Hat Tip: Brian B.
Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques
Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques
Lost in the blow-up between Representatives West and Wasserman Schultz is that only two days earlier, Allen West said something much more significant and more massively belligerent — about Barack Obama — something the left would prefer drowned out.
Must we “know the enemy” or is it enough for those elites in the know to go through their motions and machinations, while mushroom managing the Sovereign American People? Apparently, most “conservative” members of Congress think it is just okay for us all to be kept in the dark and fed manure, at least those politicos who are not too fungous, themselves, to see.
Very exceptional is the former combat officer of Florida, who seems to think it important to give his superiors the actionable intelligence we need, in order to make our ultimate decisions — in measured doses, at least. By last weekend, he even went as far as using a word with which most readers in Big Government are already familiar in the identification of Barack Obama: Marxist.
Video: “Rep. Allen West: Obama is a Marxist; I’ve Been Racist All My Life According to Liberals“
Gasp, choke, a milestone in Congressional honesty was reached.
And as we recall, Representatives Broun in November of 2008 and Bachmann in March of 2009, pronounced the words, “Marxist” and “Marxism,” respectively, in describing BHO, his ideology, and his objectives. They were then compelled by someone(s), possibly then minority leader John Boehner, or we might say, “the powers that be,” to recant and apologize.
Then, an unapologetic Rep. Steve King laid it on the line on August of 2010 and got the third degree from NBC fat-cat and self-described socialist (i.e., entrepreneurially subversive Marxist propagandist) Lawrence O’Donnell. Note that O’Donnell was also eager to drown out the charge of Marxism by focusing on the other M-word used by King. (And yes Larry, B.O. also has an expressed affinity with “my Muslim faith” and is cordial with Islamists, just a demonstrable fact). But King’s was just a one-on-one conversation before or after a town hall meeting, caught on mic.
From his track record, one would hardly expect Lieutenant Colonel West to apologize either. To review West’s words last Sunday, July 17th:
The President’s concern is about getting reelected. The President’s concern is that he is an intransigent, liberal, progressive socialist who is also Marxist because of the class warfare rhetoric that he espouses. And I think that when you heard him on Friday and the more he comes out and talks, the more truly out of touch and incompetent he seems.
He has a vision for this country that is anathema to the vision of the founding fathers and our belief in individual responsibility and accountability and our free enterprise system.
Ohmygoodness, what could become of this?
Huh. Colleague and battle hardened blogger, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton of Noisy Room wrote, “I love, love this man and would vote for him in a heartbeat!” Me too, Terresa. Me too.
And what a coincidence this was so soon followed by the House floor attack from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, during and on the surface pertaining to the budget debate.
Conservatives in Congress must get well beyond this point and do so immediately. The saturation level of intently subversive neo-Marxists into positions of power, money, and other influence is much higher than it was in the mid 20th Century, when this caused a legitimate “red scare.”
But the truth is the globalist, Marxist/fascist agenda has seeped into the upper echelons of the GOP in addition to sopping out the Democratic Party, or we would not have Republican “thought leaders” in the Aspen Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission, etc. Nor would they be happy to cede Congressional responsibility to the United Nations, NATO, the Federal Reserve, and the International Monetary Fund. Even allowing the president the unconstitutional usurpation of warfare by executive fiat is fine with many in the still Rockefeller-tainted GOP.
If Republicans were not so corrupted, Bush administrations would not have endorsed Agenda 21, nor North American Integration. These are all definitively orchestrated efforts of the “communitarian” movement of transnational progressives. (Whispered: that is to say, globalist-Marxist/fascist, “enlightenment” types — kind of like, well I dare not use that I-word, dare I?)
Is Allen West’s pronouncement bold? Here is bold. Here is what Maurice Strong, the father of Agenda-21 and ICLEI proclaimed, shortly before his Bush-I endorsed 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio: “Isn’t the only hope for this planet that the industrialized civilization collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
And of course it was the president America elected in 2008 who boasted he would make energy prices skyrocket, tiptoed well away as Bush-II’s Hank Paulson did his TARP trick, then just before his election, quoted Chairman Mao and proclaimed he would set about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” How about that bipartisanship?
