Engaging in online beefs with trolls like Roseanne Barr and her maniacal twitter followers is probably not particularly useful when it comes to elevating public discourse, but it is pretty entertaining and a nice break from the usual news cycle. We don’t go for link bait too much at the Banter, but sometimes it gets served up on a plate and we have a duty to our readers to keep them amused.
Anyhow, one of the byproducts of tangling with the foul-mouthed Roseanne was getting into it with another crack pot conspiracy theorist and instigator of the ‘Obama is gay’ meme, Wayne Madsen of the ‘Wayne Madsen Report’ (and no, we’re not linking to his site – google it if you must). Roseanne published a piece written by Madsen on her site that attacked The Daily Banter for a piece Chez Pazienza wrote on Roseanne Barr’s descent into madness, basing it around our sloppy journalism. Normally, we’d leave this stuff well alone, but it was so unintentionally funny that we felt an official response was necessary. In an attempt to debunk our attack on Roseanne, Madsen got literally every fact about us wrong. In a piece titled “’Batshit Crazy’ meme becoming a standard for attack on WMR editor,” Madsen proved why anyone going to bat for Roseanne Barr should automatically be discounted as a serious journalist.
Here’s our break down of Madsen’s piece with corrections.
One thing that certainly exemplifies the critics of WMR’s editor is a total lack of originality. In June, after being quoted by the UK Observer about NSA Third Party partners — all of which was confirmed by later disclosures from Edward Snowden — the U.S. Naval War College’s “constant Twitterer John Schindler called this editor ‘batshit crazy’” in an interview published by Business Insider, a website started by DoubleClick baron Kevin Ryan, a noted libertarian of the Koch Brothers’ mindset.
Salon, the online pay-for-view news site parroted another “batshit crazy” meme published by the Daily Banter, a lavishly pro-Barack Obama site run by Bob Cesca. Apparently, some Obama groupies were offended that comedienne and television star Roseanne Barr sent an open letter to Congress in which she complained about the blackmail of senior government officials. Barr attached as footnotes to her letter a number of WMR articles dealing with blackmail. Barr, who continues to enjoy top ratings on cable networks for her television shows, was called “erratic” and a “truther.”
Firstly, Salon is not a ‘pay-for-view’ news site. It’s an ad supported, ‘free-for-view’ news site. Secondly, it’s ‘The Daily Banter‘, not the ‘Daily Banter’. Thirdly, we’re not ‘lavishly pro-Barack Obama’. Sure, our writers have defended the President against ‘journalists’ like Wayne Madsen and the relentless smear campaigns coming from the Right, but we’ve also gone after him on numerous occasions (particularly his rolling over on Wall St reform). Fourth, Bob Cesca is the managing editor at The Daily Banter. I run and own the site (this is not to diminish Bob of course, who does an amazing job). Madsen continues:
Salon is owned by John Warnock, the deep-pocketed Mormon co-founder of Adobe Systems, and Bill Hambrecht, a wealthy investment banker. As mainly a subscription site, Salon would never have anything good to say about WMR, just like Macy’s would never laud Gimbel’s and McDonald’s normally doesn’t praise Burger King. The author of the Salon piece, Mary Elizabeth Williams, merely parroted the original “batshit crazy” story from the Daily Banter. Mary Beth, I’m sure, is a nice Jersey City girl who just didn’t bother seeking a comment from this editor. That would normally be considered sloppy journalism but Mary Beth has been battling stage IV melanoma, so we wish her every success in her treatment and recovery and that is sincere.
People don’t bother seeking Madsen’s comments for anything because he’s not a journalist. He’s a fruitcake conspiracy theorist who thinks 9/11 was an inside job, wrote a book titled “The Manufacturing of a President: The CIA’s Insertion of Barack H. Obama, Jr. into the White House“, and reported that Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik was an Israeli agent who murdered 69 people on behalf of the Israeli government. Not exactly a credible source of reliable information. Madsen goes on:
But Chez Pazienza, the Banter author who penned the “batshit crazy internet conspiracy theorist” screed is another story entirely. While this editor couldn’t put my pen down in the days and weeks after 9/11, Pazienza couldn’t put the crack pipe down. He left MSNBC as a producer ending up eventually at CNN. He was fired from CNN in 2008 over his editorializing on the Huffington Post, which apparently violated CNN policies. This editor will not be lectured on proper journalism techniques by a addle-brained drug addict and a loser who couldn’t hold down a job at two major TV broadcast networks. Nor will I get into a battle of wits with a pathetic unarmed man like Pazienza.
Chez responded to this yesterday, saying: “First of all, it was heroin, not crack — get your facts straight — and that was before 9/11, not after. Also, I wasn’t lecturing you. I was mocking you. : )”
As for Cesca, who can’t get on his knees fast enough for Mr. Obama, his record as a journalist doesn’t exactly inspire trust. Cesca was an intern for the “Don and Mike Show,” a Washington, DC “shock jock” program that tried to be the afternoon complement of the morning Howard Stern show. But, alas, with their constant fart jokes, undoubtedly written by the adolescent-minded Cesca, and a bizarre “death trifecta” feature that predicted the next three celebrity deaths amid guffawing and chortling by the hosts, “Don and Mike” failed to make it and Cesca went on to direct the animated “Kung Fu Jimmy Chow” series for Heavy.com. Cesca big time media outlet now is the “Bob and Chez Show,” which he does on a podcast with his former drug addict friend.
Firstly, Bob Cesca has never claimed to be a journalist. He is a columnist. Bob is also incredibly thorough with his fact checking, and in his history at The Daily Banter, we haven’t made a single retraction to any of his work. Speaking of his hatred of drug use, Madsen might want to look at his friend Roseanne’s campaign to end the drug war in America and legalize marijuana.
Perhaps “Bob and Chez” should compare their sorry resumés that indicate two all-time losers, to my own — which includes citations from Project Censored and the Fund for Constitutional Government — and that of Emmy, Golden Globe, and American Comedy Award winner Roseanne Barr before attacking the professionalism of others. In other words, “Bob and Chez” should get a frigging life.
Madsen’s resuméis so impressive that when The Observer (the sister publication to The Guardian) cited him in a report about a ‘Secret European Deal to Hand Over Private Data to Americans’, the paper immediately (and embarrassingly) pulled the piece after learning more about the DC-based writer. The Observerreleased a statement saying, “It was wrong to connect Wayne Madsen with this story in any way. For this reason, the original story was removed from the website, and the Observer splash was replaced. A rewritten version of the story was later published on the website.”
I’m sure Bob and Chez are incredibly jealous…
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.