Yes, Even If You Think Project Veritas Are A Bunch Of Malicious Grifters, FBI Raid Is Concerning

from the press-freedom-matters dept

I am no fan of Project Veritas. They appear to be a group of malicious grifters, deliberately distorting things, presenting them out of context to fit (or make) a narrative. Even so (or perhaps, especially so), we should be extremely concerned about the FBI's recent raid on Project Veritas' founder James O'Keefe and two of his colleagues.

The FBI and DOJ say they're investigating the apparent theft of a diary belonging to Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley, which later ended up in Project Veritas' hands. But, as we've discussed for many years, there are serious 1st Amendment questions involved when the government is raiding the homes of journalists and seizing their computers, phones, and other records. I'm assuming that some of you are going to say that this shouldn't matter because O'Keefe and Veritas aren't "real journalists," and we'll get to that argument later. But the simple fact is that after many years (and multiple administrations lead by both parties) in which the DOJ felt free to collect journalist records, earlier this year, we were told that the DOJ was finally going to no longer sweep up journalist records (though even then it noted that didn't apply in cases where the journalists themselves were targets of a criminal investigation -- as was the case here).

However, unless there's really strong evidence indicating that Project Veritas was involved in the actual theft of the diary, if the organization was merely the recipient of that diary, then these raids raise many, many concerns about violations of press freedoms and the use of law enforcement to intimidate the press.

Many others seem to be similarly concerned, as this is raising a lot of alarm bells for those who work on press freedom issues:

“This is just beyond belief,” said University of Minnesota law professor Jane Kirtley, a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “I’m not a big fan of Project Veritas, but this is just over the top. I hope they get a serious reprimand from the court because I think this is just wrong.”

The ACLU is also quite concerned:

“Project Veritas has engaged in disgraceful deceptions, and reasonable observers might not consider their activities to be journalism at all. Nevertheless, the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom. Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures. We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement officers review only those materials that were lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a legitimate criminal investigation.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists is equally worried:

“While we do not endorse some of the tactics Project Veritas employs, the FBI’s recent raids on the organization’s founder and his associates represent a concerning overreach by law enforcement,” said CPJ U.S. and Canada Program Coordinator Katherine Jacobsen. “The government must provide a clear link between members of Project Veritas and alleged criminal activity before searching their homes for information about source material. Conducting raids without this kind of link sets a dangerous precedent that could allow law enforcement to search and confiscate reporters’ unpublished source material in vague attempts to identify whistleblowers.”

But, yes, as mentioned earlier, I'm sure some people are saying that Project Veritas and James O'Keefe aren't "real" journalists. And, I'm certainly sympathetic to the idea that O'Keefe makes a mockery of actual journalism with his out of context and extremely misleading releases. But, part of having a "freedom of the press" means not allowing the government to determine who is and who is not press. Because that power alone creates massive limits on a free press. If the government can unilaterally decide that certain organizations are not "really" journalists, then that enables them to punish any news organization they want. Think how a Trump administration might use that power against the NY Times or CNN.

It's okay to call out Project Veritas for their ridiculous and misleading reporting. You can personally believe that they are doing dangerous work. But the government cannot unilaterally declare them not to be press in order to raid homes and seize notes -- because if they can, they can do that to any journalist.

Another bit of pushback I heard on this was that mere "receipt of stolen goods" is, itself, a crime, and that somehow makes it okay to raid O'Keefe and his colleagues. Again, though, that would set a hugely dangerous precedent. Remember, the Nixon administration went after the NY Times and the Washington Post for receiving the Pentagon Papers from Daniel Ellsberg. Tons of whistleblowers and leakers hand over documents to journalists that they have no legal right to copy or take (and they may face legal consequences in doing so). But the media who receives those works should not be subject to raids and intimidation from the government. Even if they're a bunch of ridiculous grifters intent on publishing utter nonsense.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, ashley biden, doj, fbi, free speech, james o'keefe, journalism, raids, reporting, source protection
Companies: project veritas


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 1:57pm

    What’s sad is that Project Veritas can now use this situation as a pretext to grift gullible moro…I mean, fundraise for future bullshit stories by (somewhat accurately) claiming persecution at the hands of Democrats. Even when they “lose”, they win.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:54am

      Re:

      "Even when they “lose”, they win."

      The real winners here would be the FBI. Whether the pretext is flimsy or not they obtain all the dirt O'Keefe has on anyone he's ever spied on, including that he chose not to publish for fear of slander charges.

      And if they're lucky they obtain that diary and it contains something they can hold over Biden's head as well.

      Here's my guess; This is just the FBI once again trying to go back to the glory days of Hoover when they were a government in and unto themselves just because of all the dirt they had on everyone from both sides of the house.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 20 Nov 2021 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re:

        Say what you want about PV. The fact is dirt differs no matter who they are are vital to democracy. Be it the one sided hits of PV or the fu world idea of wikileaks.

        There’s little doubt that this has nothing to do with a diary and everything to do with grabbing and sealing up every bit of everything he has. And bending the info to the wills of the FBI who for some time has shown it doesn’t care who is in office when they break standard methods.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Nov 2021 @ 8:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The fact is dirt differs no matter who they are are vital to democracy. Be it the one sided hits of PV or the fu world idea of wikileaks. "

          Problem is that PV isn't reporting facts as such. They report a narrative often only loosely associated with what facts they've found, if that. Their behavior during the election, walking in literal lockstep with Giuliani demonstrates as much. Now if they are going balls to the wall claiming grand malfeasance and voter fraud is a thing then they really need to show why they think so to a judge. But so far all we ever got from them was promises of a grand revelation and then, like with Giuliani, zip, zero, nada. It's a damn shame Ilmar Omar didn't sue for discovery - it might have seen O'Keefe pulling the Tucker Carlson defense.

          Wikileaks, meanwhile, issued the bulk of their revelations after publisher's curation only. And that evidence stood as pretty damning on its own. The fact that wikileaks was instantly branded a threat to national security and had the NSA taking down every webpage and copy of the material they could find was an indicator what was released was fairly legit.

          I'm inclined to the belief that the FBI is acting out of no more lofty premises than their own hides. Judging by their past behavior, much of which came up through the Church commission, If I were a betting man I'd put good money on a number of feds in high office being in a bit of a precarious position for various overreaches between 2016 and 2021 when the people giving the marching order were less enamored of details such as the law of the land.

          I mean, consider the border family separations under Trump. Those were so heavily against US law Biden had to quick fix by settle quickly in the hopes of not losing the nation multiple times that amount to a slew of slam-dunk lawsuits.

          If that's what the Border Patrol did I can only imagine what the FBI was up to.

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          • icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 22 Nov 2021 @ 9:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I still question the ability of a offending criminal non resident to actually advance a suit without the government going along with it. They are not citizens nor legal residents.
            So the government could easily use immunity to quash the suit. No?

            Given the law does not make mention that “families” crossing the border illegally must not be separated.
            Whatever feeling about the actions you have, where did they break the law?

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 2:08pm

    Son of a quark...

    Dammit FBI you screwed up so badly that now I'm and others are having to defend Project bloody Veritas for the sake of actual journalists, that takes faceplanting to truly new and impressive-for-all-the-wrong reasons level.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:29am

      Re: Son of a quark...

      One of the issues in being principled is that you have to apply it even when the wronged party is a shameless set of grifting douchebags eager to con multitudes of gullible morons into self-harm.

      It's so much easier being on the alt-right, because they only ever really care about their side always being in the right and the other always being in the wrong, principles and consistency be hanged.

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 2:24pm

    However, unless there's really strong evidence indicating that Project Veritas was involved in the actual theft of the diary, if the organization was merely the recipient of that diary, then these raids raise many, many concerns about violations of press freedoms and the use of law enforcement to intimidate the press.

    That "unless" is an important one.

    I find it very easy to believe that O'Keefe had some personal involvement in stealing the diary -- remember he previously got busted trying to tap Senator Landrieu's phone -- but I also find it very easy to believe the FBI overstepped its authority in order to intimidate and make an example of someone.

    I'll have to see more evidence before I decide which side I ultimately come down on here. But you're right, absent any evidence that O'Keefe was involved in the theft, this is concerning.

