‘When I worked at the New York Times, I don’t think I ever wrote a Spiderman story.
What’s a Spiderman story?
That now-famous meme:
A Spiderman story is any investigative piece where the side the reporter is attacking can say EXACTLY the same things about the other side.
… ad infinitum.
I wrote lots of investigative pieces (mostly about drug and other medical companies) in the 10-plus years I worked for the New York Times; I’m proud of them. Some are still quoted, more than a decade after I left.
Here’s how I viewed my job: finding, investigating, and reporting on criminal/quasi-criminal and concealed/quasi-concealed corporate behavior.
All those words matter. Executives usually try to avoid breaking the law overtly. They don’t like prison. Prison isn’t fun. They prefer golf. (I’m not entirely sure why.)
Of course, there are exceptions. A few executives, like Elizabeth Holmes, are frauds basically from the jump. Other will cross the line when the walls are cracking and they get desperate. But generally, well-lawyered companies prefer to look for loopholes.
If paying a physician directly to prescribe your drug is illegal, offer volume “rebates” for drugs administered directly by physicians.
Or create a “naturalistic” clinical trial – where the physician receives hundreds of dollars for filling out a one-page form every time she enrolls a patient.
Or offer a free, all-expenses paid continuing education seminar for physicians about “new treatments” at a ski area, and keep the schedule light. And hire “key opinion leaders” – other physicians – to give the seminars – you can pay them, they’re working. And pay those KOLs to “consult” with your marketing division about the best ways to promote your drug.
You get the idea. When the product is a pill that costs pennies to make and can be sold for dollars (or sometimes hundreds of dollars), there’s LOTS of money sloshing around. You just need to put it to work.
So criminal OR quasi-criminal.
And concealed OR quasi-concealed. Obviously, companies will not go out of their way to describe clearly illegal behavior – cash in bags, et cetera. Getting at that usually requires whistleblowers (another topic) and internal documents.
But public companies have strict disclosure requirements. And pharma companies have to provide data to the Food and Drug Administration both before and after their products are approved and register their human clinical trials prospectively with the National Institutes of Health (they didn’t always). And lawsuits and the discovery process can also be great sources, which is yet another reason the vaccine immunity is so problematic.
So the truth – some version of the truth – is out there. Getting to it is often an iterative process – write a story, people talk, more documents come out, write another story, new evidence arrives in your email, et cetera. Bethany McLean did this brilliantly with Enron 20 years ago.
But please – pretty please – note two facts about the process I am describing.
First, it is a process of finding HIDDEN facts and data.
Second, Spiderman is nowhere near it. When Eli Lilly tried to hide the dangers of its drug Zyprexa from doctors treating people with schizophrenia – among the most vulnerable people in the world – nobody said the people with schizophrenia were hiding anything from Eli Lilly.
That’s investigative reporting. Bringing hidden facts to light. Protecting people who cannot protect themselves from companies with vast resources – armies of lawyers and marketers.
What Elizabeth Dwoskin (who, by the way, did not include me in her Washington Post story today – either she or her editors must have realized how terrible that would look after what I posted late last night) – is nothing of the sort. It is opinion and argument, pure and simple.
NOTHING ABOUT WHAT I AM DOING IS HIDDEN. The opposite: I present my findings every day in as close to real time as possible. And I have no hidden financial conflicts of interest.
AND READERS PROVIDE THE VAST MAJORITY OF MY INCOME. Either directly through Substack and Amazon or indirectly through publishers like Regnery and Simon & Schuster – who offer me advances in the hope they will sell enough books to recoup them, and pay me a portion of the money they make after those advances have earned out.
Investigative reporting would be: discovering that I’m lying about this and some bad actor is funding me. (Who? I even don’t know – the Russian government, maybe?) Which would be impossible, because it’s not true.
Investigative reporting would be: discovering that I have been making up sources or lying about what the documents I present say. Also impossible, because it’s not true.
Instead these people who call themselves reporters basically say, what you are saying is wrong – and not merely wrong, misinformation – because the Centers for Disease Control says so.
I say again, WHAT?
You’re not Spiderman, I’m Spiderman!
I am reporting and have reported that public health authorities have vastly overestimated the efficacy of the vaccines for more than year and are presenting their data in a way that is effectively false. To say the CDC disagrees with me is not to shoot me down; it is to confirm what I am saying.
And it is not reporting, it is stenography of government institutions.
If Sleepy Joe and that other person do get into the WH then you can kiss life as you once knew it, good bye.
‘If the Biden-Harris ticket prevails, would their Green climate policies take hold? It would come if the President exhausted his options in the courts and falls short. This is how the 2000 presidential election concluded, causing Al Gore to concede to George W. Bush 37 days after election day.
