Shelby Talcott


NPR announced that it is not covering the Hunter Biden laptop story because the media organization doesn’t “want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

“NPR Public Editor,” a newsletter written by Polynter’s Kelly McBride, addressed a question wondering “why NPR has apparently not reported on the Joe Biden, Hunter Biden story in the last week or so.” The story, first published by the New York Post last week, allegedly came from an abandoned laptop belonging to Hunter Biden.

McBride, the NPR Public Editor and Chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at The Poynter Institute, began by writing that “there are many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation,” linking to an NPR piece detailing the issues. “The biggest reason” that NPR has ignored the story, however, “is the the assertions don’t amount to much,” McBride wrote.

“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR Managing Editor for News Terence Samuel said according to the newsletter. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

The NY Post published a series of emails allegedly from Biden’s laptop after it was abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware. One of the unconfirmed emails alleges that Biden and then-Vice President Joe Biden, his father, met with a top Ukrainian executive at the gas company Burisma in 2015.

The Biden campaign denied any 2015 meeting between the former vice president, Hunter and a top Ukrainian executive. The campaign and Hunter have not disputed other alleged emails, and the senior Biden recently said he had “no response” to the stories and that it is a “smear campaign.”

Tony Bobulinski, a former business partner of the Bidens, confirmed a May 13, 2017 email that discussed a big business deal involving a Chinese energy company.

“I am the recipient of the email published seven days ago by the New York Post which showed a copy to Hunter Biden and Rob Walker. That email is genuine,” according to Bobulinski, who said that the senior Biden did speak with his son about business dealings.

“They are not any form of domestic or foreign disinformation,” Bobulinski added – a claim that has been pushed by Democrats. “Any suggestion to the contrary is false and offensive.”

NPR mentioned the claim that the Hunter Biden story is Russian disinformation, as well. The newsletter wrote that “even if Russia can’t be positively connected to this information, the story of how Trump associates Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani came into a copy of this computer hard drive has not been verified and seems suspect.”

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Monday that the intelligence community doesn’t have evidence that the emails being released from the laptop are part of a Russian intelligence operation.

Guiliani claims he obtained a copy of the hard drive and has since spent days selectively publishing portions of it – he reportedly first went to Fox News, who declined to run with the story, citing credibility issues. Guiliani refused to hand over his full copy of the hard drive for verification during an exclusive interview with the Caller and the publication has not independently verified the contents of the laptop.

Fox News reportedly confirmed one email from the trove of documents.

“The handful of stories that NPR has produced about the NY Postinvestigation have been limited to how Facebook and Twitter are restricting distribution of the story or how families of those seeking treatment for addiction are impacted by the portrayal of Hunter Biden’s struggle,” McBride wrote.

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: NPR Won’t Cover Hunter Biden Laptop Because They Refuse To ‘Waste’ Their ‘Readers’ Time On Stories That Are Just Pure Distractions’

Fox News’ John Roberts became angry after fighting with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany over President Donald Trump condemning white supremacy.

Roberts asked McEnany during Thursday’s press briefing “for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection” on whether Trump denounces white supremacy. McEnany responded by noting multiple interviews where Trump has denounced white supremacy.

Roberts asked again for “a declarative statement” and shaking his head as McEnany responded.

“You read me past quotes, can you do it currently,” Roberts said after repeatedly asking about white supremacy.

“His [Trump’s] record on this is unmistakable, and it’s shameful that the media refuses to cover it,” McEnany replied at the end of the argument.

Following the press briefing, Roberts melted down on camera, calling out “all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking the question.”

“I don’t care,” Roberts said. “Because it’s a question that needs to be asked, and clearly the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too. So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.”


The commentator responding to Roberts appeared unclear of what to do in the situation, ultimately settling on saying “alright.”

Shortly after Roberts’ comments, McEnany tagged him in a tweet and said she “would refer you to your wife’s reporting from 21 hours ago.” She included a tweet from ABC correspondent Kyra Phillips, whom Roberts is married too. Phillips reported Wednesday that Trump had just told her that “he DENOUNCES white supremacists.”

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: John Roberts Repeatedly Asked McEnany About Condemning White Supremacy, Calls Out People Defending Trump

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) appeared to duplicate some of its livestream crowd members after California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris’ speech Wednesday evening.

