Among all of the imagined sins alt-right conspiracy theorists attributed to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race, there was one that stood out as so outrageous and unbelievable that it was a surprise to many when the right wing media and senior members of the Trump campaign decided to run with it.
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Other manufactured scandals, like Benghazi, her missing emails, and the sometimes messy relationship between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s State Department, were at least rooted in actual, factual events before the witch doctors at Fox News and other outlets fed them into their spin machines and repeated them ad nauseam.
But “Pizzagate,” by contrast, had no basis in reality. The conspiracy theory – that the Democratic Party ran a satanic pedophilia ring out of a series of Washington, D.C. area restaurants – was invented whole cloth by Alt-Right Twitter users.
Soon after Wikileaks published emails from the Democratic National Committee, these right wing social media warriors claimed to have decoded hidden messages in them that referenced the ring – and the restaurants. One of those restaurants was a D.C. area pizza joint called Comet Ping Pong (hence the name “Pizzagate”).
The story quickly went viral on Twitter, and figures like internet shock jock Alex Jones spread the phony rumors of this pedophilia ring to their millions of followers as well. Even General Michael Flynn, candidate Trump’s eventual National Security Advisor, retweeted stories referencing the outrageous claim.
This comedy of a story nearly turned tragic when a man who followed alt-right provocateurs like the aforementioned Jones and Mike Cernovich packed up his assault rifle and drove from his North Carolina home to Comet Ping Pong to “investigate,” as he put it. He ended up firing three shots into the restaurant before he was arrested.
Luckily no one was hurt, and the theory has been thoroughly debunked, as if it needed to be, and sentenced to the dustbin of history.
Or so we thought. It appears that the idea that the government or the deep state or whoever is running a secret child sex ring is back for a sequel.
An Arizona man named Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer is creating a buzz on social media with what’s being dubbed “Pizzagate 2.0.”
Meyer gathered his phone and his wild imagination and went to southern Arizona to take a tour through a suspected “rape camp.” He even live-streamed the whole thing on a veterans group’s Facebook page.
“Speaking into his phone camera,” Buzzfeed reported Wednesday, “Meyer walked through what appeared to be an abandoned homeless camp on the outskirts of Tucson.”
Meyer not only filmed the area. He had a message for the feds. Per Buzzfeed:
“The government has until 12:00 tomorrow to come out here and we are not gonna leave until this cell is dug out of the ground,” he said, referring to a space set a few feet into the dirt and covered with a loose canopy of tree branches, netting, and other materials. He then turned the camera toward a tree with straps attached to it, declaring: ‘This is a rape tree.’ “
In the video, Meyer proceeds to show straps on the tree that most people would conclude were used to secure the roof of a haphazard shelter. Most people would be wrong, according to Meyer, because those straps were in fact “restraints for holding children in place while they were sexually abused by cartel members,” as Buzzfeed recounts his “reporting.”
“This is a child sex trafficking camp that no one wants to talk about, that no one wants to do nothing about,” he later says into the camera.
Both local police and ICE have concluded that the “rape camp” is nothing more than an abandoned campsite once occupied by homeless people. But that hasn’t stopped “Pizzagate 2.0” from picking up steam online.
Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, who had a front-row seat to the original Pizzagate, has weighed in on Twitter and absolutely clowned the idiots trying to make the sequel come to life. She then turned the focus back to the actual human trafficking crisis that definitely isn’t a laughing matter.
Of course there’s a #Pizzagate 2.0. Of course there is. If you have been a victim of trafficking or have suspicions of actual trafficking, please reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888. https://t.co/6IpshzA8Vv
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 6, 2018
“Of course there’s a #Pizzagate 2.0,” she tweeted, “Of course there is. If you have been a victim of trafficking or have suspicions of actual trafficking, please reach out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.”
Getting owned by a Clinton is about the worst thing that can happen to these Twitter trolls. Whether that’s enough to kill the theory off remains to be seen.