Florida is sometimes described as a so-called purple state, but for some reason, the Sunshine State seems to both breed and attract a huge number of folks on the far right end of the political spectrum. Internet kooks such as Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens regularly visit to give speeches or produce "content" for social media, and bigoted loons such as Mike Hill and Joe Gruters somehow continue getting elected to office.
This week, QAnon-endorsing online commentator Bill Mitchell announced his upcoming move to Miami while saying he'd be joining the team at Yippy, a supposedly up-and-coming search engine company. Though it's unclear what Mitchell's role as "media chief" will entail, his relocation from North Carolina to Florida puts him in close proximity to a handful of other well-known Trump-loving conservatives. To put his move into context, here's a list of five far-right pundits who have lived in South Florida:
Roger Stone has been at the heart of three of the objectively worst things to happen in the Sunshine State in the 21st Century: After a group of angry white folks protested in 2000 to stop the Bush v. Gore recount, Stone admitted he staged the whole thing to get Bush elected. When Scott Rothstein's record-setting Ponzi scheme fell to pieces, it turned out Stone had an office at Rothstein's law firm.
And now, thanks in part to Stone, part-time Florida Man Donald Trump is president.
Earlier this year, Facebook booted a batch of users including InfoWars founder Alex Jones, Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, and conservative provocateur Laura Loomer. The social media service claims they violated company policies against dangerous individuals and organizations. The company's announcement prompted a string of Twitter rants from President Donald Trump; a bizarre, widely panned "remember us" plea from Watson; and now a $3 billion lawsuit from Loomer.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in the Southern District of Florida, the self-described "most banned woman in the world" claims Facebook defamed her by labeling her dangerous. Loomer's attorney, Larry Klayman, a right-wing activist who once filed a birther-fueled lawsuit to keep Barack Obama off the ballot in 2012, says his client is an "American heroine" who has been smeared by the tech giant.
Rush Limbaugh, the nation’s best-known conservative talk radio host and most famous pile of sentient ham, is, as one would expect, something of a skeptic when it comes to climate change. This being Limbaugh — a man with a supernatural talent for turning the smallest issues into multinational conspiracies — global warming is, in his eyes, not so much “bunk science” as it is “a hoax perpetrated by leftist researchers to expand the size of the federal government.” Limbaugh has been using this as a talking point for so long that it has effectively become the Republican Party line.
Last week, however, Florida gossip blogger Jose Lambiet suggested that Limbaugh’s thoughts about climate change may be “evolving” somewhat, if only in private and if only when his own well-being might be under siege. Lambiet says he obtained records showing that Limbaugh, who owns a $50.8 million mansion in Palm Beach, is reportedly cooperating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help control erosion on the Palm Beach waterfront and has even gone so far (Lambiet says) as to let the corps store mounds of sand — which will then be distributed across the entire beach — on his property for the next ten years. Scientists say beach erosion is exacerbated by climate change.
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South Florida deserves Milo Yiannopoulos. We live amid glittering monuments to humanity's most self-obsessed impulses. And Yiannopoulos — the racist, trans-phobic, public-harassment demon king of the white supremacist alt-right — is narcissism incarnate. There's a reason he announced last month that he's moving here.
Part of the draw, of course, is so he can host parties like Friday night's "Cinco de Milo": a bacchanal that included a live python, semiautomatic weapons, and a whole lot of outwardly directed hate and inwardly directed loathing. His special guest was Roger Stone, the former Donald Trump adviser and political enforcer who's being investigated by the FBI for his alleged communications with Russian hackers.
Yiannopoulos used the party to announce he's suing Simon & Schuster for $10 million because the publishing company canceled his book deal earlier this year after comments emerged of him more or less defending pedophilia. He also said he's starting his own publishing house called Dangerous Books and will embark on a speaking tour called Troll Academy.
Editor's note: Yiannopoulos later claimed his Miami home was destroyed in Hurricane Irma.
Fox this week reached into its magic hat of reactionary blockheads and rolled out Florida's Dan Bongino, an anthropomorphic bottle of creatine with an anger disorder. (Bongino's other claim to fame was getting clowned by Politico reporter Marc Caputo after Caputo recorded him screaming profanities during a failed run for Congress in Fort Myers.)
"Apparently... discussing looting now makes you a racist," Bongino proudly told Tucker Carlson, acting as if he was the first person in America to tell poor black people it's not legal to steal things.
As Fox News segments tend to do, the Bongino clip laundered images of Miami looters into racist-meme fodder for alt-right neo-Nazis and white supremacists online, who proudly exclaimed the looting videos show black people can't be trusted to govern themselves or should be shot before they can ever pick up a rock to smash a window at the Finish Line. Overhyped reports of looting feed a hungry right-wing machine that just finished creating a completely false narrative about "widespread looting" during Hurricane Harvey.