Donald Trump

Inside the Pro-Trump Conference Where a Violent Meme Made National News

The American Priority Festival gave a glimpse inside the world where deep state theories thrive.

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THE TRUMP NATIONAL DORAL MIAMI RESORT—Several hundred of Donald Trump's most fervent and fevered fans gathered for the weekend at one of his glitzy Florida resorts. Naturally, the biggest news was a meme.

The New York Times reported Sunday night that a video was played at this year's American Priority Festival, a pro-Trump event featuring the president's staunchest defenders, showing Trump massacring a church full of people with media brands superimposed on their faces. The video was an edited clip from the first Kingsman movie.

The White House Correspondents Association released a statement calling on Trump "and everybody associated with this conference to denounce this video and affirm that violence has no place in our society."

I was one of the few reporters allowed into the conference, by virtue of not being a lib or working for a mainstream outlet, and I can fill in the rather sad context. The video was part of an "art exhibit," located in a room to the side of the Donald J. Trump Ballroom, of videos created by the self-proclaimed "memesmith" who goes by the pseudonym "Carpe Donktum." Typing that sentence made me hate myself.

Anyway, inside the room TVs and projectors were playing Mr. Donktum's greatest hits. They generally all follow the same format. Trump's face is superimposed onto a clip from The Avengers, and he beats up CNN. Trump's face is superimposed onto Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, and he dances while kicking space rats labeled CNN.

I took a short video of the room:

I couldn't say how many people actually saw the offending meme. The room was empty when I walked in on Friday morning. I didn't stay in the room very long, because I don't like high-concept art and the real-life memes were walking around outside.

Nearby in the halls of the ballroom at the Trump National Doral Miami resort, former Trump campaign lackey George Papadopoulos was signing copies of his book, Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump, for a long line of festival attendees. Papadopoulos served 12 days in federal prison after being convicted of making false statements to the FBI and is currently on supervised release.

The Bikers for Trump were there in their leather vests, despite the South Florida heat. The Proud Boys, who reportedly take an anti-masturbation pledge when they join the group, were there too. So was guy who's known for dressing in a brick wall-patterned suit at Trump rallies. These were lifetime customers, the kind who would pay for airfare, conference registration, and $199 a night for a room at the hotel (plus $25 a day for the resort fee, plus parking)—not even to see Trump himself, but just to bask in his brand, be among the faithful, and hear others talk about how great the man is.

The conference was a glimpse inside the hermetically sealed reality where Trump's most hardcore defenders live, a place where the president is besieged on all sides by an incredible conspiracy to delegitimize and remove him from office. This wide-ranging plot involves the intelligence community, the press, the largest social media companies on Earth, and possibly several foreign governments, depending on which version of the story you hear.

Later on Friday, Papadopoulos appeared on stage with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (author of Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency) and Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton, where the trio explained to the audience the ongoing coup attempt against the president.

"The media intentionally wanted to brainwash all of you," Papadopoulos told the audience. "They wanted to create chaos and division, and attempt a silent coup."

"These folks are no whistleblowers," Fitton said of the recent anonymous whistleblower complaints against Trump. "The president is a whistleblower. That's what he's being targeted for."

Like many bunker-mentality movements, the adherents of the theory believe that they are surrounded on all sides by enemies but that their victory is ultimately assured. Not only will the truth prevail, but the deep-state instigators of the Russia hoax and the Ukraine witch hunt will be investigated and, God willing, put behind bars.

"The most common question I get is when are they going to jail?" Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fl.), one of the most Trumpian members of Congress, told a delighted crowd.

There was a lot of talk of disinformation and fake news, but some speakers could have used a little factchecking themselves. Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk falsely claimed that whistleblower laws had been changed to accommodate the recent whistleblower complaint against Donald Trump. Kirk was relying on a debunked story by The Federalist. Another speaker told the audience that Facebook does not have immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a myth that Reason has repeatedly debunked.

Besides the liberal media and the Democrats, tech companies were the biggest boogeymen in the room. "To put it bluntly, big tech is doing everything possible to prevent the American people from ever deciding their own elections ever again," Gaetz said.

The American Priority Festival, now in its second year, was envisioned as an explicitly pro-Trump alternative to the Conservative Political Action Conference, for years the premier conservative gathering.

In the view of many pro-Trump activists, that sort of big-tent event has become unnecessary and annoying. Now that Trump's cult of personality has subsumed much of the Republican Party, fusionism—"the dead consensus," as one manifesto in First Things called it—is over, and there's no longer any need to pretend that nationalist conservatives share much of anything in common with free market conservatives, civility police, or decadent libertarians.

As Ned Ryun, a senior fellow at the pro-Trump journal American Greatness said at the festival, "We don't need more Ben Sasses and Mitt Romneys."

The crowd broke into cheers when plagiarist Benny Johnson, who was emceeing Friday's events, announced that Fox News host Shep Smith was leaving his longtime spot at the cable channel. Smith had reportedly been at odds with the outlet's rabidly pro-Trump prime-time hosts.

