Since my grandparents got old enough to sit in their chairs and constantly watch CNN, with that then devolving into FOX “News,” my mom has been subjected to fake news and propaganda leaning in the Republican direction. That started 20 years ago. It’s gotten crazy worse.

At her house, CNN or Fox is always on in the background — CNN occasionally for big news, and Fox always on in the background for entertainment masquerading as news. Poor Trump is “attacked by the media,” Tucker Carlson is “a good guy who keeps getting put down or misunderstood,” Judge Kavanaugh had “a line of women who obviously felt jilted and had to lash out,” and finally Biden and Kamala “want Mexicans to take over our America.” It’s tough to have a conversation, discuss different viewpoints. It’s made even basic phone calls hard.

She takes every Facebook “see what your poop says about you” test, although we’ve told her that it’s invasive. I warned her about QAnon, but have heard her reference it.  A few months ago when the election was in question and headed up to the Capitol attack I decided to do what I do best – pull a small prank on someone I know. 

I told her in late October that Trump was going to have a sex change. I sent her “supporting material” from fake news sites and photoshopped Trump with makeup on. I framed news happenings in ways that supported this idea. I cut and pasted QAnon tweets about anti-feminist agendas to frame it as Trump being defensive.

After a month and a half of this, I showed her what I did in a little chart and she was shocked and really pissed off. The point was to show her how media really works — because if I didn’t do that to her, she wouldn’t believe me. We didn’t talk for about 2 months, but we’re good now. She calls QAnon “The space feed.” So, I am convinced she sort of gets it now.

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