Here’s a shocker: Jim Hoft, the oft-labeled Dumbest Man on the Internet (who has White House press credentials for his site) has fallen for yet another hoax that he passed on, from an anonymous Twitter account with a long history of inventing ridiculous stories.
The rightwing blog The Gateway Pundit pushed a single-sourced rumor from an anonymous Twitter account, @Umpire43, claiming that one of Roy Moore’s accusers was offered $1,000 by The Washington Post to go public with her claims.
That rumor quickly made its way to InfoWars and the top of r/The_Donald, the most active pro-Trump community on the web. The pro-Trump cable station One America News Network even aired the news, citing a “report.”
But the source for that viral accusation is a serial fabulist who has been using the identity of a Navy serviceman who died in 2007, records show.
Umpire43, also known as Doug Lewis or DJ Lewis, has repeatedly invented stories in the past—particularly about his own background. Lewis said he was a 22-year veteran of the Navy, a pollster at Ipsos/Reuters, an expert on rigging voting machines, a source who was feet away from Reince Preibus, a man who speaks six languages, a beleaguered soul who needed time off after the 9/11 attacks when he saw Muslims “dancing on rooftops,” the owner of a polling company who claimed Trump had a sustained lead in California, and an actual baseball umpire with 50 years experience. Oh, and he worked at the American consulate in Calgary, where he claimed to obtain proof of a forged birth certificate for Ted Cruz’s father.
The Daily Beast spoke with each of the institutions and companies at which he claimed to be affiliated or employed. None of Umpire43’s employment or service claims are true, these organizations said.
Umpire43 is the Forrest Gump of Twitter, he was everywhere anything ever happened, right there in the middle of it with all the inside scoop. Except he wasn’t. But Hoft is like a kitten with catnip — if it makes his political opponents look bad, he finds it absolutely irresistible and cannot help himself but to promote it, with no evidence necessary. Then it gets picked up around the wingnutosphere and quickly becomes established truth.