McChrystal Supports PAC’s Efforts to Counter Trump’s Social-media Supporters
Written by Steve Byas
Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, who once led American forces in Afghanistan, is serving as an advisor to a Democratic Party-supporting political action committee in its plans to disrupt the social-media support for President Donald Trump in the upcoming election. The group is called Defeat Disinfo, and it will use artificial intelligence and network analysis to follow discussion of Trump’s public statements and refute online efforts by Trump supporters to defend what they consider distortions and bias perpetrated by the liberal media, which are largely in league with the Democratic Party.
The intention is to identify counter-narratives on social media from what mainstream media says about Trump’s statements. Because the media wields tremendous power to shape the narrative, even to the point of twisting facts and statements, Trump’s loyal base often takes to social-media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to dispute those narratives.
Bluntly put, what Disinfo is attempting to do is to keep this social-media defense of Trump from being effective. They plan to do this by identifying social-media defenses of Trump, and countering them with a network of over three million influencers across the country — even to the point of paying users with large followings to weigh in against narratives supporting Trump.
McChrystal claimed in media accounts that he is only interested in ensuring the accuracy of information involving the 2020 election campaign, but the effort has no intention of countering any inaccuracies of Democratic-leaning Facebook posts, or countering anything found on Twitter that supports the Democrats’ presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. The person who is running Defeat Disinfo is Curtis Houghland, a Democratic operative. The project is just an extension of Main Street One, his technology company. Stephanie Berger, who is the fundraiser for the project, worked in the Clinton White House and was a former national finance director for the Democratic National Committee. Andrew Tobias, a former treasurer at the DNC, is an investor in the effort.
Many mistakenly think generals tend to be conservative, even if they stay clear of identifying with the Republican Party, but McChrystal appears to have been groomed to be a key Deep State figure for a long time. In 1999-2000, he was a military fellow at the globalist Council on Foreign Relations, and was an intelligence officer for the United Nations Command Support Group. More recently, McChrystal endorsed a Democratic candidate for Congress in 2014.
Houghland’s technology was initially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — highly secretive research arm of the Department of Defense — ostensibly to fight ISIS propaganda, according to the Washington Post. DARPA has disputed the Post’s claims that it funded Houghland’s technology research now being used to work against Trump’s reelection, tweeting, “Houghlin’s claim DARPA funded the tech at the heart of his political work is grossly misleading. He advised briefly on ways to counter ISIS online. He was not consulted to design AI or analysis tools, nor anything remotely political.”
Whatever the truth is of its initial funding, it is clear that the technology is now being used against Trump. Hougland told the Post that he was unhappy that so much of social media is used to support Trump, noting that the president’s supporters had rallied to his defense when the media claimed that Trump had suggested Americans inject themselves with disinfectant to fight the coronavirus. Houghland was concerned that four of the top six tweets about Trump and disinfectant came from accounts favoring the president’s contention that he was not advocating that Americans stave off a virus with a disinfectant.
For example, Ryan Fournier, the national co-chairman of Students for Trump, wrote, “No, President Trump did not tell people to inject themselves with Clorox or Lysol. If you believe that, you’re a moron.”
Someone believing false narratives about Trump, such as that he favors ludicrous anti-virus efforts like injecting one’s self with a disinfectant, or the untrue media stories that Trump called Nazi skin-heads “good people,” and the like might not be a moron, but just be someone who listens exclusively to the mainstream media sources such as MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, and other leftist media. As it stands now, the major media coverage of Trump is almost totally negative — hatefully so. Without counter-narratives on social media, the average person would never hear the other side. If the mainstream media was anywhere balanced in its presentations, such Trump-supporting counter-narratives would not be so important.
What Houghland and McChrystal want to do is blunt any efforts to counter the media’s consistent, dishonest, negative reporting on Trump.
Steve Byas is a university instructor in history and government, and the author of History’s Greatest Libels. He may be contacted at [email protected].
Courtesy of The New American