June 10, 2021

"The IG's conclusion could not be clearer: the media narrative was false from start to finish... "

"'[T]he evidence did not support a finding that the [U.S. Park Police] cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park.' Instead... 'the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that occurred on May 30 and May 31.' Crucially, '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.'.... The clearing of the Park, said the IG Report, had nothing to do with Trump or his intended visit to the Church; in fact, those responsible for doing this did not have any knowledge of Trump's intentions... [T]he media claims that were repeated over and over and over as proven fact — and even confirmed by 'fact-checkers' — were completely false.... 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."

Writes Glenn Greenwald in "Yet Another Media Tale -- Trump Tear-Gassed Protesters For a Church Photo Op -- Collapses That the White House violently cleared Lafayette Park at Trump's behest was treated as unquestioned truth by most corporate media. Today it was revealed as a falsehood" (Substack).


Ann Althouse said...

MikeR writes:

"As Greenwald says, it's amazing to read his comments. His liberal readers just cannot be convinced by evidence. They know that their narrative is true - fact-free. Also interesting that this was apparently a huge deal in some circles, and I barely remember it or never noticed it in the first place. Some cops cleared some protestors: Well, that might be an excessive use of force, or not, depending. That liberals thought it was excessive wasn't enough for me to pay attention."

Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

This is my shocked face. The media got this story wrong from the get-go, and stayed on the wrong narrative without flinching for weeks. Well...really up until now. Never let fact finding get in the way of a Demcratic Party narrative.

Our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who knows a thing or two about creating banana republics, said, sounding almost impressed, “What is this, a banana republic?". A few months later she would oversee a similar process as she fenced in the Capitol area for months. With 12' fencing topped with razor wire, AND National Guardsmen from all over America (who had to sleep on the floor of parking garages). Banana Republic? Indeed. Bring on the State reporters.

Ann Althouse said...

Birches writes:

This is why I think the "Trump believes he'll be reinstated in August story" is BS. Our Corporate Media will believe anything. They even convinced the Joint Chiefs that their narrative about Lafayette Square is true.

So why am I supposed to believe 2020 was the most secure election ever? It's all just narrative.

And that's why people won't get their vaccination.

Ann Althouse said...

Left Bank of the Charles writes:

“The IG’s conclusion could not be clearer: the media narrative was false from start to finish...”

Reading the IG report demonstrates that Glenn Greenwald is guilty of the thing he is accusing other journalists of:

(1) The IG report never says the media narrative was false from start to finish.

(2) What the IG report does say is, "The President's visit to St. John's Church did not appear to influence the USPP's operational plan or timeline to clear Lafayette Park." The use of "did not appear to influence " here is lawyerspeak for admitting that it may have happened. In any case, "did not influence" would be clearer, so Glenn Greenwald's assertion is wrong. Or, one could say, "false."

(3) The IG report contains many curious redactions, such as this one: "We further note that when asked to move up the timeline for clearing the park [redacted] earlier in the afternoon on June 1, the USPP acting chief of police declined to do so."

(4) The IG report describes Attorney General William Barr entering Lafayette Park at 6:10pm and asking why the park had not yet been cleared for the President's visit. The U.S. Park Police commander is quoted as replying, "Are you freaking kidding me?" Maybe the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing, the AG is DOJ and the USPP is DOI, but the IG report does establish that there was an intent, by the AG at least, to clear the park for the President's visit to St. John's Church.

Ann Althouse said...

Montgomery writes:

Glenn Greenwald states "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."

It has become apparent that when MSM "Fact Checkers" go to secondary and tertiary accounts from other MSM news organizations and talking heads, then take those accounts as "fact". That is being plain lazy. Why didn't they contact the US Park Police for a response about why it was done instead of relying on speculation by "journalists"? Apparently, Molly Hemingway contacted the USPP and it seems she was denounced as being a partisan hack of the right when she nailed the real answer on the head. And this is not the first time a reporter got the real answer a year ago and "fact checkers" said that was false. Just like the Covid-19 virus being leaked from the Wuhan lab being denounced by "fact checkers" a year ago as not being a possibility and today those same organizations are now embracing that as being the most likely possibility as to the cause of the pandemic. Yeah, I don't trust the MSM and their fact checkers for reasons like this that they are nothing but propaganda artists supporting the lefty politicians in order to pull the wool over the eyes of the population to advance an agenda that most of the population doesn't support.

