On election day, I woke up before dawn, took a dip in the ocean, made coffee and worked until about noon, when I decided to get the thing over and go vote. I walked five blocks to my polling station, located in the lobby of the Santa Monica Shores apartment towers sitting right on the beach.
It was a warm clear Southern California day. Outside the polling station, long-stemmed palm trees swayed softly in the light ocean breeze.
I could see through the glass doors that there was a long line stretching diagonally across the lobby. I swung the doors open and didn’t take more than two steps inside when I was hit by a gut-wrenching smell–a musky, nauseating mix of rancid beer, rotten fruit and anchovies. The lobby was filled to the brim with pensioners—and one of them had a yeast infection that had gone rogue. (more…)
Posted: November 9th, 2012
Be libertarian one time? Is that the same thing as "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"?
Author’s note: I wrote this brief dispatch about my run-in with libertarian pro-marijuana activist/former judge James P. Gray back in March of 2011. But the piece disappeared into the black void of my computer hard-drive, and I forgot all about it—until now. I’m glad the text turned up, because Judge Gray’s sleazy efforts to bring lefties and progressives into the Libertarian Party fold under the innocuous banner of pot legalization is much more relevant today than it was 2011. After all, Judge Gray is now the running mate of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson is using the weed wedge issue to siphon off votes from Obama. —YL
The untold story of Jeffrey Goldberg & Meir Kahane, Brooklyn's bin Laden
On August 15, 2012, in West Jerusalem, a small group of Palestinian teenagers was attacked by a mob of Israeli youths. The New York Times
described it as an “attempted lynching.” The Israelis, who had apparently planned on lynching someone that night, set their sights on a couple of Palestinian kids hanging out at a busy city square, chased one of them down and then beat him until his heart had stopped. His name was Jamal Julani, a 17-year-old resident of East Jerusalem. He only survived because a medical student happened to be on the scene and was able to resuscitate him in time. The beating took place in full view of hundreds of people, who stood by and watched without intervening. According to an eye witness in account
in The Jerusalem Post
, ”People who tried to resuscitate the Arab were mocked by the crowd of Jewish youths.” (more…)
I was passing through the Mojave Desert and by chance stopped by a local thrift store in Joshua Tree. I’m glad I did, because I spotted a book that I just had to own. At $0.50, it was priced to sell. And as you can tell from the title above, the book’s a classic. It’s bound to remain fresh and relevant through the ages—not as a useful guide to homeownership, but as a fossil record of the biggest real estate scam in the history of the United States.
A lot of people still wonder how and why so many millions of people bought such ridiculously overpriced homes and took out mortgages and loans they clearly could not afford?
Extra! Extra! Yasha Levine makes frontpage news in Victorville!
That’s what I kept wondering when I moved out to Victorville back in the Spring of 2009 to do immersion reporting from the front line of the real estate meltdown. Located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles on the edge of the Mojave Desert, Victorville got higher and crashed harder, in terms of real estate, than almost any other place in California. It doubled its size to 100,000 in just eight short years, growing from an isolated hick outpost into a booming commuter suburb filled with the cheapest McTractHomes south of Fresno. By the time I got there, Victorville was a ruined city filled with empty master planned communities, some of them half built and abandoned, rotting dry in the sun. I spent nearly two years reporting on the real estate swindle out there, and I never could stop thinking about the central question: How the hell were people coerced into moving out here? Why would anyone think that buying a $500,000 house in a desert 100 miles away from Los Angeles be good idea, no matter what kind of loan deal you got or how booming the market. What kind of propaganda were these people subjected to?
Well, this book provides a part of the answer: people were explicitly instructed to do so.
The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner hit the front bookcase displays at Barnes and Noble in March 2006, at the very top of the real estate market and just a few months before the whole thing crashed and burned. Its main message was simple: If you take out a mortgage to buy a home, you will always make money. There is no way you can lose—no matter when you buy, how much you pay or what type of loan you get. And the kicker is: both the book and finance expert who wrote it were bankrolled by Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
This book is just one of dozens—if not hundreds—of similar self-help snake oil guides promising a sure bet system to get rich in real estate. But it’s a good example of the massive propaganda effort financed by Wall Street that was designed to funnel as many people as possible into the mortgage meat grinder. The book was packed with blatant lies that seem so obvious and even comic in retrospect. The book was not put out by some shady fly by night operation, but by a supposedly credible financial expert who had the backing of the most well-known and respected banks, TV networks and newspapers.
