"When the moon hits your eye..."
Chances are if you didn't know about #Pizzagate before this weekend, you know about it now — following reports in the Washington Post (55,000 shares) of a man entering a DC pizzeria and firing shots with an assault rifle to "self investigate" the entirely baseless conspiracy theory known as #Pizzagate. (The New York Times' Cecilia Kang has a good rundown of the conspiracy theory's origins and how its spread parallels that of other fake news smorgasbords in the social age).
"We are so screwed up," tweets New York Times contributor Deborah Blum.
"A terrifying story about death threats --and now, a man with a rifle--at a pizza place targeted by Fake Newsers," adds Cathleen Decker of the Los Angeles Times.
And by "Fake Newsers," Decker isn't just talking about your run-of-the-mill 4chan fascists living in their moms' basements, but high-profile names like Michael G. Flynn, the son of Trump's appointed national security adviser who according to Politico gave credence to #Pizzagate's false claims in a tweet yesterday: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it."
The Times of London's Gregg Carlstrom likens the current American predicament to the "Last days of Rome," adding that "the son of Trump's national security adviser is promoting this crap."
Natalie Kitroeff of the Los Angeles Times has a more terse, straightforward response: "Help."
Of course all kinds of people have crazy family members. How big a deal is Flynn's son's pizza peccadillo, really?
According to CNN's Andrew Kaczynski, bigger than you might think. He reports that the younger Flynn "has an official government transition email address."
"Not only is Flynn's son still perpetuating dangerous @cometpingpong conspiracies – he now also has a gov't email," tweets Cole Goins of the Center for Investigative Reporting.
In non-pizza-related news:
Colin Campbell of the News and Observer in Raleigh reports that North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, has conceded the gubernatorial election to his Democratic opponent Roy Cooper in a YouTube video.
"A victory for protesters," tweets CNN contributor Cody Lyon in response to the New York Times report that federal officials will explore a different route for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. (83,000 shares).
"Trump lied," says Justin Miller of The Daily Beast, linking to a Washington Post piece from its China bureau on Trump's controversial and diplomatically unprecedented call to Taiwan officials (9,000 shares). "Taiwan call was planned for months, not a congrats message."
Today in The Future Is Now: Business Insider's Steve Kovach tweets, "Amazon announces grocery stores without cashiers. Grab what you want and leave."
Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner will move to DC, according to CNN's David Wright. His CNN colleague Heather Long calls it "another sign of key roles Jared and Ivanka likely to play" in Trump's administration.
Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin (who's been as critical of Trump as any Democrat) has penned a must-read op-ed in the New York Times titled, "Trump's Threat to the Constitution" (18,000 shares). Maud Newton of Harpers sums up the piece like this: "Yes. Trump is unfamiliar with the constitution, doesn't mind that he's unfamiliar with it, and doesn't care about it."
Politico's Ken Doctor takes a closer look at the New York Times' surge to 2.5 million subscribers—which observers like the Times' Alexandra Jacobs refer to as the "Trump bump." "Not a dance move," she adds. "Yet."
And finally, Joshua Topolsky's long-awaited new site The Outline is finally live. "Truly beautiful and smart," says Metro News' Vicky Mochama. "I'm afraid to get too attached. (rip grantland)."