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

    • identicon
      Alex, 18 Nov 2021 @ 3:11pm

      Re:

      Its project Veritas. They were likely involved in the actual theft.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 4:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Argumentum ad hominem is not evidence.

        i certainly hope it isn't enough for a warrant, but history basically proves my hope, in this regard, is stupid.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Argumentum ad hominem is not evidence."

          It's not. But, essentially saying "given the track record of these grifting con artists, it would not be surprising if they did commit crimes to generate their next scam" is not an ad hominem argument. It's a simple observation.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And i wouldn't find it surprising either. Making claims is another ball of wax. Thad's post covered that sensibly.

            Maybe i should read Alex's more charitably? But to me it seems more like the kind of non-nuanced one-line stuff that makes everything a hyped binary warzone.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 6:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Argumentum ad hominem is not evidence.

          What if it's reworded to "based on my training and experience?"

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:36am

        Re: Re:

        "Its project Veritas. They were likely involved in the actual theft."

        Lest we forget. Yes, it's indeed "Project Veritas". A grift machine designed to con the gullible because they want the funding and watching the world burn. O'Keefe in particular has a very definite agenda and long ago lost all claim to being an "independent" journalist, given how his tongue is so far up the ass of the Trumpist cause he can taste what they had for lunch.

        On the other hand, also lest we forget, we're talking about the FBI. An organization which has never since its inception been known to be scrupulous about their means.

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

      • identicon
        LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:43am

        Re: Re:

        There is no evidence that this stupid thing was stolen in the first place.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "There is no evidence that this stupid thing was stolen in the first place."

          There's no evidence that anything, through history, has ever been "stolen". Proving a negative is...logically not very constructive.

          But if person A states an object missing and loss through negligence has been ruled out then the police are going to take the word of person A that the missing object has, in fact, been stolen.

          O'Keefe has a record of not caring overly much regarding either the ways through which he obtains his talking points or the objective deductions he draws from it. We know from his past that he's not above breaking the law and lying about his findings if it serves his personal purpose.

          That said; We could assume almost any plausible scenario - from O'Keefe seen on a picture sneaking off with the missing diary badly hidden under a shady cloak, to O'Keefe receiving said diary from someone else - and it would still serve as a very flimsy pretext for the FBI to act as they did here.

          The thing is, the FBI also has a record. And that record shows a mad dog biting everyone no matter which side of the aisle they're on, for the express purpose of obtaining blackmail material to use in "negotiations" about the funding, oversight and development of the FBI.

          Here's my guess. The FBI are after whatever dirt O'Keefe may have on republican or democrat alike, and if the "diary" consists anything they can use, that'll be a bonus.

          I doubt this is very political beyond that it's the type of power play Hoover was infamous for. It must sting the directors of that agency, used to lording it over everyone, when they can be summoned like serfs to explain themselves to elected representatives at whim.

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

          • identicon
            LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            “ There's no evidence that anything, through history, has ever been "stolen". Proving a negative is...logically not very constructive.”

            Hmm, well then. The entire edifice of current far-wing “thought” must come crashing down if it’s not constructive to be forced to prove a negative.

            People who like Trump must somehow prove they are not racists. People who like abortion must somehow prove they don’t hate unborn babies. And so on.

            But the point is, show evidence or refrain from characterization. It went missing is all we can safely assume at this time. Further, to accuse a third party of likely having been involved also requires some actual evidence other than “i don’t like him, i think he’s been bad in the past, so is therefore likely guilty of this”.

            That’s prosecutorial police-state thinking at its finest.

            I agree generally with your last thought that this could be an FBI power play. Be careful not to succumb to thinking like them.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 4:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "People who like Trump must somehow prove they are not racists. People who like abortion must somehow prove they don’t hate unborn babies. And so on."

              False equivalence; People who are demonstrably being racist are, in fact, already proving that they're being racist. No one is asking a trumpist to prove they aren't racist. Trumpist are simply asked to stop it with racist behavior. And that includes providing direct support to racists. Which unfortunately is built right into their whole platform.

              False equivalence; People who are in favor of choice haven't implied they hate babies. They've implied they are in favor of choice. They may clarify why but no further conclusions can be drawn from the evidence.

              You see, proving a negative is very, very hard. Which is why the demand to do so is the traditional tool of bad faith rhetoric trolls. In politics mainly used by Goebbels, the KKK and other organizations and people unable to muster actual facts to prove their arguments.

              "But the point is, show evidence or refrain from characterization."

              You mean like Marjorie Taylor Greene running an anti-semite rant about jewish space lasers burning down the west coast, Trump bragging about how celebrities can grab random women by the pussy, how a republican school board in Tennessee decided to vote for burning ideologically inconvenient books, or how statistics show people of color are two to three times as likely to get shot by police than white people?

              The problem here is that you people aren't interested in evidence. You're interested in hearing what supports your tribe of cavemen so you don't have to - god forbid - adjust your narrative.

              There are 14 tangible and easily observed points of behavior which make out the dictionary-definition of fascists. Most fascist regimes currently in the world don't even manage to hit all of those points. The current GOP, however, meets all 14.

              So we show you the evidence, you ignore it, toss back some dystopian fairy tale about Killary's Cannibal Cult, then demand evidence again. It's pretty clear there's no use in debating people who have no interest in actual debate in the first place.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 4:52am

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

                "No one is asking a trumpist to prove they aren't racist. Trumpist are simply asked to stop it with racist behavior"

                QFT. There have always been a lot of racists around, it's just that before Obama scared them and Trump emboldened them, they kept it relatively quiet. Now, they seem to think they have free reign to be explicitly and loudly hateful, and the rest of us would rather they toned it down a bit.

                You can't necessarily stop the racists from being racists, but it would be nice if they returned to just grumbling about not being able to use the n word even though "those people" are allowed to use it, rather than what we see now.

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

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:12am

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

                  "You can't necessarily stop the racists from being racists, but it would be nice if they returned to just grumbling about not being able to use the n word even though "those people" are allowed to use it, rather than what we see now."

                  The rhetoric has taken a nosedive in that regard ever since Trump came out and gave the KKK, Neo-nazis and the Proud Boys lebensraum in his tacit acknowledgment of them being an equal party. Which, given that the core ideology is "racism" vs "equality" means that the bar wasn't so much lowered as removed entirely when it came to who was given a seat at the table.

                  The fact that the entire Trump movement and the alt-right started using keywords and dog whistles like "Fake news" (Lügenpresse), "Big Lie" (grosse lüge), the recurring use of the number 88, the SS odal rune-shape podium in that CPAC...all the other uses of very distinct nazi symbology...all points to the fact that Trump and the current GOP have focused their base-building on those people eager and willing to exert violence and great efforts on their behalf. Because in modern america those views have become normalized. Part of the regular discourse.

                  Yeah, you can't stop racists from being racist...but you can bar them from any place owned by liberals. You can tell them if they want to spout bullshit about the jewish conspiracy or the antifan cannibal cult helmed by the Kenyan Muslim they aren't welcome.
                  And the failure of liberals to draw that line in sand long ago is why these people are so encouraged now.

                  Facebook, twitter and all the other social platforms paying lip service to a ToS demanding a decent environment should have put their foot down from the very beginning. Now it may be too late for that.

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 7:09am

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

                You know zero about me. I have no tribe. You do of course, and being part of that tribe requires you to state, fact-free, that every fifth person in America is racist simply because they voted for an asshole.

                I didn’t insult you. But since you started it, you sir are a blind fool, filled with hatred. What the hell is a killary cult anyway?

                All i did was say “don’t say something is stolen if you don’t know it’s stolen” God, you far left wing nutjobs are so exasperating!

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

                • identicon
                  LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 7:22am

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

                  Meant for scary, not Paul. Sorry Paul!

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

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:25am

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

                  "You do of course, and being part of that tribe requires you to state, fact-free, that every fifth person in America is racist simply because they voted for an asshole."

                  H.R Maxon's principle still stands. Those who voted for the racist and stood with the racist aren't given benefit of doubt even if they claim they only voted for the guy because he stood for something else as well.

                  "I didn’t insult you. But since you started it, you sir are a blind fool, filled with hatred. What the hell is a killary cult anyway?"

