Jake Angeli, aka 'QAnon Shaman,' counter-demonstrating at an Arizona BLM Protest (Twitter)

Weirdos on the Right, unsure whether Wednesday's riot at the US Capitol was a brilliant demonstration of patriotism or pointless nihilistic rage, have floated an old favorite claim: It was a perfectly justified protest against the rigged vote that 'elected' radical communist Joe Biden, and any of the really unpleasant stuff that makes the Right look bad was obviously a false flag done by evil Antifas who infiltrated the event.

It's not hard to find examples on rightwing websites; Infowars was very sure of it, at least in a headline teasing that the evidence was mounting (the story itself just links to videos I didn't watch); Texas AG Ken Paxton tweeted a story that a very real FBI agent had revealed "at least 1 'bus load' of Antifa thugs infiltrated peaceful Trump demonstrators"; and the Washington Times proudly claimed an unnamed "retired military officer" had shared photos from a top facial recognition firm proving that at least two rioters photographed inside the Capitol were actually known members of "Philadelphia antifa." It was very exciting journalism:

One has a tattoo that indicates he is a Stalinist sympathizer. antifa promotes anarchy through violence and wants the end of America in favor of a Stalinist-state. "No more USA at all" is a protest chant.

Just one teensy-tiny problem with that story, though. The company that supposedly did the photo matching, XRVision, quickly disputed the story — though not before Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz had mentioned it during the certification of the electoral vote. And wouldn't you know it, now the only place you can find the Washington Times story is in archived form.

And just one teensy-tiny problem with all the "antifa did it" stories: They're all disinformation. Could you even believe it?


The Daily Beast notes that during its brief life, the Washington Times story sure was influential.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham declared it a "developing" story, in a tweet that was recirculated more than 35,000 times.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) tweeted the story as proof of mounting evidence of an antifa scheme. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even cited the Washington Times story on the House floor during the electoral vote count.

"I don't know if the reports are true, but The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters," Gaetz said. "They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa."

But nah, XRVision said the Times was all wet. In fact, the company said in a statement from its attorney, the people it identified were objectively pro-fascism, being that a majority were actual Nazis:

We concluded that two of [the] individuals (Jason Tankersley and Matthew Heimbach), were affiliated with the Maryland Skinheads and the National Socialist Movements," the statement reads. "These two are known Nazi organizations, they are not Antifa. The third individual identified (Jake Angeli) was an actor with some QAnon promotion history. Again, no Antifa identification was made for him either.

Of course, some people even managed to recognize those dudes with their own eyes, since they're fairly well-known righty figures, at least among wingnuts)

The Daily Beast also notes that XRVision "is closely tied to right-wing hoax blog The Gateway Pundit, and often provides its technology, such as it is, to promote attacks on liberal figures," and that the Stupidest Site on the Internet in 2019

deleted a fake story based on XRVision "data" that falsely purported to show that the father of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was a Somali war criminal.

In its own story on the XRVision denial, Gateway Pundit cited XRVision's conclusion that there were Nazi skinheads in the Capitol and hilariously asked

How did these people get in the Capitol Building? Why were they there? Were they paid for being there? Were they there to tie the Trump Administration to the Skinheads? Why did they take their picture when in the Capitol?

We may never know how far-Right fascists ended up among the peace-loving people who peacefully want Mike Pence to be executed for treason.

Elsewhere in Wingnut America, genuine die-hard QAnon idiots are desperately trying to defend their reputations as good honorable Q goons after other wingnuts speculated that they too were Antifa infiltrators. One, actor Jake Angeli, is the dude with the face paint, the Norse symbology so beloved of white supremacists, and the fur vest who's known, as far as he is known, as the "Q shaman" or "QAnon shaman"; he was photographed in the House chamber.

Some who wanted to distance themselves from the coup attempt linked to a photo of Angeli counter-protesting a Black Lives Matter demonstration last summer, because look, there he is at a BLM rally (the more dishonest ones cropped the photo to remove his "Q SENT ME" sign. Here's some fact-checking from Yr Editrix:

One Trump rioter who abhorred the attempt to blame Antifa for the attempted coup was Brandon Straka, the dipshit who in June had a good cry over the tyranny of masks on airliners. In a series of tweets, Straka defended the honor of those who stormed the Capitol for God and Trump. Samples!


In other tweets cited at Joe.My.God., but which I couldn't find (deleted perhaps?) Straka complained,

Be embarrassed & hide if you need to – but I was there. It was not Antifa at the Capitol. It was freedom loving Patriots who were DESPERATE to fight for the final hope of our Republic because literally nobody cares about them. Everyone else can denounce them. I will not.

And

Perhaps I missed the part where it was agreed this would be a revolution of ice cream cones & hair-braiding parties to take our government back from lying, cheating globally interested swamp parasites. My bad.

The poor dear. No one will ever look upon his works and despair.

[Daily Beast / Washington Times (archived) / Newsweek / Joe.My.God]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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