WSJ's Defense Of News Of The World: Hey, It's Not Like They Published Wikileaks Secrets

from the uh-what? dept

Lots of folks are pointing out the ridiculousness of a new editorial in the WSJ defending News Corp. (the owner of the WSJ) in the ongoing hacking debacle. Basically, it defends everything about News Corp. and its actions with a tiny nod to the fact that phone hacking is illegal at the beginning and at the end of the piece, but, even then, it tries to pin the blame on UK law enforcement rather than News Corps.' own actions:
Phone-hacking is illegal, and it is up to British authorities to enforce their laws. If Scotland Yard failed to do so adequately when the hacking was first uncovered several years ago, then that is more troubling than the hacking itself.
Uh, yeah. What struck me as even more ridiculous was the editorial's attempt to mock other publications for talking about this by noting that some of those publications (they're mainly talking about The Guardian, who has been the main force driving the phone hacking story for the past few years) worked with Julian Assange and Wikileaks:
The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur.
Let's see. One involves getting whistleblowers to expose corporate and government malfeasance... and one involved hacking into the phone of a dead girl and erasing messages, throwing off the investigation and giving her family hope. Sure, I can see how there's a moral equivalence there...

Does the editorial board at the WSJ really believe that the public is so stupid as to think that the two things are even remotely equivalent? And if so, why is it that the WSJ set up its own Wikileaks-competitor, with much weaker security and promises to protect identities?

It's a sad day when the Wall Street Journal admits it can't tell the difference between whistleblowing and reporters hacking into personal voicemails and then paying off police and others about it.


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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Actually, the schadenfreude is on them, if the current interrogation of the Murdochs is anything to go by.

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    The Fox News "coverage" of this is even worse.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9gOSsvLIO4

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Does the editorial board at the WSJ really believe that the public is so stupid as to think that the two things are even remotely equivalent?

    Yes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    I know that we're all super-anti-anyone-who-isn't-extremely-leftist around here, buuuuut its an editorial people, chill.

    Also the editorial was trying to defend the journalists who were not part of the scandel, though we may want to paint them all with the Murdoch brush, I'm sure there were many journalists there who only went in to work and then went back home everyday, without so much as a single cackle about 'hacking' into all the phones in britain.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    Agreed: the public is EASILY that stupid. That's why Fox "News" has an audience.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re:

    I find it ironic that the WSJ is claiming First Amendment in the name of NewsInt's executives, yet decrying it in the name of another Australian-born citizen, named Julian Assange.

     

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    Andrew (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Wikileaks = phone hacking

    I think someone at WSJ needs a reminder about the difference between 'the public interest' and 'of interest to the public'.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Who can spell "conflict of interest"

    WSJ - owned by News International
    FOX - owned by News International
    NotW - owned by News International
    .
    .
    .

    Do we see a pattern of interests here?

     

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  9.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    Who owns Fox News?

    Who owns Wall Street Journal?


    But the WSJ claims it has editorial independence from Rupert Murdoch.
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/wall-street-journal-editorial-independence-murdoch-144 244300.html

    Yeah. Right.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    How much of a "journalist" could one possibly be in order to work in that environment day-in day-out and yet remain blissfully ignorant of the massive abuse going on?

    We are left to conclude that anyone who says they were unaware is either an idiot or lying.

    I strongly suspect that the entire organization is rotten to the core, at ALL levels. Equally strongly, I suspect that nothing (of consequence) will happen to Murdoch -- harsh punishment is reserved for teenage hackers who share a few songs and is never doled out to the wealthy and powerful, even when they interfere in murder and terrorist investigations.

     

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    Spaceboy (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    The journalists that weren't part of the scandal and are cooperating with the police don't need defending, they need witness protection -

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/18/sean-hoare-dead-news-of-the-world-phone-hacking_n_90172 4.html

     

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    A.R.M. (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Another great example why the WSJ will never see a dime of my hard-earned money being taken by government handouts.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re:

    Never a dull moment with the AC's around. Fox news hates Obama, and the copyright max types hate Fox news. Simple reason for that, without him in office the ICE and the DOJ's actions come to an abrupt halt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:19am

    majority of media in this country is corrupt and only lives to serve special interest agendas. When murdoch bought WSJ the WSJ lost any and all credibility.

    Your post above is just 1 example of many

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    So let me make sure I have this right. According to the WSJ:

    1) Doing bad things (lying, hacking, bribing public official/police) is good (if a) you aren't caught and b) done in the name of "journalism").

