by Scott Creighton
“The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right.” Sunstein disinfo asset Jestin Coler
Weeks ago someone tried to get me to write about this story about an FBI agent supposedly linked to the Hillary email leaks killing his wife and taking his own life. The story was completely bogus. I figured it came out to distract people from the Seth Rich story or discredit it by association. The fake FBI agent story didn’t get a lot of attention, though it was shared quite a bit via influence peddlers on social media. Aside from that, folks seemed to sniff it out pretty quickly as bull-dung.
Everyone is talking about “fake news” websites these days. It’s one of the trendy reasons of choice explaining why real liberals chose not to vote for the republican war-monger Hillary Clinton in the presidential election this year. BernieBots, junkie “progressives” and James Comey are other popular excuses but “fake news” is ranking up there at the top of the list.
Opportunist and “media expert” Melissa Zimdars made herself into an instant online celebrity when she cobbled together a list of “fake news” websites which included some quality websites like Activist Post, Raw Story, NoMoreFakeNews and 21st Century Wire. Unfortunately for Melissa, her list also included some proven government disinformation outlets like Zero Hedge, Prison Planet and Veterans Today and the publishing of her list dramatically increased page views for a number of real alternative news sites. People were curious and wanted to see what they were about.
So she called out disinfo sites as disinfo and sent thousands of folks to read real news at real news websites. Not really a “win” when you think about it. Consequently, her “big list” now has no websites listed.
Now NPR has unwittingly done the same thing. Meet Cass Sunstein disinfo asset Jestin Coler.
In an article published yesterday (linked to me by a reader utu) NPR writes about how they tracked down the owner of the first website that published that BS story about the FBI agent who whacked his wife and then himself. Ownership of that disinfo website was cleverly hidden from view, but they hired a professional and got his street address in some Los Angeles suburb.
His name is Jestin Coler and when they first approached him he refused to talk with them, sending them away with nothing more than the reporters card in his hand. Less than an hour later, he makes contact with the reporter and decides to talk. A full interview followed.
First of all, Jestin admitted that he set the websites (he owns many) up in order to create disinformation that he could use to discredit alternative news websites in 2012. Specifically, being a registered Democrat, he targeted right-leaning alternative websites, hoping to get them to run with the fake stories his group created (he claims over 30 employees (meaning over 30 disinfo assets probably working under Special Operations Command contracts on for the military directly) so he could publish evidence later that would discredit his own fake stories.
“The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction” Coler
What they would do is write the fake story, publish it on their fake news site and then get their fake assets with their fake Facebook accounts to go over to Trump-supporting Facebook pages and websites and say “have you seen THIS!” kind of crap. They would link them back to the fake story on the fake website and the hook was set, so to speak.
“So all it took was to write that story. Everything about it was fictional: the town, the people, the sheriff, the FBI guy. And then … our social media guys kind of go out and do a little dropping it throughout Trump groups and Trump forums and boy it spread like wildfire.” Coler
During the interview, Coler admits he has given various interviews as “Allen Montgomery” talking about the harm “fake news” does to the country. Here’s one he did under that name with the BBC in Nov. of this year.
During an earlier interview with fake news propaganda website VICE News, “Allen Montgomery” makes a rather telling admission:
“Montgomery started the site in February 2013 for fun and profit, but it evolved into what he describes as a sort of anti-propaganda effort against conservative rumormongering, particularly on Facebook. National Report’s stories rely on both naivety and inattentiveness on the part of readers, banking on the fact that people will often read only the headline and skim the first few paragraphs of a story — if that — before sharing. ” VICE “News”
It’s interesting because Coler admits in that interview the propaganda aspect of his work.