But the whole thing was a fraud, shamelessly boosted by some of the biggest names in news media—none of whom have been held accountable for their role in defrauding millions of Americans.
So let’s take a look…Crack open the book and turn to the introduction, it begins like this:
What if I told you the smartest investment you would ever make during your lifetime would be a home!
What if I told you that in just an hour or two I could share with you a simple system that would help you become rich through homeownership?
What if I told you that this system was called the Automatic Millionaire Homeowner—and that if you spent an hour or two with me, you could learn how to become one? [emphasis mine]
Would you be interested? Would you be willing to spend a few hours with me? Would you like to become an Automatic Millionaire Homeowner?
Interested? Intrigued? Want to know more? Well, turn a couple of pages and you get this:
As I sit here in August 2005, I have no idea when you will be reading what I’m writing. Maybe it’s March 2006 (when this book is scheduled to be published)—by which time the real estate market could be slowing or cooling down to modest single-digit annual gains (or not). Perhaps this book was bought by a friend of yours who passed it along to you—and it’s now 2007 and those once “certain” boom markets are going bust due to speculation. Or maybe the opposite has happened—interest rates have remained at historic lows, and home prices have continued their march upward.
In fact, it doesn’t really matter when you happen to be reading this or what’s going on right now in the markets. This book is not about the boom . . . or the busts. . . . What this book is about is the truth. And the truth is this:
Nothing you will ever do in your lifetime
is likely to make you as much money as
buying a home and living in it. [emphasis in the original]
What’s this sure-fire system? Well, it’s so simple it fits on the inside flap! Here’s how you do it:
What Makes The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner Essential:
■ You don’t need a big down payment to buy a home.
■ You don’t need great credit.
■ You should buy even if you have credit-card debt.
■ You can buy a second home even if you’re still paying off the first.
■ You can get started in any market-boom or bust.
■ It’s easier to be a landlord than you think.
Just a few months after the book came out, the real estate market went into a death-spiral. Victorville and other Mojave Desert exurbs like Palmdale and Lancaster were packed to the brim with people who followed this book’s advice to the letter. They took out no down payment adjustable rate mortgages, bought at the peak of bubble, had horrible credit scores, were struggling to make ends meet and were probably up the hilt in credit card debt. Over the next year and a half, home prices collapsed by 30% and just kept falling. By the time that I packed my bags and fled West towards the Pacific Ocean in 2010, homes that had sold for nearly $400,000 at the top of the market in 2006 couldn’t find a buyer at $50,000 or $75,000. People were kicked out of their homes, lost all the “investment” payments they had made on the loan and had to find other places to live—rental homes if they were lucky; their cars or tents at the hobo camp down on the banks of the Mojave River if they weren’t.
So the Automatic Millionaire was a bust—well, at least as far as the now-former homeowners were concerned. But as we now know, the latest homeownership craze was never meant to benefit the homeowners. The only Automatic Millionaires created by this book were David Bach and the financial oligarchy he served.
See, before David Bach began his bright career as a New York Times bestselling author dedicated to spreading the gospel of homeownership, he was a senior vice president of Morgan Stanley and a partner of The Bach Group, a wealth management outfit started by his father. Yep, he was born into it. Finance runs through his veins!
So it’s no surprise that both Bank of America and Wells Fargo sponsored David Bach and his revolutionary Automatic Millionaire Homeowner wealth creation system.
Here’s an excerpt from Wells Fargo’s press release:
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Joins with David Bach to Promote Shared Vision of the Lifelong Benefits of Homeownership to Millions of Americans
Best-Selling Author, Leading Retail Lender to Encourage People to Build Long-Term Financial Success through Homeownership
DES MOINES, Iowa – Oct. 28, 2005 – Wells Fargo Home Mortgage today announced a three-year agreement with financial coach David Bach, author of several best-selling books including No. 1 New York Times best-seller The Automatic Millionaire. The partnership is designed to increase the number of first-time, second-home and investment homebuyers and help homeowners best manage the equity in their home as an asset to achieve their long-term financial goals.
