Tag: New York Times

Media turning to bullshit tracing to improve quality of misinformation

Concerned that the product their peddling is so transparently dishonest it’s turning away consumers, media outlets are turning to bullshit tracing to vet the quality of its misinformation.  In recent weeks, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have hired dozens of bullshit tracers in an effort to ensure their deceptive stories are backed up by rock-solid sourcing.  

“If you’re going to put something out there that is misleading or untrue, you’ve got to make sure when you trace back the bullshit, it holds up to scrutiny,” said one CNN producer.  “Too many times we see our stories fall apart after some non-journalist digs a little deeper below the surface, or provides some context.”

The move comes after both CNN and the Washington Post have settled defamation lawsuits brought by Covington Catholic teen Nick Sandmann.  Sandmann is now 2-0 in his defamation battles against a number of high profile media outlets.

“What this shows is we have to do better.  Not that we need to stop being deceptive, or that we need to tell the whole story rather than just the tiny bit that suits a narrative we’re pushing, but that we need to make sure our bullshit is impenetrable.  If the reader can cut through it, then we’re not doing our jobs,” said a Washington Post editor.

While the New York Times has not had to endure the wrath of the Sandmann, its own bullshit reporting has been called out by respected historians and high-profile editorial staff.

“The truth to bullshit ratio is something that is very important to us,” said a Times editor.  “We’re constantly striving to find that balance between what feels right versus what is born out by facts.  We think bringing in these bullshit tracers is going to help us strike that balance of misinformation backed up by an adequate amount of honest reporting.”

Not everyone is thrilled to have the content of their reporting traced for exposure to bullshit.  Rumors abound of a mutinous NY Times newsroom where young journalists resent having their lived-experience reporting subjected to tracking and scrutiny.  Some are openly hostile toward the bs tracers, claiming they create an unsafe work environment.

“Maybe someday we’ll have a return to normal, but for now, the bullshit tracers are necessary because the threat is too great,” said the Times editor.  “The Sandmann could enter at any moment and haul us all off to never-never land.” 

With departure of Bari Weiss and James Bennet, New York Times reaches 84% purity

The product the New York Times is pushing just got a lot more potent.  Long plagued by writers and editors who diluted the Grey Lady’s package with their heterodox perspectives and values of free speech and open debate, the new product boasts, “Now featuring 40% more woke orthodoxy!” 

News that unscrupulous dealers like James Bennet and Bari Weiss were stepping on the NYT’s righteous product caused other newsroom soldiers to demand the pair get got.  Their departure clears the way for greater dopamine inducing stories.  If The Times is only doing 4000 op-eds arguing that Donald Trump is a unique existential threat to the country and the world, now’s the opportunity to push an additional 1000.  

Only this week, the Grey Lady pushed its Covid coverage to new levels of mendacity and deception.  The Times has always taken a particular glee in reporting on Covid deniers who eventually contract the disease and then express regret for their previous position as they lay sick in the hospital.  Recently, they ran the story, Texas Hospital Says Man, 30, Died After Attending a ‘Covid Party.’  According to the article, the man always thought the virus was a hoax, but admitted, “I think I made a mistake,” just before dying.  However, by the fifth paragraph, the reporter, Brian Pietsch, reveals none of the details of the account could be verified. 

So, who cares if the stories are true, if it feels right and fits the predetermined narrative, then it’s fit to print.  Waves of smug satisfaction washing over Times readers, as their ideological notions are affirmed by the paper of record, is the only truth that matters anymore.         

Already reports are emerging of readers collapsing in the streets, New York Times still wedged under their arm, eyes rolled back in ecstasy.  Emergency rooms are seeing an uptick as well.  Not all readers are prepared for this level of purity.  However, most want more.  “Give us the good ones, Grey Lady,” they say.

After exhaustive investigation, media concludes Americans often set off fireworks around July 4th

The results are finally in regarding all those firecrackers you’ve heard popping at night and the colored lights you’ve seen bursting in the evening sky.  A two-week intensive investigation conducted by a number of media outlets has concluded that Americans enjoy setting off fireworks on and around the Independence Day holiday. 

While your average American probably thought some nefarious government plot was afoot, the New York Times and Slate, among others, went digging into this pyrotechnic phenomenon to dispel any conspiracy theories that these news organizations and their Pulitzer Prize winning staff members may have promoted.

