Media Piles on Boebert With Claim From Shadowy PAC That Falsely Accused Her of Being a Prostitute

Media Piles on Boebert With Claim From Shadowy PAC That Falsely Accused Her of Being a Prostitute

There was a common practice back in the heyday of the physical newspaper: The accusation gets reported on page one, the retraction gets shoved to page 36. And, while our news may have migrated to the digital world, the same precept holds true.

An object lesson in how it works — and how the media can get it so wrong when they not-so-secretly loathe the subject involved — can be espied in a much-publicized incident between GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and her former husband.

Let’s work backward from the retraction. On Wednesday, CNN reported 43-year-old Jayson Boebert — Lauren’s ex — was facing charges of obstructing a peace officer, third degree criminal trespass and disorderly conduct for an incident that occurred at a Colorado restaurant Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the police department in the town where the incident occurred issued a statement that said, “Due to a lack of any evidence, the allegations of Domestic Violence against Rep. Lauren Boebert are unfounded and the investigation into Rep. Lauren Boebert is closed.”

“The Silt Police Department says their involvement in Saturday’s incident started with a 911 call from Jayson Boebert claiming ‘domestic violence abuse’ and then hung up,” CNN reported.

“An arrest warrant affidavit says they received a second call from Lauren Boebert and a dispatcher reported they heard her say, ‘I just touched your nose,’ while a man in the background said, ‘She punched me in the face.’”

Now, granted, it’s difficult to cover a developing story. However, it’s interesting to note how the media covered the story as it was developing over the weekend — and what their sources were.

Take The Hill, a reputable political outlet. “Police investigating incident involving Boebert, ex-husband: Reports,” their Sunday evening headline read. To hear their take, the Colorado representative was on the defensive — never a good look for any politician.

“In a statement Monday to The Hill, the congresswoman denied initiating a physical attack and said she would consult with her lawyer about ‘false claims’ made against her,” the outlet reported.

“This is not Boebert’s first highly publicized interaction with law enforcement. In September, she was escorted out of a production of ‘Beetlejuice’ at the Denver Performing Arts Center after fellow patrons complained about some of her alleged disruptive behavior.”

Yes, because vaping and heavy petting during a musical theater performance are heavily associated with domestic violence, no? Well, whatever. The rest of the report was fairly dry and contained a laundry list of Boebert’s solecisms, which need not be repeated here. What’s interesting, however, is the sourcing for much of The Hill’s reporting: the Daily Beast.

While The Hill is a publication of respectable bearing, the Daily Beast — which was named after the odious, amoral tabloid in Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop” first as a joke, but which now retains the name as a kind of moral lodestar, one assumes — is somewhat less so.

Their article first noted that Boebert was “the subject of an active police investigation into an alleged physical altercation with her ex-husband” and then gave a brief adumbration of what The Hill would later report, along with (much later in the article, it must be noted) a more detailed version of events supplied to them by an aide to Boebert.

However, the problem here is again less about the story than the sourcing: “An anti-Boebert super PAC called ‘American Muckrakers’ first publicized the rumor of the incident Saturday night, in eye-popping posts on X, formerly Twitter. … While The Daily Beast has not been able to verify the specific claims about the incident, on Saturday night, the aide to Lauren Boebert provided more detail about the events, as Congresswoman Boebert had described them.”

In any editorial department from sea to shining sea, the bolded part should have thrown up more red flags than a Chinese Communist Party rally in Beijing. Just to be clear, these were the posts they were talking about:

Now, why the red flags? American Muckrakers isn’t just any “anti-Boebert PAC.” They will publish literally any claim made against her — including ones that three minutes of googling would have proved were false.

In 2022, American Muckrakers posted a number of wild allegations against Boebert, including that she was a former prostitute with a profile on a “sugar daddy” escort site, that she had obtained an abortion in 2005 and that she had secured major (unreported) campaign contributions from Sen. Ted Cruz because he was one of her sugar daddies.

As CNN noted in a fact-check, all of these claims were false.

American Muckrakers co-founder David Wheeler acknowledged they had been “sloppy” in reporting these unverified, poorly sourced allegations and said there were “inaccuracies,” although he still maintained the group was confident in the “main points of the story.” This was in spite of the fact that the evidence she was a prostitute — a supposed photo of her in a tight dress on the website — was, in fact, a photo of another woman that was publicly available on a modeling website, albeit with Boebert’s head photoshopped onto it. This is why Google invented image search.

And then, more than a year later, the same “sloppy” group prone to “inaccuracies” posts: “Breaking and sad news out of Silt, CO.
@laurenboebert punched her ex-husband Jayson in the nose 2 times and then continued to beat him up. Then she called the cops on him. As much as I despise her, it’s just sad for the boys. Jayson has a witness. More to come.” And the media, without echoing the allegations exactly as the group phrased it in their post, still reported on it as if Boebert might have been the guilty party.

What’s more, none of the outlets that jumped on the story early even bothered to mention the fact that American Muckrakers had engaged in a perfidious campaign of slander against her.

This is how media confirmation bias works. Once upon a time, editors would tell their charges: “Get it first, but first get it right.” Now, they cut off the part after the comma — and, if they loathe the subject enough, they’re willing to believe anything. American Muckrakers’ poor reporting gets laundered through the Daily Beast, and the Daily Beast’s poor reporting gets laundered through The Hill. Repeat ad nauseam. Then when the actual facts come out, quietly print them somewhere near the bottom of the page and forget it.

This is the establishment media loop that we’re up against. It doesn’t care about facts, only narrative and results. No matter what you think about Rep. Boebert, how this incident was handled should outrage and mobilize every conservative who cares about the truth.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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