It’s not a great time to be working the so-called “disinformation” beat.
For the uninitiated, the “disinformation” reporter is a relative new creation of the mainstream media. The species came into existence about the same time the legacy corporate media realized they needed something a little more partisan and aggressive to combat President Donald Trump and the rise of successful right-wing social media content creators. For example, the most popular reporters in this genre were heavily involved in assuring the American people that the Hunter Biden laptop story was a Russian hoax. (Don’t bother pointing out to them the irony for it is surely a lost cause.)
On their best days, “disinformation” reporters exist to singularly “fact-check” conservative voices and social media accounts while simultaneously leaving President Biden and other well known liberal liars free to spin wild yarns about Corn Pop. But on their worst days… well, we’re seeing that now.
Enter Ben Collins, NBC’s pajama boy par excellence who claims to work the “dystopia” beat. Collins spent the week hollering blood libel at conservatives over the tragic shooting at a gay night club in Colorado. Five souls were lost, but Collins was in front of a camera before full facts were known to accuse Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, and the popular Twitter account @LibsOfTiktok of culpability in the attack over their opposition to subjecting children to sex-change surgeries.
We see some version of that from left-wing media after ever atrocity like this. When liberal gun control laws fail, as they did in this case considering the shooter was arrested for making a bomb threat but still managed to pass Colorado’s background check, they start reaching. The New York Times accused Sarah Palin of causing the shooting of former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords. The Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, carried out by a fanatic who pledged allegiance to ISIS, was blamed on Republicans.
Here’s Collins in a widely shared, widely viewed MSNBC clip laying blame at the feet of people who did not know the shooter and were not in Colorado when it happened.
But Collins story changed Monday night when some new information came out about Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect in Saturday’s shooting.
Turns out Aldrich changed his name years ago to escape connection to his MMA fighter / pornstar / meth user father. Once that was discovered following a legal filing, reporters were able to glean that Aldrich, formerly Nicholas F. Brink, was the victim of an elaborate cyber bullying campaign.
The legal filing also said Aldrich was “non-binary” and preferred they/them pronouns.
Conservatives on social media were quick to say this fact inverted the entire mainstream media narrative surrounding the shooting. Rather than a MAGA inspired right-wing terrorists, Aldrich was actually a member of the ever-growing LGBTQI+ community. But what does that even mean? I’d rather wait for more information to come out before drawing any conclusions, but it’s safe to say the facts in the legal filing should cause corporate media talking heads to pause before leveling further blood libel at conservatives. The situation is a tad more complicated, and the simplest, most honest route is to blame individuals for their own actions.
But Collins is undaunted. For him, the new information just changed the way Republicans and conservatives are to blame.
Rather than inspire the shooter with anti-trans rhetoric, these conservatives alienated “them” with that same rhetoric and are therefore responsible for bullying him into doing what he did. For Collins, the individual is not to blame, regardless of the circumstances; only conservatives are to blame.
Seriously, read the thread. Aldrich went from right-wing MAGA “stochastic” terrorist to a vulnerable member of a marginalized community in minutes. Do they think people won’t notice this?
What a strange blend of half-baked theories for a “disinformation” reporter to be piping to his nearly 400k followers. The dude is such a lightweight liar he even managed to get body bagged a day before this by Nate Silver of all people.
And silver is right with his broader point: the “disinformation” beat is filled with phonies and partisan hacks. Here’s another instance, also from NBC: Brandy Zadrozny.
Zadrozny, like Collins, spent the immediate aftermath of the shooting trying to tie conservatives to the culprit. She posted rants about Elon Musk bringing Jordan Petersen, a popular Canadian podcaster, and the Babylon Bee, a conservative comedy site, back on Twitter. During a segment on MSNBC, Zadrozny directly linked conservative commentators and social media accounts to the attack.
Then, remarkably, the disinformation reporter claimed that she did not say exactly what she said in the video. You read that right. She even went so far as to ask Free Beacon to delete the tweet claiming she said exactly what she said in the video. Disinfo, indeed.