#Weinergate: Why Publish Lies From “John Reid”?

I am friendly with both Patterico & Tommy Christopher but I’ve also been critical of both at points in the #Weinergate story. But there’s a pretty glaring hypocrisy going on in the current reporting that I feel is worth commenting on.

Patterico has really gone after Tommy for being fooled by the Reids, even though Tommy not only talked to someone on the phone but also got IDs. Yes, the IDs turned out to be fake – but that’s certainly not Tommy’s fault.

At the same time, though, Patterico has uncritically posted information from (drum roll) John Reid – this, AFTER the fakery was exposed.

And some of the information is blatantly false – here’s one example…

did you your family initially tell Tommy that Breitbart and Loesch behind getting Bornfree to Manufacture evidence? Do you have evidence or did Nikki lie about that? Or did Tommy misreport this? When did Nikki start/create(date/month year fine)her Twitter accnt?

Comment by az5thdstrct — 6/27/2011 @ 12:16 am

No. This has been mis-reported and is another lie. Marianela told Nikki this lie about Breitbart andDana. Nikki trusted her friend was telling the truth. When Tommy showed Nikki the DM’s betweenMarianela and Mike Stack Nikki was surprised and her emails to Tommy will reveal that. I will releasethose to Patterico. Nikki immediately told Tommy that she NEVER authorized Marianlea to speak forher and also sent a warning to Gennette not to talk to Marianela. Nikki never pushed any story aboutBreitbart or Dana. This was Marianela that was unauthorized to speak to Mike saying she was speakingfor Nikki. I hope this false/misreport will stop being perpetuated. It only serves to stoke misconceptions.If you are in the business of misconceptions, then more power to you. I’m not. We’re not.

Comment by John Reid — 6/27/2011 @ 12:22 am

(emphasis added)

This is totally untrue.

Nikki told Tommy that Breitbart and Dana were trying to get Nikki / Marianela to lie. She said this in DMs from the JohnReid9 account, late Saturday night / early Sunday morning. I have triple checked this with Tommy and got his okay to repeat it. (Adding: and here’s a link to Mediaite discussing it.)

And again note – this happened from the JohnReid9 account; so ‘fake Papa Reid can’t really declare ignorance.

Publishing this sort of lie – totally unchallenged — from a person confirmed to be a fake seems very questionable on Patterico’s part. This is especially true about someone who has been so critical of Tommy.

If it’s bad journalism to publish statements from the Reids BEFORE they are exposed, what is it to publish such information afterwards?


  1. Guess that was the right link 🙂

    I’m not sure Pat did any fact-checking/corrections or whatnot in the comments of the post; that was up to the people asking.

    Great work btw

  2. “late Saturday night / early Sunday morning.” Certain you mean May 28th, 29th

  3. Exactly — I’ll add that.

  4. I don’t think it’s really fair to compare Tommy’s reception of the “Reids” with Pattericos.

    Tommy was taken in by confidence game tricks, and not only accepted the wacko statements, but did not get raised hackles after 1. having been tipped that these characters were socks 2.catching them out in a spectacular lie 3. Not noticing the sudden reversal and its resolution were squirrely and demanded closer inspection of the people and the stories.

    He was their utter dupe despite being warned and warned and warned and warned, before, during, and after his report.

    Patrick is taking the Reid stuff “under advisement’ as it were, for the entertainment value and the informational value – not for the truth of the matter asserted, but to get out what the sock wanted to assert. – but he is not and never was taken in by that ridiculous sock.

    His chief object was not eat up whatever story “Reid” spun out as the inside real story, but after taking steps to determine this was not a malicious interloper but connected with the tale-teller(s) in Tommy’s story, to catch out inconsistencies while sussing out whatever information the sock had at his disposal – convos between the socks and Gennette, for example.

    I can’t fake it anymore so hats off to P. A little patience and you get clear evidence of deception, as above, out for anyone who has not already seen enough sockery to be convinced.

    Tommy, on the other hand, was suckered by his own eagerness to get a scoop and a storyline that pleased him, and was easily worked on by the socks when they were caught red-handed, despite being warned, and despite reading himself those statements.

