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:
NAMBLA joins Antifa to protest Mike Cernovich at Columbia pic.twitter.com/N7IRbI1RVj
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) October 30, 2017
Well done Antifa & social justice warriors.
Your allies are literally NAMBLA.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 31, 2017
— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) October 31, 2017
ANTIFA has joined forces with NAMBLA pedophiles to protest conservatives.
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) October 31, 2017
More shots of the banner pic.twitter.com/9WEfNZYWQ4
— Cassandra?Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) October 31, 2017
Why does NAMBLA hate @Cernovich?
He must be too old for them.
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) October 31, 2017
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:
Antifa is so scary that an alt-right troll has to fabricate signs that make them look threatening. https://t.co/7v22F9mvNs
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) October 31, 2017
Yes, I’m sure someone on the left made a professionally printed sign praising pedophilia and antifa and bashing Cernovich by name. pic.twitter.com/3HSqwhl1cN
— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 31, 2017
Wow even NAMBLA (which this definitely 100% is, for sure man) thinks Cernovich is disgusting pic.twitter.com/2F0k04bRAe
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) October 31, 2017
hmm, where have I seen this bullshit tactic before pic.twitter.com/SpuJuKolPz
— Brendan Karet ? (@bad_takes) October 31, 2017
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.