                  Short memory? The GOP spent four years supporting the idea that "Killary" - as they named hillary Clinton - was guilty of genocide, and by the Qanon adherents, plenty of whom are in congress, part of a cannibal cult. You want to tell me I'm filled with hatred when I state that the Qanon crowd and the likes of Hawley and MTG are racist fuckwits - for them being on open camera demonstrating such? Then no. You only project yourself as desperately trying to deflect blame.

                  And yes. You asserting flaming gibberish and falsehoods is indeed insulting to anyone with a working brain. If you start throwing feces in people's faces it really doesn't matter which tone you use to do it with.

                  "All i did was say “don’t say something is stolen if you don’t know it’s stolen” God, you far left wing nutjobs are so exasperating!"

                  And then you said;

                  People who like Trump must somehow prove they are not racists. People who like abortion must somehow prove they don’t hate unborn babies. And so on.

                  Which is the absolute reversal of causal reality and logic. I'm afraid more people than "left wing nutjobs" react extremely badly to bad faith arguments and utter bullshit.

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

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:09am

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

                    I hate that it’s necessary to do this.

                    I have nothing to do with the Republicans. I have no political affiliation. I am not alt right and have said nothing to indicate the opposite. I voted for Biden, and never voted for Trump.

                    I hate cops. I hate war. I hate 99% (at least) of politicians. I hate political grandstanding. I hate racism, fascism, socialism, and communism. I disagree with many conventional political positions.

                    I love free speech. Abortion is a right protected by the constitution. The fourth amendment is a big deal. I love facts.

                    I believe 9/11 was partially America’s fault. I believe George floyd was murdered. I believe Assange should be free and Snowden is a hero. I believe college professors should teach however they want. I believe in year round DST.

                    I believe that forcing people to take an injection is an intrusion on their body. I believe drugs shouldn’t be illegal, and neither should prostitution.

                    You are making things up. Apologize for making the accusations and associating me with things that have nothing to do with me.

                    Flaming gibberish? Really?

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:26pm

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

                      I believe in year round DST.

                      You utter maniac! Year-round standard time!

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Nov 2021 @ 9:04am

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

                      I may just have lost it for a second there. Let me first begin with an apology, Because your statement...

                      "You do of course, and being part of that tribe requires you to state, fact-free, that every fifth person in America is racist simply because they voted for an asshole."

                      ...Set me off completely. Yes. The guy who votes for someone who is that openly a fascist and racist as Trump has been for 40 years or more - has sent a statement clearer than any you can make that they are OK with a racist becoming their Dear Leader. That is literally how it works. 25% of the US stood and voted that they were OK with that.

                      Because over here in Europe we still remember - those are the people who in the end catapult a Hitler into power. Not the rabid morons marching waving odal banners. Not the guys with tiki torches wearing bedsheets.

                      It's the people who looked at Trump and said "Not my first, second or third choice, but OK" rather than "No, Hell NO". Historically? Those people are what enables an autocratic fascist state to emerge. Because they are not like Röhm's Sturmabteilung - so steeped in the religion of hate they can hardly function in ordinary society - but simply don't give more of a shit about the consequences of their actions than "Well, I'm not jewish..", or in this case "black or latino".

                      So yeah, I blew my top here. For which I apologize.
                      You, however, are in a worse quandary. Because if you believe those 25% aren't that bad then the future will have grim and unwelcome news for you.

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

                • icon
                  Toom1275 (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:32am

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

                  [Projects facts not in evidence]

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

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2021 @ 4:20am

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

                  Wow, a left-wing WOKE nutjob in the wild!

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 7:29am

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

                What evidence? No evidence of theft of the diary yet. Show me!

                Who the hell was talking about fascism? Wasn’t me. Show me where i mentioned fascism, approvingly or otherwise.

                Show me where i discussed police shootings, school boards, or lasers (wtf?????!?!) approvingly or otherwise.

                Or apologize.

                You’re a very mean person. You’re a bully. You out-trump Trump, and that takes some doing.

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

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:28am

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

                  "You’re a very mean person. You’re a bully. You out-trump Trump, and that takes some doing."

                  Damn, you alt-right snowflakes are so brittle when someone calls you on your bullshit. At least when Koby gets confronted with trying to gaslight people about something he knows better than to double down on it.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:57am

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

                    And you're acting cowardly by not directly answering her questions, SDM. You're just so used to attacking anyone who thinks differently than you do that it's a reflex action at this point. Either show her what she asked you to show her or admit you were wrong. Doing neither will also be taken as an admission you were wrong. So you only have one way to save face.

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

                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 3:02am

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

                      "You're just so used to attacking anyone who thinks differently than you do that it's a reflex action at this point. "

                      Around these forums anyone bringing up certain classic alt-right talking points will simply be assumed to be one of those alt-right sock puppets we keep finding here. After ten years of people trying to wedge in a red herring, false analogy or straw man to derail the debate most people here have run out of patience to check twice if a commenter was making a genuine mistake or not.

                      Defense of Project Veritas tends to be one of those talking points. Now, If Little Cupcakes really isn't yet another run by people like Koby or Shel10 to present that same talking point under a new nick once again then I can only apologize for blowing my top.

                      This is why most long-time posters here make an account. Credibility and benefit of doubt in this place relies heavily on your posting and comment history since everyone who's been here for a few years has found themselves rolled by one-man armies sockpuppeting a topic into oblivion.

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                      • icon
                        Lostinlodos (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 11:45am

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

                        Unfortunately the generic grouping is just dragnet and catches any alternative view in the process.

                        I don’t support PV per say. I support their right to say what they want just like MSNBC or OAN. Or the Daily Bizarre
                        Doesn’t matter if you like it or agree.
                        Be it The Word or Hustler Taboo.
                        The right to freedom of speech.

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                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 28 Nov 2021 @ 9:16am

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

                          "I don’t support PV per say. I support their right to say what they wan"

                          I support that. I also support the idea that people who recognise their long history of misleading propaganda to call them out on that and to correct anyone of the mistaken idea that they have anything valuable or completely factual to offer. Unfortunately, some people try holding them up as evidence for something because they happen to agree with the conclusion that their lies and misdirection point to.

                          "The right to freedom of speech."

                          Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences, which includes people responding to the lies.

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                  • identicon
                    LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:13am

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

                    Who is Koby?

                    Remember who started the insults.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2021 @ 4:24am

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

                      Koby is our resident Nazi grandpa.

                      Who keeps trying to sell the narrative that Trump did nothing wrong.

                      Some of us are sick and tired of these damn Nazi grifters trying to gaslight this community.

                      You have to defend yourself online and it sucks? Too fucking bad, I have to do it all the time in my country.

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          • icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 20 Nov 2021 @ 11:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Here's my guess. The FBI are after whatever dirt O'Keefe may have on republican or democrat alike

            Exactly. You don’t have to like him to admit one strong fact. Good or bad.
            He’s good at what he does.

            Zero doubt he has have dirt on everyone.
            Nor the interest of the FBI in that dirt.

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            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 21 Nov 2021 @ 11:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              He’s good at what he does.

              That being fabicrating insane fact-free stories that those with dementia lap right up.

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              • icon
                BernardoVerda (profile), 22 Nov 2021 @ 1:54pm

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

                After all; if Project Veritas could actually dig up actual evidence for Project Veritas narratives, they wouldn't have to keep faking/doctoring evidence to make their case - and if they were "good at it", they wouldn't keep getting caught doing it.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Nov 2021 @ 5:23am

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

                  "...if Project Veritas could actually dig up actual evidence for Project Veritas narratives, they wouldn't have to keep faking/doctoring evidence to make their case..."

                  Or it's a variant on the Tucker defense. Under US law fact and implausible implication is protected speech.

                  If O'Keefe obtains dirt on someone but not definitive proof he'd do better to sit on it because publishing a plausible accusation or implication opens him to a libel suit. Safer by far to only publish what he can establish as fact or that which is spun out of free fantasy.

                  To the FBI, with their resources, such indications are worth gold though, because the last thing they intend for is to publish whatever the information leads to.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 2:41pm

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Part of the problem we have today, is that when this was written, "the press" was readily identifiable. We have means of communicating undreamt of in the 18th century. We are fortunate that freedoms of the press and assemblage were included under the umbrella of "freedom of speech" rather than the other way around.

