Patterico's Pontifications


What’s Up With NYT’s Jen Preston & Ron Brynaert?

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 1:27 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

In a sudden burst of Tweets, former Raw Story editor Ron Brynaert has claimed that he’s been working behind the scenes with New York Times reporter Jenn Preston for ‘weeks’ on #Weinergate and that he was promised money.

This also might explain some bizarre behavior that has slowed down the discovery the real person behind much of the shenanigans.

It started with…

ronbryn Ron Brynaert

Dear @thepubliceditor this story is missing credit for my work with@NYT_JenPreston & I’ve been led on about getting $…

And it goes on from there. Here are a few screen captures of Ron’s angry tweet (read bottom to top) – and Patterico should have more information on this soon.




Full disclosure – I’ve been very clear that I have been talking to Preston for weeks, as well – at no time was money offered. Additionally, Preston clearly used elements of my public work in her stories and I was never credited or acknowledged. I spoke to Ron on the phone several days ago – he did not mention that he was working with Preston, but seems to have relayed some of my conversation with her.

– Lee Stranahan

58 Responses to “What’s Up With NYT’s Jen Preston & Ron Brynaert?”

  1. Not a happy camper, is he?

    Dianna (23319c)

  2. Lee

    clearly you should have asked for money. :-)


    good post.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. No. we should try to figure out what their motivation is…and hug it out.

    Blackburnsghost (2ffb0c)

  4. Everyone noticed Preston was leeching off your first Betty and Veronica articles in her article. I noticed that she practically lifted your precise language.

    It is the jungle law of the bigger animal eats the prey caught by a smaller predator. Academics do it to not-so-well-known academics, while movie producers lift and rework novel plots without giving credit or compensation to the author. It is increasingly more difficult to protect your work in many situations. If you want some insurance, get a contract.

    bmertz (d77c52)

  5. The phrase coming undone springs to mind. (Meanwhile, I continue to firmly believe that Twitter is the devil.)

    elissa (2eec7e)

  6. Lee , are they trying to divert your attention?

    Temper Tantrum (02fe1b)

  7. My god, so much whining. Seriously, for one who has tried to convince us he really is all that, shouldn’t he have been smarter about this and realized that a journalist with a capital J, like Preston, might use him?

    I, who am not even a journalist with a lower-case j know to be very guarded with any leads and info and to be very, very discerning with those I entrusted with it…

    I’m beginning to think Ronbryn is not who he has led me to believe he is.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  8. My initial reaction to ronbryn was that he was a whiny little mendoucheous MFM-type. I love it when I am proven right. Did you know he is a weiner expert?

    JD (29e1cd)

  9. I think it is funny, laugh out loud funny, that he trusted david freaking corn.

    JD (b98cae)

  10. A Raw Story reporter collecting unemployment? Yeah, that sounds about right.

    libor (da6eb2)

  11. The only thing funnier would be if he was an illegal alien to boot! Call Wapo, they’re looking for another hack!

    ∅ (e7577d)

  12. Ron seems to spell his last name with an “N”. “Brynaert” not “Bryaert”.

    Kevin M (73dcc9)

  13. what happened to that guy’s mouth?

    koam (62b38e)

  14. Be sure to see

    from Preston, Jennifer
    to Jennifer George
    date Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 4:05 AM
    subject RE: New York Times reporter

    Hi Jennifer,
    I was at home this weekend and did not have your phone number, which is at my office. Hence, my email. So, I see now that you have posted my response on Twitter on your site that you are not part of any story that I was or am working on. I was puzzled why you were contacting me on Twitter when days ago ago I told you I am not working on any story that has anything to do with you.It did not make sense until I saw your IM w/Lee Stranahan. I can not speak for Mr. Stranahan or these other people who are recklessly speculating online with information that they are getting from sock puppets. I have had my own problems with people invoking my name, falsely claiming I have said this and that. And I have made it clear to all of these people not to use my name again.
    I admire your approach of posting your correspondence. It certainly allowed me to see how people were spreading lies in my name. I will be formally taking care of this matter this morning. Thank you. Jennifer

    Jennifer Preston
    Staff Writer
    The New York Times


    from Jennifer George
    from Preston, Jennifer
    date Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 8:38 AM


    Just a few points from me and then I would prefer that we not limit this conversation to my website.

    – If you have anything further to say about me, or to me, do it in some other public forum, in complete sentences.

