WND Whitewashes Capitol Rioters
WorldNetDaily believes that it has to mislead about -- and outright censor -- what participants in the Capitol riot did in order to create a narrative that they are victims and "political prisoners."
By Terry Krepel
Bob Unruh wrote in a July 2022 article:
One of the protesters caught up in the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol a man who has not yet been convicted of anything has unleashed on the federal government during a telephone interview with The Gateway Pundit.
But Unruh is censoring what Taake did during the insurrection -- and the fact that he was wasn't just "caught up in ... events." (Yes, Unruh has downgraded the insurrection to an "event.")
Taake has been charged with numerous felonies and misdemeanors, including "assaulting, resisting or impeding" law enforcement officers, and the charging document includes pictures of Taake "using what appears to be a metal whip and pepper spray to attack law enforcement officers." Further, Taake effective incriminated himself by bragging about taking part in the insurrection on a dating app, and the target of his failed affection turned him in. He is currently in custody at a federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa., awaiting trial but his lawyers are trying to get him moved to a jail closer to Washington while also trying to negotiate a plea deal.
Much of Unruh's article was devoted to uncritically repeating Taake's rantings about how badly he was supposedly being treated in prison -- apparently oblivious to the fact that it's how most criminals are, in fact, treated that way and that there's no reason to treat this violent criminal otherwise. Unruh also failed to correct Takke's false assertion that Babbitt was the victim of "cold blooded murder"; in fact, she was a domestic terrorist preparing to rush at law enforcement when she was killed by one of her potential targets.
Unruh also wrote that "One of the schemes of the Biden administration has been to detain offenders suspected of minor crimes such as trespassing without bond and then not even try to hold trials "until 2023 or later" -- again failing to disclose the violent nature of Taake's crimes, none of which involved being charged with trespassing.
Peter LaBarbera tried to turn an insurrectionist into a victim in a March 15 article:
Tucker Carlson used his popular Fox News show to highlight the case of Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn, who faces up to a year in prison for entering the U.S. Capitol and leaving within one minute, committing no violence of any kind.
Because LaBarbera is serving as Carlson's stenographer and not as a reporter -- right down to uncritically repeating his bogus statement that "January 6th, I think, is probably second only to the 2020 election as the biggest scam in my lifetime" -- he failed to tell his readers important information about Goodwyn that helps to explain his current situation. First of all, Goodwyn considers himself a member of the Proud Boys, a violent right-wing militia group, and that several members of that group are facing charges of seditious conspiracy for their actions in the riot. He had posted images of the Proud Boys logo with the words “Stand Back, Stand By” -- the phrase Donald Trump spoke during a presidential debate that the group adopted as a rallying cry. And contrary to his claim that he did nothing beyond entering the building, prosecutors said he egged on other rioters.
LaBarbera also censored the fact that Goodwyn disrupted his legal proceeding by refusing to wear a mask at a time when COVID was still spreading rapidly, prompting the judge at one point to ask him, "When did you go to medical school, sir?"
Even though LaBarbera's article has a section called "Background on Daniel Goodwyn," he failed to include this highly relevant background; instead, he simply regurgitated things from a pro-Goodwyn website that portrays him as a victim. But the government is not the one who "wrecked his life" -- Goodwyn wrecked his own life by choosing to take part in a violent insurrection and is now falsely portraying himself as a victim because he has to face the consequences of his actions.
Whitewashing the "QAnon Shaman"
ConWebWatch has shown how WND has been desperately trying to turn "QAnon Shaman" insurrectionist Jacob Chansley into a victim by hyping cherry-picked and misleadingly edited video aired by then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson showing him acting peacefully. LaBarbera found another piece of cherry-picked video to promote for a March 16 article:
Newly-released police bodycam footage from Jan. 6 shows Trump supporters obeying cops leading them out of the Senate chamber, with some even thanking the police further eviscerating the Democrats' "deadly insurrection" J6 narrative.
Of course, the video LaBarbera is hyping was cherry-picked. By contrast, prosecutors pointed out that these selectively edited videos "did not show Chansley, who was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his actions on January 6, facing off with officers for half an hour outside the Senate chamber or when Chansley refused to be escorted out of the Capitol by an officer and only left after being forcibly removed," adding: "Chansley was not some passive, chaperoned observer of events for the roughly hour that he was unlawfully inside the Capitol. ... He was part of the initial breach of the building; he confronted law enforcement for roughly 30 minutes just outside the Senate Chamber; he gained access to the gallery of the Senate along with other members of the mob (obviously, precluding any Senate business from occurring); and he gained access to and later left the Senate floor only after law enforcement was able to arrive en masse to remove him.”
When Chansley was moved to a halfway house a couple weeks later, Unruh tried to credit those videos in a March 30 article:
Security video of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, shows Jacob Chansley, 35, the "QAnon Shaman," being escorted into the Senate that day by security officers in the building.
In fact, Watkins also admitted that "It was a decision which was part of an established protocol in place since well prior to the release of the videos" -- meaning the videos played no role whatsoever.
An anonymously written March 30 article attempted another whitewash:
There's a lot of review going on now of the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, where hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump followed his instructions to go to the Capitol and protest the suspect Joe Biden election victory peacefully.
Of course, what Lang actually did is much worse than the whitewash WND attempted, as a more honest website reported:
Lang is allegedly seen on video picking up a police riot shield and slamming it to the ground near law enforcement, according to prosecutors. He is also accused of swinging a baseball bat at police officers multiple times, striking the officers’ shields.
Funny that WND didn't mention the shield or baseball bat.