    (The definition of religion, too, has sometimes been murky. q.v. Moonies, atheism, Scientology, etc.)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 3:56pm

      Re:

      What.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

      The "abridging the freedom of speech" is the operative part. The following "or of the press" makes it clear that just because the speech is written down doesn't make it no longer "speech".

      Hand written letter are note "press", and yet can anyone point to a SCOTUS decision that hand written letters have no eligibility for 1A protections?

      I don't think your going to find any SCOTUS decisions that say we can not add digital communications (and less recently analog/radio) to the list of "speech, press, hand-written text".

      There is nothing vague about that part. Religion might be a bit vague, but I also suspect it always was, and that was intentional.

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  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 2:46pm

    concern should be on the other direction

    project veritas asked for, and got a Prior Restraint injunction against NYT today.
    Now NYT has to take down its story, and can't investigate, or publish anything else, or conduct any newsgathering, or ask for any documents relating to PV.
    Signed by Charles D Wood, Supreme Court Judge in Westchester county (where Jeanine Pino-gris was a judge for 2 years)

    copy of the prior restraint injunction is here:
    https://twitter.com/MatthewSchafer/status/1461408689353420805

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 3:20pm

      'Violations of rights are only important when it's OUR rights!'

      Ah the gross hypocrisy, from having their own rights violated to inflicting a violation on someone else, they truly are masterclass assholes and hypocrites.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 4:38pm

      Re: concern should be on the other direction

      that sounds bad, and concern can go both ways at the same time.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 10:59pm

      Re: concern should be on the other direction

      I can't wait for this to be used against Project Veritas when they perform their next act of "journalism"

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:47am

      Re: concern should be on the other direction

      That is a lie, K’Tetch (that sounds Klingon by the way).

      The NYT may not publish privileged information ( which is protected by attorney-client privilege) that is between PV and their lawyers.

      They may publish anything else they want regarding PV.

      Now, it is certainly an argument that NYT should be allowed to publish privileged information however it is absolute bullshit to write that they cannot publish anything about PV at all.

      And how did NYT get this privileged info in the first place? It was almost certainly illegally.

      I’m a champion of unrestrained journalism, but even I feel a little queasy about the publishing of leaked/stolen privileged material. I wouldn’t stop it, even if I could, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The right to attorney-client privilege is protected, deservedly so.

      This order is clear about what is restrained.

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      • icon
        wereisjessicahyde (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:51am

        Re: Re: concern should be on the other direction

        "The NYT may not publish privileged information ( which is protected by attorney-client privilege) that is between PV and their lawyers. "

        No. The NYT CAN publish privileged information. Attorney-client privilege is just that - attorney-client privilege. Third parties do not come into it, they can publish what they like.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: concern should be on the other direction

        The right to attorney-client privilege is protected, deservedly so.

        Yes, but it's attorney-client privilege, not newspaper-public figure privilege. If there is anyone who violated the privilege it's the attorney. If the information was obtained without the attorney's knowledge or consent, then whoever got it may have done so illegally. If the Times didn't have anything to do with that action, then I don't know of a legitimate legal means to prevent them from publishing it.

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        • identicon
          LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:29am

          Re: Re: Re: concern should be on the other direction

          Right, as i said, i wouldn’t stop them from publishing.

          I’m objecting only to K’Tetch’s unsupported assertion that the nyt is now prevented from publishing anything at all about PV.

          They can publish whatever they want under this order, except privileged material.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: concern should be on the other direction

            They can publish whatever they want under this order, except privileged material.

            Not sure you're getting my point. The NYT should not be bound by this privilege. The judge is extending attorney-client privilege to someone who is not the attorney. The client (who holds the privilege) has no relationship with the Times. IANAL but I don't see how that gag order is legal.

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            • icon
              Lostinlodos (profile), 20 Nov 2021 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: concern should be on the other direction

              I believe Little Cupcakes was pointing out the misinformation of the claim. Not the value of the order.
              The claim was the NYT couldn’t publish on PV period. And that is inaccurate.
              I question an order against publishing. But the reply to the statement is correct.

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      • icon
        K`Tetch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re: concern should be on the other direction

        It is klingon
        and priviledge only applies to attorneys and clients in so far as law enforcement is able to intrude and use it. If either party in any way releases it - even inadvetently - and a news org gets it, it's well within their power, ability and right to publish it.

        A-C priviledge is like a trademark - you don't get it and you get to keep it no matter what, you can only keep it if you keep within a very narrow set of rules.

        Likewise, a judge can't put prior restraint on a news org. And yes, this is prior restraint. For more, read Mike's latest piece on it.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 18 Nov 2021 @ 4:10pm

    Real journalists break laws, too. Being a journalist should no more be a shield against investigation and prosecution than being a cop or for any other jobs.

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 18 Nov 2021 @ 5:18pm

    What I want to know is...

    Did she write about hookers and cocaine episodes?

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  • icon
    Eldakka (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 5:47pm

    Are journalists/news organisations immune from receipt of stolen goods laws?

    If someone stole a car, and gave it to the NYT and the NYT added it to their corporate fleet of cars, would they be immune to receiving stolen goods because they are a newspaper?

    What about a burgular taking someones family silver cutlery, and giving it to CNN and they put it in their caffeteria for use? Would they be immune to receipt of stolen goods just because they are a news organistion?

    What about a manuscript, an author is traditional and uses an old-fashioned typewriter to type their manuscript. They then send that hand-typed manuscript to their publisher, it's the only one in existence, there are no computer files, no microfiche copies, no photocopies - the publisher has just received it and put it in their wallsafe and hasn't had a chance to make copies of it, and it is burgled - the original and only item in existence - and given to the NYP, not a copy, the actual hand-typed original, and they start publishing excerpts. Are they immune to receipt of stolen goods because they are a news organisation?

    As I understand it (I may be wrong), this isn't a copy of an electronic file, not photos taken of documents scattered on a desk, not even someone printing a copy of a document on a companies printer and taking those physical printouts to a paper. As I understand it, the diary is a physical diary, a book with hand-written pages on it, the only copy in existence. It isn't photos or photocopies of the diary, it is the actual physical diary that is owned personally by Ashley Biden.

    This is not an 'information' crime, it is a physical burglary of physical goods (a hand-written 'book') that may be in the possession of people who also are journalists. If that is the case, are they not in receipt of stolen goods, just like if they had a stolen car or jewelery or paintings from an art-heist?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 7:20pm

      Re:

      What about a classified document, an author is traditional and uses an old-fashioned typewriter to type their manuscript. They then send that hand-typed document to another agency, it's the only one in existence, there are no computer files, no microfiche copies, no photocopies - the agency has just received it and put it in their wallsafe and hasn't had a chance to make copies of it, and it is burgled - the original and only item in existence - and given to the NYP, not a copy, the actual hand-typed original, and they start publishing excerpts. Are they immune to receipt of stolen goods because they are a news organisation?

      Alternatively...

      What about a wildly damning internal investigation of a company or government agency, an author doesn't want to create a digital record and uses an old-fashioned typewriter to type their manuscript. They then send that hand-typed document to their boss, it's the only one in existence, there are no computer files, no microfiche copies, no photocopies - the publisher has just received it and put it in their wallsafe and hasn't had a chance to make copies of it, and it is burgled - the original and only item in existence - and given to the NYP, not a copy, the actual hand-typed original, and they start publishing excerpts. Are they immune to receipt of stolen goods because they are a news organisation?

      Starting to see the problem yet? If there's actual evidence that PV was involved with the theft itself then that would be one thing(though if that were the case you'd think the FBI would have lead with that to head off criticism so if they're not...) but barring that raiding them as though they were would very much be overkill and reek of intimidation/retribution which as the final paragraph of the article notes would not have worked out well in the past and would set a dangerous precedent for the future.

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    • icon
      TKnarr (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 8:30pm

      Re:

      It comes down to the "newsworthiness" test. The public has no real interest in a bunch of jewelry owned by anyone, so if the jewelry is stolen and given to a reporter the reporter has no protection (at least so long as they don't themselves know the items were stolen). The public does have an interest in knowing that eg. their elected officials are taking bribes, so if someone steals the documentation and gives it to a reporter who reports on it the reporter is protected because the public's interest in knowing their elected officials are corrupt has been deemed to be more important than the government's interest in prosecuting theft.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 11:07pm

      Re:

      Your speculations on what the evidence may be is irrelevant to the very real First Amendment violations this order permits. And yes, Ellsberg was prosecuted for smuggling out the Pentagon Papers, but the jury voted to acquit.

