The Other McCain

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E-Mails Expose MSNBC Host’s Involvement in #StopRush Boycott

Posted on | June 22, 2012 | 92 Comments

Krystal Ball will co-host MSNBC’s new show ‘The Cycle’ starting Monday.

MSNBC host Krystal Ball was in close communication with leaders of an online boycott aimed at advertisers on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show, e-mails between the boycott leaders indicate.

Attempting to discover the identity of an infiltrator in their group, the #StopRush leader @Shoq (aka “Shoq Value,” who is believed to be an activist named Matt Edelstein) indicated that Ball had warned another member about the suspected “right wing disrupter.” The other member had “already inquired with Krystal last week, and Krystal said ‘we don’t like or trust this guy,’” Shoq wrote in an e-mail published Thursday by Brooks Bayne at The Trenches.

Bayne said the e-mail was obtained from a Google group, “Social Action Steering,” which was apparently deleted after The Trenches published the correspondence between the #StopRush leaders. The group was attempting to discover the true identity and political leanings of a Texas man, known as “Randy Hahn,” who had joined their anti-Limbaugh effort and caused dissension among the boycotters.

Ball, a Democrat who ran for Congress in Virginia two years ago, is a paid MSNBC contributor who was recently announced as one of four co-hosts of a new daily program, The Cycle, on the left-leaning cable news network. It is unclear whether MSNBC executives were aware of the extent of Ball’s involvement in #StopRush, which used the social network in a campaign to drive Limbaugh off the airwaves by threatening boycotts against advertisers on his conservative talk show, the nation’s most popular syndicated radio program.

Professor William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection blog has described how the #StopRush effort was evidently coordinated with the tax-exempt non-profit Media Matters for America, apparently using so-called “sockpuppet” accounts in a fake-grassroots “astroturf” campaign.

UPDATE: In attempting to discover the identity of “Randy Hahn,” the #StopRush boycott leader Shoq sought the services of Democrat consultant Neal Rauhauser, the e-mails obtained by The Trenches show. Rauhauser provided the group with extensive documentation about a Houston man named Jason, whose surname was redacted in the version posted by Bayne. Rauhauser then mused about exposing the man to harassment by sending his personal information to online groups.

“I have been sorely tempted to point him out to various actors — a guy like this, he could really produce some high quality entertainment for 4chan, Something Awful, Encyclopedia Dramatica, etc.,” Rauhauser wrote in his e-mail reply to Shoq.

Rauhauser, who was banned from the progressive blog Daily Kos last year, became notorious in 2010 when he was accused of organizing “a group of E-Thugs meant to harass, threaten, provoke, disparage, intimidate, verbally assault, berate & employ hate-speech against those not in agreement with his brand of politics,” as conservative blogger Patrick Read said at the time.

The so-called “TwitterGate” scandal was largely ignored by major news organizations, but Rauhauser has in the past month gained increasing notoriety as an associate of convicted felon Brett Kimberlin.

UPDATE II: After blogging obsessively about Anthony Weiner’s cybersex scandal last year, Rauhauser became involved with Kimberlin’s 501(c) non-profit Velvet Revolution and, last October, described how he was approached by a member of the “Anonymous” computer hacking conspiracy and solicited their assistance in targeting his and Kimberlin’s enemies.

Rauhauser was one of three people — along with Kimberlin and former Raw Story editor Ron Brynaert — whom blogger Patrick “Patterico” Frey named last month as suspected of complicity in a July 2011 “SWATting” incident at his Los Angeles home. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and 85 Republican members of Congress have called on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the reported harassment of conservative commentators.

UPDATE III: Thursday’s revelation of e-mails between #StopRush leaders was the second consecutive scoop by The Trenches on the anti-Limbaugh group’s infiltration by “Randy Hahn.” Bayne previously posted recorded excerpts of a conference call in which the leader Shoq berated the suspected interloper by boasting of his connections to Organizing for America (OFA), President Obama’s re-election campaign: “Randy, I can pick up the phone and call the director of OFA, can you? I can pick up the phone and call the … battleground state director of OFA. Can you?”

If Shoq’s claims are accurate, the latest reports may suggest multiple connections between the Limbaugh boycott, MSNBC, the Obama campaign, Democrat operatives like Rauhauser, and tax-exempt groups like Media Matters and Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution.

UPDATE IV: Linked by Legal Insurrection, Patterico, The Conservatory and Hot Air Headlinesthanks! — and welcome, Instapundit readers!

There are many developments in the Brett Kimberlin story today, which I hope to aggregate in a new post later. But here’s your headline: “Kimberlin vs. Walker: Walker Fights Back.”

Stay tuned. One source told me today that there may be “something big” coming, but I’m not sure what the source meant by that.

UPDATE V: Linked by Darth Chipmunk, That Mr. G Guy, Before It’s News, Liberty News NetworkNewsbeat1, The Ulsterman Report, Tony Katz and The Lonely Conservativethanks!

UPDATE VI: Michelle Malkin has more on the latest action in the Kimberlin-vs.-Walker legal battle, and Ace of Spades has more with a column by Committee for Justice executive director Kurt Levey. What really caused me to take the Kimberlin story seriously was when I learned that Internet Super Spy Neal Rauhauser was stalking Ace via his IP address on the Forest Moon of Endor.