Politico reported that last year's AMP Fest, held in Washington, D.C. was lightly attended and stocked with conspiracy theorists. This year's festival, hosted at one of Trump's properties rather than the swamp, seemed relatively more successful, with a number of high-profile speakers. For example, a prayer breakfast featured former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (book forthcoming from St. Martin's Press in 2020). 

There were also surprise guests, including Roger Stone, one of Trump's longtime consultants and a famously sleazy political operator. A federal grand jury indicted Stone in January on seven counts of obstruction of justice, false statements, and witness tampering as part of the Mueller probe.

In August a federal judge rejected Stone's argument that he was being prosecuted as an act of political retaliation for his support of Trump. Stone is also barred from posting on social media for repeatedly violating the judge's gag order in the case. 

In the friendly confines of the Trump National Doral Miami, all of this made him a revered martyr in the war to make America great again.

On Friday night, Stone was leaving the steakhouse bar inside the resort when I saw two women stop him, lay hands, and begin to pray over him. Stone solemnly bowed his head, but kept peeking around, as if to see who was watching.

The mystery guests and conservative heroes were all secondary to the headliner, though: the president's son, Donald Trump, Jr.

As The Atlantic reported earlier this month, Don Jr. has, to the surprise of everyone else in his family, become the heir apparent to Trump's political dynasty. While Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were using the White House to try and worm their way into the international elite, and while Eric Trump was busy tending the family business, Don Jr. was honing his shitposting and stump speeches among his father's grassroots following. Onstage, he can effortlessly whip a crowd of Trump fans into a hooting frenzy.

For an hour, Don Jr. delivered riffs on topics like Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry or lack thereof, Robert Francis O'Rourke's plan to take away your guns, the Jussie Smollet case, Hunter Biden's drug problems, and of course the persecution he and his family have faced for nothing more than loving their country.

It was a speech without direction or point, a long windup to nowhere. And at the moment, the crowd wanted nothing else.

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192 responses to “Inside the Pro-Trump Conference Where a Violent Meme Made National News

  1. I can understand. When you are besieged— as libertarians and conservatives are— by all this SJW activism isn’t only natural for one to lash out at the college professors who hold the real power in this country? I blame the actions of these violent fruitcakes on Lauren Duca. She’s the real villain here.

    1. Who’s to blame for your idiocy, scumbag?

      1. You mean you don’t feel besieged by college professors. How do you maintain your composure in the face of this onslaught? Benzos?

        1. Fuck off, Tony.

          1. Pretty sure this is the imbecilic juvenile with some ‘libertarian for Stalin’ handle; commie kid. Very proud of taking out a mortgage and then bailing and leaving the rest of us to cover his scummy ways, while claiming the nasty banker MADE him take that mortgage.
            It seems shitbag is still paying rent in his ‘gated community’; the complexities of holding a mortgage are entirely beyond his limited mental capabilities.
            But like Tony, this pathetic piece of shit is 35 going on 15, forever mistreated by reality as a result of imbecilic choices, and forever angry at the world.
            And I’m LAUGHING!

        2. LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian
          October.14.2019 at 12:33 pm
          “You mean you don’t feel besieged by college professors. How do you maintain your composure in the face of this onslaught? Benzos?”

          Who’s to blame for your idiocy and mendacity, scumbag?

  2. “They wanted to create chaos and division, and attempt a silent coup.”

    Not exactly silent – – – – – – – –

    I notice no one is asking at the democratic “debates” the question “will you support the results of the 2020 election?”

    1. that’s because we know they won’t. If (when) they lose 2020, they’re going to use the “total number of votes” argument as a basis for outright rebellion, if we haven’t already reached that stage by then.

      1. Well, it worked so well the last time.
        How about we change the world series winner to the team with the most total runs?

        1. WTF, you want to make us Cricket?

        2. Then the New York Yankees were the real winners of the 1960 World Series!!!

          Too bad that almost all of the players are dead. Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek are still around and I’m sure they will be glad to hear that. Dick Groat, on the other hand will be sad to give back his ring.

          1. Listening to the Cards-Nats game on the Nationals radio broadcast and they have some majorly bizarre advertisements and sponsors. Their main commercial partner is the Steamfitters Local UA 602, and the Sprinkler Fitters Local UA 669 also airs a commercial. Gotta spend those garnished wages somehow. There is also something incredibly specific about cloud computing (?) security which sounds like a cult trying to push it’s literature. Why can’t the Nationals just be a normal MLB franchise? What bizarre interdimensional schism has caused this streaming service to deliver me this twilight zone broadcast?

    2. What if Trump, somehow, loses in 2020? Would he graciously step down? You know damned well he wouldn’t.

      I do expect he will win however, because the Dems still have their heads in the sand. But we’re reached the state where BOTH sides will claim conspiracy when they lose.

      1. What if Trump, somehow, loses in 2020? Would he graciously step down? You know damned well he wouldn’t.

        Of course he would. The idea that he wouldn’t is left wing lunacy.

