Epstein Dead


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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530 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:


    An interesting take from the only political mind worth following on Twitter:


  2. Avatar Jaybird says:



  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    What’s really crazy is that the fact that he was on Suicide Watch means that the LIHOP theory is the *FLOOR*.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:


    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      My mind went to LIHOP.
      “Oh. No. He’s trying to kill himself.”
      “Quick. Someone. Get the key.”
      “Which key?”
      “The key.”
      “This key?”
      “This key?”
      [Read in voice of Simpsons aliens]

      Now, the guards could have been in on the conspirac(ies). Or they could have just seem him as another pedophile, who tend to be very low on the totem pole in prisons for guards and inmates alike.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:



      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        “Solitary confinement at MCC, as described by those who have survived it, is especially hellish. In the Special Housing Unit where Epstein was held, the fluorescent lights are kept on 23 or 24 hours a day, prisoners are prohibited from calling out to each other, and the cell windows are frosted to prevent any glimpse of the outside world.

        “The segregated units are horrifying and inhumane,” David Patton, the executive director of Federal Defenders of New York, told the New York Times in 2017. “If you wanted to intentionally design a place to drive people mad, you’d be hard pressed to do better.”


        • Avatar George Turner says:

          Oh, you should see where they put the people who aren’t billionaires! No frosting on the windows, prisoners screaming at each other, one low-wattage incandescent bulb that burned out in 1974.

          But did Epstein learn nothing from watching Narcos season 2? You don’t surrender until after the government agrees to let you build your own prison, complete with basketball courts, pool tables, video games, a bar, and daily stripper deliveries.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    What is most dispiriting for me about this is that there was in fact a massive conspiracy.
    Everyone in the circles of powerful and wealthy knew about Epstein, at least after his conviction.

    And yet he was welcomed back into their society. There was a conspiracy of silence and averting their gaze and not asking questions.

    The damage here is to the public trust in our institutions and governance. We know that noir films like Chinatown are fiction but telling a true story of corruption and rot.

    But maybe the most disturbing thing is that the story is a challenge to us.

    Its tempting for us as citizens to shake our head and throw up our hands in hopeless resignation, but then we are just joining in the conspiracy to hide it, sweep it away and pretend it isn’t continuing still.

    The Powers That Be won’t fix this, unless we ourselves force them to.Report

  5. Avatar Philip H says:

    I don’t buy the conspiracy theories emerging. Between his raging narcissism and his pedophilia from what I’ve read suicide is probably his way of preserving both his control and avoiding confronting the horror of what he did. That he succeeded while on suicide watch does call into question the professionalism of his jailers.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The Holy Order of Q’Anon, people who believe that there was a secret pedophile ring run out of a DC pizzeria and who live in a world where Kin Jong-Nam was killed in public by giggling young women, are treating this as a a nothing to see here element or are looking for ways to blame the Clintons. This is going to be a scenario where nobody really believes this was a straight suicide but the Trumpistas will blame the liberals and the liberals the Trumpistas. We will never know the truth of how Epstein died or the full enormity of his criminal activities and all the very powerful men that were involved in them. We are truly living in a very cheap airport thriller.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      The list of people who would breathe easier if Epstein were dead is long, stretching from the Royal Families of several nations, to members of both American parties, to a Who’s Who of corporate power.

      Anyone who wants to try to spin any of this into a partisan game is an idiot.

      OTOH- would it really benefit these people to have Epstein dead? Because then it frees up all the evidence that was obtained, prevents any defamation action against accusers, and allows an unlimited fishing expedition into his black book.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        We will see if any of the evidence survives. Otherwise we might be living in a real world Chinatown, where not only do the bad guys get away with it but that we are so lowly and powerless they don’t have to hurt or kill us.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          The weak link in conspiracies are the small fish.
          If they can be pressured to stay silent, they can be pressured to talk.

          There were dozens of people involved in the raid and seizure of his apartment. Lets hear their personal recollections of what was found, and match that to a catalog of what is in the possession of the police.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        What will a prosecutor think? Epstein was the central figure. How much effort is it worth putting into an investigation of more peripheral people for whom Epstein made arrangements, versus other uses for those resources? All of it an uphill struggle against the kind of legal talent the rich-and-famous can deploy.

        I’d guess — and that’s what it is — that Epstein’s girlfriend may be a target, but that the rest of them will never be charged. Maybe not even interviewed.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          True, but notice how public pressure can sway a prosecutor’s judgement.

          We just need to make them more afraid of us than the wealthy.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Prosecutors. Except for possibly the girlfriend, didn’t this just go from being a federal human trafficking case to being a bunch of state/county/city rape cases?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              I don’t know. Maybe one of the legal minds around can help out.

              But we know that there had to have been dozens of different people who all needed to commit crimes in order for Epstein to have run this operation for decades.
              Active crimes, or conspiracy, aiding and abetting, accessory after the fact.

              Everyone from the pilot who flew the plane to the various assistants to the people who groomed and introduced the girls…

              These girls had friends and family who they must have shared some gossip with, or commiserated with. The men involved all had large staffs of assistants, partners, wives and exwives and lovers.

              For the men who like underage girls, it is never a one-off. It is almost always a recurring pattern. If Prince Andrew or Bill Richardson really did have sex with one, they had sex with a dozen, all of who are still walking around and can be found and made to testify.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            I’m not entirely sure how we can do that short of storming the gates.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    A good point here:


  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I think it was probably a suicide. Even if he was on suicide watch, I don’t think they were watching that closely and a determine person is going to do what a determined person is going to do.

    The Q signs are going to fly high on this one though.Report

  9. Avatar InMD says:

    Is this real life?Report

  10. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Didn’t he already have at least one confirmed suicide attempt? I don’t think we should rule out the possibility that, having gone from billionaire on top of the world to pariah almost certainly doomed to spend the rest of his life in prison, he just didn’t see much left to live for.Report

  11. Avatar George Turner says:

    People like Epstein will be a lucrative market for the Tyrell Corporation’s replicants.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I really enjoyed this political satire:


    • Avatar Ozzy! says:

      Returns on Investigations of Pedophilia is not a standard finance metric, IMO. What do I know though, he is a finance genius. It says it right there in his name.Report

  13. Avatar George Turner says:

    A friend Skyped me and said:

    We knew it was only a matter of time before Epstein fell victim to Arkancide.
    #ClintonBodyCount was trending #4 a bit ago. 🙂

    “Arkancide” is a good one. ^_^Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird says:

    45 just retweeted the following two tweets:


    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Projection is a helluva drug.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      A “comedian” is a reliable source. Popehat thinks the conspiracy murder theory is bunk. Isn’t he a more reliable source for criminal justice?

      Conspiracy theories are not brave truth telling or the secret way of the world. They are an inchoate and lazy thinkers version of sophistication.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Saul, this guy was a billionaire who ran a pedophile ring for the world’s elite at his own private island that was nicknamed “pedophile island”.

        This is, like, true according to the documents that we actually have.

        Waving this away because it’s a conspiracy theory is… well, it’s lazy. It’s inchoate.

        (And the point isn’t that the guy is a reliable source. The point is that Trump retweeted the tweets.)Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          Ken White is a former prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer who spent the majority of his career dealing with the criminal justice system. He knows the neglect that happens at such places. Even for important criminals like Epstein.

          Terrence K. Williams has the incentive to be a miscreant of the “just asking questions” variety because it helps him do a side-eye and sly thing for his comedy career.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Saul, you’re still not understanding.

            The point of my comment was not “hey, look at these guys, they’re credible”.

            The point was “Trump just tweeted these tweets out to all of his followers.”

            Explaining to me that someone that Trump did not tweet out is more credible than the people that Trump did tweet out is interesting, I guess. But you’re arguing against a point that I’m not making.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        Not really, no. Popehat’s argument is that lots of people commit suicide in prison. That’s it.

        I also think it’s unhelpful and lazy to even call it conspiracy theory.

        Epstein is dead by his own hand; what are we going to do with that? Let’s stipulate that it really was suicide (I think it was). Are there benefits to his estate if he dies before testifying? Are there people who benefit? Would those people be people he cared about? People he negotiated the disposition of his estate for other people he cared about? Will all the invstigations continue? All the tapes and blackmail items (implied) will they be disclosed – if criminal?

        And, let’s also allow for the simple nihilistic fact that he had absolutely no regard for what came after and simply punched out. See part II of above… what happens with all the gathered materials? Will there be a quiet cover-up? Maybe a C-list celebrity thrown over the fence?

        Let’s all agree that we don’t have any clear idea what happened or why… most of what I’m seeing dismissed as “conspiracy” theories aren’t conspiracy theories… they are wondering what comes next.

        Show me what comes next and I don’t give a rat’s ass about the dead guy.

        That’s not conspiracy mongering… and Popehat’s mini-thread was kinda dumb in that context.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          A guy who has done the kind of things Epstein has likely doesn’t give a hoot about taking care of anyone else. Suicide is only about saving himself the pain and suffering he knows is coming. If his suicide hurt others, he would still have done it.

          What people seem to be doing with the concept of “conspiracy” is stretching it to where it is meaningless. A rich guy getting away with stuff by spreading money around and charismatic sucking up to people in power isn’t original or a conspiracy. Even committing crimes is, on it’s own a conspiracy. The crazy conspiracy stuff, which should be dismissed until there is some actual evidence, is the pizzagate/Qanon crap which some people have gone to. Even the clinton/trump killed him is sort of missing the whole part about how they did it. There may be evidence pointing there but we aint’ seen it yet.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            “some actual evidence”

            Sure, bring it on. And to be clear, I don’t care about the dead guyor how he died. Bring forward the evidence of the videos, the forensic research into the finances, decrypting the little black books… what I don’t want is some sort of distraction around his suicide… “mistakes were made” its costly to provide surveillance, that’s not SOP… etc.

            Follow the money, follow the favors, follow the connections… in the end maybe we’ll also have a story about what happened in his cell.

            But right now, I’m guessing the fact that he’s dead in his cell is the distraction from following the trail that is exactly what we’re supposed to lose sight of.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Popehat thinks the conspiracy murder theory is bunk.

        Just for the record, Popehat doesn’t think the murder theory is wrong, he just thinks the incompetence theory is a fully live option.Report

  15. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    No fucking way.

    This should be a bipartisan hold everything moment…there’s something rotten in Denmark and I dont care who’s dead at the end of Act 4.Report

  16. Avatar Aaron David says:


  17. Avatar Jaybird says:


  18. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    I’ve been monitoring the Twitters on this off and on today and all I can say is this is just perfect conspiracy theory fuel. A cornucopia of paltry but highly suggestive facts, conjecture, and speculation. Big names on both sides of every damn aisle are implicated (George Mitchell? Bill Richardson? WTF?).

    You got the move-along-nothing-to-see-here, anti-conspiracy theory crowd but frankly, given what we do actually know and what has been credibly alleged in court filings and such… I suspect the Truth, if it ever comes out, is going to sound a hell of a lot like a conspiracy theory. There’s nothing pedestrian about this story.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      Well, I’ve been trying to figure out who could’ve have pulled it off. So far my prime suspect is Eugene Victor Tooms, who was in The X-Files season 1 episode 3. He was a weird mutant who could deform his body and squeeze into any room, leaving no signs of entry or exit. However, he also ripped out his victim’s livers, and so far as I’ve heard Epstein’s liver wasn’t taken.

      So that leaves me with the Clintons again. Judging from Twitter and other such places, everybody knew Epstein didn’t have a prayer of making it to trial. Nobody even had to photoshop new memes for it because the ones the made weeks ago are spot on.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      I find popehat to be good here. I trust him to know more about the working of the criminal justice system than a comedian like Terrence Williams above. What happened was institutional failure but it was not intentional murder.Report

  19. Avatar Jaybird says:

    TMZ is reporting:

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death may never be conclusively determined, because we’re told standard practice in the area where he was detained is that cameras do not point inside cells.

    Sources familiar with the correctional facility in question tell TMZ, there are cameras in the Special Housing Unit — the SHU — but SOP is that cameras do not point into the cells. We’re told cameras capture, among other things, the doors to each cell to determine if anyone walks in or out, but they don’t point inside.

    One source familiar with the facility says the drill is for guards to pass by each cell in intervals ranging from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the circumstances.

    The news here is that, sure, the SOP was *NOT* that cameras were pointed inside of the cells *BUT* it ought to be possible to see if the guards walked past every 15-30 minutes. Or if nobody walked past.

    Even 4 hours of footage of nothing happening except the guard walking past every 20 minutes would be newsworthy.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      And once the FBI finishes its investigation, and the DOJ Inspector General finishes his investigation, video will likely be made available.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      It would also be helpful to know if SOP was actually the SOP.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        You have no idea how much I wish that a *REAL* news organization would make some phone calls to ask about this sort of thing.

        It’s enough to make you wonder why it hasn’t.

        Must be because it’s the weekend.Report

        • Avatar cjcolucci says:

          What makes you think they haven’t?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Because I’ve been looking for stories that talk about this sort of thing and TMZ is the only site that had been talking about this sort of thing as of the time of that story coming out?

            One great thing to do that would make me look *REALLY* foolish is to find a sourced article from a reputable source that answers these questions!Report

            • Avatar cjcolucci says:

              They can call and ask all they want, but they can’t print until they get answers. From my time representing prison officials, I know how slow they are in answering questions from their own lawyers. I can’t imagine they’re any quicker with reporters.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          CNN’s headline article (as of about 8:45PM EST) included many sources, some named, discussing many particulars of these sorts of situations. If you think we’re seeing the video on the news any time soon, you’re just being unrealistic.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Let’s check it out and read it together.

            Epstein’s cell was not regularly monitored the night he is believed to have killed himself, a source with knowledge of Epstein’s time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York told CNN.

            Nice to have *THAT* confirmed, I guess.

            Epstein, 66, was in the special housing unit in a cell by himself when he was found dead early Saturday. He initially had a cellmate, but that person was removed for reasons unknown, the source said.

            It’s protocol for inmates coming off suicide watch not to be placed alone in a cell, according to the source.

            Reasons unknown. Huh. Protocol wasn’t followed, I guess.

            Protocol within the federal detention center’s Special Housing Unit is for guards to check on inmates every 30 minutes. If the inmates appear to be asleep, protocol states guards should make sure they’re OK, the source added.

            If guards falsified documents saying they made rounds when they didn’t, there’s a chance for criminal prosecution, the source said.

            Well, I hope we talk to someone who is responsible for looking at those documents at some point.

            No foul play is suspected in Epstein’s death, a federal official told CNN Saturday. The bureau’s release called it “an apparent suicide,” and said the FBI is investigating.

            How reassuring!

            Do we know which federal official? Because if it was the Honolulu Postmaster, I’m not impressed. If it’s the Federal Prison Guy, I’m a little more interested.

            The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment Sunday.

            So whomever the guy was, it wasn’t the Federal Prison Guy.

            “I was pretty stunned. Disbelief. It’s still a little shocking that something like that could have happened given his high-profile status in the Bureau of Prisons,” she said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

            Brown said it’s important to look at what happened with Epstein’s suicide but also to keep the focus on the victims and on the case.

            “There’s so many avenues that have yet to be investigated … not only on Epstein himself and the crimes he committed — and what other people might have helped him do and other co-conspirators involved in this — but also on how this whole thing happened back in 2008 and why it happened, and whether there’s any corruption there to look at,” Brown said.

            I’ve no doubt that there was corruption back then. I think it’s worth looking at whether there is corruption this time around as well.

            The article could have been worse, I guess.

            It’s not like it’d be fair of me to expect CNN, of all places, to say something like “this is a clusterjunk of unprecedented proportion, it looks bad, and even the best case scenario smells fishy.”

            But it’d be nice to have talked to a source (they wouldn’t even have to name him or her!) who said “we know that this looks exactly like a damn deep state op”. They could even have gone on to say “But it wasn’t!”Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              So, they treated Epstein pretty much how they treat everyone, with callous neglect, contempt for procedure and depraved indifference.

              How ironic, that when egalitarianism presents itself in our Gilded Age, it is in a jail.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              I mean this one: https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/08/11/us/jeffrey-epstein-death-whats-next/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F

              Specifically this:
              “Suicide watch usually lasts just one or two days, said Jack Donson, a former correctional treatment specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
              “I’ve never seen in my entire career a suicide watch lasting more than a week,” Donson said. “So the context of him committing suicide while on watch, that’s just a fallacy.”
              Donson said a suicide watch means an inmate is being monitored by a staff member 24 hours a day — “three shifts of overtime people.”
              He said resources are limited, and overtime can be costly.
              “I was probably being paid $500, $600 for a shift of overtime just to watch somebody through a window,” Donson said.
              If an inmate doesn’t appear to be a threat to himself during suicide watch, he’s removed from constant monitoring.”

              You asked why real news orgs didn’t call and ask about SOO. CNN clearly did, based on BOTH our articles.

              But your upset they weren’t critical of what happened? Goalpost shift much?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                The more details come out, the less strange his suicide sounds.
                The deviations from SOP are in fact the SOP.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I regret reading the wrong article at the top of CNN’s page. I did not intend to move goalposts.

                My main takeaway from this article was this part here:

                It wasn’t clear whether those injuries, which were not serious, were self-inflicted or the result of an assault, the sources said. Epstein told authorities he had been beaten up and called a child predator, they said.

                Which tells me that, yeah, I guess it is kind of appropriate for him to have been taken off suicide watch if he never attempted suicide but was, instead, attacked.

