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Scandal Puts Focus On Role of Bloggers (WaPo on FR, NCPAC and MD4Bush)
Washington Post ^ | 02/11/05 | David Snyder and Matthew Mosk

Posted on 02/10/2005 10:41:44 PM PST by conservative in nyc

The Web site began as a sort of Internet boutique for like-minded conservatives and libertarians, suspicious of federal power and angry at President Bill Clinton.

Started in 1997 by a reclusive California conservative, saw its membership blossom with Clinton's impeachment and the election of George W. Bush. Attention to the site reached a zenith last fall, when a "freeper" -- the group's moniker for its bloggers -- first discussed flaws in documents CBS News used in a report critical of Bush's National Guard service.


One participant working under the handle MD4BUSH, whose identity is unknown, drew Steffen into a private conversation and appeared to coax him to share more details about his role in spreading the rumor. Copies of those chat room e-mails were later provided to The Washington Post.

The Oct. 18 conversation began with MD4BUSH complimenting Steffen and saying how obvious it was that the rumors about the mayor were true. Steffen, writing under the name NCPAC, replied:

"I don't look for the MO'M [O'Malley] story to hit for a little bit yet. . . . However, a lot of what everyone knows about MO'M is because of work that has occurred. It's been a wild ride."

MD4BUSH later probed further:

"Your saying that my dentist knows [about the rumors] because of work you did? Wow, I must say, I'm impressed. I mean really, everyone knows -- how did that happen?"

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Free Republic; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: compost; ecpa; freerepublic; gannon; kristinn; md4bush; media; mediabias; msm; ncpac; odoherty; omalley; ryanodoherty
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To: conservative in nyc
Rumors of O'Malley's alleged infidelity have long circulated in Baltimore but were not printed in such daily newspapers as The Sun or The Washington Post. It took postings on the Free Republic site, based in Fresno, Calif., to bring that gossip into the local papers of public record, as part of the story of a state official's resignation for helping to spread such chatter.

It's just like I said days ago. Everyone had heard the rumor. Even my parents had heard it and they don't have a wide circle of friends.

The papers waited until they could find a way to sting the GOP with it. And it was only possible because the "media" ignored the story in the first place.

261 posted on 02/11/2005 1:57:33 AM PST by Dianna
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To: kcvl


262 posted on 02/11/2005 1:59:50 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Pikamax
It looks to be an overall talking point in the MSM to push the blogs and political sites on both sides to the fringes>>

Yeah, like we need a push! Look I LOVE FR, but we definitely have some unreasoning wingnuts here. Any leftoid with middling IQ can scope them out, and then throw them out to the world as a "typical" freeper fringe lunatic. Your average poster here is not a right wing moonbat, but there are enough of them here that they are easy to find.

As an example, we have a guy who regularly rants that Linux (a free operating system that anyone can tinker with) is part of a communist threat because it is free and because he can dredge up a few left wing groups who use it. We have people here who accuse anyone who criticizes ANYTHING that W does of being plants from DU.

In short, we are like any PUBLIC forum....., one big happy dysfuctional family with some crazy uncle Elmo types whom we would prefer to keep locked in the upstairs closet. However, since we cannot...,(nature of a free bbs), just remember, WE ARE STILL WINNING, even if sometimes some bile spewing leftoid gets a snapshot of a wart or two.
263 posted on 02/11/2005 2:00:05 AM PST by chronic_loser
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
They have lost all credibility except with the kool-aide drinkers. Thats why everything has backfired them. If I could explain exactly what I think, the meltdown is no where near complete yet. The RAT party has been hijacked.
264 posted on 02/11/2005 2:00:15 AM PST by John Lenin
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To: kcvl
In a five-page lawsuit filed in Baltimore's 1st District Court, the Sun and two of its writers, David Nitkin and Michael Olesker, have charged Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich with enacting a policy which was intended to have and has had an impermissible chilling effect on the Sun's right to free expression.

It just keeps coming.

Looks like the media is in full attack mode with a target rich environment.

Everything and anything that dissed them. Namely everyone we know.

265 posted on 02/11/2005 2:00:33 AM PST by Cold Heat (What are fears but voices awry?Whispering harm where harm is not and deluding the unwary. Wordsworth)
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To: kcvl; conservative in nyc; John Lenin
You can hear the latest on this safari and brouhaha online today starting around 9:00am by tuning in to or
266 posted on 02/11/2005 2:01:18 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: MEG33

EHRLICH MAKES UP MAKING UP QUOTES: In an interview on WBAL Radio, Ehrlich defended banning officials from talking to Sun columnist Michael Olesker, claiming he had "made up quotes," referring to a May 14 column that included quotes from Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele on multiculturalism. Olesker denied the charges, saying, "They are trying to deny having conversations with me that absolutely occurred and that I would never in a million years make up." Ehrlich's administration finally came clean by reversing itself last week and "acknowledged that Steel did have the conversation with the columnist."

WATCH YOUR METAPHORS: The governor's office also tried to attack Olesker for describing the governor's communications director as "struggling to keep a straight face" while testifying that use of taxpayer money in tourism ads was not politically motivated. Ehrlich says Olesker wasn't at the hearing and thus didn't know what Schurick's face looked like; Olesker has explained it was a figure of speech and he didn't mean the phrase to be taken literally. In retribution, Ehrlich used this as his justification for banning the Maryland government from talking to Olesker.

EHRLICH KICKED REPORTERS OUT OF THE STATE HOUSE: This isn't Gov. Ehrlich's first attempt to muscle out journalists. Last summer, he concocted a plan to bodily evict the Maryland press corps from its long-held offices in the State House. (After the resulting uproar, he recanted and reporters were able to stay on site.) He also removed newspaper boxes from the State House for "security" reasons. The Governor "has professed not to read the newspapers, maintains that The Washington Post and The (Baltimore) Sun are biased against him, and has professed a preference for talk radio."

267 posted on 02/11/2005 2:04:06 AM PST by kcvl
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To: MEG33
Meanwhile, we note that Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp gave the gov the "Crybaby of the Year Award" last week for his blackballing of The Sun's Nitkin and Michael Olesker.
268 posted on 02/11/2005 2:05:26 AM PST by kcvl
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To: chronic_loser

I hope you realize your rant does not pertain to this circumstance at all.

269 posted on 02/11/2005 2:05:56 AM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: conservative in nyc

As it was fortold in the prophecies, the "War on Freepdom" has begun.

The stars are in alignment, and the dark lord Hillary has deemed that those who "Freep" must be silenced...

No, I haven't switched to decaf, why?

Think the alphabets channels aren't PO'd they're getting whupped by a bunch of folks in pajamas? Sounds like revenge is well under way.

And if they think they are going to strip us of our freedem, they simply don't know what war is.

270 posted on 02/11/2005 2:06:01 AM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: John Lenin
This just blows back on them. It will energize support for the Republican governor. If there is a "Watergate" type scandal here it is in the liberal camp. FR had nothing to do with generating the rumors about Mayor O'Malley.

O'Malley's administration has been full of corruption and scandals. They kept hiring corrupt philandering, party-animal boneheads from the NYPD to head the police, among other lunacies. Makes you start to wonder. The old line about "birds of a feather..."

271 posted on 02/11/2005 2:06:09 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet
Would it be ethical, in your opinion, for the identity of MD4BUSH to be revealed here, if it is apparent that he had misrepresented himself in an effort to entrap someone?

Nah. FR has had scammers before and when it all goes out like this, it usually means an increase in donations to keep FR up and stronger.

Old FRs went through "Deep in the..", Larry Whatislawyer, Pardek and a few other scammers that monopolized the interest for a while and came away stronger

272 posted on 02/11/2005 2:07:30 AM PST by leadhead (God bless America...where even the wrong have a right to be that way)
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To: conservative in nyc

Ok, just in case someone hasn't already done it:

This is very series!! Oh boy, this is hugh!!

273 posted on 02/11/2005 2:08:59 AM PST by advance_copy
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity

It's the mentality behind the people who are pulling all the strings, they have been rejected time after time and they really want to get violent but they know what that means so we are seeing a bunch of cheap shots that make them look petty.

274 posted on 02/11/2005 2:09:12 AM PST by John Lenin
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To: kcvl

Very interesting. Thanks for the post.

275 posted on 02/11/2005 2:10:19 AM PST by conservative in nyc
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Ehrlich also demanded an apology for a comment in the Sun's 2002 endorsement of Ehrlich's gubernatorial opponent, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in which the Sun described Steele, who is black, as, "bring[ing] little to the team but the color of his skin." Dianne Donovan, the paper's editorial page editor, has said the paper will not apologize.

At a lecture at Towson University regarding the dispute Ehrlich said to a class, "I would argue that the elitists [at the Sun] cannot deal with the fact that Michael Steele is an African American and a Republican."

276 posted on 02/11/2005 2:10:49 AM PST by kcvl
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To: MEG33
yeah, what we have her is probably a WAPO plant going after someone.

When you are burying your opposition, you get sloppy sometimes.
277 posted on 02/11/2005 2:12:17 AM PST by chronic_loser
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To: John Lenin
Got that right. They are on edge. And are very angry, almost demented. The attitude towards the governor among liberals borders on mental illness. And that applies nationally to a lot of liberals with respect to Kerry's defeat.

They are lashing out wildly, frantically, for anyone to blame or hit for why they are so unhappy and frustrated.

Here, they considered Annapolis their private fiefdom of liberal-socialist tyranny. They are absolutely livid that they lost the state house in Maryland.

278 posted on 02/11/2005 2:13:19 AM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Cold Heat
Columnist Michael Olesker says never in three decades as a newspaperman has he made up a quote, but that's exactly what the governor is accusing him of.

The governor says Olesker fabricated an entire conversation with the lieutenant governor. "Why would I make up a quote? If I made up a quote, I wouldn't last 29 minutes, let alone 29 years. I'm a fair and honest reporter," Olesker said.

The far from shy governor has ordered his staff not to talk to or return phone calls from Olesker or from the Sun's State House Bureau chief.

"It's not anything other than with respect to two reporters from the Sun. They now need to direct their questions to our press office. Because we don't trust them to report news, or report quotes accurately, which is what they do for a living," Ehrlich said.

Governor Ehrlich's battles with the Sun actually go back before his election. In endorsing Ehrlich's Democratic opponent, the paper's editorial page suggested Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele brought little to the team other than the color of his skin.

"Clearly what they've done and said about Michael is part of this. It's so far out of bounds, so racial, so inappropriate, that we've asked for a retraction and apology for two years," Ehrlich once said.

The Sun's editor fiercely defends both Olesker and the state house bureau chief. And he says the news department operates completely independently of its editorial pages.

279 posted on 02/11/2005 2:15:19 AM PST by kcvl
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To: kcvl
The Sun's minions are a nasty bunch of knob polishers, aren't they?

Makes me feel sorry for any young person thinking about politics as a career. You can guarantee if you're a conservative, they(the MSM) are going to try to do you harm at every turn.

Talk about a chilling effect.
280 posted on 02/11/2005 2:18:22 AM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Children classics updated for Islam, "If you're happy and you know it, go Kaboom!")
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