Taibbi's Defense Doesn't Wash, NBC's Ratigan Crossed The Line

Note to media: it’s the ethics, not the ideology!

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, also exposed as one of the alleged journalists working with the Occupy movement behind the scenes and undisclosed, offers up a weak defense of the inherent lack of ethics of those involved. Let’s square the circle and call it weak tea.

There is nothing terribly interesting in any of these exchanges. Most all of the things written were things all of us ended up saying publicly in our various media forums.

It likely fell to a mostly politically irrelevant Taibbi and Rolling Stone to lead the push back as a distraction from NBC’s big problem, Dylan Ratigan. The pigeon-coiffed man with the big mouth has some explaining to do, including to NBC suits and anchor, Brian Williams.

Emails included in Big Government’s document drop of emails exchanged by leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement make it clear that MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan has been directly involved with the group, including helping them to draft statements and offering revisions to a statement David DeGraw might later discuss on NBC News with Brian Williams. Scroll to the bottom of this particular email from David DeGraw to view this passage below and more.


here it is w/ Dylan’s suggested revisions, the ending needs smoothing out, let’s see if we can finalize something tonight in GA – flooded w/ calls rght now, will be on NBC w/ Brian William tonight

STATEMENT: we are publishing this statement in response to misinformation being spread throughout some media outlets, we would like to issue the statement below to give some clarification as to why we are currently occupying Wall Street:

Ratigan’s direct involvement in formulating a statement for distribution to news outlets, including his own, is a gross violation of journalistic ethics compounded by a lack of disclosure that continues to this day. Ratigan has disqualified himself as a trustworthy journalist covering the Occupy movement, regardless of his letting some of his personal political opinions seep through in his coverage. This problem goes way beyond anything Fox News has ever been accused of by the left; Ratigan is personally invested in the movement’s success.

As the Occupy effort and reporting on it continues, we are now seeing even more connections – via the New York Times.

Protesters Debate What Demands, if Any, to Make

In a quiet corner across the street from Zuccotti Park, a cluster of 25 solemn-faced protesters struggled one night to give Occupy Wall Street what critics have found to be most lacking.

What the New York Times doesn’t tell you is, if you go to Big Government and Big Journalism’s doc drop and do a search for “demands,” you’ll find that the topic of demands has been long discussed in emails, including with significant input from Matt Taibbi and other would be journalists. In short, the alleged journalists involved are helping to shape strategy and tactics behind the scenes, stepping back as the activists execute it, then they circle back and mouth agreement with it. That is not journalism and the fact that their activities are un-disclosed only confirms their awareness of it. Were it not an issue, they’d be bragging of their more direct involvement behind the scenes.

A Google term search indicates DeGraw’s appearance was pushed throughout the Occupy activist network. Given that both Ratigan and Williams are part of the broader NBC broadcasting family, it appears as though there are no longer any lines between NBC as a reporter of political news and a political movement driver and shaper.

Other exchanges and an email from Dylan Ratigan himself to the activist group were revealed in this Big Journalism post by Editor Dana Loesch. Note the subject header of Ratigan’s October 7th email at previous link: “Harmony.” Here is Ratigan invoking the same theme to a media reporter on October 12th.

“We’re asking, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What am I doing?'” he said, of the protesters. “That energy seeks to harmonize with itself,” he went on, building up some momentum. “It’s a million points of light, that’s a digital matrix of identity. It’s harder to digest the subject-object relationship. Simply one group of Us, this one gigantic group of Us.”

From Ratigan’s email signature, evidently he has a book coming out: Greedy Bastard$. Under the title, the cover states, “How we can stop corporate communists, banksters, and other vampires from sucking America dry.” Between his words and actions, Ratigan may represent the epitome of an oxymoron. Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter. The better question for NBC maybe, how to stop Dylan Ratigan from sucking all of the credibility out of their purportedly being an objective news operation.

I will say this, though, having been on Ratigan’s show once with Chuck DeVore, if there’s anything Dylan Ratigan knows anything about when it comes to media, it would most definitely be sucking.

The ADL has finally learned its lesson. The pressure of new media has finally caused them to step up and make a decision based upon principle, not politics. It’s timefor NBC, among other media outlets, to step up and do the same thing.

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