When Facebook issued an unprecedented Friday night press release announcing that it had banned Trump campaign data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, it was a sign that the social network was trying to get out ahead of what it knew or feared what was about to surface about the firm. Sure enough, the next day, the New York Times published an expose connecting Cambridge Analytica, and its financial backers Robert and Rebekah Mercer, to the Trump-Russia plot. Now even more dirt is being reported, and the Mercers are making panic moves.
Major British television network Channel 4 News is preparing to broadcast an expose of its own into Cambridge Analytica and the behavior that got it banned from Facebook in relation to the Trump-Russia scandal. Just how much new dirt has Channel 4 News uncovered? That’s not yet clear, but the network did send someone undercover to catch Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix speaking openly about how the firm really conducts business, which suggests it’s a doozy. So how is Cambridge Analytica responding? By attempting to block the expose from being aired.
The Financial Times is reporting that Cambridge Analytica is working behind the scenes to try to block the Channel 4 News broadcast of the undercover report (link). Nix lacks the influence to even try to pull this off, which means that it can only be the work of one or both of the Mercers, the billionaire father and daughter who control the company.
When your company has been thrust to the center of the Trump-Russia conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and you’re resorting to trying to block major media outlets from reporting on what they’ve learned about your company, that can only be interpreted as a panic move. Even as this is playing out in the media, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has long been reportedly looking into Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Trump-Russia scandal behind the scenes. This scandal is just getting started.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report