OK, maybe some of the readers didn’t get that inside-blogger joke. Forgive me, but it’s been a long, long day. Please hit the tip jar.

UPDATE VII: “Something big” turns out to be, “BREAKING: Motion Filed Seeking Federal Injunction on Behalf of Blogger.” So now Walker’s legal team is fighting back against Brett Kimberlin in both state and federal court.

Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown





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  • Ken Goorew

    This is stupid. The argument: “Since some impressions can be faulty, ‘chances are’ an arbitrarily selected one is faulty.” If that were true there would be no value of forming ‘impressions’ from data since it would be no better than making decisions at random.

  • Darth Odie

    Stacy, I need you to email Howie at Jawa Report.  mchlhwrd at gmail. 

  • FirstFlea

    Well it used to be there right under her basic info.  I just checked and it seems to be gone.

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  • FirstFlea

    Ok.  If you go to here is what you find:

    Who Runs This Site?
    The site and most of the people curating the data were organized by @Shoq, a progressive advocate on Twitter and Facebook who takes an interest in media accountability (on Left, Right, and Center) and projects that might breed organized action against the growing radical conservative movement in America.  The site was launched after several discussions between @shoq and @krystalBall1 shortly after she had launched a petition site called within less than a day of Rush’s vicious assault on Sandra Fluke after she had testified to a Congressional committee about contraception

  • americanveteran

    we all know msnbc broadcasts from the white house basement

  • MrBK


  • Adjoran

     Don’t tell us, tell Wombat via email.  He can’t come to the board this second, he is mourning a family tragedy disclosed in the comments to Live at Five below.

  • JeffS

    Well, Krystal can’t complain about being outed — she’s in the open about this. 

    The next story might be: How does MSNBC view the partisan political activities of one of their hosts? 

    The answer could be interesting….if unsurprising.

  • Adjoran

    Look, I’m 100% behind exposing all the sordid connections and the dirty players in every branch of this poisonous tree, but I do have a soft spot for strippers with a heart of gold. So let’s give Krystal Ball the benefit of the doubt.

    Maybe she wasn’t hired for her far-left views or her cathouse morality.  Maybe it was because she had other qualifications. 

    Maybe she is 1/32 Cherokee, or once claimed to be.

  • victoryman

    I remember Krystal Ball from the “Old days.”  Used to have an act at the Yellow Lizard Lounge – “Krystal Ball and her pet snake.”   Used to stuff dollar bills in her G-string….and out popped 50 cents in change.  Those were the days.   Now she’s a democratic media pimpette….let’s see….it not too far to travel from 50 cent stripper to spouting democratic talking points on TV.  Wonder whatever happened to the snake? 

  • davidh


  • Adjoran

     Remember, visitors, the Alan Grayson ad is part of a package the site has no control over, so don’t get mad.

    Get even.  Most of these political ads are on a per-click basis, so if you click the ad, Mr. Grayson’s campaign will have to pay more.

    Have fun, but remember to take breaks and squeeze a rubber or Krystal ball vigorously in between – no sense getting carpal tunnel over a miscreant like Grayson, eh?

  • mojo

    Krystal Ball? Seriously?

    I see 2 possible explanations for this ludicrous name:

    1) Her parent(s) had a sense of humor like that of the fictional Major Major’s dad in “Catch 22”

    2) She’s actually Secret Stripper

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  • JeffS

     Just ask Bill Clinton.

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  • Dianna Deeley

     What happens to trust when I can throw you (really, it’s about leverage) then drag you backwards after you hit the ground so your arm is properly placed in case it needs breaking?

  • Dianna Deeley

     Give it up. Just stop.

    I honestly try to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you’re just too formulaic in how you approach things. You pretend actual, hard connections are paranoia, and – gods save us – no, they’re not.

    Just stop. This is painful to watch.

  • Dianna Deeley

     She’s got two middle names – “Bouncing” and “Shattering”.

  • Dianna Deeley

     Oh, for pity’s sake, that’s beneath fifth grade humor. Work on your routine, just a little. Lucy jokes. Prophesy jokes. Gypsy jokes. C’mon!

  • Adjoran

     They lost all their audience trying to do news, so they went with leftist fantasy programming and survived.

    That’s fine with me, I only object to them pretending they are still a news outlet.

  • Bob Belvedere

    “A third-rate Internet burglary”

    Bloody beautiful.

  • Larry Kelly

    Great Ball’s of fire!

  • DonaldDouglas

    Krystal Ball is smokin! 

    Linked here: ‘Smokin’ Rosie Jones Rule 5′.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I’m surprised no one quoted this:

    …But she never lost her head
    Even when she was given head
    She said, hey baby, take a walk on the wild side
    She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
    And the coloured girls go, doo doo doo, doo …

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  • maynardb50

     What about her cousin, Soccer??

  • cheongyei

     She’s not really that hot, and looks only go so far; when one opens one’s mouth and anti-human leftist venom spews out, that’s a whole different kind of hot . . . sort of a hades hot.

  • cheongyei

     His homey pulls out a snub-nose and levels you??

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  • hayseeddixie

    Do yourself and all of USA favor and file a complaint with the California state bar against Imani Gandy aka @angryblacklady. She claims she is Matthew R. “Shoq” Edelstein’s attorney and was aware of the illegal recordings and has threatened to sue people on his behalf.

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