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By Our Staff

Typically, we here at Binghamton Review have had a friendly relationship with Pipe Dream. Sure, we may take a gander at some of their opinion articles and have a good chuckle or two, laughing at what we find to be logically ridiculous or baseless claims. However, at the end of the day, we usually believe that these claims are solely limited to Pipe Dream’s opinion column, and that the staff that work on their paper try their best to write truthful (if not a little bland) objective news stories. And while this has been correct throughout the previous school years, we can not say the same for the Pipe Dream issues that have been circulating this year; it seems that in what should be “objective” news is chock-full of blatantly opinionated articles with misinformation galore. So, for our final issue of the year, we are going to be highlighting some of the factually incorrect claims that Pipe Dream has put into its issues. We are doing this from a place of good faith; you should be better than this Pipe Dream, and we want to get the truth out there for the campus to see. So, without further ado, Binghamton Review Presents: Pipe Dream Lies in Review (2019-2020)!

“Student activists protest tabling event promoting gun rights, criticize UPD for response”
Gillian Matthews and Nicole Kaufman, 11/14/19

“Approximately 200 students congregated on the Spine on Thursday afternoon to protest after Binghamton University College Republicans and Turning Point USA (TPUSA), an organization that is not chartered by the SA, tabled in support of gun rights.”
Strike one of the false pro-gun narrative! Throughout much of the coverage of the initial protests for the TPUSA and College Republican tabling, Pipe Dream has repeatedly stated that the purpose of the tabling was to promote gun-rights. They even mention an unrelated school shooting that occurred on the same day as the tabling, possibly implying that the tablers knew about the shooting beforehand and were being intentionally provocative or insensitive. In reality, the club that had the signs and stickers, TPUSA, was promoting their entire political platform, with gun rights only being a portion of their views. College Republicans were simply handing out hot chocolate to promote their upcoming Art Laffer event. This suggests that Pipe Dream is deliberately emphasizing the gun rights items to build a certain viewpoint about BOTH clubs. We’re sure they won’t repeat this false narrative later on…

“Trump criticizes Binghamton University protesters during address at Turning Point USA conference”
Sasha Hupka, 12/23/19

“During his speech, Trump mocked protesters and suggested that the protesters used clubs and bats while demonstrating, stating, they ‘swing clubs, they swing bats, they swing everything.’ Campus demonstrators did not use weapons during any of the protests.”
Trump wasn’t referring to the Binghamton protesters, he was referring to far-left protesters in general. If you look on sites such as YouTube it’s pretty easy to find footage of far left groups such as Antifa using clubs in their protests. It isn’t that far of a stretch that Trump would associate the campus demonstrators, who can be seen wearing black surgical masks and red armbands, with other groups that use these same tactics along with violent action.

“Student protests began in November at BU following a pro-gun tabling event held by BU’s chapters of TPUSA and College Republicans on the Spine.”
Strike two of the false pro gun narrative! While TPUSA did have a pro gun poster, in addition to numerous other posters, the purpose of tabling on the Spine for both groups was certainly not to be a “pro-gun tabling event.” For the College Republicans, the purpose was to promote the upcoming speech by Art Laffer. For Turning Point USA, the purpose was to promote their new Binghamton University chapter. Although part of TPUSA’s political stances is certainly pro-gun rights, to state that the purpose of the tabling for both groups was for gun rights would be incredibly misleading, almost as if *gasp* Pipe Dream has a partisan agenda!

“Hours before the protest, a shooter opened fire at a high school in Santa Clarita, California.”
This statement is intentionally misleading to make it seem College Republicans and TPUSA’s decision to table was in response to the shooting. That is not the case. The shooting in Santa Clarita was actually a half-hour before the tabling began, not “hours,” and the tabling was planned days in advance.

“Congressman Tom Reed and BU President Harvey Stenger discuss free speech on campus”
Osama Teepu, 1/27/20

“Student protests began in November at BU following a pro-gun tabling event held by BU’s chapters of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative group known for its attention-grabbing tactics at colleges and universities across the nation, and College Republicans on the Spine. Hours before the protest, a shooter opened fire at a high school in Santa Clarita, California.”
Strike three of the false pro gun narrative! If it isn’t clear enough already, Pipe Dream is doing this to further a narrative; not only are they repeating the debunked claim that this was a “pro-gun tabling event,” they also bring up an unrelated school shooting and lie about the time frame, in an attempt to imply that both groups (which Pipe Dream seemingly cannot distinguish between) were doing this to be provocative.

