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May 10, 2016

The Beltway Journalistic Establishment Rises Up In Furor Over the Ben Rhodes Profile -- Specificially, At the Reporter For Eliciting the Quotes That Made Them Look So Weak, Biased, Stupid, and Incompetent

They're not mad at Ben Rhodes, who still has them wrapped around his little failed-novelist finger, for smack-talking them.

They're mad at the reporter Daniel Samuels for writing down what Ben Rhodes said about them.

And now, the echo chamber is mad---but not at Ben Rhodes for what he said. They're mad at Samuels for getting the story they didn't--or didn't even see was there, and they're mad at him for what he reported. The Washington Post has published three different pieces on Samuels, none favorable, including one by the editor of the book section.

The Post is mad of course because the Samuels piece publicly shamed the paper--after all, its main brief is to cover the local industry--the workings of the government of the United States. And yet as the article makes plain, Post reporters and especially columnists got spun and conned about the Iran deal. But much worse than that is that the Post got scooped on the story explaining how gullible they are. Scooped by the New York Times, in their own backyard on the biggest foreign policy story of the past four years! That's embarrassing.


[Jeffrey Goldberg, spinning like a top to defend himself] also seems to have lost focus, which is why he rushed to the defense of Laura Rozen, who draws her paycheck from a news organization owned by a Syrian-American businessman who supports Bashar al-Assad. Her employer, Al-Monitor, is the only U.S.-based media organization that has a pro-Hezbollah correspondent reporting from the Hezbollah front lines in Syria. The New York Times Magazine sure doesn't provide that kind of coverage, but maybe Rozen and her supporters think that's just evidence the Times is biased.

Rozen is super furious about a quote from the Rhodes aide who was responsible for running @TheIranDeal twitter feed. "Laura Rozen was my RSS feed," said Tanya Somanader. "She would just find everything and retweet it." Rozen, who says she's never met Somanader, nonetheless claims to know the White House staffer's mind and says Samuels is misreading her statement. "Samuels misunderstands or mischaracterizes what staffer-who I don't know-saying. she said she followed my Twitter feed. he reverses it," tweeted Rozen. Over the weekend, scores of journalists joined Rozen's bizarre hermeneutic exercise in an effort to defend her.

"Laura Rozen (@lrozen ) has been the best & most informative feed on #IranTalks. You rock Laura! Keep going," tweeted Abbas Aslani, "the General Director of World and FP at Tasnim News Agency," a news organization affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

"@abasinfo the writer who slandered me seemingly has contempt for both the negotiations with Iran, the journos who cover them, & who tweet," responded Rozen, sharing thoughts about journalism with a journalist from a propaganda wing of an institution that imprisons, tortures, and murders journalists.

Lots of journalists are defending Rozen. It's curious because when it came time for Rozen to choose between journalists and the echo chamber, she sided with the latter....

So why is so much of the press defending Rozen against Samuels? Why are they holding Samuels accountable for reporting what Rhodes said?

I notice a lot of people -- including folks sometimes credited as being fair -- are avoiding this story.

The Guild protects its own.

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posted by Ace at 03:23 PM

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