According to a CBS News report, a political blog called The Conservative Daily Post stole the “identity” of Seattle photographer and former beauty queen Laura Hunter to help drive traffic to their site.
They only appear to have used her name and photograph to portray her as an author on their site. I only differentiate that because normally when you hear about a stolen identity there is actual monetary theft involved. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. That makes it no less sleazy.
Hunter is suing the site for $50,000 which is good. She probably won’t ever see it, but it’s good she’s taking a stand.
Here’s the video from CBS. (Don’t worry, you only have to suffer through a few seconds of constipated Scott Pelley’s melodramatic intro to get to the actual story.)
I’ve been involved with the conservative blogosphere in some capacity for almost ten years but I have to admit I’ve never heard of The Conservative Daily Post. That is probably because it appears to have only come into existence about 10 months ago.
The Conservative Daily Post appears to be one of the many pro-Trump blogs that sprouted last year all over the internet like fungus. (I’m not linking to them intentionally. If you’re interested in checking it out yourself, you know how to use your browser’s address bar.)
They have a Facebook presence that has around 400,000 likes, most of which are almost certainly of the purchased variety. The comments on their articles seem to be a mix of idiots and spam bots, though some of the likes are from people I know, unfortunately.
The Twitter link in the footer of the website links to a now deleted account @laurahuntercdr.
The content that appears there gives off a really strong alt-right vibe. It’s precisely the sort of “fake news” nonsense that a lot of people who should know better still squawked all over social media like a bunch of startled magpies.
These Trump propaganda sites have been a pet peeve of mine since they started appearing in my social media feeds thanks to gullible Republicans. It seemed like there were far too many sites appearing all at the same time for it to be an organic outgrowth of the election, but I have no tangible evidence to suggest they were part of a larger coordinated effort.
Whoever is behind these fly by night blogs is doing real harm to the alternative media by making it easier for the left to play the “fake news” card on anything that doesn’t come from large, established (left wing) media outlets.
Hunter is suing this one for damaging her reputation. I wish conservative bloggers could do the same.