AuthorTopic: Who They Are...  (Read 40859 times)

Offline Surly1

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White New Mexico Militia Just Very Concerned For Spanish Despot's Heritage
« Reply #375 on: June 17, 2020, 05:35:52 AM »
Wonkette's take on Dr. Pangloss's "the Best of All Possible Worlds," where right wing militia hate and violence are never a thing.
Images, links, tweets at the original.

White New Mexico Militia Just Very Concerned For Barbaric Spanish Despot's Heritage, Not Hate

Doktor ZoomJune 16, 2020 12:58 PM

In Albuquerque last night, a protester was shot and critically injured at a demonstration calling for the removal of a statue honoring a brutal Spanish conquistador. The shooter may or may not be connected with a militia group that had appointed itself to "defend" the statue of Juan de Oñate outside the Albuquerque Museum. Police took into custody several members of the heavily armed militia, which calls itself the "New Mexico Civil Guard," and announced this morning that one person, Stephen Ray Baca, had been arrested and charged with aggravated battery in the shooting. The victim, who hasn't been identified, is hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in a statement Monday night that she was "horrified and disgusted beyond words" at the violence, and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the statue has "become an urgent matter of public safety," so the city will remove it "until the appropriate civic institutions can determine next steps." The Albuquerque Journal reports the FBI is assisting in the investigation, and US Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) called for the US Justice Department to investigate as well.

Gov. Lujah Grisham condemned the self-appointed defenders of the statue, saying in her statement,

The heavily armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a 'civil guard,' were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force. To menace the people of New Mexico with weaponry — with an implicit threat of violence — is on its face unacceptable; that violence did indeed occur is unspeakable.
The statue, called "La Jornada" (the journey), depicts Oñate leading soldiers and settlers into New Mexico; indigenous groups have long objected to the glorification of Oñate, who was Spain's provincial governor of New Mexico in the late 16th century and a murderous despot, as the New York Times explains:

Scholars have documented how Oñate oversaw atrocities that included the killing of 800 people in Acoma Pueblo, an ancient adobe aerie atop a 357-foot-tall sandstone mesa where the Acoma people still live today. Dozens of Acoma girls were parceled out to convents in Mexico City, and adolescents were sentenced to decades of servitude. In a notorious act of cruelty, Oñate is said to have ordered his men to cut a foot off at least 24 male captives.
How bad was Oñate? Like another murderous despot, he was too barbaric even for the Spanish government that colonized the Americas: "Spanish authorities convicted him on charges of excessive violence and cruelty, permanently exiling him from New Mexico."

Earlier yesterday, another statue of Oñate in Alcalde, New Mexico, was removed by city officials. That statue was brilliantly vandalized in 1997, when its right foot was sawed off and stolen. And as the Times reports, the severed bronze foot from Alcalde showed up earlier in yesterday's protest in Albuquerque.

Three men wearing masks carried the bronze foot, taken all those years ago, to the entrance of Tiguex Park near the statue, and briefly held the foot aloft.

One of the men was Brian Hardgroove, a bass player for the hip-hop group Public Enemy. Mr. Hardgroove, who lives in New Mexico and has worked as an artist in residence at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, said he came to express support for solidarity between Native Americans and African-Americans.
No matter how long we read the Grey Lady, we will always be delighted by locutions like "Mr. Hardgroove." But do read the rest of the Times story, which thoughtfully examines tensions and alliances between New Mexico's Native American and Hispanic communities in how the colonial period is depicted and remembered.

The Albuquerque protest began peacefully, with prayers and chants and all in the museum parking lot, while the militia goons played soldier in front of the statue. Eventually, though, protesters with chains and a pickaxe started trying to tear down the Oñate figure, the militia dudes tried to stop them, and a fight broke out and things got ugly fast. We'll let the Washington Post handle the description:

[A] white man in a blue T-shirt appeared to rile the crowd, according to video obtained by KOB4. People erupted in shouts, and the man took a few steps back. A masked protester swung a skateboard and struck him in the shoulder. The man back-pedaled out of the crowd but continued to exchange shouts with protesters.

Someone in the video encouraged people to follow the man and get his license plate number. Several people followed him, and one tackled him to the ground. As he tried to stand back up and three people tried to hit him again, the man in blue pulled a gun and fired four shots, striking one man and scattering the crowd.
We'll let you decide for yourself whether you want to watch the video; we're no lawyer, but he's probably going to claim self-defense, because yeah, people were ganging up on him. Not that anybody should be shooting anybody.

Police showed up (where the hell were they to separate the protesters and the militia earlier?) and dispersed the crowd with tear gas and flash-bang grenades, and they eventually took several members of the militia into custody. The Post notes that police have not yet said whether Baca is connected to the armed military cosplayers. But gosh, they seem like the nicest people:

The right-wing group has repeatedly shown up at Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks with guns and militarylike garb.

On Facebook, the group has shared materials encouraging people to arm themselves, promoted military training on infantry tactics and "ambushing," and shared multiple posts opposing the leveling of monuments to Confederate figures in the South and Oñate in New Mexico. Members of the group recently told the Eastern New Mexico News that their aim was to protect businesses from damage during protests. They said they had been in contact with police and were following guidance given to them by officials.
Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro noticed just how nice and calm the cops were as they detained the armed men:

By contrast, we'd direct you to this story from The Root, which reports that, after two weeks, a Black pastor in Virginia, Leon McCray, has finally gotten an apology from the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office. On June 1, he told two men dumping an old refrigerator on his property to stop it, but instead, they went and got some friends, and then they all started threatening McCray, until he pulled a concealed firearm to get them to leave.

Sheriff's deputies who came to the scene then arrested McCray without even taking a statement from him, because Black Man With A Gun. McCray said in a sermon to his congregation that his white assailants waved at him as he was taken away in a squad car. The charges against McCray were eventually dropped, and the five white men have been charged in the incident. Sheriff Timothy Carter said in a statement, "As I told Mr. McCray, if I were faced with similar circumstances, I would have probably done the same thing."

In conclusion, America is a land of many contrasts, the end.
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Offline Surly1

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Colorado Man Arrested After Holding 'Antifa' Roofing Salesmen At Gunpoint
« Reply #376 on: June 17, 2020, 05:45:18 AM »
Because as everybody knows, George Soros is paying to fly antifa supersoldiers to your neighborhood to seize your gunzes, rape your children, and steal your golfs.

Colorado Man Arrested After Holding 'Antifa' Roofing Salesmen At Gunpoint

June 15, 2020 10:05 AM

This past Thursday, 65-year-old Scott Gudmundsen of Loveland, Colorado, saw two men going door-to-door in his neighborhood wearing blue polo shirts and shorts. So he did what he had to do and he called the police to tell them he'd spotted "Antifa guys" and was going to go out and confront them with his weapon while wearing "tactical gear." So he got all gussied up in his fatigues, grabbed two guns — "[a] Glock pistol, and a second Glock pistol that had been converted into a longer weapon that looked like a carbine rifle" — and went outside and forced the two men to the ground.

Gudmundsen has since been charged with multiple felonies, as the men were not doing anything wrong. The two men, a 20-year-old black Colorado State University football player, and the other, a 27-year-old white man, were door-to-door salesmen for a roofing company and not, in fact, "antifa." However, even if they were, it still would not be okay to go out and hold them to the ground at gunpoint, because while it is not illegal to be an anti-fascist, it is very illegal to do that to people who are doing nothing wrong.

