The Pestle


Ep 124: “Shattered Glass” (2003)

November 02, 2020

We report on Billy Ray’s “Shattered Glass” and discuss:

  • the anatomy of a liar;
  • journalism’s function, process, weaknesses;
  • the state of journalism today;
  • at the end of the episode we also (to everyone’s dismay) weigh in on the election;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that—whether from fear, careerism, or conviction—uncritically recites false government claims and reports them as fact, or treats elected officials with a reverence reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function.Glenn Greenwald

Notes & References:
writer/director Billy Ray’s iMDB includes writing credits for “Captain Phillips”, “The Hunger Games”, “Richard Jewell”, “State of Play”, “Breach”, and tons of others.
cinematographer Mandy Walker’s iMDB includes such films as “Mulan”, “Hidden Figures”, “Jane Got a Gun”, “Truth”, “Australia” and many others
Here is the original Vanity Fair article that the movie was based on
Recent New Republic article about Stephen Glass’ life since leaving TNR
Did the New York Times print an urban legend? – looking at poor sourcing from a NYT article describing a man who died after attending a “Covid party”
Wired article further analyzing “Covid parties”
Madeleine Albright* on 60 Minutes says the price of sanctions killing half a million Iraqi children was worth it
*correction from Wes: at the time of the sanctions & 60 Minutes interview she was the ambassador to the UN, not yet secretary of state which occurred in 1997
Further analysis on Albright’s 60 Minutes comments, which estimate that as “few” as 227k children under the age of 5 died as a result of the sanctions
I found this counterclaim about the Iraqi estimates that attempts to refute the death toll, but on reading his source material did not see any revised estimates so much as reason to consider a lower — yet undetermined — figure than 500k-600k.
Third party access to ballots is difficult
James Clapper lies to congress on mass surveillance (YouTube link)
CNN hires Clapper and other known liars
Edward Snowden’s “Permanent Record” – autobiography
What is “Approval Voting”? (YouTube link)
analyzing Ranked Choice Voting (YouTube link)
Obama drone strikes:
Obama’s drone strikes on first responders
Obama’s drone strike on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (and
– President Obama not only killed American citizens without due process, his administration also reclassified innocent civilians as “enemy combatants” after killing them as chronicled in The Drone Papers
Matt Taibbi’s sober look at “Russiagate” and its implications on the media
An interesting counterargument about Russiagate’s valid and remaining issues/questions
Judith Miller’s NYT on Iraq WMDs article – “The first sign of a ”smoking gun,” they argue, may be a mushroom cloud.”
Glenn Greenwald reflects on Judith Miller’s legacy, and how the media perpetuates the same kind of “journalism”
Glenn Greenwald leaves The Intercept
The Intercept disagrees with his assessment of being censored
David Blue Garcia to direct new “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
Follow David Blue Garcia on Instagram
Federal Funding for political parties
Ross Perot got 18.97% of the popular vote in 1992

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This Week’s Recommendations:

Glenn Greenwald’s Substack Journalism


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