New York Times reporter Ken Vogel revealed in a tweet that he received a chilling voicemail that was a thinly veiled threat against both him and the press at large.
“You’re the problem. You are the enemy of the people. And although the pen might be mightier than the sword, the pen is not mightier than the AK-47,” said the unnamed male in the voicemail left for Vogel. “And just remember Ken, there’s nothing civil about a civil war.”
Vogel shared audio of the recording on Monday evening.
VOICEMAIL FROM A FAN: “You’re the problem. You are the enemy of the people. And although the pen might be mightier than the sword, the pen is not mightier than the AK-47.” pic.twitter.com/hKHTsGm9KL
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) August 20, 2018
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 21, 2018
The message, which used the “enemy of the people” line popularized by President Trump – and others — was an immediate source of obsession for a press corps already on edge over the White House’s anti-media rhetoric.
The threat to Vogel was featured prominently in both the Politico and CNN media newsletters.
“As each day goes by, there are more examples of rhetoric against the press reaching disturbing levels,” said CNN reporter Oliver Darcy in the newsletter.
Though Trump has said he is only referring to the “fake news media” when he uses the term “enemy of the people,” he has attacked many organizations, including the New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS and CNN.
Here's how you fix the #media.
Repeal Telecommunications Act of 1996, auction off radio/tv stations BACK to local owners, strictly enforce #YellowJournalism laws, lock up #FakeNews "journalists" for #Propaganda
Problem solved, #America gets real news back! pic.twitter.com/O5BOZRR5JA
— overpasses4America (@o4america) April 27, 2018
Members of the press have incessantly whined that Trump uses the term. Earlier this month, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say that the press was not the enemy of the people and instead gave examples of threats of violence she has received.
Speaking of fake news whiners, everyone with a functioning brain knows Snopes is the most fake of all the fake news on planet Earth.
One could even say the now defunct tabloid, Weekly World News was more factual and reality based than Snopes, even with headlines like “I WAS BIGFOOT’S LOVE SLAVE”.
As implausible as that headline is, it’s still far more likely to be true than any of Snopes so-called “fact checking”.
The fact that the company is full of obvious, blatant liars who are utterly bereft of anything you might call morals, it was just a matter of time before they imploded.
That time is now.
Everyone knew the inclusion of Snopes, an amateurish unprofessional site in the middle of an endless scandal, in the ranks of the media’s fact checking mafia was always bound to backfire. And the backfire has been burning for a while.
Here’s the Daily Mail pieces on the almost unbelievable dysfunction inside the fake fact checking site.
Fact-checking website Snopes is on the verge of financial collapse after its owner was accused of embezzling company funds to pay for his contentious divorce battle and lavish overseas trips with his new wife, a former Las Vegas escort and porn actress.
The company’s financial woes have gotten so bad that Snopes’ owner David Mikkelson started a crowd-funding website pleading for donations this week, which raised over $500,000 from generous readers in its first day.
After the presidential election, Snopes was chosen by Facebook to sit on a panel of arbiters who would determine whether news stories posted to the social media site were ‘fake news.’
But at the same time, DailyMail.com revealed in December, the two co-founders were involved in a bitter divorce battle in which he was accused of embezzling nearly $100,000 in company funds to spend on personal expenses and prostitutes.
Barbara asked a court at the time to restrict Mikkelson’s bank access, claiming his wild spending was going to deplete the company’s accounts.
Court documents from their divorce and its aftermath revealed that he wanted to be paid $720,000 a year.
He is also accused of spending ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ on personal trips, including a honeymoon with his new wife to Tokyo Disneyland.
The lawsuit claims Mikkelson spent money on Young, who he married last year.
Young was an escort in Las Vegas up until at least 2015 and charged $500 per hour, according to her website.
She has also starred in adult films under the name ‘Erin O’Bryn,’ and ran unsuccessfully for congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004.
Now the meltdown at Snopes is continuing, as reported by Poynter, which pretends to care about journalism, but was cheerfully promoting Snopes’ fundraiser without telling its readers the full truth of the fake fact check company’s problems.
First, Brooke Binkowski was burned out.
Then, she was told that she had been fired because of some unspecified complaints.
Finally, they said they were eliminating her position altogether.
So by the time that Snopes co-founder and CEO David Mikkelson called her last Monday to say she was fired, Binkowski didn’t know what to believe.
“I honestly have no idea,” the former Snopes managing editor told Poynter. “I was given no hints. I was never written up for anything.”
Binkowski said her firing is just the latest thing she doesn’t know about how Snopes works. Last summer, after Snopes started raising money for a legal battle over the site’s ownership, Binkowski said she wasn’t included in financial discussions.
Snopes’ GoFundMe had raised more than $835,000, as of publication — not including the amount raised from a separate PayPal account. While Snopes, one of the oldest and most-read fact-checking projects in the world, discloses other sources of funding on its website, the PayPal contributions weren’t listed as of publication.
“No one knows how it works internally — including me,” Binkowski said. “Even if everything is on the up and up, the appearance is bad.”
Everything about Snopes is bad. And when the site properly implodes, its example should be used to beat the media’s fake fact checking media over the head. Again and again.
Are these the people who should be in charge of deciding what appears on Facebook, Google News or Twitter?
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 21st, 2018