Sadly, Ed Chiarini’s bizarre “media lookalikes” theory appears to be part of a larger trend in conspiranoia. I wouldn’t call it a meme, exactly. It’s really more of a method. A very weird, stupid and useless method. Or perhaps, as my anonymous commenter helpfully pointed out, it’s the Fregoli delusion.
It seems that a dedicated corps of stay-at-home conspiracy researchers is scouring the Internets for evidence that the people they see on TV are…well…other people they see on TV. Aaron Fleszar, on his blog Exposing the Coup, explains that most of the get-rich-now scamsters you see online or on late-night infomercials are actually infamous terror suspects who are being sought by the FBI. Of course, this doesn’t mean the dudes have been successfully evading the FBI on national television. It means the FBI is in on it. And it all has something to do with Castro and Sarah Palin.
- The guy in the Rich Jerk videos is actually Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Fleszar writes, “Sarah Palin claims to be a maverick and a mama grizzly. Mark Cuban came under investigation by the SEC for insider trading of a search engine company named Mamma.” Oh, and both Obama and Sarah Palin claimed to have played basketball in their youth…”this isn’t a coincidence.” And to add some extra weirdness: Robert Johnson, a YouTuber who did parodies of the Rich Jerk videos, is actually Chicago fraudster Tony Rezko.
- Mark Joyner, star of the 2007 online reality show The Next Internet Millionaire, could be Egyptian-born terror suspect Saif al-Adel.
- Ted Cuiba (that’s Cuba with an “i”), author of How to Get Rich on the Internet, is probably Abdul Rahman Yassin, an alleged accomplice in the ’93 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Another lookalike has been found by a collector of Victorian photos. For a mere $1 million, you could have bought a portrait of Nicholas Cage (c. 1870) on eBay. The seller said Cage is probably one of the undead, reinventing himself in each century, but I think a likelier explanation is time travel. If Travis Bickle can do it, anybody can.