Friday, May 24, 2024

‘It’s all about trolling’: how far-right influencers are shaping Republican narrative - The Guardian US

He has a platform that most politicians would envy. But Jack Posobiec is not to be found on America’s major TV networks or in its newspapers. He is among a cadre of online influencers who now shape the far right – and could help decide the Republican presidential primary race in 2024.

“Two operatives made the very same prediction, that Posobiec will matter as much to future GOP voters as Washington Post columnist George Will did to Republicans a generation ago,” political journalist David Weigel wrote in a Semafor newsletter last week.

That observation prompted Alyssa Farah Griffin, a CNN political commentator and former White House official, to tweet in response: “We’re doomed.”

Such expectations speak volumes about the breakdown of the old media order, flawed as it was, and the rise of new and often extreme voices in the digital age. It also reflects a parallel shift in the Republican party from country club to “Make America great again” populism.

Will, 81, edited the conservative National Review magazine, won a Pulitzer prize for commentary in 1977, was described by the Wall Street Journal as “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America” and quit the Republican party over Donald Trump in 2016.

Posobiec, 38, gained prominence as a pro-Trump activist during the 2016 election. He promoted bogus conspiracy theories such as “Pizzagate”, which held that Democrats were running a child sex and torture ring beneath a pizzeria in Washington. He is a senior editor at the...

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