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Fentanyl Letters Show How Partisan Journalists Operate

The fentanyl letters to election offices, and the coverage of them in the legacy media, show how partisan these outlets have become.

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A fentanyl letter

The true danger to American democracy comes from the radical left. Just don’t expect to hear it from the mainstream media.

On Nov. 9, Americans learned that law enforcement intercepted a handful of fentanyl-laced letters intended for election offices across at least five states, including Georgia’s Fulton County. While alarming, fentanyl isn’t like anthrax – briefly touching it isn’t deadly. But ingesting it is – just ask the families of the 74,000 Americans who died from fentanyl in 2022 alone, much of it produced in China and smuggled in through President Biden’s wide-open southern border.

But dozens of media outlets used the poison letters to peddle the left’s favorite new “crisis”: Death threats to election workers from angry Republican voters.

I’ve tracked this myth since it was hatched in early 2021 as a sequel to the now-infamous “Zuck bucks” scheme, in which partisan billionaire Mark Zuckerberg effectively privatized the 2020 election in swing states with $420 million. After Biden’s victory, activists pivoted to solidifying that funding, only now from the federal government.

But there’s a price: With more federal funding comes even more federal control over our elections.

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The scheme works because sympathetic reporters never have to prove that election officials are at a greater risk of threats from kooks post-2020 than they were pre-2020 – they simply assert it, as virtually all did with the fentanyl letters.

Except this time, the media buried a problematic detail: The fentanyl letters apparently came from the far left, not the far right.

Pictures of one letter mailed to the elections director of Pierce County, Wash., was adorned with an LGBTQ pride flag; the “anti-fascist” Three Arrows symbol marking Antifa, a violent extremist group; and an inverted pentagram, often used to denote Satanism.

The letter reads:

END ELECTIONS NOW

STOP GIVING POWER TO THE RIGHT THAT THEY DON’T HAVE

WE ARE IN CHARGE NOW AND THERE IS NO MORE NEED FOR THEM.

The FBI has since seized the letters and has yet to announce any suspects, so take the story with a grain of salt (we certainly are). But true or false, the media’s response is enlightening.

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While 177 outlets covered the fentanyl letters story, just 60 stories quoted their demand to “stop giving power to the right,” according to data from Lexis Nexis. Yet almost all referenced “terrorism” or “domestic terrorism,” a key phrase in the threats-to-election-workers narrative.

Neither the Guardian nor Oregon Public Broadcasting bothered to comment on the letters’ hateful political symbols in the rush to push their preferred narrative: election worker harassment.

New York Magazine glossed over the overtly partisan symbols, noting blandly that “authorities are still uncertain as to the political leanings or particular motives of the sender.”

The Washington Post admitted that “the symbols in the letter are associated with left-leaning politics” – an astonishing euphemism when describing Antifa – before adding that the sender’s political views “remain unclear.”

Politico and NPR were the worst offenders, suggesting – without evidence – that it could be a conservative hoax:

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While the symbols have sometimes been associated with leftist politics, they also have been used by conservative figures to label and stereotype the left, and the sender’s political leanings were unclear.

It’s hard to imagine those same outlets describing an alt-right symbol – say, Pepe the Frog – as “sometimes associated with far-right politics.”

All but one quoted David Becker, a political operative who runs the Washington, D.C. advocacy group Center for Election Innovation and Research, on the “sad reality” of “threats” “terrorizing” election officials. Here’s what they don’t mention about Becker: He’s a far-left elections activist working to turn states blue.

At the Justice Department, Becker earned a reputation from colleagues as a “hardcore leftist” who “couldn’t stand conservatives” – an image he’s since tried to obscure. Then he led election policy for the partisan group People for the American Way, a connection he’s also attempted to downplay or hide.

Becker accuses his political opponents of threatening election officials and spreading “election denialism,” as if well-intentioned skepticism is a disease.

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We can guess why: Becker’s group, CEIR, is the source of that unproven theory through its front group, the Election Official Legal Defense Network, which was formed in early 2021 to label Republican voters a threat to democracy.

CEIR took $70 million from Mark Zuckerberg to register and turn out Democratic voters in swing states as part of the 2020 Zuck Bucks scheme, which NPR later celebrated for “saving” the 2020 election. Shamefully, the mainstream media continues to bless CEIR as “nonpartisan.”

In May, Becker hosted a conference at the D.C. Spy Museum where Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold declared that there are six election-denying secretaries of state, six U.S. senators, and 150 congressmen who are “desecrating the halls of Congress as we speak” – all Republicans.

“This is part of the national Republican strategy to cause chaos to [win] elections,” she blasted, later intimating that these conservatives ought to be prosecuted for their opinions.

Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes went further, labeling all conservatives “fascists” and “election deniers” for questioning the contested 2020 election. Elsewhere, he’s called Republicans “MAGA fascists” and “authoritarians” who spew “lies” in order to “destroy our democracy.”

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Does that sound like someone who should be in charge of Arizona’s elections?

We’ll doubtless learn more in the coming weeks from the FBI about the source of the fentanyl letters. Or then again, Biden’s agents may bury the story completely; it wouldn’t be the first time. You be the judge of what Uncle Sam reports to the public.

But what we can’t do is fall for another conspiracy theory that has one objective: weaponizing the federal government against the Democratic Party’s enemies. The clues are all there. Will Americans pay attention before it’s too late?

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.

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Director of Policy Research at | + posts

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America and the author of ERIC: the Best Data Money Can’t Buy. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California, and holds a Master’s of Public Policy from George Mason University.

CATEGORY:Constitution
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