Yep, Wells Fargo is only interested in educating homeowners for the greater good. And the bank is not alone. Just look at all the smart people who praise and recommend his work. They wouldn’t lie, not with their reputations on the line!
Jean Chatzky, Financial Editor of NBC’s Today, blurbed: “The Automatic Millionaire gives you, step-by-step, everything you need to secure your financial future. When you do it David Bach’s way, failure is not an option.”
Fox’s Bill O’Reilly also endorsed the Automatic Millionaire wealth creation system: “David Bach’s no-spin financial advice is beautiful because it’s so simple. If becoming self-sufficient is important to you, then this book is a must.” Yep, this is the same O’Reilly who bashed homeowner “losers” who took out loans that they weren’t able to pay, and yet here he is endorsing a plan that says there’s no such thing homeowner who loses money. Wonder what kind of cut Bill gets off Bach’s loot?
He rips you off, puts you in debt and sticks by your side to help make sure you pay it off. What a guy!
So what’s up with David Bach today?
The man’s still doing regular TV gigs and giving financial advice to unsuspecting victims, including a weekly appearance on NBC’s Today Show. But he’s changed his racket: Bach’s no longer out to make automatic millionaires; these days he’s motivating debtors to get second/third jobs and convincing them to adopt austerity measures in their own personal lives. He’ll help you pare down your consumption footprint to the bare minimum necessary for physical survival. Yep, Bach’s our debt handler. His job is to make sure we peons keep making those monthly payments to Wells Fargo and Bank of America!
The day that degenerate shysters like David Bach are afraid to show their faces in public and feel the need to flee across the border is the day that we’ll know that we as a country are making progress towards a brighter future.
Yasha Levine is an editor of The eXiled and co-founder of the S.H.A.M.E. Project. Read his book: The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell.
Click the cover, buy the book!
Posted: October 19th, 2012
This article was first published on AlterNet
It’s Nobel Prize season again. News reports are coming out each day sharing the name of the illustrious winner of the various categories — Science, Literature, etc. But there’s one of the prizes that’s a little different. Well, that’s putting it lightly… you see, the Nobel Prize in Economics is not a real Nobel. It wasn’t created by Alfred Nobel. It’s not even called a “Nobel Prize,” no matter what the press reports say.
The five real Nobel Prizes—physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and medicine/physiology—were set up in the will left by the dynamite magnate when he died in 1895. The economics prize is a bit different. It was created by Sweden’s Central Bank in 1969, nearly 75 years later. The award’s real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.” It was not established by Nobel, but supposedly in memory of Nobel. It’s a ruse and a PR trick, and I mean that literally. And it was done completely against the wishes of the Nobel family. (more…)
“The strength of propaganda reveals one of the most dangerous flaws of democracy. . . . that propaganda renders the true exercise of it almost impossible.” *
Ever since our launch just a few months ago, the SHAME Project has been running like a buzz saw through the media establishment . . . it just needs support from readers and fans like you to keep up the pace. Can you help? Contribute using PayPal or WePay. (more…)
Reposted from The SHAME Project
“In propaganda, truth pays off.”
— V.I. Lenin
SHAME’s recent exposé of Newsweek/The Daily Beast correspondent Megan McArdle went into great detail about her deep, close ties to the Kochs’ libertarian influence-peddling machine and her failure to disclose the connections. The most important thing you need to know about Megan McArdle is this: She is the only journalist in America whose byline has appeared on Newsweek and Atlantic Monthly cover stories, while at the same time is so close to Charles Koch that she was chosen to emcee the big 50th Golden Anniversary bash that Koch threw last year to celebrate the success of his libertarian think-tank the Institute of Humane Studies, the first of countless dozens of think-tanks (Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Competitive Enterprise Institute, etc.) that the billionaire oligarch controls today. (more…)
This past Friday, S.H.A.M.E. Project’s expose of Megan McArdle got a shout out from financial blogger/commentator Barry Ritholtz, who called our profile of the Newsweek/Daily Beast hack “one of the most brutal takedowns I have ever seen.” Ritholtz—author of the excellent 2009 book Bailout Nation, frequent Bloomberg TV pundit, and the man behind the popular finance blog The Big Picture—advised his readers that “if you have any interest in media or journalism, it is absolutely must read material.” (more…)
Posted: September 24th, 2012
S.H.A.M.E. just published a brand new shill profile. Its latest subject: Megan McArdle, who was just hired on this September as Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s “special correspondent on economics, business and public policy.” In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s her in the image above, beaming with joy as Charles Koch’s party clown-for-hire at the 50th anniversary bash of Koch’s flagship libertarian think-tank, the Institute for Humane Studies. But more on that later. . .
