WashPost uses ‘Guilt by Geography’ to Falsely Link Texas with Alleged Capitol Violence

  • No Evidence? No Problem. WashPost’s Annie Gowen makes plenty of claims with absolutely zero evidence
  • Repeats nonsense line that all Evangelical Christians are white nationalists because she says so
  • Annie Gowen really works hard to be dishonest in a far-left publication where that’s a cherished trait

OUR RATING: Major Negligence. MSNBC-level basic journalistic negligence

Indicted Outlet: Annie Gowen | Washington Post | Link | Archive

When media outlets are so desperate to malign political views they dislike that they are resorting to guilt by zipcode, you can be pretty sure they’re a very unserious publication like the Washington Post. Is it really so hard to journalism these days that reporters like Annie Gowen have to point to a map of Dallas and smirk and say, ‘figures…’

Gowen and the Post try to lay the Capitol protest mainstream narrative of excessive violence and depravity at the feet not only of the defendants, but also the places from which they pay their rent and mortgages. If you think it is silly to think that dirt could be guilty of “insurrection” then you clearly aren’t on Annie Gowen’s level. 

Major Violations:

  • Unbalanced
  • Partisan
  • Opinion as Fact
  • Creating False Connections
  • Collective Guilt
  • Extreme View Slide

Here is the basic narrative frame Gowen starts with in her write-up:

In posts on their private Facebook page, Hauk said he still believed Trump had their backs and that the former president was working behind the scenes to return to power. “It is not over,” Hauk wrote.

Hope for Trump’s return is fervent in Frisco and across the north Dallas suburbs, an area of rapid growth and rapidly increasing diversity. Nineteen local residents have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to federal authorities, one of the largest numbers in any place in the country.

For some context, let’s first note that the general DFW metroplex area has about 6.4 million people in it. [1] Frisco, Texas has 225,000 people who live there. [2] How does Gowen know that “Hope for Trump’s return is fervent in Frisco and across the north Dallas suburbs”? She doesn’t. She has no idea. She is presenting her opinion as fact

Gowen uses a familiar left-wing reporter trope: the haunted conservative land spawning crime and violence throughout the peaceful left-wing nation. It’s not the people, per se, who are the problem, it is the place in the country they have chosen to live, in this case: Plano and Frisco. 

Gowen gives only this meek cause for the region’s problems: 

Hope for Trump’s return is fervent in Frisco and across the north Dallas suburbs, an area of rapid growth and rapidly increasing diversity.

So, “economic growth” is the cause of spawning rioters? Is she trying to blame ‘diversity’ as causing a rise in Trumpism? This of course doesn’t square with reality, in that Trump received a record amount of minority votes for a Republican, but why should we let facts get in the way of a Washington Post story? [3] This is, after all, the same outlet that shamelessly made up the story that Rudy Giuliani received an FBI briefing and then had their story fall apart within hours last month. [4] 

Gowen can’t even bring herself to say any legitimate reason why the protesters may have wanted to protest. She grasps for straws and ways to malign her subjects, she has to indict their motives, the phrasing on how to refer to them, the description of what they did, at almost every juncture Gowen is being unbalanced, partisan, and unhinged towards the subject of her story. What were the reasons given by protesters or what the Post labels “rioters”? Gowen says:

They were driven by a “salad bowl of grievances,” the FBI said, including anger over the presidential election, white-supremacist ideology and the discredited extremist ideology QAnon, which holds that Trump will save the world from a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

So a group of 150,000 people had a diversity of thought within it? And some of those views weren’t mainstream? Got it. But does she actually link those views to their actions? Why bother, right? Gowen doesn’t even pretend to connect QAnon to the Capitol protest, or somehow mapping alleged “White Supremacist” views to the Capitol protest. These are given without any logical connection, to be assumed as correct by the reader. There is no evidence to support the claims about white nationalism being the motivation here, and their evidence for QAnon connections are mostly people’s social media postings more than any coherent explanation about how the various gnostic Q-drops would somehow lead people to want to storm the Capitol and kill Mike Pence.