To be clear, this is not a government psy-op.  Illegal fireworks traffickers are not trying to destroy communities by flooding the streets with their sparklers, fountains, and smoke bombs.  When dusk settles across America during the days leading up to July 4th, excited children and their slightly inebriated fathers routinely break open the Red, White and Boom box and let the explosive fun begin.

But congratulations to the New York Times for committing the time and resources to discovering how typical Americans celebrate around the holidays.  And a heads up to Slate, those ghosts and goblins scurrying around residential neighborhoods in late October and those giant furry bunny rabbits handing out chocolate eggs in the spring, it’s all on the up and up.

Free speech is killing the New York Times. Gray Lady can’t stop publishing bullshit.

The New York Times is doing some heavy duty soul searching these days as the 168 year old daily newspaper wrestles with the reality that everytime pen is put to paper, a key is stroked on a keyboard, or ink is printed on the page, untruths and fabrications seem to pour out of the Gray Lady like a devious meth addict spinning a yarn for their probation officer. 

Reports out of the newsroom suggest editors are considering changing the newspaper’s motto from “All the news that’s fit to print” to “It’s not a lie if you believe it,” borrowing the advice George Costanza gave to his friend Jerry on the nineties television comedy Seinfeld.  “All we’re trying to do is come up with the best possible lie,” is another Georgeism kicked around many a NYT editorial staff meeting. 

In what appears to be a cry for help, the Times recently published a piece entitled “Free Speech Is Killing Us,” in which the author, Andrew Marantz, seems to admit what many have been thinking for awhile – someone needs to step in and restrain the Times before it does more damage to itself.  If ever a daily newspaper was in need of an intervention, the Times surely qualifies.

Hardly a week goes by in which the Times doesn’t print something to embarrass itself and erode its credibility.  Just in recent weeks, the Times got called out by most print publications for its misleading Kavanaugh reporting, Brett Stephens appeared to have an angel dust fueled bed bug freakout, and David Brooks is writing opinions based on imaginary conversations and he’s not even trying to pass them off as real.  In the old days, a Times writer would at least try to create cover for their imaginary sources. Now, I guess they’re just putting their rich fantasy lives on full display. Following the Times is like watching a celebrity self-destruct in public. The Gray Lady is about one or two bullshit stories away from stripping off her clothes and wandering naked up and down Eighth Avenue.

Now the NYT wants the government and big tech to step in and put the brakes on free speech, arguing that dozens of lives would be saved by preventing young men from being radicalized in seedy online message groups.  The Times does have some experience in this area having exposed YouTube’s diabolical algorithm and its sinister scheme to radicalize young men into the right wing. The Gray Lady’s efforts to suppress speech bore fruit as YouTube, and some social media sites, either deplatformed or severely restricted the content of a number of creators.         

The Times is right.  Free speech is killing the New York Times.  Despite continuing to do valuable reporting, the Times can’t stop itself from undermining its credibility by foisting a lot of bullshit on the public.  Emboldened by recent successes restricting the speech of others, the Times now presses forward with an even more ambitious agenda to sell out the First Amendment and censor detractors and competitors.  I guess this is how the NYT plans to become ‘the paper of record’ again.

MSNBC reporting Tulsi Gabbard expected to address Russian Bot-Con during two week campaign absence

“Beware the Russian bots…” wrote Wajahat Ali of the New York Times.  No one can say we haven’t been warned.  

Now MSNBC is reporting that Hawaii Representative, Democratic Presidential Candidate, and deep cover Russian agent Tulsi Gabbard’s planned two week campaign break to serve her country is actually just a ruse to coordinate with her Russian handlers and address a Russian Bot Conference in Moscow.

NBC News points to articles in Russian propaganda news sites RT and Sputnik, reporting on Gabbard’s absence, as proof that she’s coordinating with the Russians.

“This is a clear example of Russian disinformation peddling,” says MSNBC’s Senior Conspiracy Correspondent Joy Reid.  “Russian bots have even created a special hashtag #ThankYouForYourServiceTulsi to promote Gabbard’s presidential bid and draw attention away from her covert activities.”

Experts who closely monitor Russian English-language news sites are convinced Gabbard’s announcement that she’ll be taking a two week break to fulfill her military service obligation, is just a code to the Russians to say, “Kremlin, I’m coming.”  

According to security experts, chatter among Russian bots has increased dramatically since Gabbard’s recent announcement with most expressing glowing sentiments like “Aloha, Tulsi, we love you” and “Tulsi 2020”.  

