Loony Running The Asylum
- Oct 23, 2002
- Frozen in Michigan
- Old Fart
- Basic Beliefs
- Democratic Socialist Atheist
It took just a few hours for the baseless claim about the antifa bogeyman to spread throughout the entire right-wing media ecosystem.
Just after 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon, Trump supporters in DC for a mass “Stop the Steal” protest began smashing windows and trying to enter the northwest corner of the Capitol Building, outside the House chamber. Some of those observing, clearly uneasy with the violent turn their protest had taken, did the first thing that came to mind: They blamed antifa.
“Antifa, is that antifa? Get them out of there,” one Trump supporter shouted. Within seconds, that baseless allegation rippled out through the crowd as others repeated the accusation—a real-time, real-world example of disinformation traveling and spreading.
And in the hours since that moment of cognitive dissonance took place, the effort to blame antifa for Wednesday’s insurrection has grown louder. First it was boosted online by far-right extremists and QAnon supporters, and then by Republican lawmakers such as Rep. Paul Gosar and Rep. Matt Gaetz, high-profile conservative figures like Candace Owens and Sarah Palin, and finally by right-wing media outlets.
This effort took place despite images of the attack being broadcast across the globe, clearly showing those breaking into the Capitol were wearing Trump hats and shirts, waving Trump flags, and telling any reporter who would listen about their support for the president.
A standout example that the people involved in the attack on Capitol Hill yesterday were pro-Trump was Jake Angeli, the bare-chested Arizona man who posed for selfies inside the House chamber dressed in a buffalo horn helmet.
Angeli is a well-known figure within the QAnon community who goes by the nickname “Q Shaman,” but within hours of his picture being broadcast around the globe as the face of the attack, far-right extremists began throwing him under the bus, claiming he was in fact an antifa operative.
This was based on a picture claiming to show Angeli at a Black Lives Matter protest, but the image has been flagged by Twitter for being manipulated.