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For the second time this week a progressive website has rushed to scream “AstroTurf” but in its haste to point out something that didn’t exist, they forgot to check out whether the story was true.  OOPSIES! In both cases when presented with the facts, the site refused to admit its mistake.

Earlier this week it was Think Progress whose scoop was more of a pooper scooper. They reported that telecom companies were “hiring front groups and Astroturf operatives” to fight Net Neutrality, the FCC’s attempt to take over the internet. Think Progress goes on to boldly brag how they got their hands on a secret Power Point presentation called “Net Brutality” which shows the telecom’s secret plan to stop the FCC’s takeover.

On first glance it seemed like Think Progress dug up a big story. But first glances are often wrong. According to CNET News this “ top secret” presentation was merely an entry in a student contest run by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s “think tank MBA” program. The presentation was given at an event in Florida and then posted on the Atlas website. Essentially, the Power Point is nothing more than a project put together by student contestants – and far from a secret. Unless the telecoms are like the IPCC, they wont be using student projects for their anti-Government takeover of the internet plan, especially one that was the third-place entry. (full story here)

Today it is Crooks and Liars is performing the stupid Progressive Blogger tricks. It all surrounds this billboard that was erected on I190 in Buffalo to welcome President Obama

Dear Mr. President, 
I need a freakin job.
Period.
Sincerely,
inafj.org

The billboard along with a video produced by the same group (see below) has gone viral over the past few days (if you cannot see video click here)

The person behind the bill board and the video was Jeff Baker:

But every lost job hurts, said Jeff Baker, a Buffalo native who was forced to close his niche textile company near Albany, Adirondack Blanket Works, during the financial collapse more than a year ago.

“Losing a business is right up there in catastrophe land,” said Baker, who had planned the billboard long before learning Obama was coming to town. “It’s personally catastrophic and having to let go of people who were like family for over 10 years, you go through all that heartbreak.”

He and his brother put up the sign and launched a website (www.inafj.org) with the hope of steering the conversation in Washington back toward the average American worker.

“It is a Buffalo kind of message,” Baker said, “which is not too polished, pretty straightforward and it’s real difficult to misinterpret.”

Now the funny part. Jeff Baker’s brother, the one that helped him with the site and billboard, is named Scott.  Crooks and Liars incorrectly assumed that there is only one person named Scott Baker in the whole wide world, the Scott Baker that run Brietbart TV. Of course that would have been easy to check, with a call/email to Inafj.org, or to one of the many Scott bakers in the world.

Here is the Crooks and Liars “big scoop.”

It’s a really nice website, too. Not a homegrown. boring kind of site at all. It’s got merchandise, videos, even “inafj.tv”! A website like that doesn’t come cheap, even if they hire a designer who uses a stock template and stock photos. It’s nicely done. See, here’s what they didn’t tell you. Scott Baker works for Breitbart.TV.

According to Jeff Baker, Scott Baker paid for the sign, and likely for the rest of their ‘movement’, too. Or Breitbart did.

A movement? No. A campaign? Yes. Non-partisan? No. Hidden agenda? Yes.

Got it? Good. Now tell everyone else, including the MSM like CNN.com, CBS.com, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and anyone else you can think of, because presenting this as the effort of one disgruntled businessman and his brother is just a lie, and Andrew Breitbart knows it.

John Amato is debating Breitbart in Beverly Hills next week. I hope he nails him with this duplicitous nonsense.

“Nailing” Andrew Brietbart might have happened if only someone at Crooks and Liars made a phone call or sent an email resulting in a confirmation that it was the same Scott Baker. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Who knew that there were more than one guy named Scott Baker in the State of Ohio (actually according to the ultimate white pages there are at least 50 Scott Bakers in Ohio). But Crooks and Liars assumed there was only one.

On the Daily B-Cast show today, two of the 50 Scott Bakers spoke.  Scott Baker the Brietbart TV guy interviewed Scott Baker the inafj.tv brother, (Listen here) and strangely enough they are not the same guy. 

Now if they don’t want to believe either of the Scott Baker’s that were on the B-Cast show, they could believe their own reader.

A commenter points to this article published in the Buffalo News after mine was written which states that Scott Baker lives in Akron and is “vice president of operations at a local manufacturing company.”

Would that be a local manufacturing company in Akron, or in Buffalo? Quite a commuting distance between the two.

It goes on to say this about the video and website:

The CBS segment included two of the Buffalo State College students who appeared on the billboard and on a video posted on the brothers’ Web site, www.inafj.org . Scott Baker said his brother designed the site and produced the professional- looking video, using students Scott found through a friend on the college faculty, Jim Mayrose.

Obviously, if this article is accurate, I am inaccurate. And if I am accurate, the other article is inaccurate. Yes, the name Scott Baker is a common one, and I was able to find a listing for a Scott Baker in the Cleveland/Akron area. There’s even a listing for a Scott Baker, HR Director of Cintas Corporation online, though one could wonder why a human resources specialist would be open to promoting this particular campaign. Still, those facts certainly support the conclusion that I was incorrect. Despite the fact that one of the earliest mentions (2 days ahead of the President’s visit) was on Breitbart.com and Fox News got the first “exclusive” with the “creator of the movement”, these facts would have cast enough doubt to stop me from concluding what I did.

I’ve given you the additional references so you, the reader can decide. Based on this additional information, I would not have made the definitive conclusion that I did last night. I would have said that given the commonality of the name no firm conclusion can be made.

In other words, maybe there is more than one Scott Baker in the world, but I am not sure. Here’s the issue, we all make mistakes,I certainly have blown a story or two. When I have I try to own up to it and explain to my readers that it was wrong and why I got it wrong. In both cases this week, the progressive site has refused to own up to and correct their mistake. It certainly says a lot about the progressive movement.

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