Tag Archives: journalism

A list of potential Trump cabinet picks

Link here.

As is usual, the bankrupt press didn’t do this work before the election, when it might have helped voters make their decisions. I tried to dig out some of this beforehand, and was somewhat successful, but I wish I could have seen lists like this prior to election day.

The list is interesting in that it includes an incredible range of political positions. For example, the three names touted for Secretary of State, John Bolton, Senator Bob Corker, and Newt Gingrich, cover the full political range. Bolton would be a solid conservative hawk, as would Gingrich. Corker however was instrumental in making Obama’s bad Iran nuclear deal possible, and would end up more or less continuing Obama’s foreign policy at State. All three, however, have previously been mentioned as possible choices, so as of this moment we still do not know where Trump will be going in this area.

I see the same political range in other positions as well. Even though the list leans heavily to the right, until Trump announces some appointments, we will not really know the direction his administration will take.

Jury rules against Rolling Stone in gang rape story

A jury today declared Rolling Stone magazine guilty of defamation in its retracted and debunked University of Virginia gang rape story.

The 10 member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its publisher responsible for defaming Eramo.

The $7.5 million lawsuit centered on Erdely’s 9,000-word article titled “A Rape on Campus.” The article appeared online in late Nov. 2014 and on newsstands in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. The story opened with a graphic depiction of a fraternity gang rape that went viral online and sent shock waves across the U-Va. campus community. But within days of the article’s publication, key elements of the account fell apart under scrutiny. The magazine eventually retracted the story in April 2015.

The magazine and the reporter had a leftwing feminist agenda, centered on confirming the false leftwing narrative that rapes were rampant on college campuses and that oppressive anti-female male-dominated administrations were doing nothing about it. This narrative is entirely false, a lie created to provide a platform for the left to gain power. The magazine though bought into it, publishing a vicious story that was a complete lie and that defamed a lot of innocent people. As a result it now faces the strong possibility that this decision will bring about its bankruptcy, a bankruptcy well deserved.

Clinton put State Department up for sale

New emails reveal that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to pass out favors in exchange for donations to her foundation.

The facts are very welled documented here. Hillary Clinton wasn’t interested in acting as Secretary of State. She was interested in garnering cash donations for herself and Bill Clinton, and used her position of power to hand out favors for those donations.

But don’t worry! Our valiant press is on the ball, screaming about petty miscues by Donald Trump that mean nothing, are taken badly out of context, and are largely irrelevant to the kind of President he might be. That the Democrat running against him is a proven liar, law-breaker, and incredibly corrupt is just not important to them. All that matters is that she is a Democrat, and part of their team!

Which by the way should give us all a bit of a pause to consider how dishonest, illegal, and corrupt the entire elite culture of the U.S. has likely become. As I said, Clinton is part of their team.

“News Media Now Giving Trump the ‘Full Palin.’”

Working for the Democratic Party: The expected full-media assault on the Republican Party candidate has begun. As the author at the link notes,

There have been few conservatives who have been more critical of Trump since the start of this insane campaign than me, and he deserves every bit of condemnation he has gotten for needlessly mishandling the Khan situation. However, there is also no doubt that the media became obsessed with the story because they want Trump to lose, got a bit freaked out about his very temporary convention bounce, and smelled blood.

Hillary, while she is less likely to be stupid enough to so publicly take on the parents of a fallen war hero, would also never have been lured by the media into the conflict to the extent Trump was. If she had somehow stepped in it, the news media would have let it go far sooner than they did for Trump (for instance, how many voters are even aware of the controversy over her basically calling some family members of Benghazi victims liars?).

This story has seemed to open the floodgates now on Trump in much the same way that the infamous Katie Couric interview did with regards to Sarah Palin in 2008. Now, everything Trump says seems to be instant fodder for the media’s intensified “gaffe watch.”

It is very important to recognize one more additional fact: Any Republican candidate would have been treated this way by the now openly partisan and decidedly bankrupt mainstream media. The question now is whether the low-information public has finally become aware of this game.

