- Rolling Stone keeps making false connection between death of Officer Brian Sicknick and the January 6th protest
- Rolling Stone says Trump wrong to say only Ashli Babbitt died on January 6th, because Sicknick only ‘technically’ died the day after
- Left Media’s obsession over Sicknick death and blaming it on Trump on full display
OUR RATING: Major Negligence. MSNBC-level basic journalistic negligence
Rolling Stone is making false connections between the death of Brian Sicknick and the January 6 protesters. Then from that false connection, they are using a truthful statement by former President Donald Trump to say that he’s ignoring the unrelated death of Sicknick a day later.
It’s dishonest on multiple levels.
- Opinion as Fact
- Creating False Connections
- Fake Fact-Check
It’s noticeable among several stories talking about Brian Sicknick, that reporters are deploying this grammatical trick to make the subject of the quote ambiguous so as to blame Trump for both January 6th and also the death of Brian Sicknick. And while pundits, politicians and historians could argue for decades about Trump’s role in January 6th, there’s zero argument that Brian Sicknick died from anything other than natural causes.
TGP Fact-Check has debunked the Sicknick death disinformation over  and over  and over. 
So notice what Rolling Stone does here to avoid the fact Sicknick died from natural causes:
“I hold Donald Trump 100 percent responsible for what happened on Jan. 6 and all of the people that have enabled him, enabled him that day, and continue to enable him now,” Garza told PBS NewsHour on Monday. Responding to host Judy Woodruff’s question about how Trump should be held accountable, Garza said, “Personally, for me, I think he needs to be in prison. That is what I think.”
Quote summary: ‘I hold Trump responsible for what happened.’
Well that begs the question then, what she’s referring to? How does this person know for sure? What is the thing that happened?
And clearly when you’re interviewing the grieving girlfriend, she’s going to be referring to Sicknick’s death as well.
She’s referring generally to the January 6th events but also looping in the death of her boyfriend. She has no authority on the cause of death but the reporter is taking advantage of the grief exploit here to get the quote they want. Because the actual governmental authorities who have looked into this, namely the DC Coroner, Sicknick’s employer the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Department of Justice, have all said he died from natural causes. But the way to avoid that inconvenient fact is to simply interview the grief-stricken to get the quote you want. It’s what we’re going to start calling the grief exploit in terms of journalistic malpractice.
Even though the quote can be read in a vague and ambiguous way, the natural conclusion any reasonable reader would take away from the quote is: Trump is responsible on some level for the death of Brian Sicknick. And we know that is completely false.
Every major mainstream theory about how to link Sicknick’s death to the protesters has completely fallen apart. Even the argument that his fatal blood clot and stroke was somehow caused by chemical irritants such as tear gas, was disproven by an autopsy report that says zero traces of allergic reactions were found in his body. Meaning that they were specifically looking to prove the ‘tear gas caused Sicknick stroke’ theory, and they instead found the opposite.
This reporter knows these facts already, it’s evident from seeing how carefully he walks around them. Take note from this excerpt from the article:
D.C.’s Chief Medical Examiner, Francisco J. Diaz, declared that Sicknick died of natural causes, resulting from two strokes at the base of his brain stem. Diaz pointed out that Sicknick was one of the officers who was engaging with rioters and said, “All that transpired played a role in his condition.“
Addressing Sicknick’s cause of death, Garza echoed the examiner’s assessment that the events of Jan. 6 indeed “played a role,” telling PBS: “What I will say is: The medical examiner did say that all that transpired that day definitely played a role in kind of escalating or tipping the scales to escalate his death. And I agree with that. So I think, definitely, that played a role in tipping the scales for him to pass away much faster.”
So, notice what’s happening in the first paragraph: Rolling Stone is quickly getting out of the way that the Coroner said Sicknick died from natural causes. Then they’re quickly opening the door to causation from the January 6th protests by saying “all that transpired” had a role in his death.
It’s such a ridiculous statement that it’s hard to appreciate how foolish it is. The Coroner was looking for ways to prosecute defendants charged with assaulting Sicknick. The political pressure was enormous to come to a result that would blame the protesters for his death.
It is a national scandal and a major media scandal that they could not find any causation between Sicknick’s death and the protests.
