The Professional Dangers of Being Right
Those quick to bemoan the sorry state of American journalism don’t think about the economics that brought it about. Nor do they quite understand how those economics reward cowardice over courage, careerism over character. Media properties are increasingly the playthings of wealthy billionaires or venture capitalists rather than viable businesses and no one wants to take any risks—especially if that involves taking a stand for the truth.
Three years ago two journalists and I exposed how a U.S. Senator had been having sex with under aged prostitutes and stiffing them on the bill. Robert Menendez, a powerful Democrat U.S senator who served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations, had been illegally flying down to the Dominican Republic on private jets and partying it up with his friend, Salomon Melgen, a Dominican-born, Medicare-defrauding eye doctor. Not content to cheat the U.S. taxpayer through the largest Medicare fraud in history Melgen also likes to cheat on his wife. The 60-year-old married doctor hired a Ukrainian escort to work as his personal assistant and madam to help procure him young women. Naturally these young women were ferried between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic meaning that a U.S. Senator was participating in human trafficking and certainly subject to blackmail by any number of the geopolitical threats to America.
The story is seemingly out of a James Bond movie, involving implausible claims of Cuban spies. At one point I even personally paid thousands for a private eye that I sent down to the Dominican Republic to get some documents out of storage. Everything I had I turned over to the FBI to help with their investigation. Much to the shock of the mainstream media the FBI confirmed everything my colleagues and I reported in a filing on last Monday. Menendez traveled to the Dominican Republic “during time frames in which one unidentified alleged minor victim specifically claimed to have had sex with him,” the DOJ said.
Menendez was indicted for gifts he illegally received from Melgen as part of an influence peddling plot to get approved for a $500 million contract to control the Dominican ports. In most Third World countries, taxes are paid at the port of entry. There may well have been a dark motive at play. Melgen’s uncle, Vincho Castillo, was a former president of the National Council on Drugs who was known for bringing very few prosecutions for drug offenses. Control the ports and you control the pipelines of drugs into the U.S. Turns out, the girls he and the Dominican high society were sharing on cruise ships sweetened the deal.
Despite calls for him to resign by the New York Times Menendez wasn’t going down easily. He doctored evidence and spun establishment journalists with his increasingly elaborate lies and conspiracy theories. In some cases he and his staff forged federal documents. The Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her past reporting, was easily duped by Menendez. She even reprinted his manufactured documentation. Shortly after my colleagues and I published our interview with the Dominican prostitutes at the Daily Caller Menendez’s camp circulated a Dominican affidavit filed by a Nexis de los Santos Santana, a woman purporting to be one of the prostitutes we interviewed.
There’s just one problem: the woman didn’t exist and the cedula, the social security equivalent, was a forgery. Menendez and his staff tried unsuccessfully to get several reporters at the New York Times to run with these doctored documents but Leonnig ran with the story. Incredibly journalists at nearly every single publication began to report that the prostitutes had altered their stories—even though the woman who altered her story didn’t exist. Next Leonnig ran with Menendez’s laughable claim that the prostitution claims came from Cuban intelligence. Her source was two anonymous sources—one from Menendez’s office and an unnamed intelligence officer.
Menendez was always a man of dubious moral character who attracted scum. Most recently his chief of staff—Fred Turner—was caught using the cheating website, Ashley Madison, on his taxpayer-funded work computer. In his private life Menendez was far worse. Neighbors reported his recreational use of prostitutes and enjoyment of loud sex. He was nearly indicted for HUD zoning scandal by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. He took his married girlfriend on a taxpayer-funded junket to Puerto Rico and directed state money to her illegal immigrant newsletter and arranged meetings between his paramour and Mexican authorities. The offenses were so bad that the Puerto Ricans changed the law concerning senators using the governor’s private beach house for nonofficial purposes.
Despite these obvious character deficiencies influential members of the American Jewish community fell for Menendez’s increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories and ponied up to fund Menendez’s multi-million dollar legal war chest. Jewish organizations wanted to believe Menendez who seemed to be the last pro-Israel Democratic senator. So, too, did large sections of Conservatism, Inc., who implausibly argued that Menendez was being persecuted by Obama for daring to oppose Obama’s deal with Iran. No one bothered to point out that even if these conspiracy theories were true Menendez should have resigned. His Republican replacement would no doubt have been as aggressive—and free of the taint of corruption. An impassioned speech by Chris Christie calling for Menendez to step down might well reinvigorate Christie’s flagging presidential campaign.
