Right wing fake News hits again.
A Florida Sandy Hook denier was arrested Monday on charges that she threatened the parent of a child killed in the December 14, 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school shooting that killed 20 children and 6 adults.
According to an indictment made public on Wednesday, 57-year-old Lucy Richards of Tampa, Florida was indicted on four counts of transmitting threats for sending a series death threats to Lenny Pozner, a grieving Sandy Hook parent. Richards “believed that the school shooting was a hoax and never happened allegedly motivated her to make the charged threats,” according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“You gonna die. Death is coming to you real soon,” Richards threatened.
You can to her hate threats here but I wouldn’t suggest it (*not safe for work, racial slurs, bigotry, anti-Semitism, misogyny, etc – a horrific hate bomb that demonstrates the suggested psychological ties between hate mongering and vulnerable minds*):
The New York Times delved into Pozner’s efforts to stop the spiraling conspiracy, noting “When Mr. Pozner asked a Florida Atlantic University professor, James F. Tracy, to stop posting photos of (his son) Noah, the professor sent him a certified letter asking for proof that the boy existed, Mr. Pozner wrote in an essay in The Sun-Sentinel newspaper last year. The professor, who was tenured, was soon fired, and he blamed Mr. Pozner.”
He blamed Mr. Pozner for his own inability to discern reality, which is even more disturbing when we take into account that he was a communications professor.
Why is the act of one extremist news-worthy? Because we have a Conspiracy Theorist President-elect filling the White House with his entourage of conspiracy believers, including his choice for National Security Adviser, General Mike Flynn.
In the Age of Donald Trump, the dangers of “fake news” abound. One of those dangers is that Donald Trump encourages his cult-like followers to dismiss anything critical of him as “fake news”, while subscribing to conspiracy theories and elevating conspiracy theorists to the White House.
Another danger of “fake news” is that conspiracy-oriented stories can incite people to take horrible actions.
We saw this happen just days ago in “Pizzagate”, and now we have a woman threatening the parent of a child slain during the Sandy Hook massacre, because she believes the Right wing conspiracy that it the mass shooting in a Newtown, Connecticut school was orchestrated by President Obama so that he could pass gun control.
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was correct when she charged that Donald Trump’s association with far-right extremists like Alex Jones was problematic, citing Jones’ repeated claim that Sandy Hook was a hoax. Jones denied he ever suggested any such thing, but PolitiFact did not agree with him.
Furthermore, Media Matters called out Donald Trump for elevating the Sandy Hook hoax by “touting the support of Carl Gallups, a Florida-based pastor and radio host… Gallups not only pushes the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, was a ‘staged’ ‘hoax,’ but he’s also forwarded claims that the Boston Marathon bombing and a fatal 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport were orchestrated ‘false flag’ events.”
Trump did eventually distance himself from Gallups, but didn’t renounce his endorsement.
The President-elect’s decision to surround himself with conspiracy theorists does nothing but elevate the conspiracies in the minds of vulnerable people in an age when people believe anything posted on Facebook. The conspiracy is often started to serve a political agenda, as in the case of the Sandy Hook conspiracy serving the gun manufacturers’ agenda, with the NRA actively pushing the conspiracy that the massacre at Sandy Hook wasn’t real. However, it is picked up and acted on by people of all political beliefs.
“We are comforted to know that the system is working to protect the victims of violent crime from re-victimization by potentially violent Hoaxers,” Lenny Pozner said in a statement.
Richards faces 20 years in prison. Her court date is set for December 19th, 2016.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.