The New York Post:
An unruly crowd entered the US Capitol on Jan. 6, while then-President Donald Trump addressed a rally several blocks away. One member of that crowd, Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed woman and a veteran, was shot by the Capitol Police. The next day, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died in the hospital.
On Jan. 8, The New York Times reported that Officer Sicknick had died after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher by violent Trump supporters. This story was quickly repeated by numerous other media outlets. Millions believed it.
The story was false.
Sicknick died of two strokes, which occurred many hours after the invasion of the Capitol. The blue-check-media fallback was that bear spray used by the Capitol invaders had caused the officer’s strokes.
That also turned out to be false. After a curiously long delay, the DC medical examiner’s office released its report this week, and it concludes that Sicknick suffered no injuries, internal or external. He didn’t have a reaction to bear spray, the chief medical examiner reported.
So the single most important “fact” about the events of Jan. 6 was false. That leaves some questions.
First, who were the Gray Lady’s sources? The Times story quoted two anonymous “law-enforcement officials,” but anyone associated with the Capitol Police, or any investigation, should have known that Sicknick wasn’t struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. Having been misled by its sources, will the Times tell us who they were?
Will the Times apologize for its error? It could have independently confirmed its claims by checking with Sicknick’s family or with the hospital. Or the paper could simply have waited until it had definitive confirmation of the facts and refrained from reporting a falsehood in the meanwhile.
As leftist journalist Glenn Greenwald notes, the Times didn’t check the facts because the paper needed the story to be true. It was essential to the Narrative its editors had settled upon: namely, that Trump and his supporters were “insurrectionists” posing a violent threat to democracy.
Says Greenwald: “The gruesome story of Sicknick’s ‘murder’ was too valuable to allow any questioning … because if Sicknick weren’t murdered by them, then nobody was (without Sicknick, the only ones killed were four pro-Trump supporters: two who died of a heart attack, one from an amphetamine overdose and the other, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot point blank in the neck by Capitol Police despite being unarmed.”