Colonel Mustard Pets a Troll

Like the President, William A. Jacobson, Esq. (pictured) has been the Senior Editor of a Harvard legal publication, the International Law Journal. From 1984 to 2007 he maintained a successful private practice dealing with “investment, employment, and business disputes in the securities industry,” according to his bio at Cornell, where he is now Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic.

He is also a blogger. At his “Legal Insurrection” site, Mr. Jacobson has defended Sarah Palin over health care death panels. He spent days denouncing MSNBC because they covered up the president’s elitist choice of mustard. When the Wisconsin protests turned out a larger crowd than any tea party ever, he dismissed the crowd size. During the Herman Cain meltdown, he maintained all the accusers were lying — and all actors in a sinister conspiracy. In the Trayvon Martin case, the professor sees what he wants to see, hears what he wants to hear, and concludes the facts are not in but the Martin family’s lawyers are obstructing justice.

Linking to Professor Jacobson’s own words — as I’ve done in the above ‘graff — is essentially what Media Matters does every day with right wing media trolls. The reason Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck despise that organization is that they do not want a permanent record of the crap coming out of their own mouths. It makes them look bad, just as the above snapshot of Professor Jacobson’s blogging career shouts “right wing tool.”

Unsurprisingly, Jacobson is also Rush Limbaugh’s pet academic. In fact, Limbaugh’s very first tweet ever, launched in panicked reaction to the success of the social media backlash he’d inspired, linked to Legal Insurrection. In the first paragraph of the linked post, Jacobson asserts that #stoprush is manufactured outrage:

The secondary boycott of Rush Limbaugh advertisers is portrayed in the media as a reaction to a groundswell of public outrage.  In fact, the secondary boycott was initiated by and driven by Media Matters, which had a “Stop Limbaugh” campaign on the shelf waiting to be used, and was executed by Angelo Carusone, Director of Online Strategy for Media Matters.

“Secondary boycott” is an invention of Mr. Jacobson. No one associated with #stoprush ever said anything about being in Phase II. This imaginary second phase of #stoprush underpins Jacobson’s assertion that thousands of people only contacted sponsors because Media Matters told them to, and not because they were outraged at Limbaugh’s disgusting three-day rant against Sandra Fluke.

In this tortured narrative, #stoprush can be ignored because Media Matters has “coordinated” it. As proof, Jacobson offers countless public tweets from a user named @Shoq — who has voluntarily helped put together the web architecture that volunteers are using, but has never been a Media Matters employee.

In fact, other than Carusone, Jacobson cannot link a single #stoprush Twitter account to Media Matters. That’s because Media Matters didn’t create any of them. They belong to real people who have volunteered to take part.

Jacobson has maintained his insane, evidence-free theory ever since. Which is odd, because the purpose of his narrative is to promote the idea that #stoprush has failed and has had no effect. Why would the professor write so much about our supposed failure? Indeed, why would he warn that “conservatives better wake up” to movements like #stoprush if it’s so ineffectual?

I’m sure Jacobson’s non-answer will be that #stoprush is a scary conspiracy to persecute Limbaugh and deny him his free speech rights. In fact, volunteers have been listening to his program, keeping a record of the ads that play during it, and making it possible for other volunteers to exercise their own free speech rights. Free speech is maintained all around.

We are allowed to contact them. They are allowed to keep their ads off his program, and if they don’t then we are allowed to stop using their products and services. We are even allowed to publish lists of alternative companies that don’t sponsor him. That’s the way the “free market of ideas” actually works, and it’s not a conspiracy. It’s called the First Amendment.

Rush Limbaugh may rant and rave into a microphone until doomsday; he has no “right” to corporate sponsorship, however. No one ever said that free speech was free of consequences. But if the professor wants to see what astroturf looks like, here’s a picture:

That Easter-egg hunt is a line of fake, supposedly-real fans retweeting Rush Limbaugh. The accounts came into existence within days of Limbaugh’s rant and our reaction. Psychological projection is a constant feature of right wing politics, and Professor Jacobson’s conspiracy theory actually describes the attempted social media rehabilitation of Limbaugh much better than #stoprush.

Which is not to say there are no volunteers for Limbaugh, because I have seen a handful in my Twitter reply stream. All of them — all! — have been like @Serr8d:

Again, it’s all self-description here. Jacobson presented the above tweet in a post Wednesday as his sole exhibit “proving” a groundswell of Limbaugh support is lashing back against #stoprush. Of course, the only thing it proves is that right-wing trolls inhabit Twitter, which is not news. Since Jacobson is apparently a new fan of @Serr8d, here are some of his recent choice tweets:

Here is the linked picture, which @Serr8d has tweeted several times:

An anal rape joke: Classy Cornell law stuff!

