DES MOINES — Hey there, I’m Morris Shenker, but my friends call me Morris Shenker. My enemies don’t call me anything.
Anyway, I’m an “alleged” mob attorney and relative of Washington Babylon’s founder and CEO, Ken Silverstein. But I’m also allegedly dead, as you can see from my obituary below. Yet if that’s true, how am I writing this article that you’re reading? Riddle me that.
So I’d say reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. In other words, it’s #FakeNews, as our current DipShit-in-Chief says.
Today, in my debut column, I scored an exclusive interview with Petunia, the skunk we all love to love. As you know, she’s rocketed to the top of the 2020 polls. The latest Gallup shows her with 38 percent of the vote, followed by AOC with 36 percent, Bernie with 13 percent and the rest of the candidates registering in the single digits or less.
Petunia’s in Des Moines campaigning door-to-door for next year’s caucus — hold on, is it 2020 already? — and she only had five minutes to spare. But I’ll be covering her a lot now between now and the inauguration, so don’t worry, I’ll have another #PetuniaExclusive soon.
In today’s installment, Petunia took time out of her busy schedule to deride the smear rag BuzzFeed and its latest piece of Fake News, which alleges that “President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project.” I’d summarize the story for you but the headline says it all and the office of Impeachment Czar Robert Swan Mueller III has already said it was false. So never mind.
Before going further let me note that CEO Silverstein has previously dissected and demolished this turd — on which no less than eight reporters shared a byline — about how Russia’s Vladimir Putin had murdered a bunch of his “enemies” abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom but also here in the United States. For some reason, MI5% (typo?), MI6^, the FBI and the CIA let Vlad get away with it — as I recall because a lot of Russians own real estate in London and the U.S. so they just collectively said, “Fuck it. Vlad, slay away.”
[Note: Last I heard this “Everyone Thinks He Was Whacked” series was a favorite to win a Pulitzer. Don’t look in the back mirror, #BuzzFeedBen. Also click here and here for more on BuzzFeed. As CEO Silverstein has written before, it’s hard to sink lower in journalism than Eli Lake but being his butt boy takes the cake. Congrats, #BuzzFeedBen!]
It’s sort of funny that Petunia would take time to even mention BuzzFeed because the only buzz you hear around its name these days are flies circling that pile of shit rag. But I guess Petunia felt she had to because of the moronic new Michael Cohen story.
Since Swan Mueller has rejected BuzzFeed‘s offering, there’s really no need to tear it apart sentence by sentence. I’m a lawyer so I would have enjoyed that. But another lawyer, Charles Glasser, got to the job first so let me just quote him: “In the morning, long before Mueller made his statement, I saw something fishy about the BuzzFeed story and kept my powder dry. Two reporters shared a byline on the story, but they contradicted each other.”
So instead of demolishing the Michael Cohen story, again, let me say a few words about one of its authors, Jason Leopold, who I like personally and who helped me out when I was writing for VICE. But he got this one on Cohen badly wrong, which is what happens when you work for a corrupt editor like #BuzzFeedBen and a corrupt publication like #BuzzFeed.
Let’s put aside past allegations about Jason, which to my knowledge he does not dispute. But when you have been found guilty of various forms of journalism crimes, it does call your reporting into question.
But here’s the important thing. CEO Silverstein tells me that the last time he saw Jason was in DC, when the latter was here to do some reporting, probably still for VICE. Jason said that he didn’t like to work with sources, he’d gotten burned too many times so he stuck to documents now. That’s why he is deservedly renowned for his FOIA-based journalism.
But since a lot of his work at BuzzFeed hinges on the reliability of his sources, it kind of makes you wonder about his recent work, which is based almost entirely on information shared with him — for obvious reasons — by unnamed intelligence sources. Here’s a classic quote from the “Whacked” story:
“Lesin was beaten to death,” one of the FBI agents said. “I would implore you to say as much. There seems to be an effort here to cover up that fact for reasons I can’t get into.”
What’s also funny is that the night Silverstein saw Jason, he bumped into a good friend of his, a Russian-American who has been smeared by Mueller and the media. Silverstein introduced the two and urged Jason to follow up, but Jason told him he probably wouldn’t because he’d been lied to too many times by sources so he preferred to stick with FOIA for his stories.
Petunia has this to say: “I endorse this story.”