USA Today Investigations Intern Brenna Smith wrote an article condemning platforms for allowing alleged rioters to gather money for legal fees. Her past tweets reveal her hypocrisy because she supported similar funding for Black Lives Matter protesters who were arrested
Smith worked with Senior Tech Writer Jessica Guynn and National Correspondent Will Carless to write a blistering blog headlined “Insurrection fundraiser: Capitol riot extremists, Trump supporters raise money for lawyer bills online.” Smith explained in a tweet: “Defendants in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot continue to crowdfund their legal fees online using popular payment processors despite a growing crackdown from tech companies.”
The blog detailed how “The Capitol riot extremists and others are engaging these companies in a game of cat-and-mouse as they spring from one fundraising tool to another, utilizing new sites, usernames and accounts.” Upon looking at her tweet history, however, she appears to have supported Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters using platforms to gather money:
“Lastly, I included a new section called BLM reads. It covers protesting privacy concerns, how crypto can help crowdfund for the BLM movement, and general anti-racist resources.
“If you only have 5 min to read the newsletter this week, this is the section to read.”
Her newsletter she linked to indicated her commitment to activism rather than objective journalism:
“As a researcher and educator, I feel a need to amplify this discourse, especially with regard to privacy concerns when protesting. On a personal note, I also feel a responsibility as an ally to spread awareness on whatever platforms I have at my disposal — culminating in BLM Reads. This new section will reflect some of my personal views and will go beyond the scope of crypto and privacy. “
She also linked to the infamously partisan “1619 Project” from The New York Times, describing it as “a treasure trove of eye-opening reads on race, privilege, and how they’re the foundation our country is built on.”
Independent journalists condemned Smith’s blog as a display of political partisanship.
One America News Network host Jack Posobiec was pointed out brazen hypocrisy by asking, “When are you writing your story on Kamala Harris crowdfunding legal fees for violent BLM rioters, Brenna?” Posobiec also posted a screenshot of then-Democratic Party presidential candidate Kamala Harris calling for donations to bail out protestors.
Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald quickly slammed the article as against the noble tradition of journalism:
“Congratulations on using your new journalistic platform to try to pressure tech companies to terminate the ability of impoverished criminal defendants to raise money for their legal defense from online donations. You’re well on your way upward in this industry for sure.”
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