The Menendez story masked a large corruption within American journalism. Every single major publication in the country condemned and mocked us relentlessly—and took an accused child rapist’s word over our mounting evidence. As my colleagues moved on to other publications and were sometimes barred from even discussing the Menendez story responding to these lies largely fell to me. My colleagues went on to other jobs—Matthew Boyle writes for Breitbart, David Martosko is the U.S. political editor for the Daily Mail—but I founded my own website, GotNews.com, where I quickly became famous reporting the sorts of stories that the media routinely suppresses, like the Black Lives Matter lies and the fake campus rapes.
Profile pieces soon followed and nearly every one mentioned that I was a part of the team that got the Menendez story wrong. In a thoroughly libelous piece that falsely claimed I had been fired for my work Politico’s Jacob Silverman called the Menendez story my largest “snafu.” The Washington Post’s Terrence McCoy claimed the story had been “shredded.” Newsweek’s Taylor Wofford “found no evidence” that Menendez frequented prostitutes and mocked me and Boyle for being duped by Cuban intelligence. “The irony is that dupes like Chuck Johnson skate for a while on the real case,” David Weigel, the mentally-ill “reporter” for the Washington Post on Twitter. As news broke that Menendez had frequented prostitutes, the Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi tweeted she would kill herself if I were actually right about Robert Menendez. (Only BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reported that my colleagues and I were proved right regarding Menendez.)
A number of cuckservatives joined in in pushing Menendez’s talking points. “The [Menendez] allegations were exposed as lies,” wrote then-Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Matt Kaminski. Pulitzer Prize winner Bret Stephens, the Journal’s foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor, compared Obama to Nixon, tweeting, that the “DoJ better have good explanation of timing of charges against #1 Dem critic of Iran deal. Otherwise BHO=RMN.” Not to be outdone the op-ed page editor’s Paul Gigot, who also won the Pulitzer, continued to sell the conspiracy theory long way the sell date arguing that the timing of Menendez’s prosecution provoked bipartisan “skepticism” because ofMenendez’s new found pro-Israel views. Menendez’s prosecution began long before the Iran deal was even on the table.
In reality Menendez, perhaps learning from his doctor friend, pimped himself out on Iran so that American Jews would fund his legal defense. He outdid himself at AIPAC’s March event—when he knew an indictment was forthcoming—by blasting Obama for the “talking points of Tehran” speech. And incredibly his ruse worked. American Jews shelled out the money to fund his lavish but laughable legal defense. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, media mogul Mort Zuckerman, and entertainment executive Haim Saban were among the 400 (mostly Jewish) donors who gave Menendez $1.6 million to fight prison. Foolish billionaires and their money are soon parted. Menendez gets to sell a meshugenah people the hope that the Democratic Party isn’t a Jew-hating, anti-white racial grievance coalition. For all that money, you’d expect the Jewish donors would get results but the Iran deal is a done deal. Obama will get the 34 votes he needs to approve the deal while Menendez will get to continue pretending he is being persecuted rather than prosecuted to the world’s most persecuted people. The 24 hour news cycle is full of sound and fury signifying nothing…
Meanwhile the real persecution is against real journalists who think for themselves in an era where false tweets can ruin a reputation and career. Indeed my censorship on Twitter makes it harder still to rebut the dishonest pieces written against me and to receive appropriate applause for exposing the corruption of a U.S. Senator at great personal expense.
Ultimately the hit pieces against me had their intended effect of making me think twice about doing real journalism against the ruling elites preferred fraudsters. As hit piece author after hit piece author descended upon me I could have blown up Menendez at any time by leaking to them the file I gave over to the FBI but I did not. David Carr of the New York Times sneeringly asked me over and over on the phone to prove if it really was true that I worked with the FBI on some of my investigations, I sat at my desk, looking at the evidence that I knew would prove the story that everyone is starting to realize was true all along.
“Do I save myself and my reputation and prejudice the corruption conviction of a child rapist or do the right thing and wait for the careerists in the Justice Department to do the right thing?” I asked myself.
I put the file in the desk bureau and replied after politely explaining to him why I wouldn’t prejudice an ongoing investigation for the umpteenth time, “Well, David, you crack smoking hack, I don’t give a fuck if you believe me about Menendez. The FBI does. Oh, and I’m right about Obama being a fag and just like I’m right about that lying fag Cory Booker not living in Newark too. Sooner or later I’ll be proved right on those things too. And if not in this life then in the next. Next condescending question.”
Carr died shortly thereafter. I’d like to think that stressing over my kind of journalism—the sort that focuses on what’s true, rather than what’s popular—was what helped kill him—just as I hope it’s what ultimately sees Menendez in prison and the journalists who mocked me in line for food stamps. Sooner or later my critics are going to have to learn that I’m right and that I’m not going away.
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