                And now we’re back to a weird place where the (arguably) most important witness at the very center of a weird elite pedophilia ring (a conspiracy, even) was allowed to be put in that position in the first place.

                And the best case scenario is that nobody involved cared.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Chip said: “It would also be helpful to know if SOP was actually the SOP.”

                You said: “You have no idea how much I wish that a *REAL* news organization would make some phone calls to ask about this sort of thing.

                It’s enough to make you wonder why it hasn’t.

                Must be because it’s the weekend.”

                Is it fair to say that CNN has made some phone calls to try to determine what SOP was and whether SOP was followed here? And that whatever you were implying by your questions here was maybe off base?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is it fair to say that CNN has made some phone calls to try to determine what SOP was and whether SOP was followed here?

                So what we know is this:
                Standard operating procedure is to put someone on suicide watch for a couple of days and then take them off of it.

                We know that Epstein might not have attempted suicide earlier but, instead, claimed to have been attacked by a fellow inmate.

                We know that Epstein was not on suicide watch when he, apparently, committed suicide.

                We know that his cellmate was removed for reasons unknown.

                All of those things are things that CNN reported.

                Is it fair to say that CNN has made some phone calls to try to determine what SOP was and whether SOP was followed here?

                That this shit is fishy as hell and the journalists aren’t doing a particularly good job of getting into the onion?

                If that’s what you’re implying that I’m implying, then let me say that I stand by the position that is your interpretation of my implication.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Good non-talk. Later.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Kazzy, I don’t know what you’re disagreeing with.

                Is it just my tone? Or is there a material fact that I got wrong?

                (Out of curiosity, have you read a story yet that mentions whether there is footage? I’ve seen no shortage of tweets that say that the footage was glitchy… have we seen a story that mentions whether it exists? *I* haven’t. You’d think that that’d be something that we’d know by now.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Fishy, why?

                Right now there isn’t any evidence of foul play, and there doesn’t seem to be any curious anomalies.

                Are you aware of any?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Jaybird seems to think that the truth will emerge quickly and all at once. That it hasn’t so far — though we know a lot more now than we did 24 hours ago — suggests to him, for reasons that are, to say the least, obscure, that no one is trying to find out. That’s not how it works. We will get more and more information as the people Jaybird thinks aren’t looking find out things definite enough to publish, like, for example, the existence and quality of video. He may “think that’d be something we’d know by now,” but uncovering facts is hard work and may take longer that he thinks “we” expect.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’d be fine with an article that says “these are the things we don’t know yet (but want to know)”.

                That would be preferable to “anyone who doesn’t believe the official story about the suicide of the most important witness at the center of the weirdest conspiracy to surface since Iran-Contra is a conspiracy theorist!”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                That’s not the way news articles are generally written. If you want to change the whole general practice of journalism, fine, make that general case. But there is nothing special about this story.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, yeah, anyone who immediately assumes a conspiracy of foul play without any evidence is in fact a conspiracy theorist.

                All criminal investigations of deaths start with “these facts don’t add up to suicide”.

                But here, they kinda do.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Right now there isn’t any evidence of foul play

                The evidence we appear to have is that protocols weren’t followed.

                That’s not necessarily evidence of foul play, but half of the list of things on “foul play” require protocols not being followed.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                That doesn’t sound true either.
                There is a lot of evidence that they never follow protocol, which means they didn’t do anything differently here.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                You complained that no “real news” outlet was pursuing sourced related to SOP and implied that was part of the conspiracy.

                I shower you CNN doing just that.

                Now you want to argue the facts of the case. I’m not interested in that… only pushing back on the false narrative that the “real news” are intentionally avoiding investigating this.

                Can you admit that CNN is doing at least decent work on this?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Probably not. What he’ll likely do is pretend that what he really meant is some general proposition no one disputes, probably because it is platitudinous, and crow that no one has disputed it.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                The post that kicked off this subthread contained the startling point that “The President tweeted something offensively stupid/ stupidly offensive” and I feel I am on firm ground in asserting that no one can or will dispute it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Let’s go back and see what I said. Let me copy and paste it:

                You have no idea how much I wish that a *REAL* news organization would make some phone calls to ask about this sort of thing.

                It’s enough to make you wonder why it hasn’t.

                Must be because it’s the weekend.

                Now, what is the “this sort of thing” I referred to in the post?

                Let me copy and paste *THAT*:

                The news here is that, sure, the SOP was *NOT* that cameras were pointed inside of the cells *BUT* it ought to be possible to see if the guards walked past every 15-30 minutes. Or if nobody walked past.

                Even 4 hours of footage of nothing happening except the guard walking past every 20 minutes would be newsworthy.

                And now I ask:

                Have you seen any news articles talk about the footage?

                I’ve seen no shortage of tweets yelling “THE CAMERAS WERE ON THE FRITZ” but none of them were sourced.

                Have you seen a news article talk about the security tapes?

                Because I haven’t.

                Can you admit that CNN is doing at least decent work on this?

                No. I can’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Current Epstein-related CNN headlines:

                “Barr cites ‘failure’ at New York jail that held Jeffrey Epstein”

                “Trump promotes Epstein-Clintons conspiracy”

                That’s what they got.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Bill Barr: “I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to find irregularities have been going on in here.”Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Right… but that’s Noah Millman’s take… whom do you (we) trust to let us know they were ordinary irregularities or irregular irregularities?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Have you seen any news articles talk about the footage?

                I wouldn’t expect any until somebody had something to report about it.

                I’ve seen no shortage of tweets yelling “THE CAMERAS WERE ON THE FRITZ” but none of them were sourced.


                Have you seen a news article talk about the security tapes?

                Not yet. See above.

                Because I haven’t.

                And you won’t until somebody actually has something, which is as it should be.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Would “we can’t get anybody to answer questions about the security footage” be newsworthy?

                I submit: IT WOULD.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                This early? Not at all. Read a newspaper now and then.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How’s about a webpage? Would that be good?

                Oooh! CNN is talking about the Mooch!Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Is there anyone who thinks the first thing the FBI did was anything except grab the video? Is there anyone who thinks the FBI is going to say anything about it before they’ve spent some days with it?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Now Michael, no fair bringing common sense into this.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Even something like “The FBI grabbed the footage and is reviewing it” would be newsworthy!Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                They probably don’t know that for sure, only that that is likely what happened. And precisely because it is likely what happened, it wouldn’t be news. If they knew it for sure, it might be mentioned somewhere in the 17th paragraph and nobody reading the story would pay it any attention. Dog bites man.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Isn’t the security video just a video of the hallway, which would show guards either walking by at regular intervals, or not?

                Which means there are three options from what I can see:
                1. Guards walked by when they should have;
                2. Guards didn’t walk by when they should have;
                3. Someone who shouldn’t have been there who was there.

                Unless option 3 occurs, the first two are pretty inconclusive since we know they often didn’t do what they should have.

                It just seems like this is starting with a conclusion of foul play, and demanding that everyone prove a negative.

                I’m not seeing any anomalies.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How much speculation would you feel is appropriate?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                This is an all hands on deck situation so it would be irresponsible not to do everything.



              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I feel confident that the folks at BOP have been told, in no uncertain terms, by both the FBI and the inspector general’s office, to say exactly nothing about what the FBI and IG are doing or have done. No uncertain terms starting at “lose your job and your pension”, and going from there. Plus the cop-culture sort of thing about closing ranks.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Its gonna be a weird day when the “We can always trust the internal reviews by police!” talking points are replaced with “The cops are covering up an assassination!”Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                CNN has clearly made many, many phone calls. I assume they’ve asked about the footage. I assume they’ve gotten nada-zip-zero on that. And it’d be irresponsible of them to say anything give that.

                You can cry incompetence or conspiracy but the facts don’t support that at this time.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I assume they’ve asked about the footage. I assume they’ve gotten nada-zip-zero on that.

                How many assumptions are appropriate, do you think?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Jay, you are clearly upset the world doesn’t operate the way you want it to and are blaming the world for that, rather than considering maybe the way you want it to be isn’t actually the way it ought to be.

                Unsourced reporting on the footage is a BAD thing. Sourced reporting on the footage would be a good thing. But if source reporting is impossible, what exactly do you want? Something bad… or something stupid… or something useless.

                No one wants to read an article that says, “NEWSFLASH: NO INFO ON FOOTAGE.” Except you. That’s on you, brah.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Kazzy, I’m not “blaming” anybody for anything.

                I *AM* saying that a *HUGE* conspiracy was recently unearthed that put a *HUGE* number of the elite in the crosshairs of law enforcement and, perhaps more importantly, the media.

                And one of the things I’m kinda hoping for on the part of the media is a display of competence.

                Sourced reporting on the footage would be a good thing. But if source reporting is impossible, what exactly do you want?

                A public statement that says “we know that this is kinda important but we can’t get *ANYBODY* on the record.”

                I think that that would be newsworthy.

                Or, wait, I’ll phrase it better.

                I assume that that would be newsworthy.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                And one of the things I’m kinda hoping for on the part of the media is a display of competence.

                You can have “display” or “competence.” You’ve made your choice, the rest of us have made ours.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is there a point at which you will feel it is appropriate to wonder why TMZ is still the only organization to tackle the cameras?

                I am 100% down with waiting until that day to come back to this.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                As far as I can tell, TMZ hasn’t “tackled” it. They’ve passed on a rumor. And the idea that no one else is looking into it, perhaps without success so far, is pure supposition. I expect that whatever the situation is with the cameras will come out at some point. I doubt if anyone who actually knows now will leak it, and I won’t hazard a guess as to when either someone finds a source that will leak or it comes out officially. But at some point in the near future, as the investigation continues, we will either know or know that we don’t know.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                But at some point in the near future, as the investigation continues, we will either know or know that we don’t know.

                Can you give me a timeframe? I’m 100% down with saying “well, maybe the NYT hasn’t talked about the cameras yet” at this point.

                I am less down with us never hearing about the cameras ever again.

                Is there a point on that ray where you’d be willing to say “yeah, we should have heard about it from more than just TMZ by now”?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Can you give me a timeframe?

                No, not yet. Obviously, there will be a point, but that will depend on what other information comes out, how fast it comes out, and whether there is some reason that all that would come out and the tapes information wouldn’t. That may not be exact enough to satisfy you, but, as Kazzy said earlier, the world does not run the way you want it to.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                So far this situation is developing pretty much like how most news stories do.

                The early reports are sketchy, sometimes contradictory;
                Then more details seep out in bits and dribbles over the days and weeks go by.

                Then there are official announcements, which sometimes are correct, sometimes themselves containing errors or omission.

                I mean, today we are hearing that there was “shouting and shrieking” from his cell when he died. Who was shouting and shrieking? Epstein? The guards? Hillary Clinton? The news report doesn’t say.

                Also, his death was on 4Chan before the official announcement. Who posted it there? And what the hell are NYPD/ NYFD personnel even doing on 4Chan?
                Again, the reports don’t say.

                Because they never do at this phase of things.

                I really don’t get this labored desire to create an aura of spooky mystery, in the absence of facts or even anomalies.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I mean, today we are hearing that there was “shouting and shrieking” from his cell when he died. Who was shouting and shrieking? Epstein? The guards? Hillary Clinton? The news report doesn’t say.

                Does it talk about the footage to/from the cell prior to the shouting and shrieking?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                By golly no.


              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It seems to me that such reports have obvious follow-up questions.

                It seems to me that there are, in theory, answers to these follow-up questions that don’t rely on official statements alone.

                It seems to me that acknowledging this would be a good thing.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                So now we get the platitudinous generality predicted earlier.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Who What Where When Why.
                Yeah, I remember that from the old Lou Grant show.

                I don’t recall any episode where someone rushed in to file a news story which said:

                Who: ???
                What: Shouts and shrieks heard
                Where: From his cell
                When: When he was discovered
                Why: ???

                There are in theory editors who would not run such a story lacking in basic detail.
                But, we don’t live in such a world.

                And it seems that yes, everyone is acknowledging that there are a lot of unanswered questions and the reporting is haphazard at best.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Given the assumption that he died of hanging, would shouts and shrieks constitute evidence that goes against the assumption of hanging?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Don’t you think we need to know WHO and WHY before we start drawing conclusions?

                I mean, there is certainly a difference between:

                *Shriek* Don’t Kill Me!”
                *Shriek* “Oh My God he’s DEAD”

                Or even
                *Shriek* Queen Elizabeth! I loved you in The Crown!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, so long as no judges related to this case end up dead, I’m willing to not jump to conclusions before, oh, Friday.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Why do you need a conclusion at all?

                What is wrong with saying, “At this point the evidence points to This”, then when more evidence comes in, say, “Now the evidence points to That”, and so on?

                Because chances are, it will be months or even years before all the facts are in.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, the conclusion is not, necessarily, “I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! IT WAS BILL BARR IN THE CONSERVATORY WITH THE RUSSIAN BLANKET” but something more like “this ish is fishy as hell and the more irregularities are further evidence of its fishiness rather than coincidences that happen all the time”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, first off, there really aren’t any “irregularities” since as has been established, the behavior of guards is typically sloppy and contrary to rules. There never was a “regular” to be “irregular” with.

                Secondly, even asserting “this is fishy” is itself an accusation of wrongdoing, a conclusion that someone is hiding something.

                These two put together are the combustible mix of wild theorizing which really doesn’t turn out well.

                Right now, we just don’t know enough to say any such thing.
                And you know, I am actually open to the possibility that someone, or group of someones did do something wrong.

                But that’s not where the facts are pointing at this moment.

                Key words being “at this moment”.

                If Queen Elizabeth doesn’t have a plausible cover story for the time in question, well, that’s another thing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’d suggest a rule like this:

                If such things happened while El Chapo was in prison in Mexico, would we be likely to say “what the heck?”

                If so, I think we should be willing to say “what the heck?” here.

                If we would say “hey, we know that Mexico has crappy prisons. They have an entire movie genre devoted to it!”, then I suppose it’s only fair to say that here as well…

                But I kinda can’t avoid the fact that Epstein is at the center of the biggest conspiracy theory since Iran-Contra and that colors the irregularities that surround him (even the regular irregularities).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                See, even on your own rule none of this makes me say “what the heck”.

                A guy goes from being a billionaire playboy kingpin to being a common prisoner certain to face a horrible life behind bars constantly fearing rape and murder?

                And so he kills himself?

                No, that sounds completely logical.

                And its already been established that America has crappy prisons where guards ignore prisoners who are suicidal.

                And besides, what makes you think that Epstein’s importance to this case have made any difference to his choices, or the choices of the guards?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                A guy goes from being a billionaire playboy kingpin to being a common prisoner certain to face a horrible life behind bars constantly fearing rape and murder?

                What happened when El Chapo went to prison in Mexico? (This is something that actually happened, mind.)

                And its already been established that America has crappy prisons where guards ignore prisoners who are suicidal.

                From what we know, he claimed that he was not suicidal but was attacked.

                I’m not about to argue against the crappy prison thing, though.

                And besides, what makes you think that Epstein’s importance to this case have made any difference to his choices, or the choices of the guards?

                Eh. I’m not going to put together a psych profile for him, personally. I’ll just say that there are plenty of reasons to want to live. Even for billionaires on trial.

                As for the guards, there are a bunch of folks in charge of keeping him safe. Not just the ones in charge of walking past his cell every 15-30 minutes, but also the guys who schedule those guys, the guy that that guy reports to, and the guy that *THAT* guy reports to.

                Given the list of names of Epstein’s associates, there are a lot of reasons to tell these people to tighten things up.

                And a lot of reasons to forget to tell these people to tighten things up, depending.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, that’s true that not every person who has a terrible fall decides to commit suicide but many do.

                And its certainly true that Top Men could have seen to it that things were tightened up.

                But they didn’t.

                (and this morning I am reading that the guards slept thru watches and falsified records).

                None of this as yet makes much of a case for anything unusual or irregular.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                But I kinda can’t avoid the fact that Epstein is at the center of the biggest conspiracy theory since Iran-Contra and that colors the irregularities that surround him (even the regular irregularities).

                Prior to Epstein’s apparent suicide, what likelihood did you assign to the proposition that something fishy (epstein related) is going on?

                Let’s be good bayesians and work this out.

                B: Something fishy, i.e., some sort of elite/state conspiracy or malice that is beyond ordinary levels of state incompetence and malice is going on with regards to epstein.

                The evidence in question is

                E: Epstein is found dead of apparent suicide before trial.

                Po(B) is your credence in a proposition B after you learn that E.
                Pr(B) is your credence in B before you learn that E.

                Here is a commonsensical rule:

                Po(B) = Pr(B|E)

                The following relation is a necessary truth because it is a mathematical law

                Pr(B|E) = Pr(B) x Pr(E|B)/Pr(E)

                The question for you, Jaybird, is what is your Pr(B)?

                Because, if I am understanding Chip correctly, the prior probability that Epstein would commit suicide was very high. Therefore, the prior likelihood, Pr(E), that he would be found of apparent suicide is close to 1. If Chip is right about that, then the fact that he died of apparent suicide is not very good evidence for conspiracy.

                If that is right, then discovering that epstein died of apparent suicide shouldn’t move your credence massively towards the conspiracy proposition.

                This is because Pr(E|B) < or = 1. If Pr(E) is close to 1, then Pr(E|B)/Pr(E) can at best be only slightly more than 1. It follows that your Po(B)/Pr(B) ratio cannot be very large either.

