Right-wing media is elevating hoax after hoax and misleading report after misleading report in its ongoing effort to make antifa the big deal Donald Trump wants it to be. Antifa may be a literal footnote to an intelligence bulletin on protest-related violence, but if you follow Fox News, Blaze TV, the Daily Caller, you’re hearing constantly what a giant scary threat it is.
Take Lara Logan, the former award-winning reporter who has gone over to the conspiracy side as a Fox News personality. She’s promoted a series of hoaxes, the Daily Beast reports—the question being whether she’s falling for these hoaxes herself or just counts on her followers to do so.
“For those of you still in denial about who is directing & controlling the protests – take a close look at this,” she tweeted on May 31. “This” came from 2015 and the Baltimore protests against the police killing of Freddie Gray, and it was a hoax back then, too. Apparently Logan just couldn’t resist its exhortations for antifa to rendezvous at “GAMMA PRIME,” though.
A day later, Logan was back at it with a retweet of a supposed antifa group that was actually a fake account linked to the white nationalist Identity Evropa. Logan even went on to retweet something from a joke thread supposedly linking juggalos to antifa—apparently the phrase “antifa clown hierarchy” didn’t give her pause.
Logan’s not the only one, though. When a group of peaceful protesters accepted Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s invitation into City Hall on Tuesday night, a producer for Blaze TV tweeted out video with the claim: “Antifa and [Black Lives Matter] have broken into Seattle city hall.” Though Sawant is an elected official who used a key to get in, the video and versions of that claim made the rounds on far-right Twitter, from Fox News’ Tomi Lahren to the Daily Caller to the president of Judicial Watch to Mike Cernovich to Republican congressional staffers.
Intelligence agencies are clear that the major threat comes from racist extremists, but Donald Trump and the right-wing media have people in rural towns across the country scared that antifa is coming to town. It’s one more attempt to distract and divide, and this sort of thing is only going to ramp up between now and November as Trump desperately tries to use fear to keep himself in the White House.
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