CNN anchor Jim Sciutto is again proving to be more activist than journalist.
During the riots over Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, where two officers were shot and parts of the city were vandalized and looted, an armed militia was seen walking into the downtown area wearing combat gear and carrying AR-15s.
The video of the militia was posted by WDRB reporter Chad Mills who said he couldn’t’ identify who the group was but thought he had seen them before.
This video reached the desk of CNN anchor Jim Sciutto who made it clear that these people could bring “enormous dangers.”
Sciutto also decided to make these people in the video a part of his interview segment with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear where Beshear hinted they were a “white supremacy group.” Sciutto decided that this was worthy of focusing on and tweeted out this quote with his tweet linking to the video posted by Mills, effectively tying the group to the white supremacist label himself.
I called Sciutto out for making this a focus in the midst of all of the riots, shootings, and mayhem, but Sciutto had an airtight defense. He asked about the officers and wished them well at the beginning of the segment.
Cool. So what?
The legality of what the people in the doing isn’t in question. It’s not against the law to carry a long gun in Kentucky.
That’s not what I want to focus on, however. What should irk many an American is the suggestion that these people were white supremacists simply for carrying guns, being white, and opposing the destruction of the city. The fact it was a Black Lives Matter riot destroying the city and shooting people is irrelevant. It’s not about the group, it’s about the destruction and violence. That’s what they’re there to deter.
How do I know that? Because I actually did some digging.
This group is the “National Patriot Defense Team.” Their leader is a woman named Tara Brandeau and their primary concern is the protection of the town. They offer their help to police officers and take instruction from them, making sure they do not break the law themselves.
News2Share’s Ford Fischer followed the group around at one point and highlighted some of their activities at the beginning of the month. In one video they are discussing what to do and what not to do with a police officer before a “protest.”
Before going out, Brandeau briefs the organized group about their mission, which is to help police officers and make sure that they stop any violence from occurring. Before deploying they have a quick prayer asking God for no “incidents” to occur.
The group’s primary goal of assisting police officers means they’re on “standby” and will be utilized only if called for.
I can’t find anything to signify that these are a white supremacist group of any kind. In fact, in an interview, Brandeau addresses these accusations and calls them misconceptions.
Sciutto, who has a habit of disseminating bad information, is doing his level best to make law-abiding Americans look like neo-Nazis by tying a Governor’s quote to a video. This armed group is definitely dangerous but who they’re dangerous to and when they bring that danger is perfectly within legal bounds. They work directly with law enforcement to make sure that no one steps out of line and their entire purpose is to see to it that the truly dangerous people, the rioters, don’t get too far out of control.
CNN as a network has had a very bad habit of attempting to paint rioters as “mostly peaceful,” even as they stand in front of burning cities. Sciutto himself suggested that BLM protests are safe from COVID outbreaks while Trump rallies aren’t. Since the NPDT stands opposed to the violence and destruction that the Black Lives Matter riots bring, apparently that makes them the bad guys.
To be honest, if the NPDT is as organized and well-behaved as the evidence shows, I would say we need more groups like this, not less, and that the only “enormous dangers” facing our society aren’t people in groups like the NPDT, but those participating in violence and destruction and those cheering them on or giving them a pass.
To draw focus on this group and suggest they’re evil is exactly why no one trusts the media anymore. Sciutto is part of the problem.