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Facepalm safely, everyone.


The Internet Idiot ConspiracySphere and real life collided Sunday, this time resulting in actual gunfire, but happily no injuries or loss of life. Seems a heavily armed North Carolina gentleman, Edgar Maddison Welch, just had to find out for himself whether there was any truth to fake internet stories about a child sex ring being run by Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and several thousand others, all operating out of a Washington DC pizza place, Comet Ping Pong. So he did the logically natural thing: He drove to DC, went into the restaurant with two guns, pointed a gun at an employee, fired at least one shot into the floor, and after employees and customers fled, commenced to "investigate" whether there was any pedophile slave ring evidence to be found in the restaurant. You know, like the network of tunnels and sex dungeons under the restaurant that a bunch of Trumpers, with an assist from Wikileaks, said was definitely there. You really can't blame the guy. He read it on the internet, after all.

Welch was arrested without further incident after scaring the shit out of several blocks of northwest DC, after police had surrounded the restaurant for about 45 minutes. According to police reports, Welch was armed with an AR-15 variant semiautomatic rifle, and police also seized a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun; one of those other weapons was found in Welch's car, although it's not clear which.

Welch told police he'd gone to Comet Ping Pong to "self-investigate" the online fake news stories about the incredibly stupid conspiracy theory known as "#pizzagate," the basics of which are summarized with remarkable patience by the BBC here. Despite the lack of any police investigation, identifiable victims, or physical evidence, a whole swath of the internet is absolutely certain there's irrefutable proof that a pedophile ring run by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta has been running out of the popular family pizza restaurant. Why? Because Wikileaks published some emails by Podesta mentioning pizza, the restaurant, and its owner, James Alefantis. Obviously, a high-powered Democratic operative like Podesta would never simply hold fundraisers at a pizza restaurant or be in contact with its owner, who's a big supporter of the Democratic party, so it all added up to one completely obvious conclusion: every mention of "pizza" in the Podesta emails was code for child molestation and trafficking. There's even this irrefutable proof: some idiot posted a list of "well-known pedophile code words" on Twitter:

It's just obvious when you think about it.

Also, there was some pretty weird-looking art in some flyers for bands that performed at Comet Ping Pong, so that was simply more proof. Look, there are a whole bunch of videos tying it all together with Occam's Duct Tape and scary music, so you know it has to be true.

The Washington Post reports that employees of Comet Ping Pong and other businesses in the area have been targeted for harassment and death threats by people who are absolutely convinced that Hillary Clinton is part of a pedophile ring, because such a thing makes perfect sense:

Even Michael Flynn, a retired general whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to advise him on national security, shared stories about another anti-Clinton conspiracy theory involving pedophilia. None of them were true. But the fake stories and threats persisted, some even aimed at children of Comet Ping Pong employees and patrons. The restaurant’s owner was forced to contact the FBI, local police, Facebook and other social-media platforms in an effort to remove the articles.

Last month, citing its policy against posting the personal information of others, Reddit banned the “pizzagate” topic.

The predictable reaction in the Loonosphere? OMG, they even got to REDDIT! Or Maybe Reddit's in on the pedophile sex ring, TOO! Gen. Flynn's son, who serves as his father's chief of staff and apparently will serve as an advisor to him, carried on the family tradition Sunday night, posting this important message to Twitter, suggesting that the REAL TRUTH is still out there (the retweet mentions an early statement by the DC police, before Welch had said he was "self-investigating" pizzagate):

Yep. That's the son of your next president's National Security Advisor, who reportedly likes to help keep his dad informed.

WaPo notes in an updated version of its report on Welch's arrest, "On Sunday, Washington Post reporters involved in this article were the target of online threats shortly after it posted." You know, because they're clearly covering up for Clinton, Podesta, and their sex ring, and what kind of monsters would help cover THAT up? The Post also notes that several nearby businesses have been threatened as well, because if they're on the same block, obviously they're connected to the nonexistent network of pedophile torture dungeon tunnels extending from Comet Ping Pong:

Matt Carr, the owner of the Little Red Fox market and coffee shop, said his business started getting threats last weekend. They got 30 to 40 calls before they stopped answering calls from blocked numbers, he said. “One person said he wanted to line us up in front of a firing squad,” said Carr, who spent more than an hour in lockdown with his employees Sunday.

The threats were all tied to the Comet Ping Pong accusations online, he said. “There’s some old painted-over symbol on the marquee that they claim is an international symbol of pedophilia and that there are underground tunnels. . . . There’s some video on YouTube that has almost 100,000 views and talks about me, the owner of the Little Red Fox, by name.

“This was our worst fear,” he said, “that someone would read all this and come to the block with a gun. And today it happened.”

Well, yes, that all makes perfect sense. Any kind of squiggle or heart design looks exactly like a supposed FBI document from Wikileaks listing all the known secret code symbols for pedophile rings -- urban legends site Snopes notes that it was unable to verify whether it's a real document, but slides from the thing did appear on Law and Order: SVU, so that's evidence of a sex ring in a coffee shop, right?

We should note that after Yr Wonket mocked a part of the conspiracy tale, we also received some very outraged comments from people who accused us of covering up Clinton's crimes, although we have so far managed not to get any death threats, apparently because we're only gullible sheeple who can't think for ourselves like the smart folks who know all the pedophile sex code words.

For some perspective, let's turn to Wonkette Alumnus and WaPo political reporter Dave Weigel, who did some logic to all this on Twitter:

Needless to say, this incredibly stupid conspiracy story has now taken the inevitable next stupid turn: Online advocates of the completely nonexistent non-scandal now insist that Welch's attack on the pizzeria was itself part of the conspiracy, a false flag hoax carried out by the same shadowy government figures who've been trafficking children for pedophile sex orgies, to distract a gullible public from their very real crimes. Or as the Completely Reliable Clickbait aggregation site Inquisitr put it:

Yup. The armed "citizen investigator," driven by "citizen investigations" of a nonexistent sex scandal to go and wave a gun around and fire a shot into the floor of a pizza place, is definitely going to muddy the water for further "citizen investigators" -- who'll probably decide they need to amp up the firepower next time, so they can get to the REAL truth. Here's a photo of Mr. Welch, who looks like a qualified citizen investigator, all right.

As somebody said on Twitter, at least now we can be certain: the fake stories about crimes at the pizzeria have now led to a real crime at the pizzeria.

[WaPo / BBC / Snopes / Politico]

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