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.