US Fact check: Video falsely presents joke as confession to QAnon blood-harvesting conspiracy theory
Almost a quarter of Republicans believe Satan-worshiping pedophiles control the US government, media, and financial sector
Americans who most trust right-wing media, including OAN, are 9 times more likely to believe in QAnon than those who most trust broadcast networks.This belief is a core tenet of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, which continues to dominate far-right thinking months after former President Donald Trump left office. An even larger share of Republicans -- 28% -- believe in two other tenets of QAnon: that a coming "storm" will oust powerful elites and restore the country's rightful leaders, and that "patriots" may have to use violence to save the US.
The claim: Comedian Whitney Cummings admitted to using children's blood to avoid aging
Social media users are misrepresentingof two comedians joking about one of QAnon's most extreme conspiracy theories as evidence of its validity.
QAnon followersHollywood and Washington elites run a secret child sex trafficking ring and harvest children's blood. The conspiracy theory says elites then to maintain their youth.
Alleged QAnon Supporter Amy Facchinello Refuses To Resign From School Board Amid Protests
Amy Facchinello, of the Grand Blanc Board of Education, was featured in a "Time" magazine article in April which highlighted her apparent QAnon support.A group of students, retired teachers and other members of the local community attended the demonstration against Amy Facchinello outside Grand Blanc High School on Monday.
That claim is baseless. However, a recent TikTok video that shows comedians Whitney Cummings and Joe Rogan joking around has helped fuel the conspiracy theory.
“Dude, this is what I do with baby blood for my skin,” Cummings says in the video.
“You do that? You doing that baby blood?” Rogan asks.
“Yeah, the adrenochrome. I have a sprinkler. I just spray it all over my face,” Cummings replies.
The video was firston May 29 with text saying, “What the hell is this,” and hashtags that identified Cummings and Rogan as comedians. But it has since , where it is being shared without any indication of the larger context.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Signs QAnon Quilt That Sold for Thousands at 'Patriot' Conference
Though the conference organizer claimed it was not a QAnon event, the event's cowboy hat logo included the initialism "WWG1WGA" a QAnon slogan that stands for "Where we go one, we go all."Lindell signed the quilt along with Lin Wood, a conspiracy theorist and lawyer who is supportive of Republican former President Donald Trump. The quilt was also signed by Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser pardoned by Trump for lying to the FBI.
Severalof the clip referenced unproven claims about secret cults in their captions. One commenter went as far as to Rogan "wears children's skin on his face."
By June 2, the clip had more than 167,400 views on TikTok and 6,500 views on Instagram.
USA TODAY reached out to several accounts that shared the clip for comment. The TikTok user could not be messaged.
A joke, not a confession
The larger context in which the statement was made indicates it was a joke.
The clip comes fromof "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast and shows Cummings and Rogan watching a scene from the 1998 vampire, superhero movie “ .” In that scene, blood pours out of a sprinkler system onto a crowd of vampires.
Cummings then made the reference to the adrenochrome component of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Louie Gohmert Distances Himself From QAnon Event Where Michael Flynn Called for Coup
The Texas GOP congressman also claims he does not know what QAnon is despite voting against a House resolution condemning it in October.Gohmert, who represents Texas's 1st congressional district, spoke at the three-day "For God & Country Patriot Roundup" in Dallas, Texas, over the Memorial Day weekend.
Cummings rep confirms she was kidding
In an email to USA TODAY, a representative from the United Talent Agency, which represents Cummings, confirmed her statement was not meant to be taken seriously.
"I can confirm that Whitney was most certainly joking about QAnon, and that it was in no way a confession to give validity to an insane conspiracy theory," wrote, assistant to UTA's head of comedy.
Cummings has previouslyand has frequently discussed the way comedians explore controversy.
At the beginning of the podcast, Cummings and Rogan discussed how comedians are frequently taken out of context.
“We are supposed to be explorers. We are supposed to play devil’s advocate and have hot takes,” she said. “I’m going to say something not true that I think is funny and then defend it with jokes.”
Rogan did not respond to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.
This is not the first time social media users have misrepresented entertainment as evidence of the QAnon conspiracy theory. In February,several viral images of a Quentin Tarantino horror movie set that QAnon supporters shared as proof of cannibalism.
These locally elected officials posted or openly supported QAnon conspiracy theories
Their elections have led to a divisive debate about whether it's problematic to have these duly elected people in office if they share QAnon-related views. The debate has prompted questions about whether officials expressing such views is simply their free-speech right, a distraction from real government work, a bad example -- or a real danger to the communities in which they serve. Cancel culture or community danger?Facchinello arrived at the high school where the May 24 board meeting as dueling protests were taking place outside.
Our rating: False
The claim that Cummings admitted to using children's blood to avoid aging is FALSE, based on our research. Cumming's team confirmed her comment on Rogan's podcast was intended as a joke. QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, Aug. 31, 2020,
- Wired, July 31, 2020,
- Spotify, The Joe Rogan Experience, May 19,
- YouTube, Yoda, April 19, 2012,
- , June 1, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Whitney Cummings, Sept. 17, 2020,
- USA TODAY, Feb. 23,
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
FBI warns lawmakers that QAnon 'digital soldiers' may become violent .
The FBI has warned lawmakers that online QAnon conspiracy theorists may carry out more acts of violence as they move from serving as "digital soldiers" to taking action in the real world following the January 6 US Capitol attack. © Win McNamee/Getty Images Supporters of then U.S. President Donald Trump fly a U.S. flag with a symbol from the group QAnon outside the U.S. Capitol January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.