If you don’t admit this and acknowledge it in the story you are denying readers major missing context.
If the ‘tear gas’ played a role in Sicknick’s death, then should the government be held responsible for shooting a ton of it into the crowd, also gassing their own officers? Did the unused can of bear spray supposedly in a defendant’s backpack play a role in Sicknick’s death? Did the mythical fire extinguisher and fabled ‘gash’ on Sicknick’s head play a role in his death?
What Rolling Stone is doing is creating a huge game of ‘what if’ and saying that everything played a role. That’s simply not the case, and has been disproven by the autopsy.
If “everything played a role” then what’s the point of the autopsy at all? If we’re going to stick to conclusions despite evidence, why even bother with the evidence?
There is no evidence to support the conclusion that Sicknick died due to the protest or protesters.
Then notice what the reporter does in the second paragraph, they create false connections by using a quote from Sicknick’s girlfriend in lieu of quoting the autopsy report.
Here it is again more specifically:
Garza echoed the examiner’s assessment that the events of Jan. 6 indeed “played a role,” telling PBS: “What I will say is: The medical examiner did say that all that transpired that day definitely played a role in kind of escalating or tipping the scales to escalate his death. And I agree with that. So I think, definitely, that played a role in tipping the scales for him to pass away much faster.”
So instead of quoting the medical examiner, they quote the grieving girlfriend. And they let the girlfriend interpret the autopsy reports and focus on one line in the report to then make a further conclusion:
“So I think, definitely, that played a role in tipping the scales for him to pass away much faster.”
This is not what the report says.
That is the grieving girlfriend’s interpretation of the autopsy report to validate the conclusion she wants to believe: that there was a connection between the protest and Sicknick’s death.
This is creating false connections by using someone’s opinion as fact.
But the absolute gem in this story is when the Reporter tries to debunk Trump but can’t understand how a calendar works.
Here’s what I’m referring to:
As for Trump, he has publicly glossed over Sicknick’s death, saying during a December event with Bill O’Reilly that Ashli Babbitt, a veteran who was shot by Capitol Police, was the only person who died on Jan. 6. “Nobody died that day other than a wonderful patriot named Ashli Babbitt,” Trump claimed. While Sicknick technically died on Jan. 7, other people at the riot died including three additional Trump supporters: Rosanne Boyland, who appeared to be trampled by the crowd at one point and died of acute amphetamine intoxication; Benjamin Phillips, who suffered a stroke; and Kevin Greeson, who had a heart attack.
Focus on this portion:
“Nobody died that day other than a wonderful patriot named Ashli Babbitt,” Trump claimed. While Sicknick technically died on Jan. 7…”
Trump made an accurate statement, that was clearly referencing people who died unnatural deaths due to violence. There were probably many other people nearby in DC who died from natural causes that specific day as well, but he wasn’t talking about them either.
Then Rolling Stone says Sicknick “technically” died the day after.
That whole false narrative frame is again anchored on the lie that Sicknick’s death has anything to do with the January 6th protest.
This is a way of saying Trump is overlooking or neglecting Sicknick in his statement, when his statement was completely true, not just ‘technically’ so. Sicknick died from natural causes the day after the protest, his death was unrelated to the protest.
These false connections keep being made by the media only because the short distance in time, not because of any actual evidence. It’s a supposition in search of evidence that keeps ignoring every contrary piece of information that arises.
It’s what some call a disinformation campaign.
The death of Brian Sicknick is very sad, he sounds like he was a good man doing his job and his death has been perversely politicized by shameless politicians like Nancy Pelosi. The wrong way to honor someone is by lying about the causes of their death, and using their death to jail people either directly or indirectly by creating a false narrative around the event. Hundreds of political persecutions are going on right now, largely predicated on this continued lie about the death of Brian Sicknick.
OUR RATING: Major Negligence. MSNBC-level basic journalistic negligence
1 ] https://tgpfactcheck.com/biden-keeps-repeating-lie-that-jan-6-protesters-killed-brian-sicknick/
2 ] https://tgpfactcheck.com/nyt-invents-facts-refuses-to-correct-lies-about-brian-sicknicks-death-after-j6-capitol-protest/
3 ] https://tgpfactcheck.com/dailymail-repeats-sicknick-killed-by-j6-protesters-smear/
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