WND And The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie
WorldNetDaily has repeatedly defended Donald Trump over his comment that there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville violence -- but censors one important fact that undermines it.
By Terry Krepel
A prime example of this defense came from WND columnist Michael Brown, who spent a December 2019 column complaining about the "power of the lie":
Speaking of the hatred that united the Jersey City shooters and the synagogue shooters in Poway and Pittsburgh, Biden then blamed President Trump for this hateful climate.
Well, no. The group that was protesting the removal of the Confederate statue and Robert E. Lee park renaming was a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr.
In other words, what Brown is calling the "Charlottesville Lie" isn't a lie at all. Not that Trump defender Brown will ever admit it:
He could not have made himself clearer. And anyone with an open heart and mind really, anyone who simply wanted to know the truth would understand exactly what he was saying.
Funny, we don't recall Brown ever holding Trump accountable for the web of lies he has spun over the years.
Other WND-published columnists joined in defending Trump. Ann Coulter wrote in an August 2018 column that "Last year, President Trump blamed 'both sides' for the bedlam at the rally to defend Confederate statues sending the media into a moral panic. Naturally, Trump also denounced white supremacy, for anyone who missed it the first million times he did so."
In an April 2019 column, Larry Elder insisted that Trump was "widely misquoted," adding: "Why are so many Democrats and members of the media seemingly unaware of what Trump really said? Many know exactly what Trump said and what he meant. But the lie serves a purpose. It advances the Trump-is-racist narrative."
Coulter huffed in a May 2019 column: "I am in no mood to defend Trump, but the media's wholesale lying about Charlottesville is too much for any sane person to take. Everything the media say about it is the very definition of 'fake news.'" Shew went on to insist that "Trump clearly distinguished between the people 'protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee' and 'the bad ones' the 'neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them,'" which, again, ignores the fact that "the bad ones" organized the statue protest.
A July 2019 column by Stu Tarlowe, filling in for longtime WND columnist Barry Farber, insisted that the Charlottesville protest "was not a 'white nationalist rally.' The events unfolded in reaction to the city's plan to yield to the pressures of political correctness and historical revisionism and take down a statue of Robert E. Lee, and to re-name the eponymous park where it stood." Tarlowe went on to assert that portraying Trump as praising both sides is a "blatant lie" and a "leftist, anti-American falsity," adding that "These lies have been repeated often enough (in accordance with Dr. Goebbels's maxim that a lie told big enough and repeated enough becomes the truth) that now the mere mention of the word 'Charlottesville,' as uttered by, say, Joe Biden in the video announcing his presidential candidacy (he called Charlottesville 'a defining moment for our nation'), conjures, like the words "Pearl Harbor," an image that will live in infamy."
This dubious defense of Trump also showed up on WND's "news" side. Art Moore complained in a January 2020 article:
At a black Baptist church Sunday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., former Vice President Joe Biden repeated the false claim that President Trump referred to neo-Nazis as "very fine people" then linked the president to the Ku Klux Klan.
Again, the folks protesting the removal of the statues were not "very fine people."
WND was still pushing the narrative even after Trump left office. Moore took another crack at it in a Feb. 12 article, complaining that during Trump's impeachment trial, "House impeachment managers played a selectively edited video of Trump's 2017 remark on Thursday, claiming he referred to neo-Nazi rioters as 'very fine people," but that a Trump defense attorney "was ready with the full video, which shows the left has been dishonestly manipulating Trump's words to back their claim that he is a white supremacist."
Jack Cashill similarly pushed this bogus narrative in his Feb. 17 column:
One useful outcome of this most recent impeachment Kabuki was the exposure of the "very fine people" lie, the one spawned by the media in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia, dust-up in August 2017.
Like Moore, Cashill refused to acknowledge that the group organizing against the Lee statue removal was a right-wing militia.
Moore gave the factually deficient defense one more shot in an April 25 article, referencing it while defending Trump against another statement:
It's a claim along with the likes of neo-Nazis are "fine people" that has become a symbol for the left of Donald Trump's diabolical character -- the assertion one year ago that the then-president suggested Americans could inject bleach in their bodies to kill the COVID-19 virus.
Moore did concede, that Trump repeatedly asked whether bleach or other disinfectants could be injected.
Moore went on to lament, "Democrats, including Joe Biden -- who says it was the reason he ran for president -- also haven't stopped repeating the Charlottesville lie," adding that Trump's reference "was to the people on both sides of the issue of whether or not to maintain statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate figures." Yet again, Moore omitted the nature of the group that organized the statue protest.
Like a lot of other conspiracy theories, the "Charlottesville lie" lie will not die at WND.