In this one, Jacobson’s pseudonymous user makes light of the ongoing Secret Service scandal by suggesting the president is a marijuana user, which of course is totally not racist except that it totally is:

@Serr8d really enjoys sexual imagery. Politics is just one big gang bang:

@Serr8d has been tweeting #stoprush participants for weeks now in search of anyone who would engage. Some have, though not me: I haven’t time to feed the trolls, much less pet them in my blog.

This absurdity has a Moebius strip-quality, turning everything inside-out to wind up at the place where it started: Jacobson establishes a false premise with non-evidence, Limbaugh tweets Jacobson to “prove” the campaign against him is a lie, whereupon dozens of brand-new, spammy Twitter accounts and a handful of trolls become a “spontaneous groundswell” of support. See how that works?

Colonel Mustard and all his trolls will not stop #stoprush. In fact, we haven’t even rolled out our second phase, which is in beta testing. The only part of his story that everyone should believe is that we should be taken seriously. We’re not going away, and we’re not intimidated by insulting tweets.

About Matt Osborne

Veteran blogging the culture wars from Alabama. Video journalist, mash-up artist, aspiring novelist, and metalhead. Expect bunnies, geekery, dark humor, and snarky empirical analysis to annoy idealists of all stripes. You can follow me on Twitter, but be ready 'cause it might get loud.
This entry was posted in astroturf politics, Colonel Mustard, Organizing, rush limbaugh. Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.serr8d.blogspot.com/ Serr8d

    Meh. You’re just trying to make yourself (a far-Left Liberal Progressive; unnatural in American politics, certainly unnatural to the founders of this Republic) somehow look better, given the hateful tactics you’ve embraced. I simply return tit for tat, as Alinsky suggested. I know you’ve heard of him.

    Fact is, your Party is now unrecognizable; it’s shifted so far Left that this Republic is faltering, in danger of CHANGE to a state that not even you would appreciate, if you were truly being honest.

    I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976, and for Al Gore for TN Rep then TN Senator for several cycles.  But then the Democratic party started visibly shifting so far to Left that I had to leave; Bill Clinton’s attacks on the 2nd Amendment was the very last straw. I can’t look back, or look at Democrats without seeing an alien-to-American political species; Democrats are now as alien a species to America as is the Asian Carp.

    You, personally, should try to step back, and see what collective damage your chosen ideology has done to this nation; LBJ’s ‘Great Society wasn’t, and Obama’s amorphous promise of CHANGE you probably can’t decipher, either.

    I’ll tell you this: you won’t like the brick wall you’re speeding towards. Not one damned bit.

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    .@Serr8d:disqus  I like this comment for two reasons. First is that it’s a perfect contrast to all the bitching and moaning in the lefty sphere about how Obama is not enough of an Alinskyite. Second is that it demonstrates the full epistemic closure of your universe — because the Democratic Party’s actual problem is that it’s too centrist for the left.

    By “hateful tactics,” you mean that I hate Rush Limbaugh. That’s true; I hate him because he is hateful. But if you want hateful tactics, read your own blog.

  • Anonymous

    Just a note about the language: “secondary boycott” is a term of legal art ensconced in the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibits unions from organizing boycotts of, say, the customers of an employer with which they are having a labor dispute. It doesn’t mean “Phase II” or anything like that. By using that term, Professor Mustard was implying that the Stop Rush movement may be engaging in illegal activity, which is, of course, ridiculous on its face.

  • [email protected]

    I’m sorry but you are incorrect. I saw some research on this just last week. Actually, it is just the opposite. Republicans have moved much further to the right as have Democrats. There are many academic studies on Lexxus that you may like to investigate to help you understand politics in the 20th century.

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    I was briefed on this via Twitter tonight. In fact, expect follow-up.

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  • Desertgymcat2

    Thanks Matt! Very informative

  • http://www.serr8d.blogspot.com/ Serr8d

    Ah, you’ve couched your own 200-proof hatery of  Rush in the filmy garb of academe; the illusory notion that refined studies can shroud your own steamy piles of hatred. Still, you smell of it.

