He who stirs up the most passion wins


Why do “they” believe this stuff? People on all sides ask this about people on all the other sides. Unfortunately people choose their own truth based more on their own desires than reason. He who stirs up the most passion wins. That’s certainly true in news and politics!

The riot at the Capitol on January 6 has been universally condemned. It was shocking and scary and unbelievable. Perhaps those who were warned about possible violence on January 6 thought the warnings were unbelievable. Regardless, law enforcement was insufficient to control or contain the mob of rioters.

As if the scene were not sufficient enough to merit outrage against President Trump, on January 8, an article in The New York Times cited two anonymous “law enforcement officials” saying the rampaging mob killed Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s with a fire extinguisher. Apparently, that description was not grizzly enough for the NYT.

Later that day, the NYT posted a second article titled, “He Dreamed of Being a Police Officer, Then Was Killed by a Pro-Trump Mob.” It said, “Then on Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters attacked that citadel of democracy, overpowered Mr. Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash on his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. He died on Thursday evening.”

This is likely the only version of the story you’ve heard because all of the other media took the NYT account as gospel and ran with it. Of course, other media embellished the account with their own mood enhancing language for weeks. But wait! Not to be outdone by the media, House Impeachment managers included the following in their pretrial memorandum: “the insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”

Ok. That’s not what happened regardless of how many weeks public officials and media beat that drum. ProPublica, “a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power,” interviewed Sicknick’s brother, Ken, who told them, “He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape.” He added, “Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.” The article continued, “But the day after that text exchange, the family got word that Brian Sicknick had a blood clot and had had a stroke; a ventilator was keeping him alive.”

So, where did the head bashing and fire extinguisher come from? Those who have politicized Officer Sicknick’s death and his family’s grief for personal gain should be held accountable.

In an interview last week, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) questioned whether rioters inside the Capitol had any guns, asking, “The fact of the matter is this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. I mean armed, when you hear armed, don’t you think of firearms?” No rioter inside the Capitol was armed with a firearm. Nevertheless, PolitiFact labeled Johnson’s comments “Pants on Fire” calling it “ridiculous revisionist history.” Nothing to see here, folks!

The LEFT and media led Americans around by the nose for weeks with these inflammatory stories. Why? He who stirs up the most passion wins. Officer Sicknick’s death was much more than shocking and tragic. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Officer Sicknick.


Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at