More Junk Science and Journalism

I can’t stand it. I just can’t stand it. It keeps happening and I just can’t stand it.

Yesterday there was this absurd short news piece posted on the website of the so-called journal Science, “Apollo astronauts much more likely to die from heart disease”. describing a research paper published by one of Nature’s side journals, Scientific Reports. Before I even looked at the story I said to myself, “How can they possibly come to that conclusion considering the tiny number of humans who have ever traveled beyond Earth orbit? The sample will simply be too small to allow for any such finding.”

Then I looked at the article and found my instincts confirmed. As Steve Milloy noted on his very aptly named website, Junk Science,

Yes, the result is based on a total of three (3) cases of heart disease deaths of out seven (7) Apollo astronauts. Past the vanishingly small sample size and even smaller number of cases, heart disease is a natural disease of aging and the Apollo lunar astronauts were 10 years older than the other comparison groups.

To put it more bluntly, this was a garbage piece of very bad science. While it was somewhat embarrassing for a Nature journal to publish it, it was far more disgraceful for the journal Science to highlight it. I, however, don’t have to join these two peer-review journals and participate in their stupidity, and thus I made no mention of the story on Behind the Black, because it is my policy to not waste much time on bad science, unless I think that bad science is going to have bad repercussions.

Well the bad repercussions have arrived. Since yesterday, the following so-called news organizations have run with this story, without the slightest indication that they have faintest understanding of science, statistics, or plain common sense:
» Read more

The pro-Clinton mainstream media, challenged by one guy with a camera

The video I have posted below the fold, posted at this link, was taken outside the convention after Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton.

[O]nce Bernie Sanders endorsed Secretary Clinton via a rules change request throwing all delegate votes to Hillary, the vast majority of movement democrats left the arena. Immediately following the roll call vote, the DNC quickly moved to bar any pro-Sanders signage from the venue. Anyone holding Sanders signs was warned they were subject to forced removal and loss of convention credentials. Outside the arena the Bernie Sanders supporters gathered to voice their protest to the strong arm tactics. [emphasis in original]

The video shows a pro-Clinton (and former Sanders) delegate talking to the press about how wrong the Sanders protesters are. As he talks he is challenged by one of those protesters, who loudly disagrees with him.

What the video shows clearly is that the mainstream press is only interested in recording and interviewing the pro-Clinton guy. In fact, when the guy taking this video begins to note loudly this obvious bias to everyone (beginning at around 1:50), the press suddenly realizes how biased they look and some make a half-hearted effort to make believe they are interested in talking to the Sanders protester.

What I find most significant about this video, and quite entertaining, is how it demonstrates how completely useless today’s mainstream press is, and how that press is increasingly losing all influence because the general public has access to many other lone guys with a camera, videotaping events and showing us what is really happening.

In other words, don’t depend on just television news for your information. You will not only be uninformed, you will be misinformed.

» Read more

A good summary of the Wikileaks DNC emails

Link here. This Reddit post essential lists several dozen links to specific DNC emails at the Wikileaks site, all illustrating some pretty unsavory behavior by Democratic Party officials and politicians as well as a number of so-called journalists.

Many of these stories are simply the ordinary dirty business of politics, laid bare to see. Others though reveal the significant levels of corruption that permeate the Democratic Party, levels I think that far worse than anything one could find among the Republicans, bad as that party’s leadership happens to be.

Above all, the emails that document the close teamwork between the press and the Democratic Party are probably the most important. It is not that this is surprising. The emails merely prove it beyond a shadow of doubt. MSNBC and its head Phil Griffin especially are revealed to be nothing more than Democratic operatives, working closely with the DNC to push its agenda.

The American Revolution, as reported by modern reporters

To better understand how the teaching of American history is being distorted by modern leftist historians, one need only read this description of the beginnings of the American Revolution, written as it almost certainly would be by today’s ignorant and leftwing anti-American journalists:

Boston – National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.

Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.

Read it all. It will sound sadly very familiar.

Space reporter banned from space news website

Petty fascism: Doug Messier, who runs the excellent space news website Parabolic Arc, which I link to periodically, has been banned from posting comments on another generally excellent space news website, NASASpaceflight.com

To quote his website:

I just got banned from the NasaSpaceflight forums with this little message from little Andy.

“Sorry parabolicarc, you are banned from using this forum! Please use your own site to post what your “sources” are telling you. Too many people are sick of you using this site to spread rumors. Andy.

This ban is not set to expire.”

Doug is also the reporter with whom I and many other commenters at Behind the Black had a long, passioned but intelligent debate about global warming. As much as I might disagree with him on that subject, I find it baffling that any space website would ban him from commenting, especially since his reporting on space has been impeccably accurate and hard-hitting.

In a sense, this ban is just another example of how too many Americans can no longer deal with debate and opposing points of view. Very sad. Doug of course is always welcome to comment here, even when he strongly disagrees with what I’ve written.

California moves to criminalize journalism

Fascists: Democrats in the California legislature are pushing a bill that would criminalize undercover videos of healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood.

Hey, who says we need a first amendment or a Bill of Rights? We instead have elected Democrats to protect us, including the guy who introduced this bill and who has received $13,500 in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood. Why should we worry?

Elon Musk sends a tweet and the world listens

The competition heats up: Yesterday Elon Musk sent out a tweet that simply repeated something his company has been saying now for several months — but with one slight additional detail — and the press went gaga.

What Musk said was that SpaceX hopes to reuse one of its used Falcon 9 first stages by September or October. Previously they had merely said they were aiming to do it before the end of the year. Since SES has offered one of its satellites for the job, and since it has had for months two such satellites scheduled for launch by SpaceX in September and October, this announcement by Musk is not really much of a surprise. Yet, the tweet was enough for all of the following mainstream news sources to gin up news-breaking headlines:

I am not really complaining. What I am really noting is how serious the world now takes what Musk and SpaceX are doing. They say they plan to do something new and revolutionary, and people sit up and take notice. And the reasons are twofold. First, everything they have said they were going to do, they have done. Musk’s announcement has to be taken seriously. Second, Musk owns SpaceX, and does not really need anyone’s permission to do this. He isn’t in a negotiation with numerous other players, as has been the case with NASA and its projects for the past half century. We know that if he wants to try something, the only things that could stop him are lack of capital and lack of good engineering, neither of which are an obstacle in this case.

So, be prepared for the first relaunch of a rocket’s first stage sometime this fall. And don’t be surprised if that isn’t the only new thing SpaceX accomplishes at the time.

House proposes killing Commerce Department

In a just released budget resolution, the House budget committee has proposed eliminating the Department of Commerce in an effort to cut costs.

The biggest potential shift from the status quo would be breaking up the $9 billion commerce department. DOC is one of the least-known, and most unloved, of all federal agencies. But it nonetheless oversees a huge scientific portfolio that includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Census Bureau. Under the heading “options worthy of consideration,” the budget committee suggests moving NOAA to the Department of Interior, placing NIST within NSF, and assigning the Census Bureau, including the massive decennial census, to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another commerce agency, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, would become an independent agency.

The obvious goal would be to eliminate the expensive upper management positions at Commerce and thus reduce cost. Such changes however are going to face opposition in the privileged science community. While that community has been unable to sustain the growth of its funding in the past decade, it has successfully prevented the elimination of any program or any significant reduction in the science budgets. We shall see if that record will hold in the coming years, with the electorate appearing to steadily shift more and more to the right.

