I thought the sun would’ve been up by now, but it’s still dark in the parking lot outside Runbeck Election Services. No one told me Phoenix decided to opt out of Daylight Savings in the 1960s—so what felt like a lagging sunrise wouldn’t make sense until later. Even time seemed dishonest here. There was a general lawlessness to this modern looking city. The homeless occupied the night—and I saw gangs of wild dogs roam the streets—one had a water bottle crunched between its teeth.
The building was surrounded by a tall, spiked fence at the edge of the Phoenix airport. It’s hidden behind a cluster of other corporate buildings with Christmas trees in the windows. There’s a strip club and a Waffle House across the street with help wanted signs.
This place is all glass and concrete—the kind of unceremonious location in which those of us who might be terminally jaded to the old-world rule-of-law can’t help but imagine the dirtiest schemes are carried out.
The ballot, in our Republic, should be regarded as one of our greatest political currencies. Yet a place like Runbeck is indistinguishable from a sewage plant—the inside, for all I know, is a landfill of votes. This is why I’ve been waiting here before the sunrise, looking for a chance to slip through the gate and inspect the operation. No one inside was returning my calls.
The intense security made me feel like the ballots inside Runbeck should be thoroughly protected, that every person’s vote was safe and counted and preserved for record, but, of course, this level of security could also mean that anything can happen behind this little walled-off city where they print and count votes. Looking at it gave me flashbacks to a Washington D.C. wrapped in barbed wire leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
Runbeck is central to Kari Lake’s election contest lawsuit. They printed the mail-in ballots that were sent to Arizonans leading up to the 2020 primary and general elections. On Nov. 14, most outlets called the race for Katie Hobbs, the current Secretary of State of Arizona. She won by 17,000 votes—a slim margin in a widely contested election. There are over 4 million registered voters in Arizona. Nearly 2.5 million of those voters live here in Maricopa County.
I wanted to get eyes on what the life of a ballot looked like in Maricopa. Whether you believe our elections are secure or not, Maricopa’s become a synonym for election fraud.
Last night, at Turning Point USA’s America Fest, about 15 minutes from Runbeck, I happened to be standing beside Caroline Wren, a major GOP donor, when she got word that the court had allowed two of Kari Lake’s ten election contest lawsuits to move forward to trial. Wren made excited phone calls, saying phrases like, “chain of custody… malice of intent… tabulator printer breakdowns…”
Lake’s team would not only have to prove there were disruptions to the election process, but that they were also intentional—from the chain of custody of the ballots, the counting, the printing, and the tabulating. I personally felt like any malfunction should be cause for concern, and that trying to prove intent was not as important as trying to root out any widespread hiccups happening throughout voting locations in Maricopa.
I continued calling every extension in the Runbeck directory. I left a message on the first number that had an answering machine—then kept going down the list, hoping someone in that ballot-prison would let me in.
As the sun finally appeared over the horizon, I got a call from someone on Kari Lake’s team saying I could meet with Lake in an hour at the Phoenix Convention Center—where America Fest was coming to an end.
The sunlight bouncing off the glass buildings made the city look like a mirage. I heard meteorologists on the radio warning about air quality—begging the people of Arizona not to cook or burn wood to save the air. The meteorologist’s plea conflicted with another bit of news I heard while in Phoenix—a Beijing crematorium couldn’t process the dead fast enough. So as Beijing sent human ashes into the air at an unmanageable speed—Arizonans were being asked not to barbecue during the Christmas weekend.
In the daylight, you can see how Phoenix is surrounded by mountains. This whole place felt like one big crater.
At the convention center, I heard people whispering that Kari Lake was about to appear.
A giant banner over our heads said BIG TECH SUCKS. It felt like witnessing a parallel society. People who are mostly mocked in the big media world, from Charlie Kirk to Steve Bannon, were celebrated here at an almost WWE-style level of enthusiasm. There were pyrotechnics on the main stage that could rival a Metallica concert. This was the alternative timeline. I mean, two nights ago I stood in some bar on the outskirts of Phoenix next to Lauren Boebert dancing on her birthday in a disco ball-looking dress—as a woman breathed fire on the stage. I spoke with California Conservatives with unnaturally coiffed hair who were extremely kind, but also seemed as detached from the working-class American as the leftists whom they detest.
Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” played as Lake entered the hall with her entourage. She wore a white dress and took photos with voters. I heard one young woman say, “She’s so stinking cute.”
Her security brought us behind a curtain where two chairs waited for us.
Her team told me that I don’t have much time before Lake would be whisked away to her next meeting. There was a horde waiting on the other side of the curtain—it was a feeding frenzy. Lake seemed prepared to address them all—but she also expressed that she could use some food and was probably ready for a moment of rest, which was something I can’t imagine she’s had a chance to find in the last few months, perhaps years.
We sat across from one another as she sipped her coffee. Her eye contact was intense yet kind.
“Do you think someone like [Katie] Hobbs fears perjury?” I asked—thinking about what it might be like to see Hobbs testify in court tomorrow. She had been subpoenaed.
“She lies so much I don’t think that she does,” Lake said. “But she does fear public speaking. She fears being in the same room as me. … She can’t communicate. She makes Kamala Harris look like the most articulate human being on the planet. She makes Joe Biden look like he’s totally with it. She’s not. I don’t think she’s a high IQ person. When we ask her questions tomorrow, she is going to panic. She is trying to back out of this.”
“Are you surprised that the media is framing it like all of your lawsuits were tossed last night?”
“No, I’m not surprised. Even Charlie Kirk read the headlines and he said, ‘Oh, my gosh, did it get dismissed?’ The way you read the reports, it makes it look like it all got dismissed. We are going to trial in an election case that will have huge implications. I pray to God that we have a judge that is willing to hear what we have to say.”
“How do we even trust the justice system?” I asked.
“Everything is so corrupt right now,” Lake said.
“A lot of people are really bankrupt of hope,” I said, “and they don’t know how to even trust ballots your team’s examining today. How do we know if this is a process we can trust?”
“Do we really get random ballots?” Lake asked. “Or is somebody on the inside picking ballots? I wish I could tell people that this is going to be one hundred percent fair—that we’re really going to get justice here. What I do know is that we can’t walk away and say, ‘The system is screwed up, right? We’re screwed.’”
I told her that I appreciate how rare it is to see someone fight against the system—especially from someone who used to be inside the corporate media—because we should all want to ensure transparency in our election system—and in our government at large.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” she said. “I’ve had days where I just go, ‘I’m tired.’ But I can’t walk away. I can’t say to the children, ‘Good luck. I had a great life. I had freedom in America. Good luck and enjoy the communism.’”
“Is that what keeps you pushing forward?” I asked.
“It’s the people reaching out to tell me they didn’t get to vote on election day. They say, ‘I don’t even think my vote counted. Please don’t stop fighting.’”
“The establishment doesn’t care about you though, so why should we think they’d care about us?” I asked.
“Well, they picked a fight with the wrong person,” Lake said. “I’ve had a lot of conservatives reach out to me and say, ‘Just walk away and then we’ll get behind you on the next election.’ But I don’t think they understand. I’m not in politics because I want to be a politician. I didn’t get into this to go, ‘Oh, I’m going to work my way up the ladder and move into bigger political positions.’ I don’t want to be a politician. I want to get in and root out corruption, secure our border, and turn our elections around so that every Arizonan can be certain of their vote … If they’re trying to dangle over me the ‘you’re-not-going-to-have-a-political-future because of this…’ I don’t care.”
“Did you ever think you’d be the counter-culture?”
“Are you telling me a middle-aged mom is counter-culture?”
“Yes,” I said. “People who take risks are somehow counterculture today. People who question things that others tell you not to question are counterculture. Belief in God and rejecting nihilism is counterculture.”
Someone like Kari Lake would not have been on my counterculture radar years ago—but today it’s a lot less about one’s appearance than it is about what one is willing to say in public—consequences be damned.
“How do you see an election going forward?” I asked.