        He would, if not for any other reason, because he actually has a nice life to go back to, with his wife, his kids, and his mansions.

        It’s career politicians that need to cling to power and monetarize their political exploits.

        1. For reals. He may chirp about it like Hills for three years, but I see no outcome where he stages a coup. At a 50-50 split in popularity, it’s just not going to happen.

          1. The only way I see him refusing to leave office is if the Democrats are talking about having him executed once he isn’t President anymore. And while they have explicitly threatened legally destroying him once he’s out of office, they haven’t gone quite THAT far yet.

            1. Can you imagine a Democrat president not stepping down gracefully?

              Trump would totally have the FBI spying on political enemies and put party loyalists in positions of power around the government, armed with classified information gleaned from those wire-taps, ready to leak them to the media moments after the Democrat president takes office. That isn’t hard to imagine at all.

              And no president in history would have done that – and definitely never a Democrat.

              1. Your response lacked the appropriate level of absurdity to really sell it. It’s too close to the mainstream Democrat position.

              2. Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon Johnson would certainly have done that.

      2. I mean, looking at how Democrats have been acting the last 3 years, if they won would you seriously believe it happened without them meddling? Look at the midterms, specifically Broward County in Florida, a select few counties in Arizona, and all of Cali with its ballot harvesting, there’s already good reason to be concerned as to whether our process is compromised. We have some states saying their electoral votes will go towards whoever has the popular vote, and not who their state votes for.

        Unless the evidence was 100% transparently clear that the democrats won fair and square, I would treat their guy as illegitimate.

        1. The electoral vote thing isn’t active because they don’t have enough states, and the Supreme Court would likely shoot it down as unconstitutional if they ever got enough states. States can’t opt to void how federal elections for President work…only a constitutional amendment can do that.

        2. I always figure that unless the Republicans get 65% of the actual vote, they lose.
          From Tammany Hall and the Chicago Machine, to 21st century Florida, the DNC has been fixing the vote for centuries. They’re very, very good at it.

      3. Brandybuck
        October.14.2019 at 1:02 pm
        “What if Trump, somehow, loses in 2020? Would he graciously step down? You know damned well he wouldn’t….”

        Why do lefty shitbags forever invent hypotheticals, claim the know the result and expect intelligent people to take them seriously?
        Fuck off.

  3. It seems it takes very little to make C.J. hate himself.

    1. Understandable.

    2. “Typing that sentence made me hate myself.”

      I’m sure you’re not the only one your typing has the effect on.

  4. OK… The REALLY important question is, WHERE can I look at the fake video of Trump shooting up all of his enemies? Does a link exist?

  5. Living in a delusional safe space- sounds right for the crowd.

    1. Tell us again how Trump is a Russian intelligence asset and the walls are closing in.

    2. “RUSSIAN BOTS ARE RAIDING MY BIRD FEEDERS!! HILLARY WAS ROBBED, BAN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!! TRUMP IS CATERING TO THE SAUDI WAHHABIS CAUSE ZIONIST ISRAEL!!”

      Lol, sure thing. They’re the delusional ones.

  6. So it was exactly like the White House Correspondents dinners during the Obama administration?

    Lol. I thought Reason had pretty much hit peak self-parody when Tim Cavanaugh loudly and proudly endorsed Barack Obama for absolutely no other than his race but never let it be said that Millennials can’t surpass their elders.

    1. Thanks for sharing. This happened when I was still in high school and just flirting with libertarianism.
      I’ve got to hand it to John in the comments. He really nailed what having a black president would do for political dissent and racial divides.

  7. 3 years of actors fantasize about Trump dying before a live camera, Kathy Griffin does a stunt with a severed head of the president, someone taking actual potshots at Republican politicians at a baseball game, and Madonna wanted to blow up the white house – *crickets*

    One memey boi – *CJ explodes with righteous indignation*

    Seriously though, if you don’t like the tone this stuff is taking, then maybe you shouldn’t have spent the last few years ok with the same stuff being done by the other side, along with, you know, actual violence and an obvious attempt to overturn an election. You’re only getting what you deserve at this point, and quite frankly, you deserve a lot more.

    1. Ya see? The responsibility for the actions of violent fruitcakes lies with their ideological opponents. When Bernie Sanders wins and starts putting people in gulags you know the proper person to blame? Fucking Tucker Carlson. That’s who. Fuck that guy and his Bolivar Revolution.

      1. What the fuck are you talking about Tony you retarded AIDS-ridden faggot. Nobody has threatened or used any violence against anyone on the left. The people with masturbatory fantasies about bloodshed are responsible for themselves. They just all happen to reside exclusively on your side of the fence. Including the one who went to prison for trying to steal a gun from a Las Vegas cop and shoot Donald Trump.

        1. Christchurch? You know, the guy who cited Candace Owens.

          1. The Australian who shot up a Mosque in New Zealand because he wanted gun control?

            Jesus Christ Tony you poor AIDS-ridden faggot.

