Since June 1 of last year, it has been accepted as an article of faith that then-President Donald Trump ordered a group of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters to be kicked out of Lafayette Square opposite from the White House using tear gas and rubber bullets so he could cross the street for a photo op at a nearby church.
If the Liberals frown on the disinformation bubble that allowed the lies about the 2020 presidential election to fester, they must recognize the role stories like this played.
Then-California Senator Kamala Harris, now vice-president, said the next day that she “watched President Trump, gassed peaceful protesters just so he could do this photo op, then he continued to gas priests who were helping protesters in Lafayette Park. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked, “What is a banana republic? George Stephanopoulos, former spokesperson President Bill Clinton now with ABC News, claimed that “the administration has asked the police to evict the peaceful protesters from the park across the White House so the president can arrange a photo op.”
There is only one problem with this account, which has received full coverage on scandalous cable news shows and has been pasted on the front pages of newspapers across the country: an investigation independent led by the Inspector General of the Interior Ministry concluded this was not true.
Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt wrote that “the evidence does not support the conclusion that the [United States Park Police] cleaned up the park on June 1, 2020, so that President Trump could then enter the park. The protesters were instead withdrawn “to allow a contractor to safely install limescale fencing in response to the destruction of federal property and officer injuries that occurred on May 30 and 31” during other protests by Black Lives Matter.
In fact, Greenblatt found, the relevant decisions were made and plans put in place “several hours before. [officials] was aware of a possible presidential visit to the park, which took place later in the day.
Greenblatt criticized Prisons Bureau agents for shooting pepperballs to subdue protesters, saying this was “inconsistent with the advice” of those overseeing the operation. The report, however, was agnostic on the merits of the cleanup of the park itself, simply finding that it did not violate existing law or policy.
There is no doubt that in June 2020, Trump was attempting to use the civil unrest that followed George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police to get himself re-elected on a “law and order” platform. During the photoshoot after the park cleanup, Trump held up a Bible as he posed in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been damaged during the protests on the night of May 31, clearly trying to milking the stage for full political effect. the connection between cleaning up Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump’s visit to church was plausible – but liberals who jumped to conclusions based on those suspicions turned out to be false.
The question is, what will happen next? The Inspector General’s report to date has received only a fraction of the media coverage that greeted the original story. Will there be mea culpas or introspection? Or will it be dismissed as a cover-up by someone appointed by Trump? (Greenblatt was appointed by Trump to his current post and confirmed by the Senate in 2019, although he has held comparable positions under the chairmen of both parties since 2003.)
Twitter from left is already grabbing that the report found then Attorney General William Barr asked if the park would be completely emptied by the time Trump planned to leave the White House. But that same section said Barr’s question was also the first time the park police commander in charge – hours after the operation began – learned that Trump would be going to the park.
Part of this refusal to accept a set of facts more complicated than cartoons wickedness on the part of the Trump administration is simply partisanship, and the Conservatives are certainly not immune to picking out which facts are. too good to be verified. But liberals cannot claim to be for the truth only when they expose Trump’s lies. Refusing to acknowledge the mistake in the face of new evidence debases the truth they claim to cherish even more.
The Liberals can at least say they got it wrong based on reports from credible news agencies, which massively spread the story that the park was cleared for a Trump photoshoot. But this defense actually compounds the problem: that it has been so widely distorted by overt non-partisan publications, which in many cases have high editorial standards, sows mistrust in the media and our institutions. It’s now a cliché to say ‘This is how we got Trump’, but that’s only because that mistrust was surely a factor.
The eagerness of much of the media to amplify stories that negatively reflect Trump has made nearly half the country more skeptical of such reporting. And these are indeed stories. This latest incident is no exception – last week a similar failure was revealed in the report on the possibility that Covid-19 could have originated from a Chinese laboratory.
This theory has been widely described as “debunked” by the mainstream media, which saw it through the prism of Trump’s anti-Asian rhetoric about China and the virus. More recent reports suggest that the Wuhan laboratory theory is more of an open question, one that American scientists and journalists may have been too quick to dismiss.
The eagerness of much of the media to amplify stories that negatively reflect Trump has made nearly half the country more skeptical of such reporting.
From Wuhan to Lafayette Square, Republican-leaning readers and viewers can’t help but notice that the cases that the media and the left are declaring prematurely closed tended, during Trump’s time, to go one way. .
The conservative response was not limited to cautious skepticism of the media in general, of course. It has also sparked credulity in alternative news sources with lower standards that make favorable and, at worst, fraudulent statements about Trump. If the liberals frown on the disinformation bubble that allowed the lies about the 2020 presidential election to fester, they must recognize the role stories like this have played in creating the market for it – and avoid create their own bubble of disinformation.