To the Publishers and Editors of the United States: An Open Letter

russian-billboard_getty

Dear Friends and Former Colleagues,

Donald Trump has been dominating news coverage for so long now, the stories have become predictable. There is a larger story about this election playing out which no news organization seems to be taking advantage of. Whoever breaks this story first is going to regain a lot of reader trust and generate a lot of internet clicks.

There are Pulitzers and book deals here in the offing for an enterprising journalist. All that journalist has to do to win them is find the truth and report it honestly. I’ve put together a list of facts to help you on your way.

1. The New York Times has published a long, well-detailed story about President-Elect Trump’s potential conflicts of interest which stem from his business relationships abroad. Time  and The Washington Post have published accounts Mr. Trump’s connections to Russia  and admiration of Vladimir Putin.

2. On Nov. 28, 14 members of the U.S. House Oversight Committee communicated a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz requesting that the committee begin a review of Mr. Trump’s finances “in order to identify and protect against conflicts of interest.” Ranking Member Elijah Cummings requested this review two weeks prior, and as of Nov. 28. had received no response from the chairman. The letter of Nov. 28 states that the Committee’s offices have received more calls from citizens asking for this investigation than they have ever received about any other issue.

3. On Nov. 29, seven members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence requested in writing that President Obama take steps to declassify information about Russian involvement in the recent Presidential election. The letter was made public.

senate_russiaAt the very least, this is notable enough to warrant front-page coverage. Intelligence matters are typically negotiated privately. It is highly unlikely that seven senators would make such a communication public unless they were sure the information requested includes facts the American people should have access to immediately. See Rachel Maddow’s report on 12/1 and Spencer Ackerman’s “Senators call for declassification of files on Russia’s Role in US election” in The Guardian to confirm the facts.

The overseas relationships and the Russian manipulation of the election must intersect somewhere. Follow the money.

If I were a publisher, I’d commit serious editorial resources to investigating all this. I would be investing money into the effort. I would have my best people on it and I’d be looking for a long series of front-pagers or cover stories.

The direction of U.S. policy for decades to come, the well-being of future generations, and the survival of press freedom may very well turn on the decisions we make about how we respond to this situation.

Sincerely,

Gene’O

-ed. The Trump/Putin billboard was captured in Macedonia last month by both Getty and Reuters and is verified as authentic by Snopes. The Getty version appears here. I’ve seen several other examples of this sort of imagery from Russia and the former Soviet sphere of influence in the last couple of months.

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#SundayBlogShare. What Fun!

Thank you, Suzie, for #SundayBlogShare. I had irons in the fire yesterday and didn’t do as much as I could have done, but I did meet a nice blogger named Austin (@Austin_Hodgens if you want to follow him on twitter, peeps!) who I never would have met without that hashtag.

Image © Gene’O, 2014. Free to use with credit and a link.

Image © Gene’O, 2014. Free to use with credit and a link.

I’m posting this and letting it sit all week. Let’s just see what happens.

Peeps:

If you aren’t into Twitter, apologies. The rest of this requires you to have a Twitter presence. But not a big one. You could set up a Twitter account today and still get in on it by Sunday. 🙂

#SundayBlogShare has somehow managed to not be a thing yet. We had a bit of fun with that hashtag over the weekend. We can have more fun with it next Sunday if you’re in the mood for it. ww_2014_07_08_wc

What you can do to maximize the fun:

  1. Share one or more blog links to the hashtag this coming Sunday.
  2. Retweet things you like from the hashtag at odd moments during this week.
  3. Tweet the hashtag to other bloggers you know between now and Sunday. Let them know it’s an awesome link-sharing opportunity and a good way to find other bloggers on Twitter.

You get bonus points if you include #wordpress in tweets with #SundayBlogShare, because there are a few accounts that retweet from #wordpress a lot.

That is all, except the part where I link to a few friends who blog and tweet. Give the them a look. They are all fabulous bloggers and awesome tweeps.

Diana @parttimemonster

Sabina @VictimToCharm

Sheena @notapunkrocker

Gretchen @gkelly73

Luther @nfinitefreetime

Leah @odorunara

Natacha @natachaguyot

David @compgeeksdavid

Taylor @taylorgraceauth

Rose @RoseFBlog

Thanks again Suzie, for #SundayBlogShare. And for this awesome Twitter image! I use it often 🙂

Image via Suzie81's Blog, 2014.

Image via Suzie81’s Blog, 2014.

These are not the droids you’re looking for . . .

. . . if you haven’t heard by now, sci-fi author and blogger extraordinaire Luther M. Siler is now a Sourcerer contributor.

I have a bit of free time over the next few days. Sadly, it is not infinite. I have to spend most of it getting us set up for 2015, but I will to spend some of it running amok on the social media. Read on!

Diabolo III free wallpaper from hqwide.com.

Diabolo III free wallpaper from hqwide.com.

I’m doing a massive Follow Friday on Twitter tomorrow. I’ve got 1,000+ new followers and not many of the new ones are interacting. I’m introducing those of you who do interact with me to those 1,000 followers. With hashtags that adequately, and possibly even accurately, reflect your interests. We’ll just see what happens. Maybe some of you will find a few new people to tweet with. And be warned. There’s a damn lot of you. If I leave you out it’s not because I forgot about you. It’s because there are only so many keystrokes in a day.

If you have regular readers or friends on Twitter and you aren’t sure if they know me, this weekend is a good time to include them in a #FF tweet with @Sourcererblog. Everyone included in such a tweet gets a look from me over the weekend and a chance at a follow. If I am following them already and they are following me back, they get an appropriate list add.

Also. I have changed the way I Facebook, and I am cooking up an activity for bloggers with Facebook pages for the weekend. It’s still a half-baked idea at this point, and I may not figure it out in time. But I think I will. I have a whole day to work on it. You don’t want to miss the coffee post on Saturday.

We’re wrapping up the Feminist Friday Project for 2014 at Part Time Monster this week. Last chance to join in that discussion until January. The Follow Friday on Twitter and the Feminist Friday thread at the monster are the only two things I am doing on the public media tomorrow.

This blog has new blavatar.

pirateflag

Make of it what you will. I’ll explain the significance at some point. In the meantime, it is a powerful image and it’s working for me.