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  • icon
    elmo (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 9:37pm

    negotiating for purchase?

    Some of the reporting around the search mentioned that someone, Project Veritas, perhaps? was negotiating for the purchase of the stolen goods (the diary).

    Look at the fancy word construction from PV around the issue, and notice they speak of a “copy” of the diary (yet mention the diary was turned over to law enforcement, so not a copy). They talk about someone negotiating with someone. Who? the thieves? someone they offered money to a prior? We don’t know, but we sure can’t presume to know what investigators took to the court to support their request for a search warrant.

    I value protection of the fourth estate, but I don’t start from a position of assuming the worst when I know that law enforcement had to first approach a court to get permission to execute a search. Has anyone reviewed the sworn affidavit from the FBI Special Agent to see the nature of the evidence available to support the claim that there might be a basis for conducting a search?

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    • identicon
      LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:31am

      Re: negotiating for purchase?

      Assuming the worst of law enforcement is the best place to start. Trusting that they’re doing their jobs with a focus on the protection of rights is a bad call. See especially FISC warrants, not to mention the everyday warrants issued on officers’ “training and experience”.

      In fact, that the FBI is involved in this exceedingly minor matter should tell one all one needs to know about the propriety of this investigation.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:41am

      Re: negotiating for purchase?

      "I value protection of the fourth estate, but I don’t start from a position of assuming the worst when I know that law enforcement had to first approach a court to get permission to execute a search."

      Then again, the FBI in particular hasn't covered itself in glory since inception nor have US courts been all that good at abiding by constitutional principles lately.

      The main issue of determining who's in the right here is that none of the parties involved have anywhere close to a clean record.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2021 @ 11:13pm

    If Project Veritas got its way, their fav Presidential candidate would be doing regular raids on actual, credible people and organizations. Project Veritas can eat shit and rot like all fascists deserve.

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    • icon
      Strawb (profile), 18 Nov 2021 @ 11:57pm

      Re:

      So because you don't like them, they don't deserve the protection of the law?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:23am

        Re: Re:

        This isn’t about how I “don’t like them”. Thats true, of course, that I don’t like them, but it’s about their overall goal. They want fascist shitheels like Trump and more to get elected and stay in power. That would be bad for everyone. Conducting raids on fascist orgs that support fascist assholes is a good thing. If they want people in office that would deny rights and protection of the law to women, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, black people, and more, then frankly Project Veritas doesn’t deserve those rights and protection of the law.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If they want people in office that would deny rights and protection of the law to women, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, black people, and more, then frankly Project Veritas doesn’t deserve those rights and protection of the law.

          Fortunately that is not how the Constitution is written. Personally I don't want the government deciding who gets the rights and who doesn't.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Personally I think that the government should in fact decide that people like Project Veritas and more don’t deserve rights. This is because PV is using their rights to spread lies and bullshit rhetoric in support of politicians and policies that will take away far more people’s rights because they don’t give a fuck about the Constitution.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You say that after Trumps term as president, and an attempted insurrection based oh his lies, you show a real failure to understand consequences when those you are against use the laws you propose.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:38pm

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

                I say this after Trump’s term as President because I think that it’s a good thing to limit the rights of PV and more to spread lies and bullshit; limiting their rights to spread lies and bullshit is somethting that can serve to help stop something like the Trump Administration from ever happening again.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:58pm

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

                  But you're ok with whoever gets elected getting to decide what is "lies" and "bullshit". You really can't see how that would be an immediate disaster?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:47pm

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

                    Fun fact: Whoever gets elected has been able to decide what “lies” and “bullshit” are for the longest time, well before current day. The hope is that the people who get elected have some common fucking sense and decide that the lies and bullshit that are taken action against are actual lies and bullshit in ways that make things overall better for people. My hope is that the Biden Administration can tackle enough lies and bullshit and do enough damage to the folks spreading it that we never get another Trump situation again.

                    Neutering the ability for far-right reactionaries to get elected is a good thing. Disarming fascists of their tools and resources is a good thing. Otherwise we’re just gonna keep getting more Donald Trumps and Kyle Rittenhouses.

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                    • icon
                      nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:07pm

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

                      Fun fact: Whoever gets elected has been able to decide what “lies” and “bulls***” are for the longest time, well before current day.

                      Fun fact #2: lies and bullshit are legally protected from government action in the United States. This was done specifically because the government cannot be trusted with the power to decide who gets to say what.

                      My hope is that the Biden Administration can tackle enough lies and bullshit and do enough damage to the folks spreading it that we never get another Trump situation again.

                      And my hope is that we do not cede the Biden administration that kind of power, because it will definitely be used to nefarious ends sooner or later. My bet would be very soon.

                      Neutering the ability for far-right reactionaries to get elected is a good thing. Disarming fascists of their tools and resources is a good thing.

                      How can you be completely sure the effort will be 100% successful, such that no fascists ever come to power? Because if they do, you will have handed them the tools to utterly and permanently suppress all dissent. And you won't have any standing to complain about it, because it's exactly what you wanted.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:21pm

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

                        Idunno, can you be completely sure that keeping on with this status-quo where we play by the rules while the other team just lies, cheats, and steals will leave us in a better situation?

                        Because if they do, you will have handed them the tools to utterly and permanently suppress all dissent

                        Like a broken record, round and round, y’all keep using this as if it’s some brilliant gotcha when it’s not.

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                        • icon
                          nasch (profile), 20 Nov 2021 @ 8:31am

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

                          Idunno, can you be completely sure that keeping on with this status-quo where we play by the rules while the other team just lies, cheats, and steals will leave us in a better situation?

                          I am not. And never said I was. This is a terrible attempt at an argument though. Your implication is that since doing nothing may not work, we must instead do what you want, even though nobody knows if that will work either. Badly flawed argument.

                          Like a broken record, round and round, y’all keep using this as if it’s some brilliant gotcha when it’s not.

                          It has yet to be refuted. Would you care to do so?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:44pm

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

                  limiting their rights to spread lies and bullshit is somethting that can serve to help stop something like the Trump Administration from ever happening again.

                  It would also enable every corporation with a strong lobbying and/or campaign contribution presence to get their story made the official truth. And when, as is inevitable, another dictator wannabe gains power, you will have given them the tool they need to stay in power.

                  If you really want to live in a country where the government defines what is true, move to China.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:11pm

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

                    you will have given them the tool

                    I’d like to reiterate something I said farther down the comments thread:

                    They were already in power for the last four years and they didn’t give a fuck about precedent. They did what they wanted when they wanted. They got their way because they just kept pushing and pushing while rigging the courts while others said “No, you can’t do that!”.

                    They make their own tools. They aren’t looking for excuses or precedents to tear the fucking country apart. They do so anyway on their own terms, and don’t need a permission slip from someone else. That’s why my position is that, right now as we have an Administration that’s staffed with people that are actually capable of empathy and rational thought, we need to put the pressure and punishment on right-wing fascist shitheels and ensure that they don’t gain that power ever again.

                    Tolerating the intolerant hasn’t panned out. I’m sorry if that upsets you that I’m not adhering to standards that you hold so dear that were put in place by the long-dead white slave-owners and slave-rapists that founded this country.

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                    • identicon
                      Rocky, 19 Nov 2021 @ 5:53pm

                      And your solution which essentially is "fuck the constitution, fuck the laws", you don't think that will tear the country apart even worse?`

                      If you ignore laws out of convenience, you descend into anarchy where there is no checks and balances at all.

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                    • icon
                      nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:58pm

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

                      I’m sorry if that upsets you that I’m not adhering to standards that you hold so dear that were put in place by the long-dead white slave-owners and slave-rapists that founded this country.

                      Well if that's where you're going with this conversation, I'm not interested in continuing.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2021 @ 3:15am

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

                      And I'm not sorry you really want the US to be like Singapore.

                      Get your head out of your ass. People like you are why we're already living in the cyberpunk dystopia. You might as well say "I want to move to Singapore and China."

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2021 @ 5:01am

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

                      You would establish a fascists state in all but name to try and stop the fascists gaining power, whatever could go wrong with that.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          i really hate to dip this fly in your ointment, but raiding some org with suspect warrants on laughably thin evidence and then thinking it's ok because the target does some other stuff way outside the scope of the warrant that's wrong, is pretty much a fascist move.

          i have no idea about this warrant yet, but you don't either. And that thinking is authoritarian and police-statey is not specifically fascist, but the fascists you hate do love it.

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      identicon
      LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:30am

      Re:

      There is zero evidence for that assertion, except for the usual fever-dream nonsense that is common to far-wing nincompoops.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:47am

      Re:

      The rights that protect the absolute worst people are the ones that protect you if someone in power decides to twist the screws so think very carefully whenever you're tempted to dismiss potential rights violations simply because you don't like someone.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:34am

        Re: Re:

        Project Veritas doesn’t care about the rights of other people. This is why they work to get fascist shitheels into office. Why should I care about their rights? After all that’s happened over the last four years (and more, with the attempted coup and the shitshow that the GOP is putting on in Congress currently,), what actual fucking reason is there for me to go “You know what, maybe these people that want far right ideologues in office to oppress people that aren’t like them, and deserve the same rights as everyone else.”??

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why should I care about their rights?

          Because if you don't you are sinking to their level. (Left wing tyrannies are no different from right wing tyrannies, they just use different words).

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because if you don't you are sinking to their level.

            Not really. Clichéd “If we do this to them, we’ll be just as bad as them!” rhetoric has become laughable concern-trolling. This FBI raid on a fascist shitheel org is nothing compared to “their level”. People who want my friends & I to stop existing don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt or protections as journalistic orgs.

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              identicon
              LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 10:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wait, so O’Keefe and PV don’t want you to exist? Is that in one of their videos or something?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:48pm

          For your own sake, that's why

          Why should I care about their rights?

          Once more with emphasis then: Because the rights that protect them are the exact same rights that protect you, and if you are fine with their rights being violated when someone on your side and/or that you agree with has the power to do so you will be completely boned should that turn and they get power, because not only will you have supported the precedent of 'If I don't like you you don't get rights' but you'll have made it really hard to argue that all of a sudden those rights are worth protecting.

          Or as it was put in the play 'A Man for All Seasons'(emphasis mine)...

          William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”

          Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

          William Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!”

          Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:22pm

            Re: For your own sake, that's why

            You really do love quoting that scene as if it means something in this day and age.

            you will be completely boned should that turn and they get power, because not only will you have supported the precedent of 'If I don't like you you don't get rights' but you'll have made it really hard to argue that all of a sudden those rights are worth protecting.

            They were already in power for the last four years and they didn’t give a fuck about precedent. They did what they wanted when they wanted. They got their way because they just kept pushing and pushing while rigging the courts while others said “No, you can’t do that!”. Regardless of what the Biden Administration or the Democrats do, the fucks like Project Veritas and the politicians they support will do all they can to tear the fucking country apart, and are doing all they can right now to tear the fucking country apart, and sadly from the looks of shit over the last 5 years, it’s working.

            Playing by the rules while the other team slits the referee’s throat and shoots our players dead or tosses them in jail isn’t working.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:30pm

              Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

              Well, if you can't get why undermining the bridge you're both standing on is a bad idea enjoy playing right into their hands I guess.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:45pm

                Re: Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

                If you can’t get why playing by rules that no lonnger matter while the other team is cheating without consequence and winning is a bad idea, then I hope you’ve memorized the scene from A Man For All Seasons so you can recite it while you’re carted away to a concentration camp by the goons of the far-right politicians whose rights to lie and cheat you so boldly defend.

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                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 4:06pm

                  Ah yes, that's why they managed to get everything their way while they were in power, because they are cheating and the courts and laws that you are trying to gut were powerless to stop them.

                  They are bad enough when the law might not do enough to curb their excesses and corruption, what you are arguing is that even those flimsy limits should be thrown aside and like I said before you're playing right into their hands by doing so because if you think they're bad now wait until there's nothing keeping them in check.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:02pm

              Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

              They did what they wanted when they wanted.

              Perhaps you have forgotten how many things they tried to do were thwarted, either by the courts or by other means. Trump is an authoritarian, but his term was not a dictatorship, as much as he wanted it to be.

              Regardless of what the Biden Administration or the Democrats do, the fs like Project Veritas and the politicians they support will do all they can to tear the fing country apart, and are doing all they can right now to tear the f***ing country apart

              And giving the government the power to decide who is deserving of rights and who is not is just going to help that process along. I mean, that's the whole point of the Constitution. I don't understand how you can be in favor of such a thing unless you think the US, or at least the concept of democracy and rule of law in the US, needs to be destroyed completely.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:43pm

                Re: Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

                Trump got his Muslim Travel Ban after pushing against the courts constantly. Trump was able to help kill Roe v. Wade this year by installing right-wing Supreme Court justices who will be the bane of Democrats and progressives for a generation or two. Trump got his Tax Cuts & Jobs Act as a giveaway to the uber-rich. Trump tossed us out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and gave the country more reason to develop nukes than ever before. Trump got the power to separate immigrant families at the border and dehumanize them by putting them in concentration camps. Trump was able to stop trans people from being able to serve in the military.

                He and his pals got plenty of what they wanted, especially through the judges and justices that he appointed. The far right politicians who are now emboldened and saying the quiet parts out loud because they know they’ll face no consequences, are dead-set on finishing what he started. Sure, the Biden Admin can reverse executive decisions, but keeping Trump’s acolytes from seizing power again and just re-reversing them alongside doing so much worse? That’s going to take a lot more than “Vote Early, Vote Often” and “Counter Speech With More Speech”. But sadly those are the only two prescriptions that you seem to think will magically solve everything.

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                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 4:13pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

                  But sadly those are the only two prescriptions that you seem to think will magically solve everything.

                  You're already supporting the revocation of rights of those you don't like(and where have I heard that idea before...?) so I'd love to hear what else you think should be done, I'm sure it'll be great and not at all trivial to be turned against you by those you'd use it against.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 9:51am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

                  He and his pals got plenty of what they wanted

                  To conclude that therefore it could not possibly get any worse in the future is beyond foolish.

                  The far right politicians who are now emboldened and saying the quiet parts out loud because they know they’ll face no consequences, are dead-set on finishing what he started.

                  Yes, so let's not make it any easier for them.

                  But sadly those are the only two prescriptions that you seem to think will magically solve everything.

                  I would love for you to point out where I said that.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Nov 2021 @ 5:35am

              Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

              "You really do love quoting that scene as if it means something in this day and age."

              It does. The same principle applies today.

              Here, I'll make it easy for you; If you want to see the laws changed to shut the trumpist fuckwits up then you simultaneously need to somehow make damn sure those fuckwits never come to power again. Or once they're back in power, those laws will be used against you and you'll be worse off by far.

              This, incidentally, is the recipe for civil war. I could argue that the US is already at a point of polarization so irreconcilable that's what its going to come down to. But where would you draw the battle lines, given that even in the reddest of states there's still at least 45% voting democrat? It's not going to be the old maison-dixie job, that's for damn sure.

              Pulling up the option of a purge opens the door on the terrible fact that from that point on, that's going to be a valid tool for government to treat dissenters. And that's not a tool anyone wants the "least objectionable" side of this conflict to have.

              Because although today most liberals and progressives are democrat, not all democrats by far are liberal and progressive.

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              • icon
                Lostinlodos (profile), 25 Nov 2021 @ 11:47am

                Re: Re: Re: For your own sake, that's why

                The sad truth here is that a full scale dissolution now would be a literal purge and bloodbath.
                I don’t care if you vote red or blue or yellow or green. When you March on my family you become our enemy.

                America today is one where politics are political and not practice.
                1/4 Catholics attend mass weekly.
                And how many peta members would turn down a burger and beef fat fries if starving.
                Sip your Starbucks in a PS cup that can’t be recycled in 99% of the country while you discus banning straws.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It doesn't matter what PV cares about, that's irrelevant.

          Fight them the right way.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 7:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Why should I care about their rights?"

          Because at some point the shitheels of the GQP will be right back in power. 2022 doesn't look good for democrats, and Trump will do better than in his jan 6 beer hall coup come 2024.

          Any rights you take away from even the most egregious shitwanker today will be used to pull your pants down and screw you tomorrow.

          THAT is why you need to guard the rights of everyone. Even the fuckwits of the alt-right.

          But i feel you. It's hard to see the alt-right persistently voting against their own interests because they simply don't care if the leopard-eating-faces party sees their face chomped clean off as long as some liberal somewhere gets angry about it.

          Don't advocate a tool of government unless you feel it's safe even in the hands of those who would use it against you.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Nov 2021 @ 5:27am

        Re: Re:

        “William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”

        Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

        William Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!”

        Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!”

        • Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons.

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  • identicon
    LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:21am

    Why the FBI?

    Why in the world is the FBI involved in this at all?

    Even if the diary was stolen (so far, there’s zero evidence of that), it seems rather a trifling matter, and certainly not worthy of the Feds attention.

    I suppose one could argue that Ashley Biden had government secrets and/or other classified information in the damned thing ridiculous as it sounds, but then she should be investigated to find out how and why she came into possession of such.

    Of course the FBI wouldn’t be participating in this merely to protect Biden family interests, right? Right?

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:46am

      Re: Why the FBI?

      "Of course the FBI wouldn’t be participating in this merely to protect Biden family interests, right? Right?"

      The same way they'd participate in similar shenanigans to protect the interests of Trump, Nixon, and FDR. It's almost a given that if they were surveilling the likely diary thief and said thief at some point contacted O'Keefe the strike team would be rolling without the FBI director or the political establishment even becoming aware of it.

      The issue with the FBI, since long ago, is that they're a politcal faction of their own - as illustrated under Hoover when the FBI was a mini-government accountable to no one since their director had all the dirt on everyone and wasn't shy of using it.

      To boot they also consist of headhunters, all looking to make a high-profile collar. Which is why so very many presidents have lamented that they're that dog you keep on a leash because all it wants to do is bite someone and doesn't give a rat's ass who.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:50am

      Re: Why the FBI?

      [Addendum]

      And here's my nest guess. Sure, they want the diary and anything else they can dig up in form of dirt on O'Keefe and anyone he's spied on.

      They ALSO want the diary in case it contains something, anything they could wave under Biden's nose whenever they think they need a presidential favor.

      Hoover was the first one to employ the tactic of obtaining dirt on everyone in order to secure his job and empire no matter who sat in the oval office...and I very much doubt any FBI director since has looked back at those days with any other feeling than sheer envy and a desire to accomplish the same.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:41am

      Re: Why the FBI?

      Why in the world is the FBI involved in this at all?

      I would say it's a clear demonstration of the two tier legal system. Imagine the reaction from the local police if you reported your daughter's diary was stolen, let alone the FBI.

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  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 12:58am

    media who receives those works should not be subject to raids and intimidation

    This is indeed the law, at least as to the content of the works. Bartniki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001). There, the defendants published a copy of an illegally recorded phone call. The question of original stolen information was not present; had it been an original letter stolen rather than illegal recording of an over-the-air car phone call, the result could be different.

    See also NY Times v. U.S., 403 U.S. 713 (1971), famously known as the ``Pentagon Papers'' case.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 1:57am

    Use this one little trick to reframe a bunch of grifting, election interfering assholes into sympathetic victims.

    I mean I get my gift of prophecy is sort of unique, but do we not employ people who can look beyond the end of their nose?

    Will ALL of the abused resources from the war on terrorism, they couldn't manage to build a case that would have been compelling enough to a court to give them a warrant that would have withstood scrutiny?

    I miss when y'all were taught civics, knew your rights, and those rights mattered.

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    identicon
    LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 2:19am

    One last thing, about grifting…

    “…deliberately distorting things, presenting them out of context to fit (or make) a narrative..” is provided by Mike as a description of malicious grifting.

    This could easily be a description, given by some, of the work Techdirt does, especially since Techdirt explicitly asks for money to fund its continuing efforts. It could also work for the SCLC, Democracy Now!, and plenty of other partisan institutions.

    Disagreement with one’s own partisan outlook does not equal malicious intent on the other party’s side. To think the opposite is the lazy partisan’s way.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 3:31am

      Re: One last thing, about grifting…

      "This could easily be a description, given by some, of the work Techdirt does"

      OK. provide an example where they have deliberately distorted things. Difficulty: it has to be something that actually fits that description, not an opinion your disagree with based on verifiable evidence.

      "Disagreement with one’s own partisan outlook does not equal malicious intent on the other party’s side"

      No, Project Veritas's long history of malicious action does equal that, though.

      "To think the opposite is the lazy partisan’s way."

      The lazy partisan throws out unsupported whataboutism and projection to deflect from someone else's wrongdoings. Stop doing that.

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        LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 5:28am

        Re: Re: One last thing, about grifting…

        Sure. Note I carefully chose and wrote “given by some” to indicate that perspective can override sound judgement and i wasn’t referring to myself necessarily. “Some” can easily be mislead by prejudice as Techdirt can. I did not make a claim, nor do i, about anything other than how the careless use of language to serve partisan ends can be used against the speaker.

        Don’t get me wrong. I like Techdirt and they are generally a force for the good on freedom of speech and copyright, even if they are so very wrong on so-called “net neutrality”.

        Techdirt should realize that calling names and using intemperate language is not a good way to frame things, as these are opinions that could easily be turned back on Techdirt by others of a different political bent. It’s a call to be more careful when throwing around words so as not to appear blinded by partisanship.

        If PV is a grifter, then any partisan actor anywhere asking for money to support their partisanship is also a grifter. That’s a direct comparison of equals. I could just as easily have mentioned Reason.com or National Review or The Nation. By the way, i meant SPLC not SCLC. Sorry SCLC.

        PV is malicious (evil in intent) but only in your distorted view based on your perspective. To others, based on theirs, they are not. I am glad that you have smartly left off the “grifter“ descriptor. Language matters.

        So, on to examples:

        Most recently, techdirt framed a story of a gunman shooting at people mowing his lawn as rampant police bent on killing. That’s distorted and meant to serve an anti police agenda.

        Techdirt also badly misstated the charge of felony murder, writing that innocent people are caught up in it. The law doesn’t do that, but techdirt distorted the law to serve the anti cop agenda (which i generally agree with, but not with false information). This could not have been an error, but only a conscious choice.

        Techdirt framed an attempt to stop credit card processing for porn sites as an attack by prudish moralizing busybodies on freedom of speech. This serves the free speech agenda, but casts haters of porn in a distorted fashion to show they are evil speech suppressors rather than simply pornhaters. “Porn is bad” is a reasonable position for reasonable people to take, not solely the realm of the crazy far-wingers.

        Techdirt attacked the Supreme Court for generally supporting qualified immunity, when the court made a significant distinction between split-second decisions and considered choices. Techdirt (like i do) dislikes QI, but ignored that vital distinction to fit its agenda rather than the facts.

        Techdirt claims to support freedom of speech, but has had several pieces downplaying the corporate suppression of speech (it has consequences, damnit) while at the same time high-horsing it about porn, discarding the fact that both are about the exact same issue. The distortion was to have the effect of gratifyingly hating on the antiporn busybodies while cheering the anti-speech busybodies. This distorton is meant to show that techdirt serves the good and true far-left cause of “bad speech should be punished” while still attempting to show free speech bona fides. Can’t have it both ways.

        There was a piece (the details escape me, but it wasn’t long ago) about bad faith arguments. The piece called an opinion piece published elsewhere (really a full throated partisan attack) an “article” implying it was a “news” piece of informed fact, and then used that piece to somehow show bad faith on the part of others. Using a biased opinion piece as somehow a neutral example of good faith was stunningly manipulative, and meant to serve techdirts partisan agenda of general far-left-wing good, anything else evil.

        Those who live in glass houses etc. I applaud techdirt’s dedication to their various causes especially when i disagree, and only want them to be better. They can be better than this.

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          LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 5:34am

          Re: Re: Re: One last thing, about grifting…

          Please to note that i agree with Techdirt that many of those examples illustrate rights-endangering behavior. But it’s easy to show that without resorting to loaded polarizing accusatory language (see Volokh for example).

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:59am

          Re: Re: Re: One last thing, about grifting…

          If PV is a grifter, then any partisan actor anywhere asking for money to support their partisanship is also a grifter. That’s a direct comparison of equals.

          No, it's really not. Grifting involves deception. Having a political viewpoint and asking for money isn't grifting.

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            LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: One last thing, about grifting…

            Right. And monetary loss is an essential part of grifting as well.

            My point perhaps wasn’t as clearly stated as I’d have liked, it appears.

            Those other institutions i listed are not grifters, and neither is PV. I meant to illustrate how applying “grifting” to PV makes as much sense as applying it to the other institutions i mentioned.

            I think PV’s donors know exactly who they’re donating to. There’s no deception involved.

            That is, people who don’t “donate” funds are by definition not grifted because they’re not out any money and/or haven’t been deceived, and those who donate or fund aren’t being deceived into doing so.

            PV satisfies neither grifting prong, as it were.

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  • icon
    Ed (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 7:49am

    Stop with the virtue signaling BS

    O'Keefe and Project Veritas most likely ARE involved in the theft of the diaries. This is what they do. There is no likely reason to think otherwise because they have proven themselves to be criminals every single time. There is no such thing as "journalistic ethics" or morals in them. None. So stop with the bullshit about their "rights as journalists". You're just playing into their propaganda.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2021 @ 8:36am

      Re: Stop with the virtue signaling BS

      Amen.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:01am

      Re: Stop with the virtue signaling BS

      There is no likely reason to think otherwise

      That isn't how law enforcement is supposed to work. You're free to jump to conclusions based on what you think about them, but the FBI should not. And that's what this story is about.

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    • identicon
      LittleCupcakes, 19 Nov 2021 @ 9:41am

      Re: Stop with the virtue signaling BS

      If PV did the crime, they’ll do the time.

      I’d prefer evidence, charges, and a trial first though.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 7:27am

      Re: Stop with the virtue signaling BS

      "O'Keefe and Project Veritas most likely ARE involved in the theft of the diaries. This is what they do."

      That is plausible, given their record.

      However, the FBI raid is indeed concerning. Sure, we're talking about a diary belonging to a relative of the president which means it may contain state secrets overheard and written down, making this an espionage case and giving the federales all the ammo they need to make the case for this raid.

      Even so the end result is Hoover's old cadre of G-men swooping in, once again, on a known muckraker who may have a bonanza of dirt for them. I somehow doubt Biden keeps the nuclear launch codes in his daughters diary so this response seems disproportional unless we go with the idea that the feds decided on this particular course of action themselves. Which, sadly, fits their traditional old M.O.

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  • icon
    migi (profile), 19 Nov 2021 @ 4:31pm

    Has anyone seen the search warrant, or know anything about the investigation? This article and the NYT article seem to indicate not, although those statements by Jane Kirtley and the ACLU seem to indicate otherwise.

    Maybe I missed that bit so if someone could point that out it would be nice, otherwise I'll be giving the FBI the benefit of the doubt in this case.

    Anyway, repeating and amplifying PV's claims that they are being unfairly targeted, without any proof either way, is whitewashing PV's reputation.
    It's also corrosive to public trust in the FBI, government in general, and society as a whole. (Which ties in with the right wing message, don't trust the government, don't trust the police, you must be armed to be safe, don't trust other religions etc.)

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      "It's also corrosive to public trust in the FBI, government in general, and society as a whole."

      That ship has sailed. Sorry, but the final shreds of trust in the FBI died with the Church commission. The US police have a record comparable to more violent gangs. Being armed does not make you safe - but nothing will when that's the sort of society you live in.

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  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 22 Nov 2021 @ 12:19pm

    Stealing a Diary

    Even if it's 100% true and someone did steal it and give it to Veritas, how in the name of Zeus's butthole is that FBI jurisdiction?

    If I go next-door and steal my neighbor's diary and she calls the FBI to complain, you know what they would tell her? "Ma'am, that's not in any way, shape, or form a federal offense or our jurisdiction to investigate."

    And no, the fact that the victim's creepy granddad is a government official changes nothing about the jurisdictional nature of the crime or gives the FBI jurisdiction where it otherwise has none.

    Not only is what the FBI did a massive overreach with regard to the 1st Amendment, the fact that the FBI is investigating a petty theft over which it has no jurisdiction in the first place indicates the agency is being used as a political cudgel by political officials going after their perceived enemies.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 4:39am

      Re: Stealing a Diary

      " Even if it's 100% true and someone did steal it and give it to Veritas, how in the name of Zeus's butthole is that FBI jurisdiction?"

      It is if they want it to be.

      There's also the case to make that the relative of a sitting president may have written stuff in that diary which exposes bits and pieces of national security. Hence the FBI would start marching to the tune of "counterespionage" rather than "theft".

      Granted, they could be indulging in those grand old traditions of the FBI - raiding everyone they think has dirt on politicians to make sure they've got plenty of blackmail material on the guy holding the budget strings for next year.

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 23 Nov 2021 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re: Stealing a Diary

        It is if they want it to be.

        No, it's actually not. It doesn't work that way outside of Hollywood movies.

        There's also the case to make that the relative of a sitting president may have written stuff in that diary which exposes bits and pieces of national security. Hence the FBI would start marching to the tune of "counterespionage" rather than "theft".

        (1) If the president's grandkid is writing things in her diary that are classified natsec material, then the FBI should actually be investigating criminal charges against her and whoever gave that information to her. That would be a proper use of their jurisdiction.

        (2) Regarding the theft itself, that's clearly a matter of state or local jurisdiction and the FBI can liase with them and monitor the investigation for intel, but it simply has no primary jurisdiction in the matter.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Nov 2021 @ 5:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Stealing a Diary

          "No, it's actually not. It doesn't work that way outside of Hollywood movies."

          It certainly does if they can invoke the official secrets act, some scummy clause out of the seamy crotch of patriot act 1 or 2, or any other paragraph regarding antiterrorism and espionage belted out under GWB or Obama. I'm not sure about Hollywood's claims unless you refer to documentaries made around the Church Commission.

          "If the president's grandkid is writing things in her diary that are classified natsec material..."

          They don't know that she has. But they don't know she hasn't, either.
          You are aware that "natsec", when it involves a US president - or any other head of state - would be absolutely everything not deliberately released to the press? If she writes about how daddy has trouble peeing, is addicted to pistachio ice cream, or has a soft spot for maine coon cats? That's natsec unless specifically stated otherwise, for the simple reason that it involves information about the president of the US.
          It's certainly good enough for a law enforcement agency tasked with domestic security to start marching. She is in a position to observe sensitive information simply by virtue of seeing daddy in his office or when he's doing his job at home. And the FBI has a very long record of using far flimsier excuses for overreaching.

          "Regarding the theft itself, that's clearly a matter of state or local jurisdiction and the FBI can liase with them and monitor the investigation for intel, but it simply has no primary jurisdiction in the matter."

          Multiple jurisdictions disputes seem to be a fairly common thing where the FBI is concerned. In this case I'd argue the strongest claim would be that of the Treasury since their agents are explicitly tasked to safeguard POTUS and his surroundings, including relatives.

          I will guarantee you that should the relative of POTUS have something stolen the only agency I'm damn sure won't end up running the investigation will be the local PD.

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 26 Nov 2021 @ 3:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing a Diary

            I'd argue the strongest claim would be that of the Treasury
            since their agents are explicitly tasked to safeguard POTUS
            and his surroundings, including relatives.

            This encapsulates perfectly how little you actually know about how these things work.

            (1) The Treasury Department has no agents who are tasked with protecting the president. That duty belongs to the Secret Service which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, not the Treasury Department.

            (2) The only relatives of the president that the USSS is explicitly tasked to protect are the president's spouse and the president's children. Grandkids are not covered in the explicit mandate in 18 USC 3056.

            I will guarantee you that should the relative of POTUS have
            something stolen the only agency I'm damn sure won't end up
            running the investigation will be the local PD.

            Yeah, we've already established above how credible your "damn sure guarantees" are on this subject.

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


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