“Can I see your report, by the way? I definitely need some masturbation material.”
~Christopher Blair, founder and sole writer for lastelineofdefense.org, in an email to AFFotD’s Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt, directly asking about this article
thelastlineofdefense.org’s Christopher Blair, Indefensible Lies, and the Sickness of Fake News
Just before Labor Day, we wrote an article about the actual problem with Fake News, how lazy satire that’s meant to trick people into clicking some bullshit they actually want to believe is not “trolling” but instead a way to actively encourage people to follow their worst impulses. Specifically, we wrote about how there was a 100% fabricated article from thelastlineofdefense.org claiming that a mosque refused to help people in Houston, and how it really ground our gears. That article, by the way, featured an image of a man who met the definition of “I don’t know, LOOKS MUSLIM” but who was, in fact, just…a regular practicing Muslim in Canada who has never been to Texas in his life. Did he get death threats from that? Well, hmm, when was the last time you saw anything on the internet shared by 200,000 people trying to portray Islam in a less-than-flattering way that didn’t involve some prick saying some hateful shit.
To the credit of writer of the article and the man behind thelastlineofdefense.org, the photo of this man, whose name we won’t share because we don’t want him to be even more googleable for bullshit he had nothing to do with, was removed. Less to the credit of the writer of this article, the replacement image was of a Lebanese cleric who was arrested in 2015, which, like, not to be racist police, but that seems pretty fucking racist still.
BUT WE DIGRESS.
Most people knew the article was bullshit right away, but the 200,000 people who shared that trash either believed it, or wanted to believe it, and we honestly don’t know what is worse. We’re going to go on the record here and say that if you make your living stoking Islamophobia, no matter how you dress it, you’re kind of a shitheel.
Anyway, we emailed the author of this crap. And said, “HEY! YOU! STOP IT!” And after we posted our article that said “making up racist fake news just so you can share it is bad, and you should feel bad for doing that bad thing you did”, we got a response from the writer of the article, who is the founder of that site as well as 15 others like it under the umbrella of gopocalypse.org. His name is Christopher Blair, a North Waterboro, Maine resident in his late 40s who emailed us under the name “The Resistance.” He seemed very pleased with his brilliant retort of “neener neener neener” if his posting a screenshot of his email “sick burn” to us on his Facebook feed is any indication.
(We’re not sure what Karen’s comment here is supposed to be referring to, since we actually never said “go fuck yourself” in any of our emails to him. He told US to fuck ourselves, though so maybe she was giving him shit for being the hack he truly is.)
A portion of that response is transcribed below.
“OK, so here’s our official response:
Go fuck yourself [editor’s note- “your self?”]. The only thing that matters less to us than your opinion are the opinions of the 302 people who follow you. More specifically, the average 7 percent of them that see your posts.
You see, Junior, we’re playing a game we’ve been playing for years that involves deep-cover trolling and page building that earns more likes in 4 hours than your cute little page will earn in its lifetime.
Yes, we post fiction. We call it ‘satire’ because that’s the category it falls under as political half-truth. We could call it fan fiction. We could put ‘FAKE NEWS’ on the page header and still these idiots would click. As a matter of fact, have you seen the page header, you stupid little twat? Nothing is more obvious than the fact that we’re trolls.”
For reference, here is the header to his website that claims to be “satire” while posting self-described clickbait.
Oh yes, of course, it’s obvious from here that the fake news site has Liberal leanings. That’s naturally the first thing anyone would assume. Oh what’s that? Yes, Blair considers himself a Liberal Troll. He claims to want to post “fake news” to “Expose the bigots” when actually he’s “writing hack pieces” to “get money” while “hiding behind politics that emboldens bigots who, idiots though they might be, will share these fake stories and use them to confirm their warped world view” which “he gets paid for” and “sorry for all the quotes.”
Now, we can argue the merits of trying to expose bad people through satire read by a few people versus validating bad people’s worldview through hackneyed fake news read by a lot of people. Well, we did, that’s linked at the top of this article. We frankly were a bit surprised that this guy was a Liberal troll, because the end game just doesn’t make sense to us. Listen, we try to stay apolitical on this website, but, like, let’s just say our staffers largely didn’t vote for Trump. Yet, when we saw this bullshit website, we first thought about Russian fake news sites that tried to influence the 2016 election with infinitely share-able anti-Democrat lies. Which seems to be…the same tactic that Blair uses. His latest articles, for example, have largely consisted of headlines designed to goad anti-Islam douchebags to…share an article with an anti-Islam headline and let it spread to the point that Snopes has to debunk that shit, like they have done over 40 times so far. That’s not “deep-cover trolling,” that is enabling bigotry, no matter how you justify it.
