(TMU) — As independent media journalists and outlets reporting on all things Jeffrey Epstein continue to find themselves under the microscope, some important revelations about mainstream media’s reporting of the convicted pedophile have come to light, thanks to the New York Times.
The double standard by which social media platforms, fact checkers, and news consumers alike judge independent versus mainstream media is, in short, incredibly unfair. Every time information about the ills of mainstream media surface, it is important to take note and adjust the lens through which one consumes mainstream media accordingly.
This latest revelation regarding the less than transparent side of mainstream media involves outlets like Forbes, National Review and HuffPost and Epstein’s attempt to improve his public image after his stint in the Palm County Jail back in 2009 after he plead guilty to two prostitution charges for soliciting a minor in Florida in 2008 in an attempt to avoid federal charges related to sexually abusing underage girls.
None have been sanctioned, all still have blue check marks and work in our media.https://t.co/VBMHDlrDub
— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) August 20, 2019
His efforts resulted in the publishing of multiple puff pieces casting the deceased financier as an intelligent and selfless businessman with a passion for science. And while Epstein was indeed a philanthropist, these articles failed to mention his criminal past or current controversies.
While all three articles referenced have been deleted since the report, the New York Times included quotes from each:
“The Forbes.com article, posted in 2013, praised him as “one of the largest backers of cutting-edge science around the world” while making no mention of his criminal past. The National Review piece, from the same year, called him “a smart businessman” with a “passion for cutting-edge science.” The HuffPost article, from 2017, credited Mr. Epstein for “taking action to help a number of scientists thrive during the ‘Trump Era’,” a time of ‘anti-science policies and budget cuts’.”
The New York Times notes the little known method employed by corporate online publishers in which a contributor not typically associated with the outlet writes for little or no pay with little to no input from the outlet’s editors.
Another less than transparent occurrence is precisely what happened at Forbes back in 2013. As seen in the screen shot above, the article titled “Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software For The Gaming Industry” appears to have been written by Drew Hendricks, contributor to Forbes. In early July, the Times revealed that Hendricks was in fact not the author of the article. Hendricks admitted to having been paid $600 to attach his byline to the text and publish it on the Forbes website after having been contacted by a public relations firm.
Hendricks claims to have not known about Epstein’s history:
“All I knew was, this is a guy doing a science thing. If I had known otherwise, I wouldn’t have done it.”
As it turns out, until recently HuffPost engaged in a process of allowing outside writers to contribute to the website without editorial review—a process that allowed for the publishing of yet another Epstein puff piece written by Rachel Wolfson, a “digital marketer,” in 2017.
The National Review’s Epstein article was written by Christina Galbraith, a supposed “science writer” who had published articles previously at both Forbes and HuffPost. And Galbraith just so happens to be listed as a contact in news releases from 2012, 2013, and 2014 promotion Epstein’s foundations and other work.
In addition to the positive press campaign engaged in over the years, in 2010, after having completing his stint in jail, Epstein’s social life kicked into high gear. According to the Times’ July article, Epstein was suddenly rubbing shoulders with well known people like Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Harvard University published a website praising the convicted pedophile’s accomplishments and highlighting that he donated millions of dollars to charity. And Epstein published his own website showcasing his own science event to which Stephen Hawking was a guest.
Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, said Epstein was “like an ex-con who had done well on Wall Street” who donated $50,000 to Bard in 2011 and $75,000 in 2012. “If you looked up Jeffrey Epstein online in 2012, you would see what we all saw,” Botstein said, speaking to the success of Epstein’s efforts to craft his preferred public image.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.