Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield defended the QAnon conspiracy theory by blatantly mischaracterizing it to deny that it includes the delusion that President Donald Trump is fighting against a cabal of high-profile Democrats who are running a satanic child trafficking ring.
Stinchfield joined right-wing cable channel Newsmax in August, after previously hosting a show for the National Rifle Association’s failed NRATV online broadcast. He broadcasts an hour-long show for Newsmax on weekday evenings.
In an October 17 tweet, Stinchfield took issue with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asking Trump about QAnon during an October 15 town hall. In his tweet, Stinchfield wrote, “The media calls #Q a cult group that believes in Satanic Sex rings, vampires and inter dimensional beings. I searched #QAnons posts and found Zero mention of any of those things. ZERO. The media lies to hurt @realDonaldTrump.”
Stinchfield’s tweet has been retweeted more than 21,000 times, with retweets likely driven by the fact that Q, the central figure in the conspiracy theory, published a post that linked to the tweet.
It is an indisputable fact that a central tenet of the QAnon conspiracy theory is the belief that Democrats are running a satanic pedophile ring. That aspect of the conspiracy theory has even been referenced by Republican congressional candidate and QAnon supporter Marjory Taylor Greene. Something akin to vampirism also plays a significant role: Many QAnon adherents believe that elites drink children's blood and harvest a substance called adrenochrome from children’s pituitary glands for consumption. And though it’s not an important aspect of the conspiracy theory, some QAnon adherents do believe interdimensional beings are involved.
Stinchfield’s tweet included a clip from his Newsmax show that explains how he reached his deceitful claim about the substance of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Claiming that Guthrie presented Trump with a “left-wing fictional account of QAnon,” Stinchfield claimed to have “gone through QAnon’s 4,880 posts” before offering a much more innocuous (and false) characterization of the conspiracy theory that was premised on his false claim that the QAnon conspiracy theory is limited in its entirety to the contents of Q’s posts. Based on his review of Q’s posts, Stinchfield claimed the QAnon conspiracy theory is about nothing more than “mainstream media lies” and “the evils of the deep state and entrenched anti-Trump bureaucrats.” That is, of course, not true.
Stinchfield also fabricated a quote he attributed to Guthrie, claiming she described QAnon adherents as a “cult-like group of deviants who are all off their rockers” during the town hall. A transcript of the event shows she did not say that. During his career as a right-wing broadcaster, Stinchfield has previously fabricated quotes out of whole cloth in order to levy criticism against his targets. He also misled during his remarks about Guthrie about whether there have been in-person QAnon meet-ups and whether QAnon has been linked to violence.
During his time at NRATV, where he was perhaps best known for calling on North Korea to nuke California, Stinchfield pushed conspiracy theories, including the claim that pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats in the leadup to the 2018 midterm elections were “false flags” (the bombs were actually sent by a “fervent” Trump supporter) and that financier and philanthropist George Soros was funding migrant caravans (a gunman inspired by a similar conspiracy theory later killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh, PA, synagogue). Prior to joining NRATV, Stinchfield promoted other conspiracy theories, including the claim that Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that Israel may have shot down a Russian passenger plane in 2015.