No Demonstrable Cake

Lessons from fighting Swiss right-wing populism; another #ubervictim speaks out; and more.


  • Trump watch: The President of the United States has taken his criticism of The New York Times even further, telling Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle their coverage is “so evil and so bad.”

  • “The president specifically praised this reporter, and Steve Holland of Reuters, as two examples of journalists who do try to accurately report the news,” Boyle wrote.

  • In another lifetime—the year 2012—the same reporter worked for the Daily Caller and tried to blackmail the Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse into giving a comment by threatening to misreport a situation, as Jim Romenseko revealed at the time, and Greg Greene drew our attention to again late yesterday.

  • The Washington Post went to bat for the Times, publishing an analysis of the 47 corrections in articles about Trump since he took office, finding that most were typographical—minor corrections of titles and dates that a copy editor missed—and 27 were minor factual corrections, like incorrect locations. A mere five were significant factual corrections. And yet, as Phillip Bump reports, Trump has tweeted about the “failing @nytimes” no less than 51 times.

  • “Trump and his team want to imply broad inaccuracy but have been unable to demonstrate it,” Bump writes. “The goal, of course, isn’t really to call out incorrect reporting as much as it is to get supporters to assume that the Times is incorrect in what it writes. Spicer’s complaint about the Times getting his birthplace wrong is implied to be the icing on the cake of the Times’ errors. In actuality, it’s a sprinkle — and there’s no demonstrable cake.”

  • The Kansas City Star editorial board takes Donald Trump to task for remaining silent after a shooting at an Olathe bar last week killed one and injured two. The assailant allegedly said “get out of my country” during the attack.

  • Erhardt Graeff met with Flavia Kleiner, a leader of a grassroots Swiss movement that successfully defeated an anti-immigrant ballot initiative, and reports back for Civicist on “lessons from fighting Swiss right-wing populism.”

  • Notorious Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wants to know: Where are all the big league leakers? Margaret Sullivan reports back after a two day symposium on free speech and the Pentagon Papers at Georgetown University.

  • Speaking of leaks, someone shared video of a conversation between Trump and the nominee for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross with Gizmodo via the open-source whistleblower drop system SecureDrop, Brendan O’Connor reports.

  • An anonymous testimonial from an “#ubervictim” asserts that “[Uber CEO] Travis [Kalanick] is well known to protect high performing team leaders no matter how abusive they are towards their employees. When the employee, who is choosing to be called Amy, took her complaints about “Mike #2” to HR, she was told “that they really appreciate my guts to come forward but that this was the first complaint they received about him and that he is highly valuable to Travis.”

  • An Uber executive was forced to resign from his position after only a month after the company learned the real reason he left Google, which was—surprise surprise—a sexual harassment claim, Mike Isaac and Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The New York Times.

  • Internet of Shit: A cloud-connected toy company stored their users’ data on the internet completely unprotected, Lorenzo Fraceschi-Bicchierai reports for Motherboard, and hackers found it, locked it, and held it for ransom. Worse, the company was contacted multiple times by good-samaritan hackers alerting them to the security weakness, as security research Troy Hunt points out on his blog.

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