes inadvertently humorous, though still intensely annoying.

Take how John Bacon and Marisol Bello at USA Today characterized the news that “Police in Charlottesville were unable to verify that an alleged sexual assault detailed in a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article ever took place at the University of Virginia”:


March 11, 2015

OMG … Please Go Away, Hillary

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:46 pm

March 10: She found it convenient to use just one device.

A couple of weeks ago (HT Patterico):


MODERATOR: I have to ask the big question.


MOERATOR: iPhone or Android?

HILLARY: (after a cackle that could shatter glass and eardrums a mile away) iPhone. (Pause while some in audience cheer) Okay, in full disclosure?

MODERATOR: Blackberry.

HILLARY: And a Blackberry.

The country can’t stand either 2, 6, or 10 more years of Hillary Clinton and her First “Husband” lying about stuff that doesn’t matter while covering up and lying about stuff that does.

Pleased go away, Hillary.

February 11, 2015

To Rebut Axelrod on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Deception, Leader of Free World Goes to … Buzzfeed

By yesterday afternoon, the Obama administration recognized that it had a serious problem on its hands. Zeke Miller at reported that 2008 presidential campaign manager and longtime adviser David Axelord’s book revealed that, in Miller’s words, “Barack Obama misled Americans for his own political benefit when he claimed in the 2008 election to oppose same sex marriage for religious reasons.” Obama never opposed same-sex marriage, but acted on advice from Axelrod and others to act as if he did during the campaign.

Axelrod’s claim generated enough coverage that Team Obama knew that even the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, was going to have to do some kind of story on his adviser’s revelation. So how to do damage control without creating the kind of stir which would force the network broadcasters to inform low-information voters of the core deception? That’s easy. Throw all pretenses of presidential dignity out the window and go to (holy moly) Buzzfeed.


February 10, 2015

New York Mag: NBC Has a ‘Dossier of Williams’ Apparent Lies’

In his story on Brian Williams at 10:55 p.m. ET this evening, Gabriel Sherman at New York Magazine reported that the now-suspended anchor and his agent "were presented with a dossier of Williams' apparent lies," and that "Williams himself was only slowly grasping the depths of the mess he'd created."

That begs the obvious question of whether the public will ever get to know what's in that "dossier," and what impact its contents may have had on the substance of NBC's news reports during the past dozen (if not more) years. Excerpts from Sherman's report follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):


Rory Ryan Has a Fever, and the Only Cure Is … Rob Portman?

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:38 pm

Longtime readers here may recall a certain Rory Ryan, publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.

Mr. Ryan may be a generally fine gentleman, hard worker, and most of those other things you might expect from a heartland journalist who genuinely seems to lean conservative.

But in at least two instances one going back over a decade and the other very recent, Ryan has demonstrated that his nose for news and political acumen are, to say the least, awful.

Ryan’s carreer list of endorsed candidates includes the one and only, habitual House Bank NSF check-writing, false incumbent-posingthen-Viriginia residing, habitually illegally voting, election law-violating, Amway/Quixtar scam-selling former Congressman Bob McEwen.

Mr. Ryan had, and perhaps still has, a horrible blind spot with Mr. McEwen.

After McEwen’s decade of illegal voting as an absentee in Ohio while living in Virginia was exposed, I asked how “newspaperman” Ryan, who supposedly is close to the pulse of his area, could possibly not have not known:

  • That McEwen and his wife Liz were using his father’s address as their voter-registration “residence” address during the mid-1990s?
  • That Bob and Liz began using the addresses of others in Hillsboro, places in which they clearly were not living or “residing,” for that same purpose beginning sometime in the late 1990s?
  • The story of the infamous 2003 “Mrs. Lyle’s house is not your home” letter addressed by the Highland County Board of Elections to Bob McEwen, Liz McEwen, and two of their children, in which the Board cancelled the voter registrations of all four of them? (I was told that this matter was brought to the attention of the county prosecutor at the time, yet Ryan still endorsed McEwen’s attempts to return to Congress.)

To be clear, these were matters that McEwen and his campaign completely failed to refute.

If Mr. Ryan indeed was aware of the items just noted, it seems that putting Bob McEwen back into Congress was of such overriding importance that he was willing to overlook, and to keep from the public he has pledged to serve in his profession, matters that made Mr. McEwen objectively unfit to serve in public office.

