Screenshot: YouTube

Chris Cillizza is one of the dumbest pundits alive, a man with no concept of right and wrong beyond the horserace and no strongly held beliefs beyond the idea that people should be nice to the powerful. This is exactly why today, it was pretty funny to see the Criminally Online Right treat this guy as if he’s a Maoist revolutionary.

It all started when Cillizza tweeted out one of his usual stupid gifs:

Cillizza deleted the tweet, and blamed it on GIF Grabber:

You’d think that would be enough to clear it up. But because the far-right is full of dorks who love to get mad at dumb bullshit, it wasn’t. Here’s Gorilla Mindset expert Mike Cernovich and Stefan Molyneux:

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Cernovich also compared it to the Sarah Palin crosshairs controversy in an interview with the Daily Dot, which conveniently ignores the fact that Palin’s graphic actually meant to have crosshairs in it.

“If Trump tweeted that out about a CNN anchor, what would [CNN] have said?” Cernovich wrote. He also referenced an Atlantic piece in 2011 that openly questioned whether a Sarah Palin ad was responsible for the Gabby Giffords’ shooting, a theory that has been discredited.

However, Cernovich, who originally posted about the image and helped kick-start the frenzy, deleted his tweet. When asked why, he wrote, “What if we collectively agreed to presume people are making honest mistakes, and give people some time to explain? That would be a better world.”

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Despite Cernovich’s plea to our better angels, he kept on tweeting about it after the Daily Dot story went up:

It wasn’t just Cernovich, either. Here’s Gizmodo Media Group fan Chadwick Moore:

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And for good measure, here’s former White House press secretary Sean Spicer:

The faux controversy also made it way onto conservative sites like the Daily Wire, a post which implied that because Cillizza didn’t fuck up his other tweets, he was lying. Eventually, the Daily Caller published a story about it, claiming that the GIF Grabber app doesn’t have crosshairs, and then had to publish a correction noting that there was, in fact, a version of the app that had the crosshairs.

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While it was ironic to see the right briefly take its hatchet to a media figure who has been as responsible as anyone for normalizing Trump as a politician whose dogshit politics are secondary to the belief that he’s entertaining, this whole thing was yet another reminder that outrage is little more than a game of gotcha that they play with the media from time to time to show that the media is hopelessly liberal. And as this incredibly dumb episode shows, they’re not afraid to make an extraordinarily long reach to do so.