Writing tip: When you're a tech industry mover and shaker and you send an email to other tech industry honchos and political leaders, you don't want your message getting lost in all the daily nonsense. If you're Utah tech CEO and bigtime GOP donor David Bateman, you want the message to get noticed, you use a really catchy subject line, like maybe one that says only "GENOCIDE."
Welp, he definitely got attention. Another writing tip: Maybe never send an email like Bateman's.
Salt Lake City TV station KSTU reported Tuesday that Bateman, founder and CEO — until yesterday — of tech firm Entrata, sent out an anti-Semitic diatribe against the COVD vaccine yesterday. In it, he claimed the pandemic was fakey-fake and the vaccines part of a plot by "the Jews" to wipe out most of the world's population and then install a despotic world government, as so often happens with infectious diseases. We checked, and it turns out the Jews are doing no such thing.
After the email was widely condemned by Utah's non-wacko community, Bateman "retired" as CEO of Entrata, which makes property management software. KSTU reports he somehow remained chair of its board, at least for the next 10 minutes or so until people have the same reaction we did, which was "what the fuck? He still has a job, any job?"
And wowie zowie, the email was a classic of the paranoid anti-Semitic diatribe genre, starting off with the time honored I'm just saying what everyone knows anyway opening:
I write this email knowing that many of you will think I'm crazy after reading it. I believe there is a sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people. It's obvious now. It's undeniable, yet no one is doing anything. Everyone is discounting their own judgment, and dismissing their intuition.
Also too, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the email even pretended to have the science lowdown on how the plot worked to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids, claiming that the "spike protein in both the vaccine and the illness are attacking the reproductive systems of women, and will eventually erode the number of T cells in our bodies that can ward off infections." The Tribune helpfully links to a fact check explaining that no, the vaccine will not render Aryan maidens barren, or anyone else.
From there, Bateman went on to say the COVID vaccine doesn't work, or that it works all too well if you know what he means and of course you do, everyone knows, and explained that all criticism of the vaccine is censored, and also Dr. Anthony Fauci will face international charges, just you wait and see.
Quoting again, from this very sane person (and — did we mention? — a top donor to the Utah GOP):
I believe the Jews are behind this. For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top. It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule. I know, it sounds bonkers. No one is reporting on it, but the Hasidic Jews in the US instituted a law for their people that they are not to be vaccinated for any reason. [...]
I pray that I'm wrong on this. Utah has got to stop the vaccination drive. Warn your employees. Warn your friends. Prepare. Stay safe.
We'd certainly heard wingnuts say Francis is a socialist, and we suppose for someone with worms for brains that's pretty much the same as "Jewish." Also, get out of here with that stuff about Hasidic "law," Chabad's website says get vaccinated, although there is indeed a problem with some ultra-Orthodox communities being generally anti-vax, just as with ultraconservative Evangelicals.
Bateman readily confirmed to KSTU reporter Ben Winslow that he'd sent the email, and in a text, remained very committed to the bit:
Yes. I sent it. I have nothing but love for the Jewish people. Some of my closest friends are Jews. My heart breaks for their 2500 years they’ve been mistreated by nearly every country on earth. But I do believe Scottish Rite Freemasons are behind the pandemic (overwhelmingly Jewish). [...] And I fear billions of people around the globe right now are being exterminated.
Are his many close Jewish friends Freemasons, too? Apparently the idea that the Masons are a front for the International Jewish Conspiracy, LLC, is also a very old trope in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including the big daddy of them all, the czarist forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." So we learned a thing, at least.
The email went out to a whole bunch of Utah tech moguls, as well as to Ryan Smith, the owner of the Utah Jazz basketball team (also a tech CEO and an Entrata investor), Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, and several other state political leaders. Also, we learned that Utah's tech community goes by the name "the Silicon Slopes," perhaps because they ski while coding.
Instead of nodding and saying, "Huh, I figured it was The Jews all along," many of them went to the press or social media to condemn it, which (writing tip) is the proper way to deal with toxic ideological waste when you run a business and don't want to be burned yourself. KSTU notes that Cox issued a governorly condemnation of the email on his official Twitter account, and on his personal Twitter called it "batshit crazy," only with the bat emoji and the poop emoji.
The Salt Lake Tribune briefly reviews Bateman's GOP connections and prior flirtations with the crazy and conspiratorial, pointing out that
In 2019, Bateman made headlines when he extinguished the Utah Republican Party’s debt from numerous unsuccessful legal challenges to the state’s signature-gathering path for candidates. In 2018, Bateman accused Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, of offering a woman $1 million to file false sexual harassment claims against him. The Lehi police concluded there was no proof for Bateman’s allegations.
Also too, KSTU put together a nice video summary of Bateman's role as a political insider:
Following Bateman's partial ouster yesterday, the Utah Democratic party wasted no time getting out a statement condemning his email as "disgusting, unfounded, and dangerous," condemning anti-Semitism in any form, and pointedly calling on the state GOP to return the roughly $55,000 that Entrata has contributed to the state party since 2017, adding, "When it comes to such serious matters as antisemitism, silence is complicity.” We're sure state Republican leaders will issue their own statement condemning the remarks and adding that it would be terribly unfair to smear an upstanding member of Utah's tech industry just because he's a Nazi-sounding loon.
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