Stupidest Website On The Internet Says Russians Conspiring To Make QAnon Look Anti-Semitic
Over the past few weeks, a number of public figures — including Gen. Michael Flynn, and many candidates for office — have directly or indirectly indicated that they believe in and support the QAnon movement. Even the Trump administration has started gesturing towards support without directly saying anything.
Logistically, this makes sense. The Trump administration believes that the election is going to be won online, with memes, and no group of people online is more desperately and unfailingly devoted to him than followers of QAnon, who literally believe that Trump is fighting an underground war against a baby-eating Satanic pedophile cabal.
Unfortunately, they are in fact people who literally believe that Trump is fighting an underground war against a baby-eating Satanic pedophile cabal, and that is very obviously a completely batshit thing to believe. As regular readers know, that is not even close to the only batshit thing they believe, and in addition to believing all of those batshit things, they are often virulently racist and anti-Semitic. These beliefs — both the hateful and the batshit — could prove a little problematic for the administration, should they decide to go all in. Whether they do that or not, they know that the purging of Trump-loving QAnon accounts from social media is problematic for them.
And that's where the clean-up crew comes in.
Recently, hosts on both One America News Network and Fox have started gently slouching towards QAnon, or at least attempting to. On OANN, reporter Kristian Rouz suggested that the recent purge of QAnon Twitter accounts was "election interference." Rouz also categorized QAnon beliefs and ideas as "the new mainstream" and "immensely popular," without noting what they actually were.
On Fox, things did not go quite as smoothly. When host Jesse Watters attempted to praise the QAnon movement for having "also uncovered a lot of great stuff when it comes to Epstein and the deep state," neither of which they have done, he was roundly criticized and ended up apologizing.
Now, it's the Gateway Pundit's turn. And rather than trying the "OK, they believe some weird things but they are good solid Trump loving Americans who 'do their own research'" angle, they are going for the gold with "All of the bizarre and hateful stuff that QAnon people believe isn't what they believe at all, but rather has been put out there by Russian trolls to make them look stupid and hateful."
In a post featuring the headline "DISCOVERED: Russians and Other Nefarious Operators Are Inserting Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Into the Q Movement," Jim Hoft's twin brother Joe Hoft tries to suggest that the all of the anti-Semitism and several of the kookier theories are actually all the doing of Russian trolls who want to make Trump look bad.
The article includes a note at the beginning with what we can assume is the official Gateway Pundit line on QAnon:
Q first appeared in October 2017 on an anonymous online forum called 4Chan, posting messages that implied top-clearance knowledge of upcoming events. More than 3,000 messages later, Q has created a disturbing, multi-faceted portrait of a global crime syndicate that operates with impunity. Q's followers in the QAnon community faithfully analyze every detail of Q's drops, which are compiled here and here.
The mainstream media has published hundreds of articles attacking Q as an insane rightwing conspiracy, particularly after President Trump seemed to publicly confirm his connection to it. At a North Carolina rally in 2019, Trump made a point of drawing attention to a baby wearing a onesie with a big Q.
Well that is just a boldface lie. We've been attacking Q as an insane rightwing conspiracy for at least two years now, owing to the fact that it is an an insane rightwing conspiracy.
Via Gateway Pundit:
Yaacov Apelbaum provided The Gateway Pundit information on how the Russians are influencing the Q phenomenon. The Russians now dominate a significant part of the QAnon activity in terms of content produced and narrative often publishing dozens of posts a day. The Russians promote Russian propaganda such as Putin's leadership, Russian military superiority, and Russia's position as the leading superpower.
The Russians also inserted really radical and disgusting messages into Q, related to aborted baby parts being added to food, anti-Catholic propaganda, etc.
The Russians released claims that Trump was working with a host of individuals who have long passed, like John Kennedy and his son, Princess Diana and others.
These Russian evildoers are also reportedly inserting antisemitic messages into the Q movement, including claims that Jews are killing babies and more.
That is not a "Russian" claim. That has been the claim of American QAnon adherents since the very beginning.
As someone who has been following the QAnon movement since the beginning, let me assure you — the anti-Semitism is coming from inside the house. In fact, if you wanna see a whole bunch of casual and not-so-casual anti-Semitism and racism (trust me you don't), just go right on over to the official —as designated by Q themselves — Q message board on Voat. Here are some just from today. One of which, perhaps ironically, contains a link to The Gateway Pundit.
"Amy Berman reduces Boston bomber's sentence. Where have we heard this Jewish Judge's name before?"
Dershewitz [sic] Jewsplaining, watch!
Then there was this particularly horrifying and ethnic-slur-filled missive from a QAnon person who is just mad that girls don't smile at him anymore. Surely it could not be that he is repulsive.
Hoft's source on this, Yaacov Apelbaum, published this theory on his site, along with an explanation of a tactic he calls a "Discreditation Operation" — in which a group's opponents spread false information with the intent of making them look stupid when they share it. This is something he claims all of the fact-check sites are doing.
Information discreditation is a form of character assassination and black propaganda. It entails the deliberate production and publication of information that is either completely or partially false and the distribution of such misinformation on various on-line or print platforms. Soon after the misinformation starts showing up in derivative works and news feeds, or reaches a certain level of engagement, the fabricator will point out the false information and use it to attack the credibility of the individual(s) who referenced it. The end result is that the false information ends up discrediting the people who shared and used it. Fact checker organizations like Snopes,com, Factcheck.org, AP Fact Check, and Reuters Fact Check are some of the largest producers of this type of content.
Yeah, except that doesn't really work unless the people doing the sharing are idiots who don't bother to check if something is true before they share it as such, does it? Like, if you are the kind of person who would go and share something about people eating babies without checking to make sure it is true, that says something about you, as a person.
I'm not gonna lie, I have totally considered making up hilarious shit just to see if I could get the QAnon people to believe it. Who wouldn't? I feel relatively confident that I could convince them that at least half of the plot of Tod Browning's The Devil Doll was real — like, that Bill Gates was working on a shrink ray that would shrink everyone down to doll size in order to better preserve the Earth's resources. Or like, something involving Sumatran Rat Monkeys from Skull Island.
But the thing is, I couldn't actually come up with anything that would be more ridiculous than what they actually believe. Why just yesterday, Wonkette's own Stephen Robinson thought that I was making a hilarious reference to the movie The Leech Woman (which made for a very good episode of MST3K) when I mentioned that they believed celebrities were trying to live forever by harvesting the pineal glands of children, but that is in fact what they actually believe. They think pretty much all horror movies like that are real and that Hollywood does this so they can "rub it in the faces" of decent hardworking Americans.
One of their favorite sayings is "symbolism will be their downfall" — which references their belief that all of the evil Satanic celebs and politicians in the cabal put symbolism everywhere just to fuck with people.
The Q people think David Spade is illuminati now, and that he and Ellen DeGeneres are sending coded messages to each other, because he mentioned Tom Hanks and owns lava lamps (these apparently mean something to them).
This means that they can just make up anything, claim it symbolizes something or another, and then assign whatever meaning they want to it. It's actually pretty incredible. Or it would be, if it were not objectively horrifying.
The fact is, there are no Russians or Robyns on earth that could come up with the horseshit these people believe. It's just not possible. The insane and cruel shit they say comes from a place of absolute sincerity, and no troll can replicate that.
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. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse