Stone’s guest was Andrew Kerr of The Citizen’s Audit.
Before I get to the interview, a bit of background is in order.
During the 2016 campaign, Brock unleashed Correct The Record (CTR), a super PAC, to defend Hillary Clinton in the media, particularly on social media. The CTR website was deactivated on December 31, 2016.
During the weekend following Trump’s inauguration — 21 and 22 January — Brock held a conference in southern Florida for activists, politicians and donors. His objective is to raise $40m to keep his media projects alive.
However, not everyone on the Left is sold on Brock. Two articles, critical of him, appeared around this time.
One of these, dated January 19, came from The Nation: ‘The Poisonous Politics of David Brock’. It said that WikiLeaks emails revealed that Clinton campaign people, such as John Podesta and Neera Tanden, did not think too highly of Brock:
Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress, called him a “menace,” and “shady,” while musing whether he was a “Manchurian candidate of the GOP secretly out to tank [Clinton].” Podesta, chair of the Clinton campaign, suggesting Brock was merely an “unhinged narcissist.”
Bernie Sanders was a target of Brock’s propaganda:
After months of slurs, Sanders erupted, denouncing Brock and the Clinton campaign for trafficking this dreck: “What the Clinton people do very well which is what modern politics is about is you spin,” Sanders said. “I don’t think you hire scum of the Earth to be on your team just because the other side does it.”
Then, there is the question of how Brock uses his PACs:
Throughout the campaign, good government groups also criticized Brock’s Correct the Record for trampling federal restrictions on campaign spending by asserting its right to coordinate directly with the Clinton campaign.
Brock used to be right-of-centre until the early 1990s. The Nation is still suspicious:
One question when you build a political weapon is who aims the gun. Brock is not a man of the left. His institutions are not grounded in the populist-progressive movement. He’s an agent of the Democratic establishment, funded significantly by its biggest donors.
On January 26, after Brock’s conference, The Daily Beast posted ‘Dems to David Brock: Stop Helping, You are Killing Us’. Although the event was well attended:
many Democratic grassroots activists and campaign alums have been giving his proposed plans some stern side-eye.
“His ability to produce wins for Democrats is nonexistent,” Jeff Weaver, former campaign manager for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential run, told The Daily Beast. “He does not have the kind of understanding of what kind of coalition you have to bring together to win national races—that’s his fundamental problem” …
Brock bragged early last year that his team had assembled a mountain of damning oppo that could “knock Trump Tower down to the sub-basement.” But Trump Tower still stands, and Brock’s groups failed to help Clinton to victory.
Meanwhile, his minions online are making life miserable for anyone who even reasonably disagrees with the Democrats and others on the American Left.
Brock’s 2020 plan for Media Matters, which he pitched at his conference, is written in inflammatory language. On page 3 of the PDF, we read (emphases in the original):
Over the next four years, Media Matters will focus on achieving the following outcomes:
Serial misinformers and right-wing propagandists inhabiting everything from social media to the highest levels of government will be exposed.
Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists.
Toxic alt-right social media-fueled harassment campaigns that silence dissent and poison our national discourse will be punished and halted.
On January 26, the Washington Free Beacon reported:
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on its interactions with Media Matters, but a source familiar with the company’s thinking stressed that it routinely speaks with groups from across the political spectrum.
Media Matters has also been trying to enlist Google in its fake news fight, though it is not clear whether it has engaged in the same level of behind-the-scenes collaboration with the search engine giant that it has with Facebook.
“After Google revised their terms of service in order to prohibit so-called fake news sites from using their advertising network, it was Media Matters that had the information necessary to identify 40 of the worst fake news sites to which this policy applied,” the briefing book states.
If Media Matters is successful, it adds, “Google will cut off these pages’ accompanying sites’ access to revenue by pulling their access to Google’s ad platform.”
Google did not respond to questions about its interactions with the group.
Both Google and Facebook have recently taken steps that appear to align with Media Matters’ stated goals.
Brock runs several media-oriented entities. Andrew Kerr told Roger Stone:
These are all propaganda organisations
designed to protect the Clintons.
