How the ‘New York Times’ op-ed played right into the QAnon conspiracy

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Yesterday, the internet exploded a tad more than normal when the New York Times released an anonymous op-ed detailing a right-wing resistance within the administration trying to protect the country from President Donald Trump‘s worst impulses.

In response, Trump tweeted “Treason?”

While writing an op-ed is most certainly not treason—and the tweet was very clearly in response to the op-ed—that didn’t stop the followers of QAnon from erupting, especially after their digital pied piper posted the tweet.

qanon qposts

That the post was signed Q+—as opposed to the standard Q—led some to believe that the person who made it was Trump himself.

Later in the day, QAnon posted a speech given by Trump from his 2016 campaign where he railed against dark forces conspiring against him.

qanon treason trump new york times qposts

It’s long been rumored by Q that a Storm was coming, and with Trump tweeting “Treason,” people speculated that today would soon be the day where sealed indictments were opened and thousands of Democrats were dumped in Gitmo.

reddit treason qanon Great Awakening/Reddit

While those arrests likely won’t happen today, Trump’s specific tweet, even though it’s about the op-ed, mimics the language and ideas at the heart of QAnon.

And the Times op-ed managed to play into it. It does reference a cabal of “bad” actors who are working to circumvent the will of the people, as embodied by Trump. What was once a fake is now real. Regardless of the intentions of the New York Times, an op-ed like that helps stoke those fears.

In fact, some might even say those concerns have been legitimized.

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]