Monday, 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.


  1. Young4Eyes! Haha, that little turd sure gets around. Pops up over at C4P sometimes. We enjoy razzin' him and holding our palms on his head while he swings wildly about. Eventually he gets tired and wanders back to whatever gofer hole he crawled out of.

  2. In the politics section of the forums, there was at least one obama guy that was obviously a paid plant to reply to every single post that was anti-obama. And I mean it was OBVIOUS.

  3. Dude, talk about a "Full Metal Jacket reacharound" award for sucking up to Breitbart in this post!

    While you deserve a hat-tip for proper invocation of Gestalt, and rightly ascribe such ability to A.B., calling him a chess master is really pushing it. Though, there is some merit in your point: leadership in the new media environment requires savvy-ness of undercurrents, black-water. AB has that, no doubt, and, perhaps he should be featured in a developing MSM meme: WHO'S IN CHARGE OF THE FREAKING GOP?


  4. Long before Obama, for my own personal amusement, I would enjoy "infiltrating" wacko sites like Free Republic and LGM and creating dissension in the ranks of the true believers by introducing foreign elements like truth and logic.

    I'm thrilled to hear it's annoying the hell out of the wingnuts. I may just have to dedicate more time and effort to what had been a casual hobby.

    Now how do I get paid for what I had been doing for free?

    Will it be similar to the wingnut welfare provided by subsidized sites like The Corner, Human Events, NewsBusters, Big Hollywood and until the money ran out, Pajamas Media?

  5. Do I smell paranoia?

  6. Seems to me there's a silver lining to this leftie internet trolling: legions of lefties spending hige amounts of time reading and commenting on conservative blogs! It builds your audience, creates debate, albeit sometimes nasty, in your comments, which in turn may help build your audience more. There are some sites where the comments section is a big attraction. And it's not as if conservative readers are not going to come back and read your posts because of a bunch of lefties among the commenters.

    To be sure, unmoderated comments can invite provocateurs and an excess of ugliness, but registration and moderation is an easy solution -- assuming you've got an audience that cares enough to register.

    Note that Commentary's (Neocon Hq.!) Contentions blog, which typically has hundreds of daily comments, attracts a lot of contentious lefty commenters. That doesn't seem to matter much.

  7. Hey Tex-
    you've got to be pretty delusional if you think you've been able to get a hand on me while I run circles around you Palin freaks over at C4P. I leave after a couple of replies because of the absolute boredom with the gene pool C4P attracts.
    As far as astro-turfing goes, all I can say is that we live in an age of boogey-men.
    Andrew Brainfart needs to grow a pair.Conspiracy theories about trolls is the last refuge of the ideologically defeated.
    For my part, I enjoy the mano-a-mano on the Conservative blogs because I abhor the echo chamber.
    I don't need to engage in group think for self-validation.
    Which is why I appreciate RS' patience and commitment to letting all voices be heard.
    I only take one exception with this post:I'm no hall monitor. I'm more like the guy by the water fountain waiting for that poor sap to wedgie before history class....

  8. You get a big rolled-up-newspaper whack on the nose for perpetuating the "McCarthyesque conspiracy" line of liberal revisionist history B.S.

    McCarthy was nothing less than a patriot.

    You are assigned "Blacklisted by History" by M. Stanton Evans as your remedial reading.

    "McCarthyism" = making true statements which are later repeatedly lied about by liberals to transform your "common knowledge" legacy into that of a monster.

  9. Dear Captain Obvious:


    I consider Stan Evans a friend, and greatly admire the courage of Tailgunner Joe.

  10. This post was very instructional as to the tactics of the Left. I especially liked learning about the Diamond Theory and other troll tactics.

    Excellent post, Stacy.

  11. Lib trolls are usually countered pretty easily with facts. I've clobbered several with some well placed facts. Not due to any particular brilliance on my part, mind you, it's just that facts tend to vindicate the conservative viewpoint. Of course, they just ignore the fact that they were corrected and move on to something else. But then again, libs are so divorced from reality that they have to ignore facts.

    My issue is with false flag ops. That can really do some damage. They use their own lack of a moral compass to disrupt and cause dissent. Oh well, they can't argue on facts, so I guess that's all they have.

  12. Young4Eyes,

    Your troll ears were buzzing and you came running!

    Either step up your game or stink up some other site. Don't bring your weak sauce into our house, son. When you crawl into a ball and just lie there after a while even our resident smart ass gets bored with you.

    Geez, sorry for the spitting match, RSM. Yah just have to smack these turds around sometime.

    I mean it, Y4E! Leave the weak sh*t at home.

