Magazine article The New Yorker

A Dance-Off

Magazine article The New Yorker

A Dance-Off

Article excerpt

There is a woman in Washington, D.C., who, during the week, works at a law firm. Some weekends, she d.j.s at weddings or corporate events, as DJ Applause. Recently, she took a Saturday-night gig, at a downtown cigar bar. "I was told that it would be a group of journalists having an eighties-themed party," she said. She was not told that the party would be called the Real News Correspondents' dinner--not the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, and not Samantha Bee's "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," but a smaller event, held as a form of right-wing counterprogramming. "Our weapons now are the pen, our weapons are keystrokes on our iPads and our iPhones and our laptop computers," Rose Tennent, a conservative radio host and one of the event's organizers, said from a lectern. "We must use those effectively to restore liberty to this great country."

Jim Hoft, another organizer and the editor of the pro-Trump Web tabloid the Gateway Pundit, spoke next. "Those people who are meeting across town, at the White House Correspondents' dinner--those people are not the ones who are telling the truth," he said. The crowd booed, and someone shouted, "Very fake news!" "They're running these crazy conspiracies on Russia," Hoft continued. "But what's wonderful is, the public is starting to not listen to them." There were about a hundred people in attendance, including Michael Flynn, Jr., who was smoking a cigar and wearing a "Golden Girls" T-shirt. TVs were tuned to a Fox News special about Donald Trump's first hundred days; while Hoft spoke, photographs of Michael Flynn, Sr., the former national-security adviser, who is under investigation by the Pentagon, flashed on the screen.

The first speaker was Lucian Wintrich, from the Gateway Pundit. He introduced Gavin McInnes, a talk-show host and a self-proclaimed "Western chauvinist," who took the microphone from Wintrich and kissed him on the mouth. "You can't get AIDS from kissing, right?" McInnes said. He wore a studded denim vest, and his face was smeared with dirt. "This is how I dressed in the eighties," he said. "I was an anarchist punk, and I think in many ways I still am." He argued that the G.O.P. was the party of freedom. …

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