Many of Trump’s supporters live in a colorful and exciting universe not burdened by the confines of reality. Among their favorite hobbies is inventing conspiracies about their chosen candidate’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and until last night we had every reason to think Trump supporters would believe just about anything.
To wit: Earlier this month, rumors abound that the Democratic hopeful was wearing an earpiece during an NBC forum. (She did not.) Mediaite reports the rumor was started by actor James Wood, and then spread to Info Wars and the Drudge Report.
Days later, when Clinton fell ill with walking pneumonia a video surfaced of her fainting. With no evidence whatsoever, it was determined by Trump supporters that she was addicted to benzodiazepines, drunk and suffering from seizures, in the early stages of dementia, coping with Parkinson’s disease, and possibly a reptile-human in disguise. Further conspiracies focused on a piece of metal allegedly dropped by Clinton or her nurse, concluding it was a chunk of a leg brace, a colostomy bag clip, or a cry for help for the candidate to be rescued from the cabal-like DNC.
Of course these all piggyback off the notion the Clinton is, and always has been, some sort of cyborg. An idea found even in Trump’s own Facebook-based attack ads.
All of these hypotheses are astoundingly far-fetched, and yet still found support among at least a few of Trump’s delegates. So what does it take for people with a creative interpretation of facts to see an obvious lie?
Early this morning, Info Wars drew attention to a “hidden device” under the back of Mrs. Clinton’s clothing. Was it another earpiece? “An instrument that sends impulses to the brain to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease”? Info Wars concluded nothing but threads began appearing on 4chan’s /pol/ board as well as on pro-Trump Twitter accounts.
Hearteningly, the “mystery device” was summarily dismissed by many as what it actually is: the transmitter pack of a lavalier microphone.
Anyone watching the debate last night is aware both candidates were equipped with both a podium-mounted mic and a clip-on lav:
The wire of a lav mic is hidden underneath the wearer’s clothing where it connects to a transmitter.
While the Alex Jones-helmed Info Wars may have never seen one of these before, it appears at least a few of Trump’s supporters online have, and were quick to call bullshit—in spite of crackpot theories that the bulge was some sort of blood pack, electrical stimulation apparatus, colostomy bag, a bomb, or, of course, an earpiece.
If marginally so, this country is less hopeless than previously thought.