Who is Charles Reinhardt?

A lot has happened in the few days since I posted “Red Scare Pod and the Crypto Nexus.” A follow-up post is coming.

One thing that happened in the aftermath is that I got a tip from a reputable source that Chapo Trap House, Cumtown and Red Scare all share the same business manager.

“You didn’t hear it from me,” the source said, “but I found out recently that Chapo, Cumtown and Red Scare all share the same freelance business manager” and that his business is called Advice Party LLC.

They added, “I think it’s something people deserve to know, ’cause folks are always trying to distance their relationships.”

They sent me his LinkedIn. His name is Charles Reinhardt, and Advice Party LLC is listed on his profile.

reinhardt_linkedin
Charles Reinhardt’s LinkedIn page

I haven’t been able to find any internet presence or contact information for Advice Party LLC. I have not been able to contact Charles – I’m not able to message him on LinkedIn without signing up for a premium account.
Advice Party has a website here. Reinhardt did not respond to my query.

So far, I’ve been unable to confirm that Reinhardt is working as a business manager for these podcasts.

Nevertheless, some very interesting things have managed to turn up about Reinhardt, which I think are still worth sharing.

Advice Party LLC

According to business registration records online, Advice Party LLC was registered on January 10, 2017. See here and here, and archived pages here and here.

advice_party_1

Reinhardt’s profile on KeyWiki, a creepy, Canary Mission-style website that prolifically documents people and organizations who have been involved in ‘Left’ activism, says that he joined the New York City Democratic Socialists of America Facebook Group on January 20, 2017, very soon after registering his LLC (archived). It’s unclear if Reinhardt is a member of the DSA. Another KeyWiki page says that Reinhardt RSVP’d on Facebook to a Brooklyn DSA meeting on February 23, 2017.

keywiki_page

The timing of these events isn’t far from when Chapo Trap House first started making the big bucks on their Patreon. An archive of their Patreon page from October 5, 2017 shows them making $15,103 per month. Less than three months later, on December 24, they had doubled their Patreon income, to $30,935 per month. Subtracting Patreon’s cut, each podcaster would still be making a very livable income at that point.

Jacobin

Twitter user @Prodigis alerted me to the fact that a Charles Reinhardt published a single piece in Jacobin in 2013, “Death of a Trader” (archived). The bio of Charles Reinhardt on Jacobin (archived) matched the information on the LinkedIn page. For some reason, the Jacobin bio doesn’t mention that Reinhardt’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) is in Finance, as a screenshot from his LinkedIn profile shows below.

reinhardt_jacobin_bio
Reinhardt’s bio on Jacobin’s website

Background

education
Reinhardt’s education, according to his LinkedIn page

Previous work that Reinhardt has listed on his LinkedIn page is compatible with managing a lucrative, high-profile podcast. He had done financial management for arts venues.

experience_1
Charles Reinhardt has previously done financial management for the art gallery Babycastles and the music venue Silent Barn.

Things Get Interesting

Other past work experience was not so congruent, at least on the surface. Reinhardt has apparently done two separate stints as a Research Analyst for Defense Research & Development Canada. Prior to these gigs, he was an Administrative Assistant at the Ministry of the Attorney general, where he worked in two courts “dealing with federal and provincial charges.”

experience_2
Charles Reinhardt has done two separate stints as a Research Technician for Defense Research & Development Canada, from June 2009 – March 2010 and then again from Oct. 2010 – March 2011.
experience_3
Before Defense R & D for Canada, Reinhardt worked for the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Defense Research & Development Canada is exactly what it sounds like. The official website gives the following description (archived here):

We are the national leader in defence science and technology, and develop and deliver new technical solutions and advice to the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, other federal departments, and the safety and security communities.

We are an Agency of the Department of National Defence and work with partners in academia, government and industry and with Canada’s allies.

Reinhardt worked within the military surveillance apparatus of NATO member Canada for almost two years, in two separate stints. Less than two years later, he published in Jacobin.

Making Connections

If nothing else, the information here shows that Jacobin doesn’t vet their writers for connection to the NATO military surveillance apparatus. That’s putting it extremely generously. How does a national defense analyst come to write for a Socialist magazine less than two years later? How did he get introduced to the people at Jacobin? Jacobin takes unsolicited submissions, but given Reinhardt’s location in NYC, his connections to the “scene” there, and the fact that someone would even think to connect him to the very Jacobin-affiliated irony podcasters, it seems pretty unlikely that he’s a remote contributor who doesn’t actually know any of the Jacobin people.

In theory, a true “Socialist” magazine would be written by working class people who, organically in the social web, are the absolute furthest people possible from National Defense. Dear reader, excluding rank-and-file soldiers, do you have any extended family or friends, or know literally anyone at all who works in National Security, Defense or Intelligence? Most people sure don’t. It’s not the kind of job that a large percentage of the population has done at some point, like working at a restaurant or working in retail. It wouldn’t be statistically likely even if people were scattered about randomly in the world. In class society where we know the bourg and petty bourg are very, very disproportionately connected to the military surveillance apparatus, that unlikeliness is only compounded.

Perhaps what I’ve said in the preceding two paragraphs isn’t making much of a point when Jacobin and the DSA are both known to be very supportive of former and current soldiers of the U.$. Empire. (archived)

As stated above, I don’t have additional confirmation that Reinhardt is managing the podcasts beyond my one source. Hopefully the info connected here will force some more information out. Stay tuned.

Update 12/30/2018: A reader has informed us that on the Dec. 10 episode of Cumtown, “michael jordan peterson,” they all acknowledge that Charles is their bookkeeper. Nick Mullen brings up the topic, sounding irritated, and seems to imply that Charles helped them, or at least Mullen, set up an S corp. You can listen to the clip here; it starts at about 5:55 in the full episode.

18 thoughts on “Who is Charles Reinhardt?

  1. Pingback: The Chapo Trap House Reader – petty cartography

  2. Some guy

    As to no web presence: http://www.adviceparty.com

    As to the rest, while he may merit further scrutiny I don’t see much here. That the same person would be the business manager for three New York-based podcasts, the members of which all know each other, also doesn’t set off any alarms for me. I would expect them to have professional services in common.

    As to the military contracting, that’s another NBD for me. There is no clean money in the core. Most workers serve imperialism one way or the other. I can see writing off cops and career militarists, but these two stints are a trifle and constitute a small part of his work history. It sure doesn’t add anything to the case for entryism.

    I think this guy belongs in the wait and see file, at most.

    Like

    1. Thanks for this, I just emailed him. I’m not sure I agree that “there’s no clean money in the core” – can the working class in the core who barely scrape by really be said to be benefiting from the gains of Empire? A lifelong Walmart employee and someone with an MPA in Finance who once worked in National Defense are not members of the same class. How can we know that he no longer has Defense contacts? He spent two years there. And he lists it currently on his LinkedIn, even though it was 7+ years ago and isn’t terribly relevant to his current line of work.

      Like

  3. Some guy

    can the working class in the core who barely scrape by really be said to be benefiting from the gains of Empire?

    I didn’t say benefiting. I said serving, but I don’t think it makes that much difference. That Walmart workers make shitty wages doesn’t cancel out their dependence for their livelihood on labor and resource markets opened up and controlled by imperialism. Walmart almost certainly has contracts with the military, which also keep the workers employed. But perhaps I spoke too broadly in saying everyone serves imperialism. Everyone serves capital, and many serve imperialism. I stand by no clean money.

    A lifelong Walmart employee and someone with an MPA in Finance who once worked in National Defense are not members of the same class.

    Never said that either.

    How can we know that he no longer has Defense contacts?

    We don’t, but again I never said otherwise. Of course it’s on his Linked In since it’s professionally useful. If, in fact, he still is in contact with Canadian Defence, that’s interesting, but we don’t know it.

    If you don’t just want to sing to a chorus, you have to understand that most people will not find a single thing here suspect. I include myself in that group and I’m someone who thinks there is a case for entryism in the DSA/podcaster scene.

    I think stuff like this that connects unremarkable dots just hands ammo to your haters, and makes it easier to discount anyone else doing the same kind of work. Announcing that you can’t find his website, doesn’t bolster your cred. And defensively straw manning when someone is offering constructive criticism is ill-advised as well. What you have here doesn’t merit a post. It belongs in Drafts.

    Like

  4. Homer

    this certainly blows a hole in the constant assertion that chapo / red scare / cum town have nothing financial to do with each other if they all share the same manager. and fwiw babycastles and silent barn are about as gentrifying new york hipster as you can get.

    back in 2013 reinhardt wrote for an online magazine called “hopes and fears” that was run by a bunch of russian-american dilettantes, including anna khachiyan, so that substantiates that they’ve been working together for awhile.

    “hopes and fears ” was a pretty slick hipster thinkpiece outlet with no obvious source of revenue. it flopped after like 3 years so maybe it was just rich kids running it out of their own intergenerational wealth, but some digging might turn up a vinit brahara type who was bankrolling it for no good reason.

    what do you make of the fact that reinhardt was studying historical insurgencies in libya and ottoman syria in the year before nato launched insurgencies in both of those countries? (this was also spencer rapone’s area of study at west point) if the reports were produced for the canadian government and they aren’t classified then they’re probably available online somewhere.

    chapo trap house and brace belden were used to first trivialize the grey wolves and their role as nato paramilitaries, then to normalize the collaboration of the ypg and the us marines, performing a crucial role propagandizing the nato war effor to the english-speaking “left.”

