PBS Hack and LulzSec: Xeni on The Madeleine Brand Radio Show

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38 Responses to “PBS Hack and LulzSec: Xeni on The Madeleine Brand Radio Show”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    You two need to get a room.

    • Goblin says:

      Agreed, I’m done and I sure as hell hope he is, I’m not going to answer to him any longer. I was wondering how much longer you are going to let him go at it with just ad hominem.

      • Cowicide says:

        Agreed

        I’m at the Super 8 motel on Federal Blvd. in room 69 wearing next to nothing. I hope you’re bringing lots of lube because we’re gonna need it, Gobby.

  2. teapot says:

    If all the evidence, both from within and without the Wikileaks organization points to Julian Assange having his own agenda for leaking the information he chose to expose, regardless of the repurcussions, then shouldn’t that be reported?

    The only “evidence” presented of this was accusations from two newspaper editors who had had a run-in with Assange. They were most certainly not neutral sources. This element was my only real problem with the episode. The rest seemed quite matter-of-fact and didn’t really present any moral judgement on the subject. It was just a blow-by-blow of the parties involved in the story. The other thing that I thought was quite unfair was that the episode presented Assange & Wikileaks’ claims along with doubt and conjecture from their opponents, but they did not present the accusations against Wikileaks and Manning in the same way. The official story and the one given by Lame-ass was not treated with the same skeptical eye.

    (namely never mentioning that Manning is still an ALLEGED suspect)

    Actually, I believe towards the end of the episode one of Manning’s friends did mention that…. But it was not mentioned or dealt with by the program’s narator, which is dodgy.

    Manning’s father did him no favors by appearing in that episode. He should have only agreed to be intereviewed under the condition that he could see the final cut of the show before broadcast and reserve the right to withdraw his contributions. I suspect he didn’t imagine his comments would be presented in the way they were.

    • Anonymous says:

      Teapot said “The only “evidence” presented of this was accusations from two newspaper editors who had had a run-in with Assange. They were most certainly not neutral sources. This element was my only real problem with the episode.”

      I assume you’re talking about this:

      The FL documentary included an accusation made by an editor at the Guardian (which was WL’s main traditional journalism outlet) that Assange initially did not want the names of informants mentioned in the State Dept. cables redacted. According to this editor, when the Guardian insisted that those names be redacted because not to do so would put their lives at grave risk, Assange reportedly said “Good. They’re informants and the deserve to die.” The Frontline documentary then cuts to Assange and his denial of that.

      First of all, this was a whole lot more than a simple “run-in”. It was the crucial reporting linkage in the whole State Dept. data dump. And how FL’s presentation of the information is “unfair” is beyond me. A respected editor from a respected newspaper who is working with Assange makes an allegation about something Assange said, and which Assange denies. How is that anything other than how journalism is, at minimum, supposed to work? It’s not a legal system, it’s reportage. Unless of course you believe that the Guardian is part of the same propaganda machine as Fox News and all the rest, in which case why don’t we just turn all “reportage” over to Wikileaks?

      Btw, Manning is not an alleged suspect. He is a suspect. He is an alleged perpetrator. Know the difference.

  3. Anonymous says:

    how do they know that PBS didn’t do it for the lulz? REVERSI GOTCHA!

  4. Azurain says:

    While it’s true that it’s pretty hypocritical, in a sense, to support free speech by suppressing speech, there are larger contexts at stake here.

    I certainly don’t support hackers, per se, or have more than an intellectual interest in politics in general, but… we all know that the US’s mainstream media has been pretty well subverted by central authority and corporate interests. I don’t mean that there’s a massive conspiracy or any such, but if you have to fear governmental repercussions for reporting from an anti-government stance, well…

    Gone are the days of the McCarthy era when the mainstream press actively stood up against governmental excess. But if actions like this continue, maybe mainstream media will think twice before reporting in such a blatantly biased, pro-authority sense. Because now they have consequences to fear from both sides. Some media exec will say “hey, should we maybe tone this down a little so we don’t end up like PBS?”

