Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison, unlike Tayna McDowell, who was sentenced to 5 years in prison for enrolling her son in a school district using a fraudulent address. So the meme goes. A bit of digging ads some context.
The 33-year-old woman, who is facing larceny charges for enrolling her son in Norwalk public schools while living in Bridgeport, was alone as she stood handcuffed before Judge Howard Owens to face multiple drug charges. Her entourage and her lawyer, who escorted her to court in Norwalk and Stamford, were absent.
Police said McDowell sold crack cocaine and marijuana to an undercover police officer on two occasions outside her Dover Street home. They said she even interrupted her 6-year-old son’s birthday to sell the drugs. She was arrested in court Monday morning.
That McDowell was selling drugs outside of a school is relevant, but of course outrage has no time for context.
Several weeks later, she was arrested for selling drugs to Norwalk undercover officers on five occasions in Norwalk and Bridgeport.
When she was picked up on the drug charges, police found her in front of Brookside Elementary School holding 30 small bags of marijuana and 23 small bags of crack cocaine, prosecutor Tiffany Lockshier said during her sentencing hearing.
At the sentencing hearing, here is what the judge said:
[Judge] Iannotti retorted Tuesday that the Norwalk case had nothing to do with why McDowell was before him.
“This case is about the convictions for the sale of narcotics to an undercover police officer,” the judge said. “I think you understand that because that is really the essence of what has gotten you into the predicament you find yourself today.”
On the two counts of sale of narcotics, the judge then sentenced her to 12 years, suspended after she serves five years and followed by five years probation.
The sentence is to run concurrently with a five-year sentence she received in the Norwalk case.
McDowell pled guilty to the larceny charges involving lying about her address as part of package deal with prosecutors.
There were three cases pending against McDowell:
- S20N-CR11-0128870-S (larceny)
- F02B-CR11-0258104-S (sale of illegal drugs)
- F02B-CR11-0258105-S (sale of illegal drugs)
McDowell pled guilty to all three cases, and received the following:
- Sentenced: 12 Years Jail, Execution Suspended After 5 Years, Probation 5 Years
While the Twitter outrage mob can be forgiven for not bothering to do any research, you’d expect better of Snopes.
Snopes rates as true this claim, “Was a Woman Sentenced to Five Years for Sending Her Son to a Better School?”
Snopes used to be an official fact-checking partner of Facebook’s. Under this program, a Facebook page could be suspended if Snopes concluded that the page had posted fake news.
Snopes leaves out this relevant context of the prison sentence:
The Bridgeport mother charged with illegally enrolling her son in a Norwalk school has agreed to a plea deal. Tanya McDowell was arrested last year on larceny charges for using a false address to send her son to Brookside Elementary.
She was later arrested on drug charges in Bridgeport and Norwalk.
Her lawyer tells News 12 Connecticut that McDowell, who was facing 40 years, agreed to a plea deal and will spend five years in prison to cover all the charges.
Read that last paragraph again, “Her lawyer tells News 12 Connecticut that McDowell, who was facing 40 years, agreed to a plea deal and will spend five years in prison to cover all the charges.”
During the sentencing hearing, the judge said:
“This case is about the convictions for the sale of narcotics to an undercover police officer,” the judge said. “I think you understand that because that is really the essence of what has gotten you into the predicament you find yourself today.” On the two counts of sale of narcotics, the judge then sentenced her to 12 years, suspended after she serves five years and followed by five years probation.
Tanya McDowell was not sentenced to prison for 5 years for lying about her address. She was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a package deal involving her lying about living in a school district and also being a drug dealer.
Non-lawyers can be forgiven for not knowing that the drug charges greatly raised any potential sentence in the larceny case. Snopes should have some lawyers fact-check their articles for them, at least when the legal system is involved.
P.S. In a case actually similar to Felicity Huffman’s, the woman was sentenced to 10 days in county jail.
She was sentenced last week to 10 days in county jail and put on three years of probation. She will also be required to perform community service, the Beacon Journal reported.
UPDATE: In response to my reporting, Snopes has issued this following update:
[UPDATE 09/19/19]: This story has been updated and returned to a “mixture” rating to better reflect the claim that McDowell was sentenced to 5 years in the school larceny case, but that the sentence included drug and prostitution charges, as well.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to watch Hoaxed Movie, an expose into fake news.
CNN’s Brian Stelter Apologizes for Mistake (Good Man)
Update: Brian Stelter has apologized.
This was a full and unequivocal apology, and all of us should applaud it and remember it when our time to own up to mistakes arises.