Don’t be fooled by the phony support they say.  Instead national security commentators appearing on MSNBC believe all the love is just a prelude to her expected address at Russian Bot-Con.  Gabbard’s presentation entitled “Putin’s Puppet, Assad’s Toadie, Kamala’s Worst Nightmare: How to Swing an Election in the Age of Fake News,” is expected to deliver instructions to her secret army of internet bots, calibrating the Russian propaganda machine as the Democratic primaries move into full-swing.

NBC News dot connectors and conspiracy analysts will continue to monitor internet activity for further developments.

Group seeks to make ‘air guitar’ less white and less male

A group of men in Toledo, Ohio is doing their part to make one of their favorite activities a little more inclusive.  The group was inspired to take action after reading stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times about Apollo 11 era NASA’s almost entirely white, male culture.   

“For pretty darn near going on forty years, me and my buddies have been getting together, drinking a few beers, listening to records, and when the mood strikes us, playing a little air guitar,” says Dennis Johnston.  “Well, after reading a few newspaper articles, penned by some very insightful journalists, it began to occur to me that maybe I’d been wielding my air guitar as a tool of oppression.”  

Unable to shake off the wise words of those east coast journalists, Johnston describes an evening  when he tried tuning out of the key of privilege, and into the key of inclusivity.  

“One night I’m just sitting there watching my buddy, Darryl, lose himself in a Free Bird guitar solo.  Now, Darryl’s no slouch on air guitar, and I must have watched him play Free Bird a hundred times, but I got to thinking, I wonder how a female would interpret this solo?  Would she make the same red, sweaty facial expressions? Would she deploy the same clumsy gyrations and body contortions? Would she flick her tongue around in the same disgusting manner as Darryl?  Almost certainly not, I thought. Might she instead soar gracefully to the music, ride the bird’s wings, and paint a different picture with her air guitar?”

After that experience, Johnston set about trying to attract more women and non-whites to join their group of invisible axe wielders.  They set up a Facebook page and held open auditions, but their invitations seemed to attract only more older white dudes.   

“Sadly, it turns out women and people of color aren’t very interested in air guitar,” says Johnston.  “I had thought my implicit bias was discouraging others not like me from participating in our group. However, now I’ve got it on pretty good authority that some folks think air guitar looks kind of ridiculous.  Oh well, we’re still free as a bird, and this bird you cannot change.”

New York Times reporter fact-checks milkshakes

In an extraordinary feat of journalism, New York Times reporter, Mike Baker, fact-checked the origins of each and every milkshake thrown at an anti-fascist rally held in Portland over the weekend.  Thought to be the first of its kind reporting, the scrappy journalist verified the ingredients and provenance of the numerous creamy milkshakes flying around Saturday’s event. 

The revelation that may end up winning the ground-breaking reporter a Pulitzer, though, is the news that all of the milkshakes hurled at a journalist covering the event were vegan in origin.  “I thought it was important that we get that information out there as soon as possible,” says Baker. “I didn’t know if the attacked journalist was vegan or not, but I thought it would be important to let him know that the milkshakes that drenched him did not contain animal products.  I felt perhaps that might take some of the sting out of the pummeling he took.”

What makes Baker’s work even more extraordinary is that he’s changing the way we talk about ‘milkshaking’.  “Early on, my editor and I made a decision not to use ‘milkshake’ as a verb. I am fully aware of the tradition and the higher standard we have to uphold here at The New York Times.  That is why instead of using ‘milkshake’ as a verb, which is still relatively new and untested, we decided to go with ‘slimed’. ‘Slimed’ has a bit more history and seemed a more appropriate choice for the pages of The Times,” says Baker.          

Mike’s editor maintains the pair don’t deserve any special credit for their work.  “It’s just good old-fashioned reporting,” says Mike’s editor. “It’s making phone calls, running down leads, and developing sources.  I mean, at the end of the day, we fact-checked the shit out of those milkshakes.”

New York Times runs Antifa PR piece

In case anyone has been operating under the misconception that a journalist was violently assaulted by Antifa protesters in Portland on Saturday, the New York Times’ Mike Baker is here to set the record straight.  Or, rather, he’s here to fill your head with enough extraneous nonsense to give those in denial about left-wing extremism and violence any number of paths to continue believing there is no problem here. His piece in Monday’s edition, “In Portland, a Punch and a Milkshake Rumor Feed a Fresh Round of Police Criticism,” reads like a release from Antifa’s public relations department.  In it he essentially asserts that the journalist assaulted basically had it coming, that the incident is only of interest to conservative politicians and media outlets, that the Portland Police are in cahoots with right-wing groups, and left-wing protesters were really only interested in having a milkshake dance party.

