Originally published at Akamai Tree blogspot on 8/2/16
One of the most fascinating and seldom discussed aspects of the Trump campaign/phenomenon is the use of Trump camp proxies, shills, and surrogates in both the mainstream and alternative media in plainsight.
However, before getting to the use of these proxies specifically, it’s important to preface it by touching on the media’s complicity in Trump’s meteoric rise from the very beginning (about halfway through 2015). There are several evidences for this, and I’ll touch on the key ones here:
1) The media heaped massively oversized coverage (i.e. free advertising) upon Trump (mentioning his name hundreds upon hundreds of times a day on mainstream cable news networks) subsequent to Trump’s registering of significant numbers in polls. The significance of this is that it disproves the assertion by many that the media simply responded to Trump’s popularity by giving him more coverage or that the media only started covering him once he became popular enough to start making them tons of money through increased ratings and viewership (if this were true and it was merely a cynical ploy by the media to make money off of Trump, why didn’t they do this when Trump played up running in 2008 and 2012? – he behaved similarly then). And we now have direct proof of intentional inflation of the amount of Trump coverage in the media with complaints from within CNN about how there are orders from the top (i.e. Jeff Zucker) to cover Trump incessantly;
2) Virtually every major media organization treats Trump with kid gloves. This goes for Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. All three of these networks seem especially willing to treat Trump preferentially, for example by letting Trump conduct interview over phone or on his home turf in the Trump Tower (the media in all other cases requires that major political figures conduct interviews via live satellite uplink or in-studio) and by refusing to ask him any tough questions in interviews, push back on anything he says, or catch in him any err live (the media will do these things in interviews with people they are truly attempting to destroy, such as Ron Paul). In fact, not only does the media treat Trump with kid gloves, but, as evidenced by the Morning Joe leak, the media literally allows Trump to commandeer them and tell them what they can and cannot ask them! This point is fleshed out further in my post “Trump and the election, again”;
3) If the media were truly deadset on destroying Trump, they would do what the media does to people they’ve subdued historically – pull the microphone/not cover the subject they don’t want gaining traction, blow the subject off as inconsequential and laugh them off the stage, or, in special circumstances, reveal a truly catastrophic scandal that results in a blitz of coverage but does result in the subject going down. The media has been doing the exact opposite of these three things since Trump entered the political scene halfway through 2015. The media heaps mounds of coverage on Trump, even though some of it is critical (but, as the old saying goes, all PR is good PR), continually plays him up as a serious candidate (unlike in 2008 and 2012), and never throws any real dirt in Trump’s direction (like his association with Epstein- only weaksauce quotes out of context and criticisms of his performance in the real estate and casino business which the media knows are just political talking points, will never truly fly and can be deflected easily by the Trump team and Trump supporters in the media.
The fourth has to do with the main subject of this blog post – the mainstream (and controlled alternative) media’s willingness to bring on (in some cases explicit) Trump proxies and surrogates.
First, we’ll touch on Roger Stone, the former Trump campaign manager who has been the primary Trump proxy operating in the alternative media realm, frequently appearing on the Alex Jones Show/Infowars and occasionally on Fox (which is supposedly anti-Trump). Stone has a rather colorful history – politically assassinating Eliot Spitzer (and then bragging about the lies he told about him), helping get Bush into office in 2000, serving as Nixon’s man in Washington in the ’80s, aiding Reagan’s career with the help of Roy Cohn (Stone delivered a briefcase containing a bribe and/or blackmail material to the head lawyer of the New York Liberal party to split the opposition to Reagan in the state), and undermining the Democrats’ chances of winning the presidency in 2004 after he began “advising” Al Sharpton (himself an FBI informant), among other things. Of course, Stone claims that he’s officially off the Trump campaign and off the payroll, but this is doubtful given that acting as a mouthpiece and disinformation outlet for Trump is still Stone’s fulltime job (even going to the extent of flying around the country organizing rallies and convention disruption ploys) and storied political operatives and tricksters such as himself don’t work for no gain. Stone himself claims that he’s been a close confidante of Trump for decades (and still is today) and a lobbyist for Trump’s business interests. The relationship between the two shouldn’t be surprising given the fact that Stone was introduced to Trump by Trump’s mentor, deceased CIA-connected fixer and legal hit man Roy Cohn.