The article, by Science reporter Jeffrey Mervis, also included this wonderful example of yellow journalism:

The proposed budget resolution talks repeatedly of the need to reduce spending and, in particular, curb the clichéd “waste, fraud, and abuse” that is allegedly rampant across the federal government by killing duplicative or unnecessary programs. [emphasis mine]

I’ve noted Mervis’s agenda-driven writing in the past. In the sentence above he illustrates his unreliability as a reporter. For any educated journalist to consider waste and fraud in the federal government to be “alleged” is to be a person either with his head in the sand or having so strong a bias that he is intentionally misreporting the facts. Sadly, in the case of Mervis and many in today’s so-called elite intellectual community, I think it is both.

Russian officials decide to broadcast launches

The return of the Soviet Union! After experimenting with the online broadcast yesterday of the Soyuz manned launch, Russian officials announced today that they will continue these broadcasts on future launches.

The launch from Baikonur was for the first time broadcast via the Luch (Ray) satellite retransmission system. More than 1,000 people have watched the live broadcast.

The Luch system is designed to solve the problems of relaying information of monitoring and control of low-orbit spacecraft, manned space systems, including the Russian segment of the International Space Station, and to serve in controlling launch vehicle flights using an alternative technology. The Luch is a series of geosynchronous Russian relay satellites, used to transmit live TV images, communications and other telemetry from the Soviet/Russian space station Mir, the Russian Orbital Segment of the International Space Station and other orbital spacecraft to the Earth, in a manner similar to that of the US Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. “One of the main spheres we intend to develop is our functions of mobile communications and data retransmission, including for the broadcast of launches as the most interesting events for the promotion of space exploration,” Komarov said. According to the Roscosmos chief, the Gonets company will be engaged in the development of this sphere. [emphasis mine]

Wow! A thousand people watched the launch! Isn’t that amazing!

In other words, either they didn’t make it easy for the public to find the broadcast online, or they didn’t make it public at all and the 1,000 viewers were merely government apparatchiks. It is clear from the article that they are still working to get their communication satellite network back into operation — which crumbled in the 1980s and 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union — but if they can broadcast to 1000 people they can broadcast to far more than that. Hopefully after this first effort they will broaden its access for future launches, though I wonder if that will happen. All of Russian aerospace is now government-controlled, and the natural inclination of government bureaucrats is to squelch information so that people don’t see bad things happen.

Mainstream media outlet notices possible news!

Last week President Obama signed the revisions to the Commercial Act that is being touted as allowing Americans property rights in space.

I have been following the news coverage of this event, and even though there have been many articles incorrectly pushing the above spin, only today was there a news story that finally noticed that these touted property rights would violate the Outer Space treaty.

The content of the second link above, though it notices the possible violations to the Outer Space treaty, is also still a pitiful example of journalism. It is very clear from reading the article that no one involved in writing it (the article’s byline is CBC News) ever read the newly passed law. I have, and found that nowhere in it does it actually grant Americans property rights in space. What it does do is demand that the executive branch support that idea and write a number of reports and studies to demonstrate that support.

The goal I think of this new law is to begin the political process towards the U.S. eventually pulling out of the Outer Space treaty. Congress is essentially stating that it doesn’t agree with the language of that United Nations treaty, and it wants the U.S. government to begin the process of either getting it changed, or preparing to pull out. (The treaty does provide language allowing nations to pull out. You give one year’s notice, and then do so.)

It would be nice if journalists who write about this subject did the simple and easy research necessary for reporting it intelligently.

Until they do, however, I guess people will just have to come here (written with a grin).

Republican claims of media bias supported by facts

Republican claims of media bias against conservatives is supported by new research that finds almost all journalists are Democratic and even donate money to Democrats.

[S]elf-proclaimed Democratic journalists outnumber Republicans by 4-to-1, according to research by Lars Willnat and David Weaver, professors of journalism at Indiana University. They found 28 percent of journalists call themselves Democrats, while just 7 percent call themselves Republicans — though both numbers are down from the 1970s. Those identifying as independent have grown.

Among Washington correspondents, the ones who dominate national political coverage, it’s even more skewed, said Tim Groseclose, author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” More than 90 percent of D.C. journalists vote Democratic, with an even higher number giving to Democrats or liberal-leaning political action committees, the author said.

