Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai appeared in a video by the Daily Caller on Wednesday in which he pantomimes millennial habits to assert that you can still “gram your food” and “post photos of cute animals” if his proposal to end net neutrality goes into effect. On Thursday, the FCC voted to end its net neutrality rules, the Obama-era regulations dictating that internet service providers cannot throttle the speeds at which certain websites load and impose fees for higher speeds.
This wasn’t the first volley in Pai’s charm offensive in response to the growing protests from advocacy groups and senators against the repeal. In May, he released another tongue-in-cheek video commenting on tweets criticizing his net neutrality plans, similar to Jimmy Kimmel’s recurring “Mean Tweets” segment.
Gizmodo reports that Pai at one point in the video appears to be dancing the Harlem Shake beside Martina Markota, a vocal proponent of the Pizzagate hoax. In the run-up to the 2016 election, a viral myth had it Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman were managing a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza shop. The hoax spread through 4chan, Twitter, and fake news sites, and eventually spurred a man to discharge an assault rifle inside Comet Ping Pong, the D.C. pizzeria in question.
Markota, now a video producer at the Daily Caller, was active in propagating the myth and appeared in a video for Proud Boys, a “Western chauvinist” men’s club, expressing her conviction that it was true. “This is not something I’m making up because I’m trying to, you know, put in my fantasy version of what’s going on and interject it into these email scandals, this is independently of the campaign I know what cheese pizza is,” she says at one point.
Ajit Pai Wants The Internet To Know You Can Still Harlem Shake After Net Neutrality Is Gone pic.twitter.com/IvCXv1fEZq— LB classic (@LydiaBurrell) December 14, 2017
Markota also tweeted out a gif of Pai’s video:
Slate has reached out to Markota, to ask about the scrutiny she’s received from various outlets over the video, and the FCC, to ask whether it was aware Pai would appear on screen with a proponent of a conspiracy theory, and will update this post if they respond.