Something Reeks About Mike Cernovich’s Appearance At Columbia University

Last night, nearly every prominent self-described “New Right” personality shared a photo purporting to show protesters who had gathered in New York to oppose a speech by right-wing activist and self-described journalist Mike Cernovich flying a banner endorsing pedophilia, in what appears to be yet another hoax designed to smear New Right opposition.

Cernovich gave a short lecture about the rise of alternative media at Columbia University in New York City last night and was met by hundreds of protesters who opposed his appearance on campus. The protest group included students, members of the public, and anti-fascist protesters.

Then, serial hoaxer and Pizzagate pioneer Jack Posobiec began circulating photographs online purporting to show anti-Cernovich protesters holding a sign that read “No white supremacy, no pedobashing, no Mike Cernovich” and featured a logo for the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), a group with a nearly non-existent membership that seeks to abolish the age of consent. The photos spread like wildfire on alt-right and New Right Twitter:

Posobiec is a media personality known for his endorsement of conspiracy theories and orchestration of hoax news events. In the last year, Posobiec has sent trolls to a net neutrality rally with signs calling for the shutdown of conservative media outlets, and distributed fake flyers at another net neutrality event claiming that participants endorsed “Satanic porn.”

The New Right pile-on over the suppose NAMBLA banner is reminiscent of the movement’s formative days in the midst of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which alleged that Democrats were operating a child sex ring underneath a pizza parlor. New Right activists and conspiracy theorists are absolutely obsessed with pedophilia and have used false allegations of pedophilia to attack their opponents and dissenters before.

Infowars editor-in-chief Paul Joseph Watson even wrote that if the sign was “pro-Cernovich people and handed to Antifa demonstrators to make them look stupid” it wouldn’t matter because “protesters didn’t even bother to check what was written on the giant banner before marching behind it.”

Others were quick to point out that the banner reeked of a planted hoax:

Update: A previous version of this post cited a BuzzFeed article that reported that Tim Gionet—known online as “Baked Alaska”—had attributed a “Rape Melania” sign at a Trump campaign rally to Posobiec. This post has been altered to omit the citation after Posobiec flatly denied the claim to Right Wing Watch and directed us to Gionet’s retracting his accusation on Twitter since the publication of the BuzzFeed article.