Archive for ‘Andrew Breitbart’

March 30, 2009

Rule 4 and the Obama Troll Army

Rule 4 of “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog” is Make Some Enemies, and targeting vicious anonymous trolls seems to have paid off handsomely. The early a.m. post about Andrew Breitbart’s latest column got linked lots of places, while I slept and then while I did a 5,000-word set-up for a defecatory punchline. (A self-referential self-indulgence I mean to avoid in the future. Honest.)

So I missed the chance to do all the usual linkback updates, and instead will collect them here with some additional commentary. To begin with, Breitbart himself e-mailed to request clarification. Where I had said:

Breitbart and most other conservatives won’t say this in so many words, because it sounds like McCarthyesque conspiracy theory, but it’s nonetheless true: If you want to understand how the American Left operates, you need to spend time studying how the old CPUSA operated.

Breitbart points to this passage in his column:

The right, for the most part, embraces basic Judeo-Christian ideals and would not promote nor defend the propaganda techniques that were perfected in godless communist and socialist regimes. The current political and media environment crafted by supposedly idealistic Mr. Obama resembles Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela more than John F. Kennedy’s America.

Ergo, Breitbart can’t be accused of overlooking the Bolshevik roots of the Left’s tactical arsenal. Meanwhile, the Only Canadian Who Makes Sense, Kathy Shaidle thought the “diamond pattern” seemed awful familiar, and e-mailed to say that this tactic has been applied against her in journalistic mode. She was interviewed by a reporter, who then went out and interviewed three people who hated her, including their derogation as “balance” in the story. “Diamond pattern,” you see.

Obsessed with “pushback” on anything that could possibly reflect negatively on Obama and the Democrats, a Kossack links us and then blathers on about a bunch of irrelevant crap. Screw you, “Avenging Angel,” you despicable troll. Paco calls them “left-wing blog guerrillas,” but they’re actually the microbial virus that festers within the pathological parasites which infest the pus that oozes from the chancroid sore on the Democratic Party rectal sphincter that is the Obama machine.

Jimmie Bise Jr. at Sundries Shack links up a lot of the reaction and says, “if we don’t defend the right to be clearly understood, someone will buy it right out from under us.” Among those linked by Jimmie is Professor Donald Douglas, who likes Breitbart’s take on ” the left’s secular demonology,” and Pundette, who says, “We need to use our smarts, and we need to keep faith with each other.” Jimmie also links Dan Riehl, who offers his own distinctly skeptical dissent:

The Left isn’t the Right’s worst enemy — the Right, more specifically, the sissies and the mostly pedestrian conservative mouthpieces waiting for their next big scoop via the RNC in our midst, are.
The Right-side of the blogosphere is a snoozefest just waiting for Big Brother to pat them on the head, toss ’em a quarter and tuck them in.

Dan’s a great guy and perhaps the best online researcher in the blogosphere. He does not suffer fools gladly and has even less respect for the Official Republican Establishment than I do. Which is saying something.

Jimmie’s linkathon also included Clarice Feldman at American Thinker (from September) pointing to Jim Treacher’s research on the Axelrod Astroturfing disinfo project. Professor William Jacobson observes:

The internet trolling phenomenon is not entirely surprising, since liberals in general view freedom of speech as meaning the freedom to agree with liberals.

Moe Lane notes that leftoid trolls have long been called “Mobies” at Red State, and adds:

Speaking as a site moderator for a popular conservative website, this is not actually hyperbole. I’m not entirely in agreement with how effective the tactic is – the average practitioner is hampered by both a fundamental lack of empathy for his (it’s usually his) targets, and an overestimation of his IQ by an average of about 20 points* – and I’m not sure that it’s quite that formally organized.

Well, Moe, I think that Axelrod has taken the organizational level up a notch in the past nine months. (Ask some of Hillary’s supporters how viciously effective the Obama online effort was against their girl.) Jim at Gateway Pundit says:

Leftist trolls have been vandalizing the conservative blogosphere since conservatives started blogging but actually coordinated their attacks during the last election cycle.

