Monday, December 5, 2016

Comet Ping Pong

So we now have some wing nut who has freaked out over some stupid, demonstrably false, BS conspiracy theory about Hillary and a pizza parlor involving kids and... well, here's the gist:

The man allegedly pointed the gun at a restaurant employee, who managed to escape, then fired the weapon inside the restaurant. There were no reports of injuries, police say. A North Carolina man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the shooting.

It's a disturbing development in what has already been a weeks-long ordeal for Comet Ping Pong, a kid-friendly pizza restaurant that also hosts live music events.

Internet users have developed a wholly fictitious conspiracy theory that maintains Comet Ping Pong is the site of an international Satanic child sex abuse cabal hosted by powerful Democrats, including Hillary Clinton. Speculation and fabrications tied to the bizarre conspiracy theory have been relentlessly circulated by politically motivated fringe sites.

As NPR's Linda Wertheimer put it last week, even the most cursory examination of "#Pizzagate" reveals stories that are "completely and not very skillfully made up."

One of the key pieces of "evidence," for example, comes from the emails WikiLeaks says came from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. The emails include references to pizza. The conspiracy theory holds that based on how frequently pizza comes up, "pizza" must be code for pedophilia.

This is beyond stupid. Republicans are proving that they are the most gullible dupes on the planet. Every. Single. Day. And it's not just some GOP Gomer in the hills of North Carolina. It's your average Republican, most of the leadership of the GOP, and Trump himself: 

And the "fictitious online conspiracy theory," as D.C. police have called it, shows no sign of going away.
On Sunday night, after the gun was fired inside Comet Ping Pong, Michael Flynn Jr. — the son of incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — posted messages supporting the conspiracy theory.
"Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many 'coincidences' tied to it," the younger Flynn tweeted.
He stood by his tweet as the night continued, retweeting people who were accusing the mainstream media of being part of the conspiracy to cover up the pedophilia ring.

There are so many fake tales floating around about the 2016 election that they appear to be getting confused for one another.
After a gunman who cited a Hillary Clinton-related conspiracy theory entered the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington on Sunday and fired one or more shots, reports and tweets pointed to Donald Trump's pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, having fomented the rumors that apparently spurred the man.
Here's Flynn's tweet:

Except Flynn doesn't actually appear to have tweeted something about Comet Ping Pong — not specifically.
Flynn did tweet a link involving dubious claims about the Clintons and sex crimes, and his social media presence is replete with fake news and controversial comments about Muslims, which made it an easy conclusion to draw.
What's more, his son Michael G. Flynn on Sunday did suggest there could be something to the PizzaGate rumors, basically defending his father as if he had tweeted about Comet Ping Pong and challenging the media to disprove the baseless claims. The younger Flynn served as his father's chief of staff — his top aide — making his tweets about this bogus theory particularly significant.

Flynn has also shared Islamophobic tweets and sentiments.
"In next 24 hours, I dare Arab & Persian world 'leaders' to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed," Flynn tweeted in July of this year following the terrorist attack in Nice, France.
In February, Flynn made waves when he tweeted it was rational to fear Muslims.
"Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions," Flynn said with a link to a video claiming Islamophobia was rational and that Islam wanted 80% of humanity enslaved or exterminated...
Days before the election, Flynn tweeted a false story claiming the NYPD had found evidence on Anthony Weiner's laptop "to put Hillary (Clinton) and her crew away for life."
In late October, Flynn retweeted a false claim that United Nations Agenda 21, a sustainable development program, would create a one world church where Christianity was prohibited and that choosing nationalism was the only way to stop Clinton.
In July, Flynn linked to a tweet that falsely claimed Clinton was "wearing hijab in solidarity with islamic terrorists." The picture was from a 2009 trip Clinton took to Pakistan as secretary of state, in which she donned a head covering during a visit to a mosque as a diplomatic courtesy.
"This is not showing respect. This is showing disrespect for American Values and Principles. #NeverHillary," Flynn wrote in his link to the tweet.
In another instance, he linked to a LifeZette article questioning if an Iranian scientist was executed recently because he was exposed on Clinton's private email server While Clinton advisers did discuss the scientist over email in July 2010, Clinton also publicly commented on the case of Shahram Amiri at the time, and The New York Times reported at the time that he was a CIA informant.

Sure, not everyone who thinks Hillary is a bad pol / person are nuts, but the vast majority of Republicans who feel this way are stupid. And that includes several of Trump’s cabinet picks as well as Trump himself - the ones who believe and propagate this stupid BS. Their titles and their stature help legitimize this demonstrably stupid BS and so make it all the more likely that the nuts and maybe even the not-so-nuts act on the stupid BS. This is dangerously stupid and it needs to be called out for what it is. 

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