Via 9News:

According to Larimer County Jail records, Gudmundsen was booked at 6:14 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of two counts of felony menacing and two counts of false imprisonment.

He is scheduled to be in court June 18. A man who said he was his son, Stanley Gudmundsen, emailed 9NEWS and said his father is ill and currently undergoing treatment at a mental health facility.

"Our sincerest thoughts go out to the two salesmen and we apologize to them and their families for the actions of our father and wish them well," he wrote.

As for the two men Scott Gudmundsen is accused of confronting, police called victim advocates to the scene to assist them.

"They were pretty rattled – both of them were," Shaffer told 9Wants to Know.

Ya think?

These guys were lucky they weren't hurt. Physically, anyway.

According to a report from Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, Gudmundsen is a former cop himself.

On his Facebook page, he describes himself as a former LEO (law enforcement officer), family man and Christian.

He also posted photos of himself in a police uniform, as well as pictures of one of the guns he used to hold the two roofing salesmen hostage.


Also, on Thursday, 29-year-old Alpalus Slyman of Boston, Massachusetts, led police on a high-speed chase up to New Hampshire with five of his kids in his car because, he claimed, Donald Trump and Q were sending him instructions through songs on the radio. While Slyman had delved into conspiracy crap before, he had recently gotten into the QAnon stuff and developed the belief that Trump was contacting him personally through the radio after watching a "documentary" called "Fall of The Cabal" on YouTube.

It is entirely possible Gudmundsen and Slyman both have mental health issues. It is also possible that rather than having actual mental health issues, they just very much believe what they are being told about the world by people they trust. Much of the rhetoric coming from the Right, particularly the conspiratorial stuff, is not that easily distinguishable from the kinds of things a delusional person might believe.

Earlier this month, Donald Trump officially declared "antifa" to be a terrorist organization — despite the fact that antifa is not an organization, nor are antifascist activists terrorists. (Also it's not entirely clear Trump even has the authority to designate "antifa" as a terrorist organization.) But the word "terrorist" has a meaning, and it's a meaning that makes people like Gudmundsen feel they can act with impunity when in the presence of those they think might be "terrorists."

Even if they're just door-to-door roofing salesmen.

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Offline JRM

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Re: Who They Are...
« Reply #377 on: June 17, 2020, 08:34:33 AM »
Too many crazy people have guns.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". -- -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

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Re: Who They Are...
« Reply #378 on: June 17, 2020, 08:48:57 AM »
Too many crazy people have guns.

That is likely true, but how many sane people have gunz?  Do more crazy people hve gunz than sane people?  Most of us would regard Eddie as sane, and he has lotsa gunz!  Some real nice oines too!  In a battre between the sane and insane with gunz, who wins the firefight?  Inquiring minds want to know,  ???   :icon_scratch:

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Who They Are...
« Reply #379 on: June 17, 2020, 12:08:42 PM »
It is entirely possible Gudmundsen and Slyman both have mental health issues.

Ya think?

I'm not a right winger, and I don't listen to QAnon crap. But not every conservative on YT is delusional. Some of them raise some very valid points. This tendency to lump people into camps and take sides on every issue is another consequence of social media. Take the blinders off, that's my advice.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Who They Are...
« Reply #380 on: June 18, 2020, 04:03:18 AM »
It is entirely possible Gudmundsen and Slyman both have mental health issues.

Ya think?

 But not every conservative on YT is delusional. Some of them raise some very valid points.

A conservative on YT worth listening to is a matter of stringent debate. For every Joe Rogan there are 30 Alex Jones wannabes.
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Offline Surly1

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Trump believes his followers are a bunch of racist morons
« Reply #381 on: June 20, 2020, 06:22:56 AM »
Trump believes his followers are a bunch of racist morons. Sadly, a lot of them are eager to prove him right
Who has the most contempt for Trump voters: Liberals, or Donald Trump? Not even close

Amanda Marcotte

Twitter was once again forced to add a correction to one of Donald Trump's lies. The social media site lets most of the president's falsehoods pass — keeping up with them all is an admittedly inhuman task — but not this latest, in which Trump shared a fake video that was an such an ugly, racist provocation that Twitter slapped a warning label on it to alert viewers it had been "manipulated."

The video Trump tweeted shows a white toddler chasing a Black toddler, along with a fake CNN caption reading "Terrified toddler runs from racist baby." Then it switches to a video of the two kids hugging and playing with the caption, "What really happened." The so-called argument of the video is that CNN is manipulating innocent footage of children playing to leverage false accusations of racism. Of course, CNN did no such thing. The CNN chyron was faked and the only "fake news" is that CNN would ever call a baby "racist." CNN had done a story about the toddlers, in 2019, but it was an innocent, if cloying, fluff piece about their friendship.

This episode, which will likely be as quickly forgotten as so many before it, is another perfect distillation of how not just Trump, but his entire campaign team, is completely void of all human decency and empathy, so much so that they would knowingly exploit images of children, without their parents' consent, to create overtly racist propaganda designed to trick people into rejecting actual news in favor of lies.

The whole episode was also a reminder of an eternal truth of the Trump era: No one — not even the snootiest, Ivy-educated coastal liberal — could possibly feel more contempt for Trump supporters than Donald Trump does.

Think about it: What Trump was saying by tweeting out that video was that he thinks his followers are complete morons, the sort of people so thuddingly stupid that they might believe that CNN would call a baby "racist" or might try to present toddler hijinks as violence.

Advertisement: 00:22 01:09
What is Trump suggesting his voters believe? That Chris Cuomo is, in grave tones, announcing breaking news that a baby is racist? That Don Lemon is going to go on air to denounce baby-racism? That Anderson Cooper may have an emotional interview with the toddler about how he came to have racist beliefs and whether he regrets it? How stupid does Trump think his voters are?

(Sadly, some of Trump's supporters confirmed his low opinion of them, sharing the video as if it were real. Let's leave disentangling that to the mental health professionals.)

Trump voters are driven, in no small part, by ongoing and lovingly-nursed grudges over the belief that a "liberal elite" looks down on them and thinks they're a pack of morons. But the so-called "liberal elite," no matter how much contempt it may feel for Trump voters, has got nothing on Trump himself, who clearly views his voters as a bunch of expendable idiots.

The Trump rally planned in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Saturday is, of course, perfect evidence that Trump doesn't care if his supporters get sick and die. The rally comes right as coronavirus cases are spiking in the state, and couldn't be better designed as a potential "superspreader" event: People packed in close promixity in an indoor arena, with lots of out-of-state visitors mixing with locals.

In case there was any danger that Trump's rally-goers might take precautions to slow the spread of the virus, Trump himself has been out there making sure they don't take it. While the campaign claims that masks will be available to people at the rally, Trump has repeatedly signaled to his supporters that he expects them to bare their faces as a show of loyalty.

In a Thursday interview with the Wall Street Journal, our endlessly narcissistic president claimed that people wear face masks not to slow the spread of the virus, but "as a way to signal disapproval of him."

Trump himself refuses to wear a mask in public, and has deemed masks to be "politically correct," which is as good as telling his supporters that wearing a mask will make your testicles fall off. He will not want rally photos to feature masks, which he clearly thinks mars his manly image, and it's likely his loyalists will comply. We're already seeing how mask-rejection has become a loyalty test for Trumpers, as demonstrated by how the movie-theater chain AMC has decided to make mask-wearing optional, rather than deal with tantrums by Trumpers.

