In a convention filled with "holy shit" moments, this was one of the biggies.
Laura Ingraham, the conservative talk radio host who in 2014 called for mass deportations "by the thousands," was wrapping up her RNC speech in support of Donald Trump when, lips pursed, she extended her right arm up above her shoulder and held it there for a brief moment, before turning to face the crowd and wave—a smile plastered on her face.
Almost immediately, the internet erupted in disbelief: Had a nationally syndicated media personality just offered a Nazi salute onstage at the Republican National Convention? Lots of people thought so.
Even the official Twitter account for gif-service GIPHY thought something looked…strange:
Of course, some people were incredulous—not that it stopped them from appreciating how bizarre the entire situation seemed:
Others tied Ingraham's gesture to accusations of anti-Semitism against Donald Trump for tweeting an image of a six-pointed star to imply Hillary Clinton's corruption—allegations he dismissed, calling the graphic a "sheriff's star."
In fact, the furor (führer?) over a maybe-salute that lasted less than a second managed to overshadow the previous 17 minutes of Ingraham's actual address, which was full of hard-rightwing proclamations, including an inexplicable assault on skinny jeans and man buns. You can watch her speech below.
In Trump-land, where substance is thin and optics reign supreme, images of Ingraham's salute/wave/whatever plays right into the narrative of Donald's appeal among actual, honest-to-god racists—people who will see Ingraham with her arm outstretched, and take it as a sign that, yes, Donald is with them.
Was the heil real? Doubtful. But ultimately, it may not really matter, anyway.