Far-right conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer has been a real bugaboo for reporters at CPAC on Friday. With a cameraman in tow, Loomer has been approaching members of the media, including the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, HuffPost reporter Christopher Mathias, and CNN’s Oliver Darcy. According to some reporters who witnessed one altercation, Loomer approached Darcy in the back of the Gaylord National’s Potomac Ballroom and harangued him for reporting on stories about her fellow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones, and his outlet InfoWars, is now banned from Twitter, YouTube, Apple, and Spotify.
“Loomer was chasing him around and trying to yell at him but because she was in the press area she couldn’t yell super loudly,” says Molly Jong-Fast, a writer for the Bulwark. “She really did come after him and did not go away.” Jong-Fast says she overheard Loomer complaining she, like Jones, has been “deplatformed”—kicked off a social media site. Darcy ignored Loomer, and Loomer left the area of her own accord, another onlooker said. Mathias says this wasn’t the first time today Loomer confronted reporters she didn’t like. “She started following me around and accusing me of slandering her for calling her an anti-Muslim extremist, which she is,” Mathias said. Sommer declined to comment.
It appears CPAC gave anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer media credentials? She just stormed into the media area with a film crew. pic.twitter.com/Ind64imkp4
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) March 1, 2019
“I’m a member of the press, too, so I don’t know why people are so angry,” Loomer tells Washingtonian. “I was ‘Loomering’ Oliver Darcy.” Loomer indeed appears to have been issued CPAC press credentials and spent part of Friday hanging around the convention’s press filing center. She says Darcy is a “fake news fraud” and says his coverage of Jones was essentially “lobbying” Facebook and Twitter to ban the InfoWars provocateur. Loomer has felt the sting of deplatforming herself: Besides Twitter, she has reportedly (sometimes by her own reporting) been banned from Uber, UberEats, Venmo, PayPal, GoFundMe, and recently Chase Bank. Former Breitbart editor and fellow Twitter exile Milo Yiannopoulos supported Loomer at the time of her Twitter ban, calling the action “political warfare.”
Should other reporters at CPAC expect a “Loomering”? “I’m here [at CPAC] to call [reporters] for celebrating the deplatforming and censorship of conservatives,” Loomer says. “So if I do see them around here, I do plan on confronting more people.”