To get a sense of the kind of website we’re dealing with, here is a partial list (yes, it’d take too much space in this is 2,600 word article to list them all) of fake articles that someone at Snopes had to sit down and debunk.
Articles listed are from Snopes.com, because we won’t give this asshole the decency of extra page views to read his actual bullshit headlines.
Did a Texas Mosque Refuse to Help Hurricane Harvey Survivors (no)
Did Elizabeth Warren Perform Nude Pagan Ritual in College (no, but why you gotta deny the free expression of youth, narc?)
Was Whoopie Goldberg Arrested For Running a Puppy Mill (no, and…this seems racist?)
Was Bill Clinton’s “Love Child” Found Dead (no, also he had no love child, also the fake love child was the son of a black prostitute, so like, again…this seems racist?)
Did Michelle Obama File for Divorce Over Barack Obama’s Pregnant Mistress (of course not…wait what the fuck, that’s just from April of 2017? It’s like Christopher Blair’s playing racist bullshit political MadLibs, what the actual fuck)
But how does Christopher Blair, who calls himself the “Busta Troll” and “Stryker,” justify this? Well, a Buzzfeed article that he likes to brag about claims, “[He] said his ultimate goal isn’t to make money, and he’s not concerned that his hoaxes are fooling people.” In his words, “We’re not dealing with rational people. They can either get their fake news from Facebook pages like mine or they can get it from Conservative Treehouse, Freedom Daily, or SarahPalin.com… Feeding them lies with invented names they won’t bother to Google and ridiculous scenarios that make them look foolish when they share them isn’t just about trolling them or advertising money.”
Except that it totally fucking is. Teenagers out in Albania and Macedonia have stolen and re-posted his stories, which pissed Blair off, but for the wrong reasons. These copycat sites are aimed at the same Alt-Right, White Supremacist ilk that he claims to be “trolling,” with the same results. Lots of ad revenue, and a fucking lie being presented as truth to the 5% of our country that needs to learn better, but won’t so long as they have these fake news sites to reinforce their bigotry. The difference is, in instances of plagiary, these teenagers in Macedonia get the money, not Blair. He doesn’t care that his words are helping propagate and spread hate, he cares that it’s not being done on his own domain.
For all his talk and bluster about his “Liberal Troll” agenda to “expose the bigots” that’s “not about the money,” he definitely tries to talk a bigger game to those of us who call him out for the damaging, poisonous, counter-productive methods he uses to spread whatever scattering of stereotypical evil bullshit version of a message he’s selling.
When we emailed him (drunkenly, because we have a brand to maintain goddamn it, and also because we assumed that he was spreading these hateful lies out of malice, which as it turns out isn’t too far from the real truth) saying, accurately, that it looked like he was pushing fake news for ad clicks while pretending that he’s fulfilling some great satirical noble purpose, and that we felt that was bad, his main response was to tell us that no one reads our site (to which we said “so?”) before immediately pointing out his own viewership numbers. He sent us screenshots of his WordPress Stats Page for lastlineofdefense.org and another site called “ourlandofthefree.com” (which had just under a million views in the month of July, 790,000 of them coming from people sharing his articles on their Facebook as if they are fact, which does not expose the bigots it just bounces around the bubble the bigots built for themselves and which they use to justify their beliefs, Jesus Christ what’s wrong with you, Chris). He then bragged that, thanks to his site, he can retire at 50, and pay for his many “houses” and “toys.”
He listed the expensive, enviable things he’s been able to afford because of his network of fake news sites. Would you like to know what the “Busta Troll” sounds like when he tries to brag about all the things he can afford thanks to his ad revenue from his Fake News website that does nothing but further divide our country in the most awkward and stumbling way imaginable? Of course you fucking do, it’s a concept you didn’t even realize existed this morning, and now it’s the only thing you want to know.
Well there’s the list, in full.
- College tuition for his kids (admirable, education is important, even if it’s paid for by lying on the internet for the lulz)
- “The Excursion” (hahaha okay this one is fucking hilarious, because it’s either referring to the book, or the car, the FORD EXCURSION THAT’S THE CAR HE TRIES TO USE TO BRAG ABOUT HOW MUCH “FUCK YOU” MONEY HE HAS, ENOUGH FOR A FORD EXCURSION AHHHH SWEET JESUS HAHAHAHA.)
