A definitive dismantling of the “Hillary earpiece” meme

drudgepearl

I’m not posting this to combat yet another hare-brained right-wing conspiracy theory. That’s a hopelessly Sisyphean task. I swear they’ve got a factory out there somewhere that produces these things at a rate that far exceeds my meager ability or willingness to debunk them all.

Instead, I’m posting this to demonstrate once again the willful gullibility and frankly the stupidity that has infected a dismaying number of our fellow Americans.  I’m posting it to demonstrate the gleeful, shameless recklessness of the right-wing media industry that has no regard whatsoever for truth and that profits off that gullibility and treats its customers as fools. I posting it to marvel at how those customers seem to revel in that abusive treatment, and always come back for more.

I’m also posting it to document how sheer irrational hatred can make people believe what is clearly unbelievable, particularly as it regards one Hillary Rodham Clinton.

This particular story begins at a rightwing website that claimed that in last night’s forum on NBC, Hillary Clinton had been caught using an earpiece so answers could be funneled to her. It cited an anonymous source in the New York police department as confirming evidence.

The claim was picked up on Twitter, most notably by actor James Woods.

InfoWars, the kook conspiracy site run by Alex Jones, quickly posted it. Drudge did so quite prominently, as you can see above. Popular right-wing blogs picked it up.

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted it, citing InfoWars.

Just for context, the son of the presidential candidate is citing InfoWars, a site that also argues that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a fraud and that the dead kids and their grieving parents were all actors.  That’s how low the bar has become for these people.

But given that Trump Sr. claims that Ted Cruz’s father helped to kill JFK, and cites the National Enquirer as proof, the nut didn’t fall far from the tree.

At this point, I’d like to write that “needless to say, there was no earpiece,” But I can’t. I can’t because it does need saying: There was no earpiece. The supposed earpiece was merely a reflection from the TV lights, as every other angle demonstrates clear as day.

Do you see an earpiece?

earpiece2noearpiecenoearpiece1

But to these people, it doesn’t matter. It does not matter. The truth does not matter. All that matters is they have been given another excuse, another opportunity, to vent their irrational “Two Minutes of Hate” upon their own personal Emmanuel Goldstein.

It’s disgusting, and it’s also disgusting how quickly and thoroughly such nonsense now infects the mainstream conversation.

 

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1009 comments
carterjoseph1950
carterjoseph1950

And now Pat Buchanan's column appears in the AJC twice a week. To 'balance' EJ Dionne, who is middle of the road, leaning left. Buchanan is so far to the right as to tip the scale completely off balance. AJC, if this is your idea of equal treatment, then the talking points are skewed so far to one side as to make you irrelevant. Please move to the center and stop caving to the far right. Mr. Buchanan is nearly the equal of David Duke.  A little sanity, please, and let's restore civil discourse. But as Chico Marx said, "You can't fool me. There ain't no sanity clause!"


JayBook
JayBook moderator

...sheets.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

Well, seems that a day after hyping the earpiece BS all day, Fox and Drudge have dropped it off their sites. 

Like it never happened.  

Punked their sheep again.

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

Donald Trump's knowledge of national security issues and his plans to address them were on full display Wednesday night. In other words, he has none. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

In any election, it always comes down to A vs B.  You have to make a choice.


A is an older crumbling building and no one trusts the elevator.


B is a gold plated dumpster that's on fire and we have no idea whether there is a bomb in the dumpster that will explode at any moment.

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

@ByteMe Although I disagree with your assessment of A (B can only be Trump), at least with A we can take the stairs and there is something worth reaching at the top -- a sharp, agile brain. 

RScheff
RScheff

@Citizen-of-the-World @ByteMe I think ByteMe was right on both parts. Where is the "sharp, agile brain" that failed the DC bar, can't remember briefings on how to handle classified information due to concussions, attributes false statements to Benghazi families to the "fog of war" and somehow thinks she was fired on by snipers in Bosnia, etc. etc. Where is the evidence of a "sharp,agile" brain. That brain seems way overrated to me. These are two terrible candidates.


honested
honested

Will chump be on North Korean teevee today to express his admiration of another "real leader"?

