Saturday, December 31

Parsing the News (w 1/1 additions)

First in an irregular series...

AP Lead Story 9:45A 12/31/16

"BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Malware code linked to Russian hackers and found on a Vermont electric utility's computer is further evidence of "predatory" steps taken by that country against the U.S., a Vermont Democratic congressman said Saturday."

While the headline uses “linked”, the factually flaccid “story” unequivocally states
the “malware [code] is further evidence of "predatory" steps taken by that country against the U.S.”. Of course, as in other such stories, the reader is required to take it on faith somewhere there are actual facts that prove this. Most any software aficionado would tell you “malware codes” are easily distributed by anyone sufficiently talented and motivated - regardless of nationality.

“found on a laptop”. Whose laptop, one wonders? A high-level corp exec? Ranking engineer with access to the grid’s innards? Wait! Buried 4 graphs in (1 graph past the 3 customarily read by the casual consumer): “…detected the malware in a laptop not connected to its grid systems.” Well! That’s a relief!

 Or is it?

“Rep. Peter Welch said in a statement. "They will hack everywhere, even Vermont, in pursuit of opportunities to disrupt our country." Welch said the breach also underscores that sanctions President Barack Obama took against Russia this week were warranted.”

Of course AP doesn’t bother to provide the “D” behind Rep. Welch’s name. Too bad. It would help the reader understand the unsubstantiated Russia hysteria, typical political paranoia and Obama ass-kissing. If anything, this is a great example of how the MSM feeds news consumers the pablum that fortifies their ignorance.

Particularly interesting is the last sentence in the story when compared to the headline:

“Green Mountain Power…said it was thoroughly reviewed recently for safety by Homeland Security. It said it would continue to rigorously monitor its systems and "remain vigilant."

This statement reveals either monumental incompetence at DHS (why didn’t they find the malware during their ‘thorough review’?) or remarkably bad style/reporting by GMP PR and/or AP by failing to state exactly when the “thorough review” took place. And if GMP will “continue to rigorously monitor its systems and ‘remain vigilant”, what lapse(s) allowed the laptop to become infected in the first place? Firewall much? With all the stories about the danger of the nation’s of the nation’s power grid exposure, there is a crowd of incompetents who should be looking for new gigs in ’17.

Despite APs heavy breathing, putting this story at the Top of my IPs news menu (Earthlink), it puts the story 20th on its Top Stories list, behind FSU’s win over Michigan and Mardi Gras’ honoring of Carrie Fisher.

That’s “news priority” for ya...

Additional informative articles:

Zero Hedge

Rolling Stone

American Thinker

Info Wars

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