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The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial

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The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial 

By James D. Agresti

The New York Times has published a “fact check“ by Linda Qiu declaring that Donald Trump’s lawyers “made a number of inaccurate or misleading claims” during the Senate impeachment trial. In reality, much of the article consists of flagrant falsehoods propagated by Qiu and the Times.

“Inciting Violence”

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With regard to Trump’s speech on the day of the Capitol Hill riot, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said: “Far from promoting insurrection against the United States, the president’s remarks explicitly encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights peacefully and patriotically.”

That statement is demonstrably true, as the transcriptof the speech shows that Trump asked his supporters to go “to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Qiu, however, alleges that his attorney’s statement “is exaggerated” because Trump “used the phrase ‘peacefully and patriotically’ once in his speech, compared with 20 uses of the word ‘fight’.”

Qiu’s argument presumes that Trump used the word “fight” to denote physical violence. This mimics the Democrat’s impeachment resolution, which declares that Trump is guilty of “inciting violence” because he said in his speech: “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

However, both Qiu and the Democrats are quoting Trump out of context. The transcriptshows that Trump never called for violence or even vaguely implied that. In fact, it is glaringly obvious that he was talking about legal and verbal fighting. To wit, 10 of the 20 times in which Trump used the word “fight” are found in these statements:

·     Rudy Giuliani has “guts, he fights. He fights.”
·     “Jim Jordan, and some of these guys. They’re out there fighting the House.”
·     “If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight. You primary them.”
·     “The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation. But it used to be that they’d argue with me, I’d fight. So I’d fight, they’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. … They had their point of view, I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called suppression. And that’s what happens in a communist country.”

Highlighting the duplicity of those who claim that Trump’s use of the word “fight” amounts to incitement, Trump’s attorneys showed video footageof numerous Congressional Democrats using the word “fight” more than 200 times, including more than a dozen timesin which they used the exact phrase for which they impeached Trump: “fight like hell.”

Antifa Involvement in the Capitol Hill Riot

Speaking about the Capitol Hill riot, van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was a leader of antifa.” Qiu begins her critique of this statement by changing the word “a” so that it becomes “the.” Thus, she claims that van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was theleader of antifa.” Qiu then writes:

This is misleading. Mr. van der Veen was most likely referring to John E. Sullivan, a Utah man who was charged on Jan. 14 with violent entry and disorderly conduct. Mr. Sullivan, an activist, said he was there to film the siege. He had previously referred to antifa—a loosely affiliated group of antifascist activiststhat has no leader—on social media, but he has repeatedlydeniedbeing a member of the movement. The F.B.I. has said there is no evidencethat supporters of the antifa movement had participated in the Capitol siege.

Those four sentences contain five elements of deceit:

1)   Sullivan’s claim that he was in the Capitol only to film the riot is flatly disproven by video footagethat shows him breaking a window, calling for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, and celebrating the riot with an accomplice.
2)   Qiu neglected to reveal that Sullivan was also charged with“interfering with law enforcement.”
3)   Sullivan’s denials of involvement with antifa are implausible given that he:
o  was the leaderof a group called “Insurgence USA,” which sold“black bloc” tactical gear (often used by antifa) and rubber pigs (carried by antifato mock police officers).
o  threatened to physically ripTrump out of the White House in accord with antifa’s missionto use violence against people they deem to be “fascists” (this explicitly includesTrump, his supporters, all police officers, and anyone who stands in the way of their self-described “radical left-wing” agenda).
o  organizedan event called “Kick These Fascists Out of DC.”
4)   Qiu parrots the propaganda of antifa by reporting that they are “antifascist activists,” even though they embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism, including but not limited to:
o   using “determined youths, armed, dressed in black shirts and organized in military fashion” to fight in the streets (Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals).
o   leftist economic policieslike a “strong progressive tax” on businesses, heavy unionization, a minimum wage, and government control of industries (Mussolini’s Fascist Manifesto).
o   the suppression of “all criticism or opposition” (Cambridge Dictionary).
5)   Qiu’s claim that the FBI found no involvement by antifa in the Capitol Hill riot is outdated and out of context. Two days after the riot, an FBI official was asked about antifa involvement, and he replied“we have no indication of that at this time.” Five days after that, the FBI filed an affidavitfor the arrest of Sullivan.