  5. Can you publish the DMs from JR9 to Tommy?

  6. Not to mention Patterico never flashed his fabulous shiny “J” badge at bloggers like they were vampires and he was Van Helsing preventing violation of JOURNALISTIC STANDARDS!
    Patterico never vouched for and declared the truth of the story told by people who had already lied to him, and had provided ample inconsistencies to make him at least suspect it, as 100% certainty. His sources were unimpeachable! Good lord, he might have at least allowed that there was room for interpretation.

  7. Yes, would Tommy allow those DM’s to be shown, in full?

    I doubt he would show all of his correspondence, it would be too embarrassing.

  8. SarahW …exactly right.

    And if Reid, given enough rope, hangs himself, it only supports Lee’s theory. In the meantime it is informative, challenging, engaging, and suspenseful.

    Kudos to Patterico for what he’s doing and to Lee as well. Enough with the infighting, though.

  9. Lee,

    The word “uncritically” in your post appears to be a typo. Could you fix that please?

  10. Sarah,

    I don’t agree, really…

    Tommy published statements and noted that they were statements. That’s fair, right?

  11. Tommy’s radio interview with Larry is very telling. Surely there’s a summary somewhere. Very embarrassing for Tommy.

  12. Let me elaborate on my last comment.

    I would suggest to Lee that he go back and re-read the posts I have done about this.

    IF — and I say IF — the work I have done exposes further reason to doubt the story of JohnReid9 . . . shouldn’t Lee Stranahan be pleased by that?

    If, on the other hand, it doesn’t, then it does not seem like naivete.

    I know what I should have done: repeatedly say that I wasn’t vouching for anything JohnReid9 said.

    Oh, wait: I DID!

    Which kind of renders this post pointless, wouldn’t you say?

  13. Uncritically as in — no factual challenge to the statements.

    And allowing them to continue to be made, too.

    And — based on the radio show, Patrick — apparently you don’t know what actually transpired, either.

  14. No — it’s not enough just to say ‘you aren’t vouching’.

    You let a total fabrication be published without 1) confirming its truth 2) commenting that it doesn’t check out factually.

  15. Oh: I plan to have another big document dump tonight. Hooray!

    I’ll put in my usual caveats. Let’s see if Lee ignores them the way he ignores my past caveats in this post.

  16. “And — based on the radio show, Patrick — apparently you don’t know what actually transpired, either.”

    That’s painting with a broad brush. Let’s be more accurate. There was one aspect of Nikki’s communications with Tommy that I had overlooked. That much was totally true.

  17. Not really.

    I say that because when pushed to acknowledge significant inconsistencies that indicated doctoring, he minimized those and called them nothing. And when pressed he vouched for the statements, and poor dear troubled Marianelas reversal as reliable. 100% was the degree of his certainty, he used the percentage.

    In a delightful ironic twist, It turned out that the DMs the Marianela sock promised Stack actually existed. Not even the confession of lying that Tommy vouched for was 100% truthful

  18. “You let a total fabrication be published without 1) confirming its truth 2) commenting that it doesn’t check out factually.”

    I’m responsible for my commenters now?

    Ohhhhhh . . . I see what this is about.

    Well, let me let you in a secret.

    I’m NOT responsible for my commenters.

    Sometimes I don’t even READ the comments. Like the comments that are obviously at the root of this tirade against me: those from Dustin. I still haven’t read all those. I would prefer to let you two work it out, or not. But you seem to think that if I don’t take your side, when you and he are feuding and I am busy at work and don’t have time for Internet spats, then I am somehow taking up against you.

    Your anger over that is not a justification for misrepresenting what I have been doing at my site. And that is what I consider this post.

  19. That’s all I’m taking about here.

    You are allowing your site to be a forum for disinformation to be published. Just because you aren’t ‘vouching’ for it doesn’t change that fact. I didn’t say you’re saying you agree — but that isn’t what Reid needs.

    All he needs is a place to dump information. He has no forum to lie en masse otherwise.

  20. If instead, T. had responded to warnings and criticisms in a more appropriate manner, instead of defending the perfect legitimacy of his “sources”, looking for ways to excuse the inconsistencies he should have addressed those within his initial report and if not then certainly after they were pointed out to him. Especially as he had been tipped they were socks.

  21. This has ZERO to do with Dustin. Nothing. Nada.

    Reid isn’t just a commenter — you have turned him into a de facto Guest Poster.

