Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
My Resignation from the Intercept (greenwald.substack.com)
1441 points by yasp 26 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 1603 comments

All: don't miss that there are multiple pages of comments in this thread. That's what the More link at the bottom points to. Or click here:




The media has fallen into the well-known trap of optimizing the wrong KPI. You want to maximize trust with the public, not engagement, if you want your media company to survive if its value proposition is providing journalism and the usual benefits that come with a free press.

Unfortunately, not only is engagement the wrong metric, but it's also one which incentivizes the undermining of the actual metric you need to be optimizing. This results in a negative feedback loop, and the logical outcome is that all media companies who focus on the engagement KPI will, in the limit, become tabloids - pure entertainment, no trust. Since most outlets were already on their way to becoming politics-focused, what we're going to get are "tabloids for politics" - and that is what we see. It's just a matter of when the public accepts this transition has occurred, not if it is happening.

Getting the public to accept this has proven challenging - despite the fact that many clearly see the "opposite side" media as tabloid-like, it's been hard for the same people to accept that their own chosen media sources, who tell them things they agree with, are no different in this regard. The resistance of course is due to all the usual human biases, but it's still strange when people can see it so obviously in the media they disagree with and not apply Occam's Razor to their own.

This does mean that there's a huge opportunity if you assume trust is something people will pay for. Substack seems to provide early evidence that this is the case. Fortunately, I think the market will correct this error - and it's critical it does, because a free press is essential to ensuring our society continues without increasing oppression or war.

This is why the Economist, FT and the WSJ still have a somewhat positive reputation. They're expensive and tend to write about things that are important, not sensational.

All other publications are slowly falling victim to the parametdynamicser of the entertainment game, including ones that were also in that bracket not long ago. Mind you I'm not saying WaPo and NYT are trash now, they did start with a high rep and try to square the circle by staying there and getting people to pay for it.

> Mind you I'm not saying WaPo and NYT are trash now

WaPo and NYT aren't trash but they have fallen mightly. Which sucks because NYT easily has one of the best web design teams on the internet IMO and I used to look forward to reading it daily for over a decade.

I'm still angry that they chose to go all Buzzfeed and hammer it everywhere politicially on their website.

WSJ has been a fine replacement, but it's not as extensive or big as NYT. I just hope things return to a bit more normal after the US election.

> WaPo and NYT aren't trash but they have fallen mightly.

As a Indian, I disagree. The reportage on anything India is the usual mix of patronizing caste-curry-cow (and now 'Hindu terror') BS. The morons in-charge of international news at every one of these outlets (incl. Intercept, Twitter, Google..) think that just because they are white, their imagination of the world is the reality.

The "media" isn't optimizing for clicks or engagement. The media is optimizing for advancing the democratic political party. It blocks stories that cover topics where the political right may be correct.

Proof: Stories like the one they are hiding can drive a lot of traffic. They are hidden to advance one political party over another. The stories aren't killed because they want traffic.

That's interesting. It's not just India and it's not about race. The NYT has a problem with Britain too, believe it or not. This article goes into some examples but they aren't the only ones:


As an Indian who reads NYT's international coverage, I disagree with your comment. NYT's India reports have been excellent and evidence based. The right wing extremism is indeed on the rise[1].

Any report I see, they are presenting their statements with ground report backed by statistics, usually by Govt. data.

[1] https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-economist-fin...

If their "ground reporting" had any kernel of truth to it then they would not be covering up the rise of islamic extremism in India using bogeys of "right wing extremism".

NYT also helped sell America into Iraq.

That one factoid, namely that two of their writers were of the wrong persuasion almost 20 years ago, seems to be the extend of criticism people can actually come up with when put on the spot. Even though they had plenty of opposition against the war on staff and on paper, and very few of their readers were likely to change their opinion on that topic. And, not being having the presidency and Congress at that point not being neccessary for a declaration of war, their mostly Democratic audience had little to no influence on events.

It's noticeable that nobody ever faults the Republican Party, which actually made the decision to invade Iraq. And also to lie to the world, its citizens, and, yes, those people at the Times that were naive enough to believe them.

The Bush administration offered the choice, and a bipartisan majority of congress took it. No need to invoke tribalism and blame an impersonal mass of people--we know the names of the specific individuals involved.

The Bush administration controlled the information used the inform congress (and the media while we're on the subject of the parent posts).

Congress and the media deserve some blame for not digging hard enough... but when assigning blame here, surely we ought blame the liars and misleaders more than the lied to and the misled?

> Congress and the media deserve some blame for not digging hard enough...

Except that the Bush Administration story was on several key points, including the nature of the “winnebagos of mass destruction” a lie, and that the US knew it to be a lie, and that, they were, in fact, associated with a weather balloons used in artillery spotting and had been sold to Iraq by the UK, was reported, in the media, at the time the story was being presented by the Administration.

The media did not fail to dig hard enough. Neither really did Congress. The media reported the truth, Congress and much of the population had the truth in front of them and choose wilfull pretense of ignorance, and the former gave Bush the authority to decide to go to war—sure, there were factual determinations that had to be made first, but the Administration was already known to be lying about the facts to get authority to go to war, so it was predictable they would lie to exercise that authority.

That the bush administration controlled the information is the failure of congress and the media.

Why would we give congress war powers if not as a specific check against a commander in chief who would otherwise start undesireable wars? It is congress' job to specifically not just go along with what the administration tells them. They have their own investigative powers, and 59 congress members voted against the invasion so clearly it was possible for congress people to question the validity of the administration's argument.

As for the media, accepting the government's narrative without question is the most heinous sin. That is not journalism, that is propaganda. Of course the government is going to massage the truth, just like any other institution. Most people take it as a given that politicians lie. However when the media, which is supposed to have an antagonistic relationship with the government, reaffirms what the government is saying, then it holds substantially more weight. It would be like if a prosecutor claimed the defendant was guilty and the defense attorney agreed.

You don't get any slack for having been lied to when your entire job is to identify lies.

I think the criticism of media comes down that they only dig if politically favourable and recent behavior made that more transparent. People will loose their conscience at one point because mistakes are repeated.

The more divided a country, the more the media has to pander for the extremes. People expect to get dirt only on the other side so the media has to take sides, or be left hated by both.

If the lie was one that warranted an invasion sure.

If I tell you that some guy called you fat and you go kick the shit out of him, I'm at way less or even no fault. If I tell you that some guy diddled your kid, sure that's on me.

The whole world knew there was no WMD, only the American convinced themselves.

Not true. The Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee has plenty of power to call witnesses, but its chairperson, one Joseph Biden, would not call anyone critical of the administration's position.

Plus, regardless of that - Congress had, at the very least, the information available to the public, which includes what the UN was saying, what weapons inspectors were saying etc. So they didn't need to "dig" anywhere.

>The Bush administration offered the choice, and a bipartisan majority of congress took it.

And later it came out the administration lied extensively about that, including some in-retrospect ridiculous assessments about how long the war would take (what was that quote, doubt it would take 6 months, doubt it would cost much at all).

> No need to invoke tribalism

Oh yes there is, especially because after that complete and utter fiasco of the worst foreign policy decision by the US ever, was there any honest introspection or learning by the administration and/or Republicans in general? Nope, it just was completely ignored.

> It's noticeable that nobody ever faults the Republican Party

2008 brought a Democrat president along with an increased Democrat majority in both houses, so if they weren't faulted at the time (and they were) then they were certainly faulted just a few years later.

Both for continuing the military intervention and for not bringing anyone to trial, nor even a public accounting, for cooking up the false claims used to justify the invasion; nor for the torture; nor for the killing of civilians; nor for the use of depleted uranium and white phosphor; etc.

>It's noticeable that nobody ever faults the Republican Party,

most people I read seems to fault the Republicans, the Democrats who went along and the Media who reported uncritically in that order.

You also seem to fault the Republicans.

I fault the Republicans, first.

So it's not noticeable to me I guess.

> That one factoid

Not one. Russiagate in its many variations was and still is happily peddled by NYT. Coverage of Syria is also straight from warmonger 101 textbook. There is likely more, but I stopped reading them regularly after 2003.

> nobody ever faults the Republican Party, which actually made the decision to invade Iraq

Both parties happily voted to invade. Both bear the blame.

In a democracy public perception of reality directly correlates to your ability to perform as a politician. The Bush administration used the full thrust of the office to knowingly foster false perception of reality in huge swaths of the population. Rendering objections moot. The ultimate blame lays with the deceiver. Even though representatives of all parties votes for the invasion, they acted in a reality manufactured by lies and they represented the will of their supposed voters. You may accuse them as spineless, but there's still magnitude difference between deceiving the public, and failing to convince the public it's all lies. Losing this distinction just makes the crooks stronger.

What is the proof that one party did it against the will of the people, while the other went with the will of the people? Given how much ongoing violence was continued and expanded even once the democrats has a president and congressional majority, it seems like both parties were and are happy to perpetuate imperialist violence in the name of a fictional protection.

The "moot objection" included over 5 Million US residents who attended anti-war protests.


What the lies manufactured was not a "reality", it was an excuse.

Yeah, that grand conspiracy to make up a story about your opponent, and then leak it to the press after the election.

> namely that two of their writers were of the wrong persuasion almost 20 years ago

It was the editorial board, or perhaps I should say the organization at large. And it wasn't just Iraq, it's US interventions in lots of places that are supported and/or positively spun. Also - AFAIK, there was no process undertaken to try and avoid this occurring again.

Well you know you fuck one horse and you're a horse fucker for all of eternity

No, that’s not the extent of the criticism of the NYT. Here’s stratechery from a week ago quoting Columbia Journalism Review (https://stratechery.com/2020/twitter-responsibility-and-acco...)

> In light of the stark policy choices facing voters in the 2016 election, it seems incredible that only five out of 150 front-page articles that The New York Times ran over the last, most critical months of the election, attempted to compare the candidate’s policies, while only 10 described the policies of either candidate in any detail.

> In this context, 10 is an interesting figure because it is also the number of front-page stories the Times ran on the Hillary Clinton email scandal in just six days, from October 29 (the day after FBI Director James Comey announced his decision to reopen his investigation of possible wrongdoing by Clinton) through November 3, just five days before the election. When compared with the Times’s overall coverage of the campaign, the intensity of focus on this one issue is extraordinary. To reiterate, in just six days, The New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails as they did about all policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election (and that does not include the three additional articles on October 18, and November 6 and 7, or the two articles on the emails taken from John Podesta). This intense focus on the email scandal cannot be written off as inconsequential: The Comey incident and its subsequent impact on Clinton’s approval rating among undecided voters could very well have tipped the election.


But here’s the real kicker. It’s not that the NYT made a mistake about prioritising the wrong coverage and convincing undecided voters to break for Trump or stay home. People make mistakes and we should forgive them.

The real issue is that since then the NYT has convinced people that it was the Russians and Facebook and Cambridge Analytica that got Trump elected. Their breathless coverage of the email non issue had 0 influence, it was entirely the fault of everyone else.

And it worked! No one blames the NYT now for their mistake in 2016. Which is why Greenwald thinks it’s the right thing to do to start emails 2.0.

I don't know why you got downvoted, this is pretty much on spot without any counter indications.

This was typical elite-orientated journalism that articulated ideas to spread election talking points for Clinton. It was certainly no journalism, it was probably for rubbing some friends in Washington.

It’s actually easy to see why I was downvoted.

If you believe what is being said about the NYT it challenges a couple of core beliefs that many people (especially on this forum) might hold

1. Freedom of speech is not always a good thing. A free press reporting on topics like “but her emails” can have negative consequences, even if those journalists are acting in good faith.

2. People in the aggregate can’t be trusted to make sound judgements, even if that means democracy is built on shaky foundations. Give them all the information and let them take a call is a strategy that can backfire. Flat earth, anti vax, qanon are all ideologies with vast following online, regardless of how stupid they are.

When you challenge people’s core beliefs, it hurts them. They respond with downvotes.

> Flat earth, anti vax, qanon are all ideologies with vast following online, regardless of how stupid they are.

True, but I think that doesn't matter. On the contrary, would be boring if we all believed the earth was some ball, wouldn't it.

The op-ed page is not the same as the news, which is what I remember Bill Kristol being hawkish in.

Nope, not op-ed. This is a reference to Judith Miller, and others, that published false information in the New York Times about Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction on the front page.


Oh no. So that's how the aluminum tube information spread. Thanks for pointing this out, I stand corrected.

The two part PBS documentary[1] is a terrific source of information. From the events leading up to the war until the origin of ISIS skirmishes.

They explicitly cover the aluminum tube and how the government used a news paper article to justify their stance. It also covers the famous 16 words from Bush [1].

I found it fascinating to learn about all the internal politics during this period and the war state shapes the opinion of the masses. How does one go about justifying a war that has left millions dead, maimed, and traumatized for life, that has cost (and continues to) trillions of dollars, and continues to shape the world we live in today? Highly recommended.

[1] https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/frontline/frontline-bushs-...


[2] https://www.factcheck.org/2004/07/bushs-16-words-on-iraq-ura...

Judith Miller wasn't an op-ed columnist.

OTOH, ISTR that she was at least accused of actively deceiving her editors.

Op-ed is still part of the paper's message, considering they do not just publish a random sample of letters received, and editors can be fired for allowing the wrong op ed to run.

Apparently this is something that has totally stuck with the NYTimes. I respect them (for a mainstream media publication), but no one can get over the fact that they lied blatantly at the time.

Not just that, they chose to support the Bolshevik regime in Russia while their own correspondents knew about the massive starvation in Ukraine causing millions of deaths but that was not the narrative they want to push to the whole world. They wanted Communism to be a shining star and not report the facts. NYT is as biased as you can go.

So they were wrong 20 years ago, and another 80 years before that?

Even ignoring how these accusations oversell some supposedly uniform position of the the paper, that sounds like a pretty good batting average.

Ignoring how these accusations oversell some supposedly uniform position of the the paper, some countries have not completely recovered from either communism or the invasion, so it's not like it's some minor thing.

Greenwald fully supported the Iraq War as well.

Greenwald didn't become a journalist until 2005

Right that's who to blame not the party/President that actually executed it.

Good thing events can only ever be blamed on one single individuals actions.

This was supposed to be a joke but it's actually how people here talk about racism.

Yes. But relativelty that mighty fall makes them reek like trash. At that point, it's a duck.

What's worse is they continue to leverage their once-stellar reputations to sell second-rate "stuff" as "news". They've lowered to bar for the accepted definition of journalism.

They might not suck, but they're intentional pursuit falling has broad societal and cultural implications. Perhaps not 100% tabloid, but they use that tool enough to make it more and more legitimate.

To have a healthy and proper Democracy requires a coherent, honest and transparent Fourth Estate. That ship has sailed, and it was prior to Jan 2017.

Well the film Network deals with this theme and it came out in 1976 so I'd say that ship has sailed around the world a few times by now.


NYT is not an objective publication, they have a heavy bias.

Same with Wall Street Journal - the bias is ridiculously bare.

> WaPo and NYT aren't trash but they have fallen mightly

I would imagine its probably because their advertising revenue has been falling down because of the internet. You have to be flexible with your standards when your revenue is declining.

It's getting harder to buy this line as their financials keep getting better and better. They have nearly 5 million subscribers and aiming to hit 10mil by 2025. The advertising revenue isn't growing much, but subscriptions are.


It supports the OP's point. NY Times has switched from a revenues model to a subscriber model, which means they're strongly incentivized to publish articles that reinforce the worldviews of their paying customers. Before, when they were dependent on advertising, they needed to be objective and represent all viewpoints because they needed to reach as large an audience as possible.

Why would subscriptions over advertising change their target audience? It seems that either way they are trying to get as many eyeballs as possible. Getting repeat subscriptions versus repeat page views (or whatever the ad revenue metric) seems irrelevant to me.

Because of the publish something that does not say Orange Man Bad they will loose a bunch of their subscribers. Getting subscribers is much harder then loosing them.

Let’s say they covered Hunter Biden scandal. How much would that cost them? Quite a bit I bet

If that's the case there is no way to save the US. Everyone will keep screaming at each other based on the propaganda they buy into until the guns come out.

There has to be a way to present alternate ways of interpreting facts without immediately getting accused of partisan censorship. US media can't even agree on what the facts are without the partisan accusation coming out.

How to rebuild institutional trust once it's gone?

Not under the current paradigms for media and news. Other countries do somewhat better (Germany) but they too face rising nationalist movements.

The issue, amazingly, is Fox News and it’s ilk. Yet, the conversation here is the NYT.

This is a problem on two grounds

1) people talk about what they know. So like many discussions people nerd out on what they have information on.

2) The issue of Correlation vs causation in Fox’s impact on its viewers is pushed away for another day, when things are worse.

Is conservative pandering media causing a break from reality, or are they simply doing what they need to when dealing with their audience. Or perhaps both?

Is having someone like Rupert Murdoch and his children running the show a good thing ?

How could this be prevented ?

> The issue, amazingly, is Fox News and it’s ilk. Yet, the conversation here is the NYT.

That is because practically everyone on HN agrees Fox is bad, biased, etc. Therefore the debate is going to be implicitly about how bad the NYT is in relation to Fox.

A related factor is that it's hard for an educated person to get suckered by Fox. There are too many garish infographics and obvious nutjobs. It just does not give even a superficial impression of being Legitimate and Unbiased and Supported by the Best Experts. But the NYT does, and that's what makes it more dangerous.

If I go into "Uncle Cletus's Homeopathy Clinick", I kind of deserve whatever I get. But if another con man has a convincingly faked (or even real) Harvard M.D., then sets about poisoning lots of people through incompetence and apathy and greed, then everyone insists it can't possibly be his fault because he has an M.D. from Harvard...

...you can see why "Uncle Cletus is the real problem here" can seem nonresponsive. It is not even especially obvious to me which is "worse", "Uncle Cletus" or Fake M.D., even if we grant that Fake M.D. is somewhat better at medicine. I know I personally could get suckered by the latter but not the former, making the latter more dangerous to me.

> A related factor is that it's hard for an educated person to get suckered by Fox. There are too many garish infographics and obvious nutjobs. It just does not give even a superficial impression of being Legitimate and Unbiased and Supported by the Best Experts. But the NYT does, and that's what makes it more dangerous.

So, same reason why scam emails are rife with spelling errors.

They might actually face more criticism if they don't turn away the part of the audience with half a brain first.

US already had a civil war. It is sort of remarkable just how stable the republic been since founding.

Maybe US is due for another go. Unfortunately this time there will be no neat geographic divide and it will probably resemble Russian civil war. That scares the shit out of me, I am Canadian btw. Delegitimization of the elections, stuffing the court, non-stop riots, armed militias. Good vs Evil narrative.

This Pandemic has not been that bad, imagine if this thing was more deadly.. there is no unity, republic verges on the brink

>If that's the case there is no way to save the US. Everyone will keep screaming at each other based on the propaganda they buy into until the guns come out.

You say that like it's hyperbole but there's a hell of a lot of people who think we're on that track. What not everyone agrees on is whether it'll be a problem next Wednesday morning or a problem for our great^N grand kids.

From outside it looks like you have an media establishment that is keen of pitting people against each other.

I don't think removing information can work. You can however provide more plausible information. If you remove anything you might as well give it up because it will always be seen as paternalism not fitting a democracy.

In 2005 we already had insane conspiracies on the net. Instead of using them to elevate yourself to a mundane level, you better ignore them. People will get bored quickly.

The democrats greatest failure was probably not championing freedom and free speech. You don't give such a precious thing to your political enemies.

It is refreshing to see conservatives arguing for it. You shouldn't believe them, but liberals arguing for speech codes should reorient themselves. Best start would be yesterday.

It's not, you can safely ignore anyone so untethered to reality that they either a) parrot "orange man bad" to deflect any criticism of Trump or b) actually believe yet another emails story.

It's like there's this collective cultural shrug of acceptance whenever someone does something that 1) makes a profit 2) is technically legal.

And people just jump in with explanations of how it totally makes sense to act like that in the given the profit motive.

It sets a pretty low bar for expectations. Also, it gives a lot of power to individuals whose modus operandi is the above.