    I’d guessed you were a lawyer. Not so. You are a simple filmmaker, hoping to become the next Michael Moore; in fact, you applied for the Nutroot’s ‘ Democracy for America’ scholarship, with this blurb:

    “I would use all 250 words but at the moment I am also busy pinning
    articles for policymakers and helping organize a pressure campaign on
    Rush Limbaugh’s sponsors. I also have a project next week to webcast the
    Alabama abortion bill debate. So I’m a little busy, and you’ll just
    have to take my word that I’ve earned the trip by being the change
    instead of poutraging at the lack of it. …

          How I’ve gotten others involved

    Today, I reacted to the news about Rush Limbaugh losing a
    sponsor by finding the Twitter accounts of his advertisers, then
    recruiting followers to tweet them and ask them to withdraw sponsorship.
    As these advertisers announced withdrawal, I retweeted them and thanked
    them. This all involved crowd participation — a “virtual riot” that
    remained disciplined and well-behaved. I wasn’t the only one, but I was
    part, and many followed. A cool online action. One of many. (UPDATE: one
    week later, we’ve convinced 33 advertisers to withdraw their
    sponsorship and gotten at least two radio stations to remove his show
    and I am highly focused on removing him from Armed Forces Radio –
    http://bit.ly/x1wkSP copy/paste the URL to sign our White House
    petition!)

    My “Twitter faction” uses a hashtag, #1stAL, in memory of the 1st
    Alabama Union Volunteer Cavalry. That’s right, sons of Alabama took up
    arms to defend the Union.”

    That’s available in g00gle’s cached version of  their page (the ‘live’ version is conveniently missing).

    So, don’t even pretend you anywhere near ‘center’. You are not. I’m likely closer to center than you are. I’ve voted Democratic in my life, you’ve never even considered voting for anything other than Dirty Socialist.

    And, Alabama. You’re forever-small-time, bubba.

  • http://www.serr8d.blogspot.com/ Serr8d

    Matt (but I’m also almost a CENTRIST!) Osborne, on his DFA Nutroots Scholarship application blurb, missing in 404 Memory Hole land, but helpfully available at my post linked below :

    ” My suggested bumper sticker slogan
    Culture Warriors: come for the party, stay for the jihad”

    Don’t you ever speak to me about my calling you out for your Gestapo-like tactics of  Ideologically Terrorist-Trolling Rush Limbaugh advertisers!

    YOU HEAD-BEHEADER WANNABE YOU~!

  • Pablo

     I will transmit this information to Vladmir.

  • Anonymous

    Which founders would deem liberal progressive ideology unnatural? The ones who used slaves, or the ones who felt a little guilty about it? 

    You lived through George W. Bush, but I can only assume by your inability to decipher what you perceive as Liberalism as applied to the proper role of government that you found his administration decipherable? Setting aside the nepotism, Orwellian-speak, and the top-down rank cronyism, did you find the Supreme Court decision that appointed him decipherable? How about preemptive war? Torture with a capital “T” and “Mission Accomplished?” How about, “you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists”? What about those neglected Americans floating face down on the streets of New Orleans? “Free-speech zones?” Would the resulting liberal-left dissent that these policies instigated make sense to the founders?

    Make sense to you, does it? 

    The way you speak of the founders makes it appear as though right wing conservatives have some sort of monopoly on the U.S. Constitution. The founders didn’t do the unquestioning bidding and dirty work of the East India Company. They didn’t stand up and defend monopolies in commerce. They didn’t put the tea back on the boat.  

    Why is it that corporations can come in and suck hundreds of billions in government contracts out of the system, all the growth in national wealth since Reagan, passing on the hidden costs of industrial pollution and toxicity to the rest of us, and still avoid your “dirty socialist” label? Speaking of the wealth-capturing power of corporations, how are they making out, lately? How are corporate profits in this indecipherable economy? 

    You’re inconsistent, and therefore, dishonest. You’re a down-punching bully for big business. A corporate monarchist. A barely coherent opportunist.

    Your federal government protects your crimes against humanity and democracy and keeps you safe from guillotines in Times Square. You have very little to complain about. But here you are. Defending the pigs and class warfare and calling it virtuous, insisting yours is “the good fight.” Some do it for money, some do it for sport. Why do you do it?

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    I also like this reply — because it’s a perfect example of terminal irony deficiency. “Culture warrior” describes YOU. The party is the GOP, and the jihad is the culture war. That bumper sticker slogan is a joke about you, and you think it actually describes me.

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    I like this comment because it demonstrates your desperation to define “center” as yourself. I never claimed to be a centrist, or to be anything but what I am. Nor have I ever claimed to be “big time” or even to desire “big time status,” you silly little troll.

    That DFA Netroots scholarship app was actually linked prominently here before DFA announced they were not including previous-years winners this time and pulled it. Once again, you’ve stated the obvious and imagined yourself to be Mr. Online Sleuth.

    I think all this tearing-down of me is actually about the smallness of you.

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