- Post uncritically repeats crazy claims from former Trump staffer Cassidy Hutchinson
- Pics from J6 clearly show the witness’s hearsay recollections were factually wrong, but WashPost doesn’t point that out
- None of Hutchinson’s claims given even basic scrutiny
- Secret Service already disputing and debunking most of her claims, WashPost ignores
OUR RATING: Trash Journalism, aka the Daily Beast.
Indicted Outlet: Amber Phillips | The Washington Post | Link | Archive | 6/28/22
The anti-Trump show trials continue in Washington, and yesterday featured the testimony of ‘surprise’ witness Cassidy Hutchinson. Hutchinson claims she was alarmed that she saw, or rather, heard from a guy who heard from a guy that maybe Trump did something superbad, or at least that’s what she heard.
The insane claims: Trump choked his driver because he wanted to join the siege! Trump knew they brought weapons to siege the Capitol! Trump wanted to hang Mike Pence!
The backing? Zero.
The basic journalistic curiosity to fact check these obviously baloney claims? None.
- Some People Say
- Opinion as Fact
- Lying Headline
Phillips’s four key take-aways from the Hutchinson testimony:
1. Trump knew some of his supporters had weapons — and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. And he tried to go, too.
2. Trump wrestled with his Secret Security agent as he sought to go to the Capitol
3. Trump didn’t want to call off the rioters
4. Trump threw dishes
This list is as well-thought-out as most of Phillips’ articles. There was ketchup on the walls! Ketchup!
She didn’t actually witness the aftermath of a Trump tantrum, she was clearly just another bourgeoisie beltway conservative confused by Andy Warhol’s art:
Oh right, I’m sorry, “art.”
Let’s be clear about what major journalistic crimes Phillips is committing:
She’s using some people say to give credibility to a fantastical tale. She’s able to report on Hutchinson by saying this is just what she says, it’s a way to repeat what Phillips wants to say through the voice of another person. This is an abrogation of the journalist’s role to report the truth, meaning in our modern age: what actually happened. Instead, here Phillips is content to report on the new Trump Russia Dossier restyled as the Trump J6 Dossier.
She’s repeating Hutchinson’s opinion as fact, giving it inherent credibility under the banner of the Washington Post, leading readers to assume she’s done something journalistic other than just repeat her opinion as fact. A reader could reasonably assume Phillips used any logic left to question whether these things were true. A reader could assume she checked the facts. A reader could reasonably assume they’d at least call a few Secret Service contacts to see if these things are remotely reasonable. Those readers would be wrong.
Phillips is repeating hearsay that Hutchinson heard, and not being clear the inherent credibility problems within. There’s an important reason hearsay is not admitted into court except under exceptions: because its so unreliable. Witness testimony is well studied and found to be biased, even first-hand eyewitnesses can give wildly different interpretations of the same event. 
Here’s a hearsay example:
Hutchinson said Tony Ornato, the deputy chief of staff who served as a liaison for the Secret Service, told Meadows on the morning of Jan. 6 “something to the effect of, ‘And these f-ing people are fastening spears on top of flagpoles.’”
Let’s draw that out:
1) Hutchinson says 2) that Tony Ornato says he said 3) to Mark Meadows ‘people be making sharp flagpoles!’
So, why not just ask Ornato if that’s accurate? Why not ask Meadows? Why not ask the barista at the nearby Starbucks if Ornato ever blabbed about the sharp flagpole incident, or maybe ask Meadows’ favorite server at Texas Roadhouse to see if they ever overheard Mark talking to Tony over a sizzlin’ ribeye whether they ever joked about the super-pointy-flagpole incident?
Hutchinson is a third party hearing details about a conversation she was not a party to, there are loads of things she could very easily get wrong.
This then leads Phillips to write a lying headline and subheadlines in her article:
Trump knew some of his supporters had weapons — and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. And he tried to go, too.
Sounds pretty nuts! Until you see the list of ‘weapons’ from her article:
- pepper spray
- brass knuckles
- stun guns
- body armor
- gas masks
- batons and
- “blunt” weapons
- police calls reporting people with AR-15s.
So… it sounds like there weren’t any AR-15’s, there were just police calls with hysterical people claiming there were AR-15’s.
