Dinesh D’Souza has been on the road with Fox News for months. After he publicly bleated that the conservative cable giant would not release his election-denying propaganda film 2,000 mulesdiscredited by fact-checkers and reporters alike, the far-right provocateur has all but vanished from the Fox News universe.
But even as D’Souza continues to take shots on Fox News while the conservative media giant refuses to book him, the pardoned felon has used his massive social media platforms to promote and praise the channel.
It looks like D’Souza wants to use Fox News as both friend and foe – whichever suits him best at the moment.
On his Facebook, Twitter and Truth Social pages — all of which boast millions of followers — D’Souza has shared several Fox-friendly articles from a little-known site called the Conservative Brief over the past few weeks. The posts in question contain portions celebrating the network’s ratings dominance as well as captions praising Fox News.
“The Five continue to dominate!” D’Souza wrote in a June 21 post on Truth Social, sharing a Conservative Brief article about the late afternoon ratings of the Fox News show. He shared similar posts on both Twitter and Facebook.
“Fox News is on!” D’Souza added in another post a day later that it was shared again and again across all three of his social media accounts. This time, the linked article gushed about the recent ratings gain for Fox News star Tucker Carlson’s primetime program.
The fawning praise for Carlson’s ratings stands out in the face of D’Souza’s open criticism of the Fox News star, which eventually led to him publicly taking on the network. In early May, D’Souza began lashing out at Fox for allegedly suppressing his film, even going so far as to personally accuse Carlson and his top producers of “specifically” instructing a guest not to discuss 2,000 mules in his broadcast.
That guest, True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht, provided principal research for D’Souza’s project and was its executive producer. While she didn’t directly mention the film in her May appearance on Carlson’s show, she claimed that her group had found thousands of “mules” who had “illegally” cast votes at ballot boxes.
Her claims about the program and other claims made in the film have been repeatedly debunked and shot down, with PolitiFact calling D’Souza’s claim that “mules” cast 400,000 “illegal” votes a “myth.” Even Trump’s former Attorney General Bill Barr cackled at the mere mention of D’Souza’s film during a Jan. 6 committee testimony, saying he was “unfazed”.
When D’Souza lobbed grenades at the conservative media kingmaker, which involved sharing a string of text messages he described as “highly abusive,” his regular appearances on Fox News soon dried up.
Once an almost weekly cast on his longtime girlfriend Laura Ingraham’s weekend show, he hasn’t appeared on Fox News or sister station Fox Business since late April. In fact, according to a transcript search, his name wasn’t even mentioned on the air during that time.
As D’Souza continues his anti-Fox campaign – he recently praised Pro-Trump gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake for education 2,000 mules in a Fox News interview gone haywire, for example – why is he sharing over-the-top pro-Fox articles from a no-name clickbait site? The answer seems to lie in the murky waters of the grippy right.
Popular Information’s Judd Legum reported back in February that Conservative Brief, an “obscure far-right website with 3 employees,” somehow emerged as “a dominant force on Facebook” this year. The site, which essentially just rounds up tweets, YouTube clips and other articles, has become more popular on the social media platform than established legacy news outlets like them That New York Times or Washington Post.
Legum found that a network of conservative influencers, including D’Souza, shared the site’s posts on their social media pages – often with identical text. Conservative Brief posts shared on these sites would include UTM codes, which “is a way for publishers to know exactly how much traffic is coming from a particular source.” The use of such codes seems to indicate that D’Souza has a direct relationship with the site itself.
“By appending the UTM code, D’Souza enables Conservative Brief to isolate traffic that D’Souza sends to Conservative Brief,” Legum reported. “However, D’Souza does not have access to the information. So without a relationship to Conservative Brief, appending the UTM code is pointless. But the UTM code would allow Conservative Brief to track D’Souza and possibly pay him to send Conservative Brief traffic via Facebook.”
He continued, “The fact that all of these Facebook pages use UTM codes when posting links to Conservative Brief strongly suggests that Conservative Brief is paying for traffic. This would specifically violate the Facebook Rules, which state that Facebook Pages ‘cannot accept anything of value to post content that they do not contain or have had a hand in creating.’”
D’Souza did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. Although he stays unwanted person At Fox News, he has the backing of at least one of the network’s stars. Dan Bongino, a Fox News contributor who hosts a weekend show on the network, recently welcomed D’Souza for discussion on his daily podcast 2,000 mules detailed.
One thing, however, stood out in the long conversation between the two conservative commentators: while Bongino hasn’t been shy about criticizing his employer and D’Souza apparently still speaks openly about the network, neither pundit ever approached Fox News.
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https://www.thedailybeast.com/dinesh-dsouza-is-at-war-with-fox-news-except-when-hes-sucking-up?source=articles&via=rss Dinesh D’Souza is at war with Fox News unless he’s kidding