From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2016

There’s a bombshell out there that the mainstream media has been keeping from you, news so shocking that it has the media and liberal elites working overtime to suppress it. But thanks to Wikileaks and a few fearless news outlets on the internet, the truth is coming out. So all you have to do is Google it to find out more about what’s going on. Or follow Michael Flynn Jr.’s tweets. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s the son of Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor. The younger Flynn is also his father’s chief of staff and top aide.

cometpingpongSince the mainstream media has been keeping you in the dark about “Pizzagate,” here it is in a nutshell. According to suspiciously encoded emails posted on Wikileaks from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, he and Clinton, along with billionaire donor and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, other top Democrats and the owner of a Washington, D.C., pizzaria, Comet Ping Pong, are all operating an international pedophile sex trafficking ring and satanic cult. Podesta’s coding in his emails was clever: “hotdog” meant boy, “pizza” meant girl, “cheese” meant little girl, “ice cream” was a male prostitute, “walnut” was a person of color, “map” is semen and “sauce” is orgy. No, I did not make any of that up. (And no, I’m not providing links.) Decoding those emails led to a shocking discovery: Hillary Clinton, when she wasn’t traveling around the country raising money and running for president, was also finding time to kidnap, molest and traffic children and inducing them into satanism in Comet Ping Pong’s back rooms. Alex Jones’ Infowars has been one of the better-known sites flogging the story. Donald Trump had appeared on Alex Jones’s syndicated radio program and praised him for his “amazing” reputation.

The reason the mainstream media has been keeping this news from you is pretty obvious. None of it is true, except that there really is a billionaire donor and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who, like a lot of billionaire donors, has extensive ties to Trump as well as the Clintons. But conservative fake news sites have been pushing the story since about the beginning of November, as far as I can tell. It appears to also have been popularized by a Pizzagate conspiracy board on Reddit. Reddit has since shut that board down, a move that has a way of sparking even more conspiracy theories.

The fake news surounding Pizzagate has had real world consequences, not just to the rich and powerful but also to ordinary people caught in its crosshairs. Comet Ping Pong’s owner, James Alefantis, received hundreds of death threats the since the whole thing started, and his employees have found their Facebook photos, including photos of their children, plastered on fake news sites. Alefantis has been in contact with the FBI and local police, as well as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit, to try to combat the false stories, mostly to no avail. In mid-November, a week after the election, one Pizzagate “citizen investigator” showed up and shot live video during a busy dinner hour inside the kid-friendly restaurant. (The ping-pong portion of the restaurant’s name refers to the ping-pong tables that double as dinner tables.) D.C. police asked him to leave.

Edgar Maddison Welch, fron his Facebook page

Edgar Maddison Welch, fron his Facebook page

But the worst almost happened last Sunday. Twenty-eight-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch traveled from his home to Salisbury, North Carolina, to “self-investigate” Comet Ping Ping. Naturally, his investigative tools included an AR-15 assault rifle. When he entered the crowded pizzeria with the rifle, patrons quickly emptied the restaurant. Welch pointed the gun at a restaurant employee who also fled. Welch fired a shot — no one was hurt — and Welch later surrendered to police.

If these were ordinary times, this would be the end of Pizzagate. These aren’t ordinary times. The Inquisitr is livid that Welch’s actions “undermines citizen investigations.” Others are saying that the whole thing is a false flag, and that Welch is some kind of an actor playing a part in an elaborate plot to discredit Pizzagate.

And so Pizzagate continues to grow. That’s the thing about the post-truth society we find ourselves in. Facts that counter a conspiracy theory get turned around and become fertilizer for it. And our president elect and his minions are enthusiastic supporters of those conspiracies and their proponents. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much scared shitless right now.

SharonB

December 6th, 2016

He looks kinda islammo. Just saying. /s

This is astoundingly scary. National security advisor to the president pushing this kind of insanity?

We may need 25th Ammendment solution, if electors don’t do their job.

They probably won’t do their job.

Rob

December 6th, 2016

Post-truth. There it is, the new media buzz-word. Call it what it is: lies designed to manipulate those easily led. In other words, propaganda.

When did being intelligent become a bad thing?

When did being able to think on your own become “elitist”?

When did we become so weak that we had to be spoon fed every morsel of information provided in the most pablum like terms?

Ray In Austin

December 6th, 2016

So disturbing!!! We had something like this happen here in Austin. It wasn’t a news story but rather a false impression reported as true.

A business guy goes to a meeting downtown at a time when post-election protests were going on every day in Austin. He emerges from the meeting just as the protest group is marching down a street and the protest march is blocking traffic in both directions. Sitting in the blocked traffic are about 10 tour buses loaded with people who were attending a convention. The buses are hauling participants from one venue to another and they’re stuck until the protesters clear out of the middle of the street.

Business guy come out of his meeting, sees the protest, sees the buses sitting there not moving and concludes that “the Democrats are busing in protesters.” He snaps a picture of the buses, loads it onto Twitter with a caption something like “Looks like those protests aren’t so organic.” The right wing nut jobs are furious and the Tweet goes viral in record time. Thugs – yes Thugs — on Twitter start talking about coming into Austin to smash heads.

The Austin Statesman gets wind of the craziness and unravels it but not before a few people get verbally assaulted on the sidewalks of Austin, including my daughter who was MERELY going to work on her bicycle. She didn’t know what the hell was going on and hadn’t said a word to anyone. She was just walking her bike across the street and got screamed at.

