FBI subpoena aims at learning who read an online news story

This isn’t the biggest news story of the day but the ramifications are more than enough for us to pay attention. If we have any questions on how this story will end, wonder no more. Judge James Boasberg of secret court FISA fame is the judge who is hearing the case. He was presiding judge until May 21, 2021. Gannett, the publisher, contends that demand for details on who accessed article violates the First Amendment

From a secret FISA court opinion

Newspaper publisher Gannett is fighting an effort by the FBI to try to determine who read a specific USA Today story about a deadly shooting in February near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that left two FBI agents dead and three wounded.

The subpoena, served on Gannett in April, seeks information about who accessed the news article online during a 35-minute window starting just after 8 p.m. on the day of the shootings. The demand — signed by a senior FBI agent in Maryland — does not appear to ask for the names of those who read the story, if the news outlet has such information. Instead, the subpoena seeks internet addresses and mobile phone information that could lead to the identities of the readers.

In a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, lawyers for Gannett said the demand violates the First Amendment. They also complained that the FBI appears to have ignored the Justice Department’s policy for seeking information from the media.

“A government demand for records that would identify specific individuals who read specific expressive materials, like the Subpoena at issue here, invades the First Amendment rights of both publisher and reader, and must be quashed accordingly,” attorneys Charles Tobin and Maxwell Mishkin wrote on behalf of Gannett.

The case has been assigned to Judge James Boasberg, an appointee of President Barack Obama.

Read more

Back in September 2020 the Washington Post had this headline. Our man Boasberg was the man on the job:

FBI and NSA violated surveillance law or privacy rules, a federal judge found

Two of the nation’s largest surveillance agencies repeatedly violated either the law or related court orders in incidents reported last year despite training on the procedures set up to protect the privacy of U.S. persons, a federal judge found.

The FBI flouted the law and the National Security Agency ignored a rule to safeguard civil liberties when these agencies gathered or searched emails and other communications gathered from U.S. tech and phone companies, under a statute designed to produce foreign intelligence, ruled Judge James E. Boasberg, presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in a significant opinion made public Friday.

“It should be unnecessary to state that government officials are not free to decide for themselves whether or to what extent they should comply with court orders,” Boasberg wrote in the December 2019 opinion.

The 83-page partially redacted ruling by Boasberg was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It focused on whether to approve a new set of rules enabling the FBI, NSA and CIA to continue collecting and searching millions of communications gathered from American companies under a law known as “Section 702” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Though Boasberg was at times scathing in his criticism, he signed off on the new rules or “certifications,” saying he expected them to address the problems — a fact that dismayed privacy advocates.“

The FBI is really just starting to implement” some of its new procedures “on a comprehensive basis,” he wrote.

Sure Judge Boasberg, we know the drill.


Are the FISA Court members dirty?


Most important is the fact that the FISA court only turns down .02 percent of requests. All day long yesterday we hear that the FISA court demands a “rigorous through review” before granting a request. Total nonsense. One has a better chance of being struck by lightning.

The best of the swamp today.

George Floyd Resisting Arrest For 3 Minutes. Footage the MSM won’t show you Update

Update added with additional clip

Just something to add to the story.

This whole thing could have been avoided. Does not justify what happened.

Six Companies Control about 75% of Media Sources


Eureka!  And the answer is …

by Mustang

We’ve come to use the word media as a means of communications (radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the internet) that influence people.  One question that niggles all of us from time to time is how much influence “media” has on the American people, our culture, and/or our national psyche. 

I did a cursory investigation, and what I learned was that less than ten companies control all media sources in the United States.  These include, in general ranking, the Walt Disney Company, NBC-Universal/Comcast, Time-Warner, Viacom-CBS, Sony America Corporation, and Seagram’s (yes, the whiskey company). 

Their involvement in films, music, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet and social communications platforms roughly equal 75% of the total of American media offerings.

Jaw dropping.

