Some lies spread like wildfire.
A video showing two Missouri Republican lawmakers blowing up flamethrowers went viral over the weekend as users falsely claimed the state senators were setting books on fire.
Missouri Senators Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer were filmed firing flamethrowers at a pile of empty boxes at a local GOP fundraiser on Friday night after being asked to demonstrate equipment being raffled off at the event.
A user of X, formerly known as Twitter, shared the clip again with the added caption: “Missouri Republicans in a literal book burning. They believe flamethrowers should be legal but history books should be destroyed.”
The tweet with the added – and inaccurate – text received more than 19 million views as of Wednesday and was quickly seized upon by Democrats like Missouri state Rep. Crystal Quade, who opposed Eigle for the “show-me” governor’s office. State is running.
“If you agree that we need more books, not fewer, cooler heads, fewer flamethrowers, then I hope you’ll chime in below and join our campaign,” Quade says said in a tweetwith a link to a fundraising page for her gubernatorial campaign.
But Republican lawmakers said the boxes they set alight contained no books and that the false claims had even spread to French media.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m glad there aren’t any Bud Light boxes [in the burning stacks] Because as soon as this appears in the media, it becomes the story.’ “I didn’t know that people would just make up what was happening,” Schroer said FOX2 Nowreferencing the Bud Light trans influencer controversy.
He said he and Eigel soon came under fire and were compared to hate groups.
“We were called Nazis, KKK members; every name under the sun,” he said.
Schroer also called out Quade for sharing the wrong post.
“When someone like Crystal Quade, the minority leader, takes the bait of these people on social media and spreads this fake news… I think Republicans and Democrats should agree not to spread division, not to spread hate, not to spread propaganda “he told local station. “I think this is the perfect time to think about what is true before I share an article, before I share a social media post.”
Instead, Eigel fueled the fire surrounding the incident by saying that while he didn’t burn books in the video, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do it at another time.
“They’re bringing these woke pornographic books into Missouri schools to try to brainwash our children and I’m going to burn them too – on the front lawn of the governor’s mansion,” he wrote on X.
His account was suspended for about five hours after he made the post.
While no books were harmed in the making of the viral video, Missouri conservatives are pushing for a ban on books they deem inappropriate.
Last year, the state passed a law banning books with sexually explicit images from school libraries — which two state library associations said led to school districts removing hundreds of books from their collections as part of a lawsuit.
With post wires