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PJ Media
PJ Media
29 Apr 2023
Ben Bartee

NextImg:LGBTQ+++™ Propaganda Rag's Lazy, Libelous Smear Job on 'Gays Against Groomers'

When I came upon the headline — “Gays Against Groomers Is Not a Grassroots Organization: Report” — I wasn’t expecting to find robust evidence that Gays Against Groomers (GAG) was “not a grassroots organization.”

But I expected there to be something there to base the accusation on — like maybe a one-off grant from a right-wing benefactor like Dennis Prager or something.

But I lent the report too much credit. It turns out that there is absolutely nothing to the claim except hot air.

Via The Advocate (emphasis added):

A new report pulls aside the curtain and reveals the background of those working to spread anti-LGBTQ+ hatred using the hate account Gays Against Groomers.

The founder of Gays Against Groomers, Jaimee Michell, and her partners are former ultra-MAGA Trump followers who spread anti-transgender propaganda with QAnon conspiracy theories and links to extremist militias, according to a Media Matters for America investigation published last week.

In response to accusations that it spreads homophobia and transphobia, GAG claims that, as a “coalition of gay people,” it and its members cannot possibly spread anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda. Furthermore, they claim that any attack on the group is homophobic.

However, GAG is not a grassroots initiative but a right-wing project seeking to gain political and financial advantage by using anti-trans rhetoric, according to the left-leaning media watchdog.

Moving onto the source material, the article cited a Media Matters report that The Advocate uses as its basis for the claim that GAG is not grassroots:

Before founding GAG, Michell was a steadfast Trump supporter. In her one-episode podcast from 2017, she claimed she began supporting Trump in part following her interactions with online conspiracy theories and a pro-Trump Reddit forum that was later banned from the platform for issuing threats of violence. Michell’s earlier Twitter presence involved predominantly pro-Trump content which she posted well after revelations had been made involving Trump’s inappropriate comments and actions directed at underage girls, not to mention myriad reports by women ranging from verbal harassment to inappropriate touching and outright sexual assault.

That all sounds very grassroots to me — and the entire article is like that. Not once is some wealthy donor outed or some giant institutional backing exposed.

The Advocate also attacks GAG for selling t-shirts as if it’s some kind of nefarious fundraising strategy from hell — all while it runs advertisements on the site to fundraise for its own flavor of propaganda and presumably makes a healthy profit doing it.

Screenshot from The Advocate

The big “get” from the Media Matters “investigation” and The Advocate‘s hit piece is that grassroots activists are active in grassroots GOP politics.

Amazing work, boys and girls and non-binaries. That’s a real crack investigative team you’ve assembled over there at The Advocate.

GAG has no corporate or institutional backing of any kind as far as I can tell. It will never get a feature in corporate media unless it’s the sort of smear job like Media Matters and The Advocate produced already. The only chance of positive exposure is in independent media or social media — and I suspect the group is permanently relegated to the naughty list algorithm on Facebook et al.

What else could GAG be defined as if not “grassroots”?