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The Graft That Keeps On Giving

[ 40 ] March 4, 2013 |

What if I asked you if a once inexplicably prominent liberal blogger was also on the receiving end of the same blood money as Josh Trevino, who would you guess? If you’ve been around this thing of ours for a while, your guess was probably right!

David All, a Republican online operative whose David All Group originally contacted conservative writer Joshua Trevino, Trevino said, to conduct a PR operation on behalf of the Malaysian government, is not listed in the records. Nor is Jerome Armstrong, a pioneering liberal blogger whose MyDD was for a time a key site, and who took a leading role alongside Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas in Matt Bai’s 2007 book on how bloggers and billionares were remaking the Democratic Party, who Trevino says was engaged by All at the same time as him to run the website MalaysiaMatters.com as part of a paid media push that backed the country’s ruling party and attacked its critics.

Maybe he had some useful information for the Malaysian state about how because the second moon of Venus was in Uranus we can know that Vice-President Palin will be a major boon to the forces that want to crush Malaysian democracy.

…just to clarify — from Rosie Gray’s original report, it’s not just Trevino’s word:

Two of the main players in the campaign funded by the Malaysian government that placed undisclosed propaganda in the American press did not file with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), an omission that lawyers say could place them in legal jeopardy.

David All, a Republican online operative whose David All Group originally contacted conservative writer Joshua Trevino, Trevino said, to conduct a PR operation on behalf of the Malaysian government, is not listed in the records. Nor is Jerome Armstrong, a pioneering liberal blogger whose MyDD was for a time a key site; Armstrong also took a leading role alongside Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas in Matt Bai’s 2007 book on how bloggers and billionaires were remaking the Democratic Party, who Trevino says was engaged by All at the same time as him to run the website MalaysiaMatters.com as part of a paid media push that backed the country’s ruling party and attacked its critics.

A defunct “about” page for MalaysiaMatters listed Armstrong among the founders: “Those working on this project include David All, Jerome Armstrong and Joshua Treviño,” the page said.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Craigo says:

    I remember MyDD as the site that assured that Hillary Clinton would lock up the nomination after New Hampshire/Michigan/Florida/Super Tuesday/Texas/Pennsylvania/Puerto Rico/brokered convention.

  2. Shakezula says:

    Perhaps I took a double-dose of stupid pills today, but I can’t make heads or tails of that paragraph. Someone is or is not on a list and did something with the DailyKommrade??

    • Warren Terra says:

      I had to read it twice before I understood that – although the text appeared to exculpate Mr. Armstrong – the only possible reason for his appearance in the text and for the further explication of his past prominence must be that he was implicated in the scandal.

      Sokay, it’s not like my opinion of Mr. Armstrong had room to drop.

    • Uncle Ebeneezer says:

      You’re not alone. Editor badly needed on that one.

    • Decrease Marher says:

      That second sentence is horrendous enough, but the fact that the guy’s name is All adds pushes it over the edge.

  3. DrDick says:

    Who the fuck is Jerome Armstrong?

  4. Thers says:

    the second moon of Venus was in Uranus

    He second one was in there too? Gracious.

  5. Corey says:

    Was Armstrong really even blogging back then? He was always explicit about being a “strategist” and strategists make money shilling for other interests.

    • T.R. Donoghue says:

      That title would indicate some level of ability for strategic thinking. I can’t say that I ever witnessed any such ability from Armstrong.

      Also too, Matt Stoller.

  6. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    Isn’t that cute? Malaysia bought their very own Crossed Swords!

  7. Stag Party Palin says:

    Since Trevino seems to be the only source for these revelations, perhaps we should regard them as unproven?

  8. CJColucci says:

    Several years ago, I made three trips to malaysia and worked with several Malaysians on a case. Fascinating country with great potential and interesting obstacles. I have tried to follow Malaysian affairs ever since, but rarely does Malaysia get onto the media radar — except for a few British publications.
    What I want to know is how many of these bought and paid for writers actually had any opinions at all on anything Malaysian, let alone knew enough so their opinions would be worth anything, before they took the money?

    • Medrawt says:

      Eh, details. “We didn’t exactly believe your story, Prime Minister Najib. We believed your $400,000. I mean, you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it all right.”

    • SamR says:

      What’s weird isn’t why they’d agree to write something they have no basis for believing (that’s the job description for much of the PR and legal worlds) but why such articles/posts would be valuable.

      OK, they got a few articles published. Its not like this created some groundswell of pro-government of Malaysia movement in the US or crushed the nascent pro-opposition movement. Honestly, the average American doesn’t care about Malaysia.

      I didn’t read all the articles, but in the 30 comments in the one on National Review the commentators were pretty hostile b/c the Malaysian PM insisted on being Muslim. I think the one on HuffPo had fewer comments than that. It was one big “meh.”

      • timb says:

        I hear the Prime Minister of Indonesia is also Muslim….and the PM of Israel is Jewish. OMG! when will these people just allow NRO commenters to install Christian governments for them?

  9. wengler says:

    Jerome Armstrong was pretty insufferable back in 2008. This is both hilarious and unsurprising.

  10. In fairness, Armstrong was a “get.” He is an executive at Vox Media, as is Markos, but Armstrong is more operational. I think he may have signed on to Malaysiamatters as part of his work on Vox, in which case he acted as a publisher, not a writer.

    Writers are subject to the ethics of writing and journalism, which Trevino violated egregiously. Publishers are subject to the ethics of business, which are different. You’ll note that journalism schools carry the names of publishers.

    Jerome Armstrong is a publisher.

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