Apr 14, 2021
The use of propaganda by mainstream media, news, social networks and governments.
Twitter censored Harvard professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff, a member of the COVID-19 vaccine safety subgroup that advises the CDC, FIH, and FDA, because he challenged the notion that children and young people require COVID-19 vaccination.
The platform applied a warning label to Kulldorff’s tweet about the matter, and prevented users from liking or retweeting it.
“Thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking that nobody should,” said Kuldorff in his now-censored tweet. “COVID vaccines are important for older high-risk people, and their care-takers. Those with prior natural infection do not need it. Nor children.”
Kulldorff is one of the most cited experts on infectious diseases alive today, with over 25,000 academic citations. In addition to his role as a Harvard professor, he is a biostatistician and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
He co-created the Great Barrington Declaration, a call for an approach to containing COVID-19 focused on the most at-risk groups rather than the entire population. It has been signed by thousands of medical experts and practicing medical doctors around the world.
Kulldorff continues to argue that the response to COVID should focus on older, vulnerable populations while easing restrictions on young, healthy people.
According to Twitter, Kulldorff violated the platform’s rules on “COVID-19 misinformation.”
In a follow-up tweet commenting on Twitter’s decision, Kulldorff slammed the platform for making decisions on medical debates that are beyond Twitter’s expertise.
“When making unscientific claims, media often refer to “health officials” or “experts” without citing anyone,” said Kulldorff
A study published by the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research finds that coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic by the domestic press was overwhelmingly negative. More negative than the international press. More negative than the local press. And more negative than the science. But then a funny thing happened after President Donald Trump lost his reelection bid.
Researchers at Dartmouth College and Brown University did a content analysis of tens of thousands of COVID-19 news stories to look at the levels of negativity. What they found was that 87% of the stories published by the top 15 news sources in the country were negative in tone. That compares with 50% of international news sources, and 64% for scientific journals. They also found the mainstream media were 25 percentage points more likely to be negative than more general U.S news sources.
What’s more, this overwhelming negativity included even “areas with positive developments, including school re-openings and vaccine trials.” And, the researchers determined, the mainstream media coverage was “unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases.”
In other words, the national press in the U.S. was putting a negative spin on everything COVID-related. (The study is titled “Why Is All COVID News Bad News?”)
Those 14 top news sources tracked by the researchers, by the way, included only two that might be considered conservative – Fox News and the New York Post.
The researchers claim that the major U.S. media outlets were simply feeding the public’s desire for gloomy news.
“Our results suggest that U.S. major outlets publish unusually negative COVID-19 stories in response to reader demand and interest,” authors write.
But that doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t local news be just as negative? Or international news?
We have a much better theory: The mainstream press was feeding the public a steady diet of negative COVID stories to tarnish Trump in hopes of driving him from office.
Even the authors sort of acknowledge this, without pointing out the implications. At one point, they write that: “Potentially positive developments such as vaccine stories receive less attention from U.S. outlets than do negative stories about Trump and hydroxychloroquine.”
What’s more, a chart published by the New York Times based on the study’s data shows that the mainstream press’ fixation on bad COVID news started to lift once Joe Biden declared himself winner of the November 2020 election.
The Times’ David Leonhardt inadvertently admits the real reason for tone of COVID coverage.
“I have worked in media for nearly three decades, and I think you might be surprised by how little time journalists spend talking about audience size,” he writes, commenting on the NBER study. “We care about it, obviously, but most journalists I know care much more about other factors, like doing work that has an impact.”
”Has an impact,” eh? Like, say, driving a president you don’t like out of office?
There’s a precedent for this. When George H.W. Bush was running for reelection in 1992, coverage of the economy was overwhelmingly negative, despite the fact that one of the shallowest and shortest recessions on record ended in March 1991.
One survey found that “a majority of U.S. journalists who followed the 1992 presidential campaign believe President Bush’s candidacy was damaged by press coverage of his record and of the economy.”
As soon as that election was over, the press suddenly started reporting good economic news.
We all know how deplorably biased the mainstream media is. But even we can be stunned when we see blatant evidence of it like this.
We analyze the tone of COVID-19 related English-language news articles written since January 1, 2020. Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals. The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials. Media negativity is unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience. U.S. major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general. Stories of increasing COVID-19 cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases by a factor of 5.5 even during periods when new cases are declining. Among U.S. major media outlets, stories discussing President Donald Trump and hydroxychloroquine are more numerous than all stories combined that cover companies and individual researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines.
We have yet to find any credible evidence of anti-Asian hatred or bigotry in this man’s history. Maybe we will. We can’t rule it out. But we do know that his roommates say they once asked him if he picked the spas for sex because the women were Asian. And they say he denied it, saying he thought those spas were just the safest way to have quick sex. That needs to be checked out more. But the only piece of evidence about possible anti-Asian bias points away, not toward it.
And yet. Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an anti–Asian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the “real” motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.
And on and on. It was almost as if they had a pre-existing script to read, whatever the facts of the case! Nikole Hannah-Jones, the most powerful journalist at the New York Times, took to Twitter in the early morning of March 17 to pronounce: “Last night’s shooting and the appalling rise in anti-Asian violence stem from a sick society where nationalism has been stoked and normalized.” Ibram Kendi tweeted: “Locking arms with Asian Americans facing this lethal wave of anti-Asian terror. Their struggle is my struggle. Our struggle is against racism and White Supremacist domestic terror.”
When the cops reported the killer’s actual confession, left-Twitter went nuts. One gender studies professor recited the litany: “The refusal to name anti-Asianess [sic], racism, white supremacy, misogyny, or class in this is whiteness doing what it always does around justifying its death-dealing … To ignore the deeply racist and misogynistic history of hypersexualization of Asian women in this ‘explication’ from law enforcement of what emboldened this killer is also a willful erasure.”
In The Root, the real reason for the murders was detailed: “White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it.”
Trevor Noah insisted that the killer’s confession was self-evidently false: “You killed six Asian people. Specifically, you went there. Your murders speak louder than your words. What makes it even more painful is that we saw it coming. We see these things happening. People have been warning, people in the Asian communities have been tweeting, they’ve been saying, ‘Please help us. We’re getting punched in the street. We’re getting slurs written on our doors.’” Noah knew the killer’s motive more surely than the killer himself.
None of them mentioned that he killed two white people as well — a weird thing for a white supremacist to do — and injured a Latino. None pointed out that the connection between the spas was that the killer had visited them. None explained why, if he were associating Asian people with Covid19, he would nonetheless expose himself to the virus by having sex with them, or regard these spas as “safer” than other ways to have quick sex.
Late last year, a semi-retired British scientist (the former vice president of Pfizer where he spent 16 years as an allergy and respiratory researcher) co-authored a petition to Europe’s medicines regulator. The petitioners made a bold demand: Halt COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials because they could cause infertility.
They speculated, without providing evidence, that the vaccines could cause infertility in women.
But the MSM can say without providing evidence that the vaccine is safe and that everyone should take it…
Seattle public schools math curriculum:
Oregon public schools math curriculum:
The school district’s training and curriculum gained renewed attention on Tuesday when Discovery Institute researcher Chris Rufo reported on a whistleblower’s comments.
According to Rufo, the whistleblower claimed that Dr. Fatima Morell, who serves as associate superintendent for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives, has been pushing “radical politics.”
In practice, that has translated into “scoldings, guilt-trips, and demands to demean oneself simply to make another feel ‘empowered,'” according to the whistleblower, whom Rufo described as a veteran teacher.
One of the district’s instructional materials also includes the assertion that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism.”
Fox News previously reported on Buffalo’s embrace of a “Black Lives Matter” curriculum that taught students to question the nuclear family structure.
The lesson plans, obtained by “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and prepared by the Buffalo Public Schools’ Office of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives, instruct teachers to discuss various “guiding principles” with students including “Black Villages,” which they describe as “the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the ‘collective village’ that takes care of each other.” The school system took the lesson plans offline last year, but Fox News retained and reuploaded copies.
Rufo’s whistleblower echoed others across the country who have complained about the growing trend of critical race theory or so-called “anti-racist” curricula in U.S. institutions.
Earlier this month, Fox News reported on the Oregon Department of Education promoting a teacher training program that sought to undo “racism in mathematics.” It argues, among other things, that White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer.
Anti-racism curricula have received an array of criticism and support.