If he does will the wrong-wing ignorati continue to fawn over him as a great savior?


The disturbing nature of the modern republiklan party has become nauseating.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested He'll tweet that NK detonated the bomb to show the world that Obama is weak and only Trump alone can keep NK from retroactively getting nuclear weapons.

Another day in "cheap media" land....

ByteMe
ByteMe

The entire point of the exercise with the nutwing trolls is that they can't stand that Hillary is competent AND female AND liberal while their "standard bearer" is so obviously incompetent and unsuited to being President.

Clinton demonstrated very clearly to anyone who watched the forum that she understood our national security issues and had a clear idea how to address them... while Trump had "secret plans" that maybe might include somehow firing all the generals and then hiring all new ones and then -- in the second hour of the TV special -- defeating ISIS by waving his hands and saying "You're fired!"

So their media has to make something up to delegitimize her -- she's dying, or needs an earpiece to talk about foreign policy -- and the trolls follow along because that helps them feel better about their crappy outcomes.


On November 9, they'll deny they ever did any of this.

honested
honested

@ByteMe 

chump seemed more like an overhyped character from the old 'Batman' teevee show (the 60s version), so ridiculous that you wonder why he was allowed on stage.

ByteMe
ByteMe

 It’s disgusting, and it’s also disgusting how quickly and thoroughly such nonsense now infects the mainstream conversation.

But trolls gotta troll, troll, troll....

Peachs
Peachs

North Korea test a nuke underground.  If a poor country like NK can do nukes how long will it be, before a corporation with international passage, sponsors it's own nuke testing?  A entity the US Supreme Court gives citizenship to ,raises its own army, who needs to be president?  

rimsky
rimsky

@Peachs On a side note.  Heard this on NPR this morning.  The nuke test has pissed the Chinese and yet they are still backing the nut job.

Peachs
Peachs

@omark and like Jesus, there is about 30 years of darkness,we don't know anything about him..

gadem
gadem

Next, Donald will say that he wants to model the US after Russia....the Republicans will cheer.

Peachs
Peachs

@gadem 85% approval rating, must be doing something right...

Peachs
Peachs

@CherokeeCounty @gadem the press lets it get crazy by losing objectivity and credibility, now any thing you can use in a street fight is legal. 

Peachs
Peachs

What happens in Russia is they are fine for a while and then a cold winter comes and the crop wasn't good or they just get tired of watching Americans get fat and decide, like Hitler, that they need more territory, more industry, or shipping, or crops so they get the tanks out and go take some. 


They have been very quiet for decades, but now are back laying the ground work for another cold war. Trump sounds like Neville Chamberlain, on the subject of annexation, and Hitler on the fear of Muslims.


My guess is he knows who Hitler was, but has no idea who Chamberlain was...

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Peachs  decide, like Hitler, that they need more territory, more industry, or shipping, or crops so they get the tanks out and go take some.

Eh???   Russia has been involved in 4 major wars in the last 2 centuries and on every single occasion they were attacked first from the West.

honested
honested

@PaulinNH @Peachs 

Then there was that recent terrible aggression against them from Ukraine.............

Peachs
Peachs

We have absolutely no idea if Trump is successful, or living off the income he pulls out of leveraged properties, he has, and income off the brand he is building up on the idea that he has money. 


Yet I hear people say he has run a successful business, and in another breath berate Hillary for doing the same and actually showing her taxes that she has been successful. 

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @Peachs what I would have asked him, is, if you think these military people are so dumb, why does the bad body language and dislike for Obama's policies, shine a bad light on Obama?

rimsky
rimsky

@Peachs Trump is good at judging people from their body language.

No wonder he bankrupted several times and will not show his Tax returns.

