Monday, March 04, 2019


I haven't read Jane Mayer's New Yorker story about Fox News, but I've read about some of the details in the piece, including this:
To the astonishment of colleagues, the Fox co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle often prepared for “The Five” by relying on information provided to her by an avid fan: a viewer from Georgia named David Townsend, who had no affiliation either with Fox News or with journalism. She’d share the day’s planned topics with Townsend, and then he’d e-mail her suggested content. A former colleague of Guilfoyle’s says, “It was a joke among the production assistants—they were, like, ‘Wait till you hear this!’ She actually got research from him! It was the subject of hilarity.”

Townsend is a frequent contributor to the fringe social-media site Gab, which Wired has called a “haven for the far right.” (He has promoted the idea that “physically weak men” are “more likely to be socialists,” and has argued that it's not anti-Semitic to observe that “the most powerful political moneybags in American politics are Zionists.”) The server company that hosts Gab removed it from the Internet temporarily after it was revealed to have posted hate-filled rants by Robert Bowers, the gunman who killed eleven people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, last October.

When I asked Townsend about his e-mails to Guilfoyle, he said, “Mind your own business. I’m just a Fox fan. I’m a keyboard warrior. I’m a nobody.” He said, “I’ve sent stuff to various people at Fox for years, and I don’t get a penny for it,” and added, “I don’t know what tree you’re barking up but you better be careful.”
I believe this is Townsend's Gab feed; he posts as @pog.

This morning, he posted this:

But by online wingnut standards, his posts are mostly middle of the road. He's just a standard-issue right-wing grievance collector.

He also has an Instagram feed with three posts, two of which are photos of Guilfoyle.

Should it surprise us that Guilfoyle would prepare for what purports to be a news program by consulting with a conservative Internet troll? Not really, since she's dating a conservative Internet troll, Donald Trump Jr.

Don Junior is @pog if @pog was born rich and was the son and namesake of a celebrity billionaire. Junior is also a right-wing grievance collector, and also spends his days retransmitting stories and memes from what we naively regard as fringe websites. (In 2019, when nothing said on the right is too extreme to go mainstream, there's really no such thing as a fringe.) Junior is, if anything, more willing to make idle threats than @pog (as is Junior's father). It's almost as if Guilfoyle's information-exchange relationship with @pog was a warm-up for her intimate relationship with Junior.

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