The Clinton campaign is so desperate to associate the Trump campaign with white supremacists at the very fringes of the Alt-Right that it published a blog post on its website dedicated entirely to attacking a harmless internet meme — Pepe the frog — and allowed itself to be fooled by a fake twitter account in the process.
The helpful “explainer” by one Elizabeth Chan is titled, “Donald Trump, Pepe the frog, and white supremacists” and warns that the “cartoon frog is more sinister than you might realize.”
Twitter users familiar with the account are having a field day with the fact that he was able to troll himself into the national conversation.
“Here’s the short version,” it reads. “Pepe is a cartoon frog who began his internet life as an innocent meme enjoyed by teenagers and pop stars alike. But in recent months, Pepe’s been almost entirely co-opted by the white supremacists who call themselves the ‘alt-right.'”
Chan asserts that the white supremacists “decided to take back Pepe by adding swastikas and other symbols of anti-Semitism and white supremacy.”
The only problem with her stunningly insightful analysis is that her evidence rests on an old Daily Beast article which was based entirely around an interview with the manager of a satirical troll Twitter account.
“‘We basically mixed Pepe in with Nazi propaganda, etc. We built that association,’ one prominent white supremacist told The Daily Beast,” Chan writes.
The “prominent white supremacist” was the owner of the Jared Taylor Swift Twitter account, and his very online identity should have been enough to clue the geniuses at the Daily Beast and the Clinton campaign to the fact that it’s a fake troll account.
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The name is a portmanteau of the names Jared Taylor — the prominent white nationalist — and Taylor Swift, who was a central focus of white nationalist Twitter memes before Pepe stole the show. Interestingly, the Clinton campaign has never claimed Swift was “co-opted” by white supremacists.
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As if that weren’t enough of a giveaway, the account user has in his bio in full caps “PARODY ACCOUNT.” The owner of the account has even admitted publicly to being a left-winger.
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Needless to say, Twitter users familiar with the account are having a field day with the fact that he was able to troll himself into the national conversation and become a central boogeyman of one of the campaigns.
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The Clinton campaign is so desperate to tar Trump’s image that they no longer seem to engage in even the most cursory fact-checking. The fact that her campaign can’t seem to tell the difference between a satirical Twitter account and a real one doesn’t bode well for her ability to run the country.