25 Jul


John Needham




ARTHUR: Bobeth Yates, Reporter – CBS 46 News WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).


Click-Bait Headline, Misleading, Misrepresents Source and Inadequate Support

Click-Bait Headline

“President Trump signs executive order to protect Confederate statues ….” is false and misleading per the wording of Executive order 13933.

INVESTIGATOR FINDINGS: Executive Order 13933 protects all property including Confederate monuments if any, on Federal property like those in the national battle parks across the nation. The title makes it sound like Executive Order 13933 protects Confederate monuments on non-federal owned property and that’s not accurate.

SOURCE: Section 2, Paragraph A of Executive Order 13933:

Sec. 2Policy. (a) It is the policy of the United States to prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under Federal law, and as appropriate, any person or any entity that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates a monument, memorial, or statue within the United States or otherwise vandalizes government property. The desire of the Congress to protect Federal property is clearly reflected in section 1361 of title 18, United States Code, which authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the willful injury of Federal property. More recently, under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003, section 1369 of title 18, United States Code, the Congress punished with the same penalties the destruction of Federal and in some cases State-maintained monuments that honor military veterans. Other criminal statutes, such as the Travel Act, section 1952 of title 18, United States Code, permit prosecutions of arson damaging monuments, memorials, and statues on State grounds in some cases. Civil statutes like the Public System Resource Protection Act, section 100722 of title 54, United States Code, also hold those who destroy certain Federal property accountable for their offenses. The Federal Government will not tolerate violations of these and other laws.”

Misrepresents Source (Strawman Argument)

INVESTIGATOR FINDINGS: The writer’s suggested focus in the article’s title is completely different from the content in the article which is on individual privacy protection; a bait and switch tactic.

Inadequate Support

Lecia Brooks of the Southern poverty Law Center is quoted in article saying Executive Order 13933 “infringes on the privacy rights of Americans.”

Ms. Brooks goes on to say:

“The Department of Homeland Security has been authorized to collect information on protesters who they say threaten to damage and destroy public memorials, and statues; and of course we know we’re talking about these monuments to the confederacy.”

INVESTIGATOR FINDINGS: Executive order 13933 makes no mention of allowing the government to track individual social media posts or collect information.

SOURCE: See Executive Order 13933


The writer of the article says, “According to the document, people could face up to 10 years in in prison for damaging a Confederate monument.” This statement is misleading.

INVESTIGATOR FINDINGS: It’s 10 years for property, including any monuments (even if they are Confederate) damaged on Federal property.

SOURCE: See Section 2, Paragraph A of Executive Order 13933.

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