    so like kinda werid that their manager is also just happens to be an expert in the history of syrian counterinsurgency warfare isn’t it?

    especially going back to 2010 brace and dasha were just drunk punks partying with an ss flag in their living room, having no idea that they’d eventually become propaganda assets in a contemporary counterinsurgency war in syria.

    also for some context on military researchers studying hipster subcultures for insights into counterinsurgency warfare, look at project minerva and the career of victor corona.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great stuff, Homer, especially the link between Reinhardt and Hopes and Fears where Anna was Associate Editor (http://archive.is/GOkFk). He’s still got 3 pieces up on the site: http://archive.is/oRjgC

      It looks like a lot of effort went into the articles, the artwork and the website, only for the articles to have 0 shares on Facebook again and again? On its terms page H&F says it’s registered as Hopes LLC in Delaware (http://archive.is/GZEjr) but so far I can’t find anything about the registration of the LLC online.

      I seem to remember H&F being a major gig relative to the rest of AK’s writing/editing career. She’s otherwise had a pretty scant career.

      If Reinhardt’s topics of study are just a coincidence in this context, it’s surely an unlikely one.

      Like

    2. Some guy

      Before I start doing my devil’s advocate thing, know that by being skeptical I have not ruled out anything about this guy. I just think that whatever case there is against him needs more evidence, and I don’t feel differently based on anything Homer’s introduced.

      Admittedly I am not an expert on what claims Chapo and co have made about their affliliations. If they have said something that explicitly rules out contracting with the same hipster business consultant, then this guy is more sus if he is, in fact, working for all three podcasts. But I am not aware of Chapo disavowing any connection to these other podcasts, other than that, as different podcasts, they’re not collectively accountable for what individual podcasters do. It’s a ridiculous claim, mostly because they make no secret of knowing each other. But unless I’ve missed something, having the same freelancing hipster business consultant doesn’t catch them at anything, unless he’s doing something other than providing routine business services. And If he is a counterinsurgency expert, what’s the point of having a business relationship with him at all, rather than off the books briefings?

      The Hopes and Fears find is interesting and bears further research, obviously. Definitely the longer these people have been connected, the shadier they look. But that booj hipster careerists based in Brooklyn have known each other for at least five years is a non-starter for me. On the other hand, Dasha’s connections to Brace Belden would be noteworthy because of their duration and the geography, even if she hadn’t been photographed putting up an SS flag. There’s a lot of news in that, none of which makes them look good.

      I would expect that most military contracting in NATO countries would concern itself with things that NATO was pursuing at the time. So for the same reason that I don’t find what appear to be brief writing and research gigs for Canadian Defence particularly damning on their own, the timeliness of his research topics doesn’t ring alarms for me either. There is definitely the possibility that for opsec reasons he’s greatly minimizing the work he does for NATO and just saying enough to help his resume without blowing his cover. I don’t think this work is inconsequential if other shit comes to light, but right now I don’t find this guy interesting on that account.

      I can’t find anything on Victor Corona other that he’s a sociologist who studied nightlife. Even if he’s connected to counterinsurgency, it doesn’t mean anything to me other than that, yea, spooks hang out in subcultures and do spook things, as they do in a thousand other milieus.

      Like

      1. I just don’t think I’ve concluded anything here that isn’t evidenced. Do you? I’m putting this information out there for further research. There’s a bit to go on here. I mean, the Hopes and Fears connection Homer posted is a really good one which I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

        As for the source: they’re in a position to know that sort of information, and they’re on my side. It’s not like I took this info from an anonymous email received after riling up a bunch of Cumtown fans.

        Like

      2. Homer

        in 2010, people weren’t really thinking there were going to be civil wars in libya and syria – studying historical counterinsurgency ops there would not have been as common as studying rebellions in iraq or iran or palestine, or the potential for democratic change in egypt and saudi. in 2010, vogue was publishing glowing profiles of asma assad as a fashionable, modernizing head of state. beyonce and mariah carey did a private concert for the gaddafi family. so the fact that the canadian defense ministry was commissioning studies of historical counterinsurgency ops in those 2 countries was out of step with where the focus was on middle east and north africa studies at the time.

        in 2010, felix biederman and will menaker and brace belden knew jack squat about syrian counterinsurgency ops, and then 7 years later they were a major platform for introducing the rojava cause to the american left, through having one of their own guys embedded in the ypg. so they pulled off this propaganda coup, normalizing the us military presence in northern syria, and it’s just a remarkable coincidence that their manager is the one hipster podcast manager who is also an expert in the history of counterinsurgency warfare in syria?

        just to reiterate – menakers grandfather was a kgb agent who flipped and became a major fbi informant, belden’s grandfather helped finance the largest communist blacklisting operation in the country, and their hipster manager just happened to be an expert in military ops in the very place belden deployed. this is a really remarkable cluster of coincidences for a podcast that does no traditional marketing and just happens to be the higest-earning account on patreon. their manager must be an absolute genius.

