Tim Pool, independent journalist and host of the “Timcast IRL” podcast, appeared to be the victim in the latest wave of “swattings” targeting conservatives on Wednesday.
Swatting, a criminal harassment tactic, occurs when emergency services, typically a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team, are dispatched to another person’s address under false pretenses. Typically, this would include a ‘swatter’ contacting emergency services, and either making a false threat or claiming that their target presented a threat to others’ safety.
Swatting has proven to be deadly. An innocent man, Andrew Finch, was killed by police in 2017 as a result of a swatting hoax directed at an incorrect address. The swatter was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Tim Pool, who, at the time, was live-streaming an episode of his podcast interrupted his show to tell his guests, “We have to evacuate the building.”
Pool and his guests didn’t return to the live stream until over three hours later, when Pool told viewers that there had been “a credible threat” made to police.
“Every single threat results in a police response. Every single one,” he said.
“When people do swattings, their goal is to shock the system to the point where the police don’t care anymore, but that’s not how it works these days,” he added. “When you get ‘swatted,’ the cops show up in full force.”
The popular journalist explained that because he has hired security, his studio adopted a protocol for addressing such hoaxes. This time, however, police allegedly determined the threat to be credible, and according to Pool, evacuated the building.
Pool was purportedly not the only commentator to fall victim to the cruel tactic on Wednesday. The same day, conservative live streamer TheQuartering said on Twitter that a SWAT team had responded to an anonymous text falsely claiming that he had “murdered [his] wife with a "high power rifle" and was going to kill [himself].”
Pool speculated that “Jeremy [TheQuartering] and I got swatted by the same person,” implying that the hoax directed toward him had been similar.
Popular YouTuber and debater Destiny also alleged that right-wing commentator and streamer Kai Schwemmer had been confronted by a SWAT team in April during a live panel discussion.
There have been countless swatting hoaxes aimed at conservatives over the years. One of the earliest, and perhaps among the most well-documented, instances occurred in 2012, aimed at political pundit Erick Erickson.
Since then, the scale and frequency of these incidents appears to have escalated. This is far from the first time Tim Pool has been ‘swatted’ as well, as MRCTV’s Nick Kangadis covered in January.
It’s worth noting that swatting isn’t a strictly partisan phenomenon. Leftist streamers, including Ethan Klein and Hasan Piker, were also alleged victims of swatting hoaxes, alongside several nonpolitical streamers. This latest wave, however, appears to be targeting prominent conservatives.
For political streamers, swatting is a desperate tactic aimed at those who present a serious threat to one’s worldview. Judging by the fact that even after he evacuated the building, a stream of Pool’s empty studio maintained around 30 thousand viewers, we ought to consider Tim Pool an effective voice with a powerful audience.
The fact that his critics are so intent on shutting him up is a testament to his effectiveness.
Follow Us On Twitter
An armed man has been arrested outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/F5Dpdazz36— MRCTV (@mrctv) June 8, 2022