But why is this the expectation? You could also subscribe to and support a publication because they make the hard choices, also publish the unpopular news. Because you think this is important. However, if you do this, support the publication, but the publication starts chasing profit instead of truth, then in the US, joke's on you! Of course they would chase profit instead of truth, everybody will tell you.

It kind of reminds me of the Ferengi in Star Trek sometimes. Does the Star Trek universe perhaps offer any insight how they run a society when the entirety of this society is doing nothing but chase profit?

> Before, when they were dependent on advertising, they needed to be objective and represent all viewpoints because they needed to reach as large an audience as possible.

No, they needed to represent viewpoints that were palatable to their advertisers.

A US-centric, neo-liberal world-view does not really 'represent all viewpoints'.

Their revenue isn't declining, so the argument can't be based on their survival as a company. They are growing and there's multiple ways to grow. There's no excuse for being 'fallen' anymore.

I think it is the other way around. There are fewer advertisers than subscribers, so the publication's strategy tends to get optimized towards keeping those few(er) people happy.

Which could also mean that whatever they are doing when they "fell down" is working for them.

You don't have to, at least if you're private. There's the option to actually stop. That's not necessarily a horrible thing, even if some people think it is.

What we're really seeing is the difference between those that actually want to "provide the best X possible as a business" and those that "want to make money in the market for X".

Everyone says they are the former, but the difference is that those that actually are sometimes go out of business rather than compromise too far. Those that are the latter may not want to compromise too far but, well, "the goal is to make a profit, right?"

The Economist is quickly losing that reputation. I cancelled my subscription. The FT is still pretty good, though they shy away from anything critical of powerful corporations/individuals.

You can choose which bias to read, but you can't read unbiased news. If you think your news is unbiased, then it's the most dangerous kind of pandering.

being unbiased is not something you can be, it is something you can strive towards.

Biases are inescapable, but there is no need to be fatalist about it.

While they are very much in the neo-liberal Anglo-American bent, they still provide the most eclectic and readable collection of global stories in one format.

What about the economist made you cancel? My impression is that they're still doing a great job of providing trustworthy news which avoids sensationalism

When I read the Economist, I can't help but feel like I'm reading an advertisement for the center of the Anglo-American neoliberal Overton window, drafted by some recent grad who doesn't know who Allen Dulles was.

To rip off a pg-ism, they are intentional moderates. Intentional moderates are boring.

Boring is pretty adequate for news. I think entertainment is better found elsewhere.

There are different types of boring. When I read The Economist, I find their writing unchallenging, never broadening my worldview or making me rethink my preconceived notions.

Good journalism and opinion writing isn't boring, it's absolutely fascinating, and that's something I find The Economist lacks.

> I find their writing unchallenging, never broadening my worldview or making me rethink my preconceived notions.

Why would you want that? Amateurs adding a personal spin on topics they don't understand is bad news. Reading that will just make you more misinformed.

If news is just going to tell me what I already know and regurgitate what I already think, why bother reading it? Am I really more informed in a meaningful way if all I'm viewing is a carefully manicured slice of reality designed to keep me feeling comfortable?

I'm not asking for amateurs throwing in their two cents, I'm asking for actual journalists to do their job and speak truth to power.

As an example here is the type of story I want to see more of https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/sta...

Wow methadon as a painkiller?!

> For decades, methadone — a synthetic opioid developed in the 1930s by a German company — was associated not with pain relief but with weaning addicts off heroin and other drugs. The word summoned an image of clinics, often in seedy parts of town.

I mean that's what I know methadon from. Always has been and still is.

And I also know that it's not like a "safe" replacement for heroin to kick yourself off. It's absolute shit. But it helps with the heroin withdrawal, which is absolutely worse.

(not that I have any experience with heroin addiction, but I know some people that work at these addict care centres, that distribute methadon (not sure how this works though))

little addition, the same article says:

> A case from 2009 epitomizes this divide. Two sisters, injured in a car accident in South King County, needed pain relief. One, with private insurance, received OxyContin, an expensive drug. The other, on Medicaid, received methadone — and within a week, overdosed and died.

but OxyContin is also shit.

for very different reasons than methadone, that I won't go into here right now.

but fact of the matter is that neither are commonly prescribed as pain killer meds, outside the US.

our politicians actually want less people to be on oxycodon (the generic) because it's terribly addictive, and campaign against it.

The opposite of "boring" is "interesting". Not "entertainment".

I forgot the law's name, but with the Economist happens that every time I read an article about something I know the article leaves me dissatisfied. It is presented "objectively" but always key information is omitted if it goes against the Economist worldview (Free markets and liberal democracies led by center, center-left parties in USA and the UK is what is best for the world)

Gell-Mann Amnesia effect

That's correct! And I've asked myself, if these guys are presenting this lopsided article about Venezuela, Colombia , Costa Rica, what chance do I have to get a better information from them on Nepal, Denmark or Egypt?

I looked it up since I was unfamiliar with the name (but familiar with the concept).

In case anyone is wondering -https://www.epsilontheory.com/gell-mann-amnesia/

I had been a subscriber for almost 30 years. Loved their cheeky style and erudite, but clear writing.

In 2015, the publishing house Pearson sold their majority stake to a bunch of globalists: the Agnelli family, the Rotschilds, Cadbury, etc.[1]

I was not aware of this at the time, but noticed the change of direction a year or so later. Cancelled my subscription - sadly there are few real journalists left.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist

Pearson sold their majority stake of the B shares to the Agnelli family. They have no control over how the paper is run. The A shares are owned by the “globalists” and have been for as long as the paper has really existed. Furthermore, nobody is allowed to sell shares without the approval of an independent board who is able to veto any sale or purchase.

There’s been no change in editorial control or voice in the paper. It’s all you.

Many people (even on this board, in other threads over the past couple of years) made similar observations. So no, it is not "just me".

Given The Economist's neoliberal bent, why would the sale to "globalists" change their values?

Also, I'm not sure if it was intentional or not - but using the word "Globalists" as a pejorative for the Rothschilds is a very common anti-semitic tactic.

I think you are being paranoid - what has globalism got to do with anti-semitism? There are plenty of globalists of varying nationalities/religions.

Globalist is a commonly used dog-whistle to talk about Jews which itself lacks a clear and useful definition.

Neoliberal has a clear definition. "Top 1% of the 1%" has a clear meaning. "Globalist" does not. "Globalism" isn't an ideology so far so I understand it.

For that reason I understand it to be a word that signals something about the writer more so than it describes something about the subject. But I could be overfitting this curve.

To me globalists - the top 0.1%, with their business interests spread over the world, completely unaccountable to any government (in fact, increasingly influencing/corrupting governments around the world with their money).

And attempting to sprinkle anti-semitism into it is just a (typical) attempt to make the word "globalist" socially unacceptable. Nothing to do with Jews, but hey, nice try.

You are correct in your view of who the globalists are. The only racist idea here is that all of those people are Jews. The idea that saying “globalist” is an anti-Semitic pejorative is just an idea being installed by Globalist Propagandists and their (witting or not) repeaters, to make it socially risky for anyone to discuss their nefarious deeds when labeled in a way that promotes pattern recognition by readers.

I mean, it's not "just" propaganda; but that is a possibility that certainty muddies the waters and would benefit people wanting the topic underdiscussed.

Though generally I just refer to these people as Reptilians.

If you are in a card game and you don't know who the patsy is, it's you.

What is your definition of "globalist"?

FT has some pretty critical op-ed sections of corporations, almost bitter.

Wrong. Wirecard.

Yup they single handedly took down wirecard and risked their reputation for it.

> Economist, FT and the WSJ

I have print subscriptions to the first 2 but I disagree because what I recall from working in blue collar jobs is that people who would benefit from that world view will not bother. they spend their days thinking about basic survival and when they pick up a paper (on the bog) just want to be entertained. Sadly the typical reader of the Economist never had to deal with anyone from the "lower" classes. They consider them as something they need protection from. A minimum wage, social safety net and working health care system usually goes a long way in preventing this divide from growing into a normal (like in the US - or very poor countries that share that class divide as a common property with the US).

I do very much love the outstanding clear graphics the Economist does with most of their stories. And I agree with others’ comments about the NYT web design team—awesome talents! But the overt bias of the paper is such turn off. They’ve lost all objectivity. Sad.

WSJ has pretty biased opinion section though where they have almost no standards.

That's better than other newspapers whose whole news section is just an opinion section by all metrics.

I agree (as someone to left of the wsj median), but it's worth knowing that the editorial desk is an entirely different team from the opinion desk (with different standards etc)

Is this good? I don't think so, but it's worth being aware of, like to understand "why is that brand diluting itself with an opinion desk?" (I don't have a satisfying answer though)


Which is typical of the approach Murdoch takes with his "high brow" media properties. Quality news, batshit crazy opinion.

pretty biased opinion section

Like, that's what an editorial page is? What you are really saying is, they don't have the same bias as you. As for standards, that's really unfair. They have high standards and are much more apt to invite opposing opinions than the NYT, or WaPo. They refused to endorse Trump in 2016. Good people can disagree with you for real reasons, not because they have lower standards.

There's bias and then there's intentional misleading. Providing a platform for the Koch etc funded think-tanks doesn't fit into "just bias". Eg their attempts to undermine climate science.

Again, you’re just confusing disagreement for bias. As if The NY Times or WaPo don’t provide a platforms for left wing think tanks? Are you worried about the bias of The NY Times Editorial page when they undermine the science of gender or IQ? The WSJ editorial page should be the most important thing you read every day so you can actually understand the reasoning (yes reason) of people with different positions than you.

No, there's not a "both sides do it" situation in this production of intentionally misleading content in the most prominent newspapers.

If you believe so, then you should try to break out of your bubble a little more.

see the recent insurrection at WSJ reported eg as " 280+ Wall Street Journal Journalists Sign Letter Blasting Opinion Section for ‘Lack of Fact-Checking’ and ‘Disregard for Evidence’" (https://www.thewrap.com/280-wall-street-journal-journalists-...)

Your comment is fully compatible with my comment above.

The first problem is agreement on facts.

For example, the following are questioned and dismissed by large numbers of opinion pages in the WSJ and other Murdoch papers and media outlets:

* Is COVID a pandemic?

* Is climate change happening at a rate that is unprecedented in archeological and geological time?

* Is that climate change due to human activities?

Let alone ridiculous assertions like claiming that the Democratic party in the US espouses "socialist" policies or that the GOP party has "fiscal conservatism" as an underlying principle.

Do you think climate change is happening at a greater rate now than it did at the K-T boundary?

Which billionaires should I be afraid of the Koch Bros or Bezos and Soros? I'm losing track. Tell me who I should hate.

Might as well add the Masshole, 'strayan and Cheeto in Cheif to that list.

I can't think of a single politically involved billionaire who doesn't have at least a couple very onerous "keep the unwashed masses under control" type policies they are trying to advance.


Every single one of them. But if we are to make a ranking, I think spreading climate denial to protect your oil empire does do a lot make you uniquely loathe worthy.

Hate I'm not sure about, but you should be nervous and distrustful of anyone to whom buying a PR firm is relatively cheap (as in, 2-3 days income cheap).

Depends on if you like the letter R or the letter D.

The great thing about biased opinion in a financial newspaper is that if you trade based on that opinion, chances are you'll lose money.

From 2008 through 2016, WSJ opinion hammered on the supposed fiscal recklessness of the US federal government, warned that inflation and interest rates would skyrocket, and fretted about bond vigilantes.

If you traded on this opinion and shorted long-term bonds, you would have lost a lot of money. Naturally, their promised inflation, interest rates and bond vigilantes never materialized.

Curiously, they've been mostly silent about fiscal recklessness since 2016, despite $3 trillion deficits.

It makes complete sense to me to not be honest with your opinion on economic predictions. It would be insider trading light. And if you could broadcast misinformation to a broader public of traders...

Fortunately, it's likely that they'll again have a chance to start harping on fiscal recklessness, starting on January 21st, 2021.

In fairness, all those things are the expected outcomes of hugely profligate spending and have been seen in other economies that adopted the same policies. It's surely a bit of an open question why the USA, and to some extent other western countries, have been able to sustain such huge deficits for so long apparently in defiance of financial gravity. I think you're implying the WSJ's interest in the topic was entirely political in nature, but it's also possible they just noticed that their predictions kept not coming true and dropped it for that reason. After all, Trump promised big spending with tax decreases, with correspondingly huge deficits, and there doesn't seem to have been any negative effect of that (yet).

Yes, in the same edition of the newspaper, in the news section, the Hunter Biden "story" was evaluated and found without merit.

Meanwhile, in the opinion pages, Strassell promoted it with abandon.

The story is still developing and had several major points that are clearly worth further investigation. Please don't dismiss this issue as without merit, this will be investigated long after the election no matter who wins.

The only ongoing developments in this story are embarrassing revelations that show what an amateur hour version of Russian disinformation this is and the sort of idiots who are prepared to believe it (and the useful idiots like Greenwald who get paid to promote it.) Not only do we have the Tucker Carlson "USPS ate my homework" saga, we have the verification source that turns out to be completely made up.

Totally. Without. Merit.

Here's ABC news from June of last year: https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1322376502403604480?...

Glenn Greenwald is probably the last neutral journalist. Respected worldwide for publishing the Snowden story, which the conservative establishment was totally against, he is completely independent of partisan politics, and is after the real story.

Glenn Greenwald is a hack. He stumbled into his one big scoop (Snowden) and since then has not really distinguished himself or shown that one case to be anything more than a lucky break. He is not independent of partisan politics, he is simply partisan on an anti-establishment axis.

note that the economist, ft and wsj are neither impartial nor a well-rounded balance of daily record. but yes, wapo and nyt--and i'll add npr--have largely turned into partisan opinionating (which i'd coin covidizing, if i had any such clout), save a few longer-form investigative pieces (which have a leaning via editorial discretion, but aren't typically editorialized).

I've stopped caring about institutions' reputations because I don't need them to gatekeep for me anymore.

If I want to read about finance, I can read Matt Levine. If I want to read about law I can read Eugene Volokh. If I want to read about about security I can read Bruce Schneier. In every category I care about, there are writers who are experts who make their expert opinions known without me having to subscribe to the Economist, FT, or the WSJ, all of which are great, all of which I grew up reading.

But I think I'm done with their gatekeeping now, I don't need it.

WaPo and NYT are trash and that was made nakedly obvious in 2016. It's more blatant now than it was then, but I guess if you didn't notice it then, you won't notice it now.

Ok, so what are your experts on housing policy? On agrarian policy? On international trade? On Newfoundland state politics? On medicine?

The number of areas where you can personally vet your experts is very small. For the rest, you must either choose to be uninformed or you can choose an organization to vet those experts for you. Trust is transitive.

This may be true in general. But the these particular. organizations have demonstrated that they are not trustworthy. So now what? Trusting known liars is a foolish path.

Those are opinion writers not journalists.

It’s a sad state of affairs when people confuse the two.

You’ve been downvoted but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. There’s lots of debate in these comments about how journalism is dying due to various monetization schemes, organization and lower dynamics, etc. But I personally think the issue is that we, as news consumers, are becoming lazier and are simply looking for someone to tell us what to think, rather than a comparatively dry report on the facts that then requires the reader to make do their own analysis. Opinion articles seem to be what dominates traditional media outlets like the NYT and WP, while 24 hour news networks don’t even label it as opinion, they just bring on pundits to comment on every single thing that happens.

Journalism has stopped being about reporting what happened, and has become increasingly focused on telling you what to think about what happened. Perhaps it’s always been that way, but the internet has accelerated and further enabled it to the point where it feels like journalism as an institution is collapsing.

Journalism has stopped being about reporting what happened, and has become increasingly focused on telling you what to think about what happened

And on the other hand, it's about reporting what might happen. What I'm seeing around me is that "news reporting" is more often than not speculation about tomorrow's events, rather than reporting about today's events. Maybe it's for the same reason, reporters feel that today's events have already been covered to death because of the hype news cycle, so they turn to speculation rather than confirmation and contextualization?

> Journalism has stopped being about reporting what happened, and has become increasingly focused on telling you what to think about what happened.

No, it hasn't become any more about that than it has been for centuries. How it's changed within the recent past is it's become more diverse in the ideological slant of outlets, so every major outlet isn't telling you the same thing to think about what happened, regardless of slight divergences in the information they select to include about what actually happened. So, more of the difference in outlets is on narrative/spin than fact details. This makes the spin more noticeable.

For general news, I would still prefer the common touchstone, and diversity of an Economist, FT, Post or NYT. Each of these papers has their weak and strong points (ie. some have covered tech better than others).

In more specialized fields, sure nothing beats an expert.

I still don't understand why (apart from money) the major cable news networks allow Paid Partner trash to fill up the bottom of the front page of their websites. "Leading gut doctor: I beg every American to throw out this vegetable NOW!" type nonsense.

> "Leading gut doctor: I beg every American to throw out this vegetable NOW!" type nonsense.

That and obscure investments into shitcoins. I get that the FDA and every other public health agency worldwide has more pressing problems than quacks, but what are the SEC and their European counterparts doing all day? I'd expect them to investigate scams and questionably legal "investment" opportunities.

>but what are the SEC and their European counterparts doing all day?

Raking in the $$$ fining banks for missing technicalities on reporting and whatnot.

Look at the incentives and you can predict the outcome.

It's the same reason the DOT spends their time harassing scrap haulers and dump trucks for being a few pounds overweight rather than trying to track down the people driving on no sleep or systematically skirting the rules. Fining people for petty BS is the financial meat and potatoes of their operation. Good Old Fashioned Police Work (TM) is just a loss leading sideshow to keep public approval high enough to get money. It's like how Red Bull's primary business is selling energy drinks but they also have a bunch of extreme sports ventures for PR purposes.

Pretty much every enforcement agency is like that. You want to see the EPA, OSHA or SEC or whoever levy big company ending fines that scare everyone into compliance then you need to take away the low effort to enforce petty stuff that is the bulk of their revenue stream.

Short answer is that they pay a lot.

I had never seen the word "parametdynamicser" before. Googling lead me back here. Although it does ask if I meant "parameter dynamics".

Could you explain what you meant with it?

> This is why the Economist

Do you actually read the economist? The publication has downgraded quality enormously since 2004, when I first start reading the economist as a subscriber and not casually.

For the economist to make sense you have to accept reality in very simplistic terms, e.g. "US/NATO good, Iran/Russia/China bad". If you can live with this simple worldview, than the ecconomist is fine.

> Economist

The economist has some of the worst journalism I have ever seen. Lots of snark and no information.

The issue is not everyone can afford to pay for real unbiased journalism

Surely that has never been true.

Why not?

Well said. I think there is an element were individuals in the system, say journalists like Greenwald, may understand and see how dishonest their organization has become, and how it’s turning into a partisan tabloid, and some of the audience do too. However, they can’t easily voice their opinion or disagree without paying a price. Granted in this case he did speak up and put his job on the line, but many others probably just stay quiet and employed. So the tabloidization just spreads like cancer.

On another level I think they are selling their ability to change public opinion. That’s for to anyone willing to pay. Large companies, governments, political campaigns and so on.

Chomsky said somewhere that with media like this, you can often invert what they are saying to find the truth. Especially if they say “don’t look here, nothing to see here, look over there instead”. That could be a clue there is something really interesting they are hiding. The more effort they are expending, the more interesting the information. This laptop story has that kind of a vibe to it.

If there was nothing to it, and it was a fabrication, they would gladly turn it into a 24/7 advertisement money maker, exposing the fakery and showing everyone their journalistic investigative skills. But this level of suppression certainly raises my eyebrows...

Why would Substack solve this? It's just a more refined Medium with better monetization opportunities. Being on Substack doesn't mean the author is trustworthy, only that they have content that people will engage with (and potentially pay for), which is still the same KPI you're referring to.

Substack allows you to subscribe (paid) to an individual journalist or publication. They can then post long-form stories to your inbox. That gives them the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with you where credibility matters.

At any rate, that is the argument. I don't think it will work, because buying journalism one journalist at a time is too expensive. Hell, buying it one paper at a time is too expensive. The better approach is the Apple News Plus or Google News one, where you pay a single subscription for a very wide range of outlets.... But, their idea isn't crazy.

> "buying journalism one journalist at a time is too expensive"

Yes and no. It is if you want to get all of your daily news that way. But if it's an area you care about and you're somewhat affluent, it's well worth the money. (I'd think a good chunk of HN e.g. has a subscription to Stratechery)

It's a workable strategy for a few extremely good journalists. But there are a lot of issues with it.

Societally, this is problematic in that it makes decent reporting a luxury good. Long-term, this is a problem because there's no institution where junior journalists can learn the trade. In terms of information, it's a problem because there'll likely be no way to get a wider overview of world news in that way.

See: the entire art world.

You can sell on a piece of art though.

Here are licensing the right to consume text without any ownership or ability to redistribute. It's more akin to Netflix.

And people are already complaining about having to pay too many aggregators, paying per TV episode is completely out of the question as the way forward.

I paid $50 for a year of Matt Taibbi. Literally the first time I have ever paid money for journalism, and it has been worth every penny.

I did too, until I realized that Taibbi is basically the exact same thing we are all railing against here. It quickly becomes clear that Taibbi puts out almost nothing but counter-outrage porn. Virtually every article was some variation on how the media is stoking public anger against wrongthink.

And it’s not that I think he’s wrong. I think he’s absolutely right. The problem is that it’s basically nothing but opinion pages from someone I already agree with. That’s not news, and it’s not journalism. The problem with modern journalism is that opinion columns seem to have completely overtaken plain, boring reporting. It’s text media outlets mirroring the strategies of 24 hour news networks, in which simply reporting the news is given an increasingly small amount of attention, in favor of “analysis” from pundits and panelists who basically tell an individual what to think. People simply find the outlet or panelist that most closely agrees with what they already feel.

Taibbi doesn’t fix this, he is literally just more of the same. He just does it with a less mainstream viewpoint that appeals to people like you and me.

I also subscribe to Taibbi. I have a slightly more positive impression than you.

Yes, it's true that his thing is meta-journalism with dollops of amusingly worded outrage - "the first pebbles from the towering Matterhorn of bullshit that was the Steele dossier" was an enjoyable sentence in a recent article.

But it isn't just opinion. He backs up his statements with references, facts, summaries of what's going on and generally puts what's happening in context, which is exactly what a journalist is meant to do. I can't possibly follow the whirlwind of immediately forgotten "scandals" that typify American political news, nor can I or do I want to spend all my time watching CNN or obsessively following other US news outlets. I'm not even in the US. But the summarisation of what's happening Taibbi does is useful to me because the meta-story of what's happening with the distribution of news is interesting and relevant. For instance, I learned about how the US media were ignoring the Hunter Biden story via Taibbi. I'm not interested in Hunter Biden but I am interested in the descent of the US media landscape into being an arm of the Democrats. That's what Taibbi (and Greenwald) are currently providing, and it's worth paying for.

> But it isn't just opinion. He backs up his statements with references, facts, summaries of what's going on and generally puts what's happening in context, which is exactly what a journalist is meant to do.

No it’s not. Most opinion pieces have some kind of facts or summaries included to make their argument. The difference between journalism and the newsroom is that they stop at the facts and the summaries, and opinions go on to tell you how you should interpret them (in the author’s view). That’s what Taibbi does. I too tend to agree with his opinions, but people here are confusing “agreeing with his opinions” with “he’s a much better journalist than those found in standard media outlets”. He shouldn’t be considered a journalist, as he exclusively writes opinion pieces.

I think you mean he shouldn’t be considered a reporter, which is the term for a journalist who reports the news with minimal interpretation. There are very few reporters left.

>buying journalism one journalist at a time is too expensive.

I think this closed view is partially do to how we consume media as a service vs. a cheap one time payment/view. I'm not sure if substack is a solution or if micropayments will ever kick off, but I don't see how it is more expensive to pay the journalist directly if the mass publishing mechanism is solved.

Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. It may turn out that the "V" in MVP here necessarily required monetization, for those who see journalism as the search for truth, not the search for clicks, to take the leap of going indie. Certainly if that trend continues we ought to expect larger organization - where solo-indies merge into mini-guilds, and so on, hopefully to the point where these become large organizations comparable to the 'old' media companies before they shifted away from journalism. Certainly Taibbi and Greenwald could be the first "dyad" to collaborate within this alternative media universe, so that might give us a clue of what organizing principles this new world may operate under, with these new incentives.

Being on Substack solves the problem of censorship by way of one's editor or organization. It re-introduces the problem of unedited journalism; i.e journalism that isn't passed through a degree of peer review to ensure rigour. It seems as though it's no longer guarantee both full journalistic freedom and rigour at the same time.

The "peer review" being provided by most media outlets appears to be worse than useless, as Greenwald's experience shows. Typos and spelling errors can be fixed by machines for a very long time already. Editing for space is less necessary when writing for the infinitely long pages of the web - a good writer knows how much detail their audience wants better than an editor does. It's not clear why news has to be filtered through biased editors anymore when technology has eliminated space and distribution constraints.

A nitpick on technical language: what you describe is a _positive_ feedback loop. A negative feedback loop is one that is able to calibrate its output by applying corrections to fluctuations. On the other hand, a positive feedback is one which can grow out of control, because it does the opposite. I think that's what you meant when describing how failing media outlets will double-down on the wrong strategy.

> The media has fallen into the well-known trap of optimizing the wrong KPI. You want to maximize trust with the public, not engagement, if you want your media company to survive if its value proposition is providing journalism and the usual benefits that come with a free press.

That's a big 'if'. The 'media's value prop is not to promote a free press. Those that believe that to be the case are quickly going extinct.

> This does mean that there's a huge opportunity if you assume trust is something people will pay for. [...] I think the market will correct this error

If it's true (I don't think it is), and to the degree that you can sustain a business over many years. I don't think it's even possible to be true, because the money itself is corrupting. The market cannot correct what doesn't require correction.

I think where your analysis fails is that you presume that the media has shifted their position on their own. They haven't; they've reacted to the public. It's actually a positive feedback loop, not negative -- it's just that it's positive in the direction you dislike. We cannot depend on or hope for market correction. A free press in modern times requires public funding.

That hasn’t worked recently. Look at NPR. It’s been captured.

> The media has fallen into the well-known trap of optimizing the wrong KPI. You want to maximize trust with the public, not engagement

KPI for whose benefit? Shareholders or the 'public good'? Why would a for-profit entity optimize for the public good over profits?

Fox news is crushing all their competitors optimizing for engagement.

Who is winning optimizing for trust?

And a vast majority of Fox's growth has been from talking faces, not news. Tucker Carlson has mentioned several times that he's "not the news", but an opinion commentator. I think this reinforces the OPs point.

Maybe we need to have more strict regulations on what can call itself a "news agency", when most of its programming is entertainment opinion commentary.

Many journalists lobbied themselves into a position where they can only be seen as opinion commentators, so we have little else anymore. You just have to pick the opinion you like most. This is not an endorsement of Carlson, just for the record.

The conversation here is missing this point and the actual market dynamics - news pays crap.

Advertising goes to the place with most eyeballs.

If you had to choose between the super bowl and Tucker Carlson, it’s not hard to guess where the ad will go.

The internet killed off the classifieds so that leaves even less money for news firms.

Add in consolidation and king making functions under Murdoch - and media firms like Fox have a very different purpose now.

The business of News is losing to the business of entertainment.

No one wants to pay to be bored.

The only people who will pay for boring news are people who get more value out of it than boredom.

This is a society level issue, not industry level issue.

It goes back to what a company's value proposition is. Media companies certainly benefit from optimizing this KPI, but it means they are now going to become entertainment companies. This isn't necessarily "bad" from the standpoint of the media companies or their shareholders, but insofar as the people who make up those organizations still want the company's value proposition to their customers to be providing journalism, the company has failed. Given the culture of journalism being a mission-oriented pursuit, it's fair to assume that many people will feel remorse at these changes occurring within these organizations, even if those organizations become very valuable entertainment companies.

It's not a trap, it just is. In the end you're forced to choose: revenue or something else?

"Sufficiently Powerful Optimization Of Any Known Target Destroys All Value ... when we optimize for X but are indifferent to Y, we by default actively optimize against Y, for all Y that would make any claims to resources" https://thezvi.wordpress.com/2019/12/31/does-big-business-ha...

What do you make of the idea that independent journalists on the web being the future?

They are an alternative, but not a substitute for institutional journalism.

News exists to give you an approximate representation of what is happening without having to invest too much effort in actual investigation. It is built on trust. If you have to build trust with each individual journalist you follow a la carte, then that makes the entry barrier to following the news much higher.

There is no royal road to trust in journalism, to paraphrase a famous mathematician. If venerable institutions such as the New York Times can be corrupted by the transition to new media and the excesses of the zeitgeist, then there is no quick fix in the form of trust in institutions.

The web, more than any other medium before it, has elevated the individual. Therefore, it stands to reason that we ought to place our trust in the individual alone, for whom reputation remains meaningful, and for whom the holding of accountability remains possible.

Agreed. It is the best approach. I think it is laughable that editorial reasons for publishing are brought to front. I actually remember the political articles I read from the last years. I wouldn't have released the Biden story but certainly not because of alleged editorial reasons. Everyone lies, but you should set sensible limits.

One source of news that I find particularly trustworthy and impartial (partially because there is no way to financially profit from twisting it, AFAIK) is Wikipedia's current events page[0].

Someone else shared this on HN in the last few weeks, and I've been looking at it almost daily.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Current_events

> It is built on trust. If you have to build trust with each individual journalist you follow a la carte, then that makes the entry barrier to following the news much higher.

While this may be true theoretically, it's already been disproven in practice. People believe almost anything posted on the Internet, whether it is a no-name website or a random tweet that goes viral.

> People believe almost anything posted on the Internet,

Some people certainly do. Whether the majority of voters as a whole do has not been proven to me.

There are still millions of loyal subscribers to the big institutions like NYT, WSJ, WaPo, etc.

It won't work, we will simply just have a collection of disparate, narrowly focused and financially limited sources, from which anyone can draw to reinforce whatever view of the world they already have. You need an instution with the resources to look deep and wide and enough of a reputation that people will listen when it reports something they do not like.

Same is it ever was; IF Stone was one of the greats of his era, and he basically fed himself with a private newsletter.


It isn’t reasonable to expect independent journalists to take over the work that news media currently engages in. While there are legitimate criticisms of media companies becoming too large and being driven by outrage based engagements, they also provide the resources for some of the best journalists to spend a large part of their lives dedicated to digging into a story rather than worrying about how to make ends meet.

The press is a pillar of American democracy. Independent journalists are great but they just won’t have the same power or credibility as they do when they’re organized.

And, to the degree that they're actually doing investigative journalism, it's really hard to see how the finances work out. I guess there's patronage of various sorts but that tends not to work very well and certainly isn't very scalable.

My sense is that trust is the invariant in the reader-writer relationship. (Lack of) financing is one method to undermine trust, and a method that news organizations are not immune to. Just look at what the internet has done to them!

I'm curious about independent accreditation that journalists can attain and what kind of signal that could provide to contemporary distribution methods. It's easier for Twitter's algorithm to trust such an agency than it is to somehow infer credibility from the lame like/retweet signals it has direct access to.

If I take your argument at face value (that you want to maximise trust), publishing an article which is critical of someone is likely to reduce the audience's trust in you - I believe this holds true in personal interactions, whether or not they agree and whether or not you are being truthful.

So it doesn't seem to me that it's "trust" you are aiming for here.

Agree, but maybe "the market" will NOT correct this error, maybe we need some key regulations, or maybe we need a little more infusion of money to public-funded journalism?

Call me a pessimist, but this core issue is a threat to democracy, and I'm not sure we can rely entirely on "the market" to auto-correct itself.

This is a really great way of looking at the problem. Unfortunately it’s also really hard to balance the incentives throughout a media org in a way that works - see pg’s famous “submarine” article. There’s just too much value in manipulating your audience, selling or trading access, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8pkCZBjgrk Glenn Greenwald on fox news (starting with 4:00) My summary: During the last four years the left lost its scepticism towards the secret service, this as the CIA has tried to topple Trump. Now they are in the same boat (in his words 'full union with') the CIA/security state. Snowden was motivated by his anger at the interference of the NSA in internal affairs (who are all supposed to deal in foreign affairs only), now the whole lot is deep within internal matters and 'telling Americans what to think'. He says the whole thing is very dangerous - as the CIA guys are professional disinformation specialists with an authoritarian mindset, and they are likely to gain a lot of influence.

I agree there is a huge opportunity for a trusted institution to do journalism. But who would anyone trust? The incentives in the media point towards pandering and outraging. Left to the shareholders a news organization is mandated to maximize short term profit in whatever way it can. So capitalism is out. Perhaps a benevolent billionaire could support such an effort? But again, who would trust him? Its a pikle.

there is a huge opportunity for a trusted institution to do journalism

There are new media organizations that do very good work, independently. But you have to look for them, and most people are too lazy to bother seeking out quality journalism when the garbage is forced in front of them every waking second by social media.

The other problem is that most of the good work is regional. WTTW in Chicago, The Texas Tribune in Texas, various public radio stations around the country. There's plenty of good journalism. But it's an effort to piece it all together.

I have looked, many times, and I have not been able to find a single institution I would trust to keep me broadly informed. I do not think the problem is lazyness. What would you recommend for US coverage?

US coverage

...and there lies the problem/laziness.

The United States is far to large, populous, and diverse to expect a single entity to do a good job covering the entire country.

It's like reading an encyclopedia entry about wine and expecting to get insights into how 1,000 different varieties taste.

Or closer to the point, I don't expect to understand what's happening in Bangkok by reading the news in Tokyo. It's all Asia, right?

Your last point is really good but there is still such a thing as a national political scene and federal government in the US, and it's a beat that we can expect a journalistic institution to cover. (despite an entire continent rolling up to those 535+ really important people).

This was a story about one of two people running for President, and an allegedly corruption-focused outlet wouldn't run it. Wtf. "Trump is worse" isn't a reason not to run that, we all know, it's everywhere all the time in all media.

This is among the oddest conversation for a startup focused board.

What is the market size ?

Recently there was a debacle in India where a news channel corrupted the ratings system.

In the discussions that followed, it turns out that the news industry pays peanuts.

If there is no real market, and just passion projects and idealism- then what’s going on?

Matter of fact India is a good example of what happens. Small independent teams making good news content and the vast majority of the news corrupted into ratings farms.

There may not be any market here.

There is a market, but probably not as good as the market for selling influence and peddling outrage.

It's not like there can be only one news organisation. You could say that the incentives point to making a product that most people can afford but there are still companies making $50k watches and million dollar cars.

Sure the largest news organisations will always be serving up garbage for the unwashed masses but there should still be room for one optimising for trust.

I think you just need to find a way to align incentives. Capitalism can work just fine. The reason we're in this situation in part is because the skills and resources you garner for delivering journalism happen to overlap with those needed to deliver political tabloids. We don't worry about air conditioner manufacturers magically becoming insurance companies, because its hard to do so. So ultimately if you align incentives enough I think you can make it increasingly unlikely a specific 'truth seeking' organization will slide into tabloids. But I don't know the formula. It might boil down to re-baking the culture which awards good journalism and bootstraps itself off of valid credentialism.

Not every problem can be solved by the free market. You need to be driven by something more than greed to become the eyes and ears of the nation.

What amazing comment.

the danger when we do change who is President in the US is we get a complicit press, a press that does not look, and worse a press that prevents looking

This is why the antri trust against Google is so important, to make it easier for the media to sell subscriptions so as not to have to resort to clickbait.

That's not the issue here. Greenwald just doesn't like having editors and thinks he's above having them, when he's clearly not after desperately pushing a clear propaganda story.

IDK what you're talking about here since First Look Media is a non-profit that runs no ads. You talk about the need to maximize trust and stringent editorial guidelines are part of that. This is a story that even most conservative media didn't want to touch because it was so fishy. Greenwald has always worn his bias on his sleeve and the article and editorial objections (both linked from this post) are pretty clear on that. His entire article is saying the media are covering a poorly-sourced and inconclusive story aggressively enough. His opinion is larded with weaselly statements about how there's no evidence of wrongdoing but there could be. That's terrible journalism and the editor knows it. Greenwald has absolutely always been like this. He's the sensationalist and The Intercept was trying to keep him in line.

Glenn had a 3 hour long conversation on a podcast a few days ago where he laid out the problem really well:

Journalists have essentially become socialites. They don't want to publish articles that will rock the boat, because the people they are friends with are the ones that own that boat, invite them to parties, and are a part of their friend groups.

The reporting around this story has been absolutely unbelievable to me. This story seems like the type of thing that would normally make peoples' entire journalistic career, and yet the journalists, the people who are supposed to be a part of our protection and sense-making system are actively trying to suppress it.

It's actually surreal to see this happening.

It's also the kind of story that can break someone's journalistic career.

Even Fox News wouldn't run the story because it wasn't supported by facts.

And last I heard, there still has been no concrete evidence of wrongdoing. Tucker Carlson claims that his evidence "got lost in the mail". In the age of the internet, they didn't snap any photos of this so-called proof?

There is no "there" there. Just a bunch of internet sleuths with MS paint red circles and theories about deep states. And your comment falls into this category.

Further, the NY Post struggled to find in-house writers that would put their name to the story because they weren't confident about the story's credibility. Of the two bylines, one found out after the fact.


Glenn Greenwald is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. He broke the Snowden story--another sensational-sounding scoop which likely sounded like total bullshit at first.

Is it possible that Mr. Greenwald is a better judge of whether or not there is a story here?

Greenwald didn't have to do any work for the Snowden stories, Snowden approached Greenwald. And from my understanding, Snowden didn't approach Greenwald because he was the "best" journalist to break the story. Snowden had an existing relationship with Barton Gellman of the Washington Post who Snowden also leaked to. But Greenwald was willing to put an encrypted key in the leaks to help Snowden prove he was the leaker to foreign governments while seeking asylum, which Gellman wasn't willing to do.

Then Greenwald parlayed having Snowden approach him into becoming a celebrity journalist. So Greenwald is a guy who takes a lot of credit for being in the right place at the right time and someone else handing him a scoop. Exactly the kind of person I wouldn't trust.

Greenwald released a story that got Lula Da Silva released from prison and seriously damaged the Bolsenaro regime in Brazil.

He has an outstanding reputation all around the world and is trusted by left leaning allies all over the world doing interviews with countless heads of states or opposition leaders.

He also was a reputable journalist even before the Snowden stuff do to work that investigated many of the evils of the Bush administration.

Greenwald’s story did damage Bolsonaro’s reputation, but I don’t think it had much to do with Lula’s release.

no support for those assertions provided. Never heard /anything/ like that before. Color me suspicious, sure. But if you've got the supporting evidence I'll change my tune...

Listen to Barton Gellman on the Longform podcast or read his book.

Not to be crass but I think just throwing a book out doesn't help to give evidence-- I think they are looking for specific examples.

He/she said there isn’t evidence for what I was claiming, I told them where I got the info & where they can find it themselves. Couldn’t be a more straightforward interaction.



Whether you've misremembered it or you are accurately reporting Barton Gellman's claim it appears to be totally and utterly false. That's not super-surprising, it would be everywhere and in every story about Snowden's leak and exile if it were true.

"The Post just barely beat The Guardian in publishing the PRISM story on Thursday by about 20 minutes — "

"Gellman told The Huffington Post last week that he “started to hear some footsteps, so I had to move” on the PRISM story. There’s no question it was a race to publish, and although Gellman said he “would have been happier to have had a day or two” longer on the story, the Post had to move to get that scoop online before The Guardian."


Snowden, who was one of Greenwald’s longtime readers, tells me in an e-mail. “Glenn tells the truth no matter the cost, and that matters.”

I'm not here to litigate this, Gellman has one take on it, Greenwald has his own. It's up to you who to listen to.

Yeah, I'll go with Snowden. It's false.

The namesake of the Pulitzer prize, Joseph Pulitzer, was one of the foremost proponents of yellow journalism. Rudy Giuliani, an American hero for a couple of years after 9/11, is now a foreign asset for all intents and purposes. Having prestige doesn't make you infallible, it just means you were in the right place at the right time.

