Barrett Brown, a self-described journalist with no training whatsoever, has long played pied piper for Anonymous when not working as an intermediary for the media and hackers. Commander X, a long-time hactivist promoting the rights of the homeless, is another popular demagogue who boasts openly about how he is able to “control” the hive.
Command delusions, drug addictions, and homophobia are not the only thing these fire-dogs have in common. In Barrett Brown’s nightly tinychat sessions, he discusses the issues of the day, and yesterday he spoke about the case of Amber Lyon.
Amber Lyon was allegedly fired from CNN for her overzealous coverage of Occupy and Arab Spring events. The ongoing flap between her and CNN is filled with conflicting and confusing nonsense, but I’m inclined to go with the sensible story on CNN International.
“By mid February 2011 CNN had already deployed several of its most well respected international correspondents to report on the unrest and the government’s violent response, including Nic Robertson, Arwa Damon, Rima Maktabi and CNN International Anchor Hala Gorani. Damon, Maktabi and Gorani are all fluent Arabic speakers.”
Glenn Greenwald, a former trial lawyer with absolutely no training as a journalist, used his podium on the Guardian to push the narrative that Lyon’s documentary on Bahrain and other reports about Bahrain have been suppressed.
“After Lyon’s crew returned from Bahrain, CNN had no correspondents regularly reporting on the escalating violence.”
So, just how are Lyon’s chops? Is she a capable and competent seeker of truth, and is that why she was fired from CNN? Would she fall prey to a simple twitter hoax?
How about Barrett Brown? Is he also an easily-fooled demagogue who will believe anything confirming his preexisting prejudices?
I assumed the name ‘amber’, a social-engineering hacker character from a novel I’m working on, and Barrett Brown immediately assumed I was Amber Lyon. I requested the presence of Commander X, and he promptly appeared.
The conversation that followed was immensely painful. They begged me for information proving CNN International receives money from Bahrain, and I claimed I had some. I told them I was working on an article which would prove this point, but I only had one source and a professional journalist needs more than just that in order to corroborate fact. This, of course, was a reference to the supposed journalist, Barrett Brown, who did not corroborate the identity of Amber Lyon before reporting on her presence via Twitter. Commander X, the hacker who said he could control the hive, seemed ready to orchestrate a cyberattack at my whim, interpreting my plea for extra sources as a request for a hack. Oh, the bitter horrific irony. Would he have hacked a web site for a hoaxer? My God! Anonymous, is this your leader?
Demagogues are great for confirming everything you already believe and whipping up hysteria, but they’re not what they claim to be. As a proven prophet, I’m all too happy to pull rank on them and show that a lot of noise does not a leader make.