Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cyberattacks on journalists

For quite some time now, I have felt like a voice crying in the wilderness with my public complaints about numerous cyberattacks on my Yahoo and Google accounts, along with virus bombs directed to my computers.

But now Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times reports that hackers have attacked his account and the accounts of other reporters, along with activists, whose writings don't conform to China's Communist Party line. Yahoo, which has servers in China, wouldn't tell the Times what was going on.
Jacobs added that increasingly virus bombs are being used to target specific persons in order to thwart their views or reports from dissemination. (Recently I have thrown out yet another computer hampered by such a malware bomb, despite my efforts to avoid such trickery.)

Jacobs notes that the attacks could stem from somewhere other than China.

The cyberattacks on the Times and others may be more pervasive than Jacobs' story indicates. In a remarkable situation, I have a copy of Arthur Gelbs' memoir "City Room" borrowed from a public library in the New York region. It has been extensively tampered with by someone clearly intent on snubbing the Times and its professionalism.

Gelb, a onetime Times rewriteman who went on to rebuild a crack rewrite bank, has his copy mangled in ways that are simply impossible. For example, the word "transpired" is used at one point to mean "happened," which all New York newspaperpeople know is a journalistic no-no of the first order. And, the book is littered with the word "since" to mean "because" not a few times, but extensively. It is evident that, in many cases, the leading clause is mangled; that is, "Having done so and so..." is changed to read "Since so and so was done..."

Gelb, a former top Times editor, had access to the best copyreaders anywhere. So it is apparent that this book is a counterfeit, intended to make the Times look defenseless. It is easy enough, with modern computer technology, to "instant publish" such a travesty.

I plan to alert Jacobs to this matter, but I don't expect much response.

From the same library I have a copy of Robert Novak's memoir, "The Prince of Darkness." I haven't examined it closely yet, but I intend to do so.

APRIL 1, 2010.

I realize that some may consider the report above to be an April fool hoax, but it is not. I haven't time for such trivia.

I sent out an email to all relevant NY Times addresses and got one robo-response. Otherwise, nothing. Neither has a call been received from anyone at the Times.

BTW, some months back, someone entered one of my (now defunct) Yahoo accounts and deleted my copy of a New York Times list of reporter and editor email addresses. The Times had ceased to publish that list.

APRIL 5, 2010

On page 397 of "City Room" is found: "I agreed it was quite possible, aware that--like most reporters who had covered the police beat--of what often transpired behind the closed doors of a precinct interrogation room." No New York newspaperman would have written that.

As for "The Prince of Darkness," we have:

Page 173: "What transpired in Pittsburgh after the LeMay announcement produced one of the most bizarre moments in my half century of covering politics."

Page 282: "But with Chris half a foot taller than me, my feeble punch landed on his chest and fellow journalists grabbed us before anything more serious transpired."

Page 541: "I said I did not either, and I did not envision CNN as a possible bidder considering what had transpired so far."

Surely Novak in his early years as an AP reporter learned to avoid that word, once a favorite of police officers trying to sound educated. Surely his editor, a longtime editor for Readers Digest, would have stricken it had he seen it.

Novak of course was detested by the super-neocon Israelophiles and the ultra-left, but I am uncertain as to the motive for these childish alterations.

To report cyberattacks of this sort, either post a comment, or phone me on my cell at

!+a8+b6+c5+++d2+e3+f5+++g2+h9+i7+j4+! (Ignore non-numerals.)

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