    2. Let’s not forget that a man went to prison for attempting to assassinate Trump. For all the supposed virulent racism seething beneath the surface of our white supremacist nation nobody ever went to jail for trying to kill Barack Obama. George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford were also targets for attempted assassination. For all the violence that’s always descending upon the Republican party and the conservative movement, it’s always the psychotic left that’s actually, you know, literally firing fucking guns at the president of the united states.

      1. “nobody ever went to jail for trying to kill Barack Obama”

        At least 10 were arrested for planning to do just that.

        1. Nope. Not a single one. “Planning” is a lot different than “grabbed a gun off a cop and literally tried to shoot the president”. Nice try though.

          1. In fact, not a single Democratic president has been shot at since Kennedy. Every Republican aside from Bush Sr. has.

            1. >>Bush Sr.

              (D) Connecticut.

            2. Actually, there was a plot by Saddam Hussein and Iraqi intelligence to assassinate Bush Sr, albeit after he left office (April 1993, in Kuwait).

      2. The Wikipedia page detailing “Assassination threats against Obama” contains some hilarity:

        Plot by terrorist group within US Army
        In 2012 a case was brought against four U.S. Army soldiers in the state of Georgia, claiming that they formed a paramilitary group called the FEAR militia within the U.S. military with plans to overthrow the U.S. government: Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, Pfc. Michael Burnett, Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon.[42] The group purchased $87,000 worth of guns and bomb-making materials, conspired to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in Savannah and Washington state and assassinate the president.[43] Burnett pleaded guilty to lesser manslaughter and gang charges in the December 2011 slayings of former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend Tiffany York, who were killed because they knew of the group’s plans.[42] Prosecutors sought the death penalty, but in May 2014 Peden was given a life sentence that included the possibility of parole after serving at least 30 years.[44] Aguigui and Salmon also struck plea deals to avoid a possible death sentence and both were sentenced to life in prison without parole.[44]

        That’s great but what’s this go to do with Obama?

        One attempt was made in April 2013 when a letter laced with ricin, a deadly poison, was sent to President Obama along with other government officials.[55] Another attempt was made in June 2013, when another ricin-laced letter was sent to President Obama by actress Shannon Richardson. The letter contained a threat to kill anyone attempting to take away the sender’s guns or impair their “constitutional God given” right to bear arms.[56] It was later revealed the letter’s message was fake as the sender’s sole intent was to incriminate her estranged husband.[57] In November 2013, Richardson reached a plea agreement and faced up to five years’ imprisonment on each of three counts.[58] The following month she pleaded guilty.[59] In July 2014, she was sentenced to eighteen years in prison.[60]

        The patriarchy strikes again! #metoo.

        1. Pound me too. It literally says that.

        2. Can’t forget the death ray one.

          1. Go Space Force!

        3. What sort of plea deal gets you 18 years when you were facing 3 counts of up to 5 years in each?

          Public defender? Socialist justice even sucks

    3. Kathy Griffin’s career was ruined and the guy who shot Scalise was killed. Yeah, crickets. Nobody cared about that stuff.

      Also, the old two wrongs make a right defense. Why don’t you stand up for Kathy Griffin’s free speech? Did you at the time? Or did you get the vapors?

      1. Is anybody advocating putting Kathy Griffin in jail for her ludicrous look-at-me! stunt?

        SNL can run skits where Barack Obama turns into The Rock Obama and throws his political opponents out of a window and everybody laughs…including conservatives, because we’re smart enough to understand it’s a fucking joke.

        But a Trump supporter makes a silly little meme and everybody loses their minds!

        1. A silly little meme about the head of state brutally murdering his political opponents and most of the press.

          Just like a freedom-loving democracy and not like a shithole dictatorship at all!

          The only thing keeping this shit together is the fact that Trump is completely incompetent, even at being a fascist.

          1. Yes, I get how Trump is a villain who is coming down hard on a free press in this country.

            You can hear all about the oppression on multiple cable news and newspapers 24/7/365.

            Criticism of Trump died in darkness, to be sure.

            1. And Trump saying things like a big meanie to members of the press is a MILLION TIMES WORSE than when Obama was having them illegally surveilled.

          2. A silly little meme with Trump’s face (among others) pasted into a shitty action movie scene that was so over the top it got boring to watch.

            God, you’re such a pussy.

      2. Kathy Griffin’s career was ruined

        … by Kathy Griffin.

      3. “Kathy Griffin’s career was ruined…”

        Uh, OK.
        What about the local weather gal? Was she bothered?
        HIH is Kathy Griffin and why should I care?

  8. The American Priority Festival gave a glimpse inside the world where deep state theories thrive.

    The FBI was at the American Priority Festival?

    1. No. The FBI is where the deep state lies. (great pun btw)
      The American Priority Festival is where the deep state THEORIES lie.
      A difference lost on public school students, and those attending college in the last decade.

    2. “where deep state theories thrive”

      #LibertariansForTheRuleOfTheAdministrativeState

      Another “libertarian” moment from Reason.