    2) Doing good things (exposing people who are doing greedy, immoral, or outright illegal activities) is wrong.

    Gotcha.

    Or to quote Lightning McQueen "Thank you. Or should I say no thank you. Because maybe in opposite world that means thank you."

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Mike, tip of the day:
    When you use acronyms, please define them the first time you use them. Your habit of having us google all your acronyms is annoying. WTF is the WSJ? Yes, I had to waste 10 pointless seconds I could have used productively somewhere else...

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Re:

    Dang it. Now I have to look up "WTF".

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    There's a larger context, more to the story, and perhaps MUCH MORE to emerge: this is only on-the-fly damage control of course. The real story is the fascistic interrelations of major media and gov't, US and UK.

    By the way, a reporter named Sean Hoare was found dead yesterday: he's the one who, er, I forget the phrase (Google the name yourself), but made a connection from Murdoch to a Brit politician on various points of this. So, conjecture /has to be/ that Murdoch or gov't had him killed as a warning to others to stop this growing scandal.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re:

    Funny a million times!

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    "super-anti-anyone-who-isn't-extremely-leftist"?

    The what now?

    What is primarily argued on this site, is to leave a free market to be a free market, if it is your opinion that free market philosophy is of the left, then that is a new one on me.

    As someone left leaning myself and normally against free market philosophy; because in the non digital world all the factors that need to be equal for a free market to actually work to the benefit of everyone, don't.
    But in the digital world they do, and then we see those who benefit from and promote the "free market" in the analogue world, suddenly want all kinds of government intervention to prevent there being a free market in the digital world, the only place where the thing can actually truly exist.

    Now for my gratuitous swing at the U.S. right
    The opinions expressed on this site are not about left or right wing views on anything, they are perhaps mainly expressed by intelligent people and their views are generally based on facts which I can understand would naturally make many on the US right view them as egghead leftist socialist positions. Facts and intelligence are not in and of themselves of the left, even if facts and intelligent understanding of those facts might tend to make people lean that way on many issues.

    The facts here are that Murdoch controlled media interests are spinning the story as fast as they can to absolve the owners and principal beneficiaries of the actual crimes committed and passing the blame onto everyone else.
    That is not about protecting journalists, it's way more important than that, it's about protecting extremely fat wallets and the people who hold them.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re: Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, if you don't have the evidence to make such a massive claim then keep your fingers in your mittens.

     

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    el_segfaulto (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In all fairness, I'm an absolute copyright minimalist (freetardus americanus) and abslutely loathe Fox News and everything they stand for. They are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the republican party (full disclosure, I'm registered independent) and do nothing more than spew hatred and ignorance to anybody dumb enough to watch for more than five minutes. Unfortunately there's a good chunk of my country that thrives on hate and ignorance.

     

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  23.  
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    txpatriot, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    To Masnic and all his drones piling on the WSJ: please quote even a SINGLE sentence in which the WSJ "defends" NoTW's phone hacking?

    Yeah, I thought so . . .

     

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    Oz, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Ha.

    So by their own logic they could kill people and, if they're not caught by the authorities, could continue killing people as long as they want without repercussions?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    "To Masnic and all his drones piling on the WSJ: please quote even a SINGLE sentence in which the WSJ "defends" NoTW's phone hacking?

    Yeah, I thought so . . ."

    You thought? Seriously?

    I wouldn't have believed it but I'll take your word for it.

    Did you notice Mike make that claim anywhere or did you perhaps fail to notice that he was pointing out that the WSJ was defending News Corp. the parent company of both itself and the now defunct NOTW, by assigning responsibility to everyone but the owners and principle beneficiaries.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    Ah, but there are *no* claims in that comment. Poster out_of_the_blue used the word "conjecture", and given what we have seen online (and offline) during the last 24 hours, that word is entirely apropos.

    Thus you are demanding evidence for a claim that not -- yet -- been made.

    As to the conjecture: only pathetically weak-minded fools would consider the timing of this death a coincidence. it's obvious to everyone whose intelligence rates above "reptilian" that there IS a connection. However, that leaves open the nature of that connection, and on that point, there are precious few facts available today. None that I've seen provide any usable indication of what really happened, and if we (optimistically) believe that the investigation is being done fairly, that is, without an eye toward protecting anyone, then it's possible we will not have any additional (and useful) facts for some time, as they will be closely kept in order to avoid botching the investigation. If on the other hand this is merely a charade, then we can expect leaks early and often -- judiciously selected, of course, to produce the desired public opinions.

