Who’s Afraid of Brandon Darby?

I keep saying that my online life has turned into a comic book. Below, see the latest example of a would-be supervillain bluffing Team Justice with illusions to confuse and distract and divide them. But I’m not the only person who sees through the smoke:

Brandon Darby makes a mistake if he thinks that I should fear his “credibility.” I do not. The words “former FBI informant” in his bio do not make him Agent Smith from the Matrix. This tweet is yet another example of former Breitbart groupies fishing for information with bullying tactics. I disrespect their authoritay because they have none.

What Darby and his confederates do have are their own allegations — and nothing more. They allege their recordings of Jason Wade Taylor, the fake progressive that I recently outed from #stoprush, were made illegally. In their audio clips, you can hear Taylor being interrogated about his fake “Randy” credentials and his Twitter sockpuppets.

Mr. Darby offers zero proof that these recordings were made in Florida, and wants everyone to ignore what I have been saying for weeks now about “Randy” to focus instead on a Twitter cat. In fact, their allegations of illegal recording only emerged in the wake of my exposure of Taylor’s Nixonian ratfuckery. More and more, I see their move as a desperate attempt to project criminality away from him and onto his victims — like the cat mentioned in Darby’s tweet. Why?

Before “two wrongs don’t make a right,” there must be an acknowledgement that a first wrong exists. The first wrong here is a hoax executed by a convicted felon taking personal information under false pretenses by offering people paid work. Everything Taylor said about himself as “Randy” turns out to be false. If Mr. Darby would like to make a fuss with an exposed plagiarist and fake progressive serving as the linchpin of his nontroversy, then so be it. I don’t see that he has even made a prima facie case for his accusations.

If Team Breitbart Chaos really did send law enforcement after Taylor’s victims, however, I think most of us would welcome those officers with open arms and all our notes. Ain’t skeered! That’s because Taylor is a real person with a verifiable birth record. Surely Darby and the rest of Breitbart’s “intellectual” heirs understand the importance of birth records? And I will buy a year’s supply of donuts for any law enforcement officer who locates a human paper trail for “Randy.”

In fact, since this is about credibility we should discuss Darby’s “second wrong” a bit further. A well-connected, yet otherwise pseudonymous progressive supposedly recorded himself interrogating Taylor, and since this person lives in Florida it naturally follows the call was recorded there. Logic! But it doesn’t take a genius to see right through this premise. After all, we’re a vast left-wing conspiracy, right? Surely we, too, know how to spoof Skype so that a third party doesn’t know when, where, or by whom they are being recorded? Surely we can also use add-ons and apps, just like those stalwart right-wingers?

But Team Breitbart Chaos is not interested in alternative explanations. They are interested in damage: to reputations, to organizations, and to real people who are doing nothing wrong. And that is where they go wrong. They always overestimate themselves. They underestimate the objects of their sick obsession.

Darby began his political life as an anarchist dedicated to destroying the United States government. He has evolved into a right wing hack promoting the destruction of American governance. The difference, I suspect, is that the pay is better now. His public performances in right wing circles are confessional in character, describing his gravitation towards the black hole of Breitbartian bullshittery as a Road-to-Damascus conversion. His fans eat it up. I am unimpressed.

That personal narrative of left-to-right conversion is also the formula of his podcast with Lee Stranahan. Anyone who remembers Bob Cesca comment threads from the early Obama era will remember Stranahan’s butthurt and self-deportation took place because that community is fact-based, whereas he was prone to paranoid ranting. Now he gets paid to wear a tinfoil hat — and again, I suspect that is because the pay is better in Breitbartland.

Together with Darby, they portray themselves as the vanguard of a reactionary groundswell against liberalism — by disaffected Democrats. And then comes “Randy,” a hoax liberal with a plagiarized blog, apparently controlling an army of social media sockpuppets in open rebellion against the same citizen activists Taylor has hoaxed. Coincidence, I’m sure!

Lee Stranahan and Brooks Bayne and now Brandon Darby have been tweeting as if Taylor’s victims owe them explanations, but the more they do so the more I am convinced they own the entire explanation for hoaxing and harassment of #stoprush volunteers, and that their current actions are merely more of the same. From the moment I blew the lid off “Randy,” his story has continued to disintegrate at the same rate their self-righteousness has inflated.

