How a Crackpot Conspiracy Theory Went From a Flake to Fox News to Trump’s Twitter

The most conspicuous indicator of Donald Trump’s guilt is his own frightened and suspicious behavior. That is generally played out on his Twitter account with panicky outbursts that are never supported by facts and often make no sense at all. He is inadvertently producing a documentation of the decline and fall of an illegitimate American demagogue with utter disregard for the peril he faces.

Donald Trump

Trump’s desperation was on full display Wednesday in a flurry of sweaty tweets that unwound a horror story starring himself as a victim of a “Deep State” cabal determined to roll his doughy body to garlic knots. As you peruse the following eruption of crazy remember that there isn’t a speck of it that’s true, or even sane. So curl up with a pillow to clutch and come along for a ride down Daffy Drive:

Holy Shitake Mushroom. Trump’s Twitter tantrums are well known, but this goes way beyond his ordinary, every day, lunacy. The cerebral spasm above took place over the span of an hour on Tuesday. Isn’t that a work day in Washington?

The most interesting part of this story is how Trump came to the telling of it. ThinkProgress retraced its origins and the path it took to Trump World. It seems the fearsome tale began with an innocent enough bit of bullpucky in an anonymous tweet. The author was stirred by text messages between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that he badly misconstrued as some sort of subversive plot. Never mind that the texts made no mention of Trump or his campaign, or that the Senate released them months ago without controversy.

From there the trail led to the notorious conspiracy crank, Gateway Pundit, who posted a typically lie-riddled account of the non-affair. At around the same time Reddit’s fruitcake forum, r/conspiracy, was spewing nonsensical comments alleging the same misconduct by the FBI gone rogue. And finally, the viral strain hit peak media velocity when Lou Dobbs of Fox News latched onto it. This is undoubtedly where Trump got it from.

The fact that such obviously insane hypotheses can get loose in the mediasphere is a sad reflection on the state of American political discourse. But it’s no surprise that when it does, it’s Fox News that plays the most prominent role in its dissemination. And of course, once it’s broadcast on Trump’s favorite TV network, it can’t be long before it shows up in his Twitter feed.

This is how low the bar is in the Era of Trump. The White House is now challenging Glenn Beck and Infowars for supremacy of psychotic derangement. It’s no longer bad enough that we have climate science deniers insisting that Jesus rode dinosaurs off the edge of the flat Earth. We now have a president who is parroting the fevered dementia of anonymous Twitter goofballs as if it were authenticated journalism. #SAD.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

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