For example, political scientist Carol M. Swain previously told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that certain curricula “put forth by Black Lives Matter and being embraced in too many places is really destructive of the Black community and the Black family and racial justice.”
A weird thing happened right after the Nov. 3 election: nothing.
The nation was braced for chaos. Liberal groups had vowed to take to the streets, planning hundreds of protests across the country. Right-wing militias were girding for battle. In a poll before Election Day, 75% of Americans voiced concern about violence.
Instead, an eerie quiet descended. As President Trump refused to concede, the response was not mass action but crickets. When media organizations called the race for Joe Biden on Nov. 7, jubilation broke out instead, as people thronged cities across the U.S. to celebrate the democratic process that resulted in Trump’s ouster.
A second odd thing happened amid Trump’s attempts to reverse the result: corporate America turned on him. Hundreds of major business leaders, many of whom had backed Trump’s candidacy and supported his policies, called on him to concede. To the President, something felt amiss. “It was all very, very strange,” Trump said on Dec. 2. “Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”
In a way, Trump was right.
There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.
The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors. The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.
Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.
For Trump and his allies were running their own campaign to spoil the election. The President spent months insisting that mail ballots were a Democratic plot and the election would be “rigged.” His henchmen at the state level sought to block their use, while his lawyers brought dozens of spurious suits to make it more difficult to vote–an intensification of the GOP’s legacy of suppressive tactics. Before the election, Trump plotted to block a legitimate vote count. And he spent the months following Nov. 3 trying to steal the election he’d lost–with lawsuits and conspiracy theories, pressure on state and local officials, and finally summoning his army of supporters to the Jan. 6 rally that ended in deadly violence at the Capitol.
The democracy campaigners watched with alarm. “Every week, we felt like we were in a struggle to try to pull off this election without the country going through a real dangerous moment of unraveling,” says former GOP Representative Zach Wamp, a Trump supporter who helped coordinate a bipartisan election-protection council. “We can look back and say this thing went pretty well, but it was not at all clear in September and October that that was going to be the case.”
This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. “But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.”
That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures.
Sometime in the fall of 2019, Mike Podhorzer became convinced the election was headed for disaster–and determined to protect it.
This was not his usual purview. For nearly a quarter-century, Podhorzer, senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union federation, has marshaled the latest tactics and data to help its favored candidates win elections. Unassuming and professorial, he isn’t the sort of hair-gelled “political strategist” who shows up on cable news. Among Democratic insiders, he’s known as the wizard behind some of the biggest advances in political technology in recent decades. A group of liberal strategists he brought together in the early 2000s led to the creation of the Analyst Institute, a secretive firm that applies scientific methods to political campaigns. He was also involved in the founding of Catalist, the flagship progressive data company.
The endless chatter in Washington about “political strategy,” Podhorzer believes, has little to do with how change really gets made. “My basic take on politics is that it’s all pretty obvious if you don’t overthink it or swallow the prevailing frameworks whole,” he once wrote. “After that, just relentlessly identify your assumptions and challenge them.” Podhorzer applies that approach to everything: when he coached his now adult son’s Little League team in the D.C. suburbs, he trained the boys not to swing at most pitches–a tactic that infuriated both their and their opponents’ parents, but won the team a series of championships.
Trump’s election in 2016–credited in part to his unusual strength among the sort of blue collar white voters who once dominated the AFL-CIO–prompted Podhorzer to question his assumptions about voter behavior. He began circulating weekly number-crunching memos to a small circle of allies and hosting strategy sessions in D.C. But when he began to worry about the election itself, he didn’t want to seem paranoid. It was only after months of research that he introduced his concerns in his newsletter in October 2019. The usual tools of data, analytics and polling would not be sufficient in a situation where the President himself was trying to disrupt the election, he wrote. “Most of our planning takes us through Election Day,” he noted. “But, we are not prepared for the two most likely outcomes”–Trump losing and refusing to concede, and Trump winning the Electoral College (despite losing the popular vote) by corrupting the voting process in key states. “We desperately need to systematically ‘red-team’ this election so that we can anticipate and plan for the worst we know will be coming our way.”
It turned out Podhorzer wasn’t the only one thinking in these terms. He began to hear from others eager to join forces. The Fight Back Table, a coalition of “resistance” organizations, had begun scenario-planning around the potential for a contested election, gathering liberal activists at the local and national level into what they called the Democracy Defense Coalition. Voting-rights and civil rights organizations were raising alarms. A group of former elected officials was researching emergency powers they feared Trump might exploit. Protect Democracy was assembling a bipartisan election-crisis task force. “It turned out that once you said it out loud, people agreed,” Podhorzer says, “and it started building momentum.”
He spent months pondering scenarios and talking to experts. It wasn’t hard to find liberals who saw Trump as a dangerous dictator, but Podhorzer was careful to steer clear of hysteria. What he wanted to know was not how American democracy was dying but how it might be kept alive. The chief difference between the U.S. and countries that lost their grip on democracy, he concluded, was that America’s decentralized election system couldn’t be rigged in one fell swoop. That presented an opportunity to shore it up.
On March 3, Podhorzer drafted a three-page confidential memo titled “Threats to the 2020 Election.” “Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election, and that he will reject anything but his own re-election as ‘fake’ and rigged,” he wrote. “On Nov. 3, should the media report otherwise, he will use the right-wing information system to establish his narrative and incite his supporters to protest.” The memo laid out four categories of challenges: attacks on voters, attacks on election administration, attacks on Trump’s political opponents and “efforts to reverse the results of the election.”
Then COVID-19 erupted at the height of the primary-election season. Normal methods of voting were no longer safe for voters or the mostly elderly volunteers who normally staff polling places. But political disagreements, intensified by Trump’s crusade against mail voting, prevented some states from making it easier to vote absentee and for jurisdictions to count those votes in a timely manner. Chaos ensued. Ohio shut down in-person voting for its primary, leading to minuscule turnout. A poll-worker shortage in Milwaukee–where Wisconsin’s heavily Democratic Black population is concentrated–left just five open polling places, down from 182. In New York, vote counting took more than a month.
Suddenly, the potential for a November meltdown was obvious. In his apartment in the D.C. suburbs, Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table, holding back-to-back Zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe: the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others.
In April, Podhorzer began hosting a weekly 2½-hour Zoom. It was structured around a series of rapid-fire five-minute presentations on everything from which ads were working to messaging to legal strategy. The invitation-only gatherings soon attracted hundreds, creating a rare shared base of knowledge for the fractious progressive movement. “At the risk of talking trash about the left, there’s not a lot of good information sharing,” says Anat Shenker-Osorio, a close Podhorzer friend whose poll-tested messaging guidance shaped the group’s approach. “There’s a lot of not-invented-here syndrome, where people won’t consider a good idea if they didn’t come up with it.”
The meetings became the galactic center for a constellation of operatives across the left who shared overlapping goals but didn’t usually work in concert. The group had no name, no leaders and no hierarchy, but it kept the disparate actors in sync. “Pod played a critical behind-the-scenes role in keeping different pieces of the movement infrastructure in communication and aligned,” says Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party. “You have the litigation space, the organizing space, the political people just focused on the W, and their strategies aren’t always aligned. He allowed this ecosystem to work together.”
Protecting the election would require an effort of unprecedented scale. As 2020 progressed, it stretched to Congress, Silicon Valley and the nation’s statehouses. It drew energy from the summer’s racial-justice protests, many of whose leaders were a key part of the liberal alliance. And eventually it reached across the aisle, into the world of Trump-skeptical Republicans appalled by his attacks on democracy.
The first task was overhauling America’s balky election infrastructure–in the middle of a pandemic. For the thousands of local, mostly nonpartisan officials who administer elections, the most urgent need was money. They needed protective equipment like masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. They needed to pay for postcards letting people know they could vote absentee–or, in some states, to mail ballots to every voter. They needed additional staff and scanners to process ballots.
In March, activists appealed to Congress to steer COVID relief money to election administration. Led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, more than 150 organizations signed a letter to every member of Congress seeking $2 billion in election funding. It was somewhat successful: the CARES Act, passed later that month, contained $400 million in grants to state election administrators. But the next tranche of relief funding didn’t add to that number. It wasn’t going to be enough.