Moreover, in the course of researching Mr. Taylor it became clear that he is an inveterate liar. I have to wonder how many lies he has also told his “new” friends. Frankly, If was a donor to the National Bloggers Club I would be in full-fledged panic mode right now, because Taylor is not as smart as he thinks.

In fact, I think panic explains much about their actions so far. Perhaps my blowing Taylor’s cover inspired the slimy stories coming out of Bayne’s “Trenches.us” blog, for example. Or maybe when William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection explained how Taylor controlled all those sockpuppets, he was still trying to spin a derailed black op the way Darby and company had always intended it to go.

When #stoprush volunteers proved unwilling to engage Darby’s pals on their revisionist interpretation of Taylor’s hoax, maybe Team Breitbart Chaos decided to plunge agead and implicate as many progressives as they could with their psychotic mumblings. They are now blogging about MSNBC personalities in relation to all this “criminality” they allege, and again, I am left with the impression that Team Breitbart Chaos has underestimated the potential blowback. What happens when “real” journalists turn to my blog looking for answers about why they’re being smeared on right wing blogs?

Team Breitbart Chaos has consistently misunderstood my determination on this matter. Whether or not they cooked up the “Randy” hoax, by attempting to exploit Taylor’s victims they have accidentally made me more curious about their recent activities. So now I have many questions I would not otherwise have asked. Such as:

  1. How did Erick Erickson tweet and blog at the same time he was supposedly standing in his living room talking to 911 “SWAT call” responders?
  2. Is that Brandon Darby’s voice on the 911 SWAT calls? Does that voice match the alleged SWAT caller or caller(s) who phoned into the Darby-Stranahan podcast? And where was Darby when that show was recorded?
  3. Is the National Bloggers Club a criminal organization? How deep are their connections to “Randy,” and how far back do they go?

Again, the first wrong — and so far the only provable wrong in this situation — is what Jason Wade Taylor did to #stoprush volunteers. Everything from Darby, et al since then is a harassment and smear campaign against private American citizens who have done nothing wrong. We have been targeted for legitimately using the First Amendment.

And since no one in Team Breitbart Chaos has considered alternative possibilities, perhaps they still don’t understand what it means to have me blogging about all this.

For it is equally plausible that an Alabama resident who has won a child custody case, and therefore happens to be intimately familiar with state laws about recorded phone calls, and also happens to be a former open source intelligence analyst in a division SCIF with a continuing interest in the topic of covert operations, came up with a brilliant idea. And yes, both those assertions are true of this blogger and can be verified through official documents.

A third-party recording is exactly the sort of counterintelligence operation I would suggest to anyone going through a hoax like “Randy,” because it invites any unfriendly person handling a Jason Taylor to perhaps flail away in exactly this manner upon discovery. Fake outrage is the surest sign of guilt. And at the moment, I have just as much “proof” of that theory as Team Breitbart Chaos offers for theirs. The more they “prove” their case, the more I consider my case proven by them.

Lest anyone think I am simply deflecting here, I remind the reader that Taylor himself is the most likely suspect to have recorded anyone, most likely while enacting his hoax. Should Brandon Darby decide to bring his allegations to legitimate authorities rather than play schoolyard bully with Taylor’s victims, I suspect any “proof” he offers will once again back up the hypothesis that Darby, Stranahan, Bayne, and other right wing bloggers were thick as thieves with Taylor months ago.

So I renew my call for “real” journalists to give my questions half as much attention and twice the fact-checking of absolutely every Team Brietbart Chaos production ever. Don’t let the illusions distract you. Don’t let the slime deter you.

I invite progressives and free speech advocates to speak out against what has happened here, because these morans are not just tweeting about #WAR but enacting their chickenhawk fantasies with malign intent.

Your hashtag is not safe.

Your organization is not safe.

Your web servers, spreadsheets, volunteers, and employees are not safe.

As I have said ever since the ACORN nontroversy: you are next. No one will be spared.

And I invite Darby to maintain his vainglorious delusions as long as he likes. I see right through them and I am not scared. How do you frighten a person who would rather die than not speak freely, and who is already paying a lifetime price for that freedom? Such characteristics don’t make anyone a superhero, or even just a hero, but they sure give a person tremendous strength.

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.
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