Jacob Wohl knocks Michael McDonald out of news cycle

a pair to draw to
Jacob Wohl and Michael McDonald
a pair to draw to
Jacob Wohl and Michael McDonald

Thursday morning it looked like it was going to be a banner day for Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald.

Several national news outlets were running stories about McDonald sharing a video of a handful of his party faithful yelling “Stop the impeachment” and, of course, “Pocahontas,” at Elizabeth Warren in the Reno airport Wednesday. The story got more legs when the Reno airport apologized to Warren:

But then the story got even more legs, especially among right-wing websites, when someone who worked for former Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s failed reelection campaign complained that the Reno airport didn’t apologize to Heller when people nagged him in the airport last year. By Thursday afternoon, the video of Nevada Republicans yelling “Pocahontas” at Warren had more than 1.6 million views.

So lots of publicity — and lots of opportunity to ask people for money. For McDonald, all in all, a pretty good day.

Alas, however, as the day progressed, a small band of Republicans yelling racial slurs at Warren in the Reno airport was not the Warren story everyone was following.

Instead, the political world was captivated by another variety of right-wing extremism in the form of conspiracy theorist and serial fantabulist Jacob Wohl, who held a press conference to announce that Warren has been having an affair with a 24-year-old body-building Marine.

Among other things, Wohl and his hapless accomplices alleged Warren wanted “extensive BDSM play,” i.e, bondage, discipline, sadomasochism, etc.

Wohl’s account, like all Wohl’s accounts, was sheer fantasy, contrived to attract attention not to Warren but to Wohl.

As the New York magazine blog The Cut observed, really all Wohl had done was “make Elizabeth Warren sound cool. Oh, a poly sex-positive queen running for president? You think that wouldn’t make Gen Z rush to the polls?”

Meantime, Elizabeth Warren easily won the internet.

This is not to say that Michael McDonald and his Nevada Republican Party, including those who protested in the Reno airport without a permit so they could hurl racist slurs at Warren, didn’t have a good day. They undoubtedly sold some T-shirts.

And they might have sold a lot more, too, if it wasn’t for that darned Jacob Wohl.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


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