Private philanthropy stepped into the breach. An assortment of foundations contributed tens of millions in election-administration funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chipped in $300 million. “It was a failure at the federal level that 2,500 local election officials were forced to apply for philanthropic grants to fill their needs,” says Amber McReynolds, a former Denver election official who heads the nonpartisan National Vote at Home Institute.
McReynolds’ two-year-old organization became a clearinghouse for a nation struggling to adapt. The institute gave secretaries of state from both parties technical advice on everything from which vendors to use to how to locate drop boxes. Local officials are the most trusted sources of election information, but few can afford a press secretary, so the institute distributed communications tool kits. In a presentation to Podhorzer’s group, McReynolds detailed the importance of absentee ballots for shortening lines at polling places and preventing an election crisis.
The institute’s work helped 37 states and D.C. bolster mail voting. But it wouldn’t be worth much if people didn’t take advantage. Part of the challenge was logistical: each state has different rules for when and how ballots should be requested and returned. The Voter Participation Center, which in a normal year would have supported local groups deploying canvassers door-to-door to get out the vote, instead conducted focus groups in April and May to find out what would get people to vote by mail. In August and September, it sent ballot applications to 15 million people in key states, 4.6 million of whom returned them. In mailings and digital ads, the group urged people not to wait for Election Day. “All the work we have done for 17 years was built for this moment of bringing democracy to people’s doorsteps,” says Tom Lopach, the center’s CEO.
The effort had to overcome heightened skepticism in some communities. Many Black voters preferred to exercise their franchise in person or didn’t trust the mail. National civil rights groups worked with local organizations to get the word out that this was the best way to ensure one’s vote was counted. In Philadelphia, for example, advocates distributed “voting safety kits” containing masks, hand sanitizer and informational brochures. “We had to get the message out that this is safe, reliable, and you can trust it,” says Hannah Fried of All Voting Is Local.
At the same time, Democratic lawyers battled a historic tide of pre-election litigation. The pandemic intensified the parties’ usual tangling in the courts. But the lawyers noticed something else as well. “The litigation brought by the Trump campaign, of a piece with the broader campaign to sow doubt about mail voting, was making novel claims and using theories no court has ever accepted,” says Wendy Weiser, a voting-rights expert at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU. “They read more like lawsuits designed to send a message rather than achieve a legal outcome.”
In the end, nearly half the electorate cast ballots by mail in 2020, practically a revolution in how people vote. About a quarter voted early in person. Only a quarter of voters cast their ballots the traditional way: in person on Election Day.
Bad actors spreading false information is nothing new. For decades, campaigns have grappled with everything from anonymous calls claiming the election has been rescheduled to fliers spreading nasty smears about candidates’ families. But Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories, the viral force of social media and the involvement of foreign meddlers made disinformation a broader, deeper threat to the 2020 vote.
Laura Quinn, a veteran progressive operative who co-founded Catalist, began studying this problem a few years ago. She piloted a nameless, secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it. One component was tracking dangerous lies that might otherwise spread unnoticed. Researchers then provided information to campaigners or the media to track down the sources and expose them.
The most important takeaway from Quinn’s research, however, was that engaging with toxic content only made it worse. “When you get attacked, the instinct is to push back, call it out, say, ‘This isn’t true,’” Quinn says. “But the more engagement something gets, the more the platforms boost it. The algorithm reads that as, ‘Oh, this is popular; people want more of it.’”
The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place. “The platforms have policies against certain types of malign behavior, but they haven’t been enforcing them,” she says.
Quinn’s research gave ammunition to advocates pushing social media platforms to take a harder line. In November 2019, Mark Zuckerberg invited nine civil rights leaders to dinner at his home, where they warned him about the danger of the election-related falsehoods that were already spreading unchecked. “It took pushing, urging, conversations, brainstorming, all of that to get to a place where we ended up with more rigorous rules and enforcement,” says Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who attended the dinner and also met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and others. (Gupta has been nominated for Associate Attorney General by President Biden.) “It was a struggle, but we got to the point where they understood the problem. Was it enough? Probably not. Was it later than we wanted? Yes. But it was really important, given the level of official disinformation, that they had those rules in place and were tagging things and taking them down.”
Beyond battling bad information, there was a need to explain a rapidly changing election process. It was crucial for voters to understand that despite what Trump was saying, mail-in votes weren’t susceptible to fraud and that it would be normal if some states weren’t finished counting votes on election night.
Dick Gephardt, the Democratic former House leader turned high-powered lobbyist, spearheaded one coalition. “We wanted to get a really bipartisan group of former elected officials, Cabinet secretaries, military leaders and so on, aimed mainly at messaging to the public but also speaking to local officials–the secretaries of state, attorneys general, governors who would be in the eye of the storm–to let them know we wanted to help,” says Gephardt, who worked his contacts in the private sector to put $20 million behind the effort.
Wamp, the former GOP Congressman, worked through the nonpartisan reform group Issue One to rally Republicans to the effort. “We thought we should bring some bipartisan element of unity around what constitutes a free and fair election,” Wamp says. The 22 Democrats and 22 Republicans on the National Council on Election Integrity met on Zoom at least once a week. They ran ads in six states, made statements, wrote articles and alerted local officials to potential problems. “We had rabid Trump supporters who agreed to serve on the council based on the idea that this is honest,” Wamp says. This is going to be just as important, he told them, to convince the liberals when Trump wins. “Whichever way it cuts, we’re going to stick together.”
The Voting Rights Lab and IntoAction created state-specific memes and graphics, spread by email, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, urging that every vote be counted. Together, they were viewed more than 1 billion times. Protect Democracy’s election task force issued reports and held media briefings with high-profile experts across the political spectrum, resulting in widespread coverage of potential election issues and fact-checking of Trump’s false claims. The organization’s tracking polls found the message was being heard: the percentage of the public that didn’t expect to know the winner on election night gradually rose until by late October, it was over 70%. A majority also believed that a prolonged count wasn’t a sign of problems. “We knew exactly what Trump was going to do: he was going to try to use the fact that Democrats voted by mail and Republicans voted in person to make it look like he was ahead, claim victory, say the mail-in votes were fraudulent and try to get them thrown out,” says Protect Democracy’s Bassin. Setting public expectations ahead of time helped undercut those lies.
The alliance took a common set of themes from the research Shenker-Osorio presented at Podhorzer’s Zooms. Studies have shown that when people don’t think their vote will count or fear casting it will be a hassle, they’re far less likely to participate. Throughout election season, members of Podhorzer’s group minimized incidents of voter intimidation and tamped down rising liberal hysteria about Trump’s expected refusal to concede. They didn’t want to amplify false claims by engaging them, or put people off voting by suggesting a rigged game. “When you say, ‘These claims of fraud are spurious,’ what people hear is ‘fraud,’” Shenker-Osorio says. “What we saw in our pre-election research was that anything that reaffirmed Trump’s power or cast him as an authoritarian diminished people’s desire to vote.”
Podhorzer, meanwhile, was warning everyone he knew that polls were underestimating Trump’s support. The data he shared with media organizations who would be calling the election was “tremendously useful” to understand what was happening as the votes rolled in, according to a member of a major network’s political unit who spoke with Podhorzer before Election Day. Most analysts had recognized there would be a “blue shift” in key battlegrounds– the surge of votes breaking toward Democrats, driven by tallies of mail-in ballots– but they hadn’t comprehended how much better Trump was likely to do on Election Day. “Being able to document how big the absentee wave would be and the variance by state was essential,” the analyst says.
The racial-justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. The organizers who helped lead it wanted to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians. Many of those organizers were part of Podhorzer’s network, from the activists in battleground states who partnered with the Democracy Defense Coalition to organizations with leading roles in the Movement for Black Lives.
The best way to ensure people’s voices were heard, they decided, was to protect their ability to vote. “We started thinking about a program that would complement the traditional election-protection area but also didn’t rely on calling the police,” says Nelini Stamp, the Working Families Party’s national organizing director. They created a force of “election defenders” who, unlike traditional poll watchers, were trained in de-escalation techniques. During early voting and on Election Day, they surrounded lines of voters in urban areas with a “joy to the polls” effort that turned the act of casting a ballot into a street party. Black organizers also recruited thousands of poll workers to ensure polling places would stay open in their communities.
The summer uprising had shown that people power could have a massive impact. Activists began preparing to reprise the demonstrations if Trump tried to steal the election. “Americans plan widespread protests if Trump interferes with election,” Reuters reported in October, one of many such stories. More than 150 liberal groups, from the Women’s March to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from Democrats.com to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the “Protect the Results” coalition. The group’s now defunct website had a map listing 400 planned postelection demonstrations, to be activated via text message as soon as Nov. 4. To stop the coup they feared, the left was ready to flood the streets.
About a week before Election Day, Podhorzer received an unexpected message: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wanted to talk.
The AFL-CIO and the Chamber have a long history of antagonism. Though neither organization is explicitly partisan, the influential business lobby has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Republican campaigns, just as the nation’s unions funnel hundreds of millions to Democrats. On one side is labor, on the other management, locked in an eternal struggle for power and resources.
But behind the scenes, the business community was engaged in its own anxious discussions about how the election and its aftermath might unfold. The summer’s racial-justice protests had sent a signal to business owners too: the potential for economy-disrupting civil disorder. “With tensions running high, there was a lot of concern about unrest around the election, or a breakdown in our normal way we handle contentious elections,” says Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer. These worries had led the Chamber to release a pre-election statement with the Business Roundtable, a Washington-based CEOs’ group, as well as associations of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, calling for patience and confidence as votes were counted.
But Bradley wanted to send a broader, more bipartisan message. He reached out to Podhorzer, through an intermediary both men declined to name. Agreeing that their unlikely alliance would be powerful, they began to discuss a joint statement pledging their organizations’ shared commitment to a fair and peaceful election. They chose their words carefully and scheduled the statement’s release for maximum impact. As it was being finalized, Christian leaders signaled their interest in joining, further broadening its reach.
The statement was released on Election Day, under the names of Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, and the heads of the National Association of Evangelicals and the National African American Clergy Network. “It is imperative that election officials be given the space and time to count every vote in accordance with applicable laws,” it stated. “We call on the media, the candidates and the American people to exercise patience with the process and trust in our system, even if it requires more time than usual.” The groups added, “Although we may not always agree on desired outcomes up and down the ballot, we are united in our call for the American democratic process to proceed without violence, intimidation or any other tactic that makes us weaker as a nation.”
Election night began with many Democrats despairing. Trump was running ahead of pre-election polling, winning Florida, Ohio and Texas easily and keeping Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania too close to call. But Podhorzer was unperturbed when I spoke to him that night: the returns were exactly in line with his modeling. He had been warning for weeks that Trump voters’ turnout was surging. As the numbers dribbled out, he could tell that as long as all the votes were counted, Trump would lose.
The liberal alliance gathered for an 11 p.m. Zoom call. Hundreds joined; many were freaking out. “It was really important for me and the team in that moment to help ground people in what we had already known was true,” says Angela Peoples, director for the Democracy Defense Coalition. Podhorzer presented data to show the group that victory was in hand.
While he was talking, Fox News surprised everyone by calling Arizona for Biden. The public-awareness campaign had worked: TV anchors were bending over backward to counsel caution and frame the vote count accurately. The question then became what to do next.
The conversation that followed was a difficult one, led by the activists charged with the protest strategy. “We wanted to be mindful of when was the right time to call for moving masses of people into the street,” Peoples says. As much as they were eager to mount a show of strength, mobilizing immediately could backfire and put people at risk. Protests that devolved into violent clashes would give Trump a pretext to send in federal agents or troops as he had over the summer. And rather than elevate Trump’s complaints by continuing to fight him, the alliance wanted to send the message that the people had spoken.
So the word went out: stand down. Protect the Results announced that it would “not be activating the entire national mobilization network today, but remains ready to activate if necessary.” On Twitter, outraged progressives wondered what was going on. Why wasn’t anyone trying to stop Trump’s coup? Where were all the protests?
Podhorzer credits the activists for their restraint. “They had spent so much time getting ready to hit the streets on Wednesday. But they did it,” he says. “Wednesday through Friday, there was not a single Antifa vs. Proud Boys incident like everyone was expecting. And when that didn’t materialize, I don’t think the Trump campaign had a backup plan.”
Activists reoriented the Protect the Results protests toward a weekend of celebration. “Counter their disinfo with our confidence & get ready to celebrate,” read the messaging guidance Shenker-Osorio presented to the liberal alliance on Friday, Nov. 6. “Declare and fortify our win. Vibe: confident, forward-looking, unified–NOT passive, anxious.” The voters, not the candidates, would be the protagonists of the story.
The planned day of celebration happened to coincide with the election being called on Nov. 7. Activists dancing in the streets of Philadelphia blasted Beyoncé over an attempted Trump campaign press conference; the Trumpers’ next confab was scheduled for Four Seasons Total Landscaping outside the city center, which activists believe was not a coincidence. “The people of Philadelphia owned the streets of Philadelphia,” crows the Working Families Party’s Mitchell. “We made them look ridiculous by contrasting our joyous celebration of democracy with their clown show.”
The votes had been counted. Trump had lost. But the battle wasn’t over.
In Podhorzer’s presentations, winning the vote was only the first step to winning the election. After that came winning the count, winning the certification, winning the Electoral College and winning the transition–steps that are normally formalities but that he knew Trump would see as opportunities for disruption. Nowhere would that be more evident than in Michigan, where Trump’s pressure on local Republicans came perilously close to working–and where liberal and conservative pro-democracy forces joined to counter it.
It was around 10 p.m. on election night in Detroit when a flurry of texts lit up the phone of Art Reyes III. A busload of Republican election observers had arrived at the TCF Center, where votes were being tallied. They were crowding the vote-counting tables, refusing to wear masks, heckling the mostly Black workers. Reyes, a Flint native who leads We the People Michigan, was expecting this. For months, conservative groups had been sowing suspicion about urban vote fraud. “The language was, ‘They’re going to steal the election; there will be fraud in Detroit,’ long before any vote was cast,” Reyes says.
He made his way to the arena and sent word to his network. Within 45 minutes, dozens of reinforcements had arrived. As they entered the arena to provide a counterweight to the GOP observers inside, Reyes took down their cell-phone numbers and added them to a massive text chain. Racial-justice activists from Detroit Will Breathe worked alongside suburban women from Fems for Dems and local elected officials. Reyes left at 3 a.m., handing the text chain over to a disability activist.
As they mapped out the steps in the election-certification process, activists settled on a strategy of foregrounding the people’s right to decide, demanding their voices be heard and calling attention to the racial implications of disenfranchising Black Detroiters. They flooded the Wayne County canvassing board’s Nov. 17 certification meeting with on-message testimony; despite a Trump tweet, the Republican board members certified Detroit’s votes.
Election boards were one pressure point; another was GOP-controlled legislatures, who Trump believed could declare the election void and appoint their own electors. And so the President invited the GOP leaders of the Michigan legislature, House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey, to Washington on Nov. 20.
It was a perilous moment. If Chatfield and Shirkey agreed to do Trump’s bidding, Republicans in other states might be similarly bullied. “I was concerned things were going to get weird,” says Jeff Timmer, a former Michigan GOP executive director turned anti-Trump activist. Norm Eisen describes it as “the scariest moment” of the entire election.
The democracy defenders launched a full-court press. Protect Democracy’s local contacts researched the lawmakers’ personal and political motives. Issue One ran television ads in Lansing. The Chamber’s Bradley kept close tabs on the process. Wamp, the former Republican Congressman, called his former colleague Mike Rogers, who wrote an op-ed for the Detroit newspapers urging officials to honor the will of the voters. Three former Michigan governors–Republicans John Engler and Rick Snyder and Democrat Jennifer Granholm–jointly called for Michigan’s electoral votes to be cast free of pressure from the White House. Engler, a former head of the Business Roundtable, made phone calls to influential donors and fellow GOP elder statesmen who could press the lawmakers privately.
The pro-democracy forces were up against a Trumpified Michigan GOP controlled by allies of Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chair, and Betsy DeVos, the former Education Secretary and a member of a billionaire family of GOP donors. On a call with his team on Nov. 18, Bassin vented that his side’s pressure was no match for what Trump could offer. “Of course he’s going to try to offer them something,” Bassin recalls thinking. “Head of the Space Force! Ambassador to wherever! We can’t compete with that by offering carrots. We need a stick.”
If Trump were to offer something in exchange for a personal favor, that would likely constitute bribery, Bassin reasoned. He phoned Richard Primus, a law professor at the University of Michigan, to see if Primus agreed and would make the argument publicly. Primus said he thought the meeting itself was inappropriate, and got to work on an op-ed for Politico warning that the state attorney general–a Democrat–would have no choice but to investigate. When the piece posted on Nov. 19, the attorney general’s communications director tweeted it. Protect Democracy soon got word that the lawmakers planned to bring lawyers to the meeting with Trump the next day.
