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Posts tagged ‘2020 riots’

Kyle Rittenhouse judge slams ‘vast amount’ of ‘irresponsible and sloppy journalism’ surrounding case


Reported by PHIL SHIVER | November 02, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/rittenhouse-judge-slams-irresponsible-sloppy-journalism/

The judge presiding over the highly anticipated Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial recently criticized what he called a “vast amount” of “irresponsible and sloppy journalism” covering the events surrounding the case.

While speaking with potential jurors during the jury selection process on Monday, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder said that those selected for the task may need to disregard much of what they have heard in the media about the case.

“This case has become very political. It was involved in the politics of the last election year,” Schroeder said in the court session, adding, “To this day, you can go out and read things from all across the political spectrum about this case, most of which is written by people who know nothing.”

“The price we pay for having a free press is a lot of irresponsible and sloppy journalism,” he continued, adding that his charge “is not an attack on the media” but a reality check for potential jurors about the need for a fair and impartial trial.

Schroeder said that he has read some things about the case that have been “perfect,” but noted that most of the reporting has either been “sloppy” or “deliberately biased.”

“It can be frightening,” he added while urging jury candidates to abandon their presuppositions and focus solely on the evidence presented at trial. He reminded them that the right to a fair trial is an important right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

What’s the background?

The news comes only days after Schroeder ruled that the men Rittenhouse, 18, fatally shot or wounded on Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, can’t be referred to as “victims” by prosecutors — but can be called “rioters” and “looters.”

Rittenhouse — then 17 — allegedly took a gun to riots in the city in order to defend local businesses against looting and ransacking in the wake of a white police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man. During the mayhem, Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two. Rittenhouse was charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree reckless homicide, and first-degree reckless endangering safety. If convicted, he could serve a mandatory life sentence in prison.

Rittenhouse’s defense team has insisted he was acting in self-defense, and videos of the shootings from that night appear to back up his claims. He later told reporters he doesn’t regret taking a gun to protests on the night of the shootings, saying he “would’ve died” if he hadn’t.

By Monday evening, 20 jurors had been selected, and now the trial is set to be heard.

(H/T: Townhall)

Potential Jurors In The Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Are Scared, And They Have Every Reason To Be

NOVEMBER 2, 2021 | By Eddie Scarry

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/02/potential-jurors-in-the-kyle-rittenhouse-trial-are-scared-and-they-have-every-reason-to-be/

Kenosha County, Wis., Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder has a fanciful idea: That the trial he’s overseeing that includes murder charges against 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse can be removed from politics. He said so on Monday during jury selection. “We don’t want to fall into the trap,” he said, “that many in the media have, a large percentage of the media, and discuss this as a political trial or that there are bigger factors at stake in this trial.”

How naive. Of course this is a trial of political consequence and of course there are bigger factors at stake. The potential jurors know it, and that’s why during selection several of them expressed concern that their city or they personally might be the targets of rioting or harassment, regardless of the verdict the jury renders. All of the potential jurors are kept anonymous until after the trial is over but here’s a sample of what some of them said during selection:

—One said that no matter the verdict, “half the country will be up in arms about it.”

— Another said, “I’m more afraid of our community and the outsiders of our community that are coming in… It just brings us back to August (2020).” She also said she was “potentially” afraid of reliving riots depending on the verdict.

— A third said it was “scary” to be on a case like this one, specifically citing “riots” and wondering aloud, “Am I gonna get home safe?”

Those are legitimate concerns. We saw what happened earlier this year in Minneapolis, when businesses and restaurants boarded up their storefronts in anticipation of a possible acquittal of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who ultimately was convicted of killing George Floyd. If things don’t go a certain way in politically charged trials like that, despite evidence leading a deliberate jury to the opposite conclusion, well, that might very well mean more rioting, looting, arson, and violence. Potential jurors in the Rittenhouse trial received the message loud and clear that this isn’t just a murder trial. This is about the broader question of whether some types of political violence are acceptable, even necessary.

Rittenhouse is charged with the murder of two men and the attempted murder of a third. All relevant parties are white (sadly robbing the media of a beloved racially charged narrative) and it isn’t disputed that each of them had been chasing the teen and attempting to apprehend his weapon. All of it was in the context of several nights of destructive rioting in Kenosha, which resulted in a total of $50 million in damages to the city. The mayhem was sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who was wanted for violating a restraining order stemming from claims he had sexually assaulted a woman. Blake is on video resisting his arrest and defying police orders by moving to enter his vehicle as they tried to apprehend him.

The city went up in flames and the national media to this day characterize the chaos as a “Black Lives Matter march” because they, along with leaders in the Democratic Party, believe all of it was justified.

Rittenhouse may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that’s not a crime and it’s not what he’s on trial for. He’s on trial for shooting men who pursued him and made moves to grab his gun, something that is seen on video, testified by at least one witness, and written out in the state’s own complaint against Rittenhouse.

A jury will inevitably render its verdict, but contrary to what the judge says, there’s no way around it— this is a political trial and that should scare the jurors.

Eddie Scarry is the D.C. columnist at The Federalist and author of “Privileged Victims: How America’s Culture Fascists Hijacked the Country and Elevated Its Worst People.”

