Friday, February 06, 2009

Unbias, err...Unshitty Reporting

So, Non called from Rosburg this morning and woke me up a bit early today ( I just got off a week of nights at the WB) and so I decided I'd watch some movies a la Netflix via the XBOX 360.

I began with the wonderfully classic and mind expanding movie:

Resident Evil : Extinction




Then I watched a documentary of Marla Olmstead, now 8 years old, who at the age of 4 began painting modern abstract art.  Her paintings were/are very interesting and she was very successful at selling her paintings at the time. Her family, as usual, eventually was torn down by by a ridiculous report that aired on 60 Minutes.  They effectively called her a fraud and said that her dad was "polishing" the paintings prior to selling but saying that Marla did them all.  Eventually even the guy shooting the documentary even effectively called them liars, or at minimum questioned their honesty.


It got me thinking about my own issues with reporting, this so called unbias reporting, or reporting without adding drama or, for fuck sake, outright lying.

I can't remember how long it's been now but while working at the previous consulting company Fox 31 here in Denver wanted to interview us on a story about online credit card theft.  Shaul Turner and her crew showed up and interviewed the sales guy (because sales guys know a lot about network security...pfft, ass hat) and then wanted to do a simple demonstration on how to detect types of web servers and then how to run a list of known security vulnerabilities against the web servers.  So I showed them how to do it via a simple telnet command to the web server which simply shows the web server type.  As I was doing this I was explaining how I'm simply beginning to footprint the remote network and web servers so I could attempt to exploit them.  I actually did no attacks on the remote network, just demonstrating how to start doing it.

So, when we finally saw the piece air, I was fucking blown away at the shit she said.  As they aired the close up of my screen, her voiceover says, "Watch as he he hacks into this system."  And all I did was execute a telnet command to port 80.  But according to her I had pentrated this server in seconds.  So you say, "so what Q, who cares!" 

I do, and I'll tell you why.  The reprocussions for bullshit comments can extend far beyond her saying something ignorant and stupid.  It could have caused me and the company to come under fire from other security professionals or the remote network owners if they had taken the comments at face value.  They could have hit us for hacking and/or attacking their remote network with the video + stupid voiceover to support it.

So this piece from 60 Minutes did the same thing.  They had no proof of their comments, it was one lady who made a bullshit comment and suddenly they weren't selling paintings, they were receiving the most obsurd hate mail / email with some very nasty shit said.  Terrible shit.

This kind of journalism is kin to driving down the road with a guy riding your ass, honking at you, cutting people off and speeding.  You can't ram him off the road, you can't take your AR-15 and light him up, you can't punch him in the neck and tell him to quick being an asshole.  Same thing, you can't do that to reporters who do a shitty unbias and uneducated job.  You can't because you don't have the camera and airtime to do it.  Although the Internet changes things a bit, the number of people you and I get in front of is exponentially less than that of Fox 31, regardless of how bad they are.

Although, my story with Shaul has a happy ending for me.  They came back a year later or so and they wanted to do an interview again regarding network security.  And since I was Senior Network Monkey, they put me in front of the camera.  The first thing I tell fucking Shaul Turner is how piss poor of a job she did misrepresenting what I did on the last piece.  She was stunned that I was "punching her in the neck" for "driving like shit".  So, they did a close up of me and asked all of the stupid ass questions that dumb reporters ask, "what can people do to help secure themselves and computers?"  So all of the standard bullshit answers followed.  Now, I have zero reasons to make this up and I have witnesses that will back this up.

I start with, "make sure you have a software firewall, have antivirus and ensure it is up to date" etc, etc...


...and then I went blank and just stared at her.  I could not think of anymore reasons, but I did such a bad job of ending my sentence, that I said the following to end my answer.

"...and do the hokey pokey."

She looked at me and said, "hokey pokey, what's that?"  Everyone in the room was doing a very good job of keeping a straight face until she said that.  The entire fucking room erupted in laughter and and we laughed for 5 minutes straight.  Needless to say the interview was over, and my piece never did air.  Fuck-and-yes!  I got mine.   She got hers, that lousy reporter douchebag.  Hehe.

My [short] list of reporters I think are useless:
  Ernie Bjorkman (recently fired and is now becoming a vet like the chump he is)
  Mark Koebrich
  Shaul Turner


UPDATE:
I found the video and have been laughing my ass off for 5 minutes.  I guess it didn't help that the command prompt that shows up on the screen says Hackedy Hack:



I'm gonna edit the video and post it later, so look for it, cause it's kinda funny.




2 comments:

Hercules Rockefeller said...

Have you seen the size of Shaul Turner's ass?

I saw her at the People's Fair or some stupid shit like that.

That thing's massive, yo.

Munpe Q said...

Hell yes man! That's a poop cutter you wanna stay away from, you could lose an arm!