Peachs
Peachs

Cheese cake debates and political events, as the county fair atmosphere parades these candidates around like they are cattle, and put them in ill prepared forums, with ratings being the main agenda. 

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @Peachs had no clothes so no name tags, but that naked body did look familiar. 

rimsky
rimsky

@Peachs @rimsky lol,  I hope her name is ludmila.  I kind like the sound of that name.

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @Peachs Good morning!!  A Russian jet scraped my house last night, came within 10 feet of my chimney.  The pilot was a naked Russian woman, and I could hear her laughing...

Peachs
Peachs

"In a military forum aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid on Wednesday, “Today” host Matt Lauer seemed to plow through a checklist of questions and showed little knowledge of the topics."

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

The Republican Party of Florida paid only $4,866 for use of Mar-a-Lago for the $3,000 per head Bondi fundraiser, while Trump has charged his own campaign $140,000 for using the exact same facilities. In effect, discounted use of the facilities would also be a donation-in-kind to Bondi's campaign.

It's the banana republic of florida. In Fla, the state republicans have gotten rid of the "no campaigning within 500 ft" and "post no signage within 500 ft  of polling places" rules, and wheverever they can gerrymander it (esp in N. Fla), made the actual polling place a local church.  They are pretty much ignoring the "no politicking by a church" laws and Trump signs adorn the church grounds right up to the front door of the churches. And to top it off, the private churches get to regulate 'their' parking, so guess where you park if you got a Trump sticker on your car, vs if you got a Hillary sticker? Guess where you park if you're pasty & white vs if you're 'colored?'

So, if you're gonna vote blue in north Florida, you're gonna have to run a thuggish gauntlet of hollering rabid fundies right up to your voting machine, after they made you park half a mile away.

There's nothing American, or christian about that. That's straight up thug banana republic.

Peachs
Peachs

@St Simons he-ne-ha what you have is a declining Christian base because they couldn't stay away from thugs and politics.  If I were some of the denominations I would sue the Republican Party for hijacking the Christian brand and making it a lie. 

rimsky
rimsky

@St Simons he-ne-ha I don't think they even cracked open their Bible for a long time.  They just listen to their pimp and swallow everything he says.

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @St Simons he-ne-ha The church has become a social club, Jesus would not have been welcome there, but super heroes of mass destruction are the answer to fear. 

omark
omark

We have a successful businessman, who’s declared bankruptcy 4 times. A would be commander in chief, with 4 draft deferments. A darling of the evangelical’s, with 3 wives, and countless girlfriends. Magic plans to fix all our problems. He’d share the details, but then he’d have to kill us. Prefers Russian dictators to the lawfully elected leader of his own county. Can’t release his tax returns. He’s being audited. The ones that aren’t being audited? Well they’re all tied together with the ones that are being audited. Can’t release them either. Political experience? Knows how to bribe politicians, and lead the birther movement. Let’s not forget serial lair, misogynist, and racist.

Do we really have a choice? Hillary misused her private e-mail server, and evidently can’t answer questions without an earpiece.

The thing that really hurts me about this election, is the fact that Donald has the support of nearly half the country. I thought we were better than that.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

News headline tomorrow "Trump appears on Russian tv and trashes America, AGAIN".  Joe Scarborough is going to chew him up and spit him out in the morning.  Clown show.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko 

He stole information that he did not have access to by misusing the NSA's encrypted system

-

A very tendentious reading and a value judgment, not a fact. 


He stole information that he did not have access to by misusing the NSA's encrypted system.

So 'stealing' information already held illegitimately by the NSA counts for nothing in your view of how this 'crime' should be punished?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko 

I'm not disputing the methods he may or may not have used to gain possession of the materials he leaked. I'm referring to the legitimacy - or lack thereof - of the mass spying operation being run by the NSA as such.
 Do you have no opinion on that or is it just de facto legitimate because the authorities say so?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko 

I do not support the theft of information by hackers no matter what the reason

-

Really? So when the Obama administration employed cyber terror against Iran with its Stuxnet attack, you objected to that on the grounds that it was illegitimate and criminal yes? 