  9. The video was part of an “art exhibit,”

    Ahh, so they showed it at the wrong place. Show it at some bullshit downtown art gallery and it is heralded as a groundbreaking work that speaks truth to power. But it was at a pro Trump conference so it’s basically just Nazi propaganda

    1. Death of a President was high art and the epitome of free speech. Nazi Trump supporters need jailed for their impudence.

    2. Not just one tv set showing it, it was an entire room full of videos by this guy. That this guy rates his own room at the conference is weird. Okay, the organizers have little control over who rents a room, and I’ve seen nutbag groups rent rooms at GOP rooms and the mainstream media reporting them as representing the party. But still… it wasn’t just an isolated video, and I’m not seeing any evidence that there was any attempt at self-policing of the message.

      1. “I’m not seeing any evidence that there was any attempt at self-policing of the message.”

        Why would there be?

      2. Are you having trouble with the idea that “policing” speech is more of a left wing thing at the moment?

        I say “at the moment” because I’m not going to claim that the right always and everywhere is good about freedom of speech. But, here and now? They’re a thousand times better about it than the left.

        Doubtless because both the left and the right expect the censors to be left-wingers.

        Being in the cross hairs of censors tends to give you a bit more respect for the right to speech freely even if what somebody wants to say is stupid.

        1. CJ said there was no one in the room when he went in. That sounds like market forces to me…

        2. Is sending death threats to a 16 year-old girl because she gave one speech about climate change the epitome of free speech? What about treating the annoying protests of college freshmen as the biggest threat in the world?

          Of course, right-wingers are well known for welcoming all religious practices in the public sphere, especially Islam.

          1. It’s important for you to remember (as Douglas Murray has repeatedly pointed out) that everyone who’s in the public eye and says something controversial is on the receiving end of all kinds of horrible, awful stuff, Douglas Murray himself included.

            He is also careful to point out that having people say awful things about you doesn’t make you right.

          2. Is the attempted assassination of multiple GOP senators and representatives? Yeah, team blue did that.

            Assault isn’t “annoying protests of college freshman.” And you are so committed to free speech that you spend every waking moment trying to silence it.

          3. Tony
            October.14.2019 at 1:58 pm
            “Is sending death threats to a 16 year-old girl because she gave one speech about climate change the epitome of free speech?…”

            Shitbag here is right: They should have gone the the parents who mistreated that kid to the extent the did.

          4. “”Is sending death threats to a 16 year-old girl because she gave one speech about climate change the epitome of free speech? “”

            A girl half her age was getting threats because she was doing impersonations of AOC.

      3. Brandybuck
        October.14.2019 at 1:07 pm
        “Not just one tv set showing it, it was an entire room full of videos by this guy.”

        You were triggered, right? Triggered? Should we call for medical assistance?
        Fuck off.

  10. Trump supporters are always referred to as fevered and fervent, I’m triggered by those accusations and I won’t stand for it, especially since I’m sitting down.

    1. So you also will not take it lying down?

    2. The only proper posture for peeing, right?

  11. We have a true counterculture president. I think it’s important to note that.

    1. Sonic Youth made it sound cooler than it turned out to be.

    2. How dare you! /rebellious youth

  12. I didn’t stay in the room very long, because I don’t like high-concept art…

    Like I’m going to take the word of a self-proclaimed Philistine.

  13. >> the offending meme

    offense must be taken.

  14. It was a speechblog post without direction or point, a long windup to nowhere.

  15. The Proud Boys should masturbate. They seem stressed out about something.

  16. Another day another one offended. Toss around terms like Nazi, fascist, a non funny comedian with a severed head, someone with this stupid video.
    The political pollsters know creating hate for the other side is powerful so we are past the slippery slope to the runaway avalanche of slimy and hateful politics.

    1. “The political pollsters know creating hate for the other side is powerful so we are past the slippery slope to the runaway avalanche of slimy and hateful politics.”

      We’ll be fine as long as nobody takes offense.

  17. “showing Trump massacring a church full of people with media brands”

    I can picture Trump massacring a church full of people with alligators, snakes, or even bone spurs. But media brands?

    1. “I can picture Trump massacring a church full of people with alligators, snakes, or even bone spurs. But media brands?”

      Can you ever post anything which isn’t a lie or some sort of ‘clever’ sophistry, you pile of shit?

  18. C.J., are you really as much of an imbecile as this post would indicate? Violent memes, FFS?

    Read this, then maybe you’ll understand the deep state:

      1. Solid piece

    1. “Violent memes,”

      Nothing violent about massacring a church load of people.

  19. Just to reiterate, the video shows Trump murdering his political opponents and any press outlets that are critical of him.

    I hate to be repetitive, but imagine if it was Obama.

    You can say “nothing to see here,” but then don’t go bitching about Kathy Griffin. Don’t even fucking mention her.

    1. imagine if it was Obama

      If it were Obama, a lot of people on this page would be screaming bloody murder, and you would be defending him.

      1. I wouldn’t because it’s unthinkable for such a thing to happen. Trump’s cooties are all his own.

    2. To be fair, I don’t think anyone’s giving this guy a talk show or letting him hang out with Anderson Cooper on New Year’s Eve either.

