CNSNews.com commentary editor Rob Shimshock had a little meltdown in a March 29 column:
USA Today has appointed itself arbiter of who does and does not deserve to hire legal representation. And if you disagree, you will be labeled a harasser.
This is the takeaway from a Sunday piece entitled "Insurrection fundraiser: Capitol Riot Extremists, Trump Supporters Raise Money for Lawyer Bills Online" -- an archived link of which can be found here if you, too, would like to avoid funding left-wing activism disguised as "investigative journalism" -- as well as the subsequent Twitter firestorm.
"The Capitol riot extremists and others are engaging [payment processors] in a game of cat-and-mouse as they spring from one fundraising tool to another, utilizing new sites, usernames and accounts," state USA Today authors Brenna Smith, Jessica Guynn, and Will Carless.
Note the use of the term "cat-and-mouse" here. Smith, Guynn, and Carless want you to know that if you use technology to pursue your constitutional right to legal defense, you are the aggressor. Meanwhile, they themselves are objective journalists, despite their repeated hounding of payment processors who dare to host fundraising campaigns linked to their political adversaries.
USA Today contacted Stripe, Our Freedom Funding, GoGetFunding, Venmo (owned by PayPal), and Cash App regarding pages devoted to legal fundraising for Capitol defendants, as well as a far-right streamer. The latter two platforms deleted accounts associated with these figures after being approached by the publication.
Make no mistake: "please comment" is journo-mafia-speak for "silence this person we dislike and remove his ability to fundraise in the new public square, or we'll make an example out of you."
In fact, nobody's constitutional rights are being violated. The defendants are free to hire any lawyer they can afford, and if they can't, their right to a state-appointed and state-funded defense attorney -- just like every other criminal defendant in the country -- has not been abridged. Shimsock is quite deliberately obscuring the fact that people are rightly upset by crowdfunding platforms being used to raise money for people who tried to overthrow the U.S. government and who vandalized the U.S. Capitol. USA Today simply pointed out that was happening, and that's what Shimshock is mad about -- and he doesn't offer a counterargument to that or even understand why anyone might have been offended by the Trump-instigated insurrection.
Still, Shimshock went on to rant:
While a basic understanding of American freedoms and a resistance to mob impulse may be enough to elude the media lynch mob, when it comes to payment processors, the way forward is less clear.
Conservatives can advocate for reform to the Communications Decency Act's Section 230 that will expose platforms that act in an arbitrary and partisan manner to litigation. In the meantime, they can patronize payment processors like Our Freedom Funding that do not cave to media agitators and sue those that violate their terms of service in giving users the boot. Of course, when the companies they wish to prosecute are the very ones that control the digital wallet they'd use to do so, conservatives -- and anyone who opposes the totalitarian academia-media-Big Tech hydra -- face a bit of a quandary.
Actually, Shimshock is the one who's engaging the "mob impulse" against the media, ludicrously attacking the story as "left-wing activism" and the work of a "journo-mafia." It's not "left-wing activism" to document how insurrectionlists are trying to fund their legal defense.
We don't recall Shimshock complaining about his fellow Media Research Center co-workers grinding out post after post attacking George Soros for funding various and sundry non-conservative causes, so he's being more than a little hypocritical here.