“I’m trying to tell other Republicans who don’t want to come out and say our elections are rigged…that they need to start looking at our lawsuit. … Read the 70 pages. If we don’t come out and face the truth that our elections are a joke, it really makes me wonder how long they have being doing this stuff. We have fake news. We have fake phony elections. And we have fake corrupt installed government. And when you look at the facts, you find this to be the truth. Anything the media and social media doesn’t want us talking about are the biggest issues. They didn’t want us talking about COVID. I got cancelled for putting out information on ivermectin. I got sued for sharing information from doctors. They don’t want us to talk about Ukraine. How the money going there is being laundered and funneled through our political system. Can’t talk about that. Anything they don’t want us talking about should be the hugest red flag.”
“I call them the reality fabricators,” I said.
In the past few days, there have been new Twitter Files released about how the FBI colluded with Twitter to tamper with reality. The JFK files were released which seemed to confirm the CIA assassinated JFK—and somehow this news story was either so obvious no one was surprised enough to talk about it, or, more worrisome, no one cared about it save for a few of us. So—forgive me for not extending grace to any government-run institution that swears to the American citizens that everything done behind spiked-fences in drab, dystopian-looking buildings, at the edges of strange and sad cities, is totally, absolutely, verifiably immaculate. I don’t care who contests elections. Trust in our institutions has collapsed. The so-called experts that were propped up on TV throughout COVID have been proven dangerously wrong. So wrong that I believe they should be held accountable for the death and damage to the American people. We’ve also seen major institutions from the White House to the corporate press suppress breaking news stories like the Hunter Biden laptop—they were quick to label many of us “conspiracy theorists”—yet two years later, they finally admit to the laptop’s reality—and to the lack of vaccine effectiveness. But we aren’t absolved. We’re still demonized. We’re still put on lists. (Thank you, Media Matters.)
“This [election] case is so important,” Lake said. “And even the people who are leaving us, I want to grab them and say, ‘I know you don’t believe in this, but I’m doing this for you, and your future as well.’ I worry about elections going forward. If we don’t win this on Thursday, I’m going to keep pushing. We’re not going to take a loss because I know we are right. And I will push it to the Supreme Court. … Donald Trump did something amazing. He brought ‘we the people’ back into the White House. Our movement is all about ‘we the people.’ It’s not about me. It’s about reclaiming our country. We the people need to be in charge of the government, but people are going to stop voting because we have banana-republic-style sham elections. That’s why this is the fight of our time.”
“I’m fighting the urge myself to keep from not voting,” I said.
“We have to try and keep the hope,” Lake said.
“I see what you’re up against. … it seems immovable,” I said.
“David and Goliath,” she said. “But it’s not just Democrats versus Republicans. It’s a uniparty. There is a lot of corruption on both sides. This is about stopping Trump. Don’t fool yourself. Trump is America first. They can’t have him in office… They’re really trying to push DeSantis… He’s great and fine. He’s in his 40s. He’s 10 years younger than me. He can wait. Trump is going to get in there and root out corruption. He’s not bought and paid for. There are people already surrounding DeSantis. I hope he uses great discernment when he looks around and sees who is trying to weasel their way into his world. Who created DeSantis as governor? Trump. I do, however, believe at the end of the day that Ron DeSantis will be a good and noble person.”
DeSantis has yet to announce a run for the White House, but he’s become an establishment favorite—which, despite his strong stance against COVID tyranny—still gives me pause.
“You know the Lincoln project supports him?” I asked Lake.
“That’s a problem,” she said. “That’s what I’m trying to say. He needs to do a bit of a gut check and say, ‘Whoa, the wrong people are surrounding me.’ What he really needs to do is step forward right now and say, ‘I am not running. I will not run against President Trump. Trump helped me, and I’m going to help him because we need him back in office.”
Even if she’s not governor, she talks like one—and I can appreciate that she’s willing to call out her fellow Republicans—even ones that did a lot of good during the last few years—because there are still some questionable alliances DeSantis has made and continues to make. No matter how much you might like a politician, it’s crucial that we always apply pressure to those we vote into office.
