Updated: Oct 29
Halloween, the holiday of treats and tricks, is upon us—the time when ghouls wander our streets openly and masks are worn to conceal and deceive. This makes Halloween the ideal holiday to remember a few of the deceptions facilitated by a ghoulish, bigoted press and performed to promote a leftist socio-political agenda while maligning conservatives. Since the legacy press benefits from the busyness and short memories of Americans, let’s take a moment to review some of the tricks played on unsuspecting Americans by leftists all year long.
Just last month, stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj, a Muslim Indian with an Emmy and Peabody award-winning Netflix series, was revealed to be a hoaxster—also known as a liar—in a New Yorker exposé. For those who are unfamiliar with Minhaj who is known for his “blend of autobiographical storytelling and social-justice commentary,” the New Yorker piece makes clear that Minhaj is no marginal no-name struggling to make it in the world of comedy:
[Minhaj] recently conducted a lengthy sit-down interview with Barack Obama and is a leading candidate to succeed Trevor Noah as the next host of “The Daily Show.” In 2019, Minhaj was selected as one of Time magazine’s most influential people.
The exposé reveals that Minaj tells elaborate lies to advance his leftist social and political views—lies he defends as communicating his “emotional truth” as opposed to actual truth. For example, Minhaj told an anecdote in his 2022 Netflix special—every piece of which was a lie. The New Yorker piece outlines the misinformation from Minhaj:
[Minhaj] relays a story about an F.B.I. informant who infiltrated his family’s Sacramento-area mosque, in 2002, when Minhaj was a junior in high school. As Minhaj tells it, a muscle-bound white man … said he was a convert to Islam, gained the trust of the mosque community. He went to dinner at Minhaj’s house, and even offered to teach weight training to the community’s teen-age boys. But Minhaj had Brother Eric pegged from the beginning. Eventually, Brother Eric tried to entice the boys into talking about jihad. Minhaj decided to mess with Brother Eric, telling him that he wanted to get his pilot’s license. Soon, the police were on the scene, slamming Minhaj against the hood of a car.
tells the story of a letter sent to his home which was filled with white powder. The contents accidentally spilled onto his young daughter. The child was rushed to the hospital. It turned out not to be anthrax, but it’s a sobering reminder that Minhaj’s comedic actions have real-world consequences. Later that night, his wife, in a fury, told him that she was pregnant with their second child.
Lies, all lies—er, I mean, “emotional truths.”
Perhaps most damaging of all were the lies he spread about a good friend from high school:
The central story of his first Netflix special, “Homecoming King,” which was released in 2017, is about his crush on a friend, a white girl with whom he shared a stolen kiss and who accepted his invitation to prom but later reneged in a humiliating fashion; Minhaj showed up on her doorstep the night of the dance, only to see another boy putting a corsage on her wrist. Onstage, Minhaj says that his friend’s parents didn’t want their daughter to take pictures with a brown boy, because they were concerned about what their relatives might think. “I’d eaten off their plates,” Minhaj says. “I’d kissed their daughter. I didn’t know that people could be bigoted even as they were smiling at you.”
As a result of Minhaj’s “emotional truths”/factual lies, his former friend—who was at the time engaged to an Indian American man—was doxed and threatened.
Closer to home, there’s a hoax with far sturdier legs. Those legs were forged by the “Hate Has No Home Here” yard sign campaign, which is based on a hoax perpetrated by a Chicago area college student just days after Donald Trump was elected in 2016. As I wrote at the time, exactly one week after the election of President Donald Trump, NBC News Chicago reported that bisexual student Taylor Volk, then a senior at the purportedly Christian North Park University, said she had received two anonymous emails and a note taped to her door that contained “homophobic slurs,” “harassing, threatening language” and references to Trump. Volk further claimed that such occurrences were a “nationwide epidemic.”
Just three days later, on November 18, it was breathlessly reported that six social justice warriors (actually seven) from the North Park neighborhood had already created the yard signs. Kurt Peterson, Barbara Nordlund, Steven Velez Luce, Megan Trinter, Carmen Rodriguez, Jeanne Marie Olson, and Catherine Korda were the eager, hate-hating beavers who had yard signs ready to go just three days after the traumatized Volk was interviewed by the press.
But then things took an unexpected turn, though why it was unexpected is surprising.
A week after Volk’s story made the news, an investigation revealed her entire story was—wait for it—a hoax. But “progressives” can’t let either a crisis or a hoax go to waste. Gotta mine even hoaxes for propaganda gold. So, with very little press on the hoax, the gang of seven were able to disseminate their banal, virtue-signaling yard signs around the country and even the world, although oddly the website doesn’t mention the hoax in the group’s background myth.
The press person for the Hate Has No Home Here campaign, Carmen Rodriguez, contacted me to try to persuade me that the yard signs had nothing to do with Volk’s hoax, Trump, Trump supporters, or conservative beliefs, and to convince me that she was not a lefty. Her Facebook photos from a January 2017 march, however, told a different story. One said, “DONALD, YOU IGNORANT SLUT.” Another says, “HOW MANY WOMEN DOES IT TAKE TO CRUSH A CHEETO?” Another, “MY CHOICE.” And another, “FEMINISM is the RADICAL NOTION that WOMEN are PEOPLE #notmypresident.”
While the text of the signs suggests that supporters of the campaign reject hatred—which most community members in most communities do—the subtext coming on the heels of Volk’s hoax is that Trump is a hater, those who voted for him (you know, the “deplorables”) are haters, and those who disagree with the arguable assumptions of “progressives” are haters.
And so the divisive Volk hoax-inspired yard signs continue to muck up front yards and inform the political machinations of leftists like Illinois’ incompetent governor with colossal political ambitions, J.B. Pritzker, who mouths “hate has no home here” every opportunity he gets.
These are far from the only deceptions, hoaxes, lies, or misinformation breathlessly reported by propagandists in the legacy press. Here is a non-exhaustive list of others:
It’s long past time to don our super-duper, 4D, spacetime, lie-detector Halloween goggles that enable us to discern the big picture—the one that includes not just the present but also the past. If we don’t see the deceptions of the past, democracy will die in the darkness intentionally constructed by malign forces in academia, corporate America, social media behemoths, and the legacy press.