Supplemental: The Patriots make a remarkable claim!

SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2015

As always, the press corps ignores it:
On Thursday, we noted a striking fact:

As with most of our consensus scandals, the scandal our press corps has dubbed “Deflategate” began with some false information.

More accurately, it began with a lot of false information. And uh-oh!

At ESPN and at NBC Sports, major journalists attributed this false information to unnamed “NFL sources.” Apparently, the bad information was being dispensed by people within the league.

For our background report, click here.

Almost all our consensus scandals start with bad information. Given the caliber of our “press corps,” things typically snowball from there.

Something else happened on Thursday. The New England Patriots released a lengthy rebuttal to the NFL report which accused the team, even including its handsome star quarterback, of serious wrongdoing.

In their rebuttal, the Patriots made some remarkable claims about the false information which launched this latest ship.

In its typical way, the press corps is ignoring the Patriots' claims about that false information—false information which came from “NFL sources.” We don’t know if their claims are true, but we thought you ought to see them.

Several parts of the Patriots rebuttal report are striking. Below, you see the part which discusses the bad information which triggered this latest state fair:
PATRIOTS REBUTTAL REPORT (5/14/15): Since the Patriots were the target of this investigation and since information coming directly from game officials and League officials was crucial—and it was the League that also employed the investigators—Patriots’ counsel requested to be present during interviews of such League personnel. That request was rejected. Patriots’ counsel also requested from the outset that he be provided with the actual halftime psi measurements. That information was not provided until March 23, over two months into the investigation. It was provided then only on the condition that it not be disclosed and, particularly, that it not be disclosed to the media until the final report was issued. This condition was imposed in the face of the extensively reported misinformation about halftime football psi that the League had refused to correct. One can only speculate why it was so important for the League that the accurate halftime information be withheld from the public until it was ultimately part of a report that downplayed the science and instead relied on selective texts.
The claims made in that highlighted passage are truly remarkable. Also remarkable? The way the “press” has ignored these claims in the past two days.

Let’s be clear. There is no doubt that false information was quickly leaked to the press about those air pressure readings.

At ESPN and at NBC News, this extensive false information was attributed to “NFL sources.” That is a matter of record, not an allegation.

In their rebuttal report, the Patriots have made some allegations about the way this matter played out:

They have said that the NFL refused to show them the actual air pressure readings for the first two months of this auto-da-fe.

They also claim that the NFL finally showed them the accurate data on the condition that it mustn’t be shared with the public or the press!

If true, that’s simply astounding.

Obviously, the NFL knew that initial press reports presented false information. They also knew that this false information was sourced to the NFL.

The NFL failed to correct this false information; that is a matter of record. But according to the Patriots, the NFL’s behavior was worse than that.

According to the Patriots, the NFL refused to let the Patriots see the accurate information. And when they finally let them see it, they insisted that the accurate information couldn’t be shared with the press!

That’s an astonishing pair of claims, except to the silly life forms found in our national press.

In a rational world, the national press would be upset by the fact that they were given false information in the first few days of this mess.

Beyond that, you’d think they’d be troubled by the claim that the NFL insisted, for the past four months, that this false information mustn’t be corrected.

That’s the way things would work in even a slightly rational world. But as we’ve told you for eighteen years, we live in a different type of world.

We live in the world which rejected Katharine Boo’s warning about “Creeping Dowdism.” We live in a world which is all about the love of consensus scandal.

Katharine Boo’s prescient warning was completely ignored. Beyond that, we’ve told you about this gong-show culture for the past eighteen years. That work has been ignored too!

In this case, as in so many others, a familiar pattern obtained. False information quickly appeared; it drove the shape of the new consensus. And once a consensus forms within the hive we call our “press corps,” nothing can ever disrupt it.

In the past two days, we’ve seen virtually no one discuss the false information which was attributed to “NFL sources.” We’ve seen no one discuss the Patriots’ claim about the NFL’s refusal to share the accurate information.

In a rational world, the Patriots have made some remarkable claims. Unfortunately, we live in the low-IQ world which rejected Boo. It's a world which adores its Salem Village decor and its clownish consensus scandals.

We’ll discuss this topic all next week. In the global perspective, nothing much turns on this latest consensus scandal, but it offers a stunning example of the way our “discourse” works.


