One of the booths at CPAC in Dallas, Texas, featured a “silent disco” with a man pretending to be the January 6 prisoner crying in a cell.
Freelance journalist Laura Jedeed shared on Twitter that it was “the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen”.
“In this booth at CPAC you get a silent acoustic disco playing chilling testimony from people who were arrested for participating in the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6th,” he added. “Instead of dancing, you stand around and watch this guy cry.”
“What you have to understand is that I stayed here for about half an hour yesterday and this guy NEVER broke character. He cried sitting on the bench. He cried sitting on the floor. He counted the days on a chalkboard set up for the purpose,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Twitter users were quick to mock the arrangement.
Crooked Media’s Tommy Vietor, a former Obama administration official, tweeted: “This is unbelievable. A Boy in Pajama Crying Rebel Art Installation.’
Bastion Editor-in-chief Jim Swift wrote that the installation served as “a reminder that the wildest elements of the GOP are usually failed theatrics.”
The Atlantic Staff writer McKay Coppins added that “right-wing victimization as performance art is really the whole point of CPAC, so that makes sense.”
According to WUSA9 reporter Jordan Fisher, the man pretending to be trapped is Brandon Straka, the founder of the Walk Away campaign that began before the 2018 midterm elections to urge liberals to leave the Democratic Party. He allegedly took part in the riot but avoided jail time because of “substantial” cooperation with investigators, his lawyers said in sentencing documents.
One person Mr. Straka shared information about with the FBI is serving a 60-day jail sentence, with prosecutors saying his information was “valuable.” WUSA9 reported.
“Brandon Straka, who turned state’s witness and never served time, has spent more time locked up in a fake prison than he ever did for participating in the J6 Rebellion,” tweeted Alejandra Caraballo.
“Hey boy, let me tell you about immigrants who go through much worse just to seek a better life and safety,” he added.
Reason Magazine reporter CJ Ciaramella wrote: “I guess a bunch of people spamming my reports with ‘maybe don’t commit a crime’ are watching with broken hearts.”
Willamette University US History Professor Seth Cotlar tweeted: “Let’s not forget this is the same CPAC crowd that in years past gleefully shouted ‘lock her up’ over Hillary’s emails. But engage in an insurgent attempt to overturn the 2020 election? This is behavior that will bring tears of empathy to CPAC.”
“I give up. There are no redeeming qualities about these people. We’re in mitigation mode now. We’ll do our best to stop the stupidity from spreading, but it’s with us for a while. Work it out,” Michigan tweeted GOP Watch.
“If there wasn’t video evidence of this, I literally wouldn’t have believed it could be true – like even today in 2022 when our country has gone completely insane – this is insane even by these standards. The right one is very broken…it’s scary,” wrote another Twitter user.