From Ukraine with love

I’m shocked, shocked to find that grifting is going on in here (via):

Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.

[…]

The model resembles a recent stealth campaign in which bloggers were paid by the Malaysian government to write favorable stories, though the Ukraine campaign appears to have involved smaller sums of money.

One of the writers who participated in the campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and because of lingering qualms about the arrangement, they said, described being offered $500 for a blog post praising Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions. The payment was arranged by George Scoville, a libertarian media strategist, and Scoville’s name was on the check, the source said.

78 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Where would one sign up for that fat Nazi cash flow?
    /asking for a friend

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Ha ha ha.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    A marketplace of ideas indeed.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    DougJ, can I just say “Wow” here.
    A link to LGF summarizing a piece by BuzzFeed.
    The longer one looks into the gestalt, the gestalt also looks into you.

    ETA, I wonder what SlugLine thinks of this?

  5. 5
    Nutella says:

    It’s not surprising to know RedState, Breitbart, and Pajamas Media can be bought but it is a surprise that they can be bought for so little. $500 to demonstrate that they’re ghostwriters on payroll — cheap.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I like LGF.

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    @DougJ: Good God.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    On a separate note, I, for one, love the NFL Combine. That’s my jam.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    Last several years have been pretty disturbing in political/economic bloggers moving from, well, commentary to stealthish advocacy. Sites like Registan, now you see them on the TV as an ‘expert’ but you pretty much have to assume everyone, even the academics, are getting paid.

    When will JC and his clique sell out?

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    Ha! #MayockHaiku
    That’s awesome.

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    @Nutella: I had the same thought. Heck sometimes when I see what a politician is given over like a ten year period and it is only like $150,000 and they vote in their favor 100% of the time I think, really you were that cheap to buy?

  12. 12
    cleek says:

    b..bb.bbb.bbbut… The Atlantic!

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    Ahem. You’re talking about something that was first thought up by politicos in my country, so shouldn’t you give credit where credit is due? That post headline ought to read, “From Malaysia with love”.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I, for one, love the NFL Combine

    The Wurzels were never really able to replicate the success of their first hit.

  16. 16
    dr. luba says:

    Yanukovych has bought the best PR groups that money can buy.

  17. 17
    Tommy says:

    @srv: It is pretty bad. Heck I wonder if I should even trust some of the liberals I like to read. I mean one place that I am stunned by are the think tanks. I guess at one time I thought they were a place people could go to conduct research. Maybe shape policy. Now they seem to just be the political arm of some billionaire. Now when I see them on TV I think, OK there is an agenda here, I just wish I knew what it was.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @dr. luba: I’ll say it again, John Podesta can go fuck himself.

  19. 19
    Hawes says:

    I’ve been waiting for the pro-Svoboda blog posts to start coming.

  20. 20
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Alternatively: Ukraine Boleh Juga!

  21. 21
    BD of MN says:

    @srv:

    When will JC and his clique sell out?

    He’s already in the pocket of Big Cat….

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @Tommy: One should always question the credentials of TV “experts”. Many of them, if not paid shills, are outright cranks. It was CNN, I think, that used birther loon “Andy Martin” as a legal expert, ignoring the fact that he was a disbarred attorney with mental health issues who has been barred from filing complaints, appeals, etc. in every federal court in the country including SCOTUS. Once I realized he was being treated as a respected expert, I figured all their experts are fraudulent until proven otherwise.

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    @Hawes:

    I’ve been waiting for the pro-Svoboda blog posts to start coming.

    From who? I don’t see how pointing out corrupt right wingers is pro-Svoboda.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    @dr. luba: It’s just doesn’t make sense. Ukraine’s current government wants the protesters to be portrayed as American spies and agitators but want good press and favorable treatment.

  25. 25
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Remember the Uzbekistan payola? Does anybody know if it was the same bloggers? Scohill sounds like such a familiar name to me.

  26. 26
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: I tend to operate the same as you:

    I figured all their experts are fraudulent until proven otherwise.

    I know it shouldn’t surprise me but when Think Progress or Media Maters break down who these “experts” I am often surprised. Their funding. Often their rap sheet. I mean what are the producers of these shows doing? Doesn’t seem they are doing their jobs. I mean before you have somebody on have an intern use Google and see what the person they are about to promote to a large audience actually is about.

