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Meet The Man Making Money Off Gullible, Bigoted Conspiracy Nuts

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194148dEarlier today, my colleague Ilyssa Fuchs wrote an article about how the latest far right furor is over the Girl Scouts and their yummy, delicious cookies. In a nutshell, some of them are calling for a boycott of those irresistible Thin Mints all because they think Girl Scouts USA is endorsing Wendy Davis in Texas. Oh yeah, and abortion as well – but this isn’t anything new. Ever since I could remember, the hard right has had a history of being completely pissed off about all the wrong things. Bless their hearts, they’re just gullible and so easily used as constant source of cash – and votes. As a politician or someone selling a product, all you have to do is reference one of the right-wing outrages du jour while advertising and they’ll line up at the book stores, the voting booths or on the internet for you.

Don’t believe me? Check out this story from ThinkProgress. It’s about how Allen Baler (operating under the name Frank Bates) has made a lot of money, all from selling survivalist merchandise to mostly right-wing (there’s some on the left as well if you ever frequent Reddit) nutjobs who are firmly convinced that any day now Obama is going to instruct FEMA to round all the “patriots” up and put them in FEMA camps. From the story:

Pairing survivalist panic to more mainstream conservative tropes is Frank’s calling card, pervading his pitches for the other products in the 4Patriots line. Power4Patriots reveals “the dirty little secret that president [sic] Obama and the big energy monopolies have been trying to bury.” There’s a “cover-up,” a “conspiracy that runs all the way to the top” to make “power rates skyrocket.” Moreover, “thanks to the shaky state the liberals have put our country in, our government isn’t ready to handle the situations that are coming our way…Ask anyone who lived through Hurricane Katrina!” The solution is to buy Power4Patriots’ books, videos, and “CD-ROMs,” which will teach you how to cut your power and heating bills by “up to” 75 percent.



I don’t know Mr. Baler’s actual political affiliation, but does it really matter?  The fact is that just like Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck or even Alex Jones, he has made a whole lot of money by finding a demand for fear and/or bigotry and then filling it with survivalist “off the grid” products. You gotta admit, it takes a certain amount of genius and business savvy to get conservatives to embrace solar panels of all things – but it’s not just solar panels he’s hawking.

Food4Patriots and SurvivalSeeds4Patriots expand the business beyond Clickbank-style infoguides. Baler buys kits from My Patriot Supply, a preserved food and seed company, and then sells them for about three times the original price. For instance, the Reboot 3 Month package is listed on My Patriot Supply for $183.54; the Food4Patriots 3-month supply will run you a cool $497. All Baler does is drench someone else’s stuff in paranoid anti-Obama finery and advertise it around the conservative mediasphere using a likely fictional life story.

A 300% markup and these supposedly fiscal conservatives and libertarians still buy this stuff? Seriously? I thought you guys, especially self-described libertarians, were smarter than the “liberal sheeple” you like to mock. I thought you could “see through the lies and deceit of the government” but you can’t even figure out that you’re being sold someone else’s product that’s been repackaged with an unhealthy dose of confirmation bias, paranoia and bigotry? Come on now, how completely and utterly gullible are you that you would eat up every bit of this insane conspiracy bullshit and then buy up ridiculously overpriced survival gear?

I would laugh at you but my own sister’s father-in-law is one of these people. He’s an elderly guy in very poor health who stays up all night listening to Coast to Coast AM or other conspiracy shows. He can barely afford to feed himself on his Social Security check which comes from the very government he believes is planning to send him to a FEMA death camp, but he’ll shell out whatever he can to buy filters to remove fluoride from his water or buy specially packaged foods because, you know, the government is out to get him.


Mr. Baler is very much into affiliate marketing as you can see in this YouTube video, as are countless other web entrepreneurs who make a living finding a niche market in everything from blogging to convincing mentally ill “patriots” that only by buying their merchandise can they thwart the plans of the “Zionist occupied government” that is coming for their freedoms any day now.  Oh yeah, and here’s the punchline – ready for it? According to the website AlexJonesExposed, Mr. Baler is also Jewish, as are many of the other people who advertise with Alex Jones. Now please excuse me while I laugh hysterically for the next 24 hours.

