Maybe. Let’s be upfront with our conclusions. Fact: Michael Brown was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson. As of right now that is the only fact available on what happened in Ferguson, MO earlier this month. Everything else is speculation based on a media driven frenzy to get ratings.
What we don’t know that really matters: did Michael Brown attack officer Wilson prior to the shooting. Did Michael Brown turn and attack the officer after they separated at the police car. There’s lots of speculation about those two things and a case can be made on both sides of the argument. Not necessarily a good case, but in the absence of facts, a case good enough to raise almost everybody’s blood pressure 50 points.
That is a summary of the important things about the shooting that we know and don’t know. We need to find out the facts related to the things we don’t know before we can draw a conclusion about whether Brown’s death was the result of a “good shoot.”
Let’s get back to the media frenzy.
CNN, as a network, is in a world of hurt. Their ratings, well, they suck. You can look it up. They do well in the ratings race when they can fabricate a story and beat it to death over continuous 24 hour news cycles. See the missing Malaysian airliner. That’s exactly what they’re doing to Ferguson. They take the most sensational pieces of the story and hammer them to their audience. Jack Dunphy, a Los Angeles police officer who writes for PJ Media, told of a situation in LA that highlights how CNN creates “news.”
There had been a series of racially charged incidents between black and Hispanic residents in South Central Los Angeles, and on this particular day the friction erupted in a chaotic scene at a public high school. Scores of students engaged in a melee on the campus at lunchtime, requiring a large police response to restore order. Anxious parents, already aware of previous incidents at the school, heard the sirens and the police helicopter and flocked to the streets outside the campus, which remained closed while officers sorted out the mess inside the gates.
Out on the street, I watched as a Los Angeles Times reporter worked the crowd, scribbling on her notepad as she moved from one group of parents to the next. Finally she came to one woman, the loudest and most obnoxious in the entire gathering, who railed on and on with complaints about the school, the police, and anything else she could think of while the reporter did her best to scratch it all down. When the story appeared in the Times the next day, this was the only person found worthy of a lengthy quote, this despite the fact that I had seen the reporter speaking with any number of calmer, more reasonable people. The reporter, and/or her editors, made the conscious choice to present only the most inflammatory version of what had happened at the school.
And now, welcome to CNN. They started running an audio tape of what they said was the shooting of Michael Brown along with commentary that we find clearly inflammatory. They present an “expert” with no mention of his qualifications and the “expert” indicates that the police will have problems explaining the pause and the number of shots. Here’s a sample of CNN’s reporting.
CNN is famous for adding a quick note somewhere in this type of report that “the audio has not been verified” and then speculate like crazy to inflame the audience ratings. The difference this time around is that they got caught and called out within 24 hours. Here’s the tape.
We don’t know whether Michael Brown’s shooting was justified. We’ll find out.
What we’re sure of is that the media, the cops, and the state and federal government have acted with almost criminal irresponsibility. The major media is just as guilty of presenting speculation to their audiences as is CNN simply looking to inflame their viewers for ratings. The result also leads to rioting and looting. The cops, between their in-your-face military tactics and total lack of leadership made a complete mess of the aftermath of the shooting. Governor Jay Nixon is demanding “vigorous prosecution” before an investigation is even started, and the Obama administration is showing up with a fleet of civil rights lawyers to make sure somebody gets convicted of something.
So far the only thing we’re missing is President Obama saying, “If I had two sons they’d be Trayvon and Michael.” But hey, this mess isn’t over yet, and you can be sure the race baiters will make the most of it, to hell will due process and facts.
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