What are we to make of protesters who show up for a demonstration clad in makeshift riot gear?  That these are individuals who were just sitting at home one Saturday and decided to head downtown to protest the fascists.  They’re not an organized group itching for a fight or anything. Everybody has black helmets and body armor hanging in their closet.  Give credit to the NYT for running the photo of the anti-fascist fascists, but their caption reads “Multiple groups demonstrated in downtown Portland, Ore., on Saturday.”  Not only does the NYT not identify these demonstrators as Antifa, but not once does Baker mention the group’s name in the entire piece. The only time they are identified is in a quote of Andy Ngo’s attorney. 

Baker does concede that Ngo was struck by a black-clad activist, going beyond what a lot of mainstream outlets reported.  Many MSM reports preferred to let it seem like the journalist was just heavily milkshaked. Amazing that the word “milkshake” is now a verb and accepted by many on the mainstream left as a perfectly acceptable thing to do to someone.  Baker, however, avoids using “milkshake” as a verb in his article and instead writes that Ngo was “slimed” with “vegan coconut milkshakes”. Very considerate of him to point out that the milkshakes were vegan, in case Ngo happens to be vegan himself.  It takes a little bit of the sting out of being milkshaked when you know that the projectile doesn’t contain any animal products. Although, one wonders how Baker knew that the specific milkshakes that struck Ngo were vegan coconut. Did the New York Times thoroughly fact check all those milkshakes?

Baker does seem pretty confident, however, in claiming that the milkshakes did not contain quick drying concrete.  He describes as “questionable” the Portland Police warning that the milkshakes contained cement, and that this claim fueled “conservative alarm” and “dramatically fueled the furor”.  Nothing to see here folks, Baker seems to be reassuring NYT readers. This is just a bunch of conservatives getting their panties all in a bunch.  

Baker goes on to question Ngo’s work as a journalist, dropping hints that he and the publications he works for produce racist content.  Also, he spends a couple paragraphs making the case that the Portland Police have a history of colluding with right-wing extremists. At this point, if I’m a leftist frequent reader of the New York Times even the slightest bit concerned about groups and elements at the extreme of my political ideology, I’m beginning to drift back into my comfort zone.  I’m thinking, okay, this is all a manufactured crisis and Ngo is just getting what’s coming to him. After all, as Baker writes, “He (Ngo) has a history of battling with anti-fascist groups” and “has built a prominent presence in part by going into situations where there may be conflict and then publicizing the results.”  

Okay, so he’s not really a journalist, he’s a right wing provocateur.  Well, that explains it. Because that’s what they said about Jamal Kashoggi, right?  He had a history of battling with the Saudi Royal family. And that’s what they say about correspondents in conflict zones.  They’re just publicity hounds, right?

After trashing a journalist and totally discrediting the police, Mr. Baker would like Times readers to know that anti-fascist activists are just a bunch of fun-loving, peaceful party people who want to drink milkshakes and dance.  While reserving a healthy amount of skepticism for the police account of the incident, Baker seems to accept on faith information gathered from the Rose City Antifa affiliated group, PopMob.  According to one member of the group, they were simply “having an entertaining counterprotest building off Pride month.”  And those milkshakes: “they were vegan milkshakes made not of cement, but of coconut ice cream, cashew milk and some sprinkles.”  A credulous Baker barely even addresses the glaring reality that milkshakes are currently the preferred method of humiliating conservatives and right-wingers. They were clearly dispensed with the intent of hurling them at their opponents, including Mr. Ngo who was targeted with a barrage of them.

It is one thing to write a piece that avoids leaping to conclusions and reporting unverified facts.  It is quite another to omit facts, engage in irrelevant personal and professional attacks, and deliberately mislead.  Is Baker really so beholden to ideology and obligated to protect the left and readers of the NYT that it extends all the way to doing public relations for a group of violent thugs?  Perhaps, or maybe he just wants to stay on Antifa’s good side. Hmm, wonder why?

Night of the Living Algorithm

Every time the story is told it becomes more chilling than the last.  Caleb Cain – West Virginia resident, college dropout, YouTube enthusiast – stalked by an algorithm bent on radicalizing the unsuspecting young lad into a world of rightwing extremism.  Thankfully for Caleb Cain, and the entire universe for that matter, the New York Times swooped in and rescued the impressionable young man from his YouTube nightmare, exposing the dastardly algorithm before it could do further harm. 

