https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/cu ... ry-854938/
Consider, if you will, a sliding scale of celebrities. On one end of this spectrum are those who are still alive, including but not limited to: Jennifer Aniston, Justin Bieber, nine-tenths of the original cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. On the other end are those who are dead, also including but not limited to: Elvis Presley, John Belushi, and (arguably) Tupac.
On this scientific scale, John F. Kennedy Jr. falls somewhere in between Judy Garland and former Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett; all of which is to say, he is extremely, irrefutably dead. In July 1999, the pulchritudinous son of John and Jackie Kennedy and cofounder of George magazine perished in a tragic plane crash at the age of 38, along with his wife Carolyn Bessette and his sister-in-law Lauren. At least, this is the conventional narrative perpetuated by the fake news media, according to supporters of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon. Hardcore Q believers think that JFK Jr. is not only alive and well, but also that he plans to emerge from his 20-year hiatus from public life by coming out and supporting Trump as his running mate in 2020. Moreover, they believe that a guy in Pittsburgh named Vincent Fusca is actually JFK Jr. in disguise, and they have made T-shirts promoting this belief. (Seriously. You can buy them on Amazon.)
The theory that JFK Jr. is alive and a Trump supporter and a hirsute former financial services professional who lives in Pittsburgh has been percolating in QAnon forums for at least the past year. But it recently made a resurgence on YouTube, where QAnon supporters are posting tutorials for how to make JFK Jr. face masks to wear to Trump’s much-hyped July 4th rally, when they believe JFK Jr. will finally emerge from hiding. The goal of the masks, according to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer, is for believers to be able to easily identify other QAnon supporters (though, frankly, this seems unlikely, as the shock of seeing a long-dead celebrity casually walking around Washington would almost certainly inspire mass fear and panic in the streets).
The theory that Kennedy was alive and running Q arose in June 2018, after the anonymous poster behind Q briefly went dark. Another anonymous poster, “R,” showed up on the QAnon forums on the website 8chan and started dropping hints that JFK Jr. had faked his death to avoid being targeted by members of the deep-state conspiracy and was actually Q.
The idea gained further credence thanks to Liz Crokin, a right-wing conspiracy theorist who referred to JFK Jr.’s role as Q during a 2018 interview with vlogger Jenny Moonstone. In the video, Crokin cited Q’s posts about former President John F. Kennedy as evidence that JFK Jr. was running the account. “The way that Q talks about JFK Sr. in the posts, it is with such love and passion, it makes me think that it is someone that is close to him,” Crokin said in the video. “If JFK Jr. faked his death and was alive, it would make sense that he was Q.”
Adding fuel to the fire, a quote attributed to JFK Jr. in praise of Trump was widely shared by QAnon supporters on social media. “If my dear friend Donald Trump ever decided to sacrifice his fabulous billionaire lifestyle to become president he would be an unstoppable force for ultimate justice that Democrats and Republicans alike would celebrate,” the quote, which was reportedly published in George Magazine in June 1999, read. (Kennedy’s fatal plane crash was on July 16, 1999.)
The fact-checking website Politifact later found there was no record of Kennedy ever having written such a thing in George — or anywhere else, for that matter. (The photo accompanying the post, however, did appear to be genuine, and was taken at a Knicks game the two attended in March 1999.) Not wanting to let a silly thing like facts get in the way, QAnon supporters clung to the theory that Kennedy and Trump had long been in cahoots, and the quote continues to circulate to this day, as does another “quote” from JFK Jr. reportedly vowing to avenge his father’s death, “even if I have to bring down the whole government.” (It’s unclear if that quote is real — either way, it was in the context of accusations that Lyndon B. Johnson was behind his father’s assassination. For the record, Lyndon B. Johnson is also very, very dead.)
This kind of paranoia is just majestic. I could read about this insanity all damn day.