D.C. Pizza Spot Sees Spike In Customer Appreciation After Fake News Scandal

Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AP Images.
The AP reports that residents of Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas are coming out in droves to support Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in the nation's capital featured in fake news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton.

Since the proliferation of fake news surrounding the D.C.-area pizzeria culminated in an armed assault by a conspiracy theorist last week, supporters have been appearing at the restaurant en masse to buy pizzas and leave homemade signs and flowers. Just last night, more than 2,000 checked in on Facebook at a Stand With Comet event to support the pizza place and other neighborhood restaurants targeted by fake news fanatics. So many people came out for the event, in fact, that attendees had to wait an hour and a half for a table or 45 minutes for carryout. Nearby restaurants moved by the display even sent over waitstaff to help.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the pizzeria pay for legal expenses and extra security. As of Saturday afternoon, the online effort has raised a little more than $17,400 of its $28,000 goal.

Fake news is "not funny. It's serious. It can have very, very serious consequences," Interim District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham told the AP during a visit to the restaurant on Friday. He emphasized that police are following up on the harassment and threats Comet Ping Pong and other local businesses have received.

Local supporters, like Sean Gillispie, told the AP that anyone still concerned the restaurant might be involved in nefarious activities should see for themselves that "this is just a normal business with normal people." A normal place where "the pizza is really good."

So go ahead, America, order that pie with extra cheese. But while you're eating it, maybe also read this handy guide on how to spot fake news.
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