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Friday, February 18, 2022
WND Still Pushing Bogus Ashli Babbitt Martyr Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh downgraded the Capitol riot to a "ruckus" in a Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article attempting to turn Ashli Babbitt into a martyr:

It's already known that internal police documents about the shooting death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt by a U.S. Capitol police officer during the ruckus on Jan. 6, 2021, show there was no reason for her to die.

Now an analysis by the Epoch Times reveals it was Babbitt who "desperately tried to prevent rioters from vandalizing the doors leading to the Speaker's Lobby at the Capitol that day, even stepping between one troublemaker and officers guarding the doors."

Democrats, and their allies in the legacy media, have portrayed her over and over as a rioter who was an the Capitol as part of an "insurrection," which likely is more a political claim that anything else.

The Epoch Times said its "frame-by-frame video evidence" confirmed that the veteran was shot and killed by a police officer who, according to witnesses, did not issue a verbal warning, as she tried to get through a broken window.

"Video clips appear to show she tried to prevent the attack, not join it," the Times reported.

But because Unruh doesn't bother to do any fact-checking, he ignores the fact that the Epoch Times -- a biased pro-Trump publication -- could be wrong. PolitiFact documented just how speculative the Epoch Times account is:

The article largely ignored the actions that prompted Babbitt’s fatal shooting, when she tried to push through the window to the Speaker’s Lobby. In an interview after the riot, Baranyi said the police were warning her to stop, but that "she didn’t heed the call."

The article instead focused on the buildup to that moment, claiming that the footage captured by those who were there, when slowed down, showed Babbitt trying "to prevent the attack, not join it." Some of that footage came from John Sullivan, an activist controversial on both sides of the political spectrum, whose presence fueled the antifa falsehood, and who faces several charges.

The Epoch Times’ evidence for its assertion: that Babbitt had "looks of shock and concern" on her face; that she was "so distressed at the violence, she jumped up and down in frustration"; that she "confronted" Alam before he punched the window she later climbed through; that she winced at his punch; that and she at one point shouted, "Stop! No! Don’t! Wait!"

Those claims are speculative and unsubstantiated. Videos of the incident do not clearly capture all that Babbitt was saying and doing, let alone feeling, at the time.


Experts in multimedia forensics told PolitiFact it’s nearly impossible to discern from Sullivan’s video what Babbitt was saying. She’s far away from Sullivan’s microphone in a loud room with many people shouting, making it difficult to attribute speech directly to her. 

"This is a classic ‘cocktail party effect’ recording of an unknown number of speakers, overlapped, speaking loud," said Catalin Grigoras, director of the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, Denver. Grigoras and other experts said the science available to experts would likely be unable to isolate Babbitt’s voice from Sullivan’s video.

So, no, the Epoch Times article doesn't actually support the claims it's making.  But Unruh doesn't care if those claims are true -- they were made, they fit into WND's far-right narrative to turn Babbitt into a martyr, and that's all that matters.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:44 PM EST

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