I'm Amanda Robb, a New York-based reporter who covers terrorism and extremism. My latest piece in Rolling Stone examines how Pizzagate went from a far-flung rumor to a dangerous act. Read it here: www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/pizzagate-anatomy-of-a-fake-news-scandal-w511904 And listen to the radio version: https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/pizzagate-a-slice-of-fake-news/

My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Republic, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, GQ, O (Oprah), Cosmopolitan magazine, and many other national and international outlets.

Proof: https://twitter.com/reveal/status/932717342852812800

Hi, Amanda here!

Comments: 1024 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

eelin7591 karma

What do you think is the most important takeaway from your investigation into Pizzagate?

amanda-nyc148 karma

That fake news is really simple and spectacularly complex. That it is going to continue, dangerously so -- unless several things change. That the Russians are keen psycho-social observers. In some ways, they know us better than we know ourselves. That President Trump has the sadist's gift -- he knows just where it's going to hurt most.

Cannon173 karma

How much of a boon has it been to conspiracy theorists that several "crackpot theories" i.e. NSA spying, have turned out to be true?

amanda-nyc102 karma

The thing about conspiracies is that the "good" ones -- the ones that take off always have a grain or grains of truth in them to take off. The tell is that a lot of those grains are unrelated. So: James Alefantis was David Brock's boyfriend. He has done fundraisers for Democrats. There have been very powerful people found to be pedophiles. HRC has been very secretive.

UltraHugeCox52 karma

Were any of the claims even partially true? Was there anything that feels off or unresolved?

amanda-nyc72 karma

I never figured out if HRC had been to Jeffrey Epstein's private island. A lot of people consider some avant garde art (like the whole spirit cooking thing) creepy. I would remind people that one of the functions of art has always been to provoke -- think about Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son" .... I guess, think about the myth itself.

Normie_account39 karma

Hi Amanda you left you pizza related map here, would you like me to mail it to you?

amanda-nyc42 karma

Thank you, but I have not lost any pizza-related maps. So it must be someone else's.

Mhorberg24 karma

How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?

amanda-nyc92 karma

Well, if it's not code for anything -- and by "pineapple" you mean pineapple -- the tropical plant with yellow flesh and a prickly skin -- I quite like pineapple with Canadian bacon -- Canadian bacon meaning the pork product.

dkl41524 karma

What can teachers do to address/prevent stories like Pizzagate?

I've had students refer to the Washington Post as fake news and DNC satanic rituals they saw online.

amanda-nyc39 karma

I wish I had that answer. I think -- for now -- everyone has to be a reporter. You have to ask question after question. Who is saying this? What else does s/he claim? What is his/her agenda? (Money, attention, fame, political goals.) What do other sources say? Who is on what side, why? What is the factual proof? In general I will say that people and things are rarely purely black and white. If a person or story seems purely good -- saintly or purely evil -- Satanic, be very, very, very, very skeptical.

ahop7718 karma

Hi Amanda, I was just wondering what your thoughts were on what can be done about this? Do you think if people start suing under libel laws (i'm thinking about things like the Alex Jones & Eric Price statements) it would have any effect?

amanda-nyc78 karma

Like, I think, most Americans, I've always considered Freedom of Speech sacred. I hadn't really thought about what happens when people abuse that right with a megaphone as powerful as the Internet. It's spectacularly dangerous. I was chilled when I realized that people were doing to James Alefantis and Comet Ping -- and Hillary Clinton and John Podesta - exactly what was done to an uncle of mine who was an abortion provider.

amanda-nyc109 karma

Bart (my uncle) was called a baby killer and murderer and all sorts of horrible, hateful things by extremists in the anti-abortion movement. For years he said, "Don't be a surprised if a fragile minded follower gets a gun." And that's exactly what happened. He was shot and killed in his own kitchen in front of his wife and children.