Now, there are some who would say that such talk is “conspiracy theory,” to which claim PoliGazette correctly responds:

It doesn’t have to be a conspiracy to be a real problem. The “harassment factor” in the blogosphere can be a serious problem, faced disproportionately by conservatives and moderates. Liberals and leftists freely make all sorts of outrageous claims with impunity while conservatives and moderates are forced to defend each and every post to a level of detail that can eventually become wearying.

Right. TaxDayTeaParty.com had to deal with a DOS attack today. The Left does crap like this because it ties up manpower and other resources, decreasing the productive efficiency of resistance. They know exactly what they’re doing. It’s just like when I had to spend six months typing in a word-recognition for every post and update here, because the vile Obamanoids had flagged me as a “spam” blog. In the grand scheme of things, a relatively minor hassle, but a hassle nonetheless, requiring extra labor on my part.

Multiply such hassles many times over, and you see why the subhuman “progressive” scum devote so much time to their vandalistic terrorism, both online and offline. Michelle Malkin had to move after the vermin published her home address. A demented moonbat threatened Jeff Goldstein‘s family. Ann Coulter seldom ventures out unless accompanied by security. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

How The Left Built Its Troll Army
Now, granted that the Left has the will, the knowledge and the destructive immorality to do such things, how is it that they also have the time and resources for their online delinquency? Two words: John Podesta.

The former Clinton henchman, seeing the enormous resources poured out by George Soros and (mostly) wasted by MoveOn.org, recognized a huge opportunity for his organizational aptitude. He spearheaded a number of efforts, including the development of the oxymoronically named Center for American Progress, which worked to connect the wealthy enemies of liberty with the kind of experienced malefactors who could best put their misanthropic so-called “philanthropy” to the most destructive possible use.

Where CAP did not actually hire the Internet goons, they trained them, and helped sponsor the Web sites that served as the incubators for their “progressive” schemes. Here, Podesta and his comrades showed themselves very clever indeed. Suppose that you are a rich liberal who has some sort of business. So you not only give money to CAP and its related ventures, but you advertise your business on liberal blogs and Web sites. The advertising fees are relatively small (Web ads have always been cheap) and are fully qualified as legitimate business expenses, so that you are in effect getting a tax break for political activism.

One thing I’ve repeatedly tried to point out to my Republican and conservative friends in Washington is how much could be accomplished online with small investments, if they only went about it the right way.

The Peril of Professionalism
Something I’ve discerned over the years is that Republicans have a business-style attitude of professionalism toward politics. The well-paid professional GOP operative disdains as a chump the grassroots volunteer. Who would do politics for free, when one can make a lucrative income at it? (Cf., Ralph Reed.)

Politics is a business to the GOP, and the Dress For Success School of Political Operations dominates the mindset of the party hierarchy. Republicans won’t listen to any advice they don’t pay for, and they always want to hire the clean-cut well-spoken fellow with the spotless resume and the nice suit, the guy who has all the right friends, says all the right things, and shows up on time for the meeting with his PowerPoint presentation ready to go.

What Dan Riehl says about the GOP being its own worst enemy is true in this sense. The Republican Party raised $900 million in the 2008 election cycle — this total does not include state parties, various PACs, or individual candidate campaigns, nor all the sums contributed to conservative 501(c) outfits — and any reasonable person must ask, “What the fuck did they do with all that money?”

Friend, I assure you, there are many political operatives living in McMansions in Virginia horse country that were paid for with the contributions of Republican donors. This is the inevitable consequence of the GOP’s ethic of political professionalism, and nobody really cared so long as the Republicans were ascendant.

Let me ask you to consider something that David Frum (of all people) described recently:

I moved to Washington, D.C., in 1996. And there I began to notice something disturbing. While the congressional victory of 1994 had ceased to produce much in the way of important conservative legislation, it sure was producing a lot of wealth for individual conservatives. They were moving from the staff offices of Congress to lobbying firms and professional associations. Washington . . . began to feel like a giant Tupperware party, where people you had thought of as friends suddenly seemed always to be trying to sell you something. Acquaintances of mine began accepting all-expense-paid trips to the South Pacific from Jack Abramoff.

