July 1-2, 2013 -- Firing back
First, after a very stormy weekend, this should be perfectly clear to those who would practice amateur psychiatry while, at the same time, purporting to be "journalists." I do not suffer fools easily.
So many unarmed critics and so little time.
I'll start with the events that led up to The Observer of Britain and its sister paper The Guardian dropping the story on my not-so-new revelations concerning the National Security Agency's use of "Third Parties" like Germany and France, now up in arms about NSA-British GCHQ spying on their citizens, to conduct mass eavesdropping on satellite and undersea cable communications. The Observer, which ran a front page story in its Sunday June 30 edition featuring yours truly's picture on the front page, was responding to my interview with Simon Davies, the former director general of Privacy International and now the editor of The Privacy Surgeon.
The author of The Observer piece interviewed me directly. And my past controversial articles did come up in pre-publication conversations and e-mail with the reporter. Furthermore, the article in which I was quoted was duly vetted by the Guardian New & Media (GNM) lawyers before it went to press and on to the web. GNM now says the article was pulled "because of 'concerns' over its source."
But facts mean nothing to The Daily Beast's polemicist Michael Moynihan who, in a screed worthy of being shouted from the drunken lips of any ne'er-do-well on Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park, decided that The Observer merely lifted the information provided to them from Mr. Davies's web site without ever contacting me directly. So, Moynihan got some very simple facts wrong. Is The Daily Beast now going to take down Moynihan's fact-free screed "pending an investigation?" For a website that bought Newsweek, from The Washington Post company for one dollar, I seriously doubt it cares about journalistic integrity.
The Daily Beast's/Newsweek's editor is Tina Brown, a doyenne of the chardonnay-swilling Fleet Street, London and Manhattan publishing world that largely consists of pasty-faced, slack-jawed, and boring, albeit wealthy, poltroons. The Daily Beast features a Royals page as if anyone who works for a living really cares about what Britain's highest-paid unemployed family does during the course of a day. The Daily Beast's royal watchers will likely soon read about how the British royals, like the Chinese eunuchs who served the infant emperor, flocked around the crib of William's and Kate's newborn heir to sniff the "royal poo" to ensure the future monarch is healthy and fit for the throne.
Now that we've established the ethical worth of The Daily Beast, let's look at the value of Mr. Moynihan. Moynihan has a history with the corporate-funded libertarian magazine Reason. But Moynihan could never really establish himself in American journalism, so he went where every struggling enterprising journalist goes to make a name for himself: Stockholm. In Stockholm, Moynihan worked for the Swedish "free-market" think tank Timbro, which is associated with the neo-conservative government of Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Reinfeldt's American mentor, one Karl Rove. Now that we've established that Moynihan is a right-wing political hack and far from a journalist, let's look at his other sordid activities in Sweden. Moynihan was part of Sweden's "Everyone Draw Mohammed Day," an attempt to inflame Sweden's and Europe's Muslims who believe that any caricature of the Prophet Mohammed serves to blaspheme their faith. Such childish antics are worthy of any acolyte of Karl Rove.
But Moynihan, after getting his start in Europe, now fancies himself as some sort of Russell Baker for the snot-nosed punk generation who believes that coverage of Bill Clinton's transgressions are only the fodder for a "golden age" of conspiracy-minded people. But, hey, as Boxcar Willie and Slim Whitman discovered, Americans like Moynihan can makeover their careers in Europe after being abject failures in their initial careers in the United States.
Now on to The Daily Telegraph's (also called the "Torygraph') blogger Damian Thompson. Thompson also penned a screed, as if on command from the neo-con control room that exists in cyberspace, that suggested my worst crime was a suggestion "that Barack Obama is gay," which Thompson quickly added, "he isn't."
Thompson has been the religious correspondent for The Telegraph and the editor of the Catholic Herald of Britain. Thompson is a self-declared conspiracy debunker and he has written a book on the subject, Counterknowledge: How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History. Seems like while Thompson has been busy debunking conspiracy theories, his beloved Catholic Church has suffered a major pedophile and gay related scandal, with the Archbishop of Scotland Cardinal Keith O'Brien and his friend, defrocked Vatican knight Jimmy Savile, discovered to be at the center of a huge consp----, oh, wait a minute, Thompson says uber-coincidences are bollocks! Even Pope Francis has referred to a sinisterv "gay lobby" running the Vatican even as a Vatican priest arrested for pedophilia has revealed details about a Vatican rent-a-boy ring. Now, this chap Thompson by debasing "conspiracies" wouldn't be covering up something in his own church now, would he?
Mr. Thompson should stick with his own fantasies and leave real news reporting to the professionals. By the way, Mr. Thompson, have you seen any outlines of the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast lately?
And now on to the BusinessInsider.com and reporter Paul Szoldra. Okay, Mr. Szoldra's just getting started in journalism in the Tampa Bay area, so everyone is allowed a couple of "snafus," especially when they're novices. But using a quote from a Twitter message in a news story is just not very smart. Szoldra, quoted John Schindler: "John Schindler, a professor at the Naval War College and intelligence expert, called "batsh--crazy, to use the technical term." Schindler claims his remarks were private and in no way reflected the views of the Naval War College, an institution from which I received a graduate continuing education certificate in 1983.