Washington Post Was Tipped to Art Gallery Vandalism, Helpfully Recorded and Reported It

News & Politics

Harold Hutchison at the Daily Caller reports on Friday, the Justice Department announced two people were indicted for vandalism at the National Gallery of Art — defacing a case holding the sculpture “Little Dancer” by Edgar Degas — and included this: “Prior to the attack, members of the conspiracy had alerted the Washington Post, and two reporters from the Post recorded and photographed the offense.”

Hutchison added Timothy Martin and Joanna Smith, both 53, were members of the group Declare Emergency, “part of the A22 Network, a coalition of activist groups primarily bankrolled by the Climate Emergency Fund, which boasts numerous celebrity donors including Aileen Getty of the Getty oil family and comedian Chelsea Handler.”

Former New York Times climate reporter Andrew Revkin expressed a little shock that the Post was tipped off to this law-breaking stunt: “Seems a fine line between journalism and PR.” When a leftist shot back “Press get alerted prior to newsworthy events all the time. How do you think things get covered?,” Revkin asked, “Crimes?”

Ellie Silverman of the Post both photographed and reported on the vandalism. She helpfully explained why they would commit the crime: 

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The point, [protest expert Dana] Fisher says, is to draw attention. And research shows these kinds of “radical tactics” can persuade people who are sympathetic to the climate issue to be more supportive of moderate perspectives, she said.

“This is purely performative protest. It’s disruption as shock,” Fisher said. “Nobody’s going to like these guys for throwing paint at ‘Little Dancer’ … but that’s okay. That’s not their point. If the goal here is to get general attention and to shift the conversation to focus more on climate change, there’s a lot of evidence that this is more effective.”

A recent U.N. climate report warned that the world is on track to pass a dangerous temperature threshold within the next 10 years that would result in catastrophic warming that could cause millions of people to die.

Notice the Post had to put “radical tactics” in quotes, as if that’s in dispute. There’s no question here that the paper crossed the line from journalism to “climate emergency” PR. 

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