As a wave of left-wing violence threatens to engulf the nation, why is the progressive New York Times running an ugly campaign of character assassination against a real-life American hero who saved lives and helped to safeguard the nation’s sacred democratic process?
Could it be because the newspaper is sympathetic to the goals of the thuggish community organizers and union goons intimidating state legislatures across America and wants to help advance the liberal-left narrative?
The man with the bull’s eye on his back is Brandon Darby, formerly a far-left community organizer. This heroic defector from the Left stands accused by the New York Times and by angry radical groups of becoming an agent provocateur. Unhinged anarchists across the country would love to get their hands on him.
All over the Internet Darby’s name has been dragged through the mud by the Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars crowd. They accuse him of selling out and pushing the wrongdoers hard enough that he essentially became a co-conspirator. Search for his name with the words traitor, rat, or fink and you’ll see what I mean.
Darby got to this point after years of leading in-your-face protests, using confrontational tactics, and working with America-haters. But he experienced an epiphany and rejected the radical Left and its ever-present culture of political violence. He came to realize that America, for all its faults, wasn’t such a bad place after all. “I felt I had a duty to atone after badmouthing my country for so many years,” he said. “I love my country.”
The change of heart happened around the time he returned from socialist Venezuela where he had been trying to get the government there to donate to his nonprofit group. While in that country high officials in Hugo Chavez’s administration tried to get Darby to launch a terrorist network in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Darby refused.
After he returned to the U.S. Darby learned two anarchists wanted to attack the 2008 Republican National Convention. Darby offered his assistance to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and, at the FBI’s request, infiltrated a left-wing group that hoped to lay siege to the GOP convention that nominated the presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
The FBI sent Darby to meet with the plotters. “It was a group of people whose explicit purpose was to organize a group of ‘black bloc’ anarchists to shut the Republican convention down by any means necessary,” he explained. “They showed videos of people throwing Molotov cocktails, and they were giving people ideas.” (The plot and its aftermath is described in greater detail in my upcoming book on ACORN and its infiltration of the Obama administration which will be published in mid-2011. It was also referenced in Townhall.)
The 20-something plotters on whom Darby informed, David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, made riot shields and were ready to use them in St. Paul to help demonstrators block streets near the convention site. They also manufactured instruments of death calculated to inflict maximum pain and bodily harm on people whose political views they disagreed with.
Thanks to the information Darby provided to authorities, police raided a residence and found gas masks, slingshots, helmets, knee pads and eight Molotov cocktails consisting of bottles filled with gasoline with attached wicks made from tampons. “They mixed gasoline with oil so it would stick to clothing and skin and burn longer,” Darby said.
Darby’s patriotic effort helped to put the would-be bomb throwers behind bars. McKay pleaded “guilty” and was sentenced in May 2009 to 48 months in prison plus three years of supervised release for possession of an unregistered “firearm,” illegal manufacture of a firearm and possession of a firearm with no serial number. A week before, Crowder cut a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 24 months in prison for possession of an unregistered firearm.
McKay received the stiffer sentence largely because he told a tall tale about Darby’s involvement in the plot.
As the U.S. Department of Justice reported in a press release available on the Internet, during sentencing the trial judge went out of his way to make a specific legal finding that McKay obstructed justice by falsely accusing Darby of inducing him to manufacture the incendiary devices.
McKay also confirmed that finding, the Star Tribune reported. “I embellished – I guess actually lied – that Brandon Darby came up with the idea to make Molotov cocktails.”
Yet somehow these publicly available facts could not be located by the New York Times, America’s Google-averse newspaper of record.
In the Wednesday edition James C. McKinley Jr. falsely reported that Darby had actually encouraged the conspiracy.
In the article Anarchist Ties Seen in ’08 Bombing of Texas Governor’s Mansion published February 23, 2011, the paper said Darby urged two radicals to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota:
Yet federal agents accused two men from these circles of plotting to make firebombs and hurl them at police cars during the convention. An F.B.I informant from Austin, Brandon Darby, was traveling with the group and told the authorities of the plot, which he had encouraged. [emphasis added]
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota this is absolutely, demonstrably untrue. That office stated the following in a May 21, 2009 press release titled Texas Man Sentenced on Firearms Charges Connected to the Republican National Convention:
A 23-year-old man from Austin, Texas, who was connected to a group that planned to disrupt the Republican National Convention in September 2008, was sentenced today in federal court on three firearms charges.
On May 21 in Minneapolis, United States District Court Chief Judge Michael Davis sentenced David Guy McKay to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of illegal manufacture of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with no serial number. McKay pleaded guilty on March 17.
Today’s sentence included a finding by Judge Davis that McKay obstructed justice at his January trial by falsely accusing a government informant, Brandon Darby, of inducing him to manufacture the Molotov cocktails.
Big Journalism has asked the New York Times to retract the false claim it made and correct the record. But even a retraction won’t come close to making Darby whole at this point.
This is not some tiny little molehill of a mistake. It is a savage, unconscionable attack on a truly great American who deserves the nation’s gratitude. It is also a wrenchingly painful smear that will stick around on the Internet for the rest of Darby’s life whether the paper ever prints a correction or not.
The implication the newspaper made was that these young men aren’t really to blame for what they did because Darby manipulated them into doing it. Isn’t it an odd coincidence that liberal bloggers are saying the same thing?
Yet another spooky coincidence: the storyline for “Better This World,” a piece of George Soros-funded celluloid agitprop that attempts to rehabilitate McKay and Crowder, happens to share this through-the-looking-glass point of view.
And it’s not the first time the newspaper has mugged Darby. It provided hostile coverage when he was outed as an informant too. Ignoring his heroism, a January 5, 2009, article focused not on Darby’s lifesaving intervention but on the feelings of “betrayal” his former allies in left-wing anarchist circles were experiencing.
Scott Crow, who with Darby co-founded the Common Ground Relief agency in New Orleans, whined the loudest after learning of Darby’s cooperation with the FBI.
“I put it all on the line to defend him when accusations first came out,” Crow said. “Brandon Darby is somebody I had entrusted with my life in New Orleans, and now I feel endangered by him.” Why someone who presumably hadn’t committed a crime would feel “endangered” by knowing an FBI informant is unclear.
You really have to wonder how such a prestigious, award-winning, agenda-setting media outlet could keep making these mistakes, if that’s what they are. But it does.
It is also important to remember that there used to be a time when spelling a source’s name wrong could get a reporter fired or at least given a humiliating dressing-down. And when the reporter’s story blackened someone’s name, it had to be right – or else.
As a journalist with 14 years of full-time professional experience under his belt, I paid my dues in the early days and got (justifiably) chewed out from time to time for comparatively minor goof-ups, so I have an idea how this might have happened.
Perhaps the reporter was pressed for time and didn’t know the back story. He may have carelessly relied on a left-wing source with an axe to grind to give him the background information he needed to add context to the story.
Maybe he was simply so politically biased against Darby that he couldn’t even see past his own prejudices and wrote that fateful phrase “which he had encouraged” sincerely believing it was true. (Snort!)
Perhaps he deliberately wrote something he knew was false or his editor changed the wording, innocently or not, to make it false.
As a cause of this I’m leaning towards good old fashioned politically motivated malice, but the nation is waiting for an explanation from the New York Times. It’s disgraceful that this damage was done to an innocent man who put his life on the line to help protect America’s hard-won freedoms.