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko 

I understand. Well, in my opinion you should look at actions such as hacking as part of a larger context of the growth of state power and the past abuses of that power by intelligence authorities, abuses which I think Snowden felt his actions were part of the effort to fight against. A cut-and-dry view of hacking as illegitimate it seems to me needs to be put in its proper context of who is wielding the power.

Starik
Starik

@StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko Snowden should strike a deal to stay of jail on some sort of bond, then try his case to a jury.  If not, I wonder if his Russian is fluent. 

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Starik @StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko 

Try his case to a jury? Here in the US? 

That would be like suicide for him, as he would be going into a trial with both his hands already tied behind his back because of the nature of the charges the Obama administration has brought against him. Under the Espionage Act he would essentially have no rights to self-defense as we normally understand them. It's essentially a kangaroo court for the state under those conditions.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@StraightNoChaser @Donnie_Pinko 

Well when your job is to protect information .... 

-

You're aware of the fallacy of that line of thinking, perhaps, associated with the Nuremberg defenses.

Just doing my job is not a moral defense when the policy itself is immoral.

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Donnie_Pinko @StraightNoChaser Shame on you, bro. That's ridiculous.


It's like spitting on soldiers coming home from war.


I try so hard to like you, but that comment takes me past a tipping point.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@YouLibs @Donnie_Pinko @StraightNoChaser 

Ok, I think my response to her above applies to your comments as well. I think we're talking at cross purposes. Anyway I can't continue, have to call it a day. Perhaps we can pick this up at a later time.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@YouLibs @Donnie_Pinko @StraightNoChaser 

In a discussion of the morality of bulk collection of communication information and abuses (spying) she cited just doing her job as a justification, to which I made the point that such thinking was famously exposed in the Nuremberg trials as illegitimate. How is that spitting on the honor of vets?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

I cited doing my job of protecting data from hackers not protecting abusers at NSA. Stop twisting what I said.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@StraightNoChaser 

That's the problem. We're talking about two different things. By reducing Edward Snowden's actions to a mundane case of stealing consumer credit information is to completely misunderstand them. His leak was a political act, not a case of information theft for his own gain or vandalism.

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Donnie_Pinko @YouLibs @StraightNoChaser


If I build a house for someone, it does not oblige me to be held in any way responsible for the morality of the buyer.


If she contracts to protect the privacy of a client's communications, she is in no way obliged to make moral judgments about them.


BTW


I came back into this country through Travis AFB and processed out through Treasure Island, the island right next to Alcatraz.


The people of San Francisco welcomed me back with open arms and helped me immediately to heal. No one I've ever known personally has ever told me they were not welcomed back.


That's a conservative myth, too.

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Donnie_Pinko @YouLibs @StraightNoChaser


Me too.


I'm starting my day tomorrow with my dear, dear friend who found out that sucky feeling she's been feeling for a few months is stage 4 nH lymphoma.


It's too soon for her so we are going to will her through this. Help us out with some good will.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Donnie_Pinko @StraightNoChaser Actually I am not, I wrote a paper on Edward Snowden for my Information Technology class.  He pulled off one of the biggest hacks in this country's history.  He stole information that he did not have access to by misusing the NSA's encrypted system.  He's a thief, a criminal, and he should be in jail.  Oh, I didn't tell you? My background is information security so I do not give kudo's to hackers no matter what the reason if that's what you are looking for. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Donnie_Pinko @StraightNoChaserHe did not have the type of access that was needed to get the information that he got.  He duplicated other people's encrypted keys that did have access to gain access.  That's a short version without re writing my paper. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Donnie_Pinko @StraightNoChaser Tell that to the next store that you use your credit card at or your doctors office the next time that you go, your cell phone provider, etc....  It's the same thing, they are protecting your information for you and paying someone like me to do it for them.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

My job would have been to protect that data from Snowden I can't speak to the abuses that you keep talking about.