amanda-nyc115 karma

Alex Jones said Hillary Clinton (who frankly, with 24/7 Secret Service on her, doesn't have the privacy necessary to run a sex trafficking ring) rapes and murders children. If you really believe that -- and you really believe that law enforcement, etc. is just letting it happen .... And you have access to as many guns as you can buy .... Well, you see the problem.

standingfierce16 karma

What extra steps have you taken to secure your safety after being reported to the Best Buy Geek Squad?

amanda-nyc21 karma

The Geek Squad are my friends. I know in my heart they will continue protecting me from installation hazards big and small.

my__name__is12 karma

Don't you think that giving such extensive exposure to the subject only validates it further for many people? Because I guarantee that this very AMA is going to pop up somewhere discussing you as the enemy agent or something, roping more people in.

One of those articles you linked has a line about finding out who is profiting from pizzagate. Well, you and your colleagues are for one profitting from it.

I think most people didn't really need to read an investigation to understand that a government pedophile ring in a pizza shop is insane.

amanda-nyc27 karma

It is a paradox -- that debunking something can make it seem more real. And it's true that most journalists and journalism outlets need to make money. One of the things that really shocked (and upset) me about this story was when Harvard researchers showed how the simple need to sell copies and the genuine desire to be "fair" and tell "both sides" of a story made so-called mainstream media journalists susceptible to dangled "scoops" -- Steve Bannon was really good at this.

KzooQuestion12 karma

What constitutes terrorism?

amanda-nyc40 karma

That is a very good question! Broadly, I think it's indiscriminate violence or threat of indiscriminate violence aimed at achieving a political purpose.

GeeZeR_FroG11 karma

Hi Amanda, what are your thoughts on the coverage of net neutrality? Would you be willing to do a story on it yourself? Why or why not?

amanda-nyc15 karma

I don't really feel expert enough on that to really say? Is there some aspect of net neutrality that you think is really worth investigating?

nomad20204 karma

Who would you suggest be the arbitrator of truth?

amanda-nyc29 karma

That one person doesn't exist.

Cruzan_Cowgirls1 karma

I'm sure you're aware that DCPD never investigated "pizzagate" (as shown via a recent FOIA) Doesn't this seem like a significant factor in the veracity of this story?

Don't you think the lack of an offical investigation illustrates the general bias that surrounds this issue, (it's very polarizing)?

amanda-nyc45 karma

I imagine that police departments get some pretty weird calls -- hoaxes. I'd say on its face this one seemed implausible. HRC has never been to Comet Ping Pong. She is surrounded 24/7 by law enforcement. The place where children were allegedly being abused in a basement doesn't have a basement, etc.

amanda-nyc0 karma

Okay, this has been really interesting for me. Thank you all for participating! I have to go back to work now!

Sigris0 karma

Hello Amanda. I appreciate your work!

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I ask you this: What is a scary yet plausible scenario when it comes to fakenews/hoaxes that might come true in the foreseeable future?

amanda-nyc7 karma

I'm not good at predictions. I never saw this coming. I never believed that Donald Trump would be President and far-right Republicans would look the other way if we were attacked by Russia. Never, ever, ever.

clearsmoke-5 karma

Is pedophile island a myth? If it is, how come Bill Clinton has been there several times? Hillary at least twice... I smell a shill.

amanda-nyc15 karma

As I understand it, Jeffrey Epstein has a private island and he traveled there with underage girls. Bill Clinton did apparently visit the island -- but has never been accused of any wrongdoing there. I figure he would've been if he'd done anything remotely bad there. If we've learned anything these last few weeks, it's that even powerful people's bad deeds come to light. I genuinely don't know if Hillary Clinton ever went to Epstein's island. There are very few flight manifests available from Epstein's own plane before he was accused of pedophilia and everyone started steering clear of him. (The FAA destroys private aircraft manifests after 45 days.) But HRC does NOT appear on any manifests that are available. I don't know if there is another way to get to that island or not. Do other aircraft land there, for instance.