More Errors Found in WSJ WikiLeaks Article

by Urizenus Sklar on 30/09/10 at 12:50 am

Wall Street Journal’s Jeanne Whalen busted for more journalistic FAIL

by Urizenus Sklar – Contributing Editor and Interwebs Legend

The Alphaville Herald Editors have asked that I come out of retirement to investigate this WikiLeaks matter, and I have to say that I am more than a little peeved by the whole thing. Is there no one else in the Anglophone world who can report their way out of a paper bag? Wake up journalists! Leave Britney alone and start looking into this! Today I’m again looking into Jeanne Whalen’s Wall Street Journal article, and her claim that a “letter from five human rights groups” was “pressing WikiLeaks to do a better job of redacting names from thousands of war documents it is publishing.” So far, I have found three clear and inexcusable errors.

In order of increasing importance the errors are as follows…

Error #1: It is false that all the signatories to the letter were all working for human rights organizations. The International Crisis Group is not a human rights organization. It is a foreign policy think tank. I leave it to the reader to decide what kind of foreign policy think tank it is.

Error #2: It is false that all (or even most of) the signatories were speaking on behalf of the organizations they worked for. Only two persons has claimed this — those being Sarah Holewinkski of Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict and Ahmed Nader Nadery of  The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (which, is independent in the Hall of Mirrors ™ sense that it was established by decree of Hamid Karzai and is predominantly financed by nations with forces occupying Afghanistan).  The other three say they were writing as individuals.

Error #3: It is false that the content of the letter was to upbraid WikiLeaks; it seems the letter was a request to meet Assange so that they might discuss their concerns about civilian sources and work to find a way to protect them.

All of this leaves open the question of why the letter was (a) leaked to the WSJ and (b) spun as it was by the WSJ. Point (b) is the real corker. How hard is it to accurately report the contents of a letter? Of course, if you then refuse to release the letter to anyone else, I guess you can spin the content however you want.

Point (a) is more difficult. Here are the options.

a-1. One of the signatories was working for The Man, called some friends, got them to sign onto the letter, and released it to the WSJ as a way to control media spin about WikiLeaks.

a-2. Someone who was working for The Man persuaded some people that they should contact Assange and arrange a meeting. Said someone was copied on the letter and released it to the WSJ as a way to control media spin about WikiLeaks.

a-3. Someone who was a signatory to the letter randomly decided to send it to Jeanne Whalen in an effort to see how badly she could misreport it. Presumably this was just done for the lulz.

a-4. Someone who was a signatory to the letter sent the letter to Jeanne Whalen to show how nice positive things were happening, not realizing that she was incapable of reading and accurately reporting the contents of a simple letter.

a-5. Assange leaked it to Whalen. I have no idea why he would do this, since, I’ve heard, he has his own way to release documents. I put that out there because that is what “some people” in The Hall of Mirrors ™ are saying.

Meanwhile I want all of you reporters out there to know that I wasted my morning doing your job when I should have been sitting on my yacht with the girls from the Pink Monkey, enjoying our usual breakfast of iced turtle eggs dusted with beluga caviar and mimosas made with Sicilian blood oranges and Cristal (none of that Moet crap!). No rest for the competent I suppose.

15 Responses to “More Errors Found in WSJ WikiLeaks Article”

  1. Overbrain Unplugged

    Sep 30th, 2010

    Dude, you need to okay Pix putting me on staff if you want some quality reportage. Otherwise you are gonna be stuck with Pappy ‘splaining this stuff in hillbilly-speak.

  2. Miki

    Sep 30th, 2010


  3. James Freud

    Sep 30th, 2010

    Can someone sum up this article for me in a few words? I fell asleep after ‘Anglophone’.

  4. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 30th, 2010

    blah blah WSJ bitch blah blah errors blah blah CIA contractor blah blah astroturfed letter dissing WIkileaks blah blah WSJ spin cycle.

  5. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 30th, 2010

    @ James Freud

    Someone’s all pissy over some letter the WSJ twisted about to fill some sort of weird agenda of theirs. Mass media doing its thing. Move along.

  6. David Dunlap

    Sep 30th, 2010

    Legend? You actually have the word “legend” in your job title? Is it a legend people whisper to each other or actually talk out loud about? Just asking… It’s rhetorical, actually – don’t keep your monkey girls waiting!

  7. Judge Joker

    Sep 30th, 2010

    This site is now SRS BIZNS? I notice a change in the force and it’s really not going down well with my cup of tea.

    This whole “reality” gives me a lump in my throat, propaganda, CIA black ops and wiki leaks taking the piss… really should be left for the conspiracy websites.

    I understand you have a serious message to get out, but do you really think enough people are going to get the Virtual bullshit vs RL bullshit? when it’s hard to get enough people into Second Life and to start to actually understand what that virtual world is all about.

    Before throwing into the mix virtual world bullshit & comparing it to RL bullshit.

    People generally go into Virtual worlds to lobotomize themselves from RL bullshit, SO please give me more virtual world bullshit so I can lobotomize myself from the constant stream of media real life bullshit that’s impossible to fix and only designed to crush my dreams and hopes of a better life.

    Also whens the next book coming out….?

  8. hobo kelly

    Sep 30th, 2010

    Wellsum, Im a hopin all this convoluted real life stuff is just a new way to make crazy cat ladies start uncontrolably spewing word salads around the room cuz iffin it is, wellsum it bees bein workin pretty good, otherwise, meh, just more fodder for your FBI file…

  9. MarkByrn

    Sep 30th, 2010

    …Wall Street Journal’s Jeanne Whalen busted for more journalistic FAIL…

    I stopped reading after that “epic” intro but it’s amusing to know that the journalistic minnows at the Alphaville Herald are dreaming to “pwn” the WSJ.

  10. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 30th, 2010

    @ Overbrain Unplugged

    Not hard. I just e-mailed Pix and she hired me. I haven’t written shit yet, either!

  11. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Sep 30th, 2010

    @Overbrain: I was about to explain to you how you go about writing for the herald but then thought about it and realized that if you can’t find the link on this web page or track the right people down without me spoon feeding it to you, then you probably have no journalistic instincts.

    Ya gotta dig!

  12. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Sep 30th, 2010

    It occurs to me that if I were investigating this story and got as far as Uri has I’d have tried to dox Jeanne Whalen by now. Not that I would have necessarily succeeded. I suck at doxing people, but that is where I would try to take it from here.

    It might turn up nothing, but then again it might turn out that she does freelance work for a private intelligence agency or had a heart wrenching breakup with Assage when they were in middle school together or something. You never know what could turn up when you get somebody’s sekrit dox.

  13. IntLibber Brautigan

    Oct 1st, 2010

    I would venture to guess that Ms Whalen is either related to, or university chums with the instigator of that letter. The East Coast Power Elites are incredibly incestuous that way.

  14. Little Lost Linden

    Oct 1st, 2010

    Did I leave the iron on?

  15. Urizenus

    Oct 1st, 2010

    Bubblesort and Intlibber: check this out:

    She clearly has a total hardon for WikiLeaks at the moment. I love the part about the Cryptome guy only agreeing to meet if they can meet in Rupert Murdoch’s NY penthouse. Epic troll there.

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