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Ex-Ralph Retort politics editor charged with murdering his dad in a fight over a conspiracy theory

Accused murderer Lane “Seattle4Truth” Davis

By David Futrelle

In August, a Washington state man named Lane Davis was charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed his father to death in an argument over internet conspiracy theories about alleged leftist pedophile rings.

It turns out that Davis wasn’t just some gullible rando who was taken in by pernicious conspiratorial nonsense on the internet; he was in fact a major distributor of such nonsense. And his voice was amplified for years by the Ralph Retort. one of the most scurrilous online rags birthed by the Gamergate hate movement.

Seattle4Truth, as he was known online, was a prolific right-wing YouTuber who pushed a wide assortment of conspiracy theories, ranting about such favorite alt-right targets as George Soros, “anarchist antifa terroristrs” and Black Lives Matter “nutters” in videos sometimes tinged with explicit racism. An enthusiastic Gamergater, he launched attacks on that sordid movement’s designated villains and assembled a three-hour “documentary” pushing a number of convoluted conspiracy theories about gaming.

He was also a longtime contributor — and one-time political editor — of the internet hate site (and former Gamergate propaganda hub) The Ralph Retort.

Naturally, he was also a Trump superfan, regularly posting to Reddit’s The_Donald and at one time going so far as to record his own pro-Trump rap track.

The folks at The Ralph Retort are trying their best to disassociate himself from their former political editor. In a typically combative post, site founder Ethan Ralph — himself currently in jail for assaulting a police officer — offered cursory respects to Davis’ family before launching an attack on the “haters” now who insist on drawing connections between him and, well, a guy he was  connected to for years. Hell, Ethan Ralph tapped Davis to temporarily run his site. along with his wife Nora Ralph, when he reported to prison in June, less than a month before Davis’ own arrest.

A former unpaid contributor to my site, Lane Davis, stands accused of killing his father. My condolences go out to his family. The rush to score points against me, while completely expected, is also completely ridiculous. I’m only responsible for my own actions. …

I expect the memes and attacks to continue. It’s the internet, after all. By all means, enjoy it. I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise. But I hope some of you will spare a thought and/or a prayer for the Davis family. …

Farewell, for now, my friends. As always, the haters can eat shit. Nothing on this Earth will deter me from coming back stronger than before.

In a somewhat more subdued, but equally revealing, official statement posted on his site, Nora Ralph declares:

Lane Davis was a 33-year-old unemployed loser who lived with his parents and had no income to speak of. The man he murdered is the sole reason he was able to subsist at all. He had some volatile anger issues which are evident in the many YouTube streams he’s been present on. He’s also made threats and wild unfounded accusations against a lot of people over the past few years. I thought it was all in jest, but hindsight is always 20-20.

Weird, because a lot of people didn’t need hindsight to realize that threats from people like Lane Davis aren’t actually a joke.

Anybody who even slightly disagreed with Lane became the brunt of his verbal attacks and he would often label his detractors as “leftist pedos.” Lane used this same term against his own parents. When his father asked him to leave, Lane snapped. 

The Ralph Report is currently tossing all things Lane Davis down the old memory hole.

It’s no secret that Lane has contributed to The Ralph Retort for a number of years but those days are over. In fact, after today, I’m erasing all of his articles. …

I don’t care how big his contribution was. A guy that would murder his own father in cold blood doesn’t deserve to be read. No matter how accurate he was in the past, he ended his usefulness to this world when he ended his dad’s life.

So yeah, they’re still defending the allegedly accurate “reporting” of someone who 1) stabbed his father, 2) threatened people and 3) aimed accusations “against a lot of people” that Nora Ralph plainly admits were “wild” and “unfounded.”

Here’s a thought: if someone on the staff of your alleged publication is threatening people and throwing around “wild unfounded accusations,” fire that person and denounce them. Don’t wait until someone gets killed.

Just a thought.

H/T — Wonkette

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Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
3 years ago

Oh a gamergator turned out to be fascist, easiest mystery ever.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

Lane Davis was a 33-year-old unemployed loser who lived with his parents and had no income to speak of

He lived in Seattle where you’re lucky to get a studio apartment for under $1200 and you need experience to get a job as a sign spinner. Not that I expect the alt-right to understand economics.

Edit: I realize this might look like I’m defending the guy, but really what I mean is there are plenty of things to criticize about the guy but employment and living arrangements are not they.

Zatar
Zatar
3 years ago

Nothing on this Earth will deter me from coming back stronger than before.