In short, Qiu turned the truth about every major aspect of this matter on its head.

Georgia’s Absentee Ballots

Regarding Trump’s statements about electoral fraud, Trump attorney Bruce Castor stated: “Based on an analysis of publicly available voter data, the ballot rejection rate in Georgia in 2016 was approximately 6.42%. And even though a tremendous amount of new first time mail-in ballots were included in the 2020 count, the Georgia rejection rate in 2020 was a mere four-tenths of one percent. A drop-off from 6.42% to 0.4%.”

Once again, Qiu attempts to refute a statement that is entirely true. She does this by alleging:

Georgia elections officials have repeatedly debunkedthis claim, which conflates the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in 2016 to the rejection rate specifically for signature mismatch in 2020. (Ballots can also be rejected for arriving late or not having a signature, among other reasons.)

In 2016, Georgia rejected about 6.4 percentof all returned mail-in ballots and 0.24 percentof those ballots because of signature-matching issues. It is unclear what the 0.4 percent refers to, but in both 2018 and 2020, Georgia rejected 0.15 percent of mail-in ballots because of signature-matching issues.

To the contrary, it is abundantly clear what the 0.4% refers to: the overall rejection rate—just as Castor said. Ballotpedia detailsthe components of this 0.4% figure as follows:

This total was calculated by adding all accepted absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (1,327,126) with the total number of rejected absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (4,602) and dividing the total number of rejected ballots by the sum.

As of Jan. 7, 2021, the Nov. 3, 2020, absentee voter file provided by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office was last updated Nov. 16, 2020. Following communication with the Secretary of State’s office, there are no plans to update the file further and any such updates, were they to occur, would take place on an ad hoc basis.

Using raw datafrom Georgia’s Secretary of State, Just Facts confirmed Ballotpedia’s work and calculateda rejection rate of 0.35% in 2020.

That said, the rejection rate of 6.4% in 2016—used by Castor, Qiu, and Ballotpedia—comes from a secondary source(the U.S.Election Assistance Commission) that appears to be inconsistent with the primary source(Georgia’s Secretary of State). Ballotpedia mentionsthis discrepancy in a footnote and calculates a rejection rate of 2.9% in 2016 using the primary source data. Just Facts confirmsthat these calculations are accurate.

Regardless of whether Georgia’s 2016 mail-in ballot rejection rate was 6.4% or 2.9%, the 0.35% rejection rate in 2020 was at least 88% lower. This means that if Georgia had the same rejection rate in 2020 as in 2016, at least 34,000fewer absentee ballots would have been cast. In comparison, Joe Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia was 11,779 votes.

Georgia’s Signature Audit

With further regard to potential fraud in Georgia’s election, Castor said: “President Trump wanted the signature verification to be done in public. How can a request for signature verifications to be done in public be a basis for a charge for inciting a riot?”

Qiu attacked that truthful statement with the following barrage of misinformation:

This is misleading. Contrary to Mr. Trump’s belief and Mr. Castor’s repetition of it, Georgia does verify signatures. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state notedthat the state trained officials on signature matching and created a portal that checked and confirmed voters’ driver’s licenses. In a news conferencelast month debunking Mr. Trump’s claims, Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, explained that the secretary of state’s office also brought in signature experts to check over 15,000 ballots. They discovered issues with two, and after further examination, concluded that they were legitimate.

Neither Castor nor Trump said that Georgia doesn’t verify signatures. Instead, Trump questionedthe integrity of the signature verification process in Fulton County, Georgia. This county is a Democratic Party strongholdwith an extensive history of corruption.

