Trump Phoenix rally: Paid protesters on both sides? Probably not.

Left, Right Both Hyping Craigslist Ads Purporting to Prove Other Side Is Recruiting Actors for Trump Rally

Left, Right Both Hyping Craigslist Ads Purporting to Prove Other Side Is Recruiting Actors for Trump Rally

The Slatest
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Aug. 22 2017 2:04 PM

Left, Right Both Hyping Dubious Craigslist Ads Purporting to Prove Other Side Is Recruiting Actors for Trump Rally

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Fake actor, real actor.

Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

The idea that shadowy figures such as George Soros are paying protesters to show up at anti-Trump rallies—as if it's difficult to find people to protest an extremely unpopular president who is especially unpopular in the high-density urban areas where protests are usually held—is a commonly circulated one on the right. The expectation that a significant crowd of protesters will gather outside Tuesday night's Donald Trump speech in Phoenix has triggered the usual paranoia:

"Rent-a-Mob," as its name would indicate, does not appear to be a real company, and past accusations of actors being paid to support leftist causes elsewhere have been debunked. The left has countered this time, though, with its own paranoid-claim-based-on-a-fake-seeming-Craigslist-ad gambit:

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Screenshot/via HuffPo

The ad has been taken down and the phone number associated with it doesn't appear to be connected to any sort of booking company, but the claim that Trump is hiring actors of color is still percolating online. (To be fair, the Federal Election Commission has confirmed that Trump really did hire actors to fill out the crowd at his Trump Tower campaign launch in 2015.)

Meanwhile, the individual who took video of protesters including Heather Heyer being run over in Charlottesville, Virginia, writes in Politico on Tuesday that he and his parents have been stalked and harassed by far-right extremists accusing him of being a "CIA operative" or left-wing plant who is "funded by (choose your own adventure) George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the IMF/World Bank, and/or a global Jewish mafia to orchestrate the Charlottesville attack in order to turn the general public against the alt-right."

Good job all around on this one, America.