“Bird dogging” is a term used for what could best be classified as paid trolls used to incite and aggravate [violent] reactions from people attending political rallies. The issue popped up recently in e-mails leaked by Wikileaks, as well as a new report by Project Veritas.
A 16 minute video was recently published by Project Veritas, who uncovered some of the faces behind this group known as Americans United For Change, which is funded by George Soros. The video covers how they pay for, organize and incite violence at Trump rallies for the sole purpose of getting the media to cover the events and continue to race bait the general.
One of the key members of the Americans United For Change group is the Scott Foval, the national field director. Foval oversees ground operations to ensure that paid operatives carry out their tasks and that the disruption tactics are employed as scheduled.
According to Foval they work as an intermediary because official party campaigns aren’t supposed to work with major political action committees. These intermediaries talk to both sides, find out what a party on the Democrat’s side needs and then works with the PAC to get it done. Foval calls it a “double blind” so that there is plausible deniability.
Foval explains that the main goal is to get media coverage on incitements that they create to make the other party look as bad as possible, telling undercover journalists…
“When [conflicts are] outside the rally, the media will cover it no matter where it happens. The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic.
“I mean honestly, it is not hard to get some of these assholes to pop off. It’s a matter of showing up, to want to get into the rally, in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Or, Trump is a Nazi, you know? You can message to draw them out, and draw them to punch you.”
In a separate piece he stresses that all is for naught unless they get coverage, preferably mainstream media coverage. For instance, the Arizon highway being shut down due to Trump protestors? That was Americans United For Change. That managed to get covered by CNN, amongst many others. The 69-year-old lady being punched in the face at a Trump rally in Asheville, North Carolina, which was reported by sites like New York Magazine? Foval claims responsibility for that.
He claims that their success is based on media coverage, saying…
“It’s something that Bob and I obsess about is: we’re not going to go to an effort to just do an event and not have anybody show up or not have it covered. We have to get coverage”
According to Foval, the PACs have the costs covered. This includes paying to get people to dress a certain way, to take a punch and cover their hospital bill, or to even get arrested and have them bailed out as quickly as possible. In the video he says…
“[…] Because the one thing I’m never going to do is have some kid get punched out at a rally and then not have his doctor bill and his legal bill, if he gets arrested, paid for.”
Foval also explains that they have “agitator training” so that people are prepared for how they need to instigate others to the point of causing rage and violence.
Another individual going by the pseudonym Aaron Black, a Democratic National Committee rapid response coordinator, explained to the undercover journalists that they make sure that they have people appearing at rallies, conventions and protests looking like normal bystanders even when they’re actually DNC-paid agitators. According to Black, having any sort of signifying information that they’re associated with Democrats while agitating at a Trump convention will instantly deflate the response that they’re looking for, especially from mainstream media.
Foval explains in further detail how they operate, stating..
“We have to be really careful because, because what we don’t need is for it to show up on CNN that the DNC paid for X people to – that’s not going to happen.”
One of the more startling segments of the video is where Foval explains how they use mentally ill people to “bird dog” to cause controversy at conventions and rallies. Anything to cause a stir. Foval states…
“[…] I’m saying we have mentally ill people that we pay to do shit, make no mistake. Over the last twenty years I’ve paid off a few homeless guys to do some crazy stuff, and I’ve also taken them for dinner, and I’ve also made sure they had a hotel, and a shower and I put them in a program. Live I’ve done that.”
There have been some people on Reddit attempting to discredit the Veritas report after it popped up, saying it was fake, but several things that Foval mentions was recently corroborated by the Podesta e-mail leaks by Wikileaks.
In a particular e-mail dated October 8th, 2010, an e-mail from Big Campaign’s Ilyse G. Hogue, the director of political advocacy and communications, explained in the e-mail…
“Our members are bird dogging Republican candidates in character all over the country. They dress up as execs from “RepubliCorp” a not-so-fictitious merger between the Republican party and multi-national corporations and go to events. We got a great hit last night at the Boehner event. Made broadcast television, and was pitch perfect on message.”
“Meanwhile, members of MoveOn.org and Citizen Action were scheduled to picket Boehner’s appearance at the Gioia home on Meadow Road. They were posing as representatives of a fictitious entity called “RepubliCorp,”
Hogue even linked to a story covering their shenanigans on Buffalo News, who published the piece on October 8th, 2010. The archive seems to verify what Hogue mentions, even though if you try to check the link now it’s been scrubbed from the Buffalo News website.
Of course, the internet never forgets.
(Main image courtesy of Len Ramirez)