    3. Did Trump MAKE the video?

  20. I just don’t get the Deep State conspiracy nonsense, this belief that the intelligence community would somehow intervene to keep somebody they saw as a threat out of office. Name me one time such a thing has ever happened. I mean, besides, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, the Philippines, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Laos, Cambodia, Turkey, Guatemala, Mexico, the Congo, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Brazil, Chile, Greece, Pakistan, El Salvador, Grenada, and a few other places. Not once! Except those few times. Why would anybody even question why Clapper, Comey, and Brennan all seem to be particularly hostile to Trump and were in a position to do something about it and yet did nothing whatsoever and certainly didn’t use any intelligence community assets to not do nothing? Just crazy talk.

    1. If the intelligence community saw Grenada as a threat, then why not Trump? Since when has being a president meant friendly relations with government employees?

    2. Did you catch that video of Chuck Schumer admitting on national television that a presidential candidate offending the national security establishment does so at his peril?

      1. Hitler also faced a very skeptical, disobedient and foot dragging national security establishment in the Wehrmacht (German Army). They even plotted and attempted to take his life. Trump, like Hitler, made the mistake of not purging those who were not loyal to him. Maybe Trump can avoid Hitler’s fate of blowing his brains out in a bunker surrounded by communists, but maybe we’ll get lucky.

          1. If a leader wants to get things done, he’s doing himself no favor by surrounding himself with people who oppose him. If Trump hasn’t learned that after 3 years in office and a stellar career on reality TV, then the bunker beckons.

            1. Sounds like a great argument for a wholesale purge of the entire security complex.

              1. I said if a leader wants to get things done. Trump is content to bask in public adulation. And lie about things getting done.

        1. “Hitler also faced a very skeptical, disobedient and foot dragging national security establishment in the Wehrmacht (German Army). They even plotted and attempted to take his life.”

          Not with a lot of conviction, mind you.

  21. I am just wondering if the “Deep State” is the successor to the “Trilateral Commission” or do I have to worry that both are out there to get me?

    1. Ask Edward Snowden.

  22. The conference was a glimpse inside the hermetically sealed reality where Trump’s most hardcore defenders live, a place where the president is besieged on all sides by an incredible conspiracy to delegitimize and remove him from office. This wide-ranging plot involves the intelligence community, the press, the largest social media companies on Earth, and possibly several foreign governments, depending on which version of the story you hear.

    Sure, they are nuts….

    But tell me even one of those nutty conspiracy theory things that isn’t true…

    1. Is the press “out to get Trump”? Undoubtedly. If you aren’t down with that one, you have no credibility. Coverage of Charles Manson is less one sided.

      The intelligence community. That’s a little tougher… I mean, you can put on some rose colored glasses and buy in to the story being peddled. But it really only takes a couple of seconds of thought to realize that something henke happened. They got “information” that the Russians were trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign. Which obviously concerned them. So they set up a counter-intelligence task force and promptly informed top Trump officials of the threat and worked closely with them to thwart these efforts by a foreign government…… oh….. no. They didn’t do that. They immediately began spying on the Trump campaign and started setting up campaign officials for criminal offenses so they could use criminal charges as leverage to get them to flip on Trump. So… not really controversial if you have even half a brain or are not completely blinded by partisan politics.

      Next:
      The largest social media companies on earth. The ones who have been “deplatforming” anyone who is guilty of hate speech, racism, sexism, trans-phobia, pro-gun lobby, anti-abortion…. pretty much anything to the right of center-republican politics. Oh, but they did go after Louis Farrakhan after two or three years of criticism about being an ideologically driven project. So they are off the hook. (do I need to type “/sarc” there?)

      So the nutballs are batting a thousand so far. But let’s see on this last one. Several foreign governments. That’s a toughie.

      I mean, we do know that the Australian ambassador was engaged by the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign. So you can’t really dismiss that one. And we know that Steele of the infamous dossier was a former British agent. But that one is a bit thin. On the other hand, he did go directly to the Russian spies on his rolodex to get the “dirt” on Trump, so you kinda have to include that.

      And the Ukrainians have apparently been trying to tell us that they were being pressured to do things they were not comfortable with, but the US government wouldn’t listen. They even hired a former US attorney to deliver that news to the FBI and State Department. So at least some of the Ukrainian government thinks that the Ukrainian government was doing something that Trump fans wouldn’t like.

      Soooo, hang on a second. Exactly how do you get to simply assert as a flat fact that this is a an “incredible” “wide ranging conspiracy plot” . Every element is not only true, it is non-controversial. Hell, the Obama White House even bragged about their own conspiracy to delegitimize and cripple Trump on their way out of town. It was in the New York Times less than a month after Trump took office – and they were very proud of it.

