Troll bigots Chuck Johnson and Mike Cernovich launch web sites to harass real news professionals
Media Matters has been doing a terrific job of tracking two of the racist conspirawhacko right’s most vicious trolls:
The Daily Caller reported that “alt-right”-affliated internet trolls Chuck Johnson and Mike Cernovich will be launching websites to “go after” reporters.
Cernovich, a noted “men’s rights” activist and a host at conspiracy outlet Infowars, has a history of pushing conspiracy theories including “Pizzagate” and the idea that an April chemical attack in Syria was a hoax. He has launched numerous harassment campaigns against media figures, including a New York Times reporter, and has been promoted by people affiliated with President Donald Trump, including Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. Chuck Johnson, the editor of fringe outlet GotNews, has also harassed numerous journalists, and along with Cernovich has made up part of the far-right alt-media echo-chamber that has worked in tandem with fake news purveyors to spread conspiracy theories and spur harassmentagainst reporters and other figures.
The Daily Caller, in a May 19 article, reported that Johnson and Cernovich were “each launching websites to go after reporters.” It quoted Johnson saying, “The American press no longer behaves properly, and they need to be held to account.” Cernovich also told the outlet that his website would “perform investigative journalism on people who are making the news and breaking the news and find out if these are trustworthy people.”
Daily Caller reminds readers that
Johnson has been banned from Twitter for harassment and previously was a freelance contributor for The Daily Caller. He also helped launch Wesearchr, which crowd-funded for information that sometimes pertained to journalists. Some of the “bounties” on the site were for Megyn Kelly’s divorce files, or a sex tape of Gawker founder Nick Denton.
That’s a polite way to put it: WeSearchr uses “rewards” and “bounties” as a beard for organizing troll armies and attempting to intimidate progressive activists and honest journalists.
Cernovich, for his part, has profited handsomely from pushing the completely insane “pizzagate” conspiracy theory:
No victim has come forward. There’s no investigation. And physical evidence? That doesn’t exist either.
But thousands of people are convinced that a paedophilia ring involving people at the highest levels of the Democratic Party is operating out of a Washington pizza restaurant.
The story riveted fringes of Twitter – nearly a million messages were sent last month using the term “pizzagate”.
One man even travelled hundreds of miles to the restaurant with a gun and opened fire, claiming he was there to “self investigate” the claims. …
Users of 4chan, a message board known for free speech, extreme content and trollish behaviour, began posting speculation and supposed connections gleaned from internet searches. They trawled (Compet Ping POng Pizza owner John) Alefantis’ Instagram feed for pictures of children and the modern art which lines his restaurant’s walls, and dreamt up a paedophile sex ring involving prominent politicians and political donors.
Soon there were protesters outside of Comet Ping Pong. Alefantis even invited some of them in – they filmed the encounter and put it on YouTube.
“They ignore basic truths,” Alefantis tells BBC Trending. For instance, the conspiracy supposedly is run out of the restaurant’s basement. “We don’t even have a basement.”