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UPDATE: Moms for Liberty activist accuses Popular Information of "Antifa-style tactics"
On Monday, Popular Information reported that activists with a Florida chapter of Moms for Liberty reported several librarians to law enforcement, claiming that they had committed felonies by distributing pornography to students. The "pornography" at issue was actually a popular young adult novel, Storm and Fury, that mostly involves gargoyles fighting demons. It is recommended for teens by the School Library Journal, a professional association of Florida librarians, and Barnes & Noble.
Popular Information obtained a body cam video of the activists meeting with deputies from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office. "The governor says this is child pornography. It's a serious crime," Jennifer Tapley, one of the Moms for Liberty activists, said. "It's just as serious as if I handed a playboy to [my child] right now, right here, in front of you. It's just as serious, according to the law."
Tapley and the other activist, Tom Gurski, were not freelancing. Their reports to law enforcement were an official agenda item at a Moms For Liberty meeting last week.
As of Tuesday night, the video had been viewed over 6.5 million times on social media. It has also generated a flood of local, national, and international media coverage, including the New York Post, The Daily Beast, The Independent, The Tampa Bay Times, WMNF (Tampa public radio), and WEAR News (Pensacola's ABC affiliate).
Tapley, who is also a candidate for school board, was not pleased that she was being held accountable for her actions. On Facebook, she accused Popular Information of "Antifa-style tactics." In another Facebook post, Tapley said she felt "sad for those who have fallen for the poorly-written tabloid hit piece vomited up by an activist lawyer with a name resembling a most unsavory vegetable."
Tapley also accused Popular Information of "distort[ing] and fabricat[ing] the 'facts.'" This claim was rejected by the New York Post, a right-wing publication that normally provides favorable coverage of Moms For Liberty. "[Tapley] even denied the incident in a Facebook post – despite the body camera footage," the New York Post reported.
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