Two items for your reading pleasure.
ITEM ONE: CROWLEY OUT
Monica Crowley is out, for pulling a Melania Trump. (Dana has her own take on this here.)
GOP foreign policy adviser Monica Crowley said Monday she will relinquish the senior job she’d been poised to take in the Trump White House.
Ms. Crowley, who had been tapped to be senior director of strategic communications at the National Security Council, had been dogged in recent weeks by questions about whether she lifted portions of her past written work from other writers. Her move seemed designed to keep that from becoming a distraction as the Trump team prepares to take office.
“After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” she said in a statement. “I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”
It’s kind, if inaccurate, for the Washington Times to describe the controversy as “questions about whether she lifted portions of her past written work.” It was the strongest case of pulling a Melania Trump since Melania Trump.
I’m pleased to see that Donald Trump does not want someone with such poor ethical standards in his White House. If there’s anything more important to Donald Trump than decorum, it’s ethics.
ITEM TWO: GATEWAY PUNDIT’S VICTORY DANCE
Item two: Jim Hoft’s blog Gateway Pundit (admittedly through another writer named Ryan Saavedra) declares RedState.com to be the worst of the worst:
RedState had a rough year after backing failed GOP candidates, trashing Donald Trump for months and losing audience and respect in conservative circles.
Now a writer from Red State has come completely unhinged attacking The Drudge Report, The Gateway Pundit, Dinesh D’Souza and Sarah Palin.
. . . .
Kimberly Ross represents everything that is wrong with the Republican party and people on the right.
Ross was criticizing Hoft, Palin, etc. because of this piece from the Washington Post explaining how Hoft, Palin, and Drudge pushed a totally bogus story:
Trolls decided I was taking pictures of Rex Tillerson’s notes. I wasn’t even there.
What it’s like to be at the center of a fake-news conspiracy theory.
By Doris Truong
There’s a joke among Asian Americans that people think we all look the same. That joke became my own personal Pizzagate late Wednesday: I got caught in a terrible case of mistaken identity that was exacerbated by the speed at which false information spreads on social media.
I work as a homepage editor at The Washington Post. Because Wednesday was my day off, I hadn’t been online much. But before I went to bed, I noticed a message request on Facebook. Someone I didn’t know asked: “Any comment on you taking photos of Rex Tillerson’s notes?” When I checked Twitter, I had to scroll for several minutes to figure out what was going on. It seemed to start with this post: “Who is this woman and why is she secretly snapping photos of Rex Tillerson’s notes?”
. . . .
I lost track of the tweets, retweets and variations of tweets, including some with my Twitter handle superimposed on a photo from the hearing. People demanded my firing and questioned my ethics as a journalist. Top editors at The Post had heard about it. The false narrative snowballed early Thursday because a Gateway Pundit post was picked up by the Drudge Report.
Even Sarah Palin tweeted it.
Here is the Gateway Pundit post. Sample:
Wow! Reporter Caught Sneaking Photos of Rex Tillerson’s Notes at Senate Hearing (VIDEO) –Updated
Jim Hoft Jan 11th, 2017 11:28 pm 591 Comments
The Liberal Media Becomes More Unhinged by the Day–
A reporter was caught on film sneaking photos of Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s personal notes at his hearing today before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee today in Washington DC.
The reporter obviously forgot about the cameras running on Tillerson’s seat during the break.
Now the entire world knows she’s a thief.
What an idiot.
Skipping over the update, where Hoft is forced to acknowledge he got the story completely wrong, we see the origin of the story: one Mike Cernovich.
Via Mike Cernovich:
Cernovich to Hoft to Drudge — that’s how “facts” circulate in our wonderful Trumpy New Media.
All Kimberly Ross from RedState did was . . . criticize this incredibly sloppy reporting.
In Gateway Pundit world, the lesson learned from all this is:
check out your stories before printing them RedState is terrible for criticizing a fellow Republican and not supporting Trump at all times — that’s why I get clicks and they don’t, hahahahahaha!
Remember, Hoft might do something stupid and embarrassing like that every week or so, usually accompanied by ALL CAPS AND MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . . . but he’s a Trump supporter and RedState isn’t. He predicted Trump would win and RedState didn’t. Therefore, he is the New Paragon of our media, and deserves your clicks, no matter how shitty and riddled with errors his posts might be.
So there are your two stories. In one, the Trump administration surprisingly upholds an ethical standard. In the second, his supporters throw ethical standards to the wind, and attack anyone who criticizes them for it.
The first story is a little surprising, since the Trump transition team could have defended Crowley and called the allegations against her politically motivated. (Oh, wait, that’s what they did, just one week ago, after the PhD dissertation scandal had just broken.)
Despite the news, the Trump team continues to support the appointment. “Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country,” a transition spokesperson told CNN.
I’ll take it as a hopeful sign that this sort of utterly dishonest response — which was doubtless applauded by the very same crowd that pushed the bogus Truong story — did not ultimately carry the day.
P.S. Folks ought to bookmark this story, because the Washington Post reporter uses the term “fake news,” not to describe knowingly fake news, but rather to describe a situation where people believed they were telling the truth, but got it horribly wrong through lazy and slipshod analysis filled with unwarranted assumptions based on partisanship. I don’t think this usage is accurate, because I think “fake news” should be reserved for actual fake news put out by people who know it’s fake. But many conservatives have been using the term that way to describe similarly inaccurate stories by Big Media — and now the Washington Post is using that same definition itself, which is a notable development.
If “fake news” has that broad a definition, then the Washington Post‘s own “Russia hacked the power grid” story was “fake news.” I wouldn’t have called it that, myself — but under their own definition, that’s what it is.
P.P.S. This should be obvious, but the reference to “wild-eyed Trump supporters” in the headline is not meant to declare that all Trump supporters are wild-eyed. It is meant to distinguish the wild-eyed ones (like Hoft and Cernovich) from those that aren’t (which is the vast majority of them, in my opinion).
UPDATE: Excellent post by Kimberly Ross at RedState calling out Gateway Pundit for repeatedly peddling bogus stories.