MSNBC publishes smear merchant who says thin blue line flag ‘sanctions police violence in America’

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A known far-left smear merchant has claimed that the Thin Blue Line flag that honors law enforcement officers who’ve been slain in the line of duty is essentially nothing more than a prop designed to hide “America’s history of police violence.”

Talia Lavin, a radically far-left ideologue who has a history of smearing people, posited this argument in an op-ed published Thursday by MSNBC.

Behind the ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag: America’s history of police violence: Police continue to operate under layers of legal impunity and institutional protections,” the title and subtitle of the piece read.

The actual piece contrasted the dazzle and charm of the Thin Blue Line flag blowing in the wind with the sometimes-deadly realities of police violence. The problem was that the piece was jam-packed with the same sort of unsubstantiated lies and smears that have defined Lavin’s career.

Speaking about the violent riots that erupted following the fatal police shooting earlier this month of criminal suspect Daunte Wright, she portrayed them as peaceful “protests” and accused the police of having “violently suppressed” said “protests.”

Not mentioned by her was that these “protests” had involved widespread rioting, widespread vandalism, widespread looting, widespread harassment of “journalists” and widespread attacks on the police.

“When the April 11 death of Wright prompted renewed civilian protests in Minneapolis, police gathered — as they have gathered so many times this year, as they had in response to Floyd’s murder nearly a year ago — in tight formation, in full riot gear with shields and batons and service weapons, ready to repel an invading army,” Lavin nevertheless wrote in dark, ominous terms.

“Curfews were imposed. The National Guard was brought in. The streets were filled with the opaque greenish mist of chemical weaponry, hanging in stinging clouds that made residents in neighboring apartments cough. By the morning, protesters with signs and chants had dispersed, leaving the Thin Blue Line flag to fly alone in a hazy sky.”

The violent riots that occurred following Minneapolis criminal suspect George Floyd’s fatal police shooting last year led to hundreds of small businesses being destroyed, hundreds of federal buildings being vandalized, hundreds of police officers being injured and dozens of innocent people being killed.

Many of the victims were minorities.

“Long Her, a Laotian immigrant, has operated a clothing store in St. Paul since 1991. When he surveyed his losses after the riots, he openly wept: 550 suits, 249 pairs of pants, 227 dress shirts and 180 pairs of shoes, as well as his cash register, other electronics and damage to windows and the front door,” journalist Michael Tracey reported for The Wall Street Journal after the riots last summer.

“Many of his most valuable possessions, kept in a heavy-duty safe, were stolen, along with his U.S. citizenship papers. A month later, he hasn’t heard anything from the authorities. ‘They don’t have the law to protect the people,’ Mr. Her says. He never had to call the police in nearly 30 years until the riots erupted in late May – and officers still have not come to investigate: ‘They say no one available.'”

Lavin is among those who want to defund the police, an act that would leave business owners like Her in an even tighter spot (*Language warning):

As noted before, distorting the facts is Lavin’s modus operandi.

In 2018 she she smeared wheelchair-bound Marine veteran Justin Gaertner, then an agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, by claiming he had a Nazi symbol tattooed on himself.

The smear cost Lavin her job, though she quickly bounced back — as is the norm in the mainstream press — by being hired to teach a class at New York University and even being allowed to published a column at The Washington Post.

But in the Post column published on on April 16th, 2019, she returned to her roots and smeared renowned conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, by juxtaposing him next to Richard Spencer, a literal neo-Nazi.

She incorrectly wrote that Shapiro was a “far-right pundit” who’d “evoked the specter of a war between Islam and the West that is already part of numerous far-right narratives” by rightly referring to Notre-Dame Cathedral as “a monument to Western civilization” and “Judeo-Christian heritage.”

In the next sentence, she then linked Shapiro’s correct observation with the rhetoric of Spencer.

Responding to this smear, Kyle Smith of National Review wrote at the time, “You’d think the editors of the leading opinion pages would be exceptionally cautious about publishing Talia Lavin, especially now, after the latest fiasco. Editors rely heavily on their writers to get all of their facts straight. Lavin has demonstrated repeatedly that facts are less important to her than smearing those she perceives to be her ideological enemies. Instead, it seems more likely that she’ll just keep failing upwards.”

But you’d clearly think wrong, as demonstrated by MSNBC deciding to give her a platform, a fact that has earned it some backlash on social media:

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Vivek Saxena

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