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Dems Pounce on ‘Report’ About Ron DeSantis and Clarence Thomas That Turned out to Be Fake News

Dems Pounce on ‘Report’ About Ron DeSantis and Clarence Thomas That Turned out to Be Fake News

“On 24 June, the day after the luncheon, the court handed down its decision for Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 1973 decision which enshrined the right to seek an abortion,” UK Independent reporter Eric Garcia wrote in a since-deleted article.

Because so-called “fact checkers” simply cannot be relied upon to do anything beyond work feverishly to protect bogus media/Democrat narratives, it oftentimes falls upon Republicans to set the record straight when leftists and their allies in the mainstream press try passing off fake news as legit.

That’s exactly what happened last week when UK Independent reporter Eric Garcia ran with what many on the left saw as a “blockbuster” story of sorts about a lunch meeting that allegedly took place between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on the eve of our nation’s highest court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

According to Garcia’s write-up, which has since been deleted but which can be viewed at the archived link, the revelation that the two had supposedly met one day before the ruling came as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request from the left-wing activist group American Oversight (AO).

AO published a batch of emails in mid-September that involved communications between DeSantis’ office and anyone with an official Supreme Court email address. But the ones specifically related to the alleged June 2022 meeting were not picked up by the far-left website Raw Story until late October, which should have been a big clue for Garcia – who heavily relied on the Raw Story article – that there was something wrong with the narrative that Raw Story was spinning.

But it wasn’t. He ran with the story anyway:

A series of emails show Mr Thomas’s assistant corresponding with Diane Moulton on Mr DeSantis’s staff about setting up a lunch with Mr Thomas and four of his clerks.

“Justice Thomas will attend the June 23rd luncheon with Governor DeSantis and the Justice’s four law clerks. Do you think that the Governor would mind coming to the Supreme Court for lunch,” Shean Kelly Makel asks in an email. “Technically we are still closed to the public but the clerks can order lunch from a local restaurant. Or they can dine at Capital Grille. Please let me know.”

Ultimately, they decided to dine at the Supreme Court in the the Natalie Rehnquist Dining Room. On 24 June, the day after the luncheon, the court handed down its decision for Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 1973 decision which enshrined the right to seek an abortion.

[…]

Mr Thomas’s meeting with Mr DeSantis is also sure to raise questions about Mr Thomas’s involvement with partisan elected officials when the court attempts to remain apolitical, particularly on matters in which they might rule.

The problem, however, is that the DeSantis/Thomas lunch actually happened on June 23, 2021, not June 23, 2022, as DeSantis’ deputy press secretary Jeremy Redfern helpfully pointed out to Garcia:

Garcia profusely apologized in a Twitter thread and also pointed out in the same thread that the article would be taken down:

But before the story got taken down, a number of leftist Twitter accounts pounced and seized on the fake news as “proof” of something nefarious between Thomas and DeSantis.

In a since-deleted tweet, Occupy Democrats wrote “BREAKING: Justice Clarence Thomas is EXPOSED as leaked emails reveal that he had a shady meeting with MAGA Gov. Ron DeSantis the day before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — raising serious questions about what was discussed. RT TO DEMAND A FULL INVESTIGATION!”

A second tweet they wrote on the “issue,” where they called for Thomas’ impeachment, is still up, however. It has a “Birdwatch” context explainer below it noting that the claim is false (something that can only be viewed on Twitter):

As of this writing, the below tweet has close to 6,000 retweets, though it also has a Twitter “Birdwatch” context explainer:

This one from self-proclaimed “Joe Biden delegate” Lindy Li has over 2,500 RTs and also includes the Birdwatch explainer. She followed up with a tweet that included the link to the false report from Raw Story:

Though the Independent completely pulled the story, Raw Story’s is still up though it has been significantly changed to show a different headline (“Emails reveal communications between Clarence Thomas and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis”) and includes a correction at the top that reads as follows:

(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Clarence Thomas had lunch with Ron DeSantis one day before the controversial Dobbs decision. The lunch was scheduled for June 23, 2021, not June 23, 2022.)

Though it was nice to see Garcia apologize, it rang hollow considering how him not double-checking the dates wasn’t the only problem with his story. Using the highly unreliable Raw Story website as a credible source was his first big mistake. Had he not done that, he wouldn’t be spending his weekend in a self-imposed Twitter exile.

Beyond that, let’s say for purposes of discussion that Thomas and DeSantis did meet the day before the ruling was issued. So what? Not only had the case already been decided by that point but the ruling was likely already written by that point as well. In other words, had the original story been true, it still would have been a nothing-burger.

There are morals to this story that are as old as time. If it sounds too good to be true, you should probably be skeptical of it, check the sourcing and other particulars, and/or wait a little while to see if the news gets confirmed by impeccable sources. Also, a good editor can be a writer’s best friend.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

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Comments

Bringing “knee jerk” back to the leftist socialist fold!

These are the same type of rabid dopamine junkies found on Facebook that share news of a celebrity that passed away one year before.

When the media (the enemy of the people) attack Gov. DeSantis, they make us here in the FREE state of Florida more committed to him as governor, his political positions and his influence grows beyond our borders.

Hey, can you keep a secret? I heard that, for Halloween, UK Independent reporter Eric Garcia is going to dress up as a true “Journalist”! I’m sure that absolutely NOBODY will recognize him!!

Ordinarily, I love the smell of desperation in the morning, but this sh*t reeks. Someone open a window, please.

Big problem; when Democrat with byline finds a plum that fits the Narrative and it too to verify. Larger problem; NOTHING negative will happen, possibly advancement, the operative tried, just failed.

Layers and layers of editors and fact checkers, right?

More from the Dan Rather memorial “fake but accurate” school of journalism.

What is even more stupid, is that the misreporting was absurd to begin with. Let’s say it actually happened, that they had actually met the day before. Are they implying that Thomas then ran back to the court that night, and rewrote the decision because of the meeting, burning the midnight oil with his clerks? That’s not how decisions are written! They write a draft, that’s passed around the court, corrections are discussed for months, then a rewrite, and another round of comments, rinse, repeat. By the time it is the day before, it’s done and dusted.

Or is it that Thomas would have spilled the beans to Desantis…on a decision which had already leaked over a month before? Horrors!

What exactly is the leftist panic about: Nonsense, ignorance, and illogical, unreasoning stupidity.

    Dliefsarb Yrral in reply to Ann in L.A.. | October 30, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    This consideration shows that the reporter is either utterly stupid or was lying when he wrote, “I never wanted to do anything malicious.” (That’s an inclusive ‘or’.)

    Milhouse in reply to Ann in L.A.. | October 31, 2022 at 1:17 am

    Are they implying that Thomas then ran back to the court that night, and rewrote the decision because of the meeting, burning the midnight oil with his clerks?

    That might make some sense if Thomas had written the decision, but he didn’t. Alito did. And he wasn’t at this lunch. So (supposing that all the facts were correct) what is supposed to have happened?

    DaveGinOly in reply to Ann in L.A.. | October 31, 2022 at 2:04 am

    I like the fact that the lunch meeting was “shady”. Really? Did they have lunch outdoors, in the shade of some trees or parasols? Even if the meeting took place as described, what made the meeting “shady”, that is, other than the paranoid delusions of the Left?

    There’s nothing “shady” about any of Hunter Biden’s deals, but when two conservatives meet for lunch, obviously the takeover of the world is being discussed, along with a plan to triple atmospheric CO2 levels.

    NotCoach in reply to Ann in L.A.. | October 31, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Exactly what I was thinking. This was a decision written weeks, if not months, before its release. In fact what everyone pushing this BS story seem to forget was the leaked draft which was essentially the final draft.

      The draft LEAKED before this luncheon*. To make a big deal of it is incredibly stupid.

      (* IFF it had happened when initially reported.)

This is how the vile and slavish Dumb-o-crat media lapdogs/lackeys/lemmings/propagandists in the media operate. The Dumb-o-crat Narrative (TM) must be breathlessly promoted, propagated and disseminated, at all costs — facts, logic, due diligence, etc, be damned.

    guyjones in reply to guyjones. | October 30, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    A Dumb-o-crat doesn’t like my opinion, but, is too dim-witted to proffer a substantive and cogent rebuttal. Typical of these reprobates.

By and large the traditional media is no longer serving their supposed purpose; gathering evidence, presenting the facts and offering a mostly neutral analysis. Very few exceptions remain. We can’t revert to the old days of competing partisan hometown newspapers due to consolidation. Broadcast media has more options but online media is currently the home of alternative voices.

