In a number of political Facebook groups I belong to, there are quite a few individuals who regularly share articles from a website called Palmer Report. During the 2016 presidential election, it also operated under the name “Daily News Bin.”
The owner, an individual going by the name Bill Palmer operates what could only be described as an internet cult. Mr. Palmer (who has previously stated that he would sue me and my former site, Modern Liberals) has quite a following of low-information liberals who desperately want to believe in any false or misleading blog he publishes concerning Donald Trump and impeachment.
I posted an article again today from Business Insider that I was interviewed for back in the spring. The journalist dug into his background and found that Palmer tends to recycle material from Louise Mensch, a former British MP who had worked with Rupert Murdoch.
Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor, a former Clinton employee, delight in spreading rumors about Donald Trump from their undisclosed “sources” which claim things like impeachment or indictments are happening any day now.
Claude Taylor tweeted fake details of criminal inquiries into Trump that were invented by a source whose claim to work for the New York attorney general was not checked, according to emails seen by the Guardian. The allegations were endorsed as authentic and retweeted by his co-writer Louise Mensch.
The source’s false tips included an allegation, which has been aggressively circulated by Mensch and Taylor, that Trump’s inactive fashion model agency is under investigation by New York authorities for possible sex trafficking.
The hoaxer, who fed the information to Taylor by email, said she acted out of frustration over the “dissemination of fake news” by Taylor and Mensch. Their false stories about Trump have included a claim that he was already being replaced as president by Senator Orrin Hatch in a process kept secret from the American public.
“Taylor asked no questions to verify my identity, did no vetting whatsoever, sought no confirmation from a second source – but instead asked leading questions to support his various theories, asking me to verify them,” the source said in an email. (The Guardian)
Real journalists fact-check their information before publishing, rather than falling for hoaxes. For anyone to take Palmer Report or Louise Mensch seriously, rather than respected pundits like Rachel Maddow, or reputable sources like the New York Times, is asinine.
Naturally, there are millions of Americans who want to believe that these stories are true. Most of the time, they are not, or there is only a shred of truth in these statements. It’s the media version of throwing tons of shit at a wall, and then proudly proclaiming that they got something right when one of the dozens of rumors pans out.
Once Louise Mensch or Claude Taylor posts something, Palmer Report tends to recycle it as their own story, often with tantalizing headlines that don’t match the speculative commentary in the content. This is little more than an attempt to draw in low-information liberals to click on his ads.
Palmer Report ran a GoFundMe campaign for a couple of months that raised tens of thousands of dollars. It claimed that the money would go to legal fees for impeaching Trump, and was shut down after I reported it to GoFundMe as being fraudulent and misleading.
This isn’t journalism. This is pure speculation, with an army of cult members willing to go forth and attack anyone who calls out Palmer Report as being unscrupulous.
If you’re willing to believe Palmer Report and discredit reputable fact-checkers like Snopes who have proven his claims as false, you really aren’t any better than the Trump supporters who feed off Breitbart and the myriad of other conservative fake news sites.
Also, if Bill Palmer reads this, I’m still waiting for you to go through on your threat of suing me. My lawyer would really like to buy a new Mercedes at your expense.
“The first thing a cult does is tell you everyone else is lying to you.”