Outside the convention center, I was greeted by a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They handed me a card with a QR code to their website in which I could read the Bible in any language. The sign between them asked, “WHEN IS PEACE?”
I asked them if they had saved the souls of any political junkies yet.
They told me they don’t get involved with or talk about politics which seemed like a lie—there’s very little chance anyone can stay outside of politics in 2022. Even the Amish are political activists now.
But you got to commend these Jehovah’s Witnesses for even attempting to keep neutral—these are the same people who go knocking door to door to save your soul from the end of the world. Meanwhile, there’s a convention center packed with my fellow political junkies going on and on about the end of society.
I showed up to the courthouse on the first day of the trial at 4 am. One of Lake’s attorneys warned me that it’s a very small courtroom with limited seating—and he heard that a few other journalists would be arriving at 5 am.
The desert is extremely cold in the dark in December.
At around 4:30 am, a woman was dropped off and walked up the courthouse steps. My presence surprised her, I don’t think she was used to seeing someone outside the court at this ridiculous hour.
I probably looked homeless. Backpack and oversized Army jacket.
She was a data entry employee wearing a Christmas sweater. She carried a tray of treats she baked for an employee party. She thought I was with the construction crew, but I told her I was here to see the Kari Lake trial.
“That can’t be here,” she said. “Nothing ever happens here… well, other than the suicides.”
“The suicides?” I asked.
She pointed through the dark entrance into the lobby where there’s a ledge up high over the metal detectors.
“They’ll jump off the top floor right there and die. They kill themselves when they don’t like a ruling,” she said. “We’ve had some seizures too.”
“The website said Lake’s trial is here. I hope I haven’t been waiting here for nothing,” I said.
“Kari Lake shoulda stayed working in the news,” the woman said. “It’s all a sham.”
But she went on to tell me that she also had zero trust in the judicial system. She’s had a front row seat for years seeing the judges only care about the next election. She told me she thinks Phoenix is a city of deadbeat dads—and the courts do nothing to help anybody other than themselves. Now I had this image of deadbeat dads with gangs of wild dogs demolishing this pretend desert city.
She said she’s worried about the children and the homeless and the veterans and the fentanyl coming over the border.
“I hate politicians,” she said. She told me Kari Lake was just another Trump—and she couldn’t stand Trump.
“You know he bought both his wives from Ukraine?” she asked.
“I don’t know if that’s true,” I said.
“He did!” she yelled. “He bought Malia from Ukraine or someplace like that.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell this woman that she just confused Obama’s daughter’s name with Trump’s wife’s name.
“So how do you feel about this election lawsuit?” I asked, pointing at the courthouse.
“I don’t vote,” she said. “I only voted once in my whole life.” She said it was for Obama—and she regretted that too. She looked to be in her mid-forties.
“Well… Give ‘em Hell,” she said before going into the courthouse. I felt a split second of warmth escape through the doors.
Two pews faced the judge’s bench. The courtroom’s maximum occupancy was 91, but that also included the jury—which there would be none of since this was a civil case in which the judge would decide.
Two news outlets had been granted permission to stream the trial—NBC and Real America’s Voices. It was interesting to see big media lined up next to an independent journalist. There were a handful of other indie journalists who sat in the first pew with me, closest to the attorneys. The room filled up quick. There were a lot of people crammed together and leaning in the hallway.
I sat behind the attorney representing Maricopa County, Thomas Liddy. He kept doing this thing with his face where he’d smile to his team a sort of smile that said, I-can’t-believe-we’re-even-entertaining-this-bullshit-political-theater. I thought that was an odd face for him to make seeing as how he happens to be the son of the man who organized the Watergate scandal. His father, George Gordon Battle Liddy, orchestrated the wiretapping, became a star of the scandal, then became a Hollywood darling which should surprise no one who thinks there’s a thin line between politicians, crooks, and celebrities.
Liddy was one of three attorneys on the defense team representing Katie Hobbs, who had somehow snuck her way out of a subpoena and would not have to testify today. Must be good to be the Secretary of State.
