Archive for the GEORGE SCOVILLE Category


Posted in ERICK ERICKSON, GEORGE SCOVILLE with tags on 19/07/2013 by sarahbloch


Let’s play a little game this morning. Pretend this is a nice warm sunny spring morning a few years ago and you find yourself reading Think Progress with your morning cup of coffee and suddenly you find yourself hip deep in coverage of the Moldovan elections with posts saying how amazing the Moldovan Communist Party will make things for Moldovans all over Moldova. You come here for your weekend fix of political eye candy and find that we too are writing about the Moldovan elections and we too are saying glowing things about the MCP. Now you’re hooked on all things Moldovan and then suddenly over the coming months after the elections have ended and the Communist Party has won a victory you don’t hear anything else from us or any other Progressive blogs about the tiny former Soviet republic.

Moldovan partidul-comunistilor

Most readers, distracted by the tides of the twenty four hour news cycle wouldn’t think anything more about it. Those readers on the right who occasionally come to progressive blogs would likely think it was odd that those articles were written in that time but they are fully involved in Obama bashing so they don’t have time to look at this strange politico-literary occurrence with any more depth. Then just imagine that a young writer at say Breitbart couldn’t let the weirdness of the whole situation go and so she starts digging which is what journalist and bloggers do.

So this young blogger at Breitbart uncovers that your truly and many other Progressive bloggers had taken checks from a Progressive B list media consultant to spread the story of just how cool the MCP was. That would be a front page story on every conservative blog in existence. The swell of calls for the heads of the bloggers, digitally, of course would crash the servers from the Free Republic to Red State. It would be a digital riot to say the least as calls for blogs to be taken down and cries that this is some sort of proof that Obama isn’t American would circle the globe faster than a lie.

Okay now step back into the present. George Scoville isn’t a name that most blog readers on either side of the political spectrum would know that is until recently. It appears that Scoville who has worked for the Cato Institute and has his own blog called The Dangerous Servant took money from supporters of the Ukrainian Party of Regions led by President Mykola Azarov to be used to pay conservative bloggers in America to drum up support among their readers. Some bloggers were influenced so heavily that they wrote in depth about the Ukrainian elections. One of those bloggers is front page contributor Breeanne Howe.

Howe dedicates three posts to the 2012 Ukrainian elections out of the clear blue sky in a section as you can see above was dedicated to matters Ukrainian. There hasn’t been a single post about the country since and there had only been two prior in August of the election year. Erick Erickson the editor at RedState took umbrage at the fuss about all of this three days ago but today I’m not likely sure he would want to be seen in the same room with Howe or Scoville. From the information uncovered by Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed Scoville was the middle man for the Party of Regions and paid as much as $500 per post to conservative bloggers like Howe to post nice columns about them.

Erickson tries to deflect the curious coincidence surrounding the timing of Howe’s post with the time he was making payment to other conservative bloggers who were also writing bon mots about the Party of Regions by noting that many of the articles at BuzzFeed are adverts. Well, that is BuzzFeed’s modus operandii and it is well known. RedState as well as Breitbart portray themselves as bastions of journalism in the blogging sphere. In the end the argument by Erickson rings hollow when you take this into consideration from Ms Gray’s article:

Writers involved in the campaign had been individually warned by Scoville not to talk to BuzzFeed during the reporting of a story on this subject that appeared in March, and to deny any payment if asked, according to the source.
Howe denied having accepted payment for her pro-Party of Regions blog posts published in October when asked about it in March. “I can’t speak for anyone else that wrote on the subject, I can assure you that my employment at RedState is an unpaid labor of love and I was absolutely not employed by or on the payroll for the Ukranian gov’t (or any other gov’t for that matter),” she said at the time.
But her posts hew closely to talking points issued by Scoville, sometimes nearly verbatim.
A document titled “BACKGROUND INFO FOR MESSAGING (NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION)” includes the following: “The current Ukrainian government is also reforming its energy sector to ensure efficient use of its resources and preserve its important role as an energy corridor between the Caspian Basin and Europe — a corridor that is not subject to Russian interference.”
On October 8, Howe wrote: “Ukraine actually has a large reserve of natural gas and serves as an energy corridor between the Caspian Basin and Europe. A corridor which, incidentally, is not subject to Russian interference.”

Scoville has taken down his blog temporarily and likely with a bit more digging Breeanne Howe will not act like an elitist when asked again “Where’s the money.”

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
64 Colnu 2 AS

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