Based on this background, you’ll have to excuse me for having a hard time not rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably at the idea that Rory Ryan hearts Rob Portman so much that he thinks he ought to be our next president:

As recently as Feb. 6, his name was still “part of the discussion” for the 2016 campaign. And although he says he is focusing on his re-election to the U.S. Senate – to which he can add our endorsement, I can’t help but think the nation would be better served if the once Grand Old Party would endorse a Portman for President banner at the 2016 convention.

Like I said, one can hope.

Count me out, pal.

What has Rob Portman accomplished in the past four-plus years? … (stone silence) … (If anyone can cite anything meaningful and tangible, please let me know. I am completely unconcerned about getting flooded with substantive responses, because I don’t think anyone can point to anything.)

Would Rob Portman govern with the welfare of the nation at the forefront of his mind, or according to how his actions and decisions will help or hurt him politically?

Here’s the answer, originally delivered to the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2005:

Back in his Washington office last month, Portman, who usually sits back calmly in his chair, suddenly leans forward when he’s told that one of his colleagues recently questioned how far he’ll go in politics because he seems “risk-averse.”

The description appears to rankle Portman, who has taken more than a few physical risks over the years – from ducking bullets whizzing over his head while kayaking on the Rio Grande, to defying Chinese officials who refused him permission to kayak on the Yangtze River. *

“I probably am a little risk-averse compared to some members [of Congress],” he concedes, “but I think a lot of that is a deliberate decision on my part that some things are worth it for my career and some things aren’t.”

* – I don’t hink I’m alone in sensing potential Brian Williams-like problems with these claims.

His career is clearly more important than taking risks for being right.

Rob Portman will never live that statement down — nor should he.

Rory Ryan has once again shown horrible political acumen. In light of his history with Bob McEwen, that is sadly not a surprise.

February 8, 2015

Geraldo Echoes Rathergate: Williams Critics Attacking ‘From Their Mother’s Basement’ Should ‘Shut up’; Tweets Advice to Wrong Brian Williams

Friday morning on Fox and Friends, Geraldo Rivera, echoing Rathergate, the 2004 scandal which put the blogosphere and New Media on the map to stay and accelerated its growth, reacted to the Brian Williams debacle by denouncing those criticizing the NBC Nightly News anchor “from the safety of their mother’s basement,” telling them that they should just “shut up.”

Saturday, in a pair of tweets reacting to Williams’ decision, quoting from the anchor’s internal memo, “to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days,” Rivera expressed sharp disappointment, saying that Williams should “stand & fight.” But in an epic fail, the Twitter account which Geraldo linked in one of his rants belongs to a different Brian Williams.


February 6, 2015

You Can’t Make This Up

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Scams — Tom @ 5:39 pm

O … M … F … G:

And in another telling of the tale, he said he saved two puppies from the fire

Really, this is more than any of us should have to tolerate.

NY Post’s Page Six: Willams’s Copter Got No Ground Fire; Brokaw Wants Him Gone

If Brian Williams or any of the executives at NBC thought that the controversy over his “fake Iraq story” might start to die down, developments this evening have proven that they were sadly mistaken.

The quoted words in the previous sentence are from a headline at an Associated Press story by David Bauder, the wire service’s TV writer. The fact that the nation’s self-described “essential global news network” felt comfortable using those words to describe the 12 year-old saga of Williams’s fabricated adventure in Iraq is actually among the least of his and his network’s troubles tonight. Two major stories at the New York Post’s Page Six appear to have made their continuing with the status quo very difficult to imagine.


Latest PJ Media Column (‘Please Stay On, Brian Williams’) Went Up Thursday Evening

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog Saturday evening (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Thanks to the editors at PJ Media for the quick review turnaround.

Thanks to Allahpundit at Hot Air for quoting the column in his Quotes of the Day (last item at link).

February 5, 2015

10th Anniversary NBC Promos Celebrated Brian Williams’s ‘Integrity,’ ‘Humility,’ and ‘Battle Scars’

As Curtis Houck at NewsBusters reported last night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is in serious trouble after he, in Houck’s words, “admitted to not being aboard a helicopter that was shot and had to be rescued following RPG fire during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.” Williams’s apology, also carried at Houck’s post, only refers to the “mistake” he made “on this broadcast last week” — as if it was the only time in 12 years he has recounted the incident. It’s not; his “war story” was relayed several other times, including in 2013 on David Letterman’s show (video here; note the level of detail now effectively admitted as having been fabricated).

In his apology attempt, Williams also told America that he was in “a following aircraft.” That’s very misleading. Larry O’Connor at Truth Revolt noted, that Williams “neglected to explain that he was in an aircraft that followed the one hit by RPG fire by an entire hour,” which “makes it sound like he was right behind the copter in question.” It seems more than fair to compare what we’ve learned in recent days to how NBC promoted Williams on the tenth anniversary of his presence in NBC’s anchor chair last year.


February 4, 2015

NYT Op-ed About Sheldon Silver, And Its Lengthy Correction, Fail to Tag Him as a Dem

On Friday, Joe Nocera at the New York Times, in the words of a February 4 Times correction, premised his op-ed column “about the indictment of the longtime New York State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver … on several factual errors.”

The correction failed to correct another factual error, namely that Silver, who was arrested, as the Times itself reported, on January 22, has not yet been formally indicted. Here is the full text of that correction (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine throughout this post):


January 22, 2015

It’s Potemkin Props All the Way Down (See Update: All But 9 Counties Which Have Achieved Full Recovery From Recession Are in 4 States; 41 States Shut Out)

Filed under: Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:06 am

Really, Barack Obama and his peeps couldn’t find anyone else to showcase as an example of the wonders of the current economy (with apologies to Glenn “It’s Potemkin Villages All the Way Down” Reynolds):


Actually, it’s not that surprising they had a hard time finding someone, when you consider that 98 percent of U.S. counties haven’t recovered yet. Of the 65 counties (out of just over 3,000 in the U.S.) which have recovered, 39 are in either Texas (254 total counties) or North Dakota (53), which means that fewer than 1 percent of counties in the rest of the nation haved recovered (26 divided by about 2,700).


UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: Based on a detailed look at the data, I revised the final sentence above to reflect Texas having 24 recovered counties and North Dakota 15. Another source had indicated that ND had 16.

Further elaborating, only two other states had a decent number of counties recovering: KS with 8 and MN with 9. That left only 9 other counties achieving recovery in the entire rest of the country (MT-3, IA-2, AK-2, SD-1, SC-1).

41 states had no counties which fully recovered on all four of the metrics involved.

January 14, 2015

Lafayette Reporter Who Thinks He Flunked the ‘Food Stamp Challenge’ Really Didn’t

At the Lafayette, Indiana Courier Journal, reporter Mikel Livingston, that paper’s social policy reporter, set out to try to pass the Food Stamp Challenge.

The idea, in his words, was to “survive for one week on $29.69,” because, he says, that is “what the average recipient of SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps, receives each week in Indiana.” By Day 6, he claimed, “faced with the possibility that eating all my remaining food on the final day would net me just 619 calories, I realized I had failed.” What he really proved is that he was well on his way to succeeding with room to spare.


Three Major December Media Misfires

All truly “cringeworthy.”


This column went up at PJ Media late Sunday evening and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Monday.


The Columbia Journalism Review claims that the mission of its bimonthly magazine and, its companion online effort, is “to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society.”

The flip side of that mission should be to identify, criticize and discourage incompetence, dishonesty and bias.’s alleged year-end compilation of “the worst journalism of 2014″ — “a recap of this year’s most cringeworthy news blunders” — does an extraordainarily poor job of that.

It’s only an alleged year-end list because CJR published it on December 22, following the herd of dozens of other annual list presenters who couldn’t wait until 2014 actually ended.

It’s also an extraordinarily weak list. Rolling Stone’s now-exposed fabricated account of the fraternity gang rape that didn’t happen at the University of Virginia topped the list, but only one of the other items in its compilation — the entirely made-up story of Mohammed Islam, the 17 year-old who suckered New York Magazine into believing that he had made $72 million in the stock market — is anywhere near as “cringeworthy” as at least three other egregious media misfires in December alone.

Here are those three December candidates, all of which did not become known until after CJR’s premature publication.

1. “Peaceful” Ferguson protester confesses to arson and burglary.

For several months, 18 year-old Joshua Williams was a media and leftist darling at those Ferguson, Missouri mob gatherings serially misidentified as “protests.” Williams “perfected the skill of catching the attention of journalists and using them to elevate his claims of police brutality to national attention,” and was “quoted or photographed in countless articles in publications including the New York Times and USA Today.” The Associated Press photographed him marching “arm in arm” with black radical Cornel West in October. In mid-December, Williams, who was constantly begging others for money, somehow made it to Washington and spoke at one of Al Sharpton’s affiliated whine festivals.

