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In July 2017, a then-Google employee, James Damore, wrote a ten-page essay, including footnotes, about Google’s approach to diversity.

While other sites posted abridged versions, you can read ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber’ in full here and here: recommended reading for all.

Consider that things like this are happening — or could so easily happen — i.e. blacklists, suggested in this supposed joke:

Summary

James Damore’s perspective is one of promoting diversity but doing it in a realistic, individualised way that looks at people’s strengths and perceived weaknesses — and making good use of both. He wrote that his commentary pertained only to the Mountain View, California location where he works.

Two excerpts follow. The first is the introduction:

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem.

Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber.

Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

The second is this brief part from his detailed conclusion:

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

Heavy summarised his detailed conclusion as follows:

He suggested Google do the following: De-moralize diversity; stop alienating conservatives; confront its biases; stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races; have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of its diversity programs; focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity; de-emphasize empathy; prioritize intention; be open about the science of human nature; and reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.

Reaction

This is a summary of the reaction by Damore’s colleagues:

On Saturday, August 5, Business Insider reported on the reaction from certain Google employees (tweets at the link):

Google employees are up in arms after a senior engineer at the company penned an anti-diversity manifesto that has spread through the company like wildfire.

At that time, no one knew the author’s identity because only excerpts were available. Business Insider contacted Google for comment:

A Google spokesperson referred Business Insider to internal memos posted by Google’s head of diverisity, Danielle Brown, as well as to an internal post by Ari Balogh, a Google VP of engineering.

Business Insider found out about the document from Vice‘s Motherboard, whose team saw it at Gizmodo.

Dilbert’s Scott Adams tweeted the link to the Business Insider article:

On Monday, August 7, Google fired Damore. Bloomberg reports:

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies” …

Earlier on Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees that said portions of the memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” But he didn’t say if the company was taking action against the employee. A Google representative, asked about the dismissal, referred to Pichai’s memo.

Damore’s 10-page memorandum accused Google of silencing conservative political opinions and argued that biological differences play a role in the shortage of women in tech and leadership positions. It circulated widely inside the company and became public over the weekend, causing a furor that amplified the pressure on Google executives to take a more definitive stand.

After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google’s new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, sent a statement to staff condemning Damore’s views and reaffirmed the company’s stance on diversity. In internal discussion boards, multiple employees said they supported firing the author, and some said they would not choose to work with him, according to postings viewed by Bloomberg News.

“We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company,” Brown said in the statement. “We’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”

It looks as if Google might have been trying to protect themselves:

The memo and surrounding debate comes as Google fends off a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the company systemically discriminates against women. Google has denied the charges, arguing that it doesn’t have a gender gap in pay, but has declined to share full salary information with the government. According to the company’s most recent demographic report, 69 percent of its workforce and 80 percent of its technical staff are male.

However, Bloomberg stated that the subject of diverse opinions at Google arose during their shareholder meeting in June (emphases mine):

A shareholder asked executives whether conservatives would feel welcome at the company. Executives disagreed with the idea that anyone wouldn’t.

“The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking,” Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the time. “You’ll also find that all of the other companies in our industry agree with us.”

Yes, and that is the problem. I have read anecdotally from conservative Silicon Valley employees that they keep their heads down and get on with the work. They said they would not dare to discuss social issues or politics and do their best to fit in with the prevailing culture because they like their work.

Heavy says that Damore told a New York Times reporter:

he will likely take legal action against Google. He said he believes the company acted illegally by firing him.

“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” Damore told the New York Times. He said he wrote the memo to start an “honest discussion” about what he believes to be Google’s intolerance for ideas that don’t fit into its left-leaning biases, according to the Times.

Damore told the Times he submitted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board before he was fired, claiming Google’s upper management was “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints.” He said it is “illegal to retaliate” against a complaint made to the NLRB.

An account to help with his legal fees is now open on WeSearchr.com.

Twitter lit up.

Alternative media’s Mike Cernovich had this pertinent comment:

A young woman took exception to Google employees who were happy about Damore’s dismissal:

A professor of evolutionary psychology defended Damore:

Who is James Damore?

Heavy tells us that Damore is originally from Illinois.

He graduated from the prestigious — and rigorous — Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in 2007.

He was also a chess champion in his youth:

As a child, Damore was a chess champion, earning the FIDE Master title, putting him in the >99th percentile, according to his CV. He won regional tournaments in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and finished second in the Nation Youth Action 2003 Chess Tournament.