But that is bold! Rev. Wright would even call it audacity.
And what are we hearing from anyone in Congress about the progressive regress of Agenda-21, currently infesting America from coast to coast in societal degeneration organized soviet-style? What concerted challenges are being issued, by investigation, legislation, or the courts, to Obama’s Chavez-styled executive orders, for an Agenda-21 Rural Council and for other travesties?
Who should be apologizing, Speaker Boehner?
Let us get beyond labeling Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. as the neo-Marxist he is and apply the sword of truth telling betwixt authentic America and the “transnational…” and “communitarian…” neo-Marxism so softly rampant in all our fundamental institutions: education, finance, entertainment, the press, philanthropy, even our churches — and even the GOP.
Last century, there were numerous, productive Congressional investigations into these matters, the most famous of which was called the “House Committee on Un-American Activities.” If that were to be done again (and something like it must be) perhaps they should get their own digs in order and begin with a Committee on Un-American House Activities. They could interview all four-hundred thirty five, from Pelosi and Boehner, on down (and their little staffs, too) to make it fair. Marxists are all about the fairness, right? The Senate could do the same and compete for headlines.
Why not? Are they afraid we will find the Soft War waged against us? Or, what name would they prefer to give it? The War Not in Any of the Papers? The War Inside our Door?
In any case, Representatives Broun, Bachmann, King, Walsh, and West: please hasten the arc of progress, from mincing words to calling for a House Committee on Anti-American Insurrection. That is what it is, after all. Sure, and what is that one guy’s name? Issa?
Marxists have long promised it will be America’s domestic enmity that will “bury” us. Overall, what are we hearing from conservatives about it all — or just what is being left to conserve?
By: Gary H. Johnson, Jr.
Family Security Matters
“You can never underestimate, in American public life, the complete advantages of utter incomprehensibility.” – Henry Kissinger
AOL’s purchase of The Huffington Post for $315 million was a shot heard around the Dallas BoomTown room in which it was announced on February 6, 2011. America was too tied up in Super Bowl XLV fever to notice the decision of a failed relic of the dot com boom to scoop up the “Big Dog blog.”
The Huffington Post brought in $31 million in 2010 and, according to company executives, it is on course to bring in $60 million in 2011. At that rate of growth, Arianna Huffington’s blog site was already on track to earn $315 million in two or three years. Why would a breakout success like HuffPo hitch its wagon to an anchor like AOL? Time Warner’s disastrous merger with AOL, after all, ended in over $100 billion in losses.
When the news of the AOL acquisition hit the mainstream media the following day, criticism was immediate. The $315 million sales tag led a clutch of bloggers to call out The Huffington Post for not paying its contributors. By February 10, a HuffPo editor explained that bloggers were provided a forum for their ideas in lieu of salary, pesky assignments and freedom-sapping things like deadlines. An e-mail from The Huffington Post’s executive editor, Nico Pitney, compared the content provided by its bloggers to the content provided to Facebook and Twitter by its users. The criticism soon subsided.
To date, the American media has by and large failed to recognize is that the AOL-Huffington deal has placed Arianna Huffington on the fast track to global media mogul status.
In the purchase, AOL sacrificed its flagging, non-partisan badge for a blast of hot air from the left. Nine out of ten people know what AOL is. However, a strong brand without any content amounts to failure in today’s online market. Overnight, The Huffington Post transformed itself from a blog into Huffington Post Media Group and Arianna Huffington became the face of one of the most recognized brands in the world. Moreover, as president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group, she took control of the entirety of AOL’s local, national, global and financial news content, as well as its editorial content. In addition, Huffington gained content oversight on all of AOL’s media ventures, such as Patch.com.
On July 15, 2011, in another shot heard virtually nowhere, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington mounted the stage at the National Press Club to discuss their shared vision for the road ahead. America’s media was again engrossed in another spectacle – FOX News media mogul Rupert Murdoch on the ropes in a phone hacking scandal that led to the shuttering of the 168-year-old tabloid News of the World.
