Another tempest in a teapot: Google delists and relists whiny Health Ranger
A cloud of lies and a piercing, "I've been censored!"
...The Health Ranger whines again!
[Cue William Tell Overture]
I've been noticing that lately there is a lot of intensely whiny snowflakery in Scamworld, and some of these whimpering snowflakes happen to be alt-right nuts as well as scammers. They do love their persecution narratives, it seems, even more than they love their Cheeto Jesus and their guns. One such alt-right scammer (and friend of scammers) is Mike "The Health Ranger" Adams, long-time frauduct peddler, histrionic promoter of conspiracy narratives, and passionate Donald Trump supporter.
For quite some time now Adams has been beating his chest about being a heroic voice of truth, standing bravely on the front lines of the fight against the "lying mainstream media." More recently he volunteered himself as a soldier defending the "legitimacy" of Trump's "presidency." I wrote about that just this past December:
In an "open letter" to His Unholy Orangeness, Adams urges Trump to refuse to let the mainstream press corps into his (ultra)White House at all. After all, declares Adams (repeating by rote what every faithful Trumpian knows), the mainstream media are Drumpf's enemy and "they will do anything and everything to destroy you."
Though Adams' faux-fight against the legitimate press has been an overwrought attempt to get the #NotMyPresident's attention, so far I've seen no evidence that Drumpf has even acknowledged the existence of Mike Adams. This is in contrast to Trump's bromance with top-of-the-steaming-heap conspiracy monger, Alex Jones.
But being ignored has not kept Adams from sticking his nose as far up Drumpf's aperture as he can possibly get it, rooting around up there and then smearing the results all over his pro-Trump platforms. Apparently he thinks that if he keeps on doing that, his efforts will be rewarded eventually. In that regard Mike Adams is like many other loudmouths on the alt-right, as noted by the Washington Post last November, immediately following the election.
So let's get to the whiny part already. Adams' latest online drama, which plays right into his "brave warrior for truth" shtick, occurred last week when his main site, Natural News, got penalized -- "delisted" -- by Google. For several days he whined and whined and whined about it, beginning with a "Red Alert" on February 23, which bore this headline (accompanied by a picture of a nuclear bomb detonating):
RED ALERT: Fascist Google begins PURGE of pro-Trump websites as prelude to massive false flag or coup attemptOn that same day, a White House petition was initiated to "Ban Google's Blatant Suppression of Free Speech." At the time I'm writing this, the petition has 64,851 of the 100,000 sigs needed in order for the White House to at least acknowledge it.
By February 26 Adams was in full shrill conspiracy mode:
Mike Adams, Alex Jones attacked… is it a prelude to a false flag event targeting Trump?
As most of you are aware, last week we witnessed massive attacks on independent media. Alex Jones, who is by far the leading voice in the war against tyranny, was stripped of $3 million in ad revenue after being banned from AdRoll. We saw Milo, one of the loudest Trump supporters, be ripped apart after making irresponsible statements that the media was able to manipulate into pro-molestation remarks, causing him to lose his $250,000 book deal and step down from Breitbart. And now NaturalNews.com, which has been a pioneer in exposing the lies of big pharma, vaccine makers, and dirty food pushers, has had all of its 140,000 articles scrubbed from Google, even while Google refuses to provide any evidence justifying the blacklisting. We see this for what it is; a massive conspiracy to silence the truth.The mention of Milo above was, of course, a reference to Milo Yiannopoulos, whose book deal was recently canceled by Threshold Books, a division of publisher Simon and Schuster. Here's Vox:
Before all of these events unfolded, Mike Adams, a.k.a. The Health Ranger, had a suspicion that something was about to happen when an anonymous person offered Adams $50000 to destroy Alex Jones. On his February 17th podcast Adams explained that after he had refused to take the money or lie about Jones, the person threatened that the media would retaliate and destroy Adams. Just five days later we witnessed this come to fruition.
Are these attacks on such high profile independent media members a result of being Pro-Trump? Jones has a direct connection to Donald Trump and had a significant influence on him being elected. Milo has been an avid cheerleader for Trump and his executive orders on immigration. Adams owns the popular Trump.News website, which provides real news about what is happening in the Trump administration, and threatens the fake news spewed out by mainstream media.