McArdle should be very familiar to eXiled readers. Many of you probably first learned of McArdle’s existence more than three years ago, when she led a smear campaign from her perch at the Atlantic to discredit the first media investigative piece exposing the Tea Party as an Astroturf campaign funded by the Kochs and FreedomWorks, written by eXiled editors Mark Ames and Yasha Levine and published in Playboy in February, 2009. That’s when we first got to know the McArdle name too, and we were wondering then why someone who called herself a “journalist” would work so hard to discredit other journalists’ investigative work while defending powerful rightwing oligarchs, rather than the other way around. The S.H.A.M.E. profile on Megan McArdle clears up the air on McArdle’s long, deep undisclosed ties to the Koch brothers’ libertarian influence-peddling machine, and to the GOP activist community. Read the profile on the S.H.A.M.E. site or check it out below—we’re sure Mrs. McArdle will appreciate it if you do. (more…)
Posted: September 19th, 2012
On Monday, September 10, the Chicago Teachers Union—the oldest teachers union in America—went on strike. Teachers are striking for better pay, smaller class sizes and more job security. They are striking against school privatizations, teaching to standardized testing and the general “corporate reform agenda” of Chicago city officials. The list of enemies aligned against the teachers is long and intimidating: Billionaire hotel heiress Penny Pritzker, Charles Koch, Art Pope, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama and . . . Steven Levitt. Yes, Steven Levitt, University of Chicago economist and author of the wildly successful book Freakonomics. (more…)
Posted: September 12th, 2012
When billionaire brats attack!
One thing I learned from watching last week’s RNC: Being a reporter with a video camera at a GOP convention and doing anything other than sucking up to power . . . well, that just might be the most dangerous journalism job in America today. Hell, people are in danger of being lynched just for reporting while being black. (more…)
As we previously reported, Fareed Zakaria was reinstated by CNN/Time magazine to his post of corporate lackey. But at least one of Zakaria’s colleagues is not happy about it.
About a week ago, Iraq War liar/Palestinian prison camp guard Jeffrey Goldberg accused fellow Iraq War booster Zakaria of even more plagiarism—and not just any plagiarism, but plagiarism of Goldberg’s own interview quotes!
In my previous post, I discussed an incident from 2009 (an incident I had completely forgotten about until it was resurrected by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, among others) in which Fareed Zakaria, who is currently under fire for plagiarizing a paragraph from The New Yorker, lifted, without attribution, two quotations from pieces I had written. I argued that quote-lifting, or quote-theft, is widely considered to be a journalistic sin, and should be considered so. Fareed disagrees, and he e-mailed me this response a few minutes ago (at the time, back in 2009, he didn’t respond, and it didn’t come up in subsequent conversaions [sic] I had with him, mainly because I forgot about it, I think).
Zakaria pled for mercy, saying that it wasn’t his fault that the journalism profession is so horribly corrupt and unethical. He’s just one guy, after all. Just a CNN anchor trying to make an honest living shilling for warmongers, neoliberals and multinationals:
Let me give you the best example from my own work: I have twice interviewed the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao. These are tough interviews to set up and take months, something years. The interviews were quoted in hundreds of newspapers and magazines across the world. Less then 10% mentioned my name. So, I would welcome a new journalistic norm that insists that the interviewer always be named. But it’s unfair to castigate me for doing something that is common, if not standard, practice.
Want to know more? Check out Jeffrey Goldberg’s S.H.A.M.E. Profile:
Posted: August 21st, 2012
Earlier today, eXiled editors Mark Ames and Yasha Levine talked to RT’s Kristine Frazao about the S.H.A.M.E. Project’s recent expose of NPR host and New York Times columnist Adam Davidson.
