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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.