The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Real Reporter’ @NYT_JenPreston vs. Blogger @Prepostericity (Seth Allen)

Posted on | June 14, 2012 | 28 Comments

FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
Last night — as everybody on the blogosphere is now aware — Juan Williams got all snotty with Michelle Malkin on the Sean Hannity show:

“I’m a real reporter, not a blogger out in the blogosphere somewhere.”

Which is to say, he’s got a job at Fox News after having gotten fired from National Public Radio for bluntly expressing his concerns about terrorism, a fight in which bloggers — not “real reporters” — came to Juan’s defense. But this ingratitude for their efforts is something that bloggers have come to expect, eh?

Earlier today, I mentioned that Jen Preston of the New York Times might be one of those “big media” reporters whom Patterico accuses of being afraid to report about Brett Kimberlin.

Whether or not Patterico was aiming that remark at Preston, and whether or not the allegation of being scaredy-cats is fair to reporters who have ignored the Kimberlin saga, part of the problem is that the story may at first glance seem to be one of those silly ginned-up Left-vs.-Right dramas. This is why I keep returning to the same point: Seth Allen (@prepostericity) was the first to be sued by Brett Kimberlin.

With some assistance from Aaron Walker, Allen was able to settle that $2 million suit for the nominal fee of $100. [Please see the clarification in UPDATE III below. -- RSM] It was Walker’s involvement in the Kimberlin-vs.-Allen case that exposed Walker to harassment from Kimberlin (and Kimberlin’s vicious associate Neal Rauhauser), ultimately resulting in the May 29 courtroom farce in which Walker was arrested.

There are many other aspects to this story. The SWATtings of Mike Stack, Patterico and Erick Erickson have gotten the most attention, but the fact that it started with Seth Allen, a progressive who persistently called B.S. on the activities of Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution, is important to keep in mind.

Seth got banned from site after site because he kept pointing out not just Kimberlin’s criminal record, but also the fact that Velvet Revolution (and Kimberlin’s VR partner, Brad Friedman) kept raising money with bogus allegations of GOP wrongdoing. All those claims of Republican vote fraud in Ohio, the conspiracy-theory stuff that Karl Rove had threatened a Republican operative (who subsequently died in a plane crash), the stuff about the Chamber of Commerce, etc. — nothing ever came of any of that. Liberals kept throwing money at Velvet Revolution, and Velvet Revolution kept failing to prove its accusations.

Seth Allen called B.S. on all that, and even after he was sued for blogging about Kimberlin, he has kept reminding readers at his blog, DFQ2 (named for one of Allen’s progressive blogger heroes, “Dave From Queens”) about what kind of rotten dishonest hustles Kimberlin and Friedman have promoted over the years. In February, citing a post in which Friedman urged his readers to support “the independent, progressive, aggressive, and investigative media,” Seth called attention to Friedman’s relentless hype of the Clint Curtis conspiracy theory.

To make a long story short, Velvet Revolution got a lot of attention in 2005 by offering a reward for evidence proving that the 2004 election had been stolen by Republicans. And as a result, Florida resident Clint Curtis became a celebrity on the moonbat circuit:

Curtis said he developed a program that included invisible buttons on touch screen machines that could alter vote totals, but he does not know whether it was ever used. He said he gave the program to one of his bosses, Li Yang, but did not keep a copy….
Curtis said he wrote the affidavit after reading about a reward for anyone who could verify vote fraud. He didn’t want the money, Curtis insists, but wanted to prove the elections had been stolen. He presented copies of his affidavit to several congressional staffers and testified before a Democratic committee looking at fraud allegations in Ohio.

Curtis’s claims were relentlessly flogged at BradBlog , capitalizing on the left-wing resentments going back to the contested Bush-Gore 2000 recount in Florida. That allegedly “stolen” election helped fuel a million e-mails from MoveOn.org, which spent years demonizing Bush, Cheney, Rove, et al., as Grand Conspirators of an illegitimate “regime.”

Much of the toxicity of our current politics stems from the fanatical mindset of leftists who bought into that misleading rhetoric. The point that Seth Allen kept trying to get across was that the Clint Curtis claims — like all the conspiracy theories promoted by Velvet Revolution — were never proven.

