Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow

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  • andin,

    "Insane" "crazy"
    No wrong, well almost right.
    This is what madness looks like when masquerading as sanity.
    As most of these persons think they are a pinnacle and even a last bastion of sanity!
    Seeing it from that perspective it makes a perverse kind of rationale to them and to them alone.
    Cause we're all slightly mad, Its when overactive imaginations truly run riot that collective madness ensue's. They are fooled by the monster's their minds have conjured up
    And this is collective madness, mass psychosis No doubt at all

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I can only hope this is frightening enough to the people who don't usually vote to make the small effort required to save their country and their lives.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    the people who don't usually vote to make the small effort required

    If only it was a small effort. Spending a few days or weeks finding documentation, saving a weeks income, submitting both to a bureaucracy designed to work against your interests, in the hope of being allowed to take a day off work in order to queue for hours before being told that you can't submit even a tentative vote for reasons that you know are wrong... that is not atypical, nor is it "a small effort". Voter suppression is the norm in much of the USA.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Okay … I thought I was going to get some work done today, but maybe not.

    As you may have heard on the news, the Trump campaign, having denied there was any plagiarism in Melania’s speech at all, has now found someone to dive under the bus: Trump ghostwriter Meredith McIver.

    Now, there is a Meredith McIver listed as an author on the site of Trump’s publisher as far back as 2007.

    But almost everything else about Meredith McIver on the internet has appeared in the past 24 hours. Her Facebook page, for example.

    And the All American Speakers bio page which is the almost exclusive source of detail in current news reports has been crawled once by the Internet Archive: on July 20, 2016.

    There is actually a precedent for such a thing. Trump finally admitted in May that he had been posing as his own spokespeople “John Miller” and “John Barron” as far back as the 1990s.

    There is a mention in this 2007 Guardian story in which the journalist Gaby Wood seems to have set eyes on someone called Meredith McIver. A couple of newspapers now say she’s a registered Democrat who lives on the Upper West Side.

    But if she does exist, why on earth, in the midst of a convention crisis, would she have been busying herself creating a new Facebook page and bios for her speaking services?

    It gets even more screwed-up, because if McIver exists, she’s mentioned nowhere in disclosures and the Trump campaign would thus seem to have broken campaign finance laws.

    Update: The Meredith McIver bio has now disappeared from the All American Speakers website.

    Update 2: The Facebook page was created six hours ago, about the same time the Trump campaign statement was released. Quick fake, imo. I think McIver exists, but that the explanation over how the plagiarism happened is full of holes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to andin,

    Who would have thought that so many could jump down the rabbit hole at the same time?

    “But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
    "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
    "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    The Wayback machine isn't very useful though - it's far from an exhaustive index and often only crawls things after it is told to, or finds links on various sources. So if the Meredith McIver page was linked from news sites recently, then that might be why the Wayback machine has only just noticed it.

    A Google search for her associated with Simon & Schuster limited from Jan 1, 2000 to Jan 1, 2016 find quite a number of hits that would seem to support her existence... While Google's dates are far from perfect either (based often on information in the page's text, rather than the date Google first saw the content) it does seem to suggest she's really who they suggest she is.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Thinking of the title, to be fair it's not really literal.



    Or is it?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    So if the Meredith McIver page was linked from news sites recently, then that might be why the Wayback machine has only just noticed it.

    I did wonder about that. But All American Speakers itself has been crawled by the Wayback Machine for the past 14 years and I can't find another speaker (I concentrated on the lowest-fee ones, figuring they'd be the most obscure) who has only been clocked once, yesterday.

    With the Simon and Schuster thing, sure, there's no doubt her name has been credited on the books going way back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Update: The Meredith McIver bio has now disappeared from the All American Speakers website.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ian I was just pondering that myth in relation to this madness. A friend sent a link to that Trump quote about the Republican voters being stupid and would believe all / any of his bullshit. This makes the Republicans Narcissus and Trump the bright reflector of their image, next to appear; Nemesis.

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The top of the bio on the now-deleted speaker profile both suggests it’s been there since the first season of The Apprentice and sounds a lot like the whole John Miller thing:

    Meredith McIver is a close associate to the world famous real estate titan and recent TV Impresario Donald Trump.

    Ms. McIver co-authored the best-selling book, “Trump: How to Get Rich,” which reveals the secrets of his success. Over the years, everyone has urged Trump to write on this subject, but it wasn’t until NBC and executive producer Mark Burnett asked him to star in “The Apprentice” that he realized just how hungry people are to learn how great personal wealth is created and first-class businesses are run. Thousands applied to be Trump’s apprentice, and millions have been watching the program, making it the highest rated debut of the season.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160720191823/https://www.allamericanspeakers.com/celebritytalentbios/Meredith+McIver

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to ,

    In the source code of the archived page, most of the resources have this datestamp.

    web/20160720191823cs

    I’m not sure whether that signifies the original creation date, though.

    Nope that’s the archive’s date (see, it’s in the archive.org page URL too).

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Are you suggesting that Trump does his own writing, or that someone other than Meredith McIver is his ghost writer?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to william blake,

    Trump the bright reflector of their image

    Pond scum?
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Nope that’s the archive’s date (see, it’s in the archive.org page URL too).

    Yes, someone answered that question for me on twitter. Was just about to update.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Are you suggesting that Trump does his own writing, or that someone other than Meredith McIver is his ghost writer?

    Nice sarcasm. Tony Schwartz approves.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Are you suggesting that Trump does his own writing, or that someone other than Meredith McIver is his ghost writer?

    I don't know!

    But the Trump campaign's explanation was dubious (and contradicts the explanation given by multiple campaign sources to the New York Times) and the other stuff is odd too.

    I guess I'm applying Trump's Razor as defined by Josh Marshall: choose the most absurd explanation consistent with known facts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The Wayback machine isn't very useful though - it's far from an exhaustive index and often only crawls things after it is told to, or finds links on various sources

    It's useful but not omniscient. Also, many sites put up a robot.txt file prohibiting it crawling them.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    If I'm following correctly it went something like this:

    - Melania says in interview on Trumpforce 1 that she wrote the speech herself with "as little help as possible"
    - Melania delivers her speech, and some of Michelle Obamas
    - Trump campaign says Melania's "team of writers" looked at things she took inspiration from
    - Various Trump spokespeople said there was no plagarism.
    - Now they say it was one person, who is mysteriously absent?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Yup. It's like they only exist in the moment.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But the Trump campaign’s explanation was dubious .... and the other stuff is odd too.

    And the 2016 Award for the Understatement of the Year goes to.....

    Congratulations, Russell Brown!

    (PS. This is work ;-) )

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Trump... posing as his own spokespeople “John Miller” and “**John Barron”**

    Who knew that Trump was a New Worlds or SciFi reader - grabbing a pseudonym from Norman Spinrad's 1969 novel Bug Jack Barron about a TV host running for president...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    I am Meredith McIver!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    It’s useful but not omniscient. Also, many sites put up a robot.txt file prohibiting it crawling them.

    Not the site in question though, which has been crawled for 14 years. The now-deleted McIver profile is the only one I could find which has been archived only once, yesterday. Would a spike in general searches for her name prompt the Wayback machine to crawl a page on the site it had previously ignored? I'm puzzled about why it would ignore her profile given the many mentions of her name in relation to Trump's books.

    I guess another explanation is that both the Facebook page and the speaker profile were created by fast-moving trolls. Which doesn't explain why the Facebook page seems to have been created before the explanation was published.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

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