[ this post has updates below ]

Past is prologue and nobody’s learned a damned thing.

Led by New York Times, American-news media contributed to destabilizing global order in 2016 by “both sides!”-ing Hillary’s email and Trump Crime Family’s misdeeds.

Not to worry, NYT has kept up Donald-normalization in earnest with access journalists taking a crap on standards and practices—as I’ve outlined in past editions here, here and here.

We need to talk about Ken Vogel

As of right now president* Trump is being impeached for precisely what access-journalist Ken Vogel (late of Hillary hit-pieces for Politico; now doing Neera Tanden hit tweets concurrent to other stuff) marked as “SCOOP!” atop his Twitter thread. (Writer’s note: surprised he hasn’t deleted the thread entirely but I suppose it’d make his Giuliani marketing brochure look more obvious.)

I repeat: House Democrats are currently trying to untangle the spiderweb of malfeasance in Ukraine that Vogel billed as a “SCOOP” back in May. This presents some awkward questions:

  • Will NYT ever retract those stories? History says they won’t
  • Does Vogel realize his reporting ostensibly furthered a conspiracy to tamper with an American election?
  • What does Vogel have to say about his co-writer getting a job as spokesperson for Ukraine president Zelenskyy after their piece was published? Did he know she was in the running for this job?

Here’s a brief Vogel timeline that will hopefully illustrate how we got here:

January 2017: Vogel & David Stern publish “Ukrainian Efforts to Sabotage Trump Backfire” in Politico, a bollocks story that “caused a massive shockwave across the conservative fringe. It’s regularly posted to 4chan and Reddit as smoking gun proof of Democratic collusion. It was linked to by right-wing news site Daily Wire as recently as last month,” according to BuzzFeed. Post is still live with no attribution and still fuels RW hysteria, even during impeachment hearings.

May 2019: Vogel types up another Rudy G press release, this time at his new employer New York Times. “Clinton Cash” mastermind (LOL) Peter Schweitzer—who fancies himself as conservative journalist (ROTFL)—is also behind this loosely collected hysterical nonsense that Joe Biden somehow inappropriately interfered in Ukraine’s politics. None of it is true; 0.00% of that is factual. Like The Clap at a Swingers party Vogel’s disinformation spread around RWNJ Conservative Media Complex quite quickly indeed. Trump and his people amplified it, naturally.

Even Fruity G got in on the action and signal-boosted Vogel’s piece adding his own, new set of lies on top of it.

NYT stands by its reporting because NYT doesn’t apologize nor retract anything even if it’s based on lies or itself contributed to destabilizing the world as we know it.


When a Twitter block is a ‘tell’

Twitter is a great vehicle to compliment journalists who post beautiful prose; Twitter is also great for speaking up to reporters who face-plant on hugely consequential stories. Spoiler: they don’t always appreciate constructive criticism. Getting huffy is a cottage industry for our more thin-skinned journalist brothers and sisters.

I was in the midst of researching/writing this post and preparing to DM Vogel questions but alas that won’t be possible now; I’ll send them to NYT media relations and see if I get an answer. I won’t hold my breath.

In the meantime, cancel your NYT subscriptions and go for your local paper or website. Vogel is political operative masquerading as journalist and you shouldn’t endorse that behavior with your subscription money or attention.

Bottom line: we’re about to head into an historic moment this week when Intelligence Committee hands off impeachment proceedings to Judiciary. ALL of it will be based on attempts to sully Biden’s name while holding $400M hostage, and Vogel did the work of white house*—and, by extension, The Kremlin—like it was breaking news.

I’ll update with any further developments 🇨

UPDATE (6 Dec 2019): Ukrainian fugitive Oleksandr Onyshchenko has been arrested in Germany. Onyshchenko was feeding information in the hysterical right-wing disinformation fever swamp on Biden & Burisma—which is the cornerstone of Ken Vogel’s “reporting.” from The Daily Beast:

In early November, Onyshchenko told the obscure right-wing news site CD Media that “there were ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ payments to the Biden family” made by Burisma and that an FBI agent “directed the coverup of the Biden scandal at the time, in concert with the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, and other Deep State American government assets ‘in-country.’” The claim resembled the same conspiracy theories spun by Giuliani in his successful campaign to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Will Pollocksideways is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.

In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.

Obsessed with good storytelling and journalistic excellence, Will uses snark, humor and reason to distill dumb shit and make it fun. He’s a seeker/maker of non-consensus news, and helps you cure crankies by finding the nut in every story.

As for-profit media continues to fail us, it’s more important than ever to find reliable sources. Authentic storytelling exists—you just have to look for it. On this blog you’ll get ideas, not ideology. Sass with class. Reporting with rapport. Evidence with a touch of evil. You get the idea.

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