It’s Thursday, October 14th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:
1) Exclusive: Loudon County Scandal Update
The Topline: This week, The Daily Wire reported exclusively on a Loudoun County father who was arrested for disorderly conduct at a school board meeting where parents were protesting a new transgender bathroom policy.
The father made national news as a potential “domestic terrorist,” but it was later revealed that his 9th-grade daughter had allegedly been raped by a male student in a girls bathroom. Now, parents are demanding accountability from the school board for allegedly concealing the alleged assault.
Quote Of The Day: “My wife and I had to spend the entire summer rebuilding our daughter.”
– Scott Smith, alleged rape victim’s father
On Tuesday night, the Board met, where more than 60 parents and residents spoke, and most demanded the resignation of superintendent Scott Ziegler. Daily Wire reporting revealed that during a conversation on transgender bathroom policies, Ziegler told the public the school district had no bathroom assaults on record three weeks after Smith’s daughter was allegedly raped.
Sheriff Confirms Reporting
A local sheriff confirmed that a second alleged attack in a different school was committed by the same male student. The Smith family had been assured the student was placed on house arrest following the initial sexual assault, but he was seemingly allowed to go to school. They were also never notified that the student had allegedly assaulted another female student.
The School Responds
On Wednesday, Loudon County Public Schools put out a statement, essentially reiterating the school policy on sexual assault. They said they did report the May 28th rape to the police, and said school board members generally aren’t told about disciplinary problems.
The school board said:
“Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28. Once a matter has been reported to law enforcement, LCPS does not begin its investigation until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation… Furthermore, LCPS is prohibited from disciplining any student without following the Title Nine grievance process, which includes investigating complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault.”
2) Fentanyl Counterfeit Pill Crisis
The Topline: Federal officials have issued a warning about a spike in overdose deaths from fentanyl disguised as prescription drugs, as drug cartels have found a new way to smuggle lethal doses of fentanyl into the United States.
Quote Of The Day: “This is one of, if not the most urgent matter that we’re facing in the United States at this time.”
– Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX)
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently issued a public warning about the threat posed by counterfeit pills, specifying this warning is only about counterfeit pills sold on the black market or on social media sites; it doesn’t affect prescriptions filled by local pharmacists.
Federal officials say they’ve seized more than 9-and-a-half million fentanyl-laced pills that look like drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, and Xanax, making these drugs even more addictive.
Around four of every 10 pills they’ve seized contains enough fentanyl to cause an overdose.
Last week, eleven governors, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), held a press conference warning that America’s southern border has become the epicenter of this new crisis.
Opioids caused about three-quarters of the 93,000 overdose deaths last year.
Pinal County, Arizona, reported zero counterfeit pills in 2018, but so far this year, they’ve seized 1.1 million.
Perspective: Every pound of fentanyl could kill almost 227,000 people. More than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl have been seized by Border Patrol agents so far this year.
The DEA released a report last January tracking the origins of fentanyl-laced prescription pills. It said the Mexican pill factories were operated by or with the consent of two transnational criminal organizations: the Sinaloa drug cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
The cartels import fentanyl or its components — typically from China or India. Factories in Mexico assemble the pills and sell them online or carry them across the border.
The DEA says cartels are making the pills strong to get their customers even more addicted than they would be to other opioids.
3) Dave Chappelle Special Sparks Controversy
The Topline: Comedian Dave Chappelle is no stranger to controversy, but none of his previous stand-up specials created the same firestorm as his latest Netflix release, “The Closer.”
Chappelle’s jokes poking fun at the transgender movement have drawn the ire of LGBT groups, and some activists are demanding Netflix remove Chappelle’s special from its platform.
In his show, Chappelle essentially said gender is real, and it’s a biological fact that males and females are biologically different.
In the midst of negative media attention, Chappelle performed a sold-out show at the Hollywood Bowl with A-List stars like Brad Pitt, Tiffany Haddish, Jon Hamm, and Stevie Wonder in the audience. He finished the show by saying, “If this is what being canceled is like, I love it.”
From an investment standpoint, the special is drawing huge audiences, but it’s also been a rolling public relations nightmare for Netflix.
A transgender showrunner for the show “Dear White People” announced they were boycotting the platform going forward, which caused some bad press.
A Netflix employee was suspended after condemning the company for allowing Chappelle to “[attack] the trans community …”
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos issued a memo saying the company would not bow to calls to remove Chappelle’s special, even if high-level talent joined the outcry.
He said while Netflix has a policy against content that incites hate or violence, he doesn’t believe Chappelle’s show crossed that line and stand-up comedy “exists to push boundaries.”
On Monday, GLAAD issued a statement saying Netflix needs to live up to its publicized standards against inciting hate and violence, which could mean they want the company to pull the show, as well.
Other Stories We’re Tracking
William Shatner, famous for playing Captain Kirk in Star Trek, traveled to the edge of space and back with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin on Wednesday morning, becoming the oldest person to travel to space at the age of 90.
Final Quote Of The Day:“ What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.”
– William Shatner