Reyes’ activists scanned flight schedules and flocked to the airports on both ends of Shirkey’s journey to D.C., to underscore that the lawmakers were being scrutinized. After the meeting, the pair announced they’d pressed the President to deliver COVID relief for their constituents and informed him they saw no role in the election process. Then they went for a drink at the Trump hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. A street artist projected their images onto the outside of the building along with the words THE WORLD IS WATCHING.
That left one last step: the state canvassing board, made up of two Democrats and two Republicans. One Republican, a Trumper employed by the DeVos family’s political nonprofit, was not expected to vote for certification. The other Republican on the board was a little-known lawyer named Aaron Van Langevelde. He sent no signals about what he planned to do, leaving everyone on edge.
When the meeting began, Reyes’s activists flooded the livestream and filled Twitter with their hashtag, #alleyesonmi. A board accustomed to attendance in the single digits suddenly faced an audience of thousands. In hours of testimony, the activists emphasized their message of respecting voters’ wishes and affirming democracy rather than scolding the officials. Van Langevelde quickly signaled he would follow precedent. The vote was 3-0 to certify; the other Republican abstained.
After that, the dominoes fell. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the rest of the states certified their electors. Republican officials in Arizona and Georgia stood up to Trump’s bullying. And the Electoral College voted on schedule on Dec. 14.
There was one last milestone on Podhorzer’s mind: Jan. 6. On the day Congress would meet to tally the electoral count, Trump summoned his supporters to D.C. for a rally.
Much to their surprise, the thousands who answered his call were met by virtually no counterdemonstrators. To preserve safety and ensure they couldn’t be blamed for any mayhem, the activist left was “strenuously discouraging counter activity,” Podhorzer texted me the morning of Jan. 6, with a crossed-fingers emoji.
Trump addressed the crowd that afternoon, peddling the lie that lawmakers of Vice President Mike Pence could reject states’ electoral votes. He told them to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” Then he returned to the White House as they sacked the building. As lawmakers fled for their lives and his own supporters were shot and trampled, Trump praised the rioters as “very special.”
It was his final attack on democracy, and once again, it failed. By standing down, the democracy campaigners outfoxed their foes. “We won by the skin of our teeth, honestly, and that’s an important point for folks to sit with,” says the Democracy Defense Coalition’s Peoples. “There’s an impulse for some to say voters decided and democracy won. But it’s a mistake to think that this election cycle was a show of strength for democracy. It shows how vulnerable democracy is.”
The members of the alliance to protect the election have gone their separate ways. The Democracy Defense Coalition has been disbanded, though the Fight Back Table lives on. Protect Democracy and the good-government advocates have turned their attention to pressing reforms in Congress. Left-wing activists are pressuring the newly empowered Democrats to remember the voters who put them there, while civil rights groups are on guard against further attacks on voting. Business leaders denounced the Jan. 6 attack, and some say they will no longer donate to lawmakers who refused to certify Biden’s victory. Podhorzer and his allies are still holding their Zoom strategy sessions, gauging voters’ views and developing new messages. And Trump is in Florida, facing his second impeachment, deprived of the Twitter and Facebook accounts he used to push the nation to its breaking point.
As I was reporting this article in November and December, I heard different claims about who should get the credit for thwarting Trump’s plot. Liberals argued the role of bottom-up people power shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly the contributions of people of color and local grassroots activists. Others stressed the heroism of GOP officials like Van Langevelde and Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who stood up to Trump at considerable cost. The truth is that neither likely could have succeeded without the other. “It’s astounding how close we came, how fragile all this really is,” says Timmer, the former Michigan GOP executive director. “It’s like when Wile E. Coyote runs off the cliff–if you don’t look down, you don’t fall. Our democracy only survives if we all believe and don’t look down.”
Democracy won in the end. The will of the people prevailed. But it’s crazy, in retrospect, that this is what it took to put on an election in the United States of America.
–With reporting by LESLIE DICKSTEIN, MARIAH ESPADA and SIMMONE SHAH
Correction appended, Feb. 5: The original version of this story misstated the name of Norm Eisen’s organization. It is the Voter Protection Program, not the Voter Protection Project. The original version of this story also misstated Jeff Timmer’s former position with the Michigan Republican Party. He was the executive director, not the chairman.
This appears in the February 15, 2021 issue of TIME.
“I’m going to say something that’s going to get me in trouble…think about it, if you want to know where the American public is, look at the money being spent on advertising. Did you ever 5 years ago think every second or third ad out of 5 or 6 would be biracial couples?”- Biden
If this was a white woman, nobody would care. But since she’s black, all hell breaks loose. Where is the white privilege? Where is the systemic racism if this is the reaction to a “wronged” black woman in a picture?
Three weeks ago I processed the Capitol insurrection with my high school students. Rallying our inquiry skills, we analyzed the images of that historic day, images of white men storming through the Capitol, fearless and with no forces to stop them. “This,” I said, “is white supremacy, this is white privilege. It can be hard to pinpoint, but when we see, it, we know it.”
Across our Zoom screen, they affirmed, with nods, thumbs-ups, and emojis of anger and frustration. Fast-forward two weeks as we analyzed images from the inauguration, asking again, “What do we see?” We saw diversity, creativity and humanity, and a nation embracing all of this and more. On the day of the inauguration, Bernie Sanders was barely on our radar. The next day, he was everywhere.
“What do we see?” I asked again. We’ve been studying diversity and discrimination in the United States; my students were ready. What did they see? They saw a white man in a puffy jacket and huge mittens, distant not only in his social distancing, but in his demeanor and attire.
We took in the meaning of the day, the vulnerability of democracy, the power of ritual, traditions and the peaceful transition of power.
We talked about gender and the possible meanings of the attire chosen by Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. Jill Biden, the Biden grandchildren, Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman and others. We referenced the female warriors inspiring these women, the colors of their educational degrees and their monochromatic ensembles of pure power.
And there, across all of our news and social media feeds, was Bernie: Bernie memes, Bernie sweatshirts, endless love for Bernie. I puzzled and fumed as an individual as I strove to be my best possible teacher. What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and -privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.
I mean in no way to overstate the parallels. Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist. But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel.
“When you see privilege, you know it,” I’d told them weeks before. Yet, when they saw Sen. Bernie Sanders manifesting privilege, when seemingly no one else did, I struggled to explain that disparity. I am beyond puzzled as to why so many are loving the images of Bernie and his gloves. Sweet, yes, the gloves, knit by an educator. So “Bernie.”
Not so sweet? The blindness I see, of so many (Bernie included), to the privileges Bernie represents. I don’t know many poor, or working class, or female, or struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie. Unless those same folk had privilege. Which they don’t.
Chronological coverage of the 2020 election outlining the bias, double standards and lies. Trump wins on election day, mail-in ballots come in over the next few days and Biden is crowned the winner by the MSM while they gaslight about how there is no voter fraud. [Large crowdfunded election fraud database]
Biden – the “most popular” president scared of his own inauguration needs 30k troops – Trump walked alone into North Korea
Time magazine outlines how they stole the election, not even hiding it: The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election. Time report touts ‘cabal of of powerful people’ behind ‘conspiracy,’ ‘shadow campaign’ to shape election. [mirror of the time article here]
By the most critical metric, deaths per capita, DeSantis has outperformed Cuomo enormously. Cuomo’s led one of the most disastrous crisis responses in US history. If NY were a country it’d have the highest death per capita IN THE WORLD. And yet look at the biased coverage:
The King County library in Washington State have been holding “separate but equal” training sessions for their employees, all in the name of social justice.
The consultants “begin with an anti-oppression framework” and use segregated sessions in order to root out “institutional privileges and systemic inequities embedded in the current socio-political conditions that influence and affect our institutions.”
The consultants discovered widespread “institutional racism” in the library system—and dismissed employees who reported “not experiencing or witnessing racism while working at KCLS” as likely suffering from the false consciousness of “internalized racism.” When reached by e-mail, Racial Equity Consultants said it was not authorized to comment.
Rufo told The Post Millennial that the pictures of the signs for the training sessions he posted on social media today came from a whistleblower and reminded him “…signs on (segregated) water fountains in the 1950’s.”
