Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Everyone gave something.
Steven Spielberg and his wife gave $100,000. His former partner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, gave another $100,000. The producers of Lost gave over $50,000. Jett actress Carla Gugino also chipped in.
Not to relief efforts dealing with the coronavirus, but to a hate campaign against Trump.
Everyone has their own brand of patriotism, and for some Hollywood celebrities, that meant giving big to Pacronym: a sleazy money machine targeting President Trump run by Tara McGowan. McGowan, a former 60 Minutes vet reporter turned Obama hack, was supposed to brilliantly transform Dem campaigning with innovative tactics like seeding fake news through fake local papers under Courier Newsroom, and Shadow Inc: the mysterious company behind the Iowa caucus disaster.
But McGowan has never found a sewer she couldn’t crawl out of and is relaunching her reputation by using the coronavirus crisis to run digital ads attacking President Trump. And donors to Pacronym, a PAC affiliate of McGowan’s Acronym, a non-profit, which somehow ties in with for-profits and a PAC, include Hollywood celebrities, writers, CEOs and financial whiz kids, helping divide America during a crisis.
The Hunt, which features lefty CEOs hunting down and killing conservatives, was written by Lost producer Damon Lindelof. The movie, shelved after criticism by President Trump, is back now that no one is paying attention. Lindelof is also a donor to Pacronym. As is the wife of Lost’s producer, J.J. Abrams, and CEO of Bad Robot, his production company, and Brian Weinstein, another Bad Robot executive.
Maybe The Hunt can get a sequel in which wealthy elites spread division and panic during a pandemic, while betting that they can ride out the effects of the virus inside their mansions and on their islands.
Other famous contributors to Pacronym include author Richard North Patterson, and Geraldine Brooks, the authoress most famous for penning, “Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women.”
And then there are the hip CEOs. Acronym, McGowan’s mothership, was co-founded by Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin. Pacronym donors include Smartypants Vitamins founder Gordon Gould, while SoulCycle CEO Elizabeth Cutler and Knot co-founder Carley Roney helped fund McGowan’s ambitions.
The hip rich elites poured money into McGowan’s scams and as the Obama vet launches a divisive campaign to undermine the leadership of a wartime president, they should be held accountable. At a time of fear and uncertainty, a controversial Dem operative is plotting to seed digital ads across Facebook sowing misinformation, and encouraging people to distrust President Trump’s efforts to fight the coronavirus: an irresponsible tactic that can have dangerous public health consequences.
Pacronym’s Facebook digital disinformation campaign targets Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, the same five states targeted by McGowan’s Courier plot to create fake local news sites. Coronavirus cases have sharply risen in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but McGowan is sticking to her plan to help elect Joe Biden by spreading uncertainty during a time when people need reassurance.
Americans need to know that they can trust the health advisories coming from the White House. It’s not a time to sow doubt and division. But Democrat political operatives have decided that it’s their moment.
The question is will Biden and other Democrats condemn McGowan’s dangerous campaign?
They ought to be asked that question. And asked to pledge that they will not hire McGowan or any other consultants and operatives who are undermining our response to the coronavirus crisis.
Will Steven Spielberg, Damon Lindelof, and, especially Michael Dubin, disavow the ugly monster they helped create?
Don’t count on it.
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee was a major Pacronym backer. Michael Halle, McGowan’s husband, worked for the Buttigieg campaign. (As did Shadow Inc., which mismanaged the Iowa Caucuses that Buttigieg allegedly won). And Pacronym aren’t the only ones jumping in the sewer.
American Bridge, the Media Matters version of Pacronym, founded by unhinged smear artist David Brock, is running its own coronavirus misinformation ads meant to convince voters that the country is unprepared for the crisis.
“Coronavirus has the potential to infect millions of Americans and cripple our economy,” American Bridge president Bradley Beychok declared. “We’re going to make sure voters know just how dangerously the president is failing them.”
There’s a special place in hell for hacks who see millions of potential pandemic infections as the perfect opportunity to hammer voters with messages of fear and doubt.
Beyond George Soros, American Bridge’s largest donors include Steven Spielberg and his wife who donated $500,000. Is that money now being used to divide the nation during a time of crisis?
Steven Spielberg could speak out and ask Pacronym and American Bridge to stop dividing the country.
The election is far away and there’s no urgent need to run digital ads right now. Attacking the President of the United States over the coronavirus undermines his leadership at a time when we need unity and decisive action. Instead Pacronym and American Bridge are encouraging fear, doubt and panic.
But don’t expect anyone in the media to ask Spielberg the hard questions.
Meanwhile the Never Trumpers of the Lincoln Project have rolled out their own ad comparing President Trump to the coronavirus. The ad, which masquerades as a warning about a virus, is meant to get the attention of a worried nation, but then switches to an attack on the President of the United States.
The only thing that the Lincoln Project’s ad proves is that even coronavirus lows have their own lows.
Diseases often breed in a swamp. And this feverish plot by the Washington D.C. consultant class to cash in on the coronavirus is something that could have only come out of the soulless swamp of D.C. politics.
But these schemes, by Pacronym, American Bridge, and the Lincoln Project, would go nowhere unless the funders of division are held accountable for incentivizing their dirty work with loads of cash.
No one should expect anything from creatures as fundamentally amoral as David Brock or Tara McGowan who long ago sold off anything resembling a soul for the opportunity to be players. They’re mercenaries, literally, David Brock was once just as rabidly to the right as he now is to the left, who cash in on the egomaniacal ambitions of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street donors who will roll up a dump truck full of money to the D.C. offices of any Obama or Clinton vet promising to use Facebook ads to brainwash flyover country voters into voting their way. They’re the supply, not the demand.
As America struggles with the consequences of a shutdown and a pandemic, it may be time to have a conversation about the role that power brokers in New York and California, some of the most affected states, have played in crippling our ability to respond to a national crisis that now threatens them.
Maybe when Tom Hanks gets over being treated for the coronavirus, he can talk to Steven about it.