The Debunking of The New York Times' Debunking of Pizzagate

in pizzagate •  last year

A few days ago, The New York Times produced an article which allegedly debunks the 'wild conspiracy theory' known as pizzagate. I have read the article and find that it falls embarrassingly short of debunking anything other than The New York Times' professed journalistic integrity. Below is my analysis of the article in question.

Analysis

We need only look at the first sentence of this supposedly objective article to uncover the first piece of misinformation.

In the span of a few weeks, a false rumor that Hillary Clinton
and her top aides were involved in various crimes snowballed
into a wild conspiracy theory that they were running a
child-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizza parlor.

No one--or at least no one credible--is asserting that Hillary Clinton and her top aides (meaning John Podesta and co.) are running a child-trafficking ring out of Comet Ping Pong Pizza. It has merely been alleged--and not without merit--that they are involved in a paedophile ring. It's also not a widely held theory that this child-trafficking ring is being run specifically out of Comet Ping Pong Pizza. A better representation of the theory would be to state that Comet is alleged to be a paedophile-friendly environment which invites paedophile-friendly bands to perform there, and has curious ties to the government establishment in Washington DC.

This is a deliberate attempt to embroider the pizzagate theory and limit the verisimilitude of the accusations being put forth. Any citizens that find this article when looking into pizzagate for the first time may be instantly discouraged from looking further into it because of the implausibility of the alleged allegations--which is exactly the point.

The fast evolution of the false theory revealed how a powerful mix of fake
news and social media led an armed North Carolina man to
investigate the rumors about the pizza place, Comet Ping Pong, last Sunday.

You will note that the opportunity to fortify the 'fake news' paradigm in the more gullible of us was not overlooked in this opening paragraph, reinforcing the connection between fake news and pizzagate. I also find it interesting that there is no mention of the fact that the armed North Carolina man has since been exposed as a paid crisis actor with an active IMDB page.

Following the use of “pizza,” theorists focused on the Washington pizza restaurant Comet Ping Pong. The WikiLeaks emails revealed that John Podesta corresponded with Comet’s owner, James Alefantis, who had connections to Democratic operatives.

This is an intentionally misleading sentence structure; 'Following the use of 'pizza,' theorists focused on the Washington pizza restaurant Comet Ping Pong Pizza.' This leads the reader to believe that the theorist's methodology consists of investigating pizza shops in Washington DC simply because the word pizza was used in this Wikileaks dumps.

Readers of this may be inclined to think that Comet was stumbled upon through happenstance which is the furthest thing from the truth. It was in fact the correspondence between James Alefantis and John Podesta discovered in the Wikileaks emails that lead to the investigation of Comet Ping Pong Pizza--which then turned up copious amounts of evidence that served to kick start the citizen journalism revolution that is pizzagate.

This may not seem like much, but I believe it was an intentional attempt to avert attention away from the legitimate reasons why Comet initially became a place of interest, as well as making it seem as though the pizzagate researchers are lacking in any type of structure to their approach in the investigation and essentially grasping at straws.

This is a fallacy. A recent post here on Steemit by @ausbitbank does an excellent job of showcasing the attention to detail and the logical, systematic approach that pizzagate researchers are taking to the investigation.

The theory started snowballing, taking on the meme #PizzaGate. Fake news articles emerged and were spread on Twitter and Facebook.

Though this is factual, I find it convenient that they mention two places which have now seen pizzagate censored on a massive scale. This means that if any reader was wanting to follow up on this statement by going to Facebook or Twitter, all they would find is propaganda rather than useful information. The author could have easily added, "the theories are still being discussed widely on Voat and Steemit," only that would have led the reader to sources which may contradict the narrative that they are propagating.

Combing through John Podesta’s leaked emails, members of a far-right fringe community on the social media site 4chan and Trump supporters on Reddit pulled out a number of emails unconnected to politics. Several of them mentioned pizza or other Italian food.

Another attempt to make this about Trump supporters, possibly with the intent of drawing Hillary supporters to the side of 'Pizzagate is fake news.' In reality, a great number of the pizzagate researchers--such as myself--are as anti-Trump as they are anti-Clinton.

