Supporters of Comet Ping Pong, the D.C. pizza shop that conspiracy theorists have harassed since 2016 because they falsely claim it’s the center of a Clinton-centric child sex ring, found a way to drive out another batch of extremists Tuesday night: by blasting Lady Gaga and vamping up and down the block.
In a scene Twitter users caught on camera, fundamentalist Christian picketers gathered around the Chevy Chase restaurant with signs warning of hellfire, imploring people to “Trust Jesus,” and equivocating abortion with murder. One of the protesters told Washingtonian they had come to Comet because of “pedophilia. They serve up little boys on pizza over there.”
On the eve of outgoing President Donald Trump’s exit from office, Comet owner James Alefantis decided he wouldn’t keep the picketers from spoiling a celebration. Comet cranked up the music, including Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and “Perfect Illusion,” to drown out the protesters while a group of people supporting the neighborhood pizzeria started dancing up and down the block. A video captured by Washingtonian shows the owner offering a flute of Champagne to a protester, who pours it out in front of him and then accidentally breaks a tray full of glasses.
The dancing neighbors eventually crowded out the picketers, who could be seen trudging away from the jubilant scene. Gaga, by the way, was already in town for a gig singing the National Anthem at the inauguration ceremony for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“All is calm and safe!” reads a tweet from Comet’s account. “Tonight at Comet - fear and hate showed up. We and our neighbors danced them away. Love wins. Thank you!”
All is calm and safe! Tonight at Comet - fear and hate showed up. We and our neighbors danced them away. Love wins. Thank you!— Comet Ping Pong (@cometpingpong) January 20, 2021
Lady Gaga stans clashing with conservative protesters while “Perfect Illusion” plays outside of Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C. earlier tonight pic.twitter.com/L5etm9205m— LG Updates (@ChromaticaBall) January 20, 2021
The scene outside Comet, which is playing Lady Gaga to drown out protesters pic.twitter.com/AAJfuq1nHJ— Nancy Youssef, نانسي يوسف (@nancyayoussef) January 20, 2021
Protesters came back to Comet Ping Pong... so owner James Alefantis blasted music and poured them Champagne! More from @michaelschaffer and @abeaujon here: https://t.co/HgUrdm6ne5 pic.twitter.com/wijaB5Pvzw— Jessica Sidman (@jsidman) January 20, 2021
“Pizzagate” reached its nadir in 2016, when a North Carolina man fired a rifle inside Comet during a professed search for a nonexistent basement. He was later sentenced to four years in prison. In April, a man from California received a four-year sentence for arson after he lit a fire inside Comet in January 2019. In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, Alefantis told the Washington Post and Washingtonian that Comet was receiving an increased number of online messages from conspiracy theorists in addition to the occasional odd phone calls.
- Conspiracy Theorists Target Comet Ping Pong on Trump’s Last Night in Office [W]
- Pizzagate Conspiracy Theorist Fires Gun Inside D.C. Restaurant [E]
- Internet Crazies Think This DC Pizzeria Is the Center of a Clinton Sex Ring [E]