Shortly after Threshold’s deal with Yiannopoulos was announced, prominent liberal intellectuals announced that they would be boycotting Simon & Schuster. The Chicago Review of Books announced that it would not review any Simon & Schuster books in 2017. Literary superstar Roxane Gay pulled her upcoming book from Simon & Schuster’s list.Don't shed any tears for Milo, though; I have no doubt he'll take his book elsewhere and find acceptance. I suspect he still has a large platform and a dedicated fan base. It's all about free speech, you know.
And that’s because Yiannopoulos is not a garden-variety conservative author. He is a professional troll who weaponized Twitter as a tool for (racist, sexist, transphobic) harassment so effectively that Twitter was forced to permanently ban him. On his ongoing college speaking tour, he has doxed trans students, putting their lives in danger. He routinely makes hyperbolically offensive statements like “feminism is cancer,” designed to rile up liberals, and then when liberals get angry, he winks and says he didn’t really mean it: He was just being provocative.
But none of that — not Yiannopoulos’s history of harassment and bigotry, not the widespread outcry and the loss of major authors — was enough for Threshold Books to think twice about acquiring his book in the first place, let alone cancel his contract. It took the resurfacing of a video in which Yiannopoulos explicitly defends pedophilia for Threshold to pull the plug.
For many on the left, including writers like Gay, the timing of Threshold’s decision demonstrates that the publisher doesn’t really care about Yiannopoulos’s right to free speech so much as it liked what he was saying before he got to the part about pedophiles — and, more importantly, that it believed its customers would like what he was saying. Threshold thought it could make money from his book, and now it doesn’t think it will.
...In other words, Threshold has sent a clear message: Explicit bigotry, harassment, and hatred are tolerable among conservative thinkers. Defense of child molestation is where we draw the line in the sand.
Anyway. In a separate post on February 26, Adams groused that Google had refused to 'splain its "blacklisting" of Natural News.
Conspiracy-fan-in-disguise Erin Elizabeth, the Health Nut (previously mentioned on this Whirled) got in on the hysteria and histrionics early on with this brief post. Her conspiracy-minded fans joined in the conversation; you can read their thoughts about "censorship" and various devious plots thereof in the comments to the post.
And my favorite blogging doctor David Gorski, aka Orac, whom Adams has viciously defamed, enjoyed a brief moment of schadenfreude.
Google did speak up about the matter shortly after the whinefest began. Apparently a webmaster guidelines violation was the real reason for the "banning," which, it should be noted, wasn't an outright ban but just a penalty. And as for the delisting occurring without warning, the Search Engine Land article noted this:
Natural News said in its post that “Google sent no warning whatsoever to our ‘webmaster tools’ email address on file with them,” but not all penalties will receive a notification via Google Search Console. More extreme and deceptive violations will not receive such notifications.But Adams insisted that Google was lying about their reasons, and he insisted that several "liberal" sites such as CNN, HuffPost and BuzzFeed were guilty of the same violations he'd been accused of, and they hadn't been penalized.
Whine, whine, whine.
In any case, as of today (February 28) Natural News is safely back on Google's index.
Naturally Adams claimed credit, insinuating that the petition he had started had done the trick and that "your voices have been heard." Basically his "official statement" about the relisting was yet another extended whine...
As Natural News was being censored by Google, we were also being assaulted and called liars by the same left-wing media that routinely attacks Donald Trump. By censoring Natural News, Google empowered a massive wave of defamation articles that deliberately sought to exploit the absence of Natural News in the rankings to spread knowingly false lies and hatred about Natural News and myself in particular.
In essence, Google just enabled one of the most vile hate campaigns ever witnessed on the ‘net, all while denying Natural News any ability to defend itself against such hate-based smears and malicious lies. It is the electronic equivalent of binding your hands, slapping duct tape over your mouth, and throwing you to the lions. All this from a company that once claimed to “do no evil.”
In effect, Google censored us, then allowed others to smear us, then hosted a webmaster forum which attacked us and called us liars, then refused to provide us with any evidence of wrongdoing, all while silencing our ability to defend ourselves in the public space.
There’s no question in my mind that none of this would have ever happened if Natural News had been a Clinton-supporting website. There’s no question in my mind that Natural News was discriminated against because we were a convenient political target that could be silenced as part of an elaborate smear campaign to drag our reputation through the mud, scare away future visitors and harm our revenue-generating traffic as a form of economic sabotage...