Instead of caring about his supporters, Trump is encouraging them to believe they are victims of "Covid Shame" and to feel aggrieved because the "Far Left Fake News Media" supposedly "had no Covid problem with the Rioters & Looters," his preferred way to characterize the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.

That's how much contempt Trump has for his supporters: He literally wants them to compete with anti-racism protesters for the opportunity to get violently ill and possibly die. Which, to be clear, is not what anti-racism protesters actually wanted, which is why most wore masks and held outdoor rallies, which reduced the risks, though certainly didn't eliminate them.

It's not like the George Floyd protests were some kind of playtime activity. That was something people felt compelled to do out of a moral compulsion to fight racism, and the risks — police violence, coronavirus infection — were undertaken not out of casual recklessness, but determination.

Trump assumes that his supporters really are dumb enough to resent leftists for "getting" to risk sickness and so now, neener-neener, it's their chance to show off by going to an even riskier indoor event, mask-free. True to form, Trump's followers are justifying his low opinion of them.

"If protesters are immune from it, maybe Trump supporters are too," one Trump fan told MSNBC before the rally. Of course, protesters didn't think they were immune to the virus, only that protesting racism was worth risk — a risk most tried to mitigate as much as possible. 

Beyond the coronavirus concerns, the date and timing of Trump's rally — which was initially scheduled for Juneteenth. in a city that witnessed an infamous race massacre in 1921, when perhaps hundreds of Black residents were murdered and more than 1,200 Black homes and businesses were destroyed — was an obvious racist provocation. Indeed, it was so obvious that the Trump campaign has been scrambling to pretend it was an accident, after initially making clear that the choice of date and location was deliberate.

But despite moving the date back by one day, Trump is clearly still drooling with anticipation that his racist provocation will attract protesters. He recently tweeted: "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!"

This whole display shows, of course, that Trump hates people who think racism is bad. But it also shows his contempt for his own followers, who he assumes are so dumb, and so flat-out racist, that they'll be delighted to go along with this grotesque display. Yet again, the president's contempt for his supporters looks to be validated.

Amanda Marcotte is a politics writer for Salon who covers American politics, feminism and culture. Her new book, "Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself" is out now. She can be followed on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte.
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Offline Surly1

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President Grand Dragon Confesses To Criminal Negligence Before Practically Tens Of People

Saturday night, Donald Trump was tricked by teenagers into believing people liked him. Reportedly, kids across the nation registered for the president's Klan bake and ghosted him so he'd look silly. It was like that scene in the V.C. Andrews novel Seeds of Yesterday when no one comes to the rich fundamentalist creep's birthday, except you almost felt sorry for that guy.

TikTok users and K-pop fans might've inflated expectations but they didn't prevent Trump's actual dumbass supporters from showing up. There was no cap on tickets, and the Trump campaign spent most of last week bragging about the expected 1,000-year-reign of Cobra turnout.

A social media super genius like Brad Parscale should've found it suspicious that the rally was breaking sign-up records during a pandemic. Actual attendance was flaccid with turnout estimated at just under 6,200 COVID-19-curious fans. Parscale blamed “radical protesters" and “apocalyptic media coverage" for scaring away Trump's devoted fanbase. On the plus side, all those rows and rows of empty seats means the rally is far less likely to become a coronavirus super spreader event, but if I were Brad Parscale, I'd avoid any cannoli-related errands in the near future.

Leave the gun Take the cannoli [url=][/url]

Trump entered the mostly empty arena to Tom Petty's “I Won't Back Down," and Petty's estate immediately issued a cease and desist. Petty wasn't a racist and advocated for marginalized people. Trump is just going to have to stick with Ted Nugent's greatest hit or James Woods Sings The Cole Porter Song Book.

The president didn't update his pre-coronavirus Vaudeville schtick. He brought up Hillary Clinton and the crowd didn't bother chanting “lock her up" because even they've finally realized she's not running for anything. The audience loudly booed Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and ... Neil Gorsuch,who Trump nominated to the Supreme Court. However, his attacks didn't land against Uncle Joe Biden. The crowd wouldn't boo him, and that's a problem because Trump isn't running for re-election against ice-cream-loving women,minority women, or conservative Supreme Court Justices.

Trump held his white supremacist jamboree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of the worst act of racial terror in US history. It was originally scheduled for June 19 or Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery. It's not a given that a Trump rally crowd would boo “slavery." Despite White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's intelligence-insulting claim that the “African American community is very near and dear" to his shriveled heart, Trump didn't mentionGeorge Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, or Rayshard Brooks. He only acknowledged the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations against protesters when he bragged about siccing the National Guard on peaceful protesters so he could have a photo op with Ivanka's designer imposter Bible.

He whined that the “unhinged left" was “demolishing our heritage" by removing Confederate monuments, which he thinks are very “beautiful." He claimed that Omar, a sitting congresswoman and American citizen, was trying to make “our country" like where “she came from." Trump could've defended white supremacist traitors and slandered black women at Mar-a-Lago on Jefferson Davis's birthday. As Swamp Thing famously said, don't "bring your evil here."

We all know Trump ain't shit, but Omar's father died from COVID-19 last fucking week. This is her first Father's Day without him. Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters have also lost loved ones to this disease. Biden would've acknowledged the personal loss of even his fiercest Republican political opponents. Instead, Trump gave the killer of 120,000 Americans the racist nickname “kung flu" and confessed to more high crimes when he “joked" that he told his “people, slow the testing down, please."

Sweet Christ.

David Frost asked Richard Nixon why he didn't burn the tapes. If Frost were still alive, he might ask Trump why he didn't keep his damn mouth shut at a campaign rally. Sure, there are fewer people there than turned out for the opening weekend of last year's Charlie's Angels, but everyone is going to see this clip. The Lincoln Project is probably already cutting the ad.

The president's handlers claim he was just “joking" about the deaths of 120,000 people, which is something you do when you're a stone-cold sociopath. Trump is scum, and he's so stupid and vain that people have died needlessly. The joke isn't funny anymore. I'm not interested in why idiots support this monster. I just want to end his infestation of the White House.

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Offline Surly1

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Missouri Police Stand Guard As White People Paint Blue Line Over BLM Mural
« Reply #383 on: June 23, 2020, 08:06:28 AM »

Missouri Police Stand Guard As White People Paint Blue Line Over BLM Mural

Police in Missouri were seen blocking traffic for a group of white people who destroyed a Black Lives Matter mural.

An image shared on social media shows four people who appear to be white painting over the words “Black Lives Matter” with what was called a “blue line.”

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Offline Surly1

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A Popular QAnon Twitter Account Is Really Just a Rando
« Reply #384 on: June 29, 2020, 05:14:08 AM »
A Popular QAnon Twitter Account That Claims To Have Explosive DC Dirt Is Really Just A Random Italian Guy
"Greg Rubini" isn't the person he claims to be.

Last updated on June 5, 2020, at 11:18 a.m. ET

BuzzFeed News / 2001: A Space Odyssey, courtesy of Everett Collection

Near the end of her May 26 briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called on Chanel Rion, the chief White House correspondent for pro-Trump cable outlet One America News Network.

Rion began her question by making the explosive — and false — claim that “new information” had revealed that former president Barack Obama had used a foreign intelligence service to surveil two floors of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. “So to what extent was [former CIA director] John Brennan behind that?” she asked.

People in the briefing room may have been scratching their heads, but a hyperactive Twitter user with a photo of one of the astronauts from 2001: A Space Odyssey as its avatar was elated. “Great job!” tweeted @GregRubini at Rion, claiming she had “asked a spicy question from my book.”

