HomeWorldMissouri Republicans Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer blast flamethrowers at empty boxes, not books in viral video
Missouri Republicans Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer blast flamethrowers at empty boxes, not books in viral video
September 21, 2023
Some lies spread like wildfire.
A video of two Republican legislators from Missouri blasting flamethrowers went viral over the weekend as users falsely claimed the state senators were torching books.
Missouri Sens. Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer were filmed firing flamethrowers at a pile of empty cardboard boxes at a local GOP fundraiser Friday night after they were asked to demonstrate the equipment, which was being raffled at the event.
However, a user on X, formerly known as Twitter, reshared the clip with the added caption: “Missouri Republicans at a literal book burning. They think flamethrowers should be legal but history books should be destroyed.”
The tweet with the added — and inaccurate — text received more than 19 million views by Wednesday and was quickly jumped on by Democrats like Missouri State Rep. Crystal Quade who is running for the governor of the “Show-Me” State against Eigle.
“If you agree we need more books, not less & cooler heads, fewer flamethrowers, I hope you’ll chip in below to join our campaign,” Quade said in a tweet, linking to a donation page for her governor campaign.
But the Republican lawmakers said the boxes they set ablaze contained no books and that the false allegations have even spread to French media outlets.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m glad there’s no Bud Light boxes [in the burning stacks] because once this hits the media, that would become the story.’ Little did I know people would just make up what was happening,” Schroer told FOX2 Now, referencing the Bud Light trans influencer controversy.
He said he and Eigel soon came under fire and were compared to hate groups.
“We were called Nazis, KKK members; every name under the sun,” he said.
Schroer also called out Quade for sharing the false post.
“To have someone like Crystal Quade, the minority leader, taking the bait of these people on social media and promoting that fake news … I think Republicans and Democrats should agree to not spread divisiveness, to not spread hate and propaganda,” he told the local station. “I think this is the perfect time to reflect on what is true before I share an article, before I share a social media post.”
Eigel instead stoked the fire surrounding the incident by saying though he didn’t burn books in the video, it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do it at a different time.
“You bring those woke pornographic books to Missouri schools to try to brainwash our kids, and I’ll burn those too — on the front lawn of the governor’s mansion,” he wrote on X.
His account was suspended for about five hours after he made the post.
While no books were harmed in the making of the viral video, Missouri conservatives have been pushing for bans on books they deem inappropriate.
Last year, the state passed a law banning books with sexually explicit images from school libraries — which two state library associations said has caused school districts to remove hundreds of books from their collections in a lawsuit.