- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2015

Media analyst and activist Mark Dice, known for “punking” Americans into signing bizarrely ridiculous petitions, reportedly convinced a number of Californians in San Diego to sign a fake petition supporting President Obama’s “plan” to launch a “preemptive nuclear strike” on Russia as part of a strategy to “maintain America’s superiority.”

Mr. Dice’s so-called “experiment” was conducted amidst continuing tensions between Washington and Moscow as the Kremlin continues its incursion into Ukraine.

The American media analyst wore a black T-shirt with the word “OBAMA” in red, white and blue across the front as he interviewed his subjects. He shared the results of his journalistic endeavors on social media accounts such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on Tuesday.

“Obama zombies support NUKING RUSSIA to keep America the world’s top superpower!” Mr. Dice tweeted on Tuesday.

The story was picked up by Russia Today news and quickly earned a hyperlink on the Drudge Report.

“We just need a couple more signatures to support President Obama’s new plan to deal with Russia,” Mr. Dice told a man whom he flagged down. “We are going to launch a preemptive nuclear strike.”

The man, who seemed initially confused, interrupts Mr. Dice in mid-sentence, and volunteers, “I’ll sign it for you.”

“This is the one way we can maintain our superiority,” Mr. Dice argues.

In another instance, Mr. Dice told a passerby, “You know how Russia has been threatening United States lately.”

“I have been American all my life,” one young man explained as he signed the petition, “Let’s hope [Obama] doesn’t disappoint me because this is the only thing I’ve really signed for.”

Mr. Dice responded, “The patriotic thing to do these days … is to send Russia message with a preemptive nuclear strike.”

One couple asked Mr. Dice if he sincerely believed the U.S. was actually “going to” launch a nuclear attack against Russia.

“I don’t think we are going to,” the woman said.

Still, she and her partner signed the petition.

Only one couple declined to sign the sham petition after Mr. Dice explained it was to support the White House’s plan to “launch the preemptive nuclear demonstration against Russia.”

The Russian Federation’s state-run journalism agencies exploited the prank, airing the video to demonstrate the American mindset was a threat to their national security.

Federal television station Ren.tv, posted a story with the headline, “In the U.S., they’ve started collecting signatures for a nuclear attack on Russia.” Government-owned channel RT published stories as well, in Russian and on its U.S., English-language website.

State-run publication RIA Novosti declared: “They silently signed. In the U.S. a blogger collected signatures for a nuclear attack on Russia.” All the reporting prompted Russians to post thousands of links to local stories, and posts were published on VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social media network.

Mr. Dice has pulled similar stunts in the past.

In 2013, he convinced several Californians on the beach to sign a petition calling for the repeal of the Bill of Rights.

Russia Today reported that Mr. Dice “seems to be surprised by the results of his experiment” and quoted the American journalist as saying the results “are disturbing.”

In one instance after a woman signed the petition, Mr. Dice said, “I appreciate you supporting a nuclear attack on Russia.”

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