Oh, yeah. Nothing wrong with trying to make a living, but there are lots of people who made a killing during the dozen years between 1994 and 2006, when being “conservative” ceased to be a political allegiance and became a career description. Disagree with Frum’s politics as vociferously as you want (and I have), but this observation of his about the ways of the Washington GOP establishment is dead on target.

CyberSnakeOil.com
Washington is a town full of ambitious political hustlers. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, as I said; I am a capitalist, proud to boast that I Write For Money. (Which reminds me: Hit the tip jar, you ungrateful bastards.) But over the years when GOP coffers were fat and electoral victories were plentiful, the Republican Party and the conservative movement became accustomed to paying too much for everything.

The rationale for this habit of overpaying was apparently something like this: “Well, after all, Art is a smart guy, and he gets good results. He’s a true-blue Republican. He worked for our buddy Al. Why shouldn’t we pay him what he asks?”

This tendency to pay too much for everything has carried over into the online age, and in recent years the Internet Snake Oil Salesman has become a common plague. Everybody and his brother now claims to have the Magic Panacea Elixir to cure whatever ails the GOP, and yet — in a sort of counter-market irony — what the GOP/conservative Establishment actually pays for such services has gone up, not down, as the number of vendors has proliferated. The supply of pixels-for-cash operations has increased, but the demand is so seemingly insatiable that the price keeps rising, and it seems that none of the people writing checks ever stops to ask if they’re getting what they pay for.

My friend Nathan Tabor is a Republican businessman whose TCVMedia does Web site design and online development, both for commercial and political clients. Nathan has a business model that minimizes his expenses so he can deliver a top-quality product for a rock-bottom price. And yet he has often told me with dismay that many Republican/conservative operations continue to pay premium prices for inferior services, because the guys writing the checks don’t seem to care about cost efficiency.

The attitude among GOP bigwigs seems to be that “you get what you pay for,” so they refuse to believe that if they give a guy a $100,000 contract for Web work, that they’re not getting more than what Nathan could sell them for $30,000 — even if TCV’s work is clearly equal or better in quality (which it is).

So you see the kind of stuff that makes conservatives shake their heads and wonder if there is any hope at all. You see why every day is a struggle against cynical despair. Yet I begin to scent a change in the wind. Times are tough, money’s tight, and some of the clueless check-writers are starting to get the suspicion that they’re being bamboozled by PowerPoint Rangers of the GOP’s Consultant Class.

“It is history that teaches us to hope.”

UPDATE: Welcome Riehl World View readers! My friend Dan isn’t really feelin’ the love for Breitbart, and maybe not for me, either. And I don’t mind, of course: Hits is hits. Love me, hate me, hit me, beat me, bite me, rape me, make me write bad checks and call me “Helen.” It makes no nevermind to a two-time Malkin Award nominee. Just link me, dammit!

March 30, 2009

Andrew Breitbart Shows Why He’s Becoming One of the Most Important Columnists in America Today

Ace of Spades was the first to call my attention to the pervasiveness of Obama’s Astroturf blog-troll army. They seemed to start showing up in July, and by September they were ubiquitous. They are apparently paid to do this, and they have persisted past Election Day. In January, they were caught trying to plant “hate” memes at Team Sarah in an effort to discredit Palin.

Yeah, well, guess what, trolls? Now Andrew Breitbart’s got you nailed dead to rights:

Read the comment sections of right-leaning blogs, news sites and social forums, and the evidence is there in ugly abundance. Internet hooligans are spewing their talking points to thwart the dissent of the newly-out-of-power.
We must not let that go unanswered.
Uninvited Democratic activists are on a mission to demoralize the enemy – us. . . . Political leftists play for keeps. They are willing to lie, perform deceptive acts in a coordinated fashion and do so in a wicked way – all in the pursuit of victory. Moral relativism is alive and well in the land of Hope and Change and its Web-savvy youth brigade expresses its “idealism” in a most cynical fashion.

