Weekend Open Thread: Gold Coast Pup Honest About Lying About Politics

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This illustration would have been easier if we had had a profile shot of Wohl, but this works too.

Read this story about a young man from Costa Mesa who prides himself on spurting out fake news.  His name is Jacob Wohl, he’s 21, and he’s proud about tweeting straight up lies about matters including the Mueller investigation, and getting all sorts of people to believe things that aren’t true.

COSTA MESA, Calif. – A false claim bubbled up from the internet last month that Sen. Kamala Harris, the recently announced presidential candidate, wasn’t eligible for election because she had immigrant parents and spent part of her childhood in Canada. The claim, an echo of the “birther” conspiracy that trailed President Barack Obama, was widely debunked but still addressed seriously by mainstream news pundits, including CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Even better for Jacob Wohl, the 21-year-old Californian who ignited the Harris birther claim with a tweet, some people actually seemed to accept it as fact.

“The believability stuck at about 15 to 18 percent by my measurement,” Wohl said in an interview shortly afterward, declaring it “not a bad campaign.”

Wohl, a self-professed “political and corporate intel consultant” and supporter of President Donald Trump, is dedicated to plying the malleable fringe of the electorate with dubious claims and disinformation schemes.

Orange County has a grand tradition of this sort of thing, part of a larger category called (and I didn’t make up this term) “rat-fucking.”

What do you say, folks?  Should Orange County try to do something to implant some respect for the truth into Jacob Wohl?  Read the whole story, then come back with your suggestions.  Only legally permissible actions will survive our editorial filter — but a hell of a lot of responses to this are legal.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: I call on all Republican politicians in OC to publicly reject and denounce this sprout’s practices.  (I’d call on the Democratic Party to denounce him — or even figure out whether it has standing to sue this fly speck for defamation over tweets that meet the standard for libel even of public figures, but that would require effort.)

We may not have to gin up a lawsuit, though.  Sooner of later it will occur to Wohl to intentionally defame the winners of the four tight Congressional races in his country — and between Cisneros, Porter, Rouda, and Levin I’ll bet that they could raise enough cash to crush him into a fine paste.

This is your Weekend Open Thread.  Do your thing.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)