Mainstream media shuts down secret chatroom coordinating Facebook “whistleblower” chatroom after exposed

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Make no mistake about it…social media, the mainstream media and probably the Democrats are working in a coordinated fashion to coordinate the so-called “Facebook whistleblower” document drops, according to Breitbart News.

According to Breitbart, a number of establishment media outlets including from both the print and broadcast media were part of an online chat group, since deleted which were working to coordinate a document dump regarding so-called Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen.

Breitbart became aware of the existence of the group on an app called Slack and after making numerous inquiries about the group, it was abruptly shut down.

Breitbart made inquiries of known members of the online chat group which included at least two reporters from the New York Times, a senior editor at the far-left Atlantic magazine, a reporter from NBC news and a number of others.

Slack is a platform which helps facilitate group chats, and is used by a number of different news outlets and other companies nationwide and was used by the media outlets as a means to coordinate the release of news stories related to documents received from Haugen.

The app is typically used, Breitbart says, to make internal communication within companies, however it does contain features which allow users to set up groups involving members from a variety of different companies.

The outlet noted that appears to be what happened in this case, as representatives from each of the aforementioned outlets all joined forces in a chat group to coordinate document dumps for maximum impact, Breitbart said.

While it is unclear who exactly set up the group, however two different news reports—one from The Information—and another from the New York Times’ Ben Smith—publicly revealed the existence of the group, as well as the nature of its purpose, plus the identities of some members.

Breitbart said they reached out to known members to request interviews, sent out this past Tuesday, however after the first group of inquiries went out asking for info about the Slack group, as well as inquiries about support (in the interest of transparency) for a public release of the full contents, it was revealed the group would be shut down permanently.

That report came from Gizmodo, a tech blog. Breitbart specifically reached out to Smith about his involvement in the group, however within his column he downplayed the significance of the revelations.

The Information, which was the first outlet to confirm the secretive Slack chat’s existence was barred from membership in the group, despite efforts to join. That version of events was also confirmed in Smith’s subsequent report.

Andrew Couts, Gizmodo’s executive editor claimed the reason for shutting down the Slack group was because “’access’ to the documents its members coordinated release of in it ‘is being expanded beyond the original group of publications.’”

Breitbart noted it is unknown if the Slack group is already disbanded, or if it just planned to do so. They also said it is not clear if there is digital documentation of the members’ coordination of document dumps or not.

Despite the fact members of the group claim that “transparency” is what is guiding them, none have yet replied to Breitbart’s inquiry if they support the full public release of the coordination efforts in the group.

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The revelation that several media outlets were conspiring with Haugen or her representatives is, as Breitbart notes, “an explosive revelation.” During the Obama administration, a listserv called “JournoList was revealed and it cost a number of media figures their jobs, Breitbart said.

What these media outlets are being accused of—colluding to coordinate the timing and content of significant news stories—is considered a no-no in terms of journalistic integrity and ethics, Breitbart notes. At times, news outlets may agree to embargos of certain stories, however coordination to this level and utilizing a secret chat to facilitate it raises the issue to a whole other level, Breitbart said.

Breitbart reached out to group members to see under what terms media outlets and their reporters agreed to get access to the Slack group and whether or not any type of non-disclosure agreements were signed, or whether any agreements either verbally or in writing as to content and timing of the publication of their reports were made; as expected none responded.

This whole “whistleblower” thing smells to high heaven, especially with the revelation that Haugen has retained former deputy white House Press Secretary Bill Burton, who worked in the Obama administration to represent her. He originally agreed to work pro bono, however, now is being funded by far-left tech oligarch Pierre Omidyar. Making sense yet?

Burton has not responded to Breitbart’s request for an interview, nor answered a set of questions as to whether he was a member of the Slack group or not, nor if he secured any formal or informal nondisclosure agreement with any of the Slack group members regarding the content and timing of the media dumps.

One political consultant who has been involved with some of those involved in the Slack group told Breitbart it is likely such agreements are in place, however it is unclear if they are formal NDA’s or informal written or verbal agreements.

