January 3: Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., wears a “Trump Won” mask during the first session of the 117th Congress in the House Chamber as members of the 117th Congress are sworn in on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Unraveling viral disinformation and explaining where it came from, the harm it’s causing, and what we should do about it.
The average QAnon believer likely has no idea what “frazzledrip” is. But Marjorie Taylor Greene, the newly minted representative from Georgia who recently filed impeachment papers against President Joe Biden, is no average QAnon follower.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Greene had shown support for executing Democrats including liking a comment in January 2019 that said it would be “quicker” to remove Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with “a bullet to the head.”
At the same time, it was revealed that the Republican lawmaker had signaled her endorsement of the unhinged “frazzledrip” conspiracy.
Here’s what that theory, which originated on conspiracy site YourNewsWire (now known as News Punch) in April 2018, claims:
A video that was found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic congressman who was jailed in 2017 for sexting with a minor, began circulating on the “dark web.” The video was found in a folder on the laptop’s hard drive called “life insurance” and was named “frazzledrip.”
The bogus report says the video — which, for clarity, does not exist on the dark web or anywhere else — shows Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin, Weiner’s former wife and long-time Clinton aide, raping and mutilating a young girl. Specifically, the video is supposed to show Clinton filleting the young girl’s face, and then taking turns with Abedin to wear the girl’s face as a mask in order to purposefully terrify the child so that her blood would be flooded with adrenochrome. The girl then bleeds out before Clinton and Abedin drink the blood during a Satanic ritual sacrifice.
But the horrific conspiracy theory didn’t end there. QAnon supporters also spread the rumor that multiple officers from the New York Police Department who saw the video had been killed by Clinton, who then covered up the murders by making them look like suicides.
In May 2018, just a month after YourNewswire first spread the frazzledrip conspiracy, Greene posted a picture of the mother of slain New York Police Department Detective Miosotis Familia with former President Donald Trump, a post first flagged by Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog.
Under the post, a commenter wrote: “This is the mother of a NYPD officer who watched a horrific video seized on anthony weiners laptop of huma and hillary filleting a childs face. This was another hillary hit.”
Greene liked that comment and replied: “Yes Familia.”
In another comment, Greene appeared to lean further into the conspiracy: “I post things sometimes to see who knows things. Most the time people don’t. I’m glad to see your comment. I’ve decided it’s time to start doing a lot more videos and engage further in the fight. Most people honestly don’t know so much. The [mainstream media] disinformation warfare has won for too long!”
Most of the millions of Americans who have been brainwashed by the QAnon cult over the last 12 months have been exposed not to the extreme dark side of the conspiracy, but to a lighter version, pushed by hijacking the Save the Children message and eschewing any overt link to QAnon and its origins.
Greene has repeatedly tried to distance herself from links to QAnon, which recently played a central part in the Capitol riots, but she has never disowned the conspiracy movement. And this latest revelation shows that Greene is not just flirting with the fringes of this conspiracy theory, but embracing its darkest corners.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Greene had endorsed calls, made on Facebook, to execute Democrats. Greene claimed that these problematic posts were all the fault of her “team.”
“Over the years, I’ve had teams of people manage my pages. Many posts have been liked. Many posts have been shared. Some did not represent my views. Especially the ones that CNN is about to spread across the internet,” she wrote.
In that case, Greene has some serious questions to ask her team, because not only has her Facebook account endorsed executing Democrats and embraced the unhinged frazzledrip conspiracy, it has also promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories and called the Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings “false flag” events. It labeled Parkland survivor David Hogg a “#littleHitler.” And it liked a meme that claimed some of her now-Democratic congressional colleagues have used the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for human trafficking, pedophilia, and organ harvesting.
And what is the Republican leadership doing about the horrific conspiracy theories being peddled by one of its newest members of Congress?
Apparently, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy “plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them.”
That should sort everything out.
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