For the past twelve months, the mainstream media has been peddling the view that President Trump had the U.S. Park Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in Lafayette Park so that he could have a photo-op in front of a church on the other side of the park. I never accepted this version of events because I never accept on faith the truth of anything the mainstream media says about Trump.
At the same time, the MSM version, even if true, didn’t bother me. Presidents should be permitted to cross Lafayette Park for any purpose. The protesters had had their say, and not always peaceably. They had no right to limit Trump’s movement indefinitely.
It turns out, however, that the media’s narrative was false. After an extensive investigation, the independent Inspector General of the Interior Department, Mark Lee Greenblatt, has concluded that the protesters weren’t dispersed to facilitate a Trump photo-op.
They were dispersed, instead, to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that the “mostly peaceful protesters” had recently inflicted. Greenblatt found that “the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day.” (Emphasis added)
Greenblatt, by the way, held important positions in the Obama administration. He was investigative counsel at the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at Obama’s Commerce Department. He is not a GOP or Trump partisan.
Glenn Greenwald does a great job of cataloguing the mainstream media’s falsehoods about this matter. Among the offenders (let’s call them fabulists to be polite) he calls out are NPR, the New York Times, CNN, George Stephanopoulos, the Intercept, and Washington Post “fact checker” Philip Bump.
In short, a rogues’ gallery of dishonest anti-Trumpers.
And speaking of rogues, let’s not forget Kamala Harris. She said:
Last night I watched as President Trump, having gassed peaceful protesters just so he could do this photo op, then he went on to teargas priests who were helping protesters in Lafayette Park.
How did all of these outlets and individuals get it so wrong? That’s an easy one. They had no interest in getting it right. Their only interest was to trash the U.S. president because they hate him. The truth was of no concern to them.
Greenwald concludes his piece by pounding home the reality that, at least for me, has been the main theme of Power Line for 19 years:
Over and over we see the central truth: the corporate outlets that most loudly and shrilly denounce “disinformation” — to the point of demanding online censorship and de-platforming in the name of combating it — are, in fact, the ones who spread disinformation most frequently and destructively. It is hard to count how many times they have spread major fake stories in the Trump years.
For that reason, they have nobody but themselves to blame for the utter collapse in trust and faith on the part of the public, which has rightfully concluded they cannot and should not be believed.
UPDATE: The Post’s Phillip Bump says there are still “lingering questions” about this matter. He clings to the view that Attorney General William Barr is to blame.
John Sexton shows that Bump’s salvage effort is in vain.
The fake media narrative became a big election issue. Per the report, “the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31.” The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Here we are a year later, and an IG report released just today confirms Trump and Barr were telling the truth the entire time:
We found that the USPP had the authority and discretion to clear Lafayette Park and the surrounding areas on June 1. The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church. Instead, the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31. Further, the evidence showed that the USPP did not know about the President’s potential movement until mid- to late afternoon on June 1—hours after it had begun developing its operational plan and the fencing contractor had arrived in the park.
A new study shows that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the antimalarial drug, combined with azithromycin (AZM), could increase the rate of survival by nearly three times for severely ill COVID-19 patients. The observation study analyzed 255 mechanically ventilated patients at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey.
“We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM, were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times the other patients,” the study, published by medRxiv. says in its conclusion.
By using causal analysis and considering of weight-adjusted cumulative dose, we prove the combined therapy, >3 g HCQ and > 1g AZM greatly increases survival in Covid patients on IMV and that HCQ cumulative dose > 80 mg/kg works substantially better. These data do not yet apply to hospitalized patients not on IMV. Since those with higher doses of HCQ had higher doses of AZM, we cannot solely attribute the causal effect to HCQ/AZM combination therapy. However, it is likely AZM does contribute significantly to this increase in survival rate. Since higher dose HCQ/AZM therapy improves survival by nearly 200% in this population, the safety data are moot.
An analysis of hospitalized COVID patients from last year in New York State’s largest health system found that the death rate of COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation was 88 percent, compared to 21 percent overall, when treated with the HCQ/AZM combination.
There have now been over 250 studies into hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness in treating COVID-19, the overwhelming majority of them showing positive results. Studies on early treatment with the drug showed a 66% improvement in mortality rates. But the media chose to ignore those studies, instead deciding to report on a few heavily flawed studies that allegedly showed the drug was either ineffective or increased mortality.
Dr. Fauci also dismissed the drug’s potential for treating COVID patients, claiming that “valid” scientific data showed hydroxychloroquine wasn’t effective in treating COVID-19.
Last year, as data continued to show that hydroxychloroquine was actually effective in treating COVID-19, doctors who spoke out in support of the drug were censored.
And the human cost of this media assault on hydroxychloroquine was catastrophic. One analysis suggests that over 2.4 million lives worldwide have been unnecessarily lost because hydroxychloroquine was not being widely used as a COVID therapeutic. That’s a lot of people who may have died unnecessarily just because the media hated Trump.
Prosecutors made some serious claims after the deadly U.S. Capitol attack, saying they had evidence rioters planned to kill elected officials, suggesting a Virginia man at the building received directives to gas lawmakers, and accusing another suspect of directing mayhem on Jan. 6 with encrypted messages.
But the Justice Department has since acknowledged in court hearings that some of its evidence concerning the riot – carried out by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump to try to overturn his election loss – is less damning than it initially indicated.
The prosecutors apparently overstated their cases early on and have now started to backtrack. I suspect there was some animus toward President Trump by DOJ officials that led to these false and misleading charges against the alleged perps. The media also tended to overstate the seriousness of the situation in the Capitol, including allegations of “armed insurrection.”
As a former prosecutor, I think it is always a mistake to overcharge a case. You put yourself in the position of losing credibility with the court and the jury.
It should be emphasized that OWS was launched to almost universal skepticism and even scorn. At the time of OWS’s launch in Spring 2020, a strong consensus prevailed among media, public-health experts, consultants, and betting markets that regulatory approval by the end of 2020 and the accelerated delivery of 300 million doses were unrealistic goals. Consider some typical examples:
The June 6, 2020 issue of the medical journal Lancet opined that “on average, it takes 10 years to develop a vaccine. With the COVID-19 crisis looming, everyone is hoping that this time will be different. Although many infectious disease experts argue … even 18 months for a first vaccine is an incredibly aggressive schedule.”
The federal government’s top COVID advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joined the skeptics: In February 2020 and again in April 2020 he predicted that a year to a year and a half would be required for vaccine approval — versus the half year that was actually required.
The media echoed general skepticism about OWS in the Spring of 2020. Vanity Fair in its May 28, 2020 edition characterized OWS “as dangerous and likely to fail.” CNN complained that OWS neglected “tried and true” procedures for vaccine development in favor of new and untested methods. A New York Times article dated April 30, 2020 somberly states: “Our record for developing an entirely new vaccine is at least four years — more time than the public or the economy can tolerate social-distancing orders.”
Similar skepticism was expressed by McKinsey Consulting. In its June 1, 2020 COVID report, McKinsey warned that only one vaccine had started phase 2 clinical trials and that 21 months has been the shortest time between phase 2 and 3.
Prediction and betting markets were also wagering as late as July 15, 2020 against timely approval. One of the largest public prediction markets put the odds of approval by January 2021 at less than one in three and that the best chance was after the first quarter of 2021. Another major online prediction market put the chances of a vaccine being mass-produced before January 2021 at one in five.
OWS’s critics did more than cast doubt on the FDA approval date. They also cast doubt on the ability of OWS to scale up production: Dr. Fauci cautioned that an additional year could be required to scale up production “to get enough doses to be meaningful to anyone.” In its June 1, 2020 COVID report, McKinsey warned that it usually takes five years to build a production facility for an entirely new virus vaccine.
Thus, the actual history of OWS diverges dramatically from that anticipated by its skeptics at the time it was launched. Based on their knowledge as of Spring 2020, experts, media, public health officials, and betting markets predicted FDA approval, at best, near spring or summer of 2021 (versus the actual approval in December 2020). They warned of the possibility of at least another year to scale up to large orders. In other words, our “specialists” grossly underestimated the power of OWS to accelerate vaccine approval, manufacturing, and distribution.
The New York Times recently fact-checked President Biden’s characterization of the Trump OWS program as too little, too late. Biden was particularly critical of the vaccine roll-out, not noting that the states and communities were responsible. Ignoring the speedy FDA approval and guaranteed orders to scale-up production, Biden promised a “new and improved” COVID-vaccination program that seems to me to be identical to Trump’s OWS. Notable is the nuanced fact-checker language: “… contrary to Mr. Biden’s suggestions, both administrations deserve credit for the current state of the vaccine supply.”
