The "Natural News" Guy Created an Entire Website to Smear David Hogg
Screencap via HoggWatch.com

The "Natural News" Guy Created an Entire Website to Smear David Hogg

Here's a sentence that perfectly describes the media hellscape in which Americans now live: Mere weeks after he hid in a closet to avoid being murdered in a school shooting, 18-year-old Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg is now the subject of the smear website HoggWatch.com, which has published multiple articles comparing him to a member of the Hitler Youth.

The site is the brainchild of Mike Adams, the Alex Jones-aligned founder of the Natural News clickbait empire. Adams has been having something of a public meltdown since YouTube pulled his channel from its website last month for "violating community rules," possibly over complaints that Adams pushes dangerous anti-vaccination conspiracies. He's responded by complaining that "tyranny has arrived in America" and promising to create his own, right-wing version of YouTube.

But in the meantime, Adams and the other writers at Natural News, which has 2.7 million Facebook followers, created HoggWatch.com, a website devoted to proving that Hogg is singlehandedly trying to destroy America.

The site's archive appears to be roughly a month old, and its earliest articles spread the truly insane conspiracy theory that Hogg is a "crisis actor" hired to help the federal government stage a fake massacre. Adams himself writes for the site. Since mid-February, he's penned pieces calling Hogg an "anti-gun sociopath," a "gun control fascist," the "most dangerous man in America," and a "profanity-laced, foulmouthed student who is seething with anger." Adams has written multiple stories comparing Hogg to a Nazi or a member of the Hitler Youth. Here's a sample of the insane bile from yesterday:

One meme that has also been banned, apparently, shows Hogg raising his right arm in a manner that the Nazis used to raise their arms juxtaposed next to Hitler raising his. The comparison works because it’s exact. [Editor's note: This is hilariously incorrect.]

Now, no one knows if young Mr. Hogg is a believer in Nazi ideology (it’s doubtful) or if the raising of his arm at the rally was intentionally provocative. But the optics are a lot truer than Trump’s “take a pledge” gesture. More than that, Trump has never advocated for anything close to what Hitler advocated for and did — to Jews, to ‘inferior’ races, and — ultimately — to the German people and his own country.

But young Mr. Hogg is advocating for policies that Hitler would have loved and that he practiced, like propaganda and gun control — hence reports like those Jones and InfoWars produced and the various memes making the comparison.

Such is the quality of discourse online in 2018: Barely six weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, the pro-gun-control students who survived have been turned into demons on social media. Rather than simply saying, "We don't agree with gun-control measures, but these kids have a right to protest," thousands of internet trolls have decided to instead fight the demands of the #NeverAgain movement by comparing fellow survivor Emma Gonzalez to Fidel Castro (insane), photoshopping Hogg's face to make him look like Hitler (also insane), and even siding with mass murderer Nikolas Cruz by pretending that Gonzalez and Hogg bullied Cruz so hard that he was forced to kill people (where do we start with that one?).

The rise of #NeverAgain has coincided with the full ascension of Breitbart and InfoWars as unstoppable meme factories on the right. A significant number of the anti-survivor conspiracies (such as the idea that Hogg gave a Nazi salute) have come from the two sites. It was merely a matter of time before Adams — a hard-core Trump defender who has appeared on InfoWars' webcasts, sells his own strange dietary supplements, and has published articles from lizard-man conspiracy theorist David Icke — got in on the action. Six days ago, Adams published a rambling, 18-minute speech attacking Hogg to his simultaneous HoggWatch/Natural News feed, in which he listed "what [Hogg] has in common with Adolf Hitler, and the Third Reich, and the Hitler Youth movement:"

The collection of articles on HoggWatch seem designed to terrify Midwestern retirees who stumble onto the site: One piece from late March warns that leftists are exploiting Hogg to "push 'revolution' in America." Another piece of scaremongering nonsense is titled "Yes, Democrats really are coming for your guns, and they don’t mind KILLING YOU to take them."

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