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CNN’s John Avlon needs a reality check

CNN’s John Avlon needs a reality check

CNN’s so-called “Reality Check” feature is presented by the smarmy John Avlon.  He stands out as one of the media’s most partisan characters on cable television.  “Reality Check” is a complete misnomer.  Avlon spends his few minutes of airtime to offer up nothing but Democrat propaganda and left-wing talking points.  

In the court-of-public-opinion, Avlon is an aggressive prosecutor against all things Republican and conservative.   His commentaries are constant in their bias and consistent in their dishonesty.  His goal is not to inform or educate … but to influence.

In a recent “Reality Check,” Avlon took on one of the weaknesses in his in the left’s false narrative of an ongoing insurrection led by former President Trump, virtually all Republican officeholders, and most of the 80 million Americans who voted Republican in 2020.

The mendacious claim that the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6th – and events prior and after – are part of an ongoing insurrection that is perilously close to bringing down the American democracy.  As ridiculous as that contention is, the fact that major cable news platforms proffer that argument  as if it were factual means that a lot of folks are going to be fooled into believe the partisan political propaganda.  Especially those who only get their information form the left-wing media platforms.

The insurrection argument collapses when you examine the charges being brought by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies against more than 600 people arrested in conjunction with the Capitol Hill riot.  NO ONE IS BEING CHARGED WITH INSURRECTION OR SEDITION.

I am all in on arresting and charging those who rioted on January 6th.  I only wish we would devote the same law enforcement resources to arrest and punish all those reprobates who looted, burned, destroyed, and killed in the riots that have become iconic in the Democrat-run cities over the past 50 years.  But, I digress.

What you have with characters like Avlon is the difference between a court-of-law — in which the actual laws must be applied, and the rule-of-law must prevail – and the very dangerous court-of-public-opinion – in which mendacious narratives, false claims and propaganda prevail.

Avalon is the spiritual kin of those who rile public opinion, empower vigilantes and incite public unrest against perceived enemies – concocted enemies.  For sure, Avlon is slicker than the overcharged street activist standing on the roof of a police car, but his purpose is essentially the same – to create a specious case to mobilize action against – in this case – the Republican Party.  

Recognizing that it is more difficult to peddle the insurrection propaganda if no one is being charged with insurrection, Avalon used his so-called “Reality Check” moment to argue that there was … and is … an insurrection going on.  He is using his prosecutorial role in the court-of-public-opinion to make a case that those charged with actually applying the law in court are not making.

Avlon calls on Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice to bring insurrection and sedition charges against those who he … John Avlon … and the rest of the left-wing community have charged in the court-of-public-opinion.

Avlon claims that there are sufficient laws to make those charges stick.  He does not explain, however, why a Democrat controlled Justice Department and FBI would not bring those charges if there was sufficient evidence.  The answer to that is simple.  The evidence does not exist of anything more than an organic riot.  The prosecutors understand that if they falsely charge, they will lose the cases in a court-of-law.

That does not mean that among the thousands who demonstrated on Capitol Hill – and even among those who rioted –there are not an individual or two with grandiose dreams of stopping the certification.  But the romantic revolutionary dreams of a few nutcases do not define an insurrection.

That was even the report of an FBI agent imbedded in the crowd on Capitol Hill.   The agent reported that even among the Proud Boys there was no pre-plan to violently attack the Capitol Building, much less forcibly stop the certification.  It evolved into an organic riot for two reasons – the incitement of rabble-rousers and the demonstrable lack of police security.

To proffer his case for insurrection, Avlon presented a quote from Mark Graber, who he described only as a “constitutional scholar.” To wit:

“From a constitutional perspective there’s no difference between trying to overturn an election by fraud, force or violence … all fall under insurrection.”

If the “constitutional scholar” is legally correct, that would mean hundreds of thousands of insurrections cases in the courts.  Every person associated with the “occupy this-and-that movement” is an insurrectionist. Every uprising engineered by ANTIFA is an act of insurrection.  The leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement would be deemed to be insurrectionists.  All those rioting in the name of civil rights are insurrectionists.  Every ward heeler who stole a vote is an insurrectionist.

Sorry professor!  Your academic definition does not comply with the specific LEGAL standards with which real prosecutors and real courts must deal.  The professor’s lecture is only useful in the theoretical environment of a classroom – not for the real world.  However, Avalon uses it as a talking point in his court-of-public opinion where the law and rules-of-evidence are replaced with unproven accusations, rumors, and false narratives.

I found Avlon’s closing particularly interesting.  Citing only the existence of laws against insurrections and sedition – as opposed to their proper application – Avlon called on the Attorney General to apply the law and arrest all those folks Avalon deems to be insurrectionists.  Of course, that is exactly what law enforcement is doing – charging according to THE LAW.  Not Avlon’s political opinion.

