(This story has been ongoing and today it was announced that Lewandowski will not be indicted)
The Anti-Trump camp have become increasingly desperate as the Trump Train chugs on.
A Breitbart reporter, one of my favorite news outlets, has fabricated a story for her personal benefit. It’s incredibly fascinating to see how people have responded to this smelly load of horseshit, if I may be so crude. Because that’s exactly what we’re dealing with. Let’s establish the facts.
Michelle Fields was at a press conference this past Tuesday evening, March 8th 2016. She wanted to ask Trump a question about him changing his stance on affirmative action. Fields stated she believes Trump wanted to avoid this “difficult” question, even though he has always easily defended his reasons for changing his positions.
Here is a picture from that very event, taken by the Washington Post’s Jabin Botsford (he’ll be back later). On Trump’s right, you have Michelle Fields. On his left, his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. This picture only came out within the last 24 hours, which is important to note (well after the event and initial drama).
Fields claimed that as Trump walked by her, ignoring her question, his campaign manager, Lewandowski, grabbed her by the arm, and “yanked her towards the ground.” I didn’t feel like saving all the links I reviewed, but on Tuesday, the reports were all over the place.
Update: Michelle Fields was told to stop grabbing at Mr. Trump by secret service twice before Lewandowski intervened. It seems she knew exactly how to begin escalating the situation.
Some articles made it sound like she hit the ground, others said he grabbed her shoulder. The details did not match up, and I remember Field’s actual account sounding much tamer than how most of the media were portraying it. This should give you a good idea of how clear-headed people are when they report on stuff like this. (Hint: not at all)
Fields had a witness: A Washington Post journalist who I don’t even feel like giving credit to, because I don’t believe in giving him more publicity for this. Other media soon began referring to this as proof, as well as audio of the event. After only reading a transcript of it, it’s quite clear that the media grossly exaggerated how shocked Fields was after the alleged assault. She sounds quite calm to me, relative to the impressions other outlets gave me. Go give it a listen, and tell me if that’s enough evidence to claim someone assaulted you in a room full of cameras.
Because most rational people require a bit more evidence, Fields posted a picture of her bruised arm on Twitter.
Whether or not this is just make-up on her forearm, let’s continue on this assumption: Fields had her arm grabbed. A bruise appeared on it. Normally when you get assaulted, you go to the police… but Fields, like any good Anti-Trump pundit, went straight to the media.
She accused, backed by a witness account from said unnamed Washington Post journalist, Lewandowski of grabbing her arm, and “yanking her towards the ground.”
— Mike Warren (@MichaelRWarren) March 11, 2016
Take a look at this footage. Although it’s very unclear what happens to Fields, what is VERY clear is that everyone was holding a cellphone and pointing it at Trump. This is what I want to harp on the most.
A short clip emerged yesterday, but it’s only today that these longer clips are coming out. This boggles my mind for several reasons. If Fields was assaulted as she said, someone would have caught the incident on camera, either accidentally or by focusing on her because filming security guards using force is great footage for any journalist to be filming.
That footage would be worth a lot of money. News outlets in the US pay a lot for these videos, and there are even independent writers like Mike Cernovich who have offered $1,000 to anyone who can provide video of the alleged assault. There is LITERALLY no reason for the videos to be coming out today, other than no one has footage of the assault, because it was not the incident Fields made it out to be.
Footage would also be important, because remember… we have no idea if Lewandowski even assaulted her. Remember the picture above? Lewandowski is not in arms reach of Fields, a secret service agent is. Secret service agents have been known to be a bit aggressive. They’re also federal workers, not Trump’s personal crew.
New footage today from the event caused Breitbart to review its statements, and they are now claiming that the Washington Post journalist misidentified Lewandowski. I’m personally very good with faces, and see a big difference between Lewandowski, who I have seen many times before as a journalist myself, and a nameless secret service agent who looks like a clone of every other secret service agent. Apparently though, their short hair is enough to confuse these reporters into conveniently claiming a Trump campaign manager committed an assault.
Her colleague, Patrick Howley, questioned why there was no video on Tuesday. Breitbart has put him on “indeterminate leave,” which is the industry term for fired. Here are his tweets, which he deleted:
I mention this because, again referring to the general media reaction following this event, every publication was describing Breitbart as a “notoriously pro-Trump outlet.” This is false. They may have had a few op-eds here and there which were favorable, but many which aren’t, and their overall tone of him is not special. Are these media outlets talking about how they sacked someone for asking for evidence to this woman’s claims? That doesn’t seem very pro-Trump to me… in fact, it seems anti-Trump.
If a reporter claimed that Justin Trudeau’s assistant assaulted her, no one would believe them. I should also note that if a male reporter made such a big deal out of a small bruise, this story would be quite different, but I digress… If a reporter made these claims about Trudeau, they would require VIDEO FOOTAGE, especially because the claim took place where literally everyone had a smart phone rolling and aimed at the person you are fucking talking to. So, by firing someone simply for requiring the same burden of proof that one would ask when making such a claim against anyone else’s campaign manager… you are being anti-Trump.
Remember that photograph above, taken by Washington Post’s Jabin Botsford?
Botsford initially told someone investigating this that he wasn’t at the event… which is easily disproven by the photo credit from the photo he took at the press conference… or his follow-up tweet, claiming he saw no assaults at the event.
Let’s take a step back and try to reevaluate this situation. Let’s assume her bruises are real, and that someone did grab her arm unnecessarily hard. The first step would be figuring out who did it. In her defence, it was the Washington Post journalist I’m not naming who identified him for her as Lewandowski.
So she can now go to the police, or the media, with her claim. In both cases, there is a burden of proof, for very obvious reasons. For the police to press charges, they need to know for a fact that Lewandowski did grab her. Because there were cameras everywhere there, literally pointed at her when this would have transpired, video would be required for Lewandowski to face consequences for what he allegedly did.
However, the burden of proof in the media is only as big as they want it to be. And when it comes to Trump, the one candidate who has exposed so many of the media’s mistakes and ill ways during his campaign, it seems quite clear that any of these publications (Breitbart, Washington Post) have a very low burden of proof for this kind of stuff.
What to make of all this? Stop relying on media that don’t cover this story properly. There is no excuse for any journalist to be writing about this as anything but an alleged assault with basically no proof other than her arm maybe being grabbed a little bit vigorously.
Next time you read a headline about someone loosely related to Trump, or Trump himself doing something bad, do a little bit of digging before you let it affect your perception of Trump. You may start to realize a lot of your ideas have been placed in your head without any foundation.