The donations were treated as though they were a criminal offense. ABC4 reporter Jason Nguyen stated of one donor that “the point here is that he shouldn’t have used his government email. He can donate, just like you or I to anyone he wants privately. “
Late last week, the Guardian published data given to journalists by the hacker group Distributed Denial of Secrets which, among other things, revealed the donor information of those who have contributed to the Kyle Rittenhouse defense fund.
Referring to the hackers as a “transparency group,” the Guardian reported the donor list included first responders and public officials. Some of them used their work email addresses to make their donations:
Among the donors were several associated with email addresses traceable to police and other public officials.
One donation for $25, made on 3 September last year, was made anonymously, but associated with the official email address for Sgt William Kelly, who currently serves as the executive officer of internal affairs in the Norfolk police department in Virginia.
That donation also carried a comment, reading: “God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong.”
The comment continued: “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”
Another Rittenhouse donor using an official email address was Craig Shepherd, who public records show is a paramedic in Utah. This donor gave $10 to Rittenhouse on 30 August.
Mainstream media outlets here in the states could have sat on the data to protect the privacy and safety of the donors and their families. But, of course, they didn’t.
ABC4 Utah investigative reporter Jason Nguyen was really proud of his “report” trying to track down the paramedic who donated $10 last summer to Rittenhouse’s defense fund. In a since-deleted tweet promoting his story, he talked about how he merely wanted paramedic Craig Shepherd’s “side of things”:
deleted, but the List comes for all, @FollowWIN.
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) April 20, 2021
Watch the video below of Nguyen trying to track down Shepherd. Also, note how Nguyen’s Karening of Shepherd prompted the West Valley City fire department, his employer, to issue a statement pointing out that they were conducting an “investigation into this matter”:
Twitter ripped Nguyen to shreds for essentially performing a “name and shame” piece on Shepherd. Numerous Twitter users addressed their complaints to Nguyen directly and said they’d express their disgust directly to ABC4. That led to this exchange:
@FollowWIN wth is wrong with you? So@now we are confronting people for making a donation?! This was terrible journalism, let’s see now what your bosses have to say.
— Adam Brewer 🇺🇸 (@altruisticgerms) April 18, 2021
Nguyen tried to defend himself by saying that Shepherd’s supposed offense was that he used his work email when he made his $10 donation:
The point here is that he shouldn’t have used his government email. He can donate, just like you or I to anyone he wants privately. I appreciate you reaching out to let me know your thoughts.
— Jason Nguyen (@FollowWIN) April 18, 2021
Then he really stepped in it by comparing Shepherd to accused criminals:
Me going to his house is to get his side of the story. I do the same thing to those who have crimes alleged against them, that goes for both sides of the law. It’s so we make every attempt to get the otherwise so that we are balanced, and that there is video proof of it.
— Jason Nguyen (@FollowWIN) April 18, 2021
Nguyen’s hit piece on Shepherd was bad enough, but it was far from the only one done in response to the Guardian article.
13News Now, a Norfolk-based news outlet, framed their story on Norfolk police department internal affairs executive officer Sgt. William Kelly’s $25 donation with a graphic reading “Officer Accused,” as though Kelly had committed some grave offense.
They quoted Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander saying in a statement that he was “alarmed” by the report of Kelly’s donation and that it was “by all means not consistent with the values of our city or the standards set for our employees.” Alexander did not elaborate on what “values and standards” Kelly had allegedly violated with his donation. Kelly has been reassigned while the investigation is ongoing:
The media’s typical defense when they get criticized for reporting stories like these line up with Nguyen’s. They’re just trying to get “all sides” of a story in the interest of informing the public.
Considering the framing of both of these stories, the real issue here likely isn’t that these people used their work emails when donating. The “issue” is that they donated – period.
In running with the hacked information, the Guardian and news outlets here in America played right into the hands of the radicals at Distributed Denial of Secrets, Antifa, BLM, and other like-minded leftist groups who only believe in due process when it’s one of their own who stands accused.
These types of accusatory reports will have the chilling effect of making people think twice about donating to defense funds, especially when those defense funds are in support of anyone who stands accused of the assault or killing of a member of the so-called “Resistance.”
We live in dangerous times. We see reporters knock on the doors of people who have contributed to legal defense funds. Other media outlets argue against defendants being allowed to use online crowdfunding sites to raise money to pay for their legal fees.
Because liberal bias and woke dogma are so pervasive in newsrooms across the country, unfortunately, this type of “reporting” is only going to get worse.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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