Shortly after Christmas, the media hero was charged with and reportedly confessed to “1st degree arson, 2nd degree burglary and misdemeanor theft” in the torching and looting of a QuikTrip convenience store in Berkeley, Missouri on Christmas Eve. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch apparently had a hard time getting over being jilted, headlining Williams, after his arrest, as a “Protester who advocates peace.”

2. The Lena Dunham postscript.

In early December, John Nolte at Breitbart’s Big Hollywood thoroughly debunked and discredited the details Lena Dunham had included about her alleged rape in her Not That Kind of Girl memoir. “Barry,” a name only later identified as a pseudonym, could not have been Oberlin College’s “campus’s resident conservative.” Among other things, there was no “Barry” who had “a flamboyant mustache,” a job at the campus library, or “purple cowboy boots.” Nolte “could not find a Republican named Barry who attended Oberlin during Dunham’s time there who came anywhere close to matching her description of him.”

On December 9, the day after Random House, Dunham’s publisher, covered its legal keister by exonerating a “Barry” who did attend Oberlin during the time in question, Dunham posted a pathetic I’m-a-victim non-defense at BuzzFeed, claiming that she had made up details about her attacker to conceal his identity. Two days later, responding to several media insinuations to the contrary, Nolte made it redundantly clear that “Breitbart News never once questioned whether or not Lena Dunham was raped.”

What followed is what should have made CJR’s “blunders” list.

On December 31, J.K Trotter at Gawker, who appears to have set out to perpetuate the straw-man criticism against Dunham’s detractors, reported something far more troubling:

The 2012 proposal for Not That Kind of Girl recounted the same night of unwanted unprotected sex—and supplied enough specific biographical detail to identify the man being described.

The final manuscript of Not that Kind of Girl contains a significantly altered version of Dunham’s original account.

Trotter is nearly certain that he has identified the attacker Dunham described in her 2012 proposal. His name is at the link for those who are curious, but the fundamentally important point is that this person “did not affiliate with either major political party until 2012, when he formally registered as a Democrat,” and “does not appear to have ever been an on-the-book Republican.”

Thus, Dunham’s rape story, even assuming she was indeed raped, was from all appearances originally packaged in 2012 to smear Republicans and conservatives for an act committed by someone who was neither. When revised two years later, it was further dressed up with more juicy details not traceable to a specific person to enhance the smear’s memorability.

It would seem that no one at Random House or at any other publisher who might have seen Dunham’s original proposal and read the final product has ever questioned the credibility of her underlying story. This is either astonishing negligence or intensely hostile groupthink. Are these people all that lazy and clueless, or were Dunham’s fabrications okay in publishing land because her story attacked liberalism’s enemies?

3. The Imaginary Kwanzaa “Parade.”

In recent years, the annual late-December Kwanzaa parade in South Central Los Angeles has fallen on hard times. In 2011, the second-last year the Los Angeles Times covered it, the paper claimed that “hundreds” attended, but could only muster a photo showing a half-dozen participants and about the same number of onlookers.

On December 26, 2014, apathy won. A CBS-Los Angeles reporter tweeted a photo showing an empty boulevard with no spectators captioned, “People in #SouthLosAngeles disappointed by lack of turn-out for #Kwanza parade. Parade lasted 10 mins.” (What “people”?) Two minutes later, he tweeted: “Parade is over.” It was never a real parade. It wasn’t even a motorcade.

But then, in an online report, CBS-LA, despite its own reporter calling out a non-event, descended into full fictional cringeworthiness, making it appear as if a genuine parade had occurred:

LA Celebrates Start Of Kwanzaa With Parade Along Crenshaw Boulevard

The 38th annual KwanZaa Gwaride parade made its way down Crenshaw Boulevard Friday, marking the start of the seven-day festival of Kwanzaa.

Some participants walked the parade carrying signs underlining important issues to the community, such as police brutality, home foreclosures, judicial corruption, transparency in government and environmental racism.

Never has one of the favorite sayings of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds been truer: “It’s Potemkin villages all the way down.”

And all the way up – to the see no liberal media evil folks at the Columbia Journalism Review.