    Of course, I expect it was more about the lulz in intent. But there could be a silver lining, so to speak.

    • Michael Gerber says:

      Reading corporate media bias is easy: just follow the money. Some of PBS’ money comes from its donors, so it presents products it thinks will keep that demo donating. Some of PBS’ money comes from corporate sponsors, so their coverage often skews pro-corporate. And because there’s government money, there’s a pro-government skew. PBS’ programming mix, and the attitudes it expresses, are an entirely predictable result of how it is funded. Fund it differently–like the BBC, for example–and you’d get different coverage. But expecting it to be fair and unbiased, or populist, or progressive, or liberal, when its funding guarantees that it will not be, is like expecting a duck to lay chicken eggs because you prefer chicken. PBS/NPR’s bias is not “conspiracy”–unless you define that so widely it’s meaningless. It’s a duck laying duck eggs.

      I haven’t seen the Frontline in question, and really have no interest in doing so; since I know what PBS’ biases are, it sounds exactly, precisely the product you’d expect from them. Pro-government, worried about “the truth”–in so far as what happens if it stops being a commodity only news organizations can create–not overly concerned about balance, etc. What PBS does well is high school-level summations of historical events cooled by time. “Three Mile Island was very scary.” “A lot of people died at Gettysburg.” That’s not nothing, but it’s not much to revere.

      I’m not for this type of hacking because I don’t think hackers will handle power any more responsibly than the rest of homo sapiens, but I do think that such activities may make corporate media pause, if only to do a little cost-benefit analysis. “Will the revenue we’d lose as a result of the site being offline for 24 hours be greater than the revenue we’d lose by pissing off x moneyed interest?” That’s probably a good thing. But of course the real winners in this are people doing protection for corporate websites. Their rates just went up.

    • Cowicide says:

      But if actions like this continue, maybe mainstream media will think twice before reporting in such a blatantly biased, pro-authority sense. Because now they have consequences to fear from both sides. Some media exec will say “hey, should we maybe tone this down a little so we don’t end up like PBS?”

      I hope that’s not the results of the actions and I seriously doubt it will be. Corporatist elitists aren’t really known for their humility and I’m fairly sure they will blow this off as mere rumblings from the peasants and continue the status quo as usual. That is, until the bewildered herd becomes more restless.

      But I do hope the scandal draws more attention to the public that they are being fed half-truths and lies even from sources they would otherwise (unwisely) trust. What better way to sneak corporatist, militaristic bullshit into the skulls of the bewildered herd than by delivering it in sheep’s clothing?

      More progressives need to study and read The Art of War. (and this is war, btw)

      Accepting that corporatists are left-wing is yet another lie they want you to believe. PBS may be a lesser evil than FOX News in some regards, but not so much in all ways. At least FOX is blatantly corporatist and it’s easy to reject them.

      Corporatist agendas disguised as “liberal media” is brilliant warfare,,, next thing you know you even have people like Xeni giving PBS a pass. It’s sad, but true.

      It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.

      A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.

      Good morning.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you just use the Sheeple argument?

        Because that sure does look like you’re complaining about the sheeple.

        • Cowicide says:

          Did you just use the Sheeple argument? Because that sure does look like you’re complaining about the sheeple.

          You might be referring to my usage of the term “bewildered herd”?

          That’s what the planners call the general public. I’m a part of that bewildered herd too.

          This didn’t go how you thought it would, did it?

  5. afs97209 says:

    NO! Nothing that anyone did to PBS this weekend is ANYTHING REMOTELY like a FIREBOMBING!

    Reminder: PBS has almost as many sins on it’s hands through the years as the mainstream corporate news networks do. The News Hour had the exact same tone the other news networks in the run-up to the Iraq Invasion. The only difference was the same lineup of Pentagon talking heads stated the exact same opinions they stated on the networks longer, and without commercial interruption.

    PBS news coverage has been hiding behind Big Bird long enough.

