Thursday, March 11, 2010

CNN and Kernell

This CNN story about the upcoming trial of David Kernell, the UT-Knoxville student charged with accessing Sarah Palin's email account during the presidential campaign of 2008, is emblematic of sly lefty news slant.

Notice the picture CNN chooses to use--compare to the one at left, which would have been just as appropriate since she's nearly expressionless. Second, notice the reference to Kernell being the son of someone famous in Tennessee:
The case involves University of Tennessee student David C. Kernell, the 22-year old son of a Democratic state representative.
That's correct, but as Jim Croce once crooned, "he's got a name". And his name happens to be state rep Mike Kernell of Memphis. Third, here's how they described the alleged infraction, emphasis added:
Kernell was indicted in October 2008 after he allegedly used information freely available online to guess the password to Palin's personal Yahoo! account, the name of which was posted on numerous Web sites at the time. Kernell accessed the account around the same time questions were being raised about Palin's use of personal e-mail accounts to conduct state business as governor of Alaska.
Well, that sounds rather harmless--for Kernell, and a tad sinister for Palin. But Knox News described, as the late Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story:
At a time when the national media was probing Palin's use of her personal e-mail account for gubernatorial business, Kernell used publicly available information to figure out Palin's password security question. On that, even Davies agrees. He is not accused of hacking into her e-mail account or computer.

The Justice Department contends Kernell's crimes came when he reset her password and used the new one to peruse her e-mail in what turned out to be a fruitless search for politically damaging information. A team of federal prosecutors, headed locally by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Weddle, allege Kernell posted the new password on a Web site, allowing at least one other person to access Palin's e-mail.
While CNN mentioned the password reset and the broadcast of her allegedly private information the facts really don't really jump right out like the Knox News story. There's no mention of the word 'hack' in the CNN version.

In contrast, CNN and the rest of the big media seem to rarely bother using the word 'alleged' when talking about the climategate emails (once they finally started talking about it). Here's a CNN story that uses the word "hacker" and "stole" in the first paragraph, despite there being no official determination of how that particular CRU zip file escaped into the open web. Hey, maybe it was "freely available online", who knows?

At any rate, Kernell's defense lawyer is saying the crime is no more than a misdemeanor due to Palin's celebrity status (which might be true) but then has the balls to demand this:
Kernell's defense attorney, Wade Davies, wants Palin to bring any documents relating to that account - when it was opened, how it could be accessed and why, and who was allowed to use it. ... Federal prosecutors have insisted Davies' records request of Palin is a veiled fishing expedition.
But that's what lawyers do. Interesting that in an age of moral call-outs and preachy sermons about greed the president has yet to find any appropriate targets in the legal profession.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Very interesting. Slant the story the way you want it to go seems to be the norm today.

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