Friday, September 22, 2017

Gay Couple Has Taken To Fake News Like Ducks To Water-- Alas, Trumpanzee Has Gays Too


What's your identity group? If you're Jewish and a Jew does something heinous or embarrassing, does that irk you even more than it would if someone whose identity group you're not part of did it? I love it that Mark Pocan, a gay man, has the best voting record in Congress and I'm embarrassed that a Kyrsten Sinema and Sean Patrick Maloney, both also gay, have two of the worst voting records of any congressional Democrats. I remember a Chinese friend of mine in San Francisco telling me his whole community felt a collective sense of... almost guilt because a Chinese immigrant shot someone. Well, there are a lot of gays in Los Angeles and overwhelmingly they're a good bunch when it comes to politics-- aware of what happens when you let solidarity slip and how vulnerable groups can be. Every single neighborhood with big gay populations-- from Manhattan, Key West, Wilton Manors in Fort Lauderdale, Provincetown and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on the East Coast thru Boystown in Chicago, Pleasant Ridge near Detroit, Oak Lawn, Dallas and Montrose in Houston to the Castro and Noe Valley in San Francisco, West Hollywood and Silverlake in L.A. and Palm Springs-- voted overwhelmingly against Trump. Gays knew. According to NYTimes exit polling Mitt Romney got nearly half the gay vote in 2012. Señor Trumpanzee didn't do quite so well. 14% of LGBT voters pulled the lever for Señor... very, very, very sick people, who were not just voting for Trump, but for the most psychotically obsessed homophobe in American politics, Mike Pence and his who murderous posse of mentally deranged misfits.

24 year old Sinclair Treadway lives in the faded-but-once-ritzy El Royale in L.A.'s Hancock Park with his husband Sean Adl-Tabatabai, 36. Sinclair says he was a Bernie primary voter. But he and Sean have gone down a very dark path since then. They have a fake news site, Your News Wire, whose credo is something like this quote from Sean: "Reality is how you perceive it. You can change that perception of reality-- dictate it." And today they are dictating it on behalf of the neo-fascist movement behind Trumpanzee. The "3-year old website of murky fact and slippery spin, has in the past year helped usher Donna Brazile out of her CNN gig and foment the Pizzagate frenzy with a key early post (which has generated 28,000 Facebook shares), all from an unlikely HQ for an alt-media operation: the couple's live/work apartment at the historic El Royale (sometime home to the likes of Katie Holmes, Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz) in L.A.'s Hancock Park."
Now YNW is emerging alongside the more high-profile Breitbart as an integral player in the Trump era's L.A. alt-media axis. Despite Google's decision to cut off YNW's ad revenue and fact-checking site Snopes' relentless efforts to debunk its incendiary reports, its founders are more energized than ever, as Treadway puts it, "to focus on what people aren't focusing on-- the information that the public isn't already being told."

Like fellow outsider outlets (most notably Infowars, with which it periodically trades tips), YNW, whose output has been labeled fake news and Trumpist propaganda by critics, is fueled by populist politics and social media shares. Those in Hollywood retweeting its links include EL James (a story speculating on the origins of unknown "sky trumpet" sounds heard across Europe), Elijah Wood (an article concerning GMOs and cancer) and James Woods (a report that a former Haitian government official due to testify about alleged Clinton Foundation misdeeds was found dead in Miami).

Snopes debunked Your News Wire’s story in May about U.K. authorities allowing the Manchester terror bombing to happen.

The outlet's most devoted celebrity reader, however, is likely Roseanne Barr, who has repeatedly shared with her social media followers YNW's coverage of everything from Benghazi to Pizzagate. "We've communicated a couple of times-- I have the emails," says Adl-Tabatabai, who notes that the "kooky" Barr also has written to him to "slam" stories. "She's frank, opinionated-- our perfect audience." (Barr didn't respond to a request for comment.)

While YNW fields plenty of tips, most of which Adl-Tabatabai deletes ("I'll get quite a lot of, 'Kanye West is being readmitted to the hospital due to MKUltra,' that he's being mind-controlled"), the editorial approach of its tiny, work-from-home staff is chiefly to identify and highlight overlooked nuggets published elsewhere, then recirculate them with provocative new angles. They pull material from disparate outlets, whether Iranian state-backed TV or right-leaning Circa (owned by the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group), usually pinpointing details tucked far down in articles or hidden away in obscure government reports.

Alienated liberals, the two share a suspicion of established stories and presumed facts that borders on the radical. Adl-Tabatabai's views are informed by what he sees as British media's failures during his formative years-- cheerleading the Iraq War, ignoring rumors of BBC host Jimmy Savile's sexual abuse of children-- while Treadway's are forged by a conviction that Bernie Sanders, whom he ardently supported during the Democratic primary, wasn't given legitimate consideration by the press.