Six companies in control of everything that impacts American society.  It is interesting to see who controls these companies.  They are mostly self-loathing, American-hating Jews.  I could go on to discuss the filth in films, decadent lyrics in music, anti-American television broadcasting and newspapers, television productions that must include a percentage of homosexuals, transgenders, and at least several psychopathic and well-tattooed and pierced but “funny” characters. 

I might even mention the incident where Disney was caught transmitting subliminal messages to our children —which over several years of debate, has convinced parents that there’s nothing to worry about because, after all, colonialism was really a very bad thing.  Besides, what pre-teen doesn’t think about sex?

But then it occurred to me that media companies may not be the problem.  They only deliver what “the people” demand —what they are willing to pay for.  It’s been going on for a while, now.  I remember my mother plopping me down in front of the black and white television when she wanted to do things without having me under foot. 

Today, parents provide their young children with video games that allow the player to rape and murder animated characters.  Cell phones are now minicomputers, so the kids can entertain themselves for hours on end, releasing parents to do their own cell phone thing. 

We can even have verbal fights on Twitter, and never worry about someone punching us in the nose for being rude or obnoxious.  And we wonder what happened to our society.  We moan about what’s happened to the America of our youth.

What happened to our country was atrocious parenting.  This, too, is nothing new; instead of having an abusive father who we feared might beat the crap out of us for misbehaving, we have abusive fathers who simply ignore us.  And Mom?  We won’t be receiving any “motherly advice” from modern Mom.  She’s on the cell phone, too.

All of this leads me to the conclusion, in agreement with my Internet friend Bunkerville, that it’s too late to save America.  It’s already gone —not coming back.  But as much as we want to blame “media” for our abysmal state of affairs, it really does boil down to parenting —or lack of it.

How am I wrong?    


Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Posted in Hollywood. Tags: , , . 12 Comments »

Media sensation Michael Avenatti falls, yet the media lacks self reflection


Just a few short moments ago, the darling of the media, Michael Avenatti, was going to become the next President of the USA or so the media thought. They simply just could not get enough of him.

The latest:

Avenatti faced multiple indictments Wednesday for allegedly committing fraud and aggravated identity theft related to his former adult film star Stephanie Clifford, professionally known as Stormy Daniels.

He is accused of forging Daniels’ signatureand using fake documents to persuade an agent to divert over a quarter-of-a-million dollars in payment from the porn star’s book advance.

Stephanie Ruhle, “I am intrigued, I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m a little grossed out. And you know what? I owe Michael Avenatti an apology. For the last few weeks, I’ve been saying, ‘Enough, already, Michael, I’ve seen you everywhere. What do you have left to say?’ I was wrong, brother. You have a lot to say. The Democrats could learn something from you. You are messing with Trump a lot more than they are.”

That was one of 147 appearances Avenatti made MSNBC and CNN during a 10-week period around the time of Ruhle’s comments. These platform gave him ample opportunity to attack the president and gain attention for doing so. (RELATED: CNN Hosts Avenatti 59 Times In Two Months)

If ever there was a chance for a learning experience for the media, this was it. The clues were there everywhere. He was a fraud, a jokester. Anyone with half a brain knew this was going to be a train wreck.

Will the media spend a moment in self reflection on this debacle? Doubtful, as they continue to proceed headlong with the Trump Russia Russia Russia nonsense.

Apparently facts are simply troublesome things, to be discarded in the name of the Progressive agenda.



Thanks WhatFingerNews for the coverage! A great site for all the news.




Flashback: Obama’s government intrusion into media content


Many are wondering just how the news media fell off the rails and became the democrat sycophants that they are today. I thought I would wander through my old stash of posts for a Saturday flashback and see what we could discern.

Ah yes, the glory days of the Obama administration when we started that long miserable road of “fundamentally transforming America.”  Those were the days of us wearing tin foil. So they said.


FEC moving to control and regulate Internet, blogs, News media

The Internet is the last bastion of true free speech by the everyday Joe and Jane.

