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Scoop Link: They're Reading Our News Over There

They're Reading Our News Over There
Newsweek Calls Scoop "Obscure" And "Australian"

Most of the time when running a news website you just never know who is reading, or whether your efforts are making a difference. Sure, you can identify the locations of your readers, and sometimes even their organisations. But you don't know whether your message is getting through to anyone important.

But today, thanks to a hunch by Scoop's Californian columnist Jason Leopold, we can report that – according to Newsweek magazine - United States Secretary of State Colin Powell gets asked curly questions at press conferences because stuff gets read by important people on!

The latest edition of Newsweek contains an article about a Washington based lobbyist who is making waves, David Sirota:

Oct. 27 issue — At a little before 6 each morning, a wiry, 27-year- old political operative fires up his computer in his Washington, D.C., apartment. While other Democratic spinners are still in bed, dreaming about their next power breakfast, stubble-faced, bleary- eyed David Sirota is already at the keyboard, hacking out a daily barrage of anti-Bush media clips, commentary and snappy quotes.

SIROTA’S E-MAILS—SENT to the capital’s journalists and political pros—tend to portray President Bush as a bullying huckster (Sirota branded the illegal leak of a CIA agent’s name “Intimigate”). But they occasionally cause the administration genuine headaches. One Sirota blast last month diverted Colin Powell from an exhaustive round of talks at the United Nations. Working on a tip from an obscure Australian Web site, Sirota unearthed an embarrassing comment the secretary of State made two years ago. In Cairo, Powell had said that Iraq posed no threat to its neighbors, and possessed no “significant capability” in weapons of mass destruction. Reporters pounced. “It was early in the administration,” Powell sheepishly explained.

The "one Sirota blast last month" is a reference to a discovery by Australian born British Journalist John Pilger – his "Big Lies" story, which unearthed a long forgotten 2001 speech by Colin Powell in which the Secretary admitted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

On the 24th of September our front page carried the following

John Pilger: The Big Lie - Proof - EXACTLY one year ago, Tony Blair told Parliament: "Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down. It is up and running now." Not only was every word of this false. See... Scoop Link: John Pilger "The Big Lie" - UK Mirror

On reading the Newsweek profile report Scoop California based columnist Jason Leopold had a hunch. "I bet that 'obscure Australian website' is Scoop", he thought. And so he emailed Mr Sirota:

From: "jason leopold"
Subject: RE: introduction and question Mr. Sirota


My name is Jason Leopold. I am an investigative reporter. …. I read your profile in Newsweek and I was wondering if you could tell me the identity of the "obscure" Australian website cited in the article, from which you received a tip about statements Colin Powell made about Iraq in 2001. I'm curious.

Best regards

Jason Leopold "

Mr Sirota quickly replied...

From: "web_David_Sirota"
To: "jason leopold"
Subject: RE: introduction and question

So, just as we suspected, they really are reading Scoop over there.


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