I think Sykfall was the best Bond movie ever. The recent reporting by Daily Beast asserting that Representative Robert Fisher remains involved with the infamous Red Pill forum reminds me of a scene from Skyfall in which the villain, Silva, hacks into mi6’s computers.
Anticipating that mi6 would attempt to access his personal computer, Silva, programmed his PC to hack mi6 and arranged his capture by Bond. At 1:16 of the video below, after Q realizes mi6 has been hacked but can’t figure out how, a message appears on Silva’s computer “NOT SUCH A CLEVER BOY.” What’s left out of this video is Q at the outset bragging about how easy it will be for him to get past Silva’s defenses:
Now, looking at Silva’s computer, it seems to me he’s done a number of slightly unusual things. He’s established failsafe protocols to wipe the memory if there’s any attempt to access certain files. Only six people in the world could program safeguards like that.
Of course there are. Can you get past them?
I invented them.
Let’s see what you’ve got for us, Mr. Silva. We’re in.
Of course, that’s exactly what Silva was counting on:
Now, back to Mr. Fisher. Some background: On April 25th, the Daily Beast reported that Fisher was the creator of the infamous Red Pill forum:
Last November, voters in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region re-elected to the state house of representatives a man who appears to be one of the secret architects of the internet’s misogynistic “Manosphere.”
An investigation into Fisher’s online aliases found a trail of posts linking the lawmaker to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill—an online Reddit community of nearly 200,000 subscribers that promotes itself as a “discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.”
This Daily Beast article reproduced various things Fisher wrote on Red Pill. Perhaps the most notorious of which was:
Fisher, in response to the Daily Beast article, issued an “official statement.” Essentially, the “official statement” argues that various quotes that appeared in the Daily Beast’s report were taken out of context. For example, with respect to “[r]ape isn’t an absolute bad” Fisher asserted that he had commented in the same thread, “I think rape is bad, I’m not arguing for it. I’m arguing against the idea of an absolute truth …”
(As a parenthetical note, this “context” hardly exonerates Fisher. What he’s actually saying is: “while I think rape is bad, that’s just my opinion. Because there is no such thing as absolute truth, and because someone else may have a different opinion about rape, the best we can say is that whether rape is good or bad is totally a matter of opinion.” This is the logic of a child. That a rapist thinks rape is good does not make rape good. Rather, it begs the question whether it is good or bad that a rapist thinks rape is good. If you believe as Fisher claims to believe that rape is bad, then you are compelled to say it is bad that a rapist thinks rape is good. So you certainly can say there is nothing good about rape. Notably, Fisher’s “official statement” does not concede that he was wrong to say that whether rape is good or bad is just a matter of opinion.)
Fisher also told WMUR that he currently was not the moderator of any forums on Reddit.com.
Daily Beast then did a follow-up story, which sets forth evidence that Fisher continues to this day to moderate and participate in The Red Pill:
While Fisher did not deny having created The Red Pill, he called his past comments “injudicious,” and suggested he no longer holds the views he once espoused online. Fisher told a local media outlet that he is not currently the moderator of any Reddit forums.
Yet further investigation by The Daily Beast suggests that Fisher may still be very much be an active contributor and chief moderator of The Red Pill, where an alias that appears to belong to him—under the username redpillschool—regularly champions misogynistic views. Fisher’s apparent link to redpillschool has not been previously reported.
Apparently, Fisher is “not such a clever boy.”
Fisher, in response to the Daily Beast’s follow-up reporting, told WMUR:
that he is “a reseller for a web hosting company. As a defender of free speech, I give out low-cost and free hosting accounts to a lot of people, many of whom I’ve never met. I am not responsible for the content on these sites, nor am I endorsing anything on them.
“The many sites I’ve hosted over the years include a (C)hristian camp, an avant garde painting store, a site for a Democrat group, and even a pro-LGBT meet-up site. My email address was the default for DNS (Domain Name System) records when somebody didn’t provide me a different address.
But Fisher’s response falls far short of rebutting that Daily Beast’s follow-up reporting. More specifically:
Asher Langton, one of the security researchers consulted by The Daily Beast, said Fisher’s denial “doesn’t change [his] confidence” that Fisher was the likely person behind redpillschool. “In fact, he’s admitting that the data itself is correct,” he said. “The denial would be more credible if he ran a larger company and could point to actual sites he hosted but wasn’t personally involved with.”
Fisher—who according to domain records doesn’t appear to have hosted other people’s sites for profit—refused to comment on who owned the domains in question and why most of the websites associated with his email are sites associated with The Red Pill group.
So here is what we know today, that the voters did not know when they elected Fisher:
(1.) Fisher created Red Pill.
(2.) Fisher initially denied creating Red Pill, and tried to cover his tracks:
… When reached for comment by phone, Fisher denied participation in the Red Pill forum, claiming not to know what The Red Pill was. Though he did say he had heard of the men’s rights movement, he said he hadn’t heard of PUA. “What is a pickup artist?” he asked.
Within hours of contacting Rep. Fisher, and after delivering by email a summary of his apparent connections to The Red Pill kingpin, his two primary Reddit usernames had been wiped, and four blogs connected to him were deleted or made private. He has not returned additional requests for comment.
(3.) Fisher through his “official statement” and other statements made to the press created the impression that he had disassociated himself from Red Pill.
(4.) Subsequent reporting by the Daily Beast raises a serious question whether Fisher has disassociated himself from Red Pill.
Given that none of the above was known to the voters who elected Fisher, the proper thing for Fisher to do would be to resign. A special-election to fill the vacancy would follow. Fisher, if he wished, could run in the special election and the voters would decide what weight, if any, to place on all this, and whether to believe Fisher or the Daily Beast.
If Fisher does not resign, then the House should expel him. The voters who elected Fisher did not know anything about Fisher being the founder of Red Pill, his initial denial and attempts to cover his tracks, and the current claims that he remains associated with Red Pill. They deserve a do over where they can decide whether to return him to office or whether he is “not such a clever boy.”