It was another coup for the pseudonymous account with more than 120,000 followers. He has injected himself into major news events, in part by claiming to have sources in the FBI, Trump Tower, and within government and intelligence circles. This week, as protests swept through the US, @GregRubini tweeted that antifa is "controlled by the CIA." New York mayor "De Blasio is ANTIFA," he also wrote, in a post that was retweeted thousands of times.

But the Rubini account’s claims of insider intel and “high placed” sources appear to be some of its author's litany of fabrications — which include his online identity.

His viral Twitter threads helped his conspiracy-filled self-published book, The Spy Operations on Trump, climb Amazon bestseller lists after its May 22 release. He was among the first to tweet the name of the alleged Ukraine whistleblower. His tweets claiming that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease official, “made” the novel coronavirus went viral and helped launch that baseless rumor into the mainstream. And thanks to national reporters like Rion who follow his path of conspiratorial thinking, he even has a line to the White House itself.

But the Rubini account’s claims of insider intel and “high placed” sources appear to be some of its author's litany of fabrications — which include his online identity. The man behind @GregRubini is Gregorio Palusa, a 61-year-old Italian sound engineer and marketer with no national security or intelligence credentials. His background includes a pattern of unverified claims about his business relationships and expertise, and a brief spell as a groupie for a Pink Floyd tribute band.

Palusa did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls.

The Rubini account first attracted national attention late last year when it tweeted the name of the alleged whistleblower more than 20 times, according to the Washington Post. Since then it’s become a mainstay of far-right conspiracy thinking.

May's White House briefing was the second time Rion brought one of Rubini's false claims to prominence. In mid-March, OAN aired an outlandish report from Rion that suggested a link between the novel coronavirus in Wuhan and a lab in North Carolina.

Rion, who has spread conspiracy theories and false information in the past, credited Rubini for the information, describing him as “a citizen investigator and monitored source amongst a certain set in the DC intelligence community.” Rion did not respond to a request for comment.

Rion’s story sparked a firestorm of criticism and caused the Daily Mail to dig into her background, exposing that she had changed her name, made misleading claims about her past, and had little journalism experience.

But her source escaped a similar level of scrutiny. Until now.

The bio of @GregRubini currently describes him as a “Strategy Advisor at /classified/.” It gives no account of who he really is, other than, presumably, that his name actually is Greg Rubini.

But that wasn't always true. In 2018, the account's Twitter biography contained a link to the site, a site that is registered to Palusa, who commonly goes by “Greg” in online profiles, including one he maintains on Blogger.

Screenshot / Twitter

Palusa was born on Jan. 4, 1959, in Trieste, a seaport in the northeast of Italy, according to a consulting contract that Palusa signed with an Italian book publisher in 2012. Two former business partners said Palusa had spent years in the US and in London, and spoke English very well.

He was living in Trieste at the end of the 1990s and in the first decade of the 2000s, a former business associate who requested anonymity told BuzzFeed News. His mother still lives in Trieste, but in a phone call told BuzzFeed News he was no longer living with her. She said she didn’t know where her son currently was and wasn’t sure whether she could get in touch with him.

Around 2010, Palusa moved to Tuscany, listing an address in Pienza, a small town near Siena, and lived there until at least 2015, according to domain registration records. Several music and film festivals held in the Siena area between 2013 and 2018 included Palusa’s name in promotional materials.

An artist from Trieste told BuzzFeed News that he had ended a business partnership relating to several collaborative creative and design projects with Palusa more than a decade ago. The artist said he had not been in contact with Palusa for at least 10 years.

“I never wanted to deal with this person again.”

“He started to have delusions of greatness, claimed to ask millions of dollars from companies, boasted about having assignments with companies with which he had had no relationship,” said the artist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He also said Palusa became more difficult to deal with over time, eventually forcing him to hire a lawyer to end their partnership. “I never wanted to deal with this person again," he said, "because of his growing megalomania that can seriously endanger those who work honestly.”

These days, Palusa claims to be employed in marketing. His LinkedIn profile lists him as the London-based director of international relations of marketing firm Vertygo Team, although on other sites he claimed his title was director of communications.

Palusa has also used “Greg Rubini” as an alias in the past, according to a Facebook post in March 2016 from an Italian book publisher that specializes in books about spirituality, ancient astronauts, and religious history. In the post, the publisher claimed a WordPress blog authored by "Gregorio Palusa aka Greg Rubini on social media" had defamed the publisher by pushing false and “delirious” information, that Palusa had stolen thousands of euros from the company, and had wasted a year of its time after pretending to represent a nonexistent marketing company.

Uno Editori CEO Prabhat Eusebio told BuzzFeed News that Palusa, who lived in Tuscany at the time, had contacted his company in 2012, promising to bring one of its authors to the US. “He claimed to have contacts with large American publishers,” said Eusebio.

“We realized the fraud after a loss of about 6,000 euros,” Eusebio alleged. “He seemed like an expert in publishing, but it all ended up in a soap bubble.”

The Uno Editori CEO claimed that Palusa became increasingly uncompromising as it seemed more clear he was unlikely to deliver on his promises. “After repeated requests to meet, and questions about how things were going in the search for publishers and agents, his position became more and more intransigent — and he blackmailed us when we stopped paying his fee.” Eusebio said Palusa threatened to not return revised texts, and to sue and go after the publisher in public if he wasn't paid. "He also asked for an exorbitant amount — €137,000 — outside the scope of the contract as compensation for his time, arbitrarily counting hours worked without providing any evidence.”

Eusebio said the company paid some of those fees, but started legal proceedings, after which Palusa created a WordPress blog to attack the company. The publisher said he had to abandon proceedings because it had become too costly.

Palusa also appears to have worked as an audio engineer.

His Blogger profile includes the claim that he worked with Deutsche Grammophon engineer Klaus Hiemann, whom the Rubini account has tweeted about. (Deutsche Grammophon didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

Italian organist Marco Lo Muscio said Palusa was a sound engineer on his 2009 album, Dark and Light. Palusa’s YouTube account showcases musical performances that he claims to have filmed and edited, many of which have to do with the rock band Pink Floyd. At an Italian festival held in Tuscany in 2013, Palusa presented a multimedia exhibition called Pink Floyd: Odyssey in Space in conjunction with a performance by tribute band Pink Noise.

Carmelo J., a member of the band, said they fell out of touch after Palusa began offering the unsolicited feedback about its work.

“Greg Palusa liked us very much as a band, he followed us for a bit,” Carmelo J. told BuzzFeed News in a Facebook message. “Then he disappeared (I don't remember why, probably some small squabble) and we have no more news of him.”

Asked if he could recall what the argument was about, Carmelo J. replied: “I just remember that at a certain point his stylistic ‘advice’ about us became ‘critical,’ expressed even in an inelegant way.”

Palusa also said he’s worked with several prominent companies, a claim which could not be independently verified.

Many of the companies that Palusa listed on his Blogger profile as having worked with told BuzzFeed News they had never heard of him. He claims to have worked with London marketing agency AKQA, Angels Costumes, Ferrari, Apple, and music label EMI.

The managing director of AKQA, who’s been there for 13 years, told BuzzFeed News that Palusa’s name did not appear in any records and he didn’t recognize him. Angels Costumes of London said the same. A spokesperson for Apple said the company has never employed Palusa and had no record of working with Vertygo Team. EMI did not respond to requests for comment.

Ferrari declined to comment, but Palusa’s claim that he had worked for the company made its way into a 2011 lawsuit filed by the Ford Motor Company against Ferrari. In the suit, filed in Michigan, Ford alleged that Ferrari had infringed on Ford’s F-150 trademark. Ford’s complaint described Palusa’s company, Vertygo Team, as “Ferrari’s outside marketing consultant” and quoted from an article he published on his website about Ferrari’s marketing strategy. The suit was dismissed less than a month later after the parties came to a settlement.

Palusa claims on his LinkedIn profile that his article about Apple’s marketing strategy was being studied by companies including Nokia, Microsoft, Sony, and Goldman Sachs. Backlink data from SEMrush showed the vast majority of links to the post came from spammy online coupon sites.

As @GregRubini, Palusa claims to have sources inside the US government with knowledge of intelligence, judicial, and White House matters. For example, in May of 2019, he said his “well placed source inside the FBI” had seen indictments for former CIA director John Brennan and former FBI director James Comey. Neither has been indicted.

He has also tweeted that people should stop asking him who these supposed insiders are: “my sources are confidential. I always honor my commitment to confidentiality, so: don't even ask who my sources are.”

He threatened to block anyone who asked about his sources.

“My sources are confidential. I always honor my commitment to confidentiality, so: don't even ask who my sources are.” 

The @GregRubini account was created in 2014, but it took until January of 2019 for it to join the firmament of followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory and supporters of President Donald Trump.

That month, Palusa claimed the Twitter accounts of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former CIA director John Brennan, and former national security adviser Susan Rice had been taken over by military intelligence as part of a supposedly secret prosecution. Core to the QAnon conspiracy is the unfounded idea that these so-called deep state operatives have been or will be arrested and tried for treason and other offenses in secret.

That same month, Palusa claimed Obama’s Twitter account had also been taken over, and that a recent photo shared in a tweet was a signal “to tell us - Patriots - that OUR GUYS have Hussein in custody in Gitmo.” He also said former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe, and former Department of Justice lawyer Sally Yates were “under prosecution at the Military Tribunals secret trials.”

“My sources told me that at least 80 (possibly up to 140) congressmen will be prosecuted and brought to jail,” Palusa said.


The cover of Rubini's self-published book.

None of these things happened, of course. But Palusa kept adding new followers. On May 22, he published a book in which he alleges a broad deep state conspiracy against Trump. In its appendix, he includes a screenshot showing that in February of this year his tweets generated 53.8 million views.

His book is filled with references to supposedly high-placed sources, including the false claim that Rion cited in the White House.

In the book, Palusa also offers a document he claims is a memo from the head of the British communications intelligence agency to then–foreign minister Boris Johnson outlining the Trump surveillance operation. Palusa’s attempts to verify the memo and its implications occupy close to half of the book. He writes that the most likely conclusion is the “document is 100% authentic.”

In fact, according to responses from the UK government as well as outlets who examined it, it is a sloppy forgery that doesn’t hold up to the slightest scrutiny.

Palusa also cites a March 2017 claim from Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano that the UK spied on the Trump campaign at Obama’s request, an allegation that has been widely discredited. When that surfaced, the usually tight-lipped GCHQ called it “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous.” A spokesperson for then–British prime minister Theresa May said the claim was "ridiculous and should have been ignored." The US government agreed to not repeat it. Even Donald Trump — the person who benefits most if the claim is true — has declined to repeat it.

But none of that is mentioned in the book. Instead, Palusa writes that three “high placed confidential sources have confirmed to the author of this book, Greg Rubini, that the GCHQ Top Secret document is authentic.” ●

Correction: Theresa May's name was misspelled in a previous version of this post.

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Militias flocked to Gettysburg to foil a supposed antifa flag burning
« Reply #385 on: July 05, 2020, 05:04:31 AM »
Bahahaha... their tears nourish me.

Militias flocked to Gettysburg to foil a supposed antifa flag burning, an apparent hoax created on social media

Armed militia members, bikers and white nationalists turned up at the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4 to defend against a supposed burning of the U.S. flag by leftists.
Armed militia members, bikers and white nationalists turned up at the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4 to defend against a supposed burning of the U.S. flag by leftists. (Andrew Mangum/For The Washington Post)

GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK, PA. — For weeks, a mysterious figure on social media talked up plans for antifa protesters to converge on this historical site on Independence Day to burn American flags, an event that seemed at times to border on the farcical.

“Let’s get together and burn flags in protest of thugs and animals in blue,” the anonymous person behind a Facebook page called Left Behind USA wrote in mid-June. There would be antifa face paint, the person wrote, and organizers would “be giving away free small flags to children to safely throw into the fire.”

As word spread, self-proclaimed militias, bikers, skinheads and far-right groups from outside the state issued a call to action, pledging in online videos and posts to come to Gettysburg to protect the Civil War monuments and the nation’s flag from desecration. Some said they would bring firearms and use force if necessary.

On Saturday afternoon, in the hours before the flag burning was to start, they flooded in by the hundreds — heavily armed and unaware, it seemed, that the mysterious Internet poster was not who the person claimed to be.

Biographical details — some from the person’s Facebook page and others provided to The Washington Post in a series of messages — did not match official records. An image the person once posted on a profile page was a picture of a man taken by a German photographer for a stock photo service.

Part of the right-wing response in Gettysburg to a rumored flag burning to be carried out there by antifa on July 4.
Part of the right-wing response in Gettysburg to a rumored flag burning to be carried out there by antifa on July 4. (Andrew Mangum/For The Washington Post)
Hundreds turned out to prevent any burning of U.S. flags, but no one turned up to burn flags.
Hundreds turned out to prevent any burning of U.S. flags, but no one turned up to burn flags. (Andrew Mangum/For The Washington Post)

The episode at Gettysburg is a stark illustration of how shadowy figures on social media have stoked fears about the protests against racial injustice and excessive police force that have swept across the nation since the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

Armed vigilantes lined the streets of small Idaho towns last month after false claims circulated online about antifa, a loose collection of activists who oppose fascism and have sometimes embraced property damage and violent protest in recent years. Similar hoaxes have befallen towns in New Jersey, South Dakota and Michigan in recent weeks.

It is not always clear who has made these false claims and why, whether they seek to advance a political agenda, antagonize people with whom they disagree or achieve some other goal.

Social media companies have in recent weeks shut down a handful of fake accounts created by white supremacist groups posing as antifa operatives in a bid to undermine peaceful protests.

In response to messages from The Post, the person managing the Left Behind USA account identified himself as 39-year-old Alan Jeffs, a lifelong Democrat-turned-anarchist from Pittsburgh who now lives in Des Moines.

The Post examined real estate, court and voter records, as well as other public documents, but could find no such person.

Officials at Facebook and Twitter shut down the Left Behind USA pages last week after The Post inquired about the accounts, saying the person behind them had manipulated the platform by creating multiple accounts with overlapping content in an effort to amplify their messaging. The officials declined to identify the other accounts.

An official at Facebook said the person appeared to be operating the accounts from inside the United States. After the accounts were shut down, The Post was no longer able to contact the person who was claiming to be Jeffs.

But fears of the antifa-sponsored protest had already taken root.

Macky Marker, a member of a Delaware militia called First State Pathfinders, posted a YouTube video calling on militiamen to go to Gettysburg. “If you plan on coming, I would plan on coming full battle-rattle … to be fully, 100 percent prepared to defend yourself and whoever you come with,” Marker said in the video.

