One of the worst takes about the horrific accident at the Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Fla. Saturday night was this one from blue-check Sorya Chemaly who tweeted this evidence-free report that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the target of the “terrorist attack”:
2 hit by truck that was aiming for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s car, in person is dead. “This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community…deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person,” say authorities.
— Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly) June 20, 2021
And it wasn’t “authorities” who said this. It was Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis who said it.
From the Local10 link she tweeted out:
He said shortly after the crash that he believed it was a deliberate attempted attack of the Democratic congresswoman.
“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis told Local 10 News. “This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Luckily they missed that person, but unfortunately, they hit two other people.”
Chemaly’s tweet is still up as of the writing of this post, and so is a retweet of it by the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman who sent this bogus information to her 1.7 million followers:
As for the timing of the tweet (and retweet), there was reporting last night from before it was sent that was urging caution with the terror-attack narrative. Chemaly’s tweet was at 9:07 p.m., this one below at 8:30. Is it too much to ask that one of the most trusted names on Twitter do a little digging before hitting that RT?
Unclear right now if intentional or an accident.
— Jay O'Brien (@jayobtv) June 20, 2021
The tweet should be deleted and everyone should use this as (another) teachable moment on how to tweet about breaking news stories:
Why is this still up when you know it is 100% factually incorrect?
You are spreading misinformation to incite hatred over a complete fabrication. https://t.co/Vq8toifE3L
— Chad Felix Greene 🇮🇱 (@chadfelixg) June 20, 2021
Fort Lauderdale mayor FINALLY clarifies his statement calling the Pride parade accident a 'terrorist attack,' promptly MAKES IT WORSE https://t.co/qSxDYBGzvJ
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 20, 2021