Category - Blog Criticism

The Whistle In The Wind


Poor Jon Chait.

He had the audacity to question whether the right of free speech comes with a responsibility on the part of both the speaker and the listener, and got hammered for it. In other words, he took on “political correctness” and in what may be one of the grandest moments of self-reinforcing demonstration, got spanked by the very movement he sought to critique. Read More

Arianna Huffington Post wants you to DESTRESS!

Arianna Huffington Post (I wonder if she is related to the late Marjorie Merriweather Post) was on “The Daily Show” last week, introducing her new book, Thrive. It wasn’t clear from the way she explained it, or perhaps from the unrelated conversation she was having with Jon Stewart, what the book is about. It’s something to do about the need for all of us to disengage from the frantic, plugged-in world we inhabit, and maybe take deep breaths, meditate, and do some yoga. I learned more about the book, and the frantic, plugged-in world Arianna lives, from a post on Slate this morning. Arianna is by any definition a workaholic, sending emails to her employees at 3:00 a.m., juggling two Blackberry’s at all times, which she consults routinely during her yoga lessons, but gets away with it because her trainer says she is such a “spiritual” person. She regularly overbooks flights because she is too busy to get on a plane until the last second. She installed two nap rooms at the Huffington Post, but the pace she sets for her employees prevents them from using these amenities.
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Cryptome releases hack of US and UK Syrian rebel supporters – Hersh critics

cryptomeCryptome is a web site devoted to promoting transparency by publishing leaks on a variety of current topics of the day.  John Young and Deborah Natsios founded Cryptome in 1996.  It is considered a precursor to Wikileaks.  The site just posted a series of links from an anonymous source claiming that Elliot Higgins of the Brown Moses blog was linked to U.S. journalist-rebel fighter (Libya, Syria), Matthew Van Dyke, and that Van Dyke had told Higgins of the Syrian rebel group Al Nusra’s “possession” of sarin gas.  Higgins claims Seymour Hersh’s recent article was incorrect on that issue.  The claims are based on an alleged hack of Van Dyke’s social media sites, which contained alleged exchanges between Higgins and Van Dyke.  Van Dyke admitted that his site was hacked but alleged that the hackers, the Syrian Electronic Army, would distort his emails etc.  The Cryptome release is presented without further comment for your review.

From Cryptome: 

10 December 2013

Elliot Higgins, Matthew Van Dyke, Syrian Supprt Group, Seymour Hersh [Link to Cryptome original]

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:17:47 -0800 (PST)
From: C
Subject:  Elliot Higgins, Matthew Van Dyke, Syrian Supprt Group, Seymour Hersh
To: <cryptome[at]>

Prominent English Blogger Eliot Higgins has been linked to American Terrorist Matthew Van Dyke and supression of information of Jabhat Al-Nusra possession of Sarin. The Van-Dyke Facebook was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army and his private Twitter messages published. (website now blocked in Australia by ASIO order)     Read More

‘They stole our dreams’: blogger reveals cost of reporting Mexico’s drug wars

The Guardian Exclusive:

For three years it has chronicled Mexico’s drug war with graphic images and shocking stories that few others dare show, drawing millions of readers, acclaim, denunciations – and speculation about its author’s identity.

Blog del Narco, an internet sensation dubbed a “front-row seat” to Mexico’s agony over drugs, has become a must-read for authorities, drug gangs and ordinary people because it lays bare, day after day, the horrific violence censored by the mainstream media.

The anonymous author has been a source of mystery, with Mexico wondering who he is and his motivation for such risky reporting.

Now in their first major interview since launching the blog, the author has spoken to the Guardian and the Texas Observer – and has revealed that she is, in fact, a young woman.

When looking at the comments at The Guardian and Texas Observer, one can’t help notice that one site’s commenters are pretty complimentary of Blog del Narco and the other site’s commenters accuse the site of plagiarism.

Citizen Journalism in Egypt – Egyptian Chronicles

Optimized-egyptportsiadNews sources are always a challenge. It is even more difficult when looking for decent citizen journalists, particularly in foreign countries. I’ve been reading an excellent blog out of Egypt for a while, The Egyptian Chronicles. The blogger is Zeinobia, an Egyptian woman, maybe a student or college faculty member. Events in Egypt are dynamic and unsettling. The blog provides first hand reporting on the various factions and alignments. For example, the protests in Egypt’s Port Said, the nation’s most prosperous city, pit the military against the police!!!

#PortSaid : Another day of clashes ,another round of madness

“And Port Said is once again on fire and it seems that it is not the usual clash between protesters and security forces from police as it stared but it evolved madly to clashes between armed forces and police forces from CSF.” (Central Security Forces tied to the national police)

(Image left: Port Said citizens aid Egyptian military after government police attacked military with tear gas)

After the jump, there’s a photo essay from Port Said that’s part of a citizen news service called Storify, which looks like it has potential.
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Fostering Understanding

I love what Jodie Foster did last night at the Golden Globes. It was a magnificently snarky yet polite way of telling people to f-off. The juice quote, as far as I’m concerned:
But now I’m told, apparently, that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show. You know, you guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me. It never was and it never will be.

A Schmear With Your Hagel?

OK, now that things have settled down a bit, I’m ready to take on what I think will be the key issue over the next few weeks: filling Obama’s Cabinet.
John Kerry should be a slam-dunk for Secretary of State. Yes, the Swift Boaters are rearing their ugly heads again, but now that John Corsi has been not only thoroughly discredited with his treasonous slanders against President Obama, they will barely be a pebble under Kerry’s halftrack.
Chuck Hagel should be a slamdunk for Secretary of Defense and I believe, despite the brouhaha being raised by the small-penis caucus, he will be. But let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon and its evolution.

Contemplating anonymity

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against The Web?

Whole article is worth reading – and thinking about.

Lanier was one of the creators of our current digital reality and now he wants to subvert the “hive mind,” as the web world’s been called, before it engulfs us all, destroys political discourse, economic stability, the dignity of personhood and leads to social catastrophe.

if you say we’re creating the information economy, except that we’re making information free, then what we’re saying is we’re destroying the economy.

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