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  • Writer's pictureJess Marciano

Representation Matters: Tenney

Are we being adequately represented in Congress? Jim Shultz certainly doesn't think so, and we tend to agree with him. Here is his column regarding Tenney's false and bombastic claims that the tragic incident at the border was a terror attack, and Joe Biden's fault.

 

In moments of public fear what we need most from our elected officials are facts not falsehoods.

 

For a good part of Thanksgiving Eve, our representative in Congress, Claudia Tenney, wanted us to believe that our country was under terrorist attack at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. “Today’s shocking explosion on the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara County is a heartbreaking reminder that weak border security puts us all at risk,” she wrote to her 35,000 Twitter followers. She quickly tried to pin blame on President Biden and his border policies. “The Biden Administration refused to act!”

 

When the facts came out, the truth was different. America was not under terrorist attack by a $200,000 Bentley packed with explosives. What actually happened, sadly, is that two well-liked Grand Islanders were killed in a tragic accident of some kind. By day’s end the Buffalo office of the FBI announced, “A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism.”

 

These were the facts and the truth. But the facts and the truth are not important to Tenney. What is important is spin.

 

At one point Tenney also Tweeted, “We have been in constant communication with law enforcement agencies regarding the explosion at the Rainbow Bridge.” Tenney knew quite well that law enforcement authorities were nowhere near concluding the incident was a terrorist attack or that our border had been violated.

 

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins and state Sen. Rob Ortt were also in close touch with law enforcement and both managed to get through the entire day without putting out fake news of a terrorist attack. But not Tenney.

 

Here is a question for the Congresswoman: In all that "constant communication" you were having with law enforcement did they ask you to go out and tell the public that we were under terrorist attack? Did they tell you that would be helpful, or was that all just your special idea?

 

What Tenney did was make a cold, calculated choice. In a moment of genuine public fear and concern she could stick to the facts from law enforcement or she could parrot the fake reporting from Fox News: “Source: Lots of Explosives in Vehicle in Attempted Terror Attack at NY-Canada Border.” Tenney chose Fox News.

 

And what did Tenney do after her invented tale was proven false? Did she apologize to the public for spreading misinformation? Did she admit any error at all? No, instead she sent out a new Tweet trying to cover her tracks. “This situation is still developing and there is a lot of false information on social media,” she wrote.

 

That’s the Tenney approach to leadership right there in a nutshell: First be a super spreader of false information and then warn people that false information is spreading — and hope that no one notices.

 

The problem with Tenney is not that she is a Republican or conservative. The problem is that she has no integrity. Every move she makes is just about getting attention, especially from the people who book guests on Fox and Newsmax. Tenney is not so much a congresswoman as a circus clown.

 

If Tenney was serious in her concern about terrorist attacks in upstate New York, she would have done something after the massacre at Tops grocery in Buffalo. An 18-year-old American racist armed with an AR-15-style military assault rifle went on a violent hunting expedition for Black people. He ended the lives of 10 innocent human beings, including one of our Lockport neighbors. Was that not terroristic enough for Tenney?

 

Apparently not, because afterwards she did nothing. In fact, she did more than nothing. She dismissed the idea that a sea of AR-15s in our country is any problem at all and then voted against stronger background checks on those who seek to buy these kinds of weapons of war. Why? Because she wouldn’t want to rile her corrupt friends in the leadership of the National Rifle Association, that’s for sure.

 

On Thanksgiving Eve, Tenney apparently decided that pedaling a fake story about terrorists at the border was a much better fit for her brand.

 

It is precisely in moments of public fear and uncertainty that we need our elected officials to rise above their petty political agendas and speak to us in the calm language of facts. Every other elected official in western New York understood that — except Tenney, who wanted to make us believe we were under attack. Not because it was true, but because when you are Claudia Tenney, truth is not nearly so important as what might keep you the darling of right wing cable news.

 

And yes, we noticed.

 

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