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eXiled Alert! / May 31, 2012
By Team eXiled

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.

The project was inspired by our readers and donors, who are tired of the rampant media fraud and deception, and want some way to fight back and reclaim our democracy. Well, the long wait is finally over.

Thanks to your support—in donations, subscriptions, and know-how—S.H.A.M.E. is finally ready.

S.H.A.M.E.’s first subject: Malcolm Gladwell, America’s most successful propagandist.

Cruise over to to check out Gladwell’s S.H.A.M.E. Dossier and an in-depth S.H.A.M.E. Reportthat traces his life’s journey, from his early days as a Reagan fanboy to his training at the tobacco-funded National Journalism Center and his rapid rise in the media world, marked by his tendency to insert pro-tobacco, pro-banking industry and pro-pharma propaganda into his work.

“How’s a honest shill supposed to make money these days?”

This is just a taste of what’s to come. We will be rolling out a new S.H.A.M.E. dossier every week and will keep you updated with blog posts and news items. The purpose of S.H.A.M.E. is not merely to humiliate or call out hypocrisy, but to provide useful and effective tools the public can use to protect itself from being manipulated by sophisticated public relations con-artistry. So we’ll be slowly beefing up and upgrading the S.H.A.M.E. guerrilla anti-shill platform with new features to help you fight back.

Info tips are always appreciated. So are cash donations. Contribute using PayPal or WePay if you can…



By  • May 31, 2012 • REPORT

“I’m necessarily parasitic in a way. I have done well as a parasite. But I’m still a parasite.”

Malcolm Gladwell

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.

But beneath Malcolm Gladwell’s cleverly crafted ambiguity, beneath the branded facade, one finds, with surprising ease, a common huckster on the take. I say “surprising ease” because it’s all out there on the public record.

As this article will demonstrate, Gladwell has shilled for Big Tobacco, Pharma and defended Enron-style financial fraud, all while earning hundreds of thousands of dollars as a corporate speaker, sometimes from the same companies and industries that he covers as a journalist.

Malcolm Gladwell is a one-man branding and distribution pipeline for valuable corporate messages, constructed on the public’s gullibility in trusting his probity and intellectual honesty in the pages of America’s most important weekly magazine, The New Yorker, and other highly prominent media outlets.

Early Ultra-Conservative Training

Perhaps Americans would be less shocked by Malcolm Gladwell’s journalistic corruption if they were aware of his background. Gladwell was trained up in the same corporate-funded network of training and “education” institutes and outfits responsible for churning out the likes of Michelle Malkin, convicted criminal James O’Keefe, Dinesh D’Souza and countless other GOP corporate activists. The difference: Unlike Gladwell, they rarely hid their ideological willingness to take cash in exchange for promoting the corporate right’s agenda. . . .



Add your own

  • 1. radii  |  May 31st, 2012 at 5:14 pm



    Subvert the Hacks who Abuse Media Ethics

    avoids the repetition and is more indicative of the method to achieve the result (once the target feels shamed, then have been subverted)

  • 2. Ozinator  |  May 31st, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    congrats, and I’ll donate tomorrow

    A suggestion…

    I read his Exiled report but the dossier is what will get casual haters to see him…Would it be possible to make the dossier front and center without a link to get there? If I was questioned by a guy who believes that there is no connectivity to it all and I showed him the SHAME report as is, he wouldn’t read it. If I had a bold list of quick hits reading liking a wrap sheet under his mug shot, just the knowledge that it’s all backed up by footnotes (not to mention an in depth article) would get them in.

  • 3. Ozinator  |  May 31st, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    To clarify, I like all the info being available but even the dossier is busy before the reader gets hooked in by anything.


  • 4. Ozinator  |  May 31st, 2012 at 7:56 pm


    A simple front page containing the mugshot and the easy to read rap sheet with links to the rest of it


  • 5. Sly Cooder  |  May 31st, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    #1: Maybe the eXiled thinks shame is a better subconscious subverter?

  • 6. Gundar  |  May 31st, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Maybe add some tabs to the top where each subject is profiled. Great reporting! Can’t wait to see what and who follows…Maybe arrange the offenders into playing cards, like the Most Wanted in Iraq after the invasion or the baseball cards the eXile did years ago…I expect lenghy, detailed dossiers on Rush et. al. Great work!

  • 7. NB  |  May 31st, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    It should be more of an open wiki project. AEC: Totally dude! You’ll be the lead moderator.