Somebody call the waaahhhhhmbulance.
Speaking of vile hate campaigns, Google has also enabled Natural News' vile hate campaigns against people such as David Gorski/Orac, and for that matter, against Hillary Clinton and everyone who voted for her... but I digress.
None of this is to suggest that Google is a completely benign force or that its penalization of websites is always logical or consistent. We all know that's not the case, and website owners and bloggers have been bitching about this for years and years. But in this case the reason for Natural News' delisting seemed fairly straightforward, and with the problem fixed... there's no problem, right? Wrong. Adams felt compelled to inject his overwrought conspiracy narrative and political ranting into the matter, even bringing Herr Drumpf and Adams' customary nattering about "false flags" into the drama. But hey, it added to Adams' martyr creds and probably didn't hurt his revenue stream.
And don't forget that Adams has his own search engine, GoodGopher. GoodGopher filters out what they consider "disinformation" and government/Big Pharma propaganda, instead stacking their search results with alt-nutty and rightwing sites (euphemistically dubbed "independent news media") such as NaturalNews (of course!) as well as Breitbart, The Blaze, Washington Times (which is owned and run by Moonies), Drudge Report, Western Journalism and more.
On GoodGopher you can choose "mainstream media" for your results, but you'll mostly get FOX News results, and if you get an outlet such as the Washington Post you'll see it has been "flagged by the user community for malicious or misleading content." Clearly, "misleading" and "malicious" are in the eye of the beholder. (This blog doesn't show up in the listings under either independent or mainstream media. It's as if it simply doesn't exist on the Internet at all. Maybe this going-on-eleven-years experiment was just a dream...)
Adams also has his own "alternative" to Wikipedia, the ludicrously misnamed "TruthWiki," which is chock-full of fluff/promo copy for predatory fraudsters and right-wing nutcake political ranting.
In any case Adams is still fighting the good fight and continuing to wax histrionic about the "vile assaults" that he and Natural News are "enduring" from "lunatics" and people whose minds have been poisoned by fluoride and mercury and whatnot.
Adams' whining reminds me of the whining of the stupidest and most evil man in Scamworld, Not-Doktor Lenny Coldwell, whenever Lenny gets suspended from Facebook, which is fairly frequently. Lenny generally whines that he got "banned" because he supports Trump and/or because he tells the "truth" about cancer cures. But in truth he gets thrown in Facebook jail because people report him for hate speech. Both Lenny and Adams play the martyr card to the max, falsely claiming they're being censored for truth-telling.
In a more general sense the Health Ranger's laments also remind me of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's vintage whines (and current gripes) about being oppressed by the government for telling the "truth" and fighting for your and my First Amendment Rights.
Meanwhile, the true threat to the First Amendment (and much of the rest of the Constitution) is sitting in the Oval Office with his wrecking crew, plotting out ways to destroy America and re-mold it according to their plutocratic, theocratic agenda.
By the way, there is another Natural News article that has been making the social media rounds lately, bearing the headline:
In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler arrested and executed ‘fake news’ journalists who rightfully claimed that Jews were being exterminatedAdams didn't write that piece; it was authored by prolific right-wing propagandist and Natural News contributor Don Wrightman, but it is prominently featured on the Natural News site, and as I write this it is at the top of the list of "Most Viewed Article" on the site. And even though it was published in December 2016, it is currently being shared on numerous right wing sites. Some folks who are emphatically not right-wingers are sharing it as well on social media, not considering the source and the real reason for the article.
Given the context, including the links within the article (particularly the link to Adams' "truth-telling" site liberty.news), it is abundantly clear that this piece was a protest against critics of Mike Adams and his fellow "independent journalists" rather than a statement about Herr Drumpf's war against the legitimate media. So all of you Trump critics who have been sharing this article should probably reconsider your choice. Clearly this piece is little more than another blatantly transparent effort to make Trump's and Adams' critics, including the media, look like the real "Nazis"/threats to freedom, while portraying Adams, Alex Jones, Breitbart and the rest of the fact-free "press" as the true First Amendment defenders/martyrs.
And c'mon people. Y'all are too smart to believe that.