“Trump also falsely suggested that protesters used clubs and bats while demonstrating.”
Again, Trump was speaking about far-left groups such as Antifa in general, not this specific incident.

“‘Scorched earth! Kill them! Get them!’: TPUSA, College Republicans members reportedly makes [sic] threatening remarks during meeting”
Jacob T. Kerr, 2/6/20
We’ve already released a full-length response to this absurd article, but if we’re highlighting Pipe Dream’s most ridiculous lies of the academic year, we have no choice but to discuss it again.

“In the recording, which was reportedly taken on Nov. 21, 2019, members of TPUSA, College Republicans and the Binghamton Review discussed ideas for future events which included purposefully provoking responses from other students, according to the Frances Beal Society, a grassroots organization composed of students and community members dedicated to fighting oppression and liberating marginalized groups.”
Firstly, there is no “the” in our name. Nearly every Pipe Dream article about us, dating back years, has made this mistake. I was going to say I don’t know how you can continue to make the same mistake over and over again, but, as we’ve just seen with the “pro-gun” narrative, learning from mistakes seems like a struggle for Pipe Dream writers. Secondly, Binghamton Review is non-partisan. We do not work with or support political clubs or organizations. We have never had a joint meeting with College Republicans or Turning Point USA, and we never will. Furthermore, for the same reason, we would have no reason to discuss “ideas for future events” with those groups. There is some membership overlap between Binghamton Review and political clubs such as College Republicans and TPUSA. Our writers and staff are free to participate in any other clubs that they want, and are free to do whatever they please in their own time. Binghamton Review is not responsible for their actions as members of those clubs, or as individuals. To characterize the setting of the audio recordings as a meeting containing members of Binghamton Review when the vast majority of Binghamton Review’s staff, including club President and Editor-in-Chief Tommy Gagliano, were not present, is incredibly dishonest.

“TPUSA members also reportedly threatened to sue Binghamton University’s Student Association (SA) to secure funding for their organization in leaked text messages”
As revealed in the VERY NEXT LINE OF THE ARTICLE, the “leaked text message” to “secure funding” for TPUSA reads as follows: “We have a plan — go to the SA, try and get chartered, get denied and then open up a lawsuit against [BU] for freedom of speech.” We know that Pipe Dream has some difficulties with basic concepts, but freedom of speech is not the same thing as funding. This isn’t about money, it’s about a contingency plan for a club that has repeatedly had its freedom of speech violated by both the University and leftist protesters.

“The leak of the recording comes after two protests erupted on campus last semester. The first demonstration occurred after BU’s TPUSA and College Republicans displayed pro-gun signage during an unofficial tabling event.”
Obviously false narrative is just as obviously false the fourth time.

“Days later, when the same two groups hosted economist Arthur Laffer for a speaking event, another protest formed, resulting in Laffer being escorted out of the Lecture Hall by police.”
TPUSA was not involved in organizing the Art Laffer event.

“Pipe Dream cannot independently confirm the claims made by Francis Beal Society regarding who is speaking in the recording.”
“We have no idea if anything we’re saying is actually true, but it makes conservatives look bad so we’re running with it.”

“One voice is heard yelling, ‘Scorched earth! Kill them! Get them!’ The other students then join in by repeating, ‘Scorched earth.'”
It is amazing how hard they try to remove a quote from the given context. The way this is written sounds like some kind of sadist cult, when even the recording shows the context is far from hostile. In the recording “scorched earth” is first preceded by “scandal free year” (even though Frances Beal Society put “scan over here” in the recording subtitles) implying that this is a hyperbolic comparison meant to sarcastically compare a scandal free year to “scorched earth.” But hey, what would make a better front page headline: sarcastic banter meant to reflect the preceding days’ chaotic political protests, or evil-TPUSA-cult-members-literally-calling-for-the-death-of-students?

“While discussing how to provoke other students, the voice said to be Kestecher is heard saying, ‘Honestly, if they jump me, big money,’ after proposing the idea of wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat around campus. ‘Big money,’ according to Frances Beal Society, is referring to TPUSA receiving donations after gaining public attention.”
“Big money” isn’t some conspiracy that both Pipe Dream and Frances Beal Society believe is TPUSA’s main goal of provocation; it’s a sarcastic observation that, if the person said to be Kestecher were to express their political views, they could be violently attacked on campus, leading to a lawsuit. To believe otherwise is a serious stretch of conspiratorial theory that would make Alex Jones blush.

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