Left Behind USA popped up on Twitter in February, advancing far-left ideas in a torrent of crude memes and graphics that decried capitalism, called for an end to police and advocated a moratorium on rent. The account attacked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as a “rapist” and accused him of supporting racist criminal justice laws.

The anonymous person controlling the account described himself in various posts as a laid-off graphic designer, a former Uber driver and a disc jockey. He wrote that he was living off food stamps and sleeping on a friend’s couch.

In May, the person sent out an urgent request for gas money on Left Behind USA’s Twitter account. He was stranded, the person wrote, with his roommate’s car while returning from a trip to Ohio to attend his grandfather’s funeral. He said his grandfather, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers who had worked in Youngstown, died on May 28 at age 96.

Jim Burgham, the business manager of the IBEW Local 64 of Youngstown, told The Post that the union, which tracks deaths of current and former members, knew of no such person.

“That member you described doesn’t exist,” Burgham said.

In early April, a person using the name Alan Jeffs created a petition on the website It included a video first posted on a Twitter account controlled by the Alan Jeffs persona who runs Left Behind USA. The petition called for the governor of Wisconsin to postpone the Democratic primary because of the health risks of the novel coronavirus.

It included a photo of a smiling, bearded man, purportedly Jeffs, and said he was in Beaver Falls, Pa. Using a reverse image search, The Post found that the photo on the stock photo website

This image was used in identifying the organizer of a supposed flag burning set for Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4, but the picture is a stock photo.
This image was used in identifying the organizer of a supposed flag burning set for Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4, but the picture is a stock photo. (Deposit photos)

The Left Behind USA Facebook page was created June 2. When The Post initially sought an interview in mid-June, the person controlling the Facebook page responded in a message: “I don’t prefer to talk to conservative media sources.”

The person later identified himself as 39-year-old Jeffs and provided several details about his background. “I have been politically active since I was old enough to vote and have voted Democratic in every presidential and midterm election that I’ve been able to,” the person wrote in a private Facebook message to The Post.

Election officials in Iowa’s Polk County told The Post that no one by the name Alan Jeffs has ever been registered to vote in the state, according to a database search. Officials in Pennsylvania said there was no one by that name on that state’s active or inactive voter rolls, either.

Two media publications quoted Alan Jeffs this spring, citing another of his Twitter accounts that supported former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The Christian Science Monitor found in an analysis of social media data that Jeffs’s Twitter account, @Bernieorelse, stood out for its frequent and aggressive posts against former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

“Twitter is the real world now, even more than it was four years ago,” the Christian Science Monitor quoted Jeffs as saying in March.

The twitter account @LeftBehindUSA, run by a self-proclaimed antifa member who promoted a supposed flag burning in Gettysburg, Pa., on July 4.
The twitter account @LeftBehindUSA, run by a self-proclaimed antifa member who promoted a supposed flag burning in Gettysburg, Pa., on July 4. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

In April, a student-run news website at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism quoted Jeffs in a story about the Democratic presidential nomination. Jeffs said he lived just outside Pittsburgh.

“I’m fed up with the Democrats forcing centrist candidates upon us,” he said.

That same month, his social media account @Bernieorelse was suspended by Twitter. A spokesman told The Post the account violated the platform’s rules but declined to elaborate.

On June 11, Left Behind USA posted an image on its Facebook page that seemed designed to agitate.

Around an illustration of a U.S. flag aflame, it announced: “Antifa presents: 4th of July Flag Burning To Peacefully Protest For Abolishing Police Nationwide.”

“No Bikers, Militias Or Other So-Called Patriots,” it said. “Children Welcome - Antifa Face-Painting”

A Facebook page called Central PA Antifa quickly denounced the event as fake, likening it to a hoax in Gettysburg three years ago.

In 2017, rumors of an antifa event at the national park prompted a large group of armed militia members to show up. They encountered no one from antifa, but one of the armed militia members accidentally shot himself in the leg with a revolver.

Still, news of this year’s supposed event spread quickly in conservative circles.

Material promoting a supposed flag burning event in Gettysburg on July 4.
Material promoting a supposed flag burning event in Gettysburg on July 4. (Obtained by The Washington Post)
Material promoting a supposed flag burning event in Gettysburg on July 4.
Material promoting a supposed flag burning event in Gettysburg on July 4. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

On June 22, the far-right website Gateway Pundit published a story claiming that “Antifa domestic terrorists are planning to desecrate the Gettysburg National Cemetery and set the American Flag ablaze on Independence Day.”

Local newspapers also picked up the story.

This town of fewer than 8,000 people grew alarmed. Residents flooded authorities with calls. Local officials pledged to mobilize the town’s entire 20-person police department and bring in others from bordering towns to protect homes, businesses and statues.

Soon, militia groups were vowing to protect the town as well.

“Multiple local residents in Gettysburg PA have contacted us with HEAVY concerns about the terrorist organization ANTIFA holding a flag burning event in their town,” a group that calls itself the Pennsylvania State Militia posted on its Facebook page June 23. The group said it would mobilize its “county response team” as “a deterrent against the enemy forces.”

Other Facebook groups called Patriots Against Treason, Defend Our Flag and Nation, Protect Our Flag and Battlefield from Being Destroyed quickly formed and announced they also would send people to Gettysburg.

Bill Wolfe, a Gettysburg resident and member of a private Facebook group called III% United Patriots of Pennsylvania, said in an interview that the flag-burning event represented an “ongoing attack on American heritage and culture.”

Antifa’s activities, he said, were part of a decades-long campaign by the Communist Party to take over the country.

Last week, the person who identified himself as Jeffs told The Post in a private message sent through Twitter that he expected “500 to 600” people to attend the flag-burning event. “We have mobilized groups from all over the area,” he wrote.

“We believe in open carry and plan to do so at this event,” he added, a reference to the practice of openly carrying firearms in public.

Twitter suspended the account two days later.

But even more outlandish rumors about the protest were circulating.

A separate Facebook post that circulated widely warned that antifa protesters were planning on “MURDERING White people and BURNING DOWN Suburbs” after the Gettysburg flag burning event. It cited a “controlled unclassified law enforcement bulletin.”

In the final days of June, local police publicly said that the post was false.

Militia members at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania on July 4.
Militia members at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania on July 4. (Andrew Mangum/For The Washington Post)
One of the hundreds who turned up to thwart a supposed flag-burning event at Gettysburg.
One of the hundreds who turned up to thwart a supposed flag-burning event at Gettysburg. (Andrew Mangum/For The Washington Post)

On Saturday, hours before the planned flag-burning protest, hundreds of bikers, militia members and self-described patriots began gathering outside the Gettysburg Cemetery and at nearby sites with Confederate memorials. Some waved Confederate flags. Many gripped assault rifles slung from their shoulders. One carried a baseball bat.

Steve Eicholtz, a 59-year-old from Biglerville, Pa., said he had seen enough of images of looting and rioting. It wasn’t going to happen here, he said.

“These people are acting like savages,” he told his fellow patriots, while holding an AR-15 rifle.

“We’ve been letting them get by with it for too long, but that changes now,” said Don Kretzer, 52, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Less than a mile away, at the Virginia Monument, hundreds of bikers and armed men gathered around a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Christopher Blakeman, 45, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said he felt compelled to join a group of about 50 bikers, mostly from Maryland, to protect the monument from rumored antifa protesters.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a hoax or not,” he said. “They made a threat, and if we don’t make our voices heard, it’ll make it seem like it’s okay.”