But this isn't what GP is saying. No one is claiming that Greenwald is infailable. What I believe GP is pointing out is that someone who has worked on stories of similar caliber, like Greenwald, is likely to be a better judge of whether or not there is a story.

I think that's a fair assessment to make.

GP makes an appeal to authority, so no it's not fair.

Appeals to authority are sometimes legitimate. For example, "well, the judge in the last case like this thought..." is a very reasonable appeal to authority for example.

In this case, appealing to a Pulitzer-winning journalist's ability to judge the credibility and possible scope of a story is reasonable.

I mean, we just had a Nobel Peace Prize winner who perpetrated genocide.

The Pulitzer-winning journalist has quit his publication because he could not provide a fact check on his assertions, a rather basic journalistic standard.

The Pulitzer-winning journalist supported the 2nd Iraq War.

The Pulitzer-winning journalist burned Reality Winner.

>The Pulitzer-winning journalist burned Reality Winner.

Completely and totally factually false. He had nothing to do with that story, it's editing and saw it for the first time when it was published.

>The Pulitzer-winning journalist supported the 2nd Iraq War.

Huh? I don't believe he was a journalist or a writer at all at the time of the Iraq war. You can't commit a failure of journalism when you're not publishing anything, surely. Maybe he supported it silently? Maybe he had a private opinion before following such stories closely as his calling? I dunno, I give up. It's still an utterly garbage claim however you look at it.

>The Pulitzer-winning journalist has quit his publication because he could not provide a fact check on his assertions, a rather basic journalistic standard.

The Pulitzer-winning journalist invited the editors to point out any factual error after they claimed factual errors existed without identifying them and the editors could not do so in any single way. They didn't even attempt it. [1]

Maybe Glenn hadn't yet published the correspondence with the editors so you didn't know your characterisation of who failed in fact checking was garbage. Reality Winner? yeah, The Intercept really didn't speak up about Glenn not being involved in that story in any way at all but if you followed it even a little bit you'd have known that. Maybe you didn't, which is fine, so being this forthright when you didn't, maybe not?

[1] https://greenwald.substack.com/p/emails-with-intercept-edito...

Glenn's point is this is just a bit of the usual Democrat sleaze. It's not "Worse than ..." $whatever, it may be a bit weak as a corruption story but it is definitely corruption involving Joe's family, and that isn't nothing and should be reported and Joe questioned. Forthrightly.

The difference comes from whether you think Trump is evil incarnate and all lines must be crossed to defeat him (the common liberal view) or whether you think he's a symptom of the ongoing unending corruption that must be stood up to, reported and condemned whenever it arises. Glenn takes the latter view. He's been explicit that the failure to report the story is a much bigger scandal than Hunter Biden being as bent as a banana, which he obviously is (You get paid that much a month while being a drug addict, for doing nothing ever in your life?) And he was obviously Joe's single biggest liability as a candidate. Yeah there's others, and all of those liablilites appear to be dwarfed by Trumps but Trump didn't lose with all those last time. It's hard to imagine Joe is more corrupt than Trump. Or even in the same ballpark.

So do you report it because it's a story or bury it and pretend it's a russian conspiracy because Trump is worse? Why are the likes of Brennan and Clapper getting involved on one side of that? Once you tell the lies it never stops. Glenn has amazing credibility for being principled including with people who have very different politics to himself. There's quite a few journalists who hate that he never compromised and due to his unusual path to it, never had to, was always his own master at times exactly like this.

I wish he wasn't a socialist but I'll stick up for Glenn anytime, he makes it really easy to do.

Giuliani is a moron but there's no evidence that he's a foreign asset, besides saying things (and lies) that democrats don't like. It's possible, but there's no evidence, and occam's razor says he's just a regular moron.

Think about it: if everything you don't like is the product of the dastardly Russians, what does that make you? A McCarthyist? What kind of liberal is that?

Sorry but this goes way behind saying things people don't like. For example the numerous, well documented trips to eastern european ex-soviet states to dig up dirt on his political opponents.

He's such a moron that he's a Useful Idiot.

The DNI has already stated that there is no evidence that Hunter Biden's laptop is "Russian disinformation".

partisanship makes people stupid.

Please show me the evidence of Russian influence. There has been plenty of evidence that the contents of the laptop are authentic.

No, there is evidence that there are corroboratable bits scattered throughout. That doesn't in any way corroborate the whole.

Bobulinski has stated that Joe Biden was well aware of his son's business dealings (contrary to Biden's prior public statements) and affirms that "the big guy" refers to Joe Biden when talking about payment from foreign governments. He's handed over to the FBI hundreds of emails, documents, texts, some audio recordings, etc.

Right, as said no evidence.

If personal testimony and access to private emails and documents from a non-partisan actor is not evidence, what is?


> Bobulinski is as random of an accuser as it gets

I'm confused as to how a business partner is a "random accuser".

> and the non-partisan actor you refer to is either a MAGA supporter running a laptop repair store or the President's personal lawyer.

I'm talking about Bobulinski. He has his own document, emails, etc.

> No one is willing to share your partisan delusions. Not here, not anywhere else.

This attempted rhetorical trick of "false consensus" is dumb and needs to stop. Lot's of people, including Glen Greenwald and Matt Taibbi see enough evidence to be worth investigating.

> He has his own document, emails, etc.

He very much does not, you just invented that.

> Lot's of people, including Glen Greenwald and Matt Taibbi

What a joke.

> He very much does not, you just invented that.

You are spewing nonsense and are in a serious case of denial. I don't know what all is in those emails, but Bobulinski certainly does have correspondence with the Bidens, and handed over several devices over to the FBI (which has been investigating Hunter Biden for financial crimes for over a year) .

Seriously, where are you getting your information about Bobulinski? because you've provided no backup for any of your assertions about him.

> I don't know what all is in those emails, but Bobulinski certainly does

>non-partisan actor

I just saw that guy sit with Tucker Carlson for an hour and claim he has "Q level clearance". The dude is a hapless boomer QAnon type who has 0 evidence tying anything to the actual candidate, Joe Biden (as confirmed by the WSJ).

Also, here's Fox News confirming it was all bullshit: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/hunter-biden-tony-bobulinsk...

If you have trouble looking in the mirror after voting for a clearly deficient human being, look elsewhere. This blatant and desperate mud slinging against a canidate's SON (even the mafia doesn't go after your family) is sad to watch. And I don't even know you.

> I just saw that guy sit with Tucker Carlson for an hour and claim he has "Q level clearance". The dude is a hapless boomer QAnon type

Why would you think it's a QAnon thing? Q clearance has to do with nuclear weaponsand related materials[1]. Dude was an officer on a nuclear sub. Nothing related to QAnon.

> Also, here's Fox News confirming it was all bullshit

Again, your sources do not make the point you claim they do. Proof? No, but not bullshit either.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_clearance

"Ex-Hunter Biden associate's records don't show proof of Biden business relationship amid unanswered questions"


You. Aren't. Fooling. Anyone.

Even if they're not authentic, it could just be a regular old lie. You know, lies? Like happen all the time in politics?

Why does everything have to be a Russian conspiracy. There was a front page article on HN the other day with people taking a Russian Death Ray seriously. Taking it seriously! Come on, people.

The timing if the this all coming out is super suspicious, but the "it's the Russians!" thing just made me groan. If Democrats had simply said it was a lie I would have found that much more believable.

The story literally originated in pro-Russian Ukrainian circles to fight against anti-corruption efforts there while Biden was VP: https://time.com/5902557/hunter-biden-rudy-giuliani-ukraine/

If your kid is getting 600k/yr for a no-show job, you don't get to call your interventions "anti-corruption". Literally being involved at all is a conflict of interest.

Yes accuse Biden of corruption so Trump's corruption just doesn't bite as hard, and be maybe sneaks a few more votes.

This is a cynical game and I'm sick of so many people playing it willingly.

That's not very charitable at all.

Can't one be upset at all corruption? Trump's gets coverage plenty of places, wall-to-wall. Yet any mention of Biden gets dogpiled by comments like yours.

For the record, I'm a Bernie voter and reluctant Biden voter.

Because getting a sweetheart deal b/c your dad was VP and money laundering / theft / bribery are not two sides of the same coin. One sucks but occurs everywhere, the other is illegal.

So who's gonna hold Biden accountable once he's President?

You? The NYT and WaPo? Sure doesn't sound like it.

"Trump commits crimes".

"Yeah but what happens if Biden commits theoretical crimes in the future? What then?"

Great point.

The world isn't zero sum, Trump wasn't a topic here until you brought him up. You're basically doing a "but her emails" here.

Biden's gonna win, most likely, will any pushback against our government be met with "what about Trump" for 4 years?

> Trump wasn't a topic here until you brought him up.

Are you joking? Do you think any of us even know who Hunter Biden is if it's not for the dirty efforts of the Trump campaign to drag him through the mud?

The fact that some of this content may have been available in Ukraine does not me Ukraine was the actual source. All evidence points to a legimately Biden-owned laptop being the source:

- No one in the Biden campaign has denied the laptop belonged to Hunter or the authenticity of the emails

- Hunter's lawyers asked for the laptop back

- The FBI confirmed that it has possession of Hunter Biden's laptop

- FBI and DOJ agree that the laptop and emails were not a part of a Russian disinformation campaign.[1]


The emails came from a Russian GRU hack last year


The photos most likely from an iCloud hack. The FBI has not made ANY claims on the content of the laptop they have, nor has the Biden campaign. I don't know where you are getting your (mis)infomation from, but I dont really care either.

There is no evidence to tie that hack to this leak. The Washington Post admits as much[1]. And respectable journalist Adam Housley reported on Hunter Biden's lawyers asking for the laptops back[2].

EDIT: also, I linked to a Fox News reporter talking about the FBI and DOJ admitting they have no reason to think this is a Russian disinformation campaign.

[1]https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/10/24/hunter-bid... [2]https://twitter.com/adamhousley/status/1317319606126604288

> There is no evidence to tie that hack to this leak.

Russian Intel hacked Burisma's emails, those same emails are now part of a public smear campaign. THEY ARE THE SAME EMAILS. What you meant to say is "there is no evidence that any of these hacked materials (emails, photos) came from a laptop in Delaware. Because there isn't.

> And respectable journalist Adam Housley

Never heard of him.

> also, I linked to a Fox News reporter

Just stop. This is you cheering on your team like it's Sunday football. And no one that isn't already on your team is buying it.

> Russian Intel hacked Burisma's emails, those same emails are now part of a public smear campaign. THEY ARE THE SAME EMAILS. What you meant to say is "there is no evidence that any of these hacked materials (emails, photos) came from a laptop in Delaware. Because there isn't.

I've already provided you with plenty evidence. Here on a discussion forum you are free to pretend that evidence doesn't exist, but if that's going to be your choice then I see no further point in engaging with you. Needless to say, the Bidens will not be so free to ignore evidence should this ever get to court.

> Just stop. This is you cheering on your team like it's Sunday football. And no one that isn't already on your team is buying it.

Please provide me with evidence that claim regarding FBI and DOJ statements about the laptop were false.

You are the one under the delusion that any source you don't like must be lying. I don't give my full trust to any media source. I've cited from a number of difference sources, not just "right-wing" media. You have provided all of two links, neither of which make the point you were attempting to argue.

> And no one that isn't already on your team is buying it.

Again with the dumb rhetoric. Unless your definition of my "team" is "those who think there is credible evidence of Biden corruption" (which would be a useless tautology) this statement is obviously false. The only reason you could come to that conclusion is if you are in such an information bubble you have no idea what people actually think.

So Russian intelligence hacks Burisma the exact same way they hacked the DNC, leaking emails to smear the democratic candidate in the exact same way, and your response is "there's no direct evidence to tie them together!"

You've provided a theory and evidence that supports a theory ("The FBI has a laptop!"), but proves nothing. This theory helps people continue their delusion that Trump isn't a criminal, or that Hillary or Biden or whomever is somehow worse. You seem to be confused that outside your Fox News cult people don't buy it.

Thank god for that.

I'm sorry that you are stuck in this conspiracy theory. I wish you well. I expect you will not like the election outcome.

Nice projection. You are and for the foreseeable future will be the minority, and after your embrace of an amoral criminal, it's well deserved.

But they can’t, because they know this is not a lie. It is actually quite possible that Russians have something to do with this — I say it as a Russian; they did nearly the same thing with DNC leaks in 2016. But the issue is not “who did it”, the question is whether the materials are authentic or not. DNC leaks were authentic, and that was enough for Americans to tip the election outcome in 2016. Hunter Biden materials look authentic, too.

I genuinely would like to understand the position of someone like you to whom this material looks authentic.

How do you rationalize this series of events piling on top of each other? https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/jkjeib/how_a_fake...

What about the material looks authentic to you?

When you are in a two party system you'd be surprised what your mind will do to either believe or deny as long as your team wins. You don't care if they cheat or lie as long as they win. You might know they are cheating or lying but you'll still deny it to the other team's fans because you see how much it gets under their skin, and afterall it's a sport because their are only two teams.

I always compare talking to a Trump supporter about his crimes to talking to a Pats fan about Bill Belichick or Brady getting caught cheating red-handed. Not only do they not care, they are confused as to why they should care. It's their team, nothing would convince a Pats fans to start rooting for the Giants.

I'm afraid that's where our politics are at.

I think that it is quite likely that the laptop was planted, the whole acquisition story is fake, and this is an orchestrated campaign optimized for maximum impact. I am not an idiot.

However, the contents of the laptop (emails and pictures — at least some of them) were corroborated by multiple sources. Their timings agree with the events of Ukraine affair, which led to Trump’s impeachment proceedings. I can’t say anything about the laptop; perhaps it was planted by the Russian intelligence or Trump campaign spinners. However, its contents looks real to me.

You do realize that the mechanism you use to 'wash' disinformation is to mix it in with other legitimate (hacked) data, right? If the party you are attacking denies the validity you have a few real bits of data you can point to and use to call the other party a liar. If the party you are attacking tries to explain the nuance that there is some true and some false data in there then you use that against them to try to claim it is all true or that they are admitting that your specific bits of disinformation are true, by the time people hear the full statement it is already too late.

Seriously, it has been over four years since Clinton and the Podesta emails. How can anyone still be this naive?

Naive is buying into a jingoist narrative about how everything bad in our own country is because of the scary Russians and Chinese.

We've got billion-dollar Presidential campaigns and 100M-dollar senate campaigns, but an office floor full of internet trolls are the ones swinging the balance of power in our country? Who's naive? Take some responsibility -- if we suck, that's on us.

They are not swinging the balance of power, and at this point most of the trolls and disinformation artists are in the US working for conservative think-tanks and Republican campaigns. In case you hadn't noticed this big fat nothingburger is going nowhere. Like a lot of other new stories of late is mostly serves to separate the desperate and gullible from the rest of us.

I'm a reluctant Biden voter, but you're saying Hunter getting 600k for a bullshit job is totally above board?

If I think that's fishy, I'm desperate and gullible?

It's going nowhere, agreed, most blatant corruption goes nowhere. But I don't have to like it or defend it.

The stuff that has been corroborated by others (like Tony Bobulinksi) is already quite suspect, and includes implications that Biden knew about, and was even a part of, a bribery scheme with foreign governments.

It now sounds like the emails have been digitally authenticated by an outside firm: https://amp.dailycaller.com/2020/10/29/cybersecurity-expert-.... That is, they confirmed that contents of the emails match is contained in Gmail's servers.

And what evidence is there that the DNC emails were in anyway inauthentic?

No the stuff that has been corroborated did not suggest any sort of bribery scheme with foreign governments, but nice try. The only few that have been authenticated do not indicate that they have been read or even went anywhere but a spam folder. Those precious few are also the least incriminating of the bunch. For some reason you and your ilk cannot seem to provide these same DKIM headers for the entire batch of email. Why is that I wonder?

Yes, this is totally possible. And to counter the entire issue, Biden should have said something along the lines of “I don’t know this laptop; it contains some personal photos of mine, which were probably stolen by hackers, but these “emails” are fake, and neither me nor my family members have nothing to do with that”. Attempting to silence this on social media will backfire.

> How can anyone still be this naive?

Protecting their worldview depends on it.

They've been authenticated by a forensic analyst that has been used by "mainstream" media before: https://amp.dailycaller.com/2020/10/29/cybersecurity-expert-...

The 64 page article NBC is talking about here is unrelated.

To be clear, giuliani has refused to give the contents to anyone in the press. The Daily Caller (an extension of the Trump campaign) isn't to be trusted. No rational person would expect this to prove anything.

Also, Hunter's emails and photos were circulated in Ukraine last year to the highest bidder.


Someone finally paid for them and this is the way they are being laundered.

And no one is buying it.

> To be clear, giuliani has refused to give the contents to anyone in the press.

I can't speak for Giuliani, and I agree that his involvement in this is strange, but NYP, Daily Caller, and National Pulse have all offered to share the contents of the drive with other journalists. I don't know to what extent they have been taken up on it.

> The Daily Caller (an extension of the Trump campaign) isn't to be trusted. No rational person would expect this to prove anything.

To assume that the news agencies that ran with the Steele dossier or the "Fine People" hoax have some fundamentally higher standard of journalistic standards than smaller right-wing publications is a bit rich. But I fully realize you wouldn't trust them directly. The point is that it's not just the reputation of these outlets now, but people without a partisan axe to grind like Robert Graham[1] and Tony Bobulinski who are providing evidence for the authenticity of the emails recovered.

> Also, Hunter's emails and photos were circulated in Ukraine last year to the highest bidder.

Irrelevant. All evidence so far points to the laptop (which is genuinely Hunter Biden's) being the source of these emails. The DOJ has already acknowledged that it received (what I believe is the original) laptop drive, and they have been pursuing an active criminal investigation against Hunter since last year. The DOJ, State Department, and DNI all have said there is no evidence of foreign involvement, and even a Washington Post journalist has acknowledged that this likely isn't the result of foreign interference.

> And no one is buying it.

Wishful thinking.


> I can't speak for Giuliani, and I agree that his involvement in this is strange, but NYP, Daily Caller, and National Pulse have all offered to share the contents of the drive with other journalists. I don't know to what extent they have been taken up on it.

They are offering to share the cherry-picked communications meant to smear someone, are you actually surprised real journalists aren't taking the bait? If you actually care, ask yourself why Giuliani hasn't shared the entire drive with anyone besides far-right media dedicated to helping Trump get reelected.

> To assume that

1. Nothing from the dossier has been disproven. Many things have been corroborated.


2. Buzzfeed isn't the NYT. You confuse the two, I dont know why.

> Irrelevant

Lol. The origins of the data was a hack of Hunter Biden's iCloud (photos) and a GRU hack of Burisma (emails), the laptop cover story is laughable, and the best you can muster is "Irrelevant".

What a joke.

> 1. Nothing from the dossier has been disproven. Many things have been corroborated.

Yes, Russia engaged in a hacking operation, and seemed to favor Trump over Hillary. That's hardly sensational. None of the sensational claims alleging conspiracy or blackmail have been supported despite years of investigation, and at least one claim was ruled innacurate/misleading in court[1]. One of the main sources was also identified as a potential national security risk [2]

> 2. Buzzfeed isn't the NYT. You confuse the two, I don't know why.

All mainstream news outlets, including the NYT, considered the dossier worth reporting even without verification. Let's not forget that this fundamentally started as a political opposition research document.

That the "lack of verification" with regard to Hunter's laptop would somehow be a justification for not reporting on it at all is a completely hypocritical stance, especially as additional news has come up (Hunter Biden former business partner Devin Archer agreeing to work with FBI, Tony Bobulinski working with the FBI, the verification of at least one email by a 3rd party security firm, etc.).

> Lol. The origins of the data was a hack of Hunter Biden's iCloud (photos) and a GRU hack of Burisma (emails), the laptop cover story is laughable, and the best you can muster is "Irrelevant".

I explained why it was irrelevant. If you have evidence that links that hack to the laptop hard drive contents, then I suggest you share them with the FBI. Otherwise, your reading comprehension needs some serious improvement.

[1]https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-08/billionai... [2]https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-news-media-s-ste...

> and at least one claim was ruled innacurate/misleading in court

As said, not disproven.

