Sean Hannity and different right-wing sorts are in a gleeful tizzy over a tune from rapper Bryson Gray, which incorporates some anti-vax lyrics and the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon,” a tortured MAGA inside joke that mainly means “Fuck Biden.” The tune is a part of a rising oeuvre of pro-Trump songs that take goal on the proper’s favourite pandemic-era bogeymen, together with the Democratic president, vaccine mandates, and the nation of Australia (due to its strict COVID-era lockdown insurance policies).
Gray’s tune additionally options homophobic lyrics and is simply typically fairly ugly; that hasn’t stopped Hannity from plugging it, twice, on his Twitter feed.
“My timeline is simply full of these MAGA rappers,” Fever Goals co-host Will Sommer discloses on this week’s episode of the podcast.
Elsewhere on the present, Sommer and visitor host Kelly Weill focus on how Mel Gibson’s Jesus—aka actor Jim Caviezel—has “emerged from his chrysalis as a QAnon butterfly.” The actor has put out a video speaking about adrenochrome and the blood of trafficked youngsters and appeared as a star visitor at a Las Vegas QAnon occasion this weekend the place he learn a speech from Braveheart. Additionally on the convention with Caviezel: one other rising luminary within the fringe motion, Juan O. Savin, who’s a “form of superstar QAnon whisperer.” Savin appeared on the confab with “a duplicate of a costume Melania as soon as wore” and began “dissecting the symbols of how her costume is a QAnon factor.”
A “unusual little man” who is definitely an insurance coverage investigator from the Pacific Northwest—“his entire factor is he form of acts like a cowboy, he wears plenty of cowboy hats and fringe and stuff,” Sommer explains—Savin has turn into “actually tight with Roseanne” and “has obtained this unusual maintain over these celebrities.” Oh, and he performs into the best’s conspiratorial perception that he’s actually JFK Jr., as a result of, Boomers.
After all, conspiracies don’t discriminate by era, and this week’s visitor, author EJ Dickson from Rolling Stone, provides a rollicking tour by the purple drugs of TikTok, the place Gen Z is discovering Pizzagate for the primary time, obsessing over Gabby Petito’s murder, and falling in love with Scientology persona quizzes.
Dickson, who additionally co-hosts the Don’t Let This Flop podcast, notes that the platform was “a bastion of conspiracies of all types within the early days of the pandemic. And it was residence to plenty of the 5G conspiracy theories, plenty of conspiracy theories about how the vaccine—which didn’t even exist at that time—was a mark of the beast.”
“What’s actually been putting about protecting this form of misinformation is that it’s actually age-old tales repackaged in new packing containers,” she provides. “I’d say that in principle, [TikTok] talks an enormous sport about curbing misinformation on the platform and so they have plenty of tips that particularly relate to it. However, in observe, I don’t actually see it applied fairly often.”
Lastly, this week marked the beginning of the civil court docket case over the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Weill explains the origins of the lawsuit, which takes goal at lots of the organizers of the lethal Unite the Proper occasion: “The plaintiffs on this case are 9 individuals who had been affected by Unite the Proper. They had been individuals who had been attacked throughout that torchlight rally. They had been individuals who had been within the crowd when James Fields, Jr. drove his automotive into anti-racist protesters. There’s a preacher who was fairly viciously harassed.” The lawsuit has concerned dramatic developments even earlier than touchdown in court docket—“it has led to the arrest of 1 Neo-Nazi who simply would not flip over court docket order paperwork. So he bought chucked in jail for contempt of court docket. It’s led to tens of 1000’s in fines and sanctions in opposition to far-right figures and teams,” Weill notes. “It’s led to the discharge of some actually damning, and for my part, very embarrassing textual content messages between white supremacists, like one texting Richard Spencer, like, ‘you might be my liege.’”
The invention course of has additionally uncovered texts on right-wing platforms the place organizers talked about hitting counter-protesters with vehicles—“it’s one thing that individuals mentioned at size”—in addition to different messages that “actually undercut the defendants’ argument that this was spontaneous violence…they’re speaking about organizational buildings, they’re organizing carpools, they’re speaking about, simply, gleeful anticipation of attainable violence.”
As Sommer notes, there are parallels to the trials of the Jan. 6 rioters—significantly round how a lot of the violence was pre-planned—so the Charlottesville case might be one to look at. As Weill asks, “What culpability do leaders have over a violent follower?”