Harris ended Wednesday’s virtual DNC with a roughly 17-minute speech about her history and racism in America today, The New York Times reported. Harris also spoke about why Americans should vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, saying that he “will bring us together.”

After her speech, the DNC panned to a virtual crowd clapping and cheering for Harris and Biden, who joined his running mate on stage. Three of these individuals were shown more than once.

The 2020 DNC is virtual due to COVID-19 and has featured various speakers, including Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Wednesday’s theme was “A More Perfect Union,” 6ABC reported. The DNC has also featured performances from numerous celebrities such as John Legend and Billie Eilish. The Republican National Convention (RNC) will begin mostly virtually on Aug. 24.

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: DNC Appears To Duplicate Some Livestream Crowd Members After Kamala Harris Speech

Fox is allowing Nick Cannon to remain on “The Masked Singer” despite his anti-Semitic and anti-white comments, the company said in a statement.

Cannon’s commentary came during a June 30 episode of his “Cannon’s Class” podcast, where he spoke with Professor Griff, who has a record of making anti-Semitic comments. The two pushed anti-Semitic theories, claimed black people are unable to be anti-Semitic because “the Semitic people are black people.” Cannon also said “white people” and Jewish people are “the true savages.”

Fox confirmed that Cannon “is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong” after the host issued an apology Wednesday. The network added that it “will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly.”

“When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick,” Fox wrote in a statement to the Daily Caller. “He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate. This was important for us to observe.”

“Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends. On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. FOX condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind.”

Nick Cannon attends The Los Angeles Mission Legacy of Vision Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Rich Fury/Getty Images)

ViacomCBS, on the other hand, terminated its relationship with Cannon after the commentary, saying in a statement that it “condemns bigotry of any kind.” The statement added that ViacomCBS is “deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism.”

Cannon’s apology Wednesday came after first refusing to do so. The host demanded an apology from ViacomCBS and ordered the company give him full ownership of the comedy show “Wild ‘N Out.” Cannon also posted a statement on Facebook that many deemed insufficient, saying that “anyone who knows me knows that I have no hatred in my heart or malicious intent.”

Following backlash from that statement, Cannon again refused to apologize in an interview with Fast Company, saying that “apologies are empty.”

“Are you forcing me to say the words ‘I’m sorry’?” Cannon said in that interview. “Are you making me bow down, ’cause then again, that would be perpetuating that same rhetoric that we’re trying to get away from,” Cannon says. “What we need is healing. What we need is discussion. Correct me. I don’t tell my children to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I want them to understand where they need to be corrected. And then that’s how we grow.”

Cannon’s most recent statement, which Fox referred the Daily Caller to, is in full below:

First and foremost I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin. They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from. The video of this interview has since been removed.

While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement.

I want to express my gratitude to the Rabbis, community leaders and institutions who reached out to me to help enlighten me, instead of chastising me. I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education—I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward.

Cannon also announced Thursday that he would be taking time away from his morning radio show so he can “commit” himself “to deeper, more thorough reflection and education.” He has been backed by multiple prominent figures such as radio host Charlamagne tha God and rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.

I guess it’s time to boycott #ViacomCBS @NickCannon won’t be silenced! But y’all will feel the wrath of not being supported by the black community. ✌????

— Torae (@Torae) July 15, 2020

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: Fox Refuses To Fire Nick Cannon After Anti-Semitic, Anti-White Comments

CNN scrambled to quietly edit an article repeating Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) propaganda Wednesday morning following backlash.

The article, published April 13, relies on a report from the PLA claiming that their Navy “has done a much better job controlling coronavirus than the US Navy.”

Portions of CNN’s write-up are extremely similar to the PLA’s military press release. The Daily Caller first reported on CNN’s PLA propaganda push using a blurb from their “live updates” page, which appears to have been published shortly before the longer, separate article that has since been updated.

The blurb on CNN’s “live updates” page and the article both solely used a report from the PLA. CNN’s blurb on the “live updates” page has not been updated.

“This story has been updated to include Pentagon reaction and recent developments in the Western Pacific,” an editor’s note from Wednesday morning now reads at the top of the longer article.

CNN’s update came following backlash over the post on social media.

CNN’s article still repeats Chinese PLA propaganda, but the wording has since been edited to make the post appear more skeptical. The Pentagon’s statement, now included in the article, strongly pushed back on PLA’s claims.

