They may be best known for the 2010 hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” but indie rock band Foster the People now appears to have a sideline in investigating the reported death by suicide of Jeffrey Epstein. The financier — who stood accused of sex trafficking amid widespread allegations of the sexual abuse of underage girls — was found dead in his cell at a New York City detention facility on Saturday.
Because of Epstein’s ties to a number of high-profile figures, his death has been shrouded in mystery, with questions being raised about why he, despite a recent attempt on his own life, was reportedly no longer on suicide watch. President Trump, who once socialized with Epstein, sparked outrage after retweeting a conspiracy theory implicating Bill and Hillary Clinton in the death.
Foster the People, which is fronted by vocalist Mark Foster, is also convinced that there’s more to the story. On Saturday, the Grammy-nominated band started speculating about what happened to Epstein on Twitter, floating a theory that the accused sex trafficker is still alive and “somewhere in the Middle East getting prepped for plastic surgery right now.”
have you seen photos of the body? it’s obviously not him. my guess is, epstein’s on a private plane to somewhere in the middle east getting prepped for plastic surgery right now #EpsteinBodyDouble— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) August 11, 2019
While Twitter is rife with conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death, the band’s assertion that he remains alive was called “irresponsible” by some. Many commenters mocked the group’s attempt to play detective, riffing on their song lyrics and repeating the same “Vince Foster the People” joke, a reference to Bill Clinton’s deputy White House counsel, Vince Foster, whose 1993 death by suicide has spawned countless murder theories involving the Clintons.
This is irresponsible.— ᴸᵁᴸᵁ ᴸᴱ ᴹᴼᴼ 🐮 (@LuluLemew) August 11, 2019
Yes, I too don't fully believe news of deaths without photographic evidence. Because I too am a moron who makes unlistenable music.— klaus_kinski (@klaus_kinski) August 11, 2019
This tweet is like Smash Mouth trying to give me stock tips— John Patrick Hale (@Nthdayoncaprica) August 11, 2019
Yet another grassy knoll .. Brewhahaha— David E. Butler (@DavidEButler1) August 11, 2019
more like vince foster the people— andy 🔥 (@skinny412) August 11, 2019
Foster defended himself against the backlash in a follow-up tweet, which included side-by-side images of Epstein before and (allegedly) after his death and the hashtag #EpsteinBodyDouble. He went on to slam the media and point a finger at Attorney General William Barr, who has announced an investigation into the death. Barr also heads the Department of Justice, which operates the federal facility where Epstein died.
“I find it strange that I’ve been chastised by reporters from NBC and other news outlets for my opinion,” the singer wrote. “Everything you guys have been reporting has been conjecture. If you want to be considered a respected authority of truth, do a better job.”
and to anyone else who considers it “off brand” for an artist to talk about social issues, cover-ups, and justice.. A. you need a history lesson B. you’re scared of what i’m saying C. my voice is my brand, whether it’s used to speak or sing— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) August 12, 2019
the problem with a case like this, is that the public will forget about in a week. media will change headlines to another story and stop covering it. they already have. and it will be easily swept under the rug. just like the stephen paddock mass shooting.— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) August 12, 2019
there is no QUESTION the government is behind the #EpsteinSuicideCoverUp . Research Attorney General Bill Barr and his father’s ties with Jeffrey Epstein. Barr helped broker the west palm beach “deal” that kept Epstein away from a life sentence in federal prison 🤮— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) August 12, 2019
more than ever artists need to speak up, because they’re not getting paid by sponsors or told how to spin a story by their bosses. rupert murdoch isn’t controlling their narrative. support your artists. support real journalism. fact check everything. do your own research.— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) August 12, 2019
Though some fans have piggy-backed off the speculation with their own theories, the band’s tweets continue to face criticism.
you’re using your ‘brand’, your influence to spread baseless, unfounded conspiracy theories that are potentially undermine trust in the institutions of our liberal democracy. his death is indeed suspicious, but it doesn’t justify this sort of crankery.— Taylor (@yagretbigwazak) August 12, 2019
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