Matt Apuzzo

Dangerously Unfair (Undignified Disaster)

#Russia | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA48]. (Photo by Maria Danilova/Associated Press)

This is, simply put, not fair:

The F.B.I. warned a Republican congressman in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him, officials said, an example of how aggressively Russian agents have tried to influence Washington politics.

The congressman, Dana Rohrabacher of California, has been known for years as one of Moscow’s biggest defenders in Washington and as a vocal opponent of American economic sanctions against Russia. He claims to have lost a drunken arm-wrestling match with the current Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, in the 1990s. He is one of President Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Rohrabacher was drawn into the maelstrom this week when The Washington Post reported on an audio recording of Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House majority leader, saying last year, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Mr. McCarthy said on Wednesday that he had made a joke that landed poorly.

(Apuzzo, Goldman, and Mazzetti)

That is to say: Oh, come on! You can’t be serious!


A Seven Year Search for Justice

It only took seven years, but four former contractors who worked in Iraq for the infamous Blackwater Worldwide have been convicted of various charges related to their participation in a 2007 massacre of civilians amid the Iraqi Bush Adventure. Matt Apuzzo brings the news—

Jurors found one defendant guilty of murder and three others of manslaughter and weapons charges, roundly asserting that the shooting was criminal.

—and despite his problems with integrity, we ought to believe this report because it is all of two paragraphs long and does not purport to be a fact-check.α


α An “apuzzo” is a fake fact check, which the Associated Press reporter for whom the term is coined. This sort of thing tends to damage an alleged reporter’s credibility, but hasn’t much to do with the present issue.

Apuzzo, Matt. “Former Blackwater Guards Convicted in Iraq Shooting”. The New York Times. 22 October 2014.

Sargent, Greg. “Frontiers in fact checking”. The Plum Line. 6 September 2012.