Pizzagate & the Seton Hall Dorm Fire

May 06, 11:30 AM
Pizzagate is a wildly stupid, debunked consipracy theory. It goes a little something like this: There’s a pizza place in Washington DC! They have a child sex ring in the basement!! Hilary Clinton and a bunch of other politicians go there to abuse kids!!!! 

There’s not an ounce of truth to this story, but that didn’t stop a bunch of right wing fringe “news” outlets from running it. As a result, people believed it. And one man decided to take action.

Then Brandi tells us an infuriating story about a dorm fire at Seton Hall. It was the wee hours of the morning in January of 2000, when the fire alarm went off in Boland Hall. Smoke filled the dormitory. Students tried to get to safety, but they’d never had a fire drill. The dorm wasn’t equipped with sprinklers. The smoke was so thick that it blinded them. The fire was traumatizing. Three students died. Fifty-eight were injured. And it all started thanks to a prank. 

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“How the bizarre conspiracy theory behind pizzagate was spread,” by Craig Silverman for Buzzfeed
“Pizzagate Gunman Sentenced to Four Years in Prison,” by Merrit Kennedy for NPR
“The Comet Ping Pong Gunman Answers Our Reporter’s Questions,” by Adam Goldman for the New York Times
“Comet Pizza Gunman Pleads Guilty to Local and Federal Charges” Washington Post
“Is Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria Home to a Child Abuse Ring Led by Hillary Clinton?” by Kim Lacapria for Snopes.com
“Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal,” by Amanda Robb for Rolling Stone

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“Seton Hall: The Worst Dormitory Fire In The US” by Seamus McGraw, The Crime Library
“Seton Hall dorm fire: A look at where some of the key people are today” by Alex Napoliello, NJ.com
“3 Killed in Fire at Seton Hall; Dozens of Students Are Hurt” by Dan Barry, The New York Times
“Sean M. Ryan v. New Jersey State Parole Board” justia.com
“Boland Hall Fire” wikipedia.org