In a recent radio interview on the Joe Pags Show, I explained why I wasn’t concerned by the Trump supporters who came to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest peacefully. Thousands of protesters—no one knows the actual number—marched to the Capitol. Only about 800 people illegally entered the Capitol. Still fewer engaged in violent acts. I condemned those lawbreakers at the time and continue to do so. But I feel compelled to push back as Democrats and their media allies try to equate the two groups by implying that all present were “armed insurrectionists” determined to overthrow the government.
I told Joe Pags the truth: I honestly never felt threatened on Jan. 6. But, I added, I might have been worried if Donald Trump had won and the violent leftists who burned Kenosha, Wis., and Minneapolis last summer had come to Washington. Here’s exactly what I said: “Now, had the tables been turned—Joe, this could get me in trouble—had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election, and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”
Leftists who want to memory hole last summer’s political violence immediately started lecturing me that the 2020 protests were mostly peaceful. Apparently they’ve forgotten that, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, 570 leftist protests became riots last year. Twenty-five people lost their lives and 700 law enforcement officers were injured. Braying about “peaceful protests” offers no comfort to those victims or the other innocent Americans whose homes, businesses and property were destroyed. The same people fail to see the damage they do by pushing a narrative designed to portray the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump as potential domestic terrorists or armed insurrectionists.
Their politics, together with their taste for violence—so different from the Trump supporters I know personally or the Trump rallies we all saw carried out peacefully—should concern us. There’s a reason why the boarded-up windows in the downtowns of major cities came down soon after Joe Biden won the election: Nobody was worried what Trump supporters would do if their guy lost; they were worried about what Biden supporters would do if their guy didn’t win.
Source: I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left
The media conspiracy against Trump became a lot more serious on Monday when the Washington Post retracted its January story claiming that President Donald Trump had pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find the fraud” in the 2020 election and said that he’d be a “national hero” if he did.
A recording of the call definitively proved that the quotes cited by the Washington Post, and then parroted by other outlets, were never actually said by the president at all.
But, as Becket Adams explains at the Washington Examiner, “the Washington Post’s dud of a ‘bombshell’ isn’t even the most scandalous thing about this episode in media malfeasance.”
The most scandalous thing, Adams, argues, is that several different newsrooms “claimed they independently ‘confirmed’ the original ‘scoop’ with anonymous sources of their own.”
NBC News reported it “confirmed The Post’s characterization of the Dec. 23 call through a source familiar with the conversation.”
USA Today claimed a “Georgia official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters confirmed the details of the call.”
ABC News reported: “President Donald Trump phoned a chief investigator in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office asking the official to ‘find the fraud’ and telling this person they would be a ‘national hero’ for it, an individual familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.”
The Washington Post claimed its quotes were confirmed by an anonymous source, and at least five major news outlets claimed to independently confirm that Trump said things he never said. “The most likely scenario is ABC, the Washington Post, and others talked to the same person or group,” theorizes Adams. “It’s either that or a bunch of people managed somehow to be wrong about a very specific claim, which is highly unlikely.”
Unless, of course, none of these five outlets actually confirmed anything, but merely claimed so. This is possible, but considering the fact that the recording of the call was found in the trash folder of a Georgia state official’s computer seems to suggest that one or more Georgia state officials conspired to come up with a damaging version of the phone call, leak the phony details to the media, and then cover up evidence of the actual call.
Regardless which scenario took place, the implications are bad.
“The uncomfortable questions we are left with now are: Whom were they all speaking to? How did this person or these persons get the details of Trump’s private phone call wrong? Are there additional examples of the media reporting bad information provided by anonymous sources we don’t know about, merely because there’s no contradictory audio or video?” writes Adams. “Just how many anonymously sourced stories are fraudulent? If it can happen this easily, who is to say it doesn’t happen often? Further, how many of these bogus stories have enjoyed the backing of supposed independent corroboration when, in fact, newsrooms most likely talked to the same person or people?”
Look up any story about the storming of the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters, and you will find it described as a “deadly riot” that killed five people.
Worse still, one of the deaths was that a police officer who – the story goes – was killed by rioters after getting hit in the head by a fire extinguisher.
Then there is the story of the protestor who “carried Zip Ties into the Capitol,” which led to accusations that the protestors intended to take hostages.
There have also been endless media descriptions of the event as an “armed insurrection.”
And there were stories claiming that, as Reuters put it, “Capitol rioters meant to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials.”
