Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Media Matters quotes Sean Hannity dispensing dangerous coronavirus quackery on his radio show today:
SEAN HANNITY: ... There's an MIT guy I noticed on Twitter ... he does research nearly every single day on immune systems he said quote "coronavirus fear-mongering by the Deep State will go down in history as one of the biggest frauds to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, and push mandated medicines." May be true.
Here's the tweet he's quoting.

Recognize the name?

It's Shiva Ayyadurai, a Mumbai-born Massachusetts resident who ran for Elizabeth Warren's Senate seat in 2018, promoting himself with this slogan:

He lost -- but he got more than 90,000 votes.

Ayyadurai is a real piece of work. Until the past few years, he was best known for claiming that he invented email -- and suing people who said he didn't. Here's a 2016 Techdirt story about this:
... Shiva Ayyadurai's claim that he invented email is complete bullshit. It's not true. Not even remotely. What does appear to be true is that as a fairly bright kid, Ayyadurai was working for a small college in New Jersey and he wrote an electronic messaging program for the school, which he named Email.... Nothing about what Ayyadurrai did was new -- even if he came up with the ideas entirely on his own. Basically every feature that he put in the application was previously discussed on open mailing lists and RFCs about the internet and the messaging systems that would be grafted onto it -- sometimes many years earlier....

Ayyadurai has spent many years falsely claiming to have invented email and trying to tarnish the obituaries of Ray Tomlinson who was critical in the creation of email (though was humble enough to admit that no one individual actually "invented" email). And now he was getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for suing a news site that correctly explained the actual truth: Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email.
That lawsuit was against Gawker, which paid Ayyadurai $750,000 to settle the case. After this story appeared, Ayyadurai sued Techdirt for $15 million, but he lost that suit.

Ayyadurai is also an anti-vaxxer, for good measure. (The reference to "MANDATED medicine" in the tweet above is a giveaway.)

Ayyadurai is a menace -- and as with most right-wing menaces, it's impossible to get rid of him. This year he's running for the Senate again, in the hope of taking on Ed Markey. And he's only 56, which means that he'll probably be a menace for many years to come.

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