  22. Lee, he could get a forum, couldn’t “he”? Even if no one would play with her, Blogger blogs are still free. I suppose he could dump and link anything there.

  23. Lee says : Lee June 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm
    No — it’s not enough just to say ‘you aren’t vouching’.

    You let a total fabrication be published without 1) confirming its truth 2) commenting that it doesn’t check out factually.

    but the example given is a Q&A with Reid…not a document. Pat didn’t publish…he got a valuable Q&A with Reid.

    Dozens of skeptical commenters, including Lee, are there to point out any lies. Should be done right there in comments so that everyone can follow.

  24. Koam — now you’re saying it’s the commenters job to fact check? That the OWNER of the site has zero responsility? Okay.

  25. I mean, come on even fake Lori Drew had a very popular “explanation” blog for a while, thanks to some consortium of griefers, I forget which one.

  26. Sarah — do you see a pattern of the Puppet Mistress using other people to drop info, as a way of giving that info more authority AND keeping themselves from being the source of the info?

    Do you see they are doing that with Patterico?

  27. Lee – I’d say its important to distinguish between allowing a sock a forum, and vouching for anything the sock says in your forum.

    There’s entertainment value in it, and some utility as well. The sock reveals his sockiness, gets caught avoiding questions, using “commenter” socks to disarm confrontation, gets caught in fibs as in the example you gave.

  28. That’s so beyond ‘soft ball’ journalism that it’s…not journalism.

    You’ve point out some potential upsides — any downsides?

  29. Lee, I was absolutely shocked when Patterico was outwardly behaving as if he for one second believed JR9 could be real. But P.’s goal was not to announce him as genuine, just to put his socktastic performance out there and let people at various stages of denial or acceptance draw him out.

    I admit it’s bothered me when some commenters seemed not only to be humoring the sock, but credulous of his existence. But since the continued fiction only tends to establish more and more that it is a fiction, it’s not useless and not in fact doing any harm in the direction of truth.

  30. I”m saying you call it publishing a lie when it was an open-to-the-public Q&A with a key character, where everyone is hyper-aware of potential lying.

    If the commenters saw lies, they’d point them out…and many were critical… and the credibility of Reid would be destroyed. We can watch Obama or Weiner or Boehner give a press conference and decide for ourselves how much we think they’re lying. In the case of Reid taking questions, we had the chance to offer the questions as well, which was pretty cool.

  31. And there were real documents printed that we’d never seen…with real news, confirmed.

    It’s a bleep of a lot better than giving it to Preston and having her put her spin on it. And Tommy told us they were real over and over…even weeks later. And then he said it didn’t matter.

  32. I thought they were lying puppets long ago. Should I have demanded Patterico stop allowing them then? I think the longer they go on, the more doubts of doubters are put to rest. Are you implying Patterico is being played by the puppets? I suspect he just wants to see where they go, and I can’t see how that is particularly harmful.

  33. SarahW

    It bothers you that everyone doesn’t agree with you?

    I say we can make the final decision after all the docs are out.

  34. And if Tommy has DMs from Nikki , John, & Marianela that would cream them, then he should just put them out.

  35. If this was just a discussion of whether it’s OK to publish information from a discredited source that nevertheless might be interesting information, then I can see strong arguments on both sides. However, there’s one aspect that hasn’t been discussed that I think tips the scales. Namely, Patterico didn’t just post John Reid’s alleged evidence without comment; rather, he organized and cherry-picked the information in manner specifically designed to call GC into question. From bringing in irrelevant details of her personal life to saying that her story is “falling apart,” Patterico used a known liar’s words to try to cross examine and pressure GC, and he allowed and encouraged all kinds of smears in the comments.

    So it’s one thing to put out information from a questionable source “without judgement” for it’s own sake. But it’s a lot worse to put out that information with the intent of making personal attacks on someone else.

  36. “From bringing in irrelevant details of her personal life to saying that her story is “falling apart,”

    Interesting observation Adam.

  37. Adam — you’re STLActivistHub, correct? I am not saying this to discount your point, which I think has some smerit. I just want to get it on the record.

  38. I’d rather have the information. I don’t need a blogger or reporter to give me a conclusion. Tommy Christopher gave a conclusion.
    Patterico’s giving raw information.

