By David Futrelle
Given how many of today’s alt-right Nazis and Nazi-equivalents grew up on 4chan, the internet’s Troll Central, it’s hardly surprising that they lie about almost everything. What is perhaps a little more surprising is how bad at it they are. Most of their deceptive propaganda is so obviously phony that in many cases the only people they are fooling are each other.
Case in point: In the wake of two violent alt-right rallies in Charlottesville, during which antifascist activist Heather Heyer was brutally murdered by a Trump-loving, Pepe-posting white supremacist, alt-rightists have been doing their best to try to smear Antifa counterprotesters as the real perpetrators of violence in Charlottesville.
They’ve done so in part by flooding the internet with mislabeled photos of other demonstrations, with one of the most widely distributed photos featuring an Antifa graphic crudely photoshopped onto the back of a Greek protester beating a cop.
Lefty Twitterer @2dAmMuslim took apart some of these claims in a recent thread. Let’s just look at his screenshots of the, er, discussion, which started off with a right-winger posting not one, not two, but four different bullshit pics, all of which have been widely distributed by right-wingers in recent days, intended to “prove” that Antifas were the true thugs in Charlottesville.
“Libertas” responded to this rebuttal by … blocking @2ndAmMuslim.
Alt-rightists have also been distributing what they claim is a secret Antifa manual allegedly discovered somewhere on the campus of The Evergreen State College. Its fakeness is so readily apparent — just read the thing — that it could only be convincing to dedicated Fox News viewers and especially gullible channers who don’t actually know anything about actual Antifa beliefs.
My favorite bits come at the end, when whoever wrote this thing basically stopped trying to be even slightly convincing.
But it isn’t just channers who find themselves duped by these crude fakes. Independent Journal Review “journalist” Benny Johnson — who was famously fired from Buzzfeed for plagiarism — recently reported on an obviously phony Antifa Twitter account as if it were the Twitter account of a real organization. The problem with his article was evident just from its headline: “Boston Antifa Thanks Hillary Clinton, Democrats for Their Support as They Burn American Flag.”
Anyone who knows anything about Antifas know that they aren’t exactly big Hillary Clinton fans. It’s a bit like reporting that a group of Boston Red Sox fans was heaping praise on the New York Yankees. See Angry White Men and NYmag for more on this particular debacle.
After Johnson was informed by half the internet that the group was fake, he or his editors added an “Alleged” to the front of his headline.
But this is probably my favorite bit of alt-right bullshit from recent days. Here an enterprising propagandist reuses a picture from a Cleveland rally in order to “prove” that some of the white supremacists protesting in Boston last weekend were black women. Not so fast, ironically-named “TruthInGovernment.”
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) August 19, 2017
H/T — Thanks to Twitter’s Leon Tchotchke (@played_straight) for convincing me to do this post.