> One of the main sources was also identified as a potential national security risk

The self-id'd source (Steele never confirmed) of mafia and spy secrets has a shady past. I'm shocked.

> considered the dossier worth reporting even without verification

The author was/is known as the single best source of Russian intelligence ops in the western world (the ex-head of MI6 in Russia). It was a raw intel doc never meant to be 100% accurate, but according to him "at least 90%".

> Let's not forget that this fundamentally started as a political opposition research document.

Yes, by Republicans terrified of a compromised criminal taking over their party.

> If you have evidence that links that hack to the laptop hard drive contents, then I suggest you share them with the FBI. Otherwise, your reading comprehension needs some serious improvement.

I can only assume you are trolling now. There is 0 evidence any of the leaked emails are from a laptop. It was reported a year ago that Burisma's emails were hacked and in circulation. The mental gymnastics you need to perform to not only think they aren't the same set of emails, but this paper-thin laughable cover story about a laptop in Delaware from a blind-shopkeep with 0 independent verification is just stunning to me.

The only answer is that you are smart enough to know this is all ridiculous, but are holding on to it anyways. Dissonance is a hell of a drug.

>> > and at least one claim was ruled innacurate/misleading in court

> As said, not disproven.

Those are some impressive gymnastics. Allow me to quote the NYT from this year:

"The Steele dossier was deeply flawed. For example, it included a claim that Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael D. Cohen had met with a Russian intelligence officer in Prague to discuss collusion with the campaign. The report by the special counsel who took over the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, found that Mr. Cohen never traveled to Prague."


You are making assertions about the dossier that are demonstrably false and defending a document which is now rightly treated cautiously at best by most mainstream media.

But the reason I bring up the dossier now is that, despite it's salacious, unverified claims and (initially) unkown source, mainstream media outlets all felt it was perfectly reasonable to report on it. Yet, when it comes to Hunter Biden's laptop (which the FBI publicly stated they have in their possession) suddenly it would be improper to even acknowledge it's existence or the implications of its contents.

> Yes, by Republicans terrified of a compromised criminal taking over their party.

Have you always thought of Republicans as really honest and above board people, or are you only finding "a strange new respect" for them when they do something you approve of?

> There is 0 evidence any of the leaked emails are from a laptop.

Perhaps you are having trouble comprehending. Let me try one more time:

- The FBI admits they have Hunter Biden's laptop in their possession [1]

- Both the FBI and DOJ assert there is no reason to believe this is part of a Russian disinformation campaign [1]

- Hunter's lawyers asked for the laptop back from the repair shop [2]

- Recipients of some of the emails have already confirmed they came from Hunter (see interview with Tony Bobulinski)

- This is not the first time that Hunter has left a laptop somewhere [3]

- No one associated with the Bidens has ever claimed that the laptop/emails did not belong to Hunter [3]

- The Washington Post has acknowledged that this likely isn't a foreign intelligence operation [4]

Certainly there are reasons to be skeptical, and no crime by Joe Biden has been proven yet (though his son will probably go to jail for FARA violations at least). But your position is frankly untenable and strikes me as willful ignorance.

[1] https://twitter.com/SeanLangille/status/1318673941624426497 [2] https://twitter.com/adamhousley/status/1317319606126604288 [3] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/here-s-what-h... [4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/10/24/hunter-bid...

That's because you think a raw intelligence dossier complied by a top professional is the same thing as an ABSURD laptop story created to launder Russian military-hacked emails for political purposes in order to be 2020's equivalent of Wikileaks.

In your mind, it's all politics and you're just standing up for your side's dirty tricks against the other side's dirty tricks.

Except you are wrong. The laptop story is an obvious cover, and the dossier was never meant to be public. It was given to the FBI as a matter of national security (Steele was genuinely worried the US was about to elect a dangerously-compromised criminal) then leaked post-election because the FBI sat on it.

> Let me try one more time:

Not a single point you listed is anything beyond circumstantial evidence. There is "a" laptop. The contents have been been confirmed by anyone at the FBI or by Biden himself. You are relying on wikileaks-esk "drops" from political operatives seeking a Trump re-election. You are being fooled, but you are asking to be fooled.

As reported by Greenwald, neither Hunter nor Biden's campaign ever claimed that the emails are fake.

It is quite likely that someone orchestrated this for maximum impact, but for now these emails looks as authentic as any other leak in the last decade.

Right, the DNC's emails weren't fake either. They were stolen by a state and leaked via a third party for political reasons.

That's the game.

Yes, that is journalism.

If the CIA managed to stop that hacking before it happened no journalist would have cried.

If the journalist had participated in the hacking they would be criminally responsible.

And if the journalist obtain proof of relevant stories (especially related to corruption in politics) they will publish them.

There has never been a poisonous tree standard in journalism.

> Yes, that is journalism.

No that's the active measures of a spy agency.

Just to agree on our respective positions, my understanding is that you are claiming that the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine should apply to journalism and news.

I would argue that this has very easily exploited consequences: if you want something to be ignore just hire some hacker to surgically hack parts of that information. Not enough to be criminal, and you are safe from the court of public opinion.

Wikileaks actively agreed to launder and selectively release Russian military hacked materials for specific political purposes.

Referring to that as journalism is an insult to actual journalists.

You’re getting played by NBC. Their story is totally separate from the Hunter Biden laptop / Bobulinski testimony. They deliberately mention the other story in an attempt to discredit it by association.

To date, the only on the public record (in an interview, not testimony) statements are in favor of the allegations and evidence being true. The Biden’s have not public denied any of it. They, with the assistance of the media, simple delay and deflect.

> the Hunter Biden laptop / Bobulinski testimony.

The WSJ, while their own op-ed page was trying to make the story real, thoroughly broke down and discredited all aspects of this story. There is no tie to Joe Biden at all.

Why are you claiming otherwise with a straight face?

If this [1] is the WSJ report you are talking about, then your statement that it "thoroughly broke down and discredited all aspects of this story" is blatantly false.

All they claimed was that there was no clear evidence in Bobulinski's text messages that Joe Biden was involved (though the "big guy" phrasing refering to Joe was not proved one way or the other).

It does not discredit the emails, nor Bobulinski's own testimony. It's actually just a pretty reasonable and reporting of the information they had available.


> no clear evidence

Just say "no evidence".

> (though the "big guy" phrasing refering to Joe was not proved one way or the other).

Pizzagate all over again. "As long as some words mean other words than we have a full blown, fully-proven scandal!"

Again, you aren't fooling anyone that isn't volunteering to be fooled so their worldview can be protected. The definition of a waste of time.

It's undisputed that Hunter was getting 600k from a ukrainian national gas company and that Joe Biden demanded a prosecutor be fired. That's the real story, and it stinks.

The computer repair shop thing is laughable, but that doesn't mean the obvious conclusion is dastardly russians did it.. Hunter doesn't look like a model in operational security, any number of motivated people could have hacked him. Or maybe it was entirely made up to get the underlying scandal back in the news.

> It's undisputed that Hunter was getting 600k from a ukrainian national gas company

It's unsubstantiated, at best:

"However, the Daily Caller News Foundation could not confirm the accuracy of this figure, as there is no evidence the payments from Rosemont Seneca Bohai to Hunter Biden are necessarily for his work with Burisma."


Why repeat something with full confidence when you have no idea if it's actually true or not (because no one does) ?

I'm sure he was only making minimum wage. /s

Glad you are having fun backing up other people that are wrong too.

I think saying he brokenthe stort is a bit of a stretch. Didn’t Snowden himself contact journalists?

Snowden was tightly in contact with these journalists and showed them undoubtable proof that he did indeed work with the NSA. This story as I understand it is not even close to the level of verification that the Snowden story had.

At this point I would believe many outlets would not have published the Snowden docs because of editorial concerns. Probably because they have friends in Washington.

Wait so what's the claim at this point?

The Hunter Biden emails are fake? or that they are real, but Giuliani got them from Russian agents?

Or that they are real, but "the big guy" doesn't refer to Joe Biden?

Or that they are real, but Hunter Biden was just saying shit, and Joe didn't actually do any of these things?

Any but the last claim seems likely false to me, pretty hilarious to see so many on the thread arguing otherwise.

At least some of them are definitely at least partially forged, and the DKIM headers for none of them have been released, AFAIK. At least some of the released screenshots of emails are obviously doctored (text that should be level with the text next to it is not).

The last one seems plausible. It's pretty clear that Hunter implied that he could influence the US government in an effort to make deals. It's less clear that his claim was true.

Agreed, which is why it’s the only one I labeled as not pretty clearly false.

I think it’s a dumb reason to not vote for Biden, but I find the cognitive dissonance with which this story is being treated sorta astonishing.

Why do they seem obviously fake? Why does it seem so reasonable that Hunter Biden would fly across the country to have an Apple laptop (or is it laptops?) repaired at a shop that doesn't specialize in them, that Mr. Biden forgot about the laptops and left them behind (and full of evidence), and that this shop just happened to be good friends with Rudy Giuliani? That this story just happened to break right before the election in the aftermath of a long series of conservative conspiracy theories about Mr. Biden (https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/how-fake-persona-laid-...) in an election where foreign influence has been frequent and obvious?

From what I've read about this story, it has indeed all the evidence of being a complete fabrication, and none of the evidence of being true. We only have Giuliani's honesty to trust that it's true.

The question (that Greenwald is asking) is why is Joe Biden not answering any questions about the whole matter?

There is no claim. It’s all misdirection. All you have to do is cite some known figure supporting the mere possibility of some vague non-claim and it becomes the branch that ideologues desperately cling to. No one is overtly making any of the logical claims you posit above. Not Biden nor his family or campaign. They simply need to use buzzwords like Smear, Russia, and 50 high ranking officials, and that’s all the sheeple, especially those in the SV echo chamber, need to hear.

It's also possible he's a once great journalist who has gone off the rails. Which seems likely given the fact that the editors at a publication he founded refused to publish this piece.

The big problem for me is he does not set the context for the allegations, that the US is about to go to a critical and fiercely-contested election, last time there were all kinds of manipulations, and the role he s set on playing right in the last few days is analogous to that of Comey v2 and the laptop is "the emails".

Without the context, it's not being given to the reader to judge why this is a story, the real provonance of the maguffin-laptop, if it really has any impact in the Biden vs Trump question or is just noise...

In this context jumping on claims of Russian interference is similarly damaging.

Moreover I feel like this would be a bad precedent. Suppose Biden wins now and Trump runs again in 2024, I personally would not like a similar grace being offered to him (with no evidence of interference).

Lots of people that are good with editors decline in quality when they become stars that are too big to listen to editors.

That's not restricted to journalism, either.

No. The story is what the evidence supports. He had Snowden and plenty of credible evidence when he broke that story. He claims he had to leave because of intolerable political bias and censorship, The Intercept says it was because he wanted to publish claims that were not supported by the current evidence. If I understand correctly, Greenwald himself doesn't dispute that he doesn't have access to the files in question and therefore can't have substantiated anything in his article beyond what is already publicly known, which is very little.

Greenwald may be a great journalist but that doesn't mean his word is now taken on faith alone.

This to me is the more interesting story. What happened here? I understand that russiagate made many people crazy, both those who believed it and those who vehemently fought against it. I don't however understand how some people became turned into complete contrarians over it like Greenwald seems to have.

Greenwald has always been incredibly critical of the media, and that is his main point both here and with Russiagate.

Here’s what his own (ex-) colleagues say:

> We have the greatest respect for the journalist Glenn Greenwald used to be, and we remain proud of much of the work we did with him over the past six years. It is Glenn who has strayed from his original journalistic roots, not The Intercept.


Who constitute those being criticized remaining with The Intercept... no bias whatsoever likely coloring those statements. /s

It would have been much better if they responded to the factual claims Greenwald laid out in the article they refused to publish. I read that article, and his argument for why the Biden emails pass at least the plausibility bar sound reasonable.

BTW, the DKIM signature on at least one of the emails has been verified:


EDIT: OK, rather than downvoting, which isn't going to change my mind, why don't you help address his points? If you change my mind, I'll go try to change other people's minds.

"The Hunter Biden documents have at least as much verification as those other archives [the Panama Papers, Wikileaks war logs, Podesta / DNC emails from 2016] that were widely reported. There are sources in the email chains who have verified that the published emails are accurate. The archive contains private photos and videos of Hunter whose authenticity is not in doubt. A former business partner of Hunter has stated, unequivocally and on the record, that not only are the emails authentic but they describe events accurately, including proposed participation by the former Vice President in at least one deal Hunter and Jim Biden were pursuing in China. And, most importantly of all, neither Hunter Biden nor the Biden campaign has even suggested, let alone claimed, that a single email or text is fake."

Add to that that at least one email has had its DKIM signature verified (see the link above).

I hate Trump and think a second term would be an unmitigated disaster for our democracy. Even if the worst of the allegations or insinuations were true I think Biden would be better for our country than Trump. If I were an editor of a newspaper, I'd certainly think twice before publishing something like this, even if I thought they were accurate.

But I would never throw shade on a fellow journalist for writing something like this. And as a voter, if I'm going to choose the lesser of two evils, I want to know just how evil the lesser one is.

Greenwald published the e-mail correspondence with his editors on his Substack. I would argue that the feedback doesn't question the authenticity of the e-mail, but instead, the narrative being pushed that isn't fully supported by the e-mails.

The closest they came to suggesting that the e-mails were not authentic were these two points, addressing Greenwald: "You spend quite a bit of the piece explaining why authentication efforts have been more than sufficient to satisfy any reasonable requirement of verification, but a key reason news organizations have cited for their lack of full confidence in the documents is their inability to access the hard drive; your draft does not mention that. It is hard to report on and authenticate an archive you do not possess."

"And I do think you should treat the origin story of the hard drive – that it came from the Delaware repair store – with a bit more skepticism. It’s true that nothing has emerged yet to significantly undermine it, but it remains a very strange story surrounded by many unanswered questions."

Reading the editor feedback as a whole, I think they were totally fine with Greenwald claiming that the released e-mails are authentic.

It's more likely that Greenwalds colleagues are a better judge

It's more likely that the Church is right about heliocentrism being wrong. They do after all, have more people on their side.

In my opinion this is weak reasoning and it only serves to allow people to cement their minority opinions more. Regardless of whether they're correct or not.

Logical fallacy, straw man argument.

Well, unless rat87 clarifies their argument about why it is they think the colleagues are more likely to be correct this is the best we can do.

There's no inherent reason the colleagues are more likely to be correct.

The authoritarian left today is not about facts or reality or science. it is about "My Personal Truth", majoritarianism, and tribal dogma

This is the culture / ideology that has taken over a large part of the "news" industry

It is very much regressive and has all the same kind of tribal dogma that fueled rhetoric that aligns nicely with those dark times where scientists where executed for daring to refute the dogma of the majority

While we are not physically executing people today, cancel culture is emotionally, socially, and virtually executing anyone that dares to disagree with their tribe

Oh yes, your character judged by your peers, a la Cultural Revolution. Wonderful.

Sure would be terrible if judging professionals by the opinions of their peers was how we determined the legitimacy of their claims.

Down with peer-reviewed journals! We should just take scientists on their word that they're operating professionally!

There's a big reproducibility crisis in science as a result of this "you pat my back, I'll pat your back" mentality. Peer review is not immune to groupthink.

Even worse than that, there's straight up research fraud from labs at big universities. Fraud that slips through peer review and then the journals and reviewers get out the pitchforks when it's pointed out.


Thanks for teaching me that a paper rejected implies a rejection of your character as OP implied.The more you learn.

Experiments can be reproduced as opposed to sources. Mutual references to each other did cause a lot of problems in science.

Peer review is not about judging a person / scientists charter, political opinions, or anything about them as a person.

Well at least that is not what is SUPPOSE to do.

Peer review is about reviewing the science, not the charter of the scientists.

science has a real problem today because it is becoming less about the raw science and more about who is doing the science and if they have the "correct" political or other opinions

Kinda like the editor(s), who are doing the job of an editor.

I have seen too many journalists gain a reputation for one story, and then ride that reputation into the ground, and while I still have a lot of respect for Greenwald, I feel like that's what I'm watching happen with him right now.

Greenwald is a lifelong sensationalist. His blog in the old days was extremely colorful and featured a lot of leaps of logic. It won him a fan base that included Ed Snowden. He's really a terrible journalist who just happened to get his hands on a treasure trove. The Guardian was part of the Snowden story as well and they don't publish garbage like the Biden laptop story with any undue credence.

What is your reference for a good journalist? Your criticism sounds baseless to be honest.

Sensationalism because he uncovered evidence of mass surveillance. Who is a better journalist?

I remember reading an article by him about the Mali conflict a few years ago where it was so obvious he didn't know shit about what was happening there and was just using it to say West is Bad. It was rather supportive of the pre-ISIS that had taken over northern Mali and led me to believe his MO as a journalist is to start with his contrarian agenda and then look for ways to turn any event into supporting evidence (with rhetoric more than facts), more so than other journalists

Many on the left operate with "The US is to blame for all the world's problems" as their main worldview. Everything they report on is filtered through this prism.

Greenwald is the de facto leader of this movement.

The NY Times exposed far more than Greenwald did. James Risen went to court to protect his sources in multiple occasions. And Risen works with a team and has the full support of his editors and employer. Greenwald is a journalistic berserker. He swings wildly and occasionally hits a target others can't get to. Really though it is my opinion based on observation.

A Pulitzer-winning journalist who grew more and more detached from reality as his worldview was overtaken by hatred for Hillary Clinton.

Greenwald's emphasis here is completely unplaced. It is once again an attempt to make things seem equal. Unsubstantiated stories like this get no news time - and yet the fact that the opposite is undeniably true - Trump's children have not only been actively involved in the administration but have been coordinating deals for Trump's businesses, making millions of dollars, and even receiving international quid pro quo such as Chinese patent approvals - is ignored and treated as nothing. If Trump is anything less than an utter disaster, it's seen as a success. If the democratic nominee (Biden or Clinton before him) does anything less than perfect, it dominates the news cycle for weeks.

Was he trying to pitch an actual story with new evidence and sources or just an op-ed? I agree with the general idea that having Greenwald resign sucks but I don't really know if there is any real evidence behind the Hunter Biden story beyond what is sort of already obvious.

The Biden story sounds like bs? I was under the impression that their alleged behaviour was the de facto standard in a capitalist system. I’d be surprised if anyone with that kind of power wasn’t leveraging it to secure generational wealth. It’s like athletes and doping. You’d be stupid not to try given the potential rewards.

From what I gather, the circumstances for the “laptop” to be obtained by a legally blind store an improbably large distance away from anywhere hunter Biden would be, is among the first of many red flags that this is a disinformation attempt.

Part of it getting past scrutiny, is playing on the assumption that people will cheat.

I mean sure, but this stupidly? After Trump used taxpayer money to stay at his hotels publicly?

Add in they paid $85 for data recovery on 3 water logged Apple laptops... I’ve paid for data recovery services on drives, it’s a lot more than 85 bucks...

What? $85 for data recovery? That's nuts.

Side note: NBC broke a story broke a few hours ago showing that this was a case of false news.


The NBC story is about a completely separate incident. It has nothing to do with the laptop.

The contents of the laptop are not "fake news." At least one email has had its DKIM signature verified. Multiple people who were copied on the emails have verified their authenticity. The pictures and videos of Hunter Biden on the laptop speak for themselves.

It is entirely possible that the story of how the laptop was acquired is at least partially fake, but there's no actual evidence of that, and some evidence pointing the other way - why would Biden's lawyer ask the computer shop owner for the laptop if he didn't have it, and Biden if Biden thought he didn't have it?

This story is truly shocking to me, not so much for the allegations of corruption, which are neither surprising nor interesting, but for the willful blindness of so many very smart people who are using a lot of brainpower to rationalize it away.

And yet none of the actually damaging or morally questionable emails have available DKIM signatures that can be verified. How funny that is. Almost as if the liars who wish to continue pushing this bit of political disinformation are unable to actually provide the info and are just hoping that people accept their unfounded claims. It worked before with Hillary and the Podesta emails, so I guess these agents thought it would be easy to repeat the same playbook but are so lazy that they could not even do the basic opsec legwork to make the claim hold together.