    • Raul says:

      It’s simple: shutting them down is wrong. It DOESN’T MATTER IF THEY WERE WRONG! Get it? If your truth is better, stronger, and more moral than “theirs” it will win out. What would these lulz people have done pre-internet?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I must be listening to a different NPR, Michael Gerber. In DC, NPR and WAMU constantly challenge all political camps. Nationally, and especially on the local stage.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ah, how history stays the same. Groups of people who rail at the state for censoring those who say or do what goes against the state …… Go on to silence and censor those who say what they don’t like .

    Meet the new boss (wanna-be), same as the old boss.

    Ah, humanity.

  8. Cowicide says:

    Attacking PBS like this because one episode of one show wasn’t A+

    understate….? much?

  9. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t a morally grey issue. This is an assualt on one of the most important bastions of a free society, the freedom of the press.

    You don’t intimidate the press, and let’s not pretend the threat of hacks is anything but that, just because they’re offering a narrative on an issue you don’t like, especially an organisation that already has an inbuilt mechanism for accountability.

    This isn’t North Korea’s state media or similar. You are talking about an organisation that will respond to a sufficient quantity of angry letters.

    Old, semi-senile people in retirement homes can understand this process, whereby if a sufficient number of complaints are sent, some effort will be made to address the issue on some level. Why can’t people with access to the internet and presumably some sort of technical degree work this out?

  10. Anonymous says:

    That doesn’t look like a tear.

  11. greggman says:

    I don’t know how to feel about this.

    I found the Frontline episode appalling. It felt like a show run by the DHS and not a typically Frontline style show. Given that I’m not sure what people who disagree with Frontline’s approach should have done. Has Frontline ever retracted in a public way? Taken down an episode and put up a new one?

    If it was the Iran gov site hacked or the Chinese gov site hacked would you feel the same way as when it’s Frontline? Sure, you can argue that taking them down is not appropriate for “free speech” but now do deal with something that seems like propaganda and not journalism? I don’t have an answer. I suspect the LulzSec thing will be counter productive but I can’t be totally unsympathetic having watched the episode.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because you disagree with something someone else publishes does not make it “propaganda”. I know this may stretch your brain, but consider the possibility that an opinion other than yours may have validity. Or that just because someone says something you disagree with doesn’t give you the right to stop them from saying it. True for individuals, true for news networks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why was the Frontline episode appalling? Must you assume that just because someone is being mal-treated and given a heavy dose of injustice by the state,that the victim must by nature be a moral upstanding member of society? Look at the historical record. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Roosevelt, De Gaul, Regan, Xrushev, Kennedy, Mao, Zakharov, Teller, you name it any player in history is a deeply flawed or deeply wounded individual and not dealing with a full deck. What makes you think that others who want to play at the history game are any more balanced than the people who actually do rise the positions of real power?

      Just because the DOD set it’s strategy to fragment WikiLeaks by playing personalities against each other, does not mean it’s a fiction that the state makes up and the established press helps forment. It might be true, it might be a real weakness. If WikiLeaks is populated by fundamentally flawed individuals, does that make their work for naut? No, of course not. Does it justify the malfunction of the press and the government? No of course not. But I do think it would show that the mess that is human politics is driven by people who are fundamentally flawed. That anyone who want’s to play the game is flawed. And that any government should be constructed from the point of view that anyone who occupies those offices are fundamentally flawed, and that before you take up arms in the name of anyones cause should be very very very closely looked at.

      Human history was, is, and will be, driven by the irrational and borderline mentally ill. Always.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it bad journalism that needs to be retracted, apologized for, or replaced, or does it simply not agree with the narrative you wanted to see? If Bradley Manning’s sexual orientation led to him being ostracized and victimized in his own home and his workplace, and then he did something rash and uncharacteristic of himself, don’t you feel that maybe there’s a correlation? If all the evidence, both from within and without the Wikileaks organization points to Julian Assange having his own agenda for leaking the information he chose to expose, regardless of the repurcussions, then shouldn’t that be reported?

      People who were expected Frontline to validate their own agenda can be disappointed, and certainly the episode didn’t reflect the best journalistic judgment in every element (namely never mentioning that Manning is still an ALLEGED suspect), but that doesn’t mean its part of some whitewash, cover-up, or cow-towing effort to brown nose the Fox Nation.

  12. scaramanga says:

    Attacking a journalistic news source is a new low for these hackers.

    In fact, I believe it was suppose to be against these hacktivist’s mission statement to attack journalists. The nature of ‘free speech’ is the discourse of different disagreeing views can be discussed in the public.

    Especially since they hacked Frontline, which has a long history of exposing US government cover ups and corruption, and is a gold standard of journalistic integrity. In fact, after watching the actual documentary, these hackers seemed to have expected the media to treat Manning and Assange as victims of some US government conspiracy instead of taking an in-depth view at these two characters and how they fit into the larger context of Wikileaks and the impact it has had.

  13. turn_self_off says:

    huh? 2600 got hit? Talk about blue on blue…

  14. Gulliver says:

    Well I for one welcome our new LulzSec bosses!

    ~ Benedict Quisling

  15. Anonymous says:

    Now I have to watch that Frontline wikileaks doc so as to see what all the fuss is. I wouldn’t have done that otherwise. Like a lot of others, I’ll bet.

    I don’t think “Lulzsec” thought this one through.

    • blendergasket says:

      I bet you’ll watch it in a much more critical way than you would if you wouldn’t’ve heard about the shenanigans.

  16. Goblin says:

    Cow you have no clue, I consider myself a “progressive” and I am also an Army veteran. I’m not sure if you can scientificly or logically wrap your head around that, but it’s true.

    You may be right about half-truths from above, but what you’re missing is the fact that this propensity for lies and omission exists inside of every person from the lowest of workers to the highest of executives.

    In fact, this is what many in the whole wiki-saga seem to ignore. I know it is unfathomable to you and Assange supporters that Assange “might” lie, but do we have any evidence that he hasn’t? See where I’m going with this? See why Assange is also viewed with deep skepticism by many?

    No one of us is pure, and treating someone as beyond repproach, only gives your crtics a hook to hang there version of the story on. The less religiously fanatic supporters are about the Assange/wiki-saga the more resonant the message will become.

    • Cowicide says:

      Cow you have no clue, I consider myself a “progressive” and I am also an Army veteran.

      Add “apologist” to that list of titles and we’re done here.

      • Goblin says:

        So if I’m not your friend I’m your enemy?

        What kind of George W. Bush attitude is that?

        • Cowicide says:

          Um, I didn’t call you an enemy. Maybe take another perusal at your Bushite black n’ white bullshit assumptions, red herrings and blatant apologist horseshit you made in your previous post and rethink why I might be adding “apologist” to your list of titles.

          Behold:

          I know it is unfathomable to you and Assange supporters that Assange “might” lie, but do we have any evidence that he hasn’t? See where I’m going with this? See why Assange is also viewed with deep skepticism by many?

          No one of us is pure, and treating someone as beyond repproach, only gives your crtics a hook to hang there version of the story on. The less religiously fanatic supporters are about the Assange/wiki-saga the more resonant the message will become.

          • Goblin says:

            Cow I give a damn what you think of me, besides I never was the issue. You are that type who blatantly attacks a persons character whilst you avoid the issue at hand.

            You’ve proven to us time and time again that you are completely incapable of having any reasoned or thought-out discussion with someone that you either disagree with or have picked out as your “enemy.” You’d rather assassinate their character then engage them over the issue.

            Seriously, lay of the militant self-righteous tough-guy routine.

            If you don’t like the issues, or if you are scared to even talk about them then that’s your problem, not mine. Everyone knows that low attacks on character are all you have, you’ve got nothing else. So fire away at my character all you want Cow, you can’t hold a candle to the real issues, you’re so afraid you cower in the face of the issues behind that tough-guy attitude of yours. Well it has worn thin. It’s time for you to step out from behind that facade, take a deep breathe, and calm down.

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