Is the Corporate Leftist Media Rewarding Riots?

Have you ever wondered how social justice warriors afford lattes and expensive body armor without day jobs? Answers may be found in a recent court filing by the attorney for John E. Sullivan, the BLM-aligned activist charged with participating in and directing portions of the January 6 Capitol incident. Readers will recall that Sullivan, founder of the group called “Insurgence USA,” recorded himself encouraging the mob to burn the Capitol. He successfully cleared a path for the mob by intimidating two police officers and admitted to smashing at least one window in the Capitol. 

While so many of those arrested on that day continue to languish in jail with high or even no bonds, Sullivan remains free without bond to frolic on social media and raise money for his aptly-named group. The government has accused Sullivan of violating the conditions of his freedom. Sullivan’s attorney stepped in with a successful bid to undo the conditions he’s accused of violating. You see, Sullivan’s revolutionary cause is actually his full-time job. 

Writing for his client, Steven Kiersh revealed rare inside details about the dirty corporate journalism-revolutionary money pipeline that many suspected exists. He wrote, “Defendant is legitimately self-employed as a documentarian and it is oppressive to require that he not be allowed to continue his primary area of employment for an extended period of time. Attached to this pleading are receipts for services documenting defendant’s employment.” 

According to the body of the pleading and filed receipts, Sullivan received payments from ABC, NBC, Australian Broadcasting, Left/Right, LLC; Rocky Mountain Public Media, and CNN. CNN and ABC each paid Sullivan $35,000 for footage he took while encouraging the participants to burn down the Capitol. LEFT/Right LLC paid $5,000. ABC paid $2,500. The pleadings did not indicate how much Australian Broadcasting and Rocky Mountain Public media paid. Sullivan made all that money from all those sources by recording the mob action he helped lead and encourage. 

“Defendant is a decent, honest young man who has been utterly mischaracterized by pleadings filed in this Court and comments attributed to him have been taken out of context,” Kiersh added. “There is no reason to conclude he is a flight risk or that he will attempt to obstruct justice. He has promptly appeared for every court appearance in Utah and the District of Columbia and there is nothing in the record to reasonably suggest that he will not continue to abide by conditions of release. The government seeks unconstitutional and oppressive conditions that defendant respectfully submits should not be permitted by this Court.”

It’s worth remembering that January 6 was not the first violent incident Sullivan helped direct. In July of last year, he organized a “protest” that resulted in the shooting of a motorist. According to local Utah news, 

“As a protest organizer John Sullivan is heard and seen as he is promoting protesters to block roadways, keeping motorists from traveling lawfully and freely.”

Sullivan was also captured on video threatening to beat a woman in an SUV, according to the affidavit, and then kicking her door, leaving a dent.

Sullivan was seen with Jesse Taggart—the man charged with shooting the motorist—throughout the protest, the affidavit states.

“As a protest organizer, John Sullivan is heard talking about seeing the shooting, looking at the gun and seeing smoke coming from it. John did not condemn the attempted murder nor attempt to stop it nor aide in its investigation by police.”

The Society of Professional Journalists prohibits the practice of paying for access to the news in its code of ethics which it last updated before the get-Trump era began. The case of John E. Sullivan is a perfect demonstration of why it is needed and the scandal of its being ignored. Otherwise, we create a cash bounty for the kind of mayhem that Sullivan has now monetized into his full-time vocation. As of this writing, I did not locate any disclosure of these payments by the media sources who paid him.

It is also noteworthy that the media made a number of these payments after he was criminally charged for the actions depicted in the same video he sold. There’s a line between paying for a story and paying somebody for creating a story.

Was Sullivan the only paid participant in the January 6 mob? We would never have known about media payments to Sullivan had he not volunteered the information.

As noted by Politico, the presiding magistrate again refused to order Sullivan back into custody for his apparent violations of the conditions of pretrial release. In fact, the magistrate relaxed the restrictions by, “rejecting the broader prohibition on Twitter and Facebook and encrypted social media platforms,” and removing the 24-hour location monitoring via GPS. The magistrate did, however, renew the order prohibiting Sullivan’s further work for “Insurgence USA” and the use of social media to incite riots, violent protests, armed conflict, or violence.

While the taxpayers foot the bill for police officer medical bills, property damage, and added security resulting from the January 6 Capitol incident, corporate media encourages a business model that makes future such events more likely by profit-seeking revolutionaries. Why isn’t Sullivan in jail? Why hasn’t the government confiscated the profits from his mayhem? The incursion into the Capitol helped facilitate the second impeachment of former President Trump.

Sullivan follows a long line of lawbreakers who seem immune from consequences for actions that harm Trump. Since 2016, the rule of law seems to have boiled down to one maxim: Hurting Trump is “legal.” Helping Trump is “illegal.” It’s as simple as that.

About Adam Mill

Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Photo: (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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