Media Outrage Over Capitol Riot Isn’t About Defending Democracy, It’s About Wielding Power


Written by John Daniel Davidson  JANUARY 8, 2021

Media Outrage Over Capitol Riot Isn’t About Defending Democracy, It’s About Wielding Power

After the pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Twitter blue-checks, politicians, and elite corporate journalists wailed and rent their garments in outrage. But they weren’t really outraged.

Yes, the breach of the capitol was appalling and disturbing. Most people didn’t see it coming and were understandably shocked when images of MAGA bros fighting capitol police began popping up on social media (although the authorities should have been better prepared, most of all D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who had earlier rejected offers of additional law enforcement.) There’s no question the protesters who decided to riot should be prosecuted, as all rioters everywhere should be.

But elite outrage is not really about what happened at the capitol—about the “sacred citadel of our democracy being defiled” and so on. The outrage, like almost all expressions of righteous indignation from our elites in the Trump era, is performative. It is in service of a larger purpose that has nothing to do with the peaceful transfer of power and everything to do with the wielding of power.

Specifically, it’s about punishing supporters of President Trump. If the pro-Trump mob can be depicted as “terrorists” and “traitors,” then there’s almost nothing we shouldn’t do to silence them. Right? Rick Klein, the political director at ABC News, said the quiet part out loud on Thursday when he mused (in a now-deleted tweet) that getting rid of Trump is “the easy part” and the more difficult task will be “cleansing the movement he commands.”

That’s not the kind of language you use when you’re in the business of reporting the news. It’s the kind of language you use when you’re in the business of social control.

A lot of people on the right have noted the supposed hypocrisy of media elites like Klein, but it’s not really hypocrisy because Klein and his comrades don’t really have a problem with violent mobs storming into buildings and smashing windows, so long as they agree with the mob’s agenda. That’s why corporate media was so tolerant of much larger and more dangerous mobs destroying American cities for months on end last year. When Black Lives Matter rioters stormed city halls and police stations, burned down churches, and ransacked shopping districts in major U.S. cities, killing dozens and destroying livelihoods, the media offered support for the rioters’ cause, which they invoked time and again to justify their criminal acts.

That’s why CNN’s Chris Cuomo said, “Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.” That’s why his colleague, Don Lemon, compared the riots to the Boston Tea Party, saying, “This is how our country started.”

That’s why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued “the whole point of protesting is to make ppl uncomfortable.” That’s why incoming Vice President Kamala Harris urged her supporters to contribute to a fund to pay bail for militant anarchists who set fire to Minneapolis. That’s why reporters at MSNBC and CNN described fiery, riotous scenes as “mostly peaceful protests”—sometimes while buildings and cars burned in the background.

As my colleague Tristan Justice recently chronicled, this default posture of support for the riots was pervasive in the media. GQ, Slate, Mother Jones, Time Magazine, Vox, The New York Times, NPR—all of them ran news stories, analyses, and columns justifying the violence, praising the rioters, and mulling over the deeper meaning of it all. Condemnations were few and attenuated.

They won’t do that about the pro-Trump rioters at the capitol. In his monologue Wednesday night, Tucker Carlson made the good point that we have to find a way through our political divisions and this moment of crisis. Above all, we have to learn to live together.

There’s no option to peacefully divide and go our separate ways, so if we want to fix this, he said, we need to try to understand why Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot and killed in the capitol, was there in the first place. What was she doing there?

Our elites—in the media, in corporate America, in politics—have no interest in that question. They don’t want to understand people like Babbitt because they don’t actually want to share a republic with them. To paraphrase Rick Klein of ABC News, they want to cleanse the country of Trump supporters, period.

It won’t be easy. Trump’s supporters aren’t just going to disappear because Anderson Cooper thinks they’re gross. Plenty of media people, along with plenty of Democratic leaders, spent Wednesday and Thursday arguing that Trump gave the protesters the idea to storm the capitol, that he egged them on and incited them.

But the media, which sowed the wind all year long with loose talk about riots, did far more to bring down the whirlwind on Wednesday than Trump did. When you argue for months and months that there’s nothing wrong with rioting or mob action or fighting with the police, and that we have to try to understand the rioters and their complaints, don’t be surprised if a certain segment of the population takes you at your word.

None of this is to excuse or defend the people who stormed the capitol. Like the mobs that stormed through American cities this spring and summer, they should have been stopped—by force, if necessary. Turns out Sen. Tom Cotton was right all along.

But it is to say that both groups were motivated by strongly held beliefs that, in their minds, justified rioting. In the case of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, it was the belief that America is in the throes of white supremacy and systemic racism, and that police kill disproportionate numbers of black people. In the case of the pro-Trump mob at the capitol, it was the belief that the election was stolen, rigged, fraudulent, and that no one would listen to them or take them seriously.

I happen to think both these sets of claims, on the BLM side and the Trump side, are misguided and wrong. But not our media elites. They are squarely on the side of the BLM mob and against the pro-Trump mob, and they have zero interest in trying to understand why all those people showed up at the Capitol on a Wednesday in January.

They do, however, have a keen interest in cracking down on the wrong kind of mob. Their outrage isn’t just a performance or a pose. It’s also a mask hiding something worse than hypocrisy: anticipation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John is the Political Editor at The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Emily Jashinsky

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