- “This year’s Christmas trip to Hawaii” (like, so…a moderately expensive vacation? Most people who go to Hawaii just…go to have a nice time. It’s like, not that much of a financial bragging point. People who brag about their trip to Hawaii either do it to try to impress poor people who never travel or to tease people who are stuck in cold climates during their own winter trip. “I’m a white middle-aged guy taking my family to Hawaii” is a nice thing to hear at the office water cooler, and a perplexing thing to hear from a Fake News blogger who is determined to let you know how he’s got stacks on stacks on stacks.)
- “8K on a new enclosure for my tortoise this summer” (so, just to clarify…that one there, that’s a self-own right? Like, “Why don’t you go spend 8K on a new enclosure for your tortoise” is our new go-to insult whenever someone tries to brag about how super rich they are.)
Apparently “deep-cover trolling” is just making up stories about people dying and putting the word “BREAKING” in 80% of them.
So yes, Christopher Blair is a hypocrite. He is making money, and in doing so, whatever his intentions, he is working on making the country worse. That’s not his actual goal, he would likely take offense to that characterization, but that is the true end-result of his goal. His goal is to spread fake, hateful news pieces, and watch as people share it, willy-nilly, while he laughs and goes “HA IT WAS FAKE YOU MORAAAANNNS!” And what’s worse is, with all the actual studies that show fake news (and not “a newspaper said a bad thing about me” fake news) is responsible for distrust in mainstream media and a shocking rise in actual negative feelings towards members of your opposing political parties, Christopher Blair thinks he’s one of the good guys. He thinks he’s doing a good and just thing, he is a crusader for the voiceless, he is shining a bright light to our darkest corners of our society so that the roaches may scatter.
He really thinks that, which is why he must have felt the need to respond to our email, which said, “Come on man, you’re giving our country a shitty name pulling this shit,” with “who the fuck are you I GET MORE PAGE VIEWS IN FOUR HOURS THAN YOUR SITE EVER HAS.” Because deep down, he knows that he’s causing way more harm than anything else. His hackneyed, bad, lazy writing style, which again, he describes as “a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth” but that really “present[s] fiction as fact…and do[es] not in any way depict reality,” is fucking harmful.
So the biggest name in Fake News is not the Russians, nor is it Nbc.com.co, God, remember them? Ugh, those fuckers were lazy too. No, it is Christopher Blair, Busta Troll, the “poor man’s Borowitz,” a man who is very good at finding gullible people on Facebook to spread his lies while convincing himself that he is a fucking hero when he’s actually the villain. He’s vain enough to find this and post a screed about it, but busy enough that we wouldn’t be surprised if he never reads a damn word from this, but we don’t care either way. Either way, if you told him the main concern, that he seems to be shushing away valid criticisms because he gets more views than his critics from “idiots,” he’d…well, call you an idiot and point out your page view numbers. But, honestly, this is bigger than him. He’s just one of many culprits. We are inundated with information so much that it’s become exhausting to the point that we lack even the energy to take a step back and say, “Wait, that…that doesn’t seem right.” Just because people will share shit without verifying it first doesn’t make lastlineofdefense.org necessary or even remotely useful. We don’t know about you, but we miss the days when you could see an article on the internet and not have to go on a fucking Google treasure hunt to make sure it actually has verifiable sources.
So yeah. Busta Troll can fuck off. Any sense of self-worth he feels for his trolling enterprise is warmed by ad revenue and fueled by self-delusion. He is the sad man holding a mirror to America’s face while smudging it in hopes that he might look better against our distorted reflection. He is the April Fools’ Day joke of your boss telling you, “You’re fired…APRIL FOOLS!” personified as a 45-year-old little league umpire in Maine. He is vain, he is petty, and he refuses to listen to anyone who tells him that what he does is morally bankrupt if it comes from someone who has yet to really truly sell out. He’s the kind of guy that has the spare time to get into a back and forth email argument with our editor-in-chief and decide after a few days that the most devastating insult he can muster is “OH SHNAP what if I call this man Petunia?”
We said it in our previous article, and it bears repeating. There is satire. And there is evil. And if, in trying to stop evil, you energize it instead, then you’ve become evil yourself. Make no mistake, the people that our Liberal Troll is trying to embarrass are not going to get embarrassed by sharing his trash. They’ll share it, believe it, and move on until the next piece of fake news whispers sweet nothings to their fucked up world view. Taking advantage of that, and profiting off that, is not righteous. It’s not admirable.
It’s fucking cowardly.
Do better, Christopher. Do better, America.