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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Hasting’

MoJo Smacks Down Examiner Writer ‘Investigating’ Michael Hastings’ Death

A Mother Jones story today by Gavin Aronsen comes out swinging at Kimberly Dvorak—the so-called journalist “investigating” Michael Hastings death—and for good reason.

Dvorak has been pushing unsourced and, in some cases, debunked conspiracy theories about Hastings’ death at Examiner.com (most notably that he was assassinated, but she’s also open to the idea that he could’ve faked his death, too). Being that we’re talking about Examiner.com, this would make her only mildly annoying. Except that now, a San Diego TV station has started giving her airtime. That’s only led to papers like Britain’s Independent, Fox News (of course), Reason.com and others citing her work.

When asked for comment by Mother Jones, she says, “I’m going out on a limb reporting this. Journalists are becoming so irrelevant right now.” San Diego’s TV station refused to comment for the story.

An excerpt from Mother Jones:

“Dvorak’s reporting—and mainstream media outlets’ embrace of it—is ongoing. On Monday, Dvorak reported that she had ‘confirmed’ a claim made last week by Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, that Hastings was working on a profile of CIA Director John Brennan at the time of his death. (The news that Hastings had been investigating Brennan first appeared in the Los Angeles Times the day after Hastings’ death in June.) ‘It’s curious how his wife came out and talked about [Hastings' death] and kind of had a smile on her face and didn’t seem like a grieving widow,’ Dvorak says.”

This isn’t the first time someone has taken issue with Dvorak. Huffington Post writers Jason Linkins and Ryan Grim pointed out way back in 2010 that not only had she fabricated a story about the Mexican Los Zetas gang seizing ranches in Texas (Dvorak claims border security as one of her areas of expertise), but also ripped off a legitimate story about an Immigration and Customs Enforcement informant who played both sides of the drug war.

So why do legit outlets keep giving Dvorak a pedestal to shout from? Maybe they just don’t have time to use Google to check her bona fides, or lack thereof?

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Morning Reading List 06.20.13

Michael Hastings’ wife confronts NY Times — Since Michael Hasting’s tragic death was reported Tuesday, numerous friends, coworkers and journalists have published remembrances and obituaries, most sticking to a pretty obvious guideline of, say, not questioning Hastings’ most well-known and praised piece of journalism, “The Runaway General,” which was featured in Rolling Stone. HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim and Jason Linkins reported that the NY Times, however, did just that, and Hastings’ wife, Elise Jordan, wasn’t happy about it. So Jordan emailed Times editor Jill Abramson after she read Margalit Fox’s obit that was published on the Times’ website Wednesday evening to ask Abramson to correct it before printing it the following day. Jordan quoted parts of the Defense Department Inspector General’s report in a response to the obit suggesting that Hastings’ reporting had been disproven. Abramson sent the email to Bill McDonald, obituaries editor, who wrote back to Jordan to say, basically, that she was wrong and that the obituary was correct, making it clear that he wasn’t going to change it before it printed.

Rich Lowry on Rand PaulPolitico published a column by National Review editor Rich Lowry in which he examined Rand Paul’s chance of a 2016 presidential bid. So far, Lowry said, his chances look good, thanks in large part to recent headlines, the NSA surveillance leak being the most recent and helpful to Paul’s case. Lowry runs through a checklist of Paul’s ideals touched on by the secret surveillance program: “ [The NSA] meta-data program couldn’t be better fashioned to play into fears of the government. Is it vast? Yes. Was it secret? Check. Does it arguably run outside the normal checks and balances of government? Uh-huh. Does it raise profound questions about privacy? Roger.” And this leak comes just after the disclosure of the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups and the seizure of the AP’s phone records by the Justice Department. Lowry points out that pretty much all of the headlines are catering to Paul and giving him ammo as he vies to be the Republican front-runner in a crowded field of candidates. It also helps, Lowry explains, that Paul is somewhat of an anomaly in the GOP: he’s interesting. Lowry also makes sure to point out that he’s no “Rand Paul-tie,” but he sees the establishment’s ideals aligning more and more with the unique libertarian conservative from Kentucky.

See what WikiLeaks is up to now…

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Rolling Stone Writer Compares Petraeus to Sheen

It was only a matter of time.

You can only have so much tiger blood coursing through your veins until it spills into Washington culture and onto Capitol Hill. Serious “winning” happened today when Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) was speaking on the House floor and referred to Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings‘ comparison of David Petraeus to actor Charlie Sheen. Duh. It’s not hard to see the resemblance of the drug-addled actor to the commander of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Woolsey complained about the supposed July withdrawal of troops and wondered if and how that was going to happen.

Hastings made the comparison at a briefing Tuesday held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force. He referenced Sheen’s press strategy, as in the more the better. “General Petraeus is giving us the Charlie Sheen counter-insurgency strategy, which is to give exclusive interviews to every major network, and to keep saying ‘we’re winning’ and hope the public actually agrees with you,” The Hill’s Pete Kasperowicz reported today. Like Hasting, The Hill cashed in on Sheen’s nationwide spark and used his name in the headline: “Petraeus accused of ‘Charlie Sheen strategy’ on Afghanistan war.”

Read the full story here.