Tag: Conspiracy Theories

Voters Reject Election Deniers Running to Take Over Elections

He quickly cobbled together the “America First” slate, including candidates from states like Michigan, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. They began touring nationally, holding forums promoting election conspiracy theories, occasionally with leading members of the QAnon movement. Suddenly, secretary of state races became premier attractions, elevating once sleepy, bureaucratic down-ballot races to the national spotlight. […]

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Election Officials Say Efforts to Bolster the Voting System Worked

He said the victory in Arizona might have been enough of a shot across the bow to stop some activists, but emphasized that the most serious attacks on elections didn’t emerge until weeks and months after the 2020 election, when lawyers for Mr. Trump repeatedly sought to reverse the outcome. “We’re poised to be ready […]

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Election Workers Have to Keep Volunteering to Do This

This fall, I spent two days in Durham, N.C., talking with four election workers with whom the county’s board of elections connected me. This ended up being as far from violence and conspiracy theories as you can get: drinking coffee outside in prime North Carolina fall weather, crystal clear mornings and warm afternoons, talking about […]

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G.O.P. Begins Ballot Watching Push Ahead of Election Day

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The questions began soon after the doors opened to the public at a sprawling elections office inside a warehouse, and they kept coming until the sky was dark and a cold wind was blowing outside. Hundreds of thousands of ballots for Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, are processed, sorted […]

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How the Right Became the Left and the Left Became the Right

On the surface, this is not a partisan story: The Intercept is a left-wing publication, and the current version of the D.H.S. anti-disinformation effort got started in the Trump administration. But everyone understands those efforts’ current ideological valence. The war on disinformation is a crucial Democratic cause, the key lawsuit filed against the Biden administration […]

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With Falsehoods About Pelosi Attack, Republicans Mimic Trump

“I don’t know,” Mr. Trump said suggestively. “You hear the same things I do.” Mr. Pelosi, 82, remained in intensive care with a fractured skull, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity. In Arizona, the Republican candidate for governor, Kari Lake, made the attack a punchline at a […]

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The Facts About the Attack on Paul Pelosi, According to Prosecutors

The attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has not only raised alarm about the threat of violence to elected officials and their families, but also become the focus of baseless conspiracy theories propagated by a litany of Republicans and conservatives. After state and federal charges were filed against a suspect, […]

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Republicans Continue to Spread Baseless Claims About Pelosi Attack

“It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow.” It was her post that prompted Mr. Musk, Twitter’s owner since last Thursday night, to insinuate that an alternate version of the assault […]

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Kari Lake and the Rise of the Republican Apostate

Mr. Trump’s trademark slogan — Make America Great Again — put forward the notion that this rah-rah, chest-beating patriotism was wrong. The way he saw it, the country had fallen on hard times, its stature in the world diminished. “We don’t win anymore, whether it’s ISIS or whether it’s China with our trade agreements,” he […]

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Nancy Pelosi, Vilified by G.O.P. for Years, Is a Top Target of Threats

“How did he get to that point?” said Mona Lena Krook, a professor of political science at Rutgers University who began studying violence against women in politics in 2014, referring to the suspect. “This has to do with things that he sees in the media, things he sees on social media, the people he socializes […]

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Many UFO Reports Are Just Spy Drones or Airborne Trash

WASHINGTON — Government officials believe that surveillance operations by foreign powers and weather balloons or other airborne clutter explain most recent incidents of unidentified aerial phenomenon — government-speak for U.F.O.s — as well as many episodes in past years. The sightings have puzzled the Pentagon and intelligence agencies for years, fueling theories about visiting space […]

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The Republican Double Standard That’s Endangering American Democracy

Also in The Atlantic, James Parker savored the sweetness of being read to: “When I’m listening to an audiobook, I’m being entertained like a tired ploughman. I’m being lulled, bardically lulled, like a drunken baron at a long feast table, pork grease shining on my chin. I’m being quieted like a child. I’m being spellbound […]

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How Mike Lindell’s Pillow Business Propels the Election Denial Movement

Three days after federal agents seized his cellphone as part of an investigation into voting machine tampering, Mike Lindell seemed energized and ready to sell pillows. He strode onstage at a rally of Trump supporters in western Idaho, defiantly waving a cellphone. Eric Trump greeted him with a hug. “When they start attacking the MyPillow […]

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Ahead of Midterms, Disinformation Is Even More Intractable