    – I’m not going to be your forum for damage control and I reserve the right to not publish any future communications from you.

    – I publicly Tweeted @ThePublicEditor, the NYT “readers’ representative”, about this matter and have not received a response.

    – I have no comment at this time about your characterizations of our phone conversation.

    Jennifer George



    June 27, 2011

    Google Talk/IM chat attempted by someone claiming to be “Lee Stranahan” ( I did not respond.

    6:40 PM
    Lee: Hi. Hopefully, you’ve seen that I’ve tried to be as clear as possible that 1) I don’t think you have anything to do with the story and 2) that you are no the Jenny George in Massachusetts who is clearly connected to the story

    6:41 PM
    Lee: But if there’s anything else I can do to clarify, please let me know,

    koam (62b38e)

  15. Can you say what elements exactly you feel were taken from your work? You posted a link on Twitter to your story speculating about Better and Veronica where you said the following:

    I had reporters calling me all weekend to try and find Betty and Veronica. These are people from major press organizations with big resources behind them. No sign of Betty or Veronica. Tommy Christopher says he spoke to Betty’s Mom on the phone and did other things to confirm their identities and it would be a fatal career move to just lie about that, so it’s hard to believe that that’s what happened. On the other hand, nobody else has seen this proof as far as I know (perhaps Colby Hall, the managing editor?) and Tommy has been very belligerently defensive about his reporting. And again, reporters have put dozens of hours into searching records and knocking on door with no trace.

    First of all, there’s a pretty huge difference between speculating about where Betty and Veronica actually are and proving that their IDs were fake. Lot’s of people speculate about a lot of things, but they’re not cited by journalists who do the actual work that takes it beyond speculation. Second, in your post, you’re pretty clearly wondering about Betty and Veronica because you were asked about them by reporters. So the reason you speculated about it in the first place is because reporters were already asking those questions. So what exactly should you be credited with discovering?

    On the other hand, if it turns out that “Jenay” from MA was behind the accounts, I’d agree that you should be credited with that story.

    AJS (c25c87)

  16. Memo to Ron Bryaert:

    Get a fucking job and stop living off the dole while pursuing a needle in a haystack on my dime.

    … but a perfect example of a liberal in the media. Those two deserve each other. Each living off someone else’s work. How ironic.

    Sponge Bob Square Pants (786e37)

  17. A Raw Story reporter collecting unemployment? Yeah, that sounds about right.

    Comment by libor — 6/28/2011 @ 2:32 pm

    Say it with me:

    Shovel Ready Job!

    Kaisersoze (c86eb0)

  18. As JD points out, it’s kind of funny to hear someone who did work for such far-left sources as Mother Jones, David Corn, and the New York Times complain that he isn’t fairly compensated. What, did he expect these groups/people to sully themselves with the Free Market? Clearly he should get with the program and understand that one donates one’s time to help combat the nefarious workings of the far right-wing blah, blah, blah. . .

    JVW (24ee9a)

  19. And of course, being of the angry left this Brynaert fellow is completely incapable of making his point without resorting to explicatives as in the first post that Lee lists above.

    JVW (24ee9a)

  20. I can not take joy in anybody being unemployed and unable to find work. How awful.

    This is an interesting tweet:
    ronbryn Ron Brynaert
    I meant to say one of these three puppets is probably behind all the death threats: @Artist_R or @NealRauhauser or @johnreid9
    34 minutes ago

    MayBee (081489)

  21. Oh, and Ron, if you are reading here:

    The problem with Gennette and her starchild suspicions isn’t that she was suspicious. It’s that she acted on her suspicions- and claims to have encouraged a married US Congressman to act on HER suspicions. How did that turn out for them?

    MayBee (081489)

  22. Maybee– well he be the “expert” on Weinergate.

    elissa (2eec7e)

  23. Neal Rauhauser is one nasty twist.

    JD (f74193)

  24. Elissa – he is an expert on wieners.

    JD (f74193)

  25. Does this mean that the bias in the NYT piece that delivered an important piece of news, that the IDs that Patricia Reid had sent to Tommy were fakes (and that Tommy & Colby hadn’t figured it out), is possibly not the bias of Jen Preston, but is instead Ron’s storyline that he brought to Preston as research?