Having been a journalist for years, I can tell you that these numbers are accurate. And the increasing numbers of journalists who claim to be independent are in large number merely hardcore liberals who wish deniability if asked where they loyaties lie.

French television weatherman fired for doubting global warming

The coming dark age: A leading French television weatherman has been fired because he published a book expressing skepticism about global warming.

He said he was inspired to write the book after France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with TV meteorologists and asked them to highlight climate change issues in their broadcasts. “I was horrified by this speech,” Verdier told French magazine Les Inrockuptibles last month. In his book, Verdier accuses state-funded climate change scientists of having been “manipulated” and “politicised”, even accusing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of publishing deliberately misleading data

In other words, he dared to expose the political roots of global warming that has nothing to do with science, and was thus immediately fired.

Philomena Cunk’s Moments of Wonder: Time

An evening pause: This hilarious parody of BBC science documentaries, which are not much different than many American PBS science documentaries, captures perfectly the typical empty-headed interviewers that I myself have sometimes had to deal with during too many of my television and radio appearances. They are not only often ignorant of some basic science, they are also ignorant of their own ignorance. They think they know a lot, and thus are easily confused and defensive when suddenly confronted with that ignorance.

I especially like her description of “the famous Greenwich Marillion line.”

Hat tip to Danae.

The Space Show website upgrade is 70% funded

With 8 days left in its campaign to raise $10 grand so that the Space Show can upgrade its website and make its archives searchable, the campaign is 70% funded.

As a regularly guest on David Livingston’s excellent show, I ask all my readers to consider donating to this campaign. For the past decade and a half The Space Show has probably provided the best and most complete coverage of the aerospace industry. The success of this campaign will allow the show to continue while also making the wealth of information buried in its archives more easily available to everyone.

Ecologists try to control reporting of their presentations

At its annual conference last week, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) demanded that audience members not tweet about presentations unless given permission by the speaker.

The request to gain consent from speakers before tweeting about their presentations rankled many. In a blog post, Terry Wheeler, an entomologist at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, said that ESA was “taking a step backward” from its open social-media policy of past years. But Liza Lester, a communications officer at ESA, says that the society supports tweeting at conferences and did not intend to change its stance. “It was a misunderstanding,” she says.

Writing on the Lyman Entomological Museum blog, Wheeler says that the Twitter restriction caused a lot of frustration among ESA meeting attendees and long-distance observers, who wondered why there was such a lull in social-media chatter. He notes that the last-minute announcement differs from the code of conduct printed in the conference programme, which says that attendees cannot take photographs of slides or posters without permission and that they should avoid posting online “detailed information from presentations.” Those restrictions, he writes, seem reasonable. But the policy in the programme made no mention of requiring permission to live-tweet.

For members of this science organization the restrictions might rankle, but as fellow scientists they will feel some compulsion to obey. However, science conferences like this normally encourage journalists to attend, and if so, such restrictions are garbage. If I was there as a journalist, I would tweet, photograph, and post reports on my webpage to my heart’s content, ignoring these absurd and unenforceable rules.

The Space Show modernization crowd-funding campaign

For more than a decade David Livingston has been producing and hosting The Space Show, the aerospace industry’s most important outlet for telling the public what is happening in space.

Now David is starting a crowd-funding campaign to finance a major update to The Space Show archives, in order to make them fully searchable and thus accessible to historians and researchers. As he notes,

Our archives as of this morning contain 2, 524 interview programs. These interviews tell the story of the space industry as many guests were there when it started, when we went to the Moon, and even before SpaceX was started. But as it stands, nobody can search our archives for information, program content, breaking news, etc. The closest one can come to a search is the GuestSearch tool on our current website, but searches are not interactive and about two-thirds of our programs have no key words so a search using the GuestSearch tool is not very useful Space Show archives are a treasure of information and history. By making them fully searchable and of archival quality, everyone benefits, even the casual Space Show listener.

