Tag Archives: politico

Questions Raised About Credibility of Politico Hit Pieces on Trump, Paul, Carson

Political journalism organization Politico has come under fire this week after it published an article that first accused Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson of lying about being verbally offered a scholarship by a West Point recruiter before it was edited to reflect the fact that Politico’s confirmation that Carson did not follow through with the admissions process at West Point does not itself constitute proof that Carson lied about anything.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised across the conservative blogosphere about other Politico articles that have been driving similarly-negative narratives about Republican candidates. For example, the media-driven narrative that Rand Paul’s campaign is on a downward spiral relies heavily on an primarily anonymously-sourced Politico piece making that claim.

Another article‘s headline oversells a pro-Carson tweet by Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin and Bevin’s reluctance to endorse anyone in the 2016 presidential race during a gubernatorial campaign debate as a “snub” of Rand Paul, despite being updated to include a Bevin response to the contrary. Another Politico article on Paul claims that anonymous Republican strategists of thus-unverifiable significance are calling for him to drop out of the presidential race to focus on his Ky. Senate run.

An anonymously-sourced Politico piece on Donald Trump accuses him of violating a campaign pledge by secretly courting wealthy GOP donors including the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Paul Singer.

In an interview with Donald Trump, Breitbart’s Stephen K. Bannon decried a Politico article on Trump which he said had “novelistic tendencies” and added, “I don’t think there were any named sources.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Ron Paul Talks Media Bias, Rand Paul Campaign]

Trump told Bannon, “I find Politico to be one of the most dishonest organizations I have ever dealt with. They are, in my opinion, some of the most dishonest people I have ever dealt with. Generally, it is not true what they write… I was in Phoenix. We had thousands of people. We had a tremendous rally. Politico said it was 4000 people. The next day Sen. Bernie Sanders was there — he had a smaller crowd and Politico said he had 15,000.

In a later story, Politico said they were reducing the 4,000 to 2,000. … They were so dishonest… Maybe they don’t like me. I have always heard that they were liberal-leaning. But I don’t know why. … We get very dishonest coverage from Politico and eventually that catches up to you,” added Trump.

[RELATED: Trump: Fed Chair Yellen Not Raising Rates ‘Because Obama Told Her Not To’]

Another article dismissing allegations that Hillary Clinton’s private emails contain classified information had relied on an anonymous source, though the protection of sources amid the intelligence community, where leaks can have life or death consequences, is different than the shrouding of the opinions of Republican Party or presidential candidates’ campaign officials.

Politico has not yet responded to a Truth in Media request for a comment on its use of anonymous sources in its reporting on Republican presidential candidates.

Jay Carney Joins CNN…Is Anyone Surprised?

New York- Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has joined CNN as a political contributor. Any surprise here? Not really. Carney, who resigned as press secretary in June, becomes the latest former press secretary in a long line to join a news network as a pundit and his move was widely expected. A New York Times interviewer once asked him, “Now that you’re leaving your job as White House press secretary, do you know which cable news network you’re going to be a pundit for?”

The real issue here isn’t that Carney, who himself was a journalist before joining the Obama Administration, will comment on political issues. Rather, the real issue is that news organizations such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC continually hire spin doctors to push political agendas.

Carney joins a long line of press secretaries to move into network news. Carney’s predecessor Robert Gibbs joined MSNBC as a contributor immediately after resigning his post as President Obama’s Press Secretary. George W. Bush‘s press secretary Dana Perino now hosts “The Five” on Fox News. Bush’s two other press secretaries Ari Fleischer and the late Tony Snow, each joined CNN following their White House runs. Former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers hosted CNBC’s “Equal Time” following her White House stint.

Is it any wonder why the cable news audience in America has not grown in 12 years?

Ex-TSA Employee To America: “I Saw You Naked, And Yes, We Were Laughing”


Jason Harrington, a former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee, is speaking out about the screening process in American airports.

Harrington is working on a book about his time with the TSA, but on January 30 he penned a lengthy column in Politico called, “Dear America, I saw you naked — and yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.”

He wrote, “I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. Just as the long-suffering American public waiting on those security lines suspected, jokes about the passengers ran rampant among my TSA colleagues: Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display.”

Airport Security

He continued, “I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.”

Harrington also said that TSA employees have their own code words. Here are common TSA sayings “decoded”:

Alfalfa: TSA malespeak for an attractive female passenger.

BBC: Bogus Bag Check, or Bullshit Bag Check. What happens when a not-too-bright x-ray operator decides to call a bag search.

Opt out: A smart passenger.

Retaliatory wait time: What happens when a TSA officer doesn’t like your attitude. There are all sorts of ways a TSA officer can subtly make you wait longer to get through security, citing imaginary alarms, going “above the SOP” for “a more thorough screening,” pretending that something in your bag or on your full body image needs to be resolved—the punitive possibilities are endless, and there are many tricks in the screener’s bag.

White Shirt: A TSA employee who still believes his or her job is a matter of national security.

Harrington also said that the reasons behind “enhanced screenings” are usually just as perplexing to TSA workers as they are to travelers. He wrote,  “‘Random’ security ‘plays’ were passed down from headquarters every day, or ordered by our supervisors. The enhanced screening was also triggered by SSSS stamps, which could show up on passengers’ boarding passes for any number of reasons, often reasons we would never know. But we would also sometimes pull a passenger’s bag or give a pat down because he or she was rude. We always deployed the same explanation: ‘It’s just a random search.'”

Hours after his article was published by Politico, Harrington realized that he forgot to include something in the piece. He tweeted, “One thing I left out of that Politico piece: HELL YES airport employees often drink those bottles of alcohol you surrender at the checkpoint.”

Screenshot 2014-01-31 at 12.44.50 PM

Over the past decade, a growing number of Americans have become concerned about privacy violations by the TSA. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has even called for an end to the TSA.

Harrington’s report will certainly bring issues associated with the TSA to the table for debate.

(H/T: Politico)

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