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Twitter trolls duped Don Jr. into believing another fake Pizzagate-type conspiracy

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A photo of a banner unveiled by white supremacists, designed to make anti-fascists look like they are pro-pedophilia, managed to go viral as the real thing after it was “liked” on Twitter by an easily fooled Donald Trump Jr.

According the Gothamist, alt-right gadfly Mike Cernovich was appearing at Columbia University on Monday night and, as protesters gathered outside, several counter demonstrators disguised as protesters briefly unveiled a banner that read,”No white supremacy — No pedo-bashing — No Mike Cernovich.”

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Writing at the Gothamist, Jake Offenhartz — who took a picture of the banner and posted it to social media criticizing the attempt to smear the protesters — claims he had his picture hijacked by right wingers who attempted to pass it off as an authentic desire to protect child molesters.

“Someone said ‘hold this real quick’ and then they proceeded to snap pics,” protest organizer and Columbia social work student Mistee Denson explained to Offenhartz. “Someone quickly realized what it said and ran them off. Unfortunately, they got what they wanted.”

According to Offenhartz, Cernovich and  fellow alt-right troll Jack Posobeic retweeted the picture, only to take it down when threatened with copyright infringement. However the damage was done, with InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson then turning the removal of the tweets into a scandal over Twitter protecting supposed pro-pedophilia protesters.

Watson’s tweet was widely shared, over 12,000 times, and liked by 10,000 people — including by the son of President Donald Trump who “liked” it on his Twitter account that has over 2 million followers.

Cernovich and Posobeic were at the center of a fake conspiracy that Hillary Clinton was linked to a Washington DC pizza parlor that hosted child molestation parties in its basement. That story led to one man traveling to Washington D.C., from North Carolina and firing shots inside the pizzeria before surrendering to the police.

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See Don Jr’s tweets below:


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2020 Election

Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead

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There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.

This article first appeared in Salon.

What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.

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As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode

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As Florida experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, the residents of the state are facing obstacles like overwhelmed hospitals and a looming shortage in beds.

This article first appeared in Salon.

There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)

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2020 Election

The GOP is a suicide cult

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Back in March, we argued that Donald Trump had become the charismatic leader of the dumbest suicide cult ever. There were fewer than 500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time, but it wasn't difficult to see the trajectory we were on at even that early date. At the time, we were commenting on the President's* repeated claims that the whole thing was a big hoax and polls showing that Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they were taking steps to avoid becoming infected.

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