Ben in Oakland

December 6th, 2016

This is one of the many unintended and unpredictable consequences of the internet, cheap and powerful computers, and cheap and powerful software. Everything that was heretofore in the hands of knowledgeable people, trained people, intelligent people– those damned “elites”– has been democratized,..

That is, put into the hands of anybody and everybody. All you need is a computer and the appropriate software, which is often free.

For nearly twent years, I was a successful, Respected, and well known professional photographer. Then the internet happened. I saw it and its potential, and turned it to my advantage. That worked well for about six or seven years, until everyone else started using it as well.

Then, around 2003, digital cameras became widely available at affordable prices, the price of computers dropped drastically while increasing in power and speed, and immensely powerful imaging software became available, often for as little as $50. And suddenly, anyone with a decent digital camera, a computer, and $10 bucks for a website became a “professional” photographer, occasionally by stealing actual photographer’s digital work and presenting it as their own. They could take thousands of pictures at little cost, relying on quantity to create quality. But also, as part of that democratization process, “good enough” became good enough, and thus became the new standard. Compare and MP3 music file to a CD file of the same music on good equipment, and you will hear a noticeable difference

By 2013, I could no longer compete against a hoarde of bottom feeders, and I just gave up. Why should someone pay me $5000 to photograph their wedding, when Joe Photo, who is 80% as good a photographer as I am, will do the job for $1000? That Joe can’t afford backup equipment, or business insurance, or doesn’t have the experience to make 150 people happy to have their picture taken, doesn’t even begin to enter the picture, so to speak. He’s almost as good, and good enough is good enough.

Worse, my clients stopped respecting what I did, even when paying me that top dollar, because everyone else could give them a few thousand more pictures.at no cost. And good enough was good enough.

The same thing happened to graphic designers, musicians, newspapers, writers, travel agents, videographers, dj’s, and writers.

And politics.

Now, everyone has a voice. Now, everyone has authority, now, 2Rump can communicate to millions of followers instantaneously, and for nothing. Now, everyone can claim “authority”. And cite other “authorities” to support that authority, even when the other authority is patently absurd. Now, the crazies and the stupid shave the same communication powers as the New York Times.

And this has given us Trumpelstiltskin, and the patently absurd story in this article. But H.L. Mencken predicted this.

First, ““As for William Jennings Bryan, of whom so much piffle, pro and con, has been written, the whole of his political philosophy may be reduced to two propositions, neither of which is true. The first is the proposition that the common people are wise and honest, and the second is the proposition that all persons who refuse to believe it are scoundrels. Take away the two, and all that would remain of Jennings would be a somewhat greasy bald-headed man with his mouth open”

Substitute Trump for Bryant, and ridiculous comb over for bald, and you have described the trumpanzeees.

And finally: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

SharonB

December 7th, 2016

A moron with the sword, and the suitcase.

SharonB

December 7th, 2016

God help us all.

CPT_Doom

December 7th, 2016

The sick irony of this CT, of course, is that most of the people pushing it support Donald, who was revealed to have regularly entered beauty pageant dressing rooms in order to ogle naked women, including underage teenagers, and in making sexual comments about 10 and 12 year olds. IOW, the only known pedophile (or close to it) was Donald.

Joyce

December 7th, 2016

CPT_Doom, you’ve almost touched on what jumped out at me in the ridiculous details of “Pizzagate”. Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who is mentioned as being mixed up in this nonsense “story”, is the same guy Trump was said to be partying with when he is accused of raping the 13-year-old. Once again, Trump (or his minions) accuse others of exactly what he himself is accused and/or guilty of. Deleted emails, mishandling of foundation money, now child rape. When will someone – media? – catch on to and call out the whole pattern?

Richard Rush

December 7th, 2016

We seem to talk about “Fake News” as if it were something relatively new, but it really has been flourishing for thousands of years. Otherwise, the world would not be saddled with religion.

Ben in Oakland

December 7th, 2016

Is fake koine Greek for good?

MattNYC

December 8th, 2016

@Ben in Oakland

Thanks for the post–people get what they pay for–and the Mencken quotes. It truly is scary and depressing how his cynicism has become truth.

Priya Lynn

December 8th, 2016

Ben in Oakland, very interesting and insightful post.

Ray In Austin

December 9th, 2016

Oh dear Richard. The central-most prominent activity of Box Turtle Bulletin from the day it went online was to debunk fake news, otherwise known as propaganda. Look at the sidebars of this web page and be reminded that one religious fraud after another has had his fraud exposed on these web pages. The archives of BTB are literal lesson in how to expose fakery.

You’re welcome.

Ben in Oakland

December 9th, 2016

Thanks priya. Believe me, I thought a lot about it as I watched my very successful business crumble, going from 250k a year down to about 13.

Richard Rush

December 9th, 2016

Ray in Austin, you obviously misinterpreted my comment. I was merely noting that the term “fake news” has been discussed almost everywhere recently as if it were something new, or so it seems to me.

I totally agree with what you said about Box Turtle Bulletin. I’ve been a regular reader here for years because I greatly respect Jim Burroway and BTB.

Ben in Oakland

December 10th, 2016

Fake news used to be the provenance of super-market tabloids and religious hucksters. But now, everyone has the power to demonstrate how little critical thinking matters.

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