There is a reason that sites like Hot Air and Michelle Malkin require registration, and there is a reason that the comments here are moderated. In the unmoderated comments at AmSpecBlog, wise conservative Ruth says:

This is Axelrod’s strategy to demoralize their (Obama’s) opponents . . . It’s called astro-turfing, and they used it against Hillary first. I read about it on Hillary’s supporters’ blogs during the Democrat Primary, (it drove them nuts). They’re paid . . . and their attacks are coordinated. It’s obvious.

As much as I love a good-free-for-all discussion, David Axelrod’s Astroturf troll army isn’t interested in discussion; they’re paid, full-time political propagandists, and they’re not going to use my bandwidth to spread their message. (I let our designated liberal hall monitor Young4Eyes slide, because he’s so clear about his commitments that he doesn’t fool anyone.)

Waaay back in the day — more than a dozen years ago, before there were blogs — I had some interesting experiences with these “false-flag” trolls who claim to be the exact opposite of the leftist scum they are, and who engage in such familiar tricks as:

  • Inciting participants in discussions to try to get them to say things that can then be quoted as evidence of “hate,” etc.
  • Derogating as futile or self-defeating the projects being planned in the discussion; or
  • Fomenting dissent by suggesting that organizers of a volunteer effort are secretly profiting from the project, or that leaders aren’t really committed to the common cause.

Some of you newbies may not realize it, but these troll tricks are merely updated online versions of the tactics the Communist Party used in its decades-long subversion campaign. Breitbart and most other conservatives won’t say this in so many words, because it sounds like McCarthyesque conspiracy theory, but it’s nonetheless true: If you want to understand how the American Left operates, you need to spend time studying how the old CPUSA operated.

Even more so than Marxist ideology itself, Ronald Reagan said, it was the dishonesty of CPUSA tactics, which he encountered as the leader of the Screen Actors Guild in the ’40, that turned him from a “bleeding heart” liberal into a fierce anti-Communist. Honorable causes do not routinely resort to dishonorable tactics, and the despicable ends-justify-the-means behavior of the Reds convinced Reagan that their ends — their supposedly “idealistic” objectives — were anything but honorable.

Ever heard of the “diamond pattern”? CPUSA operatives used this tactic to control meetings (of labor unions, etc.) back in the day. Send four operatives to the meeting, stationing one at the front of the room, one at the rear, and one each on the left and right sides of the midpoint of the room. When one operative stands up to make his point, the other three are like, “Yeah, he’s right!” This creates the appearance of support throughout the room, in order to bring bandwagon psychology into play.

That tactic, and many others out of the old CPUSA playbook (which such Obama mentors as Saul Alinsky and Frank Marshall knew by heart), have been adapted to the Internet by the Left. And, of course, attempting to thwart these tactics — one must ju-jitsu the Left by employing their own tactics against them — requires studying their methodology like a Korean engineer studying the latest Mercedes design.

Few things are more important in warfare than IFF: Identify Friend or Foe. The same is true in political combat. If your antagonist is able to convince you he’s “on your side” when he’s actually on the other side, he will exploit that deception to demoralize and defeat you. These false-flag “conservative” trolls are trying to exploit flaws in IFF systems on the Right. Beware.

Now, as to the point of the title: Andrew Breitbart gets it. The first time I ever met Breitbart, at CPAC two years ago, I spent three hours sitting on the floor of a hotel room just listening to him talk. He’ll tell you himself he’s kind of an ADHD case. He goes off on tangents when he’s talking sometimes until finally he says, “Hey, wait, what were we talking about?” But he’s super-smart, and he has an intuitive understanding of New Media, because he’s been in it since the Drudge Report was an e-mail list on AOL.

There’s a phrase I use, “gestalt logic,” that describes how someone like Breitbart thinks. If you spend a long time intensely studying a subject (e.g., history or math), you begin to discern patterns. And so when a new information or new problem presents itself, you fit that into the patterns you already know, in a way that someone who doesn’t study intensely would never see.

Think of a chess master who thinks three moves ahead, or a professional poker player who can instantly calculate the odds of the next card being the one he needs to fill a flush. Think about the NFL quarterback who reads the opposing defense with a half-second glance and calls an audible to adjust. Think of the veteran NASCAR driver who swerves slightly at 160 mph to avoid a collision. That’s gestalt logic in action.

