Samantha Bee talks pizzagate, fake news: "What kind of demon brain comes up with stuff like this?"

"Full Frontal" correspondent Mike Rubens sits down with Jestin Coler, fake news "godfather," to get some answers


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Brendan Gauthier
December 6, 2016 7:02PM (UTC)

"Full Frontal" host Samantha Bee on Monday reflected on the real world implications of so-called "fake news," the latest media buzzword (remember the "alt-right"?) keeping liberals up at night — perhaps for good reason.

Over the weekend, 28-year-old North Carolina-native Edgar Maddison Welch brought an assault rifle into Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. The fake news echo chamber pegged Comet as a front for a child sex-trafficking operation after it showed up in Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's WikiLeaked emails.

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Welch told police he'd planned to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory and, according to court documents, surrendered when he "found no evidence that underage children were being harbored in the restaurant."

"Full Frontal" correspondent Mike Rubens interviewed Jestin Coler, a fake news pioneer whom NPR tracked down last month.

Coler, a liberal who voted for Clinton, created several right wing fake news sites to, as he said, "to infiltrate (the alt-right) and see if they would fall for the stories we were writing in order to then publicly discredit them as being factual news sources."

"My point from the beginning was to kinda educate consumers of content on how to best identify these sort of fake versus real," he tried to justify.

Rubens compared Coler's tactic to "doing a public service by teaching people about the dangers of drugs by giving them drugs."


Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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