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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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  • blaster

    So what is the deal with Krystal Ball (besides the fact her parents gave her a stripper name)? She runs for Congress and has a minor scandal over racy pics on Facebook which was way bigger news than her candidacy. So now she’s on MSNBC? Is that all it takes any more, just be rabidly left wing?

  • Mike G.

     that and have BJ lips IYKWIMAITYD

  • Ezra Gonzalez

    Never trust a woman with shoulders bigger than your own.

  • Barbara Espinosa

    Cross posted with link back

  • Hmitchell3rd

    Krystal Ball?  You have to be joking.

  • MM

    Wow. You are doing yeoman’s work. Instapundit has linked this. Also, Ms. ball continues to display the monumentally bad judgment that derailed her campaign and that you were too classy to mention.

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  • JeffS

    “Krystal Ball, Democratic Strategist”?  Well, she certainly fits the profile……

    Excellent work, Stacy!  Lots of dots, but I can see you’re still working on the connections.

  • jdkchem

    Obviously democrat strategy involves copious amounts of fellatio. 

  • Bearspaw

    Her parents, Rubber and Medicine, thought Krystal would be a lovely name for their little girl…

  • Bradoplata

    Is her middle name Bouncing?

  • robertstacymccain

    Wow. You are doing yeoman’s work.

    Credit where credit is due: Brooks Bayne got the stuff from “Randy,” whose infiltration of the #StopRush group I hadn’t even known about. In fact, I hadn’t even written about that group before yesterday. So this aspect of the story caught me entirely by surprise. All I’ve done the past couple of days is to summarize, aggregate and contextualize reporting done by other people — although I will accept praise for “aggregatin’ like a mofo.”  

  • Garym

    She looks like she just got out of the choom van.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    This update is just further stuff on Rauhauser.  Linked and posted…

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Nothing wrong with aggregation like a mofo.  You are keeping people informed.  

  • Taxpayer1234

    RSM is an ALAMF (aggregatin’ like a mo’fo).

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  • DirtyDave

     You mofo aggregate good.

  • Garym

    You forgot the disclaimer that there is a cringe worthy picture at the Trenches link.
    ; )

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  • David Foster Baskwill

    A “Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy”?  Who could have guessed.  They are on the run, but they no longer can hide.

  • larmanius

    I think you mistake Krystal Ball.  Sure, she’s a big lib.  But, generally had been a good, fun guest on FNC Redeye. She crossed over to the Dark Side (MSNBC) only recently.  The hosting gig is interesting…potentially good foil for SE Cupp.  You can’t BREAK the story of her being huge on the Rush boycott effort…she tweeted about it ENDLESSLY.  Just look at her timeline.

    Fellow Conservatroids:  Form Voltron! And stick to the story…it’s the economy, stupid. Obama MUST be defeated.

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  • Anamika

    Wow! there is a mile long line connecting those dots. Only serious paranoia would cross that bridge.

  • Anamika

      Lots of dots, but I can see you’re still working on the connections.

    Human brain is designed to connect dots. It can’t live with
    chaos. It needs to see patterns, order, forms. But innumerable dots can be connected in innumerable ways,
    and chances are the patterns you see don’t exist.

    Yet, the brain is wired to believe they do. Your life depends on that belief. Suppose you mistake a rope for a poisonous snake, well,
    that mistake can be corrected, but mistaking the snake for a rope can cost you
    your life. So, nature wants you to believe your first impressions.

    People are not that good at correcting first impressions;
    therefore, we live seeing patterns that don’t exist. In other words, we adopted
    hollow dots; we have lost the paternity suit of patterns that are not real. We
    are paying child support to ghosts.

    How can we give a reality check to the patterns we see? Do
    others, many others, see what we see? Do our patterns bear edible fruit? Or are
    we fertilizing imaginary weeds?

  • Finrod Felagund

    And Watergate was just a third-rate burglary.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Her parents wanted to name her after the Styx album and song _Crystal Ball_, but they couldn’t spell.

  • bflat879

    Very good reasons to never trust a liberal.  As far as MSNBC goes, when you’re a news organization, and you lose your credibility, what do you have left?

  • EricaThunderpaws

    If memory serves correctly, I believe Rauhauser was also involved in disgusting, pornographic attacks against Sarah Palin and her children. I’m trying to remember where the tweets were reported. He used a pseudonym, something like “Strongwynd”.  Help me remember.


  • Pierre

    being hot helps

  • Tobias2012

    And this hack is getting her own show on A MESSNBC.

  • orlandocajun

     Her brothers, foot and base also helped name her

  • JeffS

     Tut tut, Anamika, tut tut!

    Clearly, you have not been following Stacy’s articles, and have poor comprehension of the overall situation. 

    Alas, I am unable to assist you in this matter, given your long standing, underlying problem. 

    Tut tut, Anamika!  Denial is not your friend.  Tut tut!

  • JeffS

    Alas, I must repeat myself for the better emphasis:

    Alas, I am unable to assist you in this matter, given your long standing, underlying problem.  

    Preview is your friend….

  • JeffS

     Alas, I am unable to assist you in this matter, given your long standing, underlying problem.

  • EricaThunderpaws

    Now I remember!  Tweets were reposted by  However, I just noticed that her blog has been shut down, supposedly because she broke the TOS, however I doubt that claim.

  • Bang00mo

    Is she related to Chris (drooler) Mathews Show Hard Ball?

  • TeresainFortWorth

    Dude, you’ve arrived – you made the headlines over at HotAir!

    Kudos –

  • portle44

    When she steps away from the pole she is out of her depth

  • robertstacymccain

    The point, sir, is that these e-mails show Krystal Ball was acting as a key advisor to Shoq’s crew in their effort to stifle Limbaugh’s free speech, even as her new MSNBC show was being launched.  Furthermore, the involvement of Rauhauser in Shoq’s anti-Limbaugh operation demonstrates a connection to Velvet Revolution and “Anonymous,” while we also have Shoq’s own word that he’s in tight with top people on Obama’s re-election campaign staff.

    “A third-rate Internet burglary,” so to speak.

  • EricaThunderpaws

    Zapem’s blog may be down but her video lives on at

    She reveals that Rauhauser had at least two online identities — WingNutWatch and StrandedWind.

    The tweets are as disgusting as you might expect.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Yeah, that picture has a fairly high infohazard rating.

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  • thtroll

    The behavior of people who talk on MSNBC is always suspect. Rev Al Sharpton race hustler hosting his show in Sanford, FL to try to get a couple viewers is crazy for “news organization” The fact Media Matters provides their talking points shows NBC bias and selective editing skills. 

  • FirstFlea

    Look at her twitter account. is right there.


    “Krystal Ball”? Is that for real, or just a bad joke?

    Amazing what smoking weed & doing acid in the ’60s will do for naming your children…

    Does she have a sister named ‘Blew’ Ball?

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