Video above: Truth vs. NEW$ 11/24 broadcast on Seattle cable access TV
When Pastor Don Grahn invited me to pre-record a Truth vs. NEW$ interview, I had no idea what was coming.
I assumed it would be about Middle East politics, Islamic studies, or false flags, my three main areas of expertise. I even hoped to talk about my new edited book Orlando False Flag.
Instead, the guest host, Activist Angel, began excitedly haranguing me about the so-called “pizza-gate” scandal: Allegations that Wiki-leaked John Podesta emails exposed a pedophile pizzeria. WHY WASN’T VETERANS TODAY COVERING THIS MOMENTOUS STORY? the host kept yelling.
The problem: I had scanned the pizza-gate allegations and they didn’t strike me as credible. So I hadn’t bothered to study them, or even read them carefully. I had no idea the subject was on the agenda.
After recording the above interview, I took Activist Angel’s advice and looked at the DC Pizzagate website. I discovered that he had been right about one thing: It’s disgusting. But is this really evidence of a pedophile ring? Or is it a disgusting witch hunt slandering people some of whom may have sick and twisted taste in art and photography, or social media friends who have such tastes, but who are not by any means child traffickers?
If the latter is the case, a lot of innocent people are having their good names sullied by a bunch of reckless idiots.
It looks to me like anonymous internet sleuths/witch-hunters have been going through the social media accounts of everybody connected to Comet Pizzeria and misconstruing playful pictures of people’s kids. Some of those pictures are in very bad taste. Others, like Tamera Luzzato’s picture of her grandchildren, seem completely innocent. None are convincing evidence of child trafficking.
The DC-Pizzagate website (and its legion of over-excited followers) seem to be trying too hard to connect the dots. They are too affected by the emotional impact of child trafficking (which really does happen, and is indeed horrifying) to think clearly. They imagine that because John Podesta owns a statue that looks a bit like a drawing by serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer then Podesta must kill and eat people like Dahmer did. They imagine that generically sick-and-twisted punk rock posters advertising punk rock events are something much more sinister. They imagine that “ping pong tables in the basement” of a public restaurant with a ping pong table theme must be code for abusing children.
Is somebody ODing on brown acid?
And if “pizza” is code for “child trafficking” then pretty much everybody must be a child trafficker, since pretty much everybody eats pizza.
During our interview, Activist Angel kept referencing real child trafficking scandals as if they were related to, and proof of, DC Pizzagate. He tried to wield the very real Franklin scandal, among others, as proof that DC Pizzagate must be exactly what its advocates claim. It struck me as a classic case of fallacious, muddled thinking.
I studied urban legends, among other genres, as part of my Ph.D. minor in Folklore. This Pizzagate material has the feel of an urban legend…sort of like the “Wal-Marts are being re-tooled as detention camps” meme from the Jade Helm era.
Both the “Wal-Mart = concentration camp” and “pizzeria = child trafficking” memes take a comfortingly familiar institutional public gathering place – the leading big box mega-store on the one hand, the friendly neighborhood pizza joint on the other – and re-imagine it as something hideously sinister. Folklorist Patricia Turner studied similar rumors in the African-American community that Church’s Fried Chicken was a plot to sterilize black people.
In all three instances, the public fears expressed in the legends are well-grounded. Child trafficking really exists, and elite pedophile networks really do have tremendous power, as exposed in Nick Bryant’s The Franklin Scandal, John DeCamp’s The Franklin Cover-up, and the film Conspiracy of Silence.
Jade Helm, too, was a panic based on legitimate fears. Plans for mass internment and martial law undoubtedly do exist, and the police state is completely out of control.
As for African-Americans and Church’s Fried Chicken, Rockefeller-funded eugenics efforts really have targeted black people in sinister ways. And don’t get me started about the Tuskegee syphilis studies.
Assuming all three of these cases – DC Pizzagate, Jade Helm, and Church’s Fried Chicken Sterilization – are urban legends, should we interpret them as purely spontaneous public panics? Or might these and/or other “false and harmful conspiracy theories” actually be conspiracies to spread bad conspiracy theories?
We are seeing major pushback against “fake news.” The government, big media, and internet giants like Facebook and Google are being pressured to put a lid on alternative media. Bogus “conspiracy theories” that harm innocent people are a perfect excuse to ban all “conspiracy theories” including the true ones. Next thing you know, “WTC-7 a Controlled Demolition” will be scrubbed from the internet as “fake news.”
This is exactly what Cass Sunstein meant when he argued that the government should “disable the purveyors of (9/11) conspiracy theories” by “cognitively infiltrating” conspiracy groups and spreading “beneficial cognitive diversity.” Panic and confusion spread by urban legends like Jade Helm and DC Pizzagate “disable” the “purveyors of conspiracy theories” (the alternative media) not only by promoting irrationality, but also by preparing the way for a crackdown on “fake news.”
Then there is the partisan political dirty tricks angle. Somebody seeded the Jade Helm panic. Why? Could it have been a right-wing anti-Obama political move? “Get very, very angry, conservative white people! That evil black President is coming to take your guns and – get this – lock you up in Wal-Mart!”
Might this pizza-gate thing also be a synthetically manufactured urban legend, another anti-Democrat dirty trick from the usual suspects? A key figure in pizza-gate — and a rather tenuous connection between Comet Pizza and the Clinton campaign – is David Brock, a former Republican dirty trickster turned whistleblower. Is Brock being punished for blowing the whistle on the likes of Karl Rove? Are his old colleagues pulling a fast one on him?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I am 90%+ sure that innocent people, including innocent kids, are being dragged through the mud by the Pizzagate lynch mob. Grabbing pictures of people’s kids from social media and misconstruing them in this incredibly hurtful way could whip up public support for a crackdown on alternative media. And if alternative media are banned, we will be left with nothing to counter the boring, predictable, propagandizing fake news of the mainstream.
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.