It all started with a poorly researched hit piece in the Daily Beast. Then it escalated quickly. However, it appears the attacks on opposition or investigative journalists that were prevalent in the Obama administration will resume under Joe Biden. Remember when the Associated Press was spied on and James Rosen was threatened — both by Eric Holder’s DOJ? Today, it is Blaze TV’s Elijah Schaffer.
In the Beast’s never-ending mission of smearing Republicans and conservatives for sport, they pounced on a tweet from Blaze reporter Elijah Schaffer during the riots at the Capitol on Wednesday. Schaffer has been in the thick of protests and riots all summer, providing commentary and video footage. Numerous media outlets have used his footage. It was also critical in reconstructing events around the shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that involved Kyle Rittenhouse.
He has been so effective in painting the reality of some of the most violent protests that radical left-wing groups targeted him for violence. He was beaten while covering the riots in Philadelphia following the police-involved shooting of Walter Wallace. In other words, Schaffer is a credentialed photojournalist who goes into chaotic and dangerous situations to document them.
When he covered the riots at the Capitol on January 6th, he followed participants when they breached the building. In reviewing Twitter timelines, reporters from Townhall and the Daily Caller did the same. In the melee, Schaffer ended up following protestors in the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He took a picture of an open computer on the desk and posted it on Twitter along with the update that rioters had entered the office.
During his podcast on January 8th, Blaze TV founder Glenn Beck said Elijah was told to remove the post because they didn’t feel comfortable with the exposed computer screen. As requested, Elijah removed the post. But not before Molly Jong-Fast, Editor at large for the Daily Beast, screenshot it, and Media Reporter Max Tani decided to write an attack piece on the Tweet deletion for the site. Clearly, he did not reach out to Schaffer for a comment:
TheBlaze host Elijah Schaffer posted a photo of a private staff computer screen, with his caption: “BREAKING: I am inside Nancy Pelosi’s office with the thousands of revolutionaries who have stormed the building. To put into perspective how quickly staff evacuated, emails are still on the screen along side a federal alert warning members of the current revolution.”
Schaffer later deleted the tweet, and tried to memoryhole his trespassing, claiming that he is merely a “full time reporter” and “am not personally involved in the events today in DC.” He added that his repeated use of words like “patriots” and “revolutionaries” to describe the MAGA mob was because the protesters used such descriptors for themselves.
So, Schaffer posted an image to try and tell the story of the events. His employer asked him to remove it, and he identified himself as a full-time reporter. However, if you read the Daily Beast post, you would think Schaffer organized the breach of the doors and was gleefully participating. Tani says The Blaze did not immediately respond to comment. My guess is he gave them about 30 seconds, and there is no update based on Beck’s explanation this morning. Because, of course, there wouldn’t be.
Based on the image alone, Representative Eric “Fang-Bang” Swalwell decided to add fuel to the fire and share it with the FBI. Trying to get federal law enforcement to pursue a journalist is a pretty rich irony since he was a co-sponsor of the Journalist Protection Act. Mind you, that was only because Orange Man Bad used to call CNN fake news and his supporters booed them at rallies. This was especially distressing to Jim loves-himself-a-mirror Acosta.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 7, 2021
Also, ironic since it was recently disclosed, Swalwell had a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy under FBI investigation and may well be compromised while sitting on the House Intelligence Committee. According to the Washington Examiner, military and intelligence experts say he should be kicked off the committee and stripped of his security clearance. Yet here he is tattling.
Beck continued and shared with listeners that someone from CNN was now contacting people in Schaffer’s personal life for what he believes is another hit piece. So, CNN and the Daily Beast will attack a journalist who took risks their colleagues do not take to provide real-time information and an indelible timeline of events.
This afternoon, Schaffer told his Twitter followers that he had been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram without explanation:
You can also follow me on Parler https://t.co/IyYkugMKYl
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) January 8, 2021
Apparently, for doing his job? It is not as if Schaffer is likely intimately familiar with the Capitol building’s interior or knew where he was until he was in. With press credentials, he had every right to be there. And you can bet his extensive coverage will be used by many, and possibly law enforcement, to untangle events and identify suspects.
This is only the beginning. Big Tech will comply to avoid regulation or receive favorable regulation from the Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress. It is imperative conservatives and really anyone right of AOC start to rebuild their networks on emerging platforms before it is too late.