Friday, September 19, 2008

Hey, an online lynching!

Of an affluent white boy, no less! LA Times:
The whole circus started with the resemblance between a pseudonym of someone who claimed to be the hacker, and the supposed e-mail address of the politician's son. Both contained the word "rubico." For many reporters, that might prompt a few phone calls. For bloggers, it was enough to light the torches.
Leading the misinfo-pack is conservative blogger Michelle Malkin . . .

"For many reporters" -- hey, bozo, do any of those reporters happen to work at the LA Times? I mean, you do have a DC bureau, right? Have any of your crackerjack DC reporters dialed up the PIO at the Justice Department to ask why the FBI's Anchorage office contacted the FBI's Memphis office in relation to this case? Do you want me to Google that phone number for you?

It wasn't a mere "resemblance" between the pseudonyms, it was the same handle in both the 2003 posting about David the 15-year-old chess wizard and the posting by the braggart who claimed to have hacked Palin's account. But as I said previously, "maybe 'rubico10' is a common Web nickname, like 'bi19cheerldr.' "

Furthermore, to what common word did "rubico10" change Palin's password? "Popcorn." Kernell = Popcorn. Get it, moron? Or do you need to look up the word "mnemonic"?

I'm freaking tired of liberal journalists -- the same ones who ignorantly declare that Karl Rove masterminded the Plamegate "leak" that actually came from Richard Armitage -- who show a stubborn lack of curiosity about any story that doesn't fit their preferred template, like that Associated Press idiot who was sure that this federal crime against Sarah Palin somehow "raised questions" about . . . Palin!

Maybe bloggers wouldn't be engaged in speculation (and some of them clearly getting their facts wrong) if the L.A. Times would hire some actual reporters instead of assigning idiot feature writers to sling attitude online?

I am opposed to convicting people in print (or pixels), but I will also fiercely defend the right of ordinary people to make common-sense judgments for themselves. The FBI will eventually -- and probably fairly soon -- announce an arrest in the Palin hacking case. Is there any journalist in America who wants to bet me as to who that arrestee will be?

If not, then as the bloggers say, STFU -- and stop trying to tell me what to think.

UPDATE: As to the nature of the evidence in this "circus," allow me to introduce techblogger Humphrey Cheung, senior editor of TGDaily:

FBI agents are using proxy server logs to track down the hacker who broke into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account. . . .
In his gloating, Rubico posted up screenshots of the Yahoo account complete with the full URL which included the proxy server url ( appended with a unique identifier. . . . So it doesn’t take a genius to go through the logs and match up the ID to the appropriate IP address and BAM, you got the hacker. . . .
White hat hackers didn’t even need proxy information to find the culprit because they discovered that the Rubico forum handle was linked to A few searches on Google and YouTube further links this email address to 20-year-old David Kernell, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His father is Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell.
Does this add up to more than "resemblance," David Sarno? I mean, since you're the resident LA Times expert on all things Web-wise, perhaps you should tell Humphrey Cheung he doesn't know what he's talking about. Don't you think this might "prompt a few phone calls"? Or is making phone calls above your paygrade at the LA Times?



  1. What will be more amusing is when they throw the book at the little pinhead, and the media gets into 'promiscuous empathy' mode.
    'First offense'
    'No real harm done'
    'Irrational exhuberance'
    'Genuine curiosity'
    most mind-gymnastically:
    'What if evidence of public business in private email had been found?' We can label this Counter-factual Ends Justifying Unethical Means (CEJUM).
    Remember, It's Sarah Palin's fault for being popular, and the most negative thing we can say of Rubico is that 'there has been an indiscretion'.

  2. Years ago, I went to UCSB with some of the LA Times hacks, including Tony Pearce, who's in charge of the LA Times blog. All those guys wrote for The Daily Nexus (UCSB newspaper) and saw themselves as activist-journos a la Woodward & Bernstein. Typically ego-inflated, spoiled brat, community organizer wannabees who thought they'd found real power preaching to the converted on a very liberal college campus. These guys were and are totally arrogant, totally elitist, totally the tank for The One and filled with seething derangement about Bush, Palin & Republicans, generally. I would say their post on the hacker is willfully dishonest in a typical fashion. DBKP blog wrote much about The Times' bloggers' whitewashing of the John Edwards scandal. This is more of the same.

  3. Actually, the people most responsible for misinformation in this affair are the news reporters from Memphis who originally misquoted Rep. Kernell as saying his son was under investigation, when he in fact he said he was aware his son was the subject of rumours.

    However, that does change the fact that the feds in Memphis are on the case ... and who might they be investigating -- Elvis?