What is common about all of these media-fed narratives?
Not one of them is true. Not. One.
Let’s take each claim in turn.
The “fact” that five people were killed is false. Only one person is known to have been killed inside the building. She was a protester who was shot at close range by a police officer. (Had she been a minority, there would have been riots in the streets over police brutality.)
But what about Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was, we’ve been told repeatedly, killed by a protester who threw a fire extinguisher at him?
There’s other evidence to show that the media had it all wrong. ProPublica reports that Sicknick texted his family Wednesday night to say that “he had been pepper-sprayed” (he didn’t say by whom) and “was in good spirits.” CNN later admitted that investigators have been “vexed by a lack of evidence that could prove someone caused his death.” More tellingly, a Capitol Police statement said Sicknick returned to his office after the melee and only later went to the hospital. So what caused his death? Nobody knows, but it clearly wasn’t caused by a hell-bent Trump mob.
Why is this important? As Greenwald explains, “Without Sicknick having his skull bashed in with a fire extinguisher, there were no deaths that day that could be attributed to deliberate violence by pro-Trump protesters.”
The press has recently tried to increase the death count by including suicides that occurred weeks later.
That guy who supposedly “carried Zip Ties into the Capitol” (suggesting he intended to take hostages)? Turns out he found them on a table inside the building and grabbed them to keep the police from using them on the protesters.
The “armed insurrection”? There’s been no evidence that anyone carried firearms into the Capitol, except the police.
The report that protesters planned to “capture and assassinate” officials? The Department of Justice says “there is no direct evidence at this point of kill-capture teams and assassinations.”
The only reason this story has and continues to be grossly exaggerated by the press and by Democrats (but we repeat ourselves) is to sow fear in the public, portray conservatives as violent extremists, and justify more ferocious attacks on anyone who isn’t a left-wing Democrat.
Which is why the media will never come clean about their role in misleading the public. And why Pelosi’s “truth” commission can be counted on not to tell the truth about any of it.
When a video of an assault on a 91-year-old Asian man went viral, the media and civil rights groups were quick to blame President Trump for using the term, “Chinese Virus”.
“We stand with our Asian American & Pacific Islander community against the rising tide of racism and hate crimes that have been stoked to a fever pitch, much of amplified by the actions of our last president,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tweeted another false accusation.
But when the perpetrator was arrested, he turned out to be Muslim.
Yahya Muslim had allegedly attacked a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman the same day. His arrest told a larger story about why Asian people are really being attacked in Oakland.
The legacy media has spent the last week repeating the nonsense that Trump supporters travelled to Washington D.C. last week in a coordinated attempt to overthrow the government. It’s a lie.
On January 13, 2021, The National Pulse called the almost ubiquitous, false reporting about the events at the Capitol on January 6 “The Insurrection Lie.” This was contrary to some other conservative media outlets, such as National Review, which published a piece on January 17 calling the events at the Capitol “impeachable.”
Our view, groundbreaking at the time, has been vindicated in the ensuing month. Tucker Carlson last week called the media’s reporting on the events a “lie.” Following is an update to our coverage based on recent disclosures.
On January 13, we reported:
A Capitol Police officer died of a stroke the day after the riot; but it is not known what may have happened during the melee that would provide a causal connection. His brother stated that he had communicated with the officer after the event: “He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape.” Sometime after the riot, he returned to his division office and collapsed. It has been reported that the Capitol Police initially issued a statement denying that a police officer had died as a result of injuries sustained in the attack. Based on available facts (which may change) it is speculative to say at this time that he was murdered or slain. His family has made a plea that the death not be politicized.
Update: The National Pulse has since reported that early reports Officer Sicknick was hit with a fire extinguisher were false, and the New York Times has backed away from the claim. Revolver has done a deep dive into these events, raising further questions about the cause of death.
Based on available facts, it is reasonable to conclude that Sicknick’s death was not caused by the protest. Nevertheless, against the family’s wishes, the death has been used politically. Sicknick became only the fifth person to receive the distinction of lying in honor at the Capitol Rotunda. Alarmingly, this was done to ritualize the unsupported claim that he was slain by rioters. Democrat House impeachment managers alleged an “armed insurrection” based on the false assertion that Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher. The United States Capitol is surrounded by razor wire and secured by military units on the premise that its previous security was breached by armed insurrectionists who murdered a police officer.
It is a lie.