    Recall that the NYT headline

    Fake Identities Were Used on Twitter in Effort to Get Information on Weiner

    and lead paragraphs

    At least three months before the revelation that former Representative Anthony D. Weiner was sending lewd messages and photos to women online, a small group of self-described conservatives was monitoring his exchanges with women on Twitter. Now there is evidence that one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.

    A Twitter user employing a fake name posed as a 16-year-old California high school girl in May and tried to get Mr. Weiner to be her prom date, according to people with knowledge of the communications and a review of documents. The person behind another Twitter account created under a fake name claimed to be her classmate and offered to provide the group with incriminating evidence about Mr. Weiner.

    lead to the conclusion that the girls’ mission was unquestionably anti-Weiner.

    But in this piece,
    Patterico illustrates that the author’s thought-leadershio narrows the realm of motives to only ones related to intentionally ruining Weiner.

    And in this stunning follow-up, there’s are admissions from both Preston and Tommy that the true motives haven’t been proven, probably because all possibilities hadn’t been considered.

    Is this what Ron was behind?

    Also troubling in the Preston article is the implication that Nikki started asking Gennette about Weiner.

    In an interview, Ms. Cordova said she was contacted on Twitter by “Nikki Reid,” who said she admired one of her posts and then began exchanging private messages with her almost every day for three or four weeks starting May 5. “There was something weird about it,” Ms. Cordova said. At the beginning of their exchanges, Ms. Cordova said, there was no mention of Mr. Weiner. Then the user began to ask her for advice saying, “I’m a fan girl too,” and “How did you get him to follow you?”

    In fact, Gennette has confirmed on these pages that it was Gennette who brought up the topic of Weiner with Nikki. A misleading omission that leads the reader to the wrong conclusion.

    Is Ron claiming that part of the story? or was that all Jen?

    koam (62b38e)

  26. Hundreds of hours since June 13th? It’s only 15 days since then. 360 hours all told, and that’s if he hasn’t slept at all.

    If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred thousand times: don’t exaggerate

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  27. JD@5:18–


    elissa (2eec7e)

  28. A misleading omission that leads the reader to the wrong conclusion.

    From Gennette “I only sent Nikki 5 emails!” Cordova?
    From Gennette “No I have not had any contact with anyone from Weiner’s office or anyone representing Weiner” Cordova?

    Misleading omission? The devil you say.

    MayBee (081489)

  29. koam- that same story has Gennette looking back to realize that Nikki couldn’t have been in high school

    MayBee (081489)

  30. small group of self-described conservatives was monitoring his exchanges with women on Twitter

    Never got this “monitoring” crap. They weren’t tapping his phones, they were reading his public Twitter feed. And sending Tweets to him and some of the women. It’s called “participating in a conversation.” When Preston goes on Twitter and interacts with people and asks her stupid questions, is she “monitoring” them?

    Average Joe (24fc2b)

  31. And Weiner sent his dicpic to 50,000 people. If Democrat urinates in the middle of Yankee stadium, are the conservatives in the stands “monitoring” him?

    Average Joe (24fc2b)

  32. This is seriously screwed up stuff.

    Enigmaticore (491183)

  33. This story is close to entering “Twin Peaks” territory.

    “The owls are not what they seem.”

    Enigmaticore (491183)

  34. This poor fella is I hope sadder and wiser now. And anyone also who might have otherwise thought him worth hiring in the future.

    SarahW (af7312)

  35. This story is close to entering “Twin Peaks” territory

    What’s your estimation for the novel and later movie release?

    bmertz (d77c52)

  36. Ron Brynaert is cracking up in public, right before our very eyes. He’s in full meltdown mode. It’s both fascinating to watch his twitter feed, and sad. Almost like a frenzied manic state.

    Right now he’s turning on Jen Prestion. Can’t say Preston doesn’t deserve it. She definitely lied to Jennifer George about the reason she wanted to talk to her.

    lamchopsl (a91fe8)

  37. Lambchops – ronbryn, that dishonest Weiner expert poofter in going Chernobyl in public, no?

    JD (f74193)

  38. JD.

    Worse, the radioactive fallout is spreading across the entire continent: coast to coast.

    I sense that he’s pissed because Lee was following the same leads and arriving at the same doorsteps around the time he was. That seemed to queer his gig as Jen Preston’s main Weiner researcher. Toss in an unhealthy dose of delusions of grandeur, and general paranoia, and… KABOOM.