As Lucy Morgan of the St. Petersburg Times wrote in 2005, Friedman and others “fashioned something of a political thriller out of a series of apparently unrelated events they say prove the elections really were stolen,” allegations in some cases clearly contradicted by facts. For example, touch-screen computer voting machines were not in widespread use at the time — 2000 — that Curtis claims a Republican asked him to create the “invisible button” software. Yet as late as 2010, BradBlog was still promoting Curtis as a hero of their so-called “election integrity” crusade.

It’s a free country, and if people want to pay money for snipe hunts and wild-goose chases, that’s their business. Hell, it might even be legitimate political “activism” under IRS 501(c)4 rules. But when somebody starts denouncing such conspiracy-theory stuff as a hoax and a waste of time, as Seth Allen did, it is clearly wrong — if not actually illegal — to try to silence the critic via harassment.

Does a “real reporter” like Jen Preston have any interest in a fascinating story like this? Or will she continue being scooped by “a blogger out in the blogosphere somewhere”? You should ask her: She’s @NYT_JenPreston on Twitter.

UPDATE: David Horowitz and Jacob Laskin:

Kimberlin’s seamless transition from prison inmate to the beneficiary of left-wing philanthropy offers a stark illustration of the radical course that progressive foundations have adopted.

Hat-tip: The Lonely Conservative.

UPDATE II: We are grateful to Michelle “Out in the Blogosphere” Malkin for reminding us about the real Velvet Revolution, which was a heartbreaker for Stalinist scum everywhere. Please link the Original Velvet Revolution blog — and read their explanation of why this matters.

UPDATE III: Clarification about Kimberlin’s lawsuit against Seth Allen, sent in an e-mail by . . . an informed reader:

First, Seth didn’t settle anything. He had a default judgment against him. Then on November 14, 2011 he had a hearing to determine damages. The $100 plus court costs was a judgment against him.
So he was found to have defamed Kimberlin because… he didn’t show up to fight. Then when he did show up to fight, it was only $100 damages. And the judge made it clear that it was only a nominal sum.
And frankly [Aaron Walker's] slight help contributed almost nothing to that victory. Which makes Kimberlin’s decision to come after [Walker] even more absurd.

There are many absurd things in the world, including the ruling of Judge Cornelius Vaughey that infringes First Amendment rights not merely for our informed reader, but ultimately restricts freedom for everybody else, too.

Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown

 

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Comments

  • Pingback: Thursday Afternoon News and Links | Darth Chipmunk

  • Stogiechomper

    One thing I need to learn, and learn quickly, is how to make effective use of Twitter.  This site has always seemed to me very nerdy and not user friendly.  Does anyone know of an online tutorial that will help me become an effective Twitter user?

  • Adobe_Walls

    [sound of birds chirping]

  • Moehow

    Hi Neal!!

  • robertstacymccain

    That’s ridiculous — although I’ve never met Stogie, I’ve known him online for more than 15 years.

  • MM

     Patterico’s comments raise some interesting questions:

    1.  If these reporters are afraid, why?  Do they have skeletons in their
    closets that they do not want exposed, and they fear that certain
    sociopaths are not above pulling the curtain back if they write unflattering things about them?

    2.  Everybody answers to somebody.  Is anyone up the food chain on the
    left, and I mean high up, putting the kibosh on a deeper investigation by members of the press?  Even a cursory reading of some of Stacy’s articles make me wonder if the 501(c)(3) entities at issue are really a black bag operation.  How many other non profits are being used this way?  I will have to take a look at Horowitz’s book.

    If there is one thing everyone should have learned 40 years ago, it’s
    that the coverup is often worse than the acts that people try to hide.  

  • http://saberpoint.blogspot.com Stogie Chomper

    Stacy’s right, why did you make such a dumb comment?

    I figure the best way to learn Twitter is to just use it, so I am going to be tweeting, retweeting and anything else I can figure out over the next few days.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    So…you’re new to Disqus and this is your first comment.

    Welcome, but I must admit it’s not a promising start.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    I just joined it a few months ago and I’ve just been watching what others like Stacy do with it.

