Trump Retweeted A Bunch Of Professional Bigots This Morning, Which Should Surprise No One
This morning, Donald Trump woke up and went on a Twitter rampage, as he is wont to do. Today's subject? How very unfair it is that a bunch of far-right lunatics were kicked off of Facebook and Instagram this week.
In order to illustrate this point, he decided to retweet a bunch of extremely horrifying people, including Lauren Southern -- a lady who is most notable for being a proponent of the completely batshit "white genocide" conspiracy theory and also for being incredibly racist.
This should be a really big freaking deal. It's not going to be, because at this point we pretty much expect Trump to retweet professional bigots, but it should. Lauren Southern is so terrible that she's actually been banned from the U.K., but the President of the United States retweets her. That is messed up!
In addition to Southern, Trump also retweeted conspiracy theorist and Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson, who was banned from Twitter and Instagram this week.
The main reason Watson was kicked off of social media sites, aside from being a gross bigot, is because he is a known arbiter of disinformation. During the election he helped start the rumors that Hillary Clinton was suffering from some kind of mysterious illness, and also pushed the ridiculous hoax that Antifa was pro-NAMBLA.
The people holding that sign were actually some alt-right dipshits who did it just for the picture. The people protesting had no idea what was even on it until after the picture was taken. His whole entire deal is pretty much trying to claim that everyone on the left is a pedophile, which is a pretty goddamn horrifying and toxic thing to say about people.
Now, mayhaps I am but an innocent babe in the woods, but I would imagine that it would be very possible for someone to be a conservative and not go around claiming that everyone who disagrees with you is a pedophile. I am not convinced that these things are mutually exclusive, though I am open to counterarguments. I would imagine that if Watson had stuck to extolling the virtues of supply-side economics, he would still be on Facebook and Instagram.
Trump has actually been on this particular jag since yesterday, when he whined about the supposed censoring of conservative thought on social media.
For what it's worth, Lauren Southern is Canadian and Paul Joseph Watson is British. So, uh, not "American Citizens."
Facebook has not been doing jack shit to Diamond and Silk. The fact is, pageviews and engagement rates on Facebook have been going down for everyone for the past few years, and as Judd Legum of ThinkProgress explained last year, they are actually doing better than a whole lot of other people are.
Trump also claimed that Twitter had banned James Woods, which was not the case.
And, according to one of the other idiots he retweeted this morning, Woods was banned for merely quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Shockingly enough, Woods was not banned for expressing his love of 19th century transcendentalist poetry. In fact, he was not banned at all. He was briefly locked out of his account until he deleted a tweet in which, yes, he did quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, but also followed that quote up with the hashtag #HangThemAll.
I would imagine that if someone else, even a liberal, were to tweet "The earth laughs in flowers. #GoKillSomePeople" they would also get locked out of their accounts until they deleted the tweet. And not because of the Emerson quote.
In addition to all of this, Trump also RT'd a pretty horrifying anti-Muslim video from an account dedicated to promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
I am not sure what it is that Trump thinks he is going to "monitor" here. The First Amendment means that the government cannot censor you, not that anyone else has to listen to your shit or give you a platform. If someone wants to be a professional hatemonger, if they want to be a Flying Wallenda, if they want to be a celebrated author, they are welcome to try and the government cannot stop them -- but it is not anyone else's job to help them achieve their dreams.
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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. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse