Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Does John Faso believe in "crisis actors"?

It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch with the office of John Faso, my elected representative from New York’s 19th Congressional district. I was semi-regularly in touch last spring regarding the attempt to strip health insurance from 10’s of millions of Americans, and some regarding issues like Trump apparently sharing Israeli intelligence with the Russian ambassador.

His office would send standardized letters about health insurance that of course didn’t answer my specific question and that revealed a high level of, at best, ignorance about how health insurance works.

As for the Russian issue, he never did reply to my questions about that, so it’s entirely possible that Mr. Faso is in favor of sharing all sorts of goodies with the Russian government.

I called this morning (afternoon Prague time). Here’s how it went (rough transcript – I took notes as I went, but I wasn’t recording the call).
“Good morning,
I’m calling in regards to the shooting in Parkland a couple of weeks ago.
I just checked the congressman’s website, and I didn’t see any response there. Am I overlooking something?”
As has always been my experience with Faso’s office, the staffer was polite and proper.

She said she thought there was something. I had the “Press Releases” page up and read her the subjects of the three items posted since February 14th. She said it might be on FB. She scrolled around on FB for a while, then I said I’d look for it myself, but that I had another issue.
“I’ve seen repeated claims that the teenagers shown on TV as survivors of the shooting aren’t actually survivors of the shooting, but are in fact so-called “crisis actors” brought in to play the part of victims and ratchet up pressure for gun control.
“I was wondering if Mr. Faso has a position on those claims?”
“I haven’t spoken to him about that personally.”
“Is it possible that he thinks those claims are true?”
She couldn’t say.
“There’s a mountain of evidence that those are not actors, but actual high school students who saw their school get shot up. These disgusting, defamatory statements are like a poison in the body politic.”
I heard sort of, “M-hm’s,” like someone who’s agreeing with what you’re saying.
“Do you think they really are students who watched their school get shot up? Because it sounds like you do.”
Pause. “My job is just to take the messages.”
“I guess I understand that. It’s unfortunate that the nature of your job means that you can’t express basic human judgments, but I suppose that’s just how it is.
“Here’s what I’d like to convey to Mr. Faso.
“It would be really helpful if he would come out with a statement making clear how baseless the ‘crisis-actors’ garbage is. A Democrat can say that, but they’ll just get written off as being pro-gun-control. If a national elected Republic says it, it’s different. It would be even better if Republican leadership would make a statement, but Mr. Faso is a national elected Republican, and he could help contain this poison.
“He could put it on his website and everything.
“Unless he’s afraid of the reaction he might get from some of his constituents.
“But it would still be the right thing to call out defamatory, slanderous garbage like this.”
I left my name and email and wished the staffer a good afternoon.

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