The clickbait industry has a new tactic to turn partisan rage into gold: selling pre-orders of culture war movies that, to all outward appearances, don’t actually exist.

“Conservative American Strategies” has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads composed mostly of right-wing memes stolen off the internet to hype their partisan ragebait website. But their otherwise pedestrian conservative news content farm has branched off into advertising movies (“coming soon”) like “Badge of Honor,” and “Choose Life,” an apparent anti-abortion flick, available for pre-order packages of up to $70.

What the movies don’t include is much of anything beyond stock footage, generic clips of police activity, and stock photos—or anything to suggest these films exist as advertised. Taken together, the flicks are another example of how the political grifting industry is constantly innovating new—and lower-margin—tactics to profit off of the growing market for political division.

Figuring out who exactly is getting that profit is tricky. The people behind Conservative American Strategies are difficult both to identify and even harder to contact. The Daily Beast left emails, text messages, and voicemails for the phone numbers and email addresses listed on the network’s various websites and social media accounts and received no response.

Conservative American Strategies is owned by a limited liability corporation of the same name registered in Wyoming, which…

Read more…