  27. 27
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Suffern ACE: Their ex-government; a bunch of Party of Regions members switched parties giving the opposition a majority and quorum to proceed in the Rada and they have been passing laws and overturning Yanukovych’s anti-democratic power grabs.

    A bunch of other Party of Regions members fled, but not enough to deny the Rada a quorum, so not exactly like those Democrats who fled Madison in 2011. More likely they were fleeing Ukraine with their loot.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The wingtards talk about “freedom” and “liberty”, but they actually hate both concepts (as they are traditionally understood) with the heat of 1000 flaming suns. Needless to say, they absolutely loathe the concept of “liberty and justice for all”, not to mention the notion of “all men are created equal”. They interpret that as “all white men of means, the right religion, and the proper attitude toward sex, are created equal”

    Their reflexive support of authoritarian strongmen like Putin gives them away. They simply cannot help themselves. If this were the 1930’s, they’d be singing the praises of the Führer and Reichskanzler, and admiring the way he’s dealing with the disabled and those troublemaking Jews and Socialists.

  29. 29
    MattR says:

    OT – Jason Collins has signed a contract with the Brooklyn Nets making him the first openly gay player in the four major professional American sports leagues. He is expected to play in tonight’s game vs the Lakers in Los Angeles at 9:30 pm.

    (EDIT: Did not realize this news was several hours old. My apologies if it has already been discussed in a previous thread)

  30. 30
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: They probably bought them dinner. Research shows feeding someone instills a stronger psychological obligation than money.

    This is why we should always trust doctors who are getting their professional development points from attending steak dinners put on by pharmacy cos. No money changed hands and the evidence has been, er, eliminated. Psychology isn’t a branch of medicine, so who cares what their “research” says?

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @beltane: That dude was Antony R Martin Trigona back in the 70’s in Champaign-Urbana. He was a sleazeball.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @Tommy:

    I mean before you have somebody on have an intern use Google and see what the person they are about to promote to a large audience actually is about.

    That would imply they have respect for their audience, which they apparently do not. All they want to do is fill air time. It’s a lot less work finding grifters, liars, and loons than it is actual experts who tend to be busy people.

  33. 33
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: They probably bought them dinner. Research shows feeding someone instills a stronger psychological obligation than money.

    This is why we should always trust doctors who are getting their professional development points from attending steak dinners put on by Far Mah Sea cos. No money changed hands and the evidence has been, er, eliminated. Psychology isn’t a branch of medicine, so who cares what their “research” says?

  34. 34
    aimai says:

    @Tommy: You can’t guess? The agenda is what its always been: money, honey.

  35. 35
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: Actual experts avoid TV like the plague because producers will chop up their segment to make it seem like they said something they didn’t or toss them in a shark tank to “debate” a paid shill.

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    @raven: I knew him from my stint at a federal appeals court in the 1990s. By that time, he had progressed from sleazeball to raving lunatic with a decidedly antisemitic slant. I guess this makes him a legal expert of sorts.

  37. 37
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Ben Shapiro is a less-than-scrupulous individual? Well, knock me over with a feather.

  38. 38
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @DougJ: Best source of news on Ukraine in the anglo-sphere to me in the last few days. I don’t use twitter so I look over their madly tweeting shoulders.

  39. 39

    going to take to market a knee-pad product line that has customizable graphic designs to give to the vast majority of journalists. Can give them as a J-school graduation gift or when the journo in your life gets a new jerb. The HR benefits of fellating-related injury prevention are huge.

  40. 40
    Ecks says:

    @BD of MN:

    He’s already in the pocket of Big Cat….

    And that, folks, is how the thread was won.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beltane: Ah, but then they’ll take surveys of us and point and laugh that we don’t know what is going on.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    Well, I’m sure he knows the 1935 Nürnberger Gesetze backwards and forwards.

  43. 43
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: You got to the core of my frustration. It is clear they don’t respect me or value my time. Now I get it is all about the money, but come on folks. Just try a little harder.

  44. 44
    Jay C says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    It’s just doesn’t make sense. Ukraine’s current former government wantsed the protesters to be portrayed as American spies and agitators …

    Why “doesn’t make sense”? If you are a corrupt, cronyistic-kleptocratic government facing mass protests (mainly against that same corruption and cronyism) from a large plurality – if not a majority- of your own people, why not try to blame foreigners for the troubles?
    Of course, for now-former President Yanukovych, that approach didn’t work out so well: occasionally, peple arre actually smart enough to see though governmental bullshit, and actually DO something about. it. Not often, to be sure, but it does happen.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Probably should also develop some sort of foam/soft fitting neck brace. For the whiplash they encounter.
    Opposition good? Wait, opposition not good? What? PM’s check bounced so opposition good again?

