From the New York Times news section:
Disinformation in the 2020 Presidential Election: Latest Updates
The Truth About ‘The Truth About’ Memes
Sept. 24, 2020, 5:04 p.m. ET1 hour ago
By Kevin Roose
This week, protests erupted around the nation after a Louisville grand jury did not charge any police officers in the killing of Breonna Taylor. And on social media, false and exaggerated claims about Ms. Taylor began recirculating, using a years-old format that was popularized years ago by far-right YouTube personalities. …
This playbook is not new. Years ago, Stefan Molyneux, a right-wing podcaster and YouTube personality, got millions of views with a series of videos claiming to tell “the truth about” various prominent news stories, including the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man whose killing by police in Ferguson, Mo., set off the original Black Lives Matter protests.
Michael Brown was unarmed only because he didn’t quite manage to steal the policeman’s gun.
The “Truth About” format, which promised a kind of secret knowledge to viewers, was appealing to those who distrusted the mainstream media and wanted to hear an alternative explanation for police violence.
In other words, it appealed to bad people.
And it was ultimately mimicked by other right-wing influencers, including the far-right conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, whose videos include “The Truth About Black Lives Matter,” “The Truth About Oprah” and “The Truth About Modern Art.”
How dare somebody question Black Lives Matter, Oprah, or Modern Art?
Most “Truth About” treatments of police killings follow a standard format. In each case, an influencer calls into question the mainstream media’s framing of the episode, and barrages the audience with details about the victims’ pasts and the circumstances of their deaths in an attempt to prove that, while they may not have deserved to die, they were far from innocent. …
Like Mr. Molyneux’s videos half a decade ago, the “Truth About Breonna Taylor” content going viral on social media this week contains a mixture of truths, half-truths, exaggerations, red herrings and outright falsehoods. …
Mr. Tatum also claims that Ms. Taylor was “knee deep in criminal/drug dealing activities” with her ex-boyfriend. This claim is exaggerated at best. Ms. Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was a convicted drug dealer and had been in and out of jail during the four years that they dated, but it’s unclear if Ms. Taylor was involved in his criminal activity. In 2016, she was interrogated alongside him by police officers after she rented a car, lent it to Mr. Glover and he in turn handed the keys to another suspected drug dealer, who was found dead in the car hours later.
Don’t you just hate when that happens to you? Who hasn’t rented a car that winds up with a dead body in the trunk? It’s so annoying when the cops ask a lot of impertinent questions.
But police then concluded that Ms. Taylor had no foreknowledge of how the rental car would be used, and she had no criminal convictions of her own.
Also, Angela Davis was completely innocent when the shotgun she bought earlier in the week was used by her boyfriend’s 17-year-old brother to kidnap a judge and blow his head off. What? Are we supposed to not honor, respect, and pay lots of money to hear the speeches of Dr. Davis just because of a decapitated judge?
But the right-wing misinformation is more ambitious, in that it seeks to reframe the Black Lives Matter movement entirely, drawing attention away from police officers’ actions and onto the personal lives of Ms. Taylor and other victims of police shootings. In this, it is similar to Mr. Molyneux’s videos, which sought to justify the killings of unarmed Black men by painting them as criminals whose actions played a role in their own deaths.
They are Black, people! That means they have no responsibility for their crimes.
“This is a case that comes down to personal responsibility,” Ms. Owens said of Ms. Taylor’s killing, in a video posted Wednesday that got more than a million views on Facebook.
More white supremacists dogwhistling the r-word “responsibility” again.