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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Any report I see, they are presenting their statements with ground report backed by statistics, usually by Govt. data.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What the lies manufactured was not a "reality", it was an excuse.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
OTOH, ISTR that she was at least accused of actively deceiving her editors.
Even ignoring how these accusations oversell some supposedly uniform position of the the paper, that sounds like a pretty good batting average.
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.
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.
Let’s say they covered Hunter Biden scandal. How much would that cost them? Quite a bit I bet
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?
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 ?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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'.
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?"
Biases are inescapable, but there is no need to be fatalist about it.
To rip off a pg-ism, they are intentional moderates. Intentional moderates are boring.
Good journalism and opinion writing isn't boring, it's absolutely fascinating, and that's something I find The Economist lacks.
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.
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...
> 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))
> 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.
In case anyone is wondering -https://www.epsilontheory.com/gell-mann-amnesia/
In 2015, the publishing house Pearson sold their majority stake to a bunch of globalists: the Agnelli family, the Rotschilds, Cadbury, etc.
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.
There’s been no change in editorial control or voice in the paper. It’s all you.
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.
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.
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.
Though generally I just refer to these people as Reptilians.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, in the opinion pages, Strassell promoted it with abandon.
Totally. Without. Merit.
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.
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.
It’s a sad state of affairs when people confuse the two.
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.
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?
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.
In more specialized fields, sure nothing beats an expert.
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.
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.
Could you explain what you meant with it?
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.
The economist has some of the worst journalism I have ever seen. Lots of snark and no information.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
"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...
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.
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.
Someone else shared this on HN in the last few weeks, and I've been looking at it almost daily.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So it doesn't seem to me that it's "trust" you are aiming for here.
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.
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.
...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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is it possible that Mr. Greenwald is a better judge of whether or not there is a story here?
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.
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.
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 think that's a fair assessment to make.
In this case, appealing to a Pulitzer-winning journalist's ability to judge the credibility and possible scope of a story is reasonable.
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.
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. 
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?
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.
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?
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 very much does not, you just invented that.
> Lot's of people, including Glen Greenwald and Matt Taibbi
What a joke.
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 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.
Why would you think it's a QAnon thing? Q clearance has to do with nuclear weaponsand related materials. 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.
You. Aren't. Fooling. Anyone.
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.
This is a cynical game and I'm sick of so many people playing it willingly.
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.
You? The NYT and WaPo? Sure doesn't sound like it.
"Yeah but what happens if Biden commits theoretical crimes in the future? What then?"
Biden's gonna win, most likely, will any pushback against our government be met with "what about Trump" for 4 years?
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?
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
I'm afraid that's where our politics are at.
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.
Seriously, it has been over four years since Clinton and the Podesta emails. How can anyone still be this naive?
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.
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.
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?
Protecting their worldview depends on it.
The 64 page article NBC is talking about here is unrelated.
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.
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 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.
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.
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".
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. One of the main sources was also identified as a potential national security risk 
> 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.
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.
> 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 
- Both the FBI and DOJ assert there is no reason to believe this is part of a Russian disinformation campaign 
- Hunter's lawyers asked for the laptop back from the repair shop 
- 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 
- No one associated with the Bidens has ever claimed that the laptop/emails did not belong to Hunter 
- The Washington Post has acknowledged that this likely isn't a foreign intelligence operation 
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.
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.
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.
That's the game.
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.
No that's the active measures of a spy agency.
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.
Referring to that as journalism is an insult to actual journalists.
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 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?
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.
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.
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 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) ?
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.
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.
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.
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...
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).
That's not restricted to journalism, either.
Greenwald may be a great journalist but that doesn't mean his word is now taken on faith alone.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
There's no inherent reason the colleagues are more likely to be correct.
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
Down with peer-reviewed journals! We should just take scientists on their word that they're operating professionally!
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
Sensationalism because he uncovered evidence of mass surveillance. Who is a better journalist?
Greenwald is the de facto leader of this movement.
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.
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?
Side note: NBC broke a story broke a few hours ago showing that this was a case of false news.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this point, 4 days from the election, you should be especially skeptical of extraordinary claims without proof.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
This is exactly why I decided to sub for Greenwald for $5/month on Substack.
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.
Their talking heads on the other hand...
Plausible motive for the thief could have been risk assessment for the documents.
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-...
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.
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.
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.
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?
Then where are all the labor and communist newspapers? Seems like nothing much has changed to me.
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.
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.
Well, if they're true. But nobody pays for the truth anymore.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Polarization and factionalism on both sides of the media is the problem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
>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.
Going with a story that hasn't been vetted marks a serious journalist as a dupe for the rest of their lives.
The FBI and DNI have also both confirmed the validity of the laptop. How much more "verified" than that would you need?
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.
"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.
> four former officials familiar with the matter.
I don't think we can call four anonymous sources the 'same FBI'.
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.
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 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.
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):
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 ;)
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.
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.
But there have been dozens of studies showing HCQs efficacy: https://c19study.com/
Note that the only RCT with positive results is
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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...
Tucker Carlson is telling absurd lies that he "lost the evidence in the mail" before making copies of it.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Do you consider fact-checking a form of censorship?
Sounds like they are taking the path that academia took.
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...
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.
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.
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?
“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,”
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.
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.
dig +short 20161025._domainkey.gmail.com txt
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.
That indicates the media should probably ask Biden about this and almost nothing more.
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."
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:
This NBC News story should help you understand the origin of this conspiracy: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1245387
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.