A Gallup poll recently revealed that American’s trust in mass media has sunk to a new low: only 32% of Americans still trust the mainstream media. And that was before election day, which proved that the mainstream media are either totally inept or shameless liars. There is no doubt in my mind that the latter is the case.

The truth is that the legacy media, comprising the main television networks, cable news networks and publications like the New York Times and Washington Post, are quickly fading into irrelevance. The rise of digital media is one reason for their demise, but so is that fact that more and more people are waking up to discover that the corporate media is mere propaganda and lies.

In a desperate attempt to maintain their death grip over the American mindspace, the mainstream corporate media is pushing the “fake news” narrative, warning that any information other than their Officially Sanctioned Truth is not to be trusted. This narrative was rolled out around the same time that the Pizzagate scandal began spreading like wildfire around the internet. Probably just a coincidence, right?

Some independent media voices are warning that the Pizzagate story is made up and will be used to discredit and silence online alternative media. But how likely is this scenario?

First, recall that in 2012, Facebook conducted secrete psychological experiments on its users. The social media company manipulated words in users’ news feeds to see how they could affect users’ statuses, influence which posts they “liked” and how they reacted to certain content. This covert manipulation of user news feeds led to an “emotional contagion” where users who saw one emotion being expressed would themselves express similar emotions. Monkey see, monkey do.

In other words, Facebook deliberately disseminated fake news to manipulate the emotions of its users. They set this precedent four years ago. Imagine how much more sophisticated this technique has become since then. Have you deleted your Facebook account yet?

62% of Americans get news from social media, with Facebook being the second most popular source for news (Reddit, which recently censored the Pizzagate subreddit, is number one). Ironically, Americans are turning away from the lying legacy media, and falling prey to the censorship and fake news of corporate social media. Not exactly a move in the right direction, is it?

What the mainstream media and corporate social media have in common is they both claim that alternative news and independent researchers are nothing more than fringe conspiracy theorists peddling fiction. Of course, they offer no evidence to support this claim, and like everything else they present us with, we are supposed to accept their proclamations at face value and refrain from critical thought or investigation.

If the Pizzagate story is fake, purposefully planted to discredit alternative media, this means that the John Podesta emails purportedly obtained via a phishing hack and provided to Wikileaks were themselves fake to begin with. After all, Wikileaks did not notice the strange pizza references, independent investigators did. That means that some of those independent investigators were actually in on the scam, purposefully drawing our attention to apparent coded language in the Podesta emails.

The mainstream media would also have to be in on the scam, since not a single mainstream media outlet has bothered to look into any of the allegations. No investigative journalism is taking place. Instead, they have dismissed these claims out of hand in a demeaning and derisive manner, doing their best to smear anyone who has legitimate questions about the mountain of (admittedly circumstantial) evidence uncovered thus far.

If the Pizzagate story is fake, then the mainstream media is willfully engaging in a conspiracy to use fake news to manipulate how we perceive reality, just like Facebook did back in 2012. And if this is what is actually going on, how can we ever trust the mainstream media again?

Given what we know about the lies and propaganda of the mainstream media, it seems far more likely that the “fake news” mantra is intended to dismiss Pizzagate as nonsense to avoid any further investigation into these allegations.

To further muddy the waters, someone called Edgar Maddison Welch (always three names with these guys) allegedly walked into Comet Ping Pong in a reckless and ill-advised attempt to free children he thought were being held there as sex slaves. There are a lot of strange elements to this story that make it smell strongly of a hoax. For example, although Welch was armed with an AR-15 (the false flag weapon of choice), he had everyone leave the restaurant before he allegedly fired multiple shots—why? Aren’t hostages useful in situations such as these? Some eyewitnesses claim they never heard any shots fired. So what was he doing in there all by himself? Did he search the basement and all the rooms? And if he thought children were being held captive inside and he wanted to save them, why risk hurting or killing one of them by randomly shooting inside the restaurant?

The mainstream news laughs at the idea of “crisis actors,” but in this case, Welch really is an actor. Here’s his IMDB page. Omar Mateen, the alleged Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter was also an actor (IMDB page). So was Andy Parker (IMDB page), father of Allison Parker, the WDBJ reporter allegedly shot to death live on air. There are many more, if you care to do a little digging on your own. What do you suppose the odds are that many of the people who play central roles in these and other dubious mass casualty events have an acting background?

After driving to DC all the way from North Carolina, Welch spent a few minutes inside Comet Ping Pong, shooting at no one and nothing in particular, then laid down his weapons and walked outside into the arms of waiting police. Makes sense, right?

If any aspect of Pizzagate is a hoax, this certainly would seem to be it.

Welch’s actions enable the mainstream media to paint conspiracy theorists as not only unhinged, but dangerous. This incident sets a zero tolerance precedent ensuring that anyone who even vaguely threatens anyone connected with Pizzagate gets a visit from the police or FBI. And, it essentially turns Comet Ping Pong into a crime scene, which will make independent investigations all but impossible. Welch’s actions are being offered as proof by the mainstream media of how totally nutty this whole Pizzagate story is. And they are trying to roll up everything and everyone along with it, from White nationalists and gun nuts, to citizen journalists, independent researchers and even Donald Trump.

Ultimately, this seems to be leading to censorship of alternative news, the potential for new “hate speech” laws and perhaps even the repeal of freedom of speech. You know, for our protection and safety.

The possibility that Pizzagate is a fake story concocted to entrap and discredit alternative media voices is highly unlikely, in my opinion. If the mainstream media were to reveal this to be the case, it would only result in their losing even more credibility. The idea of pushing fake news to prove the danger of fake news is patently absurd. As I discussed in a previous article, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence of organized, institutional pedophilia at the highest levels of power, from the Catholic Church and the British Royal Family, to the United States Government.

That being said, if any part of Pizzagate is fake news, surely it is this week’s incident involving Welch. What a great opportunity for the mainstream media to drive home messaging that refutes and dismisses the Pizzagate claims while vilifying alternative media and independent researchers. And all without presenting a shred of evidence supporting their claims of fake news, nor a single minute spent actually doing their jobs as journalists. No wonder Americans are tuning out mainstream media.

If I were a journalist, I might start with a question like “How does a pizza shop owner become the 49th most powerful person in Washington DC? A good follow up would be “What is a “pizza-related” map, and why was it on a handkerchief?”

As always, the folks over at Red Ice are also asking great questions. Be sure to check out their coverage of the latest Pizzagate developments: