Introducing Godfather Of Fake News: The Man In The Middle Of A Web(site) Of Lies.
(Photo Source: Youtube/TBS)
Many people saw the article I shared yesterday from the website “Brietbart Insider,” which presented a fictitious news story showing the America rapper DMX, with the headline “Somali Migrant Arrested On Six Counts of Sexual Battery Prior to Deportation.” Now, this entire article isn’t just the kind of news article that gets labeled as “fake news” nowadays. No, that “fake news” typically is just, bias based news articles, in which facts are distorted to present something in a manner that is consistent with a particular pre-existing set of beliefs. Often, those pre-existing beliefs are political in nature. No, this article was REALLY fake news! The entire article, the photographs, and the information were completely fabricated.
Now, to be abundantly clear, the site “Brietbart Insider” is not a representative nor subsidiary of the Breitbart News organization. Instead, this is a website set up to deceive people by mimicking a legitimate news site intentionally. The site is entirely established with one goal in mind, to disseminate 100% false news to the masses. If one were to click on the “Home” link to brietbarinsider.com, they would see the sites latest headlines. Some of these include: “FBI: Moslem Teenager planned to blow up Synagogue, Frame Alt-Right,” “BLM secretly funded by the Muslim Brotherhood,” or “Feds write the rules for the war on Christmas- Excluding other faiths in restrictive decorations ruling.” Every story is fake, and all the information are lies.
So what is the goal of these sites and what type of person creates a career out of lying to the public by spreading misinformation?
A 40-year-old, married, father of two, who lives in a middle-class suburb of Los Angeles, that’s who.
More specifically, a gentleman by the name of Jestin Coler. Mr. Coler is the founder, owner, and CEO of a company called Disinfomedia. Mr. Coler owns or has owned various similar sites to “Brietbart Insider.” Some of these websites include, “NationalReport.net,” “USAToday.com.co,” “WasingtonPost.com.co,” “ABCnews.com.co,” “DrudgeReport.com.co,” “Firebrandleft.com,” “ConservativeFrontline.com,” “Internationalreport.com.co,” “UnitedMediaPublishing.com.co,” and probably one of the most famous ones, “The Denver Guardian.”
It is easy to see the trend in Mr. Coler’s business model. He sets up websites through the easy to use free website design and hosting platform, WordPress or pay sites such as GoDaddy.com. All of his sites are designed, to mimic actual news websites, down to the logos and layout of the sites. To the non-discerning eye, the sites look to be legitimately the work of the major media organization they are impersonating. Add to the fact that the stories are disseminated through a number of fake social media profiles, and the bulk of the viewing base only sees the typical Facebook or Twitter article link, which can be edited to hide the website name rather easily.
Arguably, Mr. Coler’s most significant Coup De Gras to truth and knowledge came from an article he wrote on his fake site, The Denver Guardian entitled, "FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide." That particular article was shared 500,000 times when it was released on November 5, 2016. This post reached approximately, 1.6 million people worldwide. The timing of the article could not have been any more perfect if Coler had tried. He released the completely made up story, suggesting that Hillary Clinton had the lone FBI who could implicate her in illegal activity over her email server killed, one day before FBI Director James Comey wrote a letter to Congressional leaders that the agency found no new information that would warrant criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. Considering, that Director Comey had issued a letter to Congress only nine days prior saying that new information had sufficed in the email investigation, the fake news story, and subsequent FBI declaration of “no new charges,” this was a conspiracy theorist dream come true. After reading the fake article by the Denver Guardian, apparently, Director Comey’s claim of no criminal charges was because Clinton had the one person who could take her down killed. Now, the American-political-mafia Godmother was poised to assume her throne in the White House.
Now, it would be reckless to suggest that the Denver Guardian’s fake news story was the reason that Hillary Clinton lost the election. Additionally, it would be careless of me to suggest that it had any influence what-so-ever on the election’s outcome. It can be surmised, that anyone who believed that Clinton had an FBI agent assassinated, much less that only one FBI agent possessed the entire case against Clinton, to begin with, would have been “with her” in the first place is probably a stretch.