(Because that day is coming for all of us, sooner or later.) pic.twitter.com/QWtBLDsK4s
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 1, 2020
CNN’s Brian Stelter falsely accused a woman of spreading disinformation tonight, in a Tweet Stelte deleted without apology after it was revealed that Stelter lying.
The lie concerned a fire started by rioters in Washington D.C. Katrina B. Haydon reported that St. John’s church near the White House was on fire.
Box Alarm 1525 H St NW. #DCsBravest had fire in basement of church. Fire extinguishing. Checking for extension.
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC Lite (@dcfireems) June 1, 2020
NEW: Fire was in basement of St. Johns, and is out, my @washingtonpost colleague @phscoop reports from DC fire department. Firefighters got there w/ a police escort and quickly put out the blaze. Did NOT appear to cause any significant damage, and it is unclear how it started.
— Michelle Boorstein (@mboorstein) June 1, 2020
Stelter attacked the woman, baselessly accusing her of lying.
Brian Stelter has yet to apologize to spreading disinformation.
Shannon Bream and live video feed on Fox
— Katrina B Haydon (@katrinabhaydon) June 1, 2020
He called you a liar and then deleted it. Amazing.
— Jarvis (@jarvis_best) June 1, 2020
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) June 1, 2020
Accuses me of either lying or being too dumb to communicate what I’m seeing on live TV, then deletes it pic.twitter.com/A8tCQ5JOdT
— Katrina B Haydon (@katrinabhaydon) June 1, 2020
Did Brian Stelter lie to protect violent protesters?
Why did Stelter lie?
Is he trying to provide propaganda for violent protesters and domestic terrorists?
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 1, 2020
“Burn It Down,” ESPN Writer Encourages Arson of Low Income Housing
ESPN sportswriter Chris Palmer Martin Tweeted, “Burn that shit down. Burn it all down.” The burning building was a low-income housing area in Minneapolis. (Minneapolis vandalism targets include 189-unit affordable housing development.)
When rioters neared Martin’s home, he called them “animals.”
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 31, 2020
The media has a history of supporting ANTIFA.
CNN in 2017: Antifa opposes hate and seek peace through violence
— Scooter Downey (@TrueLegendFilms) May 30, 2020
Media bro’s went from ANTIFA is good to ANTIFA doesn’t exist https://t.co/XWormC5xNE
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 31, 2020
Hoaxed Movie Uncovers the Media’s Relationship with ANTIFA
Watch the Hoaxed Movie Trailer
Where to Watch Hoaxed Movie
Trump Channels CNN in Joe Scarborough “Cold Case”
“It’s possible, but I don’t know.” With those words former FBI Director James Comey set a new standard for media coverage of public figures. Even when there is no evidence to substantiate your claim, even when you’re relying on a document that had been discredited within the FBI, even when you’re quoting work product that was the result of Russian disinformation, you give no quarter to your enemies.
I am referencing the infamous pee-pee interview James Comey gave to ABC. Comey’s words were amplified by every media outlet. No context was added (such as the FBI’s knowing the Steele dossier was funded by Democrats and contained hoaxes from Russian pranksters).
"I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether a current host of a major MSNBC show killed a staffer. It’s possible, but I don’t know."
How is that *any* different from this stuff CNN and media did for 3 years? https://t.co/UtFxbLDx8P
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 27, 2020
And now Trump is applying these same principles to Joe Scarborough.
Media figures cry foul. What moral authority do they have?
Scarborough’s own colleague Rachel Maddow accuses people of being Russian assets. When called to answer those allegations in court, she claims that her assertions, believed to be statements of fact by her millions of viewers, are “quintessential statements of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false.”
As much as I’m glad to see Joe Scarborough be treated with the same “journalistic ethics” as he treats others, I feel for the Lori Klausutis family, who no doubt do not want these painful memories resurfaced. Scarborough deserves this, but the Klausutis family does not.
But as always the media is treating itself as the real victim here.
The same media figures who recklessly smeared innocent teenagers from Covington High School as racists have much to say about a need for others to measure their words.
The same media figures who obsess over every mean Tweet a conservative posts ignores Scarborough’s on-air recording joking about the tragic death of a staffer.
Feel some empathy for the Klausutis. They are caught in a battle they didn’t start.
Scarborough, however, is getting exactly what he and everyone else on cable news deserves.
Whoa! Did Joe Scarborough really say this? https://t.co/jXz58vz3zn
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 27, 2020