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- American political commentator
The writer of Tucker Carlson’s controversial documentary series on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot previously directed films made by far-right figures, including a leading promoter of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, a virulent anti-refugee activist, and an alt-right comic book writer whose lead superhero’s outfit resembles a Confederate flag.
Los Angeles-based filmmaker Scooter Downey will likely reach his biggest stage yet on Monday, when Fox Nation plans to air the first part of Carlson’s three-part Patriot Purge movie. A series trailer, which aired Wednesday evening on Fox News, included the false claim that the riot was a “false flag” meant to attack conservatives. The series also appeared to include a sympathetic interview with Ali Alexander, who has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Select Committee for his role in organizing a pro-Trump rally in front of Congress that eventually turned violent.
Carlson’s series has already sparked backlash, with fellow Fox News mainstay Geraldo Rivera calling his colleague’s promotion of false conspiracy theories about the riot “bullshit.” But Downey’s role in the Fox production, and his past working for conspiracy theorists and hate figures, has gone thus far undiscussed.
Downey and Carlson share writing credit for the documentary series, according to a screenshot the filmmaker posted on Twitter. It’s not clear whether Downey also directed Patriot Purge, but he has retweeted messages from other right-wing figures suggesting he played a lead role in the series’ creation.
In a post on social-media app Telegram, Alexander wrote that he was excited to “see what Tucker Carlson and Scooter Downey have produced.” And Downey’s Twitter bio and banner images boast of his work as producer for “Tucker Carlson Originals.”
Fox News and Downey did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
Prior to Patriot Purge, Downey was perhaps best known on the right as co-director of Hoaxed, a 2019 documentary from far-right figure Mike Cernovich about alleged media bias against the MAGA movement. Cernovich rose to prominence on the far-right by promoting the baseless Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which held that Hillary Clinton operated a pedophile sex dungeon out of a D.C. pizzeria. In Dec. 2016, the Pizzagate frenzy inspired a North Carolina man to fire a gun inside the restaurant.
And last year Downey directed another documentary, this time for anti-refugee activist Lauren Southern, a Canadian alt-right figure perhaps best known for teaming up with far-right European activists to interfere with and attempt to thwart a ship rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
Crossfire, the documentary Downey created with Southern, centered on the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests and violence that occurred after the police murder of George Floyd last summer. Like Hoaxed, the documentary consisted mostly of interviews with prominent right-wing figures like Cernovich.
Downey also directed Rebel’s Run, an upcoming live-action based on a right-wing comic book from blogger Theodore Robert Beale, who goes by the name “Vox Day” online.
Beale writes comic books, including a series called Alt-Hero, that are meant to push back on what he and his fans perceive as a “social justice warrior” infiltration of the comic book industry. Rebel’s Run stars a superhero named “Rebel,” whose outfit is modeled on the Confederate flag. The film’s plot will pit her against villains who are carrying out a “global crackdown on hate,” according to a trailer. A crowdfunding page for the film claims it has raised more than $940,000.
Beale, who has called himself an “alt right nationalist,” is perhaps better known for his attacks on women and support for white nationalism. In a 2016 blog post, for example, Beale wrote that “Western civilization” rests on “white tribalism, white separatism, and especially white Christian masculine rule.”
On Wednesday, a conservative internet personality who goes by the name “Some Bitch I Know” wrote in a post on far-right social media network Gab that she helped collect footage for Carlson’s documentary.
And in a comment under her post, Downey made a prediction about the series’ reception: “It will melt some minds,” he wrote.
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