BR: In the post last week Fisking McArdle, there seemed to be a concerted, coordinated Troll effort both here and at naked capitalism to counter the factual criticism of McArdle with bad arguments and poor rhetoric.
As someone who spends lots of time looking at patterns, the response looked totally non-random. Don Druid gives a solid explanatory as to why that is,
It is an important enough point that I am elevating his comment to a post of its own.
I’ll freely admit that I never read this blog until the eXiled directed me here. However, many of the comments made by ‘readers’ look very familiar.
You’ve certainly noticed that as soon as your link went up, a bunch of mysterious comments appeared following the same pattern:
1) Dubious compliments for you and your site, often with false claims of long-time readership (good catch on one of these very early in the comments);
2) False statements that “all of this is already known”, “nothing to see here”, etc. about the facts on McArdle;
3) False statements that “both sides do it”, “everyone does it”, etc. about McArdle’s naked conflicts of interest;
4) False statements accusing you of being a Democratic partisan, designed to draw discussion away from McArdle;
5) False statements arguing that there is effectively no such thing as a conflict of interest[!], and that McArdle’s financial interests in the subjects she covers mean nothing.
Awfully suspicious, isn’t it?
It’s almost as if these comments were crafted around a single playbook, with dos and don’ts handed down from above.
Of course, if you keep an eye on Facebook ads, you’ll see the Kochs and their various shell organizations constantly putting feelers out for people to contribute to “online presence” for their anti-rule-of-law goals and missions. Heck, the Kochs even run a summer camp at GMU on this topic, described in the article about McArdle, to which a number of my friends in graduate and professional schools were invited this year (all declined).
As was done with McArdle, the Kochs attempt to recruit students and young professionals and boot-camp them into this sort of false public pseudo-intellectual propagandizing.
I’m pretty certain that the young shock troops have been deployed here and elsewhere to defend McArdle with the various lies and smears you can find in the comments made by others above.
Thanks for taking them on – I’ll keep reading.
BR: I’d love to get a copy of that playbook — please use comments for links or PDFs if you can direct me towards it !