They are critical of Donald Trump on some policy points (including his transgender military ban) but view him as a salutary influence in politics. "He may be a buffoon, and he may make some really bad mistakes during his presidency, but he's still an anti-establishment figure," reasons Adl-Tabatabai. "A vote for him was a vote to smash the system."

...In the months after Trump's election, several British papers published accounts criticizing YNW as a purveyor of fake news, with one reporting that a European Union task force set up to combat Russian propaganda had classified the outlet as a proxy. While the couple acknowledges that state-sponsored Russia Today is a favored source ("They have angles," notes Adl-Tabatabai, "and sometimes their angles vaguely match our angles"), they deny any links to the Kremlin. Such a claim, contends Adl-Tabatabai, is "part of an overall political game that's being played by big corporate media outlets to purge independents."

The negative attention has had a bottom-line impact. Google AdSense dropped YNW from its network, resulting in what Adl-Tabatabai notes was a 60 percent drop in revenue (he declines to reveal dollar figures). He says he learned from a "brutally honest" discussion with an AdSense rep that there are internal divisions at Google over whether to work with publishers like YNW. "The thing that infuriated me most is that Google itself admitted to me that they didn't view us as a 'fake news' website," he says.

Just a couple of Mike Pence enablers
In a statement provided to THR, Google writes, "We don't comment on specific sites, but if a site violates our policies, whether intentionally or not, we take quick action and stop serving ads to that site." The couple's site briefly appeared under another banner, NewsPunch, in early September-- Adl-Tabatabai says "the decision to rebrand [had been] brewing for a while"-- and was an AdSense site again. Google wouldn't reveal whether it was aware that NewsPunch was simply YNW with a new logo and tagline. At any rate, the site within days reverted to Your News Wire-- because of technical difficulties, says Adl-Tabatabai, who adds it's still "moving toward a rebrand."

He and Treadway regularly find themselves in the sights of Snopes, the web's best-regarded fact-checker, which wrote in May of YNW's "track record of promoting false information." (It attempted to debunk the publication's false-flag conspiracy reporting the British government knew in advance that Ariana Grande's May 22 concert in Manchester would be bombed but "'allowed' this attack to happen in order to justify cracking down on the innocent population even further.") Snopes head David Mikkelson observes that the couple also has a history of publishing what he considers defamatory claims about his own operation, and Snopes' legal counsel has sent cease-and-desist notices.

Given Snopes' role as one of Facebook's official partners in efforts to address the spread of misinformation, Adl-Tabatabai says he has been weighing his options for a campaign against what he sees as a competitor with an unfair stranglehold on dictating reality-- a move right out of Trump's anti-press playbook. "We're all now questioning reality as it's being handed down, how it's interpreted, how it's portrayed," reasons Adl-Tabatabai on the rooftop of the El Royale as Treadway nods. "The audience itself is already questioning the facts."
The other night-- in a brief post about the new Tom of Finland film-- we looked (admiringly) at the idea of gays as outlaws and rebels, a theme I've explored here at DWT before. Damn, I hate thinking of Treadway and Adl-Tabatabai in that context! I think I'd rather see them as nothing really more than just contrarian idiots steeped in ignorance, ambition and a deep-seated need to be-- at least in each other's eyes-- as fabulous as Cher when she sang "Believe." What do you think, are Treadway and Adl-Tabatabai as fabulous as Cher? John Rechy they'll never be-- let alone Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, Oscar Wilde, William Burroughs, James Baldwin or Touko Laaksonen.

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At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit! I never knew gays were so fucking stupid. Nearly half voted for the R ticket in 2012? and 14% are for pence and his fat fuck pet geranium?

Every single gay person who votes for ANY R candidate should be arrested and sent to a re-education camp. Do they not know that the entirety of the R party is rabidly homophobic? Do they not realize that THEY could easily have been (and if pence succeeds the throne, they still will be) the 21st century "jewish question" in this, the latest incarnation of Nazi Germany?

WTF is wrong in this shithole? It seems no demographic is without their vast numbers of sub-sentient potted plants... and many of those plants are poisonous.

Maybe NK would be doing humankind a favor by nuking us/US. We're truly a pox on our species.

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These two bozos are sucking up to the power in place as the way to achieve their dreams of fame and possibly economic success. There is no morality or honor in them, merely raw ambition. Like Remora, they have attached themselves to sharks to get to their desired destination. Since they are not themselves chomping on swimmers, they are blameless - right?


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