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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.

Trending: Paramedics Staying at Hotel Hear Mother's Screams, Jump Fence to Rescue Unresponsive Boy in Pool

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. 

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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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Businesses Should Require Vax Proof from Customers, Says NIH Director

This is simply unconscionable.

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There have long been fears that this sort of discrimination was on the horizon, as the willingly unvaccinated become second-class citizens right here in the United States. With only about half of the US population fully vaccinated, (and largely by their own accord), herd immunity looks to be some time away yet.  Nearly 20% more of the population will need to wind up with COVID antibodies in order for public health officials to consider the pandemic to be waning, and a maximum pressure campaign is taking shape throughout a number of levels of government. During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Dr. Frances Collins used his position as the Director of the National Institutes of Health to pressure businesses around the nation to enact strict vaccine-proof restrictions. Anchor Jake Tapper said, “Some businesses are going a step further and requiring proof of vaccinations not just for employees, but even for customers in some cases. Audience members for broadway plays and musicals need to be vaccinated. Some bars in San Francisco and D.C. are requiring proof of vaccinations. Do you think as a public health measure it would be good for more businesses to require vaccine credentials in order to have vaccinated customers?” His answer was astonishing. Collins said, “As a public health person who wants to see this pandemic end, yes. I think anything we can do to encourage reluctant folks to get vaccinated because they’ll want to be part of these public events, that’s a good thing. I’m delighted to see employers like Disney and Walmart coming out and asking their staff to be vaccinated. I’m glad to see the president has said all federal employees. I oversee NIH. With 40,000 people need to get vaccinated or if they’re not to get regular testing which is inconvenient. All of…

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Unrepentant YouTube Decides to Suspend Mainstream News Channel Over ‘Misinformation’

The barons of the Information Revolution are no less corrupt than those of the Industrial Revolution before them.

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There are concerns that the barons of the Information Revolution, much like the barons of the Industrial Revolution, are exploiting their content producers at an unsustainable clip, and creating a very dangerous bottleneck in the world of free speech. Given just how much of the internet’s traffic flows through just a few sites, it is imperative that we keep a keen eye on what platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are doing.  They are the new gatekeepers of nearly the entire breadth of current information, and if they were to choose to keep us in the dark on any particular issue, it would be quite easy for them to do so. That’s why the latest news from YouTube is so terrifying. YouTube said Sunday it had barred Sky News Australia from uploading new content for one week, citing concerns about Covid-19 misinformation. The move comes after a review of posts uploaded by the Rupert Murdoch-owned TV channel, which has a substantial online presence. “We have clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policies… to prevent the spread of Covid-19 misinformation that could cause real-world harm,” a YouTube statement said. With 1.86 million YouTube subscribers, the channel — which is owned by a subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corp — has a conservative following well beyond Australia. The mainstream media and the mainstream social networks haven’t always gotten their COVD info right, either, which makes their declarations regarding “misinformation” all the more laughable. Early on in the pandemic, these platforms pushed back against the possibility that the virus itself may have been a part of some sort of lab leak, even going so far as to censor any such discussion.  Over a year later, and as health experts began to suggest this yes, this was truly a possibility, the premature nature of…

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