Yet another Alt-Righter who seems to think that running a hate site and participating in and encouraging harassment makes them some sort of unstoppable bad ass.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

But tell us again how gamergators aren’t dangerous and Anita and Zoe are probably just making up the threats that they shouldn’t be taking seriously anyway.

brian
brian
3 years ago

“we want everyone to forget he has anything to do with us, so we’re deleting anything with his name on it from the site. THEY WERE VERY GOOD PIECES WITH EXCELLENT REPORTING THOUGH.”

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

@kupo,

Yes, agreed. I get weary of the “guy dwelling in mum’s basement” jabs. A wee bit of class snottiness involved, too.
More and more young people (in the West, not sure about other places) are staying in the family home for longer – not because they’re entitled millennials, but because options are so limited.
When I moved out of home, having just turned 18, my partner and I were living in a tiny flat that cost $65 AUD a week. Sharehousing was even cheaper. Those days are long gone!

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

I’m only responsible for my own actions

And hosting his ass in the first place was an action

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite
Brony, Social Justice Cenobite
3 years ago

Bigots and reputation, I’ve seen this kind of thing before and it makes me laugh because it reminds me of a dog trying to bury something they chewed so no one finds it.

I think it’s an aggressive personality hiding evidence of weakness thing, but ends up a flaw building exercise since the underlying problems remain to pop up in another form.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

It’s actually pretty hypocritical for conservatives/traditionalists to take swipes at “entitled millennials” living with their parents. The separation of generations of families into their own households is not traditional at all. It’s (generally) a recent development for people to so commonly live alone or with just their significant other and/or their own minor children. Even among the wealthy. I really don’t get why people make such a big deal out of living with ones parents.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

Ok, Samish Island is probably cheaper to find a home on, but in the rural parts of the state like that it’s even harder to find work. Looking at a map he’s going to have to commute pretty far to get anywhere with job opportunities, and since no one ever votes for public transportation and his location is really far from anywhere that would get decent public transportation, commuting options are pretty non-existant. And the whole state is getting more and more expensive to live in. So Ralph’s point is still shit.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

@wwth,

Yes, exactly. Just one example – pre-Industrial Revolution in England, “family” was a very flexible and somewhat complicated term! Children were routinely away from their parents for education and/or work; households often included people who were not biologically related; married couples didn’t always live together 24/7.
Obviously this was differently shaped by class background, but overall you’d have a great deal of trouble trying to find a “traditional” family on any widespread scale.

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

“we want everyone to forget he has anything to do with us, so we’re deleting anything with his name on it from the site. THEY WERE VERY GOOD PIECES WITH EXCELLENT REPORTING THOUGH.”

The funniest thing to me is when these alt-righters try to distance themselves from the people who have committed crimes when they, themselves support heinous things via their violent rhetoric. I’ve seen it again and again, and it just proves to me that if every perceived “enemy” just magically *poofed* out of existence tomorrow, they would turn on each other.

Bina
3 years ago

Considering how much more a home of one’s own costs now, and how much less people are being paid to work harder than ever in an economy that just keeps inching further and further into precarity, it’s little wonder that so many adults, young and not so young, are living with their parents. When you have right right-wing spoiled fuckups ruining the economy for everyone else and buying lawmakers outright to make sure it gets ruined and stays ruined, it’s kind of bound to happen.

The awful irony here is, these guys are blaming leftists and essjews for their problems, when they ought to be blaming their own side, and themselves too, for aiding and abetting it by being (a) gullible as fuck, (b) absurdly conspiracy-hungry, instead of fact-driven, and (c) assholes in general, and in the case of this particular wankstain, parricidal assholes at that. Of course, to do that, they’d have to have some measure of self-awareness, and so far they haven’t demonstrated that they have any…

Also, on a somewhat related note: Have you all heard the latest about Alex Jones? Seems that he’s been encouraging his loyal listeners to eat lead paint chips, or something just about as good for them. I wish I could say I was shocked, but I ain’t even surprised. I will, however, admit to a bit of Schadenfreude, because good ol’ Alex is about to have the FDA come down on his ass, and very deservedly so, for peddling toxic snake oil. In more ways than one. I only hope that Donnie hasn’t gutted the agency yet, because it needs its fangs right about now.

calmdown
calmdown
3 years ago

good ol’ Alex is about to have the FDA come down on his ass, and very deservedly so, for peddling toxic snake oil

Versus the regular snake oil he was peddling before.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Has the murderer been lauded as a hero of the right yet?