Moreover, the signature match of more than 15,000 ballots that Qiu characterized as “debunking Mr. Trump’s claims” does nothing of the sort. This is because it was performed in Cobb County, not Fulton County. Trump directly addressed this matter in his speechon the day of the riot:

We’ve been trying to get verifications of signatures in Fulton County. They won’t let us do it. The only reason they won’t is because we’ll find things in the hundreds of thousands. Why wouldn’t they let us verify signatures in Fulton County? Which is known for being very corrupt. They won’t do it. They go to some other county where you would live. I said, “That’s not the problem. The problem is Fulton County.”

Summary

In direct contradiction to a so-called “fact check” by Linda Qiu of the New York Times, genuine facts prove the following about the circumstances surrounding Trump’s impeachment trial:

·     On the day of the Capitol Hill riot, President Trump explicitly encouraged his supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically.”
·     In the same speech, Trump told his supporters to “fight” legally and verbally, not physically.
·     An antifa leader was arrested for participating in the Capitol Hill riot, during which he called for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, broke a window, interfered with police, and celebrated the riot with an accomplice.
·     Antifa activists, who claim to be “antifascist,” embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism.
·     In Georgia, the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in the 2020 election was 0.35%, or at least 88% lower than in the 2016 election.
·     Despite repeated requests by Trump, a signature audit of mail-in ballots has not been performed in Fulton County—a Democratic Party stronghold with an extensive history of corruption.

The points above don’t address every falsehood in the fact check, but they reveal a pattern of brazen dishonesty and/or incompetence by the Times.

James D. Agrestiis the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.

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Leftist ‘Journalists’ and Media Outlets: Quite Far From Impartial and Objective

The Left grants free passes to Joe Biden for his legions of treasonous, immoral, and illegal transgressions.

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Hollywood loves to portray leftist media outlets, newspapers, and journalists as fair and impartial. Indeed, there is no other way that these institutions and such individuals have been portrayed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A recent example is the movie She Said, which is the latest in a long line of productions that extol the virtues of one of the nation’s oldest newspapers, the New York Times.

Starring Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kavan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, and Ashley Judd, as herself, She Said is a story about the New York Times investigation of Harvey Weinstein. Some of the heartfelt testimony of the people the reporters interviewed are quite touching. Yet, the movie oversells the impact of the Times reporting. Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow had already published a major, professional, factual expose on Weinstein in the New Yorker.

Impartial, Caring, Concerned People?

She Said goes out of its way to present the New York Times editorial staff as carefully line-editing stories, and as impartial, caring, concerned people, interested only in truth and in getting articles right before publishing them. A major case in point is how veteran actor Andre Braugher portrays Dean Baquet, who served as the executive editor of Times from May 2014 to June 2022. Baquet is depicted as the voice of reason, proceeding with calm, cool clarity.

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In reality, Baquet is one of the major players on earth who kept the now thoroughly-debunked ‘Trump Collusion with Russia’ hoax alive and along with Adam Schiff did major damage to this country. For three years, and without evidence, pretty much daily the Times falsely claimed that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

The hopelessly biased Baquet decided to switch gears after the Mueller Report imploded. At Baquet’s direction, the Times would shift its focus of its coverage from the ‘Trump-Russia affair’ to the president’s ‘alleged racism.’

Not a Journalist, in Any Way

“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said, rather proudly, apparently grossly unaware of the historically profound idiocy of his statement. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.” A truthful story?

Through daily erroneous reporting, the ‘newspaper of record’ would now seek to expose ‘the racism’ of President Trump, which, to this day, it has not proven.

Baquet is not a journalist in any sense of the word; not even close. He is a shill of the Democrat party; what Vladimir Lenin termed a ‘useful idiot.’ Keep this in mind as you watch this otherwise engaging movie, and then ask yourself this: Where is the Times in relation to Joe Biden?

Baquet remained in his post for the first 17 months of the Biden administration. While the Times and the Left in general are perpetually eager to identify, dissect, catalog, and endlessly detail the faults of Donald Trump (real, imagined, or most concocted out of whole cloth), they deny or downplay a mountain of misdeeds by Joe Biden, as they also did with Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton.

