Hoax claiming antifa will take away pro-Trump supporters' children goes wide
There's a hot new hoax about left-wing antifascist groups, and it's blowing up on the right. In this latest round of obviously disproven lies about antifa, conservative parents are scared that the movement's activists will report them to Child Protective Services to take their children away.
Conservative activist Patrick Howley -- the Big League Politics founder who's now at the pro-Trump Epoch Times -- kicked things off earlier this month by citing a graphic from ostensible antifa account "@JoinAntifa" that promised to report Trump supporters with children to social services.
"Lots of sources say this is happening -- don't let them say this was a joke," Howley tweeted.
From there, the idea that antifa activists are trying to steal away Trump supporters' kids earned articles across right-wing blogs in addition to being picked up by Twitter personalities like Jack Posobiec.
"This is sick," declared adult film star Jenna Jameson.
Despite its popularity on the right, this idea is totally fake. The entire claim is based on the single @JoinAntifa tweet. @JoinAntifa has just 36 followers, and is obviously set up to either troll Trump supporters or help create damaging fake news stories about antifa.
@JoinAntifa's page features other slick -- if obviously ridiculous, graphics -- including supposed antifa schemes to report pro-Trump Boy Scout troop leaders as pedophiles and promising to send armed antifa members to polling sites.
As of Wednesday, Twitter had limited the account's visibility on the site, apparently to stop it from spreading disinformation.
Conservative pundit and former game show host Chuck Woolery got his more than 600,000 Twitter followers fuming Monday with a tweet claiming that budget airline Frontier Airlines was booting innocent Trump supporters off their planes for wearing MAGA hats.
Woolery's tweet inspired a wave of angry tweets at Frontier's Twitter account, articles across the right-wing blogosphere, promises to boycott the airline, and vows to wear even more MAGA hats onto Frontier flights. As it turns out, the story Woolery is promoting is filled with inaccuracies.
In Woolery's telling, a young man had been booted from a Frontier plane solely for wearing the red hat.
"So a kid wearing a MAGA hat gets on a Frontier Flight," Woolery wrote. "He is verbally attacked by to (sic) passengers. Instead of them being thrown off the flight, Frontier decides he's the bad guy? Thank you for not flying Frontier Air Lines."
The first thing Woolery's tweet misses is that the alleged incident happened in January and already made the rounds on the conservative blogosphere once. Back then, a minor MAGA personality calling himself Kenny Cool complained in a video that he had been kicked off a Frontier plane.
In his video, Cool said he entered the plane and announced 'MAGA, Trump 2020, Roger Stone is an innocent man." Then Cool notes that this was the second time he'd been kicked off a plane over the hat -- another sign that Cool's hat might not actually be the problem here.
In January, Frontier told me in an email that Cool had been booted from the flight for not for his hat, but for "exhibiting threatening behavior."
"A customer was agitating fellow passengers and being argumentative and disruptive to the point that our flight crew, and even other passengers, asked him to stop," a Frontier spokesperson told me in a statement. "Frontier does not tolerate behavior that could jeopardize safety of flight. The passenger was deplaned because he was exhibiting threatening behavior and would not follow crewmember instructions to stop."
Right-wing media outlets have seized on Barack and Michelle Obama buying a $15 million waterfront mansion in Martha's Vineyard, seeing it as proof that global warming isn't real.
Normally, two wealthy people whose new Netflix production deal alone is reportedly worth several multiples of $15 million wouldn't be big news. But this fast-spreading talking point, laid out on Fox News and other conservative outlets, holds that if global warming was real, Obama wouldn't buy a house near the water.
Under this thinking, as a former president, Obama is presumably privy to any information about global warming being a hoax. Therefore, Obama is only buying a waterfront house because global warming is fake.
"If comfortable members of the progressive gentry set don't take global warming seriously, why should anyone else?" asked an editorial in the Las Vegas Review Journal, which is owned by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson.
Pundit and Trump pardon recipient Dinesh D'Souza pushed this line in an appearance on Fox News.
"It shows that Obama himself knows it's nonsense because if he believed a word of it, if he thought the oceans were going to rise and his property was going to go underwater, he would not have made the investment," D'Souza said.
The idea that Obama's new mansion disproves global warming has spread so far that pro-Trump vlogging duo Diamond and Silk refered to it in passing at Trump's rally Monday in Fayetteville, North Carolina. "Diamond" -- real name Lynnette Hardaway -- told the audience that Obama was hypocritical for "preaching about climate change and the mansion is right there off the ocean." The crowd loved it.