The Jussie Effect: Right-Wing Troll Faked His Own Death Threats

Jacob Wohl took a page out of Jussie Smollett's playbook with a stupidly false report to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Unless you spend your time getting lost down right-wing rabbit holes, you’ve probably never heard the name Jacob Wohl. Well, your luck’s run out. Wohl is the kind of guy who’ll fake sexual assault allegations; the kind of guy who’s terrible enough to get banned from Twitter—also known as the cesspool where human decency goes to die. Wohl’s latest shenanigans, however, may land him in legal hot water.

Wohl was in Minneapolis attempting to smear local Congresswoman and manifestation of his night terrors Ilhan Omar with what we’ll loosely refer to as a “documentary.” Along with fellow MAGA lackey Laura Loomer, Wohl was trying to paint Minneapolis as a hotbed of crime and intolerance when he and Loomer waltzed into a police station with what we’ll loosely refer to as “evidence” of death threats.

Wohl had allegedly received DMs from the Twitter account of one @Drakehomes612, a self-described “diversity coordinator” with a rainbow flag in his bio and a real ax to grind with racists, homophobes, and grammar.

“I hope you fuckin know that if [I] bump into you in Dinkytown or anywhere else in my city I’m going shoot you and shit on your fucking bodies,” read the DMs sent to Wohl. “Get that fuck out my city you piece of shit. Now.”

That “Dave Holmes,” however, was identical to one of the fake accounts that got Wohl banned from Twitter in the first place. And because Wohl had submitted the “death threats” to the Minnesota Police Department as evidence of his online harassment, he, essentially, lied to the police. The MPD has been reviewing the documents Wohl provided with his report, but have yet to release them.

According to The Daily Beast, Wohl has an impressive track record of being The Worst:

In 2017, he became the youngest person to receive a lifetime ban from futures trading. Last year, he was involved in a scheme to smear Special Counsel Robert Mueller with sexual assaults allegations. Months later, the accuser Wohl had lined up told USA Today that Wohl had made all of the allegations up.

The youngest? The kids are so enterprising these days. And awful. For anyone who’s been following the news for the past month or so, this Jacob Wohl fiasco sounds a bit like the Jussie Smollett debacle. Last week, the (former?) Empire actor was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly orchestrating his own hate crime.

Smollett claimed that he was attacked by two men in Chicago shouting racial and homophobic remarks, who then tied a rope around his neck, poured a chemical substance on him, and kicked him as he lay on the ground before running away yelling something about “MAGA country.”

While Wohl stopped short of pulling a full-on Smollett, at this point it’s not something anyone would put past him. Did I mention the fake sexual assault allegations? Welcome to 2019: The year America’s moral compass decided to fake its own death to get publicity. Where victimhood is exploited for personal gain. Where trauma is traded like currency. Smollett’s example was bound to lead to imitation or inspiration, but his and Wohl’s actions are endemic of a culture at war with reality.

If that isn’t disturbing enough, the lack of competence certainly is. The same fake Twitter account that misspells “Holmes” in the fucking handle? Using a check to pay off the conspirators in your staged hate crime? It’s one thing to dupe the public, but for the love of god, at least put some more effort into it. As the Trump administration shows on a daily basis, intentional evil is made even worse when mixed with blatant incompetence because it reveals not only how little respect they have for people’s rights but also people’s intelligence.

I’m not saying these schemes should be better, but if this is our new normal—where fake news is the only news…okay, I am saying these schemes should be better. Or maybe, the opposite would be better: If these scams get so dumb that they don’t hurt anyone or diminish the validity of other movements but still render the perpetrator a social pariah on the grounds of being a huge dick. With this latest incident, it looks like we’re angling toward that level of stupidity…thankfully?

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is a roaming writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat