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ISSUE #118
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Features

ArrowThe Avalanche Threat
No one is safe!
Allan Uthman

ArrowMr BEAST Goes to Washington
Power to the people, or something like it
Ian Murphy

ArrowGreat Moments in Fascist Punditry

ArrowSlippery When Wet
Al Gore, an inconvenient douche
Paul Fallon

ArrowAnts in a Jar
It's only the end of the world, so quit bitching

Joe Bageant

ArrowRah Rah Sis Boom AAAAAHH!
Text "dead cheerleaders" for relentless media coverage
Steve Gordon

ArrowDog Day
Wiener Binging at the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest
Andrew Blake

ArrowInterview with the Editor's Uncle

ArrowThe Second "Scoop"
Reflogging Palast and Perkins

A Monkey

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Headless Pharmaceutical Mascot

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Letters

 

The Second “Scoop”
Reflogging Palast and Perkins

Every human enterprise has its share of hucksters, and why should it be any different in the small world of independent media?

Take Greg Palast, a self-promoter/reporter who writes a story and then writes a hundred stories about that story he wrote. Palast is currently in the midst of a three month re-re-re-re-re-flogging of an article he wrote in 2004 about a Rove peon who tried to steal 70,000 votes from the negroes.

It was a popular story when it came out, and Palast's face was on every single American screen that would take him – which, in the sad world of independent media means you saw him bragging next to Democracy Now!'s grim-faced Amy Goodman on channel 137 at 2 am. When you learn about how Palast got his hands on this story, it's a wonder that he'd take any credit for it: a goofy email error had Rove peon Tim Griffin's update on the vote theft efforts go to Bush-hating goofball John Wooden of georgewbush.org and not to Bush-manipulating schemester Karl Rove of georgewbush.com.

And here's how Palast got his big scoop: Wooden forwarded the emails to Palast.

Turns out, the peon re-emerged in the U.S. attorney scandal as one of the “loyal Bushies” who got himself some extra-thick padding on his resume with a gig in Arkansas. And of course, out like a lion, a solid three years after filing the report, without a single scrap of new reporting, Palast was back on Amy Goodman, telling it all over again, with passion, how Wooden forwarded him the email – or in his brain, how he broke the fucking story wide open.

Palast also reflogged the 2004 story on his website:

“In October 2004, our investigations team at BBC Newsnight received a series of astonishing emails from Mr. Griffin, then Research Director for the Republican National Committee. He didn't mean to send them to us. They were highly confidential memos meant only for RNC honchos.”

A pretty tidy way of insinuating that Palast got the emails on his own, don't you think? Only later does he write that Wooden “sent them.”

Palast wrote an article that got me thinking about another bad huckster out there, John Perkins. Palast started, “I remember John Perkins. He was a real jerk. A gold-plated, super-slick lying little butthole shill for corporate gangsters; a snake-oil salesman with a movie-star grin, shiny loafers, a crooked calculator and a tooled leather briefcase full ... [of] high-blown bullshit.”

That sounded exactly like the John Perkins I've pieced together, but it turned out that Palast was joking. The rest of the article is a paean to Perkins and his new book, Secret History of the American Empire, a rehash of his best-selling work, Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

I'm going to take a page out of Palast's book and do a bit of flogging myself. In the Beast's April 12, 2006 issue I wrote a column on reader fantasies and in it explained why thousands of poor fools out there bought a copy of Perkins's Confessions book. I wrote,

“That liar fraud John Perkins who wrote Confessions of an Economic Hitman is like the 400th author who tried to peddle the story of conspiratorial international bankers and wealthy nation states conspiring to suck the developing world dry. Where the previous 399 would-be Perkins failed was that they didn't throw in a James Bond backdrop like Perkins did – secret loan plans schemed out on satin sheets with attendant Swedish babes, intrigue at nightclubs.

“The other 399 tried other tricks: wonkery, hamming up the Jewish banking world as sympathetic dupes to more sinister Papist plotters, telling morality tales, hundreds of other things. But the readers didn't want that. Turns out they wanted Bond. So after the initial low risk, small print run with Perkins's book, the sales numbers came in, and the publishers saw they had the catnip that got the 70,000 banking conspiracy lovers going and committed to marketing his book.”

One night this summer, there I was at 2 am, flipping between ESPN and channel 137, and there was John Perkins... on Amy Goodman, flogging his new rehash. And what came out of his mouth?

“[I]t's interesting that in the few instances when economic hit men fail, what we call 'the jackals,' who are people who come in to overthrow governments or assassinate their leaders, also come out of private industry. These are not CIA employees. We all have this image of the 007, the government agent hired to kill, you know, with license to kill, but these days the government agents, in my experience, don't do that. It's done by private consultants that are brought in to do this work. And I've known a number of these individuals personally and still do.”

Pretty tidy too. Remember, John Perkins isn't Bond. He said so.

 

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