The leftists be-stards continue to produce cockamanie stories – even when the truth smacks them in the face and then think we believe them.
Another day, another major media misstep that no one has accounted for
Becket Adams – 4/23/2021
It was one of the most shocking stories reported in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot in the nation’s capital. But the stories got it wrong.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick “was struck with a fire extinguisher” as he battled protesters, the New York Times reported, citing two anonymous sources.
The Associated Press, likewise citing two anonymous sources, also reported the officer was “hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during a struggle.”
The New York Times reported Sicknick died the day after the riot from injuries sustained “while physically engaging” protesters as they stormed the seat of the U.S. government. The Associated Press reported he died “from injuries suffered during the riot.”
The supposed incident was so shocking, in fact, that Democratic House impeachment managers included it in their trial brief to the U.S. Senate.
The only problem with this story is it appears to be a fabrication. Sicknick wasn’t killed by a fire extinguisher. He suffered two strokes and died of natural causes, the district’s chief medical examiner, Francisco Diaz, revealed this week. Further, Diaz told the Washington Post, there is no evidence Sicknick suffered internal or external injuries.
Yet, news audiences were told initially Sicknick was not just bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher but that he also likely died as a direct result.
“Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage,” reads the current headline to a New York Times report published on Jan. 8.
The story initially included the following paragraph:
The circumstances surrounding Mr. Sicknick’s death were not immediately clear, and the Capitol Police said only that he had “passed away due to injuries sustained while on duty.” At some point in the chaos — with the mob rampaging through the halls of Congress while lawmakers were forced to hide under their desks — he was struck with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials.
However, the above passage has since been amended to read:
Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.
The article was updated on Feb. 12 to include the following editor’s note: “New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.”
The Associated Press, meanwhile, published a report on Jan. 8, titled “Deadly siege focuses attention on Capitol Police.”
It still includes the following lines:
Sicknick, 42, was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during a struggle, two law enforcement officials said, although it was not clear if he was the officer shown in the video. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Neither newsroom has corrected its story to reflect that there is no proof Sicknick died because he battled the Capitol rioters.
The allegation the police officer was essentially beaten to death with a fire extinguisher featured prominently in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The House impeachment managers’ trial brief states specifically, “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”
We know that isn’t true following the chief medical examiner’s findings.
So, what happened?
Who were the anonymous sources responsible for the fire extinguisher story, and how did they manage to get it wrong? Also, did the New York Times and the Associated Press share the same nameless sources? We’ve seen this before, when an anonymously sourced report turns out to be bogus, despite enjoying “independent corroboration” from a second newsroom. It’s possible the Associated Press and the New York Times talked to the same people. It’s possible they didn’t even know they did this. That’s one of the many downsides to the cloak of anonymity; it’s about damn near impossible for competing newsrooms to know if they’ve actually corroborated a report or if they’ve simply been fed the same line by the same operatives.
More distressing than the fact two news organizations got the Sicknick narrative wrong is that there has been no accountability for how this episode played out. The New York Times quietly amended its report, whereas the Associated Press has not even done that much. Neither has bothered to correct their reports to reflect that there’s no evidence Sicknick died because he engaged the Capitol rioters.
The Associated Press and the New York Times appear to have peddled an outright fiction, one with actual, real-life political implications, and no one in either newsroom has bothered to explain what went wrong. They’ve simply moved on to the next shiny object.