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Letter: Op-ed writer needs to substantiate claims

Sadly, “Anti-speech Democrats caused Jan. 6 riots” (Jan. 6, 2022) is one more example of commentaries that make unsubstantiated, but unchallenged, claims.

While Shaun McCutcheon raises several valid points, The Roanoke Times should require him to provide corroboration of some of his statements before publication of his piece.

For example, can he specify any “...legitimate concerns about voter fraud...”? What were the “...many electoral restrictions [that] were imposed in 2020 due to COVID-19, benefiting Democrats”?

Perhaps most troubling is his assertion that “Unfortunately, the Capitol rioters became a reason to stop any further 2020 election review.”

Courts in multiple states reviewed lawsuits and dismissed them for lack of credible evidence. The Associated Press completed a comprehensive review of elections and concluded that fewer than 500 instances of fraud occurred throughout the country, and some of them were unqualified ballots cast in favor of the former president’s reelection.

While McCutcheon’s support of the First Amendment is warranted, the Big Lie is the equivalent of crying “Fire!” in a crowded theater playing out at the national level. It should not be reinforced with spurious accusations.

Bill Bestpitch,


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