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Update: Miami Paper Admits Basing Hit Piece on Blatantly False Information, Refuses Correction

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

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After Big League Politics exposed Reuters and Miami New Times journalist Zachary Fagenson for authoring an article based on factually incorrect information, independent journalist Jacob Engels received a comment from the Miami New Times stating that the publication had no plan to retract or correct its fake news.

In an article linking a celebrity chef in Miami to the Proud Boys fraternal organization, Fagenson incorrectly claimed that the FBI listed the Proud Boys as an extremist group. This claim, originally published by the Washington Post, was later corrected by the Post and The Hill in separate articles. The FBI does not consider the Proud Boys to be an extremist group, yet Fagenson and his editor, Chuck Strouse, stand by this false statement.

In emails provided to Big League Politics, Strouse, editor-in-chief for The Miami New Times, admits that the publication is using a factually inaccurate, out of date article by The Washington Post as its sole source for the claim that the FBI is interested in the Proud Boys.

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Strouse first appeared to state that their article did make the claim that the FBI listed the Proud Boys as an extremist group. When Engels provided the quote from the Miami New Times article, specifically that “for a short time were labeled by the FBI as an extremist group with ties to white nationalists,” Strouse fell back to the factually inaccurate Washington Post article that bolstered the claim.

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The Washington Post originally reported that the FBI listed the Proud Boys as an extremist group in November of last year, and then released a followup the next month indicating that this information was incorrect and the FBI does not consider the fraternal organization to be an extremist group.

Engels summarized the Post’s followup article, and provided Strouse with an article from The Hill, featuring quotes from high ranking FBI officials stating that the FBI does not consider the fraternal organization an extremist group.

From The Hill:

A high-ranking member of the FBI in Oregon said that the agency does not designate the far-right Proud Boys as an extremist group, contradicting a report from a law enforcement official in Washington state last month.

Special Agent in Charge Renn Cannon said this week that there was a misinterpretation during a slide-show presentation hosted for officials at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Vancouver, Wash., according to the Oregonian.

FBI agents briefed law enforcement leaders in Clark County about the Proud Boys, a far-right group which labels itself as “a pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.”

In short, Fagenson is being allowed by his publication’s editor-in-chief to publish blatantly fake news that depends entirely on a now debunked claim from the Post.

Big League Politics originally reported:

Fagenson obtained a photo from Crandall’s private Instagram, in which Crandall wore a camouflage Proud Boys hat while holding his infant son.

According to Fagenson, this serves as proof of the celebrity chef’s membership in the organization, which Fagenson falsely claims was considered an “extremist group with ties to white nationalists” by the FBI, and that Crandall must exhibit “chauvinist, racist, or bigoted” attitudes and behaviors. Fagenson also claims that the Proud Boys make immigrant families an “object of scorn”.

It was briefly reported last year that the FBI was investigating the Proud Boys, and this was quickly revealed to be a false rumor circulated entirely in media circles that had no basis in reality.

Engels, who embedded himself within the Proud Boys as a journalist for several months in an attempt to discover whether the group was the racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic caricature it has been painted as by the media, says legal action is being considered against The Miami New Times.

Speaking to Big League Politics, Engels seemed shocked to discover that Strouse “admits to using dates and false media reports about the Proud Boys to fit the narrative of their hit piece.” He adds, “It’s pretty damn sick to see what these journalists want for anyone to the right of Karl Marx: deplatform, dehumanize, destroy.”

“Hitler called, he wants his platform for enemies of the Reich back,” said Engels. “It’s so 1933.”

Big League Politics contacted Reuters for comment about whether Fagenson’s behavior is replicated when writing under its banner, and did not receive an immediate response.

Fake News Media

FAKE NEWS DEBUNKED: ‘Zip Tie Guy’ at Capitol Protest Merely Picked up the Restraints From a Table

It was a mostly-peaceful protest by ANTIFA/BLM standards.

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One insidious piece of fake news that circulated widely after the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol is that there was a protester with zip ties who was among the individuals who dared to enter the holy grounds on that fateful day.

This was used by dishonest left-wing pundits and lying government officials to claim that the Trump supporters were engaged in an insurrection and a coup on Jan. 6.

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However, it has since come out that there was not any individual who brought zip ties to the U.S. Capitol protest to kidnap federal officials.

After deceiving the public for weeks, prosecutors were forced to admit in court that a man seen with the alleged zip ties had actually taken plastic handcuffs from police. While this may be a crime, it shows that there was no harmful intent from the protesters, most of whom demonstrated peacefully in and around the U.S. Capitol.

Eric Munchel, a U.S. Capitol protester who has been maligned falsely as the ‘Zip Tie Guy,’ reportedly grabbed the handcuffs off from a table. The new court filing explains what occurred.

“At one point, MUNCHEL spots plastic handcuffs on a table inside a hallway in the Capitol. MUNCHEL exclaims, ‘zipties. I need to get me some of them motherf—ers,” and grabs several white plastic handcuffs from on top of a cabinet,” the filing states, adding: “As MUNCHEL and [his mother, Lisa Eisenhart,] are attempting to leave, Eisenhart says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t carry the zip ties, just get ’em out of their hand.'”

It appears that Munchel and his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, were simply trying to prevent the plastic handcuffs from being used to detain patriots at the scene. As the case is heard in court, more details about the case will be heard, and the full truth can be determined.

Big League Politics has attempted to debunk a lot of the spin, which is coming from liberals and conservatives alike, surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol siege:

Less than a week after the infamous U.S. Capitol siege took place, many conservative talking heads – perhaps in an attempt to protect President Donald Trump from the nuclear fall-out – are claiming that ANTIFA terrorists were responsible for the mayhem that ultimately resulted in five people dead…

However, investigative work by Big League Politics shows that there is no real evidence showing that this event was promulgated or set up by ANTIFA and the political establishment.

In fact, there is more evidence showing that this was a spontaneous uprising of angry patriots who have been pushed past the breaking point.

As a reporter who was embedded in the thick of the chaotic scene, I personally witnessed protesters singing “God Bless America” and “I’m Proud to be an American” while they were being tear gassed and flash banged by authorities.

Protesters were risking life and limb to climb up scaffolding to wave the American flag and boldly display their patriotism. Chants included “USA! USA!” and “We the People,” with constitutional iconography being found everywhere…

Does this seem like the optics of an ANTIFA rally, or a pro-American uprising? Big Tech entities are scrambling to censor footage of the rally so that they can control the narrative about what actually took place, so people cannot understand this was a pro-freedom revival in the vein of the Founding Fathers.

Additionally, much of the “evidence” showing that prominent protesters seen inside the Capitol were ANTIFA has already been debunked.

While the Capitol siege may have been seen as destructive and drastic, what is really destructive and drastic is the behavior committed by Congress selling ordinary Americans out for decades. The Capitol demonstrators ought to be punished as harshly as the ANTIFA thugs who attacked Trump’s inauguration in 2017 for their mostly peaceful protest.

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