The Defense had about fifteen people taking up the pews. They carried legal pads and dangerously heavy books about the Constitution. I heard them comparing which private schools they went to as children—trading pedigrees and zip codes. One of them smelled like they bathed in Neosporin.
Lake’s attorneys were two older men, Bryan Blehm and Kurt Olsen, who didn’t seem to have the same kind of artillery as the Defense. The difference in personnel reminded me of the way a modern pop song might have 20 different writers and an old rock and roll song with just the handful of members.
Blehm looked like the Big Lebowski in a suit. It wasn’t just that he had long, shoulder-length hair but the way he carried himself was also similar—like he’d be more at home at a Dead concert than a courtroom. My initial reaction to him was that this guy was too carefree and nonchalant for the judge, but this quickly became his appeal in contrast to Liddy and Co.’s stuffy, repugnant smugness. Blehm’s partner, Olsen, walked in with a stack of heavy boxes and dropped them at the feet of the defense attorney with a loud thud we all felt in our feet. These, I believe, were the exhibits to be entered into evidence.
Kari Lake walked into the courtroom with her husband and took a seat in the pew behind me.
I advise everyone to find the livestreams and listen to them carefully to form a verdict in your own mind.
The following, in my opinion, are the major malfunctions exposed on day one. There were absolute disruptions in wait times and tabulators on election day. These disruptions are nothing compared to what I believe is the most damning evidence of mass error in the election system: there were 19” ballots printed on 20” paper which caused tabulators to reject votes; there were no proper security seals on the ballots which were stored at six of the examined voting sites; and there seemed to be lapses in chain of custody and number of votes from drop off locations to voting stations.
The plaintiff called their first witness, Steven Richer, the Maricopa County Recorder. He was zoomed into the courtroom from Panama City where he was on vacation for the first time in four years—and he testified with the kind of dismissive attitude one might expect from someone who had to testify in court via zoom while in Panama City. When the Defense got to him in cross examination, they made sure he told us he was a registered Republican. Clearly, Defense assumed that if they could say Richer was a Republican it would make him appear to have a higher standing among the audience who believe this is all still Democrats versus Republicans.
Richer ensured the court that everything was above standard—and he worked hard to establish order and transparency.
“Did you do anything to sabotage the election?” Defense asked.
“Did you run a political action committee against Lake?”
“That is one hundred percent fake,” he said.
However, that’s not true—and this is why I asked Lake yesterday if these people even fear perjury. I think the establishment hacks who get into office rule over us as if amnesty is built into their job title.
It was reported in the Arizona Mirror in November 17, 2021 that Steven Richer created a political action committee named Pro-Democracy Republicans of Arizona. This PAC’s statement said they will fund and favor Republican candidates who “acknowledge the validity of the 2020 election and condemn the events of January 6, 2021, as a terrible result of the lies told about the November election.”
Richer told the outlet, “Obviously, there are some Republicans who have courageously stood up and acknowledged the truth, and there are others who haven’t. We would be supporting the former.”
He didn’t call Lake out by name—but it’s clear who he was talking about. I wished Lake’s team would’ve pushed back on that because it could’ve shown that these people tap-dance around the truth.
Later on, Blehm noticed that a cable was missing from his and Olsen’s desk. He said it was there earlier and now it’s gone—making him unable to connect his computer to the screen to share images.
If the tech in a small and controlled system like a courtroom can’t function smoothly, how can we trust a county-wide, state-wide, country-wide election system to function properly?
Scott Jarret, the Election Director, was called to the stand. Olsen asked whether or not it was possible to have 19” ballots on election day in 2022.
Jarret said no, impossible.
Blehm and Olsen were teeing up the fact that their inspector found 19” ballots printed on 20” paper which caused a disruption in tabulation. They discovered this problem in all six of the voting centers inspected.
They called Clay Parikh to testify. He’s a certified ethical hacker who looks for malicious malware in systems.
“Yesterday confirmed by initial assumptions,“ Parikh said on the stand.