  • 8. Nyerd  |  May 31st, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I’m glad this thing is finally on the road. The next time I see a piece written by Gladwell posted anywhere, I’ll just link the report.

    Few nitpicks that I want to share before I head off to bed:

    1) The first half of the report is very solid and objective, while the second half is stylistically different in the sense that it is more opinionated and petty. I’m referring to the line:

    “Aw shucks, it’s so corny—and yet so sincere!”

    This can be a turnoff for some people, hell, it took me out of the article. And that is never a good thing.

    2) You may also want to avoid using I, too, and use professional citations (ALA format maybe?). The more academic it looks, the more professional it looks, the better it looks.

    All and all, SHAME has a good thing going for it. Why not keep it hard hittingly objective? Also, can you all make Glenn Greenwald next? lately, I have seen a rash of Greenwald pieces and I have an urge to counter them.


  • 9. Galtic Warrior  |  June 1st, 2012 at 12:51 am

    So this is the hive for that tactless ass-ailment on journalistic integrity. Yasha Levine, you and ringleader are simply children acting out for attention.

    You’re powerless; I’ve see nyour Alexa rating. For comparison, Druge is 84th in America. Your little rag is 40000! Compare a man speaking in front of a large stadium to a homeless man whining to his friends at a shelter because they didn’t have the drive to compete in the business world. Yes, a share holder giving a presentation to a major CEO, to a bunch of reticent hipster occupy art history majors who should taking risks and creating businesses!

    You attack one of your own, you leftists are trash.

    How does it feel knowing that you’re up against the free market? The bottomless pocketbook, and checks of David Koch; all of his hard work?

    This will fail, and you’ll remain a caged animal with no teeth, left to remain in scattered corners of the Internet while serious, business minded journalists report THE FACTS. They report, you decide.

  • 10. gc  |  June 1st, 2012 at 3:24 am


    Case study in why at this point it’s impossible to distinguish conservative rhetoric from parodies thereof.

  • 11. Toni M.  |  June 1st, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Flawless victory.

  • 12. Margo Adler  |  June 1st, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I was always irritated by the smug, cute, hipster-contrarian vibe of Gladwell’s writing (I let me subscription to The New Yorker lapse because of it), but I had no idea that he was this big of an asshole. Hidden in plain sight!

    Excellent muckraking, Mr. Levine and Team Exiled! I enjoyed it tremendously.

    I usually love the emotional tone and shameless editorializing in the writing on this site, but I’m with Nyerd @ 8’s on minimizing the snark in the SHAME project. Don’t give your detractors a reason to “discredit” you. Besides, people like Gladwell are such pernicious douchebags that, once exposed, their behavior speaks for itself.

    “What was Skilling guilty of…?” indeed!

    Fuck you, Gladwell. That cockroach Skilling has blood on his hands–I wonder how many suicides, divorces, alcohol problems, and bankruptcies in Houston could be traced back to Enron’s collapse. I know families who have never recovered.

    Yuck. Just yuck.

  • 13. Peter  |  June 1st, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Wow. Kinda lost it with the Fox News borrowing at the end — real Randroids tend to feel a sense of superiority to any mainstream media, Fox News included — but you were really selling that troll persona there, Galtic Warrior. The vaguely ESL cadences were an especially nice touch, making the audience think of the various immigrant (I was thinking eastern Europe- any other takers?) spear-carriers the oligarchs employ. Good show!

  • 14. Pearl Fiddler Queen  |  June 1st, 2012 at 7:24 am

    @9 Galtic Warrior, funny that you would appeal to the wisdom of the majority in your time of SHAME. i mean, like, really really funny. Galt would be puking in your milkshake. Meanwhile, the rest of us are just shaking, with laughter.

  • 15. ☭ mouse ☭  |  June 1st, 2012 at 9:09 am


    Id love to donate and I will as soon as I have some money. But right now Im living the American dream…

    Does the eXile accept EBT food stamps?


  • 16. Freeloader  |  June 1st, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Interesting…I never knew that Sideshow Bob was a real person.

  • 17. damn red  |  June 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @7 Yeah open wiki, not like there are some unethical people that would take something like that and use the open system to distort the content for their own gains.

    Damn computer dorks that think every system can become self regulating.

  • 18. zhubajie  |  June 1st, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Shame is rare in the US, these days. Does Gladwell have any?

  • 19. Volks  |  June 1st, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    The first half is weakish (Gladwell has the right to associate with whatever asshole, right-wing, institute he wants to. And on the tobacco article, it looks like he was just trying to be a smart-ass and say something different). Yeah he was saying pro tobacco bullshit to be a smart ass. That’s why I’ll pretend like he wasn’t listed as a Philip Morris third party advocate and like he wasn’t trained by a tobacco funded corporate outfit.