“Body armor” and “gas masks” aren’t weapons by any stretch of the imagination. Neither can inflict harm on someone else. They are entirely defensive in nature.
So let’s pare down Accuracy Amber’s list of ‘weapons’ as reported, discounted by that dastardly thief known as ‘reality’:
- pepper spray
- brass knuckles
- stun guns
So with the exception of the brass knuckles, they were about as well defended weapon-wise as your liberal arts college’s midnight shift rent-a-cop.
What a crowd of dangerous seditionists! They had pepper spray after all!
If outlets like the Washington Post, and reporters like Phillips, accurately reported the factual details about January 6th, they’d be in danger of upsetting the narrative.
Imagine how ridiculous the story would be if they honestly reported that someone told Trump, with a straight face, that an American crowd of motivated conservatives, having just lived through the lawless 2020 Summer of Floyd  where police in liberal cities were literally told to ‘stand down’ so they could commit violence and general mayhem, after years of lawless Antifa violence where no one gets prosecuted, where peaceful Trump protesters can be shot  in the street  and then later let off without charges , yea a group of 150,000 or so of them are in town, in DC, and they have the audacity to bring with them… body armor.
Do they snicker when they write this kind of trash at the Washington Post? Do they feel good about themselves that they get to fool their readership, or at least enable them to be willfully blind to the obvious reasons behind the news narrative frames they so boringly and lazily graft onto every happening?
And that’s job one among DC journalists: never upset the dominant narrative, always confirm it in gentle, reassuring, NPR-loving, ways. Success for Phillips is hearing one of her formulaic spins on neoliberal news of the day cited on National Public Radio. It’s not, ya know, reporting the truth or any of that antiquated principles stuff.
Hutchinson claims to have heard at least thirdhand that Trump was angered that his Secret Service Agent refused to take him to the Capitol, and engaged in a physical struggle to get control over the car. As wild as this sounds, it was already debunked within the day.  Phillips puts none of this in her story.
Secret Service being willing to testify that this isn’t true?  Oh don’t worry, they’re just ‘yes men’ according to the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig. 
So, an aide who is relying on hearsay is completely truthful, must be believed despite any claims to the opposite, but the Secret Service agents should be immediately disbelieved because they’re unreliable? This is pretty rich coming from a media outlet that repeated the Trump Russia hoax for years without question and then refused to acknowledge they were too dumb to see it was disinformation.
Hutchinson claimed she was ‘disgusted’ by what happened on January 6th, yet she was quoted in the mainstream press about being interested in a job with Trump in Florida over a week later.  Phillips could have found this out with just a little basic web sleuthing, clearly too much to ask from her, and thus puts none of this in her story.
This is journalistic malpractice. Is Phillips this lazy or this bad at her job?
Lord knows she won’t be issuing any corrections to her reports, she just repeats and amplifies what others are spending their journalism hours doing so she can go back to whatever it is that she spends her time focusing on.
Being a Washington Post reporter apparently also involves never having to say you’re sorry when you’re wrong. To be fair, if it didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to get anything else done.
OUR RATING: Trash Journalism, aka the Daily Beast.
1 ] https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/ajcl12&div=16&id=&page=
2 ] https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/fecourtl2&div=4&id=&page=
3 ] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Floyd_protests
4 ] https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/01/us/portland-shooting-victim-aaron-j-danielson/index.html
5 ] https://newspress.com/denver-covers-up-lee-keltners-assassination/
6 ] https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/prosecutors-plan-to-drop-murder-charge-in-deadly-denver-security-guard-shooting-attorney-says
7 ] https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/06/debunked-jan-6-committee-surprise-witness-gets-caught-us-secret-service-sources-deny-trump-tried-grab-steering-wheel-willing-testify/
8 ] https://www.foxnews.com/politics/secret-service-agents-testify-trump-lunge-steering-wheel-capitol-riot
9 ] https://www.thedailybeast.com/secret-service-agents-denying-cassidy-hutchinsons-claim-were-trump-yes-men-wapo-reporter-tells-maddow
10 ] https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/06/j6-committees-surprise-witness-disgusted-trump-jan-6-planning-go-work-trump-florida-january-6-protest
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