                The only way you could have a high posterior probability on conspiracy is if your prior probability was also very high. But you can't cite the fact that epstein was found dead as evidence for your prior probability that something fishy is going on.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                As good Bayesians, can we point out previous predictions?

                Because, if I said something like “I hope he doesn’t hang himself in his cell during a period where the security cameras aren’t working” and it turns out that he hangs himself in his cell during a period where the security cameras aren’t working, can we incorporate that into our discovery that, yes, he hung himself in his cell and, for some reason, we haven’t found out a whole lot about the footage yet?

                Theoretically, I mean. As good Bayesians.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:

                That just means you had a high prior expectation that he would be found dead of apparent suicide.

                Chip also has a high prior expectation that he would be found dead of apparent suicide, at least or so he claims.*
                Let’s all agree that Pr(E|B) is high. Given that something fishy is going on, it is almost certain that Epistein would be found dead of apparent suicide.

                The question is what are your reasons for having high priors for something fishy going on?

                *Do we have any evidence where Chips’s priors for epstein turning up dead of apparent suicide was rather low? If we do then Chip should now be a lot more confident about there being foul play than he was before**.

                **That is unless his earlier low confidence in E was a mistake.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The question is what are your reasons for having high priors for something fishy going on?

                Because he was the billionaire at the center of the biggest conspiracy theory since Iran-Contra?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Jaybird, they’re only gathering all the facts, just like how, when we hear that a cop somehow managed to have his body camera turned off during the three minutes where a suspect “made threatening gestures” and had to be shot fifty times, we don’t jump to any particular conclusion and assume that the footage must definitely exist somewhere and they’re diligently searching for it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                We are in a place where we are learning that the guards falsified records *BUT* we shouldn’t assume that it’s conspiracy-level falsification of records but run-of-the-mill falsification of records.Report

              • Avatar InMD says:

                The wonderful thing about law enforcement in America is that no one can tell the difference.Report

  20. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    The more I think about it, the less plausible it seems that any VIP directed Epstein’s death, or at least, that a anyone did so with the intention of protecting other VIPs.

    What would his death prevent? Him from testifying that he directed young girls to sleep with a VIP?
    Now that he’s dead we don’t even need his testimony. Now all his records- phone calls, emails, tax records, legal documents etc can be used as evidence.

    And there is a mountain of other evidence.

    Starting with the testimony of the girls themselves, who apparently number in the dozens;
    Then consider that every VIP is never, ever truly alone but is always surrounded by aides, flunkies, security details;

    And that for any event with these sorts of people there is a small army of servants to carry out their bidding.

    So if we consider just one party one time involving a half dozen VIPs:
    Who was the aide who scheduled their time to attend the party?
    Who drove them to the airport?
    Who was the pilot?
    Where is the flight log and passenger manifest?
    Who were the people who greeted them as they arrived and took their bags?
    Who cooked the dinner, who served the meal?
    Who was the bartender, who were the people serving the drinks ?
    Who turned down the beds, who cleaned the room the next morning, who laundered the sheets?
    Who were the security staff keeping watch all night?

    There are pay records, receipts, phone call logs; this small army of staff each had family and friends who can corroborate who was working that night.

    This massive group of people can all be brought to testify about what they saw, and who was there.

    Killing Epstein hasn’t changed any of that.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Now that he’s dead we don’t even need his testimony. Now all his records- phone calls, emails, tax records, legal documents etc can be used as evidence.

      I’m still waiting for one of the lawyer-types here to explain this in words simple enough I can understand them. If this were the case, I would think that I would remember reading about cases where the cops find a big-time mobster dead in a traffic accident, get the death certificate signed, and the prosecutors show up at all the offices and homes to remove anything that might be useful someday in investigating some other person.Report

      • Avatar Philip H says:

        The key differences here are 1) Epstein was under active criminal prosecution at the time of his death and 2) he was under active civil litigation at the time of his death. Apparently #2 can go forward against his estate, and other civil actions can be brought, and the lawyers representing the plaintiffs can go to the prosecutor and ask for all the evidence from the criminal indictment.

        If I’ve got that right its a very different beast from what you describe.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      These are all really awesome questions!

      We should have people in charge of asking them!

      (Is there any evidence that editors are easily swayed from printing things that are inconvenient to powerful people? Have there been any recent stories that finally broke and then had a stampede of journalists running over toddlers in order to get a microphone and announce that they knew this too, it was an open secret, but they could never print the story because it would be too poorly sourced?)Report

  21. Avatar Saul Degraw says:


    “/5 In short, you find it implausible because you’ve accepted the fairy tale version of the criminal justice system, one utterly divorced from the reality. And you’ve managed to convince yourself that your view is “sophisticated” and that thinking this could happen is ‘naive.'”Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Yeah, the logic here is funny:

      “No, no one ordered us to let him die, that’s just how we treat everybody.”

      “Thank God, what a relief!”Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I don’t think that is his logic. I am largely on your side. The conspiracy theory relieves people of any sense of obligation or agency. The conspiracy theory does not require the reevaluation of world view.Report

    • Avatar InMD says:

      I saw this earlier. Having been in numerous county lock-ups, a state prison, and a medium security federal prison to meet with clients I think the assessment is merited.

      Until it’s investigated no one really knows. Hell even after its investigated we still may not really know. But Occam’s razor points towards run of the mill incompetence or maybe the run of the mill, petty corruption endemic in corrections.Report

  22. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Has anyone checked Epstein’s laptop for State Department emails?Report

  23. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    In the proud internet tradition of “starting s**t”, let me throw just two words out here:

    Auto-erotic asphyxiationReport

  24. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Today the SDNY prosecutors searched Epstein’s house in the US Virgin Islands. I interpret the timing on this — first day the courts are open after Epstein’s suicide, more than a month after they searched his NYC home — to mean, “Our conspiracy case isn’t looking real good right now and we need more evidence.”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Was the trip planned before he died? (I can easily imagine the plane tickets being bought a week ago… I can also easily imagine them being bought at 6AM.)Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I interpret the timing on this — first day the courts are open after Epstein’s suicide, more than a month after they searched his NYC home — to mean, “Our conspiracy case isn’t looking real good right now and we need more evidence.”

      Huh. I interpreted it the exact opposite way: that they’ve been sitting on their hands and Epstein’s death puts the spotlight squarely on how aggressively DOJ is pursuing it.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Yeah, this is closer to my take too.

        Are there things that are easier about searching/cataloging this house now that Epstein’s dead?Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          You guys may be right and I’m the one barking up the pseudo-conspiracy tree here. I just find the timing suspicious. It was okay to ignore “Pedophile Island” for 30 days while who knows what walked away, but the first day the courts are open to issue warrants after the case switched from trafficking by Epstein to conspiracy by previously unnamed unindicted persons, and the probable lead suspect Ghislaine Maxwell is believed to be out of reach in Europe, the FBI is all over it.

          I’m hoping that the media is looking hard find out when and where the warrants issued.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            You’re absolutely right. I do have a handful of questions about why they hadn’t yet gone into that particular building and they involve stuff like jurisdiction and whatnot.

            I’m hoping that the media is looking hard find out when and where the warrants issued.

            I’m with you on this.

            (I’m wondering if this story will just up and disappear the way the Panama Papers or the Deborah Jeane Palfrey story did.)Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              Temporarily, and excluding the suicide bit, the Epstein criminal case is about to disappear. No one is charged with anything. The indictment will be squashed as a matter of routine — the only person charged is now dead — and possibly the search warrants along with it. The SDNY investigation goes back to grand jury mode, with deep secrecy.

              Will the grand jury indict Ghislaine Maxwell, or any of the other recruiters, for conspiracy? IANAL, but it is my understanding that conspiracy cases can be tricky. I have no idea if or how the prosecutors have to maneuver around the fact that the chief conspirator can’t be charged.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                This is entirely possible, but not due to the inability of prosecutors, but only their unwillingness.

                We still have maybe a dozen or more women who will testify to adult men committing statutory rape, and others not just conspiring, but aiding and abetting and acting as accessories after the fact.

                And its worth noting that this entire episode was reopened, not because of any decision by a prosecutor, but by public pressure and a dogged reporter.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The most important thing we can do is tell people who are demanding answers to slow down and quit asking questions because we can trust the media to do its job.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                The first new civil lawsuit was filed today. The people named were Epstein, Maxwell, and three Jane Does. This afternoon, the lawyer who filed the suit admitted to the press that his client had never actually met Maxwell.

                I worry that the signal will get buried in the noise.Report

  25. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Something that does a good job of communicating my unease:


  26. Avatar CJColucci says:

    If anything good comes of this, it may be some public interest in the generally and systematically deplorable state of our prisons, an issue that has heretofore been politically suicidal to broach. It would almost be funny if the impetus for such interest was the death of perhaps the least sympathetic inmate in the federal prison system.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      That seems improbable. People will, perhaps, make noise for a while, but then jails and prisons will return to exactly what they are now.Report

      • Avatar CJColucci says:

        Sadly, you’re probably right.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Ken White put this up.

        I read that, and I wonder how the guards are any better than the worst of the inmates.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          I assume the average guard is a barely competent dipshit and the occasional guard is a brutal sociopath who can act with impunity because the barely competent dipshits don’t care.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

              Sure, but they’re Europeans.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              Looks cool. Too bad we can’t do that here.

              But honestly, I doubt that sort of system would work here. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try, nor am I saying we shouldn’t make steps in that direction, but so much depends on community involvement. In other words, it’s not enough for the state to set a policy and build a facility. The community also has to step up. People have to feel like they belong, that they have stakes. So many people are excluded.

              (Plus we seem to have a pretty large share of narcissists and sociopaths, who basically damage everyone who comes near them. In fact, we put such a person in the white house.)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I agree that we could never do that here, but I think we could get to a place where prison is hard, but not cruel.

                And that is the thing, it’s cruel. It accepts and encourages cruelty. And people are generally OK with that.

                Which makes me disappointed in my fellow countrymen.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:


  27. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Hey. If you guys want to read an article that I consider to be a pretty good one on this whole thing?

    It’s found here.

    It talks about what we know so far, what we don’t know, the cameras, and even has a section devoted to “the inevitable suspicion and speculation”:

    As tech and media commentator Charlie Warzel noted on Sunday, Epstein’s death is “in many ways, the post-truth nightmare scenario”:

    The sordid story contains almost all the hallmarks of stereotypical conspiratorial fodder: child sex trafficking, powerful global political leaders, shadowy private jet flights, billionaires whose wealth cannot be explained. As a tale of corruption, it is so deeply intertwined with our current cultural and political rot that it feels, at times, almost too on-the-nose. The Epstein saga provides ammunition for everyone, leading one researcher to refer to Saturday’s news as the “Disinformation World Cup.”

    This article is what I’m looking for.

    Congrats, NY Mag. Well done.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci says:

      The New York piece is a fine summary of what had previously been reported, and it is useful to have everything in one place, but it doesn’t tell us anything about Epstein’s apparent suicide that we hadn’t already read elsewhere. I agree that it’s a good piece of work, within the limits of the type of piece it is, and it is responsible journalism, not whining about how the blue meanies haven’t yet told us everything we want to know RIGHT NOW and that therefore …. well, what? So I like it. What I don’t understand is why, given your stated objections to what you seem to believe the press isn’t doing, you like it.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Because it addresses such things as “there are a *LOT* of questions and, yeah, there probably ought to be” rather than taking the attitude that “hey, we get what we get and we don’t get upset!”Report

        • Avatar CJColucci says:

          Again, the platitudinous generality no one disputes. Who here, or anywhere, as far as I can tell, denies that there are a lot of unanswered questions that will, eventually, need to be answered? And as far as attitude goes, patience is a lot better than flapping your wings and ruffling your feathers because you don’t have all the answers RIGHT NOW and chirping about people falling down on a job that, to all appearances, they are vigorously pursuing, with new revelations every news cycle. Like the post below.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            I keep remembering stuff like the Weinstein stories that editors made decisions to not run or Cosby stories that journalists decided to leave a handful of allegations out of and I’m not sure that “to all appearances” suffices here.

            I mean, remember the allegation that, during Jim Acosta’s vetting process, he said that he backed off of Epstein because he was told that Epstein “belonged to intelligence”?

            What ever happened with that?

            Is there a point at which we should say “hey, journalists haven’t really done a good job investigating this”?

            When asked about this, of course, Acosta dodged the question.

            During the press conference, Acosta corrected what he said were other misconceptions or misstatements about his handling of the case and dismissed much of the reporting on the Epstein case as “just going down rabbit holes.”

            Nothing new to report since then, I guess.

            Perhaps we soon ask why I still care about this story because, after all, Epstein is dead.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci says:

              Is there a point at which we should say “hey, journalists haven’t really done a good job investigating this”?

              Yes. When they’ve had the kind of time it normally takes to develop a story like this and they aren’t getting anywhere. Right now, they have already uncovered some good stuff and the body is still warm. If that changes, there will be reason to worry. But for now, I prefer to look at the facts as they are uncovered rather than give vent to suspicions that they won’t be uncovered, which look less well-founded every day.

              Now if you want to talk about whether the Acosta/Epstein story got the coverage it needed, have at it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Given how the media has done with Epstein so far over the last howevermany years, how much of the benefit of the doubt do you think they’ve earned here?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                I’m not giving them any benefit of the doubt. I’m just watching what they are, in fact, doing now, rather than insisting that they are (and, because of my priors, must be) falling down on the job — an insistence that looks more and more ridiculous as more and more revelations pile up.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Yeah, they’ve done a great job acting as transcribers and disseminators of press releases.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Check your own posts. You’re taking all the fun out of this.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I did. The one that I said was good is the one that doesn’t rely on “officials said”.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Where do you think news comes from? It comes from reporters getting people who know something to talk. Who knows something? Officials, that’s who. Some officials put out public statements. Some have to be run down and cajoled into revealing stuff not ready for public dissemination. The Times piece you forwarded is based on three unidentified officials with knowledge that the reporters got to tell them very interesting information that was not a press release or public handout. And the one you “said was good,” the New York piece, didn’t rely on “officials said” because it didn’t do any original reporting about Epstein’s apparent suicide. (Some of the reaction stuff may have been original reporting, but not the factual information about Epstein’s death.) It summarized what other reporters reported, much of it based on what officials said.
                Now you’re just mailing it in.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Let me repeat my praise of the article: It talks about what we know so far, what we don’t know, the cameras, and even has a section devoted to “the inevitable suspicion and speculation”

                Articles that just repeat what officials say aren’t sufficient. Talking about what we don’t know yet? Including about the cameras? That’s what makes it good.

                The fact that it rounds up (regurgitates) what officials have said is not what makes it good.

                It comes out and says “there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know yet”.

                Which is good.

                Because we don’t.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Well, most of us look to the news to find things out that we don’t already know. We know what we don’t know. Just pointing out that we don’t know what we already know we don’t know doesn’t strike me as much of a contribution. If you think a restatement of the obvious makes an article that repackages the work others have done to get us as far as we are with what we do know good and not restating it makes an article bad, well, there’s no accounting for tastes.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                This is one of the things I run into on the left side of the aisle as well.

                “You can’t trust any of the MSM! They are all hopelessly biased or corrupt!”

                “How do you know that?”

                “Oh, I read it in the New York Times.”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Many years ago, the New York Daily News had a Washington Bureau Chief, the late Lars-Erik Nelson, who had a nasty habit of deflating stupid commenters with facts and reason. During the early ’90s, he was on one of the early-morning gabfest shows and someone called in explaining in great detail one or the other of what passed for Clinton scandals, and ranting about how the media were ignoring it. Remember, this was before the internet, blogs, and what-have-you. Nelson let the caller rant on for a while, then mildly replied: You seem remarkably well informed. Where did you get your information? Did you dig it up yourself? Do you have agents looking into things like this for you?
                By now, the point was painfully obvious, but the caller still didn’t get it. He sputtered on a while, then hung up.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It’s like Ronan Farrow and Harvey Weinstein never happened.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                And how did you find out about them?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Seth McFarlane.

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                And how did they find out about them?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Seth McFarlane made jokes about it back in 2013 because of stories he’d heard. It was, apparently, an “open secret”.

                4Chan, of course, knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Well, that’s impressive. I was making Harvey Weinstein jokes in the 1970’s, when he and I were in college together. When did someone actually have something publishable?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                So back to my earlier question: where do you think news comes from? If you can’t get people who know to tell you and stand by what they say, you can’t publish. The very source you cite shows how hard that is.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It is difficult to give the media the benefit of the doubt when billionaires are involved.

                But, sure. Let’s wait and see what comes out.

                Maybe it won’t be like with Acosta.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              What makes conspiracy theories delicious is the same thing that makes airport potboiler novels such exciting reads, that they first rely upon people doing stupid or implausible things, and second, confirm our priors.

              What makes them dangerous is this second part.

              Which is more comforting, that secret ninja assassins slip in and kill Epstein, or that the entire American penal system is rotten and corrupt?

              That Top Men, Men In Black, visit Acosta and tell him to back off, or that Acosta was just covering for what he knew were people who would be able to offer him a lucrative future?

              Eagerly leaping to the bizarre and exotic explanations steers us away from the more serious and real problems in society.

              This very post and thread is a good example.

              Reading it, one would conclude that the biggest issue here is Epstein’s death, not that there are dozens of young women who suffered terrible abuse for years.

