There is this tendency among those in the conservative bubble to automatically assume that anything that causes outrage among liberals, minorities or anyone that isn’t a right-wing heterosexual white male has to be a hoax, false flag or some other kind of conspiracy meant to push forth a progressive agenda. We’ve seen it time and time again from the relatively innocuous to the absolutely insidious. (Sandy Hook truthers, anyone?) But just like clockwork, whenever there is a major news story that centers on anything to do with anger over social justice or anything else that shrivels the balls of Republicans, you can bet there will be claims from the right that it is all bullshit.
That very thing has occurred with the protests at the University of Missouri that are still ongoing. Earlier this week, Sean Davis of The Federalist wrote an article stating one of the central claims of racism that sparked one student’s hunger strike that eventually led to university president Tim Wolfe’s resignation was all one big hoax. Among a series of racially-charged events on the campus over the past few months, the incident involving a swastika written in feces in a dorm stood out as the most heinous. Davis contended in his piece that the whole thing was made up and possibly a PR stunt used to prove there was racial animosity at the school.
Fueled by Davis’s article and another piece where he stated that the student who first reported on it in October was probably lying, conservatives took to Twitter and other social media spreading the notion that the whole thing was a very deceptive hoax. Following in Davis’s footsteps, other RW media outlets like Breitbart, Newsbusters and National Review took the baton and ran with it, with Breitbart going so far as to definitely say the whole thing was fake from the get go.
Of course, that pesky little thing known as the truth had to come a knocking, and left Davis with egg on his face. Slate and fellow conservative rag The Daily Caller both published the actual police report from the incident showing that an officer had physically seen the swastika in question. Faced with the undeniable fact that he based two articles on nothing but his imagination, Davis tried to preserve some dignity by blaming the administrators at Mizzou for not answering his FOIA regarding the report. All that did is reveal that he, the co-founder of a large news site, was willing to run with a story without all of the facts, all in order to push his belief in a conspiracy.
Meanwhile, even though confronted with undeniable truth and Davis himself writing a piece that says the police report shows its existence, people are still taking to Twitter claiming that the whole thing is a hoax.
— S J Morgan (@ShaaaaaNaNa) November 12, 2015
— LtdGovt (@BeStrongAllways) November 12, 2015
— — Bonk — (@BonkPolitics) November 12, 2015
— David Higgins (@dhiggins63) November 12, 2015
This goes to show what happens when you disseminate misinformation that you know will be taken and ran with by a certain demographic. No one cares about the correction or the follow-up. They’ll just stick with the original story that fits within their own confirmation bias.