Now we see Breitbart bringing this gestalt thinking to the linear format of a newspaper column. His column is always fresh and surprising. It’s not the familiar Beltway conventional wisdom or GOP talking points. I’d imagine some other columnists are looking at what Breitbart has been doing in his column and saying to themselves, “Wow. I need to up my game, or this guy’s going to eat my lunch every week.”

Last week, I talked to Breitbart on the phone for a few minutes while I was driving into DC. We talked about the phonies and fakers and ripoff artists who sell themselves as “Internet experts” and don’t have a freaking clue. (The Republican Party raised $900 million in the 2008 cycle, and what do they have to show for it?) Keep an eye on Breitbart. He gets it.

March 20, 2009

Andrew Breitbart for NetRightNation

Sergio “The Maltese Romeo” Gor introduces Breitbart, who speaks impromptu with a glass of wine in his hand, Big Hollywood explaining why Hollywood and pop culture should matter to conservatives. Watch and learn, ye Padwans of Fu:

PART I:

PART II:

PART III:

March 15, 2009

Broadside of Breitbart

by Smitty

Here is a set of short clips featuring Andrew Breitbart, (hat tip to burghnews) on Red Eye.
First up is the standard ACLU trope “person X protesting tradition Y via asinine behavior Z“. I guess if the ACLU would file lawsuits against the Federal government on 10th Amendment grounds, I wouldn’t feel the ACLU could be replaced with a button marked “Crap”.

Here he reveals how Mr. Flinging Footwear of Fury will pocket a few dinar while in the big house. Won’t spoil the jape, but I do look forward to the increase in quality.

Here Andrew enjoys a private moment in a public way. As a safety tip, do not think of either half of the Doltish Duo when you watch this.

Last and possibly weirdest is this bit on Clooney Tofu. Not exactly a peanut butter and chocolate situation. Good taste would have argued against including anything mentioning PETA, but Rule 5 demands a wider audience for Amy Schumer.

February 23, 2009

Breitbart gets it

CPAC, culture and Hollywood:

The timing of the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference could not be better suited for evaluating the strategies of the standard bearers of free markets and limited government as free-spending and nanny statist Obamaism runs amok with nary a media check or a legislative balance.
Attendees of the wonky three-day forum should pay close attention to what their ideological counterparts had to say earlier in the week at their annual get-together in liberalism´s capital, Hollywood.
On Sunday night at the Kodak Theater, where Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama debated each other in front of the same prideful crowd a year earlier, the political left convened to celebrate its progressive political agenda. The Oscars communicate post-modern, post-American liberal values more effectively than elected Democratic officials themselves. The liberal establishment understands this and uses the glamorous Hollywood elite and its incessant stream of left-leaning product and promotional vehicles as its proxy messenger. . . .
If “the medium is the message,” as Marshall McLuhan formulated 45 years ago in “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,” then Hollywood-style liberalism is America´s current and future message. And conservatives have no one to blame but themselves for not investing their collective efforts in the pop cultural and the greater media experience.

Read the whole thing. And speaking of CPAC, please don’t forget to hit the tip jar. It’s for the children!

February 10, 2009

Breitbart on Hope

He’s doing some great columns nowadays:

Consider the tale of the ubiquitous “Hope” poster that helped get Mr. Obama worshipped, inoculated and elected — and the anti-capitalist street artist who “created” it.
Shepard Fairey last week was sued for copyright infringement by the Associated Press, which claims he stole photographer Manny Garcia’s work and made it the basis of the iconic off-red, white and blue posters whose signed editions are being sold on eBay for thousands of dollars. . . .

Read the whole thing.

February 2, 2009

For want of a nail . . .

Nothing so frustrates conservatives as watching how the Republican Party repeatedly throws away opportunities for important victories. Andrew Breitbart talks about one squandered chance:

Back in 2004, a smart, good-looking moderate Republican Hispanic ran for Congress. At the time Victor Elizalde was just under 40 years old and working as an executive at a big-time Hollywood studio. As an ethnic minority, a family man and a rare open conservative in an industry dominated by liberals, Mr. Elizalde represented hope and change for the Republican Party.
Yet because he was running for Henry A. Waxman´s safe seat, Mr. Elizalde got no support from the Republican Party . In fact, no one in the party´s leadership took notice of him. As a result Mr. Waxman trounced Mr. Elizalde with 71 percent of the vote.

