For the past twelve months, the mainstream media has been peddling the view that President Trump had the U.S. Park Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in Lafayette Park so that he could have a photo-op in front of a church on the other side of the park. I never accepted this version of events because I never accept on faith the truth of anything the mainstream media says about Trump.
At the same time, the MSM version, even if true, didn’t bother me. Presidents should be permitted to cross Lafayette Park for any purpose. The protesters had had their say, and not always peaceably. They had no right to limit Trump’s movement indefinitely.
It turns out, however, that the media’s narrative was false. After an extensive investigation, the independent Inspector General of the Interior Department, Mark Lee Greenblatt, has concluded that the protesters weren’t dispersed to facilitate a Trump photo-op.
They were dispersed, instead, to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that the “mostly peaceful protesters” had recently inflicted. Greenblatt found that “the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day.” (Emphasis added)
Greenblatt, by the way, held important positions in the Obama administration. He was investigative counsel at the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at Obama’s Commerce Department. He is not a GOP or Trump partisan.
Glenn Greenwald does a great job of cataloguing the mainstream media’s falsehoods about this matter. Among the offenders (let’s call them fabulists to be polite) he calls out are NPR, the New York Times, CNN, George Stephanopoulos, the Intercept, and Washington Post “fact checker” Philip Bump.
In short, a rogues’ gallery of dishonest anti-Trumpers.
And speaking of rogues, let’s not forget Kamala Harris. She said:
Last night I watched as President Trump, having gassed peaceful protesters just so he could do this photo op, then he went on to teargas priests who were helping protesters in Lafayette Park.
How did all of these outlets and individuals get it so wrong? That’s an easy one. They had no interest in getting it right. Their only interest was to trash the U.S. president because they hate him. The truth was of no concern to them.
Greenwald concludes his piece by pounding home the reality that, at least for me, has been the main theme of Power Line for 19 years:
Over and over we see the central truth: the corporate outlets that most loudly and shrilly denounce “disinformation” — to the point of demanding online censorship and de-platforming in the name of combating it — are, in fact, the ones who spread disinformation most frequently and destructively. It is hard to count how many times they have spread major fake stories in the Trump years.
For that reason, they have nobody but themselves to blame for the utter collapse in trust and faith on the part of the public, which has rightfully concluded they cannot and should not be believed.
UPDATE: The Post’s Philip Bump says there are still “lingering questions” about this matter. He clings to the view that Attorney General William Barr is to blame.
John Sexton shows that Bump’s salvage effort is in vain.