Via Washington Examiner:

In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.

The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.

Keep reading…


FCC to police and question media, websites regarding content

November 1, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission is planning a broad probe of political speech across  media platforms, an unprecedented move that raises serious First Amendment  concerns.

The FCC’s proposed “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” which  is set to begin a field test in a single market with an eye toward a  comprehensive study in 2014, would collect a remarkably wide range of  information on demographics, point of view, news topic  selection, management style and other factors in news organizations both in and  out of the FCC’s traditional purview.

“In this study, the FCC will delve into the editorial discretion of newspapers,  web sites and radio and TV stations,” Hudson Institute Fellow Robert McDowell,  who served as a FCC commissioner from 2009 to 2013, told The Daily Caller.  “This starts sticking the government’s nose into what has traditionally been  privileged and protected ground. Regardless of one’s political stripes, one  should be concerned.”

The airwaves regulator would also subject news producers in all media to  invasive questioning about their work and content.

FCC Wants to Regulate Internet’s ‘On/Off Ramps,’ Commissioner Says

June 13, 2011 — bunkerville



Judicial Watch Documents Radical Group Consulted with FCC to Push Obama’s Internet Takeover

June 5, 2011

McChesney strongly believes in government control of the medium and the message.

In a 2000 article — titled “Journalism, Democracy, and Class Struggle”  in Review, McChesney laid out his goal of using media as a tool for socialist change:

Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism…

In 2009, McChesney said the following about capitalism and the media:

  • “Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”
  • “There is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”
  • “We need to do whatever we can to limit capitalist propaganda, regulate it, minimalize it, and perhaps even eliminate it.”

FCC Orders Newsrooms To Partner With Soros-Funded Non-Profits

February 4, 2011

Under the terms of the FCC order approving Comcast’s takeover of NBCU, at least half of NBC’s 10 O&Os have to find a nonprofit news center with which to work within the next year. The order cites the KNSD-VoiceOfSanDiego.org alliance as the model for what it would like to see in other NBC markets.

Proponents of the growing nonprofit news movement are hoping that NBC’s FCC-mandated efforts will bear fruit and encourage other commercial TV stations to seek out nonprofit partners.

There’s just one problem with this: Voice of San Diego is a member of INN (Investigative News Network) which is funded by the Open Society Institute, the URL of which is “www.soros.org.” Yes, these “non-profit” journalism centers are funded by George Soros. Full Story at Big Journalism


NBC, Universal, Comcast cave to FCC Diversity

January 14, 2011 — bunkerville

NBCU will strive to ensure the presentation of diverse viewpoints by seeking the expanded participation of minorities on its news and public affairs programming,” the companies promised in writing to black leaders. “To advance this goal, NBCU will consider suggestions from the African American Advisory Council of individuals who could be considered for such participation.”

The media giants also agreed to allow black leaders to have influence over NBC’s news programming. In addition to programming “diversity,” the Comcast and NBC Universal Memorandums of Understanding with different race-specific civil rights groups promise “diversity” in company employment, in supplier and vendor procurement and in “philanthropy and community investment.”

FCC Commissioner Wants to Test the ‘Public Value’ of Every Broadcast Station

December 3, 2010

This is an abbreviated portion found over at CNS:

American journalism is in “grave peril,” FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says, and to bolster “traditional media,” he said the Federal Communications Commission should conduct a “public value test” of every commercial broadcast station at relicensing time.

In a speech at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York on Thursday, Copps also said station relicensing should happen every four years instead of the current eight.

“If a station passes the Public Value Test, it of course keeps the license it has earned to use the people’s airwaves,” Copps said. “If not, it goes on probation for a year, renewable for an additional year if it demonstrates measurable progress. If the station fails again, give the license to someone who will use it to serve the public interest.”

Ever since Barack Obama became president, prominent conservatives have warned about liberal efforts to squelch conservative and Christian talk-radio.