WND went on to falsely claim that Lang faces "misdemeanors " -- in fact, the charges against him include multiple counts of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement, which are felonies. WND also repeated Gateway Pundit's assertion that Lang is "a political prisoner of the regime," which is also not true. He was denied release last year pending trial because he assaulted police officers:
The Appellate Court upheld the Sept. 20 decision by Judge Carl J. Nichols, writing: “The evidence proffered by the government shows that, over the course of two and a half hours on January 6, 2021, appellant repeatedly pushed, punched, and kicked at police officers defending the Lower West Terrace entrance to the Capitol building. He also slammed a door against one officer’s head and struck other officers first with a stolen riot shield and later with a metal baseball bat.”
Gateway Pundit stenography
The counterfactual whitewash campaign went to a new level in a May 7 article by Joe Kovacs:
A Kentucky welder who never entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced Friday to a stunning 14 years in prison, the longest sentence to date for any Jan. 6er, and longer than the term of his convicted murderer prison mate.
At no point in the article did Kovacs list what Schwartz was charged with or what he as accused of doing -- a egregious omission -- instead just lazily and uncritically repeating his self-proclaimed sob story with the help of the highly unreliable conspiracy site Gateway Pundit. So one must turn to a real news organization to learn the truth about what Schwartz did:
A Pennsylvania man who threw a folding chair at law enforcement and repeatedly used pepper spray on police during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was sentenced Friday to more than 14 years in prison the longest of any January 6 defendant so far.
Another actual news organization added:
Prosecutors said Schwartz has bragged about his participation in the riot, shown no remorse and claimed that his prosecution was politically motivated. He referred to the Capitol attack as the “opening of a war” in a Facebook post a day after the riot.
Kovacs made no mention whatsoever of Schwartz's extensive criminal history, let alone that it was a likely factor in the show of law enforcement during his arrest.
Instead, Kovacs simply copy-and-pasted large chunks of the Gateway Pundit propaganda piece, in which the only allusion to his violent past and present came from Schwartz trying rather lamely to defend himself:
I read an article in the Huffington Post today where if you read the article, you can see that it's saying that I sprayed mace. I didn't hit anybody, and I was accused of throwing a chair that also hit the ground safely, they said. And I never went inside the Capitol building. But they gave me 14 years and two months. Oh, my God. They're basing that off of what they say is they're saying I have a horrible criminal record, which they don't mention because they're talking about stuff from 30 to 35 years ago, which is predominantly traffic offenses. A few little incidents along the way where I've just pled out to some things, but 90 plus percent of it is traffic offenses, and they don't mention that. And I wish I would encourage anybody listening that look up my record. It's not criminal stuff.
Schwartz is lying, of course. It's nearly impossible to rack up one or two felonies -- let alone 38 -- on traffic offenses, but Kovacs couldn't be bothered to do basic research to look into his background. Indeed, those prior offenses include a 2019 conviction on terroristic threats "for threatening police officers who placed him under arrest for domestic assault" and a 2020 conviction for domestic violence after he bit his wife on the forehead and punched her multiple times, and on the day of the riot he was on probation for at least one other case that involved both assaultive conduct and illegal firearms possession.
Kovacs uncritically served up more of Schwartz's sob story, then concluded by linking to a crowdfunding account that "has been set up to donate to Schwartz's cause."
Even by WND standards, the total censorship of inconvenient facts is egregious -- and done in the service of trying to present a cop-hating thug as a victim. Kovacs should be ashamed of himself -- at least if he was capable of shame, which he probably isn't given that he works for WND.
An anonymously written May 17 article attacked police for using typical crowd control procedures to beat back the mob at the riot:
The crowd already was rowdy on that fateful Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds were at the U.S. Capitol to protest what they viewed as a purloined American presidential election.
President Trump ordered law enforcement to use tear gas and rubber bullets against largely peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square, outside the White House, during protests following the death of George Floyd, and we don't recall WND being bothered by that.
The anonymous WND writer also repeated old grievances:
Ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set up a partisan committee including only harsh critics of President Trump to "investigate" the Jan. 6 events, but its members focused almost solely on issues they thought they could attribute to Trump's actions and his instructions to supporters to demonstrate "peacefully" that day.
The writer censored the fact that Trump also said during his pre-riot speech: "We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," which would seem to overrun his CYA call for peace.
WND took the lazy way out for one attempt, republishing an pathos-laden July 16 article by the notoriously unreliable Gateway Pundit written by onetime WND reporter Alicia Powe:
J6 defendants Casey Cusick, his elderly father James Cusick, and David Lesperance, a family friend who is also elderly, are facing up to three years in prison for walking into the Capitol building on January 6 for nine minutes to use the bathroom.
That two of the defendants are "elderly" is irrelevant to the case, and it's something Powe apparently added to up the perceived victimhood quotient. While the Cusicks and Lesperance appear to have not to have committed any violence, there is much evidence that they were inside the Capitol when they weren't supposed to be. Powe also neglected to mention that, as a real journalism organization did, that the Cusicks' church "presented a blend of Christian theology and patriotism to its audience," but appears to be currently inactive.
Powe went on to state that "When Casey, James and John left Washington, DC, they had no inclination that they had committed any crime on January 6" -- never mind the fact that it should have been obvious that entering a restricted public building as part of a mob was a crime.
Powe also hyped claims of innocence by the trio's lawyer, John Pierce:
Despite the tainted jury pool and corrupt judges, Pierce is confident the Cusicks and Lesperance will be acquitted.
In fact, by the time WND published this story, the Cusicks and Lesperance had been found guilty on all charges, and sentencing was set for October. WND didn't see fit to report this development to its readers.