Ann Althouse said...

MikeR writes:

re: "Left Bank of the Charles" on the IG report.

'The use of "did not appear to influence " here is lawyerspeak for admitting that it may have happened. In any case, "did not influence" would be clearer, so Glenn Greenwald's assertion is wrong. Or, one could say, "false."'

Someone is playing games here. "did not appear to influence" is lawyerspeak for, "did not influence but it is impossible to prove a negative". "did not influence" would indeed be clearer, but would be a lie, because an investigator cannot prove a negative.

So we have an investigator who put in months of work, interviewed numerous people, came away with a clear impression that there is absolutely no evidence he could find that the event was caused by Trump's people - and said so. And we have Charles who is determined to find a loophole even if he has to invent it. And having invented it: 'so Glenn Greenwald's assertion is wrong. Or, one could say, "false."'
Anyone who reads the comments on Greenwald's tweets will see many many examples of the same. The human brain is a remarkable thing, and it does do some stuff that is not helpful.

All that said, I think that Greenwald and co. are going too far here. This seems to have turned out to be a remarkable coincidence, and really did look at first like Trump's people ordered the clearing-out; the timing just pointed that way. The media lied, of course, by pretending that they knew, but I think it's par for the course that they assumed that what seemed obvious was true.

Ann Althouse said...

Amadeus 48 writes:

Left Bank causes me to quote what Glenn Greenwald says about Barr’s late afternoon visit to the park:

“And while Attorney General William Barr did visit the Park shortly before Trump's walk and saw what he viewed as unruly protesters, causing him to ask Park Police commanders whether they would still be there when Trump arrived, the order to clear the Park had been given well before that and was unrelated to Trump or to Barr: there is ‘no evidence that the Attorney General’s visit to Lafayette Park at 6:10 p.m. caused the USPP to alter its plans to clear the park.’”

What is Left Bank’s beef with Greenwald? Oh yeah, he doesn’t like Greenwald—at least when he is rocking the leftie boat, and he really doesn’t like Barr and Trump. Is there evidence that Barr’s visit caused the USPP to gas those protesters? Not that I can see, but Left Bank is on the case: there are evil machinations by bad men.

It seems to me that Greenwald is telling that story pretty straight, and the corporate media went with a story that was so good they didn’t want to check it out—as with most stories these days.

Ann Althouse said...

Steven writes:

We now know that the narrative about Trump clearing the park with tear gas in order to stage a photo-op is false. Moreover, we also know that it was Washington’s Metropolitan Police who used tear gas on the demonstrators, not the Park Service. Since Trump is obviously not in the chain-of-command for the Metropolitan Police, it is clear that he bears no responsibility for that charge either. Those who propagated these lies need to make amends by publicly apologizing for having spread them. And religious leaders should lead the way. I am looking specifically at Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory. Gregory used his religious position to advance the anti-Trump political agenda when he denounced the St. John Paul II National Shrine for hosting Trump in early June 2020, implicitly accusing Trump of having used tear gas on the protestors:

“Archbishop Wilton Gregory Issues Statement on Planned Presidential Visit

"I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree. Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth. He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.”

Source: Extract from official statement from Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, published on the website of the Archdiocese of Washington, June 2, 2020.

Archbishop Gregory needs to be reminded that lying and slander violate our Catholic religious principles and that Catholics are called upon to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we might disagree. And he needs to vocally call upon other public speakers to retract the falsehoods that he himself helped to spread.

The failure of Archbishop Gregory to issue an apology for his slander tells us all we need to know about our current class of religious leaders. I used to wonder why so few bishops stood up to Henry VIII. The cowardice and eagerness of key American bishops to conform to the progressive agenda certainly illuminates that historic failure of courage.