If you’re one of the creepers I see literally every day on social media, pushing the hoax about Hillary Clinton’s emails, John Podesta, and the supposed child sex ring being operated from the back of a Washington pizza parlor, dubbed #Pizzagate, I recommend you be sitting to read this.
Then again, if you’re a denizen of InfoWars – the cesspool where the rumor was birthed – I have to wonder why you’re at RedState, to begin with. We’re not passing out tinfoil hats and Alien abduction insurance policies, here.
On Friday, with the fear of a lawsuit hanging over his head, the head honcho of InfoWars, Alex Jones, released a video apology to Comet Ping Pong, the pizza parlor implicated in the hoax, as well as to the owner, James Alefantis, personally.
“In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones said. The apology came on the same day that Edgar Madison Welch, 28, pleaded guilty to the federal charge of interstate transport of firearms and a local charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.
“We relied on third party accounts of alleged activities and conduct at the restaurant. We also relied on accounts of reporters who are no longer with us,” Jones said. “This was an ever-evolving story, which had a huge amount of commentary about it across many media outlets.”
“If Mr. Alefantis has other objections, we invite him to let us know,” Jones said, inviting Alefantis to appear on his program.
“In issuing this statement, we are not admitting that Mr. Alefantis, or his restaurant, have any legal claim. We do not believe they do,” Jones said. “But we are issuing this statement because we think it is the right thing to do. It will be no surprise to you that we will fight for children across America. But the Pizzagate narrative, as least as concerning Mr. Alefantis and Comet Ping Pong, we have subsequently determined was based upon what we now believe was an incorrect narrative.”
In other words, please forgive our looney tunes story. Don’t sue us.
And looney tunes, it was.
At one point during the heat of the rumor mill, which, not coincidentally was during the run up to the election, Jones even made the statement, “Hillary Clinton has personally murdered children.”
Hillary Clinton is many things, and most of them bad, politically speaking. I do not, however, believe she has personally murdered kids.
Why Jones wasn’t sued into oblivion for that one, I’ll never know.
It is an interesting commentary on social media, as related to human psychology.
A pack mentality sets in, and people will grab on to the barest hint of an inflammatory story, then run with it, as long as it’s a narrative against someone they dislike.
People like Jones have made a career out of exploiting that mentality on the internet, working up the unstable into emotional froth, then walking away.
And unfortunately, there are some who will grab an internet hoax and not let it go, even if the author of the hoax backs down.
I’ve already seen it. #PizzaGate is not just fading away. Nobody else who pushed it on social media is making apologies, and while no one has been physically harmed as a result, yet, when they do, that blood is on Alex Jones’ hands.