Bill Mitchell is the host of a conservative online talk radio show and one of the few pundits to accurately predict the rise of Donald Trump. In post-election retrospect, the man Buzzfeed says “owned” the liberal media seemed to possess some sort of awful precognitive powers. Turns out he was just a lucky idiot.
Last night just before 11:30pm EST, Mitchell tweeted out his thoughts on Pepe.
Pepe, the unlucky Matt Furie webcomic character meme, is really important to the internet’s Trump supporters. So much so that some have built a quasi-religion around him as an avatar of the ancient Egyptian god Kek and an obscure Italian disco track called “Shadilay” (a blog for another time.) Suffice to say, the now-deleted tweet revealed that Michell has no fucking clue who his audience is.
Mitchell’s Twitter quickly became a bonfire as angry Trump supporters—and perhaps former listeners of his Your Voice radio show—trashed his mentions with hate. Elsewhere on the platform these same incensed keyboard Nazis spammed faked Bill Mitchell tweets which made it appear as if he was, among other things, a Holocaust denier. (An event which he has tweeted some other stupid things about, but seemingly believes happened.)
Reddit’s the_donald community devoted at least a dozen threads to calling out Mitchell for his seeming betrayal of the movement. The most popular of these threads includes a comment from user TheLiquidKnight who wrote: “Who thought Pepe was a good mascot? Trump did when he tweeted out the Pepe Trump in his “Can’t Stump The Trump” tweet.” Kind of hard to argue with that I suppose.
Mitchell spent most of yesterday evening and this morning denying any ties between himself and the “alt-right,” buttressing his stance with Trump’s own half-assed disavowing of the movement. While his detractors fought about whether or not Mitchell was a traitor, the deeper and more hilarious problem arose: no one fighting about the “alt-right” seems to have any idea how to define the group, or its basic tenets.
But wait—there’s more! After pissing off alt-righters by calling their appropriated cartoon frog “ugly” and becoming a target of internet harassment, Mitchell blamed the sudden influx of hateful tweets on none other than George Soros—a real human, but more popularly, a shorthand for “globalism” and the “new world order” among the conspiracy theory set. Bill... Buddy... Don’t go down this way.
Infighting is fast becoming a theme within Trump supporters’ ranks. We saw it when figureheads like Alex Jones distanced themselves from the Pizzagate conspiracy they helped manufacture and disseminate. We saw it when Mike Cernovich and friends decided whose Nazi leanings were too overt for the alt-right’s inauguration gala in D.C. We saw it again this weekend when 8chan’s deeply paranoid /pol/ board waged war with neo-Nazi forum The Right Stuff over whether or not they were allies in whatever fight it is they both feel they’re waging. And now we see it with conservatism’s accidentally vindicated prognosticator.
Mitchell is looking less like an all-seeing pollster and more like a clueless moron with each passing tweet, and the movement he helped energize is slowly pulling itself to pieces before Trump has even been sworn into office. Happy 2017, everyone.