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and senior staff have recently required employees to sign a “equity and social justice” pledge and assigned “continued training for white employees,” who must “do the work” to “learn the true history of racism in our country.” Rufo said that every time he writes an article or posts a picture from the sessions, more whistleblowers come forward.
Washington State government officials, especially those in King County and Seattle have been infusing “critical race theory” into their policies and trainings including in public schools.
Earlier this year, The Post Millennial exposed critical race theory practices and curriculum being practiced and taught in Seattle schools. Seattle public schools released a plan to bring students back into the classroom from remote learning, but differentiated the priorities for who should come back first based on many factors involving a measure of those who are most marginalized. Per the guidelines, “students furthest from educational justice,” and “students of color” would be given priority on returning to school for face-to-face instruction.
Documents from the Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Rehkdahl outlined the phased approach prioritizing grade level, such as “serve all elementary students first,” or “serve students furthest from educational justice first, including students with disabilities, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, students experiencing poverty, students of color, and other student groups.”
This past summer, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau sent an email to students only, saying: “This country has a long history of oppressing people of color, especially Black and African American people. The last couple weeks we have seen demonstrations of systematic racism on full display across our country to the point of murder of Black people. I share in the horror and sadness displayed by the police systems across the country and by some officers here in our own city.”
Students in Washington as young as 11-years-old to refer to a riot as an “uprising” and rioters as “freedom fighters” and that “cops are racist.” Students were even encouraged to donate to bail-funds that have recently been tied to helping release an accused child rapist.
According to official court records, Corkins “told the FBI that if the police had not responded and caught him at the FRC, he intended to go to the second organization on his target list and perpetrate a similar shooting there.”
Official court records show that Corkins was inspired by the SPLC to commit terrorism.
Corkins pled guilty to act of domestic terrorism in exchange for a 25 year prison sentence. During his interviews with the FBI, Corkins explained his plans and how he chose his targets:
Once inside the FRC on the day of the shooting, he pulled the gun on the, quote, guard, end quote, grappled with him, and in the course of doing so he intentionally discharged the gun multiple times. The shooting was not an accident. He pointed the gun at the guard, and that he intended to shoot and kill the guard, and then go upstairs and shoot and kill, quote, as many people as he could, end quote.
He was a political activist and considered the FRC a lobbying group. He committed the shooting for political reasons. He identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center Website.
TikTok has removed a number of videos after a BBC investigation showed creators were posting anti-Trump material without disclosing that they were paid for by a marketing company.
“Bigtent Creative, an agency which grew out of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign in the Democratic primaries, had been funding posts on the platform. Smith Galer said that Bigtent-funded posts were a mixture of nonpartisan content encouraging people to register to vote, and some videos which explicitly encouraged people to vote against President Donald Trump.”
From watching the videos you would have no idea they were paid for or linked to any company.
The videos are made by popular creators and show trending dances or a skit or monologue, and are similar to the videos they usually post.
In one series of videos Bigtent Creative supported, a number of prominent TikTok accounts duetted with each other to promote a non-partisan voter registration link. But some of the users in this so-called “vote chain” included anti-Trump messages such as: “Trump is trying to ban TikTok again…can we please vote him out?”
MUSLIMS have taken to the streets across the world to burn French flags and effigies of Emmanuel Macron in a sign of spreading anger over controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Thousands of demonstrators have denounced France in protests in several Muslim countries amid the row over Macron’s defence of the right to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
It comes as France was hit by two suspected terror attacks on Thursday which left three people dead – including a woman beheaded in a church by a knifeman shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
Two separate knifemen are understood to have launched attacks in Nice and Avignon just hours apart.
France has raised its alert status to the highest possible level of “terror attack emergency”.
Thousands of protesters in Tunisia, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, Russia have taken to the streets to burn pictures of Macron and take a stand against the caricatures.
The suspect, 21, had an Italian Red Cross document, issued after he arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa by migrant boat last month.
He was shot by police and is in a critical condition. One of the victims was “virtually beheaded”, said the French chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.
President Emmanuel Macron said it was an “Islamist terrorist attack”.
Mr Macron said the number of soldiers being deployed to protect public places – such as churches and schools – would rise from 3,000 to 7,000. Anti-terror prosecutors have opened an investigation, and France has raised its national security alert to the highest level.
In another development, a 47-year-old man believed to have been in contact with the attacker was detained by police late on Thursday, French media reported.
MSNBC blames teacher decapitated by Muslim terrorist in nice france
Poland has strict border controls and immigrant/refugee vetting denied asylum to the muslim terrorist who decapitated a teacher in France – who granted him asylum
Gallup released jaw-dropping news October 7, the day of the vice presidential debate. A new poll, taken between September 14-September 28, showed that 56 percent of registered voters said that “they are better off now than they were four years ago, while 32% said they are worse off.” That’s a 24 percent disparity.
For context, this means that despite a pandemic and an economic downturn artificially created by state shutdowns, a “clear majority” of voters believe they are in a better position today than they were in the last year of former President Barack Obama’s administration in 2016. But it gets even more interesting. In the same poll taken in 2012 between December 14-December 17, only 45 percent of registered voters felt the same way, right after Obama’s reelection just over a month earlier.
But guess what! This poll has received no coverage from ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News either in the evening hours before the 9:00 p.m. debate October 7, or the evening after. That’s a two-night media blackout.
They make sure to mention that protesters were peaceful and that chauvin was white as he knelt on black George floyd
Fifty-one people were arrested during protests Wednesday after a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd was released on bail.
Derek Chauvin had been in custody in a Minnesota prison as he awaits a March trial on charges of murder and other counts. He was released Wednesday after posting a $1 million bond. He had been held in a state prison instead of a local jail for security reasons.
On Wednesday evening, about 300 people marched peacefully near the site where Minneapolis police tried to arrest Floyd on May 25 for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Floyd died after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after the handcuffed Black man pleaded for air.
Pew Research data proves your media source determines your reality. Believe the U.S. did all it could to control COVID:
FoxNews / Talk Radio Only: 90% yes
MSNBC/CNN/NPR Only: 3% yes
An NBC town hall with Joe Biden billed as consisting only of “an audience of undecided Florida voters” included two Cuban American voters who told MSNBC in August they were voting for the former vice president, according to a Tuesday report in the Washington Free Beacon.
“Welcome to tonight’s town hall, where we are surrounded by dozens of undecided voters and where Democratic candidate Joe Biden will answer our questions and make his case tonight,” moderator Lester Holt told viewers at the top of the broadcast on Monday night.
One question at the event came from attorney Peter Gonzalez. Six weeks ago, Gonzalez told MSNBC on Aug. 23 that “if we get four more years of Trump, good luck, and good luck with the future attracting younger voters.”
The network promoted Gonzalez’s comments on its official Twitter and Facebook pages at the time.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins cries about Trump removing his mask after coming back to white House, but she herself removes her mask after white house press briefing.
Multiple voters characterized by ABC News as undecided—and selected to pepper President Donald Trump with questions during a network town hall—are longtime Trump critics. While the network claimed its Tuesday town hall “provided uncommitted voters the opportunity to ask the president questions about issues affecting Americans,” a Washington Free Beacon review of social media posts found that two of the questioners have long denounced Trump.
Kutztown University professor Ellesia Blaque—whom ABC repeatedly identified as “uncommitted” in its coverage of the town hall—praised vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris during the Democratic primary, saying she would “be there, volunteering” for the California senator in Pennsylvania. The English professor was not shy about her partisanship, calling Trump a “f—ing moron,” “pathetic,” “pig,” “swine,” “punk ass,” and “LOOSER” (sic) in a slew of 2019 tweets. She is a self-described “liberal Democrat,” according to her Facebook profile, on the grounds that liberals “are not motivated by money or power, but by humanity and the needs of the people.”
Another “uncommitted” voter, Philadelphia pastor Carl Day, tweeted that he’s “never once supported trump and won’t now” in August, just weeks before the ABC town hall. He went on to say that Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan refers to a time in which “the n— did what they were told in all industries, wouldn’t have the audacity to try to enter a white establishment and didn’t talk back to the cops.” Day also referred to Trump as a “villain,” called him “ridiculously arrogant & obnoxious,” and said he “ain’t no Christian” in posts spanning from 2015 to 2019.
