Another day, another insane conspiracy theory

Three and a half years after he was elected, we all sort of accept that the most powerful man on earth regularly tweets things like this:

What’s he going on about? When Scarborough was a Congressman, one of his interns died because of a heart condition. There’s absolutely no evidence it was a murder.

…Trump was referring to a longstanding, long-debunked theory that while a Republican congressman for Florida’s 1st District in 2001, Scarborough had an improper relationship with aide Lori Klausutis and, perhaps to cover it up, murdered her. Subsequently, the theory went, local authorities helped to conceal Scarborough’s crime.

Insofar as anyone, including the Fort Walton Beach medical examiner can tell, Klausutis, 28, “lost consciousness because of an abnormal heart rhythm and fell, hitting her head on a desk,” at the congressman’s local district office. “The head injury caused the death,” the medical examiner said.

As the St. Petersburg Times reported shortly after Klausutis’ death, she had suffered from a series of pre-existing conditions. “Relatives said she had been taking medication for acne and that she suffered a head injury in a traffic accident when she was a teenager that left her in a coma,” the paper wrote. “When she recovered, she had signs of short-term memory loss.”

Those in the dark concerns of the media that trafficked in conspiracy theories grabbed this personal tragedy and spun it into internet gold, creating and broadcasting a narrative that eventually made its way to more mainstream outlets, including the Daily Kos (site founder Markos Moulitsas was a particularly outspoken proponent). At one point, documentarian Michael Moore registered the domain name JoeScarboroughKilledHisIntern.com.

A conspiracy theory that started on the fringe left and eventually made its way to the not-so-fringe right. Horseshoe Theory strikes again.

It’s hard to feel too bad for Scarborough, though. If not for he and Mika, Trump might never have made it this far.

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