Lifetime Free Passes

Many pundits now exclaim that to block Biden from running in 2024, the Times and the leftist media machine in general have now turned on him. The current classified documents scandal aside, the Left grants free passes to Joe Biden for the legions of transgressions in his life. They overlook or downplay that he cheated in college, cheated in previous political campaigns, is a serial liar, and worse. All of this well-documented. They ignore, contort, or censor news that he has made legions of racist statements for his whole political career; e.g., “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

The Left belittles or ignores Tara Reade’s quite credible sexual assault accusation against Joe Biden, and that of seven other women, as well. They pretend that Creepy Uncle Joe does not have a fetish for sniffing little girls’ hair. They pretend that Biden does not constantly invade the personal space of females.

The Left ignores solid reporting and extensive documentation indicating the Biden family received millions of dollars via influence peddling to Communist China, as well as from Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and, above all, Ukraine. They will never acknowledge that Biden is an enabler for both his brother James and his son Hunter, and that Biden is credibly accused of selling out the U.S. They excuse the multiple batches of classified documents found recently in Biden’s domains.

Above it All

The Left especially avoids referring to any signs that Biden is suffering from ever-worsening dementia, despite his numerous mental lapses on the world stage.

In short, prior to the ever-growing classified documents scandal, leftist journalists and media outlets, constantly demonstrated how far they are from being impartial and objective. They had, defacto, deemed Democrat Joe Biden to be above the law, and now are actively undermining his continuing political aspirations.

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Mini-Movie Reviews, 5

Be wary of the hopelessly biased “She Says”

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Mini-Movie Reviews, 5

In this last third of the month, here are three more reviews for your edification:

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris — starring Leslie Manville as a post WWII widow, is the ultimate chick flick for seniors, where luck abounds at every turn. Everything either goes well, or it goes awry and then turns out well. Watch this if you want to see something fairly entertaining and light-hearted.

Avatar: The Way of Water — is an overwrought, 3-hour ‘comic book,’ put on the big screen, primarily for 14 to 18 year old boys. I would be thoroughly amazed if anybody on my movie review list could sit through 3 hours of this, let alone half that time. There is nothing thematically inspiring here. The actors are good, but the plot is thin and predictable. While the production is likely to win numerous Oscars for technical achievements, that is all it could ever win.

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She Said – starring Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kavan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, and Ashley Judd as herself, is a story about the New York Times investigation of Harvey Weinstein. Some of the heartfelt testimony of the people the reporters interviewed are quite touching. Yet, the movie oversells the impact of the Times reporting. Ronan Farrow had already published a major, professional, factual exposé on Weinstein in the New Yorker.

Personal Note: The movie goes out of its way to present the Times editorial staff as carefully line-editing stories, and as impartial, caring, concerned people, interested only in truth and in getting articles right before publishing them. A major case in point: Andre Braugher portrays Dean Baquet, who served as the executive editor of the Times from May 2014 to June 2022. Baquet is depicted as the voice of reason, proceeding with calm, cool clarity.

In reality, Baquet is one of the major players on earth who kept the now thoroughly-debunked ‘Trump Collusion with Russia’ hoax alive and along with Adam Schiff did major damage to this country. For three years, and without evidence, the Times falsely claimed that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

The hopelessly biased Baquet decided to switch gears after the Mueller Report imploded. At Baquet’s direction, the Times would shift its focus of its coverage from the ‘Trump-Russia affair’ to the president’s ‘alleged racism.’

“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said, apparently grossly unaware of the historically profound idiocy of his statement. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.” Through daily bogus reporting, the ‘newspaper of record’ would now seek to expose ‘the racism’ of Donald Trump, which, to this day, it has not proven.

Baquet is not a journalist in any sense of the word. He is a shill of the Democrat party so steeped in leftist propaganda, and promulgating it, that he can’t see straight. He is what Vladimir Lenin termed a ‘useful idiot.’ Keep this in mind as you watch this otherwise engaging movie.

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