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Mike Cernovich is a creepy dude who likes to lie about things. So many things, that it is hard to keep track of them. He is so constantly wrong about everything, that it would actually be weird if words came out of his mouth and were true. He tries to convince people that Pizzagate is real and Hillary Clinton has Parkinson's disease and date rape isn't real and women are a real threat to ethics in games journalism. All while living comfortably off of alimony from his ex-wife.


And last night, he appeared on 60 minutes during a segment on "fake news":

During his interview, anchor Scott Pelley attempted to give him several opportunities to at least admit that he didn't know for a fact that the things he was saying were true, which he did not avail himself of. He still believes that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson's, he says, because he doesn't believe that she just had pneumonia. Because she said she had pneumonia, and a doctor who hasn't treated her said she might have Parkinson's, and he doesn't believe anything she says, therefore the Parkinson's thing is definitely true.

“They’re not lies at all. One hundred percent true,” he told Pelley. “I don’t say anything that I don’t believe.”

He claims he "knows things" and understands how everything works, because he's a lawyer. Which would, I suppose, make sense if all 1.22 million of the other lawyers in the United States also believed all the weird stuff he says is true, but I do not think that is the case! I can name several lawyers I know, off the top of my head, who do not think Hillary Clinton has Parkinson's disease or is participating in child sex trafficking out of a pizzeria dungeon.

However, having spent an ungodly amount of time listening to Cernovich for research purposes, I can honestly say that I do think he believes the things he says. I think he believes he has some kind of special insight into things that other people don't have, because he, very clearly, believes he is special to begin with. He's also constantly surrounded by a buffer of other people who believe he's right about everything. If you have a bunch of people constantly telling you that you are right, you probably have no reason to believe you are wrong.

He's not unlike the burgeoning number of Flat Earthers. People aren't just "flat earthers" because they believe the world is flat. The primary draw there is feeling like you and all your other friends are so very clever that you have figured something out that no "expert" could previously do. You are smarter than the so-called experts, who have the gall to call you stupid and poorly informed. That feels better than just agreeing with the "experts."

Have you ever watched Donald Trump? Yeah.

It's also the appeal of Alex Jones. Jones actually semi-apologized this weekend for Infowars' part in Pizzagate, but did so by blaming other media outlets and trying to suggest that they took it as seriously as he did. Which, Breitbart aside, they did not.

We've all known people who believe these kinds of things, and the number one characteristic they possess is smugness. Also they tend to be people we have always thought of as "not too swift." "Do your research!" they proclaim, as if they are so much smarter and better at looking things up than you are. More often than not, this "research" involves watching YouTube videos of people like Cernovich coming up with absurd theories that make no sense. But being "in the know" -- especially when you are someone that people have never thought of as an intellectual powerhouse -- is a powerful, powerful drug. One that people like Cernovich and his followers are not going to give up easily.

I am going to guess that Scott Pelley is not familiar with these kind of tendencies, judging by how deeply confused he was by Cernovich's insistence upon believing his own lies. He's a lucky, lucky man.

[CBS]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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