Burton also has refused to answer if Omidyar was himself a member of the Slack group, or what he is being paid by Omidyar.

In Smith’s New York Times column, he writes that, “Haugen and her advisers have created a new kind of journalistic network,” while admitting there were concerns within the group saying it “has stirred mixed feelings among the journalists involved.” With that said, nobody has definitively admitted if Burton, Haugen, or anyone else either connected to them or on Omidyar’s payroll was involved with the Slack group.

Among outlets involved in the slack group were The New York Times, The Atlantic, USA Today, NBC News, the Associated Press, CNN, and Fox News. None expect the AP responded to requests from Breitbart for either interviews or information on the revelations.

Among those specifically identified as being part of the Slack group are Brandy Zadrozny of NBC News, Ryan Mac and Mike Isaac at the New York Times, Alex Heath at The Verge, , Casey Newton of the Platformer newsletter and Adrienne LaFrance at The Atlantic. None responded to Breitbart’s requests for interviews.

According to Smith, LaFrance, the executive editor at the Atlantic was involved to the level where she actually named the Slack group:

In the last two weeks they have gathered on the messaging act Slack to coordinate their plans—and the name of their Slack group, chosen by Adrienne LaFrance, the executive editor of The Atlantic, suggests their ambivalence: “Apparently We’re a Consortium Now.”

Unbelievably, the AP’s head of investigations, Brian Carovillano is quoted in Smith’s piece as praising the group.

“It’s remarkable to see these news organizations, large and small, set aside some of their competitive impulses and work together to report out a story that is unquestionably in the public interest,” he told Smith.

The presence of Carovillano on the Slack group was confirmed by the AP’s global director of media relations and corporate communications, Lauren Easton, to Breitbart. She said the only conditions placed on the publication for membership in the group was about embargoes of the information. “The only conditions the journalists agreed to was to jointly decide on a self-imposed embargo,” Easton said.

Easton also provided to Breitbart a quote from Carovillano which was practically identical to one provided to Smith at the Times, which spoke to the relationship between the organizations.

“We have cooperated on logistics of accessing the documents but not on reporting or writing. Every outlet has the freedom to pursue whatever story it wants,” Carovillano said.

“Nonetheless, it’s remarkable to see these news organizations, large and small, set aside some of their competitive impulses and work together to work on something that is unquestionably in the public interest.”

Sound familiar?

Despite their membership in the Slack group, some expressed discomfort with it, including Heath from The Verge, who said, “This is the weirdest thing I have ever been part of, reporting-wise,” Heath wrote in the group, according to Smith.

One other person familiar, with the contents of the Slack group, who spoke to Breitbart on the condition of anonymity, also expressed concern about it having seen several of the messages and who is familiar with what the group discussed, and said he is considering going public with the information.

“We all know that the news is made in a way that is not reflective of reality, but this special project took it to a whole new level of dishonesty,” he told Breitbart.

Zadrozny, the NBC News reporter also expressed concern about the group. A Times reporter was allegedly going to go ahead and publish something sooner than the agreed upon date—claiming the newspaper had gotten the documents in question independently—which led Zadrozny to slam the Times and the overall coordinated effort. She posted a message to the Slack group in which she said it was her opinion it was now a “media story” and not just a Big Tech story.

“My editor says if the nytimes doesn’t have to abide by the rules then we are out. I’m really sorry. This sucks. And now it’s a media story,” she said.

Two New York Times staffers who were identified by Smith as being members of the group—who were only known by the names of Isaac and Mac—didn’t reply to interview questions from Breitbart or detailed questions. However “Mac” did go to Twitter after receiving the inquiry from Breitbart and claimed he was very much in favor of the public release of all the Facebook documents and said he had no role in coordinating the release strategy.

“I have no involvement in the release of the docs and and only receive them at-will as they’re being released (and more come out every day),” he said in a three tweet thread. “And yea, it probably looks like gatekeeping, but lol I can assure it’s just more a bunch of people running from fire to fire.”

Breitbart said “Mac” didn’t answer whether he supports he supports the public release of the entire contents of the Slack group whereby the media outlet reps were facilitating the document dumps.


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