Portrait of a fake news troll and the racist retiree who believes everything he writes


#21

I honestly think it’s more down to how you process fear. Definitely not generational, the boomers seem to be fairly equally divided among themselves.


#22

Hm… this ones good…

image

…if perhaps somewhat under-nuanced.


#23

“faux diamond” “ersatz rubies”


#24

That’s great. hate him and make him the enemy and focus of your ire.

That’s just as dangerous and stupid as people like her believing the obvious bullshit satire and fiction.


#25

The Trump worshiping religious right has duped a lot of well meaning people into voting against their own best interests. They will tell you with a straight face that Trump has been anointed by God and that any criticism of him is either treasonous or blasphemy. Apparently Jesus wants more tax cuts for the rich, institutional cruelty on the disadvantaged and low wages for people who actually work.


#26

Blessed are the poor. So let’s create more of 'em.


#27

As if.

She’ll be dead in a decade and he’ll change his bullshit to whatever gets him money for the next generation of people like her. I’m happy to despise him, her, and the other rubes that he fools along the way - because they are all birds of a feather.

EDIT

I also take the word of someone who literally make their money as a professional liar with a grain of salt. I don’t care what he professes his goal is, or what affiliation he says he has. He’s still a con man whose goal is to make money on people like her, and she’s still a racist that can’t look inward at the faults she brought on herself.


#28

Awesome logic there.

Again…see my other comments. Wherein my 60, 50, and 30 something relatives are all exactly like this lady. And this guy’s methods help expose them. It helps me see exactly who they are. So for me personally…he is not the enemy here. They are and will continue to be until they can change their minds and methods and begin using critical thinking and intelligence to form rational opinions.

You are free to rage against this cat all you like. And I think that is a foolish errand compared to the real danger I face daily from within my own family tree…but its your foolish errand to take if you choose.

have a nice day. Good luck.


#29

And you can continue to police the addicted. I’m sure the jail time for possession will help the drug problem.


#30

Here is a nice idea…how about you not come onto the internet and tell me how to deal with my own family members. That’s rude as hell.

Do not respond to me again. Leave me out of any further discussions you have. I do not wish to converse with you in any way.


#31

I have as little patience for a liberal or progressive who goes over to Breitbart or Redstate specifically to troll as I do for the white supremacists or “free” market fundies who come here specifically to troll. It’s tiresome, childish behaviour.


#32

As the far right becomes even more outrageous with their claims, hopefully more reasonable, sane people will reach the conclusion that they have attached themselves to the wrong group. I also have family that thinks that the sun rises and sets because of far right politics. Alex Jones for example has had to become even more ridiculous than before to get the attention that he craves. We are reaching the point where there are demands to arrest and subject all who don’t bow before Trump be subjected to military tribunals and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.


#33

Same thing here. And in a bastion blue state no less.

The additional irony is that I and my spouse were the ones who served in the military…none of those who are trumpians did.


#34

It’s also a destructive form of attention seeking.

People who exacerbate existing problems and only ‘add fuel to the fire’ needlessly are a big part of the aforementioned problems.

Some people only ‘want to watch the world burn,’ never stopping to consider what it’s like to live among the ashes.


#35

So… she’s a human?

I dunno, I keep coming back to this idea that we don’t all have the same level of epistemic responsibility. As much as we like to pathologize this breed of Trump supporter, we then quickly move on to moral condemnation for their culpability in their own flawed reasoning. The idea seems to be that truth is the antidote, even as we acknowledge lies were never the disease in the first place. I see the picture as being inherently more complicated. I have a very real sense that I could just as easily have been ensnared in the same kinds of traps–that I’m not special, or if I am, I’m just lucky.


#36

Makes me think of Vonnegut’s ‘Mother Night’ where the American dude who lives in Germany acts as a double agent doing Nazi radio propaganda but slipping in allied codes to get info out of Germany. The book follows his trial as he tries to sort out the harm his propaganda did from the benefit of the intelligence he relayed.


#37

As a Boomer myself, let me observe that most of the Boomers that I associate with by choice are nothing like the lady in question. They don’t lobotomize your critical thinking when you turn sixty!

There are a bunch of Boomers in my family that are very like her. They were like that in middle age, too. Some were like that in their youth - authoritarians who merely shifted their loyalty from Left to Right somewhere along the line but were equally repressive on both sides of the fence, or even started out right-wing from the earliest time that they were politically aware.

Many of them have the sort of religious upbringing that says, “we can’t tolerate (insert whatever sin here) because if anyone in the community commits it, God will visit disaster on all of us.” (Me: “if your God is that petty, I’ll proudly go to Hell defying his pettiness.”) But that sort of damned idiocy is difficult to break away from. (I’m not swearing: ‘damned’ is the precisely correct technical term.)

And there are a lot of my younger relatives who are just like that, too.

Altemeyer would agree with you. How authoritarians deal with fear is one of the key theses of his book. In fact, I’m really afraid that the young people raised by “mean world” helicopter parents will become even worse authoritarians than the couple of generations that preceded them - constant fear of everything in the world is NOT good for you!

I tried very hard to resist that in my own parenting. My daughter came to adulthood saying to us, “I can’t believe the stuff you let me do!” For example, leading a wilderness trip - no older adults along - at sixteen. The kids had a ball, and came back safe, because daughter knew what she was doing. The other kids got to go along because their parents were convinced by daughter’s written safety plan that she did indeed know what she was doing.

There are now QUESTION THOSE WHO DON’T QUESTION AUTHORITY and COEXIST bumper stickers among the many on her car, so maybe I succeeded.


#38

What he’s doing isn’t satire but just telling lies that reinforce right-wingers’ worldview.
The “vices and foolishness” that satire is supposed to uncover are supposed to happen within the fiction, not part of a process that happens afterwards by pointing out that the people who believed the story are idiots. I’m not sure there’s really a word for what’s going on here.


#39

Interesting! In that case, though, someone would have been sending out the radio propaganda if not him. So by slipping in the allied codes, he did good that a Replacement Level (Actual) Nazi would not have done.


#40

I would agree with you if all he was doing was posting over-the-top lies, then waiting for clicks, then sneering at the clickers. My impression from the article though is that he is pretty clearly labeling the posts as fake.

If you don’t like the comparison to The Onion, how about Betty Bowers? I think when Andrew Bradley first started the Bowers website, he buried the evidence that it was was phony, but even now when that is well known and not hidden I think it still gets taken seriously by some fundamentalists.