In his effort to get the federal lawyers to charge people with insurrection, Avlon closed by saying:

“Laws exist for a reason.  When we stop enforcing laws, we stop being a nation of law, but rather of men.”

Upon hearing that noble sentiment, I wondered why Avlon has never applied that principle to … let’s say … oh, yeah … the border crisis – where ignoring the law is the standard operating procedure for Democrats. Or what about all those riots in our major cities – all those looters, arsonists and vandals who are never charged.  

Avlon is the personification of what is wrong and dangerous with today’s so-called news media — and their phony fact-checking operations.  What Avlon offers up is not news – and not even a well-grounded opinion.  It is certainly not a “reality check.”  It is a one-sided prosecutorial brief – propaganda by definition.  That is the stock and trade of John Avlon.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Dan Tyree

    Larry I’m in total agreement with going after the thugs that burned and looted. They did much more harm and destroyed more property than the January 6 people did. By the way, I totally disagree with them storming the capital. But I believe that the capital cop that shot the unarmed women should be prosecuted. But that’s not going to happen. If the cop were white and his victim were black Washington DC would be a pile of ashes now. But know that I’m not trying to drag you into a black/white discussion. Just saying.

  2. Dan Tyree

    CNN isn’t about reality. Just leftist propaganda

  3. Arthur

    The left has a number of so called journalists with outrageous opinions allowed on CNN. As does FOX have Tucker Swanson Carlson , The 5, and Laura with the Angle. Do a fact check for reality’s sake on these talking heads and discover the know not a wit of journalism, it’s code of ethics., or honor those true to their trade,
    All your accusations against those from the liberal left are the conservative right committing every night and day, Conspiracy Theories, the right has made them their trade mark and morally acceptable presented as truth religiously.
    Tucker and crowd are propagandists guilty of dividing people and setting right against left in ways unimaginable, prior to Trump appearing on the political stage.
    Your piece of the right opinions pie can not be any thing near the tens of million dollars Carlson and his gang of grifters pull down. That must seem unjust to you.
    Hiding behind the wide skirts of the First Amendment self proclaimed experts in their knowledge on all things and all people on the left, hang their shingle out and ride the FOX gravy train as far and long as the can..
    Like the never VAX crowd are determined not be convinced of the life saving truth. So, too, are the millions who swallow Carlsons propaganda every night and sell their soul to that brand of lies, not about to change their minds. The gospel hawked by the right’s media personalities is toxic for America, our democracy, and the future political health of us all, people who once viewed our country as Great.
    All the MAGA hype begun by Trump and taken up like sheep by witless millions is at the root of America’s beginning decline in GREATness.
    The proud wearers of the MAGA paraphernalia are the first and loudest complainers about where this country is headed. Now, we know America is Great and has been no matter Trump attempting proof otherwise. He worked on a self fulfilling prophecy that would have materialized if he had won in 2020.
    Conservative right Republicans have adopted Trump’s insatiable appetite for an alternative reality. A world where he is always right and every word he speaks is truth. So, every man , woman, and child must agree and believe his truth . Then, they will join him in the alternate reality he calls home.
    The conservative right does not have all the answers to this nations questions and and solutions to critical issues that confront nations. The founders’ Republic kind of democracy demands a two party system:. Allowing government to work for all the people requires cooperation, often compromise, and good will between persons and parties . Which is unlike the present or in the preceding decade. A stonewall approach is the Republicans current philosophy. Contribute little, offer nothing, then sit idly by hoping the other side will flinch and fail. Should the other’s fail, isn’t it do that the whole fails as well? Negativity never wins,
    Look to what Larry may do for an improvement in even a small way with opinions .

    • larry Horist

      I fact check everyone. I have also said in the past that FOX has right-wing personalities who give out the right-wing messages…. as does CNN and MSNBC. However, FOX is still more objective in the news day — frequently presenting both sides of the issues. You can do your own analysis. I watched MSNBC today blasting FOX as a propaganda platform. When I turned to FOX, I so Congressman Ro Khanna — a leader of the left-wing Progressive Caucus congratulating FOX on its 25th Anniversary — and thanking them for their fairness and citing is frequent appearances. The problem with CNN and FOX is they have left-wing messengers all day … and virtually no guests with a counterpoint to the left-wing narratives. And btw, I am not a fan of Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity — almost never watch them … just as I skip Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Connell. .. or Don Lemmon. I find the evening line-up too one-sided on both sides. Time for a good movie. I can also assure you that most Republicans are not the demonized stereotype portrayed in left-wing media.

  4. Belinda

    Does anyone know what happened to Dimepiece LA celebrity streetwear brand? I cannot proceed to the checkout on Dimepiecela site. I have read in Marie Claire that the brand was bought out by a UK-based hedge fund in excess of $50 million. I have just bought the Dimepiece Ball is Life Pom Pom Knit Cap from Ebay and totally love it xox