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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
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Mark Ames and Yasha Levine

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

Separated at Stone Age: Holocaust-denier R J Rushdoony…
…and Holocaust-dreamer al-Zawahiri?

On Tuesday May 3, a lawyer for the rightwing Rutherford Institute sent a threatening letter to The eXiled to punish and intimidate us because we reminded our readers about the dark, extremist homophobic ideology behind the early years of the Rutherford Institute and its co-founder, John Whitehead. The Rutherford Institute has waged a 15-year public relations campaign to recast itself as a “civil liberties” outfit similar to the ACLU, yet this same “defender of civil liberties” wants to crush The eXiled’s First Amendment rights to free speech over the crime of reminding readers that the outfit was co-founded by one of the most extreme anti-Semitic, homophobic monsters of our time, a Holocaust denier and eugenicist named R. J. Rushdoony. (more…)

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Posted: May 6th, 2011

Update I below

On Thursday, we published an article documenting how last November’s strange anti-TSA hysteria was just the latest and most visible chapter in a decade-long corporate-sponsored rightwing war against public sector labor. Their goal: to prevent TSA workers from unionizing. (more…)

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Posted: April 30th, 2011

Really?

This is the year that the Republican right-wing, backed by corporate sponsors like the billionaire Koch brothers, have declared all-out war on public sector unions. It’s the culmination of a decades-long crusade against organized labor, which has only hit the national radar screen in recent months. The showdown in Wisconsin between Scott Walker and the unions has changed all that: suddenly, Americans had their eyes opened up to just how ruthlessly and cynically the Republican right was ready to fight to destroy public sector unions because they see it as a way to cripple the Democratic Party by killing off a major source of funding, as well as political muscle and votes. (more…)

Posted: April 28th, 2011

greenwald cato institute highlights

Note: This letter, printed in The Nation on November 24, 2010, is a response to Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute‘s attack on an article we published, titled “TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal.”

***

Normally both of us, no strangers to controversy, view attacks on our articles like today’s by Glenn Greenwald’s as a badge of honor. But we’re frankly puzzled—and disappointed, if that’s the right word—that the source of this attack is Glenn Greenwald, whom we’ve followed fairly regularly over the past couple of years and whom we both respect.

Greenwald’s column raises one potentially valid criticism of our article—our treatment of John Tyner, the self-described libertarian and “don’t touch my junk” hero of the anti-TSA protests. Based on reporting from the San Diego Union-Tribune, we speculated that Tyner may have set up his taped encounter with TSA agents—a claim that we also quote Tyner denying. We did not, however, claim that Tyner was affiliated with the Astroturf and/or Koch-funded groups mentioned later in the piece, and indeed we noted directly that Tyner denied any such associations in an interview with The Nation. In retrospect, our article was less than clear about Tyner’s lack of Astroturf affiliations, and we regret in particular including extraneous details from the Union-Tribunearticle about Tyner’s past—that he went to a private Christian school and lived in a Republican community near a Marine base—because it distracted readers like Greenwald from the article’s main findings. (more…)

Posted: November 24th, 2010

This Libertarian Radio Host Lied About TSA Harassment

This article was published in The Nation on November 23, 2010

Does anyone else sense something strange is going on with the apparently spontaneous revolt against the TSA? This past week, the media turned an “ordinary guy,” 31-year-old Californian John Tyner, who blogs under the pseudonym “Johnny Edge,” into a national hero after he posted a cell phone video of himself defending his liberty against the evil government oppressors in charge of airport security.

While this issue is certainly important—and offensive—to Americans, we are nonetheless skeptical about how and why this story turned into a national movement. In fact, this whole campaign feels a bit like déjà-vu: As the first reporters to expose the Tea Party as an Astroturf PR campaign funded by FreedomWorks and Koch-related front groups back in February, 2009, we see many of the same elements driving the current “rebellion” against the TSA: Koch-related libertarians, Washington lobbyists and PR operatives posing as “ordinary citizens,” and suspicious fake-grassroots outrage relentlessly promoted in the same old right-wing echo chamber. (more…)

Posted: November 24th, 2010

nm_Meg_Whitman_100930_mn

“I will steal your hard-earned money!”