One of the attorneys representing Hobbs laughed to himself when he heard Parikh’s thick Alabama accent. The attorney was a sharp dressed man with a buzz cut. It’s too bad his arrogance supersedes his confidence because he’s clearly intelligent. I watched him listen intently and be quick to object at times when Blehm or Olsen moved into grounds of speculation.
Liddy’s strategy was to discredit Parikh by saying he’s also done speaking engagements for the “My Pillow guy” Mike Lindell.
Liddy cross examines witnesses with the same blunt force his dad used with a crowbar on the filing cabinet for Watergate.
Defense later asked witness Heather Honey, an investigator, if she was an attorney, which she was clearly not.
“I’m going to ask you a legal question,” the attorney said. “Are you aware that in Arizona law a ballot is not actually unlawful if it is harvested… and if somebody who is not authorized deposits, or like what happened at Runbeck someone inserts [ballots] into the stream, but not into a designated drop box, are you aware that that is not unlawful?”
His question alluded to her testimony about a whisteblower from within Runbeck saying they dumped fifty votes from outside Runbeck into the stream.
“The term in the law,” Honey said in response, “is it’s an invalid vote.”
After court was adjourned for the day, I ran into the Data Entry lady from this morning—and we just so happened to cross paths at the spot where people jump to their death. It’s a farther jump down than I anticipated.
“How’s it going in there?” she asked.
“It’s interesting,” I said. “I think they’re showing some compelling discrepancies with Maricopa’s system. Kinda like how you see all the flaws in the justice system. I think there is something wrong with our elections. I can’t say it’s all intentional, or that there is some grand plot—but it’s alarming.”
She told me she and her daughter had been watching the livestream all day and texting each other, laughing at Kari Lake. They think this is all a charade.
“I just hope Kari’s lipstick isn’t on that judge’s ass,” she said.
“Don’t you think we should all care about all this—no matter if this was someone on the left or the right?” I asked—reminding her that Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Elizabeth Warren have each vocalized concern over election integrity. If either side can only trust elections when they win, then we have a serious national wound that will never heal. “We should reject anyone who rejects transparency,” I said. “They don’t care about the working class.”
“Would you be open to a re-election?” I asked.
“Sure,” she said. “I think we should have paper ballots and fingerprints.”
“I’m down with that,” I said. “I wonder if a trial like this even matters to the public. We can all stare at the same video, same evidence, and still not agree on the contents. Truth has become subjective.”
“I want to escape Arizona,” she said as if it were a first step to leaving Planet Earth. And that night, she did leave the state. She flew to Montana. I checked the weather there and it had a -40 degree wind chill. I could appreciate the fact that she was so eager to ditch Arizona that she chose the tundra over the desert.
The next day, my 5 am taxi driver back to the courthouse kept a pistol on his lap and talked about taking DMT to open portals to God. He said he met God, and he can’t wait to go back.
All I did was ask him how he felt about Arizona existing outside of Daylight Savings Time, and he went on a rant about how we had to overthrow the government. I thought for a minute this man might take me hostage, enlist me in some underground desert militia, and we’d be parachuting into DC in no time.
He told me he’s former FBI and I couldn’t tell you if he was a functioning schizophrenic or telling the truth—either seemed plausible.
I told him I don’t believe in political violence. He laughed at that and said it was the only way to bring this country back together.
I took a seat closest to the courtroom exit because I had to skip out early to catch a flight home before a blizzard hit half the country.
A man who looked like a tube of toothpaste grunted at me as if to say I should move from my seat. He didn’t seem to know English, or perhaps he was mentally ill or suffering from a terrible headwound. Or maybe he was having a seizure, and I couldn’t tell. I realized I saw this man yesterday high-fiving and ass-slapping the Defense team in the hallway. He’s got that kind of made-for-TV hair and the face of an aging soap opera actor. Handsome enough for TV, but not enough to be anything other than a low-budget villain. His grunting grew louder as he moved closer to me.
Another journalist, a colleague of his, leaned over to translate the grunts.
“You’re sitting in his seat,” he told me. “He’s NBC.” Like I gave a shit.
“Oh,” I said—without any plan of moving. Perhaps if he didn’t grunt at me, I would’ve thought about giving up my seat.