  1. Along with the media's lack of interest in providing accurate basic information is the public's lack of interest in obtaining accurate basic information. E.g., consider the
    controversial trade agreement currently being considered by Congress and widely covered by the media.

    The Obama administration has been hammering out a Pacific Rim trade agreement with many countries in order to open borders and reduce costs to trade around the Pacific Ocean. They have not released a draft of the agreement they have so far negotiated. Drafts have reportedly been available to hundreds of corporate executives in the United States, however, for them to make comments and suggestions. Drafts are provided to Congress, but the text remains "classified," meaning that Congress is not exactly free to comment upon it to the public (lest they be accused of leaking classified information).

    Where's the public outcry? A major law is being considered, yet we in the public aren't being told what the law says. We get a general description, but the details are withheld until they're enacted and it's too late to do anything about them. Bob is right to blame the media, but IMHO the public should also be blamed for not demanding better of the media.

    1. Why Howlerland has its head up its ass while accusing liberals of sleeping in the woods:

      "Bob is right to blame the media, but IMHO the public should also be blamed for not demanding better of the media."

      It seems it is never the fault of the politicians/public officials.

      It appears it is always the fault of the press/people.

    2. Well obviously the politicians/public officials are not failing at doing what they intend to do and if society were made up exclusively of politicians/public officials and their sponsors there would be no problem. Where I think Bob has it wrong is that members of the press and other mainstream infotainment performers have chosen to serve institutional power rather than the public. That's a done deal, it is what their employers demand of them.

      Instead of participating in the fool's errand of trying to make infotainers change their ways, liberals and the left should take a page out of the old Nixon/Agnew (Limbaugh and Fox) playbook that has led to a string of corporate triumphs at home and abroad over the last forty plus years -their condemnation of the "the Liberal Media- and turn it around, by incessantly villainizing "the Corporate Media" (aka "the Establishment meda" or "the Main$team Media") and encouraging the public to reject whatever they're being told by Borg, Inc.

      I'm afraid that if Somerby's quest were to change corporate infotainment practices all he would accomplish ultimately is to force those content providers to deliver a slicker product.

    3. You may have hit on something CMike.

      Somerby's Quest

      It would make a great new name for the Howler and offer a chance to reach new readers and reclaim old ones who may have left just like the old wolf logo.

      The Daily Howler sounds too much like the Daily Beast and frankly seems more like the Daily Grind.

      Somereby's Quest would give it both the personality of the blogger and the promise of adventure/goal accomplishment.

    4. It is likely that at least some people might not realize the extent to which the mainstream media is corporatist if someone like Somerby were not pointing it out.

    5. Agreed, if it were not for someone like Somerby or someones not all that much like Somerby "pointing it out... at least some people might not realize the extent to which mainstream media is corporatist." Wikipedia says:

      [QUOTE] Media critics such as Robert McChesney, Ben Bagdikian, Ralph Nader, Jim Hightower, Noam Chomsky, Thom Hartmann, Edward S. Herman, and Amy Goodman suggest that such a media system, especially when allowed to dominate the mainstream media, inevitably will be manipulated by these same corporations to suit their own interests. These critics point out that the main national networks, NBC, CBS, and ABC, as well as most if not all of the smaller cable channels, are owned, funded, and controlled by an interconnected network of large corporate conglomerates and international banking interests, which may manipulate and filter out news that does not fit their corporate agenda....

      Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman have established a propaganda model which purports to explain this bias. The common misinterpretation of this model is that all bias is conscious and centralized. The hypothesis is that the process is decentralized and operates as a confluence of factors, that includes the overt pressure from owners and advertisers,but also by the gradual internalization of the biases and values of the corporate owners, leading to self-censorship.
      [END QUOTE]

    6. If a single voice is good, a choir is better.

  2. And now let's bring in the ignorami and their sarcasm:

    1. Because the smarti engage is their esteem quietly.

    2. Looks like football posts take the air out of any interest of either the ignormi and smarti. Thankfully we'all always have Hillary.

  3. Vox Media, a liberal news outlet, reports another Hillary Clinton scandal.
    Hillary Clinton personally took money from companies that sought to influence her

    Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company's interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm's mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign....

    The $225,500 speaking fee didn't go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.

