In the wake of last week’s cover story by Will Sommer, readers lamented what seems to be a post-truth political era. Seth Rich, a 27-year-old DNC staff member, was killed in an armed robbery in the District’s Bloomingdale neighborhood in July. Though there is no evidence to support their theory, the alt-right conspiratorial crowd believes Hillary Clinton allies murdered Rich for leaking emails to Julian Assange—a notion the Wikileaks founder has not discouraged. Both D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman are offering rewards for clues to the crime. Meanwhile, Rich’s grieving father has had to face down the work of voracious Clinton “death list” believers in the wake of his son’s death. He finds himself defenseless against their claims that his son helped leak DNC emails. “How do you counteract that?” asked Joel Rich. “You can’t disprove a lie.” Reader Aaron Mair echoed the same sentiment. “In an era when false narratives have become paramount and actual facts are just a suggestion, it is breathtaking that individuals like these will be in the trenches of how the Federal gov’t runs for the next four years,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The alt-right isn’t budging. “If they didn’t want Seth Rich to become a meme Hillary shouldn’t have had him killed,” @j_arthur_bloom tweeted. “You’ll eat these words, Will Sommer, as will a lot of other so-called journalist tools,” igotplans2 commented on City Paper’s website. “Comments posted here so far show just how disgusting this alt-right crap is,” Truxton Pride fired back on our site. “I’m hoping someday facts, like those so well spelled out here in this article, matter to the general public again.” Though few mentioned the Rich family in their comments, one who did managed to offer the most righteous statement of all. “I feel for Seth’s parents every time I read something about this conspiracy theory. It has to be hard enough losing a son, let alone constantly being reminded of it through the ramblings of self-interested idiots,” coleingular wrote on Reddit. “Hopefully MPD solves the murder and the Rich family gets the closure they deserve, and we can all move on to the next conspiracy theory.” Move on to the next conspiracy, they have.