It is of course not surprising that alternative media (WorldNetDaily, Breitbart, Drudge, Infowars, Rense, Coast to Coast, etc.) is playing along with the mainstream media in bolstering Trump (though in a far more explicit manner) and the over-hyped and government engineered Islamic threat seeing as though right wing alternative media is a controlled, insular cult very much tied into the Christian right-wing power structure consisting of the John Birch Society and organizations connected to it such as the Council on National Policy. Joseph Farah, the founder of WorldNetDaily, was at one point member of the CNP. Sebastian Gorka, who’s been the National Security Editor at Breitbart since 2014, has not only been employed as a consultant (read: possibly paid off) by the Trump campaign but also happens to be a grade-A counterterrorism and counterintelligence spook. Roger Stone, who has previously been associated exclusively with Eastern Establishment liberal Republicans, has recently been brought into the fold of this clique and has been at the epicenter of reviving Clinton scandals and conspiracy theories.
This time-honored tradition among the right-wing alternative media originates with the documentary “The Clinton Chronicles,” which was produced by then-to-be CNP member Pat Matrisciana and funded by anti-Clinton CIA asset Richard Mellon Scaife. It was then promoted by CNP insider and ultra-Christian right-wing asset Jerry Falwell. Some parts of the documentary are true, namely drug running out of Mena, Arkansas and the connected money laundering associated with BCCI/CIA, Don Tysons, and Jackson Stephens (although the documentary doesn’t dig all the way into the Mena story as that would necessitate recognizing that drug running out of Mena originated before Clinton became governor under the direction of the Reagan-Bush CIA).
Other parts, such as the Clinton body count, Whitewater, Bill’s sexual misconduct, and Bill Clinton rape accusations are often unclear and less solid (although they did spawn tens of other documentaries on the topics). The sexual allegations have been by far the most damaging to the Clintons (in fact these eventually morphed into the Lewinsky investigation headed up by CNP/Christian right-wing insider Kenn Starr) and are what Roger Stone has expounded upon and added to in his latest book, The Clinton’s War on Women. This is the latest in the long line of publications backed by Christian right-wing groups pushing the disinformation that the Clintons single handedly hijacked Arkansas and the country once and wish to do it again. The truth about the Clintons is that they themselves don’t hijack anything – they are puppets who were initially facilitated and brought to power by kingmakers such as Jackson Stephens and Don Tysons. Now, even the mainstream media has joined in on attacking the Clintons (before 2008, the media more or less protected the Clintons) by hyping the email and Benghazi stories conveniently right before the election season began ramping up in order to help CIA-connected Trump. Stone aides this.
Ann Coulter’s shilling for Trump isn’t surprising given her connections to the radical ultra-Christian right which date clear back to the phony Paula Jones rape case (promoted by the whole cast of characters from the CNP – Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Whitehead, etc.) when Coulter was an unpaid advisor to Jones’ attorney.
Next, we have Corey Lewandowski, another former Trump campaign manager (and former Koch operative) who was supposedly fired and subsequently shunned by the campaign now run by former Roger Stone colleague and operative Paul Manafort (despite Lewandowski having been spotted at a Trump event in New Hampshire after supposedly being fired). Now, Lewandowski, while still being paid by the Trump campaign (and likely contractually obliged not to say anything negative about Trump), is at CNN, a network whose operational chief (Jeff Zucker) is intent on covering Trump as much as humanely possible. Of course, CNN knows this and knows very well that Lewandowski will not be an unbiased commentator, yet they still hire him. Now, in addition to Roger Stone, we have another person who, with no pretense of neutrality at all whatsoever, is allowed to become a mouthpiece on a major news outlet.
Jeffrey Lord, Katrina Pierson, Healy Baumbardner, Kayleigh MacEnany are additional Trump shills featured on CNN. Lord was a political director in the Reagan White House (it seems as though the Trump phenomenon has been engineered by ex-Reagan operatives such as Stone, Manafort, Lord, etc.). McEnany is an up and coming operative and alumnus of the Georgetown Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Several politicians who’ve become Trump acolytes play into the Trump media complex, the most prominent of which being former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (who happens to have quite a past with Trump) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is still engaged in the gradual process of rebuilding his image and reentering public life.
Certainly, Trump operatives’ influence isn’t contained to cable news networks. Tens of influential right-wing radio hosts are effective Trump proxies, the most notable of which being CIA-facilitated Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage/Weiner, and now even Bill O’Reilly, who was initially a tad pregnant on Trump. Limbaugh is by far the most sophisticated and least explicit, but subtly bolsters the idea that the Trump phenomenon is an entirely organic one which threatens the establishment by making it a point nearly every show to claim that Trump is “not a media creation,” which of course is obviously untrue to anyone who bothers to actually look.
All of the people mentioned above are part of the machine operating deep inside both mainstream and alternative media to bolster the phony outsider Trump by giving him tens of billions in free advertising. Trump isn’t some genius at maneuvering the media – the media promotes him on their own.