SW That Elected Trump Based On SW That Elected Obama
gmkarl at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 15:16:51 PDT 2021
> we were based primarily out of Cambridge because of our close partnership with the university. This was a total falsehood, made up on the fly. But for Nix, truth was whatever he deemed true in the moment. As soon as he'd said we had a Cambridge office, he started referring to it all the time, urging Bannon to stop by.
> "Alexander, we don't have a Cambridge office," I said, exasperated with his insanity. "What the fuck are you talking about?"
> "Oh, yes we do, it's just not open at the moment," he said.
> A couple of days before Bannon's next visit to the U.K., Nix had the London office staff set up a fake office in Cambridge, complete with rented furniture and computers. On the day Bannon was scheduled to arrive, he said, "Okay, everyone, we're working out of our Cambridge office today!" And we all packed up to go out there and work. Nix also hired a handful of temps and several scantily clad young women to staff the would-be office for Bannon's visit.
> The whole thing felt ludicrous. Gettleson and I messaged each other, sharing links about Potemkin villages, the fake Russian towns set up in old tsarist Russia to woo Catherine the Great when she visited in 1783. We christened the office the Potemkin Site and made relentless fun of Nix for coming up with such a stupid idea. But when I walked around the fake office with Bannon, two months after I first met him in a Cambridge hotel, I could see the light in his eyes. He was buying it and loving every moment of it. Fortunately, he never noticed that some of the computers weren't actually plugged in or that some of the hired girls didn't speak English.
> Nix set up the Potemkin Site every time Bannon came to town. Bannon never caught on that it was fake. Or if he did, he didn't mind. It fit the vision. And when it came time to name the new entity the Mercers were funding, Bannon chose Cambridge Analytica--because that was where we were based, he said. So Cambridge Analytica's first target was Bannon himself. The Potemkin Site perfectly encapsulated the heart and soul of Cambridge Analytica, which perfected the art of showing people what they want to see, whether real or not, to mold their behavior--a strategy that was so effective, even a man like Steve Bannon could be fooled by someone like Alexander Nix.
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