Rumble, a right-wing video streaming platform which has become a home for QAnon supporters, election deniers, and other extremists, hosts Why We Vote, a show that is dedicated to election misinformation and affiliated with QAnon-promoting Badlands Media. The show has been hosting election deniers from around the country, including some key figures involved with Arizona Republican Kari Lake’s unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn her gubernatorial election defeat.
Badlands Media, which is a Rumble channel founded by QAnon influencers Jon Herold and Kate Buckley (known online as “Patel Patriot” and “Kate Awakening,” respectively), features multiple QAnon influencers as hosts and largely dedicates its programming to covering QAnon and related conspiracy theories. One of its shows, Why We Vote, is dedicated to amplifying election conspiracy theories and misinformation, claiming to feature “voting experts throughout the nation to explore why the foundation of our Republic needs to remain a focus of patriots, despite repeated attempts at fraud and election theft.” At least one of Why We Vote’s hosts, Brian Lupo — who is a writer for far-right blog The Gateway Pundit and is known online as “CannCon” — has explicitly promoted QAnon; the other host, known online as “Ashe in America,” has also expressed sympathies toward QAnon.
Rumble — Badlands Media’s chosen streaming platform — has become a hub for the QAnon community, with QAnon supporters consistently being promoted on the platform’s “Battle Leaderboard Top 50,” a prominently displayed ranking of the 50 most-liked videos from the previous 24 hours. Badlands Media has appeared on the leaderboard at least 225 times since the beginning of February.
The platform has also attracted election deniers such as Joe Oltmann, David Clements, and Steve Bannon. Badlands Media’s show dedicated to election denial began last October, and it has hosted nearly two dozen election deniers from throughout the country, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Most of the show’s episodes have given election deniers a platform to spread their election fraud claims and even solicit donations from the audience. The episodes featuring these guests have earned more than 650,000 total views.
Election deniers who have appeared on Why We Vote include:
- Clay Parikh, Lake’s supposed expert witness for her case to overturn her 2022 election loss to Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, has appeared on Why We Vote at least three times to promote his false election claims. On the show, he implied that he refused to talk to The New York Times and that instead Lupo would be his first interview with “legit journalists.” Parikh also praised the channel, such as saying it’s “how I get my news,” during his appearances on the channels' special coverage of Lake’s May hearings that were hosted by Why We Vote’s hosts. (Parikh has also reportedly spoken at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s election denial events.)
- Kurt Olsen, an attorney for Lake who was subpoenaed by the House January 6 select committee and who spoke multiple times with then-President Donald Trump on the day of the Capitol insurrection, went on the show at least twice to discuss Lake’s legal efforts.
Kevin Moncla and David Cross, who manage the election denial organization Election Oversight Group, went on the show together at least once, with Moncla appearing on the show at least one other time. At the end of their interview together, Moncla — who was “once busted for illegally filming people in his bathroom” — told Lupo, “None of this would have been possible without you.” In response, Lupo said the QAnon slogan (“where we go one, we go all”), with Cross subsequently claiming that it expressed “teamwork.”
- James Knox, an Arizona election denier and recently elected school board member, said in a December 20, 2022, episode that he had been “kind of inspired by your show.”
- Garland Favorito, a co-founder of Georgia election denial organization VoterGA, appeared on the show multiple times. Both he and the hosts urged viewers to donate to the organization, with Favorito telling viewers that donations would be tax-deductible and Lupo saying, “If you guys want to go and donate, it’s absolutely imperative that we support these people that are fighting for our elections.”
- Greg Stenstrom and Leah Hoopes, Pennsylvania Republican poll watchers who testified before the state legislature and were sued for allegedly smearing and harassing an election worker over election fraud claims, went on the show together. Strenstrom appeared on the show multiple times, using one of his appearances to promote where to donate to his efforts.
- Karen Taylor and Vico Bertogli, executives of Pennsylvania election denial organization Audit the Vote PA — an organization co-founded by QAnon supporter Toni Shuppe — appeared on the show. (Bertogli has also reportedly shared “pro-QAnon content.”)
- Karen DiSalvo, an attorney who has been involved with Audit the Vote PA, has been on the show with Jeffrey Stroehmann, who petitioned the Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, board of elections alongside DiSalvo for a 2020 election recount.
- Stefanie Lambert, a Michigan attorney who Reuters reported was a “key player” in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results in 2020, has “pushed conspiracy theories in court, joined efforts to break into voting machines seeking evidence of fraud and organized a nonprofit that has raised at least a half million dollars to finance election challenges.” During an interview on the show, Lambert disclosed that she was providing legal services for Audit the Vote PA’s Shuppe.
- Joe Oltmann, a podcaster and election denier from Colorado, also went on the show, appearing with Moncla and Gail Golec, an election denier and former Republican candidate for the Maricopa County, Arizona, Board of Supervisors.
Why We Vote has also hosted Chris Gleason, an election denier trying to pursue supposed fraud in Pinellas County, Florida; Shawn Smith, a “retired Air Force colonel and self-styled election fraud activist” who coordinated with Elbert County, Colorado, clerk Dallas Schroeder to make copies of voting records; Robert Bowes, an election denier and former Trump administration official; Jay Valentine, creator of “a program dubbed Omega4America” and initially funded by Lindell to prevent supposed election fraud; Dan Bates, an attorney for a Texas group claiming election fraud in the state; and election-denying El Paso County, Colorado, GOP Chair Vickie Tonkins.
Additionally, Why We Vote’s hosts aired special coverage of Lake’s failed attempt to overturn her 2022 campaign loss and celebrated that Lake’s campaign Twitter account was “watching our feed.” (Lake’s campaign account also praised the hosts for their “great coverage.”)
The rise of Why We Vote and Badlands Media’s popularity on Rumble — as well as the platform’s ability to attract election deniers — comes as the election denial and QAnon movements continue to increasingly intertwine, helping election misinformation and conspiracy theories proliferate online.