The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have proven to be compelling when they tell the story of the mass slaughter at their school, articulate when they voice their frustration at how this problem has only gotten worse over their lifetimes, forceful in refusing to be silenced by those supposedly more powerful, and determined that those who died at their school are not going to have fallen in vain. So naturally, they’re under attack from the right.
On Monday, the site Gateway Pundit—a harbor for the most extreme conspiracy theories and hate-mongering of the alt-Reich—“discovered” that senior David Hogg, who has appeared on many programs to express his insistence that thoughts and prayers come after action, was the son of an FBI agent. This discovery immediately led to other right wing news sites declaring that Hogg’s opinions no longer mattered, as this was just another sign of the media trying to “prop up an incompetent bureau.” And to put the seal of authority on it, Donald Trump Jr gave a thumbs up to this announcement on Twitter.
Because if there’s anything Republicans have always said, it’s that they hate children and law enforcement—something that police organizations should note this fall.
How did they pull off this great piece of detective work to uncover Hogg’s shady background as the son of a former FBI agent? Despite the big “Exposed!” at the top of the pundit-page, Hogg declared loudly and proudly that his father had worked for the FBI several times in televised interviews. So … great work there.
Meanwhile, the same forces that were “uncovering” Hogg’s top-secret connection, also pulled off another investigative coup.
It was just discovered that the full name of the shooter is “Nicolas de Jesus Cruz” and that he is a registered Democrat in the state of Flordia [sic]. It is becoming more clear that this individual was NOT, in fact, an actual Trump supporter, as is being reported by the media as the result of the image that shows Cruz wearing a MAGA hat.
Really? No. Not really. Because the name of the shooter was Nikolas Cruz. With a ‘k.’ And every single scrap of their big discovery, was a flat-out lie.
Naturally, this information continues to circle among the right, along with a collection of other “facts” about the shooter.
The internet was flooded with rumors and hoaxes in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting as internet trolls and Russian bots started to push out a false narrative about the suspect’s identity. They fallaciously claimed that he was a member of Antifa, that he was a “Dreamer,” that he had affiliations with ISIS, and, as mentioned, that he was a registered Democrat:
Not content to just make up their own news, Gateway Pundit also pushed an image of a Buzzfeed headline reading “Why we need to take away White people’s guns now more than ever.” However, no such article existed. It’s much easier to stir up racial hatred, if you just make shit up, and that’s been Gateway Pundit’s M. O. from its inception.
Nice company Donald Trump Jr is keeping. But this is nothing new for him, or for the sites he’s supporting.