On March 24th, The Guardian announced that Huffington Post Media Group would launch a UK edition of The Huffington Post in the summer. Flush with cash from the AOL takeover, Huffington accelerated her plans “to hire journalists and create a UK-specific site.”
On the road to the UK edition launch, the Huffington Post Media Group conducted a Toronto hiring run in April. Digital Expert Kenny Yum was tasked with merging AOL’s Canada operations with the Huffington Post. On May 26th, Huffington Post Media Group launched its Canada edition and revealed plans to launch a Brazilian edition in September. The business model of Huffington Post Canada mirrored the San Francisco blog:
The site has continued its past practice of recruiting big-name contributors, including politicians, activists, celebrities and business leaders. On Thursday it announced that Indigo Books & Music Inc. chief executive officer Heather Reisman would act as editor at large for Canada. (Writer and film director Nora Ephron holds the post in the U.S.)
On July 6th, as the Murdoch News of the World troubles began to heat up, Arianna sat down with the London-based Sky News and announced the launch of the UK edition of The Huffington Post, inviting readers to follow the phone hacking scandal at her media group’s new website.
Two days later, AOL announced the launch of HuffPost San Francisco:
The Huffington Post and Patch.com’s combined efforts on a Bay Area-focused news and entertainment website called HuffPost San Francisco, launched Wednesday.
The Hyperlocal Revolution
Arianna Huffington’s decision to sell her blog to AOL did not necessarily hinge on increasing her company’s capacity to expand globally. AOL’s real draw for Ms. Huffington was Patch.com. AOL had a number of well-known internet and telecom companies in its quiver: PopEater, Engadget, Moviefone, MapQuest and TechCrunch. However, Patch’s potential to tap local markets served her political ends. At the National Press Club, Arianna beamed:
“I was in love with Patch even before I became part of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group. And Patch is really about hyperlocal. We are now in almost 850 towns all across America. We launched 33 patches in primary states to be able to cover, even more obsessively, the 2012 election.”
In a February 10, 2011 interview with Charlie Rose, Tim Armstrong marveled at the Patch platform:
“One of the unique things we’re bringing to the table is, we are going to be the first digital content company that is going to connect on a global, national, and local basis. We will be the largest single affiliate network on the Internet space in the U.S. And that’s powerful.”
Currently, there are “patches” in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Patch.com’s “About” page defines Patch as a “community specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities.”
In short, each town with a patch has a dedicated professional journalist acting as a local editor and an open-ended number of citizen journalists that will blog their thoughts on the news that affects their town. These patches are all hooked to a national network to give everyone the opportunity to join and drive national discussions. Patch “public engagement” will optimize the impact of social media technology such as smart phones, Twitter and Facebook. To ensure a level of journalistic integrity, each local editor lists their multimedia experience, views on politics and religion. Also, to establish a sense of community, local editors are encouraged to give of their time to the charitable and volunteer programs in the community.
Patch work began in New Jersey in 2009. Its claim to fame to date is the June 2011 scoop of New Jersey Governor Christie’s use of a State Helicopter to make it to his son’s baseball game. The existence of the Patch network guarantees a new era in holding government officials accountable for their corruptions. Unfortunately, the network promises to be used as a political weapon by supporters of the “progressive” establishments in Washington, D.C. The Obama administration’s go-to news source, The Huffington Post, is now positioning its front-line of defense. In the February Charlie Rose discussion of AOL’s acquisition of HuffPo, Arianna admitted as much:
“This deal happened because Tim and I had the same vision, literally, almost identical in terms of expanding local [coverage], launching internationally, building community, doing a lot more in the women’s space, and a lot more around causes and cause marketing.” [Emphasis mine].
The Limbaugh-led talk radio beat and the conservative bloggers of the Tea Party movement are woefully unprepared for the tsunami of left-leaning advocacy, progressive editorials and union activism that will crash on their shores in the coming 2012 election.
In multiple interviews, Huffington and Armstrong identify a November 2010 Quadrangle Conference as the moment when they began finishing each other’s sentences. Six months later, the New York Times profiled Tim Armstrong’s shrinking stock value and overhaul efforts at AOL. Patch figured prominently:
“Patch’s spending — $80 million in the last six months alone — far exceeds its revenue, for instance. The Huffington Post, however, is expected to turn a modest profit on revenue of $60 million this year.”
Janine Iamunno, the Patch Vice President of Communications, marked with awe the rapid rate of growth in Patch from a handful at the dawn of 2010 to 500 Patches by December 2010. Since that date, after an investment of over $80 million, over 300 more patches have been added to the network, many in key primary communities.
Looking at the local Patch communities in Georgia, I noted that only Atlanta and Athens communities were represented. This seemed odd, considering the Patch website declared:
“We look for communities of 15-100k in population that are underserved by media and would benefit by having access to local news and information about government, schools and businesses. These could be inner-city neighborhoods or distinct towns.”
To accomplish this, Patch reps split Metro Atlanta into dozens of slices and left out middle Georgia towns like Macon, GA – the biggest small town in America (with just under 100,000 citizens). Notably, in the mayoral race two days ago, not one Republican ran. Yet former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis, aka Hakim Mansur Ellis, a Black Muslim masquerading behind his Christian name, ran again for the seat and is now set for a run-off election. These realities of middle Georgia are off the Patch map for some reason.
In the July 15th National Press Club discussion, Huffington stated:
“Together with Patch, we launched a citizen journalism initiative last week. Within 48 hours we had 600 people sign up to be citizen journalists bringing the news to all of you, bringing the local voices into the national dialog – which is one of the things we are so excited about – being able to have, now, a total of over 1300 professional journalists working with us while at the same time being a platform that provides a distribution channel to thousands of people to blog about anything they care about. So that is the hybrid future that we are betting on.”
Doing the math, I deduced that roughly 100 journalists would likely be in the upper echelons of the Huffington media machine’s multiplying incarnations. With around 850 patches led by “professional” journalists, that meant 250 or so journalists were unaccounted for in the mix. A quick trace on the Twitter account “following” lists of the local editors in Georgia led me to a few “Regional Editors.”
The question, “How do 1300 journalists consume $80 million in six months?” kept rattling around in my head as I contacted a few local editors to see how much their salaries were. At $60,000+ it may be a lucrative position, I thought, while waiting for a call from a local restaurant about a serving gig.
My first thought was that around 4 or 6 Regional Editors would cover the country. The reality is that over a hundred Regional Editors and a smattering of Interns, Associate Regional Editors, Senior Regional Editors and Regional Publishers were active on Twitter. Each local editor that I contacted was very hush-hush about the inner workings of Patch. Every time I asked a question about the structure, hierarchy, or wages involved in their position, a pause would be followed by a shifty “let me get you our PR spokesperson’s email.” Every conversation ended up with the local editor redirecting me to contact the Patch spokeswoman Janine Iamunno’s e-mail for inquiry. A complete code of silence surrounded the organization’s local editors. It was now a story that I, as an investigative journalist and blogger, would write.
I devised a few quick questions about why secrecy shrouded the organization, how many regional editors were in the network, if Patch was going to follow HuffPo into Canada and what her thoughts were on her new boss, Arianna. In complete honesty, I noted that I was working on a story for Family Security Matters.
Since I was directed to an e-mail, I thought it would be more businesslike to take the time to learn Ms. Iamunno’s phone number and approach her as a journalist. In the search for her number, I found that American Express had teamed up with Patch to provide its “Serve” technology services to the communities in the network. One of Patch’s Advertising representatives noted that Sprint had teamed up with American Express in the “Serve” drive toward a “Google Wallet” world. I also quickly discovered that Patch partnered with Geomentum, the largest hyperlocal advertising agency in the United States, to optimize their small business client’s access to digital hyperlocal advertising campaigns, customized through IPG’s mediabrands. All of these partnerships had happened within the last 30 days.
Quickly, I fell upon the fact that Patch had launched the Camp Pendleton Patch in North Carolina in May and in addition to 33 primary state sites, later in 2011, planned to launch a “Patch Latino initiative” in which Patches in three states would be offered that deliver editorials in Spanish. According to the May 16th release:
The 33 new primary state sites will reflect the traditional Patch model of local news, information, and community interaction, and provide a platform for citizens, candidates, and influencers to discuss local issues and events, including the impact of national and state issues on the local landscape heading into the 2012 election season. Designed as a non-partisan forum, the sites will utilize Patch’s team of local professional journalists to offer comprehensive coverage of the issues in play, instead of a ‘horse race’ approach to reporting. Additionally, the sites will offer interactive features like blogging and polls, social media tools, candidate questionnaires and video interviews.
A quick survey of the Patch local editors will reveal that the average editor is a left-leaning “independent” that prefers spiritualism to organized religion, while being open to all faiths. This secular cross-section of “socially liberal fiscal conservatives” is loaded with advocates and activists. Virtually all Patch local editors identify with the progressive agenda of the Obama administration, in principle.
When I called Ms. Iamunno, both her cell and her Manhattan 212 line immediately redirected me to her email to guarantee a quick response. Shrugging, exasperated at the hours I spent trying to be professional, I sent off the email. Hours passed by and I contacted a Patch Regional Editor, who kindly sent my contact information to Ms. Iamunno, who was “in a meeting.” An hour later, I received a notice from Ms. Iamunno advising that she would be contacting me shortly. A few hours later, I received her response:
“Patch has no comment. Thank you for reaching out.”
My skills at PR may be rusty; but, it seemed striking to me that there was no smiley face, no personal comments, no signature, nothing…in the response from the Patch VP of Communications. I received two cryptic sentences and a blank out for my journalistic effort. Notably, as a follow-on award for my diligence, my Twitter follow of the Patch President, Warren Webb, was expunged and I was personally blocked from accessing his tweets. Top notch. Is this the kind of reception conservatives are going to receive in the Patch community? When local editors refuse to print the blogs of conservatives will there be any recourse? Perhaps, in order to balance the “AllVoices” protected classes of AOL, the categories should extend from Latino and BlackVoices to the Muslim Community. Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota and California could likely gain an “ArabVoices” concession in 2012 – it would make great news should the editorial section be published only in Arabic. The xenophobia and Islamophobia of the Tea Party movement’s national security defenders could then be vilified in the run-up to the 2012 elections. Transparency in the Patch editor community, it seems, is a matter of jaded clairvoyance.
Tim Armstrong hatched Patch in 2007. He has invested millions of dollars of his personal funds into the effort. Recognizing the rationale behind the birth of the brand is a matter of reasoned investigation. The results of that investigation reveal the true nature of the Armstrong-Huffington vision.
A survey of the Patch local editors of California is a time consuming process. Over 130 patches already exist in the home state of The Huffington Post. Interestingly, a large number of the local editors are young graduates of USC, home of the Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center. In this, naturally, the Berkeley Patch would be considered a concession in the hippy-laced romanticism of the Patch progressive activist youth, who long for the good ole sixties, when the Free Speech Movement gave birth to a wave of “free love” and witnessed a young Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels debut.
The Berkeley local editor is named Emily Henry, perhaps a pseudonym derivation of Henry Miller. A registered Democrat with an earthy tone of stillness, Ms. Henry is the author of a paper entitled “Can grassroots journalism help underserved communities?” Never mind that there are more journalists and writers and hopeful novelists in two square blocks from where she lays her head at night than in the entirety of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and the Dakotas combined. This British transplant and graduate of USC actually authored the justification for Patch’s existence in a June 2009 Online Journalism Review article. Her coverage of the California journalism scene cites a “recent study” by Ketchum to highlight the value of local reporting:
Ironically, it is not for lack of reader interest that smaller newspapers are struggling. Although every traditional, offline news medium is suffering losses, a recent study of media consumption shows that local newspapers are more valuable to the public than national newspapers. Sixty-three percent of the public are still consuming local newspapers compared to 18 percent reading national dailies, according to the global public relations firm Ketchum. This makes local newspapers the second most valuable of the traditional journalistic mediums behind major network television, while national newspapers lag behind in 8th place. Local newspaper readership also reaches a wider age breadth, with 34 percent of people under the age of 24 reading community newspapers compared to 11 percent of the youth population reading national dailies. The disparity is dramatic in every age range, but perhaps the most extreme statistics are for the age range with the highest consumptive rate of national newspapers. A total of 26 percent of men and women between the age of 55 and 64 are dedicated to national newspapers, while 81 percent are reading local dailies.
