Thursday, October 21, 2021

Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen


Former U.S. president Donald Trump launches 'TRUTH' social media platform

Says some of the more measured coverage, from Reuters. Well, not exactly. Actually, it's that he will launch it, as soon as the company that's going to create it exists, after the finalization of a merger between the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) and a company called Digital World Acquisition Corp, a "special acquisition company", the singular purpose of which is to buy TMTG for $293 million and list it on NASDAQ. Unless some shareholder in the acquisition company, run by former investment banker Patrick Orlando decides to take their shares back, and Orlando's track record in setting up special acquisition companies or SPACS is not a long or hope-inspiring one:

Orlando, who has worked at Deutsche Bank and BT Capital Markets, has launched at least four SPACs and has plans for two more, according to his firm's website and regulatory filings.

But none of the SPACs have completed a deal yet. A China-based SPAC that Orlando led failed last month to complete a merger with Giga Energy Inc that would have valued the transportation solutions provider at $7.3 billion, because it could not deliver the cash required, according to regulatory filings.

My bold. Also, TMTG, or as Trump Jr. called it yesterday in a Fox News interview,

what will ultimately be the Trump Media and Technology Group

doesn't seem to exist yet either; certainly, nobody had ever heard of it before it and Digital World Acquisition issued the announcement yesterday, from Palm Beach, which sounds like it means the retired emperor's winter palace. The announcement also furnished the web address of what looks like another Trump attempt at a Twitter knockoff, TRUTH Social, which you can join right now if you accept its Terms of Service, which include agreeing to settle any dispute you ever have with them by arbitration, and never to join in a class action lawsuit against it, in a document dated 21 September and credited to another previously unsuspected company called T Media Tech.

But TRUTH Social itself doesn't exist yet either; you can join it, but you'll have to wait until November to attend its "Beta launch for invited guests" if you get invited, and the first quarter of 2022 for the launch proper. You can get the app from the Apple Store (but not Google's Play Store). When the whole project gets going, it will be a massive organization that combats Big Tech the way Ivanka fought the shoe industry, by relentlessly making downmarket copies of it:

(via Vice)

TRUTH in opposition to Twitter and Facebook , TMTG+ (streaming "non-woke entertainment programming") and TMTG News to counter Disney+ and CNN, and eventually rivals to challenge Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and the payment technology company Stripe.

Oh, and while there's a suggestion that TMTG disapproves of Jason Miller's GETTR network for getting its funding from fugitive Chinese financier Guo Wengui—

—the Digital World Acquisition guy Patrick Orlando CEO, per Vice,

is also CEO of Yunhong International, which itself is an international blank check company incorporated in the Cayman Islands with headquarters in Wuhan, China.

Wuhan! So maybe the platform was engineered as a bioweapon in a rogue laboratory!

I don't know about that picture of TRUTH as a "rival" to GETTR. I thought GETTR was supposed to be another Trump effort to avenge himself on Twitter and create his own Big Tech empire, like that Jason Miller–run blog page "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" that preceded it before its death in June, or maybe to avenge himself on the Mercers' Parler, which dropped plans to give him a 40% stake in any profits over his demand that the platform ban all criticism of him (criticism of Trump is banned in TRUTH's terms of service, if you were wondering, along with "excessive use of capital letters"). 

It looks to me more like GETTR is another ridiculous failure, from which Trump is anxious to detach himself as he moves on to the next one. It's of some interest that Guo Wengui aka Miles Kwok is regarded as an enemy by the Chinese government that exiled him, while Patrick Orlando is evidently on good terms with it, with an office and business dealings there, as well as his Deutsche Bank connection. Could the new project be primarily a scheme on the part of Chinese agents to smuggle Trump $293 million, with no questions asked, for his value in keeping US politics in a state of turmoil? 

Not that Trump wouldn't cheerfully accept being Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Eiger, Gates, and Bezos all at once, just as he didn't mind getting elected president, but when you're watching him you need to keep your eyes focused on the grift, because that's what he does. The henchman and thugs around him may be constantly plotting to elevate him, and themselves, to some remarkable glory and power, but he's just a great white shark, always moving on, unsleeping, prowling for prey.

And TRUTH Social is certainly going to be another failure, I want to insist on that. To the big popular media, it's "fetch"—he can blindside them every damn time, because they long for it so much, the return of Trump Twitter and the constant fun and profit of the Trump era if you were a Washington political reporter with no sense that these goings-on were serious—but it's just never going to happen.

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