As a space historian, I think David’s effort here is essential. The data hidden in the Space Show archives is invaluable, describing the beginning of the commercial space industry better than any other source. Making it searchable would make this history available to future generations that otherwise would never see it.

Check out the campaign as well as the Space Show support site and contribute. Not only can you help future space historians you will help keep the Space Show on the air.

Apple makes the conservative internet vanish

The state religion will not be challenged! Apple`s new news service considers leftwing news outlets the only outlets worth listing.

Their unwillingness to consider almost any conservative sites for listing not only illustrates their biased leftwing perspective, it also shows us their deep-seated close-mindedness. They believe in liberalism/socialism/big government so much they make it a point to refuse to even read opposing sites, no less deny access to them.

The negative, depressing mainstream press

Sunday’s Falcon 9 failure has given us a great opportunity to learn something about the mainstream press and the elite culture that dominates it. As expected, while the space-oriented press focused on what happened and what will be done to fix the problem, almost every mainstream press outlet immediately concluded that the failure was a disaster that could and (with some outlets) should ring the death knell for private space. Here are just a few examples:

I could go on. Notice that these are almost all mainstream news sources. The few that specialize in science reporting, such as Scientific American, New Scientist, and National Geographic, also tend to push the left wing science agenda.

If you can force yourself to read these articles, as I have, you will find yourself inundated with negativity, pessimism, and a can’t-do attitude. Moreover, many of these articles seem expressly designed to encourage the public and politicians to withdraw their support for space exploration. For example, the Scientific American article, in outlining the history of recent ISS cargo failures, includes this quote:

Public support for the private space industry also took a blow last October (just three days after the Orbital Sciences ATK mishap) when Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space plane SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight, killing one of its pilots. [emphasis mine]

Does Scientific American provide us any evidence that public support had dropped after these failures? No. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that support dropped, and if anything, based on the budget increases over the years for commercial space (despite Congressional efforts to trim that budget), support has continued to grow through thick and thin.

No, Scientific American inserted this statement because they want support to drop, and have tailored their article to help make that a self-fulfilling prophecy. The negativity of all these other articles suggest that their writers and outlets feel the same. Life is hard! Bad things can happen! Better that we stick our head in the sand and hide from the evil thunder gods rather than look up to try to figure out what thunder is!

For myself, I do not find the Falcon 9 failure this past weekend depressing in the slightest. This is a company and a rocket that hadn’t even existed a little more than decade ago, and in that short time they have revolutionized the rocket industry. Rockets fail. This is no surprise. Their track record, however, tells us that they will figure out what went wrong and start flying again, as soon as they can.

What I do find depressing is the failure culture of today’s modern intellectual society. It is one reason I do not depend on them for news, and in general try to depend on them for as little as possible for anything else.

Flashback to ABC’s 2008 climate predictions for 2015

Working for leftist global warming activist community and the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself): In 2008 ABC News did a special on what global warming was going to do to the climate in the coming years, and predicted disaster by June 2015.

New York City underwater? Gas over $9 a gallon? A carton of milk costs almost $13? Welcome to June 12, 2015. Or at least that was the wildly-inaccurate version of 2015 predicted by ABC News exactly seven years ago. Appearing on Good Morning America in 2008, Bob Woodruff hyped Earth 2100, a special that pushed apocalyptic predictions of the then-futuristic 2015. The segment included supposedly prophetic videos, such as a teenager declaring, “It’s June 8th, 2015. One carton of milk is $12.99.” (On the actual June 8, 2015, a gallon of milk cost, on average, $3.39.) Another clip featured this prediction for the current year: “Gas reached over $9 a gallon.” (In reality, gas costs an average of $2.75.)

On June 12, 2008, correspondent Bob Woodruff revealed that the program “puts participants in the future and asks them to report back about what it is like to live in this future world. The first stop is the year 2015.” As one expert warns that in 2015 the sea level will rise quickly, a visual shows New York City being engulfed by water. The video montage includes another unidentified person predicting that “flames cover hundreds of miles.” Then-GMA co-anchor Chris Cuomo appeared frightened by this future world. He wondered, “I think we’re familiar with some of these issues, but, boy, 2015? That’s seven years from now. Could it really be that bad?”

