A staff writer for left-wing website Mic.com uncritically accepted a prankster’s account of a fictitious racially-charged interaction with a Trump supporter, later spreading the false story on Twitter while dismissing those skeptical of the story’s veracity.
The story begins with a tweet from Mic staff writer Sarah Harvard, requesting stories of Trump-inspired attacks on non-whites, Muslims or LGBTQ people. “If you’re a person of color, Muslim, and/or LGBTQ, and have been attacked by a Trump supporter. DM/email me,” she wrote, providing her email for people to contact her. Harvard promised a “Safe space” for any alleged victims.
That tweet caught the attention of right-of-center YouTuber Matt Christiansen, who decided to test what — if any — scrutiny the journalist would apply to stories of Trump-inspired attacks. Christiansen and a friend cooked up a fictitious story of a white male who threatened a Native American women because he thought she was Mexican and later justified his rudeness by saying “white is right.”
Using a fake email and the name “Laurel Nelson,” the pranksters emailed Harvard their story with the subject line “aggressive Trump supporter.” The Daily Caller was provided with copies of the email exchanges between Harvard and “Laurel Nelson.”