Just when you thought the Pizzagate scandal had gone away, it has reemerged in perhaps the most unlikely of places. For weeks, around the November presidential election, Pizzagate was the talk of social media. If you didn’t follow the story at the time, Pizzagate centered on claims that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, was at the center of a satanic pedophile ring operating out of a Washington Pizza joint called Comet Ping Pong.
The Pizzagate conspiracy theory emerged when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released the Podesta and Clinton emails. Those emails were investigated by “citizen investigators,” initially on Pizzagate Reddit sites and laterally on Voat after Reddit banned Pizzagate Reddits. The Pizzagate scandal almost came to a tragic end early last month when Edgar Maddison Welch walked into Comet Ping Pong and fired an AR-15 assault rifle multiple times.
After that Pizzagate incident, the mainstream media lined up to debunk Pizzagate, and after a week or so, the whole furor seemed to fade from the public eye. Of course, like most conspiracy theories, Pizzagate did not go away. The Pizzagate Voat’s continue to be active, and some of those who subscribe to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory continue to take more direct action.
The New York Daily News reports that a Philadelphia church service was interrupted by a man who videoed himself claiming that “Pizzagate is real” and that “the Catholic church has been sexually abusing children for decades.”
The man was identified as 47-year-old Howard Caplan, and he told the Daily News that “he decided to enter The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul during the Sunday mass since ‘so much is being covered up’ about the so-called ‘Pizzagate’ scandal.'”
Further claims are now emerging to claim that Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut has been sidelined over his support for the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
So, What Does NBA Star Andrew Bogut Have To Do With The Pizzagate Scandal?
According to the Miami Herald, some of those who believe that Pizzagate is real are now claiming that Dallas Mavericks NBA player Andrew Bogut has been benched because he tweeted his support for the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
Bogut injured his knee in a game against the Charlotte Hornets on December 5, and he missed 11 games as a result. Pizzagate conspiracy theorists claim that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban dropped Bogut because of tweets that gave credence to the Pizzagate scandal.
Ironically, as reported by The Daily Beast, the Reddit submission “neglected to mention that Bogut played 22 minutes in the Mavericks’ 12-point win against the Lakers a few hours before it was posted.” Apparently Bogut didn’t sustain his injury until six games after he tweeted his tacit support for the Pizzagate theory, he played in all six games.
Bogut has been injury prone throughout his career and is enduring the worst season of his career, averaging almost as many fouls as points across the current season. Of course, as is common with conspiracy theories, any fact that disputes the theory is held up as “evidence” of a coverup.
So, Is Pizzagate Real?
It is clear, that many people continue to believe that Pizzagate is real. The investigations into Pizzagate on Reddit and Voat continue and a recent YouGov poll shows that almost half of Donald Trump voters believe that Pizzagate is real.
The official government poll suggests that more than one-third of adult Americans believe that there was a pedophile ring in the Clinton campaign. Forty-six percent of Trump supporters believe that Pizzagate is “probably” or “definitely” true. By way of contrast, the same poll claims that half of Clinton supporters believe that Russia hacked the presidential election results to ensure a Trump victory.
Pizzagate has all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory that will run for years to come.
[Featured Image by Tony Gutierrez/AP Images]