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Off the Air: The Adult Swim Show That’s Frightening Conspiracy Theorists

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Off the Air: The Adult Swim Show That's Frightening Conspiracy Theorists

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Off the Air is the Adult Swim show that’s frightening conspiracy theorists into thinking Cartoon Network is turning their kids into witches.

Adult Swim started thanks to surreal, adult-oriented entertainment. While it has divorced itself somewhat from the rest of Cartoon Network by prioritizing more live-action content,animation for older teens and adults is its core source of entertainment. Whether it’s anime like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion or weird, Williams Street-producedcomedy animation like Space Ghost Coast to Coast or Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Adult Swim is a haven for animation that is not for kids.

It seems inevitable, then, in an age where Adult Swim cartoons like Rick and Morty become mainstream hits, that some parents, confused by how Adult Swim isn’t the same as the rest of Cartoon Network, get angry. However, the controversy surrounding one Adult Swim cartoon, the surreal anthology series Off the Air, has taken the internet by storm thanks to conspiracy theorists reacting to a deliberately grotesque piece of animation aired at 4 AM.

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RELATED:The Boondocks: How A Secret Demo Reel Shaped The Adult Swim Series

OFF THEAIR

Off the Air presents random segments of animation without context or information, meaning that from second-to-second you might experience something beyond expectation. In many respects, Off the Air represents a return to Adult Swim’s more abstract and surreal roots, which is, again, by design. Creator Dave Hughes stated, “I sort of felt like the network was slipping away from its more experimental roots. I had started working for them on Space Ghost, and was so psyched to find a place that wanted to make that kind of programming…And then of course, the network became popular, and ratings started to drive it a little bit more. But everyone working there still loves the strange stuff, and it just seemed to me that we could still do that kind of programming, but just in an after-hours or online block.”

The show remained relatively unknown outside the Adult Swim audience. However, despite that and its early morning time block, the show would on occasion net over one million viewers. With Season 10 starting in June 2020, the series looks like it’s returned to offer more entertainment to an audience up late enough to appreciate its strange blend of surrealist horror and humor.

RELATED:Adult Swim’s The Shivering Truth Is The Most Horrifying Show On TV

THECONTROVERSY

This recent controversy sparked around one particular short, “PreBirth,” that featured pyramid-headed figures spawning babies from out of robotic maws on their triangular heads, before creating a percussion line bymanglingand beating the babies against obelisk structures. The babies, in reaction, seem to be having a joy being used as tools for these Silent Hill-esque entities.

However, years after this clip was released, a concerned individual tweeted about the post. In a now-deleted post, one Twitter userposted the clip in its entirety, followed by the statement,”Cartoon Network after hours. They throw it in your face. They hope you aren’t the kind of parents who monitors what you[r] kids watch and do. They’re busy conditioning them. What do you see here? I see witches abusing babies. This is not ok. This is not funny. #ThesePeopleAreSick.”

RELATED:Rick And Morty’s Relationship Has Changed For The Better

Ignoring the fact that the clip in question was aired at 4 AM — well past the time most children are asleep — the video in question is aired during Adult Swim, a time block where nothing is okay for children. The parents who are concerned, however, seem to believe that not only is this image disturbing, but promoting witchcraft. This situation harkens back to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, where concerned parents believed Dungeons & Dragons wascorrupting their children.

The tweet drew attention to truly creative animators who do not care about convention or logic. Off the Air remains a reminder of the sort of old-school Adult Swim content many fans who grew up with the programming block fondly want more of. It’s edgy and creative in ways so few modern shows are. It dares to break convention and logic, with a complete apathy toward traditional storytelling. It’s like a strange mix-tape made up by the mind of a bored teenager in school who may or may not be on acid. The show is essential viewing for animation fans who are confident watching it won’t turn them into a witch.

KEEP READING:Tuca & Bertie: Adult Swim Saves Canceled Netflix Series

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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