President Joe Biden’s speech on Thursday night is being hailed by his supporters as a key moment in his administration, where he finally took on Trump and the MAGA crowd head-on.
“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards,” Biden said in a primetime speech in Pennsylvania designed to warn about the growing threat to democracy posed by Trumpist refusals to accept the results of the 2020 elections.
But MAGA world was focusing less on Biden’s warning, and his call to protect the democratic process from “MAGA Republicans [who are] a threat to this country” than they were on the red lights that lit up Philadelphia’s Independence Hall behind the president.
In their warped worldview, the presence of red lights behind the president was final proof of QAnon’s wild conspiracies about Biden being part of a satanic cabal of elites who are trafficking children around the world.
“Biden eats children’s souls,” wrote one member of the rabidly pro-Trump TheDonald message board, whose members recently threatened FBI agents following the search of Mar-a-Lago. Other message boards lit up on Thursday night with wild conspiracy theories about the imagery of Biden’s speech.
Within minutes of the speech airing, forum members were sharing memes featuring altered images showing Biden dressed as Hitler, with Nazi flags superimposed on the background, with Biden wearing demonic masks, or with him speaking at a podium featuring the Soviet hammer and sickle.
And, as has become the norm these days, the line between far-right extremist message boards and Republicans on mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook has almost vanished completely.
“Joe Biden looked satanic tonight,” Benny Johnson, a right-wing political talking head, tweeted.
Soon, the hashtag #PedoHitler was trending, after right-wing troll account Catturd urged its 800,000 followers to promote the phrase. One of those helping to boost the hashtag was former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis.
Right-wing influencer Allie Beth Stuckey didn’t hold back in her description of Biden on Twitter: “Satanic Ghoul.”
Meanwhile, over on Fox News, multiple hosts and guests zeroed in on how the speech looked, rather than the substance of what Biden was saying.
Tucker Carlson just came out and described the visuals as “a blood-red Nazi background.” On another Fox News Show, Monica Crowley, a former Trump administration official, said the imagery was “almost satanic with the blood red lighting.”
Bret Baier, the station’s chief political correspondent, said: “I too was struck by the image of the dark red lighting with the two Marines standing at attention in the background,” Baier said. “A lot of times when we analyze things, we do it through the prism of how the media would cover it if Donald Trump gave this speech. I think they might not stop talking about it for weeks on end.”
Trump for his part, lashed out at the speech on Truth Social where he posted a meme contrasting a picture of himself with one of Biden from Thursday night.
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