  46. 46
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jay C:

    Why “doesn’t make sense”? If you are a corrupt, cronyistic-kleptocratic government facing mass protests (mainly against that same corruption and cronyism) from a large plurality – if not a majority- of your own people, why not try to blame foreigners for the troubles?

    It worked, at least for a while, in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia….

    Як ви говорите, «outside agitators» українською?

  47. 47
    Ecks says:

    @beltane:

    All they want to do is fill air time

    … with people who are good enough looking, and who sound passionate and articulate, in a punchy one-liner kind of way. It makes for good tv.

    Whether or not they make sense, are remotely accurate, or are bought-and-paid-for shills is entirely irrelevant, because those things aren’t connected to ratings. Eyeballs on adverts are what keep the lights on, and the execs in cashmere super-180 suits.

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:

    @Jay C:

    Of course, for now-former President Yanukovych, that approach didn’t work out so well: occasionally, peple arre actually smart enough to see though governmental bullshit, and actually DO something about. it. Not often, to be sure, but it does happen.

    It’s a pity that what they did wasn’t out-vote them at the last election.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @Nutella:

    $500 to demonstrate that they’re ghostwriters on payroll

    I think they’re working freelance, not on payroll. Next week, they’ll be taking money for good publicity for somebody else.

  50. 50
    Senyordave says:

    $500? Now that is one cheap whore. I can only imagine what they would have done for better pay. The 1930’s would have been their cup of tea. The Nazis probably paid better, and most of the wingnuts already are on board with their philosophy.

    By the way, they should have approached the NRO first, they would do it for free.

  51. 51

    @Corner Stone: Retrofit spines so their head can turn 360 deg like Linda Blair? Sounds expensive but would be hilarious.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nutella: Hell. Didn’t we just see Brent Bozell III uses a ghostwriter for all his stuff, basically for free?

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Spines? Who the hell are we talking about? I thought this was a discussion about paid for journos.

  54. 54
    WaterGirl says:

    @MattR: I hadn’t seen it anywhere, and I’m glad for the news. Sounds like they have 20 days to either sign him more permanently or not have him stay with the team.

    I wonder if he would have been signed if it weren’t for the recent announcement by Michael Sam. Either way, I’m glad to see this.

  55. 55
    MattF says:

    @Corner Stone: You don’t need a spine if you have an exoskeleton.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Tommy says:

    @WaterGirl: I am a Wizards fan and he played for them. Now he isn’t a starter, but everybody that played with him said the same thing, even after his announcement. That he knew his role. He was a seven footer that would come in a few minutes. Put a body on somebody. Give away a few fouls. Maybe get a basket or two. A rebound. Again he knew his role, and there is a role for folks like him in the NBA and he did his job well.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tommy:

    I mean what are the producers of these shows doing? Doesn’t seem they are doing their jobs. I mean before you have somebody on have an intern use Google and see what the person they are about to promote to a large audience actually is about.

    Maybe they have, and they’re fine with the agenda the person is pushing. It’s always worth considering.

  59. 59
    raven says:

    @WaterGirl:

    “The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision,” Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. ” We needed to increase our depth inside, and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract.”

    Put the ball in the hole!

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MikeJ:

    FWIW, there were allegations of fraud in the last election. Of course, there were allegations of fraud made by the losers of our last election, so who knows?

  61. 61
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @MikeJ:

    It’s a pity that what they did wasn’t out-vote them at the last election.

    Ummm….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....tion,_2010

    Also, too, it’s a pity Democrats didn’t outvote Republicans in the last election, henghhhhh???

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....a-mandate/

    And that was without $300K nomination deposits, shortened election time frames and other irregularities.

  62. 62
    Botsplainer says:

    Query – is Scoville registered as an agent for the Ukrainian government? He sure sounds like one.

  63. 63
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne: There was actual voter suppression by losers of the last election. It’s not any less real just because it failed to produce the desired outcome. :(

    Also, like to see MikeJ say something like that to Moral Mondays in NC marchers’ faces.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl: Eh, Collins is 35 and guys his size do not age well. I’m glad he’s getting a shot to compete but realistically, he’s not long for the league.
    Supposedly he has been keeping in game shape, but 35 year old legs running the floor is very different than workouts.