    1. This passage implies she was paid the fee while running for office. It isn't improper if the fee was paid when she was out of office and not a declared candidate. You again seem to be insisting the Clintons, unique among politicians, are not permitted to charge fees for giving speeches after leaving office.

    2. This passage brings to mind some valuable valuable words of wisdom.

      "And uh-oh! Gack! Alas!"

      "On the brighter side, our heroes stuff big bucks in their pants as they treat us like fools."

      "She too is dumbing the nation way down as she stuffs big bucks in her pants."

      "and they are stuffing tons of bucks into their own fancy pants"

    3. Calm down KZ and go take your meds.

    4. AnonymousMay 16, 2015 at 10:56 PM -- The link says
      During Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family's foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.

    5. "You again seem to be insisting the Clintons, unique among politicians, are not permitted to charge fees for giving speeches after leaving office." @ 10:56

      You imply the Clintons are unique among politicians and are not subject to having connections between their actions as public officials and their income questioned.

    6. I said this the other day but it bears repeating,

      Considering the whole Whitewater scandal was invented out of silly minor errors the Clinton's made in Income Tax Deductions that were only discovered because they made those returns public when Bill ran for President, I would go a step further and deny access to any of my records of any kind if I were her.

    7. "..coughed up.."

      Corning "coughed" it up, eh?
      What, was it in a plain brown envelope? Was someone holding a gun to their heads?

    8. Again, I repeat, there is nothing wrong with a politician giving a speech in exchange for a speaking fee while out of office. It does not matter that the politician may run for some future office. Unless you can demonstrate a quid pro quo (and you cannot), the fees are not a bribe and are not a "conflict of interest". They are the way former politicians support themselves. EVERY former president has done this and many holders of other offices have too, depending on whether anyone is interested in hearing them speak.

      I did not say the Clintons are unique among politicians. I said that they are uniquely expected to do nothing to support themselves while out of office.

    9. Personally I prefer "forked over."

    10. Again, I repeat, you imply things, Your repetition reinforces that implication. Your implications are, IMHO, stronger than what you did say DinC "seem(s) to be insisting." Much stronger.

      In fact I saw no direct or indirect inference from DinC that the Clinton's not work. You seem to be unique among commenters in suggesting people seem to say what they never remotely communicate.

    11. AnonymousMay 17, 2015 at 11:46 AM
      Again, I repeat, there is nothing wrong with a politician giving a speech in exchange for a speaking fee while out of office. It does not matter that the politician may run for some future office.

      You repeat, but you don't demonstrate. Apparently you agree that there would be something wrong with paying an announced candidate hundreds of thousands of dollars for a speech. Why is that wrong? It's wrong, because it gives the appearance of impropriety: once elected President this candidate might give the payee preferential treatment.

      Now, Hillary Clinton was obviously running for President, even before she formally made the announcement. Everyone knew it. IMHO the appearance of impropriety for accepting the enormous fee is the same as after she made the announcement. Either way, it raised the possibility that she might give Corning preferential treatment.

      BTW the Clintons had already taken enormous amounts of money from Corning in their Foundation and, as Secy of State, Hillary had pursued polices favorable to Corning. Perhaps you would argue that this just a coincidence. After all, we don't have e-mails confirming that the favorable policy was a reward for the money.

      Come to think of it, maybe we don't have e-mails because Hillary improperly did all her State Dept. business on her personal e-mail accounts. One of several reasons why that was improper was that personal e-mail accounts don't have as good security as proper State Dept. accounts. I wonder whether any foreign governments hacked Hillary's personal e-mail account. It would be ironic if foreign governments know more about what the US State Dept. was doing than American citizens.

    12. You idiot. It would break campaign finance laws.

      There is no real difference between Hillary maintaining two email accounts, one private one public, and her having one account but deleting her personal emails. In both situations she would be deciding which are public and which private. The uproar over her email is nonsense.

    13. "It's wrong, because it gives the appearance of impropriety: once elected President this candidate might give the payee preferential treatment."

      So you disagree with the Citizens United SC decision?
      Or, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy so memorably put it:

      "We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."