It is not shocking that there are so many useful idiots around the world (and here) that are willing to keep talking up this obvious disinformation. What is shocking is how lazy they are and how stupid they seem to think the rest of us are.

The “opportunity to meet” email originally cited by the Post has had its DKIm signature verified. You can find the links throughout this thread and through google.

The goalposts keep moving on this story, which has already been verified far beyond most of the scandals reported by the press in recent years.

None of the counternarrative even makes any sense. It’s all fake! Well, here’s a zillion extremely private photos of Hunter Biden. Where did they came from if it’s not his laptop? The emails are fake! Well, here’s some of the correspondents verifying the authenticity of the emails - which is all the verification usually required. Where’s the DKIM signatures! Well, here’s one that was verified. Some of them are fake! Okay. Has anyone ever applied this level of skepticism to any other story that has ever come out?

Why is it even surprising to anyone that this story would be true? Nobody disputes that Hunter Biden was paid enormous sums of money over the years despite his character and qualifications, and it’s all been widely reported. What did anyone think was going on there? How do people think high-level politicians and their families are leaving office so much richer than they came into it? The denials are almost shockingly naive - “we looked at Joe Biden’s financial disclosures and this isn’t there.” Well, gee, what a shocker he didn’t lay out grey area business dealings for the world to see - nobody does. Anyone who knows a drug addict can hear the ring of truth in Hunter’s self-martrying texts about how Joe makes him give him half his income.

How is it rational to conclude that everything contrary to the favored narrative must be disinformation propagated by highly competent operatives of a has-been midrate regional mafia state power with absolutely no evidence? How does that not reek of the disinformation long favored by the US “intelligence community”?

The complaints about the provenance are one thing, but it’s hard to explain why the FBI subpoenaed the laptop from the store owner, or why Biden’s lawyer tried to get it back. And what does it matter if the information is true, anyway?

It is truly amazing the lengths to which people like you will continue to lie and dissemble for the sake of this false narrative. Not surprising really, but just sad.

The emails that have been verified are bush league vague messages that lack even verification that they went anywhere but straight to the spam folder. Where are the responses indicating the messages were read? Where is the DKIM on any of the emails that suggest impropriety? Oh yeah, you don't have any. No one is moving goalposts, we are clearly stating that you haven't made any forward progress at all and are nowhere near scoring any points.

The best part of all of this is that you and all of the other little Trumpkins have wasted so much social capital pimping these dumb conspiracy theories that the rest of us can easily ignore you going forward. As unpleasant as the past four years have been, one minor upside to the experience is that it revealed many of the truly deplorable among us.

I am sorry you feel that way. I am struggling to see how I can bridge this gap.

This is the link verifying the “opportunities” email. It also explains DKIM issues with other emails.


I am truly having trouble understanding how this is a conspiracy theory. The alternative seems to require a massive conspiracy involving foreign intelligence agencies planting false information with true information - I mean, you don’t doubt the pictures, right? Moreover, the “false” information is not anything groundbreaking, it’s almost all the same information already reported by mainstream outlets with a few new bits added. And they somehow convinced other correspondents on the emails to come forward and speak lies? publicly. How is this not conspiratorial thinking?

Do you approach Trump stories with the same level of skepticism? For example, how do we know the tax returns are real? Absolutely nobody has confirmed them except anonymous sources speaking to the NYT.

The 'opportunities' email itself means nothing, which is why this whole exercise is laughable. What is being questioned is the rest of the so-called email dump. Emails that actually suggest damaging claims and which would be worth looking into. How strange it is that people like you cannot seem to come up with answers on those. It is so easy do to, just provide the full emails so that we can all continue to see the content and context of the entire conversation.

I could easily send you an email from my gmail account asking if you have managed to get burn all of the films Epstein made of you and those little kids on his island. It too would have a valid DKIM signature. Now show me the follow up from Hunter, or even proof the message was actually seen by him. If an actual hard drive was possessed as claimed then this would be trivial. The fact that it is not available is damning in this case. As has been noted repeatedly in this case an equally likely source of this data is an iCloud hack for some pics and the known hack of Burisma a while back. Mix in some fake messages and then add useful idiots who are willing to believe anything if it supports their cause.

Thankfully this story will return to obscurity along with the partisan hacks trying to push it. It was a lame attempt at an 'October surprise', it was executed poorly, and thankfully this time the means of viral distribution of same was limited while everyone looked into the story and then had a good laugh.

The Pulitzer focus on the individual journalist has a lot to answer for sometimes. The amazing stories Greenwald wrote were all edited by an editor that helped refine, focus and potentially correct mistakes.

Would he win a Pulitzer for a piece he wrote entirely by himself? We don’t know. But the emails he released today show him objecting to exactly this process. The editor gave him a number of suggested improvements and clarifications, and he balked.

If you read Greenwald’s piece, you will understand why he disagrees with you. I, personally, credit his ethics more than I credit TheIntercept’s editor and this is why I immediately subscribed his substack.

UPS confirms that the package was lost: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ups-confirms-mystery-tucker-ca...

Don't be confused. Packages are lost, and found, every day. The real question is about what they claim to be the contents of the package. Which as of today, is still unknown.

At this point, 4 days from the election, you should be especially skeptical of extraordinary claims without proof.

UPS has found it again, per the Beast.

This story still sounds bizarre and like a load of BS. I wouldn't put it past a low level employee to confirm something has been found just to keep the suspense for the gullible alive, especially when the documents could have been scanned and encrypted.

Tucker Carlson claims that his evidence "got lost in the mail"

No he didn't - where did that come from? He claimed the mail had been intercepted, someone had ripped open the parcel in transit and stolen the documents, and that the courier firm had even shown them pictures of the ripped-open package. He then made a series of remarkably precise claims about their interaction with the courier, the search the courier firm mounted to try and find the stolen documents and so on.

According to sibling comments this story was now confirmed in its entirety by UPS.

Ironically, I learned what Tucker Carlson said by reading the Guardian. Their top story yesterday (in terms of views) was something like "Tucker Carlson mocked after claiming evidence was lost in the mail". Obviously the Guardian, and those people who mocked him or lied about his claims now look very foolish and naive indeed, because his claims have been verified in their entirety by the courier firm themselves. The real story here is that UPS has been corrupted by the same kinds of win-at-any-cost leftists who blocked the story at Twitter and other places: they are so desperate for this to go away that they're actually destroying their own customer's valuables in transit. In the USA every line of communication is being shut down by these radicals, even postal mail.

and today the package has been found and Tucker is on air saying, "you know what? maybe we should lay off Hunter. After all, he's a troubled man."

What's more likely: that Tucker is full of shit and never had the kind of story he claims he did, or that a network of win-at-any-cost leftists have infiltrated the UPS and were lying in wait to kill this story and any others like in before the election?

The lengths people will go to find a conspiracy when there's a simpler explanation will always baffle me

What simple explanation exists for the documents being ripped open and an extensive search not managing to find them? Is this a common problem for UPS, do packages randomly get opened during transit with no explanation?

Like, he was obviously referring to the underage nudes and PornHub account, which don't directly reflect on his father's conduct.

So yeah, there's stuff they're not going to air.

> that a network of win-at-any-cost leftists have infiltrated the UPS

You mean the Teamsters?

Even Fox News wouldn't run the story because it wasn't supported by facts.

Run what story? Fox news has been covering the hard drive since it was released.

And yes, no concrete evidence of wrong doing, but if you read Glenn's email, he clearly states that "something smells rotten" and the editors response is "we won't even allow pointed questions about Biden".

Glenn is offering the Biden camp more benefit of the doubt than the MSM has offered Trump when random allegations arise.

That's the issue - the MSM holds up "journalistic integrity" when it suits their political candidate. That's not integrity at all. That's just corruption of the what journalism is supposed to be.

There was no concrete evidence of the Russia collusion bullshit and yet that dominated the airwaves for 3 years. The major news networks spent 3 years on a poorly conceived conspiracy theory.

Precisely. The press was willing to run with a story that had little to no supporting evidence and in the end turned out to be false.

Yet the tables are turned here and suddenly they have concerns about disinformation? To the point they won't even allow it to be discussed?

That's what impresses me about Greenwald and Taibbi. They both hate Trump. But they aren't willing to put their journalistic ethics aside because of it.

> That's what impresses me about Greenwald and Taibbi. They both hate Trump. But they aren't willing to put their journalistic ethics aside because of it.

This is exactly why I decided to sub for Greenwald for $5/month on Substack.

> Fox news has been covering the hard drive since it was released.

This isn't quite accurate. Rudy Giuliani went to Fox news before it was released, and they declined to take it. After it was released, they of course had no choice but to report it.

They wouldn't break the story. They're news division is covering the fact that a story exists, not the underlying story.

Their talking heads on the other hand...

This especially applies so soon after Trump tax return story, which where objectively result of hacking (unless Trump himself leaked them) and had zero verification.

Sounds like the UPS confirms there was a package and it got lost. https://www.businessinsider.com/ups-says-it-lost-tucker-carl...

Carlson never claimed that the evidence is now lost, just that it was stolen. IIRC he also did not claim that it was definitive evidence.

Plausible motive for the thief could have been risk assessment for the documents.

There absolutely is a "there" there.

The DOJ has acknowledged that it has had a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden "and associates" for money laundering since 2019, and there is evidence and a credible witness that the Biden's (including Joe Biden) were involved in a bribery scheme with foreign governments.

Just start here: https://abc3340.com/amp/news/nation-world/tony-bobulinksi-i-...

Sinclair is a self-admitted Republican media enterprise. The supposed witness is a Trump campaign member who has provided no evident except oral interviews on right-wing media.

Bobulinski is a member of the campaign? I've seen no evidence of that. Btw, he handed over phones with emails and documents to the FBI.

Is this not the guy who went to the presidential debate as a guest of Trump's?

That does not make him a "member of the campaign". The dude is a centrist Democrat. He's pissed because the he was being smeared by association when Adam Schiff and others claimed the laptops contents was part of "Russian disinformation".

In the general sense, it's not a new problem.

One of the main points I got from Chomsky & Herman's _Manufacturing Consent_ (1988, analyzing news from a decade earlier), is that journalists print what the government says because it's convenient -- it's less work to print what the government (or anyone else) says at a press conference than to do your own research -- AND even when it comes to privately given info, because they need to maintain the relationships with government (and other powerful) sources, if you make a government source mad, and they stop giving info, how are you going to get that privileged info to write your stories?

Journalists develop "sources", and relationships with those sources, and then there are pressures to serve the interests of those sources. Sources are usually powerful people (whether government or "socialites"), because that's who has valuable info on an ongoing basis, generally.

Chomsky & Herman's _Manufacturing Consent_ (1988, analyzing news from a decade earlier),

While it may be good work, it's so out of date it's useless as a tool for evaluating the media landscape of today.

I spent 20 years as a journalist and can tell you from first-hand experience and the contacts I have kept in the industry that the media today is not the same as the media of 2010, or 2000, or 1990, and certainly not the 1970's.

I spent 20 years as a journalist and can tell you from first-hand experience and the contacts I have kept in the industry that the media today is not the same as the media of 2010, or 2000, or 1990, and certainly not the 1970's.

One of the book's major premises, as the parent mentioned, is journalists' dependence on cultivating sources. Yes, the media landscape has changed drastically - with journalists now have far few resources. If anything, this would make them more dependent on cultivated sources as well as corporate press releases and similar things.

Which is to say your argument is nothing but a vacuous "things are different" claim but the overall situation has to be "things are worse", which reinforces the book.

Obviously it is not the same as it was decades ago. But how can you deny that the "5 pillars" framework presented in the book still holds true today?

I can believe it. There's been a heck of a lot of change, newsrooms have been decimated.

To me, like I said, mostly what I remember taking from it is how it got me thinking about how a journalists dependence on sources, and resource-constraints to be able to get out stories without exceeding available time to report em... leads to over-reliance on reporting what the powerful say as "the news" and by implication "what happened".

I'd suspect that is still relevant to the landscape of today, probably even MORE so because reporting resources have been so devastated, but do you think not?

It's not clear to me whether you've read it and are making this argument knowing the case it makes, or if you just saw that date and dismissed it a priori.

> While it may be good work, it's so out of date it's useless as a tool for evaluating the media landscape of today.

Then where are all the labor and communist newspapers? Seems like nothing much has changed to me.

You can go further back from Chomsky. I'm currently reading Guy de Maupassant's Bel Ami, which gives a grim portrait of journalists in 19th France as lazily serving the interests of those in power[1].

The thing about the situation is historically journalists have always served interests and ideologies. American journalism has a long and storied history but the idea of purely objective journalism is itself a particular kind of rhetoric and particular kind of spin that was a fine product of early 20th America. In reality, 90% of journalism is "spin" and 90% of journalism has always been spin - or interpretation or perspective or context or whatever spin you want to give spin. That journalist serve their sources, their ideologies, the interests of the owners of the journal and so-forth isn't bad unless you think everyone with power is evil (which is plausible but if you believe this, then you would be supporting some ideology outside the mainstream, which also has it's spin).

It's fairly well documented that Julian Assange worked quite actively to make the release of the Clinton emails serve Donald Trump (coordinating with the Trump and other no-nos) - not even that there was lying involved but here he went from citizen journalist to propagandist. But I don't think becoming a propagandist makes someone worse than the cause they serve. In the case of Trump, I happen think made that made him viciously evil but that's happenstance relative to the question of journalism.

Forget about the current election. Suppose you had your ideal candidate running against a definite evil, someone who pursue policies that would hurt or kill your friends and family, in a close race. If some piece of pure dirt, a politically contentless but deeply embarrassing true fact about this honestly good candidate surfaced, would consider those who pushed this fact relentlessly to be paragons of virtue?

There are some articles, a few, where pure truth can prevail- the Snowden revelations were a happy example. But many of even the revelations of journalism rest as much on power politics as they do on truth. Watergate wouldn't have mattered if there wasn't a sufficient consensus in Washington, among powerful people, that Nixon had gone too far. Equivalent scandals can evoke yawns without powerful backers, etc.

Now, go to the current election and you have a candidate of the corrupt permanent government against something like psychopathic candidate of a particular dubious right wing power complex; hardly inviting as a choice. How much are journalists "sacrificing their ethics" to push an arguably less evil? I assume quite a bit but how much should be concerned? I leave that question to you.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bel-Ami

> That journalist serve their sources, their ideologies, the interests of the owners of the journal and so-forth isn't bad unless you think everyone with power is evil (which is plausible but if you believe this, then you would be supporting some ideology outside the mainstream, which also has it's spin).

This needs to be repeated more often, Chomsky's point is that ad-serving businesses are turning the reader into the product, hardly controversial today considering Google and Facebook are doing the same.

Good journalists and papers are honest about their ideologies, and most editors have written scathing pieces about Trump by now, and the papers reflect these views. It's the ones who aren't honest about their biases you need to worry about.

Yeah, honest journalism and capitalism are hard to combine. In capitalism, companies provide a service that their customers want to pay for. So a paid newspaper publishes news that their readers want to read. Ad-driven news writers what their advertisers want to be associated with. There's little room for reports that are controversial with the readers or advertisers, yet those reports might well be the most important ones.

Well, if they're true. But nobody pays for the truth anymore.

News readers can demand the truth either way (ad-funded, government-funded, corporation-funded, or reader-funded), and they're probably most likely to get it when they pay for it directly. It's the least worst way to get your news I'd say.

> "If some piece of pure dirt, a politically contentless but deeply embarrassing true fact about this honestly good candidate surfaced, would consider those who pushed this fact relentlessly to be paragons of virtue?"

I think the way to report on this is fairly obvious: provide context. Any fact on its own is easily taken out of context and can be spun one way or the other. Context helps. And in the context of an election, dirt on one candidate provided by a close ally of the other candidate, comes with a ton of context. And even if the dirt is true, the context is still: how does that compare to the corruption of the other candidate.

It seems like there's a lot of attention for possible but uncertain corruption by Biden, exactly because it's uncertain; it's a question people want to know the answer to. Meanwhile, there's tons of evidence for corruption by Trump that nobody pays attention to because it's obvious, it's already known, there's no interesting question to speculate about.

But the end result is that the cleanest candidate gets associated with corruption while the dirty candidate doesn't.

Context would mean whenever there's a story on corruption by one candidate, you also report on the comparable cases of corruption by the other candidate. Then readers will always see what the balance of corruption between the two is.

I need to take a shower after reading that, to wash off the cynicism

> Journalists have essentially become socialites. They don't want to publish articles that will rock the boat, because the people they are friends with are the ones that own that boat, invite them to parties, and are a part of their friend groups.

To the extent this is arguably true of etablishment journalist, the mirror image seems to be true of anti-establishment journalists. Instead of being unreasonably resistant to publishing stories that rock the boat, they are unreasonable eager to do so, taking sources that validate this pre-established bias uncritically, opening themselves up for manipulation and as agents of propaganda, because the people they are friends with, and that invite them to parties are more interested in capsizing the boat than the truth.

Wow, exactly what I was thinking but probably more articulate than I could have put it. That there are a lot of people building a journalistic career on being anti-establishment, saying that the "mainstream media" et al are lying to us and censoring us and are crooked...and gaining followers as a result. Often telling us to not trust groups A-Y, and only trusting them, the Z.

At the end of the day, I have to trust someone to be doing the legwork, research, investigation to verify the stories and to report it to me as honestly as they can.

For me, I mostly trust the vast majority of professional journalists and institutions to do that work together, to check and balance each other most of the time to make sure something is as true as it can be, and feel skeptical when someone tells me to distrust them so strongly.

(I worry that sometimes I post things that may be too charged or opinionated or just inappropriate for HN, so if you think this is, I'd be grateful if you let me know why in a reply)

Extremely relevant reading: _Purity_, by Jonathan Franzen https://www.amazon.com/dp/0374239215

That's a really good and fair point, but we're at a junction where looking at the Ukraine situation and saying "yeah but that looks fucked tho" is met with ABSOLUTE OPPROBRIUM. Come on.

The same people who'd happily get someone fired for tweeting something insensitive are all closing ranks against any criticism of Mr. "You ain't black". Come on.

I can't wait until the election is over.

"Journalists have essentially become socialites. They don't want to publish articles that will rock the boat,"

There have been a virtually uncountable number of high-profile investigative pieces that criticise people in power published in the last 6 months! This argument is nonsense.

This is an oversimplification. There's a difference between rocking someone else's boat and rocking the one you're riding on.

There’s two social groups, they don’t want to critique their social group.

Many more than two social groups.

Sure, pedantically.

Alternatively, us & them = 2

Yeah, and they are published either by socialites from a group that hates the group being exposed, or by "freaks" like Greenwald that no one with a public persona wants near them because they know he's a time bomb.

Long live the freaks of the world. We need them more than ever.

Here's to the rebels...


Please show me a high-profile investigative piece from the mainstream media against Biden.

It was the New York Times that originally broke the Biden Ukraine story back in 2015. Recent iterations of it are mostly just rehashing the original article.


Come on. This was not what OP implied. Of Biden as a candidate, L6M. Impossible.

May 1st, 2019

It's not nonsense, because you're missing that if you criticize someone who you are allowed to criticize, there is no risk to yourself. It's going against the herd and criticizing someone like Joe Biden that will get you thrown out of the club.

So, if it's a high-profile investigative piece on a senior trump admin official, everyone will applaud you. But as soon as you start investigating the Biden family or, on the other hand, write something positive about Trump & Co, then you'll quickly find yourself out of the club.

You are right, but it goes both ways. If a writer at the Federalist or Breibart tried to publish a piece arguing AOC's economics actually had some merit, they would not be met with an enthusiastic response from their professional and social circles.

Polarization and factionalism on both sides of the media is the problem.

The right doesn't try to get people fired for saying they like AOC. They will just hit back with their own points. That's the way it's supposed to go in a civil society.

Can you say with a straight face that the NY Times or WaPo has done that with liberals or Democratic candidates? Outside of tearing down Bernie Sanders I'd say it's a firm no.

Prominent liberals like Alan Dershowitz say they're being socially blacklisted for not taking part in a pile on against Trump: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/03/us/alan-dershowitz-martha...

