Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Here's some personnel news from Florida:
An aide to State Representative Shawn Harrison of Florida was fired on Tuesday after claiming falsely that two students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were “actors that travel to various crisis when they happen,” a common far-right conspiracy theory after mass shootings.

Mr. Harrison’s district secretary, Benjamin Kelly, made the assertion in an email sent from his state account to a Tampa Bay Times reporter, Alex Leary. Mr. Leary ... posted a screen shot of the email on Twitter....

Mr. Kelly’s email referred to Emma Gonz├ílez, 18, and David Hogg, 17, two seniors who have been outspoken in the days since the shooting.
And more personnel news -- this is from D.C.:
A top official at the Department of Health and Human Services has been placed on administrative leave after a CNN KFile inquiry while the agency investigates social media postings in which he pushed unfounded smears on social media.

Jon Cordova serves as the principal deputy assistant secretary for administration at HHS. A KFile review of Cordova's social media accounts found that he pushed stories filled with baseless claims and conspiracy theories, including stories that claimed Gold Star father Khizr Khan is a "Muslim Brotherhood agent" and made baseless claims about Sen. Ted Cruz's personal life....

In July 2016, Cordova shared a story that asserted without evidence that Khan, who spoke out against Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, was a "Muslim Brotherhood agent" and "a Muslim plant working with the Hillary Clinton campaign." He also shared another story that falsely claimed the Clinton Foundation paid Khan.

Cordova also shared unfounded and false stories that claimed Cruz, a Texas Republican frequented prostitutes, was involved in a sex scandal and was hiding various public records related to his birth and education.
What surprises me most about these stories is the fact that belief in conspiracy theories can still get a Republican fired or otherwise disciplined. We elected a birther president. I'd have thought that going after conspiratorialists would have been redefined as "political correctness" by now.

If this continues, how are future Republican governments going to staff up? Doesn't every low- and mid-level GOP operative now share at least a few conspiracy theories on Facebook? Ban conspiratorialists and soon you won't be able to hire anyone!

Maybe the taboo will just disappear gradually, by degrees. Call the Parkland survivors crisis actors and, regrettably, you've got to go. Say they're part of an FBI/Deep State conspiracy to seize all the guns -- hey, no problem! We have to open-minded about these things, don't we? And then eventually it'll all be acceptable, because freedom.

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