Interim Chief of Police Robert Schroeder declared a state of emergency for the Louisville Metro Police Department on Monday. The department has also canceled all off-day and vacation requests “until further notice.” The announcement comes ahead of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s announcement in the Breonna Taylor case.
Leftist terrorists are holding an entire city hostage, forcing businesses to close and board up because of fake news race baiting about false police shooting statistics and the lies about black people being oppressed. Leftists in charge allow this to go on.
20-09-23: Thousands march in New York
Christina M. Johnson, President of Ohio State University race baits about blacks being killed, lies about Breonna sleeping when shot.
The power of propaganda and brainwashing. Completely false post saying that the cop was only charged for the shots missed.
Officer Leath was killed in April when the guy shot through the door. They knocked, announced themselves, and he shot through the door and killed her
PORTLAND, Ore. — Terrance Moses was watching protesters against police brutality march down his quiet residential street one recent evening when some in the group of a few hundred suddenly stopped and started yelling.
Mr. Moses was initially not sure what the protesters were upset about, but as he got closer, he saw it: His neighbors had an American flag on display.
“It went from a peaceful march, calling out the names, to all of a sudden, bang, ‘How dare you fly the American flag?’” said Mr. Moses, who is Black and runs a nonprofit group in the Portland, Ore., area. “They said take it down. They wouldn’t leave. They said they’re going to come back and burn the house down.
This is who this propaganda outlet calls “protesters”.
These more aggressive protests target ordinary people going about their lives, especially those who decline to demonstrate allegiance to the cause. That includes a diner in Washington who refused to raise her fist to show support for Black Lives Matter, or, in several cities, confused drivers who happened upon the protests.
Others, frustrated that little has changed since Mr. Floyd was killed, say that sitting idly and watching a protest without participating nowadays is to show tacit support for racism.
In Rochester, N.Y., protesters have confronted people at outdoor restaurants, shaking dinner tables. Marchers in Washington also accosted people eating outside, urging everyone to raise their fists to show their allegiance to the movement.
Again, calling them just protesters
In Portland, Jessie Burke, who is white and owns a coffee shop in the city, said the message of the movement is getting lost as the protests escalate and target ordinary residents in their homes.
What the hell does the guys skin color have to do with anything?
The same night the protesters came to the couple’s door last month, they marched into Kenton’s commercial district and used restaurant picnic tables as fuel for fires. They collected the colorful wooden dividers the neighbors had recently built for outdoor dining and set those ablaze as well. Mr. Moses and others in the community ran into the protests with fire extinguishers.
Again, “protesters” who burn down tables and destroy property.
They had decided that the neighborhood close by was too racially diverse for them to protest in. They needed to go somewhere whiter.
A local academic is speaking out after her car was broken into, which she believes may have been an act of intimidation intended to discourage her advocacy work.
“We know what happens when white settlers feel threatened,” she said.
After posting about the experience on social media, Wilson said other vocal BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) leaders have shared similar experiences with her — and say the incidents have left them worried about their safety.
Wilson said she did not report the incident to police. She did say that racialized communities do not always feel safe reporting incidents to police.
Frankie Condon teaches race and class at the University of Waterloo, and has closely followed Wilson’s thread on social media.
She said the actions described in the tweets align with the ways white supremacist groups try to scare and silence BIPOC people. There has been a long history of white supremacy and extremism in Kitchener-Waterloo, Condon said.
“The more worried people in position of power and privilege are about the loss of that power and privilege, the more likely they are to turn to violence or the threat of violence to preserve their social standing,” said Condon.
“Systemic racism” is when your car is broken into, you have a national publicly funded “newspaper” write a sob story about you and how racist white people are to blame (without showing any proof whatsoever).
But thousands of white people being victimized by blacks is just part and parcel of living in a multicultural society. And don’t you dare lump all blacks or muslims into one group and blame then for the actions of a random boogeyman that doesn’t even exist.
The president, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed released a joint statement Thursday, after the three spoke “and agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.” The statement said that the “diplomatic breakthrough” was at “the request of President Trump,” and that Israel will “suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”
Israel and the UAE also said they will continue their efforts to “achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
AP associated press “peace deal where there was never war”
“The conversation” ‘Historic’ Israel deal won’t likely bring peace to the Middle East
“Do you have any sense that that privilege has isolated and put you in a cave to a certain extent, as it put me and I think lots of white privileged people in a cave and that we have to work our way out of it to understand the anger and the pain, particularly, Black people feel in this country?” Woodward asked.
“No,” Trump responded. “You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all.”
What Trump ACTUALLY said is that he doesn’t feel like he’s isolated in a white privilege cave that he has to come out of to understand black pain.
Last part of the quote “Because I don’t want to create a panic”
Literally the same concept behind authorities saying to not wear masks at the beginning – so that there won’t be chaos and panic along with rushing to stores to stock up on masks aside from other things.
Students didn’t ‘feel comfortable’ sitting near the murals, administrator said
The University of Rhode Island recently announced plans to remove two murals depicting World War II veterans because it lacks “diversity and a sensitivity to today’s complex and painful problems,” according to the university.
Kathy Collins, vice president of student affairs, told CBS 12 she received complaints because the two folk-art murals portraying life in the GI Bill era of the 1950s “portray a very homogeneous population” and that most of the people depicted in the murals are “predominantly white.”
Deon Kay was a violent gangbanger who ran at cops with his gun drawn before they took him down but okay. I’m sure he was just turning his life around at any moment and had a promising future as a Supreme Court Justice.
Deon Kay, the latest martyr of the Black Lives Matter movement. DC is rioting in his name. pic.twitter.com/l9cqhi1qTR
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 3, 2020
Media coverage and reaction from BLM after the shooting of this upstanding citizen:
Washington post propaganda about deon kay – “mourned as a young man “creating plans for his future”
It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.
For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job
The New York Times edited out Reinoehl’s ties to antifa in its spotlight summary. The BBC is referring to Reinoehl as an “anti-racist” activist.
Left-wing news outlets refused to shine a light on Antifa’s dark influence when covering the death of admitted Antifa shooter Michael Forest Reinoehl.
The New York Times edited out Reinoehl’s ties to the domestic terror group in its spotlight summary.
As one of the first news outlets to break the killing of Reinoehl by a federal fugitive task force last night, the NYT made several changes to its original article, which initially read: “Michael Forest Reinoehl, an Antifa supporter, died when law enforcement went to arrest him. He was being investigated in the fatal shooting of a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer.”
The Daily Beast described his declaration as on “the far edges of the anti-racist movement.”
To date, the NYT abstract reads: “Law enforcement agents killed Michael Forest Reinoehl while trying to arrest him, four officials said. He was being investigated in the fatal shooting of a supporter of a far-right group.”
Meanwhile, Forbes magazine failed to report on Reinoehl’s devotion to Antifa altogether, implying that the shooter was part of the “anti-racism demonstrators.” Forbes called the exposé an interview with “the army veteran who was reportedly a longstanding presence at Portland’s Black Lives Matter protests.”
The Guardian followed suit, calling the Antifa mob “anti-racism activists.”
News coverage of the bullshit made up story that trump called soldiers losers or suckers:
20-08-29: Buzzfeed is suddenly concerned about lack of social distancing… during Trump’s RNC speech
20-08-29: MSNBC concerned about no social distancing at white house RNC speech but praises BLM protest also without social distancing:
20-08-29: New York Times concerned about social distancing at Trump speech but not march on Washington
Human Rights Campaign scolding Trump speech for no social distancing, then promotes and participates in march on washington
CNN contradicts themselves live on air
20-08-29: Leftist MSM all concerned about social distancing for coronavirus, but only during Trump’s RNC speech. The mass riots, protests, demonstrations and gatherings for BLM are OK.
All of these were from before the election. The timing is important because we just learned today that US intel was worried about how Russia would use Clinton’s concocted attacks
16-10-31 hillary clinton wants trump to answer unfounded baseless russia allegations – secret server
16-08-15 hillary clinton has questions about trump cozy relationship with russia
16-10-31 hillary clinton wants trump to disclose ties to russia
Speaker pelosi whipping up firestorm of baseless Russia allegations and lies:
Ted Lieu with trump derangement syndrome alleging russia collusion
MSNBC amplifying democrat and Hillary Clinton talking points about Russia collusion and interference
Rachel maddow msnbc amplifies democrat anti trump russia collusion hoax talking points
Chris Hayes MSNBC using the same talking points about Russia controlling Trump
You may have forgotten that CNN had three journalists who had to resign after a retracted story alleging a connection between Trump and Russia.
