WSJ: Liberty University Administrator Involved in Michael Cohen Fake News Scheme

They will know we are Christians by our fake news.

In a surprising plot twist, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning that President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is being accused of failing to pay the Chief Information Officer of Liberty University John Gauger for his poll rigging services. Cohen arranged with Gauger’s tech firm to manipulate the results of two online polls and set up a fake Twitter account. Gauger claims Cohen didn’t pay him in full.

Womp, womp.

According to the WSJ report, Gauger doesn’t dispute the work involved. He got paid a portion of the fee in cash which Cohen allegedly gave in a Wal-Mart bag.

My interest in the story is less about Cohen and more about Gauger. According to the story, Gauger set up an algorithm to repeatedly vote for Trump in a CNBC online poll of top business people. Even with Gauger’s help, Trump couldn’t crack the top 100. The Liberty administrator also tried to manipulate a Drudge poll and set up a “Women for Cohen” twitter account. Sounds like fake news to me.

Most people (I hope) realize those polls are worthless for reasons such as implied by this news. However, some people use them to shape their image or manipulate public opinion. Does anyone doubt that Trump would have used positive results to his advantage?

It is one thing to vote a few times for your favorite band in an online poll, it is another to craft a service around dishonesty. This firm sells the ability to use technology to make fake news. I wonder if the IT classes at Liberty University teach that.

I know much of what we run into online is an effort at persuasion and manipulation. I hope this story raises awareness about the many ways we are surrounded by efforts to move and shape our opinions and behavior. Furthermore, I hope Christians begin to recognize that fake news is coming from sources within the camp.



9 thoughts on “WSJ: Liberty University Administrator Involved in Michael Cohen Fake News Scheme”

  1. Great witness to Christianity there!, oh flagship of american “christianity”…
    On a related note, awhile ago I read the book, The Unlikely Disciple… in which the author describes earnest Liberty U evangelism/Bible classes going to the streets and the beach during spring break to witness. I believe this was the early 2000’s and the outings seemed fraught then. I wonder how those kinds of things are going now… (if they still do them?)

  2. If this is true, he needs to be fired. There is no place for this unethical behavior from a University that claims to be Christian.

  3. So I just learned that Liberty University faculty are not on the tenure system, so that explains their silence and complicity in the face of blatant corruption and anti-biblical values.

  4. set up a “Women for Cohen” twitter account
    Women for Cohen? Or was it Women for Trump?
    EDIT: I now see that it really was “Women for Cohen”. Strange for a guy who was not running for anything. Trump seems to attract some perverse people.

    In any event, this does not say much for the way the culture of Liberty U. (at least those in leadership) prioritizes politics versus integrity. One wonders how the connection was made between Cohen and Liberty’s CIO — did Falwell set them up or was there some other connection with Liberty?

    1. “The connection between Messrs. Trump and Cohen and Liberty University dates at least to 2012, when Mr. Falwell invited Mr. Trump to give a speech and Mr. Cohen accompanied him. Soon after, Mr. Gauger was introduced to Mr. Cohen, helped him set up an Instagram account and gave him his cellphone number should he need more assistance, he said.”

  5. Surprise, surprise. This guys has connections to the AACC, too.

    In 2011, he was a co-leader for the “Technology, Social Networking & the Future” track of the AACC World Conference.

    He also led a workshop during that same 2011 conference. It was called, “Cyber Counseling: Current Trends and Innovative Strategies for Success.”

    In 2012, he was co-leader for the “Coaching Business Strategies and Practice” track of the AACC National Conference.

    1. Christianity is about Christ not men. That’s like divorcing your wife because a friend of hers is scum .

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