NPR Vivian Schiller Key Architect of FCC Govt Takeover of the News

October 26, 2010 — bunkerville

     Schiller, a New York Times executive, is one of a few dozen power players working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and a leftist group called Free Press to “reinvent journalism.” That’s how the FTC describes it. The FCC calls what they are doing the “Future of Journalism.” Free Press, a think tank funded by leftist billionaire George Soros, among others, calls it “the new public media.”

With now-former NPR analyst Juan Williams suitably splattered across the evening news after politically incorrect comments he made on Fox News, Schiller can return to her real passion – the creation of a national network to ensure that in the future, you get your news from the government in general and NPR in particular. Keep Apologizing Vivian, we got your number , who explained in a speech to the NPR board of directors in 2009, it is public radio’s responsibility to fill the gap in journalism left by dying local television stations and newspapers

FCC Chairman Ducks Question About FCC Official’s First Amendment Views

November 5, 2009 — bunkerville

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, after testifying at a congressional hearing on texting while driving Wednesday, was asked whether he agreed with Mark Lloyd’s views on the First Amendment. He refused to say if he agrees with the FCC’s Chief Diversity Officer Czar Mark Lloyd that freedom of speech is an “exaggeration” and that concerns about free speech serve only as a “distraction” from policy debates.

Instead of answering the question, Genachowski said he would rather focus on drivers who are distracted by text-messaging.

CNSNews.com: Your Chief Diversity Office, Mark Lloyd, wrote in 2006 that freedom of speech had become an exaggeration and that free speech concerns served to distract from policy debates. Do you agree with those statements?Genachowski: We’re here today to talk about distracted driving, and today is a day to focus attention on that issue and that’s what we’ve done.

In his book, Mark Lloyd said his approach to communications was inspired by left-wing radical Saul Alinsky.

“We looked to successful political campaigns and organizers as a guide, especially the civil rights movement, Saul Alinsky, and the campaign to prevent the Supreme Court nomination of the ultra-conservative jurist Robert Bork. From those sources we drew inspiration and guidance,” Lloyd wrote.

Alinksy, author of the book “Rules for Radicals,” wrote that his methods were intended to guide people intent on overturning the American system.

“’The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power,” Alinsky explained. “’Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”


Other than this, all is well in the swamp.

Margaret Thatcher knew how to handle the press! What’s wrong with the media?


What ever happened to a civilized press? I watched the press conference today with Sanders, and I cannot imagine how Sanders goes through it. Acosta of course is the most vile.

It harkened me back to an old clip of how Margaret Thatcher dealt with the press in a most peculiar interview.  She asked Thatcher to literally jump. Let’s take a look. Then a warning about the electronic voting machines.




Then a taste of today’s bizarre presser in its own special way. Yea, Trump is the enemy of the people. What Trump had said was that “fake news” is the enemy.


Okay folks, watch the voting machine closely.

Spanish Radio station to beam Chinese Propaganda


The latest propaganda move of the chinese to control our media. But let us not forget what happened during the fading halcyon days of the Obama administration.


Apparently Jeff Sessions is still down Mexico way looking for gang bangers since Rosenstein had to take care of this business.

The Justice Department probe into the radio deal reflects stepped up efforts by the administration to counter foreign influence operations.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced last month that both the department and FBI are targeting foreign disinformation and influence operations, through prosecutions, counterintelligence operations, and other legal measures.

“Influence operations are a form of information warfare,” Rosenstein said during a security conference in Colorado. “Covert propaganda and disinformation are among the primary weapons.”


Recall during the waning days of the Obama administration we had this:

FCC Approves Foreign Takeover of U.S. Broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on September 29th did something worse than give up control of the Internet. They voted unanimously to put America’s entire broadcast industry on the fast track to a foreign takeover by Chinese, Russian or Muslim Brotherhood front corporations.

This new FCC rule gives foreign interests the long sought-after tools they need to shape U.S. public opinion and to censor the opposition.

