Owen Shroyer has a history of promoting his anti-abortion stance publicly. There is a reported record of his sharing misinformation or outright false information about organizations like Planned Parenthood, including the lie that they engage in human sacrifice rituals.
This is untrue, like much else that springs forth from Shroyer’s lips or that of his cohort, Alex Jones, the host of the popular right-wing conspiracy program known as InfoWars.
And if people were unfamiliar with Shroyer for InfoWars, or perhaps wouldn’t recognize his face from a public outburst he had during an impeachment inquiry hearing for Trump in 2019—he was hauled out by police—they could also turn to the wealth of public reporting that exists about Shroyer and his very public fight to beat charges related to the attack of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
And yet, when ABC ran World News Tonight on Sunday, the network included a video clip where Shroyer is briefly interviewed about his anti-abortion stance. He is, bizarrely, identified only as a “protester” in the chyron below his name.
Noted by Media Matters for America first, what makes the chyron particularly concerning is that less than 24 hours before this interview in Texas by a reporter for ABC’s KVUE affiliate, Shroyer boosted his apperance on Infowars for over an hour.
During that Infowars program, Shroyer is even seen in clips wearing the same shirt as he did in the ABC interview. He was also carrying a giant picture of a crying baby’s face with him that he apparently cut out, glued to a stick, and held up over his own to taunt pro-abortion rights activists.
The plain descriptor of Shroyer at the protest is also troublesome because of his history of trolling the abortion rights movement and capitalizing on fears of violence. On the ninth anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller in 2018 by Scott Roeder, for example, Shroyer coordinated a protest in Texas and live-streamed right outside of the Texas Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, Shroyer’s defense attorney made a virtual appearance in federal Washington, D.C., court on Monday afternoon as his client pushes to have criminal charges for Jan. 6 dropped, including entering restricted grounds and disorderly conduct.
Shroyer, who was arrested in August, has argued that because he is a journalist he should not be charged. His conduct on Jan. 6, he claims, was protected speech under the First Amendment.
Interestingly, when Shroyer’s Infowars colleague Alex Jones was in divorce court fighting for custody of his children with then-wife Kelly Jones, Alex Jones’s lawyer described Infowars—on the record—as “fake news” and told the judge that Jones was just playing a character.
Shroyer couched his First Amendment claim in the argument that he was merely trying to calm the mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and essentially do crowd control. The judge presiding over his case, U.S. District Judge Tim Kelly, an appointee of former President Donald Trump’s, rejected that bid once before.
Another status conference for Shroyer was set for June 23, according to an entry on the court docket by Judge Kelly.
Shroyer’s attorney, Norm Pattis, told Daily Kos in an email Monday, that after the hearing Monday, no plea agreements had been struck yet.
“We are negotiating,” he said.
Another plea agreement appears to be well in the works for fellow Infowars staffer Samuel Christopher Montoya.
Montoya—who was reported to the FBI by his family before his arrest last April—was meant to appear in court Monday for a status conference. But late last week, his attorney filed a motion to delay the hearing as a plea agreement was negotiated.