radio show host, conspiracy theorist, former Secret Service agent, unsuccessful candidate for Congress, and author. Currently, Bongino hosts talk radio show The Dan Bongino Show and Unfiltered with Dan Bongino on Fox News, but he has made numerous appearances on a variety of conspiracy outlets, including Infowars, the relatively shortlived NRATV, and the shows of Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. In 2019, Bongino also launched the website Bongino Report as an alternative to the Drudge Report website, criticizing Matt Drudge for having “abandoned” Trump supporters – because that’s apparently a duty websites trying to be news sites ought to take seriously.
In November 2020, The New York Times listed Dan Bongino as one of the top 5 election “misinformation superspreaders” – according to Facebook data, his page attracted more engagement than those of the Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal combined in 2022, and he had the No. 1 podcast on iTunes after the 2020 election. He’s been banned from Twitter and Youtube for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Bongino is, however, a central investor in Parler and Rumble.
Bongino is a central proponent of the Spygate conspiracy theory, according to which illegal spying on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was perpetrated by Barack Obama’s administration. His name even appears as author of a book on the subject, Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump, which claimed, predictably, that “deep state” plotters and foreign entities sought to sabotage Trump in 2016, infiltrating his campaign and leaking allegations about his dealings with Russia – the book was endorsed by Trump himself. Indeed, Bongino rose to power primarily as a promoter of conspiracy theories about the Robert Mueller investigations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bongino was a consistent critic of face mask mandates, falsely claiming that face masks are “largely ineffective” – he hastily added that he wasn’t gloating, unlike the libruls who are “crazy satanic demon people” who “wish death on me and everyone else from covid”. Bongino is a real victim here, just so you know.
Stop the steal
During the 2020 election, Bongino promoted the usual false and baseless claims of voter fraud, more or less parroting any baseless election fraud allegation Trump himself would come up with. According to Bongino, “the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., members of it, unquestionably tried to rig both the 2016 and 2020 election.” It doesn’t matter that he has no evidence, and that the claims have been dismissed by Trump’s own top appointees at the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, in addition to federal and state judges: the lack of evidence is just evidence for how pervasive and well-done the rigging was – and the fact that the claims are dismissed as conspiracy theories is apparently a smoking gun. Facts never mattered to Bongino or the platforms promoting him. Bongino was early onto the 2022 elections, too, warning his listeners months in advance about how Silicon Valley was “hiding information from you now about what happened in Arizona and Georgia”.
Indeed, as of 2022, Bongino has become something like an unofficial leader in the promotion of stop the steal myths, and is often a source for claims by conspiracy-mongering celebrities like Ginni Thomas (though when pressed, he tries to make it very clear that he’s JAQing off).
Diagnosis: It’s a pretty scary realization that Dan Bongino’s position among wingnuts might be partially due to how reasonable he sounds compared to most of the pundits sharing his views. Bongino’s views are in no conceivable way reasonable. One of the most dangerous loons in the US at present.