In the NPR interview, he explains he has a degree in political science and has deep interests in… propaganda:
“My educational background is in political science. I’ve always enjoyed the ideas of propaganda and misinformation. Then I coupled that with an interest in what makes things go viral…” Coler
Then he goes on to explain this project of his goes way beyond just Donald Trump and is more focused on discrediting the alternative media outlets in favor of drumming up support for the corporatist main stream media like discredited CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
“Well, this isn’t just a Trump-supporter problem. This is a right-wing issue. Sarah Palin’s famous blasting of the lamestream media is kind of record and testament to the rise of these kinds of people. The post-fact era is what I would refer to it as. This isn’t something that started with Trump. This is something that’s been in the works for a while. His whole campaign was this thing of discrediting mainstream media sources, which is one of those dog whistles to his supporters.” Coler
Here we have a guy who by his own admission, is deliberately planting fake stories in the alternative media in an effort to prop-up support for the failing MSM outlets that are constantly being exposed for producing real fake news about all sorts of things from “Zika Babies” to “ISIS” to “Iraq’s WMDs”
We are supposed to believe this “do gooder” just came to this career choice out of his own personal desire to fix the problem of trust in the MSM all on his own. But that’s simply not the case.
Remember, “Jestin Coler” or “Allen Montgomery” is a registered Democrat.
You know who else is a registered Democrat? Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 2009-2012 and husband of career liar Samantha Power who herself peddles in fake news all the time while serving as Obama’s Amb. to the United Nations.
Here’s a little of what Cass Sunstein wrote about his approach to dealing with alternative journalism back before Obama selected him to serve as his Disinfo Czar:
“II. Governmental Responses What can government do about conspiracy theories? Among the things it can do, what should it do? We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help. Each instrument has a distinctive set of potential effects, or costs and benefits, and each will have a place under imaginable conditions. However, our main policy idea is that government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories , which involves a mix of (3), (4) and (5)…
Second, we suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of those who subscribe to such theories. They do so by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity” Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 2009-2012 (husband of career liar Samantha Power )
Point one is to have the government shut down independent journalist websites that publish information the government doesn’t want disseminated in the society. That’s the first suggestion.
The second is to impose a kind of a tax on them, which Google and Facebook have already begun to do by pulling advertising from sites declared “fake news” by our glorious leaders. To my knowledge CNN and the New York Times still enjoy ample advertising allotments from Google.
The third program he puts forward is the cognitive infiltration of such websites and groups with the distinct objective of discrediting them in the eyes of the followers and participants of those groups or websites as well as in the eyes of the public in general.
Sunstein concludes with language that is similar to that used by Jestin Coler:
“Some conspiracy theories create serious risks. They do not merely undermine democratic debate; in extreme cases, they create or fuel violence. If government can dispel such theories, it should do so. One problem is that its efforts might be counterproductive, because efforts to rebut conspiracy theories also legitimate them. We have suggested, however, that government can minimize this effect by rebutting more rather than fewer theories, by enlisting independent groups to supply rebuttals, and by cognitive infiltration designed to break up the crippled epistemology of conspiracy- minded groups and informationally isolated social networks.” Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 2009-2012 (husband of career liar Samantha Power )
Justin Coler is a Cass Sunstein-styled cognitive infiltration asset working with a team of government sponsored assets doing their level best to discredit alternative news outlets that are reporting the truth at a time when people are turning away from the fake-news-producing MSM networks like CNN, Fox and MSNBC.
Unfortunately for Mr. Coler, when a reporter knocked on his door where he lives with his wife and children and asked him about Disinfomedia (his shell company that runs all his Sunstein disinfo projects) he was screwed.
That’s why he contacted them 40 minutes or so after they knocked on his door. More than likely Coler contacted his handler and was instructed to get out in front of the story as best he could before it blew up in his face.
What he was counting on was NPR’s reporter not knowing about Cass Sunstein.
What he was hoping for was no conspiracy theorist websites making that connection for them.
Damn conspiracy theorists. Guess they gotta lock em up or ban them from the interwebs since plan 3 ain’t working anymore.
The other possible explanation for this NPR article is this: they needed a poster-boy for their “fake news” disinformation campaign and who better than a Cass Sunstein shill who is deliberately posting ridiculous stories? Who would they choose otherwise? 21st Century Wire? ActivistPost? American Everyman? They certainly wouldn’t want to make the same mistake Melissa Zimdars made, funneling thousands of new readers to websites with real investigative journalism on their pages. So of course they would pick a controlled opposition asset where they could be sure their readers wouldn’t’ accidentally come across any real truth.
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