He graduated with high honours from the University of Illinois:

he graduated in 2010 in the top 3 percent of his class with a degree in molecular and cellular biology, according to his CV. He graduated as a James Scholar and was given the Bronze Tablet, the highest awards given to graduates, he said.

He then enrolled in a graduate programme at Harvard University:

Damore also pursued his Ph.D. in systems biology from Harvard University in from 2011 to 2013, according to his Linkedin profile. He is listed in the alumni section of the Harvard Systems Biology Ph.D. program, but it is not clear if he completed the degree.

He was employed as a researcher at Harvard, MIT and Princeton:

He published two research papers while working at Jeff Gore’s biophysics laboratory at MIT in 2011 and 2012: “Understanding microbial cooperation” and “A slowly evolving host moves first in symbiotic interactions.”

He says that he has “Senior or graduate level knowledge of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, game theory, and computer programming.”

He was delighted to be offered a job at Google in December 2013:

“Flying home tonight and starting at Google in two weeks, so excited,” he wrote on Facebook. Damore worked on infrastructure for Google’s search product, according to the New York Times.

Heavy delved into Damore’s Facebook musings and posted a few of them. Not surprisingly, this genius is an introvert, although not without friends. He also tries to make life as efficient a process as possible. He does not like to waste time. He is also an artist and posts his charcoal drawings on Facebook.

Instant popularity and job offers

James Damore’s Google memo has made him a national hero.

He has attracted the attention of many online, including Julian Assange:

Gab — similar to Twitter but less censorious — also wants to interview Damore:

It looks as if James Damore has an even brighter future ahead of him. I wish him all the best and applaud him for his guts.

Congratulations to everyone in the United States who got involved online in discussing and analysing France’s presidential election, the second round of which was held on Sunday, May 7, 2017.

It was refreshing to see Americans engage so well with this historic election an ocean away.

As predicted, Emmanuel Macron is the new resident of the Elysée Palace in Paris. He won with 66% — two-thirds — of the vote. Turnout was around 74% — high, compared with other Western countries — but was the lowest for France since 1969.

Now he and his En Marche! — formerly a movement, now a political party — must work with the Socialists (PS) and others on the left for les législatives (parliamentary) elections on June 18.

It’s interesting that the supposedly independent, free-thinking Marianne newsweekly put Macron on its cover for the second week in a row. Earlier this year, they criticised other news magazines for multiple Macron covers. Sadly, they have fallen in step with the other sheeplike outlets:

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen (FN, Front National) was upbeat in her concession speech. For the next few weeks, the FN are now the party of opposition.

That said, I expect Les Républicains (LR, conservatives) to regain that position on June 18.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who hid herself away crying when she lost, Le Pen got on the dance floor with her campaign workers:

Discussions on RMC (French talk radio) this morning centred around her renaming her father’s party to Les Patriotes. No one really thought a new name would give the FN better traction among the French electorate.

Emmanuel Macron

On Sunday evening, Macron supporters waited at the Louvre for him to speak in front of the museum’s glass pyramid:

Hillary Clinton concurred:

She referred to the 48-hour media blackout prior to a French election. This is so that voters are not unduly swayed one way or the other. We have the same thing in the UK.

I watched BFMTV’s coverage and tuned in as the presidential entourage was making its way along part of the Tour de France route to a secret location where he, his family and main supporters had drinks and dinner. Everyone entered by the back in a narrow side street, heavy with security. No one was allowed in the road unless they were going to his victory dinner.

How France voted

Matthieu Gallard of the French division of the polling company IPSOS, has a lot of excellent statistics of which parts of the French population voted for Macron and Le Pen:

Voter profiles

If you click on his tweet, you can see that Gallard also has IPSOS charts which show that Macron did better across the board with executives (cadres), professionals (prof. intermédiaires) and the retired (retraités). The only group where Le Pen dominated was the working class (ouvriers).

Even education levels did not make a difference overall. Macron won every demographic there, from those who had not completed high school to those with post-graduate degrees.

Tactical voting

Forty-three per cent voted Macron only to stop Le Pen (the historical toxicity of the FN).

However, that is not necessarily positive. This will become clearer in June, because IPSOS also has another chart (see Gallard’s other tweets) showing that 61% of the French do not want Macron’s En Marche! to have a majority in parliament (l’Assemblée Nationale).