Buzzfeed “news” spreading absolute made up lies from the Steele dossier and anonymous intelligence officials
CNN pushing the now debunked steele dossier story
CNN pushing steele dossier
Adam schiff defending Steele – who put out the debunked steele dossier.
Rachel maddow pushing made up debunked steele dossier
Newsweek pushing Steele dossier
Slate magazine says Christopher steele is a credible person trump is not – while pushing debunked steele dossier
Jennifer Rubin praising steele and carter paige debunked dossier trump russia collusion hoax
Max boot says steele dossier is true
Kurt Eichenwald on trump russia collusion hoax
Drew Holden on the Trump russia collusion hoax – there were no follow ups from anyone, everything was just forgotten.
Aftermath of the worst act of terrorism since 9/11 vs a peaceful BLM antifa protest for justice and equality
Biden – the “most popular” president scared of his own inauguration needs 30k troops to secure him – Trump walked alone into North Korea
Ruthless dictator leaves quietly, as democratically elected successor is sworn in with massive military presence and begins to stifle opponents speech and crush the rights of political foes
But when a handful of right wingers break a few windows, ALL Trump supporters and conservatives are blamed, dehumanized, banned, censored and hated.
1. Use “incidents” as a key metric
Written in the methodology of the CSIS study is this: “We coded threats of violence as attacks rather than plots, even if the threat turned out to be a hoax.”
This statement is an incredible admission. The CSIS includes threats of violence as terrorist attacks — even if the threat was a hoax.
Such low standards for terrorism allow the authors to leverage vaguely defined “hate crime” data from the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center to inflate right-wing occurrences.
2. Manipulate definitions
Each study is careful about the definitions for terrorism. The CIR defines right-wing terrorism as follows: “militia movements, as well as white supremacist, anti-government, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-abortion extremists, including radical Christians.”
These are standard terms Democrats use to attack conservatives — which is the point. The definitions are deliberately vague to increase subjectivity.
Notice that they do not suggest merely opposition to abortion policies — but opposition to certain policies such as abortion. Basically, right-wing terrorists are defined as anyone who opposes the left, plus incels.
For Muslim terrorists, the variables are much more rigid. The CIR criteria for Islamic terrorism is as follows:
We use the term “Islamist” to describe theocratic extremists inspired by groups such as the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State. We chose the term “Islamist,” rather than “Islamic,” in an effort to uncouple the Muslim faith from the political ideology of Islamism.
Each study follows the same model of broad definitions for right-wingers but restrictive ones for Muslims.
3. Lone wolves are not terrorists
By limiting Islamic terrorism only to cases with direct ties to specific terrorist groups, they define away “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and exclude them from the studies.
The Washington mall shooter, Arcan Cetin, who killed five people in 2016? Lone wolf.
Esteban Santiago, who killed five people at a Fort Lauderdale airport and told FBI agents he carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS? Lone wolf.
4. Apply inconsistently
The NAF study enables anti-government statements to classify someone as a right-wing extremist.
This flimsy definition does not apply to Muslim extremists.
Yelling “down with the government” while carrying out an act of violence is enough to be counted as right-wing terrorism. However, a Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” while committing the same violence is not sufficient to be an Islamic extremist.
5. Count violence unrelated to ideology
While the CSIS study doesn’t list specific terrorist acts, it discloses some sources — one of which is the Anti-Defamation League.
This inflates numbers by including incidents committed by those who fit the ideological criteria, even if the acts were unrelated to ideology.
Studies on right-wing terrorism are fake — they are nothing but propaganda.
Most left-wing studies on other topics model the same framework: manipulate definitions and variables, fabricate data to fit or exclude based on the falsified definitions, and apply criteria inconsistently.
Good news! It’s not a “conspiracy theory” anymore. The media finally understand that government policies affect demographics and that demography matters – but only in non-white countries.
The Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, known as Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), is the only majority-Muslim state in Hindu India. When India became independent in 1947, Article 370 of its constitution granted special rights to J&K so that it could maintain a Muslim majority.
Suggesting that loss of local population control could lead to “ethnic cleansing” sounds like an unhinged conspiracy theory. Mr. Ward himself, in a piece praising Pete Buttigieg’s plan to combat “white extremism,” said the idea “that white people are being replaced” is a “white nationalist” idea promoted by murderers such as the Christchurch shooter.
Even the New York Times now understands the great replacement:
Human rights activists said that the moves to change Kashmir’s status were only the first steps in a broader plan to erode Kashmir’s core rights and seed the area with non-Kashmiris, altering the demographics and eventually destroying its character.
The Washington Post also gets it: “Critics” reportedly say the Indian government’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party wants to “dilute the concentration of Muslims there and further its project to enshrine the Hindu identity of the nation.” The author also compared the “ethnic and religious undertones” to those in the West Bank, another area where media outlets mysteriously understand the importance of demographics.
The Atlantic worried that without the rule “dating back to colonial times” barring non-Kashmiris from settling, “the demographic balance of the state could shift — and with it, the idea that a vibrant democracy must take special efforts to protect the status of minority communities.”
Should the “status” of the white minority in South Africa be protected? No, said an Atlantic article in 2018. Worrying about the survival of white farmers is a “thinly veiled white supremacist cause.”
Bloomberg’s editorial board said India had made a “mistake.” It wasn’t making Kashmiris “feel like full citizens, in control of their lives and their destinies.” “Democracies as large and heterogeneous as India cannot escape internal tensions,” it said, “but the way to relieve such pressure is to decentralize power and give citizens a greater stake in their governance, as well as more control over local resources.”
That same day, Bloomberg argued for increased federal power in America. “The U.S. needs better intelligence-gathering and more effective preemptive action against domestic terrorists,” it said. Bloomberg also called for more gun control and an intensified fight against “white supremacy.”
When Kashmiris demonstrated against revocation of Article 370, India sent in troops and declared a curfew. Now the BBC even appears to be sympathetic to terrorism in the name of ethnic identity. In an article called “Inside Kashmir’s lockdown: ‘Even I will pick up a gun.’ ” it quotes without editorializing an angry young man who says of his toddler, “He’s too small now, but I will prepare him to pick up a gun too,” in order to fight what Kashmiris call “dictatorial power.” The article did not call for “gun control” or “tolerance.”
The Associated Press warned that “for many, India’s decision is a breach of trust and an attack on Kashmir’s identity.” Another AP story quoted a local man: “Maybe slowly our identity will disappear.” The AP did not call him “racist,” “far-right,” or “nativist.”
Start watching at 21:20
Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26% – almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago. [CDC source]
Four infectious disease doctors in Canada estimate that the individual rate of death from COVID-19 for people under 65 years of age is six per million people, or 0.0006 per cent – 1 in 166,666, which is “roughly equivalent to the risk of dying from a motor vehicle accident during the same time period.”
First the MSM downplays the coronavirus, equating it with the flu. More info in a post about the fake news propaganda in the beginning of the outbreak here.
Liberals are for lockdowns, quarantines, against protesters and anyone who wants to get back to work – unless there’s a demonstration or riot they want to attend. Then the coronavirus is not dangerous.
Ratio of Democrats to Republicans in academic departments Economics: 4.5 to 1 History: 33 to 1 Journalism: 20 to 1 Law: 8.6 to 1 Psychology: 17.4 to 1 Total: 11.5 to 1 Ratio among U.S. registered voters: 1.19 to 1
The study, published online by Econ Journal Watch, considered voter registration data for faculty members at 40 leading U.S. institutions in economics, history, communications, law and psychology. Of 7,243 professors total, about half are registered. Some 3,623 are Democrats while just 314 are Republicans.
Economists are the most mixed group, with a ratio of 4.5 Democrats for every Republican. Historians as a group are the most lopsided, at 33.5 to one; the paper attributes this to the rise of specializations such as gender, culture, race and the environment. (Some classify history as one of the humanities disciplines.) Lawyers are 8.6 to one and psychologists are 17.4 to one, while communications scholars, including journalism professors, are 20 to one.
The ratios have become more extreme since 2004, according to the study, and age profiles suggest that trend will continue. That’s despite researchers’ concerns that current data may be “somewhat abberational,” given the polarizing candidacy of Republican Donald Trump for president.