About CalCoastNews’ Readers and Trolls

Aaron Ochs
5 min readAug 7, 2021
Average CalCoastNews reader

Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever penned a column about CalCoastNews’ readers. You know, the readers who comment anonymously, spewing disinformation and conspiracy theories without consequence. I mean sure, a chunk of those “readers” are actually CalCoastNews writers posing as concerned and oddly well-informed readers who happen to know more about the stories they’re commenting on than the average reader. Completely normal.

The other day, I was randomly bombarded with trolls who descended onto my Facebook page with their typical conspiratorial nonsense. Didn’t know why the bombardment happened until I checked out CalCoastNews where they wrote about prosecutors charging former SLO County IWMA employee Carolyn Goodrich with felony embezzlement and destruction of public records. The website linked the prosecution case to their reporting, which they commissioned Carl Knudson & Associates as part of their “legal defense fund.” I was apparently mentioned in the comments section as part of a nefarious web of supporters and enablers of the corruption and that I’m somehow involved blah-blah-blah.

These developments would mark the second time within a two-week span that CalCoastNews took a “victory lap” — the first time being the Dept. of Justice announcing SLO County marijuana mogul was pleading guilty to bribing late County Supervisor Adam Hill and failure to report millions of income to the IRS. To their credit, CalCoastNews did write about Dayspring more than Tribune and New Times.

CalCoastNews’ local readers took these two stories as complete vindication of the website, which has sullied its own reputation for publishing allegations that were either libelous or simply not accurate. And when they just so happen to get some of the story right, their readers are overjoyed and virulent toward the website’s perceived political adversaries — anyone who they believe is integrally connected to local corruption. They do a lot of name-dropping and drooling at the thought of everyone associated with corrupt figures will eventually get their comeuppance.

Typical low-brow comments from anonymous CCN readers
Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.