Gowen tries to save the meat of her story by sidestepping the motive question by just grouping all the naughty motives together: 

Their groundless claims are being fed by conservative politicians and from the pulpits of large, powerful evangelical churches with teachings that verge on white nationalism, both motivated by fear that they are losing a largely White, conservative enclave that views these changes with suspicion.

To the media, everything ‘verges’ on white nationalism. 

Let’s recap the connection to white nationalism and the general state of logic among journalism graduates from the University of Kansas:

  • Guy gets arrested in DC
  • He lives in Frisco, Texas
  • Somewhere in Frisco is a church
  • One such church is Evangelical
  • People who believe in Christ are pretty much nazis…
  • So, ya know… clearly this guy is a nazi because he lives in Frisco

This isn’t even an exaggeration, this is their train of logic. This is what passes for ‘journalism’ at the Washington Post. If you time travelled and gave this article to the Founding Fathers I’m pretty sure they’d either just delete the first amendment as pointless or they’d all apologize profusely, apologize to the Crown, and commit group seppuku on the spot.

According to her self-interested biography, she was a ‘finalist’ for several prestigious journalism awards, so this isn’t just the normal hired help intern they get to barf out these kind of stories. She’s supposed to be good or at least passable, or come on at least more logical than Bobcat Goldthwait on meth. 

Look at this great insight from the FBI that she then quotes:

They were driven by a “salad bowl of grievances,” the FBI said, including anger over the presidential election, white-supremacist ideology and the discredited extremist ideology QAnon, which holds that Trump will save the world from a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

The FBI actually told her they weren’t going to keep taking her out to Subway’s $5 footlong deals to buy her off for slandering these defendants, they were, from now on, going to instead take her to a salad bar in Providence, and apparently she misheard that as a ‘salad bowl of grievances.’ 

The FBI is about the last organization that is suitable for properly understanding and categorizing any political movement. They don’t even bother identifying why they make this determination. Maybe it was because of evil social media app Parler! Before that stupid left-wing meme of January 6th got debunked. Gowen doesn’t bother to ask her FBI handler, well maybe she doesn’t have a handler but the way she wrote it makes it sound like the building itself spoke to her, and she uncritically accepts that the government’s broad brush labelling of these people as vote fraud believers, white nationalists, QAnon stooges, and nutjobs yelling about pedophiles and Satan-worshippers.

We are going to call this Guilty Grouping, and it’s a well worn media meme and savvy of her to deploy. You’ll notice it’s effect: anyone who believes in voter fraud, is now the same as a white supremacist. Gowen is also using what we’re calling the extreme view slide, where she takes a theory like QAnon, and immediately assumes that everyone who is interested in the topic believes its most extreme views.

Almost every paragraph that Gowen writes is problematic and journalism malpractice:

Their groundless claims are being fed by conservative politicians and from the pulpits of large, powerful evangelical churches with teachings that verge on white nationalism…

This idea that evangelical Christianity, a quarter of the country, is akin to ‘white nationalism’ is offered without any evidence whatsoever. This is an opinion masquerading as fact. It is also a very extreme left-wing view that is certainly not mainstream or normalized, and yet reporter Gowen just treats it as prima facie that this is true. There is no evidence to support this slander. She doesn’t even trouble her reader with a single quote that might fit this narrative. She doesn’t bother quoting from one book, one piece of scripture. She treats a quarter of the country’s general religious views as something she can blithely categorize with a loaded two word phrase. [5]


I’d also like to point out here that she labels all discussion of voter fraud as “baseless” when, as we all know, it was never seriously investigated by anyone who had the authority to do so. The media loves to parrot back that every court case lost, but that isn’t accurate, and very few court cases ever got to the point where they could offer evidence, losing on technicalities and the general cowardice of the court to rule on what they consider “political questions.”

