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How Pro-Trump Forces Blamed “Antifa” For Capitol Violence

March 11th, 2021 13:46

US media is report­ing on how what are described as pro-Trump forces worked to spread the dis­in­for­ma­tion that the so-called Antifa (anti-fas­cist) move­ment was to blame for the vio­lence at the US Capi­tol on Jan­u­ary 6. Accord­ing to the New York Times report:

March 1, 2021 At 1:51 p.m. on Jan. 6, a right-wing radio host named Michael D. Brown wrote on Twit­ter that riot­ers had breached the Unit­ed States Capi­tol — and imme­di­ate­ly spec­u­lat­ed about who was real­ly to blame. “Antifa or BLM or oth­er insur­gents could be doing it dis­guised as Trump sup­port­ers,” Mr. Brown wrote, using short­hand for Black Lives Mat­ter. “Come on, man, have you nev­er heard of psy­ops?” Only 13,000 peo­ple fol­low Mr. Brown on Twit­ter, but his tweet caught the atten­tion of anoth­er con­ser­v­a­tive pun­dit: Todd Her­man, who was guest-host­ing Rush Limbaugh’s nation­al radio pro­gram. Min­utes lat­er, he repeat­ed Mr. Brown’s base­less claim to Mr. Limbaugh’s throngs of lis­ten­ers: “It’s prob­a­bly not Trump sup­port­ers who would do that. Antifa, BLM, that’s what they do. Right?” What hap­pened over the next 12 hours illus­trat­ed the speed and the scale of a right-wing dis­in­for­ma­tion machine primed to seize on a lie that served its polit­i­cal inter­ests and quick­ly spread it as truth to a recep­tive audi­ence. The week­s­long fic­tion about a stolen elec­tion that Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump pushed to his mil­lions of sup­port­ers had set the stage for a new and equal­ly false iter­a­tion: that left-wing agi­ta­tors were respon­si­ble for the attack on the Capitol.

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The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed in ear­ly Jan­u­ary that at least one US Con­gress­man and the Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Texas were pro­mot­ing the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that Antifa sup­port­ers were involved in the vio­lent demon­stra­tions at the US capi­tol build­ing. We also report­ed in Jan­u­ary on how the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry known as QAnon helped to influ­ence those same events.