Now the dangers of fake news sites, beyond just individuals becoming mind-numb to truth and reality, had become evident, when on December 4, 2016, Edgar Welch fired three shots into the Comet Ping-Pong Pizza in Washington, D.C. with an AR-15. Welch had driven from North Carolina to the pizza restaurant to investigate the widely proven false claims that the Democratic Party was running a child-sex trafficking ring out of the restaurant. Welch surrendered to authorities after he searched the restaurant and found no evidence of children or sex crimes on the property. The lack of proof was probably based on the fact the story had been fabricated on social media and shared by sites similar to, if not the same, ones Disinfomedia runs.
Most of the sites mentioned above run by Mr. Coler have been shut down by their web hosting services, after being determined to be merely salaciously false misinformation hubs. However, for every one site shut down, more pop up. Truthfully, it cannot be conclusively determined that Mr. Coler owns and runs Breitbart Insider,” however it follows his companies M.O. To be fair, there are assuredly many others that operate similar set-ups like Mr. Coler, so all fake news cannot be completely linked to him. Mr. Coler, however, represents the “Grandfather” of false news, as he is the person who has been so extensively involved in the game of misinformation and runs the largest operation.
So why does Mr. Coler do it? Is he an operative for the Russians? The Democrats? The Republicans? The Alt-Right? George Soros? Well, in late November 2016, National Public Radio, with the help of the head of engineering at Master-McNeil Inc, a tech company in Berkeley, California, tracked down Mr. Coler and asked him.
While the bulk of the country and mainstream media was either celebrating or bemoaning the recent electoral victory of President Trump, a very under-publicized news interview with Mr. Coler by NPR was printed. Laura Sydell, a reporter with NPR, knocked on the door of a one-story beach bungalow home, in Los Angeles where Mr. Coler lives. Mr. Coler ended up giving Ms. Sydell an interview and provided his reasoning for his decision to make a living peddling lies.
Mr. Coler paints himself as a philanthropic, self-sacrificing champion of the people. He claims he entered the world of fake news in 2013 as a way to highlight extremism of the white nationalist alt-right. His goal was to publish blatantly false stories and then be able to publically denounce those stories once they were shared by the alt-right fan base. Mr. Coler admittedly is a registered Democrat and concedes that during the Presidential election he targeted Trump supporters with fake news.
Now, Coler claims that he tried to write fake news for liberals. However, they would not take the bait to the extent that conservative supporters would. He claims that his stories fit into existing right-wing conspiracy theories. Mr. Coler does not say just how many faux news sites his company operates. However, he claims to have between 20 to 25 writers he pays to write false news stories.
Ah Ha! So it is true! This fake news is the work of the Democrats, and de facto assuredly George Soros is involved.
Now it would be very easy at this point to fall into the trap into believing an entirely new conspiracy theory as to who is really behind Disinfomedia, or the real intentions of Mr. Coler. However, don’t be so quick to assume anything other than what Disinfomedia or Mr. Coler’s real motivation is. Greed and money.
Mr. Coler doesn’t operate any of these fake sites out of some noble sense of exposing alt-right white supremacist. Nor is he a tool in the arsenal of Democrats or Republicans. Rather, Mr. Coler is a man who is willing to produce material that is deliberately false for his own selfish gain. In this case, it is to the tune of $10,000 to $30,000 a month in advertisement revenues his websites bring in. In his interview with NPR, Coler admitted that making $120,000 to $360,000 annually from the comfort of his home is a big incentive to keep creating fake news, regardless of its impact.
Lest anyone forget the whole “denouncing the alt-right or believers in his lies,” has yet to occur. That is because if Coler exposed his operation to the masses that might curtail people from believing every story, they see that makes sense to them on social media. So instead, what has occurred is Coler has built-up one of the largest organizations for the for-profit disbursement of disinformation in existence.
So there you have it. Sometimes the truth is just that simple. It isn’t some grand conspiracy, and it isn’t even about Democrats or Republicans. As with most things we allow to divide us, the truth of the “who,” “what,” and “why” has nothing to do with the lines we draw in the sand and then divide each other with. Because off on, the sidelines are someone else profiting from of our willingness to fight with each other. It’s all about greed and money.
The people who are profiting, like Mr. Coler, are hiding in the shadows, counting money. Meanwhile, the rest of us, who probably would end up liking each other if we took the time to get to know each other, are busy making them richer. So we have to ask ourselves, how much are we willing let others profit off of our divisiveness? In the end, the only people losing out are us.