              Like I posted elsewhere here, there is a massive paper trail, an army of potential witnesses whose testimony could be valuable in bringing the many men who did this to justice, but right now, the focus is on maybe the least awful part of this entire story.

              My suspicion is that this is because its the part that discomforts us the least.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Yeah, we’re not talking about Global Warming either, which could kill us all.

                The problem with Epstein’s death is that if there is justice to be served, part of that process involves a trial. Epstein’s suicide removes that.

                The bare *MINIMUM” situation we have here is that the guards were involved in a conspiracy to falsify records about what they were doing that night.

                The “good” outcome is that we find that they were negligent and lazy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Like I posted elsewhere here, there is a massive paper trail, an army of potential witnesses whose testimony could be valuable in bringing the many men who did this to justice

                Just to be clear here, are you *predicting* that powerful men will be charged and convicted despite Epstein’s death?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I predicted that Hillary Clinton would win, so consider the source here.

                I don’t really think any VIP above “meh” level will ever see the inside of a jail.

                But I am hopeful that we can build a massive volume of testimony, and even if it ends up being no more conclusive than “Yes, I was on security detail that night and I saw Mr. X go into a bedroom with Miss Y” it will at least let the truth see the light of day.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                So I guess the question is whether (or more accurately why) you think the type of protection preventing powerful men from being prosecuted and seeing jail-time is different than the type of protection they’ll receive from the media. It’s like Ronan Farrow and Harvey Weinstein never happened.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What we know is that the power of powerful people is not all-encompassing.

                For example:
                Much of what we know about the original 2008 conviction was from a reporter in Miami;

                Yet, why and how did Epstein even get arrested to begin with?
                Why didn’t someone snuff out the powerless girls to prevent their testimony?
                Why didn’t someone run the reporter off the road?

                Obviously their ability to manipulate the media and legal system is great, but it apparently isn’t unlimited.

                And for people at the level of Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the threat is not jail time, but reputation.
                Which means that just a credible allegation is nearly as good as a conviction.

                But this was a massive crime with a massive cast of characters and a massive trail of evidence.

                In order to block a credible allegation how many logs and ledgers and diaries would need to be erased, how many pilots and chauffeurs and maids would need to be silenced?

                This is where it is starting to approach airport potboiler levels of implausibility.

                For a VIP to engage in yet another high risk operation to kill Epstein, would be to add yet more actors, more records, more loose ends and strings to an already wildly messy network.

                Again, not impossible. Its just more contrived and less plausible than the simpler explanation of callous indifference and a broken prison system.Report

  28. Avatar Jaybird says:

    From the NYT:


  29. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Putting this here:

    Will Ghislaine Maxwell see Christmas?

    My money is on “no”.

    Lotta people kill themselves before the holidays, you see. Plus, one of her friends recently killed himself and that sort of thing has contagion effects.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Bill Barr on December 25: “The failure to hold Ghislaine Maxwell in protective custody is an embarrassment to the Department of Justice, and as we’ve learned, serious irregularities in department procedure have been discovered.”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        And the best case scenario is that the irregularities are due to laziness.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          Unlike Epstein, prosecutors could offer her a pretty sweet deal to spill the beans on the whole operation. One she very well might take. They must have some pretty compelling legal reasons for not charging her as a co-conspirator in Epstein’s crimes….Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Waste of time?

            Maxwell is a British citizen. It appears she went back to Europe well before the feds were ready to roll. The list of civil suits makes it unlikely she’ll voluntarily set foot in the US again. IIRC, European countries won’t extradite people to the US for conspiracy, and federal rules don’t allow criminal trials in absentia if the charged person is not present at the beginning of the trial (lawyers should feel free to correct either of those).Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        “It was discovered Tuesday that the sixteen investigators assigned to Maxwell’s surveillance detail had, in fact, been playing Pokemon Go during the entire period of surveillance, and that the evidence of their attendance had been faked, including fake logbook signatures and faked electronic logins. Audio records of the surveillance unit which seemed to show investigators on duty were later determined to be prerecorded messages played back to fool auditors.”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Huh. Maybe she will.


  30. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Was On 4Chan Before Officials Announced It — And Authorities Had To Look Into It


    Curiouser and curiouser. I am wondering who will come out as the next media giant now.Report

  31. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Proof there wasn’t a conspiracy:

    An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death.

    Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

    If there were a conspiracy, we’d never have found out that he’d suffered broken bones.


    Which makes it perfectly fine that his body has been claimed by an unnamed associate. Because there’s no conspiracy.

    So we can stop talking about this.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Wait, do we know if the “he hung himself” variant was the “jumping off of a chair” kind or the “self-strangulation at the foot of a bed” kind?

      I guess, if he’s got bone breaks, it’s the “jumping off of a chair” kind, huh?

      Do we have a picture of his cell? (Or a cell just like his cell?)Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        It proves that it could have been either suicide or murder.
        We just don’t know at this point.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          If it turns out that his cell doesn’t have anything to hang his “rope” device from and the only thing above waist height was his bed, doesn’t it pretty much eliminate the “jump from a chair” option leaving with only the self-strangulation that comes from leaning?

          It seems to me that it would.

          Right? Am I right on that?Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            Leaning, or deliberately falling to accelerate the process.

            Again, we just don’t know. We will have to wait for the experts to weigh in.

            I didn’t see anything about defensive wounds like scratches or other bruising, but then we are only getting fragments.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci says:

              One of my fantasies is to start a cable talk show in which I spend most of my time explaining why I don’t have an opinion yet on Burning Issue X, and am willing to wait for more information — and, by implication, why viewers ought to do the same. I don’t suppose it would last long, but it might be fun for a while.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Do we know if pictures were taken of the body when it was found? Probably not as, certainly, attempts were made to revive…

              But do we know what the cell looked like when his body was discovered? Has that description wandered out into the wild?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                If I laid money on the table that the investigation into every single jailhouse death bears no resemblance whatsoever to what we see on CSI, would you bet against me?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Chip, what I am asking is whether he had anything to tie his bedsheets to that he could have then tied his bedsheets to.

                If the only thing that he could have tied his bedsheets to is stuff waist-height or lower, then that tells me that his hanging was not percussive but relied on slow and steady pressure.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Its one of the many things we don’t know yet.Report

  32. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    So here is an interview with one of Epstein’s drivers/bodyguard

    What’s interesting is how obviously nervous the guy is in discussing the teenage girls.
    He first says he tried to warn Epstein about it, but then hastily claims he never witnessed anything improper.

    There are going to be a lot more interviews like this.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I saw that and thought about linking to it, but thought “they asked a guy that knew him 3 years ago if he were the type to commit suicide and he said that he wasn’t… that’s not exactly useful.”

      But the last few lines of the interview are *VERY* interesting indeed.

      Just not, you know, useful.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        For me it confirmed what I have suspected is that there are dozens of guys like this, witnesses who can independently verify the girls’ stories.

        Right now this guy was just chatting with a reporter.

        How would his story change if he was under oath and facing potential perjury or accessory charges if his stories didn’t align with the pilot, bartender, maid?Report

  33. Avatar veronica d says:

    Hey everyone, let’s try an experiment. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Now utter the phrase, “I don’t know.”

    It was easy, right!

    Say it again.

    “I don’t know.”

    I don’t know if there was a conspiracy to kill this guy. It does seem pretty clear he was a wealthy pedo who knew a lot of famous people, which is pretty hinky. It makes people justifiably suspicious. Beyond that, I don’t know.

    Should it be investigated?

    His pedo stuff was, as was the seemingly bogus deal he got down in Florida. Some of these investigations were “official,” others were by journalists. Were the investigations “complete”? Probably not, but is anything ever complete?

    Should his death be investigated?

    Of course.

    Will it be?

    It’s happening now.

    But what about {elaborate conspiracy}.

    Sure, maybe. But here’s the thing. This is important. Sit down.

    I don’t know anything about how the rich and powerful actually do shit. I know almost nothing.

    I know what I see in movies, but movies aren’t real. In fact, I think it’s double-extra important that we remind ourselves that the movies create a bullshit lens into areas of life where we are ignorant. Moreover, this makes us less likely to understand the world, since we think we understand something when we do not. We have bogus preconceptions.

    This isn’t just about know isolated facts. It’s about understanding the subtle contours of a thing, the “unstated assumptions,” the “hidden understandings,” the “social stuff.” These things are hard to describe to those who don’t live them day to day.

    If real life, how likely is it that rich and powerful people could arrange to kill a man in jail and get away with it?

    It happens all the time in the movies, at least they attempt it all the time. (Sometimes the hero catches the killer. Sometimes the hero is the killer.)

    Life ain’t the movies. How often does this happen in real life? Did it happen this time?

    I have no fucking clue. Furthermore, I don’t trust my own judgement because I’ve seen too many movies.

    I’ve read a few non-fiction books about conspiracies and the rich and powerful, not as many as some people, but not zero. That said, while non-fictions books are often better than movies, they still aren’t the same as living it. In the end, I certainly don’t know enough to “weigh in” on this case, past the banality that any average person might offer — the difference in my case is that I know that I don’t know.

    I don’t think any of you know.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      If real life, how likely is it that rich and powerful people could arrange to kill a man in jail and get away with it?

      While I have no idea how this would happen, I do think that the prerequisites would have to include a lot of little things like having his cellmate transferred, having irregular guards being on duty, having these irregular guards fail to check on him during a particular window, they’d have to falsify reports, and that sort of thing.

      Those pre-reqs would have to be met first, I’d guess.

      The worst part is that since these all, by themselves, appear to be coincidences, that we’d not have conclusive information about anything. Just a whole bunch of coincidences.Report

    • Avatar Ozzy! says:

      Take a deep breath.Then, pause, and take another deep breath.

      Words to live by, indeed.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci says:

      Now Veronica, you can’t go spoiling everyone’s fun like that. What am I saying? You won’t spoil anyone’s fun. As Yogi Berra once said: “Some people, if they don’t already know, you can’t explain it to them.”Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      If real life, how likely is it that rich and powerful people could arrange to kill a man in jail and get away with it?

      I admit I also have no idea, but every knee jerk reaction I have points me to, “Not very likely.”

      At least when we’re talking about US prisons and US (and British) rich and powerful people.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        To expand on this knee jerk a bit, people who get and keep their wealth and power in ways that our political and economic culture regard as legitimate tend, AIUI, to have a very specialized understanding of how wealth and power work, and can be used.

        Having a guy offed in prison is stepping outside that comfort zone, which means that (a) they’re likely to fuck up badly and get caught if they try and (b) are unlikely to try because when you get right down to it the “legitimate” stuff has worked so well for them until now.

        Is this anything like “knowledge”? Of course not. But I think it can be worth trying to understand why you believe things in the absence of any real data.Report

        • Avatar JS says:

          Indeed. Had this been, say, a career criminal with many enemies who were also career criminals, and he was shivved to death in a ‘random’ fight in prison? Goodness, that could very will be a prison hit carried out on someone else’s behalf.

          Because it turns out that people with heavy connections with drugs, gangs, and crime tend to have heavy connections within prisons, and if they want someone dead it’s just a matter of finding someone willing to take the risk and the extra time.

          Now Mister Billionaire? Arranging a fake suicide? Goodness. I think he’d need at least a dozen people. Cut-outs, bribe-able guards, a hitman straight out of a movie — faking a suicide isn’t exactly easy. I mean if he fell on his knife a dozen times, different story. Probably need to bribe a few people in the ME’s office — make sure the right ME did the autopsy.

          You’d need to bribe other people to hide camera footage of hallways to hide guards moving around. You’d probably, at this stage, need Barr or high-level DoJ folks to be covering your ass for you — so more bribes or more conspirators.

          And then hope to god the corrupt guards you hired don’t roll pretty much instantly. Which, historically, they kinda do.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      If real life, how likely is it that rich and powerful people could arrange to kill a man in jail and get away with it?

      Compare the above to: In real life, how likely is that a rich and powerful man could arrange to plead guilty to prostitution instead of facing charges of statutory rape, have the evidence sealed, and grant immunity to everyone involved in the child sex ring?

      Now, I’m not saying affirmatively that Epstein was murdered while in jail because like you, I think we just don’t know enough yet. But I *do* think the likelihood that he was murdered is at least a 50/50 proposition at this point. The bigger problem here, seems to me, isn’t finding evidence to confirm our priors, it’s trusting evidence which doesn’t, and that means trusting institutions which have already been shown to be untrustworthy. (Not the media, but the justice department.)Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Conspiracy theories thrive on mystery, not clarity.

      For instance, lets build a narrative of how a Mr. Big might go about ordering a hit on Epstein.
      Well, first Mr. Big would need to have subordinates do the legwork, else it is too risky.

      So we need a couple aides to make calls and get in touch with the person or persons in charge of the MCC.
      Then the aides need to enlist the person in charge, with either bribery or extortion;
      Then an assassin needs to be recruited;
      The Assassin needs to gain entry, with the help of at least two or three jail personnel;
      Make his way to the cell without witnesses;
      Perform the hit without complications like Jeffrey fighting back and sustaining defensive wounds;
      Then exit again without being seen;

      So now this one operation involved about a dozen people along with payments, phone records, falsified documents and threats, all of which are now loose ends which can potentially unravel. Because as we see, the falsified records and guards’ behavior are now front and center of a high profile investigation.

      Not impossible.

      Its just convoluted, and most of all it doesn’t really solve the problem for Mr. Big.

      There are still women who are willing to go on record as saying “I had sex with Mr. Big”. Why not kill them?
      There is this driver, and all the other witnesses who can corroborate the woman’s story;
      There is the mountain of evidence I mentioned before which can establish Mr. Big’s location and actions.

      Once again, none of this is impossible. It just sounds less likely than the explanation on the table.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        For this to be true, what extremely unlikely things would have had to have happened first?Report

        • Avatar George Turner says:

          I feel kind of bad for the family of the guard who’s going to get killed in a botched robbery next week.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          I don’t understand the question here.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            You give a list of exceptionally difficult and unlikely things that need to have happened if there were to be foul play.

            It’s a good list!

            Are there any in things in there that are knowable in theory that we know did *NOT* happen and thus we can wave away conspiracy theories as being silly?

            Are there any things in there that are knowable in theory that it looks like something very much like them did, kinda, happen?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              Your logic is backward.

              For instance, in order for it to be murder by strangulation, his hyoid bone would need to be broken.

              It was broken!
              But that doesn’t rule anything out, it only keeps the possibilities open.

              It could have been murder by strangulation, or it also could have been suicide by strangulation assisted by incompetence.

              Same goes for all the other pieces of evidence we have- the guards sleeping, falsifying records..

              All of the evidence we have fits with either scenario.
              So we still just don’t know.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                But that doesn’t rule anything out, it only keeps the possibilities open.

                Indeed it does, and that’s part of the problem.

                But, for example, if the bone was *NOT* broken, it would indicate against strangulation.

                Like if we had guards who followed protocols and walked past every 15-30 minutes, it would indicate against funny business. Like if they didn’t falsify their own freaking records, it would indicate against funny business.

                Instead, we’re in a place where the guards falsified records but we’re saying that that doesn’t mean anything because we just don’t know. And that there was a new guard there that night but it doesn’t mean anything. And they failed to patrol but that doesn’t mean anything. And his hyroid bone was broken but that doesn’t mean anything.

                It feels like smoking weed after existentialism class.

                Does anything mean anything? Even in theory?


              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Once again you are pointing to irregularities that don’t exist.
                It is entirely REGULAR for guards to fail to patrol;
                It is REGULAR for guards to cheat and falsify paperwork;
                It is REGULAR for self hanging to result in a hyoid bone being broken.

                All these facts are entirely consistent with suicide.
                Unfortunately they are also consistent with a jailhouse murder.


              • Avatar JS says:

                Well, we know Jaybird really wants it to be murder.

                I mean his preference is really clear to the point of fixation.

                I’ve relatives that have worked in the prison industry. No matter how famous or modern or critical the jail or prison is, at best you’re talking underpaid, overworked guards who don’t really care beyond whatever minimum gets their paycheck.

                Sleep on the job? Absolutely. Falsify logs to avoid work? Absolutely. You’re lucky if they’re not running contraband for inmates, honestly.

                It’s like some weird CSI-effect, but for prisons. it’s weird how this belief that only conspiracy could result in a jail run by lazy, overworked guards doing as little as possible arose so quickly.

                If you’d asked me six months ago, I’d have said that’d be the default assumption of any American, that the guards were lazy and poorly trained as a best case.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Ultimately, it might be murder. Based on what we know so far — and we know about as much as we can reasonably expect this early — that’s not the way to bet unless someone gives you big odds. But maybe something will turn up that increases the likelihood that it was murder. Maybe something will turn up that will prove it was murder. Some people, though, will never be satisfied. The absence of evidence will be proof of just how brilliantly the murder conspirators pulled it off.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It has nothing to do with what I *WANT*. I want Epstein to have gone to trial.

                The fact that he didn’t is convenient to too many powerful people.

                Now I’m stuck here asking “what the hell happened?” and seeing stuff like guards falsifying logs, cellmates being transferred, and hyroid bones being broken.

                And people saying that this ain’t even fishy.

                What the hell?Report

              • Avatar JS says:

                “It has nothing to do with what I *WANT*.”

                I’ve read your comments. You went 100% conspiracy while his body was still cooling, and have persisted.

                People have pointed out that, indeed, people commit suicides in jail, that lazy and incompetent guards are in fact the norms in American prisons, and hanging does tend to break neck bones in older people.

