Gateway Pundit: No Russian Twitterbot! No Russian Twitterbot! YOU'RE The Russian Twitterbot!
A group aimed at tracking Russian disinformation and influence campaigns, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, recently rolled out Hamilton 68, a nifty tool for tracking the output of some 600 Twitter accounts associated with Russian disinfo campaigns (the name comes from Federalist #68, which warned about foreign influence in elections). As Politico 'splainers,
The network promotes a selective worldview of Western societies in decline, suffused with crime, chaos and conspiracy, and a Russia (and a Russian president) filled with strength and integrity. It produces some original content and amplifies content produced by other people, scouring the internet for messages that tear down confidence in democracies, while absolving Russia and its allies from any hint of wrongdoing.
USA Today's Oren Dorell did a little playing around with the site the other day, and discovered that among the predictably Russian government propaganda sites the Twitterbots retweet -- TASS, Sputnik, and RT -- the Russian influence bots are also very fond of amplifying articles from several American producers of rightwing content, like Breitbart, True Pundit, Imperialist U, and Gateway Pundit, the home of Jim Hoft, the Stupidest Man On The Internet. Dorell is quite careful to say the American sites don't necessarily intend to publish stuff Russian propagandists find useful, but that the Russian Twitterbots nonetheless seek to amplify certain themes that may be useful to Russian aims:
The network’s main role is to amplify messages deemed to benefit the Kremlin, but that doesn’t mean the websites' authors share the same goals, said Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which created the monitoring project for the fund.
“Just being shared by Kremlin information operations does not mean they are part of the Kremlin’s disinformation operations,” Rosenberger said. “It just means something on these sites, or a lot of things on these sites, is either advancing a message the Kremlin is trying to push or that it is trying to discredit.”
The article devotes a fair amount of space to Jim Hoft's angry response, including his insistence that the Alliance for Securing Democracy is in fact a commie front that's trying to destroy freedom of speech, because the Alliance is funded by the German Marshall Fund and includes several people who have said unkind things about Donald Trump, which means, obviously, that Hamilton68 is a “far-left smear site”:
“It’s complete rubbish. ... The website’s real purpose is to smear websites supportive of Donald Trump and his accomplishments as Russian propaganda,” Hoft said in an email. “Of course, we have no connection to the Russians nor have we ever had any contact with any Russian officials.”
Of course, no one said Hoft had a connection to the Russian government -- the USA Today article said that, as we note. Oh, but Hoft had more to say about the evildoers behind the effort to monitor Russian Twitterbots:
The Alliance for Securing Democracy’s advisory council includes “several #NeverTrumpers and far left hacks,” Hoft said. He listed President George W. Bush’s director of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff; Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard and former senior official in the George H.W. Bush administration; Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA; former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul; Hillary Clinton’s senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan, and President Obama’s chief technology officer Nicole Wong.
Obviously a rogue's gallery of dangerous leftists. The article originally included a hilarious quote from Gateway Pundit's Lucian Wintrich, the Stupidest White House Correspondent on the Internet, which seems to have vanished from more recent updates, but happily, Wintrich tweeted out the quote, along with a random reader's critique of Gateway Pundit:
Yeah, Gateway Pundit has gotten things wrong now and then, just a little. Like the time Hoft got all excited about a busload of "illegal immigrants" using GOVERNMENT EBT CARDS at a Walmart, which turned out to be legal farm workers buying stuff with the cash cards their employer used to pay them. But they were definitely speaking Spanish.
Or the time Gateway Pundit claimed the government was buying a "luxury resort" to house child asylum seekers, because the run-down motel's old website touted features no longer included on the property. Hoft and the hack who wrote the piece wanted us to apologize for debunking them, so we said we were sorry they were lying assholes.
Or the time that same guest blogger panicked about EBOLA-LACED VOMIT EVERYWHERE in Dallas, without a shred of evidence.
As Gateway Pundit's content has become more unrelentingly racist and mean-spirited, we've paid a bit less attention to Jim Hoft lying, but we should note that even in writing about yesterday's USA Today story, he simply couldn't help himself:
As Hoft explains, USA Today is clearly trying to get him and his writers KILLED. Or at least BEATEN by VIOLENT LEFTISTS, which of course is all of them:
Wow, what a snowflake. Maybe he needs a safe space.
Just to be clear, though, Yr Wonkette does not want to see any harm come to Mr. Hoft or his gang of idiots. No, what we really hope is that he will someday realize that he's a serial liar who has made America a cruder, more hateful place to live. And that no one ever loves him. And that he steps on a LEGO block, barefoot, on a hardwood floor. One of those little one-stud fuckers. And maybe he barks his shin something fierce. Yes, we're exactly that cruel.
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