Watch the segment below: (more…)
Posted: August 20th, 2012
Cross-posted from the S.H.A.M.E. Project
“[The Middle East] is so dysfunctional, any stirring of the pot is good. America’s involvement in the region is for the good. In that way, I’m an immigrant.”
—Fareed Zakaira on invasion of Iraq
After a week on the ropes, Fareed Zakaria is back in the game. Yesterday, Time and CNN announced they had cleared Zakeera of any charges of wrongdoing: “We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7.” CNN, which is a part of the Time Warner media conglomerate, issued a similar statement: “We found nothing that merited continuing the suspension. Zakaria has apologized for a journalistic lapse.” (more…)
In case you missed it: The New York Observer picked up the S.H.A.M.E. exposé on NPR host Adam Davidson last week, and came to the conclusion that S.H.A.M.E. “made a compelling case that Davidson is—if not complicitly, then inherently—conflicted.” (more…)
Posted: August 15th, 2012
Check out Yasha Levine’s new Kindle book: The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell. The book expands on S.H.A.M.E.’s initial investigation into the life and journalistic corruption of New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, providing new information and plenty of examples of his covert, pay-to-play corporate advocacy that you won’t find anywhere else.
It’s only $2.99. Support the S.H.A.M.E. Project. Buy the book today!
From the description:
It may be hard to imagine that Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for the New Yorker and bestselling author beloved by millions of readers, could be a crooked propagandist for some of the most toxic and destructive industries on the planet. Investigative journalist Yasha Levine didn’t think it was possible, either—at least not until he happened to stumble across an old article by Gladwell defending the tobacco industry, and discovered a paper trail that led him to the shocking truth…
Levine presents well-sourced evidence showing that Gladwell spent his entire career systematically and unapologetically shilling for Big Tobacco, Pharma, health insurance companies and defending Wall Street financial fraud, all while earning seven figures as one of the most sought-after corporate speakers in America, frequently being paid by the same companies and industries that he covers as a journalist. Levine unravels years of Gladwell’s work as a covert propagandist, and analyzes the techniques Gladwell uses to confuse readers, redirect their attention and slyly rewrite history for the benefit of his sponsors—without anyone getting wise to his racket.
“I feel like the voice of business journalism is sort of, it’s an authoritative voice of God.”
Editor’s Note: This article, and S.H.A.M.E.’s larger investigation of Adam Davidson, has caught the attention of the New York Observer’s Foster Kamer, who suggests that the authors have made a “compelling case” that the NPR programming Adam Davidson is associated with is “inherently conflicted.” What are the charges? Kamer summarizes:
First, that a notoriously hostile 2009 Planet Money interview between Davidson and Elizabeth Warren—the special adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—was ethically tainted by Planet Money‘s financial arrangements with “the sole sponsor underwriting Davidson’s Planet Money show and his salary.” Levine and Ames argue that the sponsor in question—a financial services conglomerate—lobbied against the creation of the CFPB before it was created (and around the time of the interview), which is evidence of an insidious conflict of interest. Furthermore, they allege that Davidson is accepting speaking fees from the industry he covers for both NPR and The New York Times Magazine, something largely viewed as an unsavory, questionable practice by most journalists (and journalism institutions, which usually have guidelines against that sort of thing).
Adam Davidson is the co-creator and host of the popular economic news radio program Planet Money. On air, Davidson plays the role of an earnest, brainy reporter who’s doing his best to make sense of the complicated, jargon-filled world of finance to report business news in a way that NPR listeners can understand. However, behind the dweeby, faux-naive facade Adam Davidson presents to his listeners is a shrewd propagandist with a long, consistent history of shilling for powerful and destructive interests—and failing to disclose his financial ties to the companies and industries he reports on. (more…)
This is the first of a series of posts that will explore and expand on the recovered history of Arianna Huffington recently unearthed by S.H.A.M.E.