                Does that mean it wasn’t murder? Of course not. But it doesn’t make it murder either, and the simplest explanation remains “Guy at risk for suicide commits it”.

                You are spinning a bunch of common facts of prison life into a grand conspiracy based solely on…common facts of prison life and a displeasure that Epstein is dead.

                You very, very clearly have had a preferred outcome since day one, as anyone wandering back through your comments on this very thread can easily see.

                In the end, you might very well be right. That doesn’t mean your thought process wasn’t heavily biased by your own preferences.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                You are spinning a bunch of common facts of prison life into a grand conspiracy based solely on…common facts of prison life and a displeasure that Epstein is dead.

                Well, there’s also the thing where Epstein’s whole life for the last couple of decades was central to a different grand conspiracy that involved powerful elites and sex and all sorts of embarrassing things.Report

              • Avatar JS says:

                “Well, there’s also the thing where Epstein’s whole life for the last couple of decades was central to a different grand conspiracy that involved powerful elites and sex and all sorts of embarrassing things.”

                Ah yes, the other unproven conspiracy. This is getting more Satanic Cults by the second. Epstein was a pedophile. He was rich and powerful. He hung out with rich and powerful people. Ergo, by the transitive property, they were all pedophiles.

                You’re using one conspiracy to “prove” another.

                Even if he was running a pedophile ring rather than reserving them for himself — and I note this is basically Pizzagate 2.0 at the moment, although improved in that we have at least one actual pedophile involved — there is, of yet, no evidence who was involved, much less evidence that those involved were sufficiently powerful or criminally connected to have pulled this off.

                Again, your predilection for conspiratorial thinking is on display.

                There’s simply far too much unknown, and yet you toss Occam’s Razor in favor of lurid speculation.

                As I said, you clearly prefer a conspiracy, facts be damned. perhaps you’ll be right, but if so it’ll be entirely by accident.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Ah yes, the other unproven conspiracy.

                Did we achieve “fishy” with that one?

                Or do we have to say that, hey, we just don’t *KNOW* whether that’s fishy too?

                I suppose it doesn’t matter, now that Epstein is dead.

                Why are we even still talking about this?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, there WAS a conspiracy where Epstein, Maxwell, and others (allegedly) engaged in sex with underage girls.

                But it actually deflates the thrilling aspect of conspiracies, since as I show below, all sorts of people are out there blabbing about it saying “Hell yeah, Epstein was messing around with young girls!”

                The conspiracy was not just the big important people but all the assorted servants, bodyguards and hangers on who saw and remained silent, until this very moment when it becomes convenient NOT to be silent.

                Because the tables have flipped. In 2008, for a butler to go around talking about Epstein would have been all downside and no upside.

                But today, there is a lot of lucrative opportunities, not to mention plea bargains, available for anyone who talks.
                And as we see, there is such a huge cast of characters, using assassination to block the truth would be like killing a beehive one bee at a time.

                Maybe the worst aspect of VIP conspiracy theories is that the VIPs don’t really need to work very hard to keep ugly secrets- there are plenty of ordinary people willing to look the other way, when it is convenient.Report

              • Avatar JS says:

                “Well, there WAS a conspiracy where Epstein, Maxwell, and others (allegedly) engaged in sex with underage girls.”

                That’s not the global conspiracy of pedophiles I was promised. That’s like…two guys and a bunch of blind eyes.

                Seriously, reality is boring and crime is banal. And the very lack of a global conspiracy of pedophiles will be proof of the power of the global conspiracy of pedophiles, because “Epstein liked them 15 and he knew a few guys that couldn’t wait for the ‘barely’ part of ‘barely legal'” is just impossible.

                Like pedophilia is somehow some weird side-effect of being rich. Why should there be any more pedophiles, as a percentage, among the very wealthy than any other demographic?

                I mean I get why organizations like the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church or professions like education or sports can be attractive to pedophiles, but it’s a lot easier to get involved in scouting than it is to become a billionaire.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                That’s it in a nutshell, that crime is boring, even if we are talking about Prince Andrew molesting a teenager, its just as sad and tawdry as if it was a Scout leader or soccer coach in a suburb somewhere.

                I mentioned elsewhere that in his 30’s Ted Nugent adopted a 17 year old so as to have her as his girlfriend, and Bill Wyman started dating Mandy Smith when she was 13, all without the blare of trumpets and breathless tabloid fascination. And these were events made public, without anyone suffering a mysterious accident.

                I guess that’s what I’m getting at, that even if there is video of some Mr. Big in bed with a girl, given the way our world operates, why would anyone think this would motivate them to murder?

                I get the sense sometimes that people want a scandal like this to be bigger, more dramatic and lurid than it possibly can be.

                The way that people imagine that Hollywood celebrity couples bicker more intensely, have spats that are more dramatic, and makeup sex that is more romantic and erotic than regular people.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Conspiracy theories thrive on mystery, not clarity.

        Exactly. I mean, no one’s explained why Acosta made a deal with Dershowitz in violation of law as well an agreement with the plaintiff’s attorneys back on ’06. The idea idea he was engaging in some sort of conspiracy is delusional nonsense.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        You presuppose that Mr. Big is going to try to organize it himself. Isn’t it more likely that Mr. Big would find out who to call, and in exchange for an unspecified future favor, some shady character who specializes in such activities would have his/her people take care of it? It strikes me that most Mr. Bigs would be bright enough to hire a professional rather than trying to make-do with amateurs :^)Report

        • Avatar JS says:

          You think there’s a specialized shady character that arranges prison hits, and is also known to Mister Big?

          I mean don’t get me wrong, prison hits happen. It happens by paying one prisoner to shiv the target prisoner. Simple, straightforward, obviously murder, and generally involves criminals finding other criminals to kill for them — gang and drug related. Not some cat-stroking faceless elite.

          Here’s a thought: A guy with plenty of reason to kill himself gets himself off suicide watch — by lying to the prison therapists and by having his lawyers advance the correct legal arguments — and then kills himself while has has the chance. An under-staffed prison doesn’t notice for hours.

          A perfectly acceptable explanation of the facts as we know them now, that doesn’t involve shadowy conspiracies and TV-ready faceless assassins. If the facts change, we can reassess.

          But right now, the “Epstein was MURDERED” crowd reminds me heavily of a cross between Pizzagate and a Satantic Ritual Panic. Hysterical conspiracy mongering and baseless speculation passed off as ‘fact’ or ‘obvious truth’.Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Strictly regarding the suicide angle, there are people who are sure they want to kill themselves and make a point to not tell anyone. They don’t leave hints before hand and do it in an effective manner where they likely will not be found. In retrospect sometimes we can see the clues, but before the attempt that let nothing out. They are suicidal but rational enough to plan it in the way most likely to work. Not all people who attempt suicide fit that profile.Report

            • Avatar JS says:

              I suspect had Epstein managed house arrest, his first attempt would have been his last, rather than having to go through the effort to get himself off suicide watch and try again.

              It’s clearly not sexy enough an answer for quite a few people. The way some are drooling in their enthusiasm for a vast, evil conspiracy is quite disconcerting. I didn’t reference the Satanic Ritual panics for no reason.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Actually I’m assuming exactly that, that Mr. Big calls a guy, who calls a guy, who calls a guy.

          Every guy in this chain is now a loose cannon, an unpredictable variable adding to the overall risk of this being traced back to Mr. Big.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            In Veronica Mars, the rich tech CEO had a head of security who was a former military hitman.

            Oh wait! That was a TV show. It tells us what TV writers imagine things are like.

            On the other hand, at one of my previous employers, a few of our top infosec folks were ex-NSA. They were each rather cagey about their past, but they clearly knew some crazy stuff.

            They didn’t seem the type to perform a “hit,” however, which obviously isn’t an NSA thing. On the other hand, perhaps the CEO’s crack team of super assassins was kept off the books.

            I don’t know. It’s not as if they’d tell me.

            My choices seem to be believing:

            1. What TV writers imagine

            2. Conspiratorial YouTube videos

            3. or just admitting I don’t know.

            That said, his neck bone thingy being broken seems pretty fishy.Report

            • Avatar JS says:

              Hyoid, right? It’s certainly a sign to investigate further, but he was older and thus the bone much more fragile. It would depend on a number of factors, specifically how he hung himself, what sort of noose he used, etc.

              As I noted above, prison hits happen. A prison hit on Epstein would have involved another prisoner and a shiv. Or at the very least a shiv and a prisoner to be blamed.

              Fake suicide, that’s a lot tougher to pull off to begin with. Much more so in a prison, in the prisoners cell, where cameras track movement in the hallways and cover the doors.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is there any evidence that Epstein was attacked before?

                Much more so in a prison, in the prisoners cell, where cameras track movement in the hallways and cover the doors.

                Cameras, you say?Report

              • Avatar JS says:

                Cameras, you say?

                Yes. Federal rules on cameras means there wouldn’t have been one in his cell, or looking into his cell. Hallways, monitoring cell doors, or common areas? Much more likely.

                The conspiracies about the supposed cameras are just as amusing as the ones about suicide watches. The “mystery” of why he was removed from suicide watch, for instance, is easily solved by recognizing that people rarely remain on suicide watch for more than a few days — and Epstein’s own lawyers requested he be removed.

                Same with the cameras. Few if any federal jails allow cameras into cells — anyplace prisoners might undress is subject to considerably more stringent rules about monitoring. Most cover, as I noted, common areas and hallways.

                Likely to sufficient to show if, say, a guard was actually doing his rounds or perhaps if someone wandered into Epstein’s cell, but not to show the suicide itself.

                And of course the lack of such footage is just “proof” that the truth is being “hidden”. Reality being, of course, that no cells are monitored like that are lost in the mad stampede to conspiracy.

                Even some people here seem quite enthusiastic about embracing conspiracy. I’m worried someone might show up with an assault rifle and try to find the basement at this rate.

                Because after all, the fact that it was legitimately suicide seems to have been ruled out before the first fact was released.

                Because it wasn’t Hollywood enough, I suppose. We’re only in the first act, clearly he didn’t really kill himself.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                The problem is, an unsourced rumor came out that the tape was f****d up and we haven’t seen the footage yet. Of course, we wouldn’t see the footage this early in any investigation, no matter whether it was straight and by-the-book or corrupt and conspiratorial, and it would be a spectacular journalistic coup if anyone could get the no doubt small number of people who have seen the footage to talk. Getting anyone to leak the footage itself would be so close to impossible that it doesn’t merit estimating the probabilities. Some time in the not too distant future, we will either know (or see) what the tape shows, if anything, or know that something is amiss, and react as we see fit. But in the meantime, wankers gotta wank.Report

              • Avatar JS says:

                We might see a tape of several hours of quiet hallway, showing no one leaving or entering Epstein’s cell. Which will be instantly twisted as either a ‘faked tape’ — because they’ve have released it instantly if it was so boring — or more likely, make people even more certain there’s a tape of his cell that’s being ‘suppressed’.

                Any evidence against a conspiracy is just further proof of how powerful the conspiracy is.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                At this point, I’m wondering if the tapes are destroyed if people will say that that doesn’t prove anything.

                Or if the tapes show two guys going into the cell, they’ll argue that that doesn’t prove that Epstein was *MURDERED*. Maybe they were visiting.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                There may turn out to be such people. If so, have fun arguing with them.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              That said, his neck bone thingy being broken seems pretty fishy.

              Wanna hear a *REAL* conspiracy theory?

              The only time the hyoid bone is broken during suicide by hanging is when the suicide by hanging happens to occur while in police custody.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Perhaps things have changed since I lived somewhere that organized crime was a regular subject in the newspapers. Then, at least, loose cannons were vanishingly rare. Getting to the top of the chain took years of meticulous work, huge piles of money just for the necessary manpower. Jeff Epstein, noted pedophile, dying in MCC, is unlikely to spark that kind of effort.

            When I lived in NJ, one of the highly respected residents of Deal, where many of the rich and powerful still had connections, was gunned down as he left the athletic club. Literally. He was half-way down the front steps when a big black limo pulled up with one of the rear windows down and someone cut loose with an automatic weapon. The guy was invited to all the right parties, led local charities, etc. As the police dug into the case, it turned out he also managed money laundering operations for some of the families. They never found the car. They never found the shooter or the driver. No one ever came forward to volunteer information.

            The well-to-do and politicians in Deal were torn. Some of them went to the funeral because he had been such a terrific guy in his public life. Some stayed away because he was a major criminal in his other life.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              From what I’ve read, the Mafia in the NY/NJ area has largely been decimated partly from encroachment by Russian mobsters, but also by the collapse of the old organizational discipline.

              Where once guys would do time without squealing, in the past couple decades they couldn’t wait to blab to the Feds.

              Which makes sense when you think about it.
              If you’re the sort of guy who is willing to work patiently and diligently and wait your turn and endure long years of paying dues before you see a reward, well, you would be a union carpenter, not a mobster.

              Look at how the guys in Mueller’s investigation sang like canaries the moment they were pressured with indictments.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Could be. Last thoughts from me…

                Do I think Epstein was murdered? No.

                Do I think there are bad people in the NYC metro area who ask the question “How could a prisoner in MCC be killed?” as a contingency rather than a hypothetical? Yes, absolutely.Report

  34. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    How many folks here have seen the movie “The Bank Job” with Jason Statham?

    The gist of the movie is that there are dirty pictures of Princess Margaret in a safe deposit box, and the British Secret Service enlists a group of unwitting amateur burglars to break into the vault and get them.

    And of course things go sideways as they always do, and several people get snuffed.

    Its alleged to be a true story, but we really have no way of knowing.

    I find the story hard to believe, because this would be the least reliable and most risky method of recovering the pictures. It involves a dozen or more people who are unreliable and incompetent, who will forever be loose ends waiting to unravel the story.

    The more efficient method would have been to just go straight to the bank manager and use the power of “State Secrets/Cold War/Goddam Communists” to demand nighttime access to the vault.

    But that’s what I mean about how conspiracies always use the most convoluted path to the objective; they follow the logic of thriller novels.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      I haven’t seen that movie, so were they trying to make sure the dirty pictures of Prince Margaret didn’t leak because they would cause millions of British men to shove cigars into their eyeballs and thus collapse the NHS? Were the pictures from the 1950’s or from the 1990’s?Report

  35. Avatar George Turner says:

    Unrelated: I just clicked over to The Smithsonian Magazine and saw this headline:

    A New Species of Leech Is Discovered Near Washington, D.C.

    Everything makes sense now.Report

  36. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Another batch of interviews:

    “According to one unsealed deposition, Epstein’s former house manager in Palm Beach, Juan Alessi, said Maxwell “became the supervisor not only for this house, but for all the homes” when Epstein was absent. Alessi said more than 100 girls came to Epstein’s mansion during his employment, and that he cleaned and returned sex toys to Maxwell’s closet.”

    “A butler for Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Eva Andersson-Dubin, detailed one occasion where Maxwell, Epstein, and an unnamed 15-year-old girl from Sweden, entered the home Dubin shares with her husband Glenn, a billionaire hedge-funder.

    The employee, Rinaldo Rizzo, testified that Eva brought the girl into the kitchen and left. The teen, who was distraught, told Rizzo she was Epstein’s personal assistant. She then burst into tears, claiming she was on Epstein’s island with Maxwell and Epstein’s ex-assistant, co-conspirator Sarah Kellen. The trio had asked her for sex, and she said no.”

    There is going to be a mountain of this sort of stuff. There were witnesses numbering in the dozens or more, who can all implicate Maxwell and all the Mr. Bigs involved.

    And this is important:
    “While Maxwell wasn’t explicitly named, she’s long been at the center of the Epstein controversy as his girlfriend-turned-majordomo and recruiter of his minor victims. And now that Epstein is dead, all eyes are on Maxwell as the keeper of his secrets.
    The government will have access to the full, unredacted evidentiary record in the case Giuffre brought against Maxwell, Boies said.

    Which keeps me thinking that there really isn’t a lot of motive in killing Epstein, since there are so many Keepers Of Secrets besides him.Report

    • Avatar JS says:

      “Which keeps me thinking that there really isn’t a lot of motive in killing Epstein, since there are so many Keepers Of Secrets besides him.”

      Well, if we want to go Grand Conspiracy, killing Epstein was the worst thing they could do. After all, if there was a Grand Pedophile Conspiracy, surely Epstein would have dead man switches. “In the event of my untimely death, please open this sealed container and disseminate the contents to the media” is not a hard directive for a lawyer to follow.

      And of course the Grand Blackmail Conspiracy theory is true (which is the most common one I hear), then he’d have to have physical evidence. His testimony wouldn’t be enough alone about anything other than to tar some reputations.

      Killing him just risks that being released, either via a dead man’s switch or via the continuing FBI raids.

      Again, it seems the most simple explanation was a man who lost everything wanted to kill himself killed himself, but that’s not Hollywood enough apparently. Grand Murderous Conspiracies to cover the Grand Pedophilia Conspiracy.

      I suspect what we’ll find out is that Epstein knew a handful of people that liked them too young, more that liked them barely legal — but still legal — and even more that weren’t really into paid sex. And happily entertained them all for continuing access to money. He did learn his trade at the hands of one of the better known Ponzi artists, and so cut his teeth learning how idiotic rich people can be with money to someone they “trust”.

      Of course finding out there were only a handful of pedophiles, and the vast bulk of people he hung out with never did anything wrong, will just make the Grand Pedophile Conspiracy more entrenched.

