Reporters ‘threatening people’ to get them to lie: Rep. Matt Gaetz

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“The reporters are literally threatening people to say stuff that isn’t true, so that people don’t get brought into a web of controversy,” said the Florida Republican.

“But now what you have are people who wear the imprimatur of mainstream media entities, you know, like CNN, like the New York Times, like the Washington Post, and they’re not really there to collect the facts and display them to the people, they’re there to achieve a particular outcome.”

Reporters from Mother Jones and the Daily Beast have contacted and allegedly threatened people who know or have met Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in an effort to obtain confirmation of wild accusations against him, the congressman charged in an interview Tuesday.

“[T]ime and time again, what a reporter will do is contact someone that maybe I’ve had a relationship with, maybe I haven’t had any relationship with, maybe I’ve only been in the same room with one time,” Gaetz told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

“But they’ll say to a person, ‘You know, look, we are going to write your name into a story that will have sex trafficking and Matt Gaetz in the headline, unless you provide us some bad information, some embarrassing conduct about Gaetz. And if you do that, well then your name will be protected, your reputation will be protected.’

“And so I have now seen in writing that actually play out, where a reporter from the Daily Beast, you know, wrote to someone and said, ‘You know, I know you were at a political function with Matt Gaetz in Florida. And if you, you know, have something to say about him, well then we’ll take your name out, otherwise, we’ll smear you.’

“It really strikes me,” Gaetz continued, “the extent to which there is now no line between advocacy and journalism. You know, we wanted to believe that there was sort of, you know, opinion journalism, and then there was fact-based journalism. And then there are people who rightly go exercise their First Amendment rights to participate in direct advocacy.

“But now what you have are people who wear the imprimatur of mainstream media entities, you know, like CNN, like the New York Times, like the Washington Post, and they’re not really there to collect the facts and display them to the people, they’re there to achieve a particular outcome.”

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