CJ Pearson, the young conservative "firebrand" who loves to take on the White House, has just been exposed as a fraud by none other than The Blaze. It began with this tweet:
Dave Weigel picks up the story from there:
At first, no one questioned this. Twitchy, the conservative site that aggregates Twitter wars, reported that the White House was "afraid of a 13-year-old boy." The Daily Caller manner-of-factly reported that Pearson had been blocked, as did Breitbart, as did other conservative news sites. White House assistant press secretary Frank Benenati swiftly tweeted that Pearson was wrong, and that "nobody is or has ever been blocked from the @POTUS twitter account." That sent skeptics looking for cases where the account had blocked hostile accounts, and it inspired a new video from Pearson -- which would be viewed half a million times -- denouncing the White House for lying about him.
"They lied about Benghazi," he said, in high dudgeon. "They lied about the IRS. They lie about every issue of importance to the American people."
But other online sleuths could tell that something was off. First, a subsequent Pearson tweet revealed that he was still following @BarackObama. Second, there was no timestamp or external information on the tweet, and the kerning on the standard text "learn more" was skewed. Coincidentally, a popular parody account had previous tweeted an identical image (now deleted) of an Obama "blocking," with the same kerning.
Oliver Darcy, a reporter for the Blaze, dug into all of this and contacted Pearson. The wunderkind initially told him that he'd taken the shot on a Droid tablet. In the video, Pearson had claimed that he saw the blocking when he "got home," not specifying what device he'd used. As more questions swirled online, Pearson warned his fans that the "incriminating" piece was coming, but never said publicly whether it could be trusted.
Then, two hours after Darcy's piece went online, Pearson issued a fresh Facebook statement. "I'm not responding to fraudulent attacks on my character by the left nor RINOs," Pearson wrote. "My friend sent me the screenshot, since I accessed my account using his phone. I saw it with my own eyes. Time to move on."
This is why teenage kids shouldn't be used as shiny examples by either side. They're teenage kids. I've seen a lot of criticism of Ahmed Mohamed this week too, because of alleged inconsistent statements and the like. They're adolescent kids. They're not adults, and they do what kids do. They either lie, or they're not always consistent with what they say and do. It's part of being kids.
Attention-seekers like CJ Pearson are being used by cynical political operatives to further cynical political ends, and the fact that these kids lack the maturity, good judgment and common sense to just sit down and shut up when they're caught in a lie is simply evidence of why we shouldn't consider them prodigies or unusual. There will always be one or two -- generally on the conservative side, it seems -- who will allow themselves to become symbols of the "young Republican" or "young conservative."
That doesn't mean they're smart or honest or much of anything other than an attention-seeking teenager. CJ Pearson would do better to pay attention to his homework and lay off fraudulent attacks on the President.
Here's his video expressing poutrage that Ahmed Mohamed was invited to the White House. He gets applause for this, but really he needs a time out and some serious reflection outside of the limelight.