Fresh off his hellish ordeal, Caleb Cain is calling upon legions of YouTubers to take up arms against the wicked algorithm and prevent this fiend of hell from spreading it’s darkness across the land.  Appearing on Majority Report, hosted by YouTube celebrity and slayer of strawmen Sam Seder, Caleb urged lefty YouTubers to start injecting themselves into the algorithm as a means of defeating it. As horrifying as the image of confronting the demon may be, this act of purification may be the only means of preventing it from claiming more victims.

To get a rough idea of how many Caleb Cain’s there might be out there operating under the spell of this Svengali-esque algorithm, we need look no further than the 2016 presidential election results.  Donald Trump won 68.5 percent of the popular vote in West Virginia, Caleb Cain’s home state. That translates into nearly 490,000 other Caleb Cain’s succumbing to the manipulation of this diabolical algorithm in the Mountaineer State alone.

Host of the popular podcast Savage Love, Dan Savage perhaps best described the sinister power the YouTube algorithm possesses on Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher.  Citing the New York Times “great cover story,” Savage fearlessly called out the algorithm for force feeding unsuspecting white kids in their basements “a steady diet of more and more extreme videos.”  In truly terrifying fashion, the YouTube algorithm exploits the consumer’s weaknesses, forcing their hand to click on extreme content all while disabling critical faculties that might lead the viewer to turn away.

One can only imagine the debilitating PTSD Caleb Cain must have fought through during an appearance on CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota.  With inspiring bravery, Caleb announced that what we’re really dealing with here is a crisis of public health. Mental health intervention and professional assistance is required to exorcise the algorithm’s powerful grip on the mind and soul of its victims.  Despite the real threat of reprisal, Caleb fearlessly promoted his organization on national television to assist those in the throes of rightwing radicalization.     

When one thinks of the countless YouTube viewers selling their souls to the algorithm, the number is truly terrifying, and has the potential to make the satanic scare of the 1980’s look like child’s play.  But despite the algorithm’s possession of Caleb Cain, forcing him time and again to click on increasingly extreme content, Caleb somehow managed to survive his ordeal and inexplicably emerged as both a consumer and producer of left leaning YouTube content.  It is no wonder the New York Times chose to highlight Caleb’s truly inspiring story of grace and redemption on the front page of its Sunday edition. Finally exorcised of the demon algorithm, Caleb Cain begins the life-long process of witnessing to the non-believers and the willfully naive.  The soul of a nation is at stake.

Media releases News Pyramid guidelines, recommends five full servings of bullshit per day

Mainstream media outlets today released their 2019 News Pyramid guidelines for recommended daily allowances of news consumption, and there seems to be agreement among experts on one thing – Americans need more bullshit in their news diet.

“Most mainstream news organizations are recommending Americans get at least five full servings of bullshit per day,” says guidelines contributor Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources.  

While the guidelines don’t specify between print, television, or social media content, most experts agree cable news is an excellent source of the kind of fact-free, speculative nonsense of which most Americans could benefit.  A healthy diet of bullshit journalism has the additional benefit of providing confirmation of the consumer’s beliefs and ideology, while at the same time pointing out that everyone who doesn’t hold the same views is evil and wrong.

The next level on the News Pyramid calls for four daily servings of partisan propaganda. While most Americans try to avoid eating their propaganda, the report notes the necessity of its daily consumption for the functioning of a healthy democracy.  “Don’t worry if you’re left or right, Republican or Democrat,” the guidelines state, “there’s a news organization out there ready to satisfy your partisan hunger.”

In what signals a change from recent years, the new News Pyramid guidelines raise the recommended daily allowance of conspiracy content from two to three servings per day. Experts warn, however, consumers of news should only get their conspiracy from authoritative sources. Rachel Maddow, Vox, and the New York Times are all considered excellent sources of conspiracy content and should be chosen over the empty, non-authoritative conspiracy musings of YouTube.

“Two ‘hit pieces’ per day are essential to a healthy news diet,” according to the new guidelines.  Some journalists take great pleasure in writing ‘hit pieces’ because they recall an adolescent superficiality and pettiness, so consumers should indulge the writer’s childish impulses by reading them.  Although they can be found at almost every news source, the New Yorker and Vox are exceptionally proficient at this brand of juvenile journalism.

Finally, the news consumer should make sure to save room for at least one serving of Jim Acosta per day.  The new guidelines cite Acosta as that rare guilty pleasure that almost as often becomes the news as reports it.  If news dieters follow these simple recommendations, they can become almost as confused and clueless as some of the journalists who report it.