As the 3 p.m. start time for the planned flag burning approached, there was no sign of Alan Jeffs or of busloads of antifa members.

Suddenly, by the statue of Lee, a biker shouted that he had gotten an alarming call. Someone was preparing to burn a flag, after all, he said. Scores of people jumped on their bikes and roared toward the cemetery.

There, they learned it was not the threat they imagined.

A man had entered the cemetery wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. The man, Trent Somes, later told The Post he was visiting the grave of an ancestor, not protesting. A seminarian and associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Hanover, Pa., Somes said a crowd of about 50 people surrounded him and aggressively questioned him about his shirt.

“I didn’t do anything to them,” he said.

Police arrived and encouraged Somes to leave.

“For his own safety, federal law enforcement made the decision to remove him, and he was escorted out of the cemetery,” Jason Martz, acting public affairs officer for Gettysburg National Military Park, later said.

Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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Tucker Carlson's top writer resigns after posting racist and sexist remarks
« Reply #386 on: July 13, 2020, 04:57:03 AM »
A reminder that "character" is what you do when you think that no one is watching.

Tucker Carlson's top writer resigns after secretly posting racist and sexist remarks in online forum
Top writer for Fox News host Tucker Carlson resigns

New York (CNN Business) — Editor's note: This article quotes racist, homophobic and sexist language, much of which has not been censored.

The top writer for Fox News host Tucker Carlson has for years been using a pseudonym to post bigoted remarks on an online forum that is a hotbed for racist, sexist, and other offensive content, CNN Business learned this week.
Just this week, the writer, Blake Neff, responded to a thread started by another user in 2018 with the subject line, "Would u let a JET BLACK congo n****er do lasik eye surgery on u for 50% off?" Neff wrote, "I wouldn't get LASIK from an Asian for free, so no." (The subject line was not censored on the forum.) On June 5, Neff wrote, "Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down." On June 24, Neff commented, "Honestly given how tired black people always claim to be, maybe the real crisis is their lack of sleep." On June 26, Neff wrote that the only people who care about changing the name of the NFL's Washington Redskins are "white libs and their university-'educated' pets."

Tammy Duckworth hits back at Trump and Carlson: 'These titanium legs don't buckle'
And over the course of five years, Neff has maintained a lengthy thread in which he has derided a woman and posted information about her dating life that has invited other users to mock her and invade her privacy. There has at times also been overlap between some material he posted or saw on the forum and Carlson's show.

CNN Business contacted Neff for comment Thursday night. After he or someone acting on his behalf passed that email to Fox News spokespeople, a network spokesperson on Friday morning told CNN Business that Neff had resigned. A Fox News spokesperson said on Friday that Carlson could not be reached for comment. Neff did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In a memo sent to employees Saturday afternoon, after this story was first published, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace condemned "horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior."

"Neff's abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation," Scott and Wallace wrote. "Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force."

Scott and Wallace said that Carlson would address the matter on his Monday show.

Neff worked at Fox News for nearly four years and was Carlson's top writer. Previously, he was a reporter at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. In a recent article in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff said, "Anything [Carlson is] reading off the teleprompter, the first draft was written by me." He also acknowledged the show's influence, telling the magazine, "We're very aware that we do have that power to sway the conversation, so we try to use it responsibly."
When asked in a 2018 appearance on Fox's "The Five" about the writing process for his show, Carlson said he spends hours working on scripts, but referred to Neff by name, saying he was a "wonderful writer" and acknowledging his assistance. And Carlson credited Neff in the acknowledgments of his book, "Ship of Fools," for providing research. In the acknowledgments, Carlson said that Neff and two others who helped with the book "work on and greatly improve our nightly show on Fox."

During the years that Neff wrote for him at Fox, Carlson has hosted one of the most influential shows on cable news. In the last quarter, Carlson had not only the highest-rated program in cable news, but the highest-rated show in the history of cable news. Carlson also counts President Trump among his most loyal viewers. On multiple occasions, the President has tweeted out videos of Carlson's program. Which is to say, the scripts that Neff likely helped write and shape were being shared by the President of the United States.
Fox's Carlson called veteran a 'moron.' A closer look at his target
Fox's Carlson called veteran a 'moron.' A closer look at his target 03:27
While working at Fox News, and while a reporter at The Daily Caller, Neff was a frequent poster on AutoAdmit. Also known as XOXOhth, it is a relatively unmoderated message board like 4chan aimed at lawyers and law school students in which racism and sexism run rampant. The board's vulgar content was previously the subject of much criticism, and two Yale students sued anonymous posters on the site in 2007 alleging they had defamed them and made threatening remarks. The Hartford Courant reported in 2009 that the lawsuit was quietly settled after some of the posters were identified.
Neff, who posts on the board under the username CharlesXII, is widely revered on the forum, with many posters knowing the person behind the account works on Carlson's show. He has spent years posting about history, offering his political opinions, and detailing aspects of his personal life.

After learning of Neff's posts on the board through an email from an anonymous tipster, CNN Business was able to positively identify CharlesXII as Neff by reviewing messages he has posted throughout the years on the forum and matching them up with publicly available information about him.

 A whistleblower holding an envelope.
Among the details which make clear that CharlesXII and Neff are the same person: CharlesXII indicated on the board that he had gone to Dartmouth; Neff is an alumnus. CharlesXII said he had been working for nearly four years in his current journalism job in Washington DC; Neff has been working for Carlson at Fox in Washington since February 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile, which appears to have been removed after his resignation from Fox News. CharlesXII said on the board that he got his start in journalism after he turned down law school and instead took a fellowship; Neff told the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine that he took a fellowship with the Collegiate Network.

CharlesXII also wrote a parody version of the song "We Didn't Start The Fire" and posted about it on the board, including a screen shot of an email he received from Carlson praising a lyric in the song. Neff sang the parody song at a Daily Caller Christmas party a few years ago, according to a person familiar with the event.

The Daily Caller declined to comment.

And in a 2017 Washington Post Date Lab article featuring Neff, he dropped a number of Easter eggs for the board, including referencing an "alcohol is poison" meme that he has repeatedly posted about and carrying a book on Catherine the Great to a date. His username on the forum, CharlesXII, is a reference to Charles XII of Sweden, a king known for his military victories and who abstained from sex and alcohol. Neff, a history buff interested in wars and military battles, has repeatedly disclosed on the forum that he rarely drinks and The Post story said he rarely dates.

Tucker Carlson ad boycott causes headaches for Fox News
Even more clearly identifying, however, were photos that CharlesXII posted to the forum in 2018 to the forum after visiting a museum in Egypt. In three of the photos, a reflection of Neff is visible snapping the pictures in the artifacts' glass enclosures.

While at Fox News, Carlson has been accused by critics of making racist and inflammatory comments on air. His show has long appealed to extremists who agree with his hardline views on immigration, his emphasis on the preservation of Western culture, and his commentary on topics of race.

