Why is it always the far right’s job to perpetuate conspiracy theories in the wake of national tragedies. Sure, there are still 9/11 “truthers” — but the will to perpetuate patently stupid conspiracy theories is always strongest in the wake of domestic terrorism. Particularly those involving gun violence.
Immediately following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, the far-right coalesced to spread false information and conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” — some insisted that the most iconic figures to emerge from the Parkland shooting weren’t even students at MSDHS. Is it crazy? Sure. Demonstrably false? Absolutely. But as there are still Sandy Hook “truthers” who believe that school massacre literally never happened, it’s not all that surprising.
Most recently, conspiracy-loving conservatives actually fell for a political hoax involving a different kind of actor. The subject being Scott Israel, Broward County’s Democratic sheriff.
Ever since the February 14th massacre, Israel has faced an intense smear campaign. He has been accused of being a “rapist,” a philanderer, and a corrupt cop. This is all thanks to three old YouTube videos in which some mystery woman alleges that Israel impregnatd her when she was 17, and then forced her to get an abortion
But Per POLITICO — all of it was a lie, according to the woman and her attorney, Yechezkel Rodal.
“I was paid to say these things. I didn’t even know what I was saying,” said the woman, who spoke with POLITICO on condition of anonymity because she fears political retribution from Internet trolls or from the sheriff’s office, which does not know her identity. “I’m sorry … It’s fake.”
Also, per POLITICO, the videos were uploaded in 2012 for political gains of a different sort:
The videos were initially posted at the tail end of the bare-knuckle 2012 campaign when Israel defeated Republican incumbent Al Lamberti. Now living in New York, the woman said she was 17 at the time and didn’t know Israel when an unknown person paid her $25 per video through the website www.fiverr.com, where she was hired by different companies to cut “thousands” of video testimonials for various products ranging from cell phone plans to diet programs. She expressed shock when informed Israel was sheriff and that the videos have become part of a smear campaign after the shooting.