The political disposition of those looking into pizzagate should not be an issue at all. Trump already won, so what benefit would this be to pro-Trump citizens? The only thing that should be relevant is the evidence in question.

From: Susan Sandler
To: John Podesta
The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related. Is it yorus? They can send it if you want. I know you’re busy, so feel free not to respond if it’s not yours or you don’t want it.
Source: Wikileaks
09-04-2014
From: John Podesta
To: Susan Sandler
It's mine, but not worth worrying about.
Source: Wikileaks

The most cited email revolved around a handkerchief left at a house Mr. Podesta visited with a real estate agent. It led to speculation that the handkerchief and map on it were clues to some sort of wrongdoing.

No alternative explanation as to the context of this email is offered, and many of the more suspicious emails were conveniently omitted from the article.

Why was this creepy email sent to John Podesta not included? Source

With enormous gratitude to Advance Man Extraordinaire Haber, I am popping up again to share our excitement about the Reprise of Our Gang’s visit to the farm in Lovettsville. And I thought I’d share a couple more notes:. We plan to heat the pool, so a swim is a possibility. Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you’ll have some further entertainment, and they will be in that pool for sure. And with the forecast showing prospects of some sun, and a cooler temp of lower 60s, I suggest you bring sweaters of whatever attire will enable us to use our outdoor table with a pergola overhead so we dine al fresco (and ideally not al-CHILLo).

Or any of the many other emails that use the words pizza and pasta in sentences where they are completely out of context.

This interpretation spread, and other emails containing supposed code words were reinterpreted as evidence of pedophile activity. For example, this 2015 email was taken as an inquiry about providing sexual services.
Walnut sauce?
04-11-2015
From: Jim Steyer
To: John Podesta and Mary Podesta

Hey John,

We know you're a true master of cuisine and we have appreciated that for years …

But walnut sauce for the pasta? Mary, plz tell us the straight story, was the sauce actually very tasty?
Source: Wikileaks
04-11-2015
From: John Podesta
To: Jim Steyer and Mary Podesta

It's an amazing Ligurian dish made with crushed walnuts made into a paste. So stop being so California.

There is no need for this email to be on display because it is evidently about food. The only people who are postulating that this is some type of code are misinformation agents who are attempting to discredit pizzagate researchers. There are a lot of questionable Podesta emails that made use of food terms in sentences that were out of context--appearing to be some type of code. Yet, the author decided to share this insignificant email so that the reader would once again think that the citizen investigators are grasping at straws.

A photo of President Obama playing table tennis was used by conspiracy theorists to connect him to the pizza restaurant. In a video, this photo is introduced with “here is Obama at Comet Ping Pong.”

I cannot speak for every one but, I have always been sceptical of this particular image. I could not say with any level of certainty that James Alefantis took the image himself, because I think that it would not be too peculiar for an owner of a ping pong-pizza business to share an image of the President of the US playing ping pong. Even if he had not taken the image personally, sharing an image of a renowned world leader playing the game that he provides at his restaurant would simply be good advertisement.

Thanks to this article, we now have definitive proof that Mr. Alefantis did in fact take the photo himself while visiting the white house. I don't find this to be incriminating, nor even specific to the pizzagate investigation. It is however, testimony to the influence that he must wield by receiving repeated invitations to the white house. As of yet, no main stream media outlet has offered any justification for his close proximity to such high ranking government officials--and that to me is suspicious in itself.

Perhaps someone could inform me if I am suffering from confirmation bias when viewing these images, because I see next to no similarities between three of the four logos put forth by the author which are allegedly similar to the FBI paedophile symbols.

The only one of the four images that is close enough to the reported paedophile logos to look intentional is the Wall's Ice Cream logo. However, I had already considered long ago that the paedophiles could have hijacked the logo from Wall's Ice Cream because of the connection between children and ice cream. This is yet to be ascertained.

