Tuesday, May 31, 2016
HuffPost Pulls Racketeering Story
According to a Breitbart update today regarding the HuffPost story on Hillary Clinton’s imminent indictment that suddenly disappeared off their website around 9am this morning – neither the author of the piece, Frank Huguenard, nor the senior Politics editor for the webazine know why the story was pulled.
This latest Breitbart story puts to rest by implication the rumor that the story, itself, was a forgery. According to author Huguenard:
“Huffpo has yet to respond to my request for an explanation”
of why the story was suddenly pulled.
Although the piece was not sourced, the allegations were so explosive – namely that Hillary Clinton positively would be indicted on federal racketeering charges – that many news organizations would run with it with minimal sourcing.
However Huguenard tweeted Breitbart News reporter Patrick Howley this morning that he does have sources for the dramatic revelation:
“I’ve got my sources, they never asked.”
Huguenard later told Breitbart:
“I want to do another story but my HuffPo account has been temporarily disabled. Not sure what’s happening with them.”
Also today, Huffington Post Politics senior editor Sam Stein also confirmed the legitimacy of the Clinton indictment story by acknowledging that the piece was pulled by unknown persons.
“Sorry. I don’t know [who pulled it]. I’d direct your question to a blog editor.” Stein said.
But Stein – perhaps sensing that the corporate long knives may be out looking for some scapegoat – any scapegoat – declined to provide the name or contact info for that blog editor.
So now, the question becomes; who ordered the piece removed – obviously for partisan reasons – and then who is sufficiently skilled in the dark arts to then deliberately circulate the rumor that the piece was a totally forgery which must have been posted on the HuffPo site by means of a malicious intrusion?
Creating fake evidence of a malicious intrusion – a bold cover-up – could easily backfire on its creator and move from getting caught with one’s hand in the electronic cookie jar, so to say, to serious criminal behavior which leaves abundant electronic fingerprints.
In other words, the chances of posting a fake story on the HuffPo site are near zero, and therefore the chances of this rumor being a part of a sophisticated disinformation operation are very high.
Time will tell if Huguenard’s sources were legit. That will take care of itself.
The most promising aspect for good reporters wanting to catch the next good story would be to dig into the source of the “fake story” rumor.
As we have recently seen, it’s easy to create fake Twitter accounts to distribute malicious rumors, but it’s a dangerous game for the uninitiated because Twitter, the corporation, takes a dim view of this behavior, and is more than happy to seek out the truth and punish violators of their terms of service.
What most likely happened is that Hillary Clinton got on the horn with Arianna Huffington, who runs the HuffPO as a subsidiary AOL – and blasted her. Huffington then called whoever was working in the IT Dept. on this holiday Sunday morning and ordered them to spike Huguenard’s and regulations be damned.
Tomorrow morning, the HuffPo bigwigs will have to meet with their big bosses at AOL and try to figure out the best half-truth to put out in a press release in an attempt to explain all this without revealing the actual truth – that HuffPo is a captive of the Clinton campaign. Click the links below for the 3 videos.