        (oh, and somebody should ask felix about his family’s history with money laundering some time)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You know who else has pumped out a ton of Rojava propaganda? The anarchist collective/space The Base in Bushwick, Brooklyn. They did PR for and sold flags of the alleged “ancom” and “queer liberation army” contingents of the YPG, the IRPGF and TQILA, respectively. There’s little evidence of these groups’ existence beyond some pretty staged-looking photos. The Base has also circulated (produced?) some very manufactured-sounding revolutionary content about Rojava in nicely-printed books. The anarchist Teen Vogue journalist Kim Kelly seems to be affiliated, she’s tweeted to and about them before.

        (archived here and here)

        Like

      4. Some guy

        “I just don’t think I’ve concluded anything here that isn’t evidenced. Do you?”

        Technically no, I guess, because you haven’t really drawn any conclusions. Instead you’re pointing at certain details and suggesting they’re significant without being terribly specific about it. Why does it matter that Reinhardt wrote for a journal that one of the Red Scare podcasters also wrote for. What is the gotcha here? What does it contradict? Homer reminds us that babycastles is “gentrifying hipster” and that spooks penetrate subcultures. Another So What.

        I am not anti-conspiracist, but I am against the conspiracist genre which just points to pretty unremarkable things with the rhetorical equivalent of a foreboding soundtrack in lieu of hard evidence or even a good inference. I think a stronger case for entryism has already made by your exchange with Dasha and the articles you list in the Chapo Reader. I think putting an onus on yourself to demonstrate a plot in which every single player is a self-aware operative is unnecessary and distracting.

        The thing I find most interesting about these inquiries is getting a better view of how the booj live. I imagine you could make a case for spook from any number of randomly selected booj new york hipster resumes. This is the imperial core. The higher a person is in the foodchain, the more explicit their connections to imperialism are going to be. To say that petty booj and fash are objectively equivalent at least some of the time isn’t entirely ridiculous. But if that is the case, why lift rocks to find a plot?

        Like

      5. The higher a person is in the foodchain, the more explicit their connections to imperialism are going to be.

        Right. That’s one thing I’m trying to get across.

        why lift rocks to find a plot?

        I just don’t see it that way. As Homer said, these are some very, very strange and improbable coincidences, with Reinhardt’s topics of study, and Chapo’s pushing of Rojava and and association with a guy who did serious, effortful propagandizing for YPG. As people have pointed out, that Rolling Stone article about Belden glamorizing Rojava came out very early on in his time there. This is a good thread about it:

        Like

    3. Some guy

      Homer, you seem to think that by saying I don’t see a lot here, that I don’t see anything shady in in the DSA/Podcaster scene at all when I have several times said the exact opposite. In fact, you’re sort of making my case: there’s more already out in the open suggesting entryism then this guy’s brief stints just out of grad school reading foreign language books for Canadian Defence and providing summaries. If the case were so good against this guy based on the facts, you wouldn’t be making so hard with the hyperbole. Research Technician Grade IV does not sound like “counterinsurgency expert on Libya and Syria” to me. And yeah, while Syria is undoubtedly included in his one stint, there’s no indication it was the sole focus as you suggest.

      I’m going to back off, because I’m not trying to argue a case for this guy’s non-complicity and I have a feeling that if I continue in this vein that’s how I’m going to be addressed. I mean that’s already happening, when I’m merely arguing for a more rigorous approach to it that doesn’t say “a ha!” at literally nothing and remake something that looks like close to an internship into counterinsurgency spookdom. I think if Felix and their handlers wanted them briefed on what to say about Rojava, there are more fitting candidates than someone who did a few months translation work amounting to less than a year seven years prior.

      Anyway, it’s good to have the discussion. I’m not assuming there’s nothing here, as I’ve said, which is why I drew attention to his small social media footprint and provided his old twitter handle. I wish you luck with your research and hope more interesting and definitive information surfaces.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Red Scare Pod and the Crypto Nexus – petty cartography

  6. Some guy

    I should be more clear on my one point: Having the same consultant doesn’t mean there is any business connection, any more than a dentist and a lawyer who know each other are in business together by virtue of having the same accountant.

    Like

  7. Some guy

    Sometimes what these people don’t do and don’t say is as revealing as what they do. It’s kind of odd that a business consultancy which offers, among other things, social media expertise, seemingly has no social media presence of its own. The Twitter link on the website goes to a deleted Twitter page for Reinhardt’s dog. Perhaps he has all the business he needs and so doesn’t have to make an online show of competence. Still, being so unplugged seems out of step with what he’s purporting to be.

    We still don’t know for sure if he’s working for the podcasts, though. Your source could be spoofing you,

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s