Regions

The New York Times has a good map of regions where Le Pen dominated:

Someone from an English-speaking country surmises that this has to do with ancient linguistics:

No. It has to do with immigration patterns. The North and Bordeaux (west) have had enough. The voters along the southern coast have the same issue.

Paris also has a big problem, but, like all other Western capitals and major cities, votes for the Left — regardless.

You can see more charts and statistics here.

Francophone reaction to foreign opinion

French-speaking media people were most unhappy with alt-media journalist Mike Cernovich‘s reaction to the outcome.

Cernovich tweeted that America should accept Le Pen voters as political refugees.

Oddly, the responses I’ve seen came from countries other than France.

A Belgian journalist who works at the European Parliament picked up on it, calling Cernovich a ‘little protege’ of President Trump. Frankly, I’m not sure they’ve even met each other:

A Genevan journalist from Le Temps dismissed Cernovich as a ‘conspiracy writer’:

Visit to Germany

Macron’s first trip will be to Germany to visit Angela Merkel.

I have seen several journalists jump on this as being Macron-specific.

However, a trip to Germany is normal for incoming French presidents. François Hollande also went to see Merkel within 48 hours of his election in 2012.

Conclusion

Ultimately, only the parliamentary elections in June can end the debate that is currently going on in France. The first statistic, incidentally, was the result of the Brexit referendum in 2016:

Coming soon: why the election result was not rigged

Tomorrow: Alternative media and Macron’s financial situation

I have written previously about alternative media’s Mike Cernovich with regard to his recent 60 Minutes interview and its full transcript.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, Cernovich tweeted:

On Monday, he reported more about his first mainstream news scoop, excerpted below (emphases mine):

Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.

The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.

Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.

“Unmasking” is the process of identifying individuals whose communications were caught in the dragnet of intelligence gathering. While conducting investigations into terrorism and other related crimes, intelligence analysts incidentally capture conversations about parties not subject to the search warrant. The identities of individuals who are not under investigation are kept confidential, for legal and moral reasons.

James Rosen, a former Bill Clinton adviser who now works for Fox News, says that this is a huge story which could explain why General Mike Flynn had to resign earlier this year. The tweet below says Fox News acknowledged that Cernovich broke the story. I did not see that in the clip, but am posting it anyway so that you can read what Rosen says:

The Daily Caller explained Big Media’s reaction to Cernovich’s scoop and how they reported it:

Mike Cernovich, a journalist who has promoted conspiracy theories and was deemed “fake news” by “60 Minutes,” was the first to break the news that Obama’s former national security advisor Susan Rice made requests to unmask the identities of Trump associates.

Cernovich said in his report Sunday that New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman knew about the Rice requests, and “has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.” A New York Times spokeswoman told The Daily Caller, “Cernovich’s claim regarding Maggie Haberman is 100 percent false.”

Bloomberg’s Eli Lake confirmed Cernovich’s report Monday, but did not include any details about Haberman sitting on the story. Cernovich told TheDC in an interview that Lake also sat on the story over the weekend. Lake tweeted Tuesday, “Reports that I sat on the Susan Rice story are false.”

The Bloomberg story didn’t give Cernovich any credit for his scoop and he said he wasn’t upset as he has more influence than Bloomberg.

Cernovich revealed how he got the story:

Zero Hedge provides a partial transcript of the video (emphases in the original):

I’m showing you the politics of ‘real journalism’.  ‘Real journalism’ is that Bloomberg had it and the New York Times had it but they wouldn’t run it because  they don’t want to run any stories that would make Obama look bad or that will vindicate Trump.  They only want to run stories that make Trump look bad so that’s why they sat on it.

So where did I get the story?  I didn’t get it from the intelligence community.  Everybody’s trying to figure out where I got it from.  I got it from somebody who works in one of those media companies.  I have spies in every media organization.  I got people in news rooms.  I got it from a source within the news room who said ‘Cernovich, they’re sitting on this story, they’re not going to run it, so you can run it’.

If you’re at Bloomberg, I have people in there.  If you’re at the New York Times, I have people in there.  LA Times, Washington Post, you name it, I have my people in there.  I got IT people in every major news room in this country.  The IT people see every email so that’s how I knew it.

On Wednesday, April 5, Cernovich wrote about what happened next:

– Rice said she unmasked but it was legal.

– Fake news does not call Rice a liar for saying she never unmasked anyone, instead….

– Fake news attacks Cernovich’s character.

– Fake news claims Trump said he was “illegally” spied on (not what he said).

