When trying to understand the depravity of the fake news era, should one start with the lies or their propagandists? Over the last month, a narrative was being weaved by Ann Vandersteel, a notorious conspiracy theorist and professional grifter among YouTube’s far-right, the supposed official surrogate for the 2020 electoral campaign for President Donald Trump.
If you were unfortunate enough to be watching The Patriots Soapbox, a delusional ‘news’ platform for those living within an alternate dimension, you’d be lead to believe a significant mouthpiece behind QAnon, PizzaGate and Soros jew-baiting was accepted into the fold of the White House.
“I was selected to be an additional voice for the 2020 race,” Vandersteel announced, taking calls from the audience, “and I’m pretty sure there is a very comprehensive strategy about the way they are going to roll out [our] information to the public. Q has been preparing a lot of people,” she continued rambling. “This is about preparing your next door neighbour who can give two rats about politics. They may be a liberal,” she continued rambling, “but when they hear the fact that Hillary Clinton was doing the horrible things that she was doing that are evidenced on Anthony Weiner’s laptop when they start to find out about that stuff, the disbelief is going to be over the top. We have got to prepare the public for what’s coming because these are things that Hollywood has been publishing in movies for years and we just thought, ‘Oh, that’s just Hollywood.’ What we didn’t realize was that was art imitating life.”
To Vandersteel’s credit, the disbelief of these claims would be over the top. In this alternative world, the narrative stipulates Weiner’s laptop is the key evidence unveil videos of former 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff sexually assaulting and torturing children inside the basement of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C. Although it’s true Weiner was indeed arrested for sexting a minor, which did result in the seizure of his laptop to harvest his illegal pornographic content, evidence of child sex-rings tied to the Clinton campaign has never surfaced.
It simply didn’t even reach the level of rumour. It was all bullshit, yet resulted in the real world consequences of a gunman — a 28-year-old conservative named Edgar Maddison Welch — invading the local pizzeria to personally investigate the basement turned sex-dungeon which never existed. This scandal hasn’t stopped members of the Trump administration and business empire from interacting with PizzaGate’s worst offenders, however, which include the likes of Alex Jones, Roger Stone, Mike Cernovich, Jack Poseobic. The concern of such characters infesting the White House merited investigation.
The story was immediately picked up alternative media sites such as RightWingWatch and The Daily Beast who were reportedly contacting the administration multiple times to receive confirmation of her position. Over the course of a month, board members and campaign officials all repeatedly refused to confirm or deny any relationship with Vandersteel and her brand of far-right propaganda being central to their media strategy. It was until Monday, before journalist Will Sommers was set to publish his article, that a supposed Trump campaign advisor declared her persona non grata.
“We formed our advisory board in April of 2017, which now includes 19 tremendous advocates for President Trump,” reads an emailed statement from Mark Serrano, CEO of the media strategy firm ProActive Communications. “Ann has not been, nor is she currently on the board.” The email provided no context surrounding the delayed response or whether cease and desist letters have been sent to Vandersteel. Serrano sent The Daily Beast a chart showing 19 members on the board “such as Pastor Darrell Scott, former governor of Arizona Jan Brewer, Jerry Falwell Jr., and former Trump economic adviser Steve Moore. Vandersteel is not listed.”
This hasn’t stopped the possible grift from circulating. Vandersteel, an associate of the Trump-fanatic radio personality Bill Mitchell, went on his radio show to claim she was “hand-picked” by the likes of Serrano to join the team, including using her LinkedIn profile to tout herself as a key figure. She still hasn’t posted a retraction or deleted the information from her social media accounts. We’re left to wonder about two narratives. The first being whether the Trump administration, knowing the extent to which radicalism infests her following, maintain a relationship to hold onto far-right media clout. The second being whether the fantasy world has now drenched into lying about her own career for the same reason.
Neither is clearly true, though show the extent to which the far-right will go peddle narratives and strategies in devotion to their beloved candidate. “In the time since [this article],” Sommers writes, “The Daily Beast has repeatedly reached out to seven people for this story and sent at least two dozen emails, phone calls, and messages asking for information and for comment. Almost all declined to comment on the record, ignored inquiries, or would not give a straight answer on if, at any point, Vandersteel had been a member or approached to be a part of the board.” Nobody gave an answer as to whether she’s being contacted outside of the board.
Thanks for reading! This article was originally published for TrigTent.com, a bipartisan media platform for political and social commentary, truly diverse viewpoints and facts that don’t kowtow to political correctness.
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