CULTURE

The Infowars Heckler's Impeachment Rant Shouldn’t Surprise Us

Owen Shroyer just live-streamed a racist rant at an impeachment hearing, because what's more American than that?

A heckler from the far-right website Infowars was just forcibly removed from an impeachment hearing after delivering an incendiary and racist rant that took aim at former President Barack Obama.

"Americans are sick of your impeachment scam! Trump is innocent!" Owen Shroyer shouted early Monday morning. "Folks, Obama was emailing Hillary Clinton on her illegal server under a secret name, that came out in emails. And he claimed he didn't know she had it. Barack Obama is a treasonous ... he belongs in jail. He belongs in Guantanamo Bay. I mean look, I'm not saying this should happen but Barack Obama, you know, find the tallest tree and a rope."

Shroyer's comments were delivered in defense of President Trump, who has insofar obstructed the current probe into his attempt to persuade Ukraine to help him win the 2020 election by withholding documents and discouraging witness testimony. Shroyer delivered his rant at the start of the latest impeachment inquiry hearing, accusing Congressman Jerry Nadler and other Democrats of treason. Less than 40 seconds after he started speaking, he was forcibly removed by police.

LIVE: House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Inquiry Evidence Hearingwww.youtube.com

Shroyer is a known conspiracy theorist and instigator who has been banned from Facebook and YouTube, which is really saying something. Along with Infowars, he infamously helped spread the debunked Pizzagate theory, which alleged that the Clintons were involved in a child sex-trafficking ring.

Shroyer's comments at the hearing were, of course, deeply racist, as they concern the first African American president of the United States, but given his website's track record and white supremacist leanings, this shouldn't surprise us. Websites that perpetuate this kind of misinformation present major threats to any form of democracy and justice. Videos with titles such as "Why Impeachment Crisis Is a Textbook Lynching" add insult to injury, co-opting legacies of racist oppression and transmuting the American people's distrust of authority into fake news.

Still, we shouldn't think of Shroyer as a lone wolf or solo extremist gone rogue; rather, he's an unusually visible symptom of a much larger and very complex matrix of problems. Some of the worst perpetuators of racist systems hold positions of power across party lines, and mainstream media sources and politicians can be purchased and influenced by major moneyed influences as well. In all these cases, false information can easily become weaponized as protest and alternative versions of truth when refracted through the right's kaleidoscope of circumstances, rage, and high-profile distraction.

Culture Feature

​​This Haunts Me: The Shredded Cheese Wife Guy

One Texas couple became a meme after they went 18 minutes without shredded cheese on their fajitas. What could be worse?

Courtesy of Junkee

Karens. Even if you don't know them by name, you know who they are.

Karens have been asking to speak to managers all over American suburbia ever since Kate Gosselin debuted her infamous reverse-mullet on Jon and Kate Plus 8 in 2007. "Karens"—the collective nickname for middle-aged entitled white women who love nothing more than being pains in your ass—have been walking among us for quite some time, but as shelter-in-place orders and mask mandates have taken over the world, the presence of Karens has become even more apparent.

Last weekend, a Karen went viral in a since-deleted Tweet for a reason only Karens would empathize with. Jason Vicknair, a 40-year-old man from Allen, Texas, was just trying to enjoy his first date night out in three months with his wife at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Mi Cocina. Things took a turn for the worse.

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CULTURE

Chris R from Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" Is Running for Congress

Chris R may have lost to Johnny and Mark in The Room, but he can still win big in Texas.

While Tommy Wiseau's The Room, often considered the best bad movie of all time, might be technically terrible in almost every aspect, one actor's performance stood out from the rest as...almost maybe good?

In a scene so random that it feels baffling even within an already baffling movie, actor Dan Janjigian plays a drug dealer named Chris R who tries to shake down another bit character named Denny (or Danny?) for owed money. Chris R is only in that single scene, and Danny's drug addiction is never brought up again, but that doesn't stop Janjigian from making a meal out of his role. Janjigian's crazed intensity and the seriousness with which he seemed to approach a nothing role in a no-name movie was compelling enough that Zac Efron portrayed him in The Disaster Artist.

WORST acting ever [MUST WATCH!] The Room www.youtube.com

Now, over 15 years after The Room, Dan Janjigian has taken on a new role, perhaps his biggest one yet: running for Congress. As it turns out, Janjigian is a man of many talents. On top of his iconic role as Chris R, Janjigian was also a Microsoft employee and an Olympic bobsledder. More recently, however, Janjigian has spent over a decade working in healthcare and raising a family in Texas.

Danjan congress https://www.danjanforcongress.com/

According to Janjigian's official campaign website, his experience as a healthcare professional and his family's history escaping the Armenian Genocide solidified his political beliefs. Currently running as a Democrat to represent Texas's 31st congressional district against Republican incumbent John Carter, Janjigian's platform revolves around enacting public healthcare (while allowing private options for those who choose it), streamlining legal immigration, and promoting clean energy solutions to battle climate change.

Best of all, Janjigian is running a grassroots campaign "PAID FOR BY A WHOLE LOT OF TEXANS SUPPORTING DANJAN," meaning that he's not beholden to big money or corporate interests, and possibly even that Danny finally paid him back.