      As I said — very Satanic Panic.The depraved elites indulging in vile sins is a very, very old conspiracy — at least this one hasn’t dipped into blood libel yet. Orgies, pedophilia, cannibalism, satanic rituals — the details vary, the specifics of the “elites” vary, but same song, same dance.Report

  37. Avatar Jaybird says:

    It’s weird what comes to light.


  38. Avatar Jaybird says:

    And Mother Jones…


  39. Avatar Jaybird says:

    We finally have news about the footage. It’s unusable. (Well, some of it.)

    At least one camera in the hallway outside the cell where authorities say registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself earlier this month had footage that is unusable, although other, clearer footage was captured in the area, according to three people briefed on the evidence gathered earlier this month.

    It was not immediately clear why some video footage outside Epstein’s cell is too flawed for investigators to use or what is visible in the other, usable footage. The incident is being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which are attempting to determine what happened and how to assess whether any policies were violated or crimes committed.

    And, holy cow, I didn’t know this:

    Prosecutors have since moved to drop the charges against Epstein – although they continue to investigate those who might have conspired with him.


  40. Avatar Jaybird says:

    It was apparently two cameras that malfunctioned.

    (Reuters) – Two cameras that malfunctioned outside the jail cell where financier Jeffrey Epstein died as he awaited trial on sex-trafficking charges have been sent to an FBI crime lab for examination, a law enforcement source told Reuters.

    Epstein’s lawyers Reid Weingarten and Martin Weinberg told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan on Tuesday they had doubts about the New York City chief medical examiner’s conclusion that their client killed himself.

    The two cameras were within view of the Manhattan jail cell where he was found dead on Aug. 10. A source earlier told Reuters two jail guards failed to follow a procedure overnight to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes.


  41. Avatar CJColucci says:

    I must commend Jaybird for meticulously passing on the mainstream media’s reporting as it uncovers things he was quite confident it could not be trusted to investigate.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Jaybird: “Why hasn’t anyone looked into this yet?”
      CJColluci: “It’s two weeks later and look, see, they’re just now doing it, of course I couldn’t be arsed to post this stuff myself because it’s boring now but they’re looking into it finally, check and mate my good sir, I’ll accept your apology now, in writing if you would so kind.”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I’ve gotta say, I’ve been looking for stuff that makes me say “yep, the conspiracy theorists were crazy” and having people point out that, weeks after the fact, they’re *FINALLY* reporting on how the cameras malfunctioned as an own of my position is…

        Yeah. I don’t understand why CJ thought this would be a takedown.

        And that’s without getting into the photoshopped picture of Epstein’s right hand lady or the guy in charge of his modeling agency up and disappearing.Report

  42. Avatar CJColucci says:

    Yeah. I don’t understand why CJ thought this would be a takedown.

    Well, I’ll have to take your word for what you say you don’t understand. Including, for example, why you think it was supposed to be a “takedown” in the first place.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      If you’re telling me that I held the news media in contempt, wrongfully, allow me to say that pointing out that the news *FINALLY* got around to covering that the cameras had malfunctioned like it was a tutorial level in one of the Hitman games weeks after Epstein’s body was discovered, then let me say this:

      I still am unconvinced that I should have held the news media in less contempt.

      If your point is something else, I don’t know what the something else is.Report

  43. Avatar CJColucci says:

    The world does not work on Jaybird’s schedule. It takes time to find things out, with sufficiently good sourcing for a responsible news outlet to publish. Just look at how Lawrence O’Donnell recently embarrassed himself and his network by rushing to tout an inadequately-sourced story, which may, ultimately, prove to be true. I had thought to give you a simple compliment, thinking you were a big enough person to point out the work being done, which you were skeptical would be done. I guess I was wrong.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      It’s not that it doesn’t work on my schedule.

      It’s that stories are dropped or mishandled in order to benefit The Powerful or in service to an agenda.

      And the Lawrence O’Donnell story is a great example of that sort of thing.

      In any case, when more news comes out in a week or so that shows, oh, two people going into the prison or something and there’s no record of any visitors because, apparently, procedures weren’t followed, you can talk about how the news media, seriously, is doing a great job and I can talk about how, no, they’re not.Report

  44. Avatar CJColucci says:

    So you prefer speed and speculation to sourcing and responsibility. There’s no accounting for taste, and no point disputing it.Report

  45. Avatar Cjcolucci says:

    That’s another way of putting it.Report

  46. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Non-prosecution deal protecting Epstein’s alleged accomplices to remain: judge

    From the article:

    The secret non-prosecution agreement that shielded alleged accomplices of dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein will remain intact, a Florida judge ruled Monday.

    U.S. District Judge Kenneth Mara also said that Epstein’s victims were not owed any money following the government’s violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

    Various accusers filed suit in 2008 after learning that feds cut a sweetheart plea deal with Epstein but failed to notify victims until after the fact.

    While Mara previously ruled that omission violated the law, he said in his Monday order that any further litigation was “moot,” given Epstein’s Aug. 10 suicide.


    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      At some point you just have to marvel at the quiet efficiency of it all. No loose ends, no criminations or recriminations, just the soft thud of manila folders finding their homes in cabinets too ordinary to notice.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I wanted to *NOT* be a conspiracy theorist.

        But here I am.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          I’m not even saying there’s a conspiracy… This is just the process… trust the process.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            This is the same system that enabled Nassar, and the Catholic Church, after all.

            If it can be swept under a rug, it will be swept under a rug.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              I understand the sentiment, but I don’t think that’s right… there are several systems that share similar patterns. But the failures and remedies are specific to the system.

              It makes sense for the Church to submit crimes to the state, but it wouldn’t make sense (or would it?) for the state to submit to a sort of Inquisition from the Church.

              What’s disconcerting here is the possibility that the state has procedures and processes, but that the system – decentralized as it may be – has ways of over- or under-processing according to barely (or exquisitely) understood impulses.

              Maybe the State does need Inquisitions, because absent the inquisitions, there’s only the system; and the system exists only for the sake of the system.

              So my meta thought for the day is that unless the Liberal System can muster the inquisition necessary to save the Liberal System… then you’ll start to get a sense of why we might all be Post-Liberal whether we like it or not.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I think people like us- white educated professionals- tend to be shocked and appalled when we see systematic criminality and structural injustice.

                Yet for countless others, the idea of powerful people committing brazen crimes and walking away free, aided and abetted by the system is just called “Life”.

                Yet, as Adam Serwer pointed out in his brilliant response to Sorhab Amari, the very people who have been so poorly served by liberal democracy are the ones most strongly committed to it.

                “The American creed has no more devoted adherents than those who have been historically denied its promises, and no more fair-weather friends than those who have taken them for granted.”Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                [wiping away a tear] Nothing beats privilege like false piety.

                Bring on the renewal.

                But if your renewal packs the court, abolishes the electoral college, and abridges the bill of rights – just to name a few of the items y’all have posted in just a week or so – then I reserve the privilege to call your reforms, Post-Liberal.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Why would any of those be any sort of retreat from liberal democracy?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                It depends on how it is done. But that’s my point… does the system have within it the ability for renewal, or is it just power turtles all the way down.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                “A young girl is knocked down and violated in the country where law “secures person and property.” She applies to law for redress, and is put in prison and kept there for six months as a witness, to appear against her violator, who is running at large, forfeits his bonds, and disappears before his victim is restored to liberty; and laws and governments are “instituted for securing the rights of person and property!””

                -Josiah Warren 1875Report

  47. Avatar Jaybird says:

    In what strikes me as being a vaguely adjacent story:


  48. Avatar Jaybird says:

    It’s Friday. You know what that means:


    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      I opened a couple docs… not as exciting as we might hope… one listed all the deleted pages (587), but no actual pages… but the other… using my advanced investigative powers, I can confidently surmise that he was an AT&T customer (or maybe Cingular, not quite sure).

      I even [control-F] for Warmonger, and not a single hit for Clinton.Report

  49. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Good. I was wondering about this.

    Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York traveled to Florida for an Oct. 15 meeting with several of Epstein’s victims and their counsel. The staffers, who worked in the victim services unit, held a similar meeting in New York on Oct. 23, lawyers for the women and a law enforcement source told The Daily Beast.

    Two people familiar with the investigation said that prosecutors have heard from “dozens” of witnesses or victims since Epstein’s arrest in July.

    Following Epstein’s death in August, which was ruled a suicide by hanging, the Department of Justice said that it would continue to investigate anyone who helped Epstein procure underage girls or helped him to cover up crimes. A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on where the probe stands, only saying that the “investigation is continuing.”


  50. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Fox News Reports:

    The body of disgraced money man and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his Manhattan federal prison cell in August, bore telltale signs of homicide despite an official ruling that he killed himself, a pioneering forensic pathologist revealed to “Fox & Friends” in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

    The article goes on to say:

    “Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden, who is also a Fox News contributor, said.

    While there’s not enough information to be conclusive yet, the three fractures were “rare,” said Baden, who’s probed cases involving O.J. Simpson, President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, record producer Phil Spector, New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and many others.

    “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case,” the 85-year-old medical legend told Fox News.


    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      “who’s probed cases involving O.J. Simpson, President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, record producer Phil Spector, New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and many others.”

      Knowing nothing else about this man, those references are pretty damning to his credibility.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        The NYT should totally take that tack when they look at what he has to say, if, of course, they even deign to notice this story.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci says:

          Several years ago, I sat next to Dr. Baden on a train. I asked him if it was true, based on his work around the death of former Governor Nelson Rockefeller, whether the common nickname for the Albany Mall — Rockefeller’s Last Erection — was premature. He told me it was. He probably shouldn’t have.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Think about how often prosecutors put “Dr. So&So” on the stand and have him gravely state that based on this hoopty-hoo arglebargle data, the accused is definitely the killer.

          Then someone like Radly Balko finds 40 other doctors who say the first one was full of it.

          All you and I know about this guy is he calls himself “Dr.”
          Is his opinion supported by anything other than his say-so?

          I don’t know, and the Times doesn’t seem to say one way or the other.

          He could be right. Or he could be full of it.Report

  51. Avatar Jaybird says:

    A fun take from a nocheck on the NYT’s coverage of this story:


    • Avatar CJColucci says:

      Again, props to Jaybird for keeping us up-to-date on the mainstream media coverage that wasn’t supposed to happen.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Well, if we get into whether there’s reason to believe that he *WAS* murdered, maybe we could look into stuff like “well, what were the guards doing?” and “are there tapes from the cameras that were dealing with the area that Epstein was in?”

        I mean, if there’s a point at which the passive voice should no longer be used with his death, I hope the news orgs start noticing that the active voice requires an actor.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        you’ve got this idea that you repeatedly pointing out that you were utterly fucking wrong is somehow owning Jaybird

        “you said that they wouldn’t do the thing! and they didn’t! but now they are doing the thing, HAAAAAAA!”Report

  52. Avatar CJColucci says:

    maybe we could look into stuff

    Who is this “we”? If you want to “look into” this stuff, knock yourself out. But that means actually looking, not just reiterating what we don’t yet know, with a raised eyebrow. And that’s hard work. Meanwhile, as we keep seeing, and contrary to predictions, other people are looking into it. Journalists don’t have investigatory superpowers or even subpoena powers. They’re just people who ask questions of people who, presumably, know things. There’s no magic in a reporter’s ID card; anyone persistent and interested could do it, and has as much right to an answer, though it’s harder than it looks. If the people who do know, assuming someone does know at this point, which is a huge assumption, don’t talk, it’s hard to report anything beyond “General Franco is still dead.” Stuff will dribble out, as it has been doing, until either the investigation concludes or someone gets someone who knows how the investigation is going to talk. That’s how the world works, and it doesn’t work on our preferred schedule.Report

  53. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The New York Coroner reiterates that he thinks it was suicide:

    “Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination,” Sampson told the Washington Examiner. “We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein’s family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office.”

    What I thought was interesting was the video on the site. “Is that David Boies?”, I asked myself. It is! He’s an attorney for the Epstein alleged victims.Report

  54. Avatar Jaybird says:

    An interesting revelation and an official response:

    And the response here:


    • Avatar greginak says:

      James OKeefe???? FFSReport

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        If you don’t like the person who showed you the video, I suppose it doesn’t matter what appears on the video they show you.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          Ohh please complain more about about declining trust in media and how bad the MSM is. Then trot out james” VERITAS” Okeefe.

          Why would you assume any vid from Mr. O’Veritas isn’t a clumsy hack job of shitty editing. I mean sure he has done that multiple times up to getting people fired for deeply misleading vids, but this time, this time, he’s got solid gold truth.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Why, you don’t even have to watch it, do you?Report

          • Avatar JS says:

            There’s a reason I don’t bother to engage with him much.

            Using O’Keefe, with a history of complaining about rising distrust of the media, is just par for the course. I find it quite difficult to believe he’s that unaware of the massive contradictions, which means it’s done purposefully.

            And there aren’t any really benign reasons to do such a thing. It’s clearly counter productive to fruitful discourse.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            I applaud your strongly-stated and deeply-held belief that taking statements out of context for the purpose of “gotcha” moments is a deeply cynical and immoral thing to do that undermines whatever point you were hoping to make.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:



  55. Avatar CJColucci says:

    Usually, when there is a pissing contest between a reporter who thinks a good story has been spiked and higher-ups who think the story is too thin to publish, my instinct is to side with the reporter. But when the reporter says the story was too thin to publish, I stay out of it.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Here’s what Juanita Broderick had to say about journalistic standards:


  56. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    One of my takeaways from the Epstein story, the Weinstein story, the Catholic Church pedophile story, the Russian election meddling story, is how common conspiracies actually are. Powerful people really do get together and plan and carry out foul deeds.

    But also, how its nearly impossible to keep them hidden.

    These stories weren’t actually “secret”; Even though the powerful people used all manner of threats and deceptions and lies to cover them up, they were open knowledge. People spoke about them, whispered about them, gossiped about them.

    When the truth finally becomes part of the written record like a newspaper article, it isn’t like, “Wow, no one had any idea!” It’s more like, “Yeah, my aunt Lucy always said to not let the kids spend too much time with Father Joe”.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      The Russian election meddling story will likely result in a raft of indictments, though no one is certain at this point.Report

  57. Avatar Jaybird says:

    It is a bummer that this story is now a political football.

    There are Q associated Epstein hashtags around now (which will do a good job of discrediting them). The “real” news corps in the US aren’t covering this (yet) though I have seen the New York Post talk about it.


  58. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I tweeted this out in horror and KStreetHipster graciously pointed out to me that it was a bar.



    • Avatar CJColucci says:

      In metro NYC, if not in what its residents like to think of as the Real America (TM), Epstein is a common enough name. I, for example, frequent an Epstein’s deli.Report

  59. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Another vaguely adjacent story:


  60. Avatar Aaron David says:


    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Megan Kelly apparently got an interview with the leaker:

      (Nothing’s on her youtube page yet.)Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        Its the astonishing lack of curiosity about the whole Epstein affair that stinks. And we know what it stinks of; it stinks of fear. Everyone knows. But reporters can be told to shut up, and staffers made to go away.

        Take it from a Catholic who’s lived through this: this is what Secular Clericalism looks like… its never the little people deferring to the bigs, its the bigs defending the order they’ve clawed their way up. Getting where they are is the clericalism they defend.

        Pope Francis is right about the disease, he’s just wrong about who’s sick. Same here.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          Talk to Colucci, according to him the media is all over it and you’re a total idiot if you think at all differently, and if the media isn’t investigating some particular thing it’s because that thing doesn’t need looking into.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci says:

            I’m content to wait for Jaybird’s next update on the progress of the investigation. And there will be one.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              CJ, read Marchmaine’s comment again.

              There are things that stink to high heaven and it is more important to the higher-ups that people who uncover them get squashed and that they people who make public the squashing get fired than the thing that is creating the stink.

              This is outrageous.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                That’s certainly a view you can take of the case. It may even turn out to be true when all is said and done, but all is not said and done yet. I’m content to wait an see what actually turns up as the investigation continues. And I want to thank you for diligently keeping us updated.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Have you noticed that the media investigation is mostly happening by people who are personae non gratae?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                I have not “noticed” this, because, as the stuff you have been updating us on shows, it isn’t true.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Not really tracking the confidence that this is being actively and aggressively investigated; but your trust in the hierarchy is noted.

                A staffer who’s sufficiently an insider to work at both ABC and CBS and have access to recordings at such a level as to be able to lift a copy… releases it to – James O’Keefe? Not, NBC or Fox or CNN or any other “reputable” network that this person would clearly know how to work through?

                And then this person is going to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly, who’s currently outside the Media system?

                Fair enough… first question Ms. Kelly should ask: “Why did you pass this info to O’Keefe and not Fox, CNN, NBC, etc.”

                At least everyone trusted Ronan Farrow to run his story, so our skepticism is probably unfounded…Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                The fired CBS staffer wasn’t fired for leaking the footage, and indeed we don’t know that she did. She was fired because ABC determined that at one time she’d accessed the footage. They told CBS and CBS fired her.

                Obviously journalists have a completely different “whistleblower” standard from the one they insist applies to Ciaramello.

                So lawyers say the fired staffer could end up owning a lot of CBS stock.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, the most recent story involves Megyn Kelly and someone who was fired.

                That’s kinda notable.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                I’m sorry, which of these folks — Kelly, Robach, or the leaker — was or is working on the Jeffrey Epstein death story?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Robach had it bigfooted by Upper Management. She now denies that the story has as much salience as she said it had in her offhand remarks.