Susan Rice

Since Cernovich’s story broke, Susan Rice has given several television interviews this week to friendly outlets, such as MSNBC and PBS.

Rice’s husband, Ian Cameron, was a senior producer of successful news programmes for ABC. Although he is no longer working for them, preferring to spend time with his family, Heavy contacted the network to find out why they were not giving the Rice story much coverage:

Heavy has reached out to ABC News’ PR staff to see whether Cameron still has any link to ABC News, as his LinkedIn profile and past articles say he left the network several years ago. This story will be updated if a response is received.

Fox News is the only channel doing any critical coverage of the story. On April 5, they reported  (emphases mine):

The intelligence reports at the center of the Susan Rice unmasking controversy were detailed, and almost resembled a private investigator’s file, according to a Republican congressman familiar with the documents.

“This is information about their everyday lives,” Rep. Peter King of New York, a member of the House Intelligence committee said. “Sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired just to find out what the other person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on.”

On the House Intelligence Committee, only the Republican chairman, Devin Nunes of California, and the ranking Democrat Adam Schiff, also of California, have personally reviewed the intelligence reports. Some members were given broad outlines.

Nunes has consistently stated that the files caused him deep concern because the unmasking went beyond the former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and the information was not related to Moscow.

Alternative media have been digging deeply. Circa, which has excellent reports on intelligence, posted an article about the Rice controversy on Monday, April 3, the same day that Cernovich’s scoop appeared. Circa analysed what might have occurred with Rice, intelligence information and others in the Obama White House. A brief excerpt follows:

How the information was disseminated beyond Rice will also be a potential focus of congressional oversight, since lawmakers may want to know if it was briefed to Obama or shared with members of her larger circle of advisers, like deputy Ben Rhodes.

Rice has not returned repeated calls for comment from Circa. But in an interview with PBS recently, she said she had no idea what House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes was talking about when he said Obama officials were monitoring Trump associates after the election.

One intelligence professional with detailed knowledge of how the NSA and other intelligence agencies share information with the White House during transitions told Circa that U.S. intelligence reporting on foreign leaders’ perceptions of Trump spiked after his unexpected election win in November, creating a trove of information that could be accessed by the outgoing White House.

More will surely follow in the days and weeks ahead.

Steve Bannon

In closing, I would like to clarify what happened with Steve Bannon, one of President Trump’s closest advisers.

On Wednesday, April 5, The Drudge Report had headlines from Big Media outlets saying that said Bannon had lost his security clearance and was threatening to quit. Cernovich explains why these reports are false: look at who wrote them.

That day, The Conservative Treehouse reported that what really happened. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

First, Steve Bannon continues to attend National Security Council (NSC) meetings:

The hilarity cemented itself when competing media outlets were arguing about Steve Bannon being on the NSC, or being kicked-off the NSC, while Bannon walked past them en route to today’s NSC meeting.  Wait, wha… huh?   Yeah -{Insert Laugh Track HERE}-

Nothing ever happens in a vacuum, and today is no exception.   No, Steve Bannon is not being removed from the Senior advisory role to President Trump and will attend NSC meetings with the President.  Bannon’s security clearance therein remains unchanged.

Secondly, Lt General McMaster is realigning the NSC meetings to emphasise security threats over politics, a holdover from the Obama administration — a big part of the Susan Rice revelations. This is where the Big Media story about Bannon is coming from because:

Bannon is removing himself from the Principal’s Committee of the H.R. McMaster NSC (*note* he never attended the committee meetings, well, that is, he did, once), now that the political weaponization of NSC intelligence operations has been removed; and McMaster has recalibrated the incoming intelligence agencies to remove the political intelligence they were previously used to sending.

This is what McMaster is doing:

HR McMaster, the current National Security Adviser of President Trump, had to reset and re-instruct each of the heads of the intelligence agencies who provide intelligence to the NSC to remove the political intelligence.

McMaster needed to visit with each agency, CIA, NSA, State Department and Defense, to reorient them on what national intelligence the Trump administration wishes to receive within the National Security Council.

President Trump doesn’t want the national intelligence agencies sending him updates on what Senator Schumer had for lunch, where and who he dined with.  Instead President Trump prefers the intelligence agencies focus on global security issues that are actually vital to the national security interests of the country.

H.R McMaster’s instructions toward he intelligence agencies has just freed up thousands of hours of operational intelligence (spying and analysis) to focus on real threats unrelated to domestic politics.  Subsequently with the new direction established, Steve Bannon doesn’t need to be a pre-filter for NSC raw intel any longer. Bannon can now be a consumer of that intelligence, just like President Trump.

