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New Yorker Magazine Fact-Checker Makes Outrageously False Claim About Combat-Wounded ICE Agent

This is one of the most severe dangers of social media.

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This story would be hilarious if it weren’t so indicative of just how far gone our inability to control the spread of information has gotten.

Who in their right mind would accuse a wheelchair-bound, combat-wounded veteran Marine who works with abused children of being a Nazi?

You guessed it–a hysterical left-wing journalist. And a professional fact-checker, at that.

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Talia Lavin, a Harvard-graduate fact checker for The New Yorker, recently got herself in some hot water when she commented on a picture ICE had posted of the aforementioned combat veteran, Justin Gaertner, who now happens to work for ICE, helping them to protect children from online sexual exploitation. 

Could this guy possibly be more of a hero?

Well, according to the left, no, he’s a Nazi, and, in their apparent search to bolster this claim, they scrutinized the image, seemingly finding stone-cold proof of his white supremacist ties: an Iron Cross tattoo.

Lavin, clearly putting her fact-checking skills aside as soon as she saw the word “ICE”, jumped right on the bandwagon and tweeted out the picture of the ICE agent with a Nazi tattoo!! 

“Lavin, the professional fact-checker, rushed to judgment,” explains Michelle Malkin in a piece for National Review. “She abused her platform. Amid the national media hysteria over President Donald Trump’s border-enforcement policies, Lavin derided a photo of Gaertner shared by ICE, which had spotlighted his work rescuing abused children. Scrutinizing his tattoos, she claimed an image on his left elbow was an Iron Cross — a symbol of valor commonly and erroneously linked to Nazis.”

The meme spread like social-media tuberculosis: Look! The jackboots at ICE who hate children and families employ a real-life white supremacist.

Only it wasn’t an Iron Cross. It was a Maltese Cross, the symbol of double amputee Gaertner’s platoon in Afghanistan, Titan 2. He lost both legs during an IED-clearing mission and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor and the Purple Heart before joining ICE to combat online child exploitation.

When actual military veterans, whom Lavin failed to consult before defaming Gaertner so glibly, pointed out that the image looked more like a Maltese Cross, Lavin deleted her original tweet “so as not to spread misinformation.”

Too damned late. The harm to Gaertner’s name and honor is irreparable and cannot be unseen, unread, or unpublished.

WOW.

Very big oops.

https://twitter.com/zepblackstar/status/1008869628397936641

But this is one of the most severe dangers of social media. Like the multiple images of young children who, it turned out, had not been separated from their parents at the border, Gaetner will still most likely be associated with Nazism in the minds of the left, many of whom most likely missed the memo that it was not, in fact, a Nazi tattoo.

This is how lies spread. The sensationalistic claim always gets more attention than the boring, properly fact-checked reality.

But there’s an important lesson here for the left, as well. Lavin ended up resigning from her job, but not before whining for being called out for her disinfo.

“This has been a wild and difficult week,” Lavin wrote, according to The Blaze. “I owe ICE agent Justin Gaertner a sincere apology for spreading [a] rumor about his tattoo. However, I do not think it is acceptable for a federal agency to target a private citizen for a good faith, hastily rectified error.”

This would be a fair point, if this private citizen had not targeted a man who lost his legs fighting for her freedom and now spends his days protecting children from child predators only to be unfairly demonized because he works for the agency enforcing laws the left wants to see abolished. Both she and Gaertner are victims of something much bigger than themselves: an era in which the truth is valued far less than the reach of your claims.

 

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TOO SWEET: These Seventh Graders Saved Their Money for Amazing Act of Chivalry on Valentine’s Day

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They say that chivalry is dead, but I say we’ve got hope in the next generation.

In a world where simple acts of gentlemanliness are often denounced as “patriarchal” and gender is supposedly a social construct, it is great to see men and boys unswayed by silly modern notions and going out of their way to be chivalrous.

A boy named Tristian Valentine teamed up with two of his friends to buy 300 pink carnations to pass out to all the girls and female staff at their school on Valentine’s Day so that none of them would be without a gift.

