BC Liberal staffer dismisses criticism of party as “fake news”

By Drew Penner

Here at Thinkpol, we can’t help but admit we love a good ‘ole roundtable Reddit chat about our journalism, even when it comes in the form of a derisive sneer of our steadfast support for political integrity, B.C. residents, and freedom of the press.

All the better when it comes from the virtual mouth of Blake Hodson, a provincial Liberal researcher who tarred our site with the brush of fake news while denying evidence of party corruption.

Unlike other redditors, Mr. Hodson does not believe in taking advantage of the anonymity offered by reddit and hiding behind his handle.

“My twitter handle is the same name as my reddit username and uses my real name,” Mr. Hodson, who goes by the handle Baconus, said on the Vancouver subreddit /r/vancouver[1]https://www.reddit.com/r/vancouver/comments/807e5g/bc_liberals_accepted_money_from_chinese/dutvi6x/. “I don’t believe in hiding behind fake accounts. I stand by what I say.”

Another redditor, the aptly named chrustyclark, wanted to know why a man who’s willingly to doxxing himself on reddit for the sake of openness and integrity would work for the triple delete party[2]http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/triple-delete-former-ministry-staffer-george-gretes-charged-in-scandal-1.3487546.

“Well for starters I have been around a while and have never seen any signs of what you are saying,” Mr. Hodson wrote in a back-and-forth with chrustyclark, a user with a 2,700 karma count who seems to post almost exclusively about the BC Liberals and the housing crisis. “So much of that comes from places like Thinkpol that are expressly set up to tear the party down.”

The digital discussion was sparked by our story about the BC Liberals taking money from Chinese government PR group called China Radio International[3]https://thinkpol.ca/2018/02/25/bc-liberals-accepted-money-chinese-government-propaganda-unit/. It owns 60% of a Los Angeles radio station that used to be known to the public as “The Worm,” (officially G&E Studio), and is broadcast in Vancouver.
The story also pointed out the Liberals took $5,000 from the company in Nov. 2015, as well as concerns of U.S. lawmakers about Chinese interference in the public opinion marketplace on this side of the Pacific through the radio programming.

Is this what we’ve come to, where we’re worried about a broadcaster that’s remembered for Rancho Cucamonga Quakes baseball games and coverage of higher education athletes at Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, and UC Irvine acting as a pawn in the global chess match between the two largest economies for the 21st Century? Are we that worried about the fragility of democracy in the wake of Donald Trump’s election?

Well, it was Hodson who brought up the U.S. president, claiming reports like ours caused his rise.

“It is honestly the playbook that got Trump elected,” he said. “Fake news repeated over and over until people accept it as true.”

He also pointed to the history of large influxes of cash flowing to the NDP from American labour unions.

But who is this BC Liberal caucus worker?

Going by the handle @Baconus on Twitter, the University of Victoria political science alumnus uses his digital voice to rail against the 90-era NDP in B.C. for making it a “have not” province, retweeting a cute send up of Canada’s performance in Pyongyang on the hockey rink via a Canadian Heritage still brought to you by the Ministry of Propaganda and sowing divisions wherever possible between the federal and provincial New Democrats.

His Twitter presence may be tiny (just 334 followers) but he counts some high-value members among them, including BC NDP MLA for North Coast Jennifer Rice. You might know her better as the parliamentary secretary.

Of course, he’s not totally wrong. Thinkpol is short for Thought Police, the group that goes around punishing divergent thinkers… in George Orwell’s book 1984 that is.

Perhaps that explains why Mr. Hodson declined to comment when we reached out to him.

[Photo Credit: Jesper Sehested / TheDyslexicBook.com]

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.reddit.com/r/vancouver/comments/807e5g/bc_liberals_accepted_money_from_chinese/dutvi6x/
2. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/triple-delete-former-ministry-staffer-george-gretes-charged-in-scandal-1.3487546
3. https://thinkpol.ca/2018/02/25/bc-liberals-accepted-money-chinese-government-propaganda-unit/