What changed in Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘2000 mules’ book after his recall? : NPR

In August, conservative publisher Regnery abruptly recalled Dinesh D’Souza’s election denial book 2,000 slippers stores citing an unspecified “posting error”. NPR compared the recalled version of the book with the version Regnery published this week.

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Willy Sanjuan/AP

In August, conservative publisher Regnery abruptly recalled Dinesh D’Souza’s election denial book 2,000 slippers stores citing an unspecified “posting error”. NPR compared the recalled version of the book with the version Regnery published this week.

Willy Sanjuan/AP

After a stark reminder and a two-month delay – as well as the threat of possible legal action – the election denial book 2,000 slippers has reached bookstores, but with some significant changes.

Most notably, a passage from the recalled version of the book that accused specific, named nonprofits of being involved in illegal “ballot smuggling” was rewritten, softening some claims and removing names altogether. groups. Separately, sections of the book that purported to link voter fraud to antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement were also removed.

2,000 slippers is based on the film of the same name, which alleges a vast conspiracy between unnamed left-wing nonprofit groups and paid voting “mules” to stuff mail-in ballot drop boxes and steal the 2020 election. Law enforcement civil servants and fact checkers completely discredited the film’s claims, and the filmmakers refused to release key evidence for their central claims.

However, 2,000 slippers remained highly influential in the pro-Trump denial movement.

And in response to a viewer of the film who wanted to see more evidence, filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza said in July that the follow-up book based on 2,000 slippers would give names.

“I will reveal the names of several of these nonprofit hideouts in my book ‘2000 Mules’,” D’Souza tweeted in July.

This is exactly what the initial version of the book, which was to be published in August, did. D’Souza accused five nonprofit groups of acting as “hiding places” for illegal ballots.

Copies of the book had already arrived in bookshops when, just before the release date, the publisher Regnery Published an encore, though they didn’t catch every copy. NPR managed to find the book on the shelf of a Barnes & Noble bookstore.

D’Souza and Regnery did not give a reason for the sudden recall.

Instead, they blamed an unspecified “posting error” and declined to answer further questions about the error, which was significant enough to cause Regnery’s parent company Salem Media to reduce its turnover. revenue estimate.

When NPR contacted the five groups D’Souza had accused of being involved in voter fraud, two went on the file to condemn the charges as “garbage”, “lies” and “malarkey”. One such group described the allegations as potentially “defamatory”.

Even True the Vote, the controversial election denial organization the executive has produced 2,000 slippers film, have moved away from the book. “True the Vote had no input into this book and has no knowledge of its contents,” the band said in a statement to NPR in September. “This includes all allegations of activities of specific organizations made in the book. We have made no such allegation.”

Now D’Souza and Regnery have officially released the 2,000 slippers book, and changed this section.

D’Souza previously described left-leaning nonprofits as “vote traffickers.”

The recently published book tones down that phrase to “potentially storing ballots.”

And the names of specific nonprofits that D’Souza accused of voter fraud have all been removed.

Now, instead of listing specific groups, D’Souza writes, “True the Vote has shared their names with me and offered to make them available to relevant law enforcement authorities.”

The New Georgia Project, a group that focuses on registering and mobilizing young voters and voters of color, was one of the groups named in the recalled book.

“We are always happy when someone who has been discredited takes our name out of their mouth,” a New Georgia Project spokesperson said in a message to NPR.

Given the lack of evidence to support the claims, NPR does not name the other groups cited in the recalled version of the book.

In September, when NPR obtained a copy of the recalled book, Regnery said they would be “happy to tell you more about 2,000 slippers once it’s published.” But when asked to set up an interview this week, Regnery chairman Thomas Spence declined.

“At this point, Regnery makes no comment on the book. 2,000 slippers“, Spence wrote in an email.

D’Souza did not respond to NPR’s request for comment.

The official release of the book also completely removes a claim that True the Vote was able to determine that the alleged polling “mules” had ties to antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Both the film and the recalled version of the book indicated that True the Vote used a database from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) to make this connection.

ACLED objected to this characterization and requested a correction from D’Souza.

“This is not the type of analysis for which you can use ACLED data, and these conclusions are highly unlikely to be based on fact,” an ACLED spokesperson previously told NPR. . The spokesperson said every reference to ACLED in the recalled version of the book was “incorrect or misleading”.

Now ACLED does not appear anywhere in the book. Several paragraphs that attempted to refute NPR earlier Fact check on ACLED data has been deleted. And claims that the “mules” had ties to antifa or BLM also disappeared.

“ACLED has requested a correction from the publisher based on incorrect references included in the recalled version of 2,000 slippersand we are pleased to see that these references have finally been removed from the final copy of the book,” said Sam Jones, ACLED Communications Manager. “Our data does not support any of the claims or conclusions that were previously linked to ACLED. .”

The changes to the book may reflect some of D’Souza’s and Regnery’s concerns about possible legal issues.

D’Souza previously said he omitted the names of the nonprofits from the film after getting into a “big fight” with lawyers, who said he couldn’t name them. Since the 2020 election, other prominent Holocaust deniers — and the channels that have hosted them — have faced lawsuits from election tech companies and election workers, who say election-related lies cost them business, led to death threats and turned their lives upside down.

There is evidence that 2,000 slippers inspired mistrust and conspiracy theories around the use of ballot boxes, especially given former President Trump’s embrace of the film.

Arizona election officials have issued warnings to people supposed to be monitoring the ballot boxes – possibly inspired by the film’s claims – and said they referred complaints of possible voter intimidation to the US Department of Justice.

‘There is a group of people hanging around by the ballot box filming and photographing my wife and I as we approach the ballot box and accuse us of being mules,’ one voter wrote in a complaint at the office of the Arizona Secretary of State. “They took pictures of our license plate and us and then followed us around the parking lot in one of their cars continuing to film.”

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