Ever since its transformation from a celebrity blog into a mainstream news media outlet, Arianna Huffington has marketed the Huffington Post to the public as a media outlet whose purpose is to leverage social media and new Internet technologies to democratize news and empower the American people by wresting control of news away from corrupt elites. To hear her tell it, you’d think that the Huffington Post was nothing less than a staging area for a populist revolt to reclaim American democracy from corporate rule: (more…)
Malcolm Gladwell on his former roommate Jeffrey Goldberg’s 2006 book Prisoners, which is about Goldberg’s experience as a prison guard at Ktzi’ot, Israel’s largest detention camp for Palestinian political prisoners:
“Jeffrey Goldberg has done the impossible—found some hope in the rubble of the Middle East. Prisoners will bring you to tears.”
Bring tears? Gladwell’s spent the last two decades shilling for an industry involved in the largest mass-murder campaign in the history of mankind, so you know Prisoners got some powerful stuff. And it does:
Ktzi’ot has long been criticized for its inhumane conditions, including frequent beatings, lack of drinking water and forced labor. Among the hundreds of books forbidden to prisoners at Ktzi’ot have been The Lord of the Rings and Hamlet. In the book, Goldberg describes a scene from Ktzi’ot in which his friend repeatedly hit a Palestinian prisoner in the head with a with a heavy, sharp-edged army radio, beating him to a bloody pulp, a beating that Goldberg “deduced was prompted by something [the prisoner] said.”
It was in February 1991, in the Wilderness of Zin, at a place called Ketziot, not far from Kadesh-Barnea, that a friend of mine named Yoram tried, in my presence, to beat senseless an Arab by the name of Abu Firas. Abu Firas was a disagreeable and smug man, but his sourness was not a mortal sin Yoram, whom I knew to be gentle but at that moment had blood in his face, was beating Abu Firas on the head with the handset of an army radio. The handset weighed five or six pounds, and it was sharp-edged. Abu Firas was hurt.
. . . Yoram was a religious Jew, and his kippah, knit and multicolored in the style of the modern Orthodox, stayed pinned to his head through his exertions It was quite a sight—a yeshiva Jew, a God-fearer, delivering a bloody beating.
. . . Abu Firas was on his knees, grabbing at his head. His hair shone with blood. He was barely coherent. He pleaded for water. Yoram tried to jack Abu Firas up onto his feet, but he couldn’t move.
Later in the book Goldberg admits that he lied to cover up the crime: “I found another military policeman, and handed off the wobbling prisoner, who was by now bleeding on me. ‘He fell,’ I lied.” Goldberg also took part in beatings of Palestinian prisoners, but justified it this way: “Unlike [Goldberg's camp-guard friend], I never hit a Palestinian who wasn’t already hitting me.”
This isn’t the first time Malcolm Gladwell has helped his old buddy out. In fact, Malcolm and Jeffrey have a long, rich history that goes back to when they were just two young conservatives trying to make it as media hacks in the big cruel media world of D.C. They roomed together in the 80s, and both of them started off their careers in mainstream news at The Washington Post—Malcolm worked the business beat, while Jeffrey was a police reporter. Later on the two buddies reunited again at The New Yorker. Editor-in-chief David Remnick, also a Washington Post alum, hired Malcolm in 1996, and brought Jeffrey on board in 2000. Somewhere along the way, Malcolm Gladwell introduced Jeffrey Goldberg to the man’s future wife. “[Gladwell's] responsible for the existence of my three children,” blushed Goldberg.
As a token of respect and appreciation, Jeffrey Goldberg included his buddy Malcolm on a list of “Top 50 Philo-Semites,” helping promote his Judeophilic buddy’s newest book Outliers with a link to Amazon just as Outliers was hitting bookstores in November 2008:
Malcolm Gladwell’s Top 50 Philo-Semites
NOV 20 2008, 2:39 PM ET
So, as you have undoubtedly heard, the Forward has chosen me as one of its 50 most influential American Jews. Me, Rahm Emanuel, Sarah Silverman, and Lipa Schmeltzer, among others.
This honor has changed my life, especially the magnificent gift of 1,000 shares of AIG stock from the finance committee of the Elders of Zion. It has also caused heartache. Friends are envious, even non-Jewish friends. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell is very upset. When we were roommates a very long time ago, Malcolm used to listen to the klezmer stylings of Giora Feidman on his record player. He is, in other words, very Jewy. He is also deeply wounded. “I am so jealous,” he wrote. “Shouldn’t there be a parallel list for wanna-bes?”
