Fake news. It's a term that's all too common in the current political and social landscape of the United States. But who's behind fake news sites? Is there any one voice largely responsible for this all-out assault on a free and honorable press? There is, and his name is Jestin Coler. He's a man with no qualms about appealing to the basest fears and hot-button issues that drive Trump's base.
Coler may have launched the fake news craze as a way to expose the hypocrisy of conservatives and the alt-right, but his original plan transformed into a morally bankrupt money-making scheme. If you're wondering why Jestin Coler targets Trump supporters, it's largely because they're the most susceptible to disinformation. Ravenous readers have latched on to even the most outlandish stories, and Coler has expressed no regret for the barrage of misinformation he's put out into the world, which has lead to one of the most unstable administrations in US history. While Trump has arguably profited from fake news more than anyone else, the mastermind behind it all is registered democrat and Hilary Clinton voter, Jestin Coler.
He Deliberately Targets Trump Supporters To Make Money
You can typically discover who's behind a particular scandal by tracing the money trail and seeing who stands to make a profit from it. In the case of fake news, that person is, or at least was, Jestin Coler. He has claimed it was never about the capital, but there's really no other logical reason why someone would target a specific demographic, fill their heads with lies, and then rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue without so much as a backward glance. Trump supporters are the bread and butter of the fake news industry, and that's exactly toward whom Coler catered his content.
He Owns Multiple Websites
Although fake news came from multiple sites, there was one man behind nearly all of them. Coler's experience with this phenomenon began when he launched NationalReport.net, which started as a small site with a few outright false news items and evolved—or devolved—over the course of a few years into a fake news monolith that garnered 100 million views annually. "We quickly realized this could be very profitable," Coler said. As a result, he set up multiple websites to peddle his fabrications and generated a six-figure income for himself.
He First Got Into Fake News To Highlight The Extremism Of The Alt-Right
Regardless of what fake news has become, Coler's original intention wasn't to generate a money-making machine. He told NPR, "The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly false or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out that they were fiction." With his education in political science, Coler claims he thought fake news would be an interesting sociopolitical experiment. The results are telling: "This is a right-wing issue," Coler said. "The post-fact era is what I would refer to it as."
Fake News Skyrocketed During The 2016 Election
There was a time, which seems hard to fathom now, when it seemed like a given that Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the United States. Fox News, right-wing pundits, and the alt-right were desperate for stories—any stories—that could stymie Clinton's momentum and derail her chances. Enter Jestin Coler and his fake news apparatus. Though he first ventured into fake news in 2012, it wasn't until around the 2016 election that his efforts spread around the globe. An entire political faction was willing to believe anything if it meant keeping Clinton out of office. Coler knew his audience, and he gave them what they wanted. They ate it up and continue to do so.