Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters
The Trump campaign sent the following request to Media Matters:
Hope you all are doing well, staying healthy and safe.
Saw your piece this morning on the use of tear gas at Lafayette Square. Wanted to make sure you saw our official statement on the false reports and would appreciate it if you would retract and correct your piece.
As always, happy to be a resource for you.
You can read the full statement from the campaign here.
Our response: No.
The Trump campaign is currently pressuring journalists and news outlets, demanding they issue retractions and corrections. None of them should cave to the pressure to deny well-established reporting.
One day after Trump's inauguration in 2017, we warned, "Journalists need to recognize that they are dealing with proto-fascist conditions. Accordingly, they must stiffen their spines and stand up for their profession and the truth." That warning echoes even louder in this moment.
Any journalist or media outlet that revises their original reporting based on nothing more than Trump's assertions will have essentially morphed themselves into a cog in Trump's authoritarian propaganda wheel -- no better off than Sean Spicer the night he infamously lied about Trump's inauguration crowd size.
Here are some facts about the government's actions at Lafayette Square on June 1 and the U.S. Park Police's absurd statement on June 2 that the Trump campaign is citing.
On the Park Police statement: 1. They admit using pepper agents to disperse protesters 2. Witness accounts, inclu… https://t.co/bnomjMadv6— Alex Wayne (@Alex Wayne) 1591134312.0
The CDC includes pepper spray among riot control agents "sometimes referred to as `tear gas.'" https://t.co/RORHh0u0JI— Alex Wayne (@Alex Wayne) 1591138417.0
@AugensteinWTOP Hey Neal. I was there. Tear gas was definitely used, and park police can’t 🤷🏼♂️ that. And there wa… https://t.co/IiEnKQMcYp— Garrett Haake (@Garrett Haake) 1591107868.0
Here is the unedited clip from my livestream showing the moments protesters were tear gassed and cleared from Lafay… https://t.co/f8TxikkMLl— Hunter Walker (@Hunter Walker) 1591114417.0
If you want to see the full original version of this it's on my Periscope. This is a longer excerpt than what I usu… https://t.co/cmqmxzQ660— Hunter Walker (@Hunter Walker) 1591114763.0
@IngrahamAngle Hi Laura. Park Police are the ones with the blue helmets in this clip, part of a clearly coordinated… https://t.co/5MkNreuv68— Hunter Walker (@Hunter Walker) 1591117254.0
I was at the protest, genius, not watching it on TV. Please correct your erroneous reporting. https://t.co/8v8UcB5Mh7— Ryan Lizza (@Ryan Lizza) 1591131677.0
This statement from the NPS is inauguration gaslighting all over again. They want us to believe at 6:33 PM 15 minut… https://t.co/V4wHqVavWg— Tim Miller (@Tim Miller) 1591135144.0
This "no tear gas" angle is ridiculous. I was in the middle of a crowd coughing up a lung. All sort of projectiles… https://t.co/Qs5ttynOXp— Alexander Marquardt (@Alexander Marquardt) 1591116939.0
I keep looking at videos and I can't see this: "At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began t… https://t.co/rHdnC0hVJU— Shannon Pettypiece (@Shannon Pettypiece) 1591134001.0
The protesters in Lafayette Park were not throwing things, not breaking curfew (which is in about 20 minutes) and g… https://t.co/l9Ec9M0g1z— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle Feldscher) 1591051171.0
1) Dozens of reporters and hundreds of eyewitnesses on the ground say there was tear gas, and we certainly saw the… https://t.co/xLWCHpcfYI— S.V. Dáte (@S.V. Dáte) 1591136086.0
The USPP statement also pointedly denies using "tear gas" - instead, they just used "pepper balls" which create a c… https://t.co/Ks9vULNcGx— Josh Wingrove (@Josh Wingrove) 1591131834.0
Just like they spun Trump's disastrous response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, right-wing media are now leading the charge in spreading lies about the plain facts of what the administration did and are hoping to bully the rest of the media to go along. No one has to. We all saw what happened.
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