We’ve heard plenty of late about “conspiracy theories” and how supporters of former President Donald Trump need to be deprogrammed, de-platformed, and maybe deprived of their livelihoods if not their liberty for believing things that weren’t true.
Now, the left-wing media machine is working to convince people that no questions should be asked about the deaths of the tragic Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In recent days conservative commentators have raised doubts about those deaths. Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, for instance, noted that only one person died of direct violence at the riot and that was Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed Air Force veteran who was killed by Capitol Police.
Two media reports are feeding this phenomenon.
One was a Feb. 2 CNN article that noted, “Investigators are struggling to build a federal murder case regarding fallen US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, vexed by a lack of evidence that could prove someone caused his death as he defended the Capitol during last month’s insurrection.”
“According to one law enforcement official,” CNN continued, “medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma, so investigators believe that early reports that he was fatally struck by a fire extinguisher are not true.”
The fire extinguisher was one repeated over and over by the liberal mainstream media.
Now. It seems it didn’t happen – much like Trump didn’t collude with Russians, or Catholic high school kids from Kentucky didn’t harass an elderly native American.
A week after CNN’s report, a conservative outlet called Revolver News picked up the story and noted the fire extinguisher canard even made its way into the indictment memo assembled by the House Democratic impeachment managers.
Among the many reports, revolver noted that The New York Times produced details that were far-fetched. The Times said Sicknick had a severe “gash” in his head and was on life support the day after the riot.
“Law enforcement officials now tell CNN that there was no fire extinguisher blow, no bloody gash, and no blunt force trauma to Sicknick’s body when he died.
“Not only that, but it is increasingly unclear when, where, and if Sicknick was even rushed to the hospital. As it turns out, multiple hours after the protest had already concluded, Sicknick texted his own brother Ken that very night he was basically fine, other than being ‘pepper-sprayed twice,’ confirming he was safe and ‘in good shape.’
“Then, an odd thing happened. The next afternoon, the Sicknick family began getting phone calls that Officer Brian Sicknick had been declared dead. The phone calls didn’t come from the hospital. They didn’t come from the treating physicians. They didn’t come from the US Capitol Police, or the FBI, or the DOJ.
“They came from media reporters.
“Certain privileged media personnel were evidently the first to receive sensitive information circulating among ‘law enforcement officials’ that Brian Sicknick was dead.
But then the story got stranger. In a dark, twisted echo of Monty Python’s ‘bring out your dead’ scene, it turned out Sicknick was not dead yet.”
The Capitol Police even tweeted a rebuttal to the media narrative, saying reports of Sicknick’s demise, like those of Mark Twain, were inaccurate.
He died shortly thereafter.
Yet, Revolver pointed out, Sicknick’s brother had been told the officer collapsed inside the Capitol before being rushed to the hospital. The Capitol Police issued a statement that night that said he had returned to his office.
“Sometime between Sicknick being fine, healthy, and back in his office on Wednesday night, and dead or effectively dead on early Thursday evening, Sicknick apparently suffered a stroke,” Revolver reported. “The sequence of when and how that happened should be the easiest part of this story to put to bed. And yet we are being told to take this on faith — or as the media likes to say: ‘without evidence.’”
“Then the story gets even odder,” Revolver added. “Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen says the DOJ will ‘spare no resources’ in getting to the bottom of what happened to Sicknick. Yet well over a month after his death, precisely zero information has been disclosed by the DOJ, the FBI, the US Capitol Police, the DC medical examiner, the hospital that cared for him, or the treating physicians.”
Adding to the weirdness was this detail offered by Revolver: “Sicknick’s body has been cremated. That means no further forensic analysis can be done to establish the cause or time of Sicknick’s death.”
“Why, one must wonder, would a family still searching for answers, who has no autopsy results, no death certificate, and no medical report, authorize a cremation? Did they?”
Liberals in recent days have denounced Revolver News for trafficking in conspiracy theories.
Yet longtime investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald, who is no conservative, defended Revolver.
“How and why did the media spend an entire month definitively affirming what appears to be a completely false story about the only person said to have been killed by the Capitol mob: Officer Brian Sicknick? Why do we not know how or even when he died?” Greenwald said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Feb. 11.
“It is absolutely impossible that authorities, including those who performed the autopsy, didn’t know very early on that the story being spread over and over by the media — that Sicknick was killed with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob — was false,” Greenwald added.
“Almost nothing is known about the death of Officer Brian Sicknick — not how he died or even when — but one thing is 100% clear: The story told by the media for over a month — not as a theory but as a Known Fact: that protesters killed him with a fire extinguisher — is false.”
We may one day get a perfectly reasonable explanation of Sicknick’s death. And it may prove that Revolver News was wrong, overwrought, or hyperbolic in its analysis.
But until then, the point made by Carlson, Greenwald, and even CNN is significant and relevant: Sicknick was not killed by blunt force trauma, as the public was led to believe, so why haven’t they announced the cause of death more than a month later?
If those on the left are serious about tamping down on “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “conspiracy theories,” they could begin by joining conservatives in demanding that these information voids be filled.