    14. Hillary's defenders want to have it both ways. Anon 2:45 justifies her taking a fortune from Corning because she didn't technically violate the law, although what she did had the same effect. Then, s/he turns around and justifies Hillary's use of private e-mail acccounts while Secretary of State, which did violate the rules, because it, allegedly, had no effect. (BTW I would dispute the non-effect. As I mentioned above, one bad effect was weaker security and a greater chance that her e-mails may have been hacked bya foreign power.)

      mm -- Citizens United should have been a 9-0 decision. The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech." McCain-Feingold was a law that obviously did abridge FoS. The FoS restriction was flagrant. E.g., Planned Parenthood was prohibited from running an ad for a pro-choice candidate. Isn't that ridiculous? Actually, Planned Parenthood could run an ad for a pro-choice candidate, except near an election, when it might have mattered.

    15. David, this is a liberal blog. Your conservative trolling isn't going to convince Hillary supporters to switch to a Republican candidate. You can keep repeating that she did something wrong but polling suggests few people believe that. You keep talking about appearances but most people recognize that she is a dedicated public servant not a greedy capitalist, so they trust her lifelong dedication over the ugly picture you keep trying to paint.

    16. "David, this is a liberal blog."


    17. No, I think you are ridiculous David.

  4. "George Stephanopoulos -- former Clinton Pedigree Dachshund and current host of the wretched "This Week...with George Stephanopoulos" -- gave money to charity through the Clinton Global Initiative and did not disclose it while grilling the author of made-up fairy-tale book about the Clintons."

    Crooks and Liars, discussing a made up scandal about the fairy tale scandal that threatens to envelop all we hold dear. The Howler has passed by so far in silence.

  5. There was an article this morning in the NY Times about how conservatives are using twitter and other social media to attack Clinton "from the left." That struck me as an odd construction because conservatives are not left and their attack is not coming from the left, so how can they be "from the left"? The examples seemed to be of people pretending to care about left issues (e.g., environment) while attacking Clinton. Readers in the comments called the attacks "cynical." Blogs with liberal readers were being targeted by this campaign.

    I think this complaint about Clinton's speaking fees and her supposedly wealthy ties are another example. Conservatives admire someone who makes a lot of money and don't much care how that money is made, so this is another supposedly "from the left" criticism. It is obviously an attempt to tarnish the likely Democratic nominee. I think it is safe to assume that anyone here expressing this form of criticism is a conservative shill engaged in a takedown of Clinton in advance of selection of a Republican nominee. So, this has nothing to do with Somerby and everything to do with who will appoint the next few supreme court justices. If you want it to be Rick Perry or Mike Huckabee or Scott Walker, keep up the nonsense.

    1. I think it is safe to assume you have concocted a scenario in your mind in which any criticism of Clinton is now suspect.

      Persons suffering from this mental concoction since, say, March 2008 need to ask themselves if they are the problem
      Bob Somerby once guessed about.

    2. While interesting to some I'm sure, these exchanges have little to do with the topic at hand. There will, in fact, be a whole season and a half of professional football played before the next Presidential election.

      OTOH I agree with Somerby that the political press forced Clinton into announcing way too soon so they could have play own terrible sport.

    3. Digby talks about it too.

    4. Digby almost made it to "Aunt" status in Howlerworld but she seems to have been demoted since joining forces with the young Stalinistas at Salon.

  6. how long can americans continue to talk about something as silly as air in a football? far too long!

  7. If it wasn't for Hillary Clinton the air would have gone out of this post's comment box faster than Bob Somerby can type PSI.

    In fact even Bob got so bored he left out PSI and had to close with an age old Boxcar Bob reprise of Katherine Boo-Hoos Mo-Do.

    Eighteen years. It's a tough crowd out there in that cold irrational world.

  8. The Impolite RejoinderMay 18, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Your comment section, explained:

    Morons and trolls say this post on football scandal is trivia, not worth the words Somerby's spilling on it..

    The morons are too thick to realize -- and the trolls pretend not to understand -- the post isn't about football.

    1. That is because they too are silly life forms living in a world which is not rational.

      Unfortunately Bob and the Patriots live in a rational world. The result is not pretty, but few see it.

  9. It seems that the NY Daily News employs Mike Lupica just to demonstrates Bob's commentary. Lupica types columns from the most standard stock of scripts imaginable. He now writes both about sports and politics--about both Hillary Clinton and Deflategate. The results are entirely predictable.

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