“Senior US military officials have strongly pushed back on any notion that the US military is not prepared — even with the Theodore Roosevelt at least sidelined for now. ‘I don’t want anyone out there in the world to think that somehow the US military’s readiness is significantly degraded. It is not,’ said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” CNN’s article currently reads.

The updated article also includes “US observers” who “have cast doubt on the PLA’s claims that its naval operations have not been impacted by the virus.” These “observers,” who denounced PLA’s claims, were not included in the original write-up.

An earlier version of CNN’s article is headlined differently than its most current version. (Screenshot CNN)

The updated headline now reads:

The article is now headlined using the word “claims” after CNN scrambled to edit the piece. (Screenshot CNN)

“[The story] explicitly states the sourcing as a PLA story and identifies the Global Times as ‘a state-run tabloid.’ That transparency is key as a global news source serving a global audience,” CNN’s Vice President of Communications Matt Dornic previously told the Daily Caller.

CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller on if it still stood by the decision to push a Chinese state media report after editing the article.

The network’s write-up comes as distrust in China grows regarding the novel coronavirus. Legacy media has also come under fire for repeating Chinese propaganda amid the pandemic.

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: Following Backlash, CNN Scrambles To Stealth Edit Article Repeating Chinese PLA Propaganda

The novel coronavirus began in Wuhan, China and has spread to at least 177 countries as of Wednesday, according to a database from the New York Times.

The virus has killed at least 83,000 people so far around the world and sickened over 1.4 million, the NYT database also indicates.

But early on, there were plenty of citizens around the world who tried to issue warnings about the virus. Here are just some of these people:

Dr. Li Wenliang:

Perhaps one of the most well-known heroes of the novel coronavirus is Dr. Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor. Li, 34, tried to warn others about the novel coronavirus while it was still in its early stages.

Li sent a message to other doctors on December 30 warning them about the virus and suggesting they take extra precautions, such as wearing protective gear, to ensure they didn’t contract it. He met with police four days later, where he was forced to sign a letter that accused him of “making false comments” that “severely disturbed the social order,” according to BBC.

“We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice – is that understood?” the letter read.

Li wrote “Yes, I do.” He ended up publishing that letter at the end of January on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website, according to BBC.

Chinese students and their supporters hold a memorial for Dr Li Wenliang, who was the whistleblower of the Coronavirus, Covid-19, that originated in Wuhan, China. (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Just days after being ordered to stop by police, Li contracted the virus from a patient who unknowingly had it. Li’s Weibo post describes the symptoms he suffered, BBC reported. It began with a cough on January 10. The next day Li had a fever and he was hospitalized two days after that.

Despite his symptoms, Li tested negative for the novel coronavirus several times until he ultimately got a positive test, he wrote on January 30. This was weeks after his symptoms began. China declared the outbreak an emergency on January 20.

Li died from the novel coronavirus February 7 in a Wuhan hospital, months after police tried to silence him from sounding the alarm about the virus.

“If the officials had disclosed information about the epidemic earlier I think it would have been a lot better. There should be more openness and transparency,” Li told the NYT days before his death.

Blogger Sharon Sanders:

Sharon Sanders runs the blog FluTrackers from her home in Florida, according to the Washington Post. The website aims to be an online forum and warning system that attempts to track various infectious diseases for the public.

Sanders began to track the virus as early as Dec. 31, according to WaPo. It began with reports that officials in Wuhan, China had announced a strange outbreak caused by an unknown virus. One of FluTrackers’ earliest reports of the virus noted that “a number of people from hospitals in Wuhan said that the current cause is not clear.”

The Florida woman began to track every detail of the now-global pandemic, even before before American outlets and citizens had picked up on the news. In fact, part of the reason why she became so interested in the initial reports from China is because the country often unsells problems, WaPo reported.

“Local officials and media in China need government approval before they can disclose negative information,” Sanders said according to WaPo. “Any type of disease outbreak is considered negative [news] and may impact social order.”

According to Sanders, one note that worried her early on was the lack of reports coming out of China. After the initial admittance of an outbreak on Dec. 31, the statements did not continue. This suggested that Sanders needed to dig deeper, because “China always reports their good news,” she said.

Sanders and others who contribute to FluTrackers did just that and picked up “things we’d never seen before” from various sources coming out of China.

