In a previous article on Freedom Outpost, it was disclosed that a reporter from US News and World Report placed false information in his story regarding the Truckers Ride for the Constitution. Since that story posted, a reporter from the Examiner contacted Stephen Nelson, the US News reporter who penned the article containing false information, for further details. The same day, Wilson penned another story in US News and World Report that continued to relay false information.
Nelson claims in his article that news coverage of the truckers ride to DC has caused “a schism between the ride’s leaders” identifying the ride’s leadership as “loosely organized.” The title of his article, “Truckers Change Mind, Won’t ‘Arrest’ Congressmen,” suggests the group had intended to engage in activities to arrest Congressmen, but have now changed their mind.
The false idea that the Ride for the Constitution group would arrest Congressmen for allegedly committing treason can be attributed to Georgia resident Earl Conlon. According to Nelson, Conlon has since changed his mind. Two things are prevalent here: 1) Nelson never bothered to contact Ride for the Constitution’s organizers, Zeeda Andrews and Ben Pam, nor contact their designated media spokesperson, Pete Santilli; 2) Conlon misrepresented his role to assist with organizing the order of the trucks for the ride by designating himself the “coordinator of trucks traveling to DC” and distorted the message of the organizers.
On the original Facebook page for Truckers to Shut Down America, which is the same organizational ride as Truckers Ride for the Constitution, it was indicated there was another group planning to boycott in DC; however, the organizers had made it clear they were a different group.
Freedom Outpost reported that Earl Conlon contacted Freedom Outpost regarding the Truckers Ride for the Constitution as he wanted to disseminate information to the organizers of the event. At that time, Conlon indicated he was with another group but “egos needed to be put aside in favor of the bigger issue of government following the limits in the Constitution.”
As someone who has actually talked several times to one of the organizers, Zeeda Andrews, she has always promoted this event as a peaceful demonstration to show our government that the people want it to abide by the Constitution in its entirety as written. It has never been the intent of this demonstration to “arrest” anyone.
Excerpts from Nelson’s article are below with comments in bold to indicate actual facts.
News coverage of a trucker protest seeking to clog the roads in and around Washington, D.C., this weekend prompted a schism between the ride’s leaders. The ride’s loosely organized leadership is now in agreement, however: truckers will not seek to “arrest” congressmen. [No schism has ever existed in the leadership as Zeeda Andrews and Ben Pam have been the organizers of this event and declared their intent from the beginning which has not changed]
Longtime Georgia trucker Earl Conlon was until Monday morning the coordinator of truckers traveling to D.C. on Oct. 11-13. He claims credit for calling the protest, a vision articulated in part by former country music singer Zeeda Andrews along with social media promotion. [Earl Conlon was a contact point for drivers at the meeting place for the start of the convoy once they reached Washington, DC. Conlon did report to me in a phone conversation, he was with a group that had planned a ride in Washington DC sometime in November. Whose idea it was first remains unclear]
Conlon originally told U.S. News he would seek to arrest congressmen Friday for allegedly committing treason as other truckers circle the inner loop of the I-495 beltway “three lanes deep.”
He’s changed his mind. [Freedom Outpost contacted Conlon regarding his intent for making these statements. Conlon indicated he was speaking for himself and playing politics to get the media worked up]
Despite Nelson being notified by media spokesperson Pete Santilli that Earl Conlon was not an organizer of the event, Nelson has continued to use Conlon as a source of information for this event. The email notification also requested a retraction or update to Nelson’s original article to indicate that Earl is not associated with the mission of the ride but was merely a “point of contact for drivers at a meeting place for the start of the convoy.”
Conlon was called out by media spokesperson, Pete Santilli, however, the audio of that conversation was unable to be retrieved to include in the previous Freedom Outpost article. However, Nelson reported in his article that Earl Conlon said “citizens do indeed have the authority to arrest public officials and that truckers can legally turn off their trucks on the road – if they are complying with regulations requiring a 34-hour ‘restart’ after truckers ‘run out of hours’ they’re allowed to work.”
In a final outburts, Conlon said, “You’re having your rally, I’m having mine. You might as well find a new place to meet. … I’m not going there to smile and blow my horn.”
Publius Huldah would be the expert to address the authority of citizens to arrest public officials as she is the expert regarding the US Constitution. As far as truckers running out of hours an requiring a 34-hour restart after running out of hours they’re allowed to work and legally being able to turn off their trucks on the road, it is easy to point out the errors in this statement. Ask yourself this question: Have you ever seen a truck stop in the middle of the road and turn off their engine? Of course not as that would be unsafe. According to the driver of our family trucking business, if a driver has to take a 34-hour restart, the truck has to be in a designated parking area that is safe for the driver. Our driver also indicated that a truck driver who is running out of hours is not managing their driving time appropriately; I would agree as our driver never runs out of hours at this time. With the new regulations effective July 1, 2013, written by individuals who have never been drivers, it becomes difficult, if almost impossible, to operate a trucking rig legally; however, I digress. Back to the point of the article.
Renee Nal, contributor to the Examiner.com, posted a comment to an article on Freedom Outpost and indicated she had contacted Stephen Nelson for comments regarding the statements made in his article. Nelson graciously provided comments which were included in her article. The Examiner.com even calls out Nelson’s article in US News and World Report as providing false information.
The Examiner.com reports:
Despite the strongly worded email, Nelson used Conlon as a source again in a new article today titled, “Truckers Change Mind, Won’t ‘Arrest’ Congressmen.” This title is inaccurate as the “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” never intended on “arresting” anybody.
The shocking thing about Nelson’s article is that even after the organizers clarified on Facebook, and on their official website, and in an exclusive interview with the Examiner, as well as personal email to Nelson, his article today continues to use quotes by Conlon.
The author of the piece, Steven Nelson, graciously responded to a request for comment. He said, “I did not identify Conlon as a spokesman in either article, I identified him as an organizer, which everyone admits he was as of Monday morning.”
Nelson cited a post on the ‘Ride for the Constitution’ website that said, “All truckers in this RIDE are directed to Earl Conlon, he is in charge.” Of course, this makes sense, as Santilli wrote in his email to Nelson yesterday that Conlon is “a point of contact for drivers.”
Nelson said, “Conlon claims the idea for truckers heading to D.C. was his. I haven’t heard a denial of that yet. Peter Santilli is not actually going to be in D.C. and he is not a trucker.” But Nelson did not speak to the founders of the Truckers group, Ben Pam and Zeeda Andrews, as confirmed today by the Examiner.
Further, Nelson stated, “The issue at hand isn’t so much about my coverage…it’s more of an in-fighting among the organizers. Squabbling over who the ‘official spokesperson’ is seems pretty silly to me. The designated organizer of the trucker trek to DC is arguably better suited to answer press questions than an online radio host who isn’t actually going to be in town.”
As Ben Pam confirmed to the Examiner, there is no infighting. There is no ‘squabbling.’ Peter T. Santilli is a radio host, and he is the “media spokesperson.” In fact, the leadership of the “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” is as united as ever to bring awareness to Americans about the plight of the truckers, and to exercise their First Amendment rights. The group wishes “to awaken the American People to the complete disregard for the Constitution and to bring a message to Congress that We The People demand to be heard.”
First of all, Nelson should get his fact straight and confirm his sources. But he wasn’t interested in that as US News and World Report is a member of the lamestream media who are now the White House steno pool lapdogs – to quote a commenter on Freedom Outpost. If we are to go with Nelson’s assessment that an organizer is better suited to answer press questions than an “official spokesperson,” I suggest Nelson stop taking information from Jay Carney and call the President himself if he wants information from the White House. After all, Jay Carney isn’t “in town” with all the President’s meetings.
A chimpanzee could have found the media contact information and the organizer contact information for the Ride for the Constitution. Nelson should research more carefully before putting things in print.
Remember, Dianne Feinstein wants to define and designate who is a journalist so bloggers and others who disseminate news items would not be protected by the shield laws. This means reporters like Nelson who present false information to the public would be protected while those individuals like myself would not be protected. The public’s ability to obtain the truth would be limited and the information put before the public would be controlled by news organizations like US News who has reporters like Nelson.
Earl Conlon has misrepresented himself from the beginning. He wiggled his way into this event with the appearance of altruism when actually all he wanted was his claim to fame and to incite a media frenzy. Earl did not contact the organizers directly. He contacted Freedom Outpost, a media organization, to obtain contact information for Zeeda or Ben. This information was readily available on the original Facebook page that was active at the time of the first article about the trucker ride appearing on FO and subsequently appeared on the Ride for the Constitution website. Links to the original Facebook page were contained in the FO article. Did he even wonder how I came to have the contact information? Probably not as he was only looking for a way in to push his alternate agenda.
This has been disappointing to say the least. It has caused an uproar in the media and consumed valuable time the organizers did not have in order to “put out the fires” started by this man’s misstatements. I’m sure Earl is welcome to comment in rebuttal to the theories I have postulated.
Regardless of this major inconvenience, truckers descend on Washington DC tomorrow beginning at 7 AM Eastern time and will remain vigilant in their endeavors until October 13. One thing Earl did get right is that truckers are not there to “smile and blow their horns.” The Ride for the Constitution has a written agenda and list of complaints to deliver to the governing body in Washington. These brave road warriors are there to represent those Americans who support the Constitution and limited government by actively engaging in a peaceful assembly to demand a redress of grievances that are identified in their agenda.
While I had planned to ride to DC, my father, who is our driver, has been ill for the last week and has required care; add to this the back injury of my cherished “little terrorist” that prevents her from traveling at this time. Nevertheless, our truck is parked, our supplies are laid in, and all monetary transactions have been concluded. We have spread the word for the last few weeks by CB radio, word of mouth in our community, and I have continued to write updates on this historic event.
Are you ready? Are you prepared to support those that are going to Washington to amplify YOUR voice?
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