  65. 65
    gian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    their ancestors certainly liked the Nazis…
    just a quick search but here’s an older piece from the guardian:

    George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
    The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

    His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

    The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....ndworldwar

  66. 66
    Another Holocene Human says:

    What is democratic about saying, “You lost an election, now eat shit and die while we use our perceived legitimacy to overturn all minority rights protections, civil rights, take away your right to vote or protest, and steal everything not nailed down”?

    I don’t think Democrats accepted that idea when GWB became leader of the US so why is it good for Southern states or “shithole” foreign countries?

  67. 67
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Tree of Liberty is not watered by the blood of tyrants. It is watered by the blood of people engaged in direct democracy, who stand in the line of fire against tyrants to demand change. #euromaidan

    What I don’t get is whose ox is being gored here–sure, lots of lefties love Chavism so lots of nonsense being spun about Venezuela, but who loved Yanukovych except for his kleptocrat buddies? And what went wrong with the Egyptian revolution is that civil society had been so suppressed that the Egyptian version of Jesse Falwell got into power and went nuts. He actually could have consolidated power for his party if not for the overreach. It’s too bad what is going on in Egypt now but it seems odd to me that some people refuse to see the negative outcome of authoritarian overreach. It doesn’t matter if you think your cause is right, such as the Spanish Civil War, if you escalate a conflict and provoke the other side such that civil society breaks down, you have lost. No, I’m not an MB supporter, just expressing my opinion that Morsi is an idiot.

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gian: Wow, this is the Schadenfreude of the day for me. Whooooo!

  69. 69

    @Corner Stone: heh fair enough. “spine like substance”, likely ossified bullshit.

  70. 70
    Botsplainer says:

    @gian:

    His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

    Beyond silly. I’m no fan of the Bush family, but that is just fucking goofy as filings go.

  71. 71
    Another Holocene Human says:

    82 people died in Maidan, that’s like 20 Kent States. Does this perhaps make it clearer to people why the ruling government in Kiev just folded?

  72. 72
    Botsplainer says:

    I’m just wondering why Bob in Portland is silent on this thread.

  73. 73
    gian says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I’d have to confess I don’t know anything about reparations law for Nazi atrocities.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @raven:

    That dude was Antony R Martin Trigona back in the 70′s in Champaign-Urbana. He was a sleazeball.

    I had personal experience with him. Late 70s/early 80s he “bought” (but never paid for) the AM side of the FM station where I did overnights. He showed up one night in the wee small hours, started giving orders (I didn’t work for him, and I had no license to operate the AM side). I finally had to call the local police to get him to leave. He went out the door sputtering that – naturally – he was going to sue everyone back to the stone age.

  75. 75
    Liberty60 says:

    @srv:

    When will JC and his clique sell out?

    “Hi folks John Cole here.
    Y’know, I was up last night mopping the floor naked when my evil cat tripped me, and I broke half the bones in my back. Good thing I had the LifeAlert Bracelet, for only $9.99 per month…”

  76. 76
    andy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: In the 30’s they did

  77. 77
    jl says:

    @Nutella:

    Mike Royko said that Chicago alderman were the standard for loser mooks who sell out cheap. They would be willing to sell out for $200 bucks. I think that was back in the mid 1970s, consumer prices were about one quarter of today’s. So, a 70s Chicago alderman went for around $800 in today’s money.

    These guys flunk the Royko sell out for small change chump level test, then.

  78. 78

    Then who’s paying all the networks? I must admit I don’t know the writers mentioned and haven’t read anything that they wrote. The article seems to be about payments for articles a year or two back. Is Scoville still financing articles? Where are they?

    I know the mainstream media is pretty much in lockstep with the State Department. Is that because our State Department is on the right side of the argument? I’d think that the American public is sophisticated enough to learn about the bloody, anti-Semitic past of these “revolutionaries”. Or would that confuse the story?

    It’s hard for me to think that all conservatives are for Putin and the current/former Ukrainian president because from what I’ve seen it’s just the opposite.

    Maybe Scoville was representing people who had made investments in the current/former regime. It’s hard for me to imagine that John McCain’s appearance with a man who claims his country is controlled by the Russian Jewish mafia and gives his followers the Nazi salute is proof of liberal, freedom-loving people are on the other side.

Comments are closed.