Among other things, this new Facebook ad by far-right Virginia State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) shows that Facebook has no problem allowing wild lies on its platform. Let’s count the falsehoods and smears, in blue/bold below. Also note that Facebook should subject ads on its site to some sort of minimum standards of truthfulness, etc, but…it clearly doesn’t, given that all Mark Zuckerberg cares about is making tons of money. If Democrats take back the White House and the Senate, one of the things we need to do is seriously consider breaking up the irresponsible monopoly known as Facebook.
- “Since the Democrats took control of Virginia, citizens’ lives are not easier, they are not better and they definitely aren’t safer.” (FALSE: To the extent peoples’ lives aren’t easier, better or safer right now, it’s because of Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic, not because of Democrats. In fact, Democrats in 2020 passed tons of great legislation to make Virginia citizens’ lives easier, better and safer. See Virginia House Democrats Celebrate Historic Legislative Accomplishments, which points to: Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment; rolling back some of the most harmful restrictions on abortion access in Virginia“; “making election day a state holiday instead of Lee-Jackson Day, implementing “no excuse” absentee voting, allowing voters to essentially permanently enroll in a “vote by mail” program without having to fill out an absentee ballot application for each election, ensuring that mail-in ballots postmarked on election day can be counted, and permitting voters to register on election day”; “Raising the minimum wage to help working families and the most financially vulnerable; Virginians”; “Widening discrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community”; “Protecting the environment with significant gains in the fight against climate change by passing HB 981, authorizing the Commonwealth to join RGGI. The General Assembly also passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act which puts Virginia on the path toward 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.”; “Combating predatory short-term loan practices by capping the interest and fees that may be charged for a short-term loan.”; “Establishing access to collective bargaining for public employees.”; “Repealing racially discriminatory Acts of Assembly“; “Removing the criminal penalty for simple marijuana possession”; etc.)
- “Angry, violent mobs have rioted and burned our cities, leaving common, decent citizens and small business owners to suffer.” (WILD EXAGGERATION: In fact, our cities are, despite Republicans’ demagoguery and fear mongering, still standing, not “burned.” In fact, a new report finds that “the vast majority of the thousands of Black Lives Matter protests this summer have been peaceful.” As for crime in cities, it’s actually DOWN in “many major US cities…compared with the same time last year.”)
- “A Democratic delegate and self-proclaimed socialist even joined an angry mob and confronted the police and now, filed a legislative bill that would defund the state police.” (Yes, *one* delegate – Lee Carter – filed such a budget amendment, but it’s got zero chance of passing.)
- “Even now, in a Special Session, Democrats under the Northam regime pressed their radical agenda against those men and women who make our lives easier and keep us safe each and ever day.” (FALSE: Nothing about this is true, including use of the inflammatory, loaded word “regime,” which is usually used to describe authoritarian governments. And no, Democrats don’t have a “radical agenda.” In fact, recent, bipartisan polling finds that a “supermajority of Americans want to see wide-ranging reforms to the criminal justice system,” including civilian oversight boards (70% support), barring no-knock warrants (76% support), “duty to intervene” (94% support), reforms to “qualified immunity” (81% support), etc, etc. So basically, Reeves is calling 70%-90%+ of Americans “radical.”)
- “Democrats have sponsored legislation to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer or fireman and would remove qualified immunity.” (WILDLY MISLEADING: Actually, Sen. Surovell’s bill – that Reeves is dishonestly attacking – would do is simply remove the *mandatory* minimum sentence for “minimally assaultive behavior” on a law enforcement officer and, instead, gives “a jury or the court [the option of finding] the accused not guilty of such offense but guilty of a simple assault or assault and battery, punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor,” if the assault doesn’t cause any physical injury, such as throwing water or an onion ring at someone. Also, the bill commonsensically requires that “alleged assault and battery shall be investigated by another law-enforcement officer who was not the subject of the alleged assault and battery and the arrest, indictment, or service of a petition shall be approved by the attorney for the Commonwealth.” Horrible, huh? In Bryce Reeves’ mind, yes, but not if you actually look at what the bill would do.)
- “While our communities are burning to the ground by extremists and our history being destroyed, the left ignores these issues.” (FALSE: “Our history” isn’t “being destroyed,” that’s just flat-out absurd and bonkers. What Reeves is referring to, presumably, is the move to take down Confederate monuments/statues from prominent public spaces. In no way/shape/form does that “destroy” history, let alone “our” history. Instead, what it does is remove a constant reminder of why those statues/monuments were erected in the first place, which was to send a clear message of intimidation to African Americans, while whitewashing what the Confederacy was all about.)
- “With a lack of support from politicians, police across the country…are quitting and retiring en masse; businesses are shutting their doors; people are afraid of their own government; enough is enough. Stand with those who stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Let your voice be heard. Contact your state representative and Gov. Northam and demand they support the police, not defund them, before it’s too late…We want to live free.” (MIXED-UP MESS: Where to even start with this mishmash/mess? For one thing, businesses – including many owned by African Americans – have been “shutting their doors” overwhelmingly due to COVID-19 and the Trump administration’s disastrous response to said pandemic. As for people being “afraid of their own government,” there certainly are many of us who are afraid of the Trump administration’s increasingly lawless, authoritarian, unconstitutional behavior…but Reeves of course doesn’t mention that. As for supporting the police, a recent Gallup poll found that 58% of Americans “say major changes are needed to make policing better,” with another “36% say[ing] minor changes are needed” and “6% say[ing] no changes are needed.” Clearly, Reeves is in that tiny minority of 6%. As for “abolishing police departments,” only 15% of American support that, including just 27% of Democrats and 12% of Independents. So…Reeves is just lying, pretty much.]