Her blog has attracted officials from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, WaPo reported. While it is unclear if the officials saw information specific to the novel coronavirus, it is clear that Sanders’ blog tried to warn Americans of the global pandemic very early on.

Tucker Carlson:

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson is another person who warned of the global pandemic from the start. He began covering on his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” back in January, he told Vanity Fair in an interview. This began amid President Donald Trump’s impeachment, and Carlson said that he warned viewers “a pandemic is inevitable.”

The Fox News host then did a segment February 3 after learning that the Chinese were lying about the novel coronavirus through “someone who works in the U.S. government,” he said according to Vanity Fair.

“And so that night we did a long script on this and said people are just not paying any attention. So that was February 3, which happened to be the night of the Iowa caucuses, which are, of course, a significant and confusing event this year,” Carlson said.

The Fox News host continued to warn people about the threat of a novel coronavirus, reporting that it was dangerous and trying to sound the alarm amid a contentious time in American politics.

Tucker Carlson speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon )

These warnings came even as others in the media downplayed or ignored the virus.

“The first week of February — that was Trump’s impeachment trial and my view was we knew what the outcome was going to be,” Carlson told the LA Times in March. “So it’s irresponsible to spend all your time covering something that you can explain in two minutes and yet the other channels were absolutely wall to wall on this.”

“Meanwhile, there was this epidemic rising in eastern China. And the Chinese, who are pretty good at controlling their own population, couldn’t get it under control. And that seemed very ominous to me. … I was just enraged that no one was covering it.”

Carlson’s warnings even prompted Trump to shift gears, according to the Washington Post. The publication cited two White House sources who said the president watched one of Carlson’s opening monologues talking about how “real” the crisis is. This was reportedly Trump’s “turning point,” WaPo wrote.

Gordon Chang:

Author Gordon Chang spread early reports that China was lying about its coronavirus death toll. Chang is the author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and spoke to Carlson in February about the global pandemic.

“So really what we are having right now is, they are completely overwhelmed,” Chang said. “They are not able to keep accurate statistics. So what we are witnessing is essentially a breakdown in government and keeping accurate statistics is a very minor part of their priorities right now.”

This segment came early on, when only Wuhan, China – where the virus originated – was under lockdown. Chang was one of the earlier voices accusing China of lying about the novel coronavirus.

The Chinese-American columnist also warned Americans that the situation was about to get far worse. This was over a month before the World Health Organization named the novel coronavirus as a global pandemic.

“It’s not just Wuhan,” Chang warned. “Many Virologists think that [conditions in] Wuhan will be duplicated in cities like Shanghai, maybe even Beijing. Clearly there is fear everywhere throughout China right now.”

“This is only going to get worse.”

Chang’s allegations came after China claimed only 425 people had died from the novel coronavirus in the country. He said that the “number is far too low” and suggested it was made up by a country known for its censorship.

Fast-forward just a few months, where the U.S. intelligence community reportedly determined that China did, in fact, push fake coronavirus death and case numbers. This backs up Chang’s early warning that China was, perhaps, attempting to downplay the threat of the virus and how badly it had affected the country.

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: These People Tried To Sound The Alarm On The Coronavirus Months Before It Became A Global Pandemic

CBSN appeared to yet again air footage of an Italian hospital, this time during a segment on Pennsylvania’s coronavirus crisis, less than a week after originally being called out for the bungle.

The misleading video first appeared on “CBS This Morning” during a report on New York’s novel coronavirus pandemic on March 25. The network was airing footage of a crowded Italian hospital room while talking about New York. The Italian hospital footage was reported by Sky News on March 22 during a segment on hospitals in the country.

“It was an editing mistake. We took immediate steps to remove it from all platforms and shows,” a CBS spokesperson previously said in a statement to the Daily Caller on March 30. The network never responded about issuing an on-air correction or retraction.

Days later, the network appeared to air the Italian hospital footage again, despite its statement claiming that it had been removed “from all platforms and shows.” This time, the misleading video appeared on CBSN, the network’s streaming video news channel.

“In Pennsylvania, cases are skyrocketing at the rate of 1,000 a day,” a reporter says as footage from an Italian hospital flashes across the screen. “Governor Tom Wolf is appealing to citizens to help.”

The footage appears to match the one aired by CBS News and Sky News in March.

