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A woman holds a “Stop the Steal” sign at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Photo credit: Elvert Barnes / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A right-wing media company has stopped distributing '2000 Mules,' a so-called documentary that spread lies about the 2020 election.

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The Salem Media Group, a conservative media company, this week made official what every expert already knew: The film, 2,000 Mules, a supposed documentary from right-wing nutjob Dinesh D’Souza that incorrectly led supporters of Donald Trump to believe that Democrats engaged in “ballot stuffing” in 2020, was a work of fiction. 

The company announced Friday that it has removed the film from its platforms and will no longer distribute it or the accompanying book.

Among other falsehoods, 2,000 Mules included surveillance video that showed a Georgia man, Mark Andrews, placing ballots in a drop box near Atlanta. The accompanying commentary left viewers with no doubt that Andrews had committed a crime. 

And there were plenty of viewers. 

Eager for any “evidence” that the election was “stolen” from Trump, MAGA supporters flocked to see the film, which consequently made Salem’s former publishing division Regnery Publishing millions of dollars

It didn’t hurt that the former president called 2,000 Mules the “greatest and most impactful documentary of our time,” and slammed Fox News for not broadcasting it. You know that a piece of right-wing propaganda must be truly outrageous when Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda channel refuses to air it. 

In this case, Fox News made a wise decision because Andrews sued D’Souza, the Salem Media Group, and two individuals associated with the right-wing group “True the Vote” for defamation. The case is still pending. 

Perhaps in response to that lawsuit, the company has now announced its decision to pull the film and apologized to Andrews. 

“In publishing the film and the book, we relied on representations made to us by Dinesh D’Souza and True the Vote, Inc. (“TTV”) that the individuals depicted in the videos provided to us by TTV, including Mr. Andrews, illegally deposited ballots,” the company stated. “We have learned that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has cleared Mr. Andrews of illegal voting activity in connection with the event depicted in 2000 Mules.”

Salem Media Group added that “it was never our intent that the publication of the 2000 Mules film and book would harm Mr. Andrews. We apologize for the hurt the inclusion of Mr. Andrews’ image in the movie, book, and promotional materials have caused Mr. Andrews and his family.”

Obviously, it is great news whenever anybody who created or disseminated election lies retracts them or is punished in some way. 

However, in light of all of the people who watched (and believed) 2,000 Mules, a statement saying “Oops, our bad, it was all false,” just doesn’t seem like enough penance. 

The same holds true for Trump’s successful attempt to hide the Stormy Daniels affair from the public. If it had come to light, it seems likely that he would have also lost the 2016 election, so a felony conviction with (likely) no jail time is still a pretty good deal for him.

Yes, some people and entities have paid a heavier price, such as Fox News, which had to shell out $787 million for knowingly spreading lies about Dominion Voting Systems.

However, too often it is the small fish that are punished, like the January 6 insurrectionists, while the instigators walk free. 

In this case, one can only hope that Andrews’s lawsuit proceeds and that he takes D’Souza for every penny he owns.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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