Yahoo News Interviews #WalkAway's Brandon Straka (Not a Russian Bot)
Yahoo News has done the unthinkable. Not only did its reporters take the time to interview #WalkAway Campaign founder Brandon Straka, they wrote a fair piece about him and his movement (which the panicked left calls a phony Russian bot operation).
Rather than attempt to discredit Straka, they gave him a fair hearing.
"You've got thousands of people who are walking away from the Democratic Party, saying this is the reason why," Straka explains at the beginning of Yahoo's "Unfiltered," a news interview series.
He adds, "If the Democratic Party and the people on the left had a single functioning brain cell in their head," they would check out the #WalkAway Facebook page and view "the video testimonials of people telling them exactly where the Democratic Party has gone wrong."
Straka likened his project to a focus group for Democrats, saying, "This could actually be an incredibly useful tool for the Democratic Party."
But he said he was doubtful that the left would take the opportunity. "Are they going to use it?" he asked. "No! They're going to close their eyes and close their ears and say this isn't happening, this isn't happening." He added, "Well, it is happening. It's still happening, it's going to continue to happen until you change your party."
The WalkAway movement has caught fire across the country, spooking Democrats, who (projecting as usual) accused it of being an astroturf campaign.
Yahoo asked Straka about that.
"In early July, media outlets reported that part if not all of the movement is fictitious, that the #WalkAway campaign created “fake ads” using models to portray supposed members and that according to the Hamilton 68 site, run by the bipartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy, the hashtag is connected to Russian bots.
Straka says it’s not true: “They have always had the option to go to the #WalkAway campaign page on Facebook, look at the real testimonials of real people, but they chose not to do that. No one ever reached out to me for comment, no one ever reached out to me to ask for my perspective as the founder of the campaign.”
CNN actually published a laughably weak article by commentator David Love accusing #WalkAway of being "connected to Kremlin-linked Russian bots."
Of course, every popular trend on Twitter is "connected" to Russian bots because bots like to glom onto viral hashtags and accounts. It is no more a fake movement than Obama was a fake president -- as his Twitter following at one point in his presidency was made up of 42.6 percent Twitter bots.
Love wrote dismissively at CNN that the #WalkAway hashtag "is presented as a grassroots effort by former Democrats who are critical of the party's alleged intimidation, confrontation and lack of civility and want people to walk away from the party."
He added: "The purpose of this now-astroturf campaign is to manipulate public opinion by creating the illusion that this is a popular movement. In reality, #WalkAway has become pure propaganda, a psychological operation."
They only wish.
Their pathetic, desperate attempt to discredit #WalkAway is the real psychological propaganda operation, born out of fear.
Check out the #WalkAway Campaign Facebook page, where there are real posts being put up by real people leaving the toxic Democratic Party all day long. #WalkAway now also has an official YouTube channel.
"In the last few months, the #WalkAway Campaign has continued to grow and grow," Straka told Yahoo.
He said his next move will be to "assemble a really incredible, dynamic team of #WalkAway speakers" to tell their "really amazing stories" out on the road. "Let's get them in college campuses," Straka added.
He told Yahoo that #WalkAway is not a belief system, but a place where people remember "what it is to be an American and celebrate that we have diverse opinions and we can engage in these different opinions and debates in a way that we respect one another."
Straka ended his Yahoo interview by saying that as that movement continues to grow, people will be left with two options:
Do I want to be in this different type of environment where we all don’t have to agree, but we do have to respect each other and treat each other with dignity? Or do I want to be in this other group where people are spitting on each other, throwing drinks in each other’s face, punching each other, screaming at each other, calling each other names, cutting off their parents, cutting off their friends? Which one is more attractive to you?… What group do you want to be in?