      I mean, I get that there’s a long history of “you can’t keep a conspiracy secret” evidence to stack on the “there are no conspiracies” evidence scale. But in this case, it isn’t a secret. Everyone involved is proud of their involvement. They’ll tell you about it. The media has not tried to hide their bias at all. In fact, they have very publicly discussed their anti-Trump strategies. One of the latest was the discussion about how to respond to Trump and fact-check him without saying “Trump lies” 50 times a day. They agreed on a new strategy of saying “Asserted without evidence”.

      Again, not a secret. Not behind closed doors. This was widely discussed on MSNBC and CNN, among other places. It was announced as a strategy designed specifically to blunt Trump’s ability to communicate his ideas and persuade independents.

      So now we hear that “Trump alleges, without evidence, that Biden pressured Ukraine to help his son’s company.” Now, that phrase is ubiquitous. And in this case it is a flat lie. There is no iron-clad proof that Biden was acting on behalf of the Ukrainian energy company at his son’s behest. But neither is this assertion ‘without evidence.” The simple fact that Junior had a high-paying job who’s only requirement was high-level contacts in western governments is evidence. As is Dad’s braggadocio about his last-minute and singular strategy of withholding 1.5 billion in aid unless a particular government official was fired. So is Dad’s insistence that he had no idea that his son was working for a Ukrainian company (this, despite photos showing the two of them golfing with an executive of the company). That’s all evidence. So you can’t say “asserted without evidence” and be telling the truth. Nobody who works in journalism is so illiterate that they don’t know what those words mean. But it is a strategy that spans most news organizations and is being adhered to religiously.

      So there is no real argument to be made that there isn’t a media conspiracy against Trump. They openly discuss their strategy for the conspiracy, for crying out loud.

      The only thing missing is a connection between the intel community, the media and the internet companies.

      Remind me again…. Who did the former CIA chief who oversaw the spying on Trump and repeatedly leaked that they had iron-clad proof that Trump was working with the Russians go to work for? Oh, and the former FBI chief who oversaw spying on the Trump campaign…. who did he end up working for? Huh… The top two guys at the top two “intelligence agencies” who both were involved in spying on Trump coincidentally happen to get high-paying jobs working for left-leaning news organizations.

      Are you really sure about this offhanded, flat-fact dismissal of such musings as “conspiracy theories”? I mean, there isn’t even a controversial assertion in the bunch. The only thing you can say as a counter-argument is that it isn’t a conspiracy, they all just happen to be openly working on the same thing at the same time in the same way for very similar reasons. But that’s just a coincidence. Which is pretty weak sauce to decry something as a nutty, fringe idea.

      1. “Are you really sure about this offhanded, flat-fact dismissal of such musings as “conspiracy theories”?”

        If it’s out in the open and not illegal, it’s not a conspiracy. Everybody knows the New York Times opposes Trump. It’s no secret and it’s not illegal.

        1. Conspiracies are not illegal. It just means “working together”.

          In this case, the “conspiracy theory” is that people from the FBI, CIA, news media and mega internet corps are working together to bring down Trump.

          The “theory” part is the stitching together of the actions of all of these groups into a common mission. That each was doing these things is not controversial – they all proudly proclaim what they are doing. Their motives are, of course, in dispute.

          1. “In this case, the “conspiracy theory” is that people from the FBI, CIA, news media and mega internet corps are working together to bring down Trump.”

            And the house Democrats, the ones investigating impeachment, are they also not among your conspirators? And what if they are all trying to bring Trump down? It’s not illegal and Trump is feckless enough to let them, even help them.

            1. I’d say that up until it became public, a sitting president using the FBI to spy on political opponents would have not only been illegal, it would have been the biggest scandal in the history of US politics.

              Remember when Trump said they were tapping his phones? Remember how every single talking head said that Trump was nuts…. that no such thing could ever happen? Remember how all the democrats ridiculed him?

              That was because it was an extremely serious charge, and nobody even seriously entertained that it was possible.

              And yet the instant that it was revealed to be true, every single one of them flipped to “Trump is super-guilty. We know this because 17 agencies who are spying on him and the Russians said so”. And not one of them remembered that 5 minutes earlier the notion of anyone, let alone 17 federal agencies, spying on Trump was a loony conspiracy theory.

              1. If Trump lets himself be spied on by his own agencies without lifting a finger to stop it, aside from blustery tweets, then he has only himself to blame for his predicament.

      2. This is what you guys do. There are so many lies in this post that it’s exhausting to refute them. You just do walls of text.

        And THAT’S how the aliens get us!

        1. The point of this post was to refute the “obviously, claiming that there was a bunch of people trying to bring Trump down is completely nuts” assertion. It is arguable whether there is some coordinated effort or just various like-minded people aligning against a common issue. But each of the individual tentpoles of that conspiracy theory are really not in dispute. The people involved are quite proud of their actions and willing to discuss them in public.

          I stand ready to hear any corrections. But I don’t think there is a single thing that isn’t absolutely true, let alone a lie.

        2. Krugman was the one with the alien invasion fantasy. You were the one with the Russia collusion conspiracy theory. So what were you saying again?

          And I note that you are incapable of refuting any of those “lies” you claim.

      3. Well, Project Veritas just released insider video from CNN showing CNN honchos admitting they are out to get Trump.

        And of course Reason ignores that story, because they don’t wish to be disinvited from cocktail parties or lose out on any guest pundit gigs with the lowest-rated network.

        1. Have you ever seen CNN? You should have a look some time. You really don’t need any honchos or project veritas to confirm what should be obvious after a few minutes of viewing. Certainly not a Reason expose on the matter.

          1. But we do need an expose on a video explicitly denounced by Trump, right?

            1. Well, I felt the need to read it. Didn’t you?

    2. The first part is true– and has been confirmed by evidence. The second one is true but I concede that I can’t say how much it matters. The third one is undoubtedly true, but like the social media companies, it may not matter that much.

      1. The point being, you can’t say “people pointing these things out are insane” when every single one of them is very true and very public.

        It is only the interpretation as to meaning that is open for debate.

        1. It’s perfectly reasonable for an ostensibly libertarian publication to dismiss the idea, supported by multiple facts, that a government would abuse its power and its citizens. Government is axiomatically good is a key tenet.

  23. Read The President Is Missing PDF by James Patterson Online eBook
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  24. It is sad that a Reason article reads like a leftist hit piece rather than a Libertarian neutral critique.

    1. Sad, and common.

  25. So was Reason represented or not as a slaughtered media brand? I’m thinking not and that’s why they’re pissed.

  26. Not sure what’s more pathetic:

    1. Reason arguing against the notion of a deep state
    2. Pretending that these graphics are uniquely offensive and wouldn’t be seen on the Left.

  27. The meme is from a movie. Did anyone complain about Hollywood’s violent movies when it was released?

    Media flipping out over this video, but not a peep about the Trump supporters actually being assaulted leaving the Trump rally last week.

    1. M L
      October.14.2019 at 6:14 pm
      “The meme is from a movie. Did anyone complain about Hollywood’s violent movies when it was released?”

      Nope, but amazingly Piers Morgan busted that hypocrite Meryl Streep:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4102026/PIERS-MORGAN-Sorry-Meryl-hypocritical-anti-Trump-rant-easily-worst-performance-career-apart-time-gave-child-rapist-standing-ovation.html

  28. “This wide-ranging plot involves the intelligence community, the press, the largest social media companies on Earth, and possibly several foreign governments, depending on which version of the story you hear.”

    I mean, all of those entities do hate Trump and have taken all sorts of actions to oppose him.

  29. So, has Reason actually done any coverage of the Project Veritas release on CNN today? The one where CNN folks are talking about Jeff Zucker’s open personal vendetta against Trump and how they refuse to report other stories because of Zucker’s personal obsession?

    Or did they ignore it just like they do with any other Project Veritas stuff that goes after their fellow travelers on the left?

    1. Nick’s piece is meant to “address” the topic broadly. While, you know, not actually being so reckless as to speak the truth.

  30. showing Trump massacring a church full of people with media brands superimposed on their faces. The video was an edited clip from the first Kingsman movie.

    They’re SOOOOOOOOOO close now to pimping the argument that mass media causes violence.

    The real irony is that the narrative of Kingsman was environmentalist plot by the world’s elites to induce most of the global population to kill each other through technological manipulation.

  31. Yet another nail in the idea that Reason is in any way libertarian or reasonable.

    So now violent memes cause violence.

    The concept that unelected members of the government, previously caught violating the law (cf. Brennan’s CIA spying on US Senators) could possibly abuse their power again is considered a “bunker mentality.” Yes, a libertarian mag is actually arguing that it’s inconceivable that government can be abusive.

    Corruption and interference in elections is OK or “debunked” as long as the right parties are implicated. In fact, it is decided NOT to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist when you suggest that there is something hidden from the released transcript.

    Add all of that to the list of:

    Anything for abortion, including fraudulently accusing someone of sexual assault. In fact, we should pay for abortions because otherwise we’ll spend more on entitlements.
    Fishing expedition investigations are OK because they may exonerate you.
    Taxes are good (unless they’re tariffs).
    Libertarians have a lot in common with socialists so you should really be nicer to the latter.
    People should get money just for existing.
    Welfare reform is pointless unless it fixes all of our long term liabilities.
    Censorship is good.
    It’s a tragedy when someone on the left gets cancelled and clearly the result of vile, alt-right trolls, but it’s simply an event that happens to people on the right.
    Wars can never end and the US needs to be the world’s policemen.
    And so many more…

    Bang up job, VoxReason.

    1. Somebody fetch Skippy a Butthurt Report Form!

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  33. and…..i still dont care.

    This is just the latest, “we hate trump” attack by those who…hate trump.

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  35. Reason has gone of the deep end.
    What meme?
    Everything in the alleged meme is true.

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  37. Of course, the Liberals who sincerely believe that the identity of the Ukraine call whistleblower must be kept secret, because otherwise Trump will have then assassinated aren’t strange or paranoid at all.

    1. It would seem that anonymity is necessary to stop Trump from breaking the law and retaliating against the whistleblower, as he no doubt would.

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