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  • Edward Krebbs

    Good point about the markup. For the fun of it one time I looked up some of the “merchandise” advertised on Infowars web page and compared what I would pay Amazon. Huge difference in cost.

  • Jim Bean

    Ann Coulter made her money by studying and exposing the hypocrisy of liberals and doing it in a very colorful fashion.

    • TheOneWhoNocks

      And we study & expose the hypocrisy of conservatives without worrying about how much we can make off it. It’s a fun pro bono gig.

    • chasebarteaux

      Ann Coulter made her money by doing deplorable things like calling 9/11 widows harpies. There is no low she won’t stoop to and she’s topped herself so many times that now she carries a shovel with her so she can keep going.

      • Jim Bean

        Her work sells because it rings true to millions of people. Her work invokes rage from the left because . . . . . . .it rings true to them as well. Why do you think conservative talk radio is successful and liberal talk radio always fails?

      • cayson

        Same reason why “CSI” was much more popular then “Forensic Files”, because drama and sensationalism make for good entertainment.

      • cayson

        than*

      • strangelander

        Her work sells because of the point of this article. Period. She’s a strange and bigoted woman with a mouth which runs faster than her brain.
        Liberal radio fails because facts are dry things…..which doesn’t make them any less important…they just don’t appeal to those vacuous fools who would rather hear about “The Biebs” than the poisoning of the largest aquifer in the US or the largest man-made environmental disaster in the history of this planet spewing out of Fukushima or what is ACTUALLY happening in our government instead of the opinions of a horse-faced shill for money-values who has chosen not to avail herself of great advantages for information.

      • Brian

        Because controversy sells to the ignorant. The states where her work sells best are the ones with the lowest average IQ. Same goes for Beck and Limbaugh. Funny coincidence. Socially and politically set America back by decades, and it will obviously anger people who actually want progress to be made. Not that you care, since your ideology is just the sort that drags us all down to the third world and makes other countries laugh at us.

      • crabjack

        JimBeam, why do you troll this site? You are obviously an attention whore, like Ann and Sarah and the other brain dead celebrities that you idolize. No one here cares about your right-wing-rants and your idiotic attempts to raise the ire of the people that are here because they are truly worried about the downward direction in which the political right is taking our country. Say goodbye and leave.

      • Jim Bean

        If the only opinions expressed here were ones that mirrored your own, what would the point of having a comments section be? What could you possibly gain by reading or participating in it unless you come here for moral support and a sense of self-affirmation (the definition of which is -protecting an image of its self-integrity, morality and adequacy.)? And what’s to be gain by expressing your opinions to only those readers who already agree with you? Hearing the sound of your own voice, perhaps? If I were a liberal, I would be over on Fox on Breitbart where I could test the strength of my positions. You would benefit from broadening your scope of being. Also, you obviously think anyone with a different opinion than yours is an idiot and that you’re the one whose been dealt the moral authority card which is a good indication your mirror needs a good scrubbing.

    • FD Brian

      People would have voted against Women’s Right To Vote if Ann was around during the passing of the 19th Amendment.

  • MLR

    Allen, I hate to admit but I have wacky conservative relatives too. One of them told me that one of the reasons he hates Obama is because we all own a part of the Sears building and what good does that do him? I was speechless and wasn’t quite sure how to respond. How is that Obama’s fault? Because I’ve known about the Sears building since I was a kid? But apparently everything is Obama’s fault, even Katrina. And talking about how conservatives love to rail against the government and how they don’t need government for anything. Well then tell me why they need government to tell them they needed to stay home the other day in Atlana? Now I know I may sound insensitive but I actually have relatives who live there and I asked them if they got stuck in traffic and their response was, and I quote “the dummies that got stuck in the snow ignored the warningsl”. So even though the government didn’t shut the city down my relatives (who are liberal) were smart enough to f***kn stay home! Now I did pray for all the innocent people that got stuck and thank God for all the good people that helped out but the next time I hear a conservative say they don’t need government I don’t know if I’ll laugh or weep.

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