    Incidentally, the AP reports that Hertfordshire Police went to his house "because they had concerns for his welfare". The AP does not report WHY police had such concerns, an omission that I find interesting.

     

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  27.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    I know that we're all super-anti-anyone-who-isn't-extremely-leftist around here, buuuuut its an editorial people, chill.


    Huh?!? Since when?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry Mike, you know it's true, just like MSM, if you ain't Fox, then you are leftist and biased.
    Not balanced and fair like what they are.

     

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  29.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    "To Masnic and all his drones piling on the WSJ: please quote even a SINGLE sentence in which the WSJ "defends" NoTW's phone hacking?"

    That wasn't the claim. You need to read, friend. The issue is that they're minimizing what occurred.

    Seriously? "Phone-hacking is illegal, and it is up to British authorities to enforce their laws. If Scotland Yard failed to do so adequately when the hacking was first uncovered several years ago, then that is more troubling than the hacking itself."

    Uh, no it isn't. The lack of a solution to a problem is NEVER more troubling than the problem itself, because w/o that problem there would be no need of a solution.

    "Oh, yes, terrorism is bad, but more troubling is that we can't stop it."

    Uh, no? The terrorism is still more troubling....

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re:

    You sir, win.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    Conjecture here is simply a coy and ineffective cover to put forward a claim about something dreadful for which there is no evidence, while being able to deny having made any claim.

    There is no conjecture by anyone to be taken seriously that this death is suspicious, but it is being investigated as all sudden deaths are, but because of his profile it will be handled by the major crimes unit.

    If there is anything suspicious after the post mortem and preliminary investigations, then there may be room for genuine conjecture.
    At the moment what you are doing is spinning crackpot conspiracy theories and making yourselves look like idiots.

    But it's a free internet, so feel free to carry on.
    There are many websites where your fanciful bullshit will be greeted with great joy rather than contempt.

     

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  32.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You forgot your pinktext to indicate sarcasm.

     

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  33.  
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    Old Fool (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    I cant see how any NtW journalist is 'innocent' they must have read the paper before applying for a job. Its typical Murdoch sensationalist hate-mongering, you cannot read it and believe its impartial reporting of world news.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think what people forget about sarcasm, is that while it can be pointed it should not be pointed out, except afterwards and then only rarely.
    It's quite a lot like double entendres it should sail over the heads of everyone who doesn't get it, it's intended to.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Admittedly that one was more a cosh than anything that could be expected to sail over anyone's head. But there are a lot of people who turn to certain media organisations belonging to the family canidae who would agree with my clumsy and blatant statement with no hint of disingenuousness.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    I think the first quote is sensible. I mean, we can't expect a rag like News of the World to abide by ethical standards. So it's disturbing that they went that far, but not unexpected. I mean, monkeys throw poo. It's unfortunate, but not unexpected. On the other hand, the police officers who failed to act are expected to act professionally. They should have sent a SWAT team to bust down the door, arrested the News of the World staff, detained them incommunicado under anti-terrorism statutes and deported them to be tortured in secret prisons. That's what we have a right to expect from law enforcement.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    "At the moment what you are doing is spinning crackpot conspiracy theories [...]"

    Your reading comprehension, or lack thereof, is appalling. No theory, crackpot or otherwise has been advanced.

     

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  38.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re:

    And to think it took me 20 seconds to find out who you are - I wish you'd just sign in with your own name instead of trying to hide in the AC (that's Anonymous Coward - just to save you the time!) blanket.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    You keep telling that to the voices in your head.

     

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  40.  
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    hmm (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    dear mike

    Please stop dissing the WSJ, they are trying their level best to come up with a reason for shutting down in August and you aren't making it easy for them.

    Gotta blame those "misguided members of the public" not the fact that your own organization maliciously pretended a murder victim was alive, (allegedly) may have planted evidence that someone was a terrorist (causing them to get shot in the head on the London Underground), (alleged) insider trading being the reason for purchasing WSJ/Dow Jones and so many other things (we won't even mention the allegations that someone very high up at NI tried to engineer an assassination attempt on the Queen of England by freely giving away her personal security arrangements).....

     

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  41.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's quite a lot like double entendres it should sail over the heads of everyone who doesn't get it, it's intended to.

