Reporting at CPAC, Day 1: Pence Talks Conronavirus, InfoWars Kicked Out

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I made my debut as an on-location reporter and interviewer at this year’s CPAC. I will be writing about the feeling and vibes about what happened at CPAC 2020 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Fort Washington, MD. I also will follow up with an opinion piece which will dive a little deeper into what we should be looking at and what we are not seeing from the coverage. But first, let’s talk CPAC 2020!

Vice President Pence Discusses Coronavirus

Day one of CPAC saw a visit from Vice President Mike Pence, starting with the topic of coronavirus. President Trump has made this a top priority of his administration. He is focusing resources to combat the issue. While not yet declared as a pandemic, it is clear the coronavirus has become a major issue to the president. Anytime the Dow Jones Industrial Average declines as badly as it did this week, a president will notice. Assigning his VP on the perceived cause is a wise choice. House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called President Trump’s reaction as not enough – which is typical. I am not sure anyone knows what enough is at the moment, but the Democrats have used this worldwide affliction as a wedge against him. This, despite any proof that he had something to do with it or the spread of it.

China: Supply and Demand

President Trump is responding to coronavirus in the best way possible and doing what he does best. He is a businessman and business people do not throw money at a problem for which they do not have a legitimate answer. The Democrat option is always to spend money, and create a panic. No one knows at the moment what the president’s options are, and I do not believe that anyone does. Because of it still on day one just a knee jerk reaction.

The supply chain issues remain something that is the primary focus of Wall Street. Outside the threat and health ramifications of the disease, President Trump is concerned about America’s economy. Much of America’s drugs and many other items are manufactured in China. Business executives have moved their businesses to China to save money. Now these goods are caught up in the web of delivery as there’s a risk of China’s manufacturing sector collapsing. It may in the near future find its way to the delivery of goods and services to the people. Walmart is a prime example – much of its goods come from China.

Unfortunately, there is nothing the president can do at the moment but wait for something to happen. On Thursday, not a single person was afflicted with the coronavirus that did not come in contact specifically with someone from the far east. The president has discussed that the virus has not made its way to our shores. The Center for Disease Control is reacting as best as they can. China is not allowing them in to look into the matter, and that is disconcerting to everyone. China at the moment is keeping things quiet, and since they are a communist country, there is little that we can glean from the virus since the government is controlling what our country and our experts can see.

Remember, throwing money at a problem without a definition cannot solve a problem. President Trump is not apt to use this method. He is an expert at delivery. It is part of the president’s background to ensure that material and answers are delivered at the best possible moment. He is not the type of individual who overreacts, or under-reacts. It will be important at this moment to see what happens next. The president has his eyes on what is happening. However, his detractors in pure Democrat and big government fashion, will define the response as either too much, or too little, or too late. There isn’t any difference – whatever is done will be insufficient to haters of the president. There seems to be a Democrat-focus to make this Trump’s version of Hurricane Katrina. President Trump, as a businessman will react when he has to, and will not get on a podium and cause a panic.

InfoWars and CPAC at Odds

I ran into Alex Jones of InfoWars and interviewed him briefly in front of the CPAC media room. He was holding court and as the personality that he is, he had many people around him. He was asked many questions about the coronavirus. His answers were basic answers such as – “we will need to understand the causes before we determine the response,” etc. During a lull, I informed him of recently enacted Red Flag laws and the state of New Mexico confiscating guns, the NRN story I broke earlier in the day. Even Alex Jones had no clue that the Democrats have started their gun confiscation power grab.

CPAC had a few hiccups on the first day. I witnessed Charlie Kirk walking by the InfoWars booth in the exhibitors section. InfoWars journalist Owen Shroyer tried to get his attention and was abruptly ignored. Kirk wanted no part of InfoWars, and he quickly brought in security to protect him. Kirk is a conservative personality and he obviously didn’t want an association with InfoWars. Shroyer was provocative in the way he went about it as well. Both were not nice to one another.

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By Friday Shroyer and InfoWars were removed from the convention. This now went from a nuisance to a problem. It is clear that the conservatives need to acknowledge that there are different facets of their Party. Not everyone in the Party needs to be in lockstep. We cannot silence people who disagree with us. Sebastian Gorka is caught on a tweet saying that InfoWars should never have been allowed to attend. Shroyer’s goal was achieved. Shroyer made his point and he created disunity. The problem is that disunity in the Party does not help anyone. The Trump team is winning yet we are at the point where we should not be fighting each other. We need to fight a bigger battle – Democrats and their globalist friends. It does not help to fight each other.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


Final Thoughts – Day 1

While some of what Alex Jones says is on the fringe and can be considered hate-mongering and conspiracy theories, America’s Constitution ensures that we allow all people to speak. The debate at the constitutional convention by our founders proved this. They ensured in the First Amendment that all voices are to be heard. If a person is a kook let them display it. The people should be allowed to listen to all sides and make their own decisions.

Finally, InfoWars was given press passes and they purchased a display on the exhibit floor. If the CPAC group took their money, they should have been allowed to man their booth. If they were given press passes or paid to attend and given credentials. they should have been allowed to stay. CPAC has the right to determine who can attend. However, if we give in to limiting speech, we are no better than the Democrats.

Frank D'Onofrio
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