Those of us who used to read the front page of the newspaper, back when it was a literal paper and not a lighted screen with type that moved around, remember what it was like to find interesting juxtapositions of the headlines that in themselves told a story. Maybe in the upper right, there would be a headline like “Scores Killed in Weekend Murder Rampage,” while off to the left, it would say “Drop in Tourism Mystifies City Leaders”
I had a similar experience yesterday, scanning the news aggregator site The Liberty Daily.
The huge story at that moment, in big type right in the middle, was “PROJECT VERITAS: PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING NY TIMES JOURNALIST ADMITS JAN. 6 WAS ‘NO BIG DEAL.’”
Nearby, in the small typeface above the big headline, was this: “DOJ Offers 70- to 87-Month Prison Sentence to American Patriot Photographed with Feet Up in Nancy Pelosi’s Office.”
Farther down was this: “Guy Reffitt, First Political Prisoner to Stand Trial in Mostly Peaceful Protest on Jan. 6, Found Guilty by Democrat D.C. Jury.”
Then this: “Shocking Statement by January 6 Daughter Called by DOJ Political Prosecution: I Never Felt Threatened by My Dad --- The DOJ Wanted Me to Say That!’” Nothing says “politics in 2022” better than all these January 6 stories appearing onscreen together.
Let’s go first to the Project Veritas story. James O’Keefe really has done it again. As J. D. Rucker reports, Project Veritas managed to get undercover video that enables us to watch NYT National Security Correspondent Matthew Rosenberg “spill the beans over drinks.” Pretty amazing, and this is just Part 1. The language gets a little rough, as one might expect from a journalist talking up his work over double scotches, but it’s bleeped.
“I’m so over it,” he says of January 6 with a chuckle. “The left’s overreaction to it, in some places, was way over the top.”
We already knew that corporate media, in their zeal to paint President Trump as evil and unhinged, was milking the January 6 Capitol Hill story for all it’s worth. And Rosenberg’s reporting was very much a part of that. But we see that his own opinion was the opposite. He was supposed to be “traumatized,” he said, but nobody on the NYT staff –- at least the seasoned reporters –- thought they were in any danger. “We were just having fun!” he said. The newbies in their twenties, he said, the “little dweebs,” did not share his cavalier attitude, and he wanted to tell them to just “man up.” He said he wanted to be “like, dude, come on, like, you were not in any danger.” (Editorial note: true, people weren’t in any danger –- unless they were on that stair landing where Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed.)
“They were making too big a deal,” Rosenberg said. “They were making this an organized thing that it wasn’t.” On the other hand, he said, “There were a ton of FBI informants amongst the people who attacked the Capitol.” (To his credit, he did actually report that.)
As Rosenberg told his companion at the table, he is an investigative reporter who usually tackles longer-term stories as opposed to single events. The implication: that he’d have a “nose” that might be able to sniff out informants. In fact, he says in the video that because acting CIA and NSA (National Security Agency) personnel can’t talk to the media, he dug into this by talking to former officials who didn’t have to fear the dreaded annual polygraph. So he was aware of the government infiltration.
Being a reporter for the NYT, though, it’s no surprise that he said the left’s overreaction gave “the lunatics on the right” ammunition to say, “Oh, well, nothing happened here.” (For the record: Not being lunatics, we never said that nothing happened. And what DID happen never should have, as the political and personal repercussions for many people touched by this story have been staggering. But it was not an attempt to overthrow the government, nor anything close to the way it’s been portrayed.)
When asked if he’d talked to people who had been arrested, he said their lawyers generally advise them not to talk to journalists. “No good can come of it,” he said. But according to O’Keefe, some of those incarcerated after January 6 have indeed made their voices heard, not to NYT reporters (smart!) but to Project Veritas, about the stunning lack of due process they’ve received, which stems largely from the “overreaction,” as Rosenberg put it, from the media and politicians on the left.
Now, let’s move on to the other January 6 stories:
Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett, the Arkansas man who was photographed with his feet up at Nancy Pelosi’s desk, has rejected the offer of a guilty plea in exchange for a prison sentence of between 70 to 87 months. That’s for a PLEA, from someone with no criminal record. So he’ll be taking his chances at trial in the fall and, if found guilty, could be in prison for the rest of his life, as he is 61.
This story also highlights the recent suicide of another defendant, Matthew Perna, 37, which we reported last week.
Next, we have Guy Reffitt, who went to trial before a DC jury and on Friday was quickly found guilty on all five counts. He’s the first January 6 defendant to stand trial, and this outcome doesn’t bode well for the others. As Julie Kelly points out in American Greatness, it’s hard to get a fair trial in a city that voted nearly 94 percent for Joe Biden in 2020. Afterwards, a juror told CBS News that the case was “simple” and there was “not a dissenting voice in the jury.”
He’d already been incarcerated since his arrest in January, 2021, and could face 20 years in prison for each count of obstruction. He’ll be sentenced in June.
He never entered the Capitol building that day.
Finally, there’s the story of how, during Reffitt’s trial, the DOJ called his teenage son to testify against him, as their narrative included allegations that Reffitt had physically threatened his kids about going to the FBI.
Prosecutors had convinced Reffitt’s son to secretly record him at home for eight days before turning him over to the FBI. They had intended to call his younger sister to the stand as well but changed their minds, and the reason seems clear. Outside the courthouse, she said, “I never felt threatened by my father...It hurts me so much that they are saying that.”
She had wanted to be called to the stand to DEFEND her dad, but Reffitt’s court-appointed attorney never called a single witness. This is a shocking story and a must-read.
So, we have the big-deal NYT reporter, someone who furthered the left’s January 6 narrative while saying in private that it was really overblown, and then we have a heartbreaking travesty of “justice” like this. Matthew Rosenberg should have to sit through all these trials.