Yes, there should. If the Forward can publish a list of the top 50 Jews, then Goldblog can publish a list of the top 50 philo-Semites. I don’t have a philosophical problem with this, by the way: I dissent from the line, first passed on to me by Frank Foer, who, tragically, is not a top-50 Jew (though his mother is!), that philo-Semites are anti-Semites who like Jews. So, a list, and one loyal readers can help me assemble. I already asked Malcolm to provide me names of other philo-Semites, but he said: “How do I know philo-Semites? I’m such a philo-Semite I only associate with the real thing.”
Here are a few names, just to get us going:
READ MORE about Malcolm Gladwell and Jeffrey Goldberg at the S.H.A.M.E. Project:
The S.H.A.M.E. Project had a great first month that’s exceeded our expectations—and we couldn’t have done it without help from eXiled readers like you. We figured that the first month would be a period of testing out both the material and technology, but what we underestimated was just how big the response would be. Already, of the three major media figures we’ve covered, the biggest name of those three, Malcolm Gladwell, has contacted us and is showing signs of cracking. (more…)
REPOSTED FROM THE S.H.A.M.E. PROJECT
Last week, I got an email from Malcolm Gladwell. He told me he read the S.H.A.M.E. report I wrote about him a few weeks ago, and asked if I had time to answer a few of his questions:
From: Malcolm Gladwell
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 3:56 PM
I recently read your pieces about me. I have a number of questions I’d love to ask you. Do you have the time? Cheers, M.
“In five years . . . I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”
We launched S.H.A.M.E. to expose propagandists, reveal journalistic fraud, and make it a little harder for hacks and shills to manipulate you with impunity, which they continue doing no matter how disastrous their consequences. From the start, we set out to provide readers with simple, merciless and fun to read dossiers on a range of media shills who have degraded our democracy and our world—a handy guide to help you navigate the PR-polluted media. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg fits that mandate perfectly. While Conventional Wisdom is slowly coming to terms with Goldberg’s record of warmongering, deception and violence, S.H.A.M.E. allows readers and others in the media a simple cheat-sheet so that you don’t have to waste your time looking everything up from scratch—and to prevent you from mistaking Jeffrey Goldberg for a credible journalist. (more…)
Steven Levitt, University of Chicago economist, gained nationwide fame and prestige after co-authoring Freakonomics, a pop economics book based partly on Levitt’s original economic research. Published in 2005, Freakonomics became an instant #1 bestseller and spawned an entire Freakonomics media franchise that included a branded Freakonomics blog (hosted on the New York Times website until 2011), a regular segment on the National Public Radio program Marketplace, a Freakonomics movie and, alas, a Freakonomics business consulting company (now called the Greatest Good). (more…)
Cross-posted from the S.H.A.M.E. Project. For a reader’s digest version of this report, check out Malcolm Gladwell’s S.H.A.M.E. Profile…
“I’m necessarily parasitic in a way. I have done well as a parasite. But I’m still a parasite.”
In the vast ecosystem of corporate shills, which one is the most effective? Propaganda works best when it is not perceived as propaganda: nuance, obfuscation, distraction, suggestion, the subtle introduction of doubt—these are more effective in the long run than shotgun blasts of lies. The master of this approach is Malcolm Gladwell.
Malcolm Gladwell is the New Yorker’s leading essayist and bestselling author. Time magazine named Gladwell one of the world’s 100 most influential people. His books sell copies in the millions, and he is in hot demand as one of the nation’s top public intellectual and pop gurus. Gladwell plays his role as a disinterested public intellectual like few others, right down to the frizzy hairdo and smock-y getups. His political aloofness, high-brow contrarianism and constant challenges to “popular wisdom” are all part of his shtick. (more…)
Six months ago, The eXiled announced a new media transparency project that would take our war against corporate trolls and media shills to a new and more effective level. The project is called “SHAME” and stands for “Shame the Hacks who Abuse Media Ethics.” Its goal is to expose and shame corrupt media figures, and make life a little harder for those who manipulate the public, degrade our democracy and help perpetuate oligarchy power, making their money by acting as covert propagandists for corporate interests.