If you happen to fulfill the narrow criterion of being a public figure claiming that your tires have been slashed, you’d better be sure you have solid proof. Because if your story has even the tiniest of holes, the internet is going to blow it wide open. And that’s exactly what happened to journalist and conservative activist Laura Loomer, who probably wishes that she’d never complained to Twitter in the first place. For the rest of us, though, the internet’s response is absolute gold.
Loomer was born in Arizona and would later decamp to both Massachusetts and Florida for college. She currently lives in New York City, however, where she works as a correspondent for the right-leaning Canadian website The Rebel Media. And Loomer is particularly known for her outspoken views and stunts on social media.
Before the gig at The Rebel Media, though, Loomer worked for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s organization Project Veritas. And Project Veritas unveiled arguably one of her most daring stunts, which took place in March 2015 during her senior year at Barry University in Florida. There, she secretly recorded a conversation with a staff member she claimed was “unfazed” by a club that supported ISIS.
What Loomer is perhaps most well-known for, though, is crashing a production of Julius Caesar in New York in June 2017. The production featured a Donald Trump-esque version of the title character and, after his assassination, Loomer took to the stage, crying, “Stop the normalization of political violence against the right! This is unacceptable!”
With all this in mind – and given Loomer’s nearly 60,000 Twitter followers – it’s little wonder that a simple tweet about a slashed tire drew so much attention. It was on August 2, 2017, that she posted, “Someone just slashed my tire… I’m honestly speechless.” And the post quickly garnered attention, including hundreds of retweets and more than 2,000 replies.
But while some users sympathized with Loomer’s situation, others quickly began to find holes in her story. They even did so after Loomer tweeted that a serviceman from AAA agreed that her tire had been slashed. For instance, one user asked, “Why would they slash the same tire multiple times?” Another AAA driver plainly stated, “You clearly aren’t telling the truth.”
Still, Loomer continued to push her original narrative, tweeting that the repairman’s first reaction to the tire was, “Damn, who did you piss off?” Meanwhile, another technician apparently agreed with her that it was “definitely tire sabotage” and that the tire had sustained “multiple slashes.”
Nevertheless, people were still highly skeptical of Loomer’s story. In fact, many of them adopted the hashtag “#TireGate,” harking back to the infamous Watergate scandal of the 1970s. It was little surprise, then, when Loomer became increasingly irate, tweeting, “I’m not going to defend people I disagree [with] when they won’t defend me and my tire.”
However, the biggest rebuttal to Loomer’s story was yet to come. One user by the name of Mike, clearly experienced in the ways of rotten and slashed tires, took it upon himself to clinically dissect Loomer’s original tweet and pictures. And, in the process, he arguably blew her narrative wide open.
Mike began by pointing out that the tire hadn’t suffered a puncture or, indeed, anything of the sort. However, the pictures did show evidence of an impact blowout. He highlighted a mark on the wheel: a place, Mike suggested, where it had clearly hit a pothole or curb.
He then determined not only the car Loomer drives through the type of wheel in the picture, but also exactly where she had purchased the tire, thanks to the green valve cap. By now, Mike’s detective work was beginning to add up – and it seemed that Loomer wasn’t telling the whole truth in her story.
But Mike wasn’t done yet. Indeed, he then pointed out the timestamp on the tire, which indicated that it was produced in 2011. It appeared, then, that Loomer had in fact been driving around on her tire for quite a while.
Perhaps the greatest blow to Loomer’s story wasn’t the age of the tire, though. Instead, it was Mike’s assertion that the marks Loomer had referred to as slashes were actually caused by “driving on the wheel with zero air in it.”
Finally, Mike pointed out that the rash on the rim of the wheel suggested that whatever had struck the tire had done so while it was moving. All in all, it was looking more likely that Loomer’s tire hadn’t been slashed maliciously. Instead, she’d just been recklessly driving around on an old, worn-out and rotten one.
And Mike’s meticulous takedown of Loomer’s story wasn’t the only serious rebuttal she would experience. Indeed, even Michelin USA weighed in, hardly helping Loomer’s case as it did so. “It’s hard to say what could have happened here,” the tire manufacturer’s Twitter account posted in response to Loomer. “It looks like the tire is severely cracked. We’d recommend a tire inspection.”
Furthermore, despite Loomer’s protests in defense of her original tweet, the memes started rolling in. One user by the handle of @EricMelting, for instance, wrote, “Don’t listen to ’em, Laura. Same thing happened to me [and] someone planted a tree in my car. Yesterday she was mint, just had her serviced.” His reply, which featured a photo of a battered old vehicle, racked up nearly 2,000 retweets and more than 13,000 likes.
Dan, meanwhile, posted a picture of a similarly decrepit car, captioned, “Mine too… the libs will stop at nothing, Laura.” Indeed, nobody was holding back in their scathing takedown of Laura’s original tweet. Parody accounts such as “Laura Loomer’s Tire” also sprang up, with such classic tweets as, “If you can’t handle me at my flattest, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my fullest.”
And, unfortunately for Loomer, she wasn’t just being ridiculed on Twitter. Someone set up a GoFundMe page for her tire, for instance, while one Wikipedia user edited her entry to read, “On August 2nd, 2017, she revealed through Twitter that she is the same age as her car tires.”
So, Loomer made one last-ditch attempt to convince everyone that she was telling the truth. To that end, she tweeted out pictures of documents from the repair work on the tire. However, the handwriting on the reports appeared to match, suggesting that she had forged them herself.
In future, then, Loomer may think twice before attempting to pass off damage to her tires as malicious. After all, the internet is full of sleuths just waiting to pounce – especially when it involves someone in the public eye. Still, the whole farrago brought us Mike’s hilariously savage critique of her original tweet, and for that we’re very thankful.