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  #41  
Old 07 September 2018, 02:56 PM
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Melania forced Jared to blackmail Pence into writing it....

Mystery solved!
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  #42  
Old 07 September 2018, 04:07 PM
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I could be wrong. Just a gut reaction based on style and vocabulary. It has a self-conscious air and the writer(s?) may have tried to disguise the voice.
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  #43  
Old 07 September 2018, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I just read an article on CNN where they speculated that it is almost certainly not a second or third row person because people at the Times know who it is and they would not have accepted such a piece, anonymously from anyone, but his top advisers.
Let's just say it's Pence's speechwriter. Would that be considered "second row"? I would accept that as worthy of the anonymous; it certainly wouldn't surprise me if the Times would.

I've got it! It's Sessions, and Trump knows it - that's why Trump gives him so much $#!~.
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  #44  
Old 07 September 2018, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
From what I remember the authorship of some of the disputed Federalist Papers was resolved based on questions like which author wrote "while" and which author wrote "whilst".
That's how they know Hamilton wrote... THE OTHER 51!
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  #45  
Old 07 September 2018, 05:25 PM
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It crossed my mind that it could be authored by two people, which would also, perhaps make it more comfortable to deny being "the one who wrote it." But, after hearing the Op-Ed editor interviewed last night, I'm sure it was a single person, just based on how he referred to the writer.

I heard Marco Rubio discussing it this morning on NPR. I do think Republicans in Congress should put up or shut up on this. He criticized the author, and said that it's Congress's job to check the President's power. But then he defended the President's fitness for office and essentially chalked it up to Trump not being a politician, and having a different style.
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  #46  
Old 07 September 2018, 07:24 PM
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Default If you were in the White House, how would you tackle Trump?

A new and unhinged American president orders a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea. The senior officials who surround him are terrified, desperate to thwart his will, resorting to subterfuge to prevent the man they serve from wreaking havoc. They are the resistance from within. Two of them have a hushed conversation about the 25th amendment of the US constitution, which allows for a president to be declared incapacitated. When that road is blocked, they contemplate an even more drastic solution …

That was the starting point of the novel whose manuscript I delivered in January 2017, two days after Donald Trump had sworn the oath of office. The book, To Kill the President, was published last year last year under the pseudonym Sam Bourne. When I wrote it, none of us knew for sure what the Trump presidency would look like. But this week, Washington Post legend Bob Woodward published Fear, based on detailed interviews with Trump insiders. Among other things, the book describes “repeated episodes of anxiety inside the government over Trump’s handling of the North Korean nuclear threat. One month into his presidency, Trump asked [the head of the US military] for a plan for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea.”

True, Trump only asked for a plan, rather than ordering a nuclear assault, but what the two stories – my imagined one and the real one from Woodward – have in common is the president’s top lieutenants conspiring to ensure his orders are not implemented. By way of confirmation, this week also saw a bombshell opinion article in the New York Times, in which an unnamed “senior White House official” declared him- or herself part of “a quiet resistance within the administration” of Donald Trump, “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations”. The anonymous author further revealed that there had been “early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th amendment”.


https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ions-president
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  #47  
Old 07 September 2018, 07:38 PM
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How would I tackle Trump? Same as anyone else: Hit them low, with the shoulder...

I can't imagine being in a position to deal with Trump, or at least not for very long. Eventually I would tell him to his face that he was a lying ignoramus (putting it mildly), and, assuming he knows what an "ignoramus" is, I'd be thrown out the door if I didn't storm out. I'm not the kind of person who keeps his mouth shut when The Boss appears to be wrong. (I remember expressing disagreement with my "grandboss" so to speak at a meeting at a job I had in the eighties; we really weren't disagreeing so much as wanting to use productivity figures in a different way. But what got me was that people afterwards seemed incredibly impressed and almost a little scared that I had dared do this; to me it didn't seem like a big deal.)

Now, if I met him unexpectedly...well, I hope I never do; it would end badly.
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  #48  
Old 07 September 2018, 09:39 PM
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Default This Linguist Helped Investigate the Unabomber. Here’s His Take on the New York Times

Amateur sleuths are hard at work trying to unmask the author of that anonymous Trump-bashing op-ed in The New York Times, but even professional linguists say that identifying the “senior official” through the 957 words published this week will be very difficult.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-l...a=twitter_page
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  #49  
Old 08 September 2018, 12:07 AM
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From that article:

Quote:
His colleagues—Georgetown professor Roger Shuy and FBI forensic linguist James Fitzgerald—helped crack the Unabomber case by analyzing Ted Kaczynski's 35,000 word manifesto.
Which is odd; because that's not what cracked the Unabomber case. What cracked the Unabomber case is that his sister-in-law and brother recognized the ideas and expressions in the manifesto, and turned him in.

I posted a cite to that earlier, on the previous page; but there's lots more online.