CBSN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: After Calling It An ‘Editing Mistake,’ CBSN Goes Right Ahead And Runs The Same Misleading Italian Hospital Footage

  • President Donald Trump said during a Feb. 28 rally that Democrats were criticizing the administration’s response to coronavirus, calling it the party’s “new hoax.”
  • Media and politicians pounced on the word “hoax” and claimed that Trump said the virus itself was a “hoax.”
  • Some networks and politicians tried to set the record straight, while many others continued peddling the altered narrative.

Media and politicians have had a hard time covering the coronavirus outbreak, particularly when President Donald Trump called alarmism around the virus “democrats’ new hoax.”

Trump repeatedly said during his Feb. 28 rally in South Carolina that the coronavirus must – and will be – taken “very, very seriously.” He also clarified his remarks the next day, noting he was referring to how the Democrats criticized the administration’s response to the virus and that they were politicizing the issue.

Still, some media and politicians rushed to push the claim that Trump called the coronavirus itself a “hoax.”

Politico reported the evening of Feb. 28 that Trump “tried to cast the global outbreak of the coronavirus as a liberal conspiracy intended to undermine his first term.”

Check Your Fact, a fact-checking news site produced by the the Daily Caller, ruled Politico’s report as “false.” Politico stood by its report.

Snopes concluded that “despite creating some confusion with his remarks, Trump did not call the coronavirus itself a hoax.”

The Daily Beast correctly reported on the issue. The publication noted that “he did not seem to be suggesting that the outbreak itself is a hoax.”

Senior producer at MSNBC Kyle Griffin also peddled the Trump “hoax” story, tweeting out Politico’s article.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg echoed the false narrative as well. He said that it was “incomprehensible” that the president would “do something as insane as called” the coronavirus a ‘hoax’” on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” Feb. 29.

“60 Minutes” host Scott Pelley pushed back, reminding Bloomberg that Trump was not calling the coronavirus a “hoax.”

Democratic California Rep Ted Lieu, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and former Vice President Joe Biden also claimed Trump called the virus a “hoax.” On the other hand, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tried to clarify what the president actually said.

Lieu retweeted Matt Bevan, an ABC News podcast host, who reported out a clip of Trump at the Feb. 28 rally. Bevan claimed Trump was “calling concerns about the coronavirus spread ‘the new hoax’.”

Lieu tried to fact-check Trump by noting the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in America.

Schumer’s comments about Trump allegedly calling the coronavirus a hoax came during a press conference March 1. This followed the president clarifying his Feb. 28 remarks.

“Some of the stuff he says is so bizarre that you can laugh at it,” Biden told reporters ahead of the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary. “It just so diminishes the faith that people around the world have in the United States. The president of the United States says it’s a hoax? It’s hard to believe. Even for him it’s hard to believe.”

Biden also pushed this narrative on MSNBC Feb. 29. Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tried to attack Trump over the “hoax” comments too during a Biden rally March 1.

“We got a guy in the White House who doesn’t know anything about patriotism, doesn’t know anything about empathy,” McAuliffe said. “He said the coronavirus was a hoax.”

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: Here Are The Politicians And Media Outlets Pushing The Claim That Trump Called The Coronavirus A ‘Hoax’

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg declared that Americans need to “get behind” President Donald Trump because “the public has spoken” on ABC’s “The View” in 2017.

Bloomberg added during the segment that “you have to make it work” and urged viewers to give Trump a chance to run the country. He noted that people could protest policies they didn’t like, but said “in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”

“That’s my country. That’s my kids and grandkids,” Bloomberg said. “You have to make it work. We have an election — whoever wins, you got to get behind.”

“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him. Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.”


The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s 2017 comments stand in stark contrast to his Tuesday attack on Trump. Bloomberg said Trump has “divided us with racist appeals and hateful rhetoric.”

“The challenge of the moment is clear: we must confront this President and do everything we can to defeat him,” Bloomberg said in a statement Tuesday. “The President’s attack on me clearly reflects his fear over the growing strength of my campaign.”

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: Flashback: Bloomberg Called For Americans To ‘Get Behind’ Trump In 2017

  • The media worked hard to spread misinformation and fear leading up to Virginia’s gun rights rally Monday.
  • Multiple outlets and reporters made false claims about the event being either totally “white nationalist” or that “thousands” of white nationalists would be in attendance. Neither was true.
  • Several reporters on the ground, including at least one from CNN, found the prevailing narrative about the rally to be deeply inaccurate.

