Fact Check: Did Obama Really Block a 13-Year-Old Conservative Critic on Twitter?

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fact Check: Did Obama Really Block a 13-Year-Old Conservative Critic on Twitter?.

On Thursday afternoon, 13-year old CJ Pearson warned his 43,900 followers not to believe what they read. The White House has denied blocking a 13-year-old conservative activist on Twitter after he criticsed Obama’s decision to invite 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed to the White House. “If you think the American people are gonna fall for your little tricks, you’re downright crazy,” he said. “This administration has lied to the American people time and time again. Assistant Press Secretary Frank Benenati tweeted a denial of Pearson’s claim, a few hours after Pearson’s tweet: “Public Service Announcement: Nobody is or has ever been blocked from the @POTUS twitter account.” Pearson has denied this denial, calling the implication that he is a liar “outrageous.” He repeated that comment when reached by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but declined to say more.

Pearson first rose to fame as a conservative activist early this year, when he published a YouTube video headlined “President Obama: Do you really love America?” It subsequently went viral, and he said his Facebook page was then temporarily locked. Oliver Darcy, a reporter for the site, was asking Pearson to prove — as he had claim, to great viral attention — that President Barack Obama had truly blocked him on Twitter. Pearson called this “outrageous.” But one other Twitter user says that when Pearson accused Obama of blocking him, he was still following the President on Twitter. His YouTube channel now has more than 15,700 subscribers, with recent videos discussing Common Core and “the real problem facing the black community” (Pearson is black), and highlighting his apparances on Fox News. In lieu of proof, Pearson was calling for help. “In a few minutes, @oliverdarcy is going to release a hit article on me and I’m going to take it,” Pearson wrote. “Because here’s what the PR folks are saying: say you lied and apologize to avoid backlash.

His most recent video was a rebuke to the president’s White House invitation to Ahmed Mohamed, a Texas teen arrested after school officials mistook his electronic clock for a bomb and which many held up as an example of racial profiling. “Maybe it is best to be a political activist,” he told the AJC in Februrary. “Maybe run for office. Pearson called the spokesman’s denial “outrageous” and responded by uploading a video blasting the president for allegedly lying about the incident. First, Twitter users aren’t permitted to follow accounts that block them, yet Pearson could be seen following Obama’s account moments after making the claim he was blocked.

Coreco JaQuan Pearson’s profile had been growing well before the Twitter story, thanks to his precocious and silver-tongued video denunciations of the president. The turmoil surrounding Ahmed’s case has had a harmful effect on the teen, Mr Mohamed said, adding that his son has lost his appetite and is not sleeping well. In 2009, it was 13-year old Jonathan Krohn — also a Georgian — giving a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and becoming a quasi-celebrity. On Thursday, after this reporter’s tweets about the matter gained online attention, Pearson told TheBlaze that he no longer had the original copy of the screen grab. In 2013 it was Benji Backer, a 16-year old Wisconsinite whose story of high school administrators suppressing his political views got him onstage at CPAC and other conferences.

Backer’s exit was quicker: By 2015, he worried that a political life was making him “selfish.” Pearson entered the political life with gusto, and no qualms. His first video, in February, was inspired by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ranting to a room of conservative donors (and a pre-presidential bid Scott Walker) that President Obama did not love America. “I don’t want to be politically correct,” said Pearson. “I don’t care about being politically correct at this point. If you loved America, you would call ISIS what it is… if you loved America, President Obama, you wouldn’t try to take away what hard-working Americans have worked for their entire lives.” That video scored two million views, success Pearson wouldn’t achieve on YouTube again until this month. Pearson became a fervent Cruz supporter; in September, the Cruz campaign announced his new role as the head of “Teens for Ted,” and Pearson added a TedCruz.org email address to his Twitter profile. But just four months later, Pearson announced that he would “take a break from politics and commentary.” The reason was a complicated and quickly terminated fight with an obscure Twitter account with only (as of right now) 33 followers and no public profile.

Jon Richards, a blogger for Georgia’s PeachPundit, noticed that the most toxic aspect of the fight came from an account that egged it on with a racial slur. Business Insider upgraded him from a rising star to a “leading 13-year old pundit.” And then, Pearson tweeted what he claimed was a screenshot of @BarackObama blocking his account. 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. After a short conversation, he pointed to the tweetstorm he’d written after reading the Blaze piece, about how “young conservatives have made the movement look foolish.” He wasn’t a part of that, but he knew Pearson was headed for a fall. “I tried to give CJ advice,” Backer wrote. “And I know he’s going to lash out at me now.

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