Once a foreign corporation scoops up a media business, such as a chain of radio stations, it can eliminate national and local programming and substitute its own government’s propaganda. That means that conservative talkers could find themselves off the air.

Citing the need for “change” from the old “vintage” laws, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel declared that “laws that govern broadcast investment can get in the way.”

So, rather than respect the law and Congress, the FCC decided in a 5 to 0 vote to decree a new “rule” that effectively guts a law that protected Americans from foreign interests and their propaganda. The new rule assumes that any foreign owner of a TV or radio broadcaster will be acceptable unless someone can prove otherwise.

The FCC in one of the most obscene votes in 2016. And we worry about Donald and Russia Russia Russia?? Note Clyburn’s daughter is on the commission as well as other members affiliations.



But this wasn’t the first:


China Radio International

You think? I first posted about this in 2010:  China buys U.S Radio Station – What’s next…let’s see how this goes:

It is the first U.S. station to broadcast CRI programing 24 hours a day, although the network has purchased blocks of time on U.S. stations at least since 1993.




Now the latest:  Mexican Radio to beam Chinese Propaganda


A large Spanish-language radio station in Mexico will soon begin broadcasting in Chinese in a deal critics say will bring Beijing propaganda to Chinese Americans throughout Southern California.


A Federal Communications Commission filing on the sale of radio station XEWW AM 690 radio near Tijuana reveals the buyer has ties to Phoenix Satellite Television US, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Phoenix TV.

According to government sources, signs that Phoenix is involved in the purchase of the radio station prompted the Trump administration last week to begin an investigation into the national security implications of the sale.

Phoenix TV has been identified by U.S. intelligence agencies as a major overseas outlet used to spread propaganda and promote the policies of the communist government in Beijing. The Hong Kong television station also has close ties to China’s intelligence service and military.

More at  Free Beacon

The Sad Saga of the Media

Ours is a diseased media – Guest post by Mustang who also spins some great tales at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

You know, if this wasn’t pathetic, it might make you laugh aloud. Recently, the New York Times claimed to have leaked a ‘secret’ gloom and doom climate change report; one that President Trump was trying to keep away from the public. Included in the article was the ever-present sniping at anyone who hasn’t swallowed the Gore lies and distortions. Now …um … the British scientist who completed this report wonders, how could the New York Times leak a report that was available to the public since the study went through the review process?

Is this an example of shoddy journalism, a careless attempt at fake news, or is it the very best example of leftist humor?

I would love to be able to peek under the covers, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you love to know who and what are behind these slapdash attempts to smear President Trump and/or his administration? Don’t you love all my conspiracy theories, noting of course that if people are out to get you, then you aren’t paranoid?

Why would the NYT (ostensibly responsible to profit-motivated stockholders) waste ink and space on such a dumb article/accusation as this? Particularly one so easily debunked. I think the answer is that it doesn’t matter. Someone is paying them to do it. I have no idea what the costs are of doing this, but I do know that a full-page advertisement in the NYT costs $150,000 (if done in black and white) —and you know, that is such a paltry sum of money to someone like Georgie Soros, or any number of other communist rats.

What I would love to see happen is someone from the Washington Examiner or New York Post do an expose on the behind-the-scenes antics of the American left. Tell us what happened, who is paying for it, and then let us be done with this mish-mash about how journalists on the left are really looking out for America’s best interests.

It is long past the time for Americans to begin holding the news media responsible for their nonsense. Why have we allowed the NYT to get away with such things as: plagiarism, failure to print the truth about famine in the Ukraine, or the Duke University Lacrosse fiasco, or delayed publication of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance of the American people?

I think it’s a market-share game that results on the print media preying upon its readers. As a case in point, the NYT printed stories on fashion news that was actually promoting its advertisers. Admittedly, no one has ever accused the New York Times of honesty.

