The Manipulation of DNC Coverage by a Cabal of Bloggers

David Weigel is a self-described ‘libertarian.’ As such, media manipulation and blatant propaganda don’t seem to bother him. He writes this reverential and even posterior-osculating piece that shows up on Memeorandum today:

The Age of Trolling
How a small band of conservatives generated half of the Democratic Convention’s headlines.
By David Weigel| SLATE
Posted Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, at 6:50 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Joe Biden’s eyes welled up, bigger-than life on the Time Warner Cable Arena screens. “We acknowledge the incredible debt we owe to the families”—fighting back tears now—“of the 6,473 fallen angels.” The Georgia delegate standing next to me sniffed, and took a deep breath to ward off the waterworks. The Democratic strategist on the other side looked vindicated, because up to then, we’d been talking about how the party had been forced to amend its platform language, stuff that voters never seem to care about, because of a media firestorm over its references to Israel.

“This time yesterday,” said the strategist, “I was sitting in my office and asking: Are we really talking about this? Are people really covering this? It’s over, I guess, but how stupid was that?”

Whatever lessons the Democrats take from Charlotte, whatever it did for the president or for the ambitious senators and governors who stalked delegate breakfasts and whispered “2016,” this is a fact: The convention was successfully trolled.

I don’t use troll in the pejorative sense. Actually, I may be trying to craft a neutral meaning of troll where none previously existed. The term, in its modern Internet usage, refers to people who want to start fights online to bring the universe into an argument on their terms. It comes not from Grimm literature, but from a fishing technique in which multiple lines are baited and dragged to haul in the maximum amount of cold-bloods….

Kissy, kissy. This is, in kindly specifics, what I painted for you in broad canvas on Friday, hours before Weigel’s piece was posted, in “This Week in Agit-Prop.”

But at least he gets it: the deliberate, partisan distortion and domination of the news is real. It is confined to a small number of hard-core, interconnected “journalists” whose marching orders come from a single centralized source (Weigel doesn’t get this, of course) and their intentional manipulation of the Democratic Convention with false memes and phony scandals was real and it was effective.

Listen [emphasis added]:

And a small band of happy saboteurs took advantage of that. In Tampa, for the Republican convention, the Weekly Standard and the Washington Examiner, both owned by Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media, had teamed up for a daily mini-magazine of happy-friendly-witty convention stories. A typical headline was “The Pride of New Jersey: Chris Christie, by Those Who Know Him Best.” In Charlotte, a team of four Washington Times reports dropped cluster bombs on the DNC opera, with stories like the platform series and “Another Dem. Compares Republicans to Nazis.” The Dem in question, Alexandra Gallardo Rooker, is vice-chair of the California Democratic Party, one of four people to make a Third Reich metaphor this week and immediately appear on the Drudge Report.

And …

“We put a lot of resources into covering the convention,” says Center for American Freedom’s Michael Goldfarb, “and we think it paid off in our coverage of the platform fiasco that more established papers like the Post all but ignored. There was a real demand for hard-hitting, fact-based coverage of this Godless, anti-Israel convention, and we’re doing our best to give people what they want.”

The ExaminerWashington Times, and Center for American Freedom’s teams were only fractions of the size of the CNN or New York Times teams in Charlotte. But they wrote the convention’s distracting stories.

Gee, Michael Goldfarb. Where have we heard that name before?

Weigel fails to mention that Goldfarb was the John McCain’s “internet” director in 2008, responsible for blogger coordination and outreach. Before that, though, he’d burnished his bona fides with another position. What was that? Hmmm.

Michael Goldfarb

Oh yeah. He’s the thug who was put in charge of the Weekly Standard‘s intentional and successful attack on The New Republic and Scott Thomas Beauchamp for having dared to tell us that not all soldiers in Iraq were behaving as perfect little Christian Soldiers, even as they pressed onward.

“101st Chairborne Tactics Revealed” 2 JUNE 2011:

We only need to go back to Weekly Standard editor Michael Goldfarb’s 2007 called-for and enabled blog swarm attacking the New Republic for publishing stories of what was REALLY going on in Iraq, managing to “out” and publicly and militarily humiliate Scott Thomas Beauchamp to see how this works…

(Beauchamp’s sergeant is now serving time in a Federal penitentiary for having murdered, execution-style, Iraqi civilians.)

The “truth” was maintained by the flying monkey corps that what Beauchamp had written about our Brave, Noble Troops COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE TRUE, and, therefore, he and the New Republic should be punished. The end result was that Beauchamp was subjected to seven kinds of hell (serving in combat), while the New Republic cravenly backed away from him and issued the usual rationalizations and mea culpasWilliam Kristol clapped his hands together in glee. Goldfarb was hired as Internet Communications honcho for the John McCain campaign, and NOT ONE OF THE BASTARDS responsible for this meaningless waste of time and media resources in the phony firestorm was ever held accountable.

One lone blogger tried to sound the alarm, but was ignored — even though eventually proven correct. The tactic worked.

And that lone blogger even elaborated on HOW they manage it:

The tactic was picked up after the 2008 election and refined, but never so much as by Andrew Breitbat and his barking moonbarts. Here’s the technique.

Now, it follows General Disaster’s Recipe for Conflagration:

Harangue, Harumph and Harass.


But you weren’t listening. You still aren’t listening.

I wrote a lot more posts on it, with specifics, etc. and here’s three, in case you give a damn.

I have written myself blue in the face, with zero indication that anybody is either listening, or “gets” it.

Well, at least one “journalist” does. (And is immediately swift-boated for the phony “Journ-O-List” scandal that ousted him from the Washington Post, courtesy of Tucker Carlson and The Daily Caller, funded by Foster “Aspirin Knees” Friess. This is not a refutation, this is a CONFIRMATION by example of what Weigel and I are talking about.)

When Weigel isn’t kissing the ass (as though they would despise him any less) of the very weasels jackbooting through our media landscape to further their fascist agenda.

“FASCIST”!?!?!?!?!? they will scream.

Mussolini defined fascism as the marriage of big government and big business. And he ought to know. He coined the term.

I’m not going to gild the lily further than that.

I might note that Weigel’s piece is, naturally, swarmed by “red” bloggers (a/k/a The Usual Suspects), who would like to dismiss and belittle his inconvenient truth, fawning and adulatory though it is.*

[* RedState (owned by the same people who own Regnery Presson Weigel’s piece in Slate:

In short, for conservatives to report anything that interferes with the organized fellatio of Obama that passed for mainstream media coverage of the Democrat convention is equivalent to internet trolling.

This is what we are up against this fall. We aren’t fighting bias in the media, we are contending with palpable hostility from a media that is viscerally committed to the re-election of Barack Obama. ]

It’s your country. It’s your hides. It’s your freedom of thought and speech that are on the line.

And if you aren’t alarmed or willing to raise a finger, or just want to sit back and say, along with the Press Corpse, “Wot’s all this then?” in a somnolent and self-satisfied manner, that’s your business.

But I am not going to do other than give you the facts, and I’ve given them to you in abundance.

And we all know what “ABUNDANCE” breaks down to, I assume.

A Bun Dance.

Feeding disinformation to the American people

Now, worship Terpsichore to your heart’s content. The Titanic of the American Free Press is sinking while you do the Charleston.

And there aren’t near enough life jackets.


A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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