Media shamed for running with 'Trump-gassed-protesters' narrative

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Billy Davis (

Trump and St. John's walkA veteran writer is calling out reporters and their employers for claiming authorities in the nation’s capital sickeningly attacked peaceful protesters to clear a path for President Donald Trump and a photo-op.

The Washington Post, NPR, The New York Times, NPR, NBC News, and other media outlets reported late Monday that Park Police fired throat-choking tear gas near the White House to allow the President to walk through Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church after he delivered a Rose Garden speech.

The only problem with those claims, writes Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist, is that the media lied and exaggerated to create an anti-Trump “narrative” without waiting for facts from the agencies involved.

“They spun a tale of violent, jack-booted cops running rampant through the streets over innocent docile protesters, using tear gas to clear the area,” Hemingway wrote in a piece published Tuesday. “It turns out none of that was true.”

Hours after the media ran with the story of innocent Americans tear-gassed at Lafayette Park (see video below) across from the White House, a reporter for Washington’s WTOP quoted a Park Police spokesman who said smoke bombs, not tear gas, were used to dispel a crowd that was not, in fact, a peaceful gathering.

Hours later, in another statement, the acting chief of the United States Park Police said protesters were throwing bricks and frozen water bottles at authorities who were attempting to erect a safety fence at Lafayette Park. Officers also found glass bottles, baseball bats, and metal poles that were “hidden along the street.”

The police chief’s statement went on to say:

To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. 

Once the unruly crowd was driven away, the chief stated, the fence was safely erected in cooperation with the Secret Service. 

There are also reports law enforcement officials were instructed to move protesters back at the instructon of Attorney General Bill Barr, who inspected the park and was unhappy it remained unsecure after weekend rioting, Fox News reported.

Barr was seen inspecting the area and had a bottle thrown at him when protesters recognized him, according to Fox News. 

There is a reason the Secret Service was erecting more fencing. Weekend rioting in Lafayette Park injured as many as 50 Secret Service agents, who witnessed protesters throw molotov cocktails outside the White House grounds.

Those same riots resulted in the fire at St. John's Episcopal Church, which prompted President Trump's walk through the park to the historic church.

After pointing to the two Park Police statements, Hemingway alleges that “nearly every major media outlet” reported that tear gas was used and some reporters even claimed they were victims of it.

Trump with Bible at St. John'sHemingway then goes on to name the reporters and their media outlets: Reuters, New York Times, PBS, Washington Post, MSNBC, ABC News, NPR, Religion News Service, and Axios.

A video posted by Reuters, she points out, describes tear gas being launched at the protesters even though the video itself shows no evidence of it.

“The false story spread internationally,” Hemingway writes, “despite its lack of evidence.”

Hours after the media-driven story was disputed by authorities, WTOP reporter Neal Augenstein reported from D.C. that he spoke to someone at the scene who got a “dose” of smoke but knew it was not tear gas being used.

Hemingway, meanwhile, pointed out via Twitter that a Washington Post reporter wrote Wednesday protesters who returned to the park area were “inspired” to return because of Tuesday’s “tear-gassing.”


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