ABC is also the same network that sees nothing wrong with its main news anchor, George Stephanopolos, giving tens of thousands of dollars to aid the presidential campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton. Think of these details the next time you see any news reporting from them.

Same-sex science paper retracted

Politics corrupts science, again: The journal Science has retracted a paper that had claimed opinions on homosexual marriage could be changed quickly during a short conversation.

As noted in the journal’s retraction statement:

The reasons for retracting the paper are as follows: (i) Survey incentives were misrepresented. To encourage participation in the survey, respondents were claimed to have been given cash payments to enroll, to refer family and friends, and to complete multiple surveys. In correspondence received from Michael J. LaCour’s attorney, he confirmed that no such payments were made. (ii) The statement on sponsorship was false. In the Report, LaCour acknowledged funding from the Williams Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. Per correspondence from LaCour’s attorney, this statement was not true.

In addition to these known problems, independent researchers have noted certain statistical irregularities in the responses. LaCour has not produced the original survey data from which someone else could independently confirm the validity of the reported findings. [emphasis mine]

LaCour was the paper’s lead author. That he cannot provide the original data immediately discredits the work. It also discredits his only co-author, Donald Green of Columbia University, who apparently put his name on the paper without ever looking at the original data as well. When the above fraud was exposed, Green quickly called for the paper’s retraction, but I wonder how it was possible he allowed it to be published in the first place. Could it have been that he supports the idea of same-sex marriage, and wanted science to contribute its support as well, regardless of the facts?

Not being able to provide the original data is the same problem that Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit had. Jones’ work documenting the global temperature for the past century has been the main source used by the entire climate field for decades, and when he couldn’t provide his original data, saying it was lost, his work should have received the same treatment as LaCour above — immediate retraction. Instead, Science protected him, as did the entire climate community.

Their willingness to cover-up Jones’ bad science is now coming back to bite them, with more examples of sloppy work getting into publication. Jones showed that it was all right to fake his results. LaCour decided to try it as well, and Green saw no reason to challenge the dishonesty. The result? Fake science done for the sake of homosexual politics.

The big difference now, however, is the willingness of Science to quickly retract the piece. It appears we are making some progress in re-establishing the rules of science to research and publication.

A minor side note: The author of the story above is John Bohannon, the same guy who just proved you can write a fake paper and get journalists to report it.

A journalist and filmmaking team fake a study and the press buys it

The uncertainty of science journalism: How a science journalist and two documentary filmmakers fooled millions (and many science journalists) into thinking that eating chocolate will help you lose weight.

My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded.

He then describes step by step how they did it. They even got their “research” published in a journal that claimed it did peer review but did not change one word of their submitted manuscript and published it less than two weeks after submission and the receipt of their money (science journals traditionally require authors to pay them for the honor of publication). In the end,

We landed big fish before we even knew they were biting. Bild rushed their story out—”Those who eat chocolate stay slim!”—without contacting me at all. Soon we were in the Daily Star, the Irish Examiner, Cosmopolitan’s German website, the Times of India, both the German and Indian site of the Huffington Post, and even television news in Texas and an Australian morning talk show.

The American women’s magazine Shape also fell for the fraud.

To me, the main reason the fraud worked was because none of the journalists involved ever bothered to actually read the science paper. They saw the press release, thought the story was cool, and simply rewrote the release. This is what happens repeatedly in the science field, and is why so much crap about climate science gets published. Too many reporters accept verbatim the claims of the scientists, doing no research to check the facts on which those claims were based.

I should mention also that John Bohannon, the man who played the scientist in this prank, also ran a sting operation against peer review journals in October 2013, creating a bogus paper and getting 157 journals to accept it for publication.