Even being "neutral" is apparently not enough. It's easy to see why journalists and editors would succumb to that social pressure.

> Prominent liberals like Alan Dershowitz

While at least notionally a Democrat (and one who claims to be a liberal one) Dershowitz is to the right of even the mainstream of the dominant corporatist neoliberal faction of the Democratic Party. And sometimes quite far to the Right, such as his eager advocacy for (not defense of something already being done, but advocacy for a new and novel policy) a systematic and public policy of specific collective punishment by Israel against the Palestinian population in violation of international humanitarian law, or his proposal for "torture warrants" in the early 2000s.

> say they're being socially blacklisted for not taking part in a pile on against Trump

Dershowitz has been one of the right-wing's favorite "liberal Democrats" for a lot longer than the Trump Administration, and has been marginalized by the left of center and increasingly the Democratic mainstream for that from the early 2000s, even before the accusations that he wasn't just Epstein's lawyer, but also a significant client, and his recent campaign against the ACLU.

He's not been marginalized just because he hasn't taken part is a "pile on" against Trump.

The irony of claiming that the NY Times never tears down liberals by posting a link to the NY Times publishing criticism of liberals on Martha's Vineyard is quite amusing.

NYT consistently reported on Hillary Clinton's e-mails all throughout the 2016 campaign.

That was 4 years ago. The polarization of NYT has significantly advanced since then, culminating in the Tom Cotton op-ed, which set off an internal revolt at the Times, with staffers coordinating pushback across Twitter. This led to the resignation of James Bennet, the editor of the op-ed section, the reassignment of Jim Dao, the deputy editor, and the resignation of Bari Weiss.

Unsurprising though after the duel crises of their deficiencies reporting on the Bush administration and then Trump. People often attempt to correct the wrong problem, like having a kid to save a marriage.

And her loss seems to have been a turning point for how they cover democratic candidates.

I recall the editorial team publishing a statement suggesting their neutralist approach (including publishing news that hurt Hillary’s campaign) was providing Trump too much of an advantage and commuting themselves to a more or less activist angle.

> Prominent liberals like Alan Dershowitz say they're being socially blacklisted for not taking part in a pile on against Trump: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/03/us/alan-dershowitz-martha...

Not going to directly engage with your argument, but this framing is frankly absurd. Alan Dershowitz is not "neutral" with regards to Trump, he was literally part of his legal defense team!

> Not going to directly engage with your argument, but this framing is frankly absurd. Alan Dershowitz is not "neutral" with regards to Trump, he was literally part of his legal defense team!

That article is dated a year and half prior to Trump’s impeachment. Dershowitz disagrees with Trump on policy matters on just about everything. What he doesn’t do is let his political disagreements pervert his legal opinions on constitutional matters. And hence he gets blacklisted for not joining the hate.

> he doesn’t do is let his political disagreements pervert his legal opinions on constitutional matters

I think the idea of the "apolitical" constitution is more myth than reality. Dershowitz is perhaps a liberal in the classic political philosophy sense, but I would not call him a "prominent liberal" in the American sense.

He also might have been 'blacklisted' because he was at least somewhat credibly accused of pedophilia.


> Pedophilia is not a legitimate reason to blacklist anyone

Uh, okay.

> Dershowitz disagrees with Trump on policy matters on just about everything. What he doesn’t do is let his political disagreements pervert his legal opinions on constitutional matters.

Like when Dershowitz defended Trump during the impeachment hearings, on grounds that he hadn't been shown to commit a crime, that were very tendentious and rejected by constitutional scholars? Give me a break, the man's judgement is completely compromised.


Dershowitz defended Trump because he wanted the US Embassy moved to Jerusalem. He played Trump like a fiddle.

> There have been a virtually uncountable number of high-profile investigative pieces that criticise people in power published in the last 6 months! This argument is nonsense.

They have been attack dogs of one political party or the other. But its always been this way. Social media ( especially twitter ) has shown people that journalists are political actors, not dispensers of "truth". They are part of the power structure, not a counterweight to the power structure.

At this point most newspapers should just be part of the democratic, republican or intelligence agency because that's all they are.

I can almost guarantee that most of the people here attacking greenwald and partaking in the downvote brigade are news employees or members of a particular political party. It's hilarious.

A nihilist regarding truth, I see. You might want to watch this video to see why that's a dangerous attitude, and one that plays into the hands of morally unscrupulous actors and foreign adversaries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nknYtlOvaQ0

> A nihilist regarding truth

Nope. I believe in truth. My point is that the news industry isn't in the business of truth. They have never been. The news is in the propaganda business. They exist to form opinions. It's why pretty much every news company around the world was formed by a politician, banker, industrialist or government. If trump created "Real News Company", I'm sure you'd say only the naive would view such a company as a purveyor of truth right?

> You might want to watch this video to see why that's a dangerous attitude, and one that plays into the hands of morally unscrupulous actors

You might also look up the history of the news industry, manufacturing consent, etc. And the morally unscrupulous actors are the major news companies.

The real danger is not from those who question the news, it's from those who blindly view it as the truth.

"Everything is shit and everyone is guilty" is the exact thing an autocrat needs the majority of his citizens to believe to remain in power.

Australian journalist Emma Alberici[0] was eventually forced out of the national broadcaster the ABC due primarily to a single article she wrote that was critical of the Government's economic policies, pointing to historic evidence that the policies being pursued were ineffective against the problem the Government were attempting to solve.[1][2].

There are strong implications that the ABC was pressured into editing the articles and putting Emma on the outer until finally letting her go. The ABC is a government-funded but independent media organisation, but has been subject to budget cuts and unprecedented pressure from the current Government since it came to power in 2013 under Tony Abbott.

Coincidentally or otherwise, the current Australian Government is known to have a cosy relationship with News Corp, who frequently bash the ABC for, ironically, biased reporting.




How many corrections did Emma Alberici end up publishing on that one piece?

Nine ackowledged errors of _fact_ in one news artcile containing badly supported opinion. An article of the same quality written about the other major party when in power would have got a very similar response.


"News story: government policies are garbage here's _nine_ errors of fact to support an non-opinion piece."

My opinion is that the government policies are garbage but I'm not pretending that's news, I'm not being paid by the national broadcaster to report news and I probably don't have nine errors of fact here.

There's plenty to look at in unfair media influence this story just wasn't it.

> There's plenty to look at in unfair media influence this story just wasn't it.

I disagree. However, with the rest of what you've said I'd say the truth lies somewhere in between. When pressure is brought to bear, one will find things whether they're there or not, for reasons of appeasement. This is pure opinion of mine, though, and I respect anyone's right to disagree.

from the linked article neither abc nor news ltd:

>An internal ABC review found significant problems with the article, which had been reviewed by ABC business editor Ian Verrender, including describing Etihad, Emirates and Qatar as Australian airlines, describing MYOB as a corporate advisor instead of a software company and not realising CSR had sold its sugar business.

I'm probably more accurate than that having a rant against the government while drunk in the pub. You might feel the same about your reliability yourself... ;-) She done messed up big. Really.

I'll have to listen to the podcast, but I think you're way off in thinking this kind of story makes careers. Journalists take their credibility very seriously and this story doesn't have it, at least not yet if it ever will.

Going with a story that hasn't been vetted marks a serious journalist as a dupe for the rest of their lives.

What do you mean this story hasn't been vetted? One of the major players in the story has gone on record, giving an approximately 45 minute long interview verifying the claims.

The FBI and DNI have also both confirmed the validity of the laptop. How much more "verified" than that would you need?

The same FBI claims Giuliani is being used by foreign nations to influence our elections. What's your source?


The source is the Director of National Intelligence: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/fbi-hunter-...

I don't see anything in that article that indicates that "[t]he FBI and DNI have also both confirmed the validity of the laptop".

From the article:

> Appearing Monday on Fox Business Channel, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said “there is no intelligence that supports” the idea that the purported Hunter Biden laptop and the emails on it “are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.”

Absence of intelligence that the laptop is "part of a Russian disinformation campaign" doesn't mean that the contents of the laptop are genuine. That statement still leaves open a bunch of possibilities including that the contents of the laptop were faked by non-Russians, were faked by the Russians but the US doesn't have intelligence confirming it, etc.

As for the FBI, they say "we have nothing to add" to the DNI's statement and that "the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation". Nothing in the FBI's letter says anything about the laptop's contents being genuine.

What he meant to say was: "the FBI has confirmed there is a laptop". They have no commented at all about what's on it, only to say that these emails and salacious photos were being shopped around Ukraine last year and were most likely stolen at a different time.


Director of National Intelligence a.k.a. Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe. Do you see the problem here?

"John Ratcliffe, then a lawmaker from Texas, promised senators skeptical of his vocal support for President Trump that he would be “entirely apolitical as the director of national intelligence.”

A few months into his tenure, Mr. Ratcliffe has emerged as anything but. He has approved selective declassifications of intelligence that aim to score political points, left Democratic lawmakers out of briefings, accused congressional opponents of leaks, offered Republican operatives top spots in his headquarters and made public assertions that contradicted professional intelligence assessments."


Just last week he had the FBI director stand behind him while he ad-libbed about how Iran was attacking our elections to help Trump (an off the cuff assertion that he didn't clear with the FBI director when he was shown the prepared remarks). He is not credible.

> The same FBI claims

Checks article:

> four former officials familiar with the matter.

I don't think we can call four anonymous sources the 'same FBI'.

You're propagating disinfo - in the real sense of the word, not the modern Orwellian meaning - with this line of criticism. Because this is a story that has absolutely been vetted, but the issue is all of the left-leaning mainstream media (read: literally everyone except parts of Fox News) have absolutely refused to cover this story.

Do you really believe if the same story were about a member of the Trump family, that NPR would refuse to cover it?

One more point on credibility - we literally have videos, images, text messages, e-mails of which the other recipients have been confirmed - this is all basically undeniable at this point. So the only question is, is the actual story of how the material was obtained (the laptop repair shop) true, or was the material hacked and then they basically used parallel construction to hide the true origins? That's a fine question to ask, but if you think that the material itself is false that's just completely incredible.

Take a minute to step back. What do you think is more probable. That every single news organization out there, every single journalist, including NPR as you mention, are trying to hide this very real story and are wrong, while the one publication is in the right. Or that maybe, just maybe, it's the other way around and NYP published something that has not been well vetted?

I'm inclined to agree that this story probably leads to nothing, either because it is absolutely nothing or because the corruption here is too vague to nail down (that's the smart kind to do).

But after living through the media's credulity toward the war on terror, credulity toward the war on drugs, credulity toward the satanic panic of the 90s, credulity toward the broken forensics that have gotten innocent people executed, dismissal of Juanita Broaddrick and vilification of Edward Snowden, I'm inclined to believe they are totally capable of a kind of mass group think without any need for a belief in a kind of conspiracy.

I may not have first hand experience with some of the older examples you give, but "vilification of Edward Snowden" makes no sense, considering 3 of the biggest news publications were the ones who were tasked with spreading Snowden's documents in the first place. How are they vilifying him if they're literally helping him spread the word?

I think you're using "The media" very liberally there. Were there pundits on some cable channel vilifying him? Sure. But that is in no way equivalent to every single major news publication refusing to back NYP on this report.

That's a fair argument and Snowden is the weakest of those examples. But I think the credibility media outlets lent the security apparatchiks in responding to the crisis colored the revelations in a negative way for many Americans.

Try this 30 second test on WaPo about the "Majority Illusion":


Then, with this in mind, look at the fact that almost all media is controlled by less entities than you can count on your two hands (assuming you have ten fingers):



In a democracy majority should decide what to do. But it’s not the majority who decides what _is true_.

Marc Twain used to say: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

(Interestingly you’re demanding the same: taking time to step back ;)

Your analogy doesn't really apply. These publications are all top of their field reporters. That's like saying 99% of scientist agreeing that vaccines work doesn't mean the majority is right.

In a normal population you may be right, but in a field of experts, I'm happy sticking with the majority than with the one random scientist who believes in satanic rituals telling me hydroxychloroquine works.

So do you believe in second opinions? Have you ever heard of a patient having to go to several different doctors to get the right treatment?

Reporters 30 years ago might have had standards. I think those standards have slipped tremendously.

The North Koreans trust their journalists. They are the top of their field after all.

Democracy doesn't die in darkness. It dies in uniformity and groupthink.

As so we got the replication crisis in multiple sciences.


They are still in the clear minority, just like those 3% of climate scientist who refuse to believe in climate change. The fact that the president wasn't given HCQ is all the proof you need to know how effective it is.

All the proof I need is that there is a single human being were that drug was not considered the most effective one.

Science is a method not a popularity contest.

But there have been dozens of studies showing HCQs efficacy: https://c19study.com/

That site appears to be making some obviously false claims in its analysis. For instance, tt makes this claim: "100% of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) for early, PrEP, or PEP treatment report positive effects, the probability of this happening for an ineffective treatment is 0.002."

Note that the only RCT with positive results is https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.22.20040758v...

Which was late, not early. Meanwhile, quickly searching through all the RCT's listed, there's 5 that are negative and 10 that were inconclusive (i.e. showed no benefit).

So there's 15 to 1 against the effectiveness of HCQ using the highest standard of study (RCT's), yet somehow that site attempts to represent that as 100% of 'early' RCT's showing positive results.

No, here's one: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.19.20214940v...

But the lede is buried for some reason, perhaps due to the absurd politics around HCQ:

"This is another paper where positive effects of HCQ are left out of the conclusions the paper reports. In the Table 2, the line for mortality at 28 days shows a cut by a factor of 0.54 on HCQ. The difference is not at the standard 0.05 significance level, with a p-value of 0.22. However this does not mean the result is false. It could just as well be the sample size is not large enough for the significance to reach the 0.05 level."

And some of these studies are having a hard time because the Covid mortality rate has dropped tremendously:

Internet survey RCT subject to survey bias. There was no death or ICU admission. Low risk healthcare workers, median age ~40. 494 1x/week dosing, 495 2x/week dosing, 494 control participants (1x and 2x participants received the same overall dosage).

They studied 1500 participants with no deaths.

One that shows as "Negative" : Early terminated PEP RCT comparing HCQ and vitamin C with 781 patients (83% household contacts), reporting no significant differences.

`Therapy started one day after enrollment and study supplies were sent to the participant "either by courier or mail". So the arrival time of the medication is not specified. In Boulware et al., the shipping delay was up to 3.5 days, if the delay is similar here the overall delays may be: time since first exposure - unlimited time to enrollment - up to 4 days time to telehealth meeting - 1 day (3 days if Friday enrollment?) time to receive medication - up to 3.5 days Most results including the primary 28-day PCR+ result has not bee reported yet. The study uses a low and slow dosage regimen, therapeutic levels may only be reached nearer to day 14, if at all, so day 28 results should be more informative when available (although labeled a PEP trial, with the low dosage and continuous exposure for most participants it is more of a PrEP/PEP trial where benefit might be seen later as HCQ levels increase). Endpoints were: Primary outcomes: PCR+ @28 days - NOT REPORTED YET PCR+ @14 days - aHR 0.99 [0.64-1.52]`

Right, so this RCT took up to 7 days for medication to arrive. Most people completely heal from Covid before 7 days is up.

This is why science is not some popularity contest where you can scan for counts and average the results together. It's messy, it's nuanced, it's difficult to find the correct answers and there's hundreds of confounding variables that are difficult to control for.

My claim was that the site pushes a blatantly false narrative, not that science is a popularity contest.

This paper you've cited supposedly showing positive results is a preprint and has not been published yet, which suggests it hasn't satisfied the peer review process in whichever journal it is intended to be published in. The study was also suspended partway through so it's unlikely it'll ever be completed. I don't entirely disagree that science is a pure numbers game (only papers that stand up to peer review, not only from the journal but from the wider scientific community are worth consideration), but you're undermining your own argument with this poor selection of a paper. If it does eventually end up published, and doesn't have too many glaring issues with its methodology pointed out (some of which are already indicated in the comments on medrxiv), it may be worth mentioning in the future but it certainly isn't right now. And the existence of this paper doesn't make the site's analysis any less dishonest. Suggesting 100% of papers of some particularly category when only one (in actuality none) exist is clearly wrong, and intentionally misleading if not dishonest.

I also don't entirely agree that numbers don't matter. Given a set of papers that are published, properly peer reviewed, and don't have any glaring issues with their methodology, it certainly matters if the vast majority demonstrate something while a tiny number suggest something else. This would indicate that tiny number are outliers, and may have had some problems that weren't immediately obvious. Otherwise, their results would have been reproducable which is a key indication of the validity of their empirical data.

There are also other, better studies that show negative results or no benefit. Why did you pick this particular one?

I don't agree with the site's slant. I use the site as a collection of studies to click through and read directly. They also have studies on Vitamin D, Remdesivir, etc (along the top).

The studies that show no benefit aren't complete in and of themselves. I have yet to see some perfectly conducted RCT on HCQ. The treatment that was prescribed originally by Didier Raoult was HCQ + AZ + Zinc. I have a hard time finding a good RCT on those 3 drugs provided immediately after diagnosis. The retrospective analysis seems to indicate a benefit. Either way, I think the entire politicization of the drug early on in the pandemic, where it was cast as "dangerous" even though it has been approved as a phrophylactic in pregnant women and used as an antiviral for 60 years, was completely hysterical.

The side effects have also been known for a long time, which is why dosage is carefully monitored in Lupus patients and blindness is an anticipated side effect.

My understanding is that another side effect of HCQ is that it extends the QT cycle, and given the duress COVID-19 puts on the heart, there is not an insignificant risk of cardiak arrest. There may not be as much data to show this as conclusively or prevalently as some might like, but the underlying mechanisms are well enough understood that it would be reckless to continue prescribing HCQ until it had been sufficiently demonstrated that the benefits outweighed this risk.

There really wasn't sufficient reason to think that HCQ would work in the first place, based on any understanding of how the drugs works. It was just the original, now discredited paper from China that opened up the floodgates in the first place. The antiviral properties are far too weak and would require far too high (dangerous) concentrations in vivo, far in excess of what's commonly prescribed for other purposes, to match the earlier in vitro results. If there's any benefit to HCQ, it would be from immunosupression. But dexamethasone serves that purpose much more effectively, and has shown much better results so it doesn't make much sense to continue exploring HCQ.

Every single journalist? What about Glenn Greenwald? How about Matt Taibi?

Err, sorry I meant publication. What other large real publication has been willing to back up NYP?

No mainstream publication has been willing to do so.

And IMO, that should be seen as an indictment of the state of the modern corporate press, as opposed to an indication that the story lacks veracity.

As we've seen repeatedly over the last four years, the mainstream media is happy to amplify absurd stories - the Trump "suckers and losers" story which was quickly debunked, the entire Russia Collusion narrative, etc - if it serves their own interests.

So to view what is reported in the mainstream media as the barometer of what is true is to commit an enormous error.

I'm sorry, I'll still rather take their word than those of a random internet stranger. And I'd like to see your proof of the "suckers and losers" story being "easily debunked, when it not only came from multiple sources, but it even matches very easily to actual public things Trump has said or implied, or the fact that he himself is a war dodger.

And again, as stated above, take a moment to consider what you're actually implying. That publications such as NPR, AP, BBC, Reuters, some of the least partisan and most trusted news source with the hardest working journalist dedicated their life to communicating the facts. You're claiming that they are hiding the truth in some big conspiracy and that your one flaky source is the one telling the truth? Cmon man, don't be an old facebook grampa...

For suckers and losers, there is an e-mail that has been verified that confirmed that due to weather Trump never made the visit. The story was also denied by Bolton who is very anti-trump.

Were you around for the early 2000's Iraq War? Because that's exactly what happened.

What an idiotic statement. You could have said the exact same thing about the second Iraqi war. Also the conservative media is jumping all over this. Perhaps it’s only the media that you choose to believe.

The "conservat media" is reblogging it, not investigator it.

Tucker Carlson is telling absurd lies that he "lost the evidence in the mail" before making copies of it.

UPS says they found the missing package.


He did not say "before making copies". I watched that segment, and he did not say that. Now, he didn't make it clear that he had made copies in the segment, but in other venues he did assert that copies were made.

