Here’s the first thing you need to know about #Pizzagate: it is an entirely false news story created and perpetuated by the so-called alt-right (I prefer to call them by their more traditional name: neo-Nazis). It came about a little while before election day in order to offset allegations that Donald Trump tends to, you know, sexually assault women. For whatever reason, it is just now picking up steam, even inciting significant coverage by the New York Times, which, of course, has only worked to convince the “alt-right” that the liberal media is involved in the elaborate coverup of #Pizzagate. Alright, now that we’ve got all that covered, let’s dive into this bullshit.
So you may be familiar with a fellow named Jeffrey Epstein. He’s a rich white guy best known for pimping out underage women to other rich and powerful white guys, including, allegedly, both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Some folks went digging in Epstein’s emails, which were made public via Wikileaks, with the specific goal of connecting Epstein to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. Unfortunately for them, there weren’t any emails that said, “Hey Jeff, you got any cute underage tail for me this Friday?” but there were plenty of e-mails that made reference to ordering pizza. Naturally, this led to people assuming that pizza was just a clever codeword for underage girls. Reddit did the rest.
Now this is just a crackpot theory with little ramifications out here in the real world, that is, until they took it one step further and named an actual pizzeria that was said to be the hub of all of this underage prostitution. Now the owner of a local DC pizza joint called Comet Ping Pong is the target of hundreds of death threats.
But it doesn’t end there. Reddit has taken down the Pizzagate thread, but also made the mistake of tinkering with some Pizzagate related posts, which only fueled the “alt-right’s” claims of an elaborate coverup. Meanwhile, a bunch of bonkers news sites are claiming that Julian Assange is dead because he was about to reveal some groundbreaking information about Pizzagate. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve thrown Kanye West into the mix for good measure:
— fran foley ;-)! (@franniebobannie) November 22, 2016
This would all be kind of, you know, hilarious in its absurdity if it didn’t totally ruin a local business and the life of said business owner (and his employees), not to mention the fact that valuable news resources (uh, The New York Times) are now being used to “debunk” a “news” story that is so obviously phony it’s hard to believe it gained any traction in the first place. But the most troubling thing of all is that people seem to believe this shit and that the ability the “alt-right” has to manipulate and influence our news cycle should not and can not be underestimated.