I believe the NYT already knows that the number of people who read their rag is but a small percentage of the overall population (estimated between 650,000 to just over one million —in a city of just under 9 million inhabitants), but those who do read it are addicted to leftism and they’ll keep coming back for more —no matter how dishonest the stories are. Similarly, CNN and MSNBC pander to a peculiar audience, which is to say people sufficiently stupid to buy into communist social policy, and as equally senseless in buying products offered by their advertisers.

Well, to summarize, these are the millions of Americans who have long warmed to the idea of forgiving women who flush their babies down toilets. The way I see it, they are beyond redemption. Finally, in speaking about journalists, my good friend Kid” put up a video the other day. In the video, a Russia’s foreign minister enters the press room and prepares to answer questions. Before he takes his seat, however, American [ita non sit vox designativa] Reporter Andrea Mitchell begins to screech out questions. Perturbed, the foreign minister asked if her behavior was an example of her up-bringing. Good for him!

The video caused me to look more closely at Mitchell. My conclusion is that she is woefully unqualified to do the job for which she is being paid. She has a degree in English Literature, and while this may confirm her literacy, she is still as dumb as a box of rocks. If you wanted to get someone to respond to questions, and if those answers were ever to end up as a headline, then wouldn’t you want to approach that person with politeness? This incident, by the way, makes me wonder if the Russian foreign minister ever again allowed Mitchell back into the press gallery.

I hope not.

Why the Clintons just won’t go away

I am tired of my twitter feed getting clogged up with the latest absurd tweets coming from Chelsea. For some reason, people seems to think I should read them. I read this excellent post that answers much of why the Clintons just don’t-won’t go away. Worse why Chelsea is a non-stop media trove of useless information. Here is some of it from Vanity Fair:

In Vanity Fair, T.A. Frank exhorts elite American liberals in the strongest possible terms to resist their obvious temptation to turn Chelsea Clinton into a political item:

The last thing the left needs is the third iteration of a failed political dynasty.


…..The answer is that even though Hillary Clinton lost two elections, the Clinton machine—the one the family has been building ever since Bill left office in 2001—is still very much in place. Walter Russell Mead described it like this during the 2016 primaries: “The machine gathers the cash that provides perches and incomes to Clinton loyalists; the loyalists keep the publicity machine pumping, keep the networks of contacts and patronage refreshed throughout the vast Clinton network, and staff what amounts to a permanent campaign. This is what party machines used to do: provide incomes for the army of operatives who would jump into action to make sure the machine stayed in office.”

The loyalists who make up this apparatus want—or even need—for the gears to keep spinning. And for that, the machine needs to offer the promise of future influence. Otherwise, donations to the Clinton Foundation would dry up; speaking engagements would become less lucrative; Clinton-backed spin organizations would wither; and dozens of jobs would disappear. All this is to say that the strange persistence of Chelsea boosterism does not come out of nowhere; it is the product of a supremely well-organized political organization revving its engines. And it will not be shut down voluntarily.

H/T: American Interest

Newsweek Sr. Writer Kurt Eichenwald goes wacko on Tucker Carlson UPDATE

I don’t know how Tucker gets people on his show. One thing is for sure, you are in for a rousing smack down. Tucker would make a great Press secretary. Beating up all those poor hapless reporters who are so full of themselves. Newsweek at one time was a standard subscription for anyone who had a penchant for politics. This interview gives us a glimpse into how far it has fallen. Tucker was trending on twitter big time after the interview. No wonder.  Worth riding out the beginning commercial in the clip.

UPDATE: bydesign001 COMMENTED:  was definitely MUST SEE tv but it didn’t end there. Eichenwald then went on a twitter meltdown. http://grumpyelder.com/2016/12/16/tucker-carlson-vs-newsweeks-kurt-eichenwald-eichenwald-has-twitter-meltdown/

Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host calls out Newsweek for alleged bias and asks reporter Kurt Eichenwald to his face whether he should even be allowed to cover President-elect Trump.

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