Pizzagate Rally Brings Out Steadfast – and Some Nutty – Fake News Believers

Among those with questions about fake news stories involving a D.C. pizza restaurant and a “child sex operation,” a woman dressed up like a domino and a man with a propeller hat

Will Sommer/Twitter

There’s a Pizzagate protest by the White House today, and it’s included a family in matching pizza shirts, a speaker in a propeller hat and an “All Children Matter” sign, as a devoted group of core believers insist on pursuing an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory.

Pizzagate is the unofficial name for a series of fictitious internet news stories that implicated the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington, D.C., and its owner in a child sex operation. The “reports” started before Election Day and accused Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta of kidnapping, molesting and trafficking children in the back rooms of the pizzeria.

In December, a man who went to D.C. to investigate fired three shots at the restaurant, but nobody was injured. Michael Flynn Jr., the son of since-removed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, had promoted Pizzagate on Twitter.

The D.C. Police Department called the conspiracy theory “fictitious,” and one of the conspiracy theory’s earliest backers, Infowars’ Alex Jones, has retracted his advocacy, blaming other media outlets for promoting the fake news.

However, there is still a significant group of believers who aren’t convinced by the facts on the ground and wants further investigation. Will Sommer, the campaign editor at TheHill, went to the rally to meet some of them: