Monday, January 20, 2014

Is the New Yorker's Ariel Levy passing off sponsored content to her Elle Readers?

As a long time admirer, and on and off subscriber to the New Yorker, Ariel Levy's participation in unethical journalism strikes me as the most distressing incident in a long string of journalistic malfeasance.

Judging by any google search, you'd be hard pressed to discover the dirty secret that Ariel Levy, and so many supposedly legitimate journalists, are keeping.

The dirty secret?

 They are approached by the likes of Nick Kroll, and offered gifts or cash to promote the ventures of assorted aspirants to celebrity. There likelier are dirtier secrets but this is one I can prove.

The worst offenders appear to be front publications such as Splitsider, DeadSpin, Serial Optimist, Brooklyn Vegan, and more legit seeming stalwarts such as New York Magazine's "Vulture" column, and the Huffington post's comedy section.  Dishonorable mentions go to Carol Hartsell, Zach Dionne, and Elliot Glazer for their unrelenting faked press. Ms. Hartsell not only promotes rather than reports, she commits fraud when she references Kira Hesser's Blog before the blog is even posted. And, these unethical scribes have a lot of competition in the shameless journo ho designation I have created. So, a dishonorable mention means they are super sickening.

Google Tig Notaro "Vulture" or "Huffington Post" and/or Nick Kroll Vulture and Huffington Post, and you will be led to the names of journo hos answering to Kroll money and influence, and not to journalistic impulses. Those assumed impulses? You'd hope some desire to report on reality, not cash infused surreality.

There you will see a non stop profusion of promotional material, disguised as regular stories. I only recently learned the name for this "sponsored content."   I'm guessing that as long as one apprises the reader that this is sponsored content it is cloying but ethical.

The biggest benefactors of this unethical practice are Nick Kroll, and those Nick Kroll sees as those who might further his own endless and strange ambitions.  Strange because the boy has no looks or humor and show biz and comedy would be out if not for his concerted insanity for the last five years.

Time Magazine, Buzzfeed, and Mother Jones too are on board, but there it seems more the work of rogue freelancers as opposed to a flagrant editorial policy. Sandra Brownstone, Lily Rothberg, and Sandra Allen are the rogue freelancers in question. Since Kroll is a global enterprise, Claire Black from the Independent, and a few freelancers for other international publications, are clearly answering to Kroll, and not to the story.

We know that Kroll employs tons of seemingly legit journalists. But, few seem to know about these two stories involving the pursuit of journalists as a means to subvert serious realities.

Mary Cuddahe, appears to be the exception to the rule, and the Atlantic seems to be one of the few publications that would run with a story exposing such practices.

Kroll's sinister grasp on the fifth estate in the Chevron case is no isolated incident. This article discusses how a food writer freelancer was co-opted by Kroll.

Those two cases involve much more serious concerns, than a comedy or showbiz career, and if journalists are willing to sell their souls for the big stories, it's not hard to imagine than when they are approached to promote terrible shows, or no talent comedians(Nick Kroll and certain friends) if the price is right, they will bite.

And, that is why the decent and idealistic Noah Chestnuts of the world, will write this largely unseen article.

You'd hope that Ariel Levy would feel secure enough in her abilities, and position, to reject such unseemly offers, but her article in Elle Magazine, where she appears to promote the fake stories of a cancer scammer by the name Tig Notaro, lead me to believe she is more intent on getting money than on reporting the truth.  At the time, she wrote this article

Any legit journalist would not touch Tig Notaro's increasingly unraveling stories. Not only had her stories not passed any layman's smell test, but any journalist worth their salt would at least inquire of Notaro of why she had changed her stories so repeatedly --why she had not undergone any follow up treatment for aggressive stage 2 bilateral cancer, at the very least.

Ariel Levy must have wanted to know why Notaro never gave any money to the charities, that Louis CK had promised she would, if the public downloaded her cancer tape. What about Notaro's alleged stalker, and the lost trial.  What about the alleged stalkers lawsuits imminent success coinciding with Notaro sudden desire to share her adversities with tons of strangers? What about the cancelled NBC sitcom, and how that coupled with Notaro's bad news in the lawsuits she faced, caused her to grow desperate enough to invent cancer. Then, her clearly hyperbolic talk of attention and love were classic features of Munchausen or Factitious disorder.

What about Notaro's  Kickstarter project, and how Notaro has refused to answer any questions regarding that money making scheme. What about Notaro's serious memory or truth telling problems. So serious, one or the other, that Notaro kept changing the dates of her diagnosis and even changed the date when she took that fateful(or nonexistent) mammogram. In one story, it was July. In the next, it was May. And, how did Louis CK's tweet cause Notaro to "wake up famous" on August 4th 2012 at noon, when Louis CK didn't tweet about her until mid afternoon(2:19 pm pacific time)

There are literally hundreds of questions that any ethical journalist, with a New Yorker pedigree, would want to know. Instead Levy sought to puff up a sociopathic cancer scammer, who terrorized and robbed blind a Holocaust survivor, and who has shown herself to be a ruthless enemy of civil rights.

I hope the check from Kroll was big enough, Ms. Levy, and I hope you cease and desist selling your soul to the Kroll.

P.S note the Elle Link's name. Notaro owes Kyle Dunnigan a lot for his silence about her stalking, kickstarter, and cancer scams. Kyle Dunnigan was caught on tape hitting an elderly woman who served Notaro with a lawsuit, but got away with it due to Nick Kroll's string pulling. Levy was told to use his name as much as possible and she agreed. Journo-ho,Laura Jayne Martin, is another one who will print anything for the right price, but she has less potential to be a real writer, and so it's less offensive. Ms. Martin is the go to gal when Nick wants his two fave partners in crime, Kyle Dunnigan, and Tig Notaro to get unmerited good press. We'll discuss that piece of work when my journo ho investigations continue.
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