US Senate Hopeful Kelli Ward Runs Facebook Group For Racist Loons
Earlier this week, a CNN KFile investigation revealed that Michael Ward, husband of Arizona Senate hopeful Kelli Ward, is a super ridiculous conspiracy theorist who spends all of his time on social media tweeting about how Seth Rich was murdered by the DNC, John McCain is in cahoots with ISIS, and the Clintons are serial killers with piles of bodies buried under the floorboards. (That one, obviously, is just true.)
Ward is currently facing off in the Republican primary for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat against the equally awful Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Normal Republican Lady Rep. Martha McSally.
When asked about Michael Ward's social media habits, a spokesperson for the Wards "chastised" CNN for being so crude as to bring that up instead of talking about what a swell doctor and military person Michael Ward was.
"Focusing on obscure details of Dr. Ward's social media activity rather than his impressive profile as a emergency physician and decorated 33-year Air Force veteran is ridiculous and shows exactly why the mainstream media is losing all credibility."
Now, I don't know about you, but I would not consider this tweet claiming that John McCain was personally training ISIS to be an "obscure detail," as it is not only offensive, but also incredibly hilarious when you try to picture it in your head. Also quite unexpected of someone who once chanted "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."
Retweeting this meme claiming Hillary Clinton is very OK with rape and beheadings? Also pretty relevant!
I mean, if someone feels strongly enough about these things to tweet and retweet them, then we must imagine they are things they wish to stand by. Surely, a dedicated physician like Dr. Michael Ward would not have shared them if he did not think they were perfectly reasonable things to say and believe.
And speaking of those perfectly reasonable things -- it turns out that both Drs. Kelli and Michael Ward are moderators of "Tea Party," a Facebook group that traffics not only in these sorts of conspiracy theories, but also in terrifying threats of violence against those who oppose them.
They are also active members of the group -- just yesterday, Kelli Ward posted a video promoting her run for Senate in there.
And other members have noted that they have been admins of the group for years...
And Michael. Well...
screenshot via Media Matters
Media Matters reports:
Some of Ward's co-administrators and moderators have both promoted her campaign in the group and spread conspiracy theories and racist propaganda to the group's members. Tea Party administrator Mike Michaels, who is also a co-administrator for the Facebook page Citizens For Trump along with Fox News analyst Jan Morgan, has also promoted Kelli Ward's campaign events in the Tea Party group. Mike Michaels has posted multiple anti-Muslim messages in the group, referring to Islam as a "cancer" multiple times and saying that American women would "not be safe if Muslim immigrants come here from Syria." Michaels has pushed the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama is Muslim multiple times. He also implied that Black Lives Matters is worse than the KKK.
There are, of course, lots of posts about Pizzagate, QAnon and myriad other right wing pipe dreams.
Other admins of the group include such RWNJ luminaries as professional Islamophobe Pamela Geller, Pizzagate idiot Jack Posobiec, and Corey Stewart -- the white supremacist running for Senate in Virginia. So you know they're in good company!
Of course, none of this is surprising. Most Republicans these days are overtly spreading bizarre conspiracy theories and overreactions, because they have no reasonable way of attacking the Left. They have no material, nothing sensible to say, so they have to make stuff up about pedophile wings and the Clintons being some kind of Fred and Rosemary West of politics.
It is important to note that Kelli Ward has been trafficking for years in absurd conspiracy theories herself, having once accused Planned Parenthood of "selling baby parts," and criticizing John McCain for not doing anything about that thing that was not happening.
It sure would be nice if conspiracy theorists stayed where they belonged -- on a street corner screaming about socialism -- and out of our government, if we could simply argue about things grounded in reality rather than things they imagineered in their heads, but alas: With a birther for president, that seems unlikely.
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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