For the uninitiated, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an iconic TV show that is like an alcoholic, more nihilistic version of Seinfeld. Take a group of bad people only interested in their own gains, and watch them leverage their friendships to try to better their own causes—only they’re so incompetent that their schemes inevitably collapse, humiliating all of them in the process. You have almost assuredly seen people take the theme behind its title sequence and apply it to current events.
Like all memes, this one has become oversaturated—with people applying it to any stupid act that blows up in someone's face, but the Always Sunny tone is a difficult one to master. Luckily for us, “alt-right” “journalists” Mike Cernovich and Charles C. Johnson absolutely nailed it—literally acting out their own episode. I don't even need to write anything. I'm just here to walk you through their rank incompetence and let them provide the comedic fodder. First, let's jump ahead a little bit to detail the meat of the story. Per Axios:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he was the victim of a fake news hit on Tuesday, and has turned over to Capitol Police a document that purports to detail lurid sexual harassment accusations by a former staffer.
Mike Cernovich is the man at the heart of the pizzagate conspiracy that led a man to fire an AR-15 in a D.C. pizza shop that Cernovich and his ilk claimed was housing a child sex dungeon run by Hillary Clinton, and Charles C. Johnson is a less credible version of Cernovich. These are two of the worst people in American media, but luckily for us, their stupidity far outpaces their evil. Chuck C. Johnson even titled this episode on Facebook. Just add a black background to it, change the font, and we're good to go. I can almost hear the music playing.
Mike Cernovich added some flair to the announcement.
When Dell Cameron, a staff writer at Gizmodo, asked Charles Johnson if he was the one pushing these falsified documents, he responded as coherently as Charlie from It's Always Sunny did while high on cat tranquilizers in their Making a Murderer parody.
The Schumer fraud wasn't the only one they were pushing, as they teased this “scoop” on both their social media accounts. This post was deleted sometime yesterday afternoon, as I began writing this story with it embedded, only to find it missing later in the day (in poker, “the nuts” is the best hand, but since he apparently folded the nuts, I must assume that Chuck isn't a very good poker player).
Cernovich has since deleted that tweet too (*kisses fingers*)—bringing our total of deleted posts thus far to three. Given the uproar around the Gillibrand-Trump battle from earlier this week, if they really had the goods on her office, they would have already released it—but they didn't—which means they don't even have a scoop that meets their astoundingly low journalistic standards. Plus, there is solid evidence that the Schumer forgery points towards Cernovich. Per The Daily Beast:
A forged document accusing the top Democrat in the Senate of sexual harassment copied language verbatim from a real sexual-harassment complaint filed against Rep. John Conyers.
The Conyers complaint references “House Rule 23” and a “mediation” process between Conyers and his accuser. The fake Schumer complaint also describes allegations as falling under “House Rule 23,” which of course does not exist in the Senate. The “mediation” process in the Schumer document was never mentioned again.
Mike Cernovich turned over a case file he obtained on former Representative John Conyers to BuzzFeed, who independently corroborated the sexual harassment allegations and settlements in the document, which led to Conyers resigning from his Congressional post. Not only did the Schumer fake suffer from outright plagiarism from the real Conyers complaint (and they didn't even think to swap out the House for the Senate), but it was riddled with so many elemental errors that it could only be perpetrated by people with the mental incapacity demonstrated here by Charles C. Johnson and Mike Cernovich. Per Axios:
— One of many red flags: No lawyer for the staffer is named.
— [The former staffer] told me in a statement: “The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong. I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Senator Schumer's office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there.”
— “The document contains an allegation of inappropriate behavior on September 16th 2011 in Washington, but Schumer was in New York City.”
— ”It contains an allegation of inappropriate behavior by Schumer on August 25th 2011 in Washington, but Schumer was in France.”
After being outed, both Johnson and Cernovich have gone from “we are about to take down a U.S. Senator” to “we were duped by an incredibly intricate fake and we will find out who did it.”
Cernovich is claiming he knew of the forgery before Johnson did, and this kind of betrayal is a staple of almost every It's Always Sunny episode. Both of them realize how bad they look (or any federal laws they may have violated), so they are scrambling to sacrifice the other to prove themselves innocent.
Cernovich also took to Medium to further disavow what he and Charlie were teasing a couple days ago (see? It’s perfect. Cernovich is Dennis—the somewhat calm sociopath who only speaks in lies—and Charles is Charlie, the inept doofus who thinks he’s outsmarting everyone else when really, he’s just perpetually owning himself). Per Cernovich (contrast his assertions to the Axios and Daily Beast reports above):
The document sent to me and several other journalists was elaborate. It involved identity theft. An innocent woman’s name was included in the document, and the woman’s dates of service coincided with the allegations within the complaint.
One specific allegation involved Schumer calling the staffer into his office to help with a letter, and the dates mentioned in the forged complaint overlap with a date that the letter described in the complaint was sent.
So to recap: Johnson and Cernovich both teased a big scoop on a U.S. Senator, but after it was revealed to be a hoax where parts of it were outright copy/paste jobs from a document Cernovich brags about scooping, Cernovich scrambled to portray himself as the one who revealed the forgery while Johnson offered $10,000 to anyone able to verify the person or people behind a document repudiated by the supposed victim in the fake, and, well, come on, it sure looks like Chuck’s “scoop(s)” was supposed to come from Mike.
Like any great It’s Always Sunny episode, just when you thought it can’t get any crazier, it jumps over the bar, rips it off, then bashes itself over the head with it. Charles Johnson was so empowered, he teased another big scoop with a Cernovich tweet, and both have since deleted their posts about said scoop. This is all so hysterically incompetent that my feelings can only be summed up by the geniuses behind the actual It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.