This “recent study” was actually performed by Ketchum and USC Annenberg in 2008 and published in 2009. It was a follow up on the 2007 release, which cited a nearly 70% local newspaper preference. The name of the 2007 study was “Media Myths & Realities, 2006 Usage Survey.” Save the date, the name of the 2009 study remained the same.
Ironically, Ketchum is a PR firm that in 2006 was approached by Russian energy giant Gazprom and paid a fat fee to improve the company’s public image as it continued to do business with Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions. In early 2007, according to PR Watch and O’Dwyers, Ketchum received $845,000 from the Russian gas monopoly and was retained by Gazprom in a $3 million yearly contract:
In 2007, Ketchum’s Gazprom work included “several press and think tank briefings,” and organizing “meetings as executives visited the U.S. in late November and early December.”
It is likely that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong gave birth to Patch after reading the 2007 Ketchum/USC Annenberg Public Relations Center study. Indeed, the USC Media Myths methodology includes a questionnaire of a large number of communications professionals. Moreover, the authors of the original 2007 release are Nicholas Scibetta and Jerry Swerling. Scibetta is a Partner and Global Director of Ketchum’s Global Media Network. Swerling is the Director of the USC Annenberg Strategic PR Center and one of the most well known PR gurus in the business. It is inconceivable that the former Americas ad chief for Google, the CEO of AOL Tim Armstrong was not acquainted with the most cutting-edge study in the business of advertising and PR.
Setting aside the national security implications of an information consumption study paid for by Russian or Iranian patsies, the natural profiteer of these studies is the hyperlocal Patch platform and the dozens of tech advertising firms under the direction of Ketchum’s parent Omnicom – a group of companies led by one of the world’s richest CEO’s John Wren.
In the end, perhaps the most craven of the Armstrong-Huffington corruptions is the possibility of the U.S. Government subsidizing the activities of Patch and the Huffington Post. The recent Federal Trade Commission study, entitled “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism” is tailor made for Patch and Huffington Post Media Group. In March of 2010, Patch.com set up a “Patch.org Foundation” according to the network’s “About” page. The aim of the foundation was “…to improve the quality of life in underserved communities across the globe through access to trusted local news and information.”
Arianna’s July 15th birthday bash at the National Press Club was a celebration of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group’s public engagement initiative. From this perspective, not only is Arianna Huffington set to profiteer on the hyperlocal spine of Patch. She is also set to swindle the American people out of millions, perhaps billions of dollars in subsidies, payment for services rendered to the progressive establishments of D.C.
The Death of Journalism
Perhaps the most disturbing element of the Armstrong-Huffington vision of social engineering is the death of journalism.
In the National Press Club discussion on July 15th, Ms. Huffington defended her decision to not pay her contributing bloggers by claiming that content creation for the internet is a diversion equivalent to watching television, an act of self-expression, which “has now become for many people the new entertainment and a major source of fulfillment.” According to Arianna, in this age of crisis, it is a privilege and a duty to bear witness:
“Today, new media are arming tens of thousands of people around the world to bear witness to what is happening in their countries, to what is happening in their time. And, ultimately, bearing witness is the highest responsibility we have as journalists. Bearing witness is actually the highest responsibility we have as citizens.”
Tim Armstrong’s assessment of the nature of journalism challenges the American dream, itself:
“A journalist is not a single entity. A journalist is a network.”
These two statements murder journalism. Content rises as king. It is the duty of the aspiring writer to sacrifice the innocence of youth on a $100,000 education for the opportunity of bowing to the meat grinder of an elitist clique of punishment. Merit, reason, individuality, incentive, integrity, liberty…justice…these things are tossed aside for the utter incomprehensibility of a vainglorious mediocrity.
How could anyone ever choose to work under conditions of such willful depravity?
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Gary H. Johnson, Jr. is the Senior Advisor for International Security Affairs at the Victory Institute. He also heads the foreign affairs desk of the Tea Party Tribune.