Stories on security topics and alternative media will continue after Holy Week and Easter. This year, Palm Sunday falls on April 9.

On March 28, 2017, I posted about Mike Cernovich’s interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Although Cernovich’s campaign for CBS to release the full 45-minute video has not borne fruit, he does have the full transcript of the interview, which he posted on Monday, April 3.

At times such as these, it’s reassuring to receive an enthusiastic nod from the White House, in this case, the Counselor to the President:

Here is the short interview, preceded by a discussion with notional experts about what constitutes fake news:

Cernovich posted the transcript of the entire interview on Medium.com.

Excerpts follow from his exchange with Scott Pelley. Subheads and emphases are mine.

What’s Left and Right anymore?

Scott Pelley: … A-are you a right-wing person?

Mike Cernovich: I consider myself center-right. But these labels don’t really make much sense. I believe in some form of universal basic income. Well that isn’t a, quote unquote, conservative position because we have automation coming. What are you going to do?

I’m pro single payer healthcare. Is that right-wing or is that left-wing anymore? Well, if you have a lot of people, a large swatch of the company, or country, are suffering, then I think that we owe it to all Americans to do right by them, and to help them out. So is that right-wing or is that left-wing? I don’t know.

I’m pro free speech. Well, I remember when my great heroes who I read in college, like Allen Dershowitz, were with the ACLU marching with the Nazis. Now I read that well, that guy’s a Nazi. Is it okay to punch him? Is it okay to hit him? So I’m pro free speech, that used to be a left-wing value. That was core left-wing value. And now we’re, we’re hearing from the left hate speech, and you should be able to punch people who disagree with political violence, and becoming more normalized.

That’s why I don’t like labels like left-wing or right-wing anymore. And don’t think they apply.

Target audience

Scott Pelley: Who’s your audience?

Mike Cernovich: The people. Regular people who feel like their voices aren’t being heard in traditional media outlets. People of all walks of life, all genders, all ages. It’s a really fun, eclectic group actually …

Scott Pelley: Help me, uh, with, uh a bit of, uh the technology behind all of this. Would your site be as successful as it is, without Facebook and Twitter?

Mike Cernovich: They’re different platforms, definitely. So it would be, Twitter is very useful for different things. But my website would get around. Word would get around one way or another.

Scott Pelley: But, uh, web, uh. Let me ask a question this way. Twitter and Facebook are useful to you how?

Mike Cernovich: Reaching people directly without an intermediary. So what, the-the way I always explain to- you’re mediators. We’re going to talk for a number of minutes about a number of questions. This is going to go through editing, and then you’re going to go to television and say this is Mike Cernovich, this is what he believes. And then you’re going to tell a narrative whether I’m a good guy, a bad guy, a misguided guy, whatever the narrative is. And that’s fine. We’re all telling a story, right?

The issue is that that media is an intermediary. With social media, I can say to the people here’s me live on video for an hour. The full thing, raw and uncut. So it bring the message directly to the people. It bypasses intermediaries in the media.

Media bias

Scott Pelley: You’re a political activist?

Mike Cernovich: I’m a social activist, absolutely.

Scott Pelley: Well, that would be the big difference between you and reporters in journalism.

Mike Cernovich: Reporters are the mouthpiece of Democratic National Convention. Most of it is pro Hillary, pro Barack Obama. Donald Trump tweets something mean, the whole world, left-wing media explodes. Barack Obama prosecutes whistle-blowers more than anybody before him. Good old Barry. We love Barry, we love Barry, we love Barry. 90% of campaign contributions that came from journalists went to Hillary Clinton.

So the idea that journalists are these unbiased bastions of truth, and they’re not human beings, is completely not consistent with reality. Not consistent with the observable data. And moreover not consistent with what we know about people.

Truth in reporting

Scott Pelley: What, What stories have you published that turned out to not be right?

Mike Cernovich: None, that come to mind.

Scott Pelley: None?

Mike Cernovich: That come to mind, no.

Scott Pelley: You know, it seems to me that the quickest way to destroy a democracy, is to poison the information.

Mike Cernovich: That’s exactly why the Iraq war was a mistake, caused by hysterical, fake news coverage. I also remember when people claimed, a Kuwaiti woman had claimed that Iraqi soldiers had went into a hospital, taking babies out of the incubators, throwing the babies away, and this was all reported true, they were untrue. So again, the idea is-

Scott Pelley: I’m talking about your work.

