For the better part of four or five years, Donald Trump and his diehards have been quick to jump on even the tiniest slip-up by the mainstream media or the liberal blogosphere as proof that it’s a nest of fake news. For good measure, Trump insists that any even remotely critical coverage of him is fake, and he just throws the term around in an effort to deliberately discredit his critics.
Never mind that what passes as “real news” in Trumpland frequently amounts to conspiracy theory, hate speech, and out-and-out libel and slander. But according to one diehard pro-Trump podcaster, that’s just peachy. In a rare bit of honesty, he claimed that Trump supporters shouldn’t care about truth, but just about getting clicks and views.
Brenden Dilley is one of the many rabidly pro-Trump personalities to have risen to fame since Trump rode down the escalator of Trump Tower. He has been one of the most ardent promoters of QAnon, the bizarre conspiracy theory that claims Trump is about to open the trap door under a nest of pedophiles–and take out nearly everyone who is everyone in Hollywood and the Democratic Party. He ran in the Republican primary for the special election for the former congressional seat of Trent Franks in 2018, and garnered only 823 votes.
With a dossier like that, it should come as no surprise that Dilley is a purveyor of what we in the reality-based world would consider very fake news. Well, on Friday, Dilley engaged in a rare bit of honesty. He told his viewers on his Periscope show, “The Dilley Show,” that he does sometimes peddle fake news. But as far as he’s concerned, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not–all that matters is owning the libs and getting as many clicks and views as possible. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Dilley told his viewers that they have no obligation to “correct fake news against your enemies.” That obligation, he snorted, is only “the fucking left’s responsibility.” As far as he’s concerned, most conservative bloggers and podcasters are too busy being “virtue-signaling dickwads” to realize this.
As an example, Dilley recalled getting called out by several of his fellow conservatives for claiming that Elizabeth Warren had a “mammie teapot,” a once-common kitchen item in the 19th and early 20th century that is now considered racist. On Friday, he admitted that the story was bogus–but all that mattered was “fuck Elizabeth Warren.” He believes this rule should always apply when attacking liberals.
I’ve told all of you, it doesn’t have to be true. It just has to go viral. And I stand by that statement when it comes to our enemies.
Dilley readily admitted that he’ll have to answer for any fake news he spreads. However, he seemed to rationalize it by saying that if God asks him about it, he’d say, “I’m sorry about some of that fake news I spread against terrible people.”
As another example, he cited Megan Rapinoe, one of the leaders of the U. S. women’s national soccer team. Rapinoe has become a target of conservatives for her attacks on Trump, including claims that she’s a closet devil worshiper. To Dilley’s mind, though, it didn’t matter whether Rapinoe was a devil worshiper or not. What mattered to him was that he believed Rapinoe was “a dirty piece of shit” and “a horrible representation of the United States of America.” For that reason, he was willing to do what it took to “take some shine off that bitch’s moment.”
I had to watch this twice to believe it. Dilley just openly admitted that he has no qualms about smearing people with bogus information, or information that puts them at risk for harassment and trolling. After all, if they’re “terrible people” who dare to oppose Trump’s efforts to make America great again, Dilley seems to think they deserve it.
Back in my days in journalism school at the University of North Carolina, I learned that there’s a name for exactly what Dilley just admitted to doing–reckless disregard for truth or falsity. It’s one of two ways that a public figure or public official can prove that they were libeled or slandered with actual malice. In other words, Dilley is admitting that he has few qualms about engaging in behavior that no honest journalist would condone.
I’d wondered why Breitbart and Project Veritas never faced any blowback after they openly admitted that they had reason to believe Roy Moore’s accusers were credible and still smeared them in vicious and disgusting ways. Well, now we may have our answer. Apparently it’s acceptable to peddle fake news if it serves the cause of making America great again.
Keep this video filed away, folks. The way things are going, it’s only a matter of time before Dilley is racked up for libel. And when that happens, this video ought to be Exhibit A. But in the meantime, perhaps we should let Dilley know what we think about his standards–or lack thereof. Let him have it–politely, of course–on Twitter.
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