Carlson has at several points in his Fox News career found himself in hot water when commenting on such topics. In August 2019, for instance, Carlson became engulfed in controversy when he said the very real problem of white supremacy in America was a "hoax." Most recently, Carlson saw more advertisers — including Disney and T-Mobile — flee his program in June after he said the Black Lives Matter movement was "not about black lives" and warned viewers to "remember that when they come for you." (A Fox News spokesperson later said Carlson was referring to Democratic leaders, not Black Lives Matter protesters, when he made the comments.)
Carlson himself has in the past pushed back against allegations of racism. He told The Atlantic in December 2019 that such accusations are "so far from the truth" that it has "no effect at all other than to evoke in me contempt for the people saying it" because he thinks "it's that dishonest."
Bigotry and vitriol

In 2015, Neff started a thread on AutoAdmit mocking a woman, with whom he was friends on Facebook and whom he described as an "Azn megashrew," sharing posts she had written about her dating life. He has continued to post to the thread and mock the woman, whom CNN Business is not identifying, as recently as late last month. In his first post in 2015 starting the years-long thread, he explained that "through circumstances" he couldn't "quite recall," he became Facebook friends with the woman and thought her posts about dating were amusing.

"So, I thought I'd post them," Neff wrote. "I won't put up a pic but it's probably relevant to say that she's a slightly overweight Azn woman who is in her mid-30s and definitely looks it."

Through the years, the thread has generated nearly 1,000 comments — many of which used vulgar racist, sexist, and dehumanizing language to mock the woman. Neff also said he did not want other posters to harass her, but did not stop them from identifying her and posting links to her account. He also posted some photos from her account that did not show her face and continued posting about her dating life for years after the other posters had identified her.

Reached for comment, the woman told CNN Business, "When I was recently made aware of Blake's posts about me on racist websites, I was overcome with disappointment which eventually mixed with bewilderment that he spent years dedicated to creating a false narrative based on my satirical writing about my life. The nature of online media is that your identity, while nominally under your control, is vulnerable to being misused. Any public figure can attest to this problem."

In March 2020, Neff started another lengthy thread mocking a separate woman with whom he was connected on social media. The woman had posted about freezing her eggs, and Neff apparently found that worth deriding in the AutoAdmit forum. He began posting about her in March of this year, in a thread he titled "Disaster: WuFlu outbreak endangers aging shrew's quest to freeze eggs." Neff posted to the thread, which racked up dozens of comments as users ridicule the woman, as recently as June 28.

I was overcome with disappointment which eventually mixed with bewilderment that he spent years dedicated to creating a false narrative based on my satirical writing about my life.
On the forum, Neff has also expressed bigoted views. In 2014, he joked about "foodie faggots." And in the same year, he started a thread titled, "Urban business idea: He Didn't Do Muffin!" He joked one item could be, "Sandra Bland's Sugar-free Shortbreads!" In August 2019, a user started a thread titled, "We should just buy Canada and kick the Canadians out." Neff commented, "Okay but what do we do with the millions of Chinese people."

More recently, in February 2020, Neff called Mormonism "an inherently cucky religion." On June 5, a user on the forum commented in a thread, "Didn't Michael Brown rob a store and attack a police officer? And wasn't [George Floyd] a piece of shit with a long criminal record? Jfc libs." Another person commented, "It doesn't matter to these people." Neff then replied, "It does. The violent criminals are even MORE heroic." On June 16, a user started a separate thread about a video showing a Black man assaulting an elderly white woman in New York. Neff commented on the thread, "And to think, if this guy got killed in some freak incident while being arrested, we'd have to endure at least three funerals in his honor."

On the Fourth of July, Neff started a thread in which he jokingly "rated" members of the community using images from a 1990s video game from the makers of "Oregon Trail" that was pulled from the market due to its racist depictions of slaves. In the game, users play as slaves trying to break free and escape north. Neff assigned users on the forum images from the game, many of which depicted Black slaves using racist stereotypes. For instance, Neff assigned one user an image of a slave catcher, to which the user replied "[thank you] massa Charles for dis."

On May 27, Neff wrote that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib — known collectively as "The Squad" — want to "MAKE YOUR COUNTRY A DUMPING GROUND FOR PEOPLE FROM THIRD WORLD SHITHOLES." Responding to a thread on June 27 about whether "whites fear what's going to happen to them in 10-20 yrs," Neff wrote that he has "no plans to stay" in the country "that long." In December 2019, he said that "once Democrats have the majorities to go full F**K WHITEY, things are going to get really wacky really quickly." He argued at the time that there is a "large minority of whites who are fully supportive of a F**k Whitey agenda" and that "there's a suicidal impulse to Western peoples that honestly feels almost biological in origin."

When not making his own bigoted comments, Neff has shown a willingness to respond to others who were, without expressing any hesitation, much less disgust, about what they've said. For instance, in 2016 he replied to a thread with the title, "Mary Poppins getting raped by a pack of wild ni***rs at the park; kids watching." That same year, he commented on a thread titled, "DIKES get wrong CUM at CUMBANK. N****R pops out." Just last month, Neff replied to a comment on the thread that said, "And the n**s are always honor students or some bullshit." (The language on both posts was not censored on the forum.)

Analysis: Tucker Carlson's attempt to smear senator who lost both legs in Iraq War crosses the line
Last month, Neff mocked a user who said they were leaving the board over concerns about the rampant racism on it. In a now-deleted comment, the user implored others to "consider the current environment," writing, "The country is undergoing a great awakening to racist injustices throughout society. Maybe you should take this opportunity to consider whether continuing to post here is morally defensible at all, even if you aren't posting deranged shit? I don't think it is defensible, which is why I am leaving."

On June 16, Neff responded by quoting the user's words and adding, "LMAO if you think this shit will save you when the mob comes for you. Good riddance." The language notably echoed Carlson's comment, eight days before, when he had said "remember that when they come for you."

In February 2018, a user on AutoAdmit posted, "At some point in the future, all ur xo posts (w/IRL name) will be public record." One person commented, "I stand by every poast." Neff upvoted that comment.

Easter eggs

When he had just started working at Fox News, Neff was apparently less cautious and more willing to risk exposing his identity for a chance to show off to his fellow posters.

One night in February 2017 -- which, according to his LinkedIn, would have been Neff's second month with Carlson at Fox News — Carlson tripped over his words as he introduced a guest. The phrase Carlson was trying to say was, even for the host's florid style, a little out of place: "Sweet treats of scholarship."

Within minutes, Neff was posting to AutoAdmit about Carlson's use of the phrase, which other posters gleefully noted was a reference to something said on the forum.

Neff's caution since then may have resulted in fewer Easter eggs being slipped into Carlson's scripts. But there has still been at least some overlap between the forum and the show, including in recent weeks.

Sometimes, material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show. For instance, on June 25, Neff responded to a post that quoted a news story about coronavirus-related interest in Montana real estate. He wrote on the forum, "Interest in real estate in Bozeman, Missoula, and the Flathead Valley has been on the rise for years." That night, in his monologue, Carlson said, "You're starting to consider maybe moving to Bozeman, and why wouldn't you?"

In some cases, language Neff used on the forum ended up on the show. The night of June 15, in commenting on a football coach who was the subject of controversy over a sweatshirt he'd worn, Neff wrote on the forum, "It is your f***ing right as an American to wear whatever T-shirt you want, and hold whatever political views you want. Christ." The next night on his show, Carlson said, "And they can wear whatever shirts they want. You thought that was true. You thought that was your right as an American."

Other times, Neff may have used knowledge he had gained in his job at Fox News to post to the board. On the afternoon of July 1, Neff started a thread titled, "Two GOP senators propose replacing Columbus Day w/Juneteenth." In the thread, he wrote, "Coming out this afternoon if it isn't out already." That afternoon, it was public; that night, the proposal was discussed on Carlson's show.

-- Additional reporting by CNN's Sergio Hernandez.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."