President Trump made a whopper of a claim on Monday, suggesting that the media is deliberately ignoring terrorist attacks.
Instead, the kernel of the idea appears to have come from -- or at least been propagated by -- one of his favorite news sources: the conspiracy theory website InfoWars.
As @UrbanAchievr noted after Trump's comments, InfoWars has been barking up this tree for a while now. A sampling of its headlines:
- "FAKE NEWS: MAINSTREAM MEDIA WHITEWASHES ISLAMIC TERROR IN BERLIN: Propagandists desperate to hide the obvious" -- Dec. 20
- "SCANDAL: MASS MEDIA COVERS UP TERRORISM TO PROTECT ISLAM" -- July 29
- "GERMANY COVERING UP TERROR PLOTS TO PROTECT MUSLIM MIGRANTS" -- June 24
- "MEDIA CAUGHT COVERING UP ISLAMIC TIES IN MUNICH ATTACK" -- July 24
- "VIDEO: TERROR IN GERMANY – THE TRUTH THEY HIDE: Mass media deception to conceal what's really happening" -- July 25
Many of Trump's conspiracy theories originate or at least involve InfoWars. And Trump has made no apologies for tying himself to the website and its founder, Alex Jones.
InfoWars has helped propagate the baseless theory that millions of people illegally voted, depriving Trump of a popular-vote win. It was a major player in pushing the birther conspiracy. It was an early player in the "Hillary for Prison" game, having started selling t-shirts bearing the slogan in the fall of 2015. And it has pushed the baseless idea that Muslims cheered in the streets on 9/11.
All of these have also been embraced by Trump, and now it appears we can add one more to the list.
Suspicions about the mainstream media slow-rolling the importance or true roots of terrorist attacks go back years. What InfoWars is doing now is taking the next step -- accusing the media of covering up the attacks.