Emma Brown Begs the Question but Practices Honest Journalism

Twice have I written previously of Emma Brown:

In those interactions Ms. Brown did nothing intellectually dishonest, which makes her stand out (beyond the obligatory use of “baseless” included in articles sharing her byline: these days I simply disregard these as genuflections among the faithful and I take no offense). Furthermore, she showed manners, which indicates a certain intellectual honesty in a reporter (as opposed to snarkiness, which indicates a substitution of emotion for reason). For these reasons, I have stayed in loose engagement.

Thus, when news of Ms. Powell’s federal investigation matters became public, I believed it was time that the public receive some transparency regarding those events, given that (for a time) the names of myself and others close to me were associated with Sidney’s DTR (however briefly). Because Ms. Brown had previously shown a willingness to practice straightforward journalism, I cooperated with her.

Today Emma has published this account. In general, it is a display of solid old-fashioned journalism that is to be commended.

Sidney Powell group raised more than $14 million spreading election falsehoods

I have a small number of quibbles I would make with Ms. Brown’s writing:

  • Ms. Brown uses the word “lieutenants” with reference to what later proves to be Mike and Joe Flynn, our colleagues, and myself. None of us understood ourselves to be Sidney’s “lieutenants”.
  • “…Michael Flynn, the Trump national security adviser who was charged with lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation. Flynn was ultimately pardoned by Trump.” A fuller and more accurate description of that would read: “…Michael Flynn, the Trump national security adviser who was initially cleared by his FBI interviewers (including Peter Strzock) but then later charged with lying to the FBI in a manner that an independent review conducted or the DOJ by a retired judge indicated gross government failure to comply with its legal obligations in fabricating the case, causing the DOJ to withdrew the case, in the Russia investigation (which has recently been revealed to have been cooked up). Flynn was ultimately pardoned (with a Pardon-of-Innocence) by Trump because in an unprecedented move, Judge Emmitt Sullivan decided to dispense with our system of adversarial justice and instead continue on his own authority (which is called “an inquisition”). Those details which Ms. Brown ommited are salient, I would think.
  • Ms. Brown claims that 1/3 of Americans – including a majority of Republicans – believe that Trump lost because of fraud. Under separate title, I am going to post some survey results which show the number to be significantly higher (58-60% with another 10% unsure, leaving only 28%-30% with the confidence displayed by Ms. Brown). Yet the Left seems stuck on saying: 1/3 of Americans believe in the Big Lie! As if to say, What rubes! However, they are also fond of saying that 75%-80% of Republicans believe the Big Lie! Here is an assignment for any Lefty who holds both assertions to be true: calculate what percent of Democrats then must believe in the Big Lie. (Hint: It is something like -15%. Does that seem reasonable?)
  • In the title, Ms. Brown dismisses the possibility that the election was stolen as a “falsehood”, and declares that assertions to the contrary are “baseless” and “fantastical” in the body, one time each. Ms. Brown is a creature of her environment and such genuflections to orthodoxy are still expected, I am sure. But that is a record low and I applaud heartily the movement backs towards intellectual honesty. However, I will use this moment to correct the public’s understanding of the expression, “begging the question.” People use that expression to mean, “raising the question”. It does not. It means, “to assume your conclusion.” Such as Ms. Brown has done here. She assumes it has been proven that the claims of election fraud are baseless, fantastical, falsehoods.

Other than these minor points, none relevant to the thrust of the story, this article is unobjectionable. It is simply old-fashioned, well-reported, straightforward. Does not draw any conclusions about Ms Powell (as I have not, either). Just the facts.

Which represents real progress, and I like to call it out when I see it. For the Washington Post to cover such matters with only such light spin is a matter for congratulations to the WaPo, and some cheer among ourselves.

Finally, there really is someone there worth talking to. That opens up all kinds of possibilities.

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  1. Kinda hard to say this is objective given the heading says “falsehoods”. As you point out, “She assumes it has been proven that the claims of election fraud are baseless, fantastical, falsehoods.” Given that this is in the title and some large majority of people only read the title, it is very different to say she has done nothing “intellectually dishonest”

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  2. Although, that said, perhaps your title is meant as a clever response to her title, in which case I typed too quickly.

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  3. What a snake in the grass you are Patrick . To highlight an article about Sydney Powell’s Defend the Republic is under investigation in the guise of evaluating the journalist is a not so subtle attempt to throw a great patriot under the bus . Would think most patriots will be able to see through your dishonesty . Hate to give up on General Flynn , but if his wagon continues to be hitched to yours , well …. When one lies down with dogs , expect to get fleas .

    1. I believe both Sidney and Patrick are patriots. They both are working from their own platforms to fight the Communists. Patrick is a bit different in that he is an infiltrator, he infiltrated the Deep.State on behalf of the people.

  4. By that choice of photo header, I believe your “loose engagement” may have an element of sideways intent. After all, it can be lonely at the top, so I hear ….

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    Jovan P did a pod cast with Dave and Josh, you should also.

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  15. Challenge accepted, even though I’m a foreigner and not “a democrat”.

    Sorry, Patrick, but much as I admire your settlement crusade, you’re not a great fact checker or data analyst. According to a poll conducted before MS Brown’s article, 31% of Americans agreed or mostly agreed that the election was fraudulent, including 68% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 6% of Democrats. An earlier CNN poll said 78% of Republicans did not believe Biden won, while more recentlyl Amherst said 71% Not too far off what Emma said. Perhaps you forgot about independents when you came up with your “-15%”. I’m pretty sure you aren’t going to be able to produce the data showing a much higher number (58-60%) of Americans believe the election of Biden was fraudulent, as it doesn’t exist.

    see eg. https://www.prri.org/research/competing-visions-of-america-an-evolving-identity-or-a-culture-under-attack/

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