Most election challenges were handled as ‘recounts’ – which means that they just took the existing ballots and recounted them to see if they ended up with the same totals. With the kind of voter fraud that pro-Trump people allege, if there was a ‘ballot dump’ as is alleged in Michigan, Georgia and Arizona, then a recount would simply be recounting the same illegal ballots. No court has examined the evidence presented by serious challengers to the elections and investigated the claims, instead they have largely summarily dismissed them.

In what is alleged to be a news story, reporter Gowen writes:

Local law enforcement authorities had been grappling for months with the poisonous impact of baseless claims. 

She then lumps together voter fraud allegations, QAnon, and those who believed Frisco was a hotbed of pedophila and kidnapping accusations. This is, again, guilty grouping, but also the language used in the excerpted sentence is pretty telling for its liberal word choice. 

  • “Grappling”
  • “Poisonous impact”
  • “Baseless claims”

You could have written that sentence by saying, “Local authorities have struggled, as they always do, with the costs and consequences of false and disputed claims.” 

That would lack the rhetorical flourish of local authorities “grappling” and delicately handling the “poisonous” and “baseless” claims that might infect the community. Little old social justice teenaged Billy might be sitting and eating his Corn Flakes getting ready for school, and then, suddenly out of nowhere, the fog of poisonous claims emits from the local nuclear reactor of hate and baselessness, and turns our little neoliberal Billy into a white nationalist fascist “William” who, and please stop reading if you are easily triggered, doesn’t believe the prior election was the safest and most secure in history.

That’s the world that Annie Gowen has in her head: fascists around every street corner, white nationalists in every church, nazis singing “Amazing Grace” at the First Church of Frisco.

You might be tempted to give reporters a certain pass because their editors are really the bad guys, or because their owners are really the bad guys, or whatever. But Annie Gowen’s article is so laughable, so ridiculous, and so defamatory to Christians and entire regions of the country, for absolutely no logical reason, that if she had any self-respect she would resign from the Washington Post in protest of this article. Otherwise, she actually believes this mental trash.

But Gowen, personally, seems like a real left-wing winner. You just can’t make this stuff up: in researching reporter, Gowen, it appears she was on a panel discussing “Too Many Men” in India. [6]

This is in reference to the rampant abortion in China and India where sex-selective abortion has created an enormous gender imbalance. But think of the twisted logic necessary in order to describe it as “too many men” – you have to hide the fact that millions of women were exterminated in the womb, and you have to downplay the abortion policies that caused this crisis, and you have to twist language so as to present the symptom of the problem as the problem itself: that there are too many human lives kind of suggesting a nice old war or famine could just stabilize things so there would be a population balance. [7]

Instead of saying pro-abortion policies in these countries killed too many women, resulting in too few women, the problem is repackaged as “too many men.” Instead of mourning the women who were killed via abortion, it reframes the entire discussion so that not enough men were aborted. It’s hard-left thinking on display, where the official narrative, no matter how ugly, can ever be confronted in its reality. 

I won’t ding Gowen for that unrelated article in this fact check, but it’s worth knowing who we’re dealing with: a hard-left partisan who is willing to twist any word or phrase in order to fit the overall agenda. Frankly she seems like a real piece of work for minimizing the actual causes behind the ‘gendercide’ of 150 million girls. [8] 

No doubt she is highly valued and one of the ‘best’ reporters at the Washington Post, we should expect no better.

OUR RATING: Major Negligence. MSNBC-level basic journalistic negligence


1 ] https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/22966/dallas-fort-worth/population

2 ] https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/frisco-tx-population

3 ] https://nypost.com/2020/11/06/trump-won-record-minority-support-yet-the-left-is-calling-it-racism/

4 ] https://tgpfactcheck.com/washpost-complicit-in-giuliani-smear-alleges-fbi-warning-last-fall-that-rudy-completely-denies/

5 ] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/5-facts-about-u-s-evangelical-protestants/

6 ] https://www.internationalcentregoa.com/lecture-on-indias-looming-crisis-too-many-men-by-annie-gowen-india-bureau-chief-the-washington-post/

7 ] https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/too-many-men/

8 ] https://www.abort73.com/abortion/abortion_and_gendercide/

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