Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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The 13 Biggest Trolls in Media

The growth of the Internet has given a new meaning to the term “troll.” It’s a term for people who love to start fights, and it refers not to the mythical creatures said to live under bridges but instead “derives from a fishing technique — say your stupid thing, watch the world bite,” as the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper once put it. And trolls aren’t just cruising for a bruising; they often believe what they say.

We at The Advocate often can’t resist taking the bait, and we frequently point out the horrendously homophobic and transphobic statements of right-wing trolls. Herewith, a baker's dozen of antigay trolls who just love to bait us, on the Internet, on television, or in any other forum. There are many more we could list; feel free to share your candidates in the Comments section.

Ben ShapiroX633 0
Ben Shapiro
This young conservative columnist raised his troll profile recently by calling reporter Zoey Tur, a transgender woman, “sir” when they were discussing Caitlyn Jenner on an episode of Dr. Drew on Call. After Tur objected to Shapiro’s claim that “every chromosome, every cell in Caitlyn Jenner’s body is male,” Shapiro asked her, “What are your genetics, sir?” She then placed a hand on the back of Shapiro’s neck and said, “You cut that out now. Or you’ll go home in an ambulance.” The exchange led Shapiro to file a police report accusing Tur of battery. Shapiro has also said there was nothing brave about NBA player Jason Collins’s coming-out and characterized TV shows such as Friends and Sesame Street as vehicles for gay “propaganda.”


Erick EricksonX633 0
Erick Erickson
Erickson had possibly the most inflammatory public comment on Caitlyn Jenner’s coming-out, blaming acceptance of transgender people for the Charleston, S.C., church shooting. “A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and ‘a new normal’ cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good,” he wrote on his Red State blog in June. Other bits of wisdom from Erickson, also a radio talker and Fox News contributor who once had a gig on CNN, include assertions that homosexuality results from parental abuse, that gay people are comparable to terrorists, and that societies that recognize LGBT equality are “bent on suicide.”


Theodore Shoebat Facebookx633 0
Theodore Shoebat
We can think of all kinds of puns to make on this commentator’s name, but humor seems inappropriate when dealing with the depths of his hatred of gays. Leading up to the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to lift the group’s ban on gay adult employees and volunteers, he wrote in a column on his website, “This most dangerous move will only further enable these sodomites to rape and sexually molest young boys and male youths. ... You will have sodomite Scout leaders with young men, 15 or 16 years old, what do you think is going to be occurring in those sodomites’ minds? Evil, filthy, unnatural lusts, lusts that will eventually be carried out, with the Scout leader sodomizing his innocent victims.” He added, “here is only one solution to the homosexual agenda, and that is death.”  


Alex Jones FBX633 0
Alex Jones
This radio talk-show host, who also runs the Infowars website, reacted to Caitlyn Jenner’s transition by saying it’s part of a plot “to confuse society and break everything down and make the natural systems, the set default systems, basically anathema.” He also compared gender-reassignment surgery to self-mutilation, noting, “People go and they chop fingers off, arms off, but also the big thing is they’ll get molten lead, pour it on their backs to have big scarification.” He also said hormones in food are causing people to be transgender, a variation on a claim he made five years ago that “estrogen-mimicking chemicals” in juice boxes are turning heterosexuals gay so as to reduce the U.S. birth rate. “The reason there’s so many gay people now is because it’s a chemical warfare operation!” he said in 2010. “I have the government documents where they said they’re going to encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children.” Wow. Wonder what chemicals Jones has been consuming.


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