The late Paul Horner during an interview with The Washington Post
Paul Horner knew what he was talking about. That's because a lot of the crazed nonsense Donald Trump's fans were re-posting on places like Facebook--convinced they were spreading the terrible truth about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton--was shit he'd made up in order to prove them utter dunces.
They didn't let him down and appallingly, hordes of right wing wankers took his twisted satire as gospel, then went out and voted.
Yes, the last and biggest joke was on him and the rest of us. In the same interview he regretted what he'd done and a prior claim, he'd made that he was the reason Don Trump ended up in the White House.
While even Horner recognized what he said was a bit overblown--hey, let's give Vlad's boy's some credit--no one can deny his scams were a little too sophisticated for our collective good. This despite their content, even on the surface, being so sick and bizarre no one, but the most demented inmates of state run asylums should have believed them.
He had been the lead writer for the site, "National Report." While there, using a pseudonym, he wrote things like, the anonymous British avant-garde street artist, Banksy had been popped for a DUI and his true identity had been revealed as one, Paul Horner. He also reported a man named Paul Horner had become the recipient of the world's first head transplant.
As funny these sort of things were they remained far too outre for the loons who inhabit the Trump crowd. He found his political stride when he wrote a piece saying then Arizona governor Jan Brewer was implementing a mandatory program in state schools, grades kindergarten through 12, which would encourage students to become gay. The word spread among the local yokels and their outrage was so intense, Brewer was forced to go on TV in order to deny she had proposed anything of the kind.
Seizing on his success, he wrote a piece which claimed that during the 2013 government shutdown, Barack Obama had personally funded an Islamic museum so it could stay open. Fox News reported the joke as true.
Another story concerned a former secret service agent named, yes, Paul Horner who had written a book that revealed Obama was not just gay, but a gay Islamic extremist. Right wing trolls pounced and spread the word over social media. This despite news videos showing ISIS troops throwing gay men from the roofs of buildings because they were, well, gay.
Yes, the line was beginning to blur and Horner didn't let up. According to Wikipedia he left the "National Report," and started up the, "National Examiner." More darkly he established web sites with the names, "cnn.com.de, cbsnews.com.co, nbc.com.co, and abcnews.com.co," so his news releases would look more authentic.
By the time the 2016 presidential campaign rolled around the despicable fools running Don Trump's campaign and others who should know better were biting hook, line, and sinker. His fantastical news stories were quoted as real by Trump's momentary campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski and his son, Eric. ABC News and, naturally, Fox did the same. Things went so far, a full month before Don Trump began accusing CNN of broadcasting, "fake news," Horner coined the term during an appearance on Anderson Cooper's show.
His intent, he later told the Post, was, "...to make Trump's supporters look like idiots for sharing my stories." Unfortunately for the nation those people not only don't mind looking like idiots, they revel in it. As Kurt Andersen said on MSNBC the other day, "The difference between truth and lies to Donald Trump and his supporters is irrelevant."
On September 18th Maricopa County sheriff deputies found Paul Horner dead in his suburban Phoenix residence. The general opinion is he od'd on prescription drugs, a habit he'd apparently cultivated for years.
Or not. His death wasn't reported for over a week. Given the delay there can be little doubt conspiracy theories about his early demise will begin flying soon--be they perpetrated by Horner wannabes, or the actual psychotics who lurk in that murky world.
Which ever the case, before he died Brother Horner learned a lesson those of us who remain should keep in mind. The norm is never underestimate your enemy. However, the norm went out the window as soon as Don Trump glided down that shiny escalator to announce his candidacy.
Indeed, in these chaotic days the rule is never underestimate how stupid and insane your enemy is. The reason is simple. They are everywhere on the internet and, quite literally, they have no sense of humor or, more important, reality.
sic vita est