Biggest self own: New York Times edition

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

Ed wrote a great post on this yesterday, but it’s a coincidence so perfect that I chuckled when I saw it and had to throw my 2 cents in.

On Monday The New York Times published a prominent piece on how a tiny election software firm was being unfairly targeted by evil “election deniers” who were making unsubstantiated accusations. These dastardly election denies made unsubstantiated accusations that the company was allied with the Chinese Communist Party and had slipped the commies personal data on poll workers in the United State. Those evil Republicans would do almost anything to smear honest, hardworking folks who were just doing their job.


It really is scary what happens when you join the cult of Donald Trump, proto-Nazi and chief election denier. You become totally unhinged! You start seeing conspiracies everywhere you look.

At an invitation-only conference in August at a secret location southeast of Phoenix, a group of election deniers unspooled a new conspiracy theory about the 2020 presidential outcome.

Using threadbare evidence, or none at all, the group suggested that a small American election software company, Konnech, had secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and had given the Chinese government backdoor access to personal data about two million poll workers in the United States, according to online accounts from several people at the conference.

In the ensuing weeks, the conspiracy theory grew as it shot around the internet. To believers, the claims showed how China had gained near complete control of America’s elections. Some shared LinkedIn pages for Konnech employees who have Chinese backgrounds and sent threatening emails to the company and its chief executive, who was born in China.

So what do you call a conspiracy theorist these days? Somebody who had it figured out a few months before the rest of us. In this case, it was faster than that. It took only one day for the New York Times to be revealed a useful idiots:

Oops. Maybe that conspiracy theory wasn’t so stupid and evil after all.

The top executive of an elections technology company that has been the focus of attention among election deniers was arrested by Los Angeles County officials in connection with an investigation into the possible theft of personal information about poll workers, the county said on Tuesday.

Eugene Yu, the founder and chief executive of Konnech, the technology company, was taken into custody on suspicion of theft, the Los Angeles County district attorney, George Gascón, said in a statement.

Konnech, which is based in Michigan, develops software to manage election logistics, like scheduling poll workers. Los Angeles County is among its customers.

The company has been accused by groups challenging the validity of the 2020 presidential election with storing information about poll workers on servers in China. The company has repeatedly denied keeping data outside the United States, including in recent statements to The New York Times.


Now the New York Times isn’t admitting they were wrong, of course, to spend a lot of investigative time on producing a “news/analysis” story that turned out to be completely wrongheaded. Oh no. They emphasize repeatedly that only the identities of poll workers was spirited away to the Communist Chinese, but that obviously leaves open the question of why the CCP wanted the information in the first place. There is no evidence that vote totals were changed, although one wonders what the point of the identity theft was.

We can be pretty sure that the amount of data involved was absolutely enormous, although we won’t find out for a long time precisely how bad it was.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said in an emailed statement that it had cause to believe that personal information on election workers was “criminally mishandled.” It was seeking to extradite Mr. Yu, who lives in Michigan, to Los Angeles.

Konnech came under scrutiny this year by several election deniers, including a founder of True the Vote, a nonprofit that says it is devoted to uncovering election fraud. True the Vote said its team had downloaded personal information on 1.8 million American poll workers from a server owned by Konnech and hosted in China. It said it obtained the data by using the server’s default password, which it said was “password,” according to online accounts from people who attended a conference about voter fraud where the claims were made. The group provided no evidence that it had downloaded the data, saying that it had given the information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The claims quickly spread online, with some advocates raising concerns about China’s influence on America’s election system.


The original Times story was one of the biggest self-owns in recent media history, although it won’t be discussed that way by the MSM. The Times had no reason to do the original story except to make nasty accusations against “election denier” conspiracy theorists and their absurd accusations of election problems. They could have pretty much ignored the whole thing but for their desire to dunk on conservatives.

And it took only a day for them to get egg on their face. It pretty much looks certain that the absurd conspiracy theory was entirely correct, and the New York Times a piss poor newspaper with the investigative skills of a 9th grader with Google and an axe to grind.

It would be sad to see this happen if the Times hadn’t been a partisan rag forever. For over a century they defended the Soviet Union by printing outright lies about how wonderful it was there, even winning a Pulitzer Prize for complete fabrications.

That’s how they roll. Yet they still retain the reputation of being the most prestigious newspaper in the country, perhaps the world.

Because that is how the elite rolls.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024