The journalist who translated for him wound up giving his seat to NBC—an act of ass-kissing that made me nauseous. NBC smelled like stale champagne, cheap tanning lotion, and a urinal cake.
Kari walked in next and saw NBC, and as she walked past him, looked down at him and said, “This guy writes fantasy.” He ignored her, but then chuckled to himself once she was seated.
When he got up to check his camera, his shoes squeaked, and I’m sure his shoes were filled with urine.
On day 2, I was catching onto the defense team’s two-fold strategy in which they weaponize identity politics as an almost veiled threat to the judge—while also forcefully trying to discredit the plaintiff’s witnesses.
I noticed that Liddy evoked images of lynchings earlier in the trial to express to the judge that that was real voter suppression. And today, he used an imaginary knife to murder an imaginary victim in an effort to show the judge the horrors of political violence. Both were needless and desperate attempts to sway the emotions of a judge rather than argue the evidence and testimonies entered into court. This was cult behavior. Use identity and race as a cudgel—I wondered which intern in the pews ghostwrote those lines for Liddy. He turned to smile at his team to make sure they approved of his theater.
This language would’ve been used to intimidate a jury—but since there is no jury, they are used to intimidate the judge, and of course the NBC man is a regurgitating human centipede eating up all of Liddy’s soundbites. He writes them down. He tweets it. He regurgitates it on a microphone before a camera on the courthouse steps.
Richard Baris, a pollster with Big Data Poll, took the stand in a 3-piece suit.
Lake’s husband leaned forward, elbows on knees, and she kept her hands clasped in her lap. Baris and his team were eyewitnesses to the disturbances on election day in Maricopa County.
Liddy again sought to discredit the witness by showing the judge that Baris was not academically acceptable—and that he had been given an F grade by fivethirtyeight polling.
“I make my living in the real world,” Baris said—as a clear indication that we are truly witnessing two societies competing for their version of reality. He questioned why fivethirtyeight had become the authority in polling.
NBC laughed along with the Defense team. His laughs sounded like belches.
NBC hardly paid attention. It took him 20 minutes to write one tweet. He would miss all the nuance of a witness’s testimony attempting to tweet. He was an embarrassment to journalism. Sitting next to him made me fear that his ignorance was contagious. I got a firsthand account of how flippant the corporate media manipulates the news. Yet this man will stand in front of a cameraman, switch on his cartoonish-TV voice, and tell Arizona about his version of reality under the guise of objectivity. I’m disgusted by the way NBC willfully misinterprets the reality before him.
Right before I had to leave during the lunch break, I saw NBC turn down a selfie with a fellow veteran journalist—about the same age as him—the guy who earlier gave up his chair for the man. NBC said this wasn’t the time or place. His colleague said, “But this is historical,” and NBC scoffed at him.
One of the younger indie journalists turned around and asked the other indie journalists if he could record video on his phone for his site.
“Some of us still believe in the rule of law,” NBC said.
I had enough.
“Who cares what this guy has to say?” I shouted as the Defense walked past us out the exit.
People turned around to see what I was going on about. I thought a public shaming was in order. Someone had to say something.
“What’s the worst they’ll do? Drag you out?” I told the younger journalist.
NBC took out his phone and pretended I wasn’t there. I stared at him to see if I could find any indication that he was a clone. Maybe I could find the threads of his skin suit. It’s one thing to talk shit on Big Media all the time because they’re clearly obnoxious psychopathic liars, but it’s entirely maddening to see it happen in real time right next to you. This man should be ashamed. He is part of the reality fabrication, and he needed to be exposed in the courtroom.
I saw that NBC wanted my seat as I was leaving. But there was an elderly man leaning in the doorway, listening intently. I left my notepad on my seat just in case NBC tried to swoop in, and I told the old man he should sit there.
The judge would deliver his ruling on Saturday, the day before Christmas. He ruled in Hobb’s favor.