I DO HOWEVER, see a suspiciously strong correlation between the Comet Ping Pong paddles logo and the FBI 'child lover' logo-- as well as between the Besta Pizza logo and the FBI 'boy lover' logo. One also must wonder whether it is merely a coincidence that the Play Eat Drink on the logo spells PED when you take the first letter of each word?

Definition of ped-

:  child <pediatric> :  childhood <paedogenesis>

Variants of ped-
or pedo- or paed- or paedo-

This could be nothing, but when you consider that jimmycomet's profile picture on instagram is that of a statue of Emperor Hadrian's 13 year old boy-lover, Antinuos then things start to look a little too coincidental.

Wikipedia has this to say about the Roman Emperor's child lover.

Lambert believed that the sculptures of Antinous "remain without doubt one of the most elevated and ideal monuments to pederastic love of the whole ancient world"

Definition:

pederasty [ped″er-as´te]
anal intercourse between a man and a boy.

This doesn't seem like an image Mr. Alefantis would choose to display without knowing the historical significance of the statue portrayed in it, especially considering all of the other paedophilic references surrounding Comet Ping Pong Pizza. The author does not bring this up though, of course, so we have no explanation as to why it was selected as James Alefantis' avatar picture.

Claim: Comet Ping Pong had a secret kill
room and posted a picture of it on Instagram.
Fake stories claimed underground tunnels
and child trafficking in the basement.

The photo shows a walk-in refrigerator supposedly in the restaurant, described as part of a network of underground facilities. However, a reporter can confirm that there is no basement in Comet Ping Pong.

We can confirm there is no basement in Comet Ping Pong because 'a reporter' says so? What the fuck happened to journalism? If a reporter can confirm this then that reporter's name should obviously be disclosed so that the reader can decide on whether to believe the veracity of their claims based on their level of integrity. This equates to an anonymous source confirming that there is no basement at Comet Ping Pong, and so an objective reader should interpret this as no confirmation at all.

Of course, this piece is not targeted at objective readers. It is aimed at those of us whom are on the cusp of an awakening, and this 'reporter,"--whether they exist or not--will serve to lullaby those individuals back to sleep and into that wonderful dream where all governments and main stream media sources are trustworthy beyond reproach.

We don't need a reporter to confirm anything for us anyway. The most credible of all sources has already established for us that there is in fact a basement at Comet Ping Pong Pizza. The source? James Alefantis himself.

In a 2015 article on metroweekly.com, Mr Alefantis admits to there being a basement at Comet.

Like our sauce — we harvest a whole crop of organic tomatoes — 10 tons of tomatoes every year. Can them all, store them in the basement, have like a harvest party when it gets loaded in.

Either this New York Times article is lying and no reporter confirmed a lack of a basement, or the basement is concealed to the point that someone looking for it couldn't find it--which would be even more suspicious.

One thing is for certain--James Alerfantis is clearly lying about his recent claims that there is no basement at Comet Ping Pong Pizza, most likely having forgotten about his mentioning of it in the article last year. Why would he lie? I don't know but, it is definitely fishy as fuck.



Conclusion

The definition of debunk is;

transitive verb
to expose the sham or falseness of - 'debunk a legend'

In my opinion, there are way too many unresolved issues with pizzagate for this to be considered a debunking. Beyond that, the information presented in this article is often extraneous in regards to the theories currently being discussed. This is coming from someone who would love to see pizzagate debunked so that I might finally be able to get a good night's sleep. I will admit though, that I have an involuntary distrust of anyone and everyone who holds a position of power, so my attempts at objectivity could have been impeded by the confirmation bias that we all suffer from.

For this reason, I'd love to know what you think. Was this article successful at debunking pizzagate?--and if not, did mine successfully debunk theirs?


Thanks for reading

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This is a first for me. Thanks a lot-

Great article! You really debunked their article. At least they showed the underground basement picture with the odd comments like killroom. The the fact that Alefantis himself said that he has a basement in a previous article proves it exists and he lied.

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It's recently been uncovered that the killroom is actually atwerkinonmynightcheese's property. He has become somewhat of a point of interest now.