    But the second half of the exposé is awesome. The Big Pharma and Enron parts really do show a series of unacceptable – and at times shocking- conflicts of interest by Gladwell. They do prove he is a corporate shrill.

    An undisputed knockdown. Great work, Yasha. Good to see the monthly donation to the eXile is being put to good use. Keep it up.

  • 20. Mason C  |  June 1st, 2012 at 6:51 pm


    I refer to Galtic Warrior, of course. He’s convinced me to mend my wayward leftist ways and re-enter the Free Market Light (TM). In fact, one of my kidneys is going on eBay as soon as I can sharpen this pocket knife and get started.

  • 21. smileman  |  June 1st, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    just watched elk’s video, and that guy is a total mensch. keep on keeping on, mike. you’ve got the balls of three or four men.

  • 22. NB  |  June 1st, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    @17 This looks like a closed system. Not too many viewers and fewer participants. Screen from there.

    Will there be posthumous shaming, or mostly drawing attention to what is going on around us? because I’m certain all the living subjects will continue to ratchet up the crazy.

    Group effort makes it easier to continuously edit in all the new corporate shilling.

  • 23. Galtic Warrior  |  June 1st, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    All of the food you eat, this very webspace, and your homes are products of CEO entrepreneurship.

    I mean think about it, if you have spent money in America, you have contributed to the “CEOs” you viciously attack. So what dignity do you have left? The struggle is over because the MONEY lay with humanities last hope: the spirit of innovation!

    Think about it, what difference will all of this “exposing” do? It is nothing but an echo chamber for you Marxists to congregate and wriggle your hands at. The mainstream public, independents Etc. will only lob shame on the false left-right paradigm created by the satanic Illuminati bloodline.

    All products of the FREE MARKET.

    Never in United States history has government helped the people, it has been “big business” that has created JOBS.

    Government regulations hurt innovation because they coerce CEOs to take money they would use to make their coma

    Said workers could leave and start THEIR own business if they don’t like it.

    The Illuminati control the government, and the only resistance that surmises if the indestructible will of the Free Market.

    Whenever I dare venture into the leftist catacombs of Internet, I just feel so…weak….

    I mean, where do I begin? Have you all lost your God Damn minds? Don’t you know anything about HISTORY? Do you understand how many innocent people are suffering because of your astonishing ignorance. cowardice, and hatred?


  • 24. G.G. Allin  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Yeah everybody, don’t you know that the Illuminati control everything? Have you lost your minds? What the fuck!

  • 25. Zoner  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I wonder what he does with all that money. Probably pays for high-priced call girls to peg him with a platinum-coated dildo, or beatings with a cashmere whip. You know it’s possible, even likely – his dad’s English and he’s a neocon at heart.

  • 26. Peter  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I couldn’t help but notice a certain deeply irritating stage magician on that list of “third party” shills. I assume he’s low priority, being a magician and all, but he is big in an especially smug and toxic part of the libertarian culture. Plus think of all the GOB Bluth cracks you could make!

  • 27. Anarchy Pony  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I can’t tell if Galtic Warrior’s writing is incredible bootlicking stupidity, or fantastically well done parody.

    Wretched troll? Or brilliant satirist?
    The fact that you can’t really tell the difference would make it that much more brilliant as satire…

  • 28. smileman  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 11:02 am

    @23 <–omg the number 23!!

    could you please speak on the judeo-masonic conspiracy? thanks.

  • 29. DrunktankDan  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    GOddamnit as soon as I get a fuckin paycheck im sending some dough your way. Keep your fingers crossed AEC! I’ve been lying through my fucking teeth to get a job selling vitamins to stupid old hippies in Santa Cruz (even though 98 percent of the ‘vitamin and holistic medicine’ industry is bullshit, but I digress).
    Shit, it beats haulin’ rock when you got a back as fucked as mine.
    Way to keep up the Lord’s work guys (and Eileen). Love the site, love the bile and the hatred and the honesty of it all. If only more of us progressives had balls.

  • 30. Nyerd  |  June 2nd, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    @ 26

    Yeah, I’m somewhat surprised that Penn Jillette is listed as a Philip-Morris “third party message developer” but with the description “no contact” – whatever that really means. Perhaps he needs to be wined and dined first. Or it may mean that Penn is unreliable, or impossible to reach because he’s out on the road all the time.