UPS also acknowledged that the package was indeed opened and the contents missing (though they did find them later).

The point, as he admitted in a text to journalist Roger Sollenberger, was that he was convinced that someone was monitoring his texts. That may be paranoid speculation, but it is not a lie.

And the liberal media isn’t investigating either. All politicized.

I think many of these institutions are probably experiencing some internal tension about whether to publish this story, but that they dominant culture and voices are so panicked about the possibility of a Trump re-election that they are highly resistant to granting the story any credibility.

By the way, the emails found on the laptop have now been authenticated by a 3rd party security firm that has been relied upon before by "mainstream" publications like the Washington Post[1]. Not to mention that there is Tony Bobulinski, the CEO of Sinohawk that was founded in partnership with the Biden's, who has publicly stated that not only was Joe Biden aware of his son's foreign business activities, but that he believes Joe Biden was part of the bribery scheme.

[1] https://amp.dailycaller.com/2020/10/29/cybersecurity-expert-...

> What do you think is more probable. That every single news organization out there, every single journalist, including NPR as you mention, are trying to hide this very real story and are wrong, while the one publication is in the right. Or that maybe, just maybe, it's the other way around and NYP published something that has not been well vetted?

Great thought exercise. I'm happy to inform you that I have actually already considered both scenarios and am confident that it really is this:

> every single news organization out there, every single journalist, including NPR as you mention, are trying to hide this very real story and are wrong

If you look back at the media in the last four years that shouldn't be as surprising as you are implying.

Although I take issue with "every single journalist", since the point of Greenwald's piece, among others, is that even if one journalist wants to tell the truth, they will be suppressed.


To go more concrete here though, are you specifically claim that the materials are not real, or that the story of how they were acquired is false? The former is absolutely undeniable; the latter is up for debate but I personally don't even think the laptop repair shop story is fabricated.

I personally watched (part of) the video of Hunter Biden smoking crack while receiving a footjob, so unless you think it's a body double or a deepfake there is no doubt in my mind that these documents are real. Furthermore the big smoking gun is the financial documents which should be trivially easy for a journalist to debunk. So if you want to question how the materials are acquired, go ahead, but the documents themselves are real, and they show very questionable business dealings in China, Ukraine, and Russia.

BTW, the existence for years now of the Russia Collusion hoax - namely, the debunked notion that Trump is a vassal of Vladimir Putin and directly colluded with Russia to win the US election - should tell us everything we need to know about the intellectual integrity of the corporate press.

No, every left wing news organization buried it. Even though those same organizations were happy to publish accusations of a supreme court committing gang rapes with no basis.

Fox covered it. NYP covered it. Independent journalists covered it. Left wing corporates did not.

Given the events of the past few years, with the media spending 3 years of our precious existence on salacious and false Russia conspiracy theories...maybe just maybe the NY Post has it right.

Fox and NYP are both Murdoch-controlled and are located at the same address. They don't count as independent verification from one another.

NYP has had access to the hard drive for two weeks. Independent journalists do not. Left wing corporates do not have access to the hard drive and don't run stories when they can't vet it.


Their editorial teams are independent. Yes they're right leaning, but you can't expect the left wing to report on its own these days. As for the laptop contents, they've been leaked on the internet already.

And yes they do run stories when they can't vet it. They lost a settlement with Nick Sandmann over it: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/24/media/washington-post-sandman...

They don't have to physically hold every piece of evidence and forensically investigate it in order to report a story. No one did that with the Snowden story that Glennwald broke. That's ridiculous. You simply frame it as "Documents Reportedly Show Biden Family Involved with Chinese Business Deals" or "Questions Surround Biden Family Foreign Business".

"They don't have to physically hold every piece of evidence and forensically investigate it in order to report a story."

Do you consider fact-checking a form of censorship?

Was the Steele dossier "fact-checked" before being reported?

> Journalists have essentially become socialites. They don't want to publish articles that will rock the boat, because the people they are friends with are the ones that own that boat, invite them to parties, and are a part of their friend groups.

Sounds like they are taking the path that academia took.

Can you be a bit more specific on what you believe to be so important/surprising/relevant about this story that would make an entire journalistic career? What is the story that is not being told, and actively being suppressed? I have been following this quite closely and can't see it.

Did you watch the Tony Babulinksi interview with Tucker Carlson? It shows that Joe Biden had an ownership stake in and was directly involved with his son's company that received a 5-10 million forgivable loan from a top member of the Chinese Communist party. This directly contradicts claims Joe Biden has made throughout his campaign and at the last debate.

Fox News argued before Mary Kay Vyskocil, United States District Judge, well, to use the court's words: "Fox persuasively argues, that given Mr. Carlson's reputation, any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism' about the statement he makes."

My question to you is: are you arriving with an appropriate amount of skepticism?

Tucker Carlson is not a credible source, and nothing aired on that program "showed" anything definitive except accusations that were made. The Wall Street Journal ran their own story on these allegations and found no link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/hunter-bidens-ex-business-partn...

> the statement he makes.

You're not parsing the legalese finely enough. It says the statement in that quote. Not every statement, but just one in paritcular. They defended one particular statement Tucker made on air in that lawsuit as "rhetorical hyberbole" which is a defense against defamation that has been used in, e.g. the Larry Flint case.

You can read more about what rhetorical hyperbole if you wish:



This is not the sort of argument you should make if you want people to take your opinions on legal matters seriously.

Tucker Carlson isnt the source, Tony Babulinski is the source. Im not a regular Fox viewer but I think you should watch the interview, Tony comes off as very credible. An interesting feature of this story is that Tony Babulinski's claims are corroborated by Hunter Biden's own words. That seems pretty definitive to me.

I cant read passed the first paragraph of that article because of the paywall, Im curious how they can possibly say that there is no link when we have so much first hand evidence of a link. Can you please let me know? Imho the only room for judgement is whether or not you find the link unethical or significant but to deny it exists seems disingenuous to me.

You haven't given me any reason to believe these allegations, and I have seen the interview and I am not persuaded that Tony is a credible source.

Now what.

Now nothing, youre entitled to your opinion. Cheers!

But from your comment above, can you please let me know why the WSJ says there is no connection between Hunter's company and Joe Biden despite Hunter's texts discussing Joe's involvement?

Here's a quote from the WSJ:

“Text messages and emails related to the venture that were provided to the Journal by Mr. Bobulinski, mainly from the spring and summer of 2017, don’t show either Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture,”


The Wall Street Journal investigated corporate filings and paperwork that indicated the opposite of the alleged connection. So at least in terms of above-board money flowing around, they investigated and saw nothing untoward.

So, is it a he-said, she-said? No. The texts can't be verified as they came from a laptop that no one can prove actually belonged to Hunter Biden.

From an outside infosec perspective, without the whole picture, it looks like the laptops are a mix of what happened with Podesta's emails (hacked by a foreign intelligence agency in a disinformation campaign and laundered through WikiLeaks to make the lot seem credible) placed on a physical device and dropped off in a place with a tip-off to a susceptible target (Rudy Giuliani).

There's no evidence Hunter Biden (a Delaware resident) traveled traveled to a no-name retailer in a city he doesn't live in (!) to get laptops that were in-warranty (!) repaired there instead of the Apple Store (!), where they offered to do many, many hours of labor backing up those laptops for only $85 (in New York City?!), and then Hunter forgot the laptops and left them there (!) even though they contained allegedly damning images, allegedly child pornography, and allegedly damning business records detailing financial ties between his father and a foreign power, and that it just so happened that the retailer was active on social media as a Trump supporter (!) and somehow knew how to get in touch with Rudy Giuliani (!) to convey these laptops to Rudy, where they then sat for nearly 10 months unpublished (!). Even by the loosest standards for an evidentiary chain of custody, that's pretty bad.

Rudy Giuliani also tweeted out alleged "text messages" from this laptop that were pictures taken of a blackberry showing a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation, and in the top left corner of the screenshot showed a Russian telecom network.

Example: https://twitter.com/mikeemanuelfox/status/131928209151992218...

So, no, I don't think these claims are in any way credible. I think it's very unlikely that Hunter Biden would do those things, and I think the entire story beggars belief. That's why the story was shopped around to multiple outlets, that's why the New York Post was the only to go forward with it, and it's why the Wall Street Journal's coverage of it was incredulous because the only records they could verify contradicted these wild accusations.

I really want to see the actual texts so we can do DKIM validation and not have to take anyone's word for it. It looks like Gmail has used the same key since 2016, so this should be possible.

  dig +short 20161025._domainkey.gmail.com txt
  OpHamlRG+YRJQqR" "tqEgSiJWG7h7efGYWmh4URhFM9k9+rmG/CwCgwx7Et+c8OMlngaLl04 
I heard claims that someone at ErrataSec has the emails and did this validation, but I want to do it myself.

Only one email so far, but here you go:


I've put some whitespace in your comment because it was borking the page layout. Sorry - it's our bug.

Thank you for fixing it!

Correction, you Will hear the tape!!!

Watch the interviews on Tucker Carlson tonight. You will see the text messages, you will see the documents, you won’t hear the tapes that were recorded as he was speaking to these people.

> youre entitled to your opinion

you are entitled to say you believe something with no evidence, and he's entitled to say that's a ridiculous thing to do.

> can you please let me know why the WSJ says there is no connection between Hunter's company and Joe Biden despite Hunter's texts discussing Joe's involvement?

Are you serious? Read the article. Your text conspiracy involves believing that certain codewords are referring to Joe Biden. It's Pizzagate all over again. "It all makes perfect sense as long as some words mean something other than what they mean!"

I am so sick of this lunacy.

The face to face meetings Babulinski and Joe Biden had along with the recordings, hard drives, emails original phones and text messages. All were just authenticated by the FBI and Senate.

Because the bumbling relatives of powerful people exaggerate their connection and involvement all the time. Without further evidence of Joe Biden's involvement, this amounts to hearsay.

That indicates the media should probably ask Biden about this and almost nothing more.

That’s ok. The Senate and the FBI have said the evidence is real.

https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/oct/29/tony-bobulins... includes what the WSJ found:

The Wall Street Journal reviewed his documents and found no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden — or that he was active in his family’s foreign business endeavors, as Bobulinski claimed.

Bobulinski’s overarching claim is that Joe Biden was involved in, and may have profited from, his son and brother’s business dealings in China. He called Joe Biden’s claim that he never played a role in Hunter Biden’s foreign business endeavors "a blatant lie."

But the Journal reported that the text messages and emails Bobulinski shared from 2017 "don’t show either Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture."

The venture in China "never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals, according to people familiar with the matter," the outlet reported. "Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden."

The Journal also quoted Gilliar, the British national involved in SinoHawk, as saying he was "unaware of any involvement at any time of the former vice president." Gilliar added that "the activity in question never delivered any project revenue."

I think you fundamentally misunderstand the role and requirements of serious journalism. One is attempting to corroborate information, and weighing that information by the likelihood that it is, in fact, fact. Tony may have seemed very credible to you, but I think that there are many people who are good at seeming credible while lying. So unless the specific information you find damning is corroborated by some source independent of Bobulinski, serious journalists will not and should not present it as fact.

Tucker Carlson is not serious journalism - he's opinion at best and propaganda at worst. None of the above applies to him (as persuasively argued by Fox News itself).

Let me quote the WSJ linked above: >The venture—set up in 2017 after Mr. Biden left the vice presidency and before his presidential campaign—never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals, according to people familiar with the matter. Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.

Here's a detailed Q&A by NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/25/us/politics/bidens-china....

CEFC was supposed to send $5mill to Tony and Hunter's company and 5mil to Hunter Biden as a loan. They did indeed never send the money to the company but we know from the senate report that CEFC did indeed send 5 million directly to Hunter. And official documents showing no role for joe biden is expected as this looks really bad for him. We know from Hunter Biden's email that his share was being held by his family members. Again Hunter Biden wrote that not Tony.

We don't know that at all, you've begged the question by assuming the veracity of the disinformation and then used that to justify the authenticity of further disinformation.

This NBC News story should help you understand the origin of this conspiracy: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1245387

Why did NYT run the "senior administration official" story then?

It was an op-ed, not a story by the NYT.

Tucker Carlson is a professional entertainer. Why are you mentioning him in a discussion of journalism?

Tucker Carlson ... the man who lost the important document in the world ... who claimed in his defense that no one should take his TV show seriously ... that Tucker Carlson?

Why the fuck would you use that as a source?

I'm curious about this too. It definitely doesn't help that every single person involved in the story has zero credibility left, starting with a "lawyer" who has time and time again been caught peddling the president's lies, has exposed himself to a "15yo" reporter, and who the intelligence community say is being used by foreign nations to meddle in our elections.

Oof, took me a couple tries to figure out specifically which trump lawyer you were describing because your description roughly fits a few of them

> This story seems like the type of thing that would normally make peoples' entire journalistic career, and yet the journalists, the people who are supposed to be a part of our protection and sense-making system are actively trying to suppress it.

This story is the type of thing that would make peoples' entire journalistic career if it was true. And if a journalist pushes it, and it turns out false, it would ruin their entire career—for instance, see Dan Rather. So journalists have to assess how likely they feel that it's true, and I think we've seen a pretty consistent response to those assessments.

Just because a story can rock the boat doesn't mean it passes the journalistic bar to be published.

My take based on all parties' responses is that Glenn threw a tantrum because his editors were doing their job (stopping unsubstantiated lies from being published).

> Journalists have essentially become socialites. They don't want to publish articles that will rock the boat, because the people they are friends with are the ones that own that boat, invite them to parties, and are a part of their friend groups.

Watch The Post, and you'll see this sort of thing goes (at least) back to The Pentagon Papers. I'm not old enough to have watched this play out in real time, so it was an eye opener. The owner of The Washington Post was cozy in the circles the President ran around in, and had to weigh what it would mean to him personally to run that series of articles.

The thing is, Greenwald is an editorialist and a pundit.

I don't mean to give the intercept a pass here, but what Greenwald was doing wasn't "journalism" in the sense that most people think of it. This isn't "his" story - he didn't break it and he didn't do the primary research.

Does his background give him insights that could make for a good editorial? Perhaps, and the Intercept used to pull no punches on that kind of content. But it's not like he deserved any real "credit" or "blame" for the story itself, which was reported by other outlets.

Greenwald was not claiming he is breaking the story. He was trying to shed light into the media blacklisting of the story. It is indeed Ironic that his story got blacklisted as well!

I think some editors are perhaps trying to avoid a repeat of the 'Hillary email/Comey announcement of 2016' scenario but didn't anticipate the Streisand effect.

In hindsight, best approach may have been to cover the story, get a sound bite from Biden denying that he benefitted, say there is no evidence he benefitted and leave it at that.

It's not just journalists, it's the entire class of "thoughtleaders" and such in the tri-state area.

> Glenn had a 3 hour long conversation on a podcast a few days ago where he laid out the problem really well:


> The reporting around this story has been absolutely unbelievable to me

OK, here's the thing though. This is what I call the "Jordan Peterson school of thought."

You begin with a premise. Hunter Biden left his laptop at a repair store, some files were found on it, and these were delivered to a Republican Party muck-raker (and that is the most neutral thing you can say about Giuliani).

But, before you examine the premise, you are invited to look at the implications. If this is true then Hunter Biden has traded on his father's name! If this is true then Hunter Biden has gotten involved with some shady characters in Ukraine! If this is true, why hasn't Joe Biden ever recused himself from his dealings with these self-same shady characters?! And the biggest thing... why isn't the Main Stream Media (MSM) doing something about this? What do they have to hide?!

In short, you are set a premise, you are required to accept the truth of this premise, then you are pulled on an emotional journey about where the premise leads you...

But the premise is garbage. In Jordan Peterson's case, the US military is not the same in terms of complexity as real life, for instance. In this case, the Hunter Biden forgot his laptop story does not appear to hold water. You would have to assume a range of additional entities for it to make sense.

The reason the media are not reporting on this is because they want evidence that Hunter owned that laptop and that it is, as the US Intelligence community already pointed out, likely Russian interference. (No additional entities assumed here, since their intention to disrupt the US election is well documented, videoed and demonstrated).

Why this story is gaining so much traction on HN is beyond me. I am sure that Biden does not have the pearly white hands of a saint, nor is Trump as evil as he is sometimes painted, but I need you to pay the coin of logic before you expect me to invest in your emotional stock.

Does the method of collection matter for determining the truth of the matter? This is the same defense or reasoning as the HRC emails in 2016. Does it matter if HRC emails were a DNC insider or a foreign agent hacking? Does it matter Hunter emails, msgs and videos were from an abandoned laptop, a chinese blackmail operation, or another source?

Isn't the real question: are the emails authentic? Or have they been manipulated? What do the emails and private messages tell us? What can other sources corroborate? I think this is Glenn's point. There are sources coming forward saying the emails and meetings that involve them are authentic.

The Biden campaign has never disputed the authenticity of the contents of the HDD (because that is a trap. they know that the trump campaign has evidence, and they are smart to not get caught in a lie. then the lie about the laptop becomes the story)

   We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, 
  provided to the New York Post by
  President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are 
  genuine or not and that we do not have
  evidence of Russian involvement -- just that our 
  experience makes us deeply suspicious that the
  Russian government played a significant role in this 


>> Journalists have essentially become socialites. They don't want to publish articles that will rock the boat

Here's how Frederik deBoer puts it (https://fredrikdeboer.com/2020/10/30/only-the-club-remains/):

"The social capture of media plays a huge role in how media operates, dictating what gets reported and which voices are heard. To some degree this is overt – if you you have drinks with the right people in media, that improves your ability to get published. That’s a fact; just a fact, a plain fact. And if you retweet the right people’s tweets that helps too. But there’s a deeper and subtler element to this. What you must show is not that you are talented, or that you’re principled, or that you’re hard working, or even that your arguments are correct. You have to show that you are one of them. You have to have the right social and cultural signifiers. They are innumerable and stretch from performing the right woke posturing and commenting on the correct TV shows to (especially, especially) telling the same kind of shitty, inside-dealing jokes, the kind that say to everyone “I am a member of a club, and it is very important.” Professional, political, and moral considerations have been consumed. There is only idenitification with the group, now. The sole criterion for having a successful career in media today is the degree to which you can signal to the crowd that you are one of them, that you share their values and petty obsessions."

There have always been socialite-class journalists, and under-class journalists. The problem is that the people coming out of journalism schools these days want fame and to become YouTube stars, rather than change the world for the better. And the schools optimize for this desire in order to keep the tuition money flowing in.

Aformentioned podcast link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0rcLsoIKgA

It's more that journalists don't want to upset their boss and their boss doesn't want to upset their boss and all the way up the chain. Somewhere in that chain is someone that is aligned with getting that particular story suppressed. The issue here is that somewhere along the way, keeping your job became more valuable than keeping your integrity. Happens in tech all the time in my experience.

I thought Peter Maas email (that Greenwald posted) asking him for edits was very good.


Greenwald’s piece has some good points about lazy and biased journalism on the Hunter Biden story, but goes off the rails when he misrepresents what actually happened with Joe Biden firing the Ukraine prosecutor.

> Journalists have essentially become socialites.

Glenn earned 400k a year at the intercept and has no end of opportunities now that he's quit and blamed the mythical "liberal bias" on his unceremonious departure.

The system set up by people ignorant to its effects many many years ago has succeeded in making everything a choice between two factions. It's no longer just guaranteeing you forever get two parties, two candidates, you now also need to join a side individually.

It's silly watching from afar because as is highly likely, both choices are bad so embracing one of them so wholeheartedly just comes across as uninformed and plain mental. Not much more needs to be said on Trump but it also doesn't take a history diploma to know Biden wrote the 1994 "tough on crime, law and order" bill.

By this logic most of NYT senior staff should be close friends with Trump.

Trump for years has attacked the media - what do you expect?

And now I'm supposed to suddenly accept this "scandal" conveniently placed right before the election in a literal tabloid with a huge conservative bent?

I mean how can anyone who doesn't support Trump already buy in? And then it's "oh my god censorship!!!". Give me a break.

If journalists didn’t rock the boat, the current POTUS would be very happy. But they do, and he’s not, so this theory seems to have no merit.

The journalists are not on that boat with the POTUS, so they are more than happy to rock it.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact