Unforgivable primary endorsements
As was painfully clear to many of us when you endorsed HRC & Trump for their respective primaries, either endorsement was clueless & morally bankrupt by itself but the two together represented a perfect storm of credibility lost & maximal damage inflicted. Do you see that now?
I had to be talked down then from diverting scarce time & energy to organizing a demonstration outside your office. Friends were right that you weren't worth it. But how dared you?
It was demonstrable at the time that Sanders was the better candidate & stronger for the General Election - what was it about Clinton's 50-55% disapproval ratings that filled you with confidence?
As for endorsing Trump: whoever was responsible for that sickening, reckless choice will carry the shame always.
Can you explain yourselves?
Skeptical? If actually skeptical, you might've reported that such a list existed but wouldn't have named accused or linked to list, branding people as KKK not only without evidence but incompatible with readily available information.
Googling one mayor by "Mayor" [last name] [city], limiting results up to day before "dump," (as you could have if when 1st posting, compelling denial not yet made) visible on 1st page of results was "[mayor's name]: No guns, no way at [local] Fair". This would have been red flag of allegation's flimsiness.
And you didn't keep up with story. I saw list discredited & attributed to Amped Attacks almost a full day before you "updated" story with incomplete, misleading addendum.
Don't you know that people short of time & attention (most!) may only read headline? each sentence less likely to be read than those before? If your blog format doesn't permit corrections to original post, more reason to observe newspaper standards in news blog. Updates & corrections are NOT equal. If responsible, you'll rarely if ever need corrections.
Way down the page were accuseds' denials. Missing was available (even before your original casual libel) info that would've given denials credibility: that one mayor was openly gay & "No guns, no way" mayor's list of bona fides, which includes activism on behalf of LGBT, young men of color, & farmworkers (alongside Cesar Chevez!). All also featured in their denials.
Don't you understand that unsupported denials carry virtually no weight?
Yet you did pass along Amped Attacks' claims of due diligence.
You also boosted Amped Attack's poor credibility with this, "*Amped Attacks and Anonymous have both said that Amped Attacks is not affiliated with the collective, though they respect each others’ work."
Where did "Anonymous" express respect for Amped Attacks' work? Was that a beyond-sloppy embellishment of Amped Attacks' one-sided remark? (For some reason, that's the "update" that merited an asterisk in headline.)
One update was cut-&-pasted segment longer than your original story from website Rawstory. Since it wasn't nearly as clear or up-to-date as what I saw day before, this was a bit like copying off a D-minus paper.
I'm appalled when Facebook friends unthinkingly pass along clearly suspect information, let alone journalists. Info attributed to two other news sources (& a third cited by RawStory) wouldn't have made the grade even before the internet made the key info directly accessible. Your only apparent legwork was the call to Tillis' office.
Numerous indications that bias crowded out caution. I shared that initial happy assumption that some racist Republican officials had been exposed. That should teach us! I don't know if you saw the denial-supporting info or if merely passively passed along Rawstory's choice to discard it. Revealing to print unverifiable anonymous lies & leave out lie-discrediting verifiable facts.
If too under-the-gun to do due diligence here, that's all the more reason to have been careful about what you passed along. Linking to bad information - that list - provided anonymous mischief-maker a platform & lent him INDYweek's reputation for credibility, which comes back to you compromised. I wonder many times that can happen before it's irreparably damaged, a sad prospect for those of us who remember the Independent.
Those branded as KKK weren't all politicians with racist records, Michael Czeiszperger.
Being meticulous about information is strategic as well as principled.
MORs priding themselves on balance will be only too happy, if they often find lies to their left too, to throw up their hands & damn both sides. Many have become more aware of economic & racial inequalities, would be great to see that shift manifest in progressive voting, but they can instead resume truth-neatly-in-middle policy. The middle isn't close to where we came from, after 35 years relentlessly dragged in wrong direction, let alone to where we should rationally be.
Perhaps it's a short trip from Tillis' despicable anti-civil rights record to hate-group-level racism. But we wrong ourselves if we believe things just because we want to. If "information is power," then delusion self-defeats.
BTW, Amped Attack's interest might not have been only in discrediting Anonymous but in discrediting news sources that would print unvetted info. Haven't seen what Washington Post, USA Today, Time, Newsweek printed, but maybe they fumbled this too. Or they may have reported on it carefully; this was sloppy.
Surprised & concerned to see this misinformation here, & changes shouldn't be in updates at bottom if trying to avoid maligning innocent people. Names of mayors best not reported at all.
Not Anonymous but Amped Attack (best recollection) put out these accusations, which are clearly no good, likely meant to muddy the waters. May be a Rovian maneuver to discredit (possibly) more legitimate info that will be put out Thursday by Anonymous.
One of the mayors is openly gay - clearly not Klan.
Another maligned mayor offers excellent Non-KKK credentials that included: worked for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez; founding of Save Our Sons initiative to increase opportunities & reduce violence-related deaths among boys & young men of color; public advocacy for LGBT civil rights, including being the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors’ amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case.
Clearly not Klan.
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