ETA: I expect that Shuy and Fitzgerald did work on the case -- lots of people were working on it, and having linguists analyze it certainly made sense. But that's not what cracked it. Maybe they'd have got there eventually; but maybe not.
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  #50  
Old 08 September 2018, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Which is odd; because that's not what cracked the Unabomber case. What cracked the Unabomber case is that his sister-in-law and brother recognized the ideas and expressions in the manifesto, and turned him in.
Sure, but it says "helped crack the case". It was the linguistic analysts who convinced a judge to issue a search warrant after the Unabomber's brother and sister-in-law came forward. So the family was obviously really important, but the linguists played a role in cracking the case.
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  #51  
Old 09 September 2018, 05:17 PM
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Slate is pointing the finger at Jon Huntsman:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...ter-trump.html
Quote:
Huntsman is an obvious suspect for several reasons. The article’s themes are classic Huntsman: effusive about conservative policies, blunt about low character. In 2016, he made the same points for and against Trump. The topic that gets the most space and detail in the piece is Huntsman’s current area, Russia. (As Slate’s Fred Kaplan points out, Trump has been circumventing and undermining Huntsman.) The prose, as in Huntsman’s speeches and interviews, is flamboyantly erudite. The tone, like Huntsman’s, is pious. And the article’s stated motive—“Americans should know that there are adults in the room”—matches a letter that Huntsman wrote to the Salt Lake Tribune in July. In the letter, Huntsman, responding to a columnist who thought the ambassador should resign rather than keep working for Trump, explained that public servants such as himself were dutifully attending to the nation’s business.
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  #52  
Old 09 September 2018, 06:10 PM
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I would think that the New York Times would have re-written the article completely to change the style but not the facts so the originator could not be identified by linguistic analysis.
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  #53  
Old 09 September 2018, 06:28 PM
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Eh... why? And how? At best, they’d be trying to commit the "perfect crime" (in that try as you might, you can never be sure you took care of everything). At worst, they’d be changing key points of phrasing in a way that might affect delivery and meaning. Either way, they’re expending a lot of effort for something the source had to have known might just come back at them no matter how hard they tried.

Offering anonymity to an author is a serious enough decision for a legit news agency. Going out of their way to downright obfuscate someone who isn’t exactly spilling the beans on national secrets would be way overboard IMHO.

Last edited by ASL; 09 September 2018 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Syntax. Or to obscure the identity of the author. j/k lol
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  #54  
Old 09 September 2018, 06:32 PM
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Why? Because the author wants to remain anonymous.

How? By using different phrasing, sentence length, synonyms, tense and other things that Brad from Georgia knows about that I don't.
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  #55  
Old 09 September 2018, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
Why? Because the author wants to remain anonymous.
Sure, but the author isn’t always entitled to remain anyonymous while also using a major news organization as an outlet. If a newspaper or other outlet falls back on anynmous sources, particularly anynmous op-eds, too often or in trivial cases, it may call into question the integrity of the organization. They went out on a limb by allowing the op-ed to be published anonymously (risked their credibility in a sense), ostensibly because they felt the message was important and the decision was defensible.

How defensible would it be to, on top of that, re-write the thing wholesale, even with the permission of the author? Is it really a Trump insider bad-mouthing the President, or is it just more of the "liberal media" making stuff up to sell papers and generate clicks?

Quote:
How? By using different phrasing, sentence length, synonyms, tense and other things that Brad from Georgia knows about that I don't.
Sure, but again, you can’t be guaranteed to get everything while also being assured that there is no loss of context. Short of developing their own forensic writing profile on the author and then using that to guide revisions (at great expense) I don’t see how you do it. And even then you might miss something.

If the author had been risking a prison sentence to deliver hard evidence of gross corruption, then I could maybe see the effort. But this is an opinion piece that offers next to nothing we don’t already know/suspect and brings Trump no closer to impeachment. If the author was THAT worried about being anonymous, he or she should have done a better job of covering their tracks (and maybe they have!) or they could have just not published.
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  #56  
Old 09 September 2018, 10:45 PM
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It would be pretty easy to not only re-write to hide the original author but to do the re-write such that it is in the style of another person.

Based on the lucidity of the writing, it is safe to say that the Turnip didn't write it himself as a "false flag" operation.
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  #57  
Old 09 September 2018, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Sure, but again, you can’t be guaranteed to get everything while also being assured that there is no loss of context. Short of developing their own forensic writing profile on the author and then using that to guide revisions (at great expense) I don’t see how you do it. And even then you might miss something.
Text analysis are statistically based. You often can change just one or two words and make it impossible to identify the original author. The analysis can only rank likelihood that a person authored something. A few small changes and the original author would still be in the list of candidate authors but they would no longer stand out enough for the analysis to be able to reliably identify them.
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  #58  
Old 09 September 2018, 11:20 PM
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How much does the identity of the author actually matter?
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  #59  
Old 10 September 2018, 12:40 AM
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Great question. If Pence or Pompeo, it might matter a little. Otherwise, none, IMHO.

Also, I'm gonna be extremely surprised if it turns out the paper changed much if anything. They owe it to the writers to protect their identities but nothing close to that extent. They owe it to their readers not to alter what they've received from these characters. If it turned out the authors were caught by forensics, that's no concern for the paper - unless they made some unbelievably silly promise to try to protect them by editing. If it turns out they edited a lot, it would look terrible.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 10 September 2018 at 12:50 AM.
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  #60  
Old 10 September 2018, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
They owe it to their readers not to alter what they've received from these characters.
Do they? I can see that they shouldn't alter the meaning, but if it turns out that Anonymous asked the editorial board to break up the longer sentences, or to alter some of the rhetorical flourishes, and the board complied, I don't see how the readers are let down.
Quote:
If it turned out the authors were caught by forensics, that's no concern for the paper
It is if they want to protect a source.
Quote:
- unless they made some unbelievably silly promise to try to protect them by editing. If it turns out they edited a lot, it would look terrible.
I'm missing what's silly about it. Would it be the dishonesty? I could sort of see that, but I'm wondering if your disagreement goes beyond something that would be changed if they had just run a disclaimer at the bottom of the piece saying it had been edited but authorized by the source. Because making those changes makes perfect sense to me.

Granted I'm not sure exactly how good forensic linguistics is, and with so much junk science being spit out by places like the BBC, at this point even a decent argument for whoever it is will probably get drowned out.

Also, maybe everyone knows this at this point, but with "lodestar", the editorial uses it to describe McCain. And so did Kissinger at McCain's funeral. So that makes lodestar less like to point to Pence, and more likely to be an offhand reference to a eulogy.
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