Speed Reads

grasping at straws

Ruth Bader Ginsburg appearing in public somehow doesn't convince conspiracy theorists she's alive

You would think Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appearing at a public event would be enough to squash baseless conspiracy theories that she's secretly dead. But you'd be wrong.

On Monday, Ginsburg appeared in public for the first time since her cancer surgery, going to a concert held in her honor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. This event, and Ginsburg's appearance, was widely reported on by outlets like The Washington Post, The Associated Press, and CNN.

In spite of this, conspiracy theorists continued to latch on to their evidence-free claims that Ginsburg has actually died. On The_Donald, the pro-Trump Reddit community with more than 700,000 users, one of the top posts on Tuesday doubted the reports because "there are no pics of her." AP had reported photography wasn't allowed at the event. Several popular comments asserted that nobody saw Ginsburg at the event, despite the Post making clear that many people did see her, including the Post reporter himself.

On Twitter, links to news articles about Ginsburg's appearance similarly faced skeptical replies, including from one user whose smoking gun was that the photo used of Ginsburg in CNN's report was not from the event, even though CNN never claimed it was and clearly captioned the picture as being from April 2017.

The baseless theory took root after Ginsburg first publicly announced health issues in late December, reports The Daily Beast. As they continue to grasp at straws, online conspiracy theorists will likely next latch on to Ginsburg potentially not appearing at the State of the Union on Tuesday night — even though, as the Post points out, she didn't go last year, either. But considering people at one point claimed former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had been literally replaced with a body double, the conspiracy may rage on despite all evidence.