On the morning of July 8, former President Donald J. Trump took to Truth Social, a social media platform he founded with people close to him, to claim that he had in fact won the 2020 presidential vote in Wisconsin, despite all evidence to the contrary. Barely 8,000 people shared that missive on Truth Social, […]

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The Rise of Salem Media, a Conservative Radio Juggernaut

In recent months, the conservative personalities Eric Metaxas, Sebastian Gorka and Charlie Kirk have used their nationally syndicated radio shows to discuss baseless claims of rigged voting machines, accuse election officials of corruption and espouse ballot fraud conspiracy theories. Now, the three men are joining a live speaking tour that will take them across Arizona, […]

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Alex Jones Picked on the Wrong People

But then he made a grave error: As his platform grew larger, eventually drawing the praise and attention of people like former President Trump, Mr. Jones began fixating on ever smaller targets. Instead of making generalized claims about government black helicopters and FEMA camps, he more regularly began naming specific, private citizens and companies as […]

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Misinformation Swirls in Non-English Languages Ahead of Midterms

Unsubstantiated rumors and outright falsehoods spread widely in immigrant communities ahead of the presidential election in 2020. That is happening again in the run-up to this year’s midterm elections, researchers say, but with an insidious twist: The social media accounts pushing misinformation are now targeting audiences in more languages on more topics and across more […]

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In Trump Case, Texas Creates a Headache for Georgia Prosecutors

The body overseeing the Fulton County investigation is known under Georgia law as a special purpose grand jury. It can sit for longer periods than a regular grand jury and has the ability to subpoena targets of the investigation to provide testimony, though it lacks the power to indict. Once a special grand jury issues […]

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Oath Keepers Leader Urged Trump to Invoke the Insurrection Act

WASHINGTON — In December 2020, hours after the Electoral College cast its votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr., Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, posted a letter on his website urging President Donald J. Trump to undertake a series of unprecedented — and possibly illegal — moves to stay in office. Telling […]

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Election Workers Face an Obstacle Course to Reach the Midterms

The stress, and the added workload posed by the growing nationwide trend toward voting by mail, are taking a toll. In Kentucky, more than one in five of the state’s 120 county clerks are not seeking re-election in November, and six have quit outright this year, the state’s top election official, Secretary of State Michael […]

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How a Tiny Elections Company Became a Conspiracy Theory Target

At an invitation-only conference in August at a secret location southeast of Phoenix, a group of election deniers unspooled a new conspiracy theory about the 2020 presidential outcome. Using threadbare evidence, or none at all, the group suggested that a small American election software company, Konnech, had secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and […]

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Our Democracy Is in Trouble, but We’ve Been Here Before (With Heather Cox Richardson)

Then there’s the other things, of course, that everybody talks about: Run for office, vote, give money to causes, stand up for things you believe in. All those things are part of participating in our political system. But the first of those to me is speak up: Speak up to your neighbors, speak up to […]

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The Eagerness of Ginni Thomas

With a slightly different spin of the wheel, Ms. Thomas might have wound up a public figure in her own right, out picking fights and spreading chaos in the mold of Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. Back in 1986, as a young lawyer fighting against policies like maternity leave and comparable worth, she […]

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Trump’s Heartless QAnon Embrace

The title of the Reddit post this month seemed almost too shocking to be true: “My Qdad snapped and killed my family this morning.” The post — by Rebecca Lanis, a 21-year-old from Michigan — was on a forum dedicated to people who’ve lost loved ones to QAnon, the sprawling conspiracy cult that imagines that […]

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‘Somebody Planted the Guns’: In Canada, a Raided, Distrusting Village Blames the Police

COUTTS, Alberta — The village’s only restaurant offers smiles and two pamphlets, one denouncing Covid-19 vaccines for children, the other saying the United Nations’ mission includes creating a “microchipped society” for “tracking and controlling.” So pervasive is the belief here that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a dictator-in-the-making that even a top official in the […]

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Donald Trump Is More Deranged Than Ever

But even this was just part of the build-up to what ended up being a full QAnon passion play, as the rally culminated with Trump fulminating—reciting a series of grievances over swelling strings. His followers, commanded to raise their fingers in salute, did so—resulting in a scene that looked like it was freshly plucked from […]

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Food Supply Disruption Is Another Front for Russian Falsehoods

When the Dutch government announced plans in June to reduce certain greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70 percent, farmers erupted in protest, saying the move would in effect, force them out of business. They clogged traffic on highways with their tractors, dumped manure in the streets and set bales of hay on fire. […]

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