This article was first published on AlterNet.

Meg Whitman has always wanted to be Number One in her field. So although it must rankle Whitman that her $1.3 billion in wealth only ranks her as the fourth richest woman in California, when it comes to ranking “The Most Tight-Fisted Billionaire In The West,” no one comes close to Meg. For all her rosy campaign rhetoric about wanting to help California, unlike most billionaires in her category who go out of their way to make highly public donations to charities and the arts, Whitman has yet to perform a single significant charitable deed for the Golden State, or any state for that matter.

“[C]ompared with other leading Silicon Valley and political figures, Whitman appears to have otherwise invested less time, energy and clout on causes at the state, local and national level,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2010. “In contrast to others who have aspired to political office, however, Whitman does not mention any work on commissions, boards, advisory groups, charities or causes in her book or on her Web site.” (more…)

Posted: November 1st, 2010

mean meg whitman1

This article was first published on AlterNet

With the elections for governor just around the corner, most California voters probably think they have a pretty good grasp of the pros and cons of Republican candidate Meg Whitman: on the downside, she’s an aloof billionaire who can’t be bothered to vote or remember her own servants’ names after nine years, and she’s dabbled in the sort of insider double-dealing with Goldman Sachs that’s brought the nation’s economy to its knees.

On the plus side, many still regard Whitman as one of the most effective and successful business leaders around. Three decades of relentless pro-business PR have convinced a lot of voters that our best business leaders know best, and that’s been Whitman’s main selling point, going back to her first campaign ad:

“I have run large organizations. I know how to create jobs. I know how to focus. I know how to balance a budget. And, I think, a business perspective is a bit of what California needs right now.”

But what few people outside of the investment community know is what a disaster Meg Whitman’s business career really was. In fact, Meg Whitman’s record in the corporate world reads like a laundry list of failure: it’s a resume marked by fraud, gross incompetence, wasteful spending and gross disregard for anyone’s interests but her own. In her obsessive drive to become a billionaire, Whitman left a legacy of bitterness among untold numbers of jilted employees, shareholders and eBay clients, while enriching herself and a handful of fellow executives and investment bankers. (more…)

Posted: October 27th, 2010

Missing: Tea Party

This article was first published in Alternet.

Why are the hoppin’-mad Teabaggers so oddly quiet these days, ever since the BP oil disaster? That’s what Thomas Frank, author of What’s The Matter With Kansas? asked last week in his column, “Laissez-faire Meets The Oil Spill.” Ideologically, it’s painfully obvious why the Teabaggers are now the Teagaggers: their free-market gospel got mugged by oil-drenched reality — a reality so horrific that even pollster Frank Luntz couldn’t spin the BP disaster as the government’s fault. Best to just shut up when you’re that wrong.

But there’s another, more concrete reason why the Tea Party revolutionaries melted back into their suburbs as soon as the enormity of the Gulf spill disaster hit: The Tea Party evolved out of the pro-offshore drilling astroturf movement in 2008. They even share some of the same organizers and front groups, from PR operative like Eric Odom, to advocacy groups like FreedomWorks, whose combined efforts on the “Drill Here! Drill now!” astroturf campaign succeeded in opening up all of America’s coastlines and waters to offshore drilling, overturning a 27-year ban thanks to threats of “a Boston-style Tea Party,” as one Republican put it in the summer of 2008. (more…)