14 entities [which worked] with the Clinton campaign.
He probably did burn through $40m during the campaign and now he is appealing to his donors for another $40m.
Given all Donald Trump faced, it’s a miracle that he won.
Kerr discussed the legality of some of what Media Matters does, such as data mining, and touched on the First Amendment:
Media Matters for America is supposed to be a charitable organisation.
They have a line into major social media organisations to monitor what is posted online from ‘serial misinformers’.
Kerr said it is unclear whether this type of data mining is legal; he thinks it probably isn’t.
However, Brock is a master at spotting loopholes that he can exploit.
Kerr went on to say that Brock’s people were the ones who got Roger Stone off cable news programmes, even for the briefest of comments. Stone, of course, needed no reminders.
They want people silenced who speak against the status quo.
He surmised that this is why negative comments in response to Trump’s tweets have been float to the top recently. This is definitely true. You have to scroll a long way down to find anything from his supporters. Some of these anti-Trump trolls even tweet several responses in succession which makes them look as if they are having a conversation with themselves. However, each negative tweet contributes to producing an eventual stack of cordwood.
Kerr then talked about fake news, which he said had ‘backfired’.
a significant percentage of Americans get their news from Facebook and Twitter.
Would they want information from alternative media?
We don’t know.
Stone, frustrated by Brock’s successful machinations against him, said that Brock really needed to be called to justice for data mining and smearing those who disagree with him.
Kerr responded by explaining how hard it would be to pin anything untoward on Brock’s organisations. He said he started looking into these various organisations about six months ago. They maintain that, because their PACs don’t pay for any advertising, they are free to do what they wish.
However, Kerr thinks the issue is with how these 14 entities interact with Media Matters. He pointed out that they all share the same office space.
Kerr said that Brock has everything organised in such a way that the Federal Election Commission doesn’t know what to do or how to enforce the law. Brock, he said, is protected by non-profits and super PACs all working together:
It’s so hard to talk about because it’s so complicated.
Kerr concluded the conversation by saying he hoped to be able to figure all of this out, because, if he did, it could be very problematic for Brock, meaning possible back taxes due and revocation of charitable status.
It’s worth noting that Kerr has not had any new posts on his website since February 7. One wonders if he has been threatened or silenced. No doubt he is still investigating Brock’s set up, however, it would be a crying shame if Brock or his people were intimidating Kerr.
In closing, I wanted to give you an illustration from Reddit’s The_Donald from Saturday, March 4 on how the Left works to suppress free speech. There are a series of screenshots which explain why and how The_Donald has to continually fight for survival on Reddit, even though, ironically, it is probably their most popular subreddit, or forum. Late last autumn, the Reddit CEO banned them from crossposting on other subreddits. Even so, the numbers of members and readers of The_Donald continues to increase. Right now, approximately 370k have signed on to it as members.
The first screengrab comes from a post on 4chan, which many contributors to The_Donald as well as leftists, read and comment on. Anything below with ‘r/’ before it is a different subreddit:
This is simply an explanation of how Shareblue and all of its associates are controlling Reddit. The mods of r/esist were just so flagrant about it that they revealed their strategy, which I am naming “subreddit parallelism”.
- Create many different anti-Trump political subreddits
- Submit the same link to all of these subreddits
- Coordinate together to get some of these on /rising by upvoting at the same time
- Some of these submissions then bubble up to /all
- Go to 2
If we wanted to colonize Reddit again like we initially did with r/the_donald we need to engage in the same Subreddit Parallelism as they are doing. If you look at the image, you can see that the mods of r/esist are nearly always the ones who submit the Top posts.
Take a look now: https:/www.reddit.com/r/esist
You’ll see 71tsiser and resistmod both have 25k+ upvoted posts, after bragging about rigging the system yesterday.
The subsequent screenshots explain more.
It’s difficult to see any solution coming soon. This online propaganda war will just have to play itself out. With Congressional elections coming up in 2018 — 33 Senate and all 435 House seats — it’s unlikely to stop any time soon.