Amen, Brother Andrew! I saw them do the same exact thing this past year with Lt. Col. Allen West. His supporters were bitterly disappointed that the NRCC — after trying desperately to recruit any other Republican to run in FL22 – wouldn’t lift a finger or spend a cent to support an Iraq war veteran’s campaign.

The “cretinous b*stards” who run the Republican Party will gladly throw away millions to support useless RINOs like Lincoln Chafee, but let a real conservative fight to win a primary, and watch how those overpaid geniuses at the GOPHQ “cocktail party” treat him like a leper.

If Michael Steele changes nothing else as RNC chairman, he must change this. No more “Mavericks,” no more wasting money on Chafees, and no more running away from a fight leaving conservatives to die on the political battlefield.

January 26, 2009

Damon vs. Kristol?

Big Hollywood provocateur/entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart stirs up an intellectual grudge match between Bill Kristol and Matt Damon, who told the Miami Herald:

“He’s an idiot — he wrote that we should be grateful to George Bush because he won the Iraq war. We! Won! The! War!”

On Sunday afternoon . . . Bill Kristol — in an email exchange with Big Hollywood — agreed to debate Matt Damon on his Hollywood home turf  . . .

Hey, Andrew, how about doing it at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara? I’m sure YAF would be up for it, and they could bus in lots of College Republican girls who would certainly love to see that sexy hunk Bill Kristol debate what’s-his-name. (Chicks dig neocons. Go figure.)
Breitbart throws some chum in the shark pool by reminding us that what’s-his-name dissed Sarah Palin:

It’s like a really bad Disney movie, ‘The Hockey Mom.’ Oh, I’m just a hockey mom from Alaska, and she’s president. She’s facing down Vladimir Putin and using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It’s absurd.”

But the weenie won’t accept the debate invitation. When it comes to forensic combat, he’s a chickenhawk.

(Thanks to Smitty for the tip!)

UPDATE: Allahpundit:

Who has more to lose? It’s received wisdom on the left that Kristol’s the ne plus ultra of conservative idiocy, as today’s theatrical nutroots overreaction to his leaving the NYT demonstrates. If Damon — whose every interview on politics mentions his Harvard pedigree for extra gravitas — goes toe to toe with him and loses, his lefty intellectual cred will be smashed.

He’s a chickenhawk, I tell you!
January 6, 2009

Breitbart’s Big Hollywood debuts

The site went live this morning and there’s nothing (yet) that knocks me out, but it’s a work-in-progress. I interviewed Andrew Breitbart last month:

The content of “Big Hollywood” will be a “constant evolution,” Breitbart says. He recalls that the Huffington Post was originally conceived as a group blog for Arianna’s celebrity friends, but has since “developed organically” into a more news-oriented venture with political commentary and only occasional contributions by big names. “It really is hard to look at that site and see it as a celebrity blog,” he says.
And while he expects “Big Hollywood” to undergo a similarly slow process of development, the one aspect of HuffPo that Breitbart’s new site won’t emulate is the vitriol. “That’s not my style,” he says, declaring that the blog will strive for “a more tolerant tone.” Tolerance? In Hollywood? What a concept!

The “organic development” model is the only sensible way to do things on the Internet. You start the site with some particular vision in mind, see what works and what doesn’t, do more more of what works and drop those things that don’t. What Big Hollywood is on Jan. 6 is probably but a shadow of what it will be on July 6.

BTW, Andrew, if you want to add some kind snarking-on-paparazzi-plagued-starlets feature — or maybe occasional essays on the cultural signficance of Christina Hendricks’ cleavage — just let me know. And good luck!

December 9, 2008

Have your people call my people

Andrew Breitbart is launching a Hollywood-themed blog next week. Curiously, he did so without so much as contacting my blog agent.

Andrew, sweetheart, we really should do lunch soon. Ciao, babe.