                Both Kelly and the leaker, however, seem to be working on it anyway.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                She didn’t have the Epstein death story for “three years,” which is what she was talking about on the tape, because Epstein wasn’t dead when her story was spiked. I guess we’ll see in the interview whether either Kelly or the leaker is working on the Epstein death story.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                You’re absolutely right. I’ve not really heard anything about the irregularities with the Epstein *DEATH* since we had the expert on to say “yeah, that’s a murder”.

                That stuff went dark.

                You’re right.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                It’s a complete mystery.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          I agree with Marchmain here, that the media’s lack of interest in pursuing the loose ends to Epstein’s story is disconcerting.

          As I mentioned here, there is a small army of people with first hand knowledge of went on- the pilots, chauffeurs, caterers bartenders maids and various flunkies and attendants who could be tracked down and interviewed.

          I am less inclined to believe that there is some frightful force cowing them into terrified silence, so much as a lack of will to pursue what isn’t an immediate boon to their media career.

          But its also helpful to remember this isn’t new.

          There were stories coming out of the Balkans and later Iraq about government mercenaries like Blackwater, Dyncorp, and KBR comitting all sorts of crimes from theft to rape and murder, but they just sort of surfaced, got little attention, then faded away, maybe inside a file inside a box trundled slowly to the end of a long warehouse.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Okay, the interview is weird.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        The producer who got fired is talking about how she shouldn’t have gotten fired. It’s about ABC and CBS firing her.

        And the leaker is still inside ABC, according to her.

        It’s not about Epstein.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      She clearly knows that it’s wrong to expose a billionaire pedophile ring that keeps young girls as sex slaves, or even worse, to expose the media’s efforts to cover up of such a ring because upper management is probably part of it. Yet they fired her anyway!

      One of the key things she said, almost in passing, was that the hot-mic feed was going out live to all their affiliates. That means that O’Keefe could have gotten the clip from a intern in Omaha.

      Considering how badly this interview makes ABC and CBS executives look, she should tell CBS that for a $10 million dollar lump sum, she’d be willing to go back to work for them.Report

  61. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Huh. Congress actually noticed something.


  62. Avatar Jaybird says:

    So, finally, there are *SOME* criminal charges related to all this:


  63. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I would think any Epstein post should have this item:

    “The Fallout Continues From Prince Andrew’s BBC Interview: “One of the Single Worst P.R. Moves in Recent History””Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      That interview was insane.

      Pictures are surfacing of Prince Andrew sweating in the past. Someone on Good Morning Britain was arguing that distinctions needed to be made between pedophilia and pederasty. This is nuts.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      ” but if the royal family would like to distance themselves from global villains, defending Jeffrey Epstein and MBS in a single weekend is not the strongest start.”


  64. Avatar Jaybird says:

    A good point I’ve seen kicked around:

    Too many people die in Police Custody.Report

  65. Avatar CJColucci says:

    Thanks for the updates on the continuing investigation.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Pity that we’ve reached the point where it has taken Congressional action to try to get ABC to talk about their incuriosity.Report

      • Avatar CJColucci says:

        In what other context would you not find disturbing a Congressional inquiry into the news-gathering process?Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Perhaps Rep. Jim “Gym” Jordan can lead the Congressional inquiry re: proper action to take about sex crimes and sex offenders. It would be both very rich and illuminating, i’m sure, about how the powerful get away with crimes.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          At this point, it seems limited to Kevin McCarthy’s letter.

          Would you prefer that ABC answer those questions or would you prefer that they tell Congress “we don’t have to tell you nothing!”?Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            Jim Jordan….taps mic….Is this thing on????Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              The congressional action that I was talking about having taken place was Kevin McCarthy’s letter.

              If I’m understanding you, you think that ABC shouldn’t even respond and then Congress should hold hearings on it? (And put Jim Jordan in charge of the hearings?)Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Well, a Kennedy just pulled this one off:


              • Avatar greginak says:

                Wow a repub with a quip. And again Jim Jordan? Anything… Bueller????Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                GOP CCers are trying to appear hip and ride a meme wave, but as apologists for Trump’s misdeeds they’re the last people who should be pushing the narrative that Epstein – either his life or his death – deserves more scrutiny.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I don’t understand the Jim Jordan thing. Was he in the Epstein flight logs?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                He has been accused by multiple people of having knowledge of a doctor sexually assaulting college students while Jordan was an Asst. Coach at OSU. That seems like the kind of thing that should be big deal if we are trying to deal with sexual assault better. Yet he just stonewalls and it doesn’t seem to have become a big thing in the press. Recently he was put on the house IC so he could do questioning in the current impeachment hearings. Plenty of TV time for him.

                If sexual assault/ sex crimes is an important issue, and it is, then that means the light and heat needs to fall on everybody not just who is big in the news.

                I see lots of the Epstein didn’t kill himself memes. Strangely lots of those people don’t seem interested in Jordan. Huh? But you know Epstein is the hot topic so just ignore other stuff.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                He was accused by one person, a referee who has since recanted to the media, saying he had no idea if Jordan (the assistant wrestling coach) or the head wrestling coach ever knew about the abuse or not. The referee had wanted to run Jim Jordan’s campaign after the events he originally claimed, but apparently became irate when Jordan backed Trump.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Wrong. He was accused by some of his former wrestlers. At least 7 of them have accused him of knowing all about it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                And apparently some of them have also recanted their allegations. NBC News story

                And we’re talking about a doctor trying to pull things with male college wrestlers. I think he’d be pretty limited with what he could pull before they’d just choke him out and bend him in ways the human body doesn’t bend.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “Well, if the news media won’t cover it, it’s not my business.”


                “The media should cover this and be totally merciless in interviewing his victims”

                I vote for the latter.

                Which do you think ought to happen, Greg?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Wait, so you’re asking me what i think after i’m the one who brought it up in the first place? Huh. Cover the hell out of it and maybe people should be questioning the hell out of R’s for not only ignoring it but elevating him at this time. Investigate all of them, not just those that are meme fun.

                Of course while the “media” isnt’ covering it i know about because it is getting some coverage in the media and on lefty blogs.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                There’s a real opportunity here.

                Part of me wonders if editors are deliberately spiking stories because access is more important than long-term credibility.

                Well, they’re eating their own seed corn.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci says:

              ABC should do what any self-respecting news organization would do, tell Congress to stuff it. And they should do that whatever prurient interest I, or others, might have in what they might say if they responded to the questions.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                I partially concur; congress “investigating” a spiked story at ABC is not something I’d see as useful in short or long term.

                However, CBS investigating a spiked story at ABC that caused them to fire an employee that wasn’t the leaker? That strikes me as exactly the right team to get up in ABC’s grill.

                The interesting emerging phenomenon is that only the disgraced Megyn Kelly has the chops to attract any leaked info.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I prefer that Congress tread very lightly with regard to First Amendment issues.

                But if it does start, I predict investigations of spiked stories is not going to turn out well for Rupert Murdoch, Jimmy Finkelstein, the National Enquirer, Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller.Report

  66. Avatar Jaybird says:

    To tie in with what Greg was talking about above, I thought this tweet was illuminating:


    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Its a safe bet that the very people who use the term “mainstream media” will, when you assert skepticism of their lies, vehemently show you an article from the NYT as proof.Report

  67. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Bill Barr confirms that it’s suicide but acknowledges a lot of “screw-ups”.


  68. Avatar Jaybird says:

    From the AP Article referenced by the NYT:

    The attorney general also sought to dampen conspiracy theories by people who have questioned whether Epstein really took his own life, saying the evidence proves Epstein killed himself. He added that he personally reviewed security footage that confirmed that no one entered the area where Epstein was housed on the night he died.


  69. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    So when we ask ourselves, “How did a large ring of the world’s most powerful men engage in illegal sex with underage girls, and escape notice?” we can just look at the media from 2019.

    A few stories about Epstein and his death, some idle speculation about it, then slowly it fades from the headlines.
    The Prince of England gives an interview in which he all but admits to it, and aside from some minor tittering about his embarrassment, nothing.

    I honestly don’t understand it.
    It doesn’t seem like there is some concerted effort to hide it, just a lack of interest.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      It doesn’t seem like there is some concerted effort to hide it, just a lack of interest.

      Is there any evidence that someone who uncovers that Epstein stories have been killed by upper in the past will be fired for pointing it out?Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        But the Epstein story only became known because a reporter in Miami followed the leads and wasn’t fired.

        And again, the Prince of England gave an interview available worldwide discussing his role in this. No one got fired for that.

        Even if we accept that the editors of the NYT/ WaPo/ CNN are aggressively policing the story, where are the tabloids, the fringer papers, the bloggers?

        The examples I gave previously-
        Who was Prince Andrew’s chauffeur who drove him to the airport? The pilot who flew him to the island? The valet who took his bags? The bartender, the cooks, the waiters, the maids who turned down the bed and made it up in the morning after the party?
        Where are the girls themselves?

        These people have names, addresses, phone numbers. How hard would it be to track them down and interview them?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          So long as we’re in agreement that we’ve moved from “It doesn’t seem like there is some concerted effort to hide it, just a lack of interest” to “only *SOME* people have been punished for bringing Epstein information to light”, I’m good.

          Did you know that Matt Groening (of Simpson’s fame) appears on the Epstein flight logs? He does!

          Hey, Kevin Spacey shows up on them! Oooh, and, wait, Chris Tucker? Alan Dershowitz, Larry Summers, and Stephen Pinker as well. (Steve Pinker has a great rant about it. If you haven’t read it, you should (the rant is contained in the blogpost).)

          Bill Cosby, John Kerry, and, hold onto your butt, Rupert Freaking Murdoch.

          Well, that might explain why Fox isn’t talking about it… why isn’t NBC, ABC, and CBS? (PBS probably isn’t covering it due to Charlie Rose-adjacent issues.)Report

  70. Avatar Jaybird says:

    A really interesting twisty story here:

    A guy appears to have claimed to have had the tapes and was going to sell them to some high-powered lawyer types who then were going to both blackmail the powerful names in the tapes and find justice for the victims.

    But the guy didn’t seem to have the tapes and they don’t know what his agenda was.

    David Boies, once again, features prominently.Report

  71. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The Daily Mail is interviewing anonymous “contractors” who worked on Epstein’s house and to Epstein’s “Estate Manager”.

    The headline is more sensational than the information in the story (hey, it’s a tabloid) but they’re finally starting to interview The Help.Report

  72. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Jeet Heer asks a trenchant question:


    • Avatar greginak says:

      Rough guess is that the only people i see talking about Epstein are all about blaming the clintons. If it’s not reinforcing the C’s are murderers its just low energy. Not that i dive deep into the Ep conspiracy world but i dont’ see any of them talking about Barr and his odd family relation to Epstein. If it’s not clinton most of them don’t care.Report

  73. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Virginia Guiffre wanted this out there for some reason:


  74. Avatar Jaybird says:

    These things happen…


    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I wanna say that this is the first thing that has gone right.

      Just days after confirming they were unable to locate surveillance video captured outside Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell on the night of his first suicide attempt, prosecutors told a federal judge the video was saved, documents show.
      “We are very pleased the video was preserved, as we had asked,” Bruce Barket, the attorney for Epstein’s former cellmate, said early Friday morning. “We look forward to viewing it. “


      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        WWait, this has now been retracted.

        The surveillance video taken from outside Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell on the day of his first apparent suicide attempt has been permanently deleted, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

        Epstein, the disgraced financier who was facing federal sex-trafficking charges, was found semiconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, or MCC, in New York around 1:27 a.m. on July 23.

        But that video is now gone because MCC officials mistakenly saved video from a different floor of the federal detention facility, prosecutors said in a court filing.

        Friggin’ clerical errors, man.Report

  75. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Just coming out and saying it:


    • Avatar greginak says:

      “because she has “serious dirt” on powerful people, a former friend of the Maxwell family has claimed.”

      A former friend has claimed? Well i’m convinced.

      “A family friend, Laura Goldman, told U.K. paper The Sun that Ghislaine is texting friends from her secret hideaway.”

      texting friends from secret hideaway???

      “Ghislaine and her sister Isabel remain totally convinced that she’ll escape any criminal convictions and will eventually clear the family name and return to high society once the dust has settled.

      “Ghislaine is “totally convinced” that she can stay in hiding, and is currently being protected by a coterie of rich friends who are even said to be paying her legal bills.”

      Legal bills??? She is on the run from the law. But she is sure she is innocent so that is really strong strong stuff. This is powerful stuff and will surely break this case wide open.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        The only way she can have “serious dirt” is if she were aiding and abetting crimes as an accomplice.
        Which sorta puts a damper on her whole claim of innocence.

        “Hey, I’m totally innocent- Just look at these notes I took on a criminal fuckin’ conspiracy!”Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          Well if she had dirt she could have rolled over on Epstein. But with him expired, she lost leverage. It was in her interest to have Epstein alive and on trial.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            I wonder if it’s too early to speculate on whether she’s ever communicated suicidal thoughts to anybody.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            She hasn’t lost any leverage.

            If what she is saying is true, she has leverage over the Royal Family of Britain, two American Presidents, and many other very powerful people.

            Epstein himself is now moot, an irrelevancy to the crimes.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              Epstein himself is now moot, an irrelevancy to the crimes.

              Yes, he’s totally irrelevant. Well, except for being the central figure – architect, perpetrator, purveyor – in all this.Report

  76. Avatar greginak says:

    Well i expect her friends getting secret texts reported on in tabloids will let us know the real deal.Report

  77. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The Drudge Report hasn’t really been relevant since… what? Obama’s election?

    But here’s what he’s tweeting out:


  78. Avatar Jaybird says:



  79. Avatar Jaybird says:

    60 Minutes actually had a report on this.

    An excerpt:

    “There were fractures of the left, the right thyroid cartilage and the left hyoid bone,” Baden said. “I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging.”

    “Going over a thousand jail hangings, suicides in the New York City state prisons over the past 40-50 years, no one had three fractures,” Baden said.


  80. Avatar Jaybird says:

    New Lawsuit alleges Epstein continued his trafficking through 2018.


  81. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I hadn’t heard about the grand jury records’ release being denied last week. I hope someone who was part of that grand jury contacts this reporter.


  82. Avatar Jaybird says:

    According to the NYT, the FBI wants to interview Prince Andrew.


  83. Avatar Jaybird says:

    NY Mag has an article about the fiscal shenanigans that are coming to light:


    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      When the words Epstein’s bank dont mean the bank he uses…but, you know, Epstein’s Bank… pocket bank he owns that “never operated as a business.”

      But still transfers millions of $$ while shuttered and after his death.

      Zombie bank.Report

  84. Avatar Jaybird says:

    James O’Keefe III has released video where an ABC executive admits that they spike stories.

    James O’Keefe is not the most reliable of journalists, but we do have evidence of ABC spiking stories. And now there is someone higher up at ABC News admitting that it happens.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      This blog needs a sarcasm font, or “not-the-Onion” tag or something.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        As a way to say “yes, the guy said that ABC spiked stories, but his quote was taken out of context”?

        Well, the Wasrshington Post is reporting that the guy was suspended for his statements.

        The Warshington Post is Not The Onion.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Oh, the employer suspended an employee? Well, that’s it right there!

          To spell out the obvius:
          “Spiking” a story needs to be explained here; In conventional usage, it means a directive from higher ups to bury stories which might be embarrassing to the powers that be;

          As opposed to “editing” a story, which is the normal process by which editors decide what stories are newsworthy, well sourced, meaningful and which are not.

          Which one was this?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            In the case of the reporter who talked about how she had the goods and then the story got spiked? She was talking about the Epstein story.

            This is merely a case of one of the editor types who did stuff like spike stories say that he spiked stories instead of explaining that he was just editing stories and ones that were too boring after removing all unverifiable information were, of course, merely not run at all.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci says:

            As I remember the usage in my own newspaper days, a story could be “spiked” either because it was embarrassing to the powers that be or that it was not solid enough to run with. These were not watertight compartments. Higher ups might demand better sourcing of a story that would embarrass the powers that be than they would in a similar story that would embarrass a nobody for obvious reasons.Who wants Harvey Weinstein’s or Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers up your ass unless you’ve got the goods nailed down tight? It’s not always clear whether a spike was a righteous spike or not, even when the basic facts are known, and pissing contests between reporters and higher-ups don’t do much more than confirm whatever priors you bring to the discussion. At least until somebody does solid reporting on the reporting. But that’s hard work. For the rest of us, there’s an empty barstool down that way.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              I would say that those controls would be awesome if they prevented stuff like this from happening.

              If those controls exist for people like Weinstein and Epstein but not, you know, *OTHER* stories, then questions remain.

              And the whole “Who wants Harvey Weinstein’s or Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers up your ass unless you’ve got the goods nailed down tight?” question is one that some people find more comforting than others.

              Especially given the weird payoffs that these news networks seem to be willing to pay out for, say, “inappropriate sexual behavior” of their on-air personalities.

              If the protections and controls are used sparingly, it presents identically to them being a privilege extended as a professional courtesy.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              And its completely fair to say that media outlets are run by people who individually and collectively have political opinions and internal biases which affect their reporting.

              But its dangerous to start going around using the word “spiked” or “censored” with all its implications unless one actually has the goods.

              Especially here in this case. The whole story here is that people are being accused of murder.

              Yet unlike most accusations of murder, the presumption of innocence is nowhere to be found, and “evidence” can be nothing more than “we don’t have evidence- isn’t that odd?”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                It’s hard to be responsible in the presence of a shiny object that confirms your priors.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If a senior correspondent saying “yeah, they spike stories” isn’t evidence of them spiking stories, what would constitute evidence of them spiking stories?

                This is an honest question.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                No, it isn’t, because that stories get “spiked” is indisputable. Nobody has ever said they don’t. What matters is why they’re spiked, because sometimes they ought to be. I’ve listened to what he had to say and don’t know anything I didn’t know before — at least about anything that matters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                So long as we’re acknowledging that we’ve moved from “it’s risible to say that they’re spiking stories!” to “of course they spike stories!”, I’m good.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                I was tempted to predict that you would employ, yet again, the Jaybird Backtrack to Banality (TM), but I figured everybody already knew it was coming.
                Just for fun, though, I’ll predict that the next move will be the: “I didn’t backtrack; I never said anything significant in the first place,” though that risks self-refuting prophecy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I will, instead, point out where the burden of proof keeps getting moved. Can we demonstrate anything about Epstein? We have people arguing that they had stories with the goods and those stories were spiked and that’s not evidence of stories being spiked. This isn’t evidence of anything but a senior correspondent also saying that stories get spiked.

                So I will repeat my earlier question: what would constitute evidence for stories getting spiked for you?

                Because even real stories getting spiked got a shrug and an acknowledgment that powerful people will sue.

                I’m not sure it’s possible to show anything that could get you to say “yes, that’s a story that they should have published.”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                So I will repeat my earlier question: what would constitute evidence for stories getting spiked for you?

                Details. But that’s hard work.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Unfortunately, from where I am, I am reliant upon the news media.

                So I’m stuck finding it interesting when journalists say “my story was spiked!”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                There’s an empty barstool over there.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Did he have any examples to share, where political pressure made him drop a story?

                Do we know that he was using the word in the same way you and I are using it?

                Has anybody asked him to clarify or elaborate on his comments?

                These are also honest, and useful questions before we run down the rabbit hole.

                For example: We know for a fact that the publisher of the National Enquirer practiced “capture and kill” where at the behest of people like Donald Trump would purchase stories then refuse to run them. This is a real example of “spiking”.
                We know for a fact that Fox News filters and frames stories to show Republicans in a good light.

                These are clear examples of bias and deliberate disinformation, which the O’Keefe story only hints at.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Did he have any examples to share, where political pressure made him drop a story?

                No. Just “stories viewers care about”. No direct examples, no.

                Do we know that he was using the word in the same way you and I are using it?

                No we do not.

                Has anybody asked him to clarify or elaborate on his comments?

                I imagine many people have. His facebook page hasn’t been updated, as far as I can tell, with any information and the last thing he’s tweeted seems to be this:


              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I guess what makes me so attuned to this is that stories like O’Keefe’s tend to come from that same conspiratorial worldview, one that doesn’t rely on skepticism; It relies on complete naivete and credulity, an unquestioning acceptance of any tale, and an insistence upon having a sole source of information to the exclusion of all others.

                Consider this very story for example.
                According to O’Keefe, ABC is spiking stories critical to conservatives.

                Assuming it is true, then we would expect ABC news to be consistently different than NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC.

                Is it?

                Well, not really. So how do we reconcile these two contradictory facts?
                One approach is to enlarge the conspiracy, to explain why all major media outlets report things in pretty much the same way.

                But of course, this only creates a need for even more evidence, none of which is being presented.Report

              • I agree. Group think in an rather insular group – and network media in America is a very exclusive club – is more the answer than some grand conspiracy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                ABC is the network that had the reporter linked to above that talked about having her story spiked.

                That’s what makes this relevant in my eyes.

                She complained about being spiked and the response was, well, is there any evidence that this happens in other circumstances?

                Here is someone saying that it happens in other circumstances.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Does the O’Keefe video give support to the claim that the Wall Street bankers put out the word to bury mentions of Warren so as to eliminate her as a threat?

                Does it lend credence to any other stories about media bias? Or just the ones you and I happen to prefer?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Chip, my complaint isn’t that there is media bias.

                My complaint, originally, was that the Epstein story was fishy.

                PROVE THAT IT IS FISHY!, came the response.

                Well there’s the whole situation with the suicides thing.

                That’s not fishy, come back with more.

                Well, there’s the reporter talking about having a story spiked.

                She’s overstating things. There’s no evidence that editors spike stories.

                Here’s a senior correspondent saying that editors spike stories.

                That’s not fishy, it doesn’t cover Wall Street talking about Warren!

                Um… what?

                Is there anything that I could provide that would be evidence of anything at this point?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Maybe you just need to clarify what it is you’re trying to prove here.

                That media sometimes spike stories that are too sensitive?
                That there is the possibility that Epstein was strangled?
                Proven, in that it hasn’t been ruled out.

                So where does that leave us?

                With a whole lotta possibilities is where it leaves us, with no way to rule any of the possibilities out.

                We just don’t know enough at this point to say with certainty what happened to him.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Originally, it’s that there was a lot of fishy stuff around Epstein. From charges being dropped to where he got his money to the so-called “Lolita Express”.

                As part of #MeToo, it seems he finally got arrested for real.

                When he got sent to prison, we made jokes about how, now, he’s going to commit suicide while the security cameras mysteriously went on the fritz.

                Then he committed suicide while the security cameras mysteriously went on the fritz.

                And there are a lot of people explaining that there is nothing to see here, in spite of experts explaining about the three breaks in the bone that typically breaks in homicides but not leaning suicides. Despite the cameras going on the fritz. Despite the accidental loss of the footage. Despite the guards not doing their jobs. Despite journalists announcing that their stories were spiked.

                There is, apparently, nothing to see here.

                And there is, apparently, nothing that could collaborate anything fishy about anything of the above.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I’m not ruling out that Donald Trump, or the Clintons, or the Royal Family ordered someone to murder Epstein.

                And I know that on tv shows detectives like to say “I don’t believe in coincidences”.

                But I also know that there are plenty of cases where those same sorts of cops in real life put innocent people away based on similar strings of coincidences.

                I won’t disagree with you if you have your own theories and conjecture and I will strongly agree if you say we the public need a more in depth investigation.

                But I’m not ready to rule out the official explanation.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I’m not ruling out that Donald Trump, or the Clintons, or the Royal Family ordered someone to murder Epstein. …

                But I’m not ready to rule out the official explanation.

                Isn’t this effectively Jaybird’s position, that both hypotheses are possible? I mean, for someone who claims to be open to the possibility that Epstein didn’t kill himself you sure expend a lot of energy arguing that he didn’t.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I am arguing that we need more investigations before we rule out any possibilities.

                I’ll let Jaybird clarify his position.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                And there is, apparently, nothing that could collaborate anything fishy about anything of the above.
                There’s plenty that could, in theory, “collaborate” it, but after a bunch of serious reporting — which you had confidently said wasn’t going on, even while giving us a running account of it — it hasn’t surfaced, and some of it has been debunked. The “cameras on the fritz,” not reported by the MSM except as a rumor, turned out not to be true, since it was footage from at least one of the cameras that showed that no one had entered Epstein’s cell between the last time he was seen alive and the first time he was seen dead. Now maybe Bill Barr, who says he saw the footage, is lying. Is someone looking into that? I don’t know, but I’m not going to go off half-cocked and say, positively, that nothing is being done to find out just because we don’t have answers to questions it is hard to answer RIGHT NOW.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                One of the two was on the fritz. Barr, presumably, watched the footage from the other camera and concluded that, hey, nothing could have happened.

                So when we have reporters discussing whether their stories have been spiked, it’s not suspicious.

                When cameras go bad in front of the cell, it’s not suspicious.

                When footage is lost, it’s not suspicious.

                Indeed, there’s nothing suspicious going on.

                And any unanswered questions will be answered any day now…
                any day now…
                any day…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Also, who wants to print some of this stuff if you know that you’re going to get Epstein’s or Weinstein’s lawyers all up in your grill?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                There was reason to be “suspicious.” But suspicions are a dime a dozen. What there wasn’t reason for was the assumption that no one was looking into things. They were, and they found out a lot. They found out that Epstein didn’t kill himself. Does anyone know why one of the cameras was on the fritz? Probably not. If someone tampered with it, he got away with it and there’s no reasonable investigative path to finding out who did it or why. Since footage from the other camera (our plotter was clumsy, wasn’t he?) was recovered that eventually showed — unless Barr is lying — that no one entered Epstein’s cell between the last time he was seen alive and the first time he was seen dead, we now know what the cameras were put up to show us, and probably nobody cares about the other camera. Except if it’s the linchpin to a theory that someone wanted Epstein killed and tried to set it up, but Epstein killed himself before the plan could be put into effect. Such a plot is by no means inconceivable, but there’s no reason to believe it and no discernible route to uncovering it if it were true.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                What there wasn’t reason for was the assumption that no one was looking into things.

                Is the suspicion that the people who were looking into things had their stories spiked a reasonable one?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                That’s a different question. You were the one who set the terms of the discussion by asserting that no one was looking into Epstein’s death. I asked how you knew. You didn’t. You were wrong about that, as all the MSM stuff you so dutifully posted about what MSM folk were looking into and found about Epstein’s death showed.
                If you want to argue about whether, before we knew how things would turn out, there was some reason to believe that someone who did look into Epstein’s death might get a story spiked, anyone who finds that subject interesting is welcome to discuss it. I’m content to rest on how things turned out.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                There’s fishiness all over, CJ.

                And given that there were a number of things that were fishy about his not being arrested, and then fishy things about his incarceration, and then fishy things about his death (because there were fishy things there), and the argument was that these things might have been fishy but, seriously, these things happen all the time…

                Well, we still don’t have answers to a lot of the questions that people have.

                And that’s fishy.

                Even if Epstein managed to break his hyoid bone in three places through a leaning suicide and there’s no reason to believe that he didn’t.

                You appear to think that it’s reasonable to give the benefit of the doubt against fishiness even in the face of admitting that the media spikes stories that are inconvenient to people in power.

                And I don’t.

                And senior correspondents admitting, on camera, that management spikes stories that they don’t like strikes me as a better reason for me to hold my views than it does for me to switch to your view.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                I’m not asking you to switch to my view. I’m pointing out that you made a positive declaration of fact about what was happening and what would happen that was wrong.
                You can have all the suspicions you want, and there were reasons to be suspicious (not especially persuasive, but reasons) but — unless Barr is lying — there is video proof that no one entered Epstein’s cell in the window needed to kill him. Pathologists can disagree all they want about the significance of hyloid bone fractures, but even if the type of fracture is more common in chokings than in hangings, nobody choked Epstein. As for the rest of it, yes, these things do happen all the time, sad as that is, and that is why we are never likely to get answers to why what happens all the time happened this time.
                You can have all the suspicions you want, especially those that confirm your priors. I’ll rest on how things actually turned out.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                To be honest, I’d be willing to say that, sure, there are reasons to say that, sure, the evidence points to Epstein merely committing suicide.

                Why, even people in power pointed out that they looked at the footage and said, nope, nothing fishy here… after admitting that, yes, everything looked fishy as hell first (which, if you ask me, was an admission that Barr, at least, had his eyes open).

                But we still don’t know what happened with Epstein before the suicide and, for some reason, that information still seems to not be coming out and *THAT* is fishy whether or not the admittedly fishy suicide turns out to be exactly what the people in power say it was.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “I’ll rest on how things actually turned out.”

                And how things actually turned out is (mumble) and that PROVES there was NOTHING FISHY AT ALL, now SHUT UP.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Reading comprehension problems still not solved?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Amazing thread.

                It’s like Ronan Farrow and Harvey Weinstein never happened!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                You know, back in the days of double digit inflation a lot of my lefty friends claimed that inflation wasn’t a natural outcome of monetary policy and consumer demand, but simply Big Corporations jacking up prices to gouge consumers.

                Of course Reagan Chip scoffed. But then around 2000 I discovered that holy cow, Enron did exactly that, manipulated prices to gouge consumers.

                But see, the proof of one conspiracy doesn’t validate all others. They each need to be able to stand on their own logic.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                I remember Farrow and Weinstein. I remember that very big, highly-publicized article published in the MSM New Yorker. Lots of people read it.
                I also remember a kerfuffle about whether the story he had developed for NBC was as well-sourced as the one later published in the New Yorker. I don’t recall anyone coming forward with anything that would help anyone on the outside determine who was right in that pissing contest. That would be moderately interesting.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                “We know for a fact that the publisher of the National Enquirer practiced “capture and kill” where at the behest of people like Donald Trump would purchase stories then refuse to run them. This is a real example of “spiking”.”

                Of course it is… that’s the point.

                Unless you want to be consistent and explain to us that we can’t be sure that its capturing/spiking or just plain editorial prudence. I mean you assert that we “know for a fact…”

                We know for a fact that ABC spiked (at least one) Epstein story.

                Its kinda strange that BSDI is cropping up here… its not a BSDI thing.Report

  85. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Have you seen this interview with Cindy McCain? (Don’t worry. It’s only two and a half minutes.)


  86. Avatar Jaybird says:

    One of the things I had been wondering is “why hasn’t the media shown more interest in this particular story?”

    Well, I got a suspicion confirmed today:


    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      No link to said video?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        It’s a video of Mark Dougan talking and then a still from the alleged blackmail video (with pretty much everything but the face of the guy alleged to be Steve Burke blacked out).

        Sadly, the people posting links to it all appear to be conspiracy kinda people with strange fixations… and Mark Dougan also happens to have youtube videos where he walks around Moscow talking about how awesome it is to be in Russia.

        Which, sadly, makes it really easy to say stuff like “you believe this guy? He’s walking around Russia!” and “can you believe the other people who believe this guy? They’re saying that Epstein belonged to intelligence!”

        But Mark Dougan has it up on his youtube channel. Which I have just confirmed is googleable.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          So … you could post a link?

          If a video exists, it is trivial to link to it. Yet no one pushing this story is linking to it. That’s what we call “odd”.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            The video itself is loaded on Bitchute (though Mark Dougan’s youtube links to it).

            Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Bitchute:

            “The platform accommodates far-right individuals and conspiracy theorists; with the Southern Poverty Law Center saying the site hosts “hate-fueled material.”

            Q.E.D., I suppose.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              That is not a link to the video.

              Is it impossible to link to the video? Is it some darkweb thing where I have to set up 400 TOR nodes to look at it or something?

              Perhaps there is a massive conspiracy including all the DNS providers and broadband companies to hide the truth from us.

              The truth is out there, ya know!

              Anyway, the absence of any link to the video is rather odd.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Here. I’ve confirmed that the first hit takes you to his channel. The video where he talks about the video that he posted to bitchute is titled “EPSTEIN VIDEO ARCHIVE UPDATE: HAVE WE IDENTIFIED A SUSPECT?”Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                That’s not a link to a video. It’s a link to a wrapper around Google search.

                If it is on Youtube, you can link to the exact video. In fact, you can link to a timestamp within the video that shows the incriminating event. No one is doing that. It’s curious.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I don’t want to link to bitchute, sorry.


                No thanks.

                You have everything you need to get the information.

                And everything you apparently need to say that it’s not particularly credible.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                So it’s not on YouTube, but you provided a Google search for his YouTube channel? You want me to watch a video where he talks about the actual video.

                It just find it weird that people are saying, “Hey there is incriminating evidence,” but won’t just link to it. If the evidence was so convincing, you’d think they’d want everyone to see it. Instead, they only mention it.

                That sure is an interesting strategy.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        Surely {random person on Twitter} wouldn’t stretch the truth. Anyway, I guess these videos are with this guy: https://nypost.com/2019/09/21/damning-evidence-on-prince-andrew-could-be-in-russian-hands-mi6/

        He has apparently fled to Russia after this:

        By 2012, he was running loose-cannon websites accusing his former fellow sheriffs of corruption, fascism and even child molestation.

        This all sounds a bit Q-Anon-esque. Of course, it could be true.

        One obvious question: if he has all this incriminating information, why not just release it onto the Internet? It seems like an obvious step.

        Perhaps Russia would only give him asylum if he agreed to give them the leverage of the videos. On the other hand, did he have no other options? I understand how a person threatened by “powerful forces” could make a deal with the devil. On the other hand, perhaps he’s just a nutter.

        Would Russia bother with him if he didn’t have the goods? Maybe. I can imagine they enjoy the whole “loose cannon” aspect. The Russians do seem to have an interest in sewing chaos. With or without any actual incriminating videos, I can see why Russia would enjoy having him under their thumb. Without the videos, we cannot know for sure.

        Anyway, that was my thirty seconds of research. I guess you can find out more on this site


        Their banner image includes some kind of masonic-esque logo and the motto: “Gnosis. Your right to know. Your right to knowledge.”

        No doubt an impeccable source.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Ahhh…. aka “Steve” Burke.

      No wonder. Probably needed advanced AI/ML to comb through the data to make connections like that.Report

  87. Avatar Jaybird says:

    And Netflix is getting into the whole Epstein thing as well:

    Probably won’t be as fun to watch as Tiger King.Report

  1. August 11, 2019

    […] New York Times, The Guardian, BizPac Review, The Resurgent, UPI and TMZ.com, Daily Wire, VICE, Ordinary Times, BizPac Review, The Gateway Pundit, New York Post and Lawyers, Guns & […]Report