    It’s well known that his Showtime program “Penn and Teller’s Bullshit” is a Cato mouthpiece, and it started in 2003 when libertarianism on the internet reached peak smug (arguably). But the Third party developer list was drafted in the 90’s, which is intriguing. From a cursory search, Penn was a contributer to PC/Computing and – and has television experience. Either Penn exhibited shill like behavior and it caught PM’s attention, or he was always a shill but kept a really low profile to protect his career. Regardless of my conjecture, he is insidious and must be exposed.

    @ 8 (myself, Yasha, and the AEC)

    Or the report could have a wikipedia style references section – that way if a link goes dead the public could have a little more information to search with. I personally think it is a great idea, but it’s your website. I wasn’t intending to be a dick or a troll; I love reading the Exiled. Please forgive me.

    Also, does angering the AEC put me on a permanent shitlist?

  • 31. Bedtime 4 Bonzo  |  June 3rd, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    S.H.A.M.E., is that like S.H.I.E.L.D. from The Avengers? Exholes, assemble!

    But really, may I suggest a target rich environment: MSNBC, the supposedly progressive news network. Of course the hosts are idiots so I’m thinking you look into their regular guests, often brought on to add “expert” analysis. They’re in full-on re-elect Obama mode and they all find it terribly noble and impressive that it’s been revealed in the Times that Obama holds “Terror Tuesdays” (at Ruby Tuesdays?) where they trade “baseball cards” with kids’ photos and dossiers on them and then Obama picks the one he wants dead by sundown.

    HT: Honeywell makes the turboprop engine for the Predator drone. General Atomics makes most of the rest. I wager that there are some nasty journos in their pockets.

  • 32. Vendetta  |  June 4th, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Well, I’ve taken up the unpleasant task of arguing with some bureaucratic Wikipedian fuck to put the S.H.A.M.E. info back onto the Malcolm Gladwell page (the guy removed it as “unsourced or poorly sourced”).

    Maybe it’s a shill. But it’s probably just the ordinary variety of sadfuck that prattles around deleting everything they can touch off that site.

  • 33. Ken Prowess  |  June 4th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Hey AEC you guys should do a SHAME expose on anti-Occupy troll and dedicated Ronpaul propagandist Adam Kokesh. Yeah it’s a stretch to describe him as “Media” but his propaganda is mysteriously well produced, the funding has to come from somewhere. I suspect a Bilderberg connection.

  • 34. Santana  |  June 5th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    He has a very transgendered body, like his pal Ann Coulter. He’s also ugly, like her. And obvious. And cruel. Hey—Gladwell MAY be Coulter!!!

  • 35. Throcky  |  June 5th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Are you sure you want to use PayPal? I know you know who owns it. Do you really want to fatten the wallet of some John Galt wannabe every time someone makes a donation?


  • 36. Throcky  |  June 6th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Well then explain to me why using PayPal is such a great idea. How do the benefits outweigh the costs? Are there no other services you could have used instead of PayPal?

  • 37. Courson  |  June 6th, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve never read Malcolm Gladwell but some
    reviewer for Slate magazine (which I’ve also never read) described his writing as smug, silk-tongued, simplistic, fallacious and lacking in nuance and accuracy.

    In addition it turns out Gladwell is a corporate shill who probably gets invited on Charlie Rose (the smug prick) and NPR’s All Things Considered to chat with that drooling retard who keeps repeating “and I’m Robert Siegel” as well as the Neo-con, war-monger, Scott Simon.

    Think of all the lives destroyed by Enron, yet this piece of trash defended them.

    And if that isn’t bad enough, what’s with the hipster, Stephen Pinker-style hairdo?

    Fuck him, people like Malcolm Gladwell deserve to be taken out and shot.

    Or (in memory of Enron victims) rip out his intestines and use them hang his skinny neck from the nearest lamp-post.

  • 38. Sylocat  |  June 7th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I only wish I had some tips to send in.

    I look very much forward to seeing Glenn Greenwald get his. Reddit will become very interesting for a while when that happens.

    And does the namedrop mean Penn is going to get one? That would be preternaturally awesome.

  • 39. Petkov  |  June 7th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    sad but true, I’m a defeatist and I think that by being defeatist it makes me “realistic” and therefore a higher sort of slave.
    Wake me up when the majority of people decide they have had enough of happiness in slavery and decide to do something about it.

  • 40. Yasha Fan  |  October 11th, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Wow! so this is what a troll’s comment looks like. Thank god the AEC is here to improve me!

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