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Tuesday, September 12, 2023
MRC Still Dabbling In Ray Epps Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Media Research Center

It's indicative of the Media Research Center's slow creep toward the far right that it's entertaining Ray Epps conpsiracy theories. It started dabbling in them earlier this year, and it's continuing to do so. A July 15 post by Alex Christy ciomplained that MSNBC host Ali Velshi called out the conspiracy theory:

Speaking to Nika Jankowicz, formerly of DHS’s infamous Disinformation Governance Board, Velshi recounted, “I just did that intro to the segment, right? So that my audience would understand this conspiracy theory that I guarantee you, pretty much nobody in my audience knew that story because why would they?”

Velshi was referring to Ray Epps, who recently sued Fox News for claims that he was an FBI agent who encouraged the rob to storm The Capitol on January 6. Velshi claimed he is not like that.

A July 16 post by Tim Graham lashed out at NPR media reporter David Folkenflik for reporting that Epps is suing Fox News for spreading conspiracy theories about him -- while trying to keep those conspiracy theories alive:

While NPR couldn’t find time on its programs for a full story on the failed Secret Service investigation of cocaine found at the White House, it ran two Folkenflik stories promoting January 6 protester Ray Epps suing Fox News for defamation. NPR adores lawsuits against Fox News, both for the financial burden and the negative publicity. 

Folkenflik’s reports on the Epps suit strenuously avoided any conservative rebuttal, which would include mentioning two obvious points that have put Epps at the center of January 6 speculation.

First, Epps was caught on video standing in a crowd of Trump supporters on January 5 and January 6, 2021, urging the people around him to “go into the Capitol.” Second, the FBI originally put Ray Epps’s face on its Capitol riot “Most Wanted List” on January 8, 2021. They offered a cash reward for information leading to his arrest. But he was never arrested or prosecuted. Why?

The leftist media didn't look for an answer. Epps was a nobody to them, left out of all the Pelosi-Picked Panel narratives, until....suddenly, after the Democrats lost the majority, Epps starred in a sympathetic 60 Minutes story. Only those right-wingers were investigating the Epps mystery, until Epps became a sympathetic figure, that Fox News ruined his life.

Graham didn't explain why his fellow right-wingers chose to be so fixated on Epps that the made up conspiracy theories they could not prove.Instead, he whined that Folkenflik pointed out that ex-Fox News host (and MRC darling) Tucker Carlson spread lies about Epps and that "There's no proof anything Carlson says there is true other than that Epps was present," huffing in response: "That's simply false. Epps wasn't just 'present'! He was constantly urging people to enter the Capitol." Graham continued to whine about Folkenflik reporting on this story:

Folkenflik is at best trying to merge the two claims: there's no hard evidence that Epps worked for the FBI, but there's obviously hard evidence of him pushing Trump fans to resist the certification inside the Capitol. Why didn't he and NPR play audio of that? 


We should point out the Epps lawsuit didn't sue Tucker, but Tucker is at the center of their complaint against Fox.

You don't have to buy the theory that there was a "Fedsurrection," that the riots were a federal plot, to accurately describe what Epps did and what Fox reported about it. NPR doesn't value accuracy. It values damaging Fox News, and pleasing its leftist base of support.

Ah, but Graham is sure doing his best to keep the "fedsurrection" plausible, isn't he?

Graham is once again angry that Folkenflik is reporting on Fox News, though he has never criticized Fox News' media reporters for repeatedly covering non-right-wing media like CNN or accused it of catering to its right-wing base of support in doing so. It appears to be a kneejerk defense mechanism on Graham's part to run to the defense of Fox News no matter what it does; remember, he dismissed the channel's record of lies about Dominion that ultimately resulted in Fox News paying $787 million to the company in a defamation lawsuit. But in doing so, Graham clearly doesn't care if he looks like a conspiracy nutter in the process.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT

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