PBS news anchor admits she is a Democratic stooge

Even as PBS provided no coverage of the George Stephanopolis scandal, PBS news anchor Judy Woodruff admitted on air last Friday that she had contributed $250 to the Clinton Foundation, supposedly to provide charitable aid to Haiti.

It is unconscionable for any legitimate journalist to give any money to any organization run by a politician. If she wanted to help Haiti, there were many better charities, especially since the Clinton Foundation only gives 6% of its donations to charity, keeping the rest for Bill and Hillary. She did it to let them know whose side she was on.

Meanwhile, PBS’s reasons for not covering Stephanopolis’s own payoffs to the Clintons are downright absurd:

I asked the NewsHour’s executive producer, Sara Just, for the reasoning behind not covering the Stephanopoulos story on the air. She said: “We had an online piece but for broadcast we didn’t think it met the bar as a story for our limited on-air news hole that day.”

In other words, we can’t cover this because it exposes a fellow journalist as a Democratic Party shill, and we can’t allow the public to know that. We have to help ABC and Stephanopolis make believe they are objective journalists so that they, like us, can help Democrats get elected.

The media’s fraud and dishonest bias documented

Working for the Democratic Party: A detailed list of documented cases since 1992 where mainstream media sources were caught deliberately falsifying facts in order to slander conservatives or to promote the leftwing agenda.

None of these 48 examples are opinion pieces. In every case, false information or opinions were reported as facts, only to be found to be fabricated or completely counter to the facts as later documented. And as the author notes, the number of these faked stories has increased in recent years, partly because of the existence of alternative news sources on the web which point them out, but mostly because the mainstream media has become more blatantly partisan and dishonest in recent years.

Celebrating the death of the mainstream media

The rage builds.

[M]embers of the mainstream media are presumptively hacks, and the pain and misery they endure as their organizations convulse and die should inspire laughter and joy. Sure, there are honest reporters out there, but that’s only a fluke of statistics. There have to be some, if only because of the random vagaries of chance. They can get real jobs with the new media. But in general, MSM members’ pain is our gain.

Remember, they hate us. Hate us. They don’t merely not care about us. They don’t simply misunderstand us. They hate what we think. They hate how we live. They hate what we believe. They hate us.

And it shouldn’t come as a shock if we hate them right back. We normals have already started an unofficial, uncoordinated boycott of the mainstream media.

Read it all, and remind yourself that ABC News considers it perfectly acceptable for their lead anchor to contribute big bucks to the Democratic Party. This is also the same network that is working hand-in-glove with the communist dictatorship in Cuba to spread their propaganda.

Stephanopoulos admits he is a Democratic stooge

Why I consider television news a Democratic Party cesspool: George Stephanopoulos admits that he had donated $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation, even as he conducted interviews condemning critics of that foundation, without disclosing his donations.

Meanwhile, ABC News has absolved Stephanopoulos of any wrong-doing, which is not a surprise, since from the perspective of television news Stephanopoulos didn’t do anything wrong. He supported the Clintons and the Democratic Party, both by how he reported the news and conducted his interviews, and now with money itself. This is exactly what a television news anchor is supposed to do in today’s modern television propaganda machine: Help Democrats get elected.

If you get your news information from this news source, you either are incredibly naive, or are a Democratic stooge yourself.

Update: The amount of money Stephanopoulos donated to the Clintons is actually $75K, not $50K as first reported.

A real report of Hillary’s first campaign stop

Forget the press. Forget the spin. Read this report by an ordinary college student of her attempt to participate, as an “Everyday Iowan”, in Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign event. With great pictures.

My point here is not to lambast Clinton (of which this event is the least of her problems). My point is to lambast the press. This campaign stop was not much different than the campaign stops and photo events of all politicians, staged and managed and completely divorced from reality. Sadly the press goes along and reports the staging. This report, created by an amateur, instead gives us the reality of the event, something that the press should be doing.

Instead, our mainstream press plays along with the politicians. They should be ashamed.

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