    Still it’s sad to watch.

    lamchopsl (a91fe8)

  39. I feel bad for him. Betrayed by those who he thought were on his side, and perhaps a bit too taken with his source.

    MayBee (081489)

  40. The poofter hearts Seattle Snooks.

    JD (f74193)

  41. MayBee.

    Been reading his earlier tweets. There’s a snotty mean streak that just seems to run naturally through him, so I guess he was hanging with the appropriate crowd.

    lamchopsl (a91fe8)

  42. lamchops
    Would you be willing to post his tweets? For those of us not on twitter. I like to read them,

    It’s late and I need to attending to other matters, but I can’t stop following this story. It is addictive from all these constant plotline twists. This is a serious situation but I’ll admit that I’m having a good time waiting for the next revelation. (Sorry Mike, your part has not been fun. But I think you can understand the fascination with where the story has gone). Someone has to turn this into a novel.

    I can’t believe more people aren’t plugged in here to follow as well. We are participants in a real mystery and crime. I am mesmerized, but also missing sleep.

    bmertz (d77c52)

  43. bmertz–you need not be a member of twitter. just click the link at the top of the thread for ronbryn. it’ll take a bit to load but you can read his side of the twitter conversations.

    elissa (4fdb9f)

  44. bmertz.

    This should get you there:!/ronbryn

    lamchopsl (a91fe8)

  45. Just copy and past the entire link. You don’t need to sign up or sign in.

    lamchopsl (a91fe8)

  46. Thanks lamchops and elissa. I’ll do that.

    bmertz (d77c52)

  47. GC is whining to ronny. I’ll let her comments speak for themselves

    Gennette Cordova
    @RocksEm @kklausser @patterico @ronbryn No one had the decency to say, why is this relevant? Why are we invading her privacy for no reason?

    Gennette Cordova
    @az5thdstrct @ronbryn @patterico @RocksEm Ive never been called a liar so emphatically by a group of people who cant tell me 1 lie Ive told


    Did you not tell me in the comments, that you lied to Nikki? Quote:” No, I lied”. Would you like the link to your post?

    bmertz (d77c52)

  48. Not to be a dick or anything, but “poofter”? Really? We’re better than that aren’t we?

    RB (ee4e2f)

  49. The invading her privacy thing is interesting, considering she keeps un-protecting her Tweets to participate in these big discussions. Otherwise, she goes behind the wall. Which is fine. A private person might stay there.

    MayBee (081489)

  50. It’s weird to see people on Twitter ask others to stop talking about them. We’ve seen it with GNC, Ethel, and now Jen Preston. Privately the Reids tried the same thing.
    Does that work?

    People in the center of stories rarely like being talked about, right?

    MayBee (081489)

  51. OH… MY… GOD!!!!

    Somebody said the word Poofter!!!!!!!!!

    Quick, somebody Call the thought police!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Round up the usual suspects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Censor! Censor! Where’s the censor????

    Anybody got a bar of soap, looks like somebody needs their mouth washed out.

    Help me, help me, my ears are bleeding…

    lamchopsl (a91fe8)

  52. there once was a soi disant poofter
    what said guys just please tell me the troofter
    am i really so gay
    that you name me that way
    or is it just cause I act so aloofter

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  53. Jeez, sorry to ruffle the feathers. It’s just something I more commonly associate with the Left after reading the crap tbat gets tossed at Breitbart on a daily basis. I just figured we were the grownups, is all. Forget I said anything.

    RB (ee4e2f)

  54. No offense taken, RB. You are probably right. Ronbryn is not a poofter, he is a lying psychotic mendoucheous twatwaffle.

    JD (7299b9)

  55. happyfeet
    if you ever publish (or if you already do) I will be first in line to buy the book. Sometimes I search comments just to read your hilarious one-liners and haiku. It starts my day off with laughter.

    bmertz (d77c52)

  56. It’s just something I more commonly associate with the Left after reading the crap tbat gets tossed at Breitbart on a daily basis. I just figured we were the grownups, is all.

    I don’t understand the recent few folks who are angry about different POVs that have been on this blog for ages. I got my head bitten clean off for noting the potential porn is beneficial, and a few other little spats like that.

    You should want different POVs. There is nothing wrong with a lefty being here, and nothing wrong with a righty saying something that suggests they are not your ideal pure rightie.

    Don’t worry so much about whether they are following your rules.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  57. Hohophobes!

    Denounced and condemned.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

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