The reporters and editors view themselves not as traditional journalists who gather facts and report but as advocacy journalists. They view everything through a partisan filter. They put their d/prog tribe on a pedestal subjecting them to little to no scrutiny until their hand is forced by the story circulating online.

He made the error because he wanted there to be a story there. He didn’t offer any evidence that anything that occurred at this meeting, even if it was on his mistaken date, that was scurrilous. He offered a thin reed for other d/prog partisans to cling to while shrieking. His audience wants to see evidence that their partisan view of non d/prog is justified. See hoax hate crimes.

Whoopee Peabody | October 30, 2022 at 2:02 pm

Democrats pounce on reports about Desantis

Democrats are good at pouncing—with the exception of Stacey Abrams who has to be lifted by a 10 crane and dropped on her prey.

Dliefsarb Yrral | October 30, 2022 at 2:39 pm

If I was the smarty Dims see themselves as, I would not see much significance in the alleged meeting, taken many weeks after the deciding was done and, if a certain leak is to be believed, in final draft form.

It is the mark of a Dim that it can patch diverse and inconsistent facts to support its tribe’s lies. I have long wondered if they are stupid or just understand that the Dim-supporting electorate is stupid.

BierceAmbrose | October 30, 2022 at 4:20 pm

Isn’t this the ruling that got pre-leaked? What’s the possible impact, ever were it true as reported?

BierceAmbrose | October 30, 2022 at 4:26 pm

I am confused — hardly a novel situation.

— What’s “shady” about one of The Supremes meeting a Governor for lunch? What, they are perma-sequestered communities?

— So, months of schedule coordination to find a time happens to land close to A Big Thing that happens to happen round then. What, there’s a moratorium period? No meetings around when decisions are released, plus or minus 2-weeks?

— They might have discussed something? One hopes they did. Both smart and engaged, in the thick of real issues. Not all meetings are about colluding to divide spoils, craft the graft, or coordinate messaging. Some people talk about what’s happening, and how stuff works, and works out. Not everyone is a full-time apparatchik.

The fact that The Cabal has been working diligently for about a century, off the books, and records, to implement their agenda through the in principle public and transparent mechanisms does not mean everyone, or, indeed anyone, else works the same way. Even if they do, so what?

(What do they teach in the schools these days?)

Not even a surprise. Communists are too stupid to know what a calendar is, or what it does.

I don’t get it. Suppose the lunch had been the day before the decision was released, rather than a year and a day. So what? What could possibly be wrong with his attending such a lunch, and why would it be relevant that the court issued a decision a day later, as it does regularly? Is there some rule that justices must not have lunch with people the day before any decision is due to be released?! ” Opinions are typically released on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and on the third Monday of each sitting.” So no lunches on Mondays, Tuesdays, or third Sundays. Why? Who made up this rule? Where is it recorded? Has anyone ever heard of it before today?

I’m reminded of the time some lefty group demanded that Scalia recuse himself from a case brought against the vice president in his official capacity, because he and the vice president had both been guests of the same person for the Xmas-New-Year weekend, where hunting was one of the activities guests engaged in.

    Well, I could understand the concern if that hunting buddy was Dick Cheney….

      Milhouse in reply to GWB. | October 31, 2022 at 3:48 pm

      It was. But even if he were actually prone to hunting accidents, rather than having had one incident in years of hunting, that wouldn’t be a reason for Scalia to recuse himself from a case involving him, and especially from a case that did not even involve him in his personal capacity but involved the vice president of the day, whoever that might be. The case title was Cheney v USDC for District of Columbia, but had it continued past Jan 20, 2009 it would automatically have changed to Biden v USDC. Recusal in such a case, just because a justice is friends with the VP of the day, is completely uncalled for.

      Milhouse in reply to GWB. | October 31, 2022 at 3:53 pm

      Oops, I kind of lost my train of thought there. Even if Cheney had been prone to hunting accidents, why would that tend to influence Scalia to be biased for him? Surely it would tend to have the opposite effect. So if Cheney wasn’t complaining, why would his opponents?

Antifundamentalist | October 31, 2022 at 10:16 am

The Dems have already established that it’s “no big deal” for players to meet privately before big decisions are announced. Prim The meeting between Bill Clinton and Lorretta Lynch before the FBI announced that Hillary wouldn’t be charged was decried as a “fake scandal” by the left.

Now I’m suddenly interested in whom each of the nine justices had breakfast/lunch/dinner with in the week before the decision was released. Just because.