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Posted by Christa Dubill on TV on Thursday, 14 February 2019

“He wanted every young lady to feel special that day and accepted,” Principal Sarah Guerrero, who happily approved the plan when the boys asked for permission, told USA Today.

Posted by Christa Dubill on TV on Thursday, 14 February 2019

Western Journal has more:

After getting the go-ahead, Valentine rallied the troops, which included 6th grader Lincoln Holmes and 7th grader Kyan Rice. Together, the three of them pooled their cash and earned enough to buy several hundred pink carnations, ensuring no one would be left out.

“We wanted every girl to feel important and special on Valentine’s Day,” their ringleader, Valentine, told KMBC. “We worked hard to make sure it was going to be a surprise to everybody. I only told a few friends, and the girls seemed surprised and happy.”

“I got chills seeing it happen,” the principal added. “The ladies were so excited. It gives them something to look up to and feel good about themselves. It’s also what makes Summit Trail special.”

“I donated $100 of my own money,” 7th grader Rice said. “I had the money from soccer refereeing. Tristan and his mom got the flowers Wednesday and brought them to school today. Lincoln and I got here early, and we started handing them out.”

Too sweet!

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Film Industry Expert Explains How Christians Can Engage the Culture Through Film (and Why We Should)

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We live in an era when Hollywood couldn’t be more opposed to Christianity.

The silver screen is often wrought with violence, sex, scandal, and worldly ideology, not to mention rhetoric that is starkly opposed to that of the teachings in the Lord’s Word.

On top of all that, Hollywood has a history of crudely twisting biblical themes…let’s not get started on the “Noah” movie or last year’s “Mother.”

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In spite of all this, however, Stephan Schultze, the executive director of the cinematic arts department at Liberty University, recently explained in an interview with The Christian Post why it is more important than ever for Christians to use film to spread the Gospel.

And that, as he knows from personal experience, it’s entirely possible for Christians to get involved in the film industry because of the Gospel.

“[The film industry] has great potential to shape culture,” Schultze explains, explaining that filmmakers are creatively obliged to be mindful of the worldview their work presents.

“But it can go awry and in the wrong direction and affect culture in an inappropriate way…filmmakers design and create content that drives traffic to their movie in order to make the next movie. When the film industry is least healthy, it’s driving traffic in a way that’s unproductive for us to engage in conversation and to care about one another, or it’s successfully violent and dehumanizes what it’s like to be a human.”

As an active industry professional, Schultze speaks from experience. He’s contributed to projects directed by Hollywood legends James Cameron Ron Underwood, as well as worked in every facet of the film industry from major motion films, television, music videos, commercials, industrial videos, and countless independent films.

In the many decades that his vast experience has spanned, Schultze says there is one vital truth he has learned: whatever your role in the film industry may be, your outward behavior plays a big role in the outcome of the project you’re involved with, which gives Christians an amazing tool with which to impact the culture and share the life-changing message of the Gospel.

“At the end of the day in the film industry, you attract what you’re like. If you’re kind, you attract people who want to work with you,” he says. “If you’re quick to anger, if you’re cavalier in your personal life, and you bring that onto a set, that it is what you end up with at the end of the day.”

“If you’re someone of the faith, how you demonstrate your faith…when it’s really hard, when you’re really pushing through a difficult moment…it’ll reflect extremely well in your opportunity to have someone say, ‘Wow, you’re different, what’s different about you?’” he continues.

“That’s what we try to emulate,” he continues. “We tell our students, ‘You have this great opportunity, and it’ll show up when it’s the hardest day you ever had, and that’s the day you can’t let that down. That’s the day you’ve got to push forward in a way that separates you from the pack.’”

This is certainly advice that applies to any industry. The Bible admonishes us to do everything we do unto the Lord (Col 3:23-24), so whether we scrub toilets or direct blockbuster films, in trials and challenges, by hard work, perserverence, and everyday kindess, we have an endless supply of opportunities to let Christ’s light shine through us.

Praise Him!

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