Posted: June 13th, 2010

plagiarism3

We’ve been getting a lot of letters from our readers complaining to us about a case of journalistic theft: one after another, the liberal media is ripping off our 6-week-old scoop exposing the Tea Party-FreedomWorks AstroTurfing connections, and they’re not citing us as the source. Yes, even the crunchy do-gooders can behave like sleazy little vultures. We just want all our readers out there to know that we’re aware of the situation, we’re on top of it, our people have been debriefed, and we are taking appropriate measures that we cannot comment on at this time. Plagiarists and literary thieves should know that eXiled Online does not take your plagiarism and sleaze lightly. Ask the Guardian newspaper, which was forced to post this humiliating admission and apology at the TOP of an article that their correspondent stole from us; or ask James Frey, who was first outted by John Dolan as a fraud months before Frey was forced to apologize on Oprah. So, readers, we appreciate your letters, which we’re publishing below. Keep vigilant, kids! Like McGruff says, let’s take a bite out of journalistic slime! (more…)

Posted: April 16th, 2009

Thanks to the slam dunk investigative piece by your humble correspondents, Rick Santelli was forced to cancel his appearance on the Daily Show last night, leading to this massively-blogged segment ripping Santelli and CNBC a gigantic bleeding asshole. If words could be giant foam hands with pointing index fingers, then these words would be jabbing annoyingly into the ears of every Michelle Malkin/Freedomworks/rightwing tool who tried to cover up their half-baked “grassroots tea party” flop. As the stadiums of foam index finger-waggers chant, “You! You! You!” As in “the whole fucking country is laughing at you idiots!” Ah-ha-ha-hahahahahahaha!!! (more…)

Posted: March 5th, 2009

welfarequeen11

If you’re wondering why disgraced pseudo-rebel Rick Santelli and his pals at CNBC kept strangely quiet about the hundreds of billions in bailouts right up until a couple weeks ago, when the government finally extended its bailout program beyond the corporate world and to regular American citizens, there’s a simple explanation. Rick and his coworkers at CNBC have been living high on the government bailout hog. Yup, “Slick Rick” Santelli and his fair-weather free-market comrades are nuthin’ but old-fashioned welfare queens pimping a newfangled libertarian hustle to cover it all up.

Since last October, CNBC’s parent company General Electric has taken at least $139 billion in government-backed loan guarantees to keep GE Capital Corp from going belly-up and taking the whole company, including Rick Santelli, with it. (more…)

Posted: March 3rd, 2009

bitch-slap1

Our article last Friday exposing the familiar old rightwing corporate machine behind the fake “tea party” protests, and Rick Santelli’s highly questionable role as the one-man MC for the protests’ launch event, wound up crashing the tea party’s mojo, and forcing Santelli to issue a giant apologia on CNBC’s site. It’s titled “I Want To Set The Record Straight,” but it should be called, “I want to keep my shitty second-fiddle job and not get thrown out of my 2,500 square foot house.” You can hear Rick’s pain as the spiked CNBC legal department butt-plug is shoved deeper and deeper in, paragraph after paragraph… especially this one line that will have Santelli sleeping on his stomach for months, where he bleats: “I hope that the President and the final stimulus plan succeed.” Thank you sir, may I have another! (more…)

Posted: March 2nd, 2009

Rick Santelli, High on Koch?This article first appeared on Playboy.com

Chris Matthews: “You’re up there with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity… It’s quite a team.”
Rick Santelli (smiling and nodding): “It is quite a team!”
Hardball, MSNBC, Feb 20, 2009

Last week, CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli rocketed from being a little-known second-string correspondent to a populist hero of the disenfranchised, a 21st-century Samuel Adams, the leader and symbol of the downtrodden American masses suffering under the onslaught of 21st century socialism and big government. Santelli’s “rant” last-week calling for a “Chicago Tea Party” to protest President Obama’s plans to help distressed American homeowners rapidly spread across the blogosphere and shot right up into White House spokesman Robert Gibbs’ craw, whose smackdown during a press conference was later characterized by Santelli as “a threat” from the White House. A nationwide “tea party” grassroots Internet protest movement has sprung up seemingly spontaneously, all inspired by Santelli, with rallies planned today in cities from coast to coast to protest against Obama’s economic policies. (more…)

Posted: February 27th, 2009