  • JeffS

     Hmmmmmmm…….

    1.  Could be simple partisan behavior, by some reporters, anyway.  BK and his minions claim to be “liberals”, “progressives”, “lefties”, whatever.  Ergo, anything that comes from the wingnut sector of cyberspace must be ignored, downplayed, or discredited.

    2.  Could be, but I point you back to my answer #1 as one possible motive.  I won’t exclude deliberate malice, black ops, or even a covert, coordinated disinformation and/or propaganda campaign (think “journolist”). 

    My point being, it’s possible that a considerable portion of the leftie reporters out there are not in the know, and they just view it as partisan bickering.  Certainly that’s one flavor BK is trying to sell.  Not many people need to be in the know for a conspiracy to work, if the message is consistent amongst the various parts of the machine  (again, think “journolist”). 

    Which is why it’s important to connect the dots, as Stacy and others are working on. 

    But it’s equally important to understand that disinformation (which in politics is not necessary the same thing as propaganda) means there’s a lot of chaff to sort through; it could be employed as an operational security measure.  False leads and misleading clues could be deliberate.  Or the result of mental illness.   Not all dots are valid or relevant. 

  • blaster

    I think that reporters are not afraid of Kimberlin, they are afraid of repercussions that would reflect on Democrats, and what would happen to them from their peers if they were the one to pull the string that unraveled it all.  

    Because unlike Watergate, this isn’t about someone that everyone in the press hates.  

    I think that this wall of protection from the Left – even though Stacy and others say don’t make it about that – is clear enough to show that the Left thinks it is worth protecting.  Why?  

  • blaster

    Watergate made Woodward and Bernstein rock stars – Robert Redford!  

    What would happen to the Leftist reporter who brought down Obama?  

  • PaulLemmen

    Lee Stranahan released the emails I’ve been exchanging with Neal Rauhouser this week. Check out parts 1,2,&3 at LeeStranahan.com

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

     Regarding 501(c)’s being used for illegitimate purposes – it’s very possible. There are thousands of 501(c)s – the book the Foundation Center publishes is about 10 inches thick, and the print is tiny – and a fraudulent one could simply never get noticed. Also, an unscrupulous person could easily hijack and defraud a small 501(c), and be gone before anyone could do anything about it.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Certainly a good argument for thinning the herd.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Eddie Deezen

  • babybull40 Dirks

    I watched gleefully the clip of MM tearing a strip off this yet another tool.. a useles tool.. It was awesome to see.. and Now maybe he will kepp his big yap shut!

  • Rob Crawford

    Stacey has part of the answer in this post — Kimberlin and Krew are part of the effort to delegitimize elections.

    It’s to Seth Allen’s credit that he stood up to the lies, but doesn’t his rapid shunning from the left tell us something?

  • Quartermaster

    It was just Juan being Juan. Then Michelle being Michelle owned him.

    He is ungrateful as well.

  • Pingback: Brett Kimberlin Update: The Story Unfolds, and Taking Back the Velvet Revolution » Conservative Hideout 2.0

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

     I do not know why, but every time I go to Stanahan’s site, my computer crashes, even if I have no other open windows or tabs going on my browser. teh interwebz hates me. Does anyone else have this problem? I have trouble visiting Atlas shrugs too, which is frustrating since she’s a personal favorite of mine.

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

    If Fox insists on continually putting Guano Williams on TV to spew out his Obama approved talking points why can’t they at least give the guy some freaking sudafed or nasonex first? Same goes for Geraldo. They are more nasally than Fran Drescher as The Nanny and not entertaining AT ALL!

  • PaulLemmen

     
    Stranahan has a script running that scrapes all your info, for both marketing and security reasons. Pam Geller has a similar script solely for protection. Disable scripts in your browser and you should be fine,

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

     His site loads at the pace of a three-toed sloth who took dramamine half an hour ago. Until he drops his ‘bots (my tools thingy told me about them), I’m not going there anymore.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

     He can drop the script and ‘bots. It’s annoying.

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

    Seriously. I’m perfectly happy just visiting McCain, Belvedere, and some of our other friends who don’t wreck up my computer when I want to get the news.

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