For this year’s Virginia gun rights rally, media outlets and reporters worked to spread misinformation, constructing the narrative that the rally was populated with “extremists” and “white nationalists” and was likely to turn violent. None of that was true.

While he didn’t start the misinformation, Ben Collins, NBC’s “disinformation and extremism” reporter, became one of its more noticeable faces when he urged reporters on Sunday to “verify” facts as they covered “the white supremacist rally.” Collins deleted the tweet amid a fierce backlash, but not before attempting to justify the error by drawing on a handful of anecdotes.

Following a commonality for many erroneous reports The Daily Caller reviewed, Collins cited a story about law enforcement officials busting a few suspected neo-Nazis who were allegedly planning some kind of violence in Richmond. The men reportedly had weapons and were talking about attending the rally. One illegally crossed the border from Canada.

Axios followed suit, publishing an article early Monday titled “As Richmond braces for hate, Americans say race relations are getting worse.” The article suggested that a “worst-case scenario” could result in the gun rights rally being “another ‘Charlottesville,’” a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally that turned deadly in 2017.

Monday’s event, however, was not organized by white supremacists. The gun rally was the product of the non-profit, pro-Second Amendment group Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL).

Axios also cited three suspected neo-Nazis arrested by the FBI before the event, which Collins had noted. Approximately 22,000 people ended up attending Monday’s peaceful rally.

“On a day that is meant to celebrate what would have been the 91st birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., the nation is grappling with emboldened white nationalist groups and racial tension,” Axios wrote, linking the rally with extremist hate groups. “Surveys show a majority of Americans believe race relations are getting worse under President Trump.”

The media’s misinformation only continued as the rally began Monday.

MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin began his show “MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin” by pushing the line that white nationalists and militia members were all put “in one place” for the rally.

“This is the scene in Richmond,” Melvin said, showing an aerial view of the rally. “They put white nationalists, militia groups and supporters of background checks for gun purchases all in one place. A lot of folks, justifiably so, are worrying about a repeat of Charlottesville in 2017.”

Meanwhile, from start to finish, there was never indication that white nationalists attended the event in any serious numbers, according to dozens of reports on the ground. And the only prominent instances the Caller could find of people “worrying” about a “repeat of Charlottesville” were among journalists themselves.

Melvin did not provide evidence backing up this claim. He later pushed the same inaccuracies, saying “thousands” of “white nationalists” had descended onto Virginia’s capitol Monday.


Townhall senior reporter Julio Rosas, who was on the ground in Richmond, documented various instances debunking the media’s white nationalist claims.

The Caller also spoke to Maj Toure, political activist and founder of the Black Guns Matter movement, regarding the prevalence of misinformation among major media outlets. He contended that journalists with political agendas have an “interest in chaos” regarding gun coverage. He also contested the narrative that race and violence played a role in Monday’s rally.


Still, MSNBC’s Cal Perry continued to stoke the fires on Melvin’s show, reporting on the “heavily, heavily armed” people in attendance. These “heavily armed” people were not violent, as CNN’s own reporter eventually acknowledged.

Zero people were arrested for violence during Monday’s rally. One person was arrested nearby for violating an anti-mask law, Virginia Mercury reported. Around 7,000 of the approximately 22,000 attendees remained in the gun-free zone at the capitol and around 15,000 people were in the streets where guns were allowed.

Curtis Houck, the managing editor at Newsbusters, put together a montage encapsulating the massive effort to misinform Americans about the nature of Monday’s rally.


“We know that the media smear marches they hate,” Washington Examiner commentary editor Timothy Carney summed up after the event. “Guns, like abortion and all-boys Catholic schools, are a culture war issue. We know what side 90% of the media industry is on. Everyone should admit it.”

To exemplify Carney’s point, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes capped the outlet’s coverage of the rally by calling it an “explicit” threat of violence.

“But, the implicit and explicit message of a bunch of heavily armed people marching on the state’s capitol is this: don’t you dare enact your policies, if you do we will use these guns against you,” Hayes claimed Monday evening.

Author: Shelby Talcott

Source: Daily Caller: The Media Was Desperate, But Virginia’s Gun Rally Proved Them All Wrong

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