Laura Loomer is a racist alt-right troll who specializes in disruptive stunts. She’s also a hapless buffoon whose antics routinely get her banned from places, like her college, for violating their rules. Loomer was suspended after she surreptitiously recorded school officials while posing as a student who wanted to start an ISIS fan club. She also got kicked off Uber and Lyft after she complained on Twitter about not being able to find a “non-Muslim” driver.
Speaking of Twitter, Loomer had her precious blue checkmark verification revoked for violating Twitter’s guidelines for verified accounts. Loomer predictably played the victim and claimed anti-conservative bias. She’s also used Twitter to promote a series of shady “fundraisers” for herself, like one soliciting donations to help pay for bail after she got arrested for disrupting a play. Her grift was brought to light when the Daily Beast reported the website was owned by her employer and set up six hours before the play even started.
And it’s that history of embarrassing scam artistry that made today’s congressional hearings on social media and foreign intervention in elections so irresistible to her. She crashed the proceedings with her glittery cell phone recording and called Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey a liar, accusing him of interfering in elections on behalf of liberals. What she didn’t count on was GOP Rep. Billy Long of Missouri. Long is a seasoned auctioneer and launched into his best auctioneer’s call to drown her out.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 5, 2018
Loomer was escorted out and the whole thing was over in less than a minute. I’d love to transcribe exactly what Rep. Long was saying, but I’m at a loss here, folks. He does, at one point, exclaim “We’re selling the cell phone there!” before ending his routine. “I yield back,” the congressman said eliciting laughs from the crowd.
Loomer then ambushed Dorsey as he was getting into his car, tearfully pleading with the Twitter CEO to restore her verification.
— Nathan Bernard (@nathanTbernard) September 5, 2018
It was bizarre and funny, but Long shouldn’t get too much credit. After all, he’s not objecting to the point Loomer was making, just the way she went about making it.
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Long’s committee in April, the congressman hauled out a photo of two of Loomer’s fellow travelers in the right-wing grift game, Diamond and Silk. The two were (baselessly) accusing Facebook of bias for flagging their posts “unsafe,” a warning Facebook said resulted from a glitch before correcting the error. “Diamond and Silk has a question for you: What is unsafe about two black women supporting Donald J. Trump?” Long asked Zuckerberg at the time. Long also went so far as to threaten Zuckerberg about imaginary anti-conservative bias, saying “We’re getting ready to overreact.”
Even as Republican legislators try to brush off fringe groups stealing their spotlight, like Marco Rubio in his hallway tussle with Alex Jones earlier today, they’re still puffing up their baseless claims of bias as a grave concern worthy of congressional oversight.
After Jones ambushed Rubio the senator told reporters, “I know you’ve got to cover it, but you give these guys way too much attention. We’re making crazy people superstars, so you’re going to get crazier people.”
Actually, my good dude, the Republican Party is the one making crazy people superstars. Maybe the GOP is starting to learn that you can’t have a circus without clowns showing up, but I’m not buying it. Not from Rubio and not even from an auctioneer.