PIX11’s Turkey Dude

Edwin Lyngar in a role that will surprise you…

Meet PIX11’s Turkey Dude:

He bears a striking resemblance to a shady character who’s previously graced these pages: blogger Edwin Lyngar, known to cavort about as faux poultry in connection with his sideline as an atheist wedding officiant. Indeed, Lyngar is atheism’s “man of a thousand faces,” many of them thoroughly sh-tfaced:

edwin-lyngar-green-behind-the-ears_v03c

Blowhard blogger Edwin Lyngar

You would recall that when Lyngar’s not planting false stories on Salon.com at the behest of his well-seasoned (or salty) literary agent Elizabeth Kracht, he’s doling out instructions on boating safety for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. (And believe me, the saf-e-ty of the public is always the uppermost thing in their minds.)

Though I lack proof positive, I’m personally convinced that Turkey Dude is in fact Edwin Lyngar. The build and IQ are both about right. Then too, boating safety doesn’t pay a packet, and neither does his monthly rant for Salon. As for his manuscript “Guy Parts” (tentatively renamed “Chicken Parts”), it’s been looking for a home longer than Little Orphan Annie. Continue reading

LENIE and PENIE Awards for 2015

Brother and sister clinch coveted LENIE and PENIE awards!

Each year at this time,* the Ethics & Spirituality Blog presents one award for Legal Ethics Not In Evidence (the “LENIE“), and a second award for Publishing Ethics Not In Evidence (the “PENIE“) to two qualified candidates.

Candidates must demonstrate exceptional ability in at least one of the following areas: social climbing, backstabbing, insensitivity, demagoguery, hypocrisy, abuse of power, or avarice.

In a rare occurrence, this year a brother and sister have scampered away with both awards!

For exploits recounted in “The ACLU and Religious Freedom, Part 3,” Joe Kracht — sometimes known as the Lawton law firm’s “Burning Man” — wins this year’s LENIE. Joe will receive an autographed picture of Roy Cohn and a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

For exploits likewise recounted in “How far would you go to get a book deal?” Elizabeth Kracht — sometimes known as Kimberley Cameron & Associates’ “Godmother of Corruption” — wins this year’s PENIE. Liz will receive an all-expense-paid cruise to Yorkeys Knob with Rupert Murdoch, and a year’s supply of kitty-litter. As an additional bonus, her red hair helmet will be steam-cleaned and revivified.

Note: The phrase “all-expense-paid cruise” should not be inappropriately applied to Ms. Kracht’s teenage years.

Remember, there are 365 days in a year. If you act badly enough on any one of them (particularly on the Internet), you just might snag yourself a LENIE or PENIE.

DISCLAIMER: Taxes and gratuities not included. Not available in Nebraska, Idaho, or Yucatan. Some parts may be made of oleomargarine. Valid ID must be presented at time of award. Candidates may be required to sing the Tippy Tippy Tiptoe song while balancing on one leg and gargling Drano. Some ingredients may cause drowsiness or increased risk of moist armpits. Do not use if you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or have ever used the word “pregnant” in a sentence, even humorously. Less than 2% of candidates saw little green men. Do not speak to these men or give them matches. If you see something, say something.

*Of course, there’s no tradition like a new tradition. 😉

False Salon Story: What was said at the time

Collecting good rebuttals to bad journalism

I previously blew the whistle on blogger Edwin Lyngar and his agent Elizabeth Kracht for planting a false story in Salon libeling the late meditation teacher and humanitarian Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007). I analyzed the false Salon story in relation to a false story (on a different subject) appearing in Rolling Stone. (See “Can Salon Learn From Rolling Stone’s Mistakes? Part 1.”)

I’ve recently been beating the bushes, making a nuisance of myself, trying to track down what people said at the time in rebuttal to Salon. I remembered people wrote some good things, but realized they were scattered in different places and somewhat difficult to access. So I hope no one minds that I’ve collated what different people said and presented it in a single blog post, where the whole may be greater than the sum of the parts. The purpose is to resolve a matter of public concern. Continue reading

How far would you go to get a book deal?

At Kimberley Cameron & Associates, K is for korruption.

With the summer season upon us, it’s well to take a moment to reflect on safe driving and safe workshopping. Safe driving we all know about, but safe workshopping, you ask?

It’s no secret that the publishing industry is in distress, with a midlist that’s all but moribund. This means it’s harder than ever for even talented writers to break out with a first book deal. As for the less talented…

This summer, many of us will travel to writers’ conferences where we hope to improve our writing craft. At least, that should be our main goal; but brochures often tout the presence of literary agents and a chance to press their flesh, wow them with an elevator pitch, and perhaps slip a well-honed chapter into their Gucci handbag (if not padlocked or booby-trapped).

Judging by the apocrypha emerging from faithful attendees at prior conferences, we can also assume a fair amount of time will be spent osculating the posterior of said literary agents, for it is well known that when the sphincter is thus palpitated, this spurs agents on to greater zeal in finding a publisher for even second-rate manuscripts.

Such osculation is not illegal between consenting adults, and helps to fill the awkward silences at literary gatherings — those moments when the last of the Chardonnay has died a poetic death, and no amount of patchouli oil can cover the stench of naked literary ambition. In such moments, it’s considered wise to pucker up. (Tip #1: Always lubricate the lips with ample hyperbole, e.g.: “You’re a God among literary agents! I would travel to the ends of the earth in hope of a mere glance from your well-connected countenance…”)

This has become an accepted, customary, and even obligatory ritual in the flirtations between writers and literary agents. But what if an agent asks you to go beyond accepted norms and engage in activities considered risky or extreme? What if the agent is Elizabeth Kracht?

As documented in the extended article “Can Salon Learn From Rolling Stone’s Mistakes? Part 1,” in May 2014 blogger Edwin Lyngar planted a false story in Salon. His literary agent, Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, set him up. She put him in touch with a fabulist source who was a close personal friend of hers from high school, Celia Corona-Doran, who would feed Lyngar a false story which would hang him. His chances of ever being taken seriously as a journalist would be ruined. Naturally, Lyngar didn’t fact-check. Continue reading

Can Salon Learn From Rolling Stone’s Mistakes? Part 1

The Rolling Stone/UVA debacle was preventable but not unique. Salon had a similar breakdown in early 2014, likewise due to somnolent editors and fabulist sources, plus a hidden element of corruption.

Continue reading

The ACLU and Religious Freedom, Part 1

The ACLU has often fought for the rights of minority adherents, including Eastern spiritual seekers. BRAVO ACLU!

I might not be able to avoid criticising some attorneys for harassing minority faith groups. But my purpose here today is to praise the American Civil Liberties Union for often coming to the rescue of minority adherents.

aclu_logoThe backdrop for understanding these issues is this: America was built on noble ideals of religious freedom which are part of its very soul. Yet, religious freedom is not a given; it must often be won and re-won by successive generations of immigrant groups or new faith groups which spring up indigenously. Counterbalancing the ideals of religious freedom, we sometimes find that conformism, populism, and authoritarianism lead America in a quite different, less flattering direction. Continue reading