I asked Kari Lake what she thought of the trial’s media coverage and how the defense bashed witnesses over the head with their lack of institutional credentials:
I am absolutely appalled by how our local news covered this case. It’s as if they weren’t even sitting in the same courtroom. I think it’s important to expose the 19” ballot image manipulation story. The way they clumsily concocted the new “shrink to fit” story—which Jarrett earlier denied happening, even when his own counsel when asked. That was a major tactical blunder. It exposed the lie. The lie also compounds with so many other contradictions—[for example] Jarret claimed he did not tell anyone about this before yesterday even though they supposedly knew about it a few days after the election; they say it only occurred at three vote centers, when Clay found it in all six vote centers that he inspected ballots from—and they say it happened in three prior elections… when tampering with a ballot is a crime.
I thought Baris answered the line of questioning that was meant to discredit him very well. And then we got to see the difference between somebody who has true experience, and somebody who is just a creature of academia, when their so-called expert took the stand, Mr. Meyer, pardon me, Dr. Meyer… We saw him answer questions seemingly flouting his academic credentials… and then when my attorneys cross examined him, we realized how little those types of credentials matter. His study lacked due diligence, solid methodology and basic common sense. Instead of fairly interviewing me, they’re trying to instigate and disparage and denigrate me. It’s all politics. They never do that with a liberal, or even an establishment Republican.
I do plan to appeal this as we have proven that our elections are run outside the law and we must restore faith in our elections for the sake and survival of our country.
The mainstream media’s failure to cover this fairly has done nothing but open regular people’s eyes to how corrupt they are… This trial has opened their eyes to how corrupt the entire system is.
We have also since learned that Hobbs attempted to sue Lake for legal fees—which the judge recently dismissed as well.
It’s become taboo to question the sanctity of elections. But I feel like this could be the one issue for everyone to band around. You shouldn’t be labeled a conspiracy theorist for questioning the established order—despite the order proving itself again and again to be a bureaucratic Hell in which there is rarely any accountability. Pointing out that there might be flaws in the system gets me the same looks that I might get when pointing to the sky and talking about chemtrails. You might think it’s easy to write off something so absurd. But we do seed the sky with chemicals. We do it out west to promote rain during droughts. We’ve been doing it since the Vietnam War when our forces attempted to create rainstorms to make mudslides to slowdown the Vietcong. And, just recently, China admitted to manipulating weather. Just because it seems crazy to you, doesn’t mean it’s not a reality.
I have a friend in Savannah, Georgia who takes photos of what she thinks are chemtrails. One day, a college kid walked up to her and asked what she was doing. She told him about the chemtrails crisscrossing the sky. He asked why she even cared—according to her, he even seemed upset that she would be bothered by the idea of chemtrails—he gave a face like, so what-if-they’re-dosing-the-atmosphere-with-chemicals. I think for some people, when it falls out of sky, it’s easier for them to take their prescriptions. I believe the same blasé attitude is widespread when it comes to our defunct elections. More people should be concerned about the things we blindly trust.
Before I left the courthouse on day two of the trial, I waited for my ride to the Phoenix airport.
The city, like so many cities, was surrounded by construction. I couldn’t tell if the machines were building the city or taking it apart.
Everyone left the court for lunch.
The old man I gave my seat to inside walked past me.
“Did you see what you came to see?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” he said.
“And what was that?” I asked.
“It’s all a sham,” he said. “They’re grasping for straws.”
“Lake or Hobbs?” I asked.
He seemed instantly sad that I even had to ask. He said Lake was a damn circus act. I’m fascinated by the way we can all stare at the same thing and make completely different conclusions.
Lake walked out the courthouse and towards her car. The media gaggle waiting outside like vultures mobbed her. They surrounded her, chased her.
NBC ran alongside Lake, mic outstretched, repeating in paparazzi-style, “Where are the votes, Kari? Where are the votes?” He seemed so confident.
I started yelling and pointing at NBC, “I love this guy! I love everything about him! I love NBC!”
The other journalists joined in.
We were all outside the courthouse, like barking wild dogs, chanting how much we love NBC, we loved NBC’s hair, his sportscoat, his career, his grip on reality, and then I made sure to take a selfie with him because it felt so historical.