This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Incestuous Relationships Part 2

Nathan Diebenow wrote, "The [Lonestar] Iconoclast is one of VR's affiliates." According to the Business Dictionary (in regards to commerce), "Two parties are affiliates if either party has the power to control the other, or a third party controls or has the power to control the both. Affiliation also exists in (1) interlocking directorates or ownership, ..."

On June 6, 2009, Brad Friedman penned:
Cindy Sheehan to RAW STORY on Their Coverage of Her Upcoming Bush/Dallas Protest: 'Eff' You! Controversial 'Peace Mom' also blasts Crawford's 'Lonestar Iconoclast' for 'stabbing [her] in the back'
Further down Brad made a disclosure. BradBlog also covered the "Camp Casey" story. It partnered with Raw Story for two weeks of broadcasting. Brad mentioned working a bit with The Iconoclast, in addition to Diebenow's front page article promoting VR's Dept. of Justice schtick. I don't see any mention of The Lonestar Iconoclast being a VR affiliate. It is interesting to note that according to Brad's article, Raw Story's Stephen C. Webster worked for months for The Iconoclast.
Webster notes that he "would link to sources" backing up his claims of criticism from the left, "but that bit comes first-hand." He recounts that he'd "spen[t] months covering Cindy's activity for The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford," and writes that he "understand[s] many of the various opinions expressed about this woman's activism."
It's shocking how Cindy was broadsided by people marketing themselves as leftists.

Brad continued:
[Webster] then goes on to associate with his former Iconoclast colleague Nathan Diebenow who, he writes, "quite accurately summarized, her constant angling for the spotlight and failure to significantly modify her tactics," which, Webster goes on to charge, "made Cindy into a 'media bore' (as opposed to the oft referenced 'media whore' insult so many on the right would hurl at her)."
Then Brad segued into incorporating Raw Story's Ron Brynaert into this news making news clusterfocker.
UPDATE: Shortly after publishing this story, we were contacted by RAW STORY Executive Editor, Ron Brynaert who asked us to include the following comment:
That was a blog at Raw Story, written by one reporter here, who - of course - is free to express his own opinions (at least in the blog section).

I personally think Cindy Sheehan rocks. I think she's been a tremendous voice against the war in Iraq and I applauded her quixotic campaign against Pelosi. Sometimes I don't agree with her, but not only do I thank her for her voice, I wish that other relatives of our troops pro or con against the war could be heard, as well, because they all deserve the biggest spotlight that there is.

Ron Brynaert
Executive Editor
Hmmm. According to Mr. Antiwar Brynaert, relatives in favour of the war (along with those against) "deserve the biggest spotlight that there is." As internet kids like to say, "Wow, just wow."

Webster's "Peace Mom' to hound Bush in Dallas" leads to a 404 error message. It is also unavailable at

In short, imho, the relationships among all these various internet personalities have been non-sexually incestuous. Former Bradblog blogger Dave Edwards has been a Raw Story video editor. Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna lied on behalf of VR's Brett Kimberlin. According to VR itself, attorney Cliff Arnebeck has worked for VR. Former Raw Story executive editor Ron Brynaert used to regularly post at BradBlog. Then there is Anthony Levensalor. In the early days of BradBlog he posted as ~A. He has worked for both VR and Raw Story. (Ron Brynaert and Anthony also used to blog together on something called Watching the Watchers.)

related link

Anyone interested in this kind of junk is encouraged to slog through my astroturfing section easily accessed through the above link. There are also a few entries at Daily Kos written under my Prepostericity username.

Bonus Off-Topic Excerpt from Mark Singer's excellent book, Citizen K; The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin
The intense but almost ineffable entanglements in Sandi and Brett's lives could be rendered for the jury only in elliptical terms. During cross-examination, Pylitt managed to extract the information that Kimberlin and Sandi's younger daughter had traveled alone together to Disney World, Mexico, and Hawaii. For Pylitt to delve extensively into that particular anomaly, however, would have risked a mistrial. In the courtroom, the Scyphers murder was off-limits, and the theory that early on had galvanized the government's investigation-that the bombings grew out of the murder-could not be delineated. At the conclusion of the trial, newspaper interviews with jurors indicated that their deliberations were free of musings about the murder. Several jurors simply hadn't realized that Sandra Barton was Julia Scyphers' daughter. The Indianapolis News quoted one: "I didn't know about it until I got home and my wife told me. Had we known, there might have been some more questions about her testimony." Thus the apparent lack of motive for the bombings increased the prosecutor's burden of proof.

Citizen K by Mark Singer
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996, pp. 135-136

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