Upon declaring himself President-elect, Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to fight “the battle to save the climate” and to re-enter the Paris Climate Accords.
A Biden administration will have a huge impact on climate policies by controlling the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Interior Department as the leading rule-making agencies for Green policies. More than likely, gas pipeline construction will be denied permits, fossil fuel drilling on federal lands refused, carbon emission standards tightened on industry, and wetlands and logging restrictions re-imposed.
Literally dozens of environmental orders are likely forthcoming from a Biden presidency that would reverse Trump administration actions, and impose costlier, anti-competitive energy burdens on American industry, jobs and households.
The question, however, arises: why is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sounding sullen these days? She supported Joe Biden for president (after his nomination at the Democratic convention last August), and drafted his climate policies in the Unity Task Force recommendations.
The answer is that congressional elections did not go well for Democrats. As Joe Biden leads in the presidential count, the Democratic Party unexpectedly took losses in Congress. Several Democratic lawmakers, including 3rd ranking House member, James Clyburn, are publicly blaming the Party’s progressive agenda championed by AOC, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others.
AOC rejects the criticism and is on the defensive. “It’s irresponsible to pour gasoline on what [are] already very delicate tensions in the Party,” she said. She went on, “I don’t even know if I want to be in politics.”
These are not the sentiments of a jubilant, victorious politician.
While Democrats and most pollsters expected Mr. Biden to win the presidency, they also expected to take full control of Congress: first, by expanding their majority in the House of Representatives; second, by taking majority control of the U.S. Senate where Republicans had twice the number of seats at stake and where the Democrats heavily outspent them. Neither occurred.
Instead, Democrats will dwindle to a very narrow House majority to perhaps a handful of seats above the minimum 218, as Republicans are likely to capture a dozen or more seats held by Democratic incumbents. In the Senate, Republicans have at least 50 of the 100 seats, with two Senate run-off races in Georgia to be decided in January.
Even if Biden becomes president, a bare majority in the House and likely continued minority position in the Senate will make progressive climate policies far more difficult to pass into law, if not impossible. In particular, Congress has the power of the purse. Even a modest Green New Deal labeled something else would cost trillions of new taxpayer dollars to impose carbon mandates and “create” green energy jobs. They have no mandate from the voters.
Another reason for climate policy proponents like AOC to be concerned is hydro-fracturing for natural gas, which they oppose. Joe Biden insisted during the fall campaign that he did not oppose fracking, despite taking the opposite position for more than year prior. Kamala Harris said, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact,” though she claimed no reversal for herself. Biden also claimed he was not for the Green New Deal, and Harris refused to mention it, even though both were on record in support. Evidently, both understood the political risk of going big and ostentatious on climate policies.
Lastly, should Mr. Biden end up as president and re-enter the Paris Accords, the Republicans should insist it come before the Senate as a treaty, which requires two-thirds approval, pursuant to the U.S. Constitution. International deals of this magnitude on any subject are manifestly illegal for any president alone to commit the nation. A Biden refusal to do so could trigger Senate Republicans to deny funding its implementation, if they dare.
When I read about Bethel Church in Redding, CA I think of Acts 19:13-15 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Well, the Coronavirus situation and ‘Bethel Church, the controversial megachurch in Redding, California, that also runs a school of supernatural ministry, suspended their “faith healing” ministry at local hospitals where they are known to lay hands on the sick, due to the new coronavirus.
Today there is so-called ‘white privilege’ ‘white supremacy’ and other non-nonsensical terms that have popped up in the last ten or so years. These names are put on people to make them ‘feel’ bad and have some sort of disdain for being WHITE!
However, if one is LBGTQ+ that’s different. One can be any colour if they are in the LBGTQ+ crowd. Now, this article isn’t a hate article against these people but a seeking to get my head around all this. If these people are just like the ‘rest’ of us why do they receive certain privileges? For instance, ‘The Queeromattic Employee Resource Group, Automattic’s LGBTQ+ internal organization, is proud to announce a scholarship for LGBTQ+ WordPress Community members who need financial support to attend a WordCamp flagship event for the first time.
For those unfamiliar with WordCamps, they are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. There are currently four flagship events each year: WordCamp Europe, WordCamp Asia, WordCamp US, and WordCamp Latin America. We’re going to sponsor one member of the LGBTQ+ community to attend each of these events!’ https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2020/03/11/announcing-a-new-scholarship-for-lgbtq-wordpress-community-members/
As I said earlier this is not a hate article but the Word of God is plain on the matter. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (These ‘abusers’ are the LGBTQ+ crowd).