Washington Post Targets Verizon With Unverified Comments From Anonymous Internet Crank

“Democracy Dies in Darkness,” the slogan of The Washington Post, has another iteration on Reddit, a social news aggregation and discussion platform. Last year, the Post established a Reddit profile—modifying its tagline to “Democracy Dies in Dankness”—to build connections with that audience and increase traffic to its website.

Dankness—defined as “disagreeably damp” or slang for high-grade marijuana—is perhaps a more apt term for a recent Post story based on an anonymous Redditor’s criticism of a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. As the trustworthiness of news outlets is under constant assault by President Trump, partisans of all stripes, and the American public, the Post’s article adds credence to charges of sensationalist “fake news.”

The episode involves a story on based on an alarming complaint that an anonymous person posted on Reddit about Verizon. The story, “Verizon denies allegations that it’s degrading mobile data service for Hurricane Florence victims,” was written by business and technology policy reporter Brian Fung. It provides a curious case study of how one comment from an anonymous agitator can generate a negative headline in one of the most authoritative newspapers in America.

Fung’s article relied on a single Reddit post from an anonymous source alleging that Verizon deprioritized his mobile data in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Read the full piece at thefederalist.com:
http://thefederalist.com/2018/09/24/washington-post-targets-verizon-unverified-comments-anonymous-internet-crank/

Martin Act Gives New York Politicians Way Too Much National Power

On Thursday, a few hundred thousand Democrats in New York will elect their party’s nominee for the next national regulator of every publicly-traded company in America: the state’s attorney general. In almost every respect, New York’s top lawyer has greater prosecutorial authority than any other state attorney general—or even the Securities and Exchange Commission—to investigate potential corporate fraud.

The office’s unique authority is derived from a century-old law called the Martin Act. It gives the attorney general total discretion to sue or seek indictments of companies without even having to prove intent to defraud.

Democrats vying for the nomination include Fordham law school professor Zephyr Teachout, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., and New York City public advocate Letitia James. Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Barbara Underwood acting attorney general in May after then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned amid domestic abuse allegations. She is not seeking election to the post.

Republicans tapped corporate lawyer Keith Wofford as their nominee. He faces tough odds in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican as attorney general in more than two decades. Wofford says that past Democratic attorneys general have too often ignored political corruption while pursuing flimsy cases that foster an anti-business climate.

“You have an environment of hostility to business,” he told a local newspaper Friday. “The concrete example is settlement after settlement after settlement, fine after fine… the power of the state is sort of a machine gun spraying everywhere.”

Read the full piece at RealClearMarkets.com:
https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2018/09/12/the_martin_act_gives_new_york_politicians_way_too_much_power_103411.html