Even though you’re probably not familiar with the name Mike Cernovich, one of his crazy conspiracy theories made headlines late last year when a man walked into a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and began firing off rounds from a semiautomatic weapon. The man who did so, Edgar M. Welch, said he had committed the crime because of a report he read which claimed a child sex ring was being run out of the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant.
Pizzagate, it turns out, was the creation of Mike Cernovich, a man who told Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes that his lies are actually truth:
“They’re not lies at all. 100-percent true. I don’t say anything that I don’t believe.”
The owner of Comet Ping Pong, James Alefantis, begs to differ, telling Pelley:
“People saying that they wanted to see my guts cut out and spill on the floor of my restaurant. One person said that they prayed that someone would come and kill everyone inside. And it was terrifying moments.”
This kind of “big lie” is a common occurrence on right-wing media, be it Breitbart or InfoWars, Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. Yet conservatives and their designated political savior, Donald Trump, just love to toss around the charge of “fake news” when a legitimate news organization dares to question their motives or investigate their ties to countries such as Russia.
Trump himself is perhaps the worst abuser of the “fake news” moniker, freely dispensing the term anytime he disagrees with something he sees in the Washington Post, New York Times, or on CNN. But he’s used it so much that it’s now become meaningless and a sure sign that a report has struck home when he uses it.
Misinformation, bots, lies, and the manipulation of voters were all used by the Russians and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, but as we now see, those efforts may have paid off in the short run, but they could well end up bringing down an administration and crippling the Republican Party.
Featured Image Via CBS News Screengrab