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September 24, 2018 | A Low Point for Journalism, Congress and American Polity

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Can a Pulitzer prize be rescinded? Journalism has disgraced itself beyond redemption, shamelessly complicit in an increasingly bizarre smear campaign against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Monday, a second accuser surfaced in a fact-free hit-piece by New Yorker magazine’s erstwhile Pulitzer winner Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer. One Deborah Ramirez claimed in the article that at a Yale University party 34 years ago, the future Supreme Court nominee waved his penis in her face. Trouble is, she’s not sure it was him, and even close friends she named as witnesses can’t recall Kavanaugh’s being there. The most seemingly credible thing she told Farrow and Mayer is that she was very drunk that night.

The New York Times, no friend of Trump’s, chose not to run the story after failing after a week of digging to confirm any of it with dozens of sources, including some of Ramirez’s closest friends. While the New Yorker article acknowledged no one could be found to corroborate Ramirez’s tale, which was as thin on details as Blasey’s, they buried this admission well down in the story. As the day wore on, even stalwarts on the left were criticizing the supposed expose for its lack of details, hard or otherwise.

A Long Night Ahead

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s initial accuser, Christine Blasey, was waist-high in muck herself, since friends she listed as witnesses either can’t recall the event at which Kavanaugh supposedly tried to pull her clothing off, or cannot attest that he was there. Over the last week, the confirmation circus has become an almost unendurably shameful moment for America. With a Senate hearing on Blasey’s accusations set for Thursday, things are  likely to get worse before they get better. A brighter day awaits the nation, for sure, but it could be a very long night before it comes.

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September 24th, 2018

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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