  39. Patterico made the offer to GNC to have the exact same platform as JR9.

  40. I had no idea you guys were under the impression Patterico was on my side on this. Anyway, I think he’s not trying to take a side.

    Lee, you are welcome to show be the fabrication I have produced. I’ve offered $100 for such an example. I simply had a really hard time believing this phone call is what it was claimed to be. I think I’m not alone, but I am fortunate that in this case I coached my comments as my own opinion, rather than a fact.

    You have quoted me six times, Lee, where I mention this phone call with some degree of doubt. Never have you shown a ‘fabrication’. In fact, your description of my comments that way is actually a fabrication. I’ve explained that repeatedly.

    Also, you outed me behind my back because we disagreed. that’s cold. You then said you had a secret proving I’m not credible about these statements, and when I asked you… how many times now? … whatever a lot of times, you only reference the comments.

    I do wonder about this phone call. I believe it existed, but that’s just an act of faith, basically, just like when I didn’t believe it existed. And remember my state of mind when I was asked to believe these call… which is unusual. I had just absorbed you rationalizing your behavior to Razor. You considered that an apology, but I don’t. You didn’t really apologize to your audience, either. I’ve been trying really hard to keep the peace for Patterico, but he sure as hell isn’t responsible for my comments. I know he’s disagreed with a lot of them, and he doesn’t ever delete those.

    His attitude is that if a comment is wrong, other comments can explain. You explained, in reaction to my comments, that this phone call was real because of Ms Preston’s impeccable character and a few other factors. OK. But it’s still pretty hard to nail you down on details about it. I don’t think that’s because you’re dishonest, Lee. I think it’s because you’re a bit of a narcisist and take being challenged completely the wrong way.

    And finally, I wasn’t really meaning to talk about the phone calls. I was talking about your credibility, and using my inability to take your word for it on the phone calls as merely an example of why that makes it harder for you to do your work.

    I’ve tried repeatedly to extend a hand of… if not friendship than something other than being your enemy. But you’ve ignored everything you’ve done to me. Like I said, you’re a narcissist, and you act like the things you’ve done to me didn’t even happen. What’s up with that? You’ve explained your grievance with me, I’ve tried my best to correct it in good faith, and you’ve ignored my grievance with you.

    Anyway, I am very surprised you’re still arguing about this. I’m just a commenter on a blog, dude. You won the argument in that thread, if you hadn’t noticed. I’ve already conceded your point. I didn’t fabricate anything. I expressed my sincere doubt. So why on earth are you still mad?

    You and Patterico have a good thing going, so don’t screw it up over the fact someone challenged you. Ask Patterico: I’ve asked him for nothing but to let us handle this as two adults. If you’re still upset about this, maybe we really do need to have a beer together or at least a phone call (you have my email).

    Remember, what you said about me was infinitely less honest and more hostile than anything I’ve done to you, “St Ranahan”.

    Let’s just bury the hatchet. I’m honestly surprised you’re still even thinking about this.

  41. “Lee June 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    This has ZERO to do with Dustin. Nothing. Nada.”

    Oh. Well shit. Ooops. Delete if you like, Lee. I didn’t want to pick the scab. Jeeeeeeez.

  42. I was the one who suggested it was about Dustin. If I’m wrong I apologize.

    I don’t want to argue with Lee.

    I do have a question for him and his fans. And it is an innocent question and asked in the knowledge that I have been too busy at work to follow all the ins and outs:

    How do we know the JG caller was not a hoaxer? And that the real JG didn’t actually get threats — albeit of course not from Lee, but from another hoaxer?


  43. BTW, I’m doing my best to steer clear of Patterico’s Weiner threads, so don’t avoid his blog because you’re sick of me. I wasn’t providing a lot of insight anyway.

  44. I support Patterico giving a forum to JR9, GennetteC and others to make claims and post “evidence” related to this saga. His caveats are clearly noted. The more evidence that gets posted, the more contradictions emerge. To me it is a superior approach than claiming proof by proclamation or proof by demanding people prove you wrong while withholding some of your cards.

  45. Awww shucks the honeymoon is apparently over. Just goes to show that obsession over someone’s weiner has unintended consequences.


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