CBS46 in Atlanta is encouraging conspiracy theorists and trying to make a case that the “Pizzagate” story may not really be “fake news.”
Tuesday night, Atlanta’s CBS affiliate aired a segment called “Reality Check.” Ben Swann said he had just completed a month long investigation into “Pizzagate.”
Pizzagate was an insane conspiracy theory that came out in early November claiming that a D.C. pizza place was actually running a child sex ring out of the small restaurant with Hillary Clinton and John Podesta. The false story got legs on the internet, being widely circulated by Trump supporters who thought they’d finally found real dirt on Hillary.
Because of this ridiculous story, Edgar M. Welch of Salisbury, N.C. showed up at Comet Ping Pong Pizza with a gun. Welch said he was there to save the children from Hillary’s pedophilia. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident and Welch was arrested.
Now, rational people dismissed the fake story. But clearly, many wing-nuts in the country fully believed the fake news. Apparently, one of those wing-nuts includes the CBS reporter in Atlanta.
On his show, Swann tried to sow seeds of doubt about the general acceptance that the story was false.
Swann spent the segment stating facts followed up by the word BUT. And after every BUT he threw out wild conspiracy theories.
“To be clear, not one single email in the Podesta emails discusses child sex trafficking or pedophilia. That is a fact. BUT…”
“There is no solid evidence that Comet Ping Pong pizza is being used to run a child sex-trafficking ring, BUT…”
The Washington Post points out,
“BUT!!! That’s the all-purpose conjunction for boosting an Internet conspiracy. Behind this word, Swann spins some amazing claims. Among them is the smoking-gun logo change. As Swann alleges, the FBI years ago ID’d symbols used by pedophiles to signal their preferences. As it turns out, the Besta Pizza logo resembles one of those symbols. “The Besta logo actually contains the same image . . . as that ‘boy lover’ image” identified in the FBI document, claims Swann.
And then! “After Pizzagate investigators pointed this out, Besta Pizza changed their logo and . . . they’ve removed the triangle,” said Swann, in a detail that was, like, supposed to prove what?”
The owner of Besta Pizza admitted that he did, in fact, change his logo. But he didn’t do it to hide some child sex ring.
Swann goes on to make absurd connections and allegations. He explained that when he did a deep search of Instagram he found “a number of strange photographs and words with strange and disturbing images associated with them. Look, to the point where we can’t show you those pictures. We’re not even going to describe them to you because some viewers would find it too disturbing to share on TV.”
At the end of the clip, Swann admits again that there is no evidence to back up any of his claims.
“There has not been one single public investigation of any of this, not from local police, not from the FBI. No one. And that has to be the big question. Not for Podesta or for pizza parlor owners, but for law enforcement. Based on what may be or may not be here, the big question is, why hasn’t any investigation taken place?”