After a week of events alternating from dismal to horrific, the news took a turn for the absurd on Tuesday, complete with a rapper and fashion mogul exiting from "Blexit" and a 20-year-old con man apparently attempting to frame the former FBI director and current special counsel investigating the 2016 election for sexual assault.
In Chapter One of this saga, Kanye West turned on his former friend, Turning Point USA Communications Director Candace Owens. Owens, fresh off a media blitz promoting "Blexit" — Brexit, but for black Americans to leave the "Democrat plantation" — repeatedly bragged over the weekend that West designed the logos and color schemes for Blexit merchandise.
By Tuesday, the relationship had fallen apart. In a series of tweets, West distanced himself from Blexit, writing, "I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn't want their name on it so she used mine. I never wanted any association with Blexit. I have nothing to do with it." West contacted TMZ to talk about how he felt used by the "Blexiteers" like Owens.
Almost concurrently, but far more absurdly, a smear campaign shoddier than a Michael Avenatti joint unfolded. Around two weeks ago, multiple journalists began receiving tips from women claiming that someone offered them money to make up stories that Robert Mueller sexually assaulted them. On Tuesday, reporters from multiple outlets confirmed that the allegations, which Mueller referred to the FBI, were the product of a baseless smear campaign orchestrated and exposed by partisan Twitter personalities.
The liberal activist Krassenstein brothers reached out to Mueller's office about the scheme, which seems to have been designed by conspiracy-mongerer Jack Burkman and right-wing Twitter troll Jacob Wohl. Yes, the barely legal faux financier was daft enough to believe that he could fabricate a "private intel agency" and promulgate false rape allegations to single-handedly take down a Vietnam War veteran, Purple Heart recipient, Princeton graduate, and the second longest-serving FBI director.
Conservative Twitter wasn't necessarily embarrassed or angry. Instead, many corners of the conservative Internet lit up with glee. There was visible schadenfreude that such opportunists were so clearly — and humorously — exposed to be what so many of us already knew them to be.
Wohl had for months fed the worst instincts of the fringe Right in the #MeToo moment, assuming and asserting that rape claims were easily and frequently invented. He is learning the hard way that it isn't so easy to make up such charges undetected.
Owens has built a career shifting with the wind. Before this iteration, she was cataloging and doxxing people and gleefully blogging in anticipation that Tea Party Republicans would "eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope)." She finally faced this public repudiation from Kanye West, whose fame she and Turning Point had tried so eagerly to ride.
Opportunists come and go, but the Internet is forever. While conservatives remain under constant assault from illiberal leftists, the tendency to protect the farm makes sense. But at the same time, learn to recognize a scam.