Did Mike Cernovich lie to 60 Minutes?

60 Minutes

60 Minutes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, Mike Cernovich has had a lot of media exposure. A couple of weeks ago, he was featured on a 60 Minutes segment about Fake News.[1] Earlier this week, he claimed he published a scoop about Susan Rice, who was Obama’s last National Security Advisor (NSA). In his post on Medium[2], he claimed he had revealed a story that neither journalists from New York Times or other outlets would publish.

In the midst of the publicity a story emerged about Mike Cernovich’s approach to journalism.[3] In that story, the author made reference to his YouTube video where he states that PizzaGate is real[4] The relevant section is at 44:54.

There he says quite clearly that PizzaGate is real. He follows by telling his viewers to keep investigating and keep putting the pieces together. (See 45:07 to 46:00.) The language is reminiscent of that which inspired Edgar Maddison Welch to go to Comet Pizza armed with a rifle to “self-investigate”.[5]

During the 60 Minutes interview, in a part not broadcast but published by Mr Cernovich[6], he was asked about PizzaGate. He denied that he had mentioned the pizzeria’s name. He says the following.

Mike Cernovich: Well, first of all, we have to draw lines between what I wrote, which is an expert analysis on Hillary Clinton’s health[7], versus a completely different story, where I never named the pizzeria. And I never thought that the pizzeria was at the center of this. And then people, I would say that it was fake news that people would try to connect me to that pizzeria thing when I never said there was never anything going on in there. And moreover, the lawyer, it would strike me a utterly bizarre if a pizzeria were running any kind of weird operation out of it. 100%. I never, I never wrote that story. So if you guys want to say this is bad, we don’t agree with it, that’s bad and unappreciated. This is fair criticism. But let’s talk about what I wrote and why I wrote it, versus what other people wrote and the conclusions other people reached. [emphasis added]

When we read this paragraph, two logical impossibilities emerge. A logical impossibility is when statements contradict each other. They both cannot be true. If you say something is not X, then it cannot be X. This is an immutable law of logic. Something cannot be both X and not X at the same time. Mike Cernovich spoke two logical impossibilities.

The first set of logically contradictory claims are:

“Pizzagate is True”

and

“I never thought that the pizzeria was at the center of this.”

You cannot say that PizzaGate is real without a pizza shop being at the heart of it. There is no PizzaGate without the pizza shop. As there is only one pizza shop in the conspiracy theory, he has to believe that the pizzeria is at the center of it. Perhaps he can explain how there can be a PizzaGate without a pizza shop.

The second set of logically contradictory claims are:

“PizzaGate is true”

and

“I never said there was never anything going on in there.”

If PizzaGate is true, then by definition “something” has to be “going on in there”. You cannot have PizzaGate without “something going in there.”

Mike Cernovich has a problem. Either he was lying to 60 Minutes or he was lying in the video, or both. He will have to explain to 60 Minutes or his followers, or both, what he really meant because it appears he was lying to one of them or both of them. Either way, it appears that he does, promote Fake News as evidenced by his claim that “PizzaGate is true”.

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-fake-news-60-minutes-producers-investigate/

[2] https://medium.com/@Cernovich/susan-rice-requested-unmasking-of-incoming-trump-administration-officials-30085b5cff16

[3] http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/donald-trump-jr-mike-cernovich

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZmljpEf4q4

[5] http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/edgar-maddison-welch-pizzagate-charges-232570

[6] https://medium.com/@Cernovich/here-is-the-full-60-minutes-interview-transcript-with-mike-cernovich-a0cb58a80ba0

[7] For the reader: This claim is not true. Mr Cernovich is not an expert in Hillary Clinton’s health. He is not medically trained. His analysis was a logically flawed blog post relying on a physician who has no expertise in the alleged medical condition Parkinson’s Disease, never examined Hillary Clinton nor has access to her medical records. Mr Cernovich wrote his blog post based on the physician’s analysis which was, in turn, based on YouTube videos he had studied. Neither Mr Cernovich’s analysis nor that of his source can be considered expert analysis. An expert is someone who has specific knowledge and training beyond the layman and the training and knowledge is recognized by other experts. A self-professed expert is neither.

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About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
This entry was posted in demagogic, democracy, ethics, journalism, public interest, public opinion, reputation management and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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