  13. Tex-
    Figures that all the tough talk comes from the Texas region, but like the rest of your ilk, you're all talk and no substance.
    Maybe you're confused between your fairy tale world of supposedly smacking around libs with your real world experience of smacking down pinatas.
    I've yet to read anything you've written that would stump anyone, intellectually or in the "trash talk" that you think you're so good at.
    The funny thing is that I've brought it to you so hard and so often even your mother is getting jealous.Oh, and speaking of leaving the weak shit at home, don't forget your brain the next time you go cruising the strip for day laborers to help you with your lame-ass posts.
    Go back to smacking your wife around and stop pretending you're beating up on libs...nothing worse than you fake online bullies....

  14. “Figures that all the tough talk comes from the Texas region…”


    “…but like the rest of your ilk, you're all talk and no substance.”

    Hey, man, watch what you say about my ilk!

    “Maybe you're confused between your fairy tale world of supposedly smacking around libs with your real world experience of smacking down piñatas.”

    No, no, just you dear. There’s only one lib near and dear to me. And it’s “piñatas.” Geez, you boorish rube.

    “I've yet to read anything you've written that would stump anyone, intellectually or in the "trash talk" that you think you're so good at.”

    Ugh, this sentence hurts my eyes. It’s difficult to engage you in any “intellectual” discussions because you post childish attacks about the Guv’s intelligence, blatantly misinterpret her words, post unsubstantiated information, and mostly just cause a big nuisance around the place. In short, you troll. So rather than hope for a change in your approach it’s much more fun to “trash talk” you. And I’ve never claimed to be the best “trash talker.” That crown rests upon another’s head.

    “The funny thing is that I've brought it to you so hard and so often even your mother is getting jealous.”

    Thank you for reinforcing my point above.

    “Oh, and speaking of leaving the weak shit at home, don't forget your brain the next time you go cruising the strip for day laborers to help you with your lame-ass posts.”

    Pedro and Luis have legit papers and are on the payroll. They’ll be very offended to hear that their posts are “lame-ass.” That’s comedy gold down in Juarez. You’re such a racist.

    “Go back to smacking your wife around and stop pretending you're beating up on libs...nothing worse than you fake online bullies....”

    I’m bullying you? Oh, sorry, Y4E. Didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I thought you could take it. I understand if you can’t take the habanero sauce (no tilde! Pedro and Luis might fight you over that!).

    Sorry for the back and forth on this RSM. Should I tell Y4E his "bully" is a girl?

  15. Oh brother....OK. One last reply before I retire to better things....
    Boorish rube? Sweetie, pat yourself on the back for knowing where to put a tilde.
    It's difficult for you to engage anyone intellectually because you can't put a coherent thought together.
    I won't bother bringing up my forays on the C4P blog because we're supposed to be talking about RS's post. All I will say is that I'm a nuisance over there because it's nothing but a bunch of blathering idiots getting off on their own delusions. I challenge those delusions and some folks can't take it.

    I brought the hot-sauce and you can't handle a little tex-mex humor.Racist? No, just funny at your expense.
    And don't worry about hurting my feelings,doll. I'd need a modicum of respect for you for that to happen.
    And thanx for the heads-up on the fact that you're a girl.I'll leave the tasteless "dike" jokes to Limp-baugh.
    But one thing is for certain; girl you are, lady you ain't.

  16. Agreed. (Uh oh, is it snowing in hell?) This is RSM's site and any mention of another site dedicated to a certain politician in the northwest is discussion for another day.

    It's okay. You don't have to thank me for educating you regarding the proper placements of tildes.

    Also, I think I will stop calling you turd. I shall now call you, "Habanerito." My little hot sauce troll.

    Well of course you're not a racist, honey. See, that's a fun trick used by the folks on the left. I thought you'd recognize that route from their playbook. Oh, and Pedro and Luis don't really exist. I'm not sure what is comedy gold down in Juarez. Racist...

    "next time you go cruising the strip for day laborers"

    No, no, no, they're patriots, remember. That's what your girl Pelosi said.


    No, no, no post-modern-neo-females or lessies are the prefered labels.

    My God, man, I'm starting to think you're not really a liberal. You should know all this.

  17. Damn, you guys busted us.

    The Gig is up guys! No more sitting on our asses getting paid big bucks by George Soros to comment on blogs! Game over! We can all go home!

    Only, please Robert, don't let them tax our bonuses.

  18. Ross,

    Sticks and stones can break my bones but facts can never "clobber" me.

    "My issue is with false flag ops" - PLEASE don't tell me that this term (false flag) is going to be as stupidly used and abused by conservatives as it once was with liberals.

  19. The epicenter of this trolling is called "Laissez's Fair" on the SomethingAwful Forums.

    They have done trolling operations against in the primary, and against after the election and they pretty much completely destroyed both of those sites.

    They are the most vile leftists I have ever seen. Many of them are actual Communists, believe it or not.

    They need to be stopped.

  20. LAZY'S FAIR!!!!!!!