I have lost count of how often Vox.com “journalist” Aaron Rupar has been caught tweeting out deceptive video clips of Republicans where he purposely takes them out of context to make what they’re saying during interviews sound like something stupid or troubling.
He’s done this frequently with quotes from Donald Trump, Kayleigh McEnany and many others. To make things worse, his purposely vague or bogus descriptions of the clips are often retweeted uncritically by mainstream media journalists and Democratic politicians alike who don’t bother to actually watch the videos or ask about context.
This is how fake news often spreads and goes viral. And because he continues to get away with it, he keeps doing it.
The latest instance of an attempted smear by Rupar happened Tuesday when he boiled a five-minute interview Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) did with Fox News on the Senate’s impeachment trial down to a whopping 5 seconds. Here’s the quote he tweeted: “Look, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is entitled to a mulligan once in a while.”
beyond parody pic.twitter.com/HguEJBP6mm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 9, 2021
Clearly, Rupar was trying to make it appear that Lee was commenting on Trump and urging people to give him a “mulligan.” Except that’s not what Lee was doing.
During the segment, clips were aired of Democrats like Rep. Maxine Waters and Sen. Cory Booker calling on people to confront Republican officials and get in their faces. Trump’s defense lawyers have said they will air those types of clips during the course of the trial to point out the double standards of Democrats. Co-host Dana Perino asked Lee to opine on Democrats who are saying the comments made by Booker, Waters, and others were “different.” Here’s what he said (bolded emphasis added):
“Yeah, look, it’s not different. These are outgrowths of the same natural impulse that exist from time to time among anyone in this business and in many other businesses.
Look, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is entitled to a mulligan once in a while. And I would hope, I would expect that each of those individuals would take a mulligan on each of those statements because in each instance they’re making it deeply personal. They’re ceasing to make it about policy, instead they’re talking about getting up in people’s faces, and making individuals feel perfectly uncomfortable and that’s not helpful. The best way to handle this is to talk about issues rather than individual personalities.”
That’s a far cry from how Rupar framed Lee’s comments, isn’t it? Regardless, his take was amplified by the New York Times, Business Insider, Newsweek, and other supposedly reputable news outlets, as Mollie Hemingway noted at The Federalist.
Failed South Carolina Democratic Senate nominee and current DNC chair Jaime Harrison also rolled with Rupar’s dishonest clip and slammed Lee (Harrison’s tweet was referenced in the New York Times piece by “reporter” Glenn Thrush):
Several died. Hundreds injured. Threats were made to murder the Vice President of the US and the Speaker of the House. Our nation’s Capitol Building was desecrated.
— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) February 9, 2021
Another Twitter user shared Rupar’s deliberately shortened video and, like Harrison’s and the original, it has several thousand RTs as of this writing:
“Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is entitled to a mulligan.” An actual US senator (@SenMikeLee) actually said this while defending an actual incitement of insurrection. Really. For real. In real life. pic.twitter.com/pA2NL52zb5
— shauna (@goldengateblond) February 9, 2021
— Sister Toldjah, VP of BS Detection 😁 (@sistertoldjah) February 9, 2021
Rupar did get around to posting the context for Lee’s comments, but it came 6 minutes after his original tweet and got substantially less attention. As of this writing, his original tweet has over 4,000 RTs (and that doesn’t include the RTs from people like Harrison who shared it on their Twitter feeds). In contrast, his contextual tweet has gotten less than 400 RTs.
It’d be nice if the same mainstream media reporters and fact-checkers at news outlets like the NYT, the Washington Post, CNN and all the rest would do their jobs and fact-check dishonest left-wing hacks like this into oblivion. Sadly, they’re too busy sharing those types of tweets and lending them credence and helping these smear merchants set bogus narratives, which just goes to show you (again) that their supposed commitment to preventing the spread of fake news is nothing but a steaming pile of hot garbage.