Mike Cernovich: I’m talking about the nature of truth though, because my work has to be contextualized relative to the structures that we resist in the media structure.

Scott Pelley: So some reporters, some where made a mistake and therefore it’s okay for you to write anything you want, whether it’s true or not.

Mike Cernovich: No, I never said that at all. I said that people are human beings, and that mistakes made by the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, and other outlets, have caused great damage to our democracy and is definitely a problem

Scott Pelley: Who[se] responsibility is it to judge whether something on your website is true, you, or the viewer?

Mike Cernovich: Oh, many people do. I have to judge it, the legal system judges it, the viewers have to judge it. Remember too, that I am an attorney. Right? You have a legal department of sixty minutes, we all know defamation, we want to avoid it. Not only because it’s not moral to harm people, dishonestly, we shouldn’t harm private people at all, but that’s a different conversation. So you’re going to be filtered through many people, but ultimately all news, all information, the personal responsibility of the person receiving it, to reach their own conclusions

Mike Cernovich: I remember when John Edwards had fathered a wo- a child out of wedlock with a woman he was cheating on while his wife had cancer, the media wouldn’t cover it.

Scott Pelley: The question’s not about John Edwards. The question’s not about John Edwards, it’s about you, what’s your standard of proof?

Mike Cernovich: We’re having a philosophical conversation about the nature of truth, and the nature of truth is that John Edwards did not have a lovechild, that is fake news. Well actually it’s true, that happened. Right? So there are many stories that are under reported.

The producer’s question

PRODUCER: Do you think that maybe you can uh, ask him uh, you know, if he thinks that what he’s doing is filling the void left open by the mainstream media.

Scott Pelley: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes, absolutely. That’s a good one. Everybody ready? Are you filling a void that has been left open by the mainstream media?

Mike Cernovich: Yeah, that is why my profile has risen so much. Everybody kind of writes the same stories. Right now, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. That’s what I hear everywhere, that’s all I hear anywhere. I don’t hear about Saudi Arabia. I’ve actually gone through thinking of real journalism, and doing research, and using my expertise as a lawyer, I’ve gone through FAR records to see who is actually paying people to be their mouthpieces. Ukraine, big money. They pay a guy, Doug Schoen, who goes on Fox News, $40,000 a month. Victor Pinchuk does. Pays him $40,000 a month, he goes on Fox News and says “Russia’s bad, the Ukraine is good”, he never discloses that he’s getting $40,000 a month. Saudi Arabia, more than any other country, they pay for propaganda. You can go through the FA- the FAR reports. Right? I don’t see any of that on the news.

Let’s talk about how Saudi Arabia owns a percentage of Fox News. Let’s talk about how Saudi Arabia owns a percentage of Twitter. Let’s talk about how they bought bombs from Obama, and they’re murdering the, let’s talk about that. I don’t see any of that. Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. It’s like in the movie Being John Malkovich, being in Russia and America. So what I’m saying is well hey, why don’t we talk about Saudi Arabia? Why don’t we talk about Ukraine? Why don’t we talk about other stories that the media isn’t telling? Of course you’re going to draw an audience with that.

There are many news stories that Big Media do not cover.

One is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Washington DC this week. Whilst I have not watched the news, there are plenty of people who have.

They have reported in comments online that, even though President Donald Trump spent much of Monday, April 3 with his Egyptian counterpart, the Big Media narrative in the US — and Australia — that day was ‘Trump White House in chaos’, referring to spying, Russia and supposed internal rifts.

Wow.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

More on Al Sisi tomorrow and on a Cernovich scoop at the end of the week.

On Sunday, March 26, 2017, 60 Minutes featured a special on fake news.

One of the people interviewed was Mike Cernovich of Danger & Play, his alternative media website that did much to persuade Millennials to vote for Donald Trump in 2016.

Cernovich is a lawyer, author, free speech activist, and documentary filmmaker:

I’ve written three books, produced a documentary on media hoaxes, and am producing a second documentary on free speech culture in the West. My books have over 1,000 reviews on Amazon and Audible. My podcast is also five-stars. (Scroll down to watch my documentary and learn more.)

While my Twitter is high profile, it’s the least interesting aspect of my writing and speaking. I’ve travelled around the world giving seminars and writing books. Most “journalists” who write hit pieces about me don’t even know how to describe me. Everyone from Gawker to Politifact to Slate has covered me, and MSNBC had a “special report” about my Tweets.