Yes, I don't trust this Alefantis at all. If I was getting accused of these types of things by people all over the world, I don't think I would be as calm and collected as he appears to be. Something seems a miss.

It does my heart good to see how they've "rededicated themselves to quality journalism." Oh, as far as the logos go...they're straight out of FBI files on pedophilia! I wouldn't read too much into the picture of Obama playing ping pong with a kid...it looks like Obama playing ping pong with a kid.

Great post mate, resteemed and will add a link from my last post :)

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Thanks for getting the word out and helping me expose these press-titutes.

the article mentioned that the basement is in his other establishment Buck's fishing and camping. I think it might be time to check that out if it hasn't been already

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Given its close proximity to Comet and taking the allegations of underground tunnels into account, I think that sounds like a very wise idea.

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Lol. Too true.

·
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some #pizzagatecorepoints made here:

  1. Comet is alleged to be a paedophile-friendly environment which invites paedophile-friendly bands to perform there, and has curious ties to the government establishment in Washington DC

  2. in fact the correspondence between James Alefantis and John Podesta discovered in the Wikileaks emails that lead to the investigation of Comet Ping Pong Pizza--which then turned up copious amounts of evidence that served to kick start the citizen journalism revolution that is pizzagate.

In the photo of Obama playing ping pong - you can clearly see a couple of uniformed secret service agents in the pic - as well as the sprawling white walled hallway in the back... It seems pretty clearly to be a picture taken in the White House. #My2Cents

·

Well apparently, it is a photo of a photo which is in the white house. It's not a big deal either way, but they should offer an explanation as to why Alefantis was invited to the white house in the first place. They do not.

·

Yeah he said in the article it had already been confirmed to be taken at the White House. This lead to wondering why this Pizza shop owner is often in such close proximity to powerful people.

I have an amusing answer (at least to me)... he is like the barbecue shop owner in House of Cards.

Over at v/pizzagate there are a number of insightful comments relating to this post, some of which debunk the article to even greater lengths. You can find them here if you are interested.

Haiti Earthquake Donations Contracts Ran Through The Clinton Foundation • #Podesta #Pizzagate http://investmentwatchblog.com/haiti-earthquake-contracts-ran-through-the-clinton-foundation-•-clinton-cash/

FBI & NYPD investigation into 650, 000 emails found on Antony Weiner's laptop that were connected to the Podesta emails implicating members of Congress and the Judicial system gets closed down before it can go any further. #Podesta
http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/11/04/erik-prince-nypd-ready-make-arrests-weiner-case/

I have to contest your claim that the New York Times article is not objective based on the argument you make. The article claims only that there are false rumours about Hilary Clinton’s involvement – true or false?. To say that these are not by “credible” commentators, does not in any way demonstrate any lack of objectivity or even speak to it. It is clearly not “misinformation” – it is information.
You go on to claim as fact that this is a “deliberate attempt to “embroider the Pizzagate theory” – surely this is merely your opinion?
You also appear to be doing all the things in your post regarding lack of objectivity, that you accuse the NYT of doing. How sensationalising is it to say some guy has been “exposed” as an actor, when he has a public page stating such…..and what actor in his right mind would not advertise the fact he’s an actor anyway – how’s he supposed to get any work? What relevance does it even have to anything…..what is your actual allegation?
The whole post reads like any other “Conspiracy theory” - who are you accusing and what of and where on Earth is all the “evidence” you keep alluding to?
I have no idea either way whether there’s any paedophile ring, I’m just saying you haven’t provided any and that your reasoning and arguments are dodgy at best and lack the objectivity that you claim they have. I would have to say that based on everything you’ve said, the verisimilitude of your post to the gullible amongst us could be equally applied to yourself.
I won’t comment further as the rest of your post seems to go on in a very similar vein and seems to just get more absurd. Just a thought though……has anybody noticed how the logo for Ping Pong actually looks like 2 Ping Pong bats?......freaky man…..

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beware, i am seeing signs of mobs forming over pizzagate fatigue, and shouts of down with the conspiracy theorists. even big whale flaggers are getting into the act. i don't know what they can really do, but just a heads up.