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
3 years ago

You definitely can’t make me click the link to his rap song.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
3 years ago

And hosting his ass in the first place was an action

As was continuing to host him as he posted the YooToob vids which the Ralphs characterize as toxic….

@ I.P.

You definitely can’t make me click the link to his rap song

(cliiiiiick iiitttt… cliiiick the liiiiinnnnkkkkk…. doooo it… p-s-s-s-t-t-t… click the linnnkkkkk….)

ah, shoot, well, I tried….

🙂 🙂 🙂

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

A white racist using rap? Throw the key away.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Has the murderer been lauded as a hero of the right yet?

He killed another white man, so probably not going to happen.

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
3 years ago

And Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night is prophetic yet again about being who you pretend to be.

Dave links the Wonkette article, but I want to put a pin in this passage of Robyn’s:

The Right is desperately clinging to conspiracy theories these days, because they honestly don’t have a better way of “attacking” us. They have to make shit up. It can’t be that we just think poor people should have health care, or that the police shouldn’t brutalize unarmed black people — it has to be something more. Because, frankly, those are incredibly unconvincing reasons to be filled with such vitriol. It’s hard to feel “righteous” when you are fighting for the right to screw the poor and hurt vulnerable people. Plus, if they were to complain about things the Left was actually doing, rather than things they made up, they would be very, very boring. So it has to be pedophile rings, it has to be “cultural Marxism,” it has to be the New World Order, it has to be a burning desire to turn the frogs gay.

This is absolutely true. There’s really nothing flashy or attention-grabbing about Social Security actuarial tables (as Michael Brooks likes to joke that Sam Seder uses as marital aids XD). There’s nothing particularly “sexy” about school lunch programs or community outreach programs for at-risk youth or health insurance navigators, but these are the kinds of programs that spell the difference between success or failure, life or death for a lot of people. Therefore, trying to form a reactionary movement meant to destroy them depends on introducing some kind of sinister motivation innocuous government functions. Sex-ed classes can’t just be about basic human anatomical function, it has to be about orgies and dildos and secret gay dildo orgies! Planned Parenthood can’t be all about standard reproductive health monitoring and cancer screening, it has to be a Kermit Gosnell-level fetus factory that packages and sells baby parts!

I know I’ve talked about Spotlight a lot on these comment threads lately, but like I said, a million and one lessons that film brings with it. The lesson I’m thinking of today is that of professionalism: dull, hum-drum, vital professionalism. What I love about Spotlight is that it doesn’t have those hackneyed moments of grandstanding and speechifying that typify a lot of dramas. Sure, it works great in Lincoln or To Kill A Mockingbird, but for me, the key scenes of that film are the montages of the reporters knocking on doors all over Boston, sitting in the library surrounded by books and poring over spreadsheets. Sure, Mark Ruffalo has an Oscar-moment outburst, but the bulk of the film is made up of skilled professionals doing their jobs, day in, day out. On the phone. Scribbling copious notes. And through it all somebody was there to pop in and ask “How long is this going to take? Oh, a couple more weeks? Okay, you got it, just be thorough.” There was institutional backing that gave these professionals the leeway to do the job right. They were paid for a day of door knocking or book reading. Ruffalo’s character was paid to sit in a court room just to watch the proceedings of a document seal hearing. Hell, the first time we’re introduced to new editor Marty Baron (the Liev Schreiber character), the first question is “with the internet eating into the Globe’s readership, are there staff cuts in the future?”

As I posted in the comment section of that article, Gamergate was alarming to me on multiple levels. The harassment campaigns were bad enough, but even under that hideousness, there was a seething contempt for professionalism that I could see oozing from the likes of 4chan and its ilk. A sort of “who says you need a fancy degree or printing presses to be journalists? We can make news and unlike those stuffed shirts, we’re going to give you the real story!” The internet did indeed spell an end to gatekeepers, but what people didn’t see is that it also spelled the end to professionalism. A two-bit con artist can dress up in a pimp hat and doctor a video and almost single-handedly destroy ACORN. A sub-par game developer and unemployed slob from Swindon can buy a microphone, create a YouTube profile and suddenly be an “intellectual in the mold of the classic Greek orators”. A self-loathing gay Catholic can re-invent himself as “Dangerous” and publish half-baked garbage online that he farms from 4chan trolls, all the while going on a speaking tour to universities. It was also part of what made The Sarkeesian Effect so hilarious: two lazy jokers with no media training clowning themselves into thinking they’re “investigative journalists” just because they slapped together some interviews they did in hotel rooms. But for people like Ethan Ralph or this Lane Davis guy, they were!