    If you know what I mean. Right, guys?

     

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  42.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    You seem to have missed the WSJ defending Fox from allegations back in 2006 over the same damned thing that's going on now.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    And to think you failed so much? I never had an account, nor will I probably ever.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike doesn't care about what ACs think, so good luck with acronyms. And you sir fail epicly at being funny. I guess fanboys (see I didn't use freetards) like bad humor...

     

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  45.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 5:35pm

    Re:

    When you use acronyms, please define them the first time you use them. Your habit of having us google all your acronyms is annoying.

    I assume a certain level of knowledge among my readership.

     

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  46.  
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    abc gum, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Mike doesn't care about what ACs think"

    A rather brash statement lacking any foundation, care to elaborate?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Clown, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:24pm

    Not true

    Often, after posting Anonymous, too lazy to pull out my 10,000-websites very-secure-passwords file but still interested in not being identified with at least two of the Anonymous Cowards that regularly post here with the aim of going, "nyah nyah Mikey's a retard" (which are pretty easy to spot by their "fist" [sorry acronymn guy, you'll have to GTY [[google that yourself]]]), I definitely occasionally hear Mike chuckle in the psychic ether that is teh intertubez when I manage a good one. When the wind is right. And it's quiet. And he's not asleep.

     

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  48.  
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    Mike Kevitt, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

    phone hacking and "whistleblowing"

    The press & media blasting gov't. classified data to the public isn't mere whistleblowing. It's CRIME, fully on a par with phone hacking, with probable consequences worse than even those in the hacking case at hand. Concerning classified data, the press & media are on a par with Assange & PFC Manning: criminals. Without clearance & need to know, no one has any business knowing classified data. You may, by right, object to U.S. foreign policy & to the criteria & amount of classification. But, the 1st. Amendment doesn't confer the right to free-wheeling with classified data, to access, use & blast it to the public. That's a CRIME, period, & a criminal way to object to what you don't like.

     

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  49.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dumb troll is dumb.

     

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  50.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:30pm

    Re: phone hacking and "whistleblowing"

    And yet, still noone has managed to proof that what Assange did, was illegal (nor did any of the foretold really bad consequences happen). Tough shit.

     

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  51.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think you'll find the term is 'epically.'

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 1:31am

    Re: phone hacking and "whistleblowing"

    You might want to read up on your history before revealing your ignorance, next time.

     

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  53.  
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    indieThing (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 3:57am

    Re: phone hacking and "whistleblowing"

    I presume you don't know that Julian Assange is not a US citizen and therefore is not required to comply with U.S. laws, unless you believe that America owns the rest of the world as well!

    So, if he hasn't broken any of his own countrys laws, how can he be a criminal ?

     

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  54.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Re: phone hacking and "whistleblowing"

    Pretty broad brush you're using there, Zippy. So the press and the media are "criminals" in your view? Tell us, what color is the sky on your planet? Once classified data is released in a massive manner, its classification has been rendered meaningless, and putting the genie back in the bottle is no longer an option. Your simple mind seems to overlook that very simple fact. If I run across classified data on the internet, who are you to tell me I have no business knowing it? Oh, I see, you have no business at all telling me what I can and cannot know. My advice to you is to STFU and GTFOH.

     

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  55.  
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    nasch (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wink, wink.

     

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  56.  
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    nasch (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    Wow. I hope Jon Stewart plays Ducey complaining about how there are much more important things going on to talk about, and then a bunch of clips of stupid meaningless fluff that Fox is covering. I mean, right after this piece he says "coming up, Casey Anthony..." That's the stuff that's so important we don't have time to talk about News of the World?

    And the guy he interviewed, what is his deal? "Citibank, great bank. Bank of America, great bank." Say what now? And he said regarding why news organizations are covering the phone hacking story: "I can't understand it." Then you shouldn't be on TV talking about it.

     

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  57.  
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    nasch (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't forget that Fox News, WSJ, and Murdoch supported war in Iraq.

    As to the conjecture: only pathetically weak-minded fools would consider the timing of this death a coincidence. it's obvious to everyone whose intelligence rates above "reptilian" that there IS a connection.

    It's obvious that it should be investigated thoroughly (but perhaps not by Scotland Yard). It's obvious there may be a connection. It also should be obvious that there are coincidences, people die unexpectedly every day, and it's possible it has nothing to do with current events. I find it strange for you to conclude that it's obvious what happened when you have no evidence of what happened.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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