This is his 11-minute film from September 2016 discussing media distortion of news during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions:

CBS’s 60 Minutes team are piqued that Cernovich’s site and Twitter feed are more popular than theirs. In February 2017, he reached 83m Twitter readers. When interviewed, he said that his Twitter feed sometimes gets as many as 150m hits per month.

The upshot of the 60 Minutes enquiry into fake news is that they are envious of citizen journalists who can do their job better than they do. So, they condemn anyone with a keyboard, camera and microphone. Scott Pelley from 60 Minutes called Cernovich’s articles ‘lies’.

Big Media are also out to censor — if not remove — independent citizen journalists from the Internet. Twitter and Facebook, as some of you know, have been censoring links, videos and pictures (e.g. photographs of Donald Trump) for a few months now.

It was curious that, in his interview with Cernovich, Pelley focussed on three subjects from last year: Spirit Cooking, Pizzagate and Hillary Clinton’s health. Hmm. Why are those topics bothering Big Media so much that they brand them as fake?

Spirit Cooking and Pizzagate emerged from the content of last year’s Podesta emails from WikiLeaks.

Big Media documented Hillary’s health problems widely, from the coughing fits after Labor Day to her collapse at the 9/11 memorial ceremony the following weekend. In between those events, The Hill published a long article, ‘Clinton campaign warns media to tread carefully’. An excerpt follows:

The pushback signaled that Clinton’s campaign intends to sharply counterattack news organizations that take questions about her health seriously.

“They’re trying to work the refs a little bit as they try to push back on the mainstream media’s willingness to pick up on some of this stuff that’s usually left to the fringes,” Clinton surrogate Jim Manley explained.

The Drudge Report and other conservative media sites have largely driven the coverage of Clinton’s health, following the concussion she suffered in late 2012 and years before she announced her intention to run again for president.

But Manley said the Democrat’s camp has seen the coverage “bleeding to the mainstream media” in recent weeks.

After Trump insinuated recently that Clinton wasn’t healthy, the campaign responded forcefully, ripping Trump allies for concocting fake documents from Clinton’s doctor.

“They’re trying to stop it,” Manley continued. “I think they learned a long time ago that you can’t just ignore these things. There’s always a fine line between react or not, but in this day in age, to say nothing is often not the best way to go.”

Clinton aides and supporters see the healthcare stories as a bunch of baloney, and they want the media to cover it as such.

Ironically, a few days later, an ordinary bystander, Zdenek Gazda, happened to be where Clinton slumped against a bollard before being bundled in to her van by aides and Secret Service detail. If it weren’t for him, the world would never have known. Because of the emergency situation, media photographers would not have been there. Gazda filmed the following:

Spirit Cooking involves Marina Abramovic’s performance art. According to her, it is nothing more than that. However, last year, WikiLeaks tweeted part of the ritual. We Are Change tells the story (graphic content!):

As for Pizzagate, Big Media and others want to quash persistent questions about suspected child trafficking and molestation networks. Yet, in addition to the frequent and peculiar mentions of pizza on Podesta WikiLeaks, older videos already existed on YouTube about this topic. A few featured a popular pizza parlour in Washington DC. Also, Instagram accounts of certain individuals with links to that location had disturbing photos of children.

That said, Pizzagate refers to the broad American network of child sex abusers, wherever they might be.

Citizen journalists and alternative media began using the existing resources to present circumstantial evidence that this was going on. Nearly everyone who wrote or talked about the subject admitted that they could go no further. The hope was that Donald Trump would win and get a strong Attorney General to launch investigations.

Alex Jones always maintained that Pizzagate was a ‘distraction’ (his word) from deeper corruption in government. Yet, because one or two of his reporters put out a couple of videos on the subject last autumn, someone forced Jones to issue an on-air apology at the weekend:

This brings us to Mike Cernovich, who hasn’t had to apologise for anything but has been branded as a purveyor of fake news because he covered these two topics last year.

60 Minutes invited him to appear on the show and discuss it. Cernovich accepted. Who wouldn’t? He did not expect to get fair coverage, but there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Here is his interview, just over two minutes long. (If the video below doesn’t work, try this one):

Here is an excerpt from the brief discussion of Clinton’s health:

Pelley: She had pneumonia.

Cernovich: How do you know? Who told you that?

Pelley: Her campaign told us that.

Cernovich: Why would you trust the campaign?

Pelley: Uh… Ummm… the point is, you never talked to anyone who examined Hillary Clinton.

Cernovich: I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton is going to say at all as true. I’m not going to take her at her word. The mainstream media says ‘we’re not gonna take president Donald Trump at his word’ and that’s why we are in these different universes.

Cernovich was pleased he gave a good interview. Imagine the traffic he must have had as 60 Minutes gave a lingering close up of one of his Danger & Play articles.

Replies to this Cernovich tweet show various pictures of Clinton needing assistance with standing or climbing stairs.

The following dialogue ended up on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor (emphases mine):

Scott Pelley: Who’s gunning for you?

Mike Cernovich: You are. I’m on 60 Minutes. Right?

Scott Pelley: What do you mean, we’re gunning for you?

Mike Cernovich: Do I really think that you guys are going to tell the story that I would like to have told, no. Your story’s going to be here’s a guy, spreads fake news, uses social media, these social media people better … I know the story you guys are doing before you do it.

Scott Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?

Mike Cernovich: Because it is an agenda. The agenda is … The truth is you’ve talked to a person who sincerely believes it’s true, you must also admit that there have been many stories reported by major outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, that were false.

Scott Pelley: Agreed.

Mike Cernovich: People get it wrong, so why then come guns blazing at me, and not guns blazing at everybody? Why isn’t this segment going to say, how did the New York Times get conned? How did the Washington Post believe that Russia had hacked the power grid? We all together, collectively need to discover what the truth is, and converse with one another what the truth is, that’s a different story.

Another story is, here is a person that is able to bypass traditional media outlets, reach people directly to tell a story. Maybe he’s a good guy, maybe he’s not. People decide.

This is another story, ’cause I know the story you guys are going to tell. Hillary Clinton’s perfectly healthy. This guy Cernovich that said she’s not, he has no reason to say that. Facebook and Twitter need to crackdown on this kind of stuff.

Scott Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?

Mike Cernovich: I just told you, because that is an agenda. You could tell a more whole picture. You could tell a full story, but that’s one narrow thing. ’Cause I know by the questions you’re asking, the story you’re going to tell.

Cernovich posted more dialogue left out of the televised segment. An excerpt follows:

Scott Pelley: Well, the benefit of intermediaries is having experienced editors check things out and research people. Check the facts before it goes out to the public. You don’t do any of that.

Mike Cernovich: Where are the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Scott Pelley: That was a big mess, but that was because the Government –

Mike Cernovich: And how much –

Scott Pelley: Told us they existed.

Mike Cernovich: And how much, then why trust the government?

Scott Pelley: We also, we also reported that they didn’t exist.

Mike Cernovich: Right. Well, how much damage was caused by the fake news story about weapons of mass destruction? How much damage was caused by that Rolling Stone rape hoax, where the fraternity was shut down? Bang, bang, bang. People attacking them. Assault.

So the critique is, and the Washington Post recently of course had said that the Burlington power grid had been hacked by the Russians. And then it turned out well, actually some guy, maybe he had been watching some stuff he wouldn’t have been watching on the internet. And maybe his computer was compromised. But even then, nobody knows. That’s the Washington Post, right?

New York Times, weapons of mass destruction. None ever found. Washington Post, Russia attacking the power grid. Can you believe it? Unbelievable. What a disaster.

Obama prosecuting whistle-blowers all the time, everywhere. Obama spending money to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests. All the time. I don’t see any complaints about that. But then people want to come after me guns blazing. Come after me hard. I’m not starting wars in Iraq, which was a disgrace. I’m not starting wars in Afghanistan. I’m not getting people into deep deficits. And ruining lives, right?

Cernovich posted on Medium.com that 60 Minutes garnered 15.19m viewers that night. In another post, he cited 10.6m. Either way, that viewer tally left the other networks in the dust between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. The programme in second place attracted a paltry 5.77m.

Cernovich said the actual footage of his interview is 45 minutes long. He has asked that people who want CBS to release the full version tweet at #Cerno60. Also:

Big Media — and special interests — want alternative news sources to disappear.

On an immediate level, they want that to happen because a) there are certain stories they don’t want hitting the general public and b) they want to stifle support for Trump.

However, one must ask why alternative news sources exist in the first place.

The answer is that Big Media are not doing their job properly. They editorialise instead of report. They obfuscate instead of tell the truth. They distort instead of present both sides of a story.

Oh, the irony: an Internet sensation being the most popular person on television, however briefly.

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