And the tragedy is… I don’t have a solution that is sexy enough to catch on. Storytelling is the one thing I think the left needs to get better at, but gamification has just so much potential to be corrupted and co-opted that I don’t think that’s the answer to getting people to care about journalism. Frankly, professionalism has demonstrated its vitality already; apparently we need to remind people that they wouldn’t want some schmo operating on their internal organs, so why listen to some schmo who claims to be a journalist? We need to see the faith placed in him by a venerable institution, not Alex Jones clone #89262.

Okay, rant over.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise.

As always, the haters can eat shit.

The head of the Ralph Retort is calling everybody not on his bandwagon haters, and he’s worried about looking like a hypocrite? Check the rear view mirror man, you passed that exit long ago.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

It’s like the misfit gang of mystery-solvin’ teens captured the monster, pulled off its mask – and there was another f’n monster underneath. What a surprise

a seething contempt for professionalism

I think this is more than 4chan, this is a general societal trend. I think of it as ur-fascism. The smart people are wrong because they aren’t on our side. Those people are bad because they aren’t on our side. Substance doesn’t matter. Meaning doesn’t matter. What matters is what side you’re on. The smart people think we might be doing something wrong, so they’re not on our side.

It’s funny. They talk about “virtue signalling” as if it’s something The Left does all the time – signalling how good they are without being good. But that sort of ur-fascism is all about signalling. The substance doesn’t matter – doesn’t matter if what you’re saying is correct or even vitally important. All that matters is if it signals allegiance appropriate.

I could’ve called this “tribalism” but I hate that term, it’s deeply racist. Needs a better one.

The Adjunct
The Adjunct
3 years ago

@Gussie Jives

Very well said. It alarms me to no end to see so many people discard facts and reality in favour of conspiracy and lies. That sometimes experts get things wrong doesn’t mean that they are wrong about everything and nothing has any meaning at all. I push back where I can with my training in education, science and statistics, but I’m often pushing against a brick wall, where a person has already decided what the truth is based on their preconceived world view. I still try, though.

As far as storytelling on the left goes, are you aware of the YouTuber “ContraPoints”? I strongly recommend her videos to everyone, she uses her background in academic philosophy and neuroscience to deconstruct YouTube white nationalism, misogyny, racism, etc. Her point of view is very clear and her ability to tell a story is amazing, and she’s hilarious as well. Her comments section is full of gamergator types who have either reconsidered their positions or are in the process of reconsidering. It’s incredible.

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
3 years ago

@Scildfreja

I think this is more than 4chan, this is a general societal trend.

Undoubtedly. I actually just got finished listening to the Majority Report where Sam Seder interviewed Corey Robin and Robin makes it a point that contempt for professionalism is part and parcel of conservatism going back to Edmund Burke. Because professionals–be they journalists, scientists, academics–are the ones telling you that there’s a certain set of facts and these facts apply to everybody, when conservatism at its core is based on defending hierarchy. There’s a certain group of people who the rules don’t apply to, for whom wrong can be right, WMDs can exist and Obama can be Kenyan because they so desire that to be the case.

But with Gamergate, I saw a whole new crop of personalities turning the contempt up to 11 in a way that James O’Keefe schmuck could only dream of. The way that YouTube, Twitter and Patreon intersect certainly facilitated the rise of the Ralph Ethans and the Carl Benjamins I think only arrived during the heights of Gamergate in 2014, but the internet in general marked the trend of the citizen journalist as far back as the first blogs. Which is fine… if they respect the professionalism needed to actually be journalists, like Digby or Driftglass and Bluegal. But for every Digby willing to actually read stories and do the work, there’s a hundred teenage Sargon clones thinking they’re “in the know” because they read about Cultural Marxism on 4chan and slapped together a cut-and-paste avatar to yell at SJWs for Patreon money on YouTube.

@The Adjunct

Love Contrapoints! Been a follower of hers for some time, but she was recently on the Michael Brooks podcast as well. She’s the kind of person we frankly need more of. HBomberguy also has the kind of informative style that works well.

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
3 years ago

The bit